Sunday, November 30, 2008

Change of Pace

We spent the late afternoon and early evening out on Chuck’s sister’s and her husband’s 60 year old Grandy boat. A daylong, heavy, dense fog lifted enough to allow us to cruise across Lake Union, moving through Portage Bay to Union Bay then out onto Lake Washington. We then headed over to Cozy Cove, just off Kirkland and dropped anchor. The boat floated gently in the still water as we ate our dinner. As the sun set, the Christmas lights bedecking the homes on shore and the boats moored nearby, all began to glitter and twinkle.

A sea plane about to land on Lake Union

The Space Needle across Lake Union

The often elusive Mount Rainier in the distance

Cozy Cove at twilight

A Reason To Celebrate

We’ve visited Chuck’s Dad a total of eighteen times since we’ve been out here in Washington State. Dad has had good moments and not so good moments. There have been smiles from Dad which we treasure. There has been laughter and yes, tears. This afternoon, as Chuck and I stood beside Dad’s bed, B. who takes amazing care of him, asked Dad: “Milton, who’s that man?” as she pointed to Chuck. “That’s my son.” replied Milton. “And Milton, who’s that lady?” B. asked as she pointed to me. “That’s his wife.” said Dad. That was the first time in nine days that we really knew for sure that Dad actually knew who we were.

The photo above shows Seattle’s iconic 605 foot tall Space Needle decorated for Christmas. Well, that’s what they tell the public. But I’m pretty sure they trimmed it out in celebration of the wonderful gift the 94 year old patriarch of our family gave to Chuck and me today.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


The day started out wrapped in fog, but by late morning the scene above is what we enjoyed. Here in Greater Seattle it’s still Wednesday, but back home it’s tipped over into Thursday. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating in the United States. Best wishes for peace and prosperity to everyone around the globe.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Two Years!

Happy Anniversary to Pink Granite! Today is its two year anniversary!

As I wrote last year, the most wonderful thing that has happened since launching this blog, is that I have “met” so many warm, kind, funny, intelligent and well intentioned people from all around the world. It is no exaggeration to say that this virtual community has broadened my horizons and enriched my life. Without the folks who read and leave comments, Pink Granite would just be me talking to myself! Thanks for making PG a fun conversation, rather than a monologue!

: : Here’s to Pink Granite readers - you rock!

Tech Note To My Blog Friends

While we’ve been away, we’ve continued to have access to the internet. After I check and respond to our e-mail, I’ve tried to stop by and visit a few blogs. Unfortunately, when I begin to leave a comment on some Blogspot based blogs, the hotel’s computer access alerts me that I am on a “fraudulent website”! If I go ahead and comment, it slows my internet access to crawl! Reading what’s happening in your lives is always interesting and these days provides a lovely distraction. So I’ll keep up with your feeds and comment when I can.

Up & Down

On both of our visits with Chuck’s Dad yesterday, he was very subdued, withdrawn and sleepy. Because of that, it was the toughest day for us. Then, on our visit this morning, it was as if we had been transported back to the spring. Dad was downright chipper compared to yesterday, enjoying his beverages and interacting with us - including some big smiles. But after about a half an hour, Dad’s energy ran out. There’s no way to know what we’ll find when we visit with him this afternoon, but we felt so lucky to have been there with him during that bright spot.

Monday, November 24, 2008

T.J. Maxx & Milton

Many years ago, a chain of discount clothing stores called T.J. Maxx had a commercial jingle which went like this: “...never, ever the same place twice...”. Since we have been out here visiting Chuck’s 94 year old Dad, Milton, that song keeps running through my mind. You see, every visit with Chuck’s Dad is a little different from the one before. We last saw Dad back in the spring. In the intervening seven plus months he has declined a great deal. On this trip we visit him twice a day, as was our custom in the spring. But whereas last March and April there seemed to be a certain rhythm to Dad’s condition and his energy level and comfort throughout the day, as well as day to day, this time it feels random and unpredictable.

Visiting and attending someone who has lived a full, long life as he nears the unknowable end, leads to a welter of emotions and thoughts. I can’t help but think back on my Dad’s final months with Alzheimer’s Disease. Chuck thinks about his Mom in her last months, succumbing to the same cruel illness. Chuck and I find ourselves discussing difficult practical matters such as ordinary vs. extraordinary means, as well as philosophical questions about the meaning and purpose of life. The practical matters were addressed and resolved earlier this evening in Chuck’s sister Carol’s and her husband’s living room, when we weighed the pros and cons of all sorts of comfort care vs. active intervention care.

The philosophical questions still hang in the air, awaiting further conversations. But one thing became clear to me this afternoon: even as Dad’s capacity to interact and his abilities and health diminish, he is still influencing and driving this family. Without the prompt of his circumstances, Chuck and I wouldn’t have moved reviewing our health care proxy and medical directive forms and letters to the top of our to do list when we get home. Without Dad’s current condition, Chuck and I would not be back out here so soon, spending time with Dad as well as Carol and her family. Without Dad’s health, well being and quality of life constantly on our minds, Chuck and I wouldn’t be wrestling with issues of mortality and love enduring.

Even though Dad is no longer able to instruct us directly, he is still guiding us; he is still leading us; he is still teaching us. Thank you Dad.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Heading West

Chuck’s Dad, who is 94, has been under hospice care since late summer. He still lives in the same wonderful Adult Family Home, but receives additional services. Lately, Dad has had some medical ups and downs which made us feel we needed to go out and visit with him, as well as Chuck’s sister and her family. We’ll be leaving tomorrow for Greater Seattle, but don’t yet have a firm return date.

I’m not sure when I will be posting next, but I will stay in touch. Knowing my regular readers, I thank you in advance for your good wishes and kind thoughts.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Little More Buttoning Up

While the meteorologists said today would be the warmest day of the week, we still had a few tiny, tentative snow flurries this afternoon. Of course these arrived just as Chuck was climbing the ladder to clean the gutter on the front of the barn. Because our barn is old and swaybacked, even after extensive renovations, our fairly new gutter has a matching dip in it. The gutter guys who took the installation job were none too pleased with our obvious contentment with a less than rectilinear structure, but gutter us they did. The consequence is that every autumn, after the last oak leaf from the tree next to the barn has drifted to the ground, Chuck climbs up the ladder and empties the troughy part of the gutter of its accumulated debris. If for some reason Chuck does not climb the ladder, come spring, little green shoots will start sprouting up in the lowest point of the gutter; a jaunty spring green feather in the barn’s cap!

Another task we tended to today was checking the drain in our cellar. Late this summer, we noticed what we initially thought was just the opening of a chipmunk tunnel in our driveway. But then it got bigger - and deeper. Luckily it got smaller and eventually disappeared. But during the expansion, contraction and deconstruction, we began to have a nagging worry that the hole might just be over the approximate line our cellar drain runs along. Considering the excitement we had last September with our waste pipe, we vacillated between the narrow range of out of sight, out of mind and putting our heads firmly in the sand. Today we pulled our heads out, dragged a hose into the cellar and ran water through the cellar drain. The important word in the last sentence was “through”. It worked. No puddles formed at my feet; another bullet dodged!

Hmmm... I think I’m beginning to understand why people move to condominiums...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

”Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear Mom
Happy Birthday to you -
and many more!

My Mom, Dorothy, is celebrating her 85th birthday today!
Yay Mom!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Ocean

Standing on the ocean floor - the tidal bar which connects Mount Desert and Bar Islands at low tide

I have always loved the ocean and been drawn to it. I love its beauty and its constancy. I respect its power. I never liked swimming in the ocean after dark. The few times I have, I’ve felt as if I were overstepping my bounds, intruding on the ocean’s privacy. I’ve always felt comforted at the ocean’s edge. Walking along the sand, in and out of the lapping waves, at any time of the year, in any kind of weather, I have always felt safe and warm. Living about two hours from the ocean is the only thing I wish I could change about where we live now. But to magically transplant our home and land within walking distance of the ocean or better still, in sight of it, would financially put it impossibly out of reach.

But right now I wish we were closer. I would love to listen to the surf, the gulls, the wind. I would love to smell the ocean; the crispness of high tide, the pungency of low tide. I would love to feel the power of the ocean and be comforted by it once again. Right now I’m feeling a little overwhelmed - perhaps one too many spinning plates. At the ocean’s edge, all the plates come down off the poles; any problems I may be facing are forced into perspective by the ocean’s vastness and its deep, ancient rhythms. I need that perspective right now.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Under Two Bucks!

For the first time since May of 2005, we paid under two dollars a gallon for regular unleaded gasoline. We bought it for $1.959 a gallon at the BJ’s Wholesale Club gas station in Leominster (off 2 & 12).

On a related subject: we have yet to receive our first home heating oil delivery this autumn. But with the current price of oil, we sure think we made the right decision not to lock in over the summer. Fingers crossed...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Row Of Autumn Trees

You may remember a photo I took last spring. A couple of days ago, Chuck came home and said: “You’ve got to see those trees. They’re amazing!” He was right. What’s interesting is that many of the trees around here are already stripped bare by wind and rain. But these beauties were still in all their autumn glory.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Think Cool Thoughts Kiddo!

They’ve recently had some snow in northern New England, but it has yet to snow in the hills of Worcester County - - - this season. The photo above was taken December 14, 2007. And no, I’m not trying to jinx anything and bring this much beauty on prematurely! I uploaded this for Morgan in Australia, who is not fond of warm weather.

Is That Dap In My Hair?

The recent excitement around our barn and the attendant expenses, while extremely reasonable (Thank you Roger!), have put our home improvement plans on a less ambitious timetable. That means that our elderly mature home will not be getting its windows replaced this season. So we put some time and energy into repairing and re-glazing some rickety tired windows and old fashioned, wood framed, hang on the outside of the house storm windows. Eight windows and far more Dap 33 Glazing than any professional worth their salt would be caught dead using, we no longer have an active MIT Wind Tunnel in our house!

Yay us!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Proposition 8 Follow Up

California’s Proposition 8, which proposed to amend the state constitution to limit marriage to unions between a man and a woman, was approved, via a Yes vote, by the voters on November 4, 2008.

During the Proposition 8 campaign, the Roman Catholic organization The Knights of Columbus was one of the biggest contributors to the “Vote Yes on 8” side. However, individual members of the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints, the Mormons, at the behest of their leadership, contributed over 14 million dollars to the “Vote Yes on 8” campaign.

While it was Republicans and groups on the religious right who worked hard and poured millions into the “Vote Yes on 8” campaign, post election the approval of Proposition 8 has been repeatedly linked to the high voter turnout in the African American community, due to the enthusiasm for Barack Obama. People For The American Way, PFAW, has released a detailed statement which debunks this divisive rumor.

As I’ve written before, one of the most specious arguments against Gay Marriage has been proffered by a number of socially conservative groups, including the Roman Catholic Church. The legality of same sex marriage in no way intrudes upon who the Church, or any other religious organization, allows to marry. Yet they continue to inveigh that same sex marriage is an attack on the family and undermines the sacrament of marriage. In our experience, nothing could be further from the truth. Allowing more couples to publicly affirm their commitment and enter into legal marriages can only serve to strengthen our society.

I urge you to read the PFAW Memo which sorts truth from fiction.

Friday, November 7, 2008


The new website is up! is the new online site for the transition of President-Elect Barack Obama and Vice President-Elect Joe Biden. You can find all sorts of information there, as well as share your stories about what this election has meant to you and share your vision for the future!

On History

I haven’t written about the historic nature of Barack Obama becoming the 44th President of the United States of America. He is the first person of African descent to achieve the highest office in the land.

I grew up during the Civil Rights movement of the late 1950s, 1960s and beyond. But I was a white kid, born into a country where a great deal of privilege was automatically afforded me because of the color of my skin.

I’ve written about my gratitude for the decision my parents made to break the chain of prejudice within our family. I’ve been able understand intellectually what it means to be a person of color in America and I believe I have had empathy. But at the end of the day, I am still a white woman.

So I’ll turn to some of my blog friends who have written eloquently this week about what having Barack Obama as our President-Elect means to them:
Renee and her husband Kent both place this election within the context of their personal history and experiences. And George has expressed his feelings in a moving letter.

I thank them all.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thoughts After November 4th

: : I’ve had lots of feelings since Tuesday night. Those related to the results of the presidential election have been almost exclusively positive - especially after I got over the sense of disbelief! Deep down, I really expected we would be holding our breath for hours, if not days, as we had to in 2000 and 2004. Watching it all unfold beginning at 11:00 p.m. eastern time was stunning - thrilling, but stunning!

: : In the midst of the joy, bad news rolled in. Most disappointing was the approval of California’s Proposition 8, which amended the state constitution to limit marriage to unions between a man and a woman. This came after more than 18,000 same-sex couples have been legally married in California. Florida and Arizona voters also passed preemptive bans on same-sex marriage.

: : If the John McCain who gave a gracious concession speech Tuesday night had been the “Candidate McCain” on the campaign trail, they might still be counting votes. And if the information coming from the McCain campaign staffers about Sarah Palin, to Fox News’ Carl Cameron is remotely true, we were incredibly fortunate that it was the 2008 version of John McCain who ran for president.

: : President-Elect Obama spoke about the need to end division and partisanship in his election night speech:

“In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let's resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.

Let's remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity.

Those are values that we all share. And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.

As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.”

That is still difficult for me. I expect that it will be for longer than I would like. My anger remains deep and hot over the lies promulgated by Senator McCain, Governor Palin, their staffers and the Big Republican Machine, especially post conventions to the election. But what has left me more depressed than angry has been how many people believed the lies. When such individuals are known to me, there are additional feelings.

: : The post election maps drawn by political analysts show a country with more blue than red. (We still don’t have final numbers, but the most recent information has Obama-Biden at 53% and McCain-Palin at 46%.) That is cause for excitement and satisfaction. But I worry that all those pointillistic red dots, spreading into red counties and red states represent people who may be feeling as upset and dismayed as I felt in 2000 and 2004. I hope they can hear President- Elect Obama’s sentiments I quoted above. But if I, as a voter for the winners, am struggling, I have to believe folks who voted Republican are also challenged by his words.

: : Despite significant increases in registered voters, the voter turnout still hovered around only 60-61% of people eligible to vote.

: : Lastly, the number of spinning plates the new Obama-Biden administration will be facing is enormous. Watching the national and international reaction I do not believe I am overstating it when I say that many people are expecting that this election will somehow lead to the healing of an ailing world. Folks may not believe intellectually that is possible, but it seems to be a widely held hope.

I hope that President-Elect Obama will ask for our help in tackling these myriad and difficult tasks. Look what happened when a young State Senator from Illinois spoke at the 2004 Democratic Convention and sparked a movement of millions who stated: “Yes We Can”. We have come this far. We can go the distance. Together, yes we can...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Our 44th President

Here is the video from earlier this morning of President-Elect Barack Obama’s speech.

“If there is anyone out there who doubts that America is a place where anything is possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.”

“And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it's been done in America for 221 years -- block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand. What began 21 months ago in the depths of winter cannot end on this autumn night.
This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.
It can't happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.
So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.”

- Barack Obama
November 5, 2008

Click to read the entire transcript of Barack Obama’s speech, including the story of Mrs. Ann Nixon Cooper, age 106!

At The Polls Yesterday

Chuck worked at the polls yesterday afternoon and evening as an election official. His assigned position was at the ballot box. The crowds were steady and heavy for our little town - nearly 80% of all registered voters! Chuck has worked many elections before. He said the mood has never been so ebullient. It was not a landslide for the Obama-Biden ticket. As is often true in our town, we were fairly evenly divided. But there was a sense of excitement with the high voter turnout, including many first time voters.

As parents walked up to vote with a child in hand, Chuck asked if they wanted the child to slide the ballot into the optical scanning machine. All did. Every child evidenced delight! Chuck also shook the hands of voters, thanking them for voting, as they turned from the ballot box to leave the polling place.

At one point, a gentleman came in to vote, but there was a problem with his registration. This gentleman, an acquaintance, is someone with whom Chuck has had some spirited political disagreements. As other election officials worked with the man to try to get the situation resolved, Chuck continued at his ballot box post. Eventually, the man filled out a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots are secured, but not scanned into the ballot box. Before he left, the gentleman walked up to Chuck and said he had watched him shaking the hands of the other voters and he did not wish to leave without shaking Chuck’s hand.

It Is True!

President-Elect Barack Obama just spoke to the nation and the world, from Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yes, I Believe It Is True!

Senator John McCain just delivered his concession speech. He was gracious and generous and urged all Americans to unite.

I Think It’s Really True!

All the major television networks, including the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and BBC America, have called the election for Barack Obama and Joe Biden!

I have no more words...

If The World Could Vote

I know I have a lot of regular readers from all around the world. Many of you have left enthusiastic and encouraging comments about this campaign, which I very much appreciate. Now you can cast your own vote about the United States Presidential Election online at If The World Could Vote. Then you can click on the “Results” tab to see what the world is thinking about this important election!

Thanks to Jeff over at Wormtown Taxi for the heads up.

How’d You Make Out?

If you want to report on your experience at the polls, you can go to My Fair Election to register and fill out a very brief form.

If you have any problems voting call the Election Protection Hotline:
1 (866) OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683).

If you want to look at some photographs (or upload your own) you can go to the Polling Place Photo Project. It’s very cool!

Number 607

607! That was the number that the voting machine clicked to as my scannable paper ballot was drawn into the ballot box this morning. We live in a small town in Central Massachusetts. Sometimes only a couple of hundred people turn out at each precinct. To see 606 other people had already voted was amazing.

There was a short line, but it moved along smoothly and steadily. The election workers were well prepared and there have been no glitches in our little corner of the world.

I wore my Obama ’08 - HOPE bracelet, but had it tucked under my sleeve. I wore my Obama-Biden pin, which I have hanging from a cord, but it was tucked in beneath my top. I had my photo ID (my Massachusetts Driver’s License) at the ready, but I did not need to present it. Once I had my ballot, I stood in a little two sided, triangular kiosk and carefully filled in the oval circles next to the names of the candidates I wanted to vote for. The Statewide Questions always take me a few extra minutes to focus on. Because of the way they are phrased, I often worry I am going to make a mistake!

Until today, I would have stated unequivocally that the most exciting election I ever participated in was my very first election back in 1976. I was 18 years old, away at college and had to fill out an absentee ballot for Rhode Island. But today, my excitement far exceeded that day 32 years ago. After eight long years of the Bush-Cheney administration, the possibility that our nation could get back on the right track was exhilarating. The possibility that we could elect Barack Obama and Joe Biden to be the next President and Vice President of the United States had me holding my breath with anticipation.


If you did not participate in Early Voting, go to the polls and VOTE!

To be on the safe side, do not wear political garb - or be sure to bring a jacket to cover it up. In some states it it is considered “electioneering” which is not allowed within the polling place.

To be on the safe side, bring a form of identification with you. According to the Help America Vote Act: “There are two approved forms of ID -- photo and non-photo. Any current and valid government-issued photo identification fulfills the photo ID requirement. A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document with the name and address of the voter fulfills the non-photo ID.”

Bring a friend or family member or neighbor to the polls.

Bring your sense of humor and your patience!

If you have any problems voting call the Election Protection Hotline:
1 (866) OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683).
The Election Protection website has a wealth of voter information.

And here is some advice from Rachel Maddow of MSNBC and Air America:

Today is the day!
Turn HOPE into reality. VOTE!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Ignore The Polls

Do not become complacent.
Do not pay attention to the polls.
Go and cast your vote tomorrow.

Here are a few words to keep you motivated:

“There is a new wave of change all around us - and if we set our compass true, we will reach our destination - not merely victory for our party, but renewal for our nation.

And this November, the torch will be passed again to a new generation of Americans.

And so with Barack Obama -- for you and for me, for our country and for our cause - the work begins anew, the hope rises again, and the dream lives on!”

- Senator Edward Kennedy
from his speech at the Democratic National Convention
Monday, August 25, 2008

”By following the example of a brave New Yorker, a woman who risked her life to shepherd slaves along the Underground Railroad.
And on that path to freedom, Harriett Tubman had one piece of advice.

If you hear the dogs, keep going.

If you see the torches in the woods, keep going.

If they're shouting after you, keep going.

Don't ever stop.
Keep going.

If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.

Even in the darkest of moments, ordinary Americans have found the faith to keep going.

I’ve seen it in you. I’ve seen it in our teachers and firefighters, nurses and police officers, small business owners and union workers, the men and women of our military – you always keep going.
We are Americans. We're not big on quitting.

But remember, before we can keep going, we have to get going by electing Barack Obama president.

We don't have a moment to lose or a vote to spare.

Nothing less than the fate of our nation and the future of our children hang in the balance.”

- Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
from her speech at the Democratic National Convention
Tuesday, August 26, 2008

“America, we cannot turn back.  Not with so much work to be done.  Not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for.  Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save.  Not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend. 

America, we cannot turn back.  We cannot walk alone.  At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future.  Let us keep that promise - that American promise - and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.”

- Barack Obama
from his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention
Thursday, August 28, 2008

“People died so you'd have the right to vote.
Self-government — voting to choose our own leaders — is the original American dream. We are heir to a centuries-long struggle for freedom: the American Revolution, and the battles to extend the franchise to those without property, to women, to people of color, and to young people. 

This year, many will still be denied their right to vote. For those of us who have that right, it's precious. If we waste it, we dishonor those who fought for it and those who fight still.”

- from
Monday, November 3, 2008

Live your values.
Love your country.

Rest In Peace

Madelyn Lee Payne Dunham, Barack Obama’s grandmother, has passed away. She was 86. I’m glad she saw the heights her grandson had reached. I wish she could have lived to see him elected President of the United States of America.

"It is with great sadness that we announce that our grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, has died peacefully after a battle with cancer. She was the cornerstone of our family, and a woman of extraordinary accomplishment, strength, and humility. She was the person who encouraged and allowed us to take chances. She was proud of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and left this world with the knowledge that her impact on all of us was meaningful and enduring. Our debt to her is beyond measure.

Our family wants to thank all of those who sent flowers, cards, well-wishes, and prayers during this difficult time. It brought our grandmother and us great comfort. Our grandmother was a private woman, and we will respect her wish for a small private ceremony to be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, we ask that you make a donation to any worthy organization in search of a cure for cancer."

- Barack Obama & Maya Soetoro-Ng
November 3, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Determination Leads To Inspiration

I am so impressed and inspired by one couple’s determination to vote in the presidential election on Tuesday. Citizens of New York State who are currently living abroad in India travelled 9300 miles just to be able to cast their votes November 4th! They had followed all the proper steps to get an absentee ballot, but when it did not arrive in India, they headed home.

Please read their story. No matter where you live in this country or the world, their belief in democracy and deep desire to cast their votes and participate in the political process will inspire you.

Turn HOPE into reality. VOTE!

I’m Officially Frosted!

In our little two person household, which has a very modest household income, both family members have made contributions to the Obama-Biden campaign.

Here’s my message to the sitting U.S. Democratic Senators:

An explanation of my frustration with the aforementioned senators can be found here!

psssst...Do Something!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Grumpy Old Woman

During this long campaign, some comedians have described Senator John McCain as a Grumpy Old Man. You know, the kind of cranky old guy who yells: “Hey you kids, get off my lawn!” Turns out, the grumpy quality wasn’t just being picked up on by comedians. Some McCain supporters recognize their own inner crankiness in Senator McCain. On Halloween night, one McCain supporter took cranky and grumpy way past curmudgeonly, all the way to obnoxious.

Meet Ms. Shirley Nagel of Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan:

UPDATE: I have to give John McCain his due. He was very funny on tonight’s Saturday Night Live. The QVC bit with Tina Fey was a stitch!

Wealth & Society

I haven’t gone near the whole ugliness of “Joe The Plumber”. JTP is the guy who currently lives in Ohio, named Samuel J. Wurzelbacher. He approached Barack Obama on a street in Toledo, early in October. Mr. Wurzelbacher then proceeded to present a fictional version of who he was and what his hopes and dreams were.

Yet even as JTP was spinning out his tall tale, likely a premeditated one, Barack Obama took the time to carefully and honestly answer all his questions and respond to his concerns.

George Packer has a brief, thoughtful and insightful piece on one aspect of the original encounter between Barack Obama and JTP in his latest post in the New Yorker.

May this be the last we have to hear of JTP.

The Knee Bone’s Connected To The ...Rafters?

Roger, our barn miracle worker, along with his son and another colleague, managed to get the workshop floor sorted out and the main structural support beam under the barn sistered and restored to its proper form. What a relief! But, like the old song: “The knee bone’s connected to...” or a string of dominoes laid out in an intricate pattern, additional structural problems emerged up the front of the barn all the way to the rafters! Yikes! No worries though, Roger and Company, sawed their own beams and boards; brought them over to our house and, after much sawing, chiseling, hammering and winching, put everything to rights. Yay!

People like Roger (and his late partner John) deserve all the praise in the world. Roger always treats every building with the utmost respect. He treats the homeowners the same way. When we first began looking into restoring the barn eleven years ago, only Roger and John truly appreciated the history and residual integrity the barn still possessed. They never even thought of tearing it down. Instead, they listed off its good points and triaged its problems. Other than the installation of the cupola in 2000, this is the first time in ten years it’s ever needed any additional work. Not too bad for a reincarnated barn that’s better than 100 years old.