Friday, October 31, 2008

Book Discussion on Southern vs. Plains Literaure

Tonight I went to a book discussion at the library. The book was Bailey White's "Mama makes up her mind and other dangers of southern living." At some point the leader mentioned how she was sure there was a kernel of truth in each of the characters. I mentioned that having grown up in the south they rang true to me.

This led to an interesting discussion about the differences in culture seen in the literature from the plains and from the south. The book discussion leader is an expert in Great Plains Literature. She said the literature of the south  is much more about characters and the plains literature is much more about the work.

I've often observed that in the south, "people take precedence" and here in the midwest the to-do list rules. It seems the literature backs that up. The great puzzle is why that's the case.

I posed that question and people suggested climate, but of course the climate is very similar in some places so I don't think that's the answer. The leader suggested the south was a plantation mindset, i.e. one of leisure and the midwest was a farming background. I told her I grew up on a farm and no one I knew had a plantation.

Ultimately, there didn't seem to be a real answer I could ferret out, but the question remains an interesting one.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Blogging Classes and Mummies

Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning I took some time to go visit with blogging classes at the Hutchinson Public Library. This is Kristine, who teaches the classes.

At some point, Peggy took one of her classes and mentioned my blog to her. So, Kristine now uses this blog in her classes as an example.

She asked me a few months ago if I'd be willing to come in a talk about my experience with blogging. I told her I would and this was the week. It was a cool thing to do. I kind of warmed up a bit last night and this morning was really fun.

I really like Kristine. She's a bubbly person and I can tell she's someone I would enjoy knowing better. There were some people in the classes I'd like to get to know better, too. Hopefully it will all work out that that happens.

This evening after work I worked on the Christmas tree more. At one point, I could see the orange glow from the pumpkin in my front window reflecting on one French door, and the lights of the Christmas tree reflecting in the other French door. I have "seasonal blending" at my house. That's my new term for it.

But, tonight I updated my facebook status that I was working on my tree, and Tara commented that she already has hers up and decorated. Mary Ann told me the other day she had hers up but not yet decorated. So, I'm not the only one. The Christmas season is very compressed this year - Thanksgiving is very late. So, I want to make sure I've got everything done before Thanksgiving - otherwise I won't feel like I'm getting a full Christmas season. Last year's ice storm made that one feel very shortened so I need to make up a little bit.

But, I love Halloween too. And, Greg is planning to do some pretty major decorating this year. In fact, tonight he was working on this mummy.

I'm looking forward to Friday night!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Your life is an expression of all your thoughts."
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Vintage Doily

This is one of my recent thrift store finds. I absolutely love hand crocheted items. I have quite a large collection of doilies and other linens. It has been said my house looks like an elderly grandmotherly type lives in it. Of course, people have been saying this about me since I was in my 20s so I'm somewhat used to it.

I love the pineapple, which is one of the most popular designs. Pineapples were a symbol of welcome to the Victorians, which is why you see them in things like this and often as finials in homes from the time period.

I have to confess, I've never crocheted one. But, I've bought quite a few of them. Does that count? I do have a pattern book I bought for $2 at the MCC sale last year that has a number of different pineapple designs in it. Isn't it amazing that women used to have time to do laundry and cooking and dishes and dusting AND crocheting?!?!? I'm astonished.

Of course, they weren't blogging, I say, thinking about the pile of dirty clothes on the bathroom floor. Maybe I should stop blogging, too, for tonight. I'm not going to break out the crochet hook, but I do have some things I need to do.

One of those is go pick my herbs. It's already 30 here now and it's supposed to get down to 24 tonight. I want to save my rosemary, sage and lavender. I think I'll let everything else go. I picked the green tomatoes a few days ago, but I guess I will ignore the rest.

I suppose I'd best go do my herb cutting. It's not like it's going to get any warmer before I go to bed. Of course, I could have done it one day the last week or two but - did I - no, of course not. Why do that. It's so much more of an adventure to do it when it's below freezing, seeing only by the security light.
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A Full Weekend

Sharon gave me this beautiful purple/coral mum last week. It has been too windy to have it outside much, but I set it out today to get some sun. It's such a pretty color and mums mean fall.

Fall is in full swing and I knew this without a doubt Saturday morning when I had to scrape frost off my car. Lots of frost. Why, you might rightly ask, was I up so early on a Saturday morning? Not just up, but doing something that involved the car.

Saturday morning I went to the Kansas Underground Salt Museum for volunteer training. For reasons I can't explain I really want to drive the little trams they use underground. I got to do it Saturday morning. It was just as fun as I expected it to be. Hopefully I'll get to volunteer there soon, although I don't think I'll do it much until after Christmas. We'll see how it goes.

They do the training before the museum opens, but as I walked into the new building, with the train that was used to move the salt in its new home next to the building, the sun was just coming up.

I had two big projects this weekend, other than that. One was to finish up the window I replaced on Friday and get the storm window repaired and back in place. I was able to do that.

My other big project for the weekend was to get started on the Christmas tree. I know, it's not yet Halloween. I know this because there's a pumpkin in my front window casting an orange glow onto the lawn, and I haven't yet handed out candy, which I love to do. But, I also know if I don't get started early for Christmas it becomes a chore and I don't want it to be a chore. I want to enjoy every moment of the holiday season.

So, my living room is now a staging area for the tree. I've got a couple of rows on, with lights.

I have to plug in the lights so I can see which ones blink and which ones burn steady so I get a good mix on the tree. These are now on the tree, so I'll bring more up from the basement and repeat the process. This isn't my favorite part of the process, but I love the effect of the sparkly lights when it's done. So, gotta do this part.

Tonight Teresa and I went to see the Diamond W Wranglers at the Fox Theatre. It was terrific. They played for three hours, with only a 15 minute intermission, and ... get ready... I did not get at all restless!

If you've read here for any amount of time you know it's difficult for me to sit still for very long, which is one of the reasons I don't go to movies very much, why I don't like meetings and why I'm very careful to not get myself involved in things that require a lot of focused attention on just one thing.

But, the Wranglers were so good I loved every minute of it. They play at Cowtown on a regular basis. I've been to Cowtown before, but I haven't gone to see them there. I need to do that soon.

Afterwards they were out chatting with people and signing CDs. That's Jim in the purple - he's married to Martha, next to him is the drummer Steve, and Stu in the red and black shirt. Stu sang almost every song, with Jim taking lead on a few, and I couldn't believe he was still talking after all that singing, but he didn't seem phased.

They were fabulous, and I can't urge you strongly enough to go visit them at Cowtown. They start their Christmas program in early November. You can get a sneak listen by going to the website. Hit refresh if you want to hear yet another tune.

All in all a very full weekend. I have to go to Manhattan for a meeting tomorrow and will need to leave early so I'd best get some sleep. No more tree assembly or concerts for me tonight.
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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Opie, Andy and The Fonz Endorse Obama

This is the most creative endorsement you may ever see - three endorsements in one - with appearances by Opie, Andy Griffith and The Fonz. Regardless of who you're supporting you can appreciate the creativity involved in this.

Thanks to Martha for the heads up.
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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Vintage Rick Rack

At one of my regular thrift store stops the other day I found this vintage rickrack. Isn't it wonderful?

I'm not sure what, exactly, it will find its way onto, but I knew I couldn't pass it up. Total price - $1. Usually I find things like this at the MCC sale in April. It's unusual to spot it any other time of year. My guess is it just gets tossed when people are going through things. But I'm sure it's destined for something fun yet to be discovered.

I've been playing around with photoshop lately and this seemed like a great photo to experiment with the color on - desaturating it a bit...

I like the antique-y look of that. I also like the fact that all of those are colors that would be great to have anyway.

Of course, it could go all the way to black and white...

I suppose that's really more shades of gray than black and white but I like the look of it.

It seems there's always something to play with, and just not enough time to do it all.
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Friday, October 24, 2008

Replacing Window Glass

I can now add "replacing window glass" to my resume. I took the afternoon off to take care of a broken window in my home office. Of course, I could have taken care of it sometime this summer, but naturally I waited until it started to get chilly. Then I had to wait for a day that was going to be dry and warm enough. Today was the day.

It got broken sometime during the winter. I don't even know what happened. I was sitting in my office one night when it was really cold and thinking... geez... my feet are freezing. I'm going to have to put plastic over the window by my desk. The next day I pull back the drapes to tackle this project and find the window is cracked - that spider crack on the left side that goes in all directions.

It was way too cold at the time to have a big hole in my house so I patched it as best I could until warm weather. Now, months later, I'm finally getting around to dealing with it. In the meantime, I went to the Window Workshop, which came in handy today.

Today, getting the glass out, I broke it into about four different pieces. There was a point I just could not get out. I eventually had to break the glass and pull it out around it, then I just bent the point flat to the edge. I tried everything I could think of but I just could not get it out.

I knew I needed to take the glass in to Sturgeon because I don't measure well. At all. I know this about myself. I'm not sure why, but I am just not good at that. If I have to have something precisely measured I have someone else do it. When I called Sturgeon to ask about this, and told them I was bringing in the glass she said, "Yes, please, bring in the glass, that's best." I guess other people can't measure either.

They cut it for me today while I waited, which was nice. I just happened to catch them when they weren't busy. And, I managed to get the old glass out and the new one cut and in, complete with points and glazing, and only bled a few drops. I consider that a rousing success.
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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tea on a Fall Evening

It's a wet, chilly autumn evening here. I decided to made some mini pumpkin bread loaves. I want some for one of my holiday gatherings and pumpkin bread freezes with no ill effects, particularly in this sort of a time frame. So, I thought I'd whip up a batch. I need to make three more batches to have enough.

Of course, as soon as they were coming out of the oven I had the urge to make some tea and have a couple of little loaves. Then I remembered these dishes I had bought at Goodwill a few months ago. They're just perfect for an autumn evening I think. For some reason, tea always tastes best from a pretty cup.

I love evenings like this. It's chilly enough to want to be indoors, but not so cold that the wind has found every spot not covered three different ways to get inside with me. It will be no time until my evening's uniform will include long underwear so my legs don't freeze. In fact, I think I'd better order a couple more pair so there's always one clean.

I'm one of those people who gets cold the first time there's a cold snap and I just stay cold until spring. The one time I'm warm is when I first wake up under my electric blanket. But the first moment I stick a toe out from under I'm cold again. Last night I got out my electric blanket but decided to not put it on until I change the sheets again. But, very soon it will be time. I consider electric blankets to be one of the great inventions of our era.

Well, I'm going to stop writing on the blog and work on the book some more. I'm writing one of the complex scenes now so it's going much slower, but it's coming along. However, not a darn thing happens unless I stay at the keyboard and work on it so I suppose I'd best do that.
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Conservatives Support Obama

Christopher Buckley, son of the late William F. Buckley who founded The National Review, has decided to vote for Obama. He announced it on "The Daily Beast" blog.

Far be it from me to summarize what so eloquent a writer as Christopher Buckley can say in his own words. The uproar over his column was such that he offered to tender his resignation from the National Review, where he wrote a column, and they accepted.

I rarely agreed with the senior Mr. Buckley's politics, but I appreciated his insights. It seems his son is just as brilliant where politics is concerned.

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Living Libraries

Some libraries have been doing programs called, "Living Libraries," where people can "check out" a person who is an expert in a particular way of life. They have 30 minutes to learn about being a vegan or a Buddist or whatever.

It was designed to address prejudice and I can see it as a fascinating way to do that, but I think it could be expanded into other arenas too. It seems like it would be very interesting to be able to have 30 minutes of conversation with someone about anything from antique linens to big game hunting.

One of the things I always loved about interviewing people was what I called, "dropping into people's lives" for a short while. I learned that someone who was passionate about something could generally make me appreciate it. I'm not likely to take up ice fishing, but I'll bet there are some interesting things to know about it.

Once you start talking to people in your community, you're amazed at how many of them are fascinating. Within an hour's drive of where I live is a man who was a pivotal figure in reforming mental health care in this nation. He was a young attorney who took on a case no one else would touch that ended up going to the supreme court. That case also catapulted a young reporter named Geraldo Rivera onto the national scene.

Living here is a man who is considered the world's best crow hunter, a former Radio City Rockette, and members of a family who were held hostage during an international hijacking. There are many other examples of interesting stories waiting to be told - people who have had extraordinary experiences or jobs or honors. Ultimately, many, many people you cross paths with have great stories to tell and are leading extraordinary lives. That's really what it boils down to - interesting stories from extraordinary lives - they so often go untold.

There's a story about Living Libraries in Santa Monica. It seems like a great way to get to know folks in your community.

I'm thinking about library programs because next week I'm going to be involved in three of them - two as an "instructor" and one as a participant. I was asked some time ago if I would come to some classes at the library and talk about blogging. It will be interesting to meet the folks taking the class. I'm not sure what I can tell people about blogging, but I'm sure I'll think of something between now and then. I guess, in a way, I'm going to be the living library entry for that short while.

Later next week I'll be participating in a library book discussion about Bailey White's "Mama makes up her mind and other dangers of Southern Living." It's a very quick read and a fun book. I listened to Bailey White on NPR for years, so I was eager to read this book and discuss it with others. I'm also reading "War of Art" by Steven Pressfield, which I heartily recommend. I need to just buy a copy of it because I can tell it's a book you want to highlight as you read.

I'm going to think more about this idea of Living Libraries. I think there's something important there to work with. I'm always looking for ways to build social capital in my community and this sounds like a great way.
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Barack Obama Rally in Kansas City

I promised more details about the Obama Rally Greg and I went to in Kansas City on Saturday. Multiple people have asked for lots of specifics so I'm going to try and answer the questions here.

The upshot of it was that it was a moment. A real moment. I felt honored to be a witness to it.

Obama gives me hope. True hope that things can be better - for everyone - rich and poor alike. He gives me hope that there will never be another New Orleans, where our fellow Americans are left to die because the party in the white house has no compassion for those who are not rich enough to contribute to political campaigns. He gives me hope that all children will have an opportunity to go to school, because education really is the key to changing a life. He gives me hope we can have an administration that believes health care for everyone is a right, not a privilege only for those who can pay more than a thousand dollars a month for insurance. He gives me hope we can do better for the environment and improve our standing in the world.

It was incredible to be present with such a diverse group of people all focused on one goal - to elect this man president.

It was a process to get to the point where we were able to witness this. I found out about the KC rally Thursday evening at the Obama rally in Hutchinson. Apparently I had gotten an email but they come in so fast and furious I hadn't yet read it. But, Samantha Finke, the Obama person in Kansas, mentioned it in her remarks.

I asked her afterwards about the possibility of press credentials and she told me what I had heard before - that the Obama folks are pretty friendly to bloggers. It makes complete sense, of course, particularly for bloggers like me who are very friendly to the campaign to begin with. Obviously, I'm not likely to say much negative. This blog isn't news. I did impartial news for a long time. This blog is just my opinion and thoughts - not news - and I have no reason to be impartial. So, they're likely to get some really positive comments, which are then read by others, who may pick them up and spread them further, making it the very definition of grass roots. Of course, they also gave press credentials to bloggers not so friendly to them at the convention.

Anyway, that night I emailed my board asking if someone could work Saturday afternoon for me at a health fair the MHA was committed to. Two folks said yes, and that meant I could proceed with going to Kansas City. The doors were supposed to open for the Obama rally at 4 p.m., and he was supposed to speak at 6, so I figured we'd get there in time to get through the doors since we're about a four hour drive from KC.

Friday Greg and I applied for press credentials. They said they would let us know if they could not accommodate us. We kept checking our email all afternoon and evening, relieved every time that didn't have an email from them.

Saturday morning I went to the MHA event and Greg called the press contact to confirm we were good to go. He also talked with the editor of a magazine we had worked for before, who sent us an assignment letter in case we needed it because she wanted some material from the event, too.

By 12:05, we were leaving Hutchinson because my board member arrived early. Thank you, Betsy! We made a beeline for KC.

We came in on 70, and planned to take Main Street but saw the sign that it was closed from 4-6 p.m. So, we went in on Broadway. We were stopped as the motorcade passed by. We can't say specifically that it was Obama, but we could see the media in one bus, secret service in multiple vehicles, and the whole convoy being escorted by police.

As we got closer to Liberty Memorial, but long before we were near the grounds, we could see people lined up waiting to get in. It was 4:08 p.m.

At first I was confused because people were headed both directions in places. Then I realized that people were walking toward the back of the line, which stretched blocks into the distance from Memorial Drive, which comes off of Main Street, where you walk up the hill to approach the long drives going to the memorial. Later we learned they had opened the doors early because the crowd was so large.

We proceeded on and eventually parked across from Union Cemetery at about 29th and Cherry Streets, up a hill that seemed much bigger when we were walking up it after the event was over.

I did this map so you could get a sense of the layout. It's followed by one of Greg's photos that shows the setup. You can see just how many people are there. They estimated 75,000.

The people sitting down here are in the handicapped section. There were no other seats for the public. The press platform is behind them. Greg took this from the far end of the platform.

I was standing right at the barricade between the press area and the handicap section and had an edge on view of the podium. Greg took this photo of me from the other press platform. You can see me in the green, and the edge of the press platform and steps to my right.

Before Obama spoke I moved up a few steps to the barricade, which was near the guy in the yellow shirt. He is leaning on it from the other side. Below is a photo I took from that location, where I stayed the whole time except one brief foray onto the podium to look out at the crowd.

I didn't crop this any closer so you could see the Secret Service guy in the lower right corner. They're always watching you watching whatever. And I'm thankful. I want them watching out for Obama.

An opening prayer was offered for Obama's safety, and also for McCain's safety, and that of all other candidates.

When we arrived, we had no idea where to check in for press, but eventually found it. We had to go through a security screening, as you would expect. We were wanded - like they do at the airport, and a dog sniffed our bags for explosives. Once we were in the press area we were not allowed to leave that secure area.

There was a tent set up for the traveling press to file their stories, and tables with power set up for other press outside the tent. There were two platforms. One to the south of the stage so you were looking at his left side, and one to the west so you were seeing him straight on.

You can see the press tent in the background here. I took a photo of the volunteer passing out the signs people are holding up. They just had a big stack of them on a table in the press area and when the speakers started they began passing them out.

The orange sticker you can see on this woman's Mizzou sweatshirt was an essential to get in. Everyone filled out a little form and you got a sticker to indicate you had done it.

It was shortly after 5 when Governor Sebelius came out and took a photo of the crowd with her phone.

She was one of the speakers along with the Missouri State Auditor Susan Montee, former Kansas City Mayor and current Congressman, Emanuel Cleaver, Representative Ike Skelton and others. They were all pretty brief, and Obama started speaking about 6:15. Greg shot a video of the introduction.

The crowd went nuts when he was introduced. People near me were beside themselves. People were clapping. People were cheering. People were crying. I was talking to an elderly lady nearby who said she "never thought she'd see the day" when she would be able to vote for a black man for president.

It was a moment to remember. Just to be witness to it was incredible. They say the 100,000 people in St. Louis was his largest crowd for a rally yet, so the 75,000 in KC had to be a close second I would think - and both of them were in the same day.

Obama gave his standard speech, with some slight changes, as is the norm at these sort of things. But I was moved to see him in person.

As I wrote the other day, he gives me hope. I want the things he talks about - not just for me, but for all of us. I want everyone to have healthcare and good education and decent jobs and a stake in the American dream. His ideals are mine. He's much more eloquent about them than I am, but his thoughts about how all Americans should be able to live are what I want.

I have no problem with people being rich. I know some people who would qualify as "rich," even by McCain's standard of making more than a half million dollars. They're nice folks. Many of them are Obama supporters. They, too, want education and healthcare and a better environment and economic well-being for everyone because they understand that when one of us suffers we are all diminished.

Seeing Obama was inspiring. Not just seeing him, but seeing people react to him. This is a moment in our nation's history. A real moment. It felt so wonderful to be in a crowd of people of all colors and ages, all of us supporting the same man to lead us from the dark days we are in now.

We are in definite need of change. No question about it.

I've never identified too much with the democratic party, as opposed to the individual candidates, until the last few years when the Republican party became the party of the Evangelical Christian Right. I'm afraid I can no longer distinguish the two- they are one and the same now. I keep expecting "true" republicans to split and form a new party, leaving the remains of the republican party to the religious right.

For the first time in ages, we have a democratic candidate who has served notice he will not allow attacks to go unanswered, he will not have his patriotism questioned, and he will put forth true ideals of how things can be for the average person.

We are close to having him elected. We are very close. But you need to make sure everyone you know votes on November 4. We're feeling good but we cannot let that become complacency and lose this in the last stretch. It's not done. Do what you can. Make sure those in your own circle are voting. Call people in swing states. If you can give money, do. Just don't assume we're done. We're not done until the polls close everywhere on November 4. I think I'm going to take the day off to make calls to swing states. offered these ideas today and I think they're good ones. Forward to your friends.


1. The polls may be wrong.
This is an unprecedented election. No one knows how racism may affect what voters tell pollsters—or what they do in the voting booth. And the polls are narrowing anyway. In the last few days, John McCain has gained ground in most national polls, as his campaign has gone even more negative.

2. Dirty tricks. Republicans are already illegally purging voters from the rolls in some states. They're whipping up hysteria over ACORN to justify more challenges to new voters. Misleading flyers about the voting process have started appearing in black neighborhoods. And of course, many counties still use unsecure voting machines.

3. October surprise. In politics, 15 days is a long time. The next McCain smear could dominate the news for a week. There could be a crisis with Iran, or Bin Laden could release another tape, or worse.

4. Those who forget history... In 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote after trailing by seven points in the final days of the race. In 1980, Reagan was eight points down in the polls in late October and came back to win. Races can shift—fast.

5. Landslide. Even with Barack Obama in the White House, passing universal health care and a new clean-energy policy is going to be hard. Insurance, drug and oil companies will fight us every step of the way. We need the kind of landslide that will give Barack a huge mandate.


Many of the photos here were taken by Greg.
See Greg's post about the event:

See my earlier post:

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Obama Rally and Sebelius

At the Obama rally in Kansas City yesterday, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius spoke. She also came out before the speakers started and took a photo of the crowd with her phone. Of course, Greg snapped a photo of her doing it.

It was interesting that I didn't hear a single negative thing about her. Everyone around me - from Kansas and Missouri - spoke highly of her.
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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Barack Obama Rally

Saturday afternoon, Greg and I went to Kansas City to see Barack Obama at his rally at the World War 1 Museum at Liberty Memorial. It was inspiring, to say the least.

There were 75,000 people there yesterday, and it was literally standing room only. I've never seen such a sea of humanity. We were fortunate to have press credentials so we had a good view.

The people you see sitting in this photo were in the handicapped section. Other than that, and the risers behind the stage, and some chairs in back for the press, everyone was standing. I stood the whole time. I was standing a few feet back from the person in the red shirt near the bottom of this photo.

There were platforms set up for the press to get photos. One about 60 feet away and one about 40 feet away. Greg went back and forth between them to get pix, but I stayed at the closer one, that had an edge on view of Obama. I was probably about 30 feet away from him. Greg got some amazing photographs.

I have to confess, that while I've met quite a few celebrity types over the years, I don't think I've ever been star struck. But I was close to it yesterday. The only other time I've come close was being in the same place as Bill Clinton when I went to hear him speak, even though I was not at all close to him. Of course, that caused me to think about why I had that reaction either time. I think I've pinpointed it. They both give me hope. Clinton gave me tremendous hope when he ran for president and I still feel it when I think about him - hope. Obama does the same. He gives me hope that things can be better. Much better.

I am in desperate need of some hope. I think millions of other people are, too. When I listen to Obama's plans that's what I feel - hope. Hope that people can live better lives - average people. Hope that people can have health care. Hope that small businesses can flourish instead of being at the whims of the elite on Wall Street. Hope that people can take care of their families and have some money left over to have some fun. Hope that people can maintain a decent standard of living and not be worried about their jobs, their health care and their futures all the time.

I want more hope and less worry. When I listen to Barack Obama I feel he can deliver it. When I listen to John McCain I just hear more about helping the rich. I've got no problem with people being rich. I do have a problem with people being rich by taking from the middle class and that's exactly what has been going on during the last eight years.

I'll be writing another post about the day, with quotes and all from the speech, as well as more photos, but wanted to share a bit of the experience with you quickly.

It was an incredible experience. I found out about it from Samatha Finke Thursday night at the Obama rally in Hutchinson. I had to work a health fair Saturday and didn't know how I could possibly go. Fortunately, I have a great board and a couple of my board members offered to work part of the day for me so I could come. Thank you, Betsy, for working! I'm bringing you a button!

The Obama rally yesterday in St. Louis had about 100,000 people and then another 75,000 in Kansas City - I realize it's not a unique thing to see him in person, but I'm so glad I got to do it.
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Friday, October 17, 2008

Obama News

Obama is speaking at a rally in Kansas City Saturday afternoon at liberty memorial. Doors open at 4 and he will speak about 6. Tickets are not required but you do need to RSVP at

If you're one of my midwest readers, don't miss this opportunity to see the man who will be our next president, right here in our own backyard. For those of you in other parts of the country and the world, I promise a full report of the experience!

Some recent rantings about politics you might enjoy... of course there's more by scrolling down... McCain cancels Letterman... Fey does Palin, etc.

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Hutchinson Happenings

I realize not every town has a giant grasshopper - much less one wearing a hand-knitted hat and scarf. What can I say? Hutchinson is special. And so is our grasshopper in Avenue A Park.

The folks at Yarn decided to have a public knitting event tonight as part of the downtown art walk on Third Thursdays. They were making scarves to donate to those who need them.

Of course, Andrea (on the left) was there since she's one of the instructors at Yarn. Andrea is a knitter extraordinaire. This is the same Andrea who won first place for her knitted piece at the State Fair this year.

Lots was going on downtown - including free carriage rides...

Greg and I ate dinner at Brooks, then ran into Sharon and visited with her a bit before wandering around more. Just a few doors down from Brooks the HCC art instructor had set up a large Day of the Dead display in a translation place. There were lots of sugar skulls decorated and displayed in a traditional manner.

I also finally got to see Tate in person. I didn't get to hold him, unfortunately. I just love little tiny babies.

I left the artwalk before it was over to go to the Obama rally. There was a good turnout for it and it was great to see so many democrats. Our local group has grown so much since I joined a few years ago. Very encouraging.

The highlight tonight for me was Samantha Finke, Obama for America Kansas Director. I really enjoyed meeting her. She's a very interesting woman.

And she had great news, too.

Obama will be in Kansas City at the Liberty Memorial on Saturday. He will speak about 6 p.m. but the doors will open about 4. for details. It's free. This is an incredible opportunity to see Barack Obama.

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I am looking for book clubs willing to read and critique my novel when it's completed. If your book club is interested, please email me at Thanks!