I have a number of blogs and each year choose one for the A to Z Blog Challenge. If you’re looking for that one to see what I’ve been doing, it’s the All About Toni Dolls blog this year.
The graphic below shows some of the recent posts there. Unfortunately, I missed 2 letters so far as I was traveling. I might make those up in May. For now, you can go to All About Toni Dolls to see the ones shown below.
Maybe these will bring back memories of your favorite doll from childhood or give you ideas for making some doll outfits with your child or grandchild. Thanks for dropping by.
In previous years, I took the A to Z Blog Challenge using my mother’s memory blog, Discovering Mom. Here’s the links/list for the 2017 A to Z posts. The first year that I participated was 2014. Here’s my very first one, A is for Accident.
I keep a folder labeled “Compliments” in my email files. When I get a message where someone says kind things about me, I save a copy in that folder.
Now and then when I need an ego boost, I browse those messages. Some date back to my time on the Squidoo website. We had some great networking there and I still keep in touch with many of the great people who wrote there.
Kind Words from My Squidoo Pals:
Diane Cass – “Virginia is a constant source of inspiration and encouragement for me.”
Heather Knight Schulte – “I also agree Virginia needs a trophy (or a crown) for all her helpful advice and encouragement.”
Lisa Auch – “For sharing all your wonderful information to making great pages! And for sharing your journey and motivation you give to others! It sure is a pleasure knowing you!”
“Virginia, thank you so much for all that you have done and continue to do to promote Squidoo and engender a feeling of community amongst the writers. I also want to personally thank you for all of the encouragement you have given me to stay with Squidoo, the helpful tips that have made my lenses better, and being my biggest fan. The great thing is that you do this for everyone…not just me. Thank you so much.”
Wordstock – “You, my friend, are the most helpful and the best cheerleader a person could hope for. Thank you for your help in the past and for, I am sure, the help in the future. Without you, I would still be floundering on the beach. Now I am not afraid to swim in the deep water.”
The blog that you’ve landed on here is my general purpose blog where I write about my writing, my photography, my politics and whatever else comes to mind. You are welcome to explore here, but don’t forget to go onward to see the A to Z blog posts about my mother.
People dismiss Facebook as all fluff and inconsequential chit chat. Since I frequent many political groups I find some insight that you don’t always get from television news channels or the newspapers.
Here’s an example from a group called Liberal America. It is by a retired pastor from Texas.
#45 supporters, so his womanizing was alright with you, his insults were alright with you, his thoughts of incest with his daughter was alright with you, his walking in on young naked girls at beauty pageants was alright with you, his lying about his taxes was alright with you, his not paying taxes was alright with you, his insulting a war hero was alright with you, his insulting a gold star family was alright with you, his draft dodging was alright with you, his cheating American citizens was alright with you, his not paying people who did work for him was alright with you.
His not donating to his charity was alright with you, his using money from his charity to purchase personal items was alright with you, his mean tweeting in the middle of the night like some prepubescent 13-year old was alright with you, his war with the media, was alright with you, his war with our intelligence gathering agencies, was alright with you, his war with the judiciary is alright with you, his talk of sexual assault was alright with you, his lying about a foreign country paying for a giant wall was alright with you, his calling for a foreign government to interfere in our elections was alright with you, his coziness with a Russian dictator is alright with you,
His perpetual lying, his constant scandals, his racist demonic cabinet, his alternative facts, his lying about the previous president wiretapping him, with no proof, his destroying healthcare for millions of people, his giving tax breaks to the filthy rich, and making it harder on the poorest of Americans. None of these things seem to bother you, so, #45 supporters, you gotta ask yourself, what kind of Americans are you? or, deeper still, what kind of human beings are you? Is your hatred actually so intense that this evil orange man is destroying our nation, and you don’t care?
This is why people feel overwhelmed by the Trump presidency. He’s not just awful in one way, he is a total disaster. Despite that, he has devoted supporters who seem able to ignore, whitewash, or twist his awfulness into something they can accept. I just don’t understand that.
I guess what boggles my mind is that I’m reluctant to think people who were friends, neighbors, or co-workers are bigots, racists, and hateful. So, if they aren’t those things, then I can only deduce that I’ve greatly overestimated their intelligence level.
When I talk to people about my career as a librarian, a surprising number say “I always wanted to be a librarian.” I’m not sure they have a realistic concept of what a librarian does.
It’s helpful to love books. It’s good to have a passion for helping people and uniting them with books and information.
Most likely, they would find library work similar to other jobs, except you do your work in a library setting. I worked in libraries for 30 years. My first teen job was shelving books which gets rather tedious over time.
After getting my master’s degree in library science, I became a children’s librarian. Getting children excited about books kept me enthused about going to work each day.
Later as a reference librarian, then a department head and finally a library director, my job changed. In the final years, I spent more time preparing budgets, dealing with staffing issues, writing grant applications and other managerial chores. That meant less time actually spent with people or books which is what first attracted me to library service.
Shut up in my ivory tower (otherwise known as the Director’s Office), I slaved away at my desk. It was isolating. Still, I loved that my work made a difference in people’s lives through services the library provided. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to be a librarian.
It’s hard to tamp down the overheated rhetoric of this ever-so-divisive election. Suddenly, the holidays are upon us and we aren’t even sure if we can bear to spend a whole day with certain family members. I see some online friends struggling with this. Here are some of the concerns and some solutions they’re going to try.
M.L. has a great idea for Thanksgiving: “A tasty protest. If you feel obligated to have Trump supporting family members over for Thanksgiving. Do what I’m going to: have a Global Thanksgiving. No turkey here, just delicious food from all the countries and ethnicities that make up my community and my circle of friends.”
Another friend said, “This is great because you can feel good about it either way: if they like it, you’ve taught them the value of understanding people who are not the same as them. If they don’t like it, you get to smirk into your napkin as they shift uncomfortably in their seats and muddle through the meal.”
S.B.K. added an idea to expand on this, “I suggest that you play a soundtrack of world music while everyone is eating. Putumayo World Music puts out some fabulous albums.”
Someone suggested posting a sign at the door, “Politics not spoken here.”
B.H. had this perspective, “We have two options for dealing with Trump supporters in our family during the holidays:
A) Have the difficult conversations.
Don’t make it easy. Don’t fear making them uncomfortable. Part of the reason Trump was elected was because many white people, myself included, have not been having the difficult conversations with other white people. The old mantra of not bringing up politics or religion is dead. Bring it up. Make them squirm. Look up resources for having productive difficult conversations and practice as a family what you will say. If you’re thinking “I don’t want to ruin Thanksgiving” think about the LGBTQ youth who have been kicked out of their homes and might be without shelter in Trump’s America. Think about the undocumented people currently in detention centers. We need to sacrifice our own comfort to make the world a better place for them.
B) Don’t go/Don’t welcome.
We didn’t uninvite my in-laws to Thanksgiving, but we told them that we were deeply unhappy with them and didn’t really want to break bread with Trump supporters right now, so they uninvited themselves. These people voted for Trump because the bad stuff doesn’t affect them. Make them recognize actions have consequences. Make it affect them. A vote for Trump was a hateful act. The price should be your company and affection.
I recognize if you’re married to a Trump supporter these suggestions might not be possible, but I hope they are useful for confronting parents/siblings/cousins etc. Strength to you all as we navigate a difficult time together.”
V.B. is bypassing Thanksgiving with relatives, “I hope to go to the soup kitchen and serve. I want to give this year. I have a lot and more than enough to be thankful.”
A.L.B. has used these instructions in the past and it certainly seems appropriate for this election year Thanksgiving. “I actually post the ‘annual house rules’ when I invite everyone, since I do have friends of all types. It includes a ‘rule’ as follows: 3- My friends are diverse. They come in all colors, sizes, ages, ethnic groups, religious beliefs, political affiliations, orientations and with all kinds of hobbies/interests/passions. Negative energy or negative/inflammatory conversations of any kind are forbidden. I will toss out offenders. It’s my party, my favorite holiday and my house. Deal with it.
A lot of people are dreading Thanksgiving next week. If you find yourself with your stomach in knots, then perhaps you need a new version of the holiday and not the same old family gathering.