American victories since the election of 2016

The reason I’m sharing this is to show people what’s been accomplished in a very short time. It’s going to be a very long 4 years so we must keep our spirits up.

For fighters to keep their spirits up through a very long battle, they must see the victories which are taking place all around them. During this battle the victories are piling up daily and we must take the time to celebrate these victories!

America is great and we’re only going to get better and better. We’ll keep fighting every day.

Progress since the election:

  1. Unprecedented levels of ongoing civic engagement.
  2. Millions of Americans now know who their state and federal representatives are without having to Google.
  3. Millions of Americans are exercising more. They’re holding signs and marching every week. (FITBIT users are using protest matches to increase their steps).
  4. Alec Baldwin is great again. Everyone’s forgotten he’s kind of a jerk.
  5. The Postal Service is enjoying the influx cash due to stamps purchased by millions of people for letter and postcard campaigns.
  6. Likewise, the pharmaceutical industry is enjoying record growth in sales of anti-depressants.
  7. Millions of Americans now know how to call their elected officials and know exactly what to say to be effective.
  8. Footage of town hall meetings is now entertaining.
  9. Tens of millions of people are now correctly spelling words like emoluments, narcissist, fascist, misogynist, holocaust and cognitive dissonance.
  10. Everyone knows more about the rise of Hitler than they did last year.
  11. Everyone knows more about legislation, branches of power and how checks and balances work.
  12. Marginalized groups are experiencing a surge in white allies.
  13. White people in record numbers have just learned that racism is not dead. (See #6)
  14. American people in record numbers also finally understand that Obamacare IS the Affordable Care Act.
  15. Stephen Colbert’s “Late Night” finally gained the elusive #1 spot in late night talk shows, and Seth Meyers is finding his footing as today’s Jon Stewart.
  16. “Mike Pence” has donated millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood since Nov. 9th.
  17. Melissa FREAKING McCarthy.
  18. Travel ban protesters put $24 million into ACLU coffers in just 48 hours, enabling them to hire 200 more attorneys. Lawyers are now heroes.
  19. As people seek veracity in their news sources, respected news outlets are happily reporting a substantial increase in subscriptions, a boon to a struggling industry vital to our democracy.
  20. Live streaming court cases and congressional sessions are now as popular as the Kardashians.
  21. Massive cleanup of Facebook friend lists.
  22. People are reading classic literature again. Sales of George Orwell’s “1984” increased by 10,000% after the inauguration. (Yes, that is true. 10,000%. 9th grade Lit teachers all over the country are now rock stars.)
  23. More than ever before, Americans are aware that education is important. Like, super important.
  24. Now, more than any time in history, everyone believes that anyone can be President. Seriously, anyone.” – Susan Keller
  25. The White House has never in modern history had so many phone calls or letters (citizen involvement does work).
  26. The sales & download of The Constitution have increased.


This list was not mine, but I did make a few changes. I can’t give *45 any credit for any of this. *45 did not do this. The American people did this. The American people decided they were not going to let their country fall into fascism and they created these victories! Many more to come!

Please copy and paste to share. ** Add new positive things as they occur **

6 important stories: The 75th anniversary when the US GOV imprisoned American citizens based on their nationality. Never forget!

The American government stole their land, homes, stores, and life all in the name of protection. These were hardworking American citizens, not terrorists, not criminals, not the enemy, but true Americans. With the current administration, this kind of attack on Americans can happen again. Please learn from the past so we do not let history repeat itself.

1. 75 years later, Japanese Americans recall pain of internment camps

75th Anniversary of Japanese internment camps in America

2. What Happened to Japanese Americans 75 Years Ago Is Newly Relevant

We can’t rely on ethnic or religious tests for citizenship or admission to our country. It’s the kind of racism that ripped families apart during World War II.

Learn about the relavance of the camps to today’s politics

3. Executive order that incarcerated Japanese Americans is 75 years old

Executive Order to treat Japanese Americans like prisoners

4. When Japanese Americans Were Caged: 75 Years After Executive Order 9066

When American citizens were cages like hardened criminals

5. Letters From Camp by Frank Chi

Letters from children in the camps

And the bonus link — George Takei gives a first person account of Japanese Americans being arrested for the crime of being American citizens of Japanese heritage.

6. George Takei: On this Remembrance Day, I hear terrible echoes of the past

George Takei – Memories of his childhood in the camps

Thank you for reading. Until next time…

Be safe, be kind, and take the time to love one another.

John Barron: The very odd story of Donald Trump’s alias

John Barron: Exploring the connection between Trump’s Alias & the real Russian KGB journalist named John Barron.

How did a real Russian KGB journalist’s name become the alias for Donald Trump? Does this possible connection also explain how the name “Barron” became the namesake for Trump’s youngest son only one year after the real elder Barron passes away?

As you read this, remember, I have zero proof these two men met.

Even though the timeline fits well and the Russian connection can’t be ignored, I’ve never found a real connection b/w the real John Barron; the Russian journalist, and “John Barron”; Trump’s alias. But, I’m not going to ignore it either. I’m saving this information in case a connection pops up.

My first question was; why would Donald Trump, the man we knew in the 80s, pick a name like “John Barron” as an alias?

Sure it sounds good, but if you want to pretend to be someone else for an interview, most people would pick a NY sounding name. A name which was common enough the people on the other end wouldn’t be able to look it up in the phone book. Remember, before the 90s, reporters had to use huge phone books to locate names & finding a common name in a place like NY was almost impossible. For this instance, John would have been a good pick, but Barron seems out of place. Donald Trump had the entire NY phone book to pick from, yet; he used John Barron? It could be a huge coincidence, but in my mind, it didn’t seem like a good choice.

Let’s start with the background of this story. Back in the 80s, President Donald Trump was known for using an alias when talking to reporters or looking for real estate. The first use of John Barron by Donald Trump was June 6, 1980. He used the name when discussing tearing down Bonwit Teller department store to make way for Trump Tower. There were issues around tearing down the building and Trump kept his distance by using an alias. Using an alias to conduct business isn’t abnormal and this coincidence may have gone unnoticed had Donald Trump not run for president.

The first connection I found of John Barron being a real person was on @JoyAnnReid’s page. She posted a tib-bit which stated there was a real John Barron, who wrote about the KGB/Russian spies in the 80s. Well, that got my ears perked up. I knew during the 80s Trump spent time in Russia, so I went digging.

Here is the Wikipedia page for the real John Barron.

John Barron / WIKI

During the 70s and 80s, the real John Barron wrote extensively about the KGB/Russian spies. He was fluent in Russian and spent a lot of time researching his stories around the world. Between writing his spy stories and books (he published his first book in 1974) he also wrote a story about Mary Jo Kopechne’s death at Chappaquiddick in a car driven by Ted Kennedy. He wrote this story in in 1980 (the same year DJT started using this name).

This is important. This was a huge scandal back then.

People forget, Trump spent his life as a Democrat, and even donated plenty of money to the Kennedy’s. They all ran in the same circles. Donald Trump and the younger Kennedys were close acquaintances. The Trump family and Kennedy family may not have been “best friends,” but they ran in the same circles, supported each other in politics and business, and partied with the same people. The death of Mary Jo hurt the Kennedy family and their extended circle for some time.

During the 1980s, Ted Kennedy was rumored to have connections in Russia, especially during Reagan years. What is even stranger about this timeline is the story that Ted Kennedy tried to convince Russia to help him (a Democrat) throw the election to the democrats in 1984. “Kennedy would lend Andropov a hand in dealing with President Reagan. In return, the Soviet leader would lend the Democratic Party a hand in challenging Reagan in the 1984 presidential election.”

Ted Kennedy asks Russia for help with 1984 election

On top of all of this, who else was in Russia in the 80s? President Donald Trump spent a lot of time in Russia in the 1980s. His family was always searching for new ways to expand their business there.

It would not be out of line to suggest the Trump families and the Kennedy families crossed paths while in Russia at various times. Where does John Barron come into play here? Did they ever cross paths at the same time, or did Trump learn the name “John Barron” from his friend Ted?

Another oddity of this story, and what grabbed my attention concerning the connection between Trump and Kennedy, were the odd remarks from President Trump himself. While running for president, he spoke directly about the car accident involving Ted Kennedy.

“DJT spoke about the accident on October 10, 2016 5:31 PM EDT – Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump discussed Sen. Ted Kennedy’s 1969 car accident in which a colleague was killed during a rally on Oct. 10 in Ambridge, Pa.” (The Washington Post)

Donald Trump speaking at rally referring to Ted Kennedy car wreck

I find that speech very odd, because of all the political deals between the Kennedy’s and the Trump’s he choose to speak about the car wreck first. By this point he would’ve known about Ted asking for help from Russia in 1983, and even though it would have been the perfect “dig” into the democratic party, Trump doesn’t speak about it, instead, he speaks about the car wreck. It didn’t seem like the correct topic to choose from when campaigning for against the same party who colluded with Russia against the Republicans. Why would he not bring that topic up?

Where does this leave us?

Through his diligent work, the real John Barron would have been well known to the KGB, Russian citizens, and of course, to Ted Kennedy and the Kennedy family. The Kennedy family spent time in Russia, with Ted asking for help from Russia to throw the 1984 election to the Democrats. Donald Trump was close to the Kennedy family and spent time in Russia.

If Trump picked up the name “John Barron” through those sources, it’s very possible he pulled the name from memory and used the alias by mistake. We know he, and his family, have a habit of taking ideas and using them as their own. Maybe he thought he created this name from his memory, but in reality he had run across this name during his time in Russia or talking to the Kennedys. No matter how he decided to use the name, he had to retire the name in 1990, when he had to admit the name in a court case involving his businesses.

But one issue still bothers me about the name “John Barron.” One year after the writer John Barron passes away (2005), Trump’s youngest son is born (2006) and Trump names his youngest son Barron. I thought about this, and maybe it’s a coincidence, but something seemed off.

Trump’s two oldest sons are named Donald JR and Eric. Obviously, Donald Jr. is named after Trump Sr. and its very possible Eric could be named after his grandfather; Frederick (FredERICk) Trump, but Trump’s youngest son is named Barron. I can’t find that name anywhere in his family. Maybe Trump liked the name so much he named his son his own alias, or maybe, at some point, he crossed paths with the real John Barron and liked the name well enough he used it for his son’s name.

Maybe this whole thing is one big coincidence, but with all the connections leading back to Russia, and the connection of Ted Kennedy working with Russia to try to throw the 1984 elections, I felt the need to publish what I found.

I know there are a great number of “maybe” statements in this story, but in the vast resource of social media, maybe someone has the key to this puzzle.

Until we find the key, this story will remain an interesting mystery.

I’ve added some articles for you to read about the information I’ve included.

Since our country is in the middle of facing questions dealing with Russia, I suggest watching the video. The video is very interesting.

John Barron Video

Remembering Communist Conspiracy Fighter John Barron

John Barron Obituary John Barron Obituary

Thank you for reading. Until next time…

Be safe, be kind, and take the time to love one another.

15 years ago America was attacked by terrorist. Sadly, we’re now destroying America ourselves.

15 years ago terrorists set out to destroy us. People from all walks of life lost their lives or were severely injured in the attacks. It didn’t matter how much money a person made, or what race, religion, job, or gender they were; everyone was affected. Stockbrokers, secretaries, firefighters, police, Soldiers, waiters, and many more died in this senseless attack. For once, this wasn’t a white or black problem, it wasn’t a male or female problem, and it wasn’t a rich or poor problem. This was an American problem.

Please understand, I’m not blind to the issues we had a nation before 9/11. In fact, as a female, I’m well aware of the gender and racial inequalities in our country. These issues seem too big of a mountain to conquer, but for a very brief moment in time, there was hope as we all came together for the good of each other.

There was the deep belief that this attack shook us out of the daze of everyday issues. Life seemed pretty mundane after surviving the millennium computer virus and a heated presidential election. It was September, school had just started and many parents were beginning their Christmas shopping, many preparing for the annual Black Friday squabble over Cabbage Patch Dolls and Elmo toys. Except for a few military missions around the world, we were experiencing a time of peace, a Bush was back in the White House, and fall was in the air. As Americans, we went back to our regular routines. Then, at 8:46 am, on September 11th, 2001, hijacked plane American Airlines, flight 11, hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

Nothing would be the same after this day.

In the aftermath of disbelief, mourning, and very slowly moving on, there was this hopeful belief that in rebuilding our structures and honoring the affected families, we could use this time to rebuild our nation into something new. The terrorists may have attacked us, but this was our chance to show the world we could rise from the smoke with a new outlook on life and a new appreciation for each other. We could be better than who we were before.

For a little while, this was true. For a few years, we figuratively, and very literally, stuck our middle finger to our enemies. For years we worked hard to bring the country back to some state of order and it felt good. It gave us hope for a new tomorrow. We showed the world we were one family, separated by differences, but bound by the American spirit. We would not be destroyed.

Unfortunately, the love and compassion built during these troubled times would only last a short period.

Soon after the war began, Soldiers were being attacked in ways we had never seen before. The IED (Improvised Explosive Device) was basically a pipe bomb on steroids. In every war there are standards and rules most fighters abide by. Two sides go to war and they fight each other, working very hard to avoid civilians and national landmarks. But the enemy the Americans faced in the early years of the war had studied our fighting tactics and our equipment for many years. They hit us where it hurt, under our vehicles. This was a fighting force which did not typically face their enemy in battle. No. After many years in wars, fighting many countries, they perfected guerrilla tactics. They explosives for American and allied Soldiers to run over and cause confusion, leaving the Soldiers as sitting ducks. A sniper, or a small group of enemy Soldiers, would then kill the US Soldiers one by one. The US had to quickly respond to these new tactics with new equipment, but the death and injuries of Soldiers kept coming in.

The enemy also hid in towns, hiding in homes of women and children. This had a tremendous impact on American Soldiers. Not since earlier generations had we seen blatant disregard for civilian life during major wars. Obviously, many American Soldiers had deep turmoil with women and children being used in battle. They listened to stories from older generations of Soldiers when they spoke of giving candy to children and supplies to women, and these small tokens of kindness kept them going through the war. The new generation of Soldiers started their path with the same generosity, but as the war wore on, and the death toll rose on both sides, the trust between Soldiers and citizens became strained.

Americans wanted answers. None of this was supposed to happen. America was the highest rated military in the world, but we couldn’t win a quick war with a few rag-tag guerrilla fighters? We were supposed to go in, kick butt, come home, enjoy a few parades, and everyone have hot dogs and apple pie. The older generation was looking for one more hurrah and the younger generation wanted this to be our war.

War isn’t glamorous and should never be looked upon as such, but the new generation wanted their own stories to tell their children and grandchildren. They yearned for the title of “The greatest generation” for themselves. Once war was declared, all of America anticipated a quick declaration of Victory in all the newspapers bringing our hero fighters home. Sadly, none of this happened. Large victories came with high prices and small battles were not won easily.

The American people expected to invade Iraq and win as quickly as we did back in Desert Storm, but that would not be the case. Some of the bloodiest battles occurred in Iraq and even after Saddam Hussein lost power, the battles for smaller regions still raged on.

The enemy Soldiers were more prepared then the American government anticipated, and the price tag of the war was staggering. Six years after the twin towers were attacked, and still, the war continued.

Reports of enemy abuse by American Soldiers were reported around the world, sexual assaults of female Soldiers became rampant, millions of dollars of cash (sent to help the war effort) went missing, and in other areas, American officers were caught rigging contracts to pocket millions of dollars of money. Massive injuries to Soldiers became the standard news stories, KIAs were named weekly on TV and radio, and citizens were ready to move on.

This war was slowly becoming less like WWII and more like Vietnam.

Back home, under all the patriotism, good will, and tax breaks for families, there was trouble brewing just on the horizon. Many people saw the storm coming and even sounded the alarm, but their voices were drowned out by the noise of the continuous war effort. In fact, some people who sounded early alarms were fired or removed from their jobs. These firings did not stop the storm, it only delayed the truth and this delay contributed to the biggest economic crises since the great depression.

Through the fog of war, when we were shopping to save America, making comfort packages for the Soldiers abroad, and waving the American flag during parades, our banking institutions were stabbing us in the back.

Banks and mortgage companies used the war effort as a reason to push the boundaries of laws and policies to approve subprime mortgages, investors moved retirement money from trusting people to these new investment accounts, and many people were encouraged to purchase homes to flip for big bucks right away. Wall Street created a bubble so big very shortly the burst would be heard around the world. The ripple effect of the housing bubble bursting affected all economic institutions so fast, it might as well have been the planes hitting the World Trade Center. Just like the floors in the Twin Towers, as soon as housing debt crumbled, other intuitions fell on top of one by one, taking real people out along the way. Only the people, who left the real estate market early, were able to escape unharmed.  All others were scarred for life or their lives were completely shattered in the ruins of their life, some even resorting to suicide to escape the pain.

The economy collapsed, the war dragged on, many companies failed, people lost their jobs, then lost their medical benefits, and in many cases, these same individuals became homeless. American’s stress levels soared, and we turned on one another. The love affair we had for one another ended shortly after the economic collapse. With so many people struggling to keep their families fed and clothed, they became physically and emotionally exhausted. Many Americans had no hope for themselves, and they certainly didn’t have energy or resources left for others. Many called to bring our Soldiers home. The money was needed to fix our economy, not the economies of the world.

President Bush had put into place a date to leave Iraq and President Obama honored that timeline. In 2011, it was time to pack up and come home. There was very little fanfare about leaving. No declaration of Victory or victory parades. Many great things had occurred during the war and many Iraq citizens did not want the American to leave, but it wasn’t up to the Soldiers. It was an agreement between two countries and that was that. It was time to let Iraq care for themselves and let our Soldiers rest.

Sadly, we now know the time between America leaving Iraq and a new enemy force taking over was very short. ISIS came in right behind our Soldiers and destroyed most of the accomplishments we helped put in place.

The American Veterans, citizens, politicians, and families of the wounded and dead were outraged. Eight long years of time, money and blood were poured into Iraq, yet in a matter of months, ISIS erased that progress from the face of the Earth.

With this new information and the economic crises still fresh in their minds, Congress turned on one another, and the American people divided themselves down hard lines of politics.

With the war still raging in Afghanistan, and many skirmishes requiring American military presence, there were talks of Soldiers entering Iraq again. Soldiers and civilians alike became weary of war. Too much money and lives were lost to a war effort which barely made bleeps on the evening news.

Jobs were scarce, and money was tight. Racism, sexism, and nationalism rose so badly. People started killing each other in movies and the streets for no other reason than not liking how the other person lived and looked.

Protests for racial equality became so heated, and destruction so complete, many of our cities began to look like war zones in our country.

Anger, hatred, abuse, and death followed. We no longer needed a reason to be angry with each other. We no longer needed the terrorists to tell us to pick up arms and fight. We no longer saw each other as Americans. We saw each other as individuals fighting for the same pot of money and the same plot of land. We started tearing each other up from the inside. An attack on our soil didn’t tell us to do that; we did it all on our own.

Now, in 2016, not only do we now live in a country divided not only by political lines, but we have divided ourselves down so many lines of anger the lines of love and hate have become blurred, and it’s difficult to know who to remain angry with anymore. The planes are no longer there, the buildings are rebuilt, the families are slowly rebuilding their lives, immigrants aren’t taking our jobs, gay people aren’t taking away our marriages, and even though the war may continue, the economy is slowly bouncing back.

So, why are we so angry with each other? Where is the constant hate coming from?

The honest answer is we’ve been told to hate for so long, it’s really all we know. Everyone is filled with so much hate and anger; it looks like the terrorists finally won. The catalyst of our anger is no longer there. The only person making us angry is ourselves.Yes, it took the 15 years for their plan to work, but it looks like they won.

They set out to destroy who we were and the plan worked. They played the long game. The enemy has worked hard for hundreds of years to destroy love, freedom, and happiness. To them, 15 years is just a drop in the bucket of time for their plans.

I’m not talking about Islam; I’m talking about those in the world who hate light. They hide in the dark corners of the world, in caves, in basements, and in dark alleys, muttering to themselves about the shackles of hate, about destroying beauty, reading, science, math, travel, and great pieces of art.

These are the people who destroy the nice things in our world. These are the ones who hate the light. They hate those who smile. They hate those who hold our gay brothers and sisters close, they hate when women succeed in the worlds they can’t touch, they hate when different races are married, they hate mixed children who can put their feet in two worlds and bring peace, they hate everything America stands for, and they hate us because we don’t give up. They hate us because no matter how dysfunctional we are and no matter how many times we fall, we smile, give the world the middle finger, drink our beer, pray to our individual gods (or not), and then we drag ourselves up, dust ourselves off, lick our wounds, and we continue to fight like never before. We fight together. In our country and in our military, we fight as one. All religions can stand together under one flag, including, Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Wiccans, Hindus, Muslims, Atheists, and

In our country and in our military, we fight as one. All religions can stand together under one flag, including, Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Wiccans, Hindus, Muslims, Atheists, and more.  We work together making this land a place to raise happy and healthy children. Sure, most of the time, we can’t stand each other and we have our own arguments, but what siblings would get along for over 200 years without fighting? Like any caring family, we get frustrated when our brothers and sisters don’t follow the religion we like, dress the way we do or love the people we want them to love, but just like any family, we can pick on our own siblings, but no one else can. No one can insult another American but us.

That was until recently. Our family has been wounded like never before. We don’t care about each other any longer. There is not respect for our fellow human. The scary and sad part is, the empathy for those who are different than us is almost gone. Even when we strongly disagreed with others, there was always a certain level of respect for other humans. For the majority of people, there were lines which should not be crossed and now, it seems, those lines are not just blurry, they are no longer there. Respect for others is gone. It’s frightening to watch humans turn on each other like animals. Which is exactly what’s happening in the US.

We no longer experience the typical dysfunctional family issues. What we have now is something entirely different. We have hate, greed, murders, divisions of family, and groups sliced so thin it’s impossible to know who is friend or foe.

The darkness of our enemy was sent to destroy the essence of America; the caring, open-armed, free, loving country, who accepts the sick, poor, and downtrodden of the world, and their plan worked. It took 15 years, but the plan worked. It’s a sad state of affairs when we are doing more damage and killing more of our own people than the attackers did who started us on this path.

15 years of war has created a world we’ve never known in the history of our country.

As a parent, is has been so sad to raise my children in a world where all they’ve known is war. They’ve never known a time of peace. The same war their parents fought in is the war the children are fighting in. 15 years of hate and war has got to have an effect on our young children and our young adults. There is no way they can come out of this unscarred. No wonder some of the children have lost their way. With the upheaval of the world, the economic collapse, the insane election, and not knowing what the next four years will bring, they have no idea how the world will look when they grow old or if they will even have a world left to grow old in.

How long will the war go on? Will we see our grandchildren pick up arms and fight the same enemy? I don’t know. I just don’t know. I’d like to know the answer, but the way our country is headed, I’m afraid we’re going to tear ourselves apart before we end the wars in other nations.

At least I can take some comfort in knowing we are on this side of the war and I’m not trying to raise my children in a bombed-out home with no running water. What I can’t take comfort in is worrying if my children will die in a random shooting, if my children will go off to war themselves, and most of all, if my children will find happiness and comfort in a country which looks much different than it ever has. Each generation has their burdens to bare (my generation had Vietnam, the Cold War, Desert Storm, and many others) and they survive and thrive. I know my children’s generation will be okay too. But what about America as a whole?

What about America? Just like I said in the beginning, I’m not blind to the problems of our nation. We still face racism and sexism just as we did before 2001. We still face prejudices over different religion, culture, and moral belief. I’m certainly not denying that we still face enemies who would like to see us wiped off the face of the Earth and use our bones as toothpicks. The thing is, we’ve always faced enemies, just like they face us, but we used to actually get things done and live our lives while dealing with these other issues as needed. Now, it seems, the country has become stagnated. It’s gotten to the point where everyone is so angry about everything and spending so much time yelling at each other and killing each other, no one is actually focused on changing anything. So many people are so frenzied in anger, people aren’t doing anything to move forward.

Just because we’ve been told to hate and just because we’ve hated others for 15 years, doesn’t mean we have to blindly hate another culture just because we’re told to.

We no longer need to tear each other apart. We can actually disagree with another person while respecting that person for their differences. It’s time to lay down arms and rebuild our relationships, rebuild our communities, and rebuild our nation. It’s time to stop the hate and start the healing. It’s time to come together and openly talk about our issues while moving forward to a stronger country and a brighter tomorrow for our children.

Don’t let their darkness spread through the soul of our nation. Don’t let 9/11 be the day the enemy won.


Until next time…be safe, be kind, and take the time to love one another.

Finding Me

In the year of “me,” I continue to learn so much about who I am and what I really love to do.

I spend every spare moment I can learning more about writing, photography, web design, book publishing, and so much more, and it’s just flipping magnificent!

** Let’s take a moment and notice I used the word “flipping” and not the “F” word as I normally would. I’ve encouraged my wonderful sister to use the internet more, and I’m trying to provide her with a few entries which are safe and fun to read at home. — HI SIS!! I hope all is well! **

Now, back to me. (Me! Me! Me! 🙂  )

I’ve always had a deep passion for photography. I even wrote NASA when I was eight years old and asked what it took to become a photography astronaut. I received a very lovely letter back and to be fair; they took my question very seriously. I was impressed that the response treated me as an adult, not a child. This was in the 1970s, so the letter included qualifications such as height, weight, higher level science or technology degrees (today known as STEM degrees), intelligence tests, psychology test, physical exams, military service, and much more. There was one last qualification, and it was written more like an apology, instead of part of the list. NASA explained to me that at this time an astronaut must be a male, but when I was older, they would be happy to speak to me about other positions available in the NASA organization for females.

I was very disappointed I was not able to become a photography astronaut, but I did look forward to talking to them one day about other positions. Unfortunately, as life goes on, some dreams do not come true. I did join the military, and I had an incredible career with the DOD (Department of Defense), but a job with NASA never occurred. In a strange way, I’m kind of happy I never worked for them. NASA was always my “dream job” but as the old saying goes, “Never meet your heroes.” The quote means when you put people on a pedestal, it’s hard to overlook their shortcomings when you meet them. I had this view of working with NASA, and I’m kind-of glad my perfect little dream hasn’t been ruined.

I never lost my passion for photography, and now that I’m retired, I can pursue my passions in my own way. After all these years, my love for creating something wonderful through a lens, on a canvas, or with words, hasn’t diminished at all, in fact, my love for these passions has only grown.

For me, writing and creating art is as necessary as breathing. I can’t eat, sleep, do chores, or watch TV without thinking about new ways to create stories, photos, or films. These things are my life. I crave them with ever fiber of my body. The characters in my mind, are as real as characters on a screen. They become restless, nagging me, waiting for me to give them life with each and every word I pour into their heart and souls.

While in the military, I learned how to use Harvard Graphics (yes, I’m that old), then I was allowed to attend military classes to continue adding to my knowledge. Without a computer at home, it was through these classes I was able to learn how to use clip art and basic photo editing programs. In my free time, I was allowed to act as a Public Relations Representative covering a few “feel good” stories, which later were published in military newspapers. For a while, this extracurricular activity kept my passions fulfilled, but I was always looking for new ways to add to my knowledge.

From 2009 – 2015, I did not have a lot of time to concentrate on my hobby, but I kept my skills up by taking free classes where I could, and publishing news stories in my own time. I even created a few websites for extra money. During 2015, I finally decided to make the time to follow my dreams. Even if I only pursued my dreams as a hobby, this hobby would give me something to do while I was retired.

Since December 2015 I’ve watched tons of YouTube videos, taken free online classes, I’ve learned how to use social media, and started this blog (Which was a huge learning curve. – Thank you for sticking with me as I learn how to use this thing).

Every day, I practice different skills. When I’m sick, or I don’t feel good, I watch videos. When I do feel good, I write more or add to my photo editing skills.

I loved being in the military, but my job was a necessary part of life to pay bills and care for my family, but my creativity is my soul. To catch up on all I missed is going to take many years of education and training, even longer due to my ailments, but I will do it. I’m driven to make up for lost time and apply myself to this new path just like I applied myself to my military career.

Even when my body is slowing down, learning keeps my mind alive. Yes, finding myself stuck on a problem is so frustrating, but learning a new skill to fix that problem is incredibly invigorating. Tonight I had one of those invigorating moments. I conquered one small photo editing skill I’ve been frustrated with for over a year. It has been such a pain trying to learn one little thing everyone else seems to pick up so quickly, but as soon as I figured it out, it was like leveling up in a video game, an entirely new set of tools opened up to me. This one key opened many doors to creativity I didn’t know about last year. These are the moments when all the hard work is worth it.

My goodness, it took me over a year to figure out how to make one little change to a photo, but as soon as I did, I knew for the rest of my life this skill would give me the freedom to build on these skills and eventually become the artist I’ve always dreamed of. If I had given up last year, I would not have the joy I have tonight (and trust me, as small as the skill was, conquering it was pure joy).

If you are working hard to accomplish a dream, just stick with it. Keep working hard, keep learning, keep your eye on the ball, and don’t give up. I promise the fun part is right around the corner. 

Until next time…be safe, be kind, and always be happy.


*Legal Disclaimer; This blog does not support the measurement “around the corner” to mean one literal corner. I’m from the south so “around the corner” may mean a few corners or 20 corners, or even down the road, turning right at the old oak tree, but you get my meaning. Don’t quit, don’t get lost, and you’ll get there eventually. **