My Top 5 Tips for Holiday Holes

Loss is something many of us endure, belonging to a club none of us wanted to join. It is felt most poignantly during holiday gatherings. As a matter of fact, most of us feel conflicted over the annual gratitude feast and dreaded festive merriment. As much as we want to celebrate our living children, we find the hole of a missing loved one hard to bear.An Attitde of Gratitude (3)

I’m a relative newbie when it comes to loss. Our second son died just a year and a half ago. This will be our second Thanksgiving and Christmas without him. Here’s what I’ve learned about not just getting through the holidays, but savoring them.

  • First of all, establish some new traditions. Building new memories without holes helps ease the angst.
  • Secondly, honor or miss a loved one quietly. Siblings, children and everyone gathered are aware of the gaping hole left by the loss of a loved one. There’s no need to draw attention to it.
  • Third, be a blessing. We have new neighbor, and one set is celebrating Thanksgiving alone. Of course we invited them, and will call to reassure they’re welcome. When you focus on the needs of others, your own grief takes a backseat.
  • Fourth, have your own remembrance celebration before the family gathers. My husband and I like to talk relive our favorite memories right after the turkey goes into the oven.
  • And last but not least, fix favorite foods. Everyone in the family has favorite dishes, and we honor our missing son quietly by serving his favorites. Everyone thinks of him and it’s never awkward.

Get up and dress up and paste on a smile. Your bravery will not go unnoticed, and you will bless the entire family when you incorporate these tips into your holiday celebration. The hole in your heart lives there because you loved so deeply, and I never want it filled with a second-rate imitation of the love we shared with our son. In the journey of loss, I’ve come to welcome the hole as the place where our son’s memory still dwells as vibrantly as ever.

Why Join the Chamber of Commerce?

After living out in the country for forty years, not that far removed from the proverbial 40 years in the wilderness, the experience of living in town wafts in like fresh spring breezes. Before my only community was my church and my neighborhood, but now I find myself part of a city, and I enjoy actually being part of the Chamber.

I joined the Chamber last month and attended my first luncheon today. First impressions: a sea of people representing businesses from every facet of the community, professionals who take time for the welfare of others, potential friends. Many of the attendees sat with friends and colleagues, so I was just a bit of a country mouse, but I thoroughly enjoyed meeting a few people and listening to discussions.

How do you make the most of the experience? If you own a business or work in a business or love the idea of a business, join. Go to meetings. (I am ordering business cards tonight, since for my writing, everything is online. Big mistake, lol. Take lots of business cards.) Initiate conversations. Ask questions. Find a way to be useful. The local Chamber is networking at its best and most basic level. You will find no other gathering with as much business experience, friendly sharing of information, and encouragement than this. constitutional convention

Most importantly, find a way to give back. One very primary goal of any local chamber is service to the community. Americans have grown accustomed to tax dollars paying for everything from education to road repair, and lost the compulsion to dig in to make things happen…but the lifeblood of the community runs on volunteerism. The chamber thrives on finding ways to enhance the well being of each and every citizen in the community. They need you to be part of that calling. Take some civic pride in being part of a community dating back to good old George Washington and the framers of Constitution, who might very well represent the first Chamber of Commerce in these United States.

Think of your membership in the Chamber of Commerce as your initiation into the inner workings of your community. Be a part of the heart. Be an arm or leg, helping or transporting. Be some rapid firing neurons, training others. I find no shortage of opportunities for service, so seeking the best niche is important. It is okay to take your time and find your place…but you’ll never find it if you never join. I encourage you to take that first step. Invest in yourself and in your community.

How To Become an Entrepreneur

Confession: I am a serial entrepreneur. Yes, I worked off and on through my adult years as an RN in various emergency rooms and operating rooms, and yes, I loved nursing. But a typical shift in any job often proved cumbersome. As a mom, I wanted to be at home and offer my children an idyllic childhood. What to do, what to do…I decided to hire myself!

My trek through the no man’s land of self-employment began innocently enough. I published a nonprofit newsletter for three years, and grew it into a 30+ page monthly magazine. Becoming a graphic designer and publishing corporate newsletters and brochures proved to be just a step forward. Call me crazy, but I was hooked. I loved the challenge of taking on a new enterprise and building it into a growing concern. Through the years I had several businesses: I was a bead artist and sold handmade beads at trade shows nationwide; I became a travel agent; I became a MLM rep for a leading skincare company; I co-owned an expo company promoting crafters an other entrepreneurs. Now I am publishing books for teens. Along the way I learned a thing or two.

passionReady to embark on this adventure of directing your own life? My number one tip is a simple one. Believe in the magic of the journey. Many a nurse when I worked part time in surgery would wistfully say, “It must be nice, traveling all over the country selling beads.” It was nice. But they never dared stepping out from the comfort of a 40 hour week into the uncertainties of adventure. You must believe in the magic of the journey. I worked hard at both nursing and building a bead business, often working much longer hours than any of my nursing buddies, and while they envied the glamour of my life, they never wanted to embrace the vagaries of life on the road.

Second, you must fuel your passion. Choose an endeavor you enjoy. You can’t sell hair extensions if you love short hair. I know. It sounds too mundane to warrant space on the page, but I see it over and over again: people selling themselves into a business for which there exists no spark of joie de vivre. The average client or customer has a built-in BS meter, and instinctively pulls away from a sales pitch. If you’re not in love with what you do, you’re embarking on a solo expedition, and it will prove lonely and disappointing in the long run.

working officeLearn, learn, learn. My third tip exists as a maxim for all of life. Learn your craft. Learn the tax laws. Learn how to sell effectively, saying just a little while saying all the right things. Accept that a lifelong date with trends and new skill sets exist as a part of the journey, a place to hang your hat each night. If you don’t learn and adapt, your journey will be cut short.

My fourth tip either lights your eyes or causes you to cringe. Connect with people. This is an age of instant communication and social platforms transforming the way business is conducted. Brick and mortar businesses struggle to compete with online entities. Support groups, conferences, other entrepreneurs form a nest from which you draw ideas and leads. If you see yourself as an introvert, pull up your big girl panties and join in. If you see yourself as an extrovert, be careful about overwhelming others. Establish an online presence and form connections.

Tip #5:  Read daily. Read classics. Read memoirs. Read nonfiction. Read great writers. Think about when you attended high school or college literature courses. You were assigned masters of their craft, and it sharpened your own communication. A steady diet of light reading as an adult dulls those instincts.

My next tip, number six, travels hand in hand with reading. Write daily. Keep a journal, write lists, work on your memoir, or just pen a missive to someone you know. Writing is a necessary complement in the process of growing your communication skills. Learn how to weed out the intransitive verbs, and insert words with a punch. Craft sentences an English teacher would want to read. Your verbal communication earns an overhaul in the process.

Last but not least: Grow your self-discipline. If you can’t make a list and force yourself to accomplish a day’s work, you cannot hire yourself and expect a living wage. Time management, organizing and prioritizing tasks, creating a product or offering a service all require putting the pedal to the medal. You have to make miles each day on this trip of a lifetime. Stay too long at an oasis along the way, and you’ll find yourself lost in a labyrinth of trying to catch up or rejuvenate your business. A strong work ethic is a hallmark of any entrepreneur.

If this resonates with you, share your experiences in the comments. If you want more encouragement, reach out. I freely admit I am old by some standards. My parent’s generation turned 70 and sat at home waiting to die. Instead, I’m starting yet another business and tickled pink to be on the road again. I absolutely love this journey of life, and expect my writing career to be more fun than a barrel of monkeys! Excuse the outdated pun. I’d love to share this journey with you.

Finding Your Roots

studiesI found my passion for writing in high school when I was required to keep a writing journal in English class. I wanted to be the next Erma Bombeck, but I found, to my dismay, I’m just not that funny. What I did find was an intense passion for words, paper, pencils, and memoirs. A lifestyle blog brings me full circle to my roots, when I courted words and collected quotes, and now share them with the great void of the internet.

Life propels us on a journey in which we visit many a foreign country. Some jobs definitely cause that sense of where am I going and force us to reconsider choices made. Each country visited, though, develops within us new skill sets, new perspectives. I loved nursing with a passion, but it was always the people, not the job. I have been a serial entrepreneur much of my life, first in freelance writing, then in beads, selling travel, selling self-care products. Each venture was exciting, daring to strike out on my own and loving the travel to new endeavors. I learned about stock and inventory, about bookkeeping, about meeting the needs of clients. But in this season of my life I am writing once again. It’s time to return to my roots.

Roots keep us tethered to reality. We all know pie-in-the-sky cloud people who live in the stratosphere. Usually they are managers. And we all know floaters who drift through life following the path of least resistance. Usually they are unhappy or wistful dreamers. I am writing to the ones who relish life with a carpe diem mentality, who find zest in what they love. Too much of the world mimics the next big trend, copies styles, and blends into the crowd. Roots require authenticity. Roots require me to be just who I am. No more. No less.

Dig deeply under a plant, and you find the vascular system of a growing entity. In my personal endeavor to rekindle my writing career, I am traveling to Dallas for a book fair, and working on my fourth novel. Writing conferences hone my craft. I am freelancing once again, and loving it. Each of my writing endeavors connects the facets of my writing career, past to present. Like tendrils of sentient tissue, my roots are extending and strengthening my resolve.bookmark4

I want to encourage you, gentle reader, to be true to yourself. If you find yourself in a dead end job you hate, make a change. If you buried a passion, resurrect it. Find your roots and explore them, strengthen them. Enjoy being you. Me? I love a cup of tea and my paper and pencil. I like to start each day with words.

Winter Storm Yum!

We love chili when frigid air hovers, and it doesn’t matter if its white or red. As a matter of fact, I prefer white. I make this when rotisserie chicken goes on sale, and good fortune preceded this storm, so yay! We’re in luck, because I’m just about to hit the kitchen.

If you’re new to white chili, here’s my recipe.

  • one shredded chicken
  • 1-2 chopped onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 can green chilis
  • 1 can diced jalepenos to taste
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2-3 cans chicken broth
  • 3-4 cans navy beans
  • pint of cream or evaporated milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

I saute the onion and garlic in butter, add all the seasonings and chicken and broth. I like to rinse my beans well in water. I lose the B vitamins, which are water soluble, but I also never get gassy, so it’s worth it to me! Simmer awhile. Add the cream/evaporated milk shortly before serving. I add a dollop of sour cream, some sliced avocado and grated cheese to the top and wowsers!!

Obviously I adore creature comforts, and this satisfies. Complete the meal with some cornbread and you’ve got a rib-sticking heart-warming dinner. Bon Appetit!

Narnia or Snowpocalypse? It all depends.

Winter’s death grip on the midwest remains strong. I took a 2-3 week hiatus from blogging during the holidays and our remembrance of Alma’s birthday. I didn’t have a lot of uplifting thoughts, anyway.

Then storms struck and we lived on generator power for a couple days. We saved the freezer. We heat with wood, so we stayed warm. But life between the haves and have-nots bore a strong distinction between those who loved the snow and those  who felt otherwise. I kept my computer at arm’s length awaiting our re-entry into civilized society.

Now I vacillate between pleasure over earthly comforts, ready to write, and at the same time I peer timidly into the future, with more ice/snow coming our way by week’s end. I see both sides of the perspective continuum.

Here’s the thing: Your perspective on winter landscapes depends on your creature comforts. In the throes of having no power, heating with wood and trying to keep a generator running, the snow became my enemy. When power was restored and our porch shoveled and the drive bladed by my good man, we headed to town and marveled over a magical landscape. It looked like we were traveling through Narnia.Image result for images narnia children crossing ice

Let’s remember, though, that the characters in Narnia didn’t enjoy the cold or the ice or the scenery as they struggled to survive. Spectators enjoy the scenery. Survivors not so much. We love our heritage as being rugged individualists and survivors, but we have been coddled into a generation of spectators. We need to be prepared for every eventuality and strong in the face of adversity. Civilization’s thin veneer is more easily punctured than you might imagine. We exist one disaster away from once again struggling to survive. Look up the FEMA recommendations for surviving a natural disaster and be the hardy pioneer stock we claim to be!

Thanksgiving is Easy When You Approach the Holiday Like It’s a Tactical Invasion

I love Thanksgiving. I really do.  I love all the foods, love having my family hang out, love the idea behind it.  It is my favorite holiday until about 6:00 pm on Thanksgiving night, when the Rhoads family Christmas tree goes up. But Thanksgiving for the uninitiated can be quite daunting…hence this blog.

Begin early in November. Spend the month focused on developing an attitude of gratitude. I like to journal on the topic and immerse myelf in the real purpose of the holiday: family ties and blessings remembered. Scan articles about decorating for fall holidays. My family has a few favorites that had better be on the table, but one or two new twists keep the holiday fresh. Devour recipes on Pinterest. This cultivates a frame of mind filled with peace, not jitters. Personal preparation before meal preparation is huge for me.

Two weeks before Thanksgiving I start working on table settings. Seating 17 people requires thoughtful consideration. Who has handicapped needs? Who likes visiting with whom? Do the children sit with the adults, and if not, at what age break do they graduate to the main table? Will you serve buffet or family style with serving dishes on the table? Are you carving the turkey at the table Norman Rockwell style or plating it? Answer all these questions to determine the physical arrangement of guests and family. Then work on your tablescape. I use cloth napkins, and like to learn fancy new folding pattern each year. I also like to decorate the table with little cards at each place setting. I don’t assign seating, but I like something thought provoking or cute. Get these mudane tasks figured out well ahead of time. Trust me on this.

If you are new to preparing the family feast, you’ll find it much easier if you approach the holiday with the tactical precision of a military commander planning the invasion of Normandy. I kid you not. It takes military genius to pull this thing off. Let’s begin with the week of Thanksgiving, assigning time slots for meal preparation.

If your turkey isn’t already thawing, go now. Right now. Buy a fresh one. It takes 4 days to defrost an 18 pound turkey in the fridge. If yours is smaller, you may still have time. I keep mine in a picnic cooler with a thermometer. As it thaws it keeps the cooler about the same temperature as a fridge…but I have to watch if the oven is on too much, raising the ambient temperature. Sometimes I toss the cooler outside if it isn’t freezing, sometimes it moves in an out over the course of a day…I know, it’s a pain. But hey, that’s a lot of refrigerator real estate to fork over when the ice box is already jam-packed with everything else.

Monday is a day of rest for me. Sundays find me running myself ragged, preparing for kids’ classes, figuring out dinner, and returning for Sunday evening church. I gear up for Thanksgiving by napping on Monday. Everyone needs a day of rest, right?

Tuesday morning dawns with my preparations in full swing. I make my mashed potatoes on Tuesday, using cream cheese and sour cream to keep them creamy and delightful. I start drying 2 loaves of bread for stuffing, and I organize ingredients with spices across the dining room table. Tuesday evening is cranberry sauce. Wash your berries, taking out the ones that float. I use the recipe on the package and even though Bill is the only one of the family who likes them, I make a double batch every year. If there’s a lot left over, I can always make more Jello, lol.

Wednesday is pie, jello and stuffing day. I bake pies and try to move them around so they don’t freeze while staying the appropriate temperature. Let me just sat this: Mother Nature, I want a steady 45 degrees through Thanksgiving! Morning; While the pies are baking I’m cooking giblets. Pumpkin pie requires putting everything into the bowl in the proper order so your spices don’t clump, but making them from scratch is huge. The canned pie mix is too bland or me. Afternoon: Jello time! I usually make a blueberry concoction with a nice frosting, but it was Alma’s favorite, so I’m exploring a new recipe this year. There’s no sense in crying through the day. Evening: By Wednesday night you need to have chopped and mixed the stuffing.  Don’t skimp on the sage. I mix it up and taste it an hour later to be sure it’s savory and perfect. If you can’t farm out the sweet potatoes, make those Wednesday evening as well.

Thursday morning starts at 5:00 am, when we stuff the turkey and stick it in the oven. I know. You aren’t supposed to stuff the bird, but hey, stuffing just isn’t the same in a casserole dish. I can always taste the difference, and since it’s one of my favorite things, it simply must get stuffed. Finish the Jello by 10:00 am. If your dinner is noonish, the potatoes go in the oven by 11:00. Make sure you take your turkey out a half hour before you’re ready to carve. Spoon out the stuffing.

Carving the turkey: First remove the drumsticks. Systematically remove the thighs and wings. Now cut down the center of the bird to bisect the breast. Once you’ve lifted it aside, it can be easily sliced. Do the same with the other side. Fill one half of the platter with white and the other half with dark.

Gravy time! Start with the appropriate stock, skimming off excess grease. Season it. Make a slurry of flour and water, and add it to the gravy, whisking like a madwoman. Continue the process, letting it cook as it thickens.

Image result for images thanksgivingThankfully, other family members are bringing sweet potatoes, rolls, appetizers, a vegetable casserole, and extra desserts. So happy about that! Trust yourself. You can do this. Just devise a plan, and be very specific. It makes Thanksgiving easy and your family will be so impressed. And thankful.

 

How to Cure a Dawdler Without Strangulation, My Five Tips

Passive aggressive children (coworkers, siblings, roommates) suck the energy right of you, don’t they? People don’t wake up one day and decide to be passive aggressive. No, they act that way because of years of practice, but it begins in childhood. It is most often seen in a child who is given a job–be it getting dressed, cleaning a room, or doing schoolwork, and who then dawdles through it. The child professes to be working at it so shouldn’t be chastised, but in reality is ignoring it, and it drives you to the point of pulling your hair out. That’s the key point in diagnosing passive aggression. If it doesn’t make you crazy, it isn’t passive or it isn’t aggression. But when you see it, before you reach the crazy stage, implement character training. It must be weeded out before it takes root and becomes a way of life.

We see this in the lives of people, not animals. First of all, no mama rhino would let her child be non-compliant. And secondly, dawdlers in the animal kingdom are eaten when the lions chase the pack. Therefore they cease to exist. The mama rhino knows that and trains it out of her offspring. Let us do likewise!

In us humans it’s different, and all too often we make allowances for it. Sometimes we think we can reason it away. Nope. The child (and counterpart adult) seldom voices the reason for passive aggression, and may not be cognizant of it. Thus scolding, talking, reminding and yelling are all ineffective. In our household this week, passive aggression came in the form of a young miss who just sat and did no math, while professing three hours later she was doing it but it was just so hard. (sob, sob) Sound familiar? (Let me just clarify here that when forced to do it, she completed her work in less than 15 minutes. Let’s not fall prey to tears, feeling sorry for the tyke. No, she was dawdling.)

Obviously a spouse, sibling or coworker acts outside the realm of your authority, so you cannot compel a change. Only influence can be brought to bear. But a child is your responsibility.  Your primary job is raising up a righteous generation, and refusing to deal with dawdling hurts not just the rhythm of the present day, but will impact your child in future years. No one enjoys being around a passive aggressive person, no employer likes to hire a passive aggressive person, and few spouses remain married to a passive aggressive person. Fail to deal with it, and your child will pay the price for a very, very long time.

Ready to fix the problem? These are my five tips for dealing with dawdlers:

  1. Move the child next to you. Children who see constant eyes upon them finally dig in and get the job done. K did her math in minutes once I had her within arm’s reach and kept my eyes on her. Of course it upsets your day and requires your attention, but putting in the required time pays off in the end. It’s your job. Just do it. Be the rhino. Everything else can wait when your child needs correction.
  2. Reward dawdling with consequences. K had math, math, math, math, math for all her subjects until I saw a change of attitude and performance. Only then was she allowed to work independently (away from my side) and then still on math, until she proved her good workmanship. In the words of an old song, “Let the punishment fit the crime.” For another situation it might mean cleaning the bathroom and the hall and the kitchen after the original chore was accomplished (with mom lounging in full view with iced tea in hand.) Life has consequences. Don’t thwart that natural order if you wish to raise a responsible child.
  3. Apply the Word. Scripture study and memorization of applicable verses reaches the soul. There’s the heart of the problem, right? Apply eternal light to a little speck of darkness. One of my favorites is 1 Samuel 15:23.
  4. Talk. Inspire. Praise. Passive aggressive children–after consequences have been applied–need a heavy dose of conversation. Why do you suppose you didn’t do your math? and Did it make you happy to be disobedient? and How do you feel now? Many of us act unconsciously when upset until we are able to sit down, ponder, and figure out what made us feel that way. If we have trouble pinpointing a problem as adults, surely we shouldn’t expect that same self awareness in a child. Focus on the situation at hand and let your child grow up a little before you try psychoanalysis, lol. But talk. A lot. Growing love inspires a child to be obedient.
  5. Do this as often as necessary. Your child needs to know that he/she will NEVER win the war of passive aggression. Clear the calendar as often as necessary and get ‘er done. Expect recurrences. Never let your child win in the game of dawdling.

be the rhinoParents, be the rhino! Of course if you home school, this is easier for you. You aren’t racing off with a non-compliant child to be on time somewhere. You can devote yourself to child training. Your reward? A few weeks of happy compliance before it starts all over again. But those few weeks? They’re worth all the hassle.

Let me encourage you, parents, to do your duty. Take the raising of your children as your primary source of employment, and do the job thoroughly. It takes time and effort, but you’ll love that youngster all the more as an adult, an adult who isn’t passive aggressive.

What To Do When Capitalism Goes Awry

Now don’t get me wrong. I believe in capitalism over all other national forms of economic structure. I do believe, however, that something has gotten our economic system out of whack.

Right now the old aphorism that it takes money to make money has never been more true. Entrepreneurs, inventors, craftsmen and authors find themselves disenfranchised when it comes to getting noticed or marketing their products. It takes a hefty bankroll to break into the public consciousness.internet

Social media leveled the playing field for a short time, but then Facebook began manipulating the posts, so no one knows who actually receives what is put online. The ever mysterious metrics on Google make reaching people on the world wide web more a case of hocus pocus and less a marketing strategy that anyone can implement with precision. The slow demise of the printed newspaper has compounded the dilemma. Even catching the eye of a reporter is difficult when the electronic age insulates them from from unwanted solicitation. The cost of advertising on any of these platforms also favors the lucky recipient with a bankroll.

The result cheapens the market because we see is not necessarily the best of the best. Cream doesn’t always rise to the top in a manipulated market. And it’s not up to you or me to judge the difference…that’s been done for us and we’ve been spoon fed what we are allowed to see. The invisible faces of people pulling strings do that for us.

My question is: How long are we going to let the invisible entities muddy up the waters? It’s time to rise up and figure a way around the stranglehold. I have ideas. Pockets of people could create accounts for startups and we could finance ourselves. The successful startup would then pay back for the next recipient. We really need to get behind a new and more transparent form of social media. And finally, we need to champion the worthy causes we see around us.

internet2It isn’t easy, I know. I am one of the sisters organizing The Ultimate Expos. I see fabulous artists who go largely unrecognized despite our every attempt to showcase their work on Facebook. We commit ourselves to advancing their careers…we just have such a twisted and tightly regulated medium in which to do it.

I welcome other suggestions. It’s up to we the people to change things. What are your ideas?

Would You Vote for a 28th Amendment?

I know, we only find 27 amendments to our Constitution, a tribute to the foresight and wisdom of our founding fathers.  I think we need a 28th, however.  You see, I think government has gotten out of hand, and I see no inclination by those in power to reign it in.  Yup.  We need a 28th amendment on term limits.

Our founding fathers evolved into statesmen from a variety of occupations:  They worked as farmers, soldiers, shop keepers, journalists.  They served under penalty of death at the hands of the British, not for a lifetime stipend beyond the imaginations of the citizens, but for their love of country.  Their labor was a sacrifice of time, money, and in some cases, life itself.

Fast forward 200 years and we now see men and women who consider themselves career politicians with the bank rolls to prove it.  I mean no disrespect.  I merely state the obvious.  The best get the same pay and benefits as the worst scoundrels, and have you taken the time to count how many voted against their last pay hike?

I wonder how many would covet the office if they had to turn in expense receipts for reimbursement and served at the same wage we citizens earn as a standing jurist, $6 a day.  That’s right.  If the expenses were met for airfare and staples, but their only compensation was $6 a day, whose love of country would flame so passionately that he/she would serve at a sacrifice for the good of the country?

Of course, I can’t prevent money flowing under the table.  Evil will seek its own.  But I can lessen the damage done by giving each one less time and a better reason to serve.  Our two-party system may be so fatally flawed that not even a Constitutional amendment can fix it…but we owe it to our children to try.

term 1I was honored with the opportunity to meet Vice President Pence, Josh Hawley, and Roy Blunt when they flew into Kansas City last week.  I long admired our Vice President, and he was just what I expected.  Integrity gleamed from his eyes.  I loved meeting Josh Hawley.  His shy smile and honest eyes won my vote.  I already knew Senator Blunt, and I appreciated seeing him as well.  Why do I bring this up?  Do you know what goes into a visit like this?term 2

Airplanes the size of Nebraska (just kidding) fly in their armored cars.  Oceans of suits with ear buds scan the perimeter.  It’s a pretty big deal, and I realized how BIG our government has grown to require such measures.  We were but one stop…I can’t fathom what it costs to ferry around all these candidates spouting the same rhetoric we see on every commercial on TV.  I know.  It’s part of the process.  I respect that…but not what a huge thing it’s become.term 3

Will a 28th Amendment solve every problem?  No, I freely admit it won’t.  But would it be a reasonable first step?  Yes, I believe it would be.  I firmly support term limits.  I’d love to see a few million people agree with me.