Welcome to a First-Ever Friday Edition of Seasonal “Sundays” …
Here’s to a relaxing weekend for all. LOL … at first, “relaxing” auto-corrected to “re-lazing” which just might could need to be a real word, right?!
But if your idea of relaxation includes a little cookin’ for good eatin’? Consider grabbing an eggplant or two, if only to behold their stand-back-and-really-look beauty.
FUNNY STORY #1 Once, the eggplant were so pretty, I came home with not one but two. Right before dinner, my husband walked in with a few more groceries. We giggled until we cried after he confessed, “I couldn’t help myself. The eggplant was so pretty, I bought two.”
FUNNY STORY #2 We were mid-fry when houseguests sniffed. “We’re not eggplant people,” said one. We rolled our eyes, carried on with frying the eggplant and put a big platter in the middle of the table. Just as we’d have predicted, those hot bites of crispy eggplant were gone in a f-l-a-s-h. Our houseguests might not be eggplant people but they’re definitely fried eggplant people.
And sorry to conjure the idea of fried eggplant when I’ve yet to post our recipe! I’ll work on that, maybe this weekend?!
Made Me Think …
- Summers End But Our Desires Last a Lifetime … lovely writing, touchstone thinking … from the NYT, no paywall
- Here’s an excerpt. “But here are the songbirds, for whom the season of full-throated singing has come and gone. Here is the skink, his ruddy breeding colors entirely faded. Here is the irritable chipmunk, building her stores for a solitary winter. For them, the season of desire will not be back until the end of a hard, cold winter — a winter many will not survive.”
- The majesty of Serena Williams, talented and tough and yet … taunted.
- Two apps from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, such fun.
- Merlin bird ID & sound ID app – Such fun, sitting near the feeders in the backyard, identifying the birds by sight and oh wow, especially sound when you can’t always see the birds themselves. Very eye- and ear-opening!
- BirdCast migration app – Save it to your phone, then every day, enter your city or county or state for an estimate of how many birds migrated overhead overnight, whoah, last night. Just imagine the long journeys these tiny creatures make, up and down the planet. Amazing.
It’s Not Politics. It’s Civics./>
It’s Like Voting Every Day. Legally.
The country needs calm, thoughtful and assertive voices amid the chaos inflicted by a minority hellbent on taking/retaining power by strangling democratic principles and equal rights.
It’s time to look up, study up and speak up. Make your voice heard!
Don’t get overwhelmed. None of us have to personally change the world.
WE JUST HAVE TO DO OUR PART.
Pick one thing and put it on top of your To Do List this week. Next week, add another.
Here are my suggestions. I’ll be adding to this list …
NEXT WEEK? Suggestions Welcome.
NEW THIS WEEK Make Sure Your Circle Has Registration & Voting Plans Focus on voter registration and election-day voting plans for your immediate family plus some number more. Do the research, make the calls, get the links and the forms, make sure people are registered (or know how to do it) and know when/where to vote. Follow up!
Why give focus to something so basic?
- Because voter participation is the bedrock of the operation of our democracy. It’s how we make choices about the kind of country we want for ourselves and the generations that follow.
- Because elections are organized at a local level, where you live dictates your particular voting situation. For example, where we live, the St. Louis County Election Board conducts elections for County residents.
- Because of the 2020 Census and re-districting, district lines may have changed. You and your extended family may live in a different district than before.
- Especially in Red States, MAGA Republicans are hell-bent to make voting harder, different, confusing and even intimidating.
- Your usual polling place may have changed.
- Early voting may have been eliminated. There was no early voting for the August primary but there is for the 2022 Midterms on November 8th.
- That means Election Day lines may be longer than customary in recent years.
- Absentee voting may still be in place but may require a permission process well in advance.
- In-person registration on election day may be gone.
- ID requirements may be new. Be sure to know the rules for provisional ballots.
- Polling places may have more “election watchers” than usual, especially in states/venues with angry 2020 election deniers.
TALK TO NEW / YOUNG VOTERS Will young people come out to vote in 2022? We’re taken to talking with young voters in the family, raising key issues and how their lives and hopes and dreams and plans will be affected for decades in a way our lives won’t. Our message? Don’t let older folks like us make generational decisions for younger folks like you.
Voting is just one step, albeit an important one. Get active, get organized.
LAST WEEK Educate Yourself on a Single Issue at a Time The news is a lot, no doubt. It’s hard to keep up, we have lives to live. It’s easy to look away, feeling helpless or even hopeless.
One way to counteract these feelings is to “clean your sink” or “make your bed”.
Huh??? Well, sure, clean your kitchen sink and make your bed if you want but these are really metaphors for the idea that when you’re feeling stuck, do ONE thing and have something to show for it.
This week, I suggest diving deep into a single issue, one that matters in your own life and those you love.
Two possibilities, straight from this week’s headlines.
- ENERGY Dig into some of the energy components of the vast, far-reaching Inflation Reduction Bill. I found this hour-long interview (from Preet Bahara’s podcast) of U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Grandholm very, um, illuminating. What will make a difference in your own life, your kids lives, the lives of your community?
- STUDENT LOANS This is a good place to start, educating yourself on how the Student Loan Forgiveness Plan (from the NYT, no paywall) will work. Suggestion: immerse yourself in it first, then consider your own view on its its fairness and impact, especially if someone in your circle relies on Fox for opinions.
- Reproductive Choice? Book Bans? The J6 Committee Work? Pick just one thing that matters to you and dig in, become an expert in a way that works for you, for your own clarification, to speak confidently with others, to be able to refute hypocrisy, misinformation, disinformation and outright lies.
TWO WEEKS AGO Lean On Historians & Thought Leaders for News Synthesis Learn from historians and thought leaders who are fighting for democracy each and every day. Many are publishing newsletters on a site called Substack. Nearly all have “free” versions (that’s what I’m doing, so far) even if there are options for paid subscriptions. Just type in your email and hit subscribe. No spam, no ads, just thoughtful thinking from smart people attempting to help the U.S. save itself from authoritarian anti-democratic minority rule.
- My #1 pick will always be the brilliant Heather Cox Richardson who has been writing Letters from an American nearly every single day since September 2019. For me, “Heather” (as we refer to her in this house) is a must-read. She cuts through the day’s news and presents an interpretation in a calm, history-grounded voice, with an eye/ear for what will matter to historians in future. Facebook people, she also does twice-weekly talks/lectures: she’s whip-smart, speaks in plain language without drama. Yes, I’m a big fan.
- I also read Substack newsletters from Robert Hubbell (which originated as a source of hope and perspective for family and friends after the 2016 election and five years later, remains true to that mission) and Aaron Rupar (an independent journalist who describes himself as “fair but not impartial” and is not shy about taking mainstream media to task for “both sides-ism” and similar equivocation).
- There’s Joyce Vance in another Substack newsletter called Civil Discourse. She’s a law professor, a 25-year veteran of the Department of Justice, a former U.S. Attorney, a legal analyst for MSNBC and NBC – also a knitter and chicken keeper! The chicks and chicken show up every so often …
- There’s also the so-familiar 90-year old Dan Rather in an aptly named Substack newsletter called Steady: and so it is, a place for what he calls “contemplation, empathy, learning and yes, a little humor when warranted”.
- Who’s inspiring you? Please let me know!
THREE WEEKS AGO Learn About Relational Organizing Check out and sign up for Red Wine & Blue, suburban women on a mission relating to voting rights, reproductive choice, book bans and so much more. This week I participated in a 30-minute Great Troublemaker Training Session on Zoom that introduced relational organizing aka talking to your family and friends.
FOUR WEEKS AGO Communicate with Lawmakers on Timely, Targeted Issues Sign up for Chop Wood, Carry Water, a 5x weekly email, each one with targeted, timely suggestions on who to call/write/text about what, including easily adaptable scripts. I lurked for a couple of weeks but now make five-ten minutes an essential part of my day.
Wondering about a recipe from the last while? Check Recent Recipes from Kitchen Parade and Recent Vegetable Recipes from A Veggie Venture.
Don’t Be a Stranger …
I’d love to hear from you. Comment, send me a quick e-mail via [email protected], dot-dash in Morse code, build a fire for smoke signals, launch a message in a bottle, send a Christmas letter, get the dog to yip, toss me a note wrapped in a rubberband, write a message in the sky, scratch a note in the sand, listen to a seashell, tuck a question into a plastic Easter egg, whatever.
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