I’m a First Time Voter in Florida ~ what a rush

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I couldn’t wait to vote this time, and it’s only a state primary but I just moved here from New York City. So it was kind of thrilling to be voting in the sunshine state.

I turned on my GPS and found my polling place with absolutely no problem.

 

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It was gratifying to see quite a number of cars in the polling location parking lot. After I slid my ballot through the electronic vote counting machine, they gave me a red, white, and blue sticker that said, “I Vote”.

 

I decided NOT to vote for Marco Rubio for two reasons, though I’m sure he’s going to win the primary and I WILL vote for him in November.

  1. He tends not to show up much on the floor to do his job.
  2. He hasn’t given only anemic support to Donald J. Trump.

I voted for Carlos Beruff because he is challenging Rubio on his pathetic work ethic and because Beruff exemplifies the Republican populist movement desiring to clean up Washington, D.C. When Rubio wins, I want him to know there was substantial grass-roots displeasure with him. I hope he gets the message, but I doubt he will.

I’m not at all AltRight, the name Hillary is trying to hang on Trump supporters. I’m much more ConPop (conservative populist).


Getting Settled in a New Home ~ can be a trial

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My new abode.Neighbors tell me we have St. Augustine grass that burns up like crazy in the sun.

 

 

I’ve been in my new rental home in the coastal area of northeast Florida since May. What a time to move. We’re in a heatwave. Still, I love Florida.When driving over a bridge or causeway, there’s nothing like a Florida sky.

 

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My baker’s rack with new shelves in place.

 

There were s few bumps in the road. Some of them big ones. The moving company that brought my furniture down from Brooklyn did not deliver on time. When they finally arrived they’d broken two glass shelves belonging to my baker’s rack and had lost the power chord to my TV. I had to get a local glazier to make two new shelves and purchase a new TV, then file a claim for damages with the moving company.

 

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It’s Ebony’s fault. It’s obvious she won’t let me put any books onto shelves.

There were other obstacles of a more gentle nature. I’ve gotten nearly everything in place, except I haven’t hung my knick-knack shelves, pictures, and I haven’t placed my many, many books on my bookshelves. That’s mainly because I haven’t decided where these items will go. I have two large bookshelves and two small ones. Should the paperback mysteries go on the oak bookshelf, or the pine one? What’s a girls to do? Find a scapegoat…er, I mean a suspect. That’s the ticket. I’m a detective story writer. I need a suspect in Ye Olde Bookshelf Caper.

 

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This is my office/guest room where I slave away on the last novel in the Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes series. Here you can see one of my bookshelves is temporarily housing brick-brack and such until I decide where to hang the knick-knack shelves.

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Finally, my new recliner arrived and it’s sooo comfy. I have a string of colorful flip-flop lights strung around the bakers rack to give that “Florida feeling”. This is my new home-sweet-home.Finally, my new recliner arrived and it’s sooo comfy. I have a string of colorful flip-flop lights strung around the bakers rack to give that “Florida feeling”. This is my new home-sweet-home.

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Beauty (cat), Sophie (dog), Gizelle (cat) who is camera shy.


FEAR HAS A NAME by Creston Mapes ~ tackling my ‘to read list’

Fear Has A Name

Psychological thriller, FEAR HAS A NAME, pulls together several threads, each with its own angst. There surely is no lack of emotional apprehension in this story, and some unsettling moments

The violent home invasion by a husky man dressed in black forces Pamela Crittendon to flee, with her two young daughters, to a neighbor’s house. Author Creston Mapes delves into the interior of his character’s psyches in a compelling manner. This attack upon their home forces Pamela to fight her tendency toward slipping into fearful agitation (passed down by her fear and anxiety ridden mother).  The author tends to drop things in at the end, and he thereby allows the daughter to discover why her mother is so fear ridden and it brings Pamela closer to her mom.

Reporter Jack Crittendon is writing a series of articles on a missing pastor who left what might be a bogus suicide note. The attack on Jack’s wife and daughters brings back “the old Jack,” the violent side he thought he’d buried. The missing pastor, secondary plotline has its own well developed characters. This sub-story keeps Jack busy on his job at the newspaper, allowing Pamela to deal with scary things on her own, as Jack’s rage increases toward the husky man.  Jack becomes even more unhinged when he’s accused of collecting and distributing child pornography. There were two places that stretched my believably. One was the police investigation of these pornography charges. The police explained too much and just plain talked conversationally way too much to the accused. And two, it was predictable that Pamela would flee to her mother’s house, which puts her on a collision course with danger. These are minor issues in what is a well written psychological study couched in a thriller. This is a good independently published read with a powerful spiritual message.


I Went To The Jacksonville Trump Rally ~ and had a blast

 

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Terrible at taking selfies, I gritted my teeth.

Disclaimer: I’m a yuge Trump supporter, so everything written here has to be viewed through that lens. The rally was held tonight at 7pm in the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. I was supposed to meet author Linda Wood Rondeau and her husband Steve. In fact I never would’ve printed out a ticket if Linda hadn’t said she was going. They were scheduled to leave  at 4pm. I’m new to Jacksonville and unsure of driving downtown, so I left at 3:25 and arrived just after 4pm. There was already a line and people were being admitted into the arena. Street vendors sold a variety of Trump paraphernalia. A bottle of water cost $3.00. I decided I didn’t need hydration right then.

The line moved quickly and folks were admitted right away. What totally amazed me were the number of supporters who chose to stand for the entire event just so they would be under the podium. My friends Linda and Steve hadn’t yet arrived. I suspected it would not be easy to meet up with them in that crowd, so I looked for a seat. The very best ones were already taken, but I did manager to get one with an excellent view of the podium half way up in the bleachers.

There were plenty of red “Make America Great Again” hats in evidence around the arena. The crowd was much more diverse than is reported in the media. To be sure, white working class males were in evidence. However there were also quite a number of blacks, Latinos, women, as well as teenagers and college kids. Two twenty-something guys ran around in homemade ‘Trump-capes’ like super-heroes.  I found the people around me to be friendly. Active cross-conversations were taking place. Supporters not only spoke to the persons on either side of them, but leaned forward to talk to those in front of them and turned around to address those behind.After all, there would be at least two hours to fill before the opening speeches. The arena holds 16,000 and it was packed solid. My earlier suspicion was correct. I never did find Linda and Steve, though we texted each other for a while.

The opening speeches were rousing, though the crowd didn’t need much pumping up. Jacksonville mayor Lenny Curry didn’t run away like John Kasich did at the RNC Convention. Mayor Curry warmly welcomed and addressed the crowd. The local chair of the RNC and Sharon Day, co-chair of the national RNC spoke, the dynamic Florida senator Ted Yoho, as did Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. The bottom line seemed to be jobs, national security and personal safety, and the Supreme Court. There was an obvious law enforcement presence and all of the speaker lauded them, as well as giving accolades to first responders, and the military. This was always accompanied by loud cheering from the crowd…and I clapped and cheered along with everyone else.

I was a bit surprised by the pounding music which seemed to favor songs by the Rolling Stones, although there were a few arias by The Three Tenors tossed in. And odd combination to say the least, but also emotionally moving.

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Finally Donald J. Trump arrived with Secret Service agents preceding and following him.

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Naturally Trump spoke about building the wall and having Mexico pay for it. He decried how heroin and crime were coming across the border, saying a nation without borders is not a nation. He said jobs that had been outsourced to foreign countries would come back to the United States. That the American people would win-win-win so much, they’d get sick of winning. He instructed each supporter to not only vote on November 8th, but to bring five people to the polls with them.

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When the crowd left it was dark outside and the atmosphere had changed. Protestors shouted at us, but the police had the situation under control. What shocked me was the number of vendors had astronomically increased and they were hawking tee shirts bordering on the obscene. They yelled at supporters to get our attention focused upon what was printed on the shirts. I won’t repeat any of it here, but many of the blurbs on the shirts involved Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton and were graphic. I hurried to my car without incident. There were few police in the parking lot and few were needed. I got out of the lot relatively quickly…then got stuck in the traffic jam rally goers were creating.

And I kept having the sense that I’d become part of American political history. That sitting there waving my ‘Trump sign’, standing and cheering over and over, I’d become part of a phenomena that had never before occurred in American political history. A phenomena that didn’t’ pay attention to the political rules, and it felt good. Of course this phenomena occurred because the average (and that cuts across all categories of those voters, not just HS educated white males) had been lied to by their politicians for decades. Trump couldn’t do this with out us, and we couldn’t do it without his leadership. It felt real good. And I have to admit, yelling “Lock her up,” is fun.


On My Way Out of Brooklyn ~ random thoughts

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McDonald’s Ordering Kiosk in Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY

My last days in Brooklyn, I didn’t feel like cooking, so I went to McDonald’s. On this visit to Mickey D’s my belongings were packed and on a moving van and I would be leaving the next day, lock, stock, doggie and cats.

I wouldn’t have thought anything about it except that I’ve spent a lot of time in Florida over the last two years, especially the last six months. The customer service level in the Sunshine State is so superior to that in NYC it boggles the mind.

I went to the counter to place my order and was grouchily  directed to the kiosk. I placed my order and waited patiently while workers with scowls on their faces trudged back and forth getting food for patrons. In Florida, as soon as a customer walks in the door they’re greeted with, “Welcome to McDonald’s.” It’s not that way only in this fast food chain, but in every single establishment people go into.

I immediately thought of the recent increase to a $15.00 minimum wage in New York State. This kiosk must’ve eliminated one-to-two employees on this shift. But then why pay $15.00 an hour for surly employees?


FAITH IS LIKE ~ walking on water

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I can look back at a number of instances, since I’ve been saved (born again) and have come through a really bad circumstance, and go, “Yeah, that right there was God all right. Boy was that way cool! No mistaking that one. It was God.” But at the time it felt as if high water was beneath me. In fact, waves were crashing all around me. I trusted God, and He moved, and it was awesome. But at the time it was also very scary.

It was as if Jesus was saying, “Follow me in the midst. Walk with me. Take each step with me even if you don’t know where we’re going. Walk on the water.”

The Holy Spirit (Who I often think of as Jesus Unlimited On The Earth) knows where we are going, and all I have to do is follow. I have to fight and cast down my fear of the waves, and also of what might be under the waves and over the waves. I need to build up my faith in Him.

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Under The Waves

 

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Over The Waves

 

 

 

 

 

 

But the truth is, it would’ve been even scarier without God. The situation was a challenge and without God there might not have been a satisfactory or triumphant ending.  Trials and tribulations come and believers have to make choices. Will we trust in God and follow Him not knowing how and where He will lead us out of the situation? Or are we such control freaks we must be in charge, we must know the battle plan?

How many times do we have to lose a battle, or have a much less than victorious outcome to admit we are not the Commander-in-Chief that God is? The scary part is letting go of the wheel and letting God take over. This doesn’t mean we do nothing. We get still and listen. We pray through. We do what we feel prompted to do by the still small voice. We MUST learn to trust that inner witness.

When we do step out in faith and let God run the show, the outcome may not be what we desire, but it will come with peace. And we just might be amazed how many times the outcome is so much more and superior to we could have imagined. Many, many believers will attest to this.

 


A Memorial Day Poem ~ the story behind it

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Jean Browder had been looking for a Memorial Day poem to read at her church service. She saw the title of this one listed among many poems for the holiday and it touched her. She clicked on it and was amazed to discover her son had written it.

 

We Never Forget by Mitchell Browder (written on Memorial Day 2001 after a visit to the American Cemetery and War Memorial in Florence, Italy)

 

Brothers and Sisters at rest
we never forget
the gift you give
we still receive how could you know
so young
that your battle
at all cost
must be won Brothers and Sisters at rest
may we, in your eyes
pass your test
and one day, with honor
join your ranks
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Don’t forget prisoners of war. They have  not all been military in a war on terror, and in previous wars. We have and have had journalists taken, medical personnel, missionaries, civilians…

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Rolling Thunder

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Veteran Suicide

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Let’s not forget the first responders (police, firefighters, EMS, equine and canine in the field. We’re losing them at an alarming rate too.

GOD BLESS AMERICA

 


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