WE HAVE TO BELIEVE WE ARE MAGIC . . .

Hello Everyone, yes, we’re still in England, but not for much longer! On our way home soon. 🏡 But ever since our election, I’ve had a hard time sleeping, I can’t turn off my brain, I wake up thinking about it, and go to sleep worrying about it. Finally I turn to the cure, I’m going to work it over in my mind by writing about it. It’s not that I have any secrets from you. I usually see my blog as a happy place, even as an escape from the negativity these days, where kindred spirits gather to talk about the little things that make life wonderful, things we all have in common. And, until recently, I always thoughtrealityimg_0381And I have done it, risen above reality, quite easily throughout most of my life. When bad things happen, I go to the garden and pick a few flowers, make a cup of tea, get under my nap blanket with an old movie, and I feel better.  I put away the disappointment I feel for the direction of the world and go knit my 89th scarf instead. I invite friends to dinner, light candles, pour wine, play beautiful MUSICA that fits my mood and forget. Even during 9-11, the worst, most intrusive example of man’s inhumanity to man, followed Shirley Templeby all the other ones since, I could turn on Shirley Temple or Fred Astaire and slowly but surely, be healed. Maybe this made me a shallow person, but I didn’t see it that way. I saw it as a “take charge” of my life gesture, and it has always worked (except once, Sandy Hook 😥). But what has just happened to our country, I fear, is a 9-11 in very slow motion…no Shirley Temple movie is going to help. Where this election will take us, as a people, is still to be seen. And I have to talk about it. Please try to read this, because it comes from my heart. It’s not so much about the election, but more about us, and this angry world we live in.

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flower borderSee this photo, this room full of anything-but-angry Girlfriends? This and the photos below are the wonderful faces of some of the people that Joe and I had the privilege of meeting while crossing the country in the Fine Romance img_1810Van this last spring. I have no idea what political party they affiliate with, and I honestly don’t care. Because that’s only one small part of who a person is, and these people were so giving, kind, and filled with light . . .  and we have so much in common! I would much rather concentrate on that . . . I could write a book about our commonalities! Oh yes, I forgot, I have! I’ve always known it from the wonderful letters I’ve received over the years, my whole life is based img_0082on it. We love our families and our best friends, we love nurturing them. We love to decorate our houses, make curtains and pillows, pick wildflowers for vases, because we all agree, home is where the heart is. We fold clothes, warm from the dryer, on the kitchen table (sometimes we wrap our kids or husbands up in them), we call each other to catch up, bake cookies and birthday cakes, feed our beloved pets, make Thanksgiving dinner, welcome family home with open arms, work hard, get the kids to school, put their drawings on the fridge, give to charity, mourn our lost loves, count our many blessings and are so grateful we have this amazing opportunity and gift to be able to do these little things that make life so very sweet.💞 We know how quickly everything can change and we are grateful for a normal day.elusive poppy

These days though, another thing we have in common, we worry. Mostly for our children and grandchildren in this changing world ~ we want them to hold on to the look in this little girl’s eyes for as long as possible, to grow up free as the wind, quirkso tenderly careful never to touch butterfly wings, never experiencing war, sure that all things in our world are right and good. We want them to read books, embrace honesty, integrity, and ethics, have the very best education possible so the stars are the limit, honor family traditions, lay under trees, watch the leaves fall, dream, and baby boyfeel perfectly free to reach for the moon and make this world a better place because I’ve never met a child who didn’t wish to do that. Every one of us wants our families to receive the best health care, and none of us want to see our parents grow old, destitute and alone. I don’t care which political party we’re from. Or even which country. Right? Isn’t that who we are as human beings, all of us? It’s what I believe.

elusive poppySome of us are Catholic, some of us are Methodist, Jewish, or Muslim, and some of us have no religion at all, but that’s okay, because we respect freedom of religion as our forefathers, those we honor on Veterans Day, have fought so hard to preserve. We aren’t afraid of people that are different from us. We know their children will be bullied in school if we adults do not stand up for the rights of their parents. Because common sense tells us, you can’t hold a person down without staying down there with him. And it’s our intention to rise and rise together. Right? One world, one people? Our grandmothers taught us that we’re going to disagree with people, but to be respectful, don’t throw our trash in other people’s yards, and remember that religion and politics are taboo subjects in mixed company and good manners means that sometimes we just keep our mouths shut.

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If A is success in life, then A equals X plus Y plus Z. Work is X; Y is play; and Z is keeping your mouth shut.  💛Albert Einstein

superman-truth-justice-american-wayWe might be Republicans or Democrats, but until the last few years, we’ve always believed we were on the same American team, trying to make a better country. We agree that we’d like to use our tax money to have good roads, clean water, fine schools. Despite what we are told by a divisive media, we do want the same things, Yes we do, and are mostly just exactly alike. And that is true for peace-loving, garden-planting, women and men of all backgrounds, in all countries. Imagine waking up each morning not knowing if your child will make it home from school img_0679alive. Not knowing if men with machine guns will pop in the door of your little house with the one flower in the vase. Really imagine it, because it’s like that for some women, women just exactly like the ones in these photos, people like us, who never stop dreaming of a better world. We are so lucky to live the way we do. To knit Christmas presents, make soup, take the kids to a movie. To go to tea parties wearing a new hat. All the joyful little things that make life so wonderful. But our peace is under threat. We are being torn apart from within. I can tell you for 100% sure, no one in any of these photos hates America, whether she’s from Iowa, California, Arizona, Texas, Utah, Oklahoma, New York, or Wisconsin or all of the lovely places in-between. You know it, and I know it. Believing they do hurts our country. The people who tell us one part of the country is BETTER or WORSE than another, is a traitor to his country. His purpose is to rip us apart when he does that.  It’s cruel and wrong, it has not a single American value in it, and if I was queen I would put these people in rehab (on a desert island). They do it for money. Look closely at those faces, we all love our country. We are good people, all of us. Anyone who tells you different is lying. That’s the first thing I wanted to clear up.

“Reporting is expensive, and making stuff up costs nothing.” 😜 BBC

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But something has clearly changed when we elect a President of the United States who girlartadmits grabbing women by their private parts. I don’t care about one political thing, but that statement was a knife in my heart. That was the moment I said to myself, “Done.” Because it tells our young men that we condone this, it tells our daughters they are nothing. There is not one honorable thing in it, it is against everything I want the world to be. I would be very surprised if we didn’t all agree on this too no matter who we voted for. When I think of women in other countries who are buried in the dirt up to their necks and stoned to death for not following the local rules, and remember how hard we’ve fought for respect in this country, my heart bleeds and I cry very sad tears.

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So what changed and when? Our country didn’t always suffer from so much divisiveness. Our media didn’t always take us to the lowest common denominator. I know, because I’ve been around a long time. When I was in high school, whether you were a Republican or a Democrat did not matter a bit. Most of us didn’t even know what we were. When did half of us become “the other” and the other half become “reviled?” How did this knife get driven into the heart of our country, dividing us like we are today? How did we all get so hurt, because both sides are very hurt by this. And, with all this glorifying of negativity, this shamelessness, how do we want our kids to see the future?music-of-my-natureHow’d it happen?  I think I know because I watched it unfold. Age is very good for this type of thing. It began for real in 1988 . . . when radio and TV talk shows (on stations owned by huge political corporations) starting using fear, img_7912telling people that half of us were trying to undermine America by doing things like getting rid of Christmas (which is the MOST ridiculous thing I ever heard, no one does, breaks my heart to think anyone would believe it), that our leaders, our media, were “not to be trusted” — that only THEY could be trusted. And guess what, fear worked! And radio talk proliferated, and moved to television. This kind of media, with their 24/7 brainwashing, was allowed because of a change in the law called the Fairness Doctrine in 1987.  Turns out the people doing the talking were cheating on their wives, having affairs in bathroom stalls in airports, were addicted to img_7456drugs, yet they would rail against these things, and blame them on “others.” They told us our president wasn’t born in this country. They said he is a muslim. Recently they even told us Trump had a heart attack. These days they are starting to call this Fake News. They’ve lied to us a thousand times, and yet, for some reason (due to a myriad of personal experiences) many of us believe them, and, slowly, over the years, we have allowed them to tear us in two. Because there wasn’t anything we could say. We couldn’t stop them, they gained strength and filled the airwaves with this stuff. Now it’s all over social media. Families are being torn apart, friendships are ending, violence is occurring. It’s not getting better, and no one knows what to think. Or, we think we do.todayifyourenotthinkingquoteI used to imagine it didn’t matter who became president, because if I turned off the news, I couldn’t see how it made an actual difference to my life. Sun still came up, trash was picked up in same big trucks, street lights still worked. Then two things occurred. First, jammiesgood paying jobs began going to other countries where people could work for a lot less. Our little towns were robbed of our small businesses, some look like ghost towns now, because they could not compete with large corporations such as Walmart who bought everything cheaply-made from foreign countries. (And, to be fair, we forgot to notice that we supported them by flocking to their stores.) In my art licensing business, in the years just after 2000, so many manufacturers closed, I was no longer able to license my products, the jammies, or the washing dishesdishes, the way I used to…there was no one to make them anymore. All the money that used to go into the hands of small bookstores, publishers, editors, printers, authors, PR people, and agents, and most importantly, their families (who spent that money supporting other small businesses), now goes into the hands of just one person, Jeff Bezos, who owns Amazon. Yes, a billionaire is born every minute, to the exclusion of the rest of us. Everyone was affected by this mass abandonment by our government and big business who had gotten their successes on our backs. Then they had the nerve (and greed) to invent Black Friday and open stores on Thanksgiving  (no, young ones, Black Friday is NOT an “American Tradition” despite that they tell us it is).  There was a time when corporations felt  a duty toward the country and the people that supported them. But no more. We’re losing our American way of life. We’re all in the same boat, together, the people on the coasts, the mid-west, the south, the coal miners, the manufacturing towns. And we put up with it. But we were/are mad. And media and the powers that be used our anger to divide us even further.cullen fix this, it's biggerThen in 2008, the banks walked away with all our money, they foreclosed on us and our neighbors who had done nothing more but applied for and were granted a loan from a bank, and walked away with retirements and pensions. Zip, too bad, gone. They were bailed out with OUR TAX MONEY (but not any for the foreclosed-upon), and the powers that be did absolutely NOTHING about it, news media did nothing, talk news ignored it. I have never img_8839been so upset with government in my life. Someone should have gone to jail. Someone should still go to jail. None of my friends got through it unscathed. It’s become much harder for everyone to make ends meet. It’s not just you. It’s not just your imagination. We are all worried sick about what will happen to us when we get too old to work, or if we get really sick. Most of us, including me, now work for nothing most of the time, and img_8243steal money from the retirement funds we’ve managed to put by, to make ends meet, still trying our best, adapting, the only way we know how. New graduates from colleges and universities are hurting, young people saddled with massive debt that the government gets interest on (btw, university in France and other countries is free, we could most definitely have that too, if it wasn’t for the large faction of our legislators that are trying to convince us now that we don’t need a Department of Education in this country) and these kid’s lives have a hopelessness to them that we never felt. These are our children, and words such as “Liberal” or “Conservative,” used as poison darts have NOTHING to do with it. Some things should not be politicized. They have undermined our beautiful American middle class.  There is plenty of money in this country, it’s OUR money, and our government officials, corporations and media are using it to enrich themselves, through changes in laws, tax codes, and sadly, war. It’s our money, it should be used to make America better.fairieslookdathimI hope I haven’t lost any of you. I want more than anything to figure a way to bring us together. I speak right out of a broken heart. There is common ground in every single subject and we are so sensible, and so like minded, kindred spirits can always, always find a way. 💙 But not unless we can see the truth that we are being used, divided, and conquered. girlfriendsWho’s in charge, who are the powers that be, who are the ruling class in this country? It’s not just the President, or congress, it’s the guys behind the scene, it’s the CEO of Walmart img_0931and every large corporation in America, the heads of CNN, CBS, FOX, oil companies and insurance companies, the bankers, and all their lobbyists that work behind the scenes making sure the laws are written to make them richer and happier. It’s the media and talk radio that have realized that they become richer and more powerful by separating us. And they are willing to say img_1258anything to do it. They tell us they are the “true news,” the only believable ones, and they use fear, the cruelest of all, that Isis (or whatever the fear is because they make up tons of them) is coming into YOUR town to GET YOU, and that they are the only ones that can save us. They tell us that people (the other, who just might be your family member or your next door neighbor) who disagree with them are Godless, or hicks, or racist, violent, or anything they want and tell stories to back it up. Problem is, it’s legal to say img_0115anything in this country. You can go in, make a fake newspaper, put a fake article in it, put it on your website, all fake and newspapery-like and say it’s true. And it’s really hard to tell the difference between fake and real these days. And some websites are so inflammatory, using despicable language, frightening everyone into fearful action, when what is needed is slow, thoughtful contemplation based on truth and fact. We don’t trust anything anymore. Friends and families are being torn apart by these lies, and our country is being torn asunder from within. Our beautiful country. I know this is strong, but I don’t care, I call this treason.

img_1003Imagine a town meeting: I’m sure many of you have attended them, so you recognize the process: the town identifies a need, a water system or stop sign at the corner of Park and Main, something. So they hash it over in the most boring way possible, what’s the best way to get what they need, how do they find the money for it, etc…and then, the town votes, and they SOLVE the problem between them, and the water system gets updated, the stop sign gets put in, and the town is better.👏chinese girlfriendYour national government should work exactly the same. But if half the people refuse to deal with the other half, nothing gets done, your air turns dirty, your water becomes poisoned, your health care is taken away, your education system gets dismantled, your bridges fall down, regulation goes away so big business doesn’t have to tell you what additives they put in your food or how much lead is in your water. And who benefits from all that? Because definitely someone does, and it isn’t us.youhavetobelievewearemagic

img_1784We have to work together. Because there is a way to bring America back together, but not with all this name calling and fake news. And saying it’s okay because the other guy did it first, doesn’t help. The buck must stop with each of us. Turn off the radio. OneWorldJust say no. Don’t believe everything you hear. If there is an issue, follow it through to see who is benefiting from the divisions it causes. A very good place for that is C-Span, it’s a little boring because it sticks to facts, but it lets you see all sides of issues and decide for yourself. It doesn’t lie. Your presence in your government doesn’t end with your vote for president. Watch your congress. Watch them like hawks. Don’t let anyone TELL you what they do, see it for yourself. We are alike, we are Americans, we sink or swim together, and what we provide for our fellow citizens through laws we all work to make together, in jobs, affordable housing, clean water, the best education, not only brings up our country, it brings up our children, and it brings up the world.hope for the worldWe are being kept apart by an evil force that we need to join together to fight. Please, poppybelieve in each other, don’t believe in these voices using us for, when it comes right down to it, money. They take our tax money and give it to each other, while we are fighting about stupid things, they manage not to spend it on the things we want, those schools, those roads, a VA that works for our lost and suffering veterans . . . they ignore us completely, pay lip service, and all the money, OUR money, goes to wars that we don’t want or ask for, to make up for the taxes that corporations don’t pay. And at this point in time the poppyruling class, media, government and corporations are in cahoots against we the people.

Not to throw out the baby with the bath water, because there are several wonderful politicians/people who are in it for all the right reasons. Of course these good ones are first to be demonized by the media. A politician that they can’t control is a bad one as far as they are concerned and has to go. If one of them chooses to vote for gun control, the NRA does everything in its considerable power to unseat that person no matter what his or her other achievements img_0906have been. The NRA, therefore, runs our country, not us. (And don’t go crazy here, nobody and I mean nobody, wants to take away everyone’s guns, that’s another lie, but who needs machine guns in the hands of crazy people or children? Lovely to be in England, go to the movies, and be perfectly sure that no one will get up on stage and begin to mow everyone down.) And yes, politicians with that kind of bravery, who put their jobs on the line for doing the right thing, are few and far between. We should find the good ones, check backgrounds, find out what they’ve stood for, and bring them forward. It’s not what they SAY, it’s what they DO. But if our elected officials divide us, refuse to work on behalf of the country we love, we should vote them out of office.

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Americans are WONDERFUL friendly, hard working, generous, creative people. Don’t believe ANYONE who tells you differently. Our country does not have to be made great again, it is already the greatest country on earth. This bit about some of our United States being filled with “hicks” and some filled with “elites” makes me sick, they are doing this to separate us and we are letting them.sensible-womanWe have to outsmart them. If the media outlet you’re listening to tells you your neighbor thinks you are stupid, laugh in their face and say, “You must think I’m stupid if you think I believe that malarky.” Martha's Vineyard Isle of Dreams If they tell you, “They don’t think like you,” “or those people are baby killers,” or “Christianity is under attack,” be aware that these are total and complete lies, they make it all up because our laws say they can and no one can stop them. If they blame Mexicans, Jews, Blacks, Iranians, whoever, it’s because they want to separate us. Remember, Timothy McVeigh who blew up the Murrah building in Oklahoma City was a white christian American. They don’t talk about him much. Terrorists come in all colors and from all countries. You and your neighbor are in the exact same boat, and the powers that be want to OWN the boat and will SINK it if they have to. Government has limits. It’s not in charge of Christianity (they honestly don’t care about it, they use it to divide), it’s in charge of roads.

img_1490Trump was appealing because he sounds like change, and at least he spoke to our total national frustration with the ruling class that shipped our jobs off-shore (even though he buys most everything he makes from China), and let the banks walk away with our national treasure, foreclosing on people (hardworking citizens of this country) to whom they had approved loans because they thought they could get away with it (then blaming it on them), and the truth is WE ALL FEEL THAT WAY, no matter WHO we voted for. We all feel the need for change. But, unfortunately, electing this divisive man, a billionaire who told us that if he lost, the election would have been rigged, thereby inviting violence between the American People, for whom he was purporting to work, was not the answer. It is the saddest day America has ever seen. It’s the loss of  presidential nobility, honor, honesty, integrity, truth, justice and the American way I lament. 😥 I know some of you disagree with me, and you have every right to do that, and write about it on your own blogs. But you can’t disagree with some of the things he has said and done. I see the election of Trump as the culmination of massive amounts of misinformation coupled with total frustration at the system.  Everyone has a right to vote they way they see fit. I just felt like there was more to this than meets the eye, this wall building, Lock Her Up, rhetoric, I don’t believe he will do these things. It will unfold. If Trump puts people in his cabinet that are on the side of We the people, I will be thrilled and happy. But if it ends up as all deal-maker billionaires, heads of corporations that have been running this country for years anyway, I will be heartbroken even further than I am now. get-attachment-aspxYes, we desperately needed change and Hillary blew it. She should have said, “I will jail the people that stole our national treasure, I will stop us from subsidizing corporations for taking our jobs overseas (that money will go to rebuild our infrastructure and fix health care), and I will raise taxes on corporations. I will work for the people.” Obama, instead of trying to “make nice” when he got into office, should coloringhave had opened a huge investigation into the banks. Banks should have been broken up. But he wanted to soften the rhetoric between the parties, so instead he went to work saving the auto industry … he tried to be a healer, but the congress had vowed not to work with him, and in the end, he missed the boat. Hillary is also more of a hawk than I would personally like. She voted for that ruinous war. But at least I know her as an honorable person. Despite the fake stories, she is not a murderer, she has worked hard all her life to make a better world. At least she tried to talk about roads and schools and children’s health. And, sadly, the powers that be (which even includes foreign governments like Putin) would rather see a man in office, no matter how inappropriate he might be, than any woman. Tons of manipulation went into that. (And now Melania Trump is in the crosshairs. She’s not evil either, and neither is Michelle Obama.)

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But our country was so upset, we needed change so badly, we’ve been lied to and manipulated so much in this post-truth world, we forgot our core values as defender poppyagainst tyranny, champion of the little guy, equality and justice for all. If you see an article beginning with, “Sources have told us . . . that so and so is sick, dying, meeting with the KKK, in a rage, falling apart . . . whatever . . . be suspicious. What sources? Never forget, they can say anything. The unvarnished truth is the only way we can make a better world. We need to know. There was a huge discussion on BBC here yesterday about false information coming from Facebook. We can’t let the forces of evil take over the world. We need new foot soldiers to join in the fight against the misinformation they are using to control us. If you think it’s all one side or the other, you are wrong.partnersimg_8769friends

get-attachment-57-aspx   americandream72We grew up in our lovely middle class world believing in the American Dream, and this includes Hillary Clinton, who is my age and remembers it the way it was, is a good mom and a hard worker, and since I’ve been around long enough to watch it unfold, I have to tell you, she is the most investigated person in the history of this country. It’s been almost constant since I first heard her name. Looking back, ever since talk radio began calling her a femi-nazi in the early 90s (because she wanted to help fix health care and the powers that be didn’t want that, because it would change the status quo, i.e. their pocketbooks, follow the money), she has been under scrutiny. I don’t know how she’s stood it. She’s a brave person, and in my opinion, she stood it for us. Despite our congress spending millions of dollars of OUR tax money on the best and the brightest lawyers hired to prove something against her (should have spent it on reopening the mental health facilities in this country ~ were closed in 1982), she has never been charged … not with the murder they said she committed, nor any of the “crimes” they say she did. Because accusing someone of something is perfectly legal ~ totally reprehensible, without integrity or honor, but legal, and lucrative. And if you put them through hell and find out they did nothing, too bad for them. If she was guilty of something, she would be in jail. Obviously the system, despite Trump’s lie, is not “fixed” — or, for example, Donald Trump would not be president. He was willing to say that, to shout LOCK HER UP, to incite violence (because he never had any intention of doing that, he knew she’d never been charged with anything), even to bring this country to civil war, in order to win. Donald Trump, supposed outsider, was not the answer. He is the ruling class (and so is Hillary, btw). Before he img_7450ran for president, he was a pro-choice, bonafide card-carrying Democrat who invited Hillary to his wedding in order to court her for whatever he wanted voted for, now he says he’s a Republican and he’s vowed to lower corporation taxes from 35% to 15%. But we have no idea, none of us really know what he will do; he will say anything because what he really is is an opportunist. He’s the art of the deal. He would have done anything to win, and he did. Now we are going to have a government run by his children. Please God. Common sense tells us this is not good. Yes, we needed a shake up. But the damage that can be done in four years can actually never be undone. We can never take back the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the costs associated that we paid for, we can never bring all those people back to life, we can never take back what the banks were allowed to do to us.

img_1734loveOne thing I know for sure, the enemy is not your neighbor. Look at the faces in these photos and ask yourself, who benefits from reduction of corporate taxes, reduction of img_1839death taxes, and who profits from war? Because people do, and those people aren’t us. Who benefits when there is no regulation or weak regulations on car safety or safety of our food or water so they can make it cheaper, faster, using slave labor? Who benefits when they advertise drugs on TV that none of us ever heard of? Who benefits if the legislative process is stymied? Do you think that oil companies want us to believe in global warming? Heck, no. Kids gun down their classmates with AK47’s and we’re scared when we’re told that “libs” want to take away our first amendment rights, who benefits from that img_7646lie? Us, our kids, or gun manufacturers? Who benefits when we fight each other over gun control or Obama Care? Everything is fixed to benefit them, not us, and in this, Trump was right: the system IS rigged against us, but not the way he says it is. When we fight, they get away with it. It’s our NOT ALLOWING them to divide us that can save us. Can we do it? I don’t know. We’re in img_9676so deep. The yelling on Twitter breaks my heart, moms screaming at other moms. And the powers that be are loving every moment of it. I mean, how better to sell a newspaper than the screaming headline VIOLENCE ENSUES OVER ELECTION. And some media outlets say the violence is coming from the right, and some say it’s coming from the left, and the only thing we know for sure, when they do this, they win and we lose. We’re being used. They would rather we don’t vote at all actually, they make it harder and harder for us to do so, and when media made both candidates seem so unpalatable, when they decided issues didn’t matter, many people stayed home and didn’t vote at all. Perfect. Just what we, the people, need.

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We're the normal ones!

See this photo? This is a room full of Girlfriends who have EVERYTHING in common. We can be mad, but not at each other, let’s be img_8798mad at them! Some of you may like what I’ve written here, some of you may see it as political, some of you may wonder why I didn’t write it before the election. Now I wish I had. If my dad was still alive he would have made me, but, sadly, I no longer have his sage advice. I’m on my own. I’ve never been a political person, I’ve believed that goodness would always just automatically win. I have a vision of a strong, inclusive America. Some of you might agree with me that our divisions are not real, but are caused by influences from within, from the powers that be who have everything to gain by keeping us separate and off message, if you do, pass this blog around, because we need all the help we can get. Some of you might decide I’m the enemy and never come to my blog again. So be it. Let the chips fall where they may. Many tears have been shed over the choice of best words here, maybe I didn’t do it perfectly, but please, never doubt one thing, my sincerity for the outcome:  Us. Together. Forever. One country, one world.🌎sb border

Tea Party

He drew a circle that kept me out, heretic rebel a thing to flout, but love and I had the wit to win, we drew a circle that took him in. 💖

I’ve said my piece. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.cruis-boat-art

We’re on our way home! We leave England on Saturday, via the Queen Mary 2, back to America across the deep blue sea. It’s been wonderful beyond words and I wrote it all down in my diary.✍🏼 And don’t worry, my blog will come back in its same old homemaking celebratory way because that’s my heart and it’s almost Christmas🎄, and despite everything, I was born with the happy gene and I know I’ll come out of this. I could probably go on all day, but I believe I have entertained you long enough.💞go. be. love.sb border

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1,843 Responses to WE HAVE TO BELIEVE WE ARE MAGIC . . .

  1. Joanne Whitley says:

    Dear Susan,

    I have never posted before. I am a (seasonal neighbor) in West Tisbury. I have always enjoyed your devotion to your house and to our our Island. I am profoundly disturbed by the negative reaction to your post with regard to the dangerous political situation. I support you completely and want you to know I am on your side.

    It is always well to speak your heart as you of all people well know. I was going home from town and as I turned left at your house I thought–Oh they are not home yet but they will be

    soon. People you don’t even know are looking out for you. JB in West Tiz

  2. Victoria Thorp says:

    Thank you, Susan! You are always an inspiration for me! You need to run for president, or at least be a diplomat! So many celebrities and artists have come out saying that they don’t want certain fans and followers, if you voted for the person that they disagreed with. It was quite shocking and sad how much negativity there is! You are a ray of sunshine in a dark storm. Thank you for being you and keeping it positive and uplifting. God bless you, Susan Branch!

  3. Marcy Ray says:

    Thank you Susan Branch! Well written, and noteworthy….I shall print out and reread many times. A fan before, and fan always of your art & ideas.

  4. Clare marsh says:

    (100% with you dear lady)

    Having you in England/Scotland has been such fun to think about, where you are and the weather you are experincing whilst here. I love that you love being here and I love your blog and books.

    My little cat Florence is sitting on my lap whilst I was reading, a furry warmth that you will soon have again from Jack. Love to you and all that you give us xx

  5. Susie Brey says:

    I love your blog!! I respect your opinions and beliefs as I know you would respect mine. I will not let any of this negativity from some of your readers affect my reading your blog, your books or your opinions. I sometimes find myself sitting on the fence about politicians and issues, but that is my right as a citizen of the United States. Keep up the good work and writings and all your creativity for I will still be living vicariously through your works. We are women, we are strong and we are loving and caring..let us not change. Safe travels. No comment required (only smiles),,,,

  6. Barbara Anne says:

    AMEN, sister!

    I’m 65 and am not part of any social media at all because privacy is important to me even tho I am totally law-abiding, pay my bills, and try to play nicely. Why would anyone want to use their time for this stuff??? Why would anyone choosing to do so, think that the rules of courtesy, kindness, and being nice could be left out of the process?

    As I read somewhere, blogs are little 1st Amendment voices. I would like to suggest that folks read blogs, create a blog, post interesting comments that are nice, and then get on with real life.

    Thank you for being bold and using your good common sense, Susan!

  7. Hilary M. says:

    Susan – Thank you for writing such a heartfelt blog about the state of the country. I know your brand is about homemaking, but the recent events are too horrific to ignore and pretend that nothing has changed. You make a strong argument for the backbone of this country – the middle class – and the need to fight for basic rights. Terrific sentiment. We are a great country, forged by revolution against tyranny. We can’t go backwards.

    Safe travels,
    Hilary M.

  8. Bobbie Calgaro says:

    Susan, I have to say that I felt neither candidate was worthy of office. That aside, I do feel a lot of the pain in your article but would have felt the same pain had Hillary been elected.
    I do have hope though because I feel God is in charge at all times, that he says that we will be tested and tried by fire but He will triumph in the end.
    And the most important thing in your post is that we girlfriends stick together for home, family, and love. Keep reminding us of that. It is the most important thing.
    The Bible says whatever is good, lovely, honorable, just, and right: think on these things. And after all that’s what you’re doing every time you write.
    I will continue to cherish your championship of home and all things sweet and good.

  9. Lesley says:

    I loved this, Susan. Thanks for writing it.

  10. JodyC says:

    “Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me (Jesus).” ~John 14:1

    We can put our trust in man/woman or we can put our trust in God who created all of us. None of us are better than another, none of us are perfect. The only one who was, died on the cross for ALL of us.

    I have to admit, I was very angry about your post. Probably because I voted for the other guy. In the many years of voting, I’ve not always voted for the winner, but that doesn’t cause me to live in anger. I just go about living my life quietly doing what I do — loving my family, loving my friends and community, and working hard at whatever I am doing to serve God and others. I don’t lead a flashy life — just a simple life on a ranch with cows, sheep, horses, chickens. All of which need to be cleaned up after (with shovels and pitchforks). Stinky work. Nobody asks us what we think of the political leadership, they just fly over us. And that’s ok. Really. We like it out here in the boonies. With all that said, let’s just decide to love one another and build each other up. And pray. Our leaders need our prayers and our country needs our prayers. We’re all Americans and we shouldn’t want to divide ourselves up for any reason — politically, socially, culturally, or by gender or race. God loves us all the same.

    • JodyC says:

      ….and I love you too!

      • Jana says:

        Thank you for these words, Jody, that God loves us all the same. Following every election, I send Love and Light to the new leader and embrace our country and world in love. At the end of the day, is there aught else that matters …

    • HveHope says:

      Dear JodyC, I SO agree with you: “Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me (Jesus).” ~John 14:1

      We can put our trust in man/woman or we can put our trust in God who created all of us. None of us are better than another, none of us are perfect. The only one who was, died on the cross for ALL of us. … With all that said, let’s just decide to love one another and build each other up. And pray. Our leaders need our prayers and our country needs our prayers. We’re all Americans and we shouldn’t want to divide ourselves up for any reason — politically, socially, culturally, or by gender or race. God loves us all the same.”
      :), HveHope

    • Geillis says:

      That was a super nice note to Susan and no reply from her speaks volumes. I agree with you. And I am glad I am not longer so wrapped dup in her tweets and blog posts and Facebook and products. She is not who I thought and that’s ok. But for no reply to your nice note – that says a lot.

      • sbranch says:

        There are also two super nice comments under these (and many above). I didn’t reply to them either, because, although I try, I can’t reply to everyone, especially to 2000 comments coming in at once. Does my not replying to them also speak volumes? Sorry, sometimes I feel like no matter what I do here, for some people, it wouldn’t be quite enough. Jody wrote a very fair comment, I only take issue with one thing, I never fly over her. Joe and I love all parts of this country and have driven across it more times than I can count. The nicest people in the world live in the Midwest, their reputation for kindness is well deserved. Both my mom and my grandma were born and raised in Iowa, so I know it for a fact! Again, I say we have so much more in common than our differences. It’s US I love, and you Geillis and Jody, and everyone here, not the ruling class, people who love money, the corporate culture that has used us and divided us.

  11. Marion Powell says:

    Dear Susan, I loved every word you wrote in this blog, and I know you wrote it from your heart. Reading it made me feel much better, and helped to mend my broken heart for our country! I admire you for your compelling thoughts and I agree wholeheartedly with every word. I know you chose each word very carefully. What you stated is so true! I can’t understand how our country was lead so far astray by a person whose lies were so obvious! How could the people in our country vote for such a terrible man? Thank you for this article and your brave comments! I love your beautiful and brilliant spirit!

  12. KathyG says:

    I can’t imagine you will ever get through all the ongoing comments, so no need to reply to this. I am coming in late on the conversation — though as you are at sea I’m sure that is fine with you. Susan, you darling, brave woman. I love your books, your art work, your blog, your everything that you share with us. But I never imagined you would go this deep into the sludge. Brava to you! If readers can’t see through to the ‘we are one’ message underneath, I am sorry for them. Thanks for writing from your heart to ours. I have struggled since the night of the election, when the returns showed the terrible truth, to know what to do with myself. Where to go, what to think, how to feel. I am beyond numbness and somewhere between grief and fear. I have reached the point where I can only hope to have hope. But you are right — we must reach out to one another, heart to heart, and watch the sick, greedy men at the top like hawks. These tears I have, reading this blog post, are more bitter yet healing than the ones I get sometimes, reading a bit of a poem, watching the season turn in your beautiful paintings and photos. Much love to you!

  13. Sarah says:

    Susan, I didn’t comment on the previous post because there were so many comments, and I felt you must be overwhelmed with reading and responding. Then I read this second very thought out and wonderfully spoken post. Again it is overwhelming to think of you reading and responding to all. As Christopher Robin told Pooh, “You’re Braver Than You Believe, Stronger Than You Seem, Smarter Than You Think” And you are, my friend! I’ve long admired your strength being true to yourself. It is important to do what you feel in your heart to be right. You must take pride and solace in that, dear one. The rest will sort itself out. You and Joe need to settle back into the comfort of home, love on the kitties, and celebrate the holidays with warmth and good cheer. I do hope the return crossing is not difficult for you. Like you, I do not fair well when it comes to ocean sailing. I will think positive thoughts and send them across the miles to you. Hugs from Austin ~ Sarah

  14. Deborah says:

    Susan,

    Clearly, your heart is in the right place. I got into a conversation today that had to do with the election and state of this country and what I have decided to do is what Gandhi suggested not so long ago: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I intend to use my energy for the highest good of all because we are all on this planet together and I believe we can make the world a better place. One of my favorite phrases is “It may be a man’s world, but it is a woman’s universe.” So true.

  15. Peggy Mayfield says:

    Oh my goodness. I came back today to buy something for a Christmas present and thought I’d just take a look at the comments this piece had gotten since I left my last post. Wow.
    I saw something this morning about the veneer of civility having been stripped away, and it seems your poor blog has seen this first hand. But stand strong Miss Susan – it is, after all, YOUR blog. I can’t imagine the pain this is causing you, and like many others here, I’d give you a cup of tea and a long hug if I could. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.
    Dissent and discourse are cornerstones of this country – that is my opinion anyway. Hopefully we can get our manners back on and learn to discuss again.
    Safe travels, and much love.

  16. First off, thank you so much for this post. It is wonderfully brave, insightful and heartfelt. Out of ALL the posts about the election I have read, you are the only person who truly gets the crux of this issue: our corrupt government working in tandem with the media and creating a toxic “us versus them” environment where only “They” can benefit. It has been a depressing season and is abominable to witness all the social networking wars between people who claim to be friends and family. I am so confused why everyone thinks that ONE PERSON can solve all their problems, all of the world’s problems too. People wear party ideals as part of their own identity, so if someone criticizes their chosen candidate in any way, they automatically see it as a personal slight and the vitriol ensues. I wish American citizens would understand that just because a candidate SAYS they are “for” or “against” something DOES NOT MEAN IT IS TRUE. As you’ve sagaciously pointed out, we must look at their collective history and use our critical thinking abilities. We can’t simply turn on the news for confirmation of what we want to believe, steeping ourselves in denial to appease our own fears. It’s irresponsible behavior and detrimental for our society. Unfortunately, I could not stand behind either candidate because I don’t believe either are remotely authentic, so I stayed home on election day in passive protest. I know, it makes me cringe too, but my hands felt bound. How could I force myself to vote for two people who are so clearly wrong for the job? Plus, in my great state of Alabama, Trump won by a nearly 70% majority. So, at this point, the only thing I can do is try to make a difference in my city and pray for a revolution, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” style. Anyway, you should not feel badly at all for sharing your heart with us. America needs more women like you and those who hatefully oppose have been brainwashed by the “us versus them” mentality. They are not really listening and we can only hope, with time, they will remember how.

    • sbranch says:

      Beautifully written and spot on. But not voting is exactly the outcome most preferred by the powers that be. They make it SO ugly that any normal person would not put up with it. We can’t let them do that. Thank you, Amanda

  17. Brigid says:

    I love to read your blog and follow you on Twitter and Pinterest. You are sandwiched between many of my political followings and have always been a nice sanctuary from the nastiness, I feel as citizen, I need to read. I want to tell you that your “We Have to Believe We Are Magic…”is the best commentary of the election I have read!
    I am sorry for all the hateful comments you have received for sharing your thoughts about the most critical election of our lifetime. This is what Girlfriends do. If someone leaves your blog because of this they were never a true friend anyway.
    My best friend and I are total opposites when it comes to politics. She is a religious conservative and I am a very liberal secularist. We have been friends for over 25 years. She babysat my children, my grandchildren and now works with me in a childcare center everyday. We have many disagreements when it comes to politics, but at the end of the day we love each other in spite of our differences and focus on our similarities and are happy that we can have civil (if not sometimes loud) disagreements.
    The Tweet that you sent out with the quote by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik explains it all ~ “having neither to weigh thoughts or measure words”~This is a perfect example of true friendship being able to express our view and ‘sift the chaff and grain together’ keeping the worth and ‘blowing (with the breath of kindness) the rest away’!

    • HveHope says:

      Beautifully put: “but at the end of the day we love each other in spite of our differences and focus on our similarities and are happy that we can have civil (if not sometimes loud) disagreements … ~This is a perfect example of true friendship being able to express our view and ‘sift the chaff and grain together’ keeping the worth and ‘blowing (with the breath of kindness) the rest away’!”

  18. Beth Moss says:

    I will always turn to Susan Branch books, blogs, Wiilards, etc when I am sad or need encouragement or a shot in the arm. I also am a registered Independent and voted for Hillary. I also lost a friend over this election. But it wasn’t politics so much as morality and ethics. I never realized her attitude towards people different from herself – thankfully we are both retired and don’t have to see each other everyday or wonder how our colleagues would do with us feeling as we do. Still have wonderful family and friends – will fight the good fight for those who might be treated badly. Marched for civil rights, women’s rights and protested the Vietnam war forty years ago when in college – think I could do it again if need be. Hope your voyage home was safe and happy. Take care. Beth 💔♉️

  19. Cee Austin says:

    Very ,very ,disappointed in you Susan Branch, totally.

    • Elizabeth Sterling says:

      Cee, Susan does not live to please you.

      She lives to speak the truth in her own heart and I for one applaud her and am grateful for her. Abusing others, lying and thinking you are above the law, being fraudulent, especially in leaders, is not ok.

    • Elizabeth Woodford says:

      Totally disappointed in you Cee Austin! Seems no one else is allowed their opinion, eh!

    • Geillis says:

      And now that we see how President elect Trump has behaved (admirably and moving this country forward!) and Pres.Obama has behaved in his hateful treatment of Israel, I am so glad I supported Trump in this election.

      • sbranch says:

        Well, if you like your president-elect raising concerns about a possible nuclear war; putting three Goldman Sachs employees in his cabinet (you know, the company he tore apart when he was running for president?); a climate-change denier as head of the Environmental PROTECTION Agency (the agency in charge of your clean water and air); appointing someone who was at one time denied a judgeship (by senate Republicans) because he was “too openly racist” as our new ATTORNEY GENERAL, then you must be in 7th heaven.

  20. jeanie says:

    Eloquently stated, the heart and head in perfect tandem, with the passion that it will take to get things straightened out again. And oh, I hope they will be, but I fear it will take a long, long while. The pit seems to be deeper and deeper.

    I’m so glad you saw such joy when you were in England, all those smiling faces. Right after the election I received emails from five Marmelade Gypsy readers from countries that included Japan, the Netherlands, Germany, Australia and Great Britain. All frightened, appalled, shocked, stunned. And I was too — although I should have seen it coming. We all should.

    I have committed to be the change I need to see in this world, to support causes that will be stripped of funding in a short while and those that protect the human rights of people. To not be afraid to speak out. I’m only one person. But I am part of a collective that must raise its voice. You have raised yours and I salute you.

  21. Sreekala says:

    Dearest Susan,

    Years ago I had a boss who mixed in filthy four-letter words whenever he talked to employees and had me raising my eyebrows in consternation. Later he told me in private that he had attended a business workshop in the US and the course leader recommended the use of four-letter words to project a tough persona and to be able to intimidate employees and get the “best” out of them. I thought that both the course leader and my boss were – to put it mildly – completely misguided. I didn’t stay a moment longer in that company than I had to.

    That is kind of how I feel about the current situation in the US now. And it is not just in your country that right-wing politics is gaining ground – it is everywhere. It is my belief that there will always be times in human history that dark forces will dominate. But light will triumph eventually. Each one of us will have to decide where we stand and act accordingly.

    It is important that you speak out and air your views. Because that gives hope to people who think like you. It gives us a sense of community and solidarity. I love that you were able to write this post. All strength to you.

    And if you are wondering what an Indian would care about US politics, I spent the most of November 9th here being updated on the counting by my friends in the US. And yes, our society too is facing the brunt of right-wing politicians trying to divide us along lines of caste, religion, language, old princely states, whatever!

    So yes, the beauty of everyday life is to be celebrated, but we also should be aware of what is happening around us and soothe the souls of those who have been whipped up into terror by the scaremongers!

    • sbranch says:

      Lovely Sreekala! I’m glad you left that maniac boss of yours! Interesting and upsetting that you are being divided too… it’s a dangerous thing. Thank you!

  22. Jo Ann Moulds says:

    All very thoughtful and well done.
    We must not be quiet. It is our responsibility to speak our minds.
    Beware of those who try to silence you.

  23. Karen says:

    Dear Sweet Susan,
    Sorry, that you are being so harshly criticized for your heartfelt feelings. I will always be one of your greatest fans!

    Love,
    Karen

  24. Megan says:

    I, too, was born with the “happy gene”, so I know you will be back to a more settled place soon. We “happy gene” people are so lucky to be able to bounce back from the things that bring us down.
    The level of beauty and happiness you bring into the world with your work will add to the healing we all need. Keep your head up and your heart full of the kindness and love you so beautifully share with the world.

  25. Mary Baxter says:

    My comment has nothing to do with politics, etc. I had established a favorite author, until today, when I finished reading Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams. What a way with words you have, Susan Branch. After each reading period, I had to crawl out of the pages, back into my real world and go to work. You, Susan Branch, are my new, favorite author. Be proud of your contribution to our world. Hugs.

  26. Janet in Pittsburgh says:

    I will always love your blog, books, art and you!

    Like you, I am saddened by the election results. I also talked to my niece that day and said, the days of calmly talking about elections are gone. When I was a child, my school was a place to vote. The homeroom mothers always had a bake sale. My mother would send me with money for a cupcake and I was thrilled. My dad and uncles would talk energetically about politics, but always ended up laughing in the end and, above all, still LOVED and RESPECTED each other. What we have become is very sad. I totally agree with you that the powers that be, big companies, big news, big money, etc. are trying to control everyone. It is time we control ourselves. Safe travels. Can’t wait to read your future blog posts and books. Love you always! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      They are making money, and getting laws written against us in their favor to make even more money, while they divide us. And the money they’re using against us, is OUR money. And now, with this new overtly, proudly corporate administration, they will be using OUR money to make themselves even richer. While we argue with each other about things they care nothing about!

      Notice that when they cut, it’s always on us. And it’s our money. Our infrastructure falls apart, our educational system, our transportation system, they get rid of regulators to protect our food and water, they closed all state funded psychiatric hospitals in the 80s, shipped jobs overseas while starting two unpaid-for wars, and let the banks run off with everything, foreclosing on millions of homeowners, not to mention small businesses (2 ½ million small businesses gone ~ they bailed out the banks, with our money, but not us) ~ now they’d like to do away with social security and medicare. And Trump says he will cut corporate taxes to 15%. Where will he make up that deficit? On us. It’s our money and we need to decide what is it exactly that makes America great?

  27. Linda in Texas says:

    Susan, I would have preferred to have just remained silent on political topics, but I cannot let my silence indicate that I agree. It would be a far greater concern to me if Hillary Clinton had won. I do not want more government, which the left embraces. I am not for free college education. We do not need yet another program to fuel the attitude of entitlement in this country. Free college education may sound great on the surface, but to quote Thomas Paine:

    “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem to lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value.”

    I pray for our country and for wise leadership. Perhaps by the Grace of God we will continue to remain.

    • sbranch says:

      I wouldn’t want more of the government we’ve got right now either. But it’s supposed to work for us. Less regulation means corporations write the laws themselves, there is no one watching over our food supply, it means they can use unhealthy additives to boost their own bottom line even if a few of us get sick from it. Our cars can be made shabbily because bottom line is more important than lives. Our water supply can be poisoned (at least 6,000 children have been exposed to lead poisoning in the water in Flint, there is no cure for that). Insurance companies don’t have to live up to their promises. It goes on and on. The far right wing has demonized “big government” — but that’s a lie too. The ONLY people who gain by small government is big business. Not us. ever, not in this lifetime and never. The left does not embrace MORE government, just BETTER government…our own tax money should be spent on US, not war, and not to line the pockets of the billionaires. Hoodwinked is what we are. I won’t even go into the college thing, what more SMART people might mean to this country. You can’t think it’s right that kids are being saddled with huge education bills that the government charges interest on. They graduate into a world where so many jobs have been sent away, and the American Dream is in shadow. We’re all praying for our country. Thank you Linda, I know your comment comes from your heart.

    • Cate says:

      Amen! And, it has been PROVEN Hillary, while not herself the actual murderer, has approved of murdering foes and nine-month-old babies in the womb. I cannot believe a MOTHER would approve of this. Thankfully, God IS STILL in charge. CHRISTIANS do NOT vote for abortionists!! And, to think, I was willing to drive SEVEN hours to Denver to see Susan this past summer. SOOOOOOOO disappointed in you, Susan.

      • sbranch says:

        I’m sorry, you are totally misinformed. It has not been “Proven,” or wouldn’t she be in jail for murdering “foes?” This is exactly what I’m talking about. This is a total lie. Somehow people need to not listen to this crap anymore! Our system is rigged alright, against us, by the liars who tell you that stuff, so you can go crazy with something that IS NOT TRUE. I won’t whitewash it, what you said is a total lie, and it not only hurts you, and you and me, but it hurts your country so much when you believe that. The other day, based on one of these lies (that Hillary is involved in a child sex ring, GOOD GOD), a man who fully believed the whole thing shot his rifle inside a Pizza Parlor in DC, where he went to “rescue” the children because he “believed” the ring worked from there. If someone lies to me once, I might give them a break, but not twice. You are getting bad, disgusting, un-American information in order to control you and you should RUN from them.

        • Cate says:

          How do you know that what YOU believe is not a total lie?

          • sbranch says:

            I watched it unfold. Hillary went into the White House wanting to help (horrors!). First she made the big faux pas of using her brain, education, and lawyerly skills to try and fix our health care system. She invited EVERYONE to meet with her and talk about it, making it as fair as possible. But that wasn’t enough for the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies, big business, who would have to take a financial hit in order for us to have Universal Health Care (which is normal everywhere else in the world, from England to Russia) … And so it began. The Republicans, backed by lobbyists sent out by their big business partners, shored up by Rush Limbaugh and his ilk, and began to tear her apart, Femi-Nazi they called her … because she wasn’t a “mom who stayed home and baked cookies.” Calling her a murderer. That happened in the 90s. And it goes on and on and on. I have never seen any person so constantly maligned as Hillary. If you murder someone, there is evidence. But they don’t care about evidence, and as Hitler said, you don’t really need it, “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.” And so it goes. Now, it’s your responsibility. Believing a lie, spreading the lie, is a sin. Bad for you, bad for all of us. It’s our JOB to pay attention. Common sense goes a long way. There really is good and evil in this world. Pick your side.

      • wkucaralyne says:

        Cate, I’m sorry but it’s unfair to place all Christians in one category based on your own beliefs. I’m certain there are many Christians who disagree with your statement and voted differently. Myself for one. My goodness. My Mom always encouraged me not to say anything if I didn’t have something nice to say. When did that go out of style?

        • sbranch says:

          It went out of style when “they” began to use religion and God to divide us. I say if you hear any politician pontificating on religion, run like the wind. God, I am sure, does not like to be used in that way by those people (corporate greed) against us, ever. There is plenty in the bible about that.

  28. So very sad to see hurtful comments here as well as in the world because I think in the end, which is not really the end, we will see that only love is real and there is only love. I know Earth is a very tough place but I think if we invest in love and kindness, it could be a peaceful planet. Until we get there, I am sticking with you, Susan, and the beauty of your heart and soul.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Valerie. I just think we set a vision, then work toward it, just like everything else. xoxo

  29. Linda Freeman says:

    Hi Susan – Since the morning of the election, I have spent time listening to conservative and liberal news shows to hear what their commentators have to say. All of the commentators agreed that there were two major concerns in the minds of those who made it to the voting polls on November 8, 2016: the economy and security from terrorists. I don’t need to discuss terrorism, but I would like to reveal some statistics about three small American towns that I have recently visited and that reflect why the economy is the #1 concern of their populations. They see that the communities they love are dying, and they see their children having to move elsewhere in order to find employment. Are there racists, homophobes, misogynists, and xenophobes among these people? Of course, there are, but keep in mind that these types of small-minded individuals exist in both political parties.
    1) Bluefield, WV – Bluefield, a town of 10,473 residents, boasted itself as the “Millionaires’ Town” with more millionaires per capita living there than anywhere in the nation thanks to the coal industry.
    Unemployment: 6.90%
    Recent job growth: 0.98%
    Median household income: $35,354.00
    Households making less than $15,000.00 per year: 22.87%

    2) Martinsville, VA – Martinsville, a town of 13,755 residents, was a city that flourished with the textile and furniture industries. In the 1990’s, however, many of these firms closed shop, laid off thousands of workers, and left the country. Martinsville is now on the verge of reverting back to a town.
    Unemployment: 7.10%
    Recent job growth: -1.88%
    Median household income: $27,746.00
    Households making less than $15,000.00 per year: 28.34%

    3) Johnstown, PA – Iron, coal, and steel became central to the town of Johnstown, and by 1860, the Cambria Iron Company of Johnstown was the leading steel producer in the United States, outproducing steel giants in Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Johnstown even survived two devastating floods, but the 1970’s saw the slow decline of the steel industry that has crippled the town.
    Unemployment: 9.50%
    Recent job growth: 0.29%
    Median household income: $32,588.00
    Households making less than $15,000.00 per year: 31.85%
    The tragedy experienced by these three cities reflects what has slowly been happening to many parts of America, and during the last eight years, their citizens, many of whom were faithful union members, have lost faith with the present White House administration and saw no improvement coming with Hillary. Add to this the recent increase in Obamacare with its new $6,000.00 deductible, and the people in the economically depressed areas were pushed over the edge. Plus – the penalty for not having health care rose from $325.00 per person or 2% of your annual household income (whichever is higher) in 2015 to $695.00 per person or 2.5% of your annual household income (whichever is higher).
    Those who voted for Trump saw a businessman who offered them hope. Thanks, Linda

    • sbranch says:

      It happened first in the 90s when they began to send our jobs to china, then George Bush took us to war with no exit plan and no plan to pay for it, put it all on the backs of future generations . . . and the final blow, in the fall of 2008 when George Bush Administration let the banks run off with all of our money and did nothing about it. Then Obama came in and did nothing about it either. In a nutshell, that’s why we are where we are. And they get away with it because the whole time, we were being divided by corporate media. We know Trump was a business man, but it would be nice to see his successes via his tax returns. He hid something there. No other presidents in recent times have felt it necessary to hide what they are doing.

      • Joy says:

        Oh Susan… hiding? The Clinton’s (unconfessed!) list of corruption, lies and hiding is staggering! And it is public knowledge, yet she continues to lie and blame media! The only time Bill Clinton confessed anything is when Monica Gate occured, and then at first he lied about that? And we want that family back in the White House?

        • sbranch says:

          Hillary showed all of her tax returns. And the lies told about the Clintons, in order to control the American Public, are monumental and never-ending. They have been investigated almost constantly, but NOTHING. Doesn’t common sense TELL you something about that? It’s legal to say whatever you want about people in this country, but only you can decide what you will believe.

          • Kate says:

            And you, Susan, have chosen to believe the worst about Donald Trump. Your biases are showing also. I have a friend who thinks just as you and she has quit being my friend. I would never quit being someone’s friend because of how they think. I believe in healthy debate which we have sadly lacked for a long time in this country. We have mostly been yelling at each other. I am glad that we the people are waking up and watching our politicians who spend our money and make our laws. It is they who we must show our anger, not each other.

          • sbranch says:

            Exactly. Thank you Kate. Only one thing, I listen to and watch Donald Trump himself and believe what I see him say and do. Not what I hear about him, but what he actually says and does, and if that’s the “worst” which I truly believe it is, then you are right. The undisputed things were enough for me. Now I’m watching him install Wall Street to his cabinet. I worry that billionaires who’ve never put America first in their business and personal lives, have always been out for themselves, are probably not going to start doing it now. It is a fact that Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, is an ex-employee of Goldman Sachs, investment banker and hedge fund investor, and foreclosed on 36,000 American homeowners. I don’t care for that. HOWEVER, I must say, these people have been running our country behind the scenes for years (sending their lobbyists to OUR Congress, OUR elected officials, to get laws written that allow them get away with murder), which is why our middle class is disappearing, so what else is new.

        • Judy You g says:

          I totally agree. Susan, I love you, but have to disagree politically. I am English and also a brand new U.S, citizen (last November) and I am 69 years old. I think you will be very surprised by how much success we are going to enjoy as a country with Trump as president, years back, Churchill was elected in England even though he was not well liked and had been rude to women. He was absolutely the best thing to happen to England at that time and Trump will be too, of this I have no doubt.

          • sbranch says:

            Trump is not Churchill. He has promised to cut taxes for corporations, while building the military and fixing our infrastructure, for starters. Common sense makes me ask, where will he get the money? I like that Carrier kept jobs in Indiana, but Trump got Pence (his new VP and Governor of Indiana) to guarantee seven million dollars of Indiana taxpayer’s money to get Carrier to do it. Nice when you can play with other people’s money and give tax breaks for corporations. We pay one way or another, while he looks like a hero. We shall see. The future unfolds.

  30. Hi Susan! I know you have a lot of messages to go through but I wanted to thank you for being brave enough to do this post. You are such an amazing and smart woman and I am in awe of how you are responding to some of these comments in such a kind way! ❤️❤️❤️

  31. Carol Leatherman says:

    Susan, thank you from the bottom of my heart for exercising your right to free speech. I could not agree with you more – and I am a Libertarian, just to be clear. You are entitled to your opinion – and yours resonated with me, deeply. As a former high school counselor, who bought a house I could afford in 2005, I watched it go into a short sale as my pay, in two years, lost over $1,000.00 a month ( TAKE HOME!!!) – and my credit rating go from 810 to 600 in a blink of the eye. I was mad as hell at everyone – and stopped listening to the news that LIED to us to get us to think and be their way. What the heck…..
    Together we stand, divided we fall…..we cannot let them divide us any more!
    Stay strong, my friend – you are right, and you touched a nerve with those who are upset with you, as they are being forced to see the truth.I stand with you !!

  32. Gail Littell says:

    I’m with you – and the future will bear all this out. Keep your head held high and looking to the sun!

  33. M. Elisabeth says:

    Add me to the list of no posting or response to a comment. This is interesting as I commented the evening the blog was posted, so by now it should have been moderated and posted. It was held in moderation for a couple of days then just disappeared as others have stated. Hundreds of comments made after mine have been posted. Susan, I determined that the reason it was not posted was that I did not agree with you and your liberal thinking. It is my opinion that such strong political views had no place in your “type” of blog (homespun and folksy). Your cutting comments to those “girlfriends” who disagree with your viewpoint is unconscionable. This is said in light of the fact that you run a “retail” business which is very much depends on the buying power of your “girlfriends.” I have heard many times in life to “never mix business with politics.” Each of us is entitled to our political viewpoints, however, it is never a good thing to mix politics with business, even when you think you are going to “heal” the country. Someone is always going to disagree and the result is hurt feelings.

    This blog post was a very sad way to disillusion many “girlfriends” who have been supportive of you and your products for so many years. It is truly BECAUSE of your “girlfriends” and their buying power that you and Joe have been able to enjoy a very nice lifestyle. Please don’t read this statement as one of jealousy of your lifestyle as it is not – just a fact. Personally, I have traveled all 50 states, 30 countries, multiple cruises, etc. So, no jealousy here, just wanted to remind you of who helped to make your lifestyle possible – YOUR “GIRLFRIENDS”.

    From early on in your career, I have purchased your products over the years: cards, stationery, stickers, note pads, mugs, Christmas ornaments, calendars, and many, many of your books. This will now end.

    While the choices for President were not great on either side, the American people spoke and voted in a new President. While some like you, Susan, will not be happy with the choice, he will still be our President. May God Bless American and our new President as he faces many challenges in the coming year.

    Finally, please just acknowledge receipt of this comment and do not insult me with a cutting edge tone in response because I disagree with your thinking. Now to wait and see if this comment is posted. Thank you.

    • sbranch says:

      I tried to explain why some of the over 1200 comments still waiting for “moderation” have not been posted. I have nothing against your opinion, but, as I said (maybe you didn’t have a chance to read my last post) your original post is probably buried somewhere below (what shows up is the newest post first, and they are coming in in the hundreds), and I am on a ship in the middle of the Atlantic, where internet connection is almost non existent. Anyway, there you go, your voice is heard with this one. I don’t have a problem with people who voted differently than me. My point, as I keep saying over and over again, is how we are being used with fake news to fight each other, and while we do that, look at the last 30 years, they are taking our everything, no matter which party is in power. Your boycott of my things, your judgement on my “lifestyle” (something you actually don’t know much about), are just small examples of the anger that still lives in the hearts of really good people. They are using us and we are not seeing it. Reread my words. I am not against US, I’m against them. I’m pointing out that no matter who wins the presidency we are in for more of the same, because they have us arguing each other, while they walk away with everything, and until we see it for what it is, greed, manipulation, and theft of the middle class, of American values and of the American dream, we can do nothing about it.

      • Liz says:

        oh no, my comment has disappeared also.
        I put a lot of thought into that and I hope you will eventually find it!

        • sbranch says:

          I’m so sorry Liz, that makes me crazy. I had a couple of my comments go missing too! I don’t know what it is, like the old game of PacMan, something comes along and eats things it seems.

    • wkucaralyne says:

      Well, M. Elisabeth, any of your books you would like to get rid of because of Susan’s differing poltical beliefs, I would love to buy from you and pay top dollar. As my Mom always said, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

  34. Judith Jackson says:

    I am feeling happy and safer after the election. I guess I am deplorable and unredeemable. I am glad we are going to get our borders secure. No one needs to be afraid unless one is a criminal or terrorist.

    • sbranch says:

      No one calls you names around here. I agree, we need a much better immigration system. That costs money. If Trump reduces corporate taxes from 35% to 15% as he has said he will do, if he grows the military, and fixes our infrastructure, where does the money come from? US. Us who have paid through the nose for the last 40 years as our beautiful American middle class has disappeared, our educational system falls apart, our jobs go away. And now, to fund whatever war or game they would like to play today, they want to take away “entitlements” which is what they have the nerve to call Social Security which we all pay into. Entitlements, if you ask me, is when a Senator becomes a senator, he gets to keep that income (almost $200,000 a year) for LIFE, even if he is only a Senator for 4 years. And it’s our tax money that pays for that too. Grrrrr.

    • Gilly says:

      Susan is misinformed or naive if she thinks no one is calling names. I want to let you know Judith that I feel the same way – total relief after this election and so glad the Supreme Court is safe. I am amazed at the gullible ones who can’t see what HRC would have brought with her into the White House. Yes – we are being called names on here and on Facebook by so called “girlfriends.” I blocked a few on Facebook due to their very vicious comments because I have a different opinion. I was called many unpleasant names when I stood up for my opinion while trying to allow these women their own opinion. I feel Susan is totally brainwashed and misinformed – luckily that bunch of misguided folks is no longer in control of this country. Just want you to know there are many women who have the same opinion as you and I but you won’t see their comments here because they have unfollowed. Best to you.

      • sbranch says:

        I’ve had mean comments too, people are definitely calling names ~ I just said I wasn’t doing it. I don’t block anyone, and I don’t unfollow. Why? Because I don’t hate. And if you do, it’s because you are being manipulated. Your little life, my little life, does not mean a hill of beans in this political game being played. As long as they end up with the money, they are happy, and will do whatever they “have to” to keep us divided and fighting and not paying attention to what they are up to. They have us believing THEY are more important than our jobs, our retirements, our children’s educations, our roads, our social security. AND, our friendships, which can be ended, blocked, and unfollowed because of THESE PEOPLE!!! FOR WHAT????? Wake up! We’re being used. Really look into the financial part of this, follow the money, you seem like a person who truly cares, read Dark Money. Do you realize that George Bush came into office with a surplus left by Clinton, and left eight years later, after starting two unpaid-for wars, and letting the banks walk off with everything (lack of oversight) where millions of Americans lost their homes, their jobs and their small businesses? Unemployment peaked at 10% (average) in 2009, and today it’s at 4.6%. These are not opinions, they are facts. And that’s why I am not a Republican or a Democrat, just an Independent Fact-O-Crat, someone who wants to know.

      • wkucaralyne says:

        Susan’s whole point was that we are all, suddenly, pitted against one another. It solves nothing. And we’re divided. Again. To solve any of it, we must work together. Just stop it. I’m so upset. There are real problems out there. Starving kids, homeless people. My mother lost her cousin on Christmas in a terrible car accident. That’s worry folks. We need you. I need you. I’m knocking on the door of 30 and I look to you ladies as my inspiration. I need you all to be my rock. All you’re doing is fighting. But you want us to lead this generation?!?! Are you crazy?

        • sbranch says:

          Exactly, that is so touching, I hear your heart in your writing. We need you too, we need all of us. There are real problems that we’ll never solve while we fight about all this madness (and may I say B.S.?) they use to divide us. But we could solve it, nothing is unsolvable. There is always common ground in every argument. Congress should be working to find that common ground (because, if you are congress, it’s your JOB to solve problems, you are given a lifetime gigantic salary to do it), then work back in both directions until they come to a compromise that makes the problem better than it was originally. We are so manipulated right now that Congress is actually able to get away with doing NOTHING. And fake news could be just the thing that starts another war!!! How ridiculous, that all the promise, the creativity, the beauty possible from the human hand and mind, the innocence in the eyes of children, the garden of eden, this Earth, bestowed on us by God, should come to such a truly stupid ending. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so heartbreakingly sad.

  35. Jana says:

    I thought your post pointed a finger only at me, at each individual one of us, at all of us gifted with life, to examine our own hearts and see what was there. I remember a time when no one in our neighborhood even knew anyone’s political affiliation – it wasn’t part of being a neighbor. When it did enter conversation it was interesting to discuss viewpoints. Yes, we’re being fed fear and divisiveness from all the “BIGS” (business, ag, pharma, etc.). Government and business is rarely, if ever, is inspired to care for us … alas, it is only the dollar they worship. As others have said, United we Stand, Divided we Fall (we, the people). I have shared your post far and wide and it has inspired many hearts because you went to the heart, as always. You made the point that no one else is making. Blessings to you, Susan. Peace and ease, Dear One.
    Your post reminded me of this ancient poem:

    If there is to be peace in the world,
    There must be peace in the nations.

    If there is to be peace in the nations,
    There must be peace in the cities.

    If there is to be peace in the cities,
    There must be peace between neighbors.

    If there is to be peace between neighbors,
    There must be peace in the home.

    If there is to be peace in the home,
    There must be peace in the heart.

    chinese philospher – lao-tse – 6th century bce

  36. Allyson says:

    Hi Susan,
    My post also seems to have disappeared, was waiting for moderation for days, and I know you had a lot to go through, but now I can’t find it… was just meant to promote peace.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m sure it was fine Allyson, I think it may have to do with being at sea, I haven’t purposely deleted any comments …sometimes I’m able to communicate and sometimes not. I’m sorry ~ I appreciate you taking the time to write!

  37. Peg says:

    Unfortunately, our political system has been broken for a long time. Because of the 24/7 media scrutiny, quality people shy away from running for president under that microscope. Our “representatives” no longer represent us in Congress. Once elected, they simply concentrate on raising money for their next campaign. Billions and billions of dollars wasted for campaigns every two years. We are left with no leadership or legislation to improve the lives of the citizens of this great country. The lobbyists call the shots and our elected representatives concentrate on remaining in their seats.

    Having said that, I voted to “drain the swamp”. If we can at least get term limits and get rid of many lobbyists, we may have a chance at some type of change. I’d love to see a woman as president but Hillary was not the right woman. She would go with the status quo and we would have four more years of Obama. I was not fond of either candidate of the major parties, but I really think that Trump will try to work for some needed changes regarding the way things are run with the media and the government. He may run into a brick wall but we have to start somewhere because we are sinking fast.

    I have been hurt by Obamacare and other financial situations so I understand how people are begging for change in our government. If we can secure our borders, get a handle on refining Obamacare, work on our school reform and repairing our infrastructure, I will be happy. It is time to spend our tax dollars on us instead of sending it to people all over the world who hate us. Trump is not going deport anyone unless they are criminals and he is not going to investigate the Clinton Foundation and emails.

    What Susan has said makes a lot of sense. We all need to take a deep breath and put this awful election behind us. We need to forget about recounts and stirring up more trouble. As Susan said, we are on the same team and if we would come together, our team would be unbeatable! Turn off the TV and radio, spend time with your family and help your neighbors. This holiday season, “let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me”.

  38. Linda says:

    I am somewhat distressed that a favorite blog of mind has taken this political tone. Perhaps this is a sign of the times we are in. I consider myself to be tolerant, compassionate, mature and kind, all of which I try to put to practice as I live daily. It is not enough to proclaim these attributes to ourselves but to live them. When I see a need in my community, whether it be hunger in a family or a child in need of a coat I feel compelled to help. The words I used to describe myself are not just words to make me feel good about myself but actual living things I endeavor to practice. It would be nice if “government” could take care of all the many needs in our country, it can’t nor will it. Consequently I live a modest lifestyle, content that I am so blessed. Having a presidential candidate refer to me in terms of deplorable, insulted as a working, law abiding citizen was a shock to me. Is that how that person feels about fellow citizens? Yes, coarse words were spoken about women in this political campaign. I did not appreciate those words, but were they any worse than to be called irredeemable? It is very evident that our economy and the job market needs improvement, and that became the deciding factor for me.

    • sbranch says:

      This expresses it better than I can right now … it’s something disconcertingly different about this election. I’m happy to see that the president elect is reneging on some of his pre-election promises already. I’m also praying for him, because he’s going to be the leader of the free world for the next 4 years.

      • Susan, I too will be praying that this President will do what is best for OUR country. I have prayed that same prayer for every President who has sat in office, be it a Republican or a Democrat. No matter who is in office, they need ALL our prayers. We as a people should want them to do their best for the betterment of this country. I saw this quote somewhere since the election…”Hoping the President fails is like wanting the pilot to crash the plane WE ARE ALL ON.” Never have I seen such awful behavior by human beings in this country…on both sides of the political isle. It makes me so sad. That quote is the first thing I had seen since the election that made any sense. We are ALL in this together! We should ALL work together for ALL that is good, and there is good on BOTH sides of the isle. Not just one or the other. All we can do is pray and be active in our local communities and government, but that is something, and it is a BIG something. WE THE PEOPLE decide things in this country…I think we have forgotten we do have the power. We just have to take it back from all the people who have our hard earned money lining their pockets. I agree with you that the media has pitted us against each other with all their lies and fear mongering. It has to stop, and I think people have seen they cannot trust the media to report facts not lies, and keep their personal opinions to themselves. I can remember as a kid watching the nightly, world and local news, the news castors kept their personal opinions out of it, and just reported. Nowadays though, everyone thinks their personal opinion should be heard by all who will listen. Well I don’t want the news anchors personal opinions. I want truth in facts, that are not twisted into something made to scare the life out of people. Enough said…Thank You Susan for being a light in so much darkness! I have been a fan since the mid 80’s, and will continue supporting your efforts of making good things happen in our HOMES, HEARTS, and WORLD. No one agrees totally with anyone else on everything, but we can all agree the world is and can be a beautiful place if we ALL work to make it so.

        • sbranch says:

          No one wants him to fail. We want him to be a good president!🙏 Praying! Thank you for your good words Sandi!

      • Gilly says:

        President Trump will be leader for 8 years especially with the Democrats wanting racist Keith Ellison in charge of their party. Pres. Trump is not reneging but you’d just love that wouldn’t you? Of course, you’d be used to it as a supporter of HRC and Obama – that is all you know – career criminal/politicians who speak out of both sides of their mouth. We are in for great changes and can’t wait for the door to slam on the Democratic presidency which was a joke for many people in the country. You never felt it on your cruises and living in the home you have on the Vineyard. Join the real world and you will have your eyes opened about HRC and Obama.

        • sbranch says:

          By “reneging,” I meant he’s not going to “lock her up” as he promised. And the reason is because there is no evidence! Because truth is based on fact. Calling Keith Ellison a racist … why? Because he is black and a muslim? I don’t get that at all. The anger in the last part of your comment is based on the fact that you think we are somehow different. But I assure you, we are not.

  39. Barbara says:

    Susan, beautifully said, whether people agree or disagree, at this point the vote is over. But, a big BUT, we as a nation are not. We still need to work together! Instead of arguing over what has happened, I am telling myself at this moment, pick up and move on. We as a group are an amazing force. We as individuals are liking chickens without our heads! People need to start in their homes, then communities and so forth. Prayers always work too! For some reason lately I have watching anything to do with the Civil War. I watched Gettysburg, and various other shows. Boy was this country ripped apart. It feels the same way now. So sad, we need to come together, to find a way to be united! I thank you for everything you do! There has been many a day that your stories, music and artwork have filled my heart. Keep the faith and remember, we are all one!

  40. Gloria shone says:

    Hi Susan,

    I believe it has all been said very eloquently. I just wanted to send you a line of support for airing what is in your heart. I happen to agree with most every carefully chosen word, but even if I didn’t, you have a perfect right to state your opinions in your own blog.

    If only our elected officials shared your vision, we would be on a better course. Common sense is not all that common at all, but you speak it well.

    Hey, maybe you should…okay I won’t say it, but maybe you should. You would have the cutest signs ever!

    Gloria

  41. Lee Cook-Mitchell says:

    Dearest Susan,
    Your deep heart and inclusivensess shines through your beautiful words, art, Musica, stories, poems, photographs, etc. Your Dad would be ,and I’m sure IS, so proud of his beautiful, courageous, talented, tender-hearted daughter!
    Thank you for sharing your love so generously with ALL of us, including the elephants and the donkeys, doggies and kitties, for all of these years! ( smile)
    May we all be blessed with a sudden desire to get to know a stranger, or a neighbor, for we never know who may become our next best friend, “birds of a feather may flock together” but the oceans and sky are full of lots of variety to keep us delighted!
    Dear sisters on the path of LOVE, enjoy each other, enjoy your lives, it goes by so quickly! Let your light shine! As Robert Louis Stevinson said: ” The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.”
    with much love and thanks and blessings on all that you do,
    Lee

  42. Judy Baker says:

    I finally had time to sit and read this post. And on this Thanksgiving weekend I’m adding another item to my list of things to be thankful for: I’m thankful for writers like you who are able to put into words the things that are in my heart that I’m cant express well for myself! Thsnk you, Susan, and God bless you!

  43. sondra fox says:

    Well, I guess you’ve had your say Susan. How nice that you have a platform to voice your opinions. You must feel very powerful, knowing you can write your ideas to the world. Too bad you aren’t a Christian (I’m assuming by your ideas). If you were a Christian, you would know that God is sovereign. No one in power, other than Him, will ever have power over any of us. As a Christian, it is up to me to honor whoever became president, while giving thanks to our great God whose will, will be done. You won’t print this, but just wanted you to know how I now think about you. You’re right, we do make divisions amongst ourselves, because this great country let’s us do that. While I’m spouting off, you’ve GOT to know that Hillary is the biggest crook around. How did you not know that? She should be in jail! I’ll let you have your comments, but I won’t enjoy your site any longer. I admire your work, but your politics should remain a secret if you want us all to be “together.” Sad. Signing off forever. (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

    • sbranch says:

      I just read over that whole post and I really can’t understand your reaction Sandy. I’m so sorry, I was trying to shine a light on something that isn’t being paid attention to that might help explain the anger in our people. I was just trying to explain that lies, such as Hillary being a crook, calling her a murderer, are lies that are being used to divide us. Trump knew that, he said it anyway, to divide us, so he could win. But of course he was never going to follow through, because, and I know this is hard to understand, there is no evidence that she has done something wrong, only what people SAY she did. He CAN’T put her in jail!!!! He never could!!! Today Trump Tweeted that flag burners should lose their citizenship. This would be illegal, in opposition to the First Amendment, and of course he knows that. There’s been no mention of flag burning lately in the news. So why did he say that? To divide us. I will miss you. United we stand, divided we fall. This does not mean you have to agree with me, but just take a small look at how we are being used!

    • Patti says:

      This is such a sad comment that I really felt called to respond. Susan is allowed her opinion as it is her blog. You can read it or not. It is that simple. After such a truly awful election campaign, I can’t for the life of me feel that no matter whom you voted for, that we as a country have been sullied. The ugliness that was unleashed by both sides reached such a new low, that I think the first response by the people of this country should be a long, hot shower to rinse off the filth. The second should be that we don’t allow it to happen again. We need to hold our representatives accountable, as well as ourselves. Don’t wait for the next election before we decide we don’t like our options, make sure you work to get someone you like. Lastly, keep things respectful. I don’t see how calling into question Susan’s faith is Christ-like. Yes, God is sovereign, but politicians are not and they need to be held accountable for their words and deeds. Our system is not perfect, but I agree with Susan, we need to work TOGETHER and make it better.

      • sbranch says:

        Sandy has been a long time friend on the blog. I was sad to see her go. But it illustrates just how bad things have gone when the people that have been stealing our jobs and our retirements, and sending us into unpaid-for wars that have done nothing but make our relationships in the world WORSE, muddle things up so much, confuse things with so many lies, they have us going at each other instead of at THEM, who we should really be going after!!! When we wake up to how we are being used, begin to see the false stories dressed up like “news,” we can start to change it.

        “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” Mark Twain

  44. hmbalison says:

    Dear Susan,
    I hope you and Joe are home safe. I read your blog post here right after the election, and more than anything else I’ve heard or read over the last few weeks, it has stayed with me. Thank you for taking the courage to speak about what you believe. Thank you for putting into words the fears and worries that I have with our country that is so divided. And for reminding me and all your readers that there is so much good and worthy that connect all of us.

    I’ve been saddened to read the angry responses to your post from readers who don’t agree with you. Don’t we as Americans have the right to freedom of speech and expression? Isn’t there a way to be civil and disagree?

    Since the election, I’ve made a promise to myself to stop thinking of everyone who voted for the candidate I didn’t vote for as “the others” because it doesn’t help me consider how to do my part to help this country come together. Your blog and the heart-felt sentiments you expressed *are* a guide for me. You helped me see that I can have hope that things may get better.

    Much appreciation and love,

    Alison

  45. Lindy B. says:

    Dear Susan,
    As soon as I finished reading this post I immediately emailed it to my friends and put it on my Facebook timeline. You expressed so well what I have been feeling but had not been able to put into words. I told my husband after the election that there have been and always will be people like Trump but until now they have not been our President. I feel very sad about the anger, indignation and lack of civility that has become accepted in politics, social media and the news. The day after the election I decided that I would no longer watch the national news. I want to keep my focus on doing the best I can in my little corner of the world. And I am determined every day to be as caring, forgiving and cheerful as I can be and hope that the sunshine I feel deep in my heart will shine through. Bless you beautiful lady! I love everything you do.

    • sbranch says:

      Me too Lindy, it’s a sad time. Maybe we needed a Trump to wake us up to just how bad it was getting. Thank you so much Lindy, keep that attitude because that’s what will change the world. xoxo

  46. Bronwen says:

    Hello Susan
    Have so enjoyed following your holiday in the UK – we did a similar one in 2015 and this year – getting back just as you arrived. I love it there. I am Canadian and watched with dismay the outcome of your election. North Americans have many things in common but it is really hard to understand the hatred many people had for Hilary Clinton and the really horrible, vile things that were said in the election. I think you wrote about the election with eloquence and fairness. I admire you for that and think as such a momentous election it would have been hard to ignore. My friend and I are librarians and are thinking of ways to continue the fight for access to fact based news and information which seems to have contributed to Trump’s success.
    Best regards
    Bronwen

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you for what you’re doing Bronwen! You have your work cut out for you! As Mark Twain said, “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” All my best to you! xoxo

  47. Marsha McGinnis says:

    Susan –
    Bless your heart & thank you for this post. Born in 1947, my heart longs for a time when things were simpler. But we have to work with what we have now. Maybe we go so far one way that the next step will shake us back to a kinder heart. I always say that God likes to surprise us. There is plenty of good kind people in the world. Sometimes the mean among us brings out the best of all the rest of us and we see just how the good over comes the bad. And it backfires – – –

  48. Mrs. StP says:

    Dearest Susan,

    Well, I voted for the other guy because, as you said, the ones who voted for him voted for change. We’re desperate for it and taking a wild-card chance. I worry about our country’s future a lot (I have three young children). On the other hand, I knew that no matter the outcome of the election, I’d still have to make breakfast, run the laundry, figure out what’s for dinner. Life goes on!

    I remember one year when a principal of mine (I used to be a public school teacher), a Republican, said just after Obama’s election, “Well, the other side had to deal with eight years of Bush. Now it’s our turn.” That has always stuck with me as being a very pragmatic way of looking at things.

    I think what your post also reflects is that we are all concerned about the same things. We do, as you say, have the same dreams and ideals for ourselves and our families and communities. Where we differ is what we think the solutions to be. But we all want a common good and peace in our homes and in the outside world.

    I wish that news wasn’t also entertainment. I wish that Hollywood elites – no more educated than you or I – would be quiet and stay off social media. I wish that people thought more critically, listened more, had better manners, more common sense, and more curiosity. I long for healthy debates where you end up feeling invigorated, not hated or misunderstood. There is a way to debate with an opponent where at the end of it all you feel MORE understood.

    I fear those days are gone.

    But you know what? Our country is still way better than say, North Korea (I can say this because I am Korean). There IS plenty of broken-ness in the U.S. But I’d rather be poor and unfortunate here than anywhere else. I have a well-traveled friend who once said, “Don’t you know where the term dirt poor comes from? So poor that you’re floor is just dirt.”

    I will say that I am one of those who would like to see a less expansive Department of Education. I see a lot of bureaucrats and billionaires with their own ideas about education (albeit no real world experience, teachers don’t have the funds to start their own educational movements). They implement curriculums which make sense in theory but not a lot of sense in an actual classroom. They make school districts shell out all this money (and state governments shell out all our tax dollars) to buy new textbooks to fit the new curriculum. And who benefits? Textbook, testing, and computer software companies! By the BILLIONS.

    Who suffers? Kids who, despite being the guinea pigs for all these new pedagogical methods, aren’t better off than generations ago.

    There’s a lot to blame here – from the breakdown of the family and the American dream (hardly any mother can stay home even if she wants to because of financial constraints) to the proliferation of the Internet and the tendency to use it as a baby-sitter. We’re all guilty of it.

    All this to say that I would like to see less federal oversight in the education world. I think that the educational decisions should be left up to the states and on a micro level, to the individual teachers. They are busy enough trying to provide good educations to each boy and girl in their classes. They should be answerable to the parents, their communities, and their schools. For heaven’s sake, not to the government who sees them as measures in determining how to divvy out the cash.

    I don’t mind that our politics are different, Susan. Our hearts are the same. I’d still love you as my neighbor, only please let’s live in your neighborhood (I assume the other houses look like yours, and my kids would love a fireplace).We would keep our little suburban cottage for weekend get-aways.

    May God bless you always. And God Bless America, of course!

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Mrs. St.P,

      Just sort of an overall … It’s our tax money that the government uses to run our country. Now, the question is: how to spend it. I would like to see an America of the people, for the people, by the people ~ which would include the BEST schools, free college, health care for all of us (including a system of mental health facilities), a strong police force, a well-funded and manned immigration system, a healthy middle class, clean food, air, and water, and a strong infrastructure, for starters. (Have you driven through Chicago on the freeway lately? Nightmare.) We totally have the money for all of this…if our tax money was spent on US, and not used for tax breaks for Corporations who take their dollars overseas, and hide them in foreign bank accounts. I would like wars to be paid for BEFORE we go. The Afghanistan and Iraq wars? WE pay for them, but there wasn’t any money, so they just put them into the deficit. Which our children will have to pay. Or, as they keep threatening, they take away Social Security and pay for it that way. Guess how much money some of the outside contractors made on that war? With our money. For-profit prisons are places contracted by a government agency, and WE taxpayers pay for it, so THEY can make a profit. That’s why they like privatization. Guess why there’s no good immigration program set up for Mexico? Because corporate likes cheap labor. It’s not us, it’s them, they have been running our government for YEARS, getting stronger every election, and while we blame each other, they run off with everything.

      When Congress says they want privatization for education, just as they did with the military, that means outsourcing, it means outside contractors, that will STILL be paid for by US taxpayers (just as we are the ones paying for these standardized tests everyone says don’t work, they use our money to do their evil deeds, never their own), BUT, now it’s for profit! The rich get rich and the poor get poorer. What “for profit” schools will want to build schools in the inner city where there is no money? Well, they just charge US, we will STILL pay for it, but now we’ll pay more, for less, so they can make a profit. There are now MORE contractors in Afghanistan than there are soldiers. The Army used to cook their own food, load their own trucks … now we hire corporate outsiders to do it, who have inside connections to congress, they bid for these jobs and we pay, and there are zillions of them. Congress privatizes so their friends can make more money.

      No system is all black or all white ~ nothing is perfect. But privatization means for profit, and less oversight (because these corporate people have lobbyists fixing the rules to benefit them, which means we will pay more for less service). The powers-that-be want to show how public education doesn’t work so they can take it over, and standardized testing, which they backed, is helping to make that happen…so now they can say, Public Education has Failed, let’s Privatize it. America’s public schools were once the envy of the world. Now, educators around that world shake their heads in disbelief (or maybe cheer?) as we spend billions of dollars to standardize what once made America great, un-standardized thought. There are many “primers” on our educational system, here’s ONE.

      When you hear them say less Regulation and more Privatization, you are hearing the sound of your tax dollar being sucked out of your neighborhoods and into the pockets of Corporate America. I think you and I are saying the same thing about education. But the right answer would give the backing to the Educators, not the for-profit corporations. Education should be in the hands of the educators.

      It’s a wonderful conversation to have, because there are so many grey areas, we could never do them all here. That’s why we need qualified experts to be in charge. Something needs to be done, but privatization is where we ALL lose. Except them.

      xoxo Blessings to you and yours.

      • Mrs. StP says:

        “I think you and I are saying the same thing about education. But the right answer would give the backing to the Educators, not the for-profit corporations. Education should be in the hands of the educators.”

        Absolutely, Susan!

        I forgot to say: Although I am for public schools (and proud of my decade teaching in them), I now homeschool my children. I feel blessed to to be able to do that, and it has been a very positive experience for us all.

  49. Gail Solomon says:

    Thank you, thank you, Sue! Your words, concerns, and comments about this ugly election and it’s even uglier result were right on. The lies and hate perpetuated about Hillary have been around since even before she was First Lady. She was resented when she was First Lady of Arkansas. Her ambition to improve the lives of children in that state was not accepted by those who wanted her to assume the role of a “proper governor’s wife”. The lies invented about her have been told for so long that they are now believed. They have been shouted and repeated by the biggest con man of all. Well, he is now our president. God help us all.

    • sbranch says:

      I know it’s sad. I take it back, not really sad, it’s outrageous. People almost got shot because of those lies yesterday. I have faith. Let’s watch and see what happens. He’s an odd duck (I know, a little more than that), but if he doesn’t blunder us into some sort of crazy war, if he really is on the side of the people, I will cheer him all the way. Let’s see what he does with this pipeline that goes across American soil, provides very few jobs, and does not benefit Americans. He’s invested in it. But if he sticks up for what is right, he will shut it down. Let’s see if he gives the corporations tax breaks and pays them off with our tax money. Let’s see what he does with Congress. This should be very interesting!

  50. Christine Morgan says:

    Susan
    I have been so busy that I have fallen behind on reading your blogs! I made myself sit still and catch up today because I needed some positive inspiration. I can always get it from your blog. This political blog says everything I have been thinking and I know I have lost some of my Facebook friends because I have spoke out during the election and after. I was sick to my stomach for days. Who votes for a man that treats women the way he does. I am 66 years old and have 4 jobs. I still have 3 of my 5 children living with me because they can not get a job that pays enough for them to be on their own. They have tried to move out for a while but come back broke and beaten down. I worry what is going to happen to them when I am gone. I cant sell my house because I owe more than it is worth because I can not afford the updates it needs. This is the world we live in? I am sick of the whole situation. The only way I have been able to get thru is to go out and smile at everyone I pass, be pleasant to everyone no matter of race, color or religion, work with a group that helps the homeless, be positive as possible about everything. There is absolutely nothing we can do about our president elect—we have to wait till he buries himself which he is doing on a daily basis. The American people have lost respect for themselves and others. We have lost class–not the rich, poor, and middle class—class in that we hold our heads up high and respect ourselves as Americans and respect other Americans no matter what color, race or religion. Pray for our country! Oh! and watch Saturday Night live–at least you get a good laugh at the end of the week! Thank you Susan for being brave enough to express yourself—Bravo! Class!

    • sbranch says:

      Terrible that we are so divided (over basically nothing, and for no reason because, what changes?) that we turn on each other. So wrong! I love how you’re handling it. The world needs your kind of sunshine! Thank you Christine! Keep on keepin’ on!

  51. Julie Brooks says:

    Hi, Susan,
    While many voted based upon concerns about money and big government, it even more so allowed racist and religious extremist voters to surface from under rocks. I see it as pent up anti-Obama (African American) voters being given a chance to undo his legacy. I hope the exposure of this level of hated will put all of us on notice so that we do not become like those in Germany who allowed Hitler to prevail. I urge your devoted sisters to speak out loud and often. Raise money now for candidates that can and will govern with inclusive, not exclusive, values. Keep an eye out and be ready to defend someone next to you on a bus, train, or, in line at the store who is being insulted or worse. Don’t allow off color jokes about women or minorities to go without comment. Don’t wait for God to solve our problems, believing that good will prevail on its own. It won’t.

    • sbranch says:

      That’s definitely a part of it. Disgusting that Trump had to resort to division to get his thing going, but he fed the media exactly what they liked. Most people, I think, like me, wanted a change, because we all see the problem with our jobs going away, houses being foreclosed on, wars being started for no reason (that WE have to pay for and our children have to die in), education costing an arm and a leg, talk of doing away with medicare and social security, freeways and bridges falling down, nothing for the middle class, lower taxes for the top 2%, and so many people getting so outrageously (and in my opinion, needlessly, because no one can spend a billion dollars in one lifetime, not to mention 20 or 30 billion, so GREED has got to play a huge part in this) rich ~ and SO out of balance ~ and they saw Hillary as part of the old problem, and prayed Trump would be better. I thought he’d be more on his own side than ours, since that is how he’s lived his life, hiring foreign workers (not that I think there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just that he makes such a big deal about how bad they are for the country), having his products made in China … But, here we are and now we wait and see. With fingers crossed. I don’t think three Goldman Sachs executives in his cabinet bodes well for us, not to mention a climate-change denier who hates the Environmental Protection Agency (water, air, etc) as the head of EPA, and a guy that would rather have robots than people as Labor Secretary (owns Carl’s Jr), and but hey, these people have been running things for years, behind the scenes, with their billions, their ownership of media outlets, their lobbyists spokespeople, so why not? And I hope the haters and the racists will see and hear themselves depicted on TV and realize they are being used, choose to stop and understand that to do it, the buck stops here. XOXO We have to believe we are magic . . .

  52. Bebe says:

    So glad you did speak your mind related to political matters.
    Things are not “all right” in America. We’ve just spent all our profits from a farm sale to finish a house started by a homebuilder who went out of business and is getting away with not paying his debts or suppliers and left us with a shell of a house to finish ourselves-our unhealthy broken back selves in our 60’s because we couldn’t afford to pay for the labor. We used all the money we had to finish the house. It’s so disgusting that people who are millionaires can get away with this, because we simply can’t afford a lawyer. The odds are stacked in the favor of criminal minds and the rich.
    People are so afraid to speak up and tell their opinions these days because every other person has such a mean spirit and they’ll try to tear you down, no matter what you say. and then they say stuff about you that is not true- people, in general, tend to believe lies before the truth. Everything is backwards. It’s hard to have hope, but hope we must. We are not in control of everything, but we know Who is in control. So that HOPE is real, no matter how hard things get.

    • sbranch says:

      I could not agree more. Everything IS backwards. These are not the values we grew up with when a person was as good as their word. Apparently, an exciting lie is much more titillating and interesting than the boring old truth. As was written a long time ago, “Falsehood flies while truth comes limping after it.” I’m so sorry about your house. Wrong on every level. XOXO Hope is real. ♥️

  53. Dick Melvin says:

    Susan,
    My wife read this blog and told me in no uncertain terms that I needed to read it, because it reflects exactly how we feel. She’s right. We come from a unique prospective…voted Republican for years, but have changed because the Republican Party left us, became radical, turned obstinate, decided to never compromise. Thanks for being courageous enough to put into words the feelings of so many of us. We support you and your right to express your opinions. Please continue. Everyone is stronger for it.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you for being courageous enough to look at things with perspective. I too have voted Republican in my life, and Independent, and Democrat, but as you say, there as been a turn to non-compromise that means nothing gets done for we the people, which I’m against no matter who’s doing it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, your words are encouraging. xoxo

  54. Chad says:

    My Wife is one of the sweetest women in the world. She has admired Susan Branch longer than she has known me. We have 5 Children and we are the very best of friends. I love that woman more than anything. I love to see her happy.

    My Wife is a stay at home mother, and a wonderful one at that. It is a damn hard job and one I know I could not do as well as she does. If she pulled a salary, she would easily deserve to earn twice what I bring in. She is good to the core and puts everyone before herself to a fault.

    My lovely Wife found refuge in the work of S.B. It was an escape from a hard day, or something to sit a daydream for a minute about (she rarely has a minute to daydream with 5 kids, but you get my point), or maybe we would talk of decorating our future tiny home with inspirations from something she saw S.B. create.

    S.B.’s work is not my cup of tea, but it was my Wife’s cup of tea. I’m as OCD as they come and I despise disorder and things that don’t match. My wife could decorate a room with mismatched china and tea stained vintage fabric and I would be in heaven of she were there to share it with me.

    I don’t much like hot tea, but I’ll happily sip it with the love of my life while she talks of making our home a comfortable Shabby Chic paradise.

    This Blog Post of S.B. did exactly what S.B. was claiming that she is against. She caused division when there was none. S.B.’s work was a haven for my Wife and the Blog post brought division into my lovely Wife’s “Garden of Eden”.

    Shame on you Mrs. Branch. You have tainted a wonderful legacy and have taken happiness from a GOOD and Patriotic Woman.

    • sbranch says:

      That’s just silly. I don’t have that power. My job is to encourage and help others empower themselves for more personal happiness. And you just stepped back in time over lovely posts about darling historical English and American houses and cookbooks and love, The Sweet Life, and making a happy home with Hygge and loving the “little things in life” and so many good things we have in common to get here to this old post to dredge up something (although I don’t really feel that way) that clearly, as you say, causes your wife pain. It really wasn’t necessary. I’m also a good and patriotic woman. As is every person who comes to this Blog, no matter which side they are on. The division was not caused by me, sadly it’s been brewing in our country for years, we’ve been manipulated into it. But it wasn’t always that way, and I’m trying to get to the bottom of why merely expressing an opinion causes letters such as yours. Blessings on you and yours sir, wishing your whole family every good thing.

  55. Kathie Nerelli says:

    Susan, I write this through tears! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I agree with you 100% that there are still millions of people in both political parties that believe in honesty, intelligence, and civility. I hope we can stand together until the mean, dishonest people who value money more than their fellow man have given up and gone home. Again, thank you for being so brave!!

  56. Judy in Ohio says:

    Amen, Susan!!

    In the spirit of full disclosure, I have not been to your Blog since a few days before you and Joe left to come home…but today I had a extremely rough day.
    And I had an idea of what/who would be able to cheer me up. And actually, just before I came to this particular entry of yours, I had a realization: That I have not been “myself” since the election. I cry at the drop of a hat…and often…and I haven’t put our lights up outside, and I don’t have my Christmas tree up yet and Christmas is only 6 days away.Anyone who knows me would be shocked that I am in such a state because this is not like me AT ALL. (When I am around others…except my husband, I hide it very well.) But yet here I am. I can barely see my computer screen while I am for the tears, but I had to write and tell you how much relief you have given me by putting MY thoughts into your words.

    Truly, I could not have put it better. And I am so grateful…SO grateful that you did!!!!

    When I came to your blog this evening, I came because whenever I read your entries and see your little paintings and quotes, I always feel so much better…even when I am not feeling bad…But this particular evening it was like
    a miracle. (I am sorry I cannot describe it better.) If fact, it was not LIKE a miracle, it WAS a miracle!!

    Thank you so much again and again and again, my dear friend…for your voice, your heart, your truth and your guts…and for your help!

    I wish there was something I could do to repay you.

    I will pray for all of us to come out on the other side of all of this in much better condition…and I will pray for our next president to do a good job because we need someone to do a good job…and with your help now, maybe I can get myself out of the cold, wet, dark hole I have been in for quite some time and be more of how I used to be.

    Merry Christmas to you and Joe and Jack and all of your family…
    And wishing you all only the BEST in the new year!!

    <3

    • sbranch says:

      Oh, Judy, thank you so much. Your words do for me what mine did for you💖. I feel just the way you do. Sad to see so much anger and division, and worried for the world. There seems to be a new-born resolve, to say something when we see something, and to hold our dear ones tighter than ever. Light the candles dear Judy, turn on an old movie, and let your heart be light. xoxoxo

      • Judy in Ohio says:

        Thank you!

        You truly are a dear friend and a blessing to all who have “found” you. My heart is considerably lighter since reading your post and I am fairly good at maintaining once I get up a bit! 🙂 So I will be fine! We will all be fine. It just may be a trek to get there. I hope you can/ have found some peace too, dear one.

        Our dear Lord has our back!

        <3

        • sbranch says:

          That’s the consolation. One day at a time. ♥️

          • Judy in Ohio says:

            Hi, again, Susan…Since my very tough day yesterday (that you sooo totally helped me with), I have read your next post after this one, and I see the reactions that many of the girlfriends have had…and see how rough some of it has been for you also. And I have thought about it quite a lot today. It troubles me as it troubles you.I guess it is something that we must just “get through” now. But I just wanted to tell you something that may hopefully help YOU…the way that you helped me… and that is first, to tell you NOT to feel bad for your integrity…Seeing what you see and SAYING what you see is important…and frankly even vital. Thank you!!

            I also have a couple of quotes for you (by the philosopher L. Ron Hubbard) that have really helped me over the years, but first some MUSICA for YOU: youtube.com/watch?v=LIeLeIwwpHc

            “A culture is only as great as its dreams, and its dreams are dreamed by artists.”
            ~ L. Ron Hubbard
            (This quote has had much significance for me
            in my life since I was in my 20’s, as I am an artist too.) 🙂

            And this next one is quite profound and someone showed it to me when I was quite young also, at a time when I was having so much trouble with a person in my life, that it was making me very ill. This quote helped me then, and it helps me VERY much in my life today. I hope it helps you…and our girlfriends here.

            “Happiness and strength endure only in the absence of hate. To hate alone is the road to disaster. To love is the road to strength. To love in spite of all is the secret of greatness. And may very well be the greatest secret in this universe.”
            ~ L. Ron Hubbard

            No words minced here. Straight to the truth!
            ***
            Stand tall, dear lady…You did good!

            <3

          • sbranch says:

            Perfect! Your chosen words and music are for everyone in these uncertain times. Honestly, I felt so much support through this post by people on both sides, that it made it all more than worthwhile. I’m almost thinking of starting another blog. A plain-truth blog. Almost.😜 I have sat in my little world watching this happen, mostly on the radio back in the 90s when I listened to Rush Limbaugh most days, just to hear what he was saying, wondering the whole time, why doesn’t someone DO something about this, why is this even legal? I, like everyone else I guess, just imagined no one would believe his lies, would see through the manipulation, but as it got worse, and more of his ilk took over the airwaves, I became more troubled. Now it’s probably too late, but here I am. Teeny me. Day late and dollar short. Thank you Judy, and pray for our world. xoxo

  57. Judy in Ohio says:

    Well…you are no longer “Teeny me”, dear friend…You have united us and you have inspired us to get the wagons into a circle.

    Just one last thing, a simple but huge quote from John Lennon:
    “Living is easy with eyes closed”…

    (Ok, two last things, actually) …a quote from Albert Einstein that I hope helps you LOTS:

    “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”

    😀

    And please don’t be upset about the girlfriends who are AWOL for the moment…They will be back…It just might take a little bit of time for them to see what you see. (The emperor after all really does have no clothes on.) 😉

    <3

  58. Judy in Ohio says:

    I love you back, dear friend!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours…and ALL the BEST in 2017!!!

    May we all have peace in the new year.

    XOXOXO

    <3

  59. Anne-Marie Vogt says:

    Oh Susan. I am so proud of you for speaking from your heart but I feel for you as you have now exposed yourself to some very mean people. I can say mean because they took your message and distorted it to say hurtful things about you and Joe. Why can’t people be nice? Your message was meant to unify us and yet people’s egos get in the way and insults are hurled. It used to be that if people had different opinions they could debate them respectfully. But now, as a society, we are sinking to a new low and talking to and treating our neighbors unkindly.
    A friend recently traveled to Paris and was somewhat surprised that many of the French were worried about the election results (this was before the election). She reassured them that Trump would not win the election; it was so obvious that he wasn’t qualified, had too many conflicts of interest, and was well-known to be a con-man. We all believed the polls. We didn’t listen to the warnings about Russian hackers and we didn’t notice the gerrymandering with all the sensational news reporting. People overwhelmingly voted for HRC but once again, the political process, that outdated electoral college changed the outcome. But with all of his corporate friends being appointed to high offices how could his supporters still defend him? I just don’t get it.
    We need your optimistic and home-loving blog more than ever. Please keep love in your heart and help us through these next four years.

    • sbranch says:

      Yesterday I spoke with someone on Twitter who had voted for Trump. I happen to like her. Anyway I had posted something from the Internet about the land Obama has conserved, a very non-political thing I thought. She wrote me to say that he did it just to bolster his “legacy” … that it was just part of the federal government “land grab” … which would have shocked me if I hadn’t already heard corporate media calling conservation a “land grab.” I replied that corporations, oil, etc, would dig in Yosemite if we let them, did she think that Yosemite was a land grab? Anyway, it was VERY nice, there wasn’t any vitriol. She just didn’t know … she was upset because somewhere along the way she had “learned” that the federal government had already taken over ⅔’s of the country and didn’t see what corporations had to do with it. I said that conservation is FOR the people, clean air, clean rivers, lakes, oceans, pipelines NOT going across farmland, parks, wide open spaces, are all FOR the people . . . but corporations want more more more money, so they are happy to spoil water, air, food, anything to make more money. Then I sent her THIS about protected areas of the USA …
      It just comes down to what we learn from our media… what we call conservation and celebrate because it’s for the people, she’s heard is a “land grab” that our country is being stolen from the people by the federal government. The people behind that wording are big oil, gas, and anyone other $$$$$ making entity. Don’t worry. The more I learn about all of this, the more I’m tempted to start another blog to talk about it. Because this is just the tip of the iceberg of the CRAP we have been sold by the corporate media so they can USE our money to make themselves constantly richer. They are getting away with it. Now they OWN the government. (They have actually been in control for many years, it’s what Obama was up against this entire 8 years and why our Congress did nothing for us during this time. Every nut can have a gun, mow down our children, because NRA and the gun industry OWNS our elected officials.) It is so scary to me I can’t begin to tell you. Trump’s ex-campaign manager has just opened a lobby business in Washington DC, now that he “knows” all the big boys, he will be working for oil, gas, pharmaceuticals for what THEY want, not us, and he will make millions from it. But I am my father’s daughter, and no where inside me is a giving up because I believe that if we could see this manipulation, we could change it, and get this government back under the control of the people, and OUT from under the control of the lobbyists and big business. I have always loved our darling middle class. I am optimistic, don’t worry. I believe. There is only one way. Money out of government. No more lobbyists getting laws written in their favor, against us. No campaign contributions by corporations. That way congress would have to listen to the people who elect them. Okay. I’m on a roll this morning. Sorry. But you can see I am thinking about it. Thank you Anne-Marie. And don’t worry too much. Most of the people in this world are good. If a little bit misinformed.

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