Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mark Dayton on Value Differences Between Democrats and Republicans

Here's another reason to vote for Mark Dayton for Minnesota Governor.

Monday, September 28, 2009

H1N1 Influenza Virus

H1N1 (Swine Flu) Widget. Flash Player 9 is required.
H1N1 (Swine Flu) Widget.
Flash Player 9 is required.

This morning I attended a mandatory H1N1 training. All MDH employees are required to take this training. It was very informative. The Minnesota Department of Health hopes for the best but is prepared for the worst. The Minnesota Department of Health takes H1N1 very seriously. The Department is working very closely with Homeland Security to prepare for possible consequences of H1N1. The worse case scenario is that 30% of the population may be unable to work because of personal illness or because of needing to stay at home to care for a sick child or other relative.

To prevent flu infection, cover mouth with tissue or sleeve when coughing and/or sneezing; wash hands frequently for 20 seconds each time; eat healthy, exercise and get enough sleep. If you're sick, stay home.

Here's a chart that shows H1N1 activity in Minnesota.

To find out more about H1N1 in Minnesota, click here.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Roger Revak: Motivational Speaker

Roger got his start as a motivational speaker by joining Toastmasters. He went from a very nervous person who feared getting in front of an audience to being a professional speaker who now gives six-hour financial seminars.

Toastmasters can turn your quivering nerves into nerves of steel when it comes to public speaking. Toastmasters is a world-wide non-profit organization that builds communication and leadership skills and improves self-confidence. There is a club near you.

District 6 Toastmasters

Friday, September 25, 2009

Minnesota Doctors in Favor of Single Payer Health Care

Click here to find out how Minnesota doctors feel about single payer health care.

Single-Payer Advocates Protest Senate Hearing

Single Payer Health Care

There are a lot of misconceptions about the Health Care Reform Bill. One lady thought that President Obama was trying to kill her with this bill. Many people have been misled by opponents of the bill.

Let's look at single payer health care, which is the basis for health care reform. What is single payer health care, anyway?

"Single-payer is a term used to describe a type of financing system. It refers to one entity acting as administrator, or payer.

"In the case of health care, a single-payer system would be set up such that one entity—a government run organization—would collect all health care fees, and pay out all health care costs. In the current US system, there are literally tens of thousands of different health care organizations—HMOs, billing agencies, etc. By having so many different payers of health care fees, there is an enormous amount of administrative waste generated in the system. (Just imagine how complex billing must be in a doctor’s office, when each insurance company requires a different form to be completed, has a different billing system, different billing contacts and phone numbers—it’s very confusing.)

"In a single-payer system, all hospitals, doctors, and other health care providers would bill one entity for their services. This alone reduces administrative waste greatly, and saves money, which can be used to provide care and insurance to those who currently don’t have it."
Click here for reference and full story. This website will tell you all the basics about how the single payer health care plan would work.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mark Dayton on Tax Fairness

Vote for Mark Dayton for Governor of Minnesota. He'll return Minnesota to a progressive tax system.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

General Society of Mayflower Descendants

The General Society of Mayflower Descendants is a genealogical organization. Its members are all descendants of passengers of the Mayflower, which was a ship that landed on these shores in 1620. The picture above in an artist's rendition of John Howland when he fell overboard. Luckily the crew was able to haul him back on board, as he is one of my Mayflower ancestors. He had been hired on the Mayflower as a cooper (barrel maker).

I descend from two Mayflower families: John Howland/Priscilla Mullins and John Alden/Elizabeth Tilly. The parents of Priscilla and Elizabeth were also passengers. Unfortunately, they did not survive that first harsh winter at Plimoth Colony.

My acceptance into the General Society of Mayflower Descendants was based on proofs I submitted on my descendancy from John Alden. Eventually I'll get around to doing the supplemental line from John Howland.

Here's how it goes:

John Alden m. Elizabeth Tilly
Elizabeth Alden m. William Pabodie
Mercy Pabodie m. John Simmons
Matha Simmons m. Samuel West
Moses West m. Jemima Eaton
Luna West m. Jabin Bosworth
Anna Bosworth m. Thomas Downey
Calvin C. Downey m. Nancy Myers
Augustus Downey m. Martha Lindsay
William Downey m. Annah Cole
Peter Downey m. Cordie Cole
Bernice Downey m. William Anderson
Colleen Downey (that's me)
The General Society of Mayflower Descendants

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


British/Scottish Chess Set

I enjoy playing chess every now and then. When I was a kid my cousin and I played it all the time. She usually won, but she was four years older than I was. We played a lot of different board games. Chess was one of our favorites. We enjoyed figuring out strategies to use against each other.

It's amazing how many different styles of chess sets there are. You can even get Star Trek pieces. Personally, I like the historical figures such as the one pictured above. I also like the fantasy ones with the dragons and wizards.

Bird Chess Set

This is sure unique. I've never seen chess pieces like this before. Making these must be as much fun as inventing names for new color crayons.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mark Dayton on Health Care

I think Mark Dayton is absolutely correct in saying that we should have health care for everyone. This is a basic need. No one should be denied health care because of a lack of insurance or inability to pay. If an indigent person had a heart attack right in front of us, I don't think that many of us would just leave him lying on the ground while we walk away. It's the same principle.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Is Good Government an Oxymoron?

Does a good government go to war? Is it okay to kill others as long as they are from other countries and other religions? Where will it all end? Will man really destroy himself and his planet? It's not looking good...

Is there such a thing as good government, or is the phrase an oxymoron? War pictures don't look pretty because they're not pretty. They're horrifying. Governments should be ashamed because of all the innocent people who have been killed because of wars. Civilians don't deserve this. Let government leaders who like the idea of war go into battle among themselves. Leave the rest of the world out of it.

Can any government official...whether president, governor, senator...really make a difference? I'm beginning to have my doubts.

Issues Facing Minnesota

As Minnesota faces an election year, all Minnesotans need to be aware of what the issues are and where the various candidates for Governor stand on each each issue.
1. Jobs - who is best suited to bring more jobs to Minnesota and to enable employers to rehire those who were laid off?
2. Economy - What is needed to fix Minnesota's flagging economy? Is it a more progressive tax system? Or is it more budget cuts? Should the working people carry the biggest tax load, or should it be the wealthy and the large corporations?
3. Pollution - How can we stem pollution and protect the environment so it will be healthy for our kids and grandkids?
4. Mass Transit - What is the answer for our transit system? Do we need more and better roads? Is light rail the answer? Or is it a combination of the two? How can we make Minnesota roads and highways the way they used to be instead of covered with potholes?
5. Health Care Reform - What do the gubanatorial candidates think about health care reform? How will they make health care better in Minnesota?
6. Disability Issues - How do the candidates feel about disability access? How will they make Minnesota fully accessible to the disabled?
Be an informed voter. Research the candidates and where they stand on each issue.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Gentleman in the Lake

Have you read my book yet? You can read more about it and find out how to order it at my website. This is a romance novel with a mystery thrown in. The heroine, Vanessa Radcliff, finds a dark mysterious stranger washed up on her beach one dark and story night. Being the good Samaritan that she is, she brings him into her home to take care of him. Can she help it if she is so attracted to him? Her three pets, a German shepherd named Lord Byron, a chihuahua named Victor, and a Siamese cat named Emily all seem to like him. But why was he found unconscious on her beach? And what is he after?

This debut novel takes place in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mark Dayton on Robert F. Kennedy

When asked who his political hero was, Mark Dayton talked about how much he admired Robert F. Kennedy. Watch the video.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mark Dayton Helps Seniors

Remember how Mark Dayton was instrumental in getting seniors to Canada to buy prescription drugs at lower prices? He's still fighting for seniors and the issues of Medicare prescription drugs. See the following links:

Mark Dayton honored by Minnesota Senior Federation
2004 Incident with Bus Full of Seniors
Mark Dayton Used Own Money to Help Seniors
Issues: Past Senate Votes of Mark Dayton

There is no one who will fight for the rights of seniors like Mark Dayton will. Won't you join me in voting for Mark Dayton for Governor of Minnesota?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Minnesota's North Shore

This is me in the North Woods near Lutsen, MN.

I love Minnesota's North Shore. It's a great place to go to relieve the stress of living in the big city. Take Highway 61 north out of Duluth and enjoy the panoramic views of the lake and the surrounding forests. You can go all the way to the Canadian border and beyond.

One year I packed my kids in the car and took the circle drive around Lake Superior. We took a week to do it. We ran into a blizzard in October on the north end of the lake. This was in Canada. All the motel rooms were full and truckers were sliding into ditches. Finally a family we didn't know told us we could share their motel room. That was so nice of them. They didn't want me and my children to be out on the road in a blizzard. The kindness of strangers makes me feel so blessed.

My favorite towns to stay in on Minnesota's North Shore are Duluth, Tofte, Lutsen and Grand Marais. Check out the following links:

My plan is to go to Minnesota's North Shore as frequently as possible. I'm planning a mystery series that will take place around Castle Danger, so I hope to spend a lot of time in that area.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Tea Party

Even without the Mad Hatter, tea parties can be a lot of fun. It's great to enjoy tea and goodies with a group of female friends. There are so many teas to choose from. White, green, black, oolong...the list goes on. And the goodies...oh, my! There are tea sandwiches, scones, tarts, shortbread cookies, bars and any number of other delicious delicacies.

Here's some tea-related websites for you to enjoy.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Help Fight Liver Disease

Hepatitis C Viris

Liver disease affects thousands of people. Some of these diseases include liver cancer, fatty liver, hepatitis, biliary atresia, Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC), and others.

What can you do to help? Support liver education. Support the Liver Foundation. And consider being an organ donor.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mark Dayton for a Better Minnesota

Toastmasters is a non-profit international organization that helps build communication and leadership skills and self-confidence. There are thousands of clubs around the world. There is most likely one near you.
Twice a year each club has a speech contest. The winners go to the next level to compete in the area contest. Those winners go to the division contest. The next level is the district contest. After that it's regional, and finally international.
October 9, 2009, is the date of District 6's Eastern Division Speech Contest. For more information, see the flyer on the hyperlink in the previous sentence.
And the District 6 Toastmasters site, which covers all of Minnesota and part of Ontario.
The Mission of Toastmasters International:
Toastmasters International is the leading movement devoted to making effective oral communication a worldwide reality. Through its member Clubs, Toastmasters International helps men and women learn the arts of speaking, listening and thinking - vital skills that promote self-actualization, enhance leadership potential, foster human understanding, and contribute to the betterment of mankind. It is basic to this mission that Toastmasters International continually expand its worldwide network of Clubs, thereby offering ever-greater numbers of people the opportunity to benefit from its programs.

Toastmasters International Vision
Toastmasters International empowers people to achieve their full potential and realize their dreams. Through our member Clubs, people throughout the world can improve their communication and leadership skills, and find the courage to change.

The Mission of District Six
The mission of the District is to enhance the performance and extend the network of Clubs, thereby offering greater numbers of people the opportunity to benefit from Toastmasters educational program by:
*Focusing on the critical success factors as specified by the District educational and membership goals
*Insuring that each Club effectively fulfills its responsibilities to its members
*Providing effective training and leadership opportunities for Club and District officers.

The Mission of the Club
The mission of a Toastmasters Club is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every member has the opportunity to develop communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mark Dayton for Minnesota Governor

I'm voting for Mark Dayton for Governor of Minnesota. Why? First, he cares about the well-being of his staff. He also cares about the people of Minnesota. He would like Minnesota to be back in the forefront as far as roads and highways, education, pollution control and a healthy economy.

Second, he has the experience to put Minnesota back on the right track. He's the only gubanatorial candidate to have been a state commissioner. Rudy Perpich was Governor of Minnesota at that time. He appointed Mark Dayton as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Economic Development in 1978.

Before that he taught science in an economically depressed area of New York City. During those years he was also a runaway youth counselor as well as the CFO for a Boston social service agency. He actively opposed the Viet Nam War. These days even Viet Nam veterans oppose senseless wars. (Or should I say especially Viet Nam veterans?)

In 1982, Mark Dayton was Commissioner of the expanded Minnesota Department of Energy and Economic Development. In 1990, he was elected for the position of State Auditor.

Finally, Mark Dayton was a United States Senator from Minnesota. While serving in this capacity, he was a member of the Armed Services, Agriculture, and Homeland Security Committees. In October 2002, he was one of 23 Senators to vote against the Iraq War Resolution. He was a strong critic of the Bush Administration’s failed policies domestically and internationally. He voted against both Bush tax cuts for unfairly benefiting the wealthiest Americans, and against Republican budgets that turned President Clinton’s surpluses into record high deficits.

While in the Senate, Mark kept his campaign promise and donated his entire Senate salary to the Minnesota Senior Federation to take busloads of senior citizens to Canada, where they could buy cheaper prescription medicines. He also established a “Health Care Help-line,” which helped thousands of Minnesotans to receive the health care their doctors had prescribed or to receive the proper reimbursements from insurance companies for the treatments they had already received.

Mark did not seek re-election and left office in January 2007. Since leaving office, he co-chaired Hillary Clinton’s Minnesota Presidential Campaign and worked on behalf of DFL candidates statewide.

Finally, Mark Dayton is a nice person as well as a qualified gubanatorial candidate. When's the last time we had a nice person in office? One who cares about the people of Minnesota?

I hope you'll join me in voting for Mark Dayton for the next Governor of Minnesota.

Much of this background information was obtained from Mark Dayton's website. I confirmed the information through other public sources.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Empty Nest Syndrome

This is my son Marcus when he was one year old and now. I've been raising kids for 40 years. For ten years, Marcus was the only child left at home with me. Now he is leaving the nest. He has met a girl and is going to Connecticut to live with her and her parents. They say they have a job and a car waiting for him. He met her online while playing World of Warcraft and has been communicating with her by email, phone and webcam for the past year. He flew to Connecticut to stay with her and her parents for a week. Now he feels that he is in love, so off he is going to live there.

How do I feel about this? I must feel bad because I'm crying a lot. According to the experts, major stress factors include having a family member leave home, job change, moving, divorce, death in the family, etc. There is quite a bit on the list. My stress factors at this time? Having my baby move so far away as well as having to move myself. I have to move because I no longer need a two-bedroom apartment and I can't afford it by myself. November 1 I'll be moving to a one-bedroom apartment down the hall.

I feel sad and lonely. I suppose I'll get used to being all alone after 40 years of raising kids. It's also depressing to know that I'm not needed anymore. I'm beginning to feel so useless.

I ran out of my antidepressants. I better go renew my prescription, because I feel a large very dark cloud hovering around me. I'm not afraid of death. Yet ending it is cheating, and I never cheat. My ex-husband cheated all the time. That still bothers me and adds to the depression, along with the fact that he has lied to my daughter and thus she has refused to speak to me for the last 20 years. I don't even get to see my grandchildren.

God, what a life.

There are a few good things. Toastmasters and my writing. Any my kitty Amy, otherwise known as Kit E. Khat.

It will be interesting to see what the future holds besides death from liver failure. Oh well, ya gotta die from something. That's what my Uncle Gerald always used to say. Of course he lived to the ripe old age of 94.

Maybe I'll do more volunteering.

More later.