The #LinkYourLife Round-Up for November 25, 2016


It’s Black Friday, and I get the honor of hosting this week’s LinkYourLife Round-Up. For more information, check out last week’s round-up here.

We begin with some poetry from Thomas Ives. It’s a heartbreaking exploration of dealing with mental illness. However, in true Bestowing Fire fashion, he offers up some hope.

A Breakdown Journey

I am perhaps an enemy of fashion, but I am a fan of Linda Hobden’s Boots, Shoes, and Fashion. I don’t know how she does it, but she keeps managing to get interviews with fascinating people. This one is no exception. Even if you’re a fashion felon like myself, Linda never fails to be interesting and entertaining.

Be Iconic

“Welcome to your life…” and take a dive into the Open Thought Vortex. Kara Post-Kennedy works up a great playlist of ’80s songs and offers a theory of why those of us who grew up in the ’80s are the way we are.

Why Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Also from OTV, Shawna Ayoub Ainsle tells a beautiful story of how music can be triggering but also healing. Reading this made me want to make music again while also understanding some of why I don’t. Ah, but what beautiful music Shawna makes with her words.

How a Cello Healed My Heart

I have to admit I’ve never read a Harry Potter book or seen any of the movies. Quidditch, sorcery, and teen angst don’t hold much appeal for me. Lidy Wilks may have changed my mind, though. It turns out the books are full of social commentary. Now that sounds interesting and worthwhile.

Why Harry Potter Is Important Today

Shawna managed to sneak a second post into this round-up with one from her own site. The message is important, though, and one I often forget. When feelings get to be too much, I will load myself up with as much work as possible to avoid them. Shawna reminds us all to take some time to deal.

Stopping to Feel in Order to Heal

Cheryl Orgelia wrote a fun and heartwarming story of good news and an anniversary trip with her husband. He did not want to be the subject of a blog post but came out of it looking like a hero. After all these years of marriage, he’s still able to coax his wife into adventure (even though he couldn’t talk her into the hot tub). I need to take lessons from that man.

Marriage An Epic Adventure

Elaine Mansfield offered me two posts and let me decide which one to include. I couldn’t help but choose both. The first is one from her archives featuring some poetry from others that she finds healing during this time of year.

Give Thanks for the Teachings of Trees

The second one from Elaine was nothing short of amazing. Elaine writes of caring for her mother-in-law despite their long-troubled relationship. I have a wonderful lady in my life, but reading this made me jealous of the late Vic Mansfield for a moment. His wife is nothing short of an angel.

When Forgiveness Requires Patience

The closer for my round-up is another important read for this time of year. Jsack’s Mom gives thanks for grief. Like her, I’ve suffered a number of losses in recent years. I aspire to find the same positives in that grief as she does.

Riding the Grief Wave

Don’t take my word for any of this, though. Be sure to read all these incredible posts. In the meantime, I’m going to steal a little something from Thomas Ives and tell you all to #ShareInspireConquer.


It Was 70 Years Ago Today (Or One): It’s My Blogversary

On this date one year ago I published my first post on this blog.

On this date 70 years ago Theodore Cowell was born to a single mother in Vermont. That name is unfamiliar to most, but the little boy would grow up to become quite well-known. Early in childhood, Ted’s last name would be changed after being adopted by his stepfather, Johnny Bundy.

Also on this date 70 years ago a baby girl was born in Michigan who would grow up to be a single mom. Her last name would also change. In her case, it happened as an adult when she got married and kept it after her divorce. She would not become famous, but she would become my mom.ob Continue reading

Mid-Month Miscellany for November 2016

img_0847I will not be wearing a safety pin. I will continue to combat hatred and xenophobia as much as I can and continue learning how to do so, including within myself. I’ll let my actions be my safety pin.

The Chicago Cubs gave up their long tradition of not winning the World Series. At the time of their previous win, the Chicago NHL franchise and the NFL teams representing Kansas City and Washington, D.C. did not exist. Atlanta’s baseball team was in Boston and known as the Doves. Cleveland’s baseball team was called the Naps (for their star player Napoleon Lajoie). So I can’t see much reason for these teams to hold on to their traditions of using blatantly racist nicknames. Continue reading

December Conversation

Written for the Carrot Ranch Communications prompt “Ending”.


December Conversation

On a winter evening in the December of their lives, they reflected on how they had gotten there. They had been born many miles apart and were now many miles from those places.

Their lives hadn’t been fairy tales before, and they never exactly wrote one together. Would they do so now?

The conversation began to die down, and that question would no longer wait.

“Why didn’t you ever marry me?”

“You wouldn’t let me.”

“Will you marry me now?”

The question lingered in the air. After so many years, the answer would have to wait a little longer.

Last Thoughts on Election 2016: Hypocrisy Ain’t Helping

I voted for Bernie in the primary. I voted for Hillary in the general election. They both lost. I’m unhappy and don’t expect anyone to just “get over it”. I am, however, often critical of hypocrisy and propaganda spreading by liberals because it hurts the furthering of our cause. I’ve seen far too much of it throughout the campaign and even after the election. So here are my last thoughts on Election 2016 and perhaps a vain attempt at putting some things to rest.

Hillary cheated! We should’ve had Bernie!

It’s true that DNC leadership did not like Bernie Sanders and didn’t want him to win the nomination. I was always disdainful of the “rigging” idea, however, because it implies Democratic voters are mindless sheep casting their ballots according to the wishes of party leaders. Bernie Sanders received 43% of the vote in primaries. Hillary Clinton received a greater proportion of votes and pledged delegates than Barack Obama did in 2008 (see note 1). In fact, her pledged delegates alone represented almost 97% of the minimum needed to secure the nomination.

Bernie Sanders could’ve run as an independent which is what he has done his entire political career (see note 2). Instead, he accepted his defeat graciously and endorsed Hillary Clinton, not Jill Stein or Gary Johnson or anyone else. He didn’t campaign for write-in votes. He made his wishes clear and that was for people to vote HRC. He knew that was the best option for furthering a progressive agenda. Continue reading

More Post-Election Thoughts: How and Why and What Next

I wrote out some early post-election thoughts already. As I look at the numbers, I become more sure about most of them as well as some I’ve had since early in the primary season.

Much of the discussion before the election was what combination of states Trump would have to win in order to win the election. My concern was that the answer was really much simpler: Liberals either voting third party or not voting at all. I believe that to be the case.

One thing I learned as a political science major is that Republicans always vote and always vote for their candidate. With several high-profile Republicans proclaiming they would break ranks, I thought that might not hold true. Regardless, I figured Donald Trump was right that he could commit murder and not lose voters. That is why I knew turnout would be crucial, and as I wrote in my previous post, I believe that was the case.

Estimates place the number of registered voters in America at about 200 million. That’s a huge increase from the 146.3 million in 2012 and doesn’t even include the millions of eligible citizens who failed to register. Final tallies will take some time yet, but the number of votes cast in this election will probably hold steady or even decline from 2012. Donald Trump seems likely to end up with about 60 million votes. Mitt Romney received almost 61 million in 2012.

The popular vote was close and probably ultimately won by Hillary Clinton. Still, she might not reach Mitt Romney’s 2012 total. Again, the number of registered voters increased by more than 40% in the last four years, but the number of votes cast went nowhere. Why is that?

For that question, I go back to the second thought from my previous post. Democrats spent too much time and effort on an anti-Trump message and not enough on a pro-Clinton message. I saw similar sentiment in the late ’90s with Michigan Governor John Engler including “Anyone But Engler” posters and such. He won re-election in a landslide even though Democrats outnumbered Republicans in the state during his entire tenure. He first won the office in 1990 after trailing in the polls by double digits heading into Election Day. Less than 45% of registered voters cast a ballot that year.

Pundits have focused on how polling failed to measure support for Trump. I think the real flaw was the failure to measure the lack of support for Hillary Clinton. I repeat: Republicans always vote. Liberals (who often resist identifying as Democrats), on the other hand, require motivation. There is no ballot option to vote AGAINST a candidate. People can only vote FOR a candidate, and not nearly enough was done to encourage people to vote for Hillary Clinton.

I’m not innocent in all this. I resisted writing about this election, and the one time I did I got caught in what I knew to be a dangerous wave. I even mentioned that in the post. I focused too much on why I didn’t like Trump and not nearly enough about why I chose Clinton.

Many liberals are complaining today about how various entities such as the DNC or the electoral system have failed. The failure really lies with us. We failed to get out the vote, and now we must live with the result. Hopefully in the future, we can learn from this.

Some Post-Election Thoughts

The election is not officially over as I write, but the result is looking pretty clear. Here are some of my thoughts, mostly about how and why it happened.

GOP voters always vote and always vote for their candidate. They don’t stay home on Election Day. They don’t vote for third-party candidates. They vote to win. I knew a lot of Republicans who hated GWB and voted for him anyway.

Much speculation as to why the outcome differed so strongly from the polls is that many DJT voters did not speak honestly to pollsters. I prefer a less prominent theory: Lack of turnout caused HRC to underperform. (See previous thought.)

Democrats spent too much time and effort on encouraging people to vote against DJT instead of voting for HRC.

Public announcements about leaving the country did nothing to sway any votes to HRC and probably encouraged DJT voters. He was pretty strongly anti-immigrant/pro-deportation, after all.

Third-party candidates don’t appear to have had any significant impact on this election. Negative sentiment toward the two major parties may have. Building a viable third party will have to be done on the local and state levels. Until another party is regularly competitive in those elections, it won’t happen on a national level. It’ll take time and a lot of work. America has not demonstrated that kind of patience and motivation.

The Electoral College is woefully outdated and a poor method for electing a chief executive. Changing it would be another thing that will take a lot of time and effort. I have no confidence for that one either.

As for my how I feel about the result: We will endure. We must endure.