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Archive for category Family Life

The talents of Thomas Jefferson

Wisdom from our forefathers…  How was it that so many of our Congressmen had a difference in opinion, but believed in the same principles?  The principle of capitalism needs to remain alive and well in America.  Our grandfathers knew that necessity was the mother of invention, and they went to work to create!  America is the land of creativity!  We nurtured the arts and the creative talents that made America the land of inventions.

We need to be creative again in a big way!   Things actually can be made in America still, and we know a lot about marketing.  Keeping your local economy working is better than having one big FEDERAL economy.  50 different states that come together to create on United States of America.  Each state has a little different flavor and color that makes the melting pot of America more flavorful and delicious.  We don’t need one big country that all looks the same. 

America was founded on the principle “We the People in order to form a more perfect Union!  Not under the premise We the Government in order to form more perfect People!”

Thomas Jefferson got it right when he said that “Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle.”  What can we agree on?

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Grandma always had a garden and an apron

My hero as a child was my Grandmother in her 70’s. She led by example. Her garden was refreshing and a constant thrill to retrieve things we would eat, and her kitchen just worked. The salt in the salt dish, the can of bacon grease, her sour dough pancakes were my favorites. You had to start it the night before!

She loved Jesus, his teachings and his music. Her example as a mother and grandmother showed her offspring how life should be lived. She had a good life and a long life. She was loved.

Now, 30 years after her death, she lives in me still. That is how you carry on the family tradition, values and integrity. Thank goodness she had a business sense too, and she learned about real estate, stocks, bonds and how to carry back paper. She and grandpa were smart business people and they raised a family during the great depression. Grandma was full of stories!

When women all had to pull together, to get the vote, to make a difference, to advocate for ourselves and our children, we thrived.

We must come together once again for a 2020 Initiative to nurture our communities, our cities, our state with kindness, because we need to help save the failing without a government bailout.

Housing is at the base of someone’s life. Where do they live and with what stuff. In the end, stuff matters. But life is not all about stuff. 

Kindness in people is the goal.  Man is not really very kind.  He is downright mean to each other.  Jesus came to set man straight.

Women understand kindness because we birth the babies.  It’s an act of mother nature that is beyond man.  It’s a universal principal!  It’s truly a miracle!  As mothers we advocate and nurture.  As half the population we need to step up and nurture the world.  The women who know how to lead are around me, and together we can all have the thought that brings us out of this mess!

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A fabulous use of technology for a community…

When we were growing up, the ability to “get around” provided the freedom in life. It was transportation. The ability to get around beyond your own feet!

It quickly moved from horse, to wagon and train. In Pasadena, CA Henry Huntington brought us the Pacific Electric streetcar in the 1930’s that revolutionized Southern California.

Our last visit through Dallas airport gave us a chance to ride the SkyLink. It was such a great use of transportation and a way to link a community. I wanted to share photos so you could envision the future with me! Our Universities and educational facilities are the core fabric of America. They are an asset and an economic force.  We need to use them to help our cities and states.  Could a municipality become self sustaining with revenue and resources?  What if the retirement community like a Leisure World was owned within the retirement fund?  Real estate is an excellent long term investment because people do need a place to live! 

Who would invest in those bonds?  Baby boomers come to mind, and a generation of people that grew up with good music and liked fun and toys.  And the generation right behind them too!

It is the modern day version of the village!

The SkyLink at Dallas airport

Moving people around with ease.

Where you have a healthy local economy families thrive.  Small business continues to be the fabric of America, but people need to be able to get around.  Is there another alternative to everyone owning their own car and being all spread out?  The villages of Europe were the original communities, and all the artists worked together to create their economy.

It helped a lot when we added clean water and sewers to society.  Electricity really brought us along too.  We take it all for granted these days, but 60 years ago life wasn’t as automated as it is today.

We wanted a lifestyle that looked like the Jetsons, and the handheld technology we have is just about there!  When you add a SkyLink type technology to your local economy, you create opportunity.

We love the idea of high speed trains, but a great healthy local economy between Orange County California and San Diego , CA could be brilliant.  Monorail service to Palm Springs and back could be a wonderful economy to encourage.  Even all the way to Las Vegas is within reach.  Highway 395 is the Mother Road of California, and a route they favor for the train from North to South in the state.

Retirement communities and recreational playgrounds are the gift that California offers the baby boomer generation.  We may have been part of the 1960’s movement, and we will be part of the 2060 solution too.

Adding the long term vision to our planning process makes the decisions we face today clearer.

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The 2020 Initiative

It’s easy to see the retirement of the baby boomers in the decade ahead, and how Social Security and Retirement Income all come together in “lifestyle” and then ultimately death.  That’s right.  You won’t get out of life alive.  In the end, there is an end.  And for some, then comes eternity.  An interesting thought for sure.

If you had a Great Park to look at, with a 2050 time horizon, how would you build it out brighter, smarter, more thoughtful to energy and water and even transportation?  Do we have the creative minds to do it?  You bet.  California has been built around engineering, transportation and business.  We do know something about oil, concrete and steel too.  We are bright creative fun people living in delightful weather.  How can we cash that check and help our State come up with better solutions that don’t discourage business and growth with too much regulations and taxation. 

They promised us the Jetsons!  How can we use monorail technology in and around Southern California?  How can we have a system between LA and San Diego, and include Palm Springs and Las Vegas.  We have the airlines, and they should be doing great.  Travel and Lifestyle is always a number one goal for people, after they have security, food and the basics.  Why have we made travel so “not fun?”

In my days in Europe in the 70’s traveling on an American Passport was like having “the gold card.”  Americans had control of their people, and their data base, and they were a good country.  Their currancy was solid, and the Americans were fun, smart and kind.

We could use that Patriot Card again now in our American Passport.  The background check is a formal part of that process.  It’s like applying for FAFSA and getting a PIN number so you can get financial aid for college kids.  You are in the system already. 

Now, do we all agree that beheadings are bad?  What went on in Alcapolco was not good.  Mexico suffers with a new kind of bully.  We have had our own American experience with that kind of behavior, and we agree it is unacceptable.  There actually is a LINE for behavior, and it is always up to debate.  That’s why we have a Constitution, the Amendments, and The Bill of Rights and the Court System.

America has a wonderful INFRASTRUCTURE.  1950 was the year of my parents marriage.  They had 5 kids during the next decade.  We had wonderful Grandparents on both sides with a broad storke of European DNA.  We were the “white” on the forms.  Now we are the EuroAmericans, and you know who we are.

Social Security was designed in the 1930’s to be a safety net for society.  In all honesty, you shouldn’t pull your benefit until age 65 at a time when life expectancy was 62.  It was a pass thru funded system based on taxation of wages.  I have my grandfathers original paperwork from 1937 in my office.  It was like your “insurance policy” with America.

You pay in while you are young, and take back benefits when you are old, or disabled, or you die we have survivor benefits.  They never dreamed we would have so many wives, and children, and live so long!  We should be able to BANK hours of service to charitable causes while we are young, and then be able to draw from that same “charitable bank of hours” as an old person to be able to remain healthy and independent.  Old people need good housing and good communities within which to live.  Not die.  But death is actually part of that whole process, and it can be planned for too.

Are you willing to look back and see where we were in 1900 with the Pacific Electric Trains, the growth of LA and suburbia and the opportunity to find “leasure time at the beach.”  In the 1850’s we were trying to get to CA and survive too!  By the 1950’s my parents were married in a nice back yard ceremony with an opportunity to make a life for themselves.  In 2000 they had arrived at 50 years of marriage looking really good, with their kids in good order, their health holding up and enough money to have a great lifestyle.  They had arrived.

By 2050 they will be gone, but their 5 kids produced 13 grandchildren, and the great grandchild count is nearing 10.  They paid into the system and they left a whole string of others to pay into it too.

When we let the “immigrants” into the Social Security system, we undermined it because their lack of premiums through wages into the system put a huge drag on the system. 

The other mistake we have made is in having Social Security be a pass thru system without actually holding the assets.  If it held the bonds that funded the retirement villages we would live in some day, around a lifestyle that encouraged education, the arts, productivity and recreation, then we would have a society that boomers and others would want to be a part of.  Baby Boomers would buy into a retirement story like that.  Just look at how many people enjoy Mammoth area.  Can we harvest that geothermal energy up there and use it for a retirement community?  How can we be creative and come up with new ideas for our State of California?  Highway 395 is the Motherroad, and the mining story all along there is great history from the 1850’s era. 

Does a municipality really need to always run in the red?  How could a city be profitable, and even own some retirement real estate for the community it represents?  Can we have a layer of local social services that help take care of the “people” before the government steps in?  How can we run our books smarter, and work to be profitable and accumulate assets, with all our education, creativity, technology and systems we already have in place?  We can. 

The 2020 Initiative is simply that.  A “can do” attitude of America.

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We welcome the Chinese 2011 Year of the Rabbit

As we say goodbye to the Year of the Tiger, we welcome in the Year of the Rabbit, that it may be a softer, warmer and more pleasant year! I love this painting by the artist Spring! Let me share her with you in this post. I am personally so grateful for all that the Chinese have done for us, and for America.

Original art by Spring Liao

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It is only the price of One Penny.

Pick up a penny and the American punchline is apparent.
The likeness of Abraham Lincoln and the words “In God We Trust.”

Faith to trust is American. Having the rights of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is a beautiful thing. America should be a Nation of bright, creative, kind people. We should try to be “Man Kind.” It comes from within and manifests in others. We take care of our family, our community, our State and our Country.

Here was a story I liked about a wealthy man who knew the value of a penny.

You always hear the usual stories of pennies on the sidewalk being good luck, gifts from angels, etc. This is the first time I’ve ever heard this twist on the story. Gives you something to think about.

Several years ago, a friend of mine and her husband were invited to spend the weekend at the home of her husband’s employer.

My friend, Arlene, was nervous about the weekend. The boss was very wealthy, with a fine home on the waterway, and cars costing more than her house.

The first day and evening went well, and Arlene was delighted to have this rare glimpse into how the very wealthy live. Her husband’s employer was quite generous as a host, and took them to the finest restaurants. Arlene knew she would never have the opportunity to indulge in this kind of extravagance again, so was enjoying herself immensely.

As the three of them were about to enter an exclusive restaurant one evening, the boss was walking slightly ahead of Arlene and her husband..
He stopped suddenly, looking down on the pavement for a long, silent moment.
Arlene wondered if she was supposed to pass him. There was nothing on the ground except a single darkened penny that someone had dropped, and a few cigarette butts. Still silent, the man reached down and picked up the penny.
He held it up and smiled, then put it in his pocket as if he had found a great treasure.
How absurd! What need did this man have for a single penny? Why would he even take the time to stop and pick it up?

Throughout dinner, the entire scene nagged at her. Finally, she could stand it no longer. She casually mentioned that her daughter once had a coin collection, and asked if the penny he had found had been of some value.

A smile crept across the man’s face as he reached into his pocket for the penny and held it out for her to see. She had seen many pennies before! What was the point of this?

“Look at it,” he said.. “Read what it says.”
She read the words, ” United States of America .”

“No, not that. Read further.”

“One cent?”

“No, keep reading.”

“In God we Trust?”


“And?. . .”

“And if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin. Whenever I find a coin, I see that inscription. It is written on every single United States coin, but we never seem to notice it! God drops a message right in front of me telling me to trust Him. Who am I to pass it by? When I see a coin, I pray. I stop to see if my trust IS in God at that moment. I pick the coin up as a response to God; that I do trust in Him. For a short time, at least, I cherish it as if it were gold. I think it is God’s way of starting a conversation with me. Lucky for me, God is patient and pennies are plentiful!”

When I was out shopping today, I found a penny on the sidewalk. I stopped and picked it up, and realized that I had been worrying and fretting in my mind about things I cannot change. I read the words, “In God We Trust,” and had to laugh. “Yes, God, I get the message!”

It seems that I have been finding an inordinate number of pennies in the last few months, but then, pennies are plentiful! And, God is patient.

Photo (cc) by dawnzy58

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The 2020 Initiative

Seeing out to 2020 should be clear. Transportation, and getting people around. Living without cars, using bikes, walking and mass transit are part of the future. But what does that look like?

Monorails and Airplanes work together to bring communities closer. Technology makes the big world smaller, and a local economy and its’ people matter.   A trip to Dallas/Fort Worth Airport will show you how well it is working!  That’s a beautiful use of technology and planning.  How can we use that some more?

The local Chamber of Commerce works together, with the Mayor and the downtown to create a local economy. Complete with jobs, lifestyle, community and character! Every State should have its’ own flavor! Lots of small economies. Not one big Federal one!

The Great Park should be where baby boomers retire in comfort, as we re-inspire and lead active lives, travel, and create a theme for the World, right here in Orange County. Education, wellness and fitness, in a business friendly environment with great food, culture and the arts!

We were promised the Jetsons! Let’s put this technology to work and jump right over $5 a gallon gasoline! The creative minds are here and we can do it!
Schools need to provide educations and teach kids critical thinking skills. Education is in, even when school is out!   The flavors of America are many, and together we make up a fabulous soup!  That is the gift we bring to the table.  Our diversity is a good thing.

Irvine is the melting pot of America. I’ve been here for 30 years and I’ve seen it firsthand, we are a more colorful bunch now! But our flavors are terrific, and the character of the community is enhanced by our differences and similarities as humankind.

Build it all along a great coastline, with nice weather and creative thinking people, we are living the American dream. 

Let’s see the future more clearly for the community, the state, the federal government and the world.  Go World!

It helps us see the future and that even on a penny are the words “In God we Trust.”

Let us all pick up a penny, and know that it truly is Gold.

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Now all is well…

The message of “Noel” is here today. “Now all is well” is the meaning of hope that the first Noel brought 2010 years ago. As we celebrate this Noel, we try to have hope and peace to share with our own children and the world.

After a week in the mountains and snow of Park City, UT with our two teenage sons we are truly thankful.

We enjoyed their company, and they enjoyed their parents. We brought the season of Christmas with us and made this time together special. We know they will grow up and leave home, but for this moment in time, they are still here and I cherish every moment, even when life with teens is less than easy!

If it weren’t for a baby, I wouldn’t be a mom. If it weren’t for the birth of Jesus, the message of hope and kindness might not have survived. Mankind isn’t really kind. But Americans as a whole are incredibly kind people.

At the candle light service last evening, we all participated in a dark church, with the advent candles lit, and the sharing of the light from the Christmas candle. As the light of the one candle was shared among the whole group, we sang Silent Night.

Our hearts were lifted as the light filled the church, and the song and voices raised up, filling hope in all our hearts. The first Noel was a long time ago, but it is good to know that 2010 years later, we can still sing that now all is well. Noel.

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Is your congressman a “fiduciary?”

One of the things a mother learns to do is advocate for others.  As we raise up our babies we look out for their best interests.  We encourage their success and nurture their way.  We must learn to transfer the power from us as parents to them as children, and raise them up to be independent and confident.  That’s our job.

We do this in a fiduciary capacity.  That is a person who is under an obligation to act in another’s interest to the exclusion of the fiduciary’s own interest.   We  owe to another the highest duty of care, good faith, trust, confidence and candor based on the relationship.  It is the relationship of one person to another, where the former is bound to exercise rights and powers in good faith for the benefit of the latter. 

So I ask you this:  Do you think your Congress Person has the responsibility of acting as a FIDUCIARY for you and our country as they review the finances, budgets, taxes and laws? Should this be thier standard of care?

Definitions of fiduciary on the Web:

  • a person who holds assets in trust for a beneficiary; “it is illegal for a fiduciary to misappropriate money for personal gain”
  • relating to or of the nature of a legal trust (i.e. the holding of something in trust for another); “a fiduciary contract”; “in a fiduciary capacity”; “fiducial power”
  •  A fiduciary duty is a legal or ethical relationship of confidence or trust between two or more parties, most commonly a fiduciary and a principal. …
  •  One who holds a thing in trust for another; a trustee; One who depends for salvation on faith, without works; an antinomian; Related to trusts and trustees
  • One who owes to another the highest duty of care, good faith, trust, confidence and candor based on their relationship.
  •  Undertaking to act as executor, administrator, guardian, conservator, or trustee for a family trust, authorized trust, or testamentary trust, or receiver or trustee in bankruptcy.
  • A person holding a position of trust; agents, trustees, attorneys, etc.

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Mother Mary had a story too…

I had lived a good life and been a dutiful young girl.  When I met Joseph, I was taken with him, but I didn’t sleep with him.  When the angel let me know I was going to be the mother of the great profit I was skeptical.

Why was I the chosen one?  “Say what?  How do you think you’re going to get people to believe this?  What will the neighbors say?  How do you help Joseph understand this one? I’m just a young Jewish girl without means.”

If it hadn’t been for the census requirement of Caesar we wouldn’t have gone to the City of David.  I knew my due date was near.  There were so many people in town we couldn’t get an inn.  Joseph was able to get us a room in the stable in back.  Let me tell you, childbirth is no picnic!  I would have loved to have had my mother with me.  It all turned out okay though, and I laid the baby in a manger.

As God had promised, he provided.  It was amazing.  Joseph and I grew closer, and went on to have many children together.  He was a wonderful husband and father.

We named the baby Jesus, and he was an amazing child.  He had a quiet brilliance about him.  He was an old soul from the beginning and wise well beyond his years.  He was kind.  He learned the carpentry trade alongside Joseph, and grew into a fine young man.

At 30 he traveled as an itinerant teacher. He never traveled more than 200 miles from where he was born. He never lived in a big city. He never went to college. He never wrote a book. He never owned a home. He never had a family of his own. He never did many of the things that defined success.

In the end Jesus’s friends ran away from him and He was turned over to his enemies.  He went through the mockery of a trial.  His executioners gambled for the only piece of property he had; his coat.  When he was dead he was laid down in a borrowed grave.  Three days later he was back, and then they knew.

The world went on to define time by the birth of that son, Jesus.  It took 2000 years before everyone was able to wake up and see it for all that he was.  Kindness.  That was his message.  Be kind.  Share.  Give and take care of mankind.  Your life is God’s gift to you.  What you make of it is your gift to God.  Become someone God would be proud of.  Live by ten simple rules.  Eternity will depend upon it.

What is interesting to me is that it took mankind so long to hold hands and sing in peace and harmony.  That we would have one conscious thought as a world and change the belief system of the universe would be his final wish for us.  Kindness.  Love.  Compassion.  It is the women of the world who are the mothers.  The mothers and the women need to come together to share in the peace for the world and heal its wounds.  Hope is held in the hearts of the mothers.  We feel it in our breasts as we nurture the world.  This is the gift we were given as insightful and intuitive women.

For some reason the animal nature of man never was bred out of him, and our basic pack instincts inspire us to be mean and aggressive.  Man loves to bully others. We actually have to teach kindness. The hunter gatherer grew into civilization.  Technology continues to take us further. Mankind can help the world and shape the earth for the better.

All the Armies that have ever marched, or all the Navy’s ever built, or Parliaments that ever sat, or even all the Kings that ever reigned put together could not stop Jesus, and the energy they released to the Universe when they killed Jesus just made his points stronger.

It doesn’t matter what religion you claim.  We all acknowledge that Jesus did matter, and the world was changed as a result of his life here on earth.  Let us all hold hands, sing a song, and praise the King of Peace for Christmas this year.  Let us give thanks for his life and appreciate one another.  Let us live the message of kindness and giving.  Let us be thankful for mankind.  Let us love one another.

Earths Birth

Original artwork by Penny McManigal

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