My mother was diagnosed with uterine cancer in the mid-1970s, when I was in grammar school. Her goal, at that time, was to stay alive to see my older sister Kathy and me graduate from high school. She neither dwelled on the disease, nor on why she was stricken with it, but instead focused on getting rid of the cancer and living for her two daughters.
While new and novel might be exciting, routine and habit can help create a structure and framework for success. From eating breakfast, brushing our teeth or exercising every day, much of our lives are driven by routine. This reliance on routine behavior can startle us when we are driving and find ourselves not at our planned destination, but at our routine destination.
Ever since the 1976 election, I've understood the importance of voter turnout. My father was running for United States Congress in rural Georgia, having lost in 1974. He realized in early 1976 that running as a republican in Georgia, while Jimmy Carter was topping the democratic ticket, was going to be a hard feat to pull off, but confident of his ability to work hard, he trudged forward.
The director of the Secret Service, Julia Pierson, was questioned this past Tuesday by members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform regarding lapses in Secret Service Performance. The hearing focused primarily on an incident that took place on September 19. Omar J. Gonzalez, 42, allegedly jumped the White House fence, ran across the White House lawn, ran up a flight of stairs and through the North Portico door. He then allegedly entered the entrance hall, turned left and headed into the East Room, where he was tackled and subdued. A knife was allegedly found in his possession.
With just under six weeks to the Nov. 4 Election Day, the pressure is on. With a Democratic sitting president with a low 44 percent approval rating, many Republican races across the nation are being run by tying the Democratic candidate to the president. In many cases, this might indeed create distaste for the Democratic candidate by the voters and lead to a Republican victory. But, with no clear path forward, who is to say that the voters won't be just as disgruntled in a few years with Republicans?
According to a Gallup Poll released this week, "Americans' trust in the federal government to handle international problems has fallen to a record-low 43 percent, ... Separately, 40 percent of Americans say they have a 'great deal' or 'fair amount' of trust in the federal government to handle domestic problems, also the lowest Gallup has measured to date." (Poll conducted September 4-7, 2014, with 1,017 adults, 95 percent confidence level, +/- 4 points).
What a difference a year makes. Last September, the Obama administration and the media were cheering happenstance as victory. A quick review of last year's events: the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government on civilians, tough talk by President Barack Obama, an administration push for a congressional vote for use of force, Secretary of State John Kerry's off-the-cuff remark regarding Syria giving up chemical weapons, Russian President Vladimir Putin leveraging the remark into action, the Obama administration claiming a great solution.
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June 21 is officially the first day of summer, but - as happens during any election year - the heat is going to set in well before then. It's going to be a long, hot spring and an even longer, hotter summer.
This week marks the 44th anniversary of Earth Day. In years past, the day has been marked with great media fanfare and attention. This week, it marched by with little mention. This is not so much a reflection of any lack of interest in the Earth, but a reflection of how mainstream and ongoing the topics of recycling, reclaiming and sustainability have become. They are now part of our daily lives, rather than a topic to be raised once a year.
My father, Newt Gingrich, ran for congress in rural, west, middle Georgia in 1974. At the time, Georgia was dominated by the Democratic Party, there were few Republicans in the state and Watergate was in full swing. Somehow, against this headwind, he managed to garner 49 percent of the vote. He never stopped running, waking up the day after the election to shake hands at the Ford Factory as their shift changed.
Our two children are into the second week of their final quarter of the school year. Warm weather, longer days and budding plants are pushing their thoughts toward summer. For them, summer equates to vacation, travel, sleeping late and the absence of homework, quizzes and tests.
As a mother, I often dwell on my role and that of my husband in influencing our children. I also think about the roles their peers and their environment play in affecting their growth.
Georgia may appear at first glance to be a red state, solidly Republican, but its history is more complex. Those unfamiliar with its political history might be surprised to learn that, for 90 years, the Democratic Party so dominated Georgia that no Republican would run for the governor's office.
Almost two decades ago, heartbroken and single, I wrote out a list that described the man of my dreams. Less than two years later, my husband and I married, proving that dreams do indeed come true. (Yes, he met and even exceeded all criteria).
As Americans, we have the unfortunate habit of thinking about others by seeing their actions and reactions from our point of view. We put ourselves in their figurative shoes, i.e., we know about their situations, constraints, advantages and options, but we don't know what is going on in their minds. This may be due to our relative lack of diversity, the geographic size of our nation or our relatively insular upbringing.
The first two months of 2014 are all but done, and there is only a little more than eight months left until the midterm elections. The House is projected to remain Republican. In the Senate, the seats up for election are currently split between 21 Democratic seats and 15 Republican seats. This difference in open Senate seats, combined with a midterm election, a sluggish economy, and the decline of President Obama's international performance creates an opportunity for the Republicans to potentially pick up the Senate.
Thursday is my mother's birthday; she would have been 78. This is the first year that she won't be with us to celebrate, but will be in heaven looking down. In my mind, she is still with us in spirit and love.
They can make fun of us if they want. Georgians know that grace and generosity are more important than blame. While others may make fun and cast blame, the important stories are not about how weather happens, snow comes and we get caught in traffic jams for hours or how we abandon cars and pick them up a day to two later. The real stories are about strangers handing out food and water, stores and restaurants welcoming those who are stranded, providing them shelter for the night. They are of neighbors getting together for large dinners, friends walking miles to ...
Two ads are seared into my memory from childhood. One is by Keep America Beautiful for Earth Day in 1970. The commercial portrayed what appeared to be an American Indian crying over the pollution that littered our country. Later, we found out the actor was neither an Indian nor really crying.
As parents of two middle-schoolers (eighth grade and sixth), my husband and I spend time attempting to help them develop characteristics that we believe are useful and good.
My mother's father died of cancer before I was born. My mother was pregnant with me, but had not told her father that she was to have a second child. The story I've been told is that they opened him up to remove the cancer -- and found it everywhere. They closed him back up and sent him home to die.
The start of the year is when many companies, organizations, families and people review their plans and their priorities. This process often includes deciding where they should focus their time, energy and effort, and how to judge, at year's end, whether they have succeeded.