Casey Kennedy nominated to sing at Carnegie Hall

current events, non-fiction No Comments »

GREAT News for Casey Kennedy ~ This mother has tears in her eyes. Just received this:

Dear Casey Kennedy,

Congratulations! We are very pleased to inform you that you have been nominated by Patrice Burgstahler for the 2014 High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall. You are being recognized with this honor and Carnegie Hall performance opportunity as a result of your demonstrated musical accomplishments…..

Sincerely,

The High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall

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The Memory Power of a Chocolate Hostess Cupcake

current events, essay, non-fiction No Comments »

Just this morning, I am grateful for my friend Dee Meyer, again ~ we were on hold for a conference call, when we started discussing Hostess possibly going out of business…then we chatted about the fact that as adults we cannot remember buying twinkies, ho-hos, snoballs, etc. It was then that I shared a powerful memory I have as a child and Hostess Cupcakes.

I was 8 years old when my biological father took just me to Sunday Mass on this particular Sunday. After Mass, we went over to a drug store breakfast counter. Daddy ordered us both coffee (mine mostly milk). I was on cloud nine to have my father all to myself (I was the oldest of four children at that time.) My father asked me what I’d like for breakfast. I wanted the package of the chocolate Hostess cupcakes (my mother would have never approved of this choice~love you, mom, despite the lack of junk food in my life :) ). While waiting for cupcakes to arrive, my father held open the newspaper and I modeled his behavior by opening the comics. The cupcakes arrived and my father asked me if he could have one. To which I said, “No. I want to take the other in my lunchbox tomorrow.”

Four months later my father died from a 9 year battle with cancer. That morning, when the news finally sunk in that my father was dead, I ran to my mother, “I’d do anything to give Daddy that cupcake.” For years, I had that thought.

Well, as Dee and I continued to chat on this phone conference where no one else ever showed up…Dee said, “It’s never too late. Put one of those cupcakes on his grave.”

“Oh my God, Dee. I’ve never thought about that. Thank you.”

Seriously, Dee, thank you…

And I learned some years back that my father was not sitting on a cloud judging me, but at the same time, this offering of the cupcake to him feels like a wonderful healing gesture.

Ah the beauty of a good friend and a conference call where no one showed up but that good friend ♥

nannette rogers kennedy
November 21, 2012

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Awaits You…

current events, poetry No Comments »

Your eyes~
squinted tight
only open
as a vandalized
and camouflaged slit
in a century~
old cemetery fence.

Your mind~
solidly sealed
so closed
as the inside of an iron,
rust-ridden
and forgotten
solitary-confine door.

Your heart~
hardened hard
with ignorant hate
wasting away
in effort
to beat clotted vitriol
through your veins
instead of blood.

Your hands~
fisted for fight,
arthritic with fear,
paralyze into claws
as you clench a newborn
in your arms~
you too exhausted to embrace.

Your mouth~
stiff from rapacious
words drooling
from a dark
canyon within.
“Nigger lover, Communist,”
you scream at me
and deliver a blow to the hood of my car.
You inject your tabula rasa infant
with malignant malevolence.

Stop.
Please.
Do unto others.
Teach your children well.
Try your sails with the winds of a softer heart,
not with the gales and gusts
of uneducated and untamed terror.

A vast sea, not void of storms,
but also filled with infinite peaceful waters awaits you.

A boundless ocean, not without predators,
but also graced with the dance of dolphins awaits you.

Awaits you…

nannette rogers kennedy
november 2012

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Where Do We Start?

current events, non-fiction, poetry 2 Comments »


First we cry.
Then we hold on
to one another
for the help
of continuing
to stand.

Then…

Not unlike the first
piece of rubble
picked up after
NYC’s twin towers came down…

Not unlike the first
chunk of cement
removed after
the earthquakes
in Japan and Haiti…

Not unlike the first
bags of water
helicopters dropped
on the 2012 wildfires…

Not unlike the first
boards and walls
pulled away after
the Joplin tornado…

we begin with reaching
for the first
downed branch
floating dish
passing chair
ruined & cherished photos
old family paintings
& worn letters
yellowed baby books &
black & white home movies
and so much more
that hurricane Sandy
stole and blew away
with the ease
of a breath…

We begin again.
That’s who we are.
We human beings
refuse to remain
battered.

nannette rogers kennedy
October 30 2012

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We Buried My Mother in an Elephant

current events, essay, non-fiction 8 Comments »

I am a recovering Republican. It’s been nearly 12 years. Even before my recovery, I did not vote a straight party ticket, nor did I always vote for the Republican presidential candidate.

My great-grandfather on my mother’s side became a Republican as a very young man and eventually worked his way to becoming a United States Congressman from the state of Pennsylvania.  This is not the Republican party of my great-grandfather…and I dare say it is not even the Republican party of my dear departed mother and it is definitely not the Republican party with once I used to affiliate.

Several years before my mother died, I was at a G.O.P. event with her where John Ashcroft was the keynote speaker (a man my mother knew well, and this was before John Ashcroft was the U.S. Attorney General).  At one point  John Ashcroft said something, that I cannot now even remember, and everyone in the room got on their feet, screamed, whistled and applauded in approval.  I so did NOT agree with what had been said, that I remained seated.  My mother looked at me and asked me to stand up.  I remained in my seat….this was the beginning of the end of my Republican affiliation.  I adored the ground my mother walked on, but the light bulb went on fast and bright, and not even the love and loyalty for my mother was going to keep me with a party that less and less resonated with me.

My mother worked over thirty years for the Republican party, for the most part as a volunteer.  She was very loyal to the G.O.P. even in times when the G.O.P wasn’t loyal to her.  Having grown up with my active G.O.P. mom, I used to be loyal to her political world view.

My mother’s love of the U.S. and it’s democratic process were of the utmost importance to her.  She was a very proud American.

Voting rights for all Americans were very near to my mother’s heart.  I sat at my mother’s elbow hundreds of times in G.O.P. campaign offices which she ran. I listened to her when she spoke to people on the phone during election times.  When speaking to someone who had clearly told her that they were a Democrat and they were voting for the Democrat, she would always say: Thank you for your time and remember, it is important to exercise your right to vote no matter the candidate.  If my mother were still alive and heard the words out of Pennsylvania state House Republican leader Mike Turzai’s mouth about making it harder for Democrats (primarily blacks  & other minorities) to vote, she would have dropped dead. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuOT1bRYdK8).

Respecting and taking care of our military was extremely important to my mother.  She never, ever missed an opportunity to thank any military person she saw anywhere she was.  Often times, her thanks came with tears in her eyes, because she knew of their sacrifices, having been married to two veterans and having a son-in-law Vietnam vet.  When the Republicans last month voted down the veterans’ job bill, my mother would have said something I heard her say more than once in my life, “That is the biggest case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.”  Then she would have dropped dead.  http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2012/09/23/senate-gop-obstructionists-throw-veterans-under-the-bus-vote-down-bill-to-help-vets-in-need-of-jobs/

On overturning Roe v Wade.  My mother, though quiet in this view, did not believe Roe v Wade should be overturned.  She believed that in the case of rape, incest and the life of the mother, abortion should be legal.  My mother knew that I wouldn’t be alive if abortion wasn’t legal in the case of the life of the mother.  She would not want to see Roe v Wade overturned.  Since this hasn’t happened (yet), she would not be dropping dead at the possibility, but she would drop dead if she lived to see this.  Though, I can say with some conviction that Todd Akin’s statement about legitimate rape and shutting “that whole thing down” could have easily caused her to drop dead. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fetFNTgqE6o)

My mother volunteered her time to the elderly, to orphaned children, and any lonely person she ever met.  She gave of herself without complaint throughout her life.  She cared about the poor, the underprivileged and believed that compassion for others was the rule and not the exception….

The turn the Republican party has taken would have horrified my mother~and made her deeply sad.

The news of my mother’s death was announced at the Republican National Convention in 2004 on national television, and it was mentioned how much she would be missed. Barbara Ladesich, would not have recognized her G.O.P. today; she would have missed the party she used to know.

On the primary election day in Missouri, 2004, my siblings and I buried our mother’s ashes in an elephant cookie jar.  Now we are having second thoughts…

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Do We Think About What We Say vs What We Believe?

current events, essay, non-fiction, thoughts No Comments »

Are spirituality and politics mutually exclusive? Or is there a way to bring forth our spirituality in to the political arena? Praying and meditation are a necessary part of solutions, but are they enough? EveryONE has those moments alone of asking themselves (on many and any levels) “what can I do to make a difference?”

In all cultures and religions on the planet there is a form of  “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and I believe we would find most, if not all people say that they believe in these words. With much of what is airing on the news or printed in the papers regarding our politics and the condition of the earth, I feel compelled to ask the leaders from around the world: If you believe, REALLY believe in these words, how can you say some of the things you say? What would happen if we wrote to our leaders around the world with nothing more than the words from the Golden Rule and ask them to sit with these words before they speak. Can these words be something one only believes during spiritual or religious gatherings, but forgotten the rest of the time?

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Barack Obama, Feb 11, 2011, Regarding Egypt’s Nonviolence & Moral Force

current events, non-fiction No Comments »

2011

We saw people of faith praying together and chanting – “Muslims, Christians, We are one.” And though we know that the strains between faiths still divide too many in this world and no single event will close that chasm immediately, these scenes remind us that we need not be defined by our differences. We can be defined by the common humanity that we share~Barack Obama, Feb 11, 2011, Regarding Egypt’s Nonviolence and moral force.

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A 2010 Modest Proposal ~ In response to Transplants/Health Care

current events, essay 2 Comments »

The essence of democracy is its assurance that every human being should so respect himself and should be so respected in his own personality that he should have opportunity equal to that of every other human being to show what he was meant to become. – Anna Garlin Spencer

A 2010 Modest Proposal
In response to: Arizona Cuts Financing for Transplant Patients

by Nannette Rogers Kennedy

Thanks to Jonathan Swift, author of the original “A Modest Proposal” for the idea of writing a new modest proposal. The original was written in 1729. Mr. Swift (30 November 1667 – 19 October 1745) was an Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer.

For Preventing the Poor and Middle Class People of the United States From Being A Burden on this Great Nation, and For Making Them Beneficial to the Wealthy

It is a melancholy object to those who attempt to fill our doctor’s offices and hospitals of this great country, especially when they are heard to whine and complain: “I do not have health insurance” or “We cannot afford adequate health insurance.” And to see these mothers and fathers with two and three children in tow, or these single people who could afford more adequate health plans if they would just go out and get a job, or a second job, or a third job. It is a pitiable situation to hear these people say “I need help and I have hope that my greater human family will open their hearts, that the insurance industries should be regulated, that doctors will offer some way for me to live to see my children grow up.” It truly is their ignorant drama that depletes the good cheer of this great nation of ours.

I think it is agreed by all parties that the astronomical number of uninsured or underinsured human beings drag down the overall good cheer of the rest of us; we can all agree that this weight placed upon those of us who save our money, spend wisely, acquire high paying jobs with excellent benefits and insurance plans has gotten out of hand. And then to further suggest that we assist in aiding those who need transplants, medications, and procedures is just ridiculous. Whoever could find a fair, cheap and easy method of making these poor and middle class people, useful members of our society, would deserve to have statues set up as preservers of this great nation.

But my intention is very far from being confined to provide only for the parents and single adults whose health is ill; it is of a much greater extent, and shall take in the whole number of ill children who are born of parents in effect as little able to insure their offspring, as those who demand our charity in doctor’s offices, pharmacies and hospitals.

I have been assured by some very knowing conservatives, that a poor or middle class family having two young healthy children (by the luck of the draw), that one child upon reaching the age of 12 could be harvested for his perfect organs to go to the wealthy on waiting lists, and the remaining child upon reaching the age of 12 could be maintained for breeding purposes. The family could receive a small stipend as an incentive to continue helping the wealthy remain healthy. The poor and middle class will eventually come to realize and understand that to receive money is far more important than saving a life of a member of the poor and middle class, and the breeders too, will have the opportunity to rise and join the ranks of the wealthy by aiding the wealthy. And as the ill members of the poor and middle class die from failure of hearts, livers, lungs and the like, it would be required that the remaining healthy organs be donated to those who can afford the procedures.

There is likewise another great advantage in my scheme: it will prevent those poor and middle class citizens who are ill to bother with the health care system at all. The ill poor and middle class parents will avoid any welfare program believing they are keeping their children out of the system, believing they are protecting their healthy children from the donor/breeding plan. Further, the very length of the forms needed to be filled out by the poor and middle class, will deter the sick from accessing the system. As a result these healthy children will not receive federal assistance of any kind–no food stamps, housing, minimal health care and the like, and they too, shall eventually perish and not burden the doctors, the pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, the health insurance companies (and those of us unfairly taxed) with time taken to treat people who will not amount to anything anyway.

And one of the critical benefits of this modest proposal is that billions of dollars paid by real tax payers every year, will not be necessary, and our good money can be spent on opulence, grandeur and splendor without having to feel guilty for being the fittest of society. This plan also will prevent further overtaxing and will allow health care for those who can afford to support the insurance industry. The health insurance industry, too, shall benefit, as the poor and middle class will dwindle and no longer drain the system.

Not only does this proposal (over time) dispose of the financial burden for caring for the poor and middle class sick, it also will reduce the amount of welfare expended overall. In time, the economy will recover, and the wealthy will outnumber the poor and middle classes. And we finally, it can be agreed, get back to living in good cheer.

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140 Days of Kindness

current events, essay, non-fiction 56 Comments »

angel

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible~Dalai Lama

Thank you to all my twitterers, facebook friends and friends and family for you kind act suggestions ~ We CAN do this!

I meant to post this yesterday, on the U.S. celebration of Thanksgiving ~ but alas, way too much turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberries, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, etc… I was grateful to spend time with my family and decided that the 140 days of kindness could wait until the day after.

So today is the today to begin living from kindness ~ during this 140 days, daily kindness will become natural and automatic.

Below is just the beginning of the list of 140 acts of kindness. In the comment section, make suggestions of your acts of kindness and I will update the list regularly ~ leave your name or twitter user name if you like.

Then if you want, take the 140 Acts of Kindness Pledge and help make our world a better place . . . kindness is contagious.  Simply state in the comments that you commit to 140 days of kind acts ~

#1 @cupcakes5 Rake the leaves from an elderly neighbor’s yard. #gratitude

#2 @afathersheart2 BE AN ORGAN DONOR

#3 @lizisaacslwc Do something special unconditionally for someone without them kn owing it. Be anonymous. It is the greatest form of kindness

#4 @TheQuantumCoach Place a note under a random windshield wiper that saying, “You are loved and you are worthy.” #gratitude

#5 @JCOblessed Be all the love & joy U know how 2 B.

#6 @azcactusflower out to dinner pick a table and anonymously pay for their meal.

#7 @jonitchr How about crochet or knit hats/ blankets for preemie babies? Does that work?

#8 @amgoth2000 Mom & I r knitting/crocheting hats 4 homeless 4 Lion Brand Charity

#9 nannette1094 Scrape the snow off a stranger’s windshield & “draw” a smilely face on the hood of the car

#10 nannette1094 print off hopeful quotes & place on others’ windshields at grocery store

#11 nannettee1094 pay for person’s coffee behind you at your fav coffee shop (this will inspire them)

#12 @JasonEscape: feed the meter for a stranger.

#13 @LunaJune: it is those little things that make the difference.. had a guy a couple weeks ago come up and pay .09 cents for me :)

#14 nannette1094 #kindacts pay for a couple of dollars of groceries for the person behind you

#15 nannette1094 purchase food and put into the bin at the front of your grocery store for those in need

#16 nannette1094 Offer to gift wrap for an elderly friend or neighbor

#17 @lele647 actually what we have here are like coupons you choose at the end of your grocery trip and all money goes to food banks too

#18 @JasonEscape Another good one, Jason! #kindacts Toys for Tots.

#19 @lele647 everytime I go I grab a dollar which ends up about 3 dollars a week. Kids take canned foods to school

#20 @JasonEscape: @nannette1094 Visiting a hospice. Performing, reading or just being present. #kindacts

#21 @JCOblessed: @nannette1094 Spend time with & listen to the stories of that elderly neighbor who lives alone.#kindacts

#22 RT @P10S: I enjoy #kindacts which are anonymous like leaving a small, thoughtful goodies on a desk or doorstep with a note of well wishes

#23 RT @P10S: likethoz Ferro rocher chocolates http://bit.ly/6qnyAg orAndes mints http://bit.ly/8UDM83 I think were made 2 hug ppl #kindacts

#24 @JasonEscape Visiting a hospice. Performing, reading or just being present. #kindacts

#25 @JasonEscape Standing up for someone who needs it when nobody else will.

#26 RT @JasonEscape: @nannette1094 Big Brother, Sister, etc. #kindacts

#27 @azcactusflower we hv extra Christmas lights elderly neighbor’s son used to put theirs up, he died We r going 2 surprise them w/lights up.

#28 @azcactusflower volunteer and a children’s hospital to rock sick babies..never enough hands for that. #kindacts

#29 @JasonEscape: @nannette1094 Telling a stranger that they have something in their teeth. #kindacts

#30 RANDOM KIND ACTS…crochet or knit a lapghan for a nursing home patient ..someone you don’t even know.

#31 Feed the feral cats in your neighborhood. (Neuter them, too, if you can!)

#32 @djdabblin I shared my extra water filter pitcher with my neighbor because this past week her water filter has been on the brink of not working properly. Everyone needs healthy water!

#33 @journalwriter7 #kindacts Sincere compliments with a smile can always brighten someone’s day; they are apt to remember, giving them a boost of confidence.

#34 @nannette1094 Shovel the snow off your neighbor’s walk or driveway ~

#35 @radiate I’d say the FIRST kind act ANY One can DO is LOVE SELF – it exponentially affects ALL of WE Positively & is the one place we..have complete control/direction/power/CHOICE…..from there….”ask what LOVE would DO, how LOVE would BE” in ALL situ’s positive energy this has BEen of assistance Sweet Angel, humbled and honoured YOUr request :) Big Hugs of LOVE to YOU

#36 @JhhR Smile at babies.
#37 Send a card to someone you haven’t heard from in a while – just to say hi and remind them they are special to you.
#38 Look the cashier/teller/etc. in the eye and say thank you after your transaction.
nother idea: When you’re walking kids to school, help keep the sidewalk clean by picking up any trash you find.
#39 At a cafe, pay for the coffee of the person next in line
#40 Another idea: listen without judgment when you hear about a different opinion or a choice that you wouldn’t make. Just listen.
————————————————————————–

#41 @kaboogie have your kids write their teachers a thank you not #kindacts

#42 @DrJackKing Let me encourage you to visit @Foyble_org ~ “for all the good we do and all the good we will do” #kindacts #payitforward

#43 @faraway67 My #kindact for every day – smile at least to 10 people that look sad…simple but it works
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@angels510

#44  Do an errand 4 a homebound elderly neighbor or acquaintance; or offer 2 drive them 2 appointments. #kindacts
#45 Visit a homebound elderly neighbor or acquaintance; bring a small present to cheer or meal 2 share. #kindacts
#46 Send HAND-WRITTEN note 2 someone who needs a little cheer. Nowadays, handwitten notes R rare, so this is special. #kindacts
#47 (Have done this 3x recently) – offer to gas-up for some1 who can’t go anywhere bcoz out of gas & out of money. #kindacts
#48 Pay the bridge toll for the 1 or 2 motorists behind you at a toll booth. #kindacts
#49 I’ve written anonymous notes & left them on windshield of cars 4 random #kindacts. Sometimes I insert a $-or-2 to surprise.
#50 I’ve written anonymous notes & inserted them in cards @ Hallmark, card shops. Sometimes insert a $-or-2 for fun. #kindacts
#51 This is common: VOLUNTEER @ a local homeless shelter or other charitable orgs. #kindacts
#52 This is less common but very kind: Actually ENGAGE w. the homeless. Talk to them, spend time listening 2 them. #kindacts

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#53 RT @dmbrown111: RT @NurseBevW: ♥Granted!♥ #crafterslove Wish Upon a Hero – I wish for 15 dollars to get medicine: http://bit.ly/5qp86s via @addthis

#54 @KamaainaInOC Red Cross is sponsoring Holiday for Heroes.Cards can be snt to Holiday Mail for Heroes PO Box 5456 Capitol Heights MD 20791

#55 @KevyK4life #kindacts ~ Say hello with a smile to everyone you meet..start a smiling revolution

#56 Jennifer Rogers Cummings When you are at the store & hear that someone has forgotten their discount card, offer them yours ~

#57 Eileen Munzo Let the person/people (depending on how kind you want to be) go ahead of you in line…

#58 Leave a kind/inspirational note in a library book on a post-it…

#59 When you leave a tip at a restaurant, leave a note or speak to a manager telling about the great service you got…let people’s bosses know how great they are doing.

#60 Colleen McBride smile at someone!!!

#61 Zari Pirasteh start the day without expectation from ourselves:)

#62 Steven Parker There’s always leaving coupons next to corresponding products in stores.

#63 Colleen McBride say thank you and tell people to have a nice day! it’s amazing how many people out there disregard those in customer service/service industry!

#64 Krysta Banke I learned this one at RIT – hold the door and wait for the person who is next to pass through.

#65 Irene Allievi You don’t need to go to Africa you can help to people you see everyday. Just to talk to them, be interested how they are today , greet them happily. E.g. I am a teacher if one of my students is stuck I spend some overtime to help them. I’ve got an eldery mother, may times I’m tired I just do things for her. Her nurse is sometimes short of money I … See More, try to help, her. What I mean see to people who are around you every day and give them a happy day. Make them laugh and feel loved. It works. Try to be happy to make make people around you happy. Once you incorporate it, it becomes a habit.

#66 Irene Allievi Don’t give money to the street boys. Just take them into a coffee shop and feed them or buy them clothes, if you have time.

#67 Rachel Hale Drew Buy a bottle of your favorite hand lotion and leave it in the ladies’ room at work.

Keep adding more in the comment section and I’ll keep adding to this post ~

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