My Tribe

I value the women in my life so much. They love with no limits. They are intelligent. Face challenge with courage. Their desire to grow and learn supersedes any fear of the unknown. 

Today I am thankful

  • A really wonderful day.
  • Time with a friend of many years, and I got to talk to my cousin I love so much.
  • My fall/winter comforter is on my bed. It feels divine. 

Friends are so important in our lives. I have learned the importance of taking time and nurturing my friendships with my women friends. 

No matter how much time goes by, or distance, a friendship picks up where it left off for kindred spirits. 

affectionately yours, Laura

The New Real ID is Coming

After the events of September 11, 2001, and the acts of terrorism committed against the United States, a commission was assembled to gather data and put perimeters in place to prevent an event of that magnitude from happening again.

TSA 1One of the items identified was the need for a more uniform and secure federal identification procedure and “actual” documentation. From that, the concept of “Real ID” was conceived.

The new Real ID would be required at all federal checkpoints, to include military bases and airports.

In 2005 the House of Representatives passed a bill into law the “Real ID Act.” It put into place set federal standards on all drivers licenses that would be regulated by each individual state.

This Real ID would have what is now on a drivers license. It would have the addition of a barcode for scanning and an additional security device measure to deter counterfeit or tampering. It would also display a gold star in the upper right-hand corner signifying that your identification was approved by the Transportation Security Association (TSA).

This law caused a great deal of controversy for two significant reasons. The primary one was, though this was a federal law being passed down, the sole financial responsibility for the change over of to the new Real ID system would fall to each individual state.

With the states receiving no federal subsidy or supplement, this “unfunded” federal issued mandate, the financial burden would unequivocally end up falling on the licensee to bear the burden.

The other concern was the security of the amount of personal information that would be gathered and who would have access to it. Part of the federal law requires each state to share its database with other states.

Because of this pushback, the law was tabled for two years, until 2007.

When the Real ID law was re-evaluated in 2007, perimeters were put in place for the requirements of obtaining a Real ID.

To get a Real ID, you must present documentation of a photo or non-photo identification with your full name and birth date. A valid birth certificate. A social security card. Proof of citizenship.

TSA 2As of January 1, 2017, twenty-three states are already meeting the criteria for compliance with the Real ID. Twenty-six states are not quite there, but, have secured extensions of two years with the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Five states and American Samoa are not in compliance.

Today I am thankful

  • It feels like fall. A brisk day. I need a jacket!
  • way too long list of things to do. Slow, but sure they say.
  • A Santi or Lucy day is always a good day.
  • Praying for a miracle and a sewing machine to get my scarecrow done.

The law which is to go into full effect January 2018, does not require that you replace your old license until it expires. If you do want to replace it, there will be a fee. I would imagine, if you are a frequent traveler — it would be to your benefit to do so.

You do not have to get a Real ID. You can stay with a “non-compliant” ID. However, that will mean you will have to provide other means of identification for travel such as a passport or federally approved paperwork.

Enjoy the crisp fall weather coming our way!

affectionately yours, Laura


A Little Kindness Goes A Long Way

A woman who inspires me, Maya Angelou, once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

kindness 2.pngI keep that quote in my journal as a reminder, that it is more important how I go about my day and treat people, than what I do with my day. And I think for all of us, it’s not just how we treat others, it is also how we treat ourselves.

Every day we make the choice of how we treat ourselves. Do we treat ourselves with kindness? How we treat ourselves, will eventually domino to how we treat others. If we constantly take care of others and not nurturing ourselves, we will become depleted and unable to care for anyone.

The kindness of self is the foundation of truly loving others. Several years ago my therapist asked me if I would ever talk to my best friend the way I self-talked to myself. I was really appalled, and I said a resounding, “No.” She challenged me on why I would berate myself in that way then. I didn’t have a good answer — then. It was a learning moment and one I have not forgotten.

It was a turning point in my life of nurturing the different areas of my being that needed love, kindness, and extra care.

With this important lesson for myself, was an enlightenment of compassion and kindness for others. It takes life lessons like that to make a change in our attitude toward others. People remember how we treat them.

Today I am thankful

  • Oh, my coffee is extra good this very early morning.
  • My concern for some of the natural disasters going on is hard to put into words. I put my faith and hope in the kindness of the world to make it alright.
  • Every day I pray and give thanks for my heartbeats, Lou, Jaz, Santi, and Lucy.

kindness 1Every day we interact with so many people. How we treat each, leaves an impression and in turn, affects how they go on with their day. It is that whole pay-it-forward attitude. I treat you with kindness, with the hope, you will treat the next person with the same kindness.

Already today think of all the people you have interacted with. The person you woke up with. Don’t forget the people in traffic. Or the people on the sidewalks. Co-workers. A little kindness goes a long way.

Most of all, do not forget to start with the person in the mirror, always treat yourself with kindness.

affectionately yours, Laura




And Justice For All 

The internet is filling with posts like these from Friday night football games this morning. About elementary kids, high schools kids. Someone’s child.

THIS is why people are kneeling. NOT because they are disrespecting the flag, NOT anything to do with 45. Although there is a culture that wants you to believe that.

It is ABOUT the way a race of people are regarded and treated by our nation. This peaceful protest is about social injustice and racial brutality .

The racial epithets names they are called. The brutality. The killing. And it is being re-enforced with these attitudes, these words. This is not new, sadly this is a long history in our nation I call Plantation Politics, I will be writing about it. 

I am a proud American. I love my flag. But more than that, I put my belief not in a symbol. My love and faith in my country is not a flag or a statue in a harbor. I put my belief in the words “… with liberty and justice for all.” And when I put my focus on the words — my conscience dictates I treat all people equally.

As a white woman, I can look at the flag, stand, put my hand over my heart, and sing the words to the Star Spangled Banner or say the Pledge of Allegiance and it makes sense. Those Words are true for me. 

They are not true for black and brown Americans.

affectionately yours, Laura

You Are Enough

Today I am thankful

  • I am no longer the color of Kermit. 
  • I can keep keep food in my body.
  • My bed, my couch, my blanket.
  • Licorice and ginger tea.

This week I caught myself having moments of self-doubt. Questioning was I enough. 

It is a constant reminder. I am enough. Whatever my decisions, I am enough. 

affectionately yours, Laura

He Loved The Fall

“He loved the warm sun of summer and the high mountain meadows, the trails through the timber and the sudden clear blue of the lakes,” Hemingway wrote.

The poem continues, “He loved the hills in the winter when the snow comes.”

“Best of all he loved the fall … the fall with the tawny and grey, the leaves yellow on the cottonwoods, leaves floating on the trout streams and above the hills the high blue windless skies.”

His memorial concludes … Now he will be part of them forever.

Ernest Hemingway Memorial in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Today I am thankful

  • A peaceful day of research and writing at my favorite coffee shop.
  • I have been anticipating the starting of new fall television shows.
  • A delicious cup of chili and a homemade lemon bar. Yummy.
  • Some days turn out to be a serendipity of life events.
  • Don’t ever let anyone nudge you into something you aren’t ready to do. Your intuition will tell you when you are ready.

Hemingway has been one of my favorites since I saw his screenplay in The Garden of Eden. It was his last novel, uncompleted at the time of his suicide in 1961. I went back into his world of words from there.

A few years ago during a memorable vacation with two of my favorite humans, I had the opportunity to visit Hemingway’s memorial and grave.

It left quite an impression on me. Somewhere amongst my photo memory cards, I have pictures of his gravesite (this one is from a Google search) that were fascinating with all the offerings left behind by his admirers.

I added a pencil, and a small bottle of vodka to his collection. Contrary to popular belief, mojitos weren’t his favorite due to his diabetes. He favored a very dry martini with extra olives. In his novel Farewell To Arms his character, Frederic, makes reference to drinking one.

In reading Hemingway’s work, different things about his life come alive in his stories. And that is what makes writing and reading so fascinating.

affectionately yours, Laura 

A Lovely Fall Day

This picture made me smile.

 I am enjoying this fall. My walks, sitting on a park bench, and watching the squirrels play. Going for rides and listening to my music.

I have been watching the leaves on the trees along the Mississippi River with anticipation. Patiently awaiting as they begin their changing of colors. Every year I anxiously look for those flaming orange and red color to show up. When it looks as if the trees are glowing.

I have already watched Hocus Pocus.  I have discovered a drinking game to play during my next viewing to make it really interesting. 

I found this cool Fall Bucket List of things to do. I am definitely going to get in a high school football game, a visit to the apple orchard, and a fall festival. And who can pass up a good juicy caramel apple? 

The beautiful days of fall. 

Today I am thankful

  • A Santi or Lucy day is always a good day.
  • I am caught up on my episodes of Blacklist. 😱
  • My Women’s Book Club selection for the month is awesome. There is nothing like getting lost in a new book.
  • I woke up craving Wendy’s chili. I wonder what that’s about? 

Enjoy your day, my friends. I am off into mine.

affectionately yours, Laura