January 6th Tribute 2022

The Presidential Citizenship Medal was given to 12 living Americans and 2 posthumous, who gave exemplary service to our Country on January 6, 2021. These individuals were law enforcement and state and local officials who defended the U.S. Capitol and upheld the integrity of the 2020 election. They are:

  1. Jocelyn Benson, the former Michigan secretary of state who faced armed protesters outside her home as she was pressured by those seeking to overturn the 2020 election results.
  2. Rusty Bowers, the former Arizona House speaker who resisted pressure from people hoping to overturn the election. 
  3. Harry Dunn, a Capitol Police officer who faced harassment from rioters. He has served on the force for nearly 15 years. 
  4. Caroline Edwards, a law enforcement officer who suffered a brain injury as a result of rioters’ actions on Jan. 6, 2021. 
  5. Michael Fanone, a now-retired Metropolitan Police Department officer who was injured in the attack.  
  6. Ruby Freeman, who worked as an election worker in Fulton County, Georgia, and faced threats for doing her job. 
  7. Aquilino Gonell, a Capitol Police sergeant who was injured defending the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. 
  8. Eugene Goodman, a Capitol Police officer who diverted rioters from the Senate floor so members could evacuate.
  9. Daniel Hodges, a Metropolitan Police Department Officer injured during the attack. Jan. 6, 2021 was his first time ever in the Capitol. 
  10. Shaye Moss, an election worker in Fulton County, Georgia, during the 2020 election. Ruby Freeman is her mother.  
  11. Al Schmidt, a former federal civil servant who served as a city commissioner on the Philadelphia County Board of Elections. During the 2020 election, he kept the vote tally going in the face of pressure and efforts to overturn the election. 
  12. Brian Sicknick, a Capitol police officer who defended the Capitol. He died the next day. 
  13. Howard C. Liebengood, U.S. Capitol Police (posthumous)
  14. Jeffrey L. Smith, D.C. Metropolitan Police (posthumous)

There also was a ceremony on the steps of the Capitol to acknowledge this event and honor all who served on this day to protect our Democracy, civil servants, and the Capitol building, our shrine of Democracy. A speech of gratitude was given by Nancy Pelosi, former speaker of the house. In her comments she stated the courage of these individuals brought luster to the medal. While attended by the bulk of the members of the Democratic Party only one representative from the republicans attended, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania. What disrespect for those who gave their lives and risked their lives to protect these individuals.


Thus far 700 who participated in the January 6th storming of the Capitol have been arrested in 2021, with 200 in 2022. There is upwards of 3,000 who participated, inclusive of a neurosurgeon, an NFL player, and a funereal director. There is a community of on line investigators known as the “Sedition Hunters,” who have been responsible for identifying and locating these individuals.

Currently there is a book written by the Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund –

Courage Under Fire: Under Siege and Outnumbered 58:1

Believe the ratio in his title says it all. It is said to be a stunning account of one of the darkest days in American history.

Let me end by paraphrasing* from one of the interviews where these heroic Americans were lauded…

They held the line that day, and on the line was democracy.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

*Was unable to capture the name of the individual I have quoted from the interview

Also, am remiss in this untimely acknowledgement. As an American who has traveled the world I understand and appreciate all we have in our Country, and send out an enormous gratitude to these individuals who protected us on January 6, 2021.

Privacy Concerns

After purchasing my EV received a “free” gift of $100 to charge the vehicle at EVgo, which their web site touts as the nation’s fastest charging network. While not usually a skeptic have become one since my last data breach when I was searching for a butter nut squash soup recipe. Whatever the soup cost it was another $145 to clean the computer and I was grateful to only have that concern.

Am still getting cogent emails from blue chip companies with crazed email addresses. While no longer receiving erectile dysfunction emails, am now getting toenail fungus ones. Guess they got wind of my age, and now realize I have different health concerns.

I digress… Decided to look at EVgo’s privacy concerns and this is what I found. This is straight from their email.

Personal Information we collect

We collect several categories of Personal Information from and about you, namely, Personal Information we collect:

CategorySpecific Items of Personal Information
IdentifiersFirst and last name, user name (which may include first and last name), email address, postal address, unique personal identifier, e.g., customer/account name or number, phone number, mobile device identifier
DemographicDate, national origin, country of residence
Characteristics of protected classifications under California or federal lawAge, gender
Commercial InformationPersonal property records, products/services purchased, purchasing/consuming history or tendencies
Internet or other electronic network activityBrowsing, session, interaction, and search history related to our Website, Internet Protocol (or IP) address, protocol, and sequence information, cookies, beacons, pixel tags, browser language and type, time and date of access to the Services, number of clicks per visit, operating system and platform, device type and device identifiers, MAC address, device ID/UDID, or similar device-specific code
GeolocationPhysical location or movements
Sensory informationVoice and/or video recording
Professional or employment informationEmployer, employment history, information from professional references, email address that identifies you (e.g., jane.r.smith@website.com versus jrs@website.com)
Inferences drawn from any of the above to create a profile of a consumerPersonal preferences, characteristics, psychological trends, predispositions, behavior, attitudes, intelligence, abilities, and aptitudes
Other informationInsurance policy numbers

You might as well strip naked for the $100., because if you take the deal you’ve sold your soul and identity.

Word to the wise – start reading these things, I am.

The Good News of 2022

With only 2 days left in this challenging year these birds have returned to my back yard for their annual visit. Unsure where they come from or go to from here, however, it provides hope, something we all need. And while the world continues to be crazed there were a few bright spots in 2022.

  • The Pandemic appears to have become a back page story and quieted.
  • The US Labor Market is unionizing with 7000 Starbuck’s employees unionized in 2022.
  • Ethiopia signed a peace treaty.
  • Progressives were voted in in Columbia and Brazil.
  • US democracy held in the Mid-term elections.
  • Climate change progress was made at the COP27.
  • The Respect for Marriage Act was passed.
  • There was a White House wedding.
  • Jon Batiste won 5 Grammy Awards.
  • Barbara Streisand and James Brolin are married 25 years. Go, Babs…

And on a personal note – my daughter got engaged to an amazing young man and a new grand dog entered my life, Rocco.

So here’s to 2023, and continued positive change.

What Happens to Christmas Trees After Christmas?

Well, here’s the answer, and it’s an environmentally correct one. There are thousands of programs throughout the Country that compost Christmas trees. Check with your City or County to find the specifics.

Over 30 million trees are sold per year at Christmas according to the National Christmas Association, (yes, there is a group known as this), and for those sold, and those not, it is refreshing to know they have an afterlife, pardon the pun.

If you still wish to compost your tree at home, cut the branches into small pieces for quicker disintegration, and shred the bark into sawdust then add the vegetable, fruit, and other compost items on top. Of late have found on garden tours that more and more folk are using pine needles in lieu of bark chips. They are easier to haul, cheaper, nutritious for the garden, and do the same duty – rid those ghastly weeds.

And for those who have vast lands, and wish to get a federal credit, Auntie Google has an idea,

Do you have to file taxes on a Christmas Tree Farm?

  • If the trees are greater than six years when harversted, they are considered timber in the tax code. Follow the IRS code Section 631 because a Christmas tree farm is considered a business. Christmas tree farms do not qualify for the reforestation tax credit. Offer hayrides as an additional service to patrons.

Something even more fun, and easier than all described, annually buy a 12 inch potted tree with roots and watch it grow.

Kids love this, and decorate annually.

$18.99 Amazon

This is America

Have you read the story of the South Koreans who knocked on a Buffalo family’s door requesting a snow shovel, and ended up staying the weekend? If not, and lack time ditch this blog and read the story. https://www.yahoo.com/news/traveled-south-korea-got-stranded-124618333.html

To summarize, the South Koreans received an invite from the Buffalo family and ended up staying at their home for the weekend sleeping in sleeping bags on their floor, (as there were 10 of them). In return the South Koreans cooked for the family, watched football, television, and generally camped out. This is America, we are a welcoming nation, and always seem to find a way to help others. What an amazing and uplifting story to reflect upon during this holiday season.

Am sure these folks have made life long friends and will remember this their entire lives.

December 27th: Fruitcake and Zoo Day

Wanted to stick with something uplifting and different during this post Christmas week. The news is dead, (and a downer), so decided to seek what was celebrated today. It is Fruitcake and Zoo Day, and since I’m not a fan of zoos investigated fruitcakes, and what better one than America’s own ..

The Claxton

Am sure all of us have received one of these World Famous delights as a Christmas gift. Made in Claxton, Georgia, the fruit cake capitol of the world, it has a fascinating history. The company began, when an Italian New York City immigrant and pastry chef, Savino Tos, in the early 1900’s, moved and fell in love with the South. Here he began his bakery and homemade ice cream shop in Claxton.

Beloved by the community he acquired a young man of 11 to assist him. Albert Parker eventually became his most valuable employee and bought the company in 1945, deciding to specialize in fruit cakes. Mr. Parker has left us but his family continues to operate the company going from horse and buggy sales to a world wide operation. Their web site is fascinating and encourage all to read it, https://www.claxtonfruitcake.com/. It is an American success story.

And in the meantime enjoy this special day – and please have a piece of fruitcake. You won’t be sorry.

For those who still yearn to celebrate zoos, check out my 8/31/2022 blog.


The Crystal Ball tells all…

Writing this blog prematurely as poll working on the 8th from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. with 2300 voters expected at the site.

This election season has been a wild ride, however, this phenomenon is not new. Since Biden proclaimed democracy is at risk I have noted a greater concern from Americans I meet and greet in random conversations throughout the day.

It’s amazing what people reveal over a selection of a can of soup at the grocery store.

If they only paid as much attention to candidate selection…

While the polls have their place they are “off,” as many respondents lie, or simply don’t answer the phone to pollsters.

Where they get these numbers is a mystery to me.

And while predictions can be accurate, ultimately this is in the voter’s hands, and we will not know till the last ballot is counted.

However, I firmly believe in the long run democracy will prevail, even if it is a tight squeeze..

Christmas Decorations

Today I am taking a break from politics, am cleaning the house, and decorating. Being away from the condo the last 2 years have not decorated and while not a holiday buff I like to decorate. Am grateful to have this time, and even more grateful to have received a $90. bill for a $25,000. hospital stay. Only in American. Thanks, Medicare and Humana.

Will take a break from emails, texts, and maybe the news, however the last is doubtful. Receiving as many as 60 text and email pleas from across the country for campaign contributions is concerning. And while I give minimal to each it does add up, however, what cost for democracy.

The latest news has shown we will continue our roller coaster ride with its many ups, downs and twirls:

  • Oprah endorsed Fetterman
  • Lady La La must testify in Georgia
  • Prince Harry’s new book about the royals
  • the orange prez will announce after mid-terms
  • iran is supplying weapons to russia
  • Ukraine persists
  • Drought in California
  • Climate Change Concerns
  • Musk owns Twitter – hold on to your hat..

However on the bright side, Powerball is at $1.6 billion – buy your ticket tonight!


The Final Stretch..

🏇Working12 hours as a poll worker I observed citizens hug their red and blue cheat sheets while assisting in ballot processing. These sheets are from their parties and tell them which candidates and amendments to vote for. Thoughts of horse racing are triggered in my observations, however, the stakes are higher than any daily double.🏇

This has been a fascinating experience and I encourage any election denier to work the polls. Perhaps this should be a sentence for those making these accusations. Viewing the scrutiny of the process with its many checks and balances gives credence to the process.

In America we are fortunate that the process does hum.

There have been few inappropriate t-shirts, baseball hats, and questionable jokes, however, some will always be suspicious despite factual answers. Maintaining a “Switzerland,” face discourages engagement. At the sites we have had as many as 900 voters daily. This is in a county of 265,000.

The most popular question, and this occurred only 5 times in 8 days working –

“What company made this voting machine?”


It was wonderful to see Americans come together cooperatively.

We need more of this.

Poll Working

Today I begin my new job. I will be a poll worker in a red county as a blue voter. Yes, I will keep my mouth shut, and as I was once told – “Two ears, one mouth use them accordingly.”

Have to watch those eyes also..

When I had the gall bladder surgery I informed the office I would be unable to work, however, they continued to check on me. Nice touch. Heard from others that though it was a 12 hour day much time is spent sitting so I retained my schedule, and have actually added days. Pay is nominal, but have been unable to work since February so every little bit helps. Then when I checked the schedule noted many empty slots.

There is a great need for workers.

Studies prove mail in ballots are as safe as in person voting. ?Cheaper? Let me know.

I see this as my civic duty, and while it may prove more dangerous than my psych nurse days when I got my head and other bodily parts knocked in, it is my duty as a citizen.

Am sure there will be many untold stories from this event.

Stay posted.

The secrets behind the curtain.