“When asked what drove her to see it through, she said that she wanted to be an American citizen like her children and husband. She wanted to show them she could do it and make her family proud. Manuela also very much wanted the right to vote. On July 14, 2017, she was sworn in as an American citizen.
“The opposition to refugees and immigrants is strong, but it is the most universal story we share as Americans. It should be the common ground that unites us.”
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Immigration Is our Universal American Story, by
Last week, a federal judge in Houston ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy was
Parents are busy. New parents especially are stressed and exhausted. It takes its toll. You must understand how ridiculous it sounds to the parents when they have to answer to the authorities. They had just made the ultimate mistake, and all they could come up with is the horrific utterance, “I forgot.”
“Though I appreciated that particular priest, I no longer consider myself Catholic. The recent meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is a great example as to why. The bishops voted to draft guidelines for receiving the Eucharist with the goal of ultimately preventing lawmakers, including President Joe Biden, from receiving Communion if they supported a woman’s right to choose. Catholic leaders are exerting their power through public shame, hoping to influence decisions of our supposedly secular legislature.
“It is the same powerplay that Catholic bishops in New York state exhibited in1967 that resulted in something unexpected from their religious peers. It’s a nugget of little-known history that would serve Catholics a great reminder.”
Read the full column at the link below
Abortion and the Catholic Currency of Shame, by
One day in Catholic school, Sister Mary Francis pointed her finger like a gun at my classmate and said shooting her was no different than abortion. Both, she said, were intentional murder.
My daughter got Bella at her dad’s house shortly after the divorce. My ex even called the sweet yellow lab “the divorce dog.” Visits with dad also meant time with Bella, which was great when my daughter was 8 years old, but the teen years brought work, band practice and a social life. Visitation with dad became more sporadic. Then, my ex asked if we would dog sit. Bella was a senior dog by then, and we were all smitten. We asked if we could just keep her. He said yes.
Bella and I bonded in a way I hadn’t anticipated. I worked from home, and she was my constant companion. My daughter grew up and moved to an apartment of her own, but Bella stayed with me.
COVID-19 brought with it a puppy boom as people sought comfort and companionship during quarantine and isolation — but for me, Bella was there. We took walks in the woods and played in the yard with my son. Our circle got smaller as the pandemic began to rage. Schools closed, my husband was furloughed, and then, just as everything shut down, we had to say goodbye to Bella. That stacking of hardships is known as collective — or cumulative — grief, and I wasn’t sure I could take it.
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Love, Loss and Pandemic Puppies
Every time we welcome a pet into our lives, we also welcome the inevitable heartbreak. We know how it ends, and yet we still open our homes and our hearts to four-footed companions.
My Grandpa Lou was my dad’s stepdad and the only grandpa on my father’s side I ever knew. Once, on a visit with him, I lamented that I would have to take a typing class in the fall. I was 15 and entering my sophomore year of high school. We sat at a picnic table in a park and watched my younger cousins run and play. Grandpa assured me that learning how to type would be a vital skill for me as I entered the job market. I was offended. It was 1990 and I was certain he meant that I was destined to be someone’s secretary. Had he not seen me playing my guitar on his front porch that very morning? I was to be a musician. I loved to write, too, and I would surely journal about his expectations of me later. It would seem we were both full of assumptions.
I would learn way too late to tell him that I was wrong.
“I did not attend my high school graduation. My family had a lot on its shoulders. My dad and stepmom were going through a divorce. I was told the Friday before my senior prom that it was over.
Graduation photos are all over my social media feed, and even The New York Times featured prom photos on their front page. High school graduation is no doubt a rite of passage and a major transition in life. But there was no point in pomp and circumstance for me. It would seem my future was not so bright anyways. I was a horrible student. Don’t get me wrong, I loved to learn, I just didn’t learn well in a classroom. For others, college would be the next logical step, but I barely had the grades to graduate high school.
I clung to the words of Chuck Keller, my junior year English teacher. He had told me, “Your success in high school does not determine your success in life.”
I really enjoyed this conversation with Julian Rubinstein and Terrance Roberts. Julian’s new book The Holly which focuses on Terrance’s story is a great read that manages to shine a light on how local media failed Northeast Denver. The interview recording is linked below. I hope you’ll watch.
I also reviewed this book for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and that review is linked below the recording. The book is worth the read.
Almost dead in Denver
In ‘The Holly,’ journalist Julian Rubinstein tells the story of how one Denver neighborhood dealt with gangs, drugs and gentrification.
“I recently moved back to my hometown of Fort Thomas, Kentucky, located just across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio. I promised my husband, who’s Hispanic, that it is more progressive and more diverse than when I was growing up. I also sold him on the fact that it is one of the top school districts in the state. But, as I sat in a community meeting in our local high school auditorium and listened to my fellow community members make public statements about a proposed elective course on social equity, I worried that I was wrong.
Many of the comments at the microphone were in favor of teaching social equity. Some shared a personal story to illustrate why it’s important to them. But those who spoke out against the course hammered home the same sound bite that’s been echoing across the country as states seek to ban critical race theory (CRT) from public education.”
Matt Bertasso, the Highlands High School outgoing principal, said the social equity class in Fort Thomas was tabled because “It did not pass the neutrality test.” But our sanitized stories of America don’t pass the neutrality test either. Perhaps our curriculum should start by being honest.
Life doesn’t happen inside neat little schedules. Plus, my zest for life doesn’t quite match the illness’s demand that I slow down.
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What’d I Miss? Where Chronic Illness and Mental Health Intersect
I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, an autoimmune disease that, when left untreated, can be debilitating. There is no cure. My diagnosis was not a death sentence, but my mobility slowed as the disease progressed.
In this article for Subaru Drive magazine I take the reader through our backyard conservation projects to remove grass, establish pollinator gardens, install rain gardens, and turn our turf lawn into a clover lawn.
I like a lush, inviting yard. Grass? Not so much. Grass isn’t “green” – it’s wasteful, costing homeowners time, money and energy in an endless cycle of planting, watering and cutting. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that landscape irrigation accounts for nearly one-third of all residential water use, totaling almost 9 billion gallons per day. Grass is actually considered America’s largest irrigated “crop,” beating out even corn.
Read the full article below.
Substituting clover for grass, along with a few other eco-tweaks, can turn your outdoor space into a paradise for birds and bees.
For a simple step-by-step guide to install your own pollinator garden click the link below!
How To Create a Pollinator Garden in 5 Steps
Read more articles by Bonnie on the environment HERE