Josh Groban Valentine’s concert

photo of Josh Groban by Karen Cotton

Josh Groban and his band put on an amazing Livestream Valentine’s concert tonight for the world. I cooked a nice dinner for my family and all three of us watched Groban’s concert while we ate. Groban sang songs from his new album, Harmony, but he also sang a cover by Billy Joel, and played the piano, too! I don’t want to give it all away if you haven’t had a chance to see the concert, yet and you have tickets. But it was totally worth the ticket!
I am glad musicians like Groban and his band are able to still perform, but I still miss live music. Music in stafiums, too!

Mary Gillgannon has a brand new release

Author Mary Gillgannon
Mary Gillgannon’s newly released romance title!

Author’s website: Http://www.Marygillgannon.com

by Karen Cotton

Cheyenne is lucky to have Mary Gillgannon who works by day as a librarian at the Laramie County Library, but is also a talented author.

“Lord of Secrets” is Gillgannon’s newest release in her Lords of the Borders series. This is book two. Her fans have been eagerly awaiting its release. Here is a Q and A that Gillgannon recently did over email.

Q and A is below :
Please tell readers what your new book is about:
Lord of Secrets is about a Welsh healer, Rhosyn, and an English knight, William Fitzhugh. William has just been named lord of Higham Castle, which is connected to the village where Rhosyn has recently come to escape her traumatic past in Wales. It takes place in the 13th century, a time when the Welsh and English were fighting bitterly over the lands on the border between Wales and England. 

Where did you come up with the idea? I’ve always wanted to write a story about a healer in the medieval era. There is a tradition of using healing herbs that goes back to even before that time, and many of the herbal remedies they used were actually effective. In fact, some of them, or at least their active ingredients, are still used today. But the Church was very much against women having any power and so a lot of the knowledge of these women was suppressed and they were sometimes accused of witchcraft. And of course, my heroine needed a hero, so I came up with a young knight who is kind of over his head as far as running a castle. He needs a wife, but the only appropriate wife is an English noblewoman. But he falls in love with the healer and that causes problems for everyone. 

How did you research it?  I have several books on herbs and traditional remedies as well as lots on medieval history.. It helps that I’ve written several books in this time period previously, so I have notes from that research. But I do fact check a lot of things on the internet these days, which is much faster than when you had to find everything in books.  

What do you like the most about your book?  I like that both my characters are trying to find their way in a new life and so they have a lot of room to develop and grow over the course of the book. I’ve also made the hero a man who is able to appreciate women and see them as equals. That may be sort of unrealistic for the time period, but I have to believe some men were like that even then. I think it makes him a very appealing hero.

Where can they find it?  Right now it is only available through Amazon, in both e-book and trade paperback format.

How long have you been writing romance?  Thirty years. I started soon after I began working at the library in 1990.

Why romance? And why historical romance? Or is this a new sub genre for you? I originally wanted to write historical fiction and the romance part of it came about because romance has a clear story arc and that made it a lot easier to plot my first book. I also love to focus on what is happening in my characters’ hearts and minds, as much as historical events, and that’s what romances are about. The history becomes the background and the characters’ lives, the story. I have written one time travel romance and a historical fantasy, but otherwise all my books are historical romance. 

Tell readers about some of your other titles that you think they’d like if they read this one? Maybe one that goes with it if it is a series? Or? Just one that is similar?  This book is the second book in the Lords of the Borders series. The first one, Lord of Hearts, came out last fall. It has a much different hero and heroine, with a fiery Welsh princess who despises the English who ends up married to an English lord, who is sort of forced into wedding her. It’s more of an enemies to lovers story.   

Anything else you’d like to add? I haven’t been on Facebook much lately, since I’ve been trying to meet my publisher’s deadlines. But I hope to get back on more this spring and start connecting with readers.

Concert announcement in Casper Justin Moore and Tracy Lawrence

Information from press release
THE LATE NIGHTS & LONGNECKS TOUR
JUSTIN MOORE & TRACY LAWRENCE with special guest LAINEY WILSON
Thursday, April 8 at 7 pm at the Ford Wyoming Center
CASPER, WY- Justin Moore and Tracy Lawrence with special guest Laney Wilson are coming to Casper on the Late Nights & Longnecks Tour at the Ford Wyoming Center on Thursday, April 8, 2021. Tickets start at $39.50 plus applicable fees and go on-sale Friday, February 12th at 10:00 A.M. and available at the SinclairTix Box Office at the Ford Wyoming Center, all SinclairTix outlets locations, online at SinclairTix.com, or by phone at 800-442-2256.

more to come soon!

Fleur Bradley is a Colorado based author who has a new book out


Fleur Bradley is a talented Colorado based author whose new children’s book, “Midnight at the Barclay Hotel” came out recently and is available anywhere books are sold. She tells readers all about her new book and why she became an author who likes r

Can you tell me how you came up with the idea for your book?

Midnight at the Barclay Hotel really started with my love for mysteries. When I was a kid, there was no YA section, so when I worked my way through the kid department at my library, a kind librarian suggested I try Agatha Christie. I’ve been hooked on mysteries ever since.

​I wanted to write a book for kids that has the same elements as a Christies novel, with a strong (murder) mystery, a slightly over-the-top cast of characters, and an interesting setting—but in a safe, kid-friendly way. And I wanted to introduce kids to the elements of investigation in a mystery story, how a detective might search for motive, means, and opportunity for each of the suspects. Then, I visited the Stanley Hotel, and was fascinated by the ghostly history and interesting backstory. That combination of mystery and spooky setting is how Midnight at the Barclay Hotel was born.

Why do you write books for children?

I love that middle-grade age—kids around eight to twelve years old are smart, and still love discovering new worlds and stories. I’m also a strong advocate for reaching reluctant readers, those kids who aren’t too crazy about reading. I believe there’s a book out there for everyone, and mysteries are a great way to reach a reluctant reader. 

Plus, I’m still a little bit of a kid at heart myself. With my writing, I can see the world through a twelve-year-old’s eyes, which is a fun escape.

How long did it take you to get published?

I spent more than ten years writing mostly short mystery fiction, and got a few dozen stories published before I tried my hand at novel-length fiction. I wrote about six YA manuscripts before landing an agent and ending up writing middle-grade mystery; my first book Double Vision came out in 2012. I’m glad I took the long way to get there—it helped me learn how to write, how to work with an editor, and how to take rejection gracefully…

​I still write short stories between projects. They’re so fun to write.

How long have you been writing?

About eighteen years (wow, that was longer than I realized…). It’s strange to look back on all those years now. Mostly, I had a lot of fun, and made a bunch of friends who have all taken theirown path in writing and publishing. Even though eighteen years is a long time, I feel like I’m just getting started.

Why did you want to be an author?

I wanted something that was just mine. I had two young children when I first started writing, and was staying home with them, taking care of the household… It’s easy to feel like you’re disappearing a little when you’re a stay-at-home mom. I already loved to read, and decided to try my hand at writing, so I had something that was just my own. It took a few tries, but my first short mystery was published by a tiny-press magazine called The Storyteller. 

​Writing for kids is even more motivating, because you hear from kids who tell you they loved the book. Or from kids who didn’t like to read, but now that they’ve read your book, they’re ready to keep reading. That’s so rewarding.

Can you give tips to writers about writing for kids?

Often when I talk to writers who are just starting out writing for kids, they’ll tell you how they want to teach kids this or that (like how bullying is bad, or you shouldn’t lie). That’s great, but it usually doesn’t produce a very good or enjoyable book.

​If you want to write for kids, you have to remember what it was like to be one. What fears, hopes, dreams did you have when you were eight, ten, twelve years old? Write about that. The best middle-grade writers remember what it was like to be a kid. It’s actually a lot of fun and a little magical.

What about for young readers and tips you would give them about being an author?

Keep writing! Every little bit helps and adds up to a lot of words. Find some fellow writers your age, and give each other (kind) feedback by starting a writers group. Keep at it, even if you feel discouraged sometimes. 

Are you doing any online events in December? If so, do you have links?

Most of my events in December are school visits, but I am doing a fun virtual event on New Year’s Eve with Second Star to the Right, a great children’s bookstore in Denver. You can find out more here:

(2) Second Star to the Right Books | Facebook

About Fleur Bradley:

Fleur Bradley is the author of the spooky middle-grade mystery Midnight at the Barclay Hotel (Viking/Penguin Random House) which recently made NPR’s Best of 2020 Books list. She’s passionate about two things: mysteries and getting kids to read. Fleur regularly does (virtual) school visits and speaks at librarian and educator conferences on reaching reluctant readers. Originally from the Netherlands, Fleur now lives in Colorado Springs with her family, and entirely too many cats.

For more information on Fleur and her books, visit www.ftbradley.com, and on Twitter @FTBradleyAuthor.

About Midnight at the Barclay Hotel:

Hunting ghosts and solving the case before checkout? All in a weekend’s work.

When JJ Jacobson convinced his mom to accept a surprise invitation to an all-expenses-paid weekend getaway at the illustrious Barclay Hotel, he never imagined that he’d find himself in the midst of a murder mystery. He thought he was in for a run-of-the-mill weekend ghost hunting at the most haunted spot in town, but when he arrives at the Barclay Hotel and his mother is blamed for the hotel owner’s death, he realizes his weekend is going to be anything but ordinary.

Now, with the help of his new friends, Penny and Emma, JJ has to track down a killer, clear his mother’s name, and maybe even meet a ghost or two along the way.

Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra Holiday concert cancelled but ways to continue to support them

The Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra is cancelling their holiday concert.
But you can still support the musicians and conductor.

Here is their official press release: “Out of an abundance of caution, the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra board and staff have made the difficult decision to cancel the December 12th Holiday Magic performances, presented by HollyFrontier.  With the recent new restrictions by the Governor, as well as the rising number of COVID cases in the community and local hospital, CSO feels it is in the best interest of all involved to not proceed with this concert at this time.  The health and well-being of all CSO patrons, staff and musicians is a top priority. Those who have purchased a ticket to this concert may call  307-778-8561 beginning Mon., Nov. 30th to discuss ticket exchange or donation options.

For more info about upcoming concerts go to Http://www.cheyennesymphony.org

It’s not too late to buy tickets to Josh Groban’s Thanksgiving Day livestream concerts


Courtesy photo Josh Groban’s new album Harmony Target exclusive

Josh Groban is known for his amazing voice and holiday album Noel and so many more. His latest is Harmony, which he will be livestreaming the new tracks in concert tomorrow. Even though musicians have had limited touring ability due to the pandemic artists like Josh Groban are doing livestream concerts you can buy tickets to. I interviewed Josh when I worked at the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. And he’s a wonderful person as well as a talented artist. His singing is great in person in concert in a stadium and this is as close as fans can get for now.

So follow the directions below for his Thanksgiving Day Facebook concert!

from Josh Groban’s Facebook page…

Get your tickets here: Http://www.joshgroban.com

Spend Thanksgiving with Josh tomorrow! His Harmony album livestream concert starts at 1pm PST but you can watch and re-watch it all weekend long. We are so thrilled to donate a portion of the sales to No Kid Hungry! You can still grab your tickets at JoshGroban.com. See you then!

Also don’t forget to catch a special performance by Josh on Thanksgiving Day in a livestream concert celebrating and raising funds for Nurse Heroes everywhere. Tune in on Thanksgiving at 4 pm PST/7 pm ET for a special performance by Josh Groban and many others. Learn more about Nurse Heroes Live! here: https://live.nurseheroes.org/

Laramie County Library virtual events for the holidays

December Laramie County Library Closures

Thursday, December 24

Friday, December 25

Thursday, December 31 – Library closes at 6pm

HOURS of the Laramie County Library branches if you would like to check out books inside or curbside (curbside only when there isn’t inclement weather)

Cheyenne Library Hours: Monday through Thursday 10 a..m. To 9 p.m.

Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sunday open 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Curbside open anytime library is open unless there is inclamate weather

Burns Library Hours: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays

Tuesdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wednesdays closed Thursdays 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Fridays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturdays 9 a.m.to noon

Closed Sundays

Pine Bluffs branch Hours: closed Mondays and Sundays

Tuesdays 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Wednesday and Thursday 10 a.m. t 5 p.m.

Fridays 1 p.m. to 5p.m.

Saturdays 9 a.m. to noon

All information courtesy of the Laramie County Library

WELCOME TO WINTER FEST VIRTUAL EVENTS from the Laramie County Library that you can do online from the comfort of your home.

From Dec. 7-19

Winter weather got you stuck inside? We have a solution for that! Join in the fun by picking up an activity kit on the 2nd floor of the library or by utilizing the library’s curbside pick-up service. We will have three projects for ages Pre-K and up starting December 7th, with a second set of projects debuting on December 14th. *While supplies last. 
(Children & Families; 2nd Floor)

*RSVP Required
Virtual Kindermusik®
Saturday, December 19 

10 – 10:30am

Join Laura Sutton from Rhythm & You for a fun time with books, music, and movement. Come to the 2nd floor of the library to pick up your free rhythm kit or pick it up utilizing the library’s curbside service to participate in all the fun! RSVP for this event at https://lclsonline.org/calendar/ to receive the Zoom link via email.
(Ages 2–5; Live via Zoom)

*RSVP Required

Virtual Denver Zoo

Tuesday, December 29

11am–12pm

Zoom down to the Denver Zoo with a live virtual experience visiting some of our favorite animals! Stop by the Ask Here desk on the 2nd floor of the library or by curbside pickup starting December 21st to pick up an interactive craft that will go along with our one-of-a-kind visit! RSVP for this event at https://lclsonline.org/calendar/ to receive the Zoom link via email. 
(Children & Families; Live via Zoom)

*RSVP Required

Virtual Winter Jeopardy

Wednesday, December 30

6–7pm

Think you’ve got what it takes to be a trivia champ? Join us for Winter Jeopardy and you could win some fabulous prizes! RSVP for this event at https://lclsonline.org/calendar/ to receive the Zoom link via email. 
(Children & Families; Live via Zoom)

Virtual New Year’s at Noon

Thursday, December 31

11am–12pm

It’s time for our annual New Year’s at Noon! This year we will be counting down to noon at home with fun crafts and projects that you can do while joining us virtually! Pick up your interactive bag at the library starting December 28th and then get ready as we say “so long” to 2020! Tune into our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LaramieCountyLibrary to join in on the New Year’s fun!
(Children & Families; Live via Facebook)

Monthly Virtual Early Literacy Classes


Early Literacy Class Themes

Week of November 30: Art & Imagination

Week of December 7: Pigs-A-Plenty 

Week of December 14: Here Comes Winter!

Week of December 21: Storyteller’s Favorites

Week of December 28: Storyteller’s Favorites 

Virtual Pre-recorded Early Literacy Class

Monday, November 30
Mondays: December 7, 14, 21, 28

10–10:30am *can be watched at any time throughout the week

Join us for a pre-recorded interactive early literacy class. Practice new skills incorporating books, songs, rhymes, movement, and more! A new session is posted each Monday morning and will be available all week. Click here to participate: https://lclsonline.org/early-literacy-programming/

Each week, we will offer three chances to participate in an Early Literacy Class! A virtual live class on Tuesday at 10am, a virtual live class on Thursday at 10am, and a pre-recorded session posted on Monday at 10am that you can watch at your convenience any time throughout the week. All virtual live classes require advanced RSVP through our events calendar. Just choose whichever session or format suits you and your family best!

Stop by the Ask Here desk on the 2nd floor to pick up a weekly craft packet and free rhythm kit to go along with the week’s Early Literacy Classes whether you are joining us for the live version or the pre-recorded version! Some crafts will also be available at the Burns Branch Library. 
(Ages 18 Months–5 Years; Laramie County Library System Website)

*RSVP Required
Virtual Tales Together

Tuesdays: December 1, 8, 15

Thursdays: December 3, 10, 17

10–10:30am

Join us for a live virtual Tales Together via Zoom! During this interactive Early Literacy Class we will practice new skills, incorporate books, songs, rhymes, movement, and more! RSVP for this class at https://lclsonline.org/calendar/ and receive an email with a Zoom link for the live event.

Each week, we will offer three chances to participate in an Early Literacy Class! A virtual live class on Tuesday at 10am, a virtual live class on Thursday at 10am, and a pre-recorded session posted on Monday at 10am that you can watch at your convenience any time throughout the week. All virtual live classes require advanced RSVP through our events calendar. Just choose whichever session or format suits you and your family best!

Stop by the Ask Here desk on the 2nd floor to pick up a weekly craft packet and free rhythm kit to go along with the week’s Early Literacy Classes whether you are joining us for the live version or the pre-recorded version!
(Ages 18 Months – 5 Years; Live via Zoom)

Virtual Teen Events

*RSVP Required

Virtual Anime Watch Party

Wednesdays: December 2, 16

5–6pm

Connect with us on Discord to watch popular anime episodes and discuss in the chat. Discover more fun activities by joining our Teens Talk Manga community. Don’t have a Discord account yet? No problem! Laramie County Library is now offering Discord Communities for teens to interact, chat, and play online. To participate, you will need a phone, tablet, or computer with internet connection and a Discord account. You will receive the Discord invite link and information needed to create an account when you RSVP for the event at https://lclsonline.org/calendar/
(Teens; Live via Discord)

*RSVP Required

Virtual Teen Dungeons & Dragons

Saturdays, December 5

1–3pm

Role-playing adventure is just a click away. Join our Teen D&D online community and get started on creating a character today. Don’t have a Discord account yet? No problem! Laramie County Library is now offering Discord Communities for teens to interact, chat, and play online. To participate, you will need a phone, tablet, or computer with internet connection and a Discord account. You will receive the Discord invite link and information needed to create an account when you RSVP for the event at https://lclsonline.org/calendar/
(Teens; Live via Discord)


*RSVP Required

Virtual Teen Trivia and Tee K.O. 

Wednesday, December 9

5–6pm

Join us for Trivia Murder Party and t-shirt battles in our Video Games online community this month! Don’t have a Discord account yet? No problem! Laramie County Library is now offering Discord Communities for teens to interact, chat, and play online. To participate, you will need a phone, tablet, or computer with internet connection and a Discord account. You will receive the Discord invite link and information needed to create an account when you RSVP for the event at https://lclsonline.org/calendar/. This month, we are featuring the Jackbox games Trivia Murder Party and Tee K.O.!
(Teens; Live via Discord)

Virtual Adult Events

*RSVP Required

Virtual Ernest Hemingway: An Exploration of Life and Stories

Wednesday, December 2

6:30–7:30pm

Delve into Ernest Hemingway’s life of adventure, complexity, and intrigue with a presentation by Dr. Caskey Russell. The University of Wyoming professor will lecture on the biographical history of the famous author before discussing the diverse stories presented in the One Book Wyoming selection, In Our Time. RSVP for the event at https://lclsonline.org/calendar/ to receive an email with the Zoom link.
(Adults; Live via Zoom)

*RSVP Required 

Virtual Jeopardy: 1980s
Friday, December 11

7–8:30pm
Like, totally! Like, we are feeling, like, soo nostalgic right now! Grab your Garbage Pail Kid cards, peg your pants, put on your high tops, and tease out your bangs ‘cause we are taking it back to the ‘80s. Come play the classic game of Jeopardy with us and you could win a prize for first, second, or third place as well as a prize for best ‘80s garb! RSVP for the event at https://lclsonline.org/calendar/ to receive an email with the Zoom link.
(Adults; Live via Zoom)

Virtual Burns Branch Library Events

December Giving for the Community 
December 1–21

Library Hours
We have partnered with The Shepard’s Closet this month to give to the community this holiday season! During the first three weeks of December, bring your non-perishable foods, toys, and winter clothing to our drop-off location at the library. All donations will go to help fill Christmas baskets for families in need. The Shepard’s Closet is located at the Burns Town Hall at 327 S. Main Street.     
(All Ages; Burns Branch Library)


Take It and Make It Monday 
Mondays: December 7, 14, 21, 28

Library Hours
Get crafty on Monday! Visit the library to pick up a craft packet to take home and create a beaded candy cane or wreath ornament.   
(All Ages; Burns Branch Library)

*RSVP Required

Virtual Ladies Night (Out) In: Ornament Workshop 
Thursday, December 10

5:30–6:30pm
Pick up your supply packet at the Burns Branch Library, get cozy with a drink, and join us live via Zoom as we create some great holiday ornaments such as a tea light snowman and a yarn mini hat. RSVP for this fun event at https://lclsonline.org/calendar/ to receive an email with the Zoom link. 
(Adults; Live via Zoom)

Unwrap the Gift of Reading 
December 14–19

Library Hours
Begin the holiday cheer early by unwrapping the gift of reading! Select a wrapped book to check out, unwrap, and read. Inside you will find a book review form to fill out and bring back with the book. All returned forms are entered in for prize drawings. 
(All Ages; Burns Branch Library)


*RSVP Required
Virtual Live Dinner and a Book Club
Tuesday, December 15

5:30–6:30pm
Go virtual with us! The book this month is Indigo Girl by Natasha Boyd. For more information, please call 307-547-2249 or visit with library staff. RSVP for this event at https://lclsonline.org/calendar/ to receive an email with the Zoom link.  
(Adults; Live via Zoom)


*RSVP Required

Virtual BINGO with the Grinch 

Tuesday, December 22

5–6pm

Don’t steal Christmas cheer, instead try your luck at BINGO with the Grinch and also participate in a special read aloud of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Our hearts will grow three sizes if you join in on this fun event with prizes to be won. A few BINGO packets will be available for pick-up at the Pine Bluffs Branch Library, most will be available at the Burns Branch library. RSVP for this event at https://lclsonline.org/calendar/ to receive the Zoom link via email. 
(Children and Families; Live via Zoom)


Virtual Pine Bluffs Library Branch Events

The Twelve Days of Christmas Crafts
December 8–23

Library Hours
Stop by to pick up a Christmas craft kit featuring everything you need to make festive handmade cards and holiday ornaments. There will be a new craft each day the library is open!      
(All Ages; Pine Bluffs Branch Library)

Trim the Tree 
December 8–23

Library Hours
Help make our Christmas merry and bright! Bring your craft kit ornaments to display or leave a holiday message on our Post-It® tree.       
(All Ages; Pine Bluffs Branch Library)

Winter Reading Celebration Kickoff 
Friday, December 18
1–5pm
Thursday, December 19
9am–12pm
Join us in Pine Bluffs for the kick off of our Winter Reading Program! Add your snowflake to our winter wonderland and get started reading with a gift from Santa’s bag of books.       
(All Ages; Pine Bluffs Branch Library)

Be Kind

            I have my magazine for a reason. Media is very biased. It is either extremely left or extremely right. There is no such thing as objective journalism anymore. There also aren’t any social media sites out there that also aren’t biased. So my goal is to be objective.

            Look 2020 has been a lousy year for a lot of people in the United States. Between Sars 2 Covid-19, businesses and schools being shut down, concerts, theater, rodeos, festivals, cruises and movies being postponed until who knows when, huge wildfires in the Western part of the U.S., hurricanes and flooding in parts of the South, racial tension, protests, riots, marches, murder hornets, and the U.S. presidential election and so much more, yay us. 

This year people have been angry, anxious, fearful, hateful, and this all stems from the media. Whether it is social media, news on Internet search engine sites, media on your TV, youtube, your radio, newspapers, your smart phones, media is everywhere. 

  Do you know what is more powerful than the media? It’s knowledge, research, the ability to find the truth, to find honesty.  

      Don’t hate your family member, your friend, your coworker, or your neighbor because of who they chose to vote for. Nobody is wrong. The great thing about America is we have the freedom to choose who we vote for. And everyone can vote if you are a legal citizen, including women like me, which hasn’t always been the case for women. 

            We also have the freedom of speech in America. That is something to be very grateful for and something that is to not be taken for granted. 

            Everybody has the ability to choose use their words wisely, whether it is through social media, a text, a phone call, an email, a letter, a messenger message, or a conversation of any kind.

            I have never in my lifetime seen so many people trash politicians, their friends, their family, their neighbors, so openly and so freely without thinking about the consequences. And there are consequences.

              I think the thing that appalled me the most this year was a post on Facebook that I tried to report of an individual who wished that President Trump would be put on a ventilator when he had Covid-19. And Facebook left that comment up. It is not legal to wish ill will on the President of the United States. But A lot of people did. And did I say Facebook left that comment up, after I reported it. TWICE!

            My mom passed away last year. She had COPD, heart issues, and she had fallen. She was on blood thinner, and when she was put on a ventilator, she had caught pneumonia in the hospital,  and had surgery to remove what they thought was mucus, they found that she had blood in her lungs. My mom was on a ventilator in ICU for many days. And eventually there was nothing more that the doctors or nurses could do to try and save her so I had to take her off of the ventilator. It was the worst day of my life.

            There is nothing worse than seeing someone you love with their hands secured down, and a tube down their throat, and unable to talk to you. 

            I don’t care how much a person hates the President of the United States, but I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. 

            The job of being a president is thankless. Because no matter what you do people are going to either love you or they are going to hate you. 

            And President Trump has the right to have the ballots recounted in every state. It is part of a fair election. 

            Everyone should really just be nice to each other, too. Whether you voted for Trump, for Biden, for Kanye, for Jorgensen, for yourself, or for nobody. Everyone in America has a that right to choose. 

            Last year I lost my mom, I had a miscarriage, I lost my dog to cancer, and this year I lost my grandpa. One day I saw him in the hospital to say good bye to him and to thank him for everything he gave us,  and a few days later we were at the family gravesite over looking a mountain burying his ashes. It was very traumatic to say the least and really made me take a look at life.

            What I am trying to say is life is precious. Life is a gift. Your words can either be poison, or they can be kind.

            Everyone is fighting a battle right now. This year has been incredibly fucked up and difficult. There really isn’t any other way to put that. 

            Yes, Covid-19 is a real virus, with no cure, I have friends who are fighting it right now. But these are things the media ISN’T talking about: COVID-19  has also caused mental health issues, families to go hungry, women, men and children to be abused even more than ever during the shutdowns, children to go missing for months because schools couldn’t find them anymore once the shut downs happened. Our elderly community has been lonelier than ever before. My grandpa, we couldn’t zoom with him because he was hard of hearing and hated technology, we couldn’t talk to him through a window because he would have been confused and angry because he couldn’t hug us, so I got to see him when he had a day left to live and was unresponsive. And NO he didn’t have Covid-19 but it certainly did kill him. 

            I have seen firsthand how families went hungry, how the shutdowns led to abuse and divorces, how financial hardship can kill a person’s confidence, or business, and how some families are barely hanging onto their homes and are close to homelessness or are homeless, how deployments are incredibly difficult on spouses. How political views can rip apart families and friendships. How racism is still a huge issue in America. 

            But there is something that is out there that is more powerful than politics, more powerful than a killer virus, or racism … it is your own voice, your own actions, and your faith, whatever that is. 

            So, when you wake up tomorrow, you have the choice to be kind to people, or not. And that’s not something you can blame politicians, or a virus on. Something that has helped me deal with my own anxiety about everything that is going on in the world is unplugging from all social media outlets, all TV, all radio, shutting off the news apps on my phone. Focusing on my family, friends, my pets, fixing myself, trying to help people when I can, and being kind. 

            We have the ability to vote in our country, the ability to get in touch with the government officials when we are unhappy or want change, or to even run for office ourselves. And we also have the freedom of speech. Use it wisely. And don’t always trust one media source or the other. Research, and learn.

            I still tell Biden supporters I voted for Biden, and Trump supporters I voted for Trump, and sometimes to throw people off I tell them the opposite, or that I voted for Kanye, or even myself.The cool thing about America is you also have the right to vote in secret. But however you voted treat everyone with respect, with kindness. Be an example for the future of America, our youth.