Friday, January 9, 2015

Elections~ Why so Many?

Elections are my business. It's what I do. I've been studying how Elections take place here in Oklahoma for absolutely years even before it was my job. I know rather pathetic.
None the less, I want to educate you, my friends on a few things.
Every year the our State Legislators set the election dates for the year ahead. In odd numbered years there is a possibility of 11 different election dates. This means that there are 11 times during the year that Municipalities, School Districts, Fire Districts, Counties or even the State can call for a "Special" election. This "Special" means an election is not planned, ie.. tax issues, bonds, changes in laws. There are also planned elections during these odd numbered years that happen every time. School Board is in February, Municipal in April.
Now here's where it gets crazy, because I could never understand it before I was in office and continue to be perplexed now that I'm here. When entities call for an election the month before a planned election, or the month after a planned election, when they could piggyback on to the dates of "planned" elections and save taxpayers money, and quite honestly have a much higher voter turnout.
I get phone calls at my office, consistently from voters wondering why I would schedule an election when it could have been with the planned ones. The Election Board is not the one that plans them or calls them. We only facilitate them.
The other phone calls we get consistently is voters calling wanting to know why they didn't know that there was an election or what it is all about. We at the Election Board send out press releases to all the media for every election. The Election Board does not promote. We notify via the Media outlets, but if they fail to run the stories on the "front page" many voters will never know.
Every Monday before an Election Contest takes place we will place signs out in front of the effected polling places. If there is a sign out at your normal polling place there is an Election happening. It may or may not affect you, depending on if it is a Municipal, School or Fire District. But if you don't know you can either call us at the Election Board or stop in on Election Day. Election Days in Oklahoma are always on a Tuesday.
I hope that if you have pondered any of these questions and wondered why, that this enlightens you.
This message is brought to you by your favorite Secretary of the Rogers County Election Board. Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Pledging Allegiance ~ What Does it Mean?

I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, One Nation Under God, Indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all.

Where did this pledge come from and what was the intention of the writer? In 1892 Francis Bellamy, composed this pledge and published it in a children's magazine, so children could feel a sense of pride and thereby encourage them to love their country.

I have to wonder if today, we as citizens of this great Nation really understand what we are pledging our allegiance to ~ what does it mean when we say the words of this pledge? It should be more than lip service, more than empty words.

It is an oath of loyalty. It is a promise to be true to follow and obey and never to renounce, desert, or betray. We are pledging our faithfulness to our Flag which is a representation, a symbol of our country. It is a loyalty for which our armed forces are willing to lay their life on the line, so that we may continue to be free.

These United States of America are states that bound themselves together for a common purpose. That common purpose was to create a country where the people choose others to make laws for them —a government for the people, by the people.

Our Republic stands upon the foundation set up by our forefathers represented by our flag, Old Glory. Together we are One Nation designed to be ruled by its citizens in a representative government.

In a republic we have the right to speak freely and vote for our leaders who run the government. In our republic, we also live in democracy (democracy means the people run the country and they make the laws.)

The phrase "Under God" acknowledges the dependence of our people and our Government upon a supernatural being. We are creatures who are indebted to our creator who granted us certain inalienable rights.
We are Indivisible, we are a country that does not want to be split into parts—this stands as a reminder of  the Civil War. It should also remind us that We The People are of many ethnic and cultural backgrounds who all have a common dream. It is the "liberty and justice for all" that binds our Nation. That Liberty and Justice is a balance between equality and individual freedom.  This is the most important part of the Pledge. This means everyone should be treated fairly and all citizens should be entitled to the same freedoms

We are the United States of America ~ and when we recite this pledge, we should feel the impact of these words from the top of our head to the bottom of our feet. Together we as a Nation stand as one, we are entitled to speak our hearts to have a difference of opinion. Yet it is these words that should unite us ~  we have the same dream of our forefathers ~ to live in a nation without tyranny. A Nation that gives justice fairly to all its citizens.

Next time you lay your hand over your heart and recite the pledge, remember that the words you are reciting came at a cost. These words should resonate within your heart before they pass through your lips.

Enjoy this Independence Day!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Loosing our Freedom

Did you Vote in the Oklahoma State Primary? I'm going to get on my soap box here. 

It is the loud minority that has a voice because ~ they get out and vote. Conservatives are notorious for being just that ~ conservative in act and deed. The Conservative person has spent years refining their lifestyle becoming more and more quiet and reserved. However, this personality trait will be the doom of the Conservative... it will be their march into slavedom. Yes, your read me right, Slavedom. 

Yesterday's turnout at the Primary was atrocious! Tulsa County has 13% turn out Rogers County had about 20%. 

Let's break it down...In the Republican races about 8K voters our of 25K made the decision on the Sheriff and County Clerk races... That's 34% of registered Republicans.Where were the other 66%? 

"WOW" ?

You may think that's awesome... really? That's not even a passing grade. We have 54,000 people registered to vote in Rogers County. Less than 13,000 voted. What a shame on us the American voter. 

WE have a Right to VOTE... a right that has been bought with a blood sacrifice of our forefathers. If that doesn't make the hair stand up on the back of your neck think of it this way... 

God gave us a gift of allowing us to be born in this great Nation ... We could have been born under a flag of totalitarian rule, instead he granted us birth in a Nation that allowed for freedoms like no other.
 What are we going to do with the freedom we have been blessed with? Squander our freedom because we don't want to take the time to learn about the candidates...because we don't want to stop our busy life for a few minutes to cast a ballot? 

We are a generation of spoiled brats. Give me give me give me. Me me me.... 

The last generation that truly had to sacrifice for us to retain our freedom are those who lived during WWII. What are we doing to keep our freedom intact for the next generation? the generation of our children and grandchildren?

There is an opportunity to vote again in August and in November. Will you take the time to educate yourself and your family on the issues and candidates? Remember it's not just your Freedom you are throwing away when you don't vote but that of the next generation!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Haunting Fears After 30 Years

Sometimes you have a bad experience at a young age and it traumatizes you, even 30 years later as an adult. It becomes a dark sinister place that makes you start to cry at just the mention of its name. The very thought that you might have to revisit that episode in your life can send you into a panic attack. Night-terrors haut your dreams when the topic comes up in conversation. Your body begins to tremble just because you know of someone else planning to visit place of your worst fear.

I guess you must be wondering what in the world traumatized me so much that it continues to make me break out into a cold sweat at the mere mention of its name....What I'm talking about has thousands of people gripped in fright, so I'm not alone...yes, it's true, you know of what I am speaking... in your mind you hear the high pitched zing and it makes your jaw quiver at the memory. I'm speaking of the dreaded odious dentist visit.

 dun dun dun...

When I was 18 I went to the dentist for the very last time. (at least I thought it would be). The dentist decided that he would pull one of my permanent teeth because I had a cavity. My very first cavity, mind you, and he thought that rather than trying to save my tooth, he needed to get rid of it. Only when he started to pull it hurt. It hurt bad. I tried to stop him but he was deep in conversation (flirting with his assistant) who proceeded to hold my hands down despite my writhing effort to stop him. "Oh, your fine, you need to be still" was all I got. I left that day, never intending to ever step foot into another dentist office as long as I lived.

Speed up to current time... One of my closest friends works for a dentist. When I got a job two years ago that had dental insurance she began working on me. "Julie, you need to make an appointment." hu, no thank you. On and on it went until finally she broke me down with the help of my children.

So 3 months ago I, Julie Dermody found myself laying in the supine position in a dental chair. Tears, lots of tears traveled down my cheeks. The prior two days every time I thought about my appointment brought an onslaught of  more tears. My 18 year old daughter had to drive. The kids had appointments as well. They made me go first. They knew that if I had had any more time to think I might have backed out.

There I was with my mouth wide open, tears seeping from the corners of my eyes, breathing deeply, sucking every ounce of the Nitrous gas I could, the scraping began. Just writing this is making my eyes fill with water, and my insides quake. Inside my head it was in stereo loudly...scratch, scratch, scrape.... like fingernails on a chalk board. It went on a on.

My kids held my hand and patted me soothingly and softly saying "you're ok mom, you'll be fine" and more tears would escape my eyes. Even with the nitrous gas I still tightly gripped their hands while I silently cried. I was there for a cleaning. Thirty years of build up, yet the hygienist said it wasn't bad. Then came the dentist, poking around with that pointy thing explaining the bad news... I had 3 cavities. I would have to come back and get fillings. I broke out in a cold sweat, more tears started flowing. The thought of returning was giving me heart palpitations.

Both of the kids had cavities as well. They had more than me and they've been going to the dentist once or twice a year since they were born almost. My friend sweetly set up the appointments for the kids. Then she looked at me. "how about I'll just call you the day before and tell you to be here?" yep, that might work then I won't have to think about it. "OK" I said.

Yesterday morning my cell phone rang on my way to work. "Julie, you have an appointment in the morning at 8:30" ....silence.... chirp chirp chirp .... "You OK?" concern in her voice brought me back to reality. Yes, I'll be there. Inside I was quaking. The tears started filling my eyes. "The Doctor said you can take a valium if you would like" OK... I might do that. I called my daughter and informed her that she needed to be available to take me to the dentist the next morning. "Oh, momma.." she said with concern... "You'll be ok"....

I prayed most the night and  remarkably God comforted me enough that I did not feel the need to take a pill that would knock me out. I didn't even cry when we went into the office. (this is a first for me). I did however experience shaking in my bones as I walked back into the room with the chair. It was like taking the walk of death. I know, my drama queen is expressing herself. But it was scary.

They sat me down and immediately began the Nitrous Gas. "Breathe Deeply" I thought to myself. Soon I was floating, feeling no pain and it was a nice place. Until they stuck a rubber block in my mouth and began the drilling. My heart began to get more rapid in its beating. I could feel the beads of sweat spring out on my forehead. On and on and on it went. Zing zing zing zzzzzzing.... then the dentist proceeds to tell me she has to get the "big gun" out. OH MY GOODNESS! I felt the vibrations all the way to my eye sockets. It sounded like she kept hitting the wrong area and I was concerned that my teeth were going to crack. I don't even want to mention the smell. It was horrible!

I was never so thankful than when she said "OK that'll do it" ... she then began to fill the holes she drilled out. They let me sit there for 10 minutes just breathing Oxygen. My kite flying body needed to come down off its high. I needed to walk out of the office not be carried. My jaw fills heavier. I know I must be off my rocker but it feels much heavier than the other side. Weird. Then I'm told I'll need to come back for the other side. I think I glared at my friend. I love her but this is all her fault.

Friday, May 11, 2012

I'm Getting OLD?

My birthday is next week. I'll be 49... forty-nine... wow. Can I really be that old? I'll admit that sometimes my body screams in retaliation to something that I might do the day before. For instance, lifting a 50 pound box or pushing a shelving unit that tops 500 pounds or placing my foot along side my 5'3" son's cheek in a mock sparring session. I'm strong......strong willed maybe a better word. After I complete one of these tasks the following morning I find that there are places in my body that hurt like never before. One of these days I might learn but its so easy to forget that yes, I am getting older, even though I feel like i'm 20.

Reflection~ My daughter is graduating June 2 from High School. She is 18~ how fast time flies. I remember when she was still inside me, making me toss my cookies every day. Then when she was born and how tiny she was and how I longed to hold her but couldn't. She spend the first 2 weeks of her life in NICU, how she would pull her wires off to get attention. It was the hardest time leaving the hospital with out my baby. I remember bringing her home for the first time, so tiny yet determined. When she was three and all she wanted to do was prance around on a stage and sing. How she knew with out coaxing to wink at judges and blow them kisses. Fond memories of how she took care of her baby brother when our world started to collapse. How she had unshakable faith in God... showing me a grace that God blessed her with from the start. When her dad died she shed no tears but sang songs of praise knowing she would someday see him again. She comforted me. Now she is a woman with a stronger faith and solid foundation than I had at her age. I'm excited to see where God leads her as she takes on the path that God has laid out before her.

So excuse this momma who is getting older as she sheds a few tears of pride for a daughter who reflects the light of Christ. I am so proud of the woman she has become!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tenacious Heritage: In Christ Alone

Tenacious Heritage: In Christ Alone: Not quite sure what it was today that set the tone for my heart to be overwhelmed with the feeling of emptiness, and sorrow. But there I was...

In Christ Alone

Not quite sure what it was today that set the tone for my heart to be overwhelmed with the feeling of emptiness, and sorrow. But there I was sitting in Church this morning between my daughter and my daughter's best friend's boyfriend. I looked both directions down the row of chairs, there were 2 couples on either side of me holding hands with their counterpart. Suddenly I had this overwhelming feeling of loss, of realizing I was alone, and very likely to be alone for the rest of my life. At that moment I missed my husband more than I have missed him since he had passed away nearly 13 years ago. 
I guess you might wonder how the feeling of loss could be so fresh after 13 years, all I can say is that I loved my husband, he was my other half, my counterpart, my best friend. We were only married for 6 1/2 years but we shared a commonality, a friendship and a deep desire to please God. We thought we would grow old together, that we would rock grand-babies on our knees. Never in a thousand years would I have imagined that the dream of the future would never come to fruition. 

1 Peter 2:21

21 For zto this you have been called, ybecause Christ also suffered for you, aleaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.

Today's Sunday School lesson was good,  It brought home and verified some of the scripture that I studied when Jim was sick. Looking back at that time I have to say, I don't think that the experience was really suffering, because God saw after all our needs. The loss of a loved one is always difficult and who am I to say that my experience would be considered "suffering" when I know there are so many more out there who has it much worse than I did. 

1 Peter 4:19

19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will lentrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

 The start of the feelings began there and then exasperated during the church service. That's when I looked down the row of chairs and looked at the hands clasped in affection. Then we began to sing "In Christ Alone" ~ I was a goner. 
In Christ Alone lyrics
Songwriters: Getty, Julian Keith; Townend, Stuart Richard;

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm

What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless Babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save

'Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live, I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again

And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From a life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny

No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from His hand
'Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I stand

The tears began to well up inside my eyes by the end of the first verse. No guilt in life, no fear of death... that's how my husband lived. He set an example, by implementing Christ. Never complained, never was angry, never was worried. He totally trusted had unshakable faith that God would take care of things. 
I feel a great loss in the fact that I don't have my best friend here to grow old with, and enjoy. I'm not angry at God under any circumstances. 

1 Peter 5:7

ycasting all your anxieties on him, because zhe cares for you.

I desire to be a servant of God, to have the light of Christ shine in me~ to give Him glory in works and deeds and Praise His Holy name in all that I do. I may be destined to live out the rest of my life with out a partner but I have a promise that my Lord will be my husband and will see after all my needs.  So pardon my pity party today, this too will end and the sooner the better. I'm sure I'll revisit this particular emotion again and maybe, just maybe it won't blind side me next time.