Wednesday, August 26, 2015

AM~Erica is Rectifying a Grave Feminist Mistake

So anyway...

I honestly don't remember what made me think about this lately, but I began to re-research women's suffrage.

In my inadvertent quest to have outfitting for nearly every decade (apparently), I had not really looked into much of the 1910's. I was looking into the style & the events of the time. And I was super pulled into the women's suffrage movement.

Right now, I want to let you know that I do not live my life with politics in the forefront. Probably because so many folks have taken it to such extremes, it's been a turnoff for years. Just the ugly mudslinging of "human rights" folks & "Christian" folks. (Yes...I put those in quotation marks - neither "side" is acting like what they supposedly represent.) I'm also a realist; an optimistic realist, yet still a realist. I can see where there are positives of the ideals of both "sides", as well as the downfalls of the ideals of both "sides". Having it go all one way will never work for good.

I am so against the koolaid drinkers. They just absorb whatever they are told & just become parrots of what is put in front of them without larger research on their part. And that's an insult to parrots!

Don't forget, I'm all about this coming together thing, wanting both sides to meet in the center aisle, pour the red & blue koolaid into a great big vat & make a lovely purple color.

Purple politics is what I go by. And...I don't rub it in people's faces. off on a bit of a tangent. I digress...


I'm going to make a confession right now. I need you to stick it out with me. OK?

As many of you know, I am a PASTOR'S WIFE. In United Methodism, the pastors are on an itinerant system & are appointed. Technically the appointment lasts year-to-year, but generally will be at least 3 years or so (can be longer - we're in our 6th year at our current church). Keep this in mind when I say that the pastors & their families tend to get moved fairly often, and generally to new communities, even in different parts of the state.

I'm incredibly right-brained (which should surprise no one), and I'm easily distracted by squirrels &/or shiny things. Plus, I'm a major procrastinator. So I forget to do major things sometimes because my brain wheels are turning & creating things in my head...I...well...just forget.

When I was 18, I registered to vote because I could. And I voted for a while, trying very hard to know what I was voting on. Like seriously considering.
Then my hubby answered a call to ministry & we began our journey into him being appointed to churches in the Missouri United Methodist itinerant system. When we started heading to new communities, registering to vote would slip my mind until it was literally time to vote. That wasn't enough time. I would get really frustrated with myself, vow to change that the next day, then my right brain would kick in...*sigh*

However, I realized this as I was looking back into women's suffrage.
I realized what these women went thru to get the right to vote. People! They were beaten, arrested, fined, spat upon, insulted. They went thru so much just to get a voice.

These wonderfully rebellious women who stood their ground, and spoke up, was a tremendous act to be able to fully claim their rights of citizenship! This is not well covered in schools or in conversation. I took for granted what fight was fought for me to have this right to use. And I'm embarrassed to say that...but I am. Because I'm human.

I won't be one of those people who will shame you if you don't vote...but you don't have the right to complain if you don't use your voice. I would complain about the complainers who use their 1st amendment right for major disrespect & personal attacks...but I also was careful to not complain where I didn't use my voice.

Today, as it turns out, is Women's Equality Day! We were given the right to VOTE on August 26, 1920! No wonder the flappers felt so liberated!

A greeting I got from Facebook for Women's Equality Day!

This is something amazing to celebrate! We are finally getting to a place where women are more respected. It's only taken 95 years or so.

And we've come a long way, baby. We are moms, business owners, CEO's, senators, part of congress, pastors, artists, speakers, respected journalists & writers, idealists, welders, mechanics, technicians, engineers, gamers, code writers, bakers, soldiers/sailors, pilots, doctors, nurses, presidents of boards, serving on boards...we are in so many positions of respect & authority these days. And? We can vote!

As I had to reread what we went thru to get to this point, my woman's heart swelled with pride. We are people. We are all people. We should all be treated as people.

And...if you are a citizen, I highly recommend getting registered to share your voice with your voting rights. Many fought way too hard for those of us, in the present, to not be doing so.

Although I didn't realize today was Women's Equality Day, until today, I felt the push to go ahead & finally get registered again. And I did it yesterday. Strangely, in that moment, I felt liberated!

I am an American citizen, and I am going to use my voting powers for good!

No, this doesn't mean I'm going to rub my thought process of politics in your faces as much as many of you do in mine...but I will continue to keep it real. I want to challenge many of you to think, to research, to actually look into the "other side" of your views. And then, know it's about the greater good of the people...not just you.

I am a woman, I am an American, and I am once again a voter. Hear me roar!!!

So this is a perfect day to encourage any of you who haven't yet to step up & register, too!

*UPDATE: My daughter registered to vote today! WOOT! Preparing to use her voice being an American citizen! Way to celebrate 95 years of women voting!

Oh! And?

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Monday, August 3, 2015

AM~Erica is QT Trippin'

So anyway...

Today was our first Sunday back to church after a couple of weeks off for "vacation." (part of it HERE)

On this first week back, I had to step up in some promo: in less than 5 weeks, we will be taking part in the DeFeet Hunger 5k Run/Walk. I stepped up promoting it, last minute, last, with me being the "champion" for our church (the one designated as the go-to for race info leading up to the race), and being the "Champion of Champions" (I'm actually the one who is giving the other champions ideas on how to promote at their churches), I needed to step it up!

With how I dress for races (some of my cosTUTUmes HERE), and how last year's race went (reminder HERE), I knew I needed to create excitement, kind of like I do for Trunk-or-Treat promo time. (some of that HERE).

Also, check out the wrap up video from last year, too!

Oh yeah...I'm the crazy tutu runner

So, of course I had to go over-the-top!

Oh yes...tutus (there are two tutus - with the top one lighting up), striped leggings, last year's t-shirt, and bright running shoes. This was going to do it!

It did draw attention, as hoped, and I looked delightfully ridiculous. But it was reminiscent of what I'd wear on the race course, so that's what I wanted to do.

Yes. There were a lot of comments, and it took some a little bit to realize the tutu lit up AND blinked. There was a lot going on.

But I did show up to church like this. Made sure to get pics of my set up, my outfit, and definitely my "shoefie" (shoe selfie) to have put on the De-Feet Hunger Facebook page (HERE). A thing we're trying is to get shoefies on the Facebook page once anyone registers. Register, take a shoe selfie, post it on the page.

My #shoefie for registering to do DeFeet Hunger

Well, after church, I knew I had to stop to get petrol for my car to get home. So, I stopped at QuikTrip to fill up. Yes. In my striped leggings & fluffy tutus. Pumping gas.
But it's OK. I don't mind. I think I got some odd looks, but I was prepared. This part is never a big deal to me. Work the weirdness. Ya know?

Then I realized...I try to get a newspaper every Sunday! You know...for coupons & sales papers (mostly for price checking & such), so I was going to have to suck it up & waltz into that QuikTrip like nothing is off kilter, in my tutus & striped leggings, to go inside to get that paper!

I pulled myself together, walked across the parking lot, and tried to keep an eye out for a vehicle that looked like it was about to head out. It was parked close to the middle of the parking spaces, so it was by the slightly inclined mini-ramp. You know the thing? Where it's painted off as a walk way, not a parking space, and you don't have to step up to the sidewalk? Yeah...that.

So I headed to step up on it while seeing if the vehicle was going to pull out. Well, I ever-so-slightly misjudged where I was not stepping up, caught part of the lip of the mini-ramp with my toe & tripped a little...

...I tried to catch myself. You know, a little trippage. Just enough to give myself a small heart attack...

...but I couldn't catch myself, so I double tripped...

...then I STILL couldn't catch myself...

...and I stumbled toward the door about 3ish-5ish feet more of sideways shuffle steps...

...and I could see this guy holding the door open for me as he watched in horror... I hit the ground like a giant sack of bricks...sliding ever-so-slightly toward the unopened door, but stopping about 2 feet short. In my red & white striped leggings and the fluffy red tutus.

The guy just looked at me stunned & asked if I was OK. I picked myself up as quickly as I could, told him I was fine when I entered the door he held open while I thanked him.

I began to realize there were about 3 people out there who witnessed the ridiculousness. Awesome.

But then I realized there were probably some on the other side of the glass doors who watched what happened. I did what I had to by just pretending it's what I meant to do. I could feel the sting on my palms from catching myself, as I landed on the concrete, along with the banged-up feeling I had on my hip. But just get the paper like it's part of your everyday, Erica! Geesh!

I picked up my paper, waited my turn, payed, and I could feel odd eyes on me. I'm sure it was just the witness of my fall & totally not the crazy getup I was in. Amm-i-rite?

But, alas, I realized I couldn't find my keys. *GULP* I was going to have to find them outside. So I looked on the other side of the glass door that I narrowly missed when I went sliding toward it, and I could see my keychain & keys laying close by.

As I started to open the door to get them, another guy opened the door for me & right on top of my keys. I excused myself & mentioned the keys were mine. He bent down to grab them for me, noticed the Ford keychain on them, and he asked, "Oh, is it for the Ford Focus right there?"

I said nothing. I took my keys & hurried away from the very closely parked Ford Focus to Bessie, the car I drive that used to be my grandmother's, and tried to get in as quickly as I could to head home with my full tank of gas & newspaper.

Oh how entertained those around me must have been! Oh the story they got to take home with them!
Then a friend brought up possible video.

Wait...What?? Oh man!! There might actually be surveillance video of the weird chick in striped leggings & fluffy red tutus that looks like she may have escaped from somewhere, forgot her helmet, and needed someone to tie her shoes for her as she couldn't step up on a sidewalk without looking like she might be on something.

Well, I'm definitely feeling that story. The soreness of the fall has in. But I'm still giggling at the looks of the people around & the horror on the face of the poor guy when he watched me hit & slide when all he was trying to do was just hold the door open for me.

I do believe my tutus have superpowers, but they did not save me today. They are more for speed...well maybe they cushioned my fall a bit. YAY for tutu superpowers!

I'm going to bruise. I'm going to be sore from tightening up my muscles in anticipating the fall. I'm going to feel where I actually caught myself in the fall. However, my ego is in tact. It was pretty hilarious.

If there's video, I will share it. Until then...I'll let you imagine what craziness might have looked like in your head. Go ahead & giggle.

This is when truth is stranger than fiction.

And don't worry...I'll have a different cosTUTUme next week. Maybe it won't be nearly as eventful though. All for the sake of promoting this race coming up.
Intrigued? Go ahead & register, too!

Teen Boy took this pic & loved how my right fist turned into a ball of light

Come join me & then you can post a shoefie, too.
REGISTER HERE to run, walk or volunteer!

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica