Hey Lit Girl

Occasionally I am so content that the only thing I want to do on a Saturday night is read.


iCivics uCivics weallCivics

President Reagan and Sandra Day O'Connor
President Reagan and his Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O'Connor at the White House
In 2009 retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor founded iCivics as a resource for teachers & students. It's brimming with free educational materials and games. 

Today she was on C-SPAN speaking about the importance of civics education for our youth: 
 “Young people need to know how our government works and how they are part of it. It isn’t self evident. And in schools today, I don’t think it’s widely taught. And young people want to know how to be effective. They want to know their role as citizens and how to make things happen at the local level, at the state level, and national level. 
And iCivics tries to do that, tries to help young people develop their own proposals and programs, and learn in the process more about how government works." 
Iowa's Senator Grassley concurred:  
“I believe that all citizens in a democracy benefit from the participation of informed and active citizens.” 
Yet he doesn’t believe the federal government should “develop and mandate civic standards,” so I don’t know how he’d like to encourage a more civically engaged citizenship...

As much as I like hearing all of this talk, I'd prefer to see more action. 


Florida: Where the Wild Things Are

(And I'm not referring to politics. This time.) 

Living in Florida long enough will inspire anyone with an iPhone to become an amateur wild life photographer. 

Recent visitor in my domicile. Definitely made himself at home.
Gotta move fast to keep up with all those little legs. 

You're not a real Floridian until you've stepped on a lizard sans shoes & socks. Trying to avoid them makes even the sanest pedestrian look like Jack Nicholson's OCD sidewalk-crack dodging character in As Good As It Gets

We Floridians love our sliding glass doors. It's like a giant TV screen to a live nature show. 

Slightly wild 14-year-old Florida transplant Skratchy passed away last week. He was a very good boy and is greatly missed. 


Green Deviled Eggs

I'm morally opposed to mayonnaise. It reminds me of lard in a jar.   

Also, since my childhood I've been grossed out by the way other kids chew their tuna or chicken salad sammies with open mouths, mayo up to their gums. [gak!] 

Before this weekend I've rarely eaten & have never made deviled eggs, but since one can't have a BBQ without them, I caved and bought a tube of mayo.

Green eggs, hold the ham. 
As I started to squeeze it over of the yolks of my beautiful hard-boiled organic eggs, I just couldn't continue. There had to be an alternative. 

What has a similar consistency but is nutritious and delicious? Ripe avocados, duh. Mmm! 

I'm pretty creative but these green deviled eggs are among my top 10 best ideas of all time. Of course, like any good idea, a million others thought of it first. But that's neither here nor there. 


My Friend Mark Nash

I’ve known Mark Nash for seven years. We met as volunteer producers at TBCN, the local community access TV station.  

Hillsborough County broken down by districts. 

He’s been involved in campaign work I think at least as long as I’ve known him. Now he’s running for public office himself.  

I'm of the general opinion that local politics is where change really begins, and lots of the people I encountered at Mark's campaign kick off Friday in Riverview agreed. 

Volunteer Joan Williams checks party goers in. 

With local-minded ladies Jen Greenfield, a social media coach, and Michelle Kenoyer.
Angie Angel, the past president of the East Hillsborough County Democratic Club with two former Florida gubernatorial candidates, former Florida CFO Alex Sink and husband Bill McBride.
I thought my education was lacking since I had just one semester-long civics class in 8th grade. Tom Morgan (no relation), Vice President of the College Democrats at USF, said Florida public schools don’t even have that.  

“I had no idea of the difference of the political parties,” he said. So I was curious – how did he get enmeshed so young? 

Tom explained that he started at USF as a history major during the 2008 election cycle. But he became so interested in the excitement of the election and his American government class that he switched his focus to political science. 

He’s currently pursuing his master’s and hopes to go on to earn a Ph.d. 

Grace and Charles McComas of Seffner are busy volunteers in their town’s library and community allianceBut that wasn't always the case. 

Grace said that as “a mother, a nurse working nights all my life,” she didn’t have time to be involved until her retirement. Now land use in Seffner is among their top priorities.  

"People don't usually get involved until it affects them,” said Charles, who is retired from MacDill AFB. 

“You can't remake wetlands,” Grace said. “God made the wetlands. You can't move them. We have to protect them." Grace is supporting Mark because she said “He can see the future but also what we have to preserve." 

Political consultant Victor DiMaio and Julie Jenkins.

I have great pride for my friend and his goal to represent his district, but you don't have to befriend your public officials in order to get to know them before or after the race. 

All you have to do is pay attention, maybe ask a few questions. What better way to hold them accountable? They can't do their job if we constituents don't do ours.