Resolved: No 2017 New Year’s Resolutions

2017 New Year's Resolutions

No 2017 New Year’s Resolutions for me: I’m doing what I did last year. Find what makes you happy and do more of it.

Resolved: Make No 2017 New Year’s Resolutions

At the beginning of this New Year I am making no new 2017 New Year’s resolutions. Except maybe that I will continue doing what I’m already doing.

I know  2016 was a rotten year for many people. But it was a pretty good personal one for me even though Hillary Clinton lost the Presidential election. Now my stoic old heart is broken and the whole country is DOOMED. (I’m STILL With Her, by the way.)

Last year I stopped caring about a lot of things that had hindered me ‘lo these many years…61 to be exact.

I stopped worrying about what other people think of me. I finally like me…and really…isn’t that enough?

So, if I were to make some 2017  New Year’s resolutions, I would just stick with what is working for me.

  • I stopped putting myself down. No, I didn’t suddenly become an arrogant asshole. I merely stopped saying self-deprecating things, trying to make other people feel OK by pointing out all my flaws. I finally learned that when I do that, all they can see is my flaws.  And they think less of me for them. I still tell funny stories about myself, but not to make other people feel better.  I no longer spill the beans on all my insecurities.
  • Ironically, I also stopped telling other people the “great things” I have done. I stopped being so insecure that I had to point out that I also might, maybe, possibly be worthy of their
  • I stopped worrying about how I look. Yes…I still shower and wash my hair and occasionally wear make-up. I quit reading articles about how to look younger. I am 61 years old and I am quite fine with that, thank you very much. I look like I’m 61…and I am fine with that as well.
  • I stopped focusing on how fat I am.  I bought some larger pants that feel good when I wear them. Yes, they have elastic in the waist and I am grateful for that. It leaves my mind open to think about things I like to think about, like:

falling leaves,


how good the winter sun feels on my face,

planning a doll house and making the furniture,

illustrating a book,

taking a walk,

reading a good book,

and hanging out with my grandkids.

I no longer focus on my uncomfortable britches. 🙂 🙂  🙂 Whew!

  • I stopped making excuses. If I don’t want to do something and I’m questioned about it, I say “Because I don’t want to.” If I want to do something…and someone questions me about my choices, I answer “Because I want to.” Next Question.
  • In 2016 I spent a lot of time thinking, laughing, working at things I enjoyed, writing, pursuing what is really important to me, traveling to places I’d never been, and looking at eagles and stars in the sky. It made me happy. Very happy indeed.

Some of the best advice I’ve ever heeded is this: Find what makes you happy and do more of that.

I did. I am. And in 2017, I think I’ll just keep on doing that.



Trump’s American Vision vs. Peggy’s American Vision

Trump’s American Vision Sucks

by Peggy Browning

Trump's American Vision

Trump’s American Vision: Scorched Earth and Fear

Trump’s American Vision leaves me cold. And kind of pissed off.

Of course, everyone who knows me knows that I would never vote for Trump for a seat on the local school board or city council much less for President of the United States of America. Trump’s American Vision is in direct opposition of my own American Vision.

I get it…I know he was the star of a “reality” TV show. He also seems to be a legend in his own mind. He seems unhinged and out of touch with the real world. He is projecting his version of horror-filled scenarios on to the rest of us.

Trump’s American Vision is made of fear. It is based on exclusion, xenophobia, homophobia, economic disaster, racial unrest, terrorism, war, trade inequalities, and dwindling power of the white American male. Have I left out anything that he thinks we should be afraid of?

He’s trying to scare and manipulate the rest of us so we will see America through his fearful crazy-goggles.

I’m not afraid. I never have been. I don’t think I ever will be.

I don’t rely on National Enquirer for my information. And I have no respect for the opinion of someone who does. I have no respect for conspiracy theories and rumors. I don’t base my opinions on what someone else spouts off. I like to investigate and learn the truth on my own. I like to see for myself just what is happening.

Trump’s American Vision is to “make America great again.”

Donnie and I obviously don’t live in the same America. I like mine best. I think Trump should get out more…you know…see the real America.

My vision is that America is already great and that it will continue to be great if we do not give in to fear of change. America is in a period of change and growth right now. I believe we will come out of this period stronger and better than ever before.

My vision is based upon experience and knowledge from the past.  My confidence is based upon what I have observed this spring and summer.

Blue Skies

My American Vision: Blue Skies, Verdant Fields, and Confidence.


I’ve been watching the Oklahoma legislature during the second session of 2015-2016. The Oklahoma state budget was in a shambles (and still is). Deep cuts were made to essential services that improve the lives of Oklahoma citizens. Education, state parks, human services, medical care, disability payments…all these vital services were cut to the bone. The shortfall in money was not due to the falling oil prices or to lack of stewardship by the various agencies. It was due to the short-sighted partisanship of the governing body.

So what happened? Exactly what you would expect would happen in an America that is great. People said…No, this is not right and we will change this. Record numbers of new candidates filed for offices in the Oklahoma State House of Representatives and Senate. They spoke up about the unfair distribution of ad valorem taxes for school districts. They went to the State Capitol and talked to their congressmen and they successfully passed bills that had been on the books for years…like autism insurance reform. They stopped bills that discriminated against the LGBT community.

No riots or other hub-bub occurred. But change is coming to Oklahoma and it’s coming through the use of our consciences and our votes. That’s exactly how it’s supposed to be done.

America is already great.

This summer I worked as an Americorps/VISTA volunteer for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. I had the privilege to travel all over western Oklahoma monitoring summer feeding programs for children ages infant – 18 years old.

And you know what I saw as I traveled from small town to small town? I saw dedicated, caring people who were concerned and DOING SOMETHING for their communities. They weren’t merely feeding children. They were feeding their spirits as well.

I saw people working together to make sure their children were provided for and that their futures were secure. I saw kindness and generosity everywhere I went.

I saw that the system…and the people…are working and keeping America great.

And yes, I saw blue spacious skies and golden fields of wheat. I saw the red Gloss Mountains and the Little Sahara sand dunes.  But mostly I saw that America is great…that America is working…that America is beautiful.

I believe that my American Vision…in direct contrast to Trump’s American Vision… is the correct one. I believe that our home of the free and the brave is still great and we have nothing to fear.

(Unless, of course, Trump is elected without my vote. If that happens, I will be afraid, very very afraid.)


The Value of Stuff …Everything You Need

The Value of Stuff

by Peggy Browning

Value of stuff

Harkerware dishes

The Value of Stuff … Finding everything you could possibly need. Have you ever had one of those days where you find everything you need? At just the right time? And exactly the right price? And the plus side of it is that it is also pleasing to your eyes?

I had one of those days yesterday. It was great. I am still happy about it…30 hours later, I still have a “Dang, what a bargain!” afterglow.

Six months ago, I completely upheaved (as in drastic upheaval) my life. Sold and gave away most of my possessions and moved to a place I had never been before. I loaded up my car with a few books, lots of photographs, some clothing, my rocking chair, my Mama’s rolling pin, a 40 year old Bundt pan and my laptop.

New start. New place. New life. No regrets…blah, blah, blah. Few attachments to this materialistic world filled with STUFF. The zen of minimalism, you know. The value of tidying up and all that jazz.

But the truth is this: I miss my stuff. I know I’m not supposed to. It is, after all, just stuff. I have what is supposed to mean the most to me…memories, photographs, and whatnot. But dang it, I have to confess…I do like stuff.

I like dishes and cookware and baking pans. I like paintings and curtains and rugs. I like pillows and paints and hand tools. And books. Always books.

value of stuff

I gave all my stuff away and now I miss it. Thank goodness I can re-stock at rummage sales!

The value of stuff is not necessarily monetary. The value of  stuff is what gives me a sense of security and satisfaction. I don’t require fancy, expensive stuff. I once pulled a leather purse out of a Dumpster and was very, very happy with it. Only much later did my sister reveal to me that it was a Louis Vuitton…and I had no clue who Louis Vuitton or his purses were.

Anyway…I have been lacking in stuff for a while. My stuff…things that I take pleasure in looking at and using and hanging on my windows and walls. I miss my battery operated screw driver. I miss my dishes and various cups that I collected over the years. I miss my handy little set of screwdrivers.

But yesterday….oh, yesterday was a BONANZA! I went to a church rummage sale after 12 noon. And they were having a bag sale.

“Only $1 per bag. Stuff a bag and take all this rummage away!

Please, we just want to go home and watch the Final Four of March Madness.”

That, my dear friends, is my favorite kind of sale.

I found a set of dishes…not just any set, mind you. This is Harkerware, Springtime design from the 1950s. Eight plates with bowls, saucers and cups.

value of stuff

Pretty glassware and a Hall teapot

Turquoise vintage glassware, 5 matching glasses and 1 coordinating glass. Two Corelle divided plates. Three Very Very Old china serving dishes. A green Hall teapot. And a treasure trove of old books including Readings in Rural Sociology, dated 1922.

It makes me happy just to look at it. When I get wherever I’m going to land…I now have a set of beautiful dishes, some beautiful glasses, some old books to peruse, and something to plan around.

The total cost of all these treasures? $1.50. Yes…one dollar and fifty cents. By the time I got my bags stuffed, the price had been cut to TWO bags for $1.

I know I’m not supposed to place a lot of meaning on the value of stuff. But, honestly, I’m feeling quite satisfied and content right now.