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This might sound unpatriotic, but with Natasha and Sawyer away from home this year, I have no plans to barbeque or see fireworks. And although I’m not going to forget the importance of Independence Day and the fact our Founding Fathers fought for our freedom, I’m planning to celebrate my “freedom and independence” from having to do the “mom thing” this year by sitting in a movie theater with the biggest bucket of popcorn. So, while not a traditional holiday celebration, it’s definitely going to be a “holiday” for me!


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Typically, I do not “do” holidays, although I always enjoy long weekends as I get an extra “ weekend workday”. However, when I think about the Declaration of Independence , and the sacrifices made by those who signed it , I question how we can celebrate the country’s independence – a day built on liberty and justice for all – when this year, women have fewer liberties than we did in the past.
Black of Red & Black

Although I am known for speaking my mind, I have never been one to publicize my passion projects. I get involved because I believe in what I am doing – not because I want others to know of my involvement. Decades ago, it was Make-A-Wish, but once we started Red & Black and detoured into the worlds of education and criminal justice, I added new projects. And “soapboxes”.

And, I saw how education and criminal justice were intertwined. Which is what compelled me to write a letter when the Texas Legislature held a hearing about a house bill related to programming within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) and invitedpublic comment. It was the first time I ever went “on the record” (comments are in the public domain), but I feel very strongly about the topic, and specifically the lack of women’s educational programming.

When I sent a copy of my letter to Red, the self-proclaimed mere mortal, she was adamant (not a typical trait for her) that my words needed a wider audience than the legislators and people who follow legislative bills …

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Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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I’ve finally started watching “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Have you watched it?


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No, but I have read about the premise behind the book and the series because after Roe v. Wade was overturned, social media started comparing the series to what was happening in real life, with women having no control over their reproductive rights.


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The similarities are even scarier. It takes place in the near-future after the U.S. government (including the Constitution) has been overthrown, and the new republic’s controlled by a ruling class of men. Men who are religious extremists and enforce their religious beliefs on everyone.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

Well, there goes separation of church and state. But, I guess that is much more efficient than starting with Justices of the Supreme Court who vote based on their religious beliefs, and then proceeding from there.


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

That’s NOT funny. In the show, they use religion as an “excuse” for horrible acts against people. For example, women aren’t allowed to read; and if caught, they cut off a finger so everyone knows their “crime”.
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Photo by michaelmjc on iStock


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

Thanks for the accounting of your garage sale. But, given how many hours you spent preparing for it, and then the actual sale itself, did you calculate how much you “earned” on a $/hour basis?


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

No, all I know is that it seemed to take forever to go through everything in Mom’s house and decide what to keep, what to sell, what to donate. And what to trash. As far as the garage sale, I’ll give you your half the next time I see you.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

Keep my half. You did all the work. I did not even offer to help.


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And that was a big help. Thank you.
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