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I am a big believer that everything happens for a reason and today confirmed that for me in a big way.  While out to lunch I texted my son and asked what he wanted to eat.  He texted and asked me if I could please pick him up early from school.  I at first told him no but then realized I was very close to the school and agreed to come get him.  We picked him up at 12:45.  At 1:20 my son's phone began to go crazy with calls and texts reporting that there was a shooting at his high school, West Orange High School, in Winter Garden, Florida.  I have NEVER been so happy that I followed my gut and picked up my son.

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I have known my best friend for the past 34 years and even at the age of 10 she knew she was gay.  At that age all you care about is hanging out and having fun.  She was my best friend and it didn't matter if she liked boys or girls to me as long as we had fun together.  I got a lot of crap from other kids for being friends with her but I didn't care-I was a die hard liberal even in middle school!  I remember in high school telling people if they didn't like her then we had no business being friends.  There is no love like a best friends love.
Over the years Michelle and I grew up, moved around the country, got married and divorced (me), and had children.  Michelle joined the military.  She found a great partner and they had a baby together.  Michelle has fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.  She does her job just like the rest of us and doesn't ask for thanks or praise for protecting our freedoms.  She is a great friend, daughter, partner, sister, mother and soldier.
Follow me over the fold to see how Chick-Fil-A plays into this.

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For the last few weeks Obama for America volunteers in Virginia have been making "persuasion calls."  That is, we call registered voters and ask if they know who they will be supporting in the 2012 Presidential election?  Most of my fellow volunteers dislike this task because we usually call strong Democrats and past supporters of the president which are easy calls to make.  Persuasion calls are harder because we don't know if they are Democrat, Independent or Republican.  I like them because they are a little more challenging and they have given me an optimistic view for 2012.  Usually responses are in one of three categories: For Obama, Undecided (WTH?), and NOT for Obama.  In over 600 calls I have only had one person say "Newt".  Not one for Romney, Paul, Santorum or even just Republican.  And the NOT for Obama are usually hostile, mean and rude but quick and to the point.  Nothing I can't handle and laugh off.  Hell, if I was Republican I might be too embarrassed to admit I was voting for one of those clowns too.  But last night was almost too much for me...

Poll

Are you volunteering for the Obama Campaign?

17%121 votes
29%208 votes
15%110 votes
37%269 votes

| 708 votes | Vote | Results

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It has been a long time since I had anything of value to add to this site but I think the following is quite interesting.  I am a die hard liberal who worked on President Obama's campaign in Georgia in 2008.  While our state did not quite go blue my county went 51% for Obama.  Since then I have moved to Virginia and I became involved in the president's re-election campaign last spring.  For the last 9 months we have made volunteer recruitment calls and done a lot of voter registration-nothing too exciting.  But last week we got a new assignment-making persuasion calls.  This is where we randomly call Virginia households and ask if they know who they will be supporting in 2012 and why.  I was a little nervous at first-it is obviously a lot easier to talk to strong democrats and supporters of the president than random households.  But after calling over 100 households personally and 300 as a group, I have a little insight into the GOP.

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I can't believe it has been 365 days since I was laid off from my job of 25 years.  So much has happened in that year.  I boarded the unemployment train, which let me just tell you, is not really a "free ride."  I heard from many friends and family how unemployment was for dead beats and low lifes and that I was now part of Obama's socialist agenda.  I had to go from gas station, to dollar store, to grocery store asking if they were hiring, only to be told no week after week, month after month.  I had to report to my unemployment officer every few weeks.  My favorite part was taking training classes on how to apply and interview for a job.  I have worked since I was 14 years old.  I was not very surprised when I ended up "teaching" most of my other classmates interview skills.
A month after I lost my job my husband accepted a job 800 miles away.  We were lucky that he got a great job that allowed him to afford a crappy hotel and still pay our bills on our home in Georgia.  Our house had been on the market for over 18 months with no interest.  Not only is the job market crappy in Georgia but the housing market sucks too.

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There are many Democrats out there and they all have their opinions and they have a right to express them.  But I am frustrated daily when I visit Daily Kos and see the constant complaining of "It's not enough" and "We wanted this or that".  Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't recall there ever being a day in the 8 very long years that George Bush was president that he EVER did anything for us.  But in 18 very short months President Obama has accomplished many things we never thought we would see.  No, it's certainly not perfect.  Could he have done more, pushed harder, and been stronger?  Sure.  But with a lot of hard work on our part and determination on his, President Obama has at least 2 and a half years and hopefully 6 and a half years to accomplish so much more.  We need to show patience, understanding and gratitude in the meantime.  Follow me over the fold to see the HUGE difference President Obama has made in my life.

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Many of you who have read my diaries know I lost my job of 25 years in January.  I was awarded 20 weeks of unemployment.  Well that ran out 2 weeks ago.  For the first time in 30 years, I will not be bringing any money into my household.  When I was 10 I begged my mom to let me sell greeting cards and stationary door to door in our neighborhood.  Always supportive, she let me.  For 3 years I made a few hundred dollars and had a regular clientele who would order Christmas cards from me every fall.  Then when I turned 13 I was old enough to babysit.  As the only teenager in a pretty big neighborhood I owned the market.  Some years I made a few thousand dollars babysitting.  When I turned 15, I begged my mom to take me to get a work permit so I could work with her at our local greeting card store.  The first year, I made a whopping $4,000.  I worked every afternoon after school and most weekends.  The summer I graduated high school I applied at the local bookstore, my idea of a perfect dream job.  Who doesn't want to work surrounded by thousands of great books.  To my great surprise they hired me.

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Sun May 23, 2010 at 07:05 AM PDT

I Lost My Best Friend Today...

by gailwmcdonald

Baloo was a 6 week old chocolate lab puppy my husband bought me after our second miscarriage.  The doctor wasn't sure we would be able to have babies so Baloo was our practice/substitute baby.  He looked just like a baby bear cub.  He was so tiny he fit in one hand and his eyes were these deep pools of brown you could just lose yourself in.  The funny thing is, I am horribly allergic to animals of all kinds.  But in my grief he warmed me up and made me smile when I wasn't sure I knew how.  As he grew he became an outside dog and I am became a proud dog owner.  About a year later we had our first child, Zachary.  Baloo proved he was the protector of our new family pretty quick.  At a gathering to show off our new baby, my best friend's husband reached over to take a glance only to receive a bite that took a chunk of thigh with it.  Everyone in the room knew no one would harm us as long as Baloo was around.
We went on to have 2 more children.  If you wanted to find Baloo you simply had to locate the kids.  If they were riding bikes, he was following.  If they were on the swings, he was sitting at the bottom of the slide.  If they went next door to grandma's house, Baloo was their faithful companion.

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Last Saturday my husband made the 10 hour trip from Georgia to Virginia to start a new job.  For the last 2 years he has commuted to Atlanta, a four hour daily commute from our house to his job, which really sucked.  But he had a job and it paid pretty well and I had a job and things were good.  But then in November, Borders decided to close 200 stores, including the Waldenbooks I have worked at for the last 25 years.  Yes, you read that correctly, 25 years!  So we were stuck in a small town in Georgia that has lost thousands of jobs over the last 2 years and I was joining the ranks of the unemployed.  We have had our home for sale for almost a year with no luck.  My husband decided to apply for better paying jobs all over the country.  The good news is he interviewed for several great jobs almost immediately.  The bad news is they were all several states away.  Follow me to the other side to find out what happened.

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So today we got the news that our store was closing and after 25 years of dedicated service, I will become one of the thousands of unemployed.  You may have read some of my diaries on being a liberal stuck in the conservative, republican south.  But today I am not writing about politics.  Today I am writing to tell you about my journey over the last 25 years and how it ended so suddenly.  I started working at Waldenbooks the summer I graduated high school.  It was part time and great for a college student.  I have always loved to read so what was better than getting paid to sell my favorite books to other people? Flash forward 25 great years and here we are.  So we get a call that some stores are closing and we will know today.  Follow me over the break to see my heart break in a million pieces.

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Hi, My name is Gail McDonald and I wrote several diaries last year about the trials and tribulations of working on a Democratic presidential campaign in this republican hell we call Georgia.  Through hard work and pure stubbornness, we are s-l-o-w-l-y taking back our state.  And now I find myself in a local election against a good ol' southern boy with lots of money and friends.  And we really need your help.
My candidate, Darrell Black is running for House District 141, in a special election.  The seat has been held by a Democrat for at least 34 years, if not longer.  Our guy, Bobby Parham, resigned leaving an open seat.  Our opponent, Rusty Kidd thought he would have the seat to himself and win unopposed.  Boy, was he wrong?  To find out what we are up against and how you can help, follow me over the fold.

Poll

Can we turn Georgia blue on 2012?

19%7 votes
44%16 votes
36%13 votes
0%0 votes

| 36 votes | Vote | Results

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I work at a bookstore and tonight I had a customer approach the register with several titles and Michelle Malkins new book "Culture of Corruption".  She tells me "We would like to purchase this book separately and pay cash because we don't want our name associated with it."  I was thinking, I totally get that and almost said it but I hesitated considering I live in a small, conservative town in Georgia.  What came out of her mouth next just astounded me and I have worked in retail for 25 years and it takes a LOT to surprise me.  Follow me over the fold for some real wing nuttery!

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