Good vs. Better

I really want to believe that for most, we have the desire to begin our own personal journey from a place of goodness.  Then life happens.  Outside influences begin to create a recipe that,when stirred in to our daily lives, begins to bake up a concoction that can end up sweet, bitter, undercooked or tough and hard to swallow.

There is no doubt that our communities, our state (in this case California), our nation and our world is facing many struggles.  We hear about various issues all day everyday.  The press is adroit at bringing us the [bad] news.  They seem determined to make sure we don’t miss it.  It’s endlessly repeated, ad naseum.  News often seems to come at us from all directions.  Today radio, social media and an endless number of TV channels and the Internet helps to present the messages they want us to have out to each of us, young and old alike.  It can be overwhelming.  More importantly, it can be overwhelmingly bad.

So now we have a situation where good people are not better.  Good people are influenced to choose a reaction to an action that comes to us in whatever form.  We are asked to take a stand politically, socially, economically, spiritually, pscychologically, medically, ethically, etc., etc.  For example, as parents we might be asked to take a stand on a teacher or administrator’s position, with no other training than common sense as our tools and/or the pressure from community and what we can hope to believe we hear.  In today’s world, where the highest education is encouraged and often mandatory for a person’s success, we are often critiqued by layman with no experience in the issue.  As a result, common sense is clouded.  Our views are skewed.  An otherwise sunny day is now gloomy and grey from the pollution we may not see visibly but know is lurking in the form of a colorless and odorless fog permeating our atmosphere.

As I wonder what I can do myself to affect good becoming better I realize that most times I feel powerless.  Can I make positive change?  I don’t know.  So what do I know?  I can start by making the good in me better.  I may not be able to stop the hatefulness in the world but I can certainly stop the hatefulness in myself.  Does that translate to letting someone else disrespect me?  No.  It means that I can respect myself and those I encounter rather than assuming (as the news might have you believing) a stranger I encounter may only have hate and be ready to disrespect me, or worse.   It is my personal responsibility to be ready for either but I will hope for the better.  I will lead by example and with a genuine smile and hope that it is contagious (not unlike whatever virus we are all reportedly sure to die from today).

After a tough day we can choose to relax and be spoon fed the opinion of the day.  We can end our day with a fitful sleep overwhelmed with the sense of the helplessness it creates.  This can leave us angry or it can be the stimulus to begin change.   Today we also have an opportunity to learn from it.  We can You-tube the how-to of anything imaginable and learn from it.  We can seek out the possible change.  We are all gifted with the ability to make that choice.  We can nurture and offer rather than control and oppress.  Can we hope to express individuality without the need to control others?  Can we respect each other’s differences while respecting ourselves and not feel threatened while maintaining our awareness?  

I think we can.  I think that’s what will make each of us, our state, our nation, our world, in the long run, not just good, but better [or sadly, not].  Don’t be confused by our “global” situation or your space in it or your age in it.  It still must begin with you and me.  The speck of sand that makes us all – in the end – a “beach” of one.

I’m Decidedly Debra and these are my thoughts today.  I welcome your comments.

Concerned, Conflicted and Confused

Concerned.  Frankly Francine has been busy at J.C. Penny’s trying to let someone who cares know the reason they may be losing money.  It seems management’s idea of good customer service is having to beg someone to take your money.  Help is scarce and overworked.  She is home now completing the survey cards.  The few cashiers she encountered begged her to help them in this way. Seems they’re as sick of it as she is.

While waiting behind a woman who clearly purchased a sack full of clothes on sale and wanted them all returned and credited individually, she was told to relax since she was the next person in line.  Forget that she had already been there 20 minutes trying to pay.  Francine went to the middle of the floor and loudly inquired how the store was to make money with the only available help busy giving back customer’s money while virtually ignoring the customer willing to spend? Can I get an Amen for bringing back the return only counter?

Conflicted.  Both sides in the upcoming election leave a lot to be desired.  It saddens me to see the name calling and back biting. Where is the sharing of intelligent thought.  It seems everyone has Attention Deficit Disorder.  Let’s turn off the reality TV and the spin doctors and engage in some research.  It was Carter who started the immigration law to protect this great nation by closing borders. Yet Trump is a racist bastard? It is Hillary that has an 11 million dollar mansion in New York and will enjoy her Congressional salary until she dies. In the meantime she can inherit her huband’s Presidential salary of $20,000 per month if he predecreases her (and vice a versa).  And don’t get me started on her Charitable Foundation and who is benefiting there.  But back to the mansion.

The Clinton’s are entitled to Secret Service for life.  They had the government build an extra residence to house these agents on their acreage in New York.   Since the property is owned by the Clinton’s they charge the federal government $10,000 per month to use the extra residence,  Oh, and that just about covers their mortgage payment.  Really?  How nice.

Now Hillary is orchestrating a $2 BILLION ad campaign against Trump.  2 BILLION.  That could provide a lot of education and health care, but no.  Come on people.  Wake up.  It’s our insatiable lust for reality TV, Facebook and blaming everyone else that has Trump sounding so good to so many while many of you are bashing the rich.   Trump is pretty transparent.  How about the criminal activities of Mrs. Clinton, who like her husband (whom she will give a job to by the way = cha-ching, another paycheck for life.  Sweet.), plays to women and feigns innocence.  I’m sick of it.

Concerned.  Yes, concerned that a 10 year relationship with someone who claims to love deeply has ended with these last spoken words.  Ready?  “Well you didn’t call me either” when it was I that CALLED.  Only to be followed up by sharing feelings in an e-mail response.  Here’s a clue fellas…try telling your girl what’s on your mind when it’s happening, not after the fact and then only when feeling pressured.

I think that about covers it for today gang.

This is Decidedly Debra saying thanks for listening.

Strange Times

Yes, they are a-coming. What with this being an election year and all.

In the meantime, Mom is busy rallying behind change and, like her, it seems Mr. Trump is telling it like it is.  Whew!  Who’d have thought…

So – Frankly Francine is under the current command of Decidedly Debra.  Let’s try to breath some new life into what has become a stagnant page.

Francine is alive and well and as frank as ever.  We just need to calm down enough to focus on a topic (other than Trump).

We are looking into aging as a prime topic.  We know that Francine has many recommendations on how elderly might make life easier for themselves.  Take grocery shopping and cooking for one.  If you know Francine you know that includes the ever famous and fabulous “Trader Joes”.  (Have we talked about their delicious brown tomatoes?)  With ease you can prepare a pre-assembled meal and cook it quickly and easily nowadays.

And did you say “Health Care”.  Many opinions on that subject to follow.

So before we get any older…let’s try to remember what it was like to be younger.  There is beauty in gaining the confidence that only age and life lessons can bring to a person.  But let’s not let that taint us.  I hope that at any age we can face each day with some spirit of adventure and finish each day with some pride of accomplishment.

Until next time folks, remember we welcome comments and look forward to expressing ourselves frankly.


Meet My Mom


Welcome to Frankly Francine where the priority will be candid conversation about ideas and solutions for today’s hottest topics.

My name is Debra ( and I created this space out of love and a strong desire for my Mom, Francine, to have a platform for her opinions and, in my opinion, her sage wisdom.

Mother/Daughter relationships are interesting. I have been on the receiving end of her advice and guidance for just over six decades. Admittedly this advice has not always been welcome, but the value of her words have never failed me. It is time to share.

Advice can often be painful to hear. Opinions might be hard to swallow. Suggestions may be helpful but easy to resist. Perhaps the hardest thing is in the timing. How often do the very things we need to hear the most seem to be the things we try the hardest to avoid? Buttons can be pushed and hackles can be raised when words said with love, meant to help, are received as threatening words invoking hostility.

All I know for sure is that in this day and age of “I’m up, [to heck with you] pull up the ladder” we seem to have lost the ability to communicate. Telephone calls have become one sided and in general only an opportunity to leave a message. We now e-mail, text, post on Facebook and tweet. A conversation of one. Uno! Discussions between two or more people is a thing of the past. We are quickly losing the ability (and patience) to disagree or discuss without feeling threatened or hurt. We have gotten very good at lecturing or justifying our behaviors, even to the point of “spinning” them to suit our own tastes and desires.

The result? We remain unheard. So we repeat, and repeat (we forget to rinse) and spew the same sentiments. We get stuck repeatedly trying to relay our thoughts and feelings to whoever might listen.

Well… it’s time to “Unleash the Beast.” It is time to express constructive ideas. I’m not saying it will be easy, but if you listen, you may come away with a different perspective – a place to move forward from and become unstuck. This is my hope.

The good news…I will listen. We will listen! So what you are thinking? What shall we talk about? Let us know what you are needing from a frank discussion. If you are not being heard, let us know. This is that place. It may not always be kind and it will probably never be “politically correct”. Check back often as topics will change frequently. I can promise you it will not be boring!!!

Again, welcome to Frankly Francine.