It was a pleasure to march Sunday in Olympia, Wash.'s 2012 Capital City Pride Parade.
It was a pleasure to march Sunday in Olympia, Wash.'s 2012 Capital City Pride Parade.
By Rita R. Robison
Last week, an initiative was filed in Olympia, Wash., to repeal the law legalizing gay marriage, which was passed by the Washington State Legislature this spring.
In addition to protesting at the Capitol Building and the Thurston County Auditor’s Office, they demonstrated at Olympia High School.
Since they were coming to my neighborhood, I decided to get up early and go see who they were.
Those demonstrating last week for the "church" were white, baby boomer women and their kids. It was sickening to watch them and listen to their horrible songs. I thought it was terrible that they spread their message of fear and hate, using the freedoms this country grants in its laws and constitution.
About 1,000 people gathered in a counter protest at the high school. It was peaceful. I’m glad that people were told in advance not to go near members of the Westboro Baptist Church. They have a history of suing local governments and people who try to oppose them and their demonstrations.
A group of young people stood on the corner across from the Westboro Baptist Church members, also counter protesting.
A child held a No Hate sign.
This young person was brave enough to tell a story with these signs about a gay teen who was bullied and committed suicide.
It was a very emotional morning. One woman told me she laughed and cried and laughed and cried during the counter demonstration. I felt such anger and deep sorrow because of the hate messages so blatantly displayed by members of the Westboro Baptist Church. I also felt great joy because of the support for the gay people showed by members of my community.
I hope you had a great Easter celebration.
My sister and I visited with my niece and her family. We had a nice ham and scalloped potato dinner with salad and aspargus.
We wondered why ham is a tradition for Easter meals.
The Encyclopedia of Religion says:
Among Easter foods, the most significant is the Easter lamb, which is in many places the main dish of the Easter Sunday meal. Corresponding to the Passover lamb and to Christ, the Lamb of God, this dish has become a central symbol of Easter. Also popular among European and Americans on Easter is ham, because the pig was considered a symbol of luck in pre-Christian Europe.
We also enjoyed a nice spring day. I'm so happy spring is here at last, beginning with a great Easter celebration.
Whatever your religious beliefs, I hope you’re having a great Easter celebration.
I went to church today and enjoyed the positive message our minister had to offer. He said not to be overcome by fear and live a life worth living until you die. It was helpful to me because I’ve had worries recently about household repairs.
Gallup polls have consistently found that more than 60 percent of Americans say they will attend church on Easter, compared with about 40 percent who say that they will in any given week.
For information on how other countries celebrate Easter, see “Easter Around the World.”
Best wishes for a great Easter celebration.
By Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist
Whether you’ll be celebrating with just your family or inviting a crowd, here are tips for having an Easter that’s terrific:
1. Planning and organizing
Keep it simple. Use plastic eggs to avoid mess and waste. Plan a simple menu or arrange a potluck. For more suggestions, see “Top 10 Tips for a Great Easter.”
Choose pastel colors, yellow and green, for example, that complement each other for your table. Select or create a tall dramatic arrangement. See “Top 10 Tips for Easter Tables" for more ideas.
3. Easter eggs
Use natural items such as onionskins, beet juice, spinach leaves juice, and turmeric for dying Easter eggs. For details, go to “How to Dye Easter Eggs Using Natural Materials.”
Make a list of your favorite Easter memories. Ask your family or your guests to share their memories, too. Visit “What’s Your Favorite Easter Memory?” for ideas.
5. The hunt
Select safe places to hide the Easter eggs. Mark the area of the hunt with flags or tape so that children spending a lot of time searching areas where there aren’t any eggs. Visit “Top 10 Tips for an Easter Egg Hunt” for more suggestions.
Separate age groups so that the large kids aren’t knocking over smaller children. Or enforce a no running rule. Visit “10 Safety Tips for Easter Egg Hunting” for more ideas.
7. Non-sugar treats
Select stickers, small age-appropriate toys, and dried fruit to put in plastic Easter eggs rather than candy. Go to “Ideas for Non-sugar Easter Treats” for additional suggestions.
Take a walk in the park or go to a beach. For other ideas, see “Top 10 Fun Things to Do With Your Kids This Easter.”
9. Family traditions
Follow your favorite family traditions. Attend a church service, go to your favorite quiet spot in the great outdoors, or visit a nursing home.
10. Green Easter
Think of ways you can “green” your Easter such as using real grass clippings or recycled paper in Easter baskets, buy Easter baskets you can use for many years, and look for farm raised eggs. See “Green Tips for Easter Sunday” for more information.
Whatever your plans, have a wonderful Easter celebration.
What steps can baby boomer consumers take to make 2011 a great year for them?
The Baby Boomer Retirement Club recommends 10 areas boomer can be looking at now to have the high quality of life they want in their next stage of life:
1. Save for retirement by putting money in your 401(k) so you can take advantage of your employer matching funds, if they’re offered.
2. Examine new investment choices in your 401(k) plan to preserve asset value in the next few years.
3. Investigate ways to have continuing income after you retire from your primary career.
4. Get moving every day for 30 minutes in the exercise of your choice.
5. Take steps to help care for your aging parents and preserve your own mental health.
6. Make a will and a living will, if you haven’t done so already.
7. Build dreams together with your spouse or significant other.
8. Research and decide the best place(s) for you to live in the future and when.
9. Enjoy travel adventures while deciding where to live.
10. Examine spirituality as a way to strengthen your inner resources.
See "New Year’s Resolutions for Baby Boomers in 2011" for more information on these top 10 resolutions.
Copyright 2011, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist
While spending on most items will remain the same as last year, children can expect more jellybeans, flavored marshmallows, and gifts in their Easter baskets this year, according to the federation.The average person will spend $17.29 on candy, compared to $16.55 last year, and $18.16 on gifts, up from $17.30 last Easter. Other holiday purchases include clothing ($19.03), food ($37.45), flowers ($7.84), decorations ($6.34), and greeting cards ($6.30).On baby boomer Easter purchases, 45-54 year olds will spend $117.54, while 55-64 year olds will spend $106.82.
A new survey by Parade magazine reports 69 percent of Americans believe in God, 77 percent pray outside of religious services, and 75 percent believe it’s a parent’s responsibility to give children a religious upbringing.
However, even though 45 percent of respondents called themselves religious, 50 percent said they rarely or never attend worship services.
The Parade survey offers an interesting look at spirituality in America.
In analyzing the data, Christine Wicker, author of the book "The Fall of the Evangelical Nation," said what Americans are doing today is separating spirituality from religion, with many people disavowing organized practice altogether while privately maintaining some form of worship.
The old terms – "atheist" and "agnostic" – are no longer catch-alls for everyone outside traditional belief, Wicker said. For example, 24 percent of respondents put themselves into a whole new category: "spiritual but not religious."
That phrase means different things to different people, she said. Some may be members of traditional religions but want to signal that they aren’t legalistic or rigid. At the other end of the spectrum, "spiritual but not religious" can apply to someone who has combined diverse beliefs and practices into a personal faith that fits no standard definition.
As Americans’ ideas of spirituality have become more expansive, so have their attitudes toward people of different faiths, Wicker said. Only 12 percent of respondents said that their own religion was the only true faith, 12 percent said no religion has validity, and 59 percent said all religions are valid.
Take a look at the survey results. It makes for interesting reading.
For example, only 15 percent of respondents thought religion should be a key factor in political decisions, while 58 percent said religion and politics should not mix at all.
Copyright 2009, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist