Tag Archives: United States

I choose to remember the victims

What a sad sad day in America.  The Colorado movie massacre was a senseless tragedy.  My heart goes out to those poor victims and their friends and families.

My first reaction was probably like most people’s: shock.  Then came anger.  Who does this? (He is not a “he”, but an “it”.)

What the hell was the point?

Wait. I don’t even want to know “its” motivation – NOTHING justifies what “it” did.

Instead of focusing on “it”, who I refuse to acknowledge by name, I choose to remember the twelve victims.  They are the ones who deserve recognition and fame.  Their names should be the ones blasted out all over the internet and on the news channels.  Their lives were taken much too short, but they should be remembered.

The youngest was six.  The oldest was 51. One died on his birthday.  Several were fathers and mothers.  All were sons and daughters.  All were heroes.

Here’s a list of the victims, may they rest in peace.  The list is in alphabetical order and includes links to some of the stories about them.

  1. Jonathan Blunk, 26 years old – Jonathan Blunk’s wife talks about her family’s loss
  2. A.J. Boik, 18 years old – AJ Boik Among Those Killed In Theater Shooting 
  3. Gordon Cowden, 51 years old – At 51 Gordon Cowden was oldest of those slain in theater shooting
  4. Jessica Ghawi, 24 years old – Jessica Ghawi’s Family Wants to Focus on Victims, Not Colorado Shooter 
  5. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jesse Childress, 29 years old  – Jesse Childress Died Trying to Protect Friend at “Dark Knight” Massacre
  6. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class John Thomas Larimer, 27 years old – Shooting victim John Larimer: Illinois sailor was youngest of five children
  7. Matt McQuinn, 27 years old –  Aurora shooting victims: Heroism and heartbreak as last moments revealed 
  8. Micayla Medek, 23 years old – Father of slaying victim Micayla Medek: ‘I lost a precious soul.’
  9. Veronica Moser-Sullivan, 6 years old – Double tragedy:  Aurora shooting victim learns her daughter was killed
  10. Alex Sullivan, 27 years old – Alex Sullivan was celebrating his 27th birthday at midnight showing
  11. Alex Teves, 24 years old –   Shooting victim Alex Teves had ‘a heart of gold,’ saved girlfriend
  12. Rebecca Wingo, 32 years old –  Rebecca Wingo, mom of two, among victims kill

I choose to remember the victims.

~~ Maggie


Posted by on July 23, 2012 in Family, news


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Kyoto – Days 9 to End

Prior to leaving Hiroshima, we toured the Calbee (snacks) plant. What’s unique about these snacks is that many of them have shrimp!  Also, at this particular plant, none of them are fried.  I loved the snap peas snack the best.  I hope their snacks will one day be in America soon.

Like at most places we visited, we wore slippers (gray ones).  Then, when you go to the bathroom, you switch into bathroom slippers (pink ones).  I also switched to bathroom slippers at my host family’s home.

After the tour, we headed off to the train station.  Isn’t this little guy cute? In Japanese you say “kawii” –rhymes with Hawaii. The children learn to take train very young.

Their public telephone doesn’t look like ours, but what’s similar is that people only use it for emergencies since Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on July 5, 2012 in kids, travel


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Hiroshima – Days 7 and 8

Toyota City was an interesting place.  While in my Japanese homestay, I felt like I was in the country side because there were many trees, gardens and nearby rice fields.  However, the town is very much a Toyota manufacturing town with buildings sprinkled throughout. There were trains, cars and buses running at all hours of the day and night, yet many people walk to work.  It was such a mixture of nature and industry. Despite that, there was a peace among the people, who smiled at you on the streets.

Day 7

After breakfast, I went with my Japanese family to watch the youngest (6th grader) play basketball at another Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on July 3, 2012 in Family, Teaching, travel


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Domo Arigato – 6 days to go!

It’s over 6,000 miles from here to Tokyo!  As I finish getting ready for my AMAZING trip, I can’t help but think about all the Japanese families who make the 6,000 + mile trip to America AND put their kids in our schools.  Think about it.  You travel that many miles and (jet-lagged) are expected to acclimate to American culture and schools — not to Read the rest of this entry »


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18 Days to Japan

Friendship (Yuujou)

My motto for trying new food for my upcoming trip to Japan is: try ANYTHING once and THEN ask what I ate! 🙂 This motto served me well at my recent ETJ orientation dinner.  I ate steak, tuna, salmon, shrimp, eel, octopus, jellyfish, seaweed, liver (from some type of bottom feeder fish) and other delicacies at the fabulous Cherry Blossom of Novi Japanese Restaurant.

And, oh boy, I tried almost everything!!  (The octopus was a bit chewy, by the way.)  There was soooo much food!  I’m glad I’ll be walking a lot (and sweating from the humidity) because otherwise, I would gain weight! I learned that the Japanese use soy sauce the same way Americans use ketchup.  Also, it’s much easier to eat Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on June 5, 2012 in kids, Teaching, travel


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Soccer Tips for Newbies

A funny thing happened one morning when I casually asked a friend how she got into such amazing shape.  She opened my eyes to a whole new world of …women’s SOCCER!  Wait. What? At that point, my daughter had played on a few teams and I’d gone to all her games and practices (most were cold and dreary), but grown-ups play too? It was music to a young mom’s ears, who craved – yes CRAVED – to get into shape.  Only thing was…I’d NEVER played before.  Not in college.  Not in high school.  Heck, not even in middle school.  In fact, I Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 22, 2012 in fitness, Funny, Games, kids, soccer


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My “What would you do?” moment

At the risk of sounding boastful, I want to share a story of a good deed. It was my “What would you do?” moment and I’m sharing it because I want people to know that someone cares and good deeds happen by strangers all the time.

I was driving with my teenage daughter on a busy two lane road (about 5:30 PM) and I noticed an elderly man in a wheelchair on the road’s shoulder.  His wheelchair looked stuck and his head was hanging as if he’d had a stroke or was extremely tired.  It was getting a little nippy out and the traffic was getting heavier, but this poor guy was sitting there on the road’s shoulder, which wasn’t more than a piece of broken-up concrete.  My daughter and I looked at each other and it was a “What would you do?” moment.  Keep driving? Or…turn around and help? Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on November 10, 2011 in Good Deeds


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Remembering 9/11 – ten years later

                                                                                                      credit: Whitegadget

Like most people, I remember exactly where I was when I heard about the terrorist attacks of September 11th. I was at a BSF meeting (Bible Study Fellowship). It was near the end of our first meeting and we were gathered as a large group, waiting to hear from our speaker, who was delayed. When she finally spoke, it was with the heartbreaking news of the attacks — and her daughter was in New York, who she couldn’t reach.  We were all Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on September 11, 2011 in news


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American Indian Dancing

On a recent road trip, I came across the Ziibiwing Center, which celebrates the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan. Even though I was short on time, I decided to drop in anyway and take in the local culture. I’m so glad I did because I was treated to a beautiful and passionate American Indian dance.

The dancers’ stamina, spins and intensity were impressive.

The outfits were colorful and bright.

The children were also amazing.

I could tell how proud these dancers felt.

Overall, I loved the dance and felt honored to learn about the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe.

This motorcycle was pretty cool too.


Posted by on July 29, 2011 in travel, Uncategorized


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Waking up in Vegas – an art lover’s dream

You have certain expectations when you go to Vegas: monstrous and elegant hotels, vibrant and flashy casinos, marvelous yet expensive entertainment and of course, seedy characters sprinkled throughout. I mean, really, the place is known as the Entertainment Capital of the World and Sin City – those nicknames weren’t given by accident, right?

The hubby and I decided Vegas would be a fun place to celebrate our wedding anniversary and see what all the hoopla was about.

When we went to the sizzling city, and I mean SIZZLING, I saw all of the above. What I didn’t expect, and was a nice surprise, was the abundance of amazing art — at almost every turn.

We stayed at the fabulously posh Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and I was blown away by the beautiful chandeliers and superb digital art throughout the hotel and casino. We chose this hotel because of its location and amenities. Little did I know it also used every, and I mean EVERY, opportunity to display tasteful art – even in our closet!

Now, I’m not an art connoisseur by any means, but I appreciate art like most people, and consider myself an art lover. And, baby, Vegas is an art lover’s dream. We checked out the Vegas Strip, on foot, and our eyes were saturated with incredible works of art, including statues of lions, kings, gods and goddesses, pyramids, sphinx, extravagant lights, lavish fountain shows, flourishing flowers, famous landmarks, and much much more. Let’s face it: Vegas is all MUCH MUCH MORE.

We also made it to a fabulous and outstanding Cirque du Soleil show. WOW! The stage and the cast were a stunning display of art too.

These are some of the fabulous art we saw during our trip. If you are an art lover and would like to share some of your pictures here, let me know and I’d be happy to add them.

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Posted by on July 22, 2011 in art, travel


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