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Faith & Love, Take 1 (Day 16)

5 Jul

Over the Holiday weekend I frequented a Catholic church that is one of many that I have went to over the years.  I watched as these wonderful people gathered, shook hands, bode each other good wishes, shared in the sacraments, and continued on their journey for the rest of the week.  It was magical.
What is so neat about people going to church?  Have you ever really contemplated faith?  In the Bible it talks about having faith the size of a mustard seed – which is puny – but think about how much power that really has behind it.  You see, faith is an all or nothing thing – if you want to have faith, then you just can’t have any fear.  Worrying is human, however, if you really want to fight the negativity – then you can’t worry, you “gotta have faith”.

My observance of people, including those who are close to me, also leads me to believe that most people are loving, giving, and caring souls.  Driving down the Interstate every day may make one think otherwise.  However, there truly are more “good people” than bad – and it is love and forgiveness that helps us move forward in a proactive and positive light.

If you attend a church or if you don’t – try to reach out to your neighbors and get to know them – more and more we are secluding ourselves and sitting in front of a television set – this is unhealthy and not doing anything great for our communities and country.  Engage with people – you may be surprised about what experiences you are missing out on.


Day 10 – Storm on the Horizon

28 Jun

A view of a Thunderhead on the Horizon in Pueblo County, Colorado

Often people say “what can one person do to make a difference”, or “I can’t do anything, I am only one person”.

What we have to remember is that everything is made up of a collective of “just one”.  Like that thunderstorm on the horizon – just one water particle would hardly be visible or perhaps ‘meaningful’, but all together, those particles are very very strong.

The powers that be tend to divide us; we categorize each other into this or that faction, we fight each other based off of affiliation or ideology, we focus on the problems versus being actionable in our own solutions.  We are smart people, and we are capable of helping ourselves.

Fearing an outcome is a waste of time, and yet we are afraid.  Each of us has within us the power to shape our own lives – if we take control of this, then as a collective we re-engage our liberty.  You see, we are “just one”, but if we focus on ourselves, our communities and country will grow stronger.

So perhaps a list of action-items to start working on would be helpful.  We will be working on this throughout our journey, and will look forward to any input our followers and communities may have.




Days 8 & 9 – Festivals & Basic Economics

26 Jun

The King & Queen are a paraded around in the Kingdom - Larkspur, Colorado

This weekend I had the opportunity to go to the City of Larkspur for the 35th anniversary season of their Colorado Renaissance Festival.  For eight weekends, starting in June, artisans, actors, actresses, and vendors create a festival that is not only fun and entertaining, but also brings in significant tax revenues for the city, county, and state.

Businesses, organizations, and special events are an effective means for “creating wealth”.  By producing and selling items and services, these products and services are then taxed, and these taxes contribute to the general well-being of the city, county, and state where these activities take place.

So, wouldn’t it make sense to foster these types of revenue-producing activities?  It seems like a no-brainer, however, leadership in local, state, and the federal government can sometimes overlook the tools that helps these businesses, organizations, and special events to thrive.

Here are some ideas, gathered by who we have talked to so far:

1.  Don’t have redundant fees – if you pay a fee in one county or city, then you should not have to pay that same fee for every place that you operate – you have to pay taxes in every city and county, and that should be enough – redundant fees make it hard for small businesses to do business in other parts of the state.

2. Banks had received “bailout” money under the auspices that they were to help loan to small businesses – this is not happening.  Banks should not be sitting on that money and instead aiding with small businesses loans and lines of credit so that small businesses can stabilize their cash flow during these trying economic times.

3. Government is supposed to help to ensure a “fair playing ground”.  Favoritism at any level of government should not be permitted and there should be a fair playing ground for businesses to compete.

4. Spending millions of dollars in recruiting companies to come to your town only makes sense and is justified if the amount of wealth created from that activity exceeds the amount of “breaks” given to those companies.  If this money was used to nurture small businesses that are already in existence (the concept of economic gardening), then you may actually be able to create more prosperity using these small businesses that don’t seek tax breaks or incentives that can come back to bite the entity giving them.

Every day we go out and decide how to vote with our dollar – arguably the most powerful means of making a difference.  The summertime brings us festivals and activities that are an inherent part of Colorado and beyond.  We can learn something from the success of these events, and help other areas to prosper by creating an environment where small businesses can thrive.

To the Week,


Day 6 – Ice Cream Trucks, Farmers Market Regulations, & Brown Rice Tea

24 Jun

I had to throw in the ice-cream truck because as I walked outside I heard in the air the melody to “When the Saints Go Marching In” and saw a nicely decorated vehicle advertising delicious ice cream treats driving by.  It is amazing that they are still able to operate with the immense amounts of rules and regulations that local health departments are privy to making them follow.

In this past week I have talked to several small producers in the Southern Colorado area that have a bad taste in their mouth with local regulations, especially those from health departments.  Now, there is a place for having a health department, so let’s not jump to the conclusion that I am saying there should not be some type of governmental agency involved on some level.  However, when the health department actually HALTS the development of small businesses because of layers and layers or red tape and stagnating procedures, that is really unproductive.  We had first-hand experience with the Farmers’ Market that we ran in Pueblo, Colorado.

Are there specific rules and regulations that you would like to tell us about?  I would sure like to know – it is time that we work together with local governments to make it easier for small businesses to not only keep their doors open, but also thrive.

This evening I am sipping on a favorite drink of mine that I thought I should mention because it is very good for one’s immune system.  Brown Rice Tea – and I would try to find an organic brand – is packed full of antioxidants, Vitamin B (great for stress), and other minerals.



Day 5 – Saluting Our Veterans

23 Jun

Today was a quick trip up to El Paso County, where several military bases remind us of those men and women who defend and have defended our country.  Walking into most any business, in any part of town, one sees those troops who are active duty in their uniforms, we are also surrounded by veterans, and still others lay resting – those who have paid the ultimate price for freedom.

As a former military wife, and someone who has seen and felt the effects of our current wars, I always thank the men and women who have given their lives to this endeavor.  We are incredibly blessed to live in a free country (even at times when it seems quite un-free), and our gratitude towards our troops and veterans should be a part of our lives in one way or another.

So, the next time you see someone in uniform, or someone who is a veteran – thank them, shake their hand, and let them know that you care.  It can make all the difference in the world.


Day 4 – Flag Poles in Pueblo West

22 Jun

Today was such a good day.

A brief visit out to Pueblo West revealed more conversations with small business owners who are facing the crunch, but are working very hard to make things happen regardless.  Americans are resilient creatures you know.

Today there was a conversation about a flag pole.  A small business out in Pueblo West wanted to have a 60-foot flag-pole on their property.  Local ‘zoning” didn’t put a complete stop to it, but made the process pretty hard, so these folks had stopped trying.  That’s too bad, since a 360-degree view of their place looks something like this:

A 60-foot flag pole would probably stand out, but it sure wouldn’t deprive the landscape of any value (in my humble opinion of course).  As a matter of fact, it would probably be really good for their business and really good for the community (because in my book, there is nothing wrong with flying an American flag).

Just another little “perk” of local government’s decisions that affect our liberty and freedom to express ourselves.

More adventures tomorrow,


Day 3 – Taxpayer Money at Work

21 Jun

Until recently, I felt myself capable of following directions on signs and cones regarding the speed and direction at which to travel.

On a recent trip to Walsenburg (CO) in Huerfano County, there was some type of construction being done (it is tourist season, and in Colorado that means high-time to start working on the roads), and thus, we were delayed, waiting to go along our way.

Once the man changed his sign from “STOP” to “SLOW”, a state vehicle pulled out with the following two electronic signs and actually LED US (with us following behind) along 2 miles of road, with those signs flashing.

Now, not to sound uncouth, because I am sure there were good intentions behind this clever maneuver to actually have this $60K state vehicle go in front of the oh-so-irresponsible driver, however, don’t you think that the $60K may have been better spent on something else?  Or, maybe we are that incompetent and need that constant signage in front of us to be able to drive from Point A to Point B.  If that is the case, well, I will ponder that.

Taxpayer money is serious business because it is the blood, sweat, and tears of hard-working Americans, and in this case, hard-working Coloradans.  It should be used frugally and wisely.

Until tomorrow,


Day 2 – Solar Power AMAZING Force for Liberty

19 Jun

Tisha Casida, Independent Candidate for Colorado's 3rd Congressional District

Today was a day to remember the potential of solar power (and wind for that matter) in Southern Colorado.  Now, there are other resources to be tapped as well (like natural gas and oil), however, there is often an abundance of sun and today, while campaigning on the corner of 1st Street and Santa Fe in Pueblo, I got to really experience that.  Solar Roast Coffee, a local coffee store that uses a proprietary solar-powered roaster to roast their beans, actually started its operations in Pueblo because of that sun-potential.  A powerful espresso drink, made with organic coffee beans and a renewable resource – AMAZING.  I love this country.

Sunday –  a day of rest – we praised our blessings earlier at a mass at Holy Family Parish.  Then it was off to meet WE THE PEOPLE.  With my “Will Work for Liberty” sign and flags, we handed out cards and shook hands while enjoying the beautiful day.

It doesn’t matter how old you are, what your background is, how much money you have, or what your political affiliation is – we are here to be a voice and a vehicle for connecting our communities together.  It is time to put government back in control of the people – and that starts right here with you and me.

To tomorrow,


Day 1 – Scouting Along the I-25 Corridor

19 Jun

A Historic Steam Engine at the Pueblo Union Depot

Dear America,

Today was a journey along I-25 through Pueblo, Walsenburg, and Trinidad.  We looked for businesses in the area that have products and services that we can appreciate and use throughout the campaign.  Here is a highlight of what we found:

1. Bingo Burger: Delicious all-natural grass-fed beef patties served with house-made fries and custom dipping sauces – DELICIOUS!  Their meat is sourced locally from Cattlemen’s Choice Beef, and they make their fries using San Luis Valley potatoes.  No start of a journey is complete without a resounding protein-filled snack that you can trust where it came from.  In addition to this, they offer a lamb-burger and eggplant (vegetarian) option.

2. HopScotch Bakery: Close to Bingo Burger in more ways than one, we had to top that burger off with a classic “Mary-O” cookie.  Another business in Pueblo that sources some ingredients locally, this is the place to stop for a sweet treat in the downtown area.

3. Cigars Limited: Another specialty store on Union Street, our trek would not be complete without a cigar.  We were now off to Trinidad.

While driving south and enjoying the cumulus clouds that signal Spring thunderstorms, I did a lot of thinking about the state of the economy in Southern Colorado.  I have heard that Colorado lags behind other states in recovering, however, the southern part of the state is in even worse shape.  As I drive with a full belly, I think of so many people who are having to make choices between feeding their family and paying their utility bill – it is a story I am hearing more and more of.  It is a story that needs a happy ending.
Once to Trinidad, we find a great location to host a “Coffee with Casida 2012” – a fine coffeeshop and diner called “What A Grind“.  Here, we enjoy some espresso and coffee and plan additional parts of our journey.

While on the road again, I contemplate the 200,000 people we hope to touch with our journey, and how many people so far have shared their story and their passion.  I believe that we are all here on this planet to learn about ourselves and each other, and that freedom is the best medium to make that happen.  And I am so blessed to live in a free country.
Onto tomorrow,


Front-View of the Steam Engine (Dagny Taggart would be proud)