New word of the day: Franchise (Your Right to Vote) Gratitude Challenge: Day 83

Word of the Day for Tuesday, November 6, 2012 (from

franchise \FRAN-chahyz\, noun:

1. The right to vote.

2. A privilege of a public nature conferred on an individual,group, or company by a government.

Examples of use:

One factor in the early mobilization of feminism was the 1832 Reform Act, through which women’s exclusion from the franchise was formalized.

     — Angélique Richardson, Chris Willis, The new woman in fiction and in fact: fin-de-siècle feminisms

The national referendum of 1963 reflected general support for the six-point reform program, which included land reform and the franchise for women.

    — Robin Morgan, Sisterhood Is Global: The International Women’s Movement Anthology –

Franchise derives from the Old French word for “freedom,” which shares a root with the English frank.

I’m grateful that I have learned this meaning of the word franchise.  Also to even have the right to vote.

For those of you in the U.S., please vote today if you haven’t already. (I apologize to those of you elsewhere for making this post America -focused.  Oh my gosh, did I just ‘apologize’ to ‘foreigners’?  Sorry, couldn’t resist, U.S. joke.)

Thanks for reading!

A picture worth a thousand words. Gratitude Experiment: Day 82

One of this week’s WordPress writing prompts was to write about a picture that is worth a thousand words.  I was supposed to write fiction about a photo posted along with this WordPress challenge.  But since I am more of a narrative nonfiction kind of gal, I decided to write about a real picture from my life that was worth a thousand words.

Taking care of my mother once a week this last year or so has given me the opportunity to pour through some great old photos. And this was one of them that made me laugh, and that represents a thousand words.

My mom’s very short-lived second marriage resulted in two step brothers whom I had no affection for, no matter how hard I tried.  One of them wet my favorite sleeping bag on numerous occasions and the other was just bratty.  (Of course this was my view of them at the time.  They ended up growing into quite nice young adults when I met them again many years later.)

This short-time stepdad wasn’t particularly fond of me.  Which made me not super fond of him.  He liked my older sister better.  I actually heard him say something like that one time to my mother when he didn’t know I was listening.  Sweeeeeet.  Way to make a kid feel AWESOME.  Quite the ego booster.  Clearly, we were tight.

Needless to say, on outings with these “step brothers”  who received the majority of the attention from their guilt-ridden father, I was often left to feel  like I was just along for the ride.  And I was damn fine to pout about it and make it quite clear how I felt.

To me, this picture says all of this without any words. I have never been one who is able to hide what I’m feeling, and this picture is more proof of this.  My horrible, pissed-off pout is classic.

As far as something to be grateful related to this…. hmm.  Let’s see, I’m grateful for the laugh that this photo gave me when I came across it.  And grateful that I am a little better able to hide my feelings now when necessary.  But I’m also grateful that I am secure enough to be a genuine, what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of person 99 percent of the time. I don’t leave many wondering what I’m thinking (read Open Kimono post:  Which means that I end up with friends who are also genuine.  And that makes life a heck of a lot easier.

Can you think of a picture of yours that is worth a thousand words?