2016 Iowa Caucuses


Do you hear that?

That is the sound of normal.

No more robo-calls, town hall meetings, multiple mailings, and endless political commercials.

The 2016 Iowa Caucuses are over.

The political season started in the spring and went into overdrive last weekend.

For months we’ve listened to candidates in cafes, courthouse lobbies, parks, college campuses, and private homes.

We shook their hands, asked hard questions, and weighed their responses.

We read, discussed, contemplated and ultimately decided.

And last night the entire world watched as we gathered in schools, and legion halls, and community centers across the state to make our choices.

We sat with our friends and neighbors, recited the pledge and cast our ballets on little pieces of paper.

Proud to be Americans.

Proud to be Iowans.

And today it’s over.

The craziest caucus season I can remember is one for the history books.

We’re back to seed, fertilizer, and pick-up truck commercials.

The phone is silent except for friends and neighbors.

And my Facebook feed is more weather, recipes and cute babies than political conversation.

And normal feels good.

Have fun New Hampshire! The circus is on it’s way!


Making History

I interrupt your regularly scheduled activities for this special political announcement:
Your Vote Counts
We attended the Iowa Caucuses last night – and helped make history!

That’s right – we gave up a couple hours on a Tuesday night in January to weigh in on who should be our next president.

We made our voice heard.

We were a part of the process.

One thing we learned as we braved the standing room only crowd and later as we watched the returns on TV – every vote counts.

Every vote.

I’m thinking that some of those undecideds were wishing they had decided – and some of those who stayed home were wishing they had participated.

Now I’m not going to go into some in-depth political commentary about last night’s results – I’ll leave that to somebody who knows what they are talking about. 🙂

But this much I know – every vote counts.

Your vote counts.

Are you registered? You should be.

Okay – my rant is over. I will now step down from my soapbox and return to my usual ramblings about the important issues in life – like what’s for supper and how to survive life with four teens in the house.

But remember this – your vote counts.

Now use it.

I’m Melinda Shervheim and I approved this message.

Photo courtesy of Mike LoCascio.

“It’s Buddy the Elf…”

Ahh… the Christmas holidays.

Lots of goodies to eat, special times with friends and family, Christmas cards and letters in the mail, and… lots of politics.

Since we are privileged to live in Iowa – with the coveted first in the nation caucus – every four years we get to spend our holidays with presidential hopefuls.

This was one of those years.

Every day the mailman leaves a handful of campaign mailings among the brightly colored Christmas cards.

Those really don’t bother me much – other than the horrible waste of resources. I just file them in the wastebasket as soon as they come in. 

What is really getting on our nerves is all the phone calls.

“Hi! This is so and so calling for so and so candidate…” Click.

“Hi! Stay on the line for a live town hall meeting with…” Click.

One candidate in particular is very annoying. We get a call from his campaign at least once a day. Interestingly – he’s one candidate that is rarely in the state campaigning – he just sends oodles of junk mail and annoys us with daily automated phone calls. We’re not impressed.

It was so bad that one afternoon when the phone rang I told Pedro that if it was that particular candidate I would scream.

It was.

I did.

I would estimate 98% of the calls we received in the last 4 weeks were either political or from telemarketers. No one wants to answer the phone anymore! And when we do –  we’re not always friendly.

The kids have started having lots of fun talking back to the canned calls – especially the ones that come during meal times.

“Hey – nice of you to call! Say hi to the wife and kids!”

“Great to hear from you! We’d be happy to spend New Year’s in the Bahamas with you!”

“Thanks for all the great campaign literature! We have enough now to wallpaper the chicken coop!”

But still the calls keep coming.

Finally Dagmar – after threatening to do it for weeks – answered the phone with a line borrowed from a favorite Christmas movie  –

“Hi! It’s Buddy the Elf! What’s your favorite color?”

There was silence on the other end – then a blessed click.

We doubled over with laughter!

Thankfully, the 2012 Iowa Caucus will soon be history and all the candidates will pack up their campaign literature and phone lists and annoy another state.

But until then – if Buddy the Elf should happen to answer when you call – just laugh and answer the question.

I can’t wait to see Dagmar’s expression when you do! 🙂