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Jeannie Ralston
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Entries by Jeannie Ralston

A Mom in Mexico Asks, "When Is It Overreacting?"

(9) Comments | Posted April 29, 2009 | 5:19 PM

As health officials dealing with the swine flu outbreak are trying to walk a line between informing and alarming, I--as a recipient of their reports and warnings and an American living in Mexico--try to find the proper balance between sensible caution and overreaction. It's not easy. I seem to swing...

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Mexico: Sharing the Holiday Light

(4) Comments | Posted December 28, 2008 | 6:54 PM

The best Christmas present I received this year came in the tear-drop form of a candle flame.

I was at a posada in my neighborhood in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. It's a mixed neighborhood -- some ex-pats like my family but mostly large Mexican broods...

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Wal-Mart Stampede: And So This is Christmas

(7) Comments | Posted December 1, 2008 | 10:58 AM

When I told my husband about the worker trampled by frenzied Wal-Mart shoppers on Friday morning, he thought it was a joke. "That sounds like some parody," he said. "What station were you watching? Comedy Central?"

I insisted it was real. Googling the incident, I showed him that even...

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Male Conspiracy in the Bedroom

(3) Comments | Posted November 25, 2008 | 1:51 PM

We've all heard of the ancient design principle called Feng Shui, with its premise that the route to good fortune is through furniture arranging. Recently I have discovered a heretofore unacknowledged design principle that may be just as ancient and is certainly more widely practiced, particularly in households with...
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Where To Live Now: Using The Electoral Map As Guide

(30) Comments | Posted November 14, 2008 | 10:31 AM

"Come to Montana," a friend living in Bozeman told me when she heard my husband and I are planning to move back to the States next spring after three years in Mexico. "We almost went blue; you could help put us over the edge next time."

"We would be thrilled...

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Mexicans says "Obamanos"

(2) Comments | Posted November 5, 2008 | 11:11 AM

"Obamanos" is a strange bit of political Spanglish, often seen in the past few months on bumper stickers in states with large Hispanic populations. The term translates -- in essence, not literally -- to "let's go Obama."

This has been the general spirit in San Miguel...

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Shock and Sadness: Hearing The Unspeakable

(23) Comments | Posted October 30, 2008 | 5:40 PM

After sitting out most of the election season at my home in Mexico, I was happy to return to the States last week to witness the political hoo-ha for myself. I was thrilled to see about four Obama signs in upstate New York for every McCain placard. I was encouraged...

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How Small-Town America Taught Me to Be Open-Minded

(1) Comments | Posted October 20, 2008 | 1:15 PM

During this election season, as partisan acrimony is as intense as the ozone-less Antarctic sun, I'm trying desperately to remember something I learned during the 10 years I lived in rural Texas: How to open my mind.

After 14 years in Manhattan and Austin, I arrived in Blanco, Texas (population...

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We Don't Need to Fight Dirty

(4) Comments | Posted October 13, 2008 | 1:20 PM

I'm taking my cues from Barack Obama. I'm staying above the fray.

Obama is not getting in the mud with Mccain and Palin and all those who have been driven to act like an Islamist mob that has seen cartoons of Mohammad, driven into such a frenzy that, according...

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Why October 6th Felt Like September 11th

(1) Comments | Posted October 7, 2008 | 2:51 PM

Yesterday I had an inkling of the deep agitation I felt on September 11th, 2001. That feeling that the world had gone wildly awry and life would never be the same again.

I hope that I'm over-reacting to the financial crisis, since certainly no one has died from the...

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Debate Watching With the World

(1) Comments | Posted September 29, 2008 | 12:53 PM

At first I thought I wouldn't be able to watch Friday's debate at all. But as it turned out, I felt as if I watched it with the whole world.

By the time I realized the date of the first debate, my family and I had already planned to spend...

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When Is It Settling?

(2) Comments | Posted September 23, 2008 | 9:46 AM

Among the worst words you can apply to someone in a relationship is any inflection of the verb "to settle," as in "he settled by marrying her." To have the word "settled" used anywhere near your name connotes that you gave up your soul, your heart or your ideals to...

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How Leaving the Country Does and Doesn't Help

(26) Comments | Posted September 17, 2008 | 2:58 PM

I'm starting to hear it again. In blogs, in e-mails from friends: "If the Republicans win in November, I'm leaving the country."

I said the same thing in 2000, but my husband calmed me down after Bush "won" with this: "The country survived Nixon, for God's sake. How bad...

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