Let Them Eat Cake

In the wake of the election people have taken to the streets in a handful of major cities, including the windy one–Chicago.  They are outraged over the election results.  I watched the demonstrations unfold on T.V.; it was surreal…as if I were living in a banana republic.

I’ll confess I was more than a wee bit nervous as I watched the angry protestors two days following election night.  I’d be flying into Chicago the next day to spend the weekend visiting my daughter.  Given Chicago’s dubious distinction this year as The U.S. Murder Capitol, its no surprise that I should be nervous.

I shared my concern with my friend Emily.  Like me, she is amazed that folks would react this way given Trump won, fair and square.  Yes, Clinton may have won the popular vote, but not by much all things considered (under 400K is the current count).  But how meaningful is that even, really? Not all the provisional and absentee ballots will be counted now.  It is possible that even that could have turned Trump’s way.  It is clear to me; there was no overwhelming mandate.  People voted. Clinton lost, Trump won.  That is the process.  Stunning? Absolutely!  I’m still floored.

I’ll confess to another reason for trepidation upon arriving in the windy city: My daughter, beautiful and bold,  voted for Clinton.  She wasn’t happy one bit that I had attended a Trump rally many months ago. “I’m simply trying to be an informed voter I had said; He’s campaigning pracatically in my back yard.”  And, I want to see Rubio and Cruz too.”  Add to that,  I’ve seen her social media posts and comments over the course of the weeks leading up to the election.  Let me be clear: I am proud of the fact that my daughter has opinions about politics and what happens in the world.  Still, We have had our ups and downs as most mother-daughter relationships do.  To put it as diplomatically as possible, I worried that she’d be less than gracious that I didn’t vote for her candidate.  So far, for the most part, differing views has not been an issue. Whew.  What a relief because I’m in town to be a part of some wedding decisions (the big day is in May of next year).

First on the agenda.  Cake tasting.

After a workout at Orange Theory we shower, breakfast and head to the caterer, Big Delicious Planet.  My daughter has chosen them because they create interesting and delicious menus with ingredients from their urban farm and quite possibly because they are billed as the “greenest caterer in the country.”  We meet the catering associate that will work her wedding.  Her name escapes me but she has beautiful eyes and excitement for what she does.  Within a few minutes of meeting we get down to business.

I’m excited: Bring on the cake.

The lovely associate returns from an enormously large catering kitchen with a big tray of samples.  I look at the bowls of buttercream frosting (almond, cream cheese, and chocolate) and I can feel the saliva building up in my mouth in anticipation of the heavenly sweetness that it surely will be.  Olive oil cake, chocolate buttermilk cake and a basic vanilla buttermilk cake are placed in neat rows accompanied by little bowls heaped with cake fillings: strawberry-basil preserve, dark chocolate ganache and hazelnut-praline cream.

We debated for a nano-second about waiting to taste as my daugter’s wedding coordinator was late in arriving before agreeing that it was impossible given the delight of sweets before us!

Without delay we dove in.

OMG….YUM!

I dipped my tasting spoon in a bowl of almond buttercream frosting and I am in heaven (my daughter didn’t like it but I’d happily spread it on anything).  The chocolate buttercream frosting was fabulous (who doesn’t like chocolate?!)  and the cream cheese divine as well.  Every sample was heavenly to me.

How’s about a cake in every flavor combination represented here?  I already know I’m planning to have one of everything at the wedding.

When my daughter’s wedding coordinator finally arrived I mostly sat back and listened…and ate cake.  I had an idea or two to share but those were summarily dismissed…as I suspected they would be.  Honestly, not a whole lot clicks between me and my daughter and this trip illuminates it once again and has me given up trying.  I lament in earnest.  For a time my heart feels heavy and sad.

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But there is cake.  Sweet. Soul-Soothing. Perfect.

That got me thinking about all the angst and upset following the election.  Maybe all the angry and hurting folks just need to eat cake with buttercream frosting and strawberry-basil preserve filling.  I know Marie Antoinette’s “Let Them Eat Cake” cry didn’t end well for her but I’m certain these sweet confections would get folks to dance happily in the streets in sugar and fat contentment.

It nearly did so for me.

Bliss.

 

 

 

 

The Day After….

What a night. Incredible!

It was just me and The Poodle…and a bottle of wine. A good, bold red. Rocket-man, away on business travel, was able to connect with me several times over the course of the night and into the wee hours of the morning.

We were shocked beyond belief.

To say that I am relieved that Clinton did not win is an understatement. And yet, Trump’s stunning win is no victory. It is, however, a clear declaration that most of us are fed up with the status quo and elitist politics. I am saddened as well that Clinton did not address her supporters and campaign staff last night. Sure, it was after 2 p.m. when she placed the concession call to Trump. Her supporters across the nation deserved even two minutes of her presence on the stage. They worked tirelessly for her. Her silence stuns me.

Many mourn this election outcome. Many are jubilant. I am certainly not among the latter; I remain deeply worried.
So what now?

Pray. Seems like a cliché, I know.

Pray that we will all be proven wrong about the kind of leader Trump will be. Pray that deep bruises and divisions heal. We all need to come together and end eight years of divisiveness. We need to become kinder, gentler and more respectful of each other. Our nation simply cannot afford continued ugliness and vitriol that has plagued all sides…literally every nook and crevice of our country.

grace1Let us move forward with grace. Let us go forward with a firm resolve to be part of a movement that unifies instead of hates… through real dialogue, hard work, commitment, cooperation and greater acceptance.

It’s my sincere hope, on this day after and beyond.

Feeling Jittery….

I'm sure The Poodle would not vote for another Clinton in the White House

I’m positive The Poodle would not vote for the Clinton’s to be back in the White House!

The Poodle turned eight over the weekend.  We celebrated with a long walk at an old stomping ground he favors followed by extra treats (that would be cheese) later in the day and a long snuggle on the sofa while watching a romantic comedy.

On this Monday morning I am feeling mighty jittery and need to work off nervous energy.  After my coffee and a quick perusal of The Wall Street Journal it’s time for our daily walk.  I want to get in five miles today before errands and such.  The Poodle doesn’t want to budge. He’s becoming a wee bit more stubborn in his senior years.  He’s curled into a tight ball in his bed, unwilling to leave its comfort.  He’s also ignoring repeated commands to come.  I literally had to drag him out of his bed.

“Come on love.  Just because you turned eight doesn’t mean you’ll be allowed to become a couch potato.”

We head out into the slightly brisk morning air.  The sun is just peeking over the hill in the distance sending hues of orange and pink to welcome another day.  I have a pep in my step and wonder for a fleeting second why given what looms tomorrow.

Ahh.  It’s the leaves.  I love hearing the crunch of dried autumn leaves under my feet.   The Poodle is dragging all four of his paws behind me. He seems bored.

“Yes I know.  We do the same thing nearly every morning,” I tell him.  Still,  I know he’ll be ahead of me on the return.

So, I am lost in a Spotfiy playlist of Telemann’s oboe concertos when I see a couple of young women walking towards us.  Nothing significant to be sure.  Folks are out and about on this road everyday.  I think nothing of it except to make sure The Poodle is close at my left so as not to disrupt foot traffic.  As always, he perks up when he sees people.  His feather-duster tail starts wagging excitedly as the young women get closer.   He loves EVERYBODY and wants to say Hi.

“Aww.  Your Poodle is SOOO pretty,” says the blonde effervescently as she rubs the back and sides of my boy.  The Poodle is clearly happy for the attention.

Before I can say anything the other woman, tall and lanky,  asks “Are you ready to vote tomorrow?”

It’s then that I see they have clipboards and pamphlets.  They must be doing the last-minute get-out-to-vote door-to-door thing in the surrounding neighborhoods.

“Yes,” was all I said.

With that, she handed me a bumper sticker.  #ImWithHer -Hillary for President.

Ahh.

“Well here’s the thing.  Hashtag…IMNOTWITHHER,” I say polite as can be.

I handed it back.  “Thanks anyway,” I said as I gave a gentle tug on The Poodle who was still clearly enchanted with the blonde.

“You’re a woman, why would you vote for Trump?” asked the blonde, effervescence gone.

Oh, for the love of…. I’d like not to ruin a perfectly good start to my day.

I want to tell her that both candidates are seriously bad; it’s not going to be pretty no matter who gets elected.  I’m NOT WITH any of them.   But I know it would be a waste of time and energy. Besides, what do I know?  At the end of the day everyone has a right to their own opinions (WRONG as I think they may be).

Without engaging, I simply said “Have a nice day.”

We continued on.  I looked down at The Poodle who was looking back at the blonde…almost wistfully.  REALLY?!?

“Well that was interesting,” I said to him as we walked on.  “So, let’s just get one thing straight.  I’m not one for bumper stickers on cars.” pawprint

And, In fact I’ve only ever had one: A paw print magnet with You Had Me At Woof emblazoned on it (The Poodle, of course!).  I almost bought one four years ago that said My Dog is A Republican. I decided against it purchasing a doggie t-shirt instead.  At the time, It seemed appropriate whilst walking around the streets of our nations Capitol.  The Poodle has not worn it this time around;  a certain someone is too depressed over the ugliness and absurdity of the whole political season.

“Brando, my love.  Let’s forget about the insanity that is upon us tomorrow.  How’s about a trip Starbucks.  You, my friend, will get a change of scenery on this fine autumn morning (read: you won’t be home alone) and there’s sure to be lots of attention heaped upon you.  I’ll get a latte and a sweet treat.  Win-win.

Seems like a feeble attempt at calming the jitters before impending doom but I’ll take it.

In reality, after tomorrow the earth will still be revolving on its axis.  We’ll all keep muddling along–muddling through.  And, with The Poodle by my side, everything is going to be pure bliss.

Heads May Pop….

election20162I didn’t plan on it folks. Trust me. But…..

The other night I was perusing Facebook and came across an upcoming event in my area. Don’t you just love it when Facebook suggests events that you should attend that are near to your location?  Not. Truthfully, mostly extremely annoying.

Still, I couldn’t resist.  I click on the link to the event and read it over for a moment or two. Hmm. It’s free and it’s practically around the corner.

My wheels are spinning.  Should we go? It’s on Sunday. Perhaps it would be awfully entertaining. Or not. There are other ways to spend a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon, even here in middle-earth land.  And, should we be seen attending this event it could be misconstrued by some in the community. I can almost hear the tongues wagging: Ah, she’s certifiably nuts. Or perhaps worse, She’s one of us.

I sent Rocket-man a text message and asked if he’d like to spend a couple of hours on Sunday at this event.

Tic-Tic-tic…I wait for his reply. At last he texts back: “Sure, why not. It should be entertaining and besides, it’ll no doubt serve as validation for crossing him off the list.”

I chuckle over this. Clearly we are not living an exciting life these days.

So I went ahead and signed up.  It meant filling out an invite form with name, address and phone numbers. So I wouldn’t be barraged by calls and junk mail, I entered zeros in the phone number fields and gave Rocket-man’s work address, then clicked “send.” There. Done. I signed up for our Sunday entertainment.

I called my sis this morning to tell her about our Sunday plans.

“What?” Are you serious? How can you possibly want to go and listen to that guy….he’s just awful!”

“I know, I know. We’re clearly desperate for entertainment,” I joked. “But, you’ve no need to worry. We bailed on his bandwagon months ago but, well… it’s free…and, in all seriousness, it’s an opportunity for us to see the guy face to face. We want to see and hear for ourselves if there is anything else to the man besides what is portrayed in the media.”

So folks, here’s to hoping that your heads won’t pop off over this…

We’re attending a Donald Trump event on Sunday. It’s been a raucous and ugly campaign season to be sure. The worst ever.  Never before have we struggled to make sense of the field of candidates as in this election year and while we have dumped Trump the jury is still out for us for the remainder of the field.  Yes, we have crossed Trump off our list (really, we have) but we cannot deny an opportunity to learn more.  Is there any shred of substance at all to this candidate?  Honestly, I can’t imagine that our opinions will change (well…speaking for myself anyhow) but Rocket-man and I would be remiss to rely solely on sound bites and  bias across all media platforms.

Having said that–though it would have been terrific to see a woman hold the highest office in the land– I’ll admit that hell would have to freeze over before I’d ever attend a Hillary Clinton event.