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.

Why O Why?

It’s been one of those days.  I’ve been asking the rhetorical Why? since my feet hit the floor. Why am I so off-kilter?  Patience that has been long-held in check through mindful breathing and a more concerted effort to live in the moment seems to have momentarily disappeared…gone with the wind.  Poof.   Still in a limbo state, waiting for our house to sell, pent-up impatience has led to a mini-meltdown over the silliest of things.  In fact, I’ve already forgotten: What was the silly thing anyway?  I’m sorry.  I’m only human.  Rocket-man endures through it knowing that it will pass in a flash (and it did….thankfully).   “I just needed my 90-seconds of venting, Italian-Style,” I explain once I regained my breath.  “I’m good now.”

Sigh.  I’m only human.  And as much as I know that there is a world of suffering out there, infinitely more important than my speck-of-sand reality, it is still my reality.  Most of the time I soldier-on in a fairly good frame of mind.  I honestly do find ways to be content and at peace. Still, there are days….did I mention that I’m only human?

Sitting at  Starbucks with a book in hand and coffee too I’m trying to relax after a gym workout and before moving on to the rest of the days’ errands.  A couple of women who looked to be in their late twenties, early thirties are sitting two tables over and they are talking ridiculously loud.  Is it just me….Why are people becoming increasingly devoid of manners?   I try to concentrate on the words on the page before me but their conversation overwhelms the room.

“….And I told him that unless he changed, we’re through.  I’m so done with his shit….” said the woman in couldn’t-possibly-be-shorter shorts.

“It’d be for the best for y’all,” drawled her table mate as she studied her painted nails…each of a different color.

On and on the conversation went.  Supremely personal stuff, folks…all loud enough for the morning Starbucks crowd to hear.

I’m more than bewildered. Why on earth would one want to air their personal laundry– as if over a loud-speaker– in such a public place?  More than that, whatever happened to good manners and politeness?

I was happily ensconced in a comfy leather chair.  Changing to another table or chair would surely draw attention so I reached into my bag for my iPhone ear buds and tuned in to a Spotify playlist.  It helped drown out the diatribe going on to some extent.

And while we are at it….Why am I still here?  Our house has been on the market for over 9 months ! I still cannot wrap my head around it.  I’ve been sitting on packed boxes since last September in giddy anticipation of a move.

“I refuse to unpack,” was my sharp reply to my sis just the other day.  Sis understands.  She knows my patience is wearing painfully thin.  Knowing we would be less than 50 miles apart, we had so many plans for the summer.  We’re now hoping for the new year!  Try as I might to sweep negative thoughts under the carpet, they still get the best of me and today is one of those days. Yes, I’m thankful for many things that middle-earth has to offer including my Girls Night Out friends, weekly punchbag classes at a gem of a tiny gym… and lovely neighbors too.  But life can get amazingly infuriating when my internet download speed is less than 1Mbps and the upload speed barely breaks .03 Mbps!  Incredulous but true.  I cannot even create a simple Shutterfly album (it takes 10 minutes for one photo to load!).    The promise that by 2017 our neighborhood will enter into the 21st century with respect to internet speed seems like an empty campaign promise to me.   I doesn’t help that I cannot find a decent yoga class in this town nor can I enjoy a simple bike ride without being chased by unleashed dogs. In quiet moments, while walking The Poodle in the stifling heat and humidity of the early morning, I long for a return to those easy-breezy southern California days.  Long walks on the beach…toes in the water, the best yoga on the planet…and cycling without terror.  Sigh.

I’m sure too that this election year is also undermining my attempts to feel content and at ease with my world.  Of course, I’m allowing it to happen.  I could keep my head in the sand: change channels ….watch less TV news…tune-out social-media and forget reading newspapers altogether. To some extent I have dialed way back on all of it.  Still…again this morning just a five-minute news clip had me shaking my head: Why can’t Trump keep his mouth shut and stay on topic?!

Why O Why  must Trump spew the stupidest things? Truly he is bombastic and full of hot-air.   He is definitely not presidential and yet he beat out 16 other contenders for the Republican nomination!  Astounding.  He’s egotistical and has no command of the English language.  Heck…..George W. Bush consistently gave better speeches and interviews…what does that say!?    I told my sis weeks ago that I simply cannot vote for Hillary Clinton but how can I possibly vote for a clown? Make no mistake,  I’d sincerely love to see a woman become President.  Just not Hillary Clinton. It’s not because I traditionally vote Republican (I’ve always been open to “the other side”).   It’s not because it would mean a continuation of at least four more years of an Obama administration (actually, worse than Obama).  It’s not even necessarily years of various Clinton scandals that turn my stomach.  It’s how she handled Bengazi and her flippant “What difference does it make?” comment with the final straw being the whole email scandal.  With absolute certainty folks, If Rocket-man would have mishandled classified information (even one email) marked as such from its inception,  he would have been fired, prosecuted and jailed.  It’s clear, the rules…and the laws… don‘t apply to Ms. Clinton.  It makes my blood boil.   Through decades on Bill’s coattails (he is clearly the charismatic half…and more of a centrist too),  she has been secretive, dishonest, and coldly calculating…all for political power and financial gain.  Naturally not unlike most politicians in Washington D.C.   We will probably never know the full extent of damage she has done as Secretary of State with the email scandal…at least not for years.   She is as corrupt and shady as a mafia hood.  But what do I know?  This is just my humble opinion, of course.  But what I do know is this: If Hillary gets elected, which most likely will happen, every morning for the duration of her tenure I will ask: “Has she been officially indicted yet?!”

So….Okay.  I admit to taking my head out of the sand and peeking yesterday and I’m glad I did. A “share” on Facebook had me laughing and nodding in full agreement. It was a blast-from-the-past video clip from the TV comedy series that ran from 1996 -2001: 3rd Rock From The Sun. I loved that show, never missing an episode. I particularly enjoyed the great actors John Lithgow and Jane Curtin. The brief clip below certainly captures how I’m feeling about this election year and the two candidates who are in the running for the highest office in the land. Never in all my voting years have I felt so anguished and….yes… afraid for our country.  It’s either vote for the devil you know or the devil you don’t know.  Two thoroughly terrible candidates and now a third possibility, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, who doesn’t seem to possess the gravitas for the job either (that is, in my humble opinion.).

Just breathe I say to myself.  This too shall pass.  Nothing…nothing lasts forever.

Enjoy the comedy of John and Jane.  Bliss.




I received the text from my daughter just as I was leaving.

“You have to get out of that crazy state mom!”

I knew exactly what it was about. I smiled as I texted her back.

“I’m at a Trump rally. It’s crazy here! My attendance is for information purposes mind you. Don’t worry.”

The Donald

The Donald

“What is wrong with you!,” came the reply. Followed by “I’m so disappointed…”

Here we go.

She’d been listening to the news when she heard that our state senator had formally endorsed Trump. She hadn’t expected that I’d be at a Trump rally.  Instead of texting my response I called her as Rocket-man and I walked the mile back to where our car was parked.

I found myself having to defend my decision to attend a Trump rally and frankly, I was just a wee bit annoyed. My daughter and I do not share the same political views and that’s quite alright. Years ago as she prepared to vote in her first national election I was immensely proud of her becoming involved in the political process.  She made a real effort to become informed.  She read, she watched the news and she genuinely took interest in gaining knowledge about the issues as well as the candidates. I didn’t agree with some of her views and told her why without an ounce of derision (which is what my mamma would do!) and I absolutely respected her point of view. They are hers after all.

Unfortunately, it seems the sentiment does not go both ways which is a shame…and which seems to be, IMHO, the hallmark of those on the left.

“I went because I saw an opportunity,” I explained. “The Trump rally was practically in my back yard, so it made sense to attend. And, I tried to get tickets to Rubio who was also in town but event registrations had already closed. More importantly, I went to see the man for myself instead of relying solely on what is portrayed in the media.”

She seemed to understand though I’m sure she has reported to all of her friends that her mom is a lunatic because she went to a Trump rally. No matter that if the shoe had been on the other foot I would have applauded her efforts to be involved in the process of making an informed decision about the candidates.

I don’t think my sis was too pleased with me either.  She was aghast that I went to the Trump rally.

“Would it help if you knew that I didn’t purchase any Trump memorabilia,” I joked.

“Did you expect going would actually change your mind about him?” She asked.

To be honest, yes…and no.  I’ve never had such a tough time deciding on a candidate before.  All of the remaining GOP candidates are flawed…again, IMHO. The last debate was an embarrassingly ridiculous spectacle…a circus-circus style fracas where candidates (and moderators) performed disastrously. It was sickening to watch Trump, Rubio and Cruz attack each other like elementary school girls on the playground. One of these men will go on to lead our country and all they can do is snipe at each other over hair styles and other physical attributes.  Seriously?

I will say attending the rally was exciting. I’d never been to a political rally before. Reports are that 15,000 attended though Trump of course doubled that number in his first few words to the crowds chanting before him. There was a lot of electricity and energy in the air. People frantically waving their Trump signs or their small American flags…or both…chanting “Trump, Trump, Trump” or yelling in approval whenever he said anything. I was surprised by the number of young people but not surprised that there were few people of color. Young and old crowded the stadium. There were smartly dressed, well-heeled folks as well as those that clearly were neither. Unbelievably, there were even two women who wore their full-length burkas in attendance.  I even got to shake hands with Fox News Correspondent Carl Cameron who was in deep conversation with one of the rally participants.  Really, meeting him made the event worthwhile for me.

So did attending the rally make a difference in my decision-making process?

Trump Rally Huntsville

Trump Rally Huntsville

Fox News Correspondent, Carl Cameron

Fox News Correspondent, Carl Cameron

Of course.

IMHO….It served to solidify my opinion of the man. I simply cannot take this candidate seriously!   He’s just a businessman-entertainer that delivers a lot of politically charged one-liners that resonate with the American people but that’s all they are…one-liners. He delivered the same sound-bites we’ve heard before.  Yes….he delivers them in plain language—holding nothing back—that is, without an ounce of diplomacy, grace, nor intellectual substance.  And while his one-liners certainly strike a chord with so many of us who are disgusted with the direction our country is going at the hands of our government and its political leaders,  the certain truth is this: He doesn’t have a reasonable, coherent plan for our country.  I cannot find a shred of substance to indicate this man would be the best leader for our country.  That is…In My Humble Opinion.

There is no bliss to be found in these confusing and deeply troubled times.

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.