Wednesday, June 20, 2018


Eye of the beholder
While I loathe wrapping presents,
theres little I love more than giving
them. Wrapping the perfect gift is
as personal as selecting it. The art
of hiding something special under
something extra special only builds
anticipation. And is there anything
as fun than ripping into something
fabulous is knowing that something
even more amazing awaits within?
Delight is why we bestow gifts on
those we love. And their smiles is
what gift giving is ALL about!
Just in case
Between the two of us, Frank and I
have built up a stock pile of ribbons,
boxes, and wrap. Out here in central
Montana it's tough to get all of the
accoutrements necessary to wrap it
up. Sans a simple Hallmark shop
our grocer carries wrapping basics
that barely meet our needs. Hence
whenever we happen upon appealing
paper goods we grab and hoard them
like doomsday preppers stock pile
canned goods in preparation for an
impending nuclear holocaust!
Deja vu
A child of the depression, my
Mother recycled all gift wrap
and ribbon. Thus little gave me
greater pleasure than watching
her cringe as I tore into a lovely
wrapped present. "What a waste"
oozing from every pore! Frank's
uncle "B" took the art of frugality
a step further by placing gifts in
empty cereal boxes. Either way,
it was disconcerting when one's
gift seemed oddly familiar. Was
it a re-gift or simply recycled?!
Wrap it up
On the opposite end of the spectrum,
who doesn't love others doing your
dirty work? Working over the store
at Marshall Field's, nothing was as
easy as dropping off a pile of stuff
at the basement level gift wrap desk.
There a bevy of patient ladies made
my gifts extra special. Professionally
tied bows, folded/sealed tissue, and
double sticked edges insured each
box was over the top. Sadly few if
any stores offer this service today.
And trust me I'm ready to pay big!
Tie one on
Nowadays, an elegant box plus
satin ribbon are more than enough.
What's as special as receiving a
blue box with a white ribbon from
Tiffany's? A silver box tied up in
pale lavender from Bergdorf's!
Every posh shop has it's signature
combination but Hermes' orange
and brown trump the rest. Why is
it that along the way we decided
that advertising a retailer is better
than taking the time to make our
gifts more personal with wrapping?
Out of the box thinking
With all of the space in our house, I've
yet to crave out a dedicated space for
gift wrapping. In part because the very
idea of doing so terrifies me. In fact I
hate the idea of becoming some crafty
suburban matron with a gift wrap room
in her Palladian windowed McMansion.
Or worse, channel Candy Spelling? For
now I'll continue to happily dig through
an attic filled with plastic tubs stuffed
with gift wrap rolls and ribbon spools.
Remember gift giving should be all
about the recipient and not the giver!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


Closed quarters
I recently saw a statistic that we are the first
generation of humankind to spend over 90%
of our time indoors. Which makes me recall
those science fiction movies we saw as kids.
While Scott Pruitt may be trying to destroy
our environment, to date we've not yet been
forced to be hermetically sealed like the folks
in Logan's Run. Nor turn to cannibalism a la
Soylent Green. Instead technology is keeping
us indoors. Meaning that our lack of external
exposure is self inflicted and at least in theory
a matter of personal choice. So why are many
of us happy living in versus on the outs?
Dog days
Climate control seems to be the primary cause
of our collective internal combustion. Having
lived in two extremes, Dallas and Minneapolis,
I can assure you that staying in is a necessary
evil in some places. Wherever one is - we all
must survive the climatic equivilent to winter.
The only difference being hot or cold. Early
on a Dallas spring becomes summer becomes
hell on earth. Thus one spends most of their
time in air conditioned splendor. In part due
to avoiding burning the soles of your feet on
the pavement BEFORE jumping into the pool
on a sunny 110 degree afternoon.
Outer limits
An opposite and yet comparable approach is
required in Minneapolis. Given temperatures
hover in double digits below freezing much
of the winter, one goes to work via a heated
vehicle stored in a heated garage to another
heated garage. Then walks about downtown
via a network of warm and toasty "sky walks."
Hence taking a stroll outside was a rare event
for almost six months out of the year. Yet as
it warms up - and we're talking above thirty -
it's not unusual to see folks strolling out and
about in shorts. You see, even the most cold
blooded must occasionally out themselves.
Urbane zoning
Having lived much of my life in big cities, one
might assume that I stayed indoors. However
nothing could be further from the truth. Much
of getting from here to there in Manhattan must
happen afoot. Therefore city dwellers are in fact
over exposed to the elements much of the year.
And when given the chance, eagerly flock to any
outdoor venue as the weather allows. Meaning
that on a beautiful day or the weekend the city's
parks are packed with nature lovers. The fact of
which causes me to wonder who these supposed
hermetically sealed hermits are? Could it be that
young folks are innnies not outies?
Moving targets
I've no doubt many of the most self-consumed
behavior is driven by personal electronics. But
I question assuming we're self-contained under
some roof versus cloud. The beauty of mobile
 technology is that it's that one can "connect"
wherever, whenever. And while I loathe those
who teleconference from a mountain trails - it's
better than the alternative. Which causes me to
offer this suggestion. Rather than be "shut-ins"
might why can't we become "shut-offs"?! Isn't
it better to stop and smell the roses rather than
snap and share an Instagram pictures of them?
Theres a big world out there. TURN IT OFF.

Monday, June 18, 2018


Power outage
Lies, lies, lies. Depending on what side you
fall on there is one thing we seem to all be
able to agree on. Which is that anybody but
us is a liar. The endless back and forth finger
pointing over whatever line each of us draws
in the sand takes us no where. It motivates us
to hunker down out of fear of being somehow
compromised by entering into a dialogue. One
which by design has been tainted by a tsunami
of misstatements, purposeful lies, rumor and
innuendo. All of which have but one purpose -
which is to drive us further apart in order to
give a small minority even greater POWER.
Honor or glory?
The sad fact is that some will say anything to
get their point across. And sadly it seems that
every day our inability to separate fact from
fiction empowers many a hidden agenda. At
this point we the people - all Americans have
subtly endorsed the idea that white lies don't
matter. As do red or blue forms of deception.
Does our not so passive embrace of deception
equate patriotism with insincerity? Which is
a direct violation of everything our founders
stood for. Even worse. some pull out Bibles
to defend their crimes against humanity. It's
an all out war and we''ll do anything to win.
Blind ambition
The question is how do rational human beings
react to purposeful and organized deception?
Consumed by lies - it's virtually impossible to
be rational while assuming everyone is against
us. Thus all of the confusion and denial have a
purpose. Which is to drive defeat and surrender.
Think about it. Or better yet... don't. This is the
end result they truly want. Exhausted, we've no
choice but to give in. And soon truth no longer
matters, laws can be twisted, and honesty is a
laughable offense. All while compassion is no
longer politically viable. Fact has been usurped
by strategic dissemination of fiction at it's best.
First and foremost?
Since 1776 the basic tenets of our republic
and democracy have carried us through many
challenging situations. Yet somehow right has
ultimately prevailed. Therefore at some point,
one hopes that we'll come to our senses, clear
our heads, and finally fight for the American
way. What this writer worries about is whether
we're smart enough to do just that. Have we
become so lazy, so self righteous, so blind that
we can't separate fact from fiction? Are we so
easily manipulated that any megalomaniac
and his henchmen can taint our world view?
And not so subtly steal our innate rights?!
Us versus them
As I've said repeatedly, this is not about left or
right. Nor is it driven from considerate versus
liberal perspectives. All of the above is simply
a strategy to steal our freedom. We are amidst
a battle between good and evil. And sadly, the
devil is in the details. Meaning that beneath all
of the the swirl and subterfuge of manipulative
messages is a dastardly plan to gain complete
control. A tactic that requires some win while
the rest of us lose. I'm not talking about some
secret or hidden conspiracy. Rather I'm afraid
of blatant, outright, purposeful, and obvious
aggression. In other words, BAD PEOPLE.
The truth be told
You see, some folks don't care about anybody
but themselves. History has shown that in their
quest to gain control, the wrong kind of people
will try to eliminate any obstacle in their way.
Hence we're all in danger. A simple fact which
in and of itself requires that we do something...
anything to stem this tide. Hence my course of
combat is simple. All that I ask is that you show
me the facts and try to help me to reach my own
conclusion. To engage in a dialogue. And thus
from my experience when forced to face their
farce - most fail miserably. And soon start to
question why, who, and what they believe in.
Equal opportunity
As children most of us are taught the difference
between right and wrong by those who raised us.
Therefore in honor of our fore bearers - we can
no longer take no for an answer. So the next time
you attend a family gathering, sit down with the
"enemy" and engage them in a dialogue. Treat
them with respect as you dive deep into all of
the rumor or innuendo. Ultimately the truth will
find you out. And while such an interaction may
not be comfortable, it just might take us all to a
better place. One where all are created equal and
liberty and justice prevail. And most important,
where love conquers all. And brings us together.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

7th Day Surprise: FOR FATHERS

At times we've all wondered whether we can measure up
to the man who made us who we are today.
However in hindsight it's obvious that he knew what he was talking about.
So if he's still around, be respectful, listen, watch, and learn.
And if he's not, be thankful he was your man in charge.

Happy Father's Day!