Saturday, May 25, 2019

IT TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE



Different but equal?
Nowadays, nothing surprises most
of us. Hence there are few time that
on hears something truly shocking.
Such irrational behavior are rarely
capricious. More frequently than
not it's purposefully planned prior.
Strategically implemented for shock
value alone. Thus some folks do or
say the most ridiculous things with
purpose. Shock value aside, we all
see things in different ways. So why
is it so hard for some of us to accept
anybody or anything out of the norm?
Above all else
At some point even the best of us feel
out of sorts. Forces beyond our control
redefine the status quo. The fact is we
all evolve. Thus in one way or another
we're constantly moving targets. If one
assumes that change is inevitable, why
are so many unwilling to explore their
alternatives? To see life via a different
perspective? And to learn from others?
Sadly many consider anything different
to be a negative influence. Rather than
viable alternative. What is right versus
wrong? Blue or red? Odd or ordinary?
Limited visibility
Like our President, I'm more than a bit
spoiled. After working myself almost
to death, I'm able to rest on my laurels.
And live in a way I'm accustomed to.
That was fine in Manhattan where I
happily hovered near the bottom of a
gilded barrel. However post moving to
Montana, I had to adjust my priorities.
Rethinking all preconceptions of what
is "normal." Now out of context - I try
to co-exist in a place where in theory
I don't belong. Fortunately the "locals"
graciously adjusted to me being... me.
Opposites attract
We can't change who we are. Which
is why we all have to love others as
we love ourselves. In the end it takes
all kinds to make our world a better
place. That's what makes America
great. DIVERSITY. The fact is that
normality is if nothing else a state of
suspended animation. One where few
if any of us grow, learn, or even try
to reach new heights. In the end we
all can learn from the other. All that
is required is a willingness to accept
others for who they are and... aren't.

Friday, May 24, 2019

INSTANT GRATIFICATION


Spoon fed
I know I shouldn't but I hate Instagram. While
I realize that it's amongst the hippest of social
media, I simply don't get it. To me scrolling
through Instagram is akin to being invited to
some body's home to see their vacation slides.
While initially interesting, it quickly becomes
tiresome. Add that I struggle with the impact
of social media on our culture, relationships,
and interactions. Which is why my youngest
daughter no longer frequents facebook. In a
time when our President "tweets" personal
attacks, promotes of his business, and spews
public policy I frequently consider opting out.
Father knows best
Then suddenly something happens to restore my
faith in humanity. This week my grandson "H"
turned four. On his birthday his father posted a
loving tribute on Instagram. One so touching that
I started to cry as I read it. What was obvious is
that even at a young age - he knows and loves
his son for who he is. Filled with love, vivid
insights, and optimism, my son-in-law's message
was one of hope. And a reminder that maybe...
my generation wasn't as bad at parenting as we
all think we were. Our offspring - our future - are
amazing people. Men and women who somehow
grew up to be exactly what we wanted... fabulous!
How firm a foundation
As tots we taught our children that boys and girls
now men and women are equals. That the color
of your skin didn't matter whereas who you were
did. In hindsight, maybe, just maybe all of that
chauffeuring between ballet class, soccer games,
and taekwondo really did pay off. We told them
that they could do and be anything they wanted.
Which is exactly what they've done. Some have
risen to new heights in the corporate world. As
others have soared above it all by opting to make
the right choices for they themselves. And in the
case of my children of divorce have grown up to
be committed and passionate partners and parents.
Next!
All of that and more gives me hope. President
Trump and his cohorts have stepped up their
efforts to assault many of the freedoms that my
kids value. Which makes the next Presidential
election in 2020 all the more important. Are
they going to enable him to rob them of their
equality? Will they allow him to destroy our
environment? Is it possible that my daughters
will accept somebody else taking away their
control of their bodies? Knowing my kids all
too well, I highly doubt that will happen. It's
their time to shine. And I'm confident they
will do the right thing. The future is THEIRS!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

GONE TO THE DOGS


Oh foo... 
Foo "dogs" are not what they
seem. Said Asian icons are in
truth lions. Throughout China,
Japan, and Asia such symbols
are thought to protect us from
evil spirits. Hence sculptural
representations of these beasts
stand guard at the entrances
of temples, palaces, and other
public venues...

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

WHERE ARE YOU GOING?


Two for the road
Opposites attract. Hence this homebody ended
up sharing his life with a wanderer. My better
half loves nothing more than being anyplace
but here. Fortunately his wanderlust has taken
us to places I never imagined existed. Offering
learning experiences for which I am more than
grateful. However getting from here to there is
never as easy as one may think. Especially if
one still has millions of places on their bucket
list. Deciding where and when is hard enough.
However making it happen can be a herculean
exercise in futility. One that ends up in a trip
to nowhere. A dead end. Or unplanned detour.
The road less traveled
It's been said that "getting there is half the fun."
Yet one might argue that often the journey is
not worth the time nor effort. As a confirmed
curmudgeon, my preference is naturally to stay
put. Thus my first inclination is to savor and
appreciate all that we've got here in central
Montana. The fact is that many folks pay big
bucks to travel to Big Sky Country. Hence the
challenge for locals like me is seeing our trees
for our forests. Not a day passes that I don't
marvel at our vistas, mountains, and natural
beauty. Yet rarely do I order a chicken fried
steak. Nor appreciate how isolated we are.
Manhattan transfer
We all want what we don't have. Hence most
city dwellers crave sylvan solitude. Whereas
we country folk year for fresh Uni. Oh... and
easy access to all that we don't have within
reach. And hence makes this place so special.
In the old days Bergdorf Goodman was at the
end of our block. Barneys just a few further.
Many of the world's greatest restaurants were
within walking distance. And yet every night
our greatest challenge was deciding where to
dine... and what to watch on Netflix. All of
which proves that even if one has everything,
we're inevitably blind to most if not all of it.
Here and now
Our challenge is to revisit the here and now.
To see life from a different perspective. I've
no doubt that locals from those exotic places
we crave to visit are bored. Viewing what we
consider unique to be rote at best. No wonder
I've never visited the statue of liberty. Nor
the nearby petroglyphs considered to be the
best in North America. Thus rather than hit
the road all that we need maybe a slap up the
side of our heads. A local versus long distance
wake up call. Or should we just get up and go?
Maybe exploring some place new will enable
us to fully appreciate what we've already got.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

IT COULD BE WURST


Off the menu
Nowadays my focus is no longer on gaining
market share. Nor is it about driving sales by
staging a two day sale. Now my quandary is
what to serve for dinner. Frankly, satisfying
my husband's appetite on a daily basis offers
up a plethora of challenges. Weighing through
availability, budget, time and effort are hard
enough. However keeping things appetizing
is of utmost importance. And while I myself
am the ultimate creature of comfort food, the
last thing even I want is a repeat performance
on a regular basis. Hence my struggle with
dishing it out can at times be all consuming.
Knock, knock, whose there?
Fortunately most of us had a mom who faced
comparable demons. And while mine was not
the greatest of cooks, I still find inspiration in
some of her menu choices. If the weather was
too hot to cook, Mom hit the local delicatessen.
Returning with a tasty meal that was if nothing
else - no sweat. Along with the requisite potato
salad, cole slaw, and three bean salad came the
star of the meal - a big, juicy knockwurst. All
that was required to prepare this obese cousin
of the hot dog was a pot of boiling water. Thus
within minutes, a "hot" dinner was on the table
and ready to eat! For better and... wurst!
Green with envy
When we lived in Columbus, Ohio - one of
my favorite places was Schmidt's Sausage
Haus. Not only did they serve up the largest
cream puffs known to man, they always had
a sausage buffet ready and waiting. Sausage
is most certainly a quick fix. However some
consider it not the healthiest of choices. And
that's where the latest in new meat substitutes
comes in. Last night we dined on "Beyond
Meat" bratwurst. Created from all sorts of
green goodies, once grilled or pan fried they
look and taste just like meat. Honestly you
can't tell the difference. Vegetarian anybody?
Das is gud
Fortunately Frank still loves nothing more than
nibbling on my sausage. Hence one of his more
favorite dinners features kielbasa. Fast and easy,
I simply heat it up in a covered casserole atop a
layer of drained sauerkraut with peeled potatoes
and carrots. However if you're like me, you end
up with a bunch of kraut for leftovers. Which
inevitably ends up in the trash post a week of
limbo in the fridge. My solution is kraut soup!
Simply sauté some chopped onions in olive oil
until transparent. Add the leftover carrots, taters,
kraut, and sliced kielbasa. Cover with chicken
stock, heat, and serve! It's easy and delicious!
Three times a charm
Finally, if we must be tubular them a tube
steak must be on the menu. Over the years
I've devoured my share of hot dogs. From
Windy City types to Manhattan Sabretts.
However you choose to put on top your
wiener is none of my business. However
I do know the secret to best way to handle
a wurst. Simply "butterfly" and sauté in
butter. Trust me, you won't be sorry. Or if
you prefer a more balanced meal, slice a
few up into Kraft macaroni and cheese with
some peas. Not only colorful, it's three food
groups in one pot! So when you can't decide
what to cook... it could or should be wurst!

Monday, May 20, 2019

AND THE MORAL IS?


Signs of the times
In a world where our top leader can lie, cheat,
and in theory steal morality is tenuous at best.
At a time when religious leaders who molest
children are hidden, protected, and thus rarely
exposed... morality seems to be nonexistent.
In a culture where all of the above and worse
seems to garner impunity versus punishment
morality is useless. Can we separate right from
wrong? Do we understand the definition of
good or evil? How do we define success versus
failure? Is short term gain better than long term
investment? Is piously righteous and morally
bereft the perfect combination? Is bad... good?
The good and bad of it
However one measures positive and negative,
it's obvious that America is running a moral
deficit. Seemingly good people are perfectly
comfortable empowering others to do their
dirty work. Rather than balance our priorities
 winning now seems to be the only goal. No
matter the consequences. Thus things that
heretofore would have been deemed morally
unacceptable are ignored. Or worse justified
via disingenuous rumor and innuendo. Thus
it seems we all need help. How is it perfectly
fine to meet with Russian spies yet criminally
wrong to investigate those who do just that?
Neither nor
From the dawn of mankind not everything has
ever been as it seems. Which is why parents
spend most of their child's youth training them
in the way they should be. Providing a moral
foundation that clearly draws a line in the sand.
A context against which a lie is a lie. Hurtful
actions are wrong. And deceit is unacceptable.
Thus until recently most of us were fully able
to separate right from wrong. So just what has
changed? When did we become incapable of
isolating good from evil? And holding each
other responsible for the error of our ways?!
Have we no morals? Have we totally lost it?
The devil is in the details
Exactly what is an impeachable offense? When
did such a crime become a political liability for
both the accused and accusers? Apparently it's
more viable to look the other way rather than to
right our collective wrongs. The question is why
aren't our elected officials brave enough to do
the right thing? Are they afraid that acting in a
morally responsible will risk their chances of
re-election? Are they equally guilty of crimes
against humanity? And thus unable to hold their
peers accountable? Now is the time that we the
people, the "moral majority" hold our public
servants to the standards they swore to defend.
Oath of Office -
Congress and Senate
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm)
that I will support and defend the
Constitution of the United States
against all enemies, foreign and
domestic; that I will bear true faith
and allegiance to the same; that I
take this obligation freely, without
any mental reservation or purpose
of evasion; and I will well and
faithfully discharge the duties of
the office on which I am about to
enter; So help me God."
Oath of Office -
U.S. President
" I do solemnly swear (or affirm)
that I will faithfully execute the
office of President of the United States,
and will to the best of my ability,
preserve, protect, and defend the
Constitution of the United States."

Sunday, May 19, 2019

7th Day Surprise: SPRING FEVER



Yesterday morning central Montana awoke to the above.
The forecast calls for snow again on Wednesday.
Causing many to wonder - what happened to spring?
Rather than deal with reality,
I'd rather be anyplace than here.
So... let's pretend
SPRING IS HERE.