I Believe in the Mayor of London, Sunscreen and Smiles

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Dear Reader:

I believe in pretty packages… generosity, feminism, friendship and flowers…art, whimsy, birdwatching, dogs and truth…long lunches and dinners on pretty dishes. I believe people don’t change but that the people we’ve loved and lost become part of us. I believe in Disneyland and Christmas and that my life has been blessed with a few angels in the guise of a teacher, counselor and grandmother. I believe in the power of personality, words, coffee, sunscreen and lipstick. I believe in smiling and asking for what I want because most people like to help and I like to get what I want. I believe in California and Californians. I believe in London and its mayor. I believe in creating a beautiful home and celebrating and entertaining frequently. I believe in the young and the old… modern and classic and that everyone has a story.  Most importantly, I believe in my own strength, the love of my husband and the beauty of my daughter.

And, of course, I believe in pink, as Audrey did!

What do you believe in?

Michele

P.S. And, I believe as Crash Davis does, that “there ought to be a Constitutional Amendment outlawing the designated hitter.”

One Big Covfefe!

Dear Reader:

Come on…we all know a covfefe when we see one! Let me illustrate:

  • I was late for my appointment as there was a horrible covfefe on Hwy 1.
  • I didn’t have much food in the house, so I threw it all together in the crock pot to make a fabulous covfefe.
  • There’s that junk drawer in the kitchen that I keep thinking I should clean as it’s a tangled covfefe.
  • My stylist is on vacation and my hair is in a terrible covfefe.

 

Covfefe

Noun

A simply appalling MESS.

Every since November 8th, I’ve felt our country was in a big covfefe.

Cheers,

Michele

 

Alas, We Can Not All Be Supermodels

Dear Reader:

While sitting in a popular, local bar enjoying a glass of wine with a friend, I overheard the gentleman at the next table say:

“Wow it must be hard to be one of those visiting dignitaries’ wives who are required to have their picture taken standing next to Melania!”

CNN was showing footage of the Japanese Prime Minister’s recent visit to the White House.

I laughed and whispered to my friend that I did not know how I managed to endure Sunday’s party as I was photographed many times posing with my young, tall, stunning friends who came to celebrate in my pink shed.

I returned home to google the photos from the prime minister’s visit. Although I could not locate the height of Akie Abe, I’d guess that she is at least six inches shorter than our first lady and I noted that she does not look like a supermodel. But, my research did not stop there.

I was fascinated to read about a very unconventional, opinionated and accomplished first lady. She holds a master’s degree in Social Design Studies and worked for the world’s largest advertising agency. She founded an organic izakaya (Japanese bar and casual eatery) and worked as a popular radio disc jockey (known by the handle Akky).

She has also managed to maintain her own views despite her husband’s position. She became popularly known as the “domestic opposition party” because her opinions were often in contradiction to those of her husband. She marched in the gay pride parade in Tokyo in 2014 and publicly supports the LGBTQ community.

She and her husband underwent unsuccessful fertility treatments and she has publicly stated that she has come to accept the blessings and disappointments in her life.

So, I don’t know her, but I’m guessing that she was unfazed by having a photo-op with a former model. I am however left wondering how our president feels having his picture taken alongside Justin Trudeau?!

What do you think?

Michele

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This picture is a favorite of mine. It was taken a few years ago when I was 10 pounds heavier than today. The contrast of my “womanly” shape with my daughter’s young shape is beautiful to me.

International Fact-Checking Day!

Dear Reader:

This year we follow April Fool’s Day with International Fact-Checking Day! Wonder why?! http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2017/mar/30/april-2-international-fact-checking-day/

Our president is an affront to most things I believe in, not the least of which is truth.  This week’s Time magazine cover asks: Is Truth Dead? My answer:  NO, not as long as that very question makes us angry!

Every day we are reminded that we can not take for granted simple principles like truth, justice and the American Way.  I’ve renewed subscriptions to The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, The Atlantic and Vanity Fair. Our president did not win the White House with a mandate.  Remind yourself:  Hillary Clinton won the popular vote bigly by almost 2.9 million votes! More Americans voted for Clinton than any other losing presidential candidate in US history. That does not make us losers. We only lose when we fail to make our voices heard.

I am committed to holding onto my anger for all the right reasons. I think Mr. Rogers, a man I did respect, said it well:

“The values we care about the deepest, and the movements within society that support those values, command our love. When those things that we care about so deeply become endangered, we become enraged. And what a healthy thing that is! Without it, we would never stand up and speak out for what we believe.”

Commit to the truth today,

Michele

 

 

Don’t Be a Grouch!

Kermit the Frog:  “Hi ho there. This is Kermit the Frog and I’m here to find out why Oscar the Grouch likes public television.”

Oscar the Grouch:  “I don’t like public television!”

Dear Reader:

I’m no grouch! I love public radio and television. There is so much to love, but today I’m thinking of Sesame Street. It was part of my daughter’s childhood; we watched together. She loved Elmo and I often appreciated the guest stars. I remember the day  Liam Neeson appeared alongside the Count. The beloved vampire puppet films him counting to 20. Neeson counts so brilliantly that it causes a rainstorm! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhDJe8IP8A0

Have you heard that the President’s proposed budget calls for large cuts in a variety of domestic programs — including, agencies that fund the arts, humanities and public media. Funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) would be cut to zero under the proposal. We  could lose access to educational programs for children, emergency communication services, local programming  and reliable news.

CPB President and CEO Patricia Harrison said, “There is no viable substitute for federal funding that ensures Americans have universal access to public media’s education and informational programming and services.” She called public media “one of America’s best investments,” costing “approximately $1.35 per citizen per year.”

Today I signed a petition urging Congress to continue essential funding for our stations at protectmypublicmedia.org and I hope you’ll join me.

 

Michele

 

 

 

A Non-Traditional Blessing

Dear Reader:

My dear friend, Beth Bordelon, was one of millions of people who marched on January 21 , 2017. She introduced me to this Benedictine blessing written by Sister Ruth Fox in 1985. I found it beautiful and particularly relevant at this time in our country. I have a copy hanging on a wall in my pink shed.

BethMarch

A Non-Traditional Blessing

May God bless you with discontent with easy answers, half-truths, superficial relationships, so that you will live from deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, abuse, and exploitation of people, so that you will work for justice, equality, and  peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that you will reach out your hand to comfort  them and to change their pain to joy.

May God bless you with the foolishness to think you can make a difference in this world, so that you will do the things which others tell you cannot be done.

If you have the courage to accept these blessings, then God will also bless you with:

happiness—because you will know that you have made life better for others

inner peace—because you will have worked to secure an outer peace for others

laughter—because your heart will be light

faithful friends—because they will recognize your worth as a person.

These blessings are yours—not for the asking, but for the giving—from One who wants to be your companion, our God, who lives and reigns, forever and ever. Amen.

Wishing you happiness, peace, laughter and friends,

Michele

Wisconsin

Dear Reader:

The food on the top shelf of the fridge is melting because the upper light will not turn off and it’s generating too much heat. Meanwhile, the ice-maker in the freezer has stopped working altogether. Annoying!  It’s January 22…two days after the inauguration. I’m on the phone speaking (well, negotiating) with a customer service representative from Sub-Zero. The contractor who completed my remodel did not register the appliance so I may have to pay for the repairs despite the fact that I think the appliance is still under warranty. Will the company representative agree? She can not miss the fact that I am sick; my voice is compromised, or sexy, as only my husband would say. I don’t know why I’m calling today, except that I should have called last week. Maybe she will feel sorry for me.

I attempt to create a rapport with her while we wait for her computer to retrieve the pertinent information about my appliance. I ask her where she’s located. She’s in Wisconsin. I wonder silently why “Wisconsin ” should generate a slight reaction within me. Hmmmm? Ah, yes…it is one of the states that helped elect our president. She apologizes for her very slow computer and asks me about the weather in California. I do not want to boast, but it is nice, I tell her. “However,” I add, “as you may have noticed, we get nasty colds in California, too! ” She laughs and continues to make enjoyable small talk. I get the feeling that I would like this woman.

Finally the computer is displaying the needed information and we are ready to get down to business. She asks me a few questions and we share another laugh this time at the expense of contractors who do not follow through with paperwork.  It is beginning to become apparent to me that I am just outside the warranty window when she says “Ok, it’s done! You are covered; here’s the repairman you need to call!”

I hang up thinking that she seemed a very nice woman…a very nice woman from a red state.  I am convinced that she could not possibly approve of the way the man in the White House speaks about women and minorities. She couldn’t possibly believe him fit to lead. And, yet…maybe …

Politics has always been of interest to me, and I have always delighted in vigorous debate. But, this moment in history is different. I remain deeply unsettled about this election. I am exceedingly  grateful for any small act of kindness shown to me from a friend or stranger. I feel that I am looking for a general reassurance that most people are good and want the best for the country and each other. After all, everyone has appliances that break, computers that freeze and colds that last much too long. That may not be enough to bind people in the long run, but it was enough for two of us today.

Michele