Posts Tagged ‘politicians’

My heart goes out to those overworked healthcare care workers practically begging us not to travel to friends and family over the holidays. Good news, all but 84 million of us paid attention to the warnings. Sigh. We really can’t deny ourselves. Even with the vaccine on it’s way to relieve some of the stress the virus has placed on our country, people will do what people want to do.

Aside from all the Covid saturating the news, the less than peaceful transition of power looms heavy in the headlines. For those of you who have ever ridden a jet ski and fallen off, that’s what the end of this year with our government feels like to me. No rider at the controls and everybody going around in circles. “Jet ski”, you say? A jet ski, is essentially a water motorcycle. Not all, but some, manufacturers have a built in function wherein if the driver falls off while the jet ski is in the water the vehicle will turn to the right and circle so the rider can swim to retrieve it. Just so you know.

Speaking for myself, I’m starting to believe we should do a clean sweep in Washington and start from scratch when it comes to our legislators. Some of these old dogs need to be moved out to allow room for some new blood and fresh ideas to take their place. The government, like my house after my taking a month off to recover from the virus, is in need a serious deep cleaning.

I am steadily regaining my pre-Covid stamina and my brain fog seems to be lifting. Always I have been a being of high energy and having lost that for a while was disconcerting. I seem to find myself in the kitchen a lot these days. After Rick passed, hard to believe it was two and a half years ago, I lost interest in cooking. However, my enthusiasm has been rekindled since finding myself restricted the house for so long during 2020. My size 2 pants gathering dust in my closet, will testify to the fact I haven’t been missing any meals of late.

Too many people out there are struggling this holiday season. I feel immensely grateful to be here celebrating the passing of another year and to have leftovers in my refrigerator from my Christmas dinner, and a roof above my head to keep the rain off.

Over my lifetime like most people, I have experienced times of peaks and times of valleys. At the time they felt more like insurmountable peaks and bottomless crevices than blips in the road. Always though, when it was darkest, the clouds parted allowing shards of sunlight to shine through. This year has definitely been a deep dip on the chart, but I hold on to the knowledge at some point somewhere down the road life will be bright again. Spring with all its glorious rebirth and rejuvenation has always followed a brutally cold winter.

Someone asked me the other day why there has to be so much human suffering. Why anyone might suppose I hold the key to this door I can’t imagine. The answer, or one I’ve heard proposed often, is without suffering how would we recognize bliss? Yin and yang. Balance in all things in nature. I try not to stay too long on that train of thought, because once I hop on board, I find it difficult to see a destination in sight. There are so many unanswered questions in this world. I would hazard a guess after populating this planet for hundreds of years the things we don’t know still vastly outweigh what we do. If you wade too deeply into this pool, you will end up under water. There is no Alex Trabeck standing by the board to reveal the answer once you have posed the question. Sadly, there is no Alex Trabeck in the picture at all, at least in his physical being. I shall miss him.

There are many questions I would ask at the end of this eventful year. For example, why are our highest elected officials (and I emphasize the word elected here- serving at the will if the people) out on the golf course whining about their lot in life while so many citizens across the country are going to bed hungry? I liken it to while watching your house burn to the ground while you draw your 9 iron out of your bag and hit it to the green. Lack of understanding as to why you put in a place of high authority in the first place. Basically, to PROTECT and SERVE, and this does not mean yourself. Nero had nothing on these folks with his fiddling while Rome incinerated. At least he was crazy, although that piece of the puzzle may fit in some instances in this puzzle as well. It does seem a bit like the world has gone mad. I’m just saying.

We managed to pull Christmas out of the hat at our house in spite of the many roadblocks. One after one, all the splinter groups in our family checked in virtually. We shared present opening and some much needed laughs. Though unspoken, I think all of us were missing being able to reach out to one another for a hug or two, but at least we were as to together as the situation safely allowed. I pared down my usual prime rib to filet mignon served with sautéed mushrooms, twice baked potatoes, hercot verts and cheddar and apple pie for dessert. It was delish, if I do say so myself, and apparently I just did. So many families were facing an empty chair at their holiday tables, so I will be thankful again and again all my faces were accounted for.

One thing of note about these trying times I have noticed, has been the kindness and generosity people have extended to one another. Even on a personal level, I have seen this over and over and heard similar stories from friends and loved ones of simple acts of kindness. It is heartwarming. Truly, or sadly depending on your point of view, we humans are at our best when at our worst.

I hope your Christmas was a success. One more week and we can put 2020 officially to bed, yay. That, is definitely a reason to break out the fireworks!!

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Politicians are on the move once again. Mud bombs are being fired in all directions with Donald Trump leading the parade. He actually went so far as to give out Lindsey Graham’s cell phone number on national television. Graham reacted by creating a video of his smashing his phone in a variety of ridiculous ways which went viral. Really? Reminds me of a bunch of kids on a playground slinging insults at one another. Actually, I’ve seen kids play better together. I wish they’d stick to the issues rather than getting personal. I remember a counselor saying once that when involved in a debate or an argument, “Stick to the subject when having a disagreement. Do not attack on a personal level.” Words are something not easily taken back once they’re thrown out there. The impact of a verbal onslaught can be equally, if not more, damaging than slapping a person in the face.

It’s not that I disagree with everything Mr. Trump stands for, but definitely I stand on the opposite side on how he delivers his opinion and where he draws the line on expressing it. You cannot say a man so versed on running a business has nothing to contribute to the conversation, but he definitely seems to have boundary issues.

Hearing someone voice an opinion, even an unpopular one is at least taking a stand. I view this as better than having an opinion about how to fight the bull but sitting on the fence waiting to see if someone else is going to jump into the ring, pick up the cape, and take a stab at it.

The mini-series depicting King Tut’s short time in power viewed this week. I wouldn’t give it an “A” but it was entertaining enough to keep us tuned in through all three episodes. It certainly highlighted the perception that politics can be a dirty and backstabbing proposition is not a new concept. Tut, whose death remains a mystery, died at nineteen. According to the story his trusted advisor married the widowed queen, also Tut’s sister, and erased all memory of the former boy king from the records. Tut was buried in his gold sarcophagus in a lessor tomb, and remained unheralded until he was unearthed in 1922 thrusting him into the limelight. If not for this, he would have remained insignificant in Egyptian history books. What is known of him was gleaned from what was written inside the tomb he was buried in.

I have a total fascination with the Egyptians. Rick being from there and his knowledge of the area only adds to my curiosity. Such a rich and interesting culture. The Pyramids of Giza. Those amazing edifices standing the test of time in the middle of the desert are no less miraculous today than when they were erected. How on earth those huge stones came to piled in such a way with such precision of alignment. Wouldn’t I love to have been a fly on the wall during their construction to understand fully how these structures came to be. Pharaohs and their families were buried in the pyramid chambers. Their possessions were entombed with them, to be used in the afterlife. Servants, alive and well, were also sealed up with their masters to serve them as they transitioned from life on earth to the heavens to join with the gods. Hmmmmm. Being handy with a duster or throwing together a pot of fava beans might have been hazardous to your health back in those days.

Politics has continued over the years to hold hands with corruption in most cultures. The U.S. is no exception. Headlines repeat themselves as politicians from this state or that are uncovered dipping their hands in the till or twisting the law to suit their own purposes. It’s discouraging to watch as these people we elect are handed the reigns to our country often guiding it in the wrong direction.

Having a woman in charge might be interesting. I hope to see this someday, maybe even this time. We do seem to be stuck in the Bush/Clinton syndrome. Passing the baton down the line from one family member to the next. Somewhat reminiscent of Robert and Bobby Kennedy had they survived to fulfill the prophecy. John Kennedy’s assassination is one of two days, the other being 9/ll, where I have perfect recall of where I was the moment the news unfolded. When President Kennedy was shot, I was home from school lying on the couch nursing a good case of bronchitis. All day I sat, blanket under my chin, watching as the various news anchors related the events as the day progressed. The Kennedy’s, not unlike the pharaohs, suffered the burdens of public service heavily.

If you compare pictures of men assuming the presidency before they take office with those taken after they leave, it is obvious by the aging occurring during their time served the office extracts it’s pound of flesh for the privilege of holding it. Personally you have to admire anyone stepping up to the plate even if they strike out once they take the bat in their hand. No matter what decisions you make someone out there is going to think you’re an idiot, or worse. A tough hide would be helpful I’m sure to field all the complaints and rising and falling popularity polls associated with holding the office. This, not to mention walking around being a desirable target for someone with terrorist intentions or an unbalanced mind. Somehow I don’t feel all the wonderful food coming out of the White House kitchen would balance all the stuff sitting on the other side of the scale.

Looking at all this I’ve decided not to run. Although a woman and a Canadian at that might really shake up the oval office. Have a great day.

A friend shared this recipe with me. I wasn’t sure how I would like it, but as hot as it is outside it was surprisingly refreshing.

Tomato Orange Soup

2 lbs. Roma tomatoes, halved
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups rich chicken broth
1 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp. dried basil
4 tsp. orange zest
1 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped fine
1 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Sour cream

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Place tomatoes cut side down on foil. Bake for 25 mins. until skins are charred. Peel off skin and discard.

Heat oil in stockpot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook 1 min.

Add broth, orange juice, tomato paste and thyme. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and continue cooking uncovered 40 mins. Add remaining ingredients except sour cream. Allow to cool slightly. Use emulsion blender or blender to puree. Return to pot and keep warm. Swirl sour cream on top when serving.

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The presidential candidates are lining up, male and female. Everyone from Bart Simpson to the Easter Bunny is jumping on the band wagon. Hilary Clinton is definitely a strong candidate for the women’s vote. However, one can’t vote simply on the basis of gender without first taking into account what the candidate brings to the table. Seeing the first female president step forward to take the oath would be exciting though. Hard to believe it is less than 100 years since those of us wearing the team colors of the fairer sex were given the vote. With our country in a state of disrepair we need someone well suited for the job manning (or womanning, as the case may be) the oars. A person with a good sense of direction and a strong feel for which way the wind is blowing across the globe.

Amazing anyone signs up of either gender considering the perks are rather limited and the liabilities somewhat daunting. At least twenty assassination attempts have been tried on presidents in office, four ending in success. The pay, $400,000 a year, though not bad by average man standards, isn’t that impressive when you consider what has to be sacrificed to earn it. Endless sleepless nights, difficult, life-changing decisions, roller coaster popularity polls, pressure from this faction and that, congressional disputes, and general graying of hair, doesn’t add up to an equal exchange, at least not in my book.

Corruption in our ranks of elected officials is in the news. Not new news by any means. A percentage of government officials have been taking more than their fair share of pie since the constitution was established, and well before. Unfortunately, there will always be someone out there willing to sell themselves and their integrity for a price. As with all things this is balanced out by those truly dedicated civil servants striving to making our nation strong and doing what is best for the people who put them in office. With great power comes great responsibility. Some handle this power well operating within the boundaries of the law, others wield it like a weapon, sucking the life of their constituents. Insert God Bless America here.

A campaign for the presidency is an expensive proposition. Most aspiring appointees throwing their hats in the ring seem to have considerable personal wealth to back their bid as well as powerful monied backers to keep the campaign moving forward. That being the case, I’ve decided not to run. With my personal wealth I’d make it to the bus station down the street to hand out flyers.

During my travels across the U.S. I missed visiting Washington D.C. The capital is now added to my bucket list right below the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone, two highlighted spots I am definitely visiting somewhere in the future. Images of D.C. in my mind always include the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Smithsonian, the Pentagon and, of course, the White House. Hopefully, when visiting the White House or “Presidential Palace” I would get to view the interior, a sight I missed at Buckingham Palace. I did manage to watch the changing of the guards at least, filled with much English pomp and circumstance.

There are five chefs on hand to keep the Obama’s in chili. The president and the first lady are charged for these meals, but not to worry they’re covered by his expense account so you most likely won’t find them in the drive-thru line at McDonald’s ordering a Big Mac and fries.

There are 132 rooms in the residence including a jogging track, tennis court, billiard room, swimming pool, and bowling alley. 6,000 guests pass through the doors every day to view the interior of the building so probably there aren’t too many days where there isn’t something written on the calendar.

Another thought should a woman take over the oval office, what is her husband to be called? Would he be the First Man? Possibly First Gentleman? No matter what we call him I think he would need a strong sense of self. Being in a position of lessor importance to his wife in such a public way could feel emasculating to a First Gentlemen who didn’t have his ego together.

A lot to ponder as things begin to heat up. Mud will be slinging soon and skeletons rattlings in political closets. Should make for some interesting debates, and undoubtedly great fodder for the news hounds.

This dessert is ridiculous. If you haven’t tried it, you must. If you have, it’s worth trying again. Mind you, it is rich and sinful so not an everyday delight but once in a while it’s a glorious treat.

Tres Leches

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
5 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups whole milk
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup granulated sugar
1/8 cup rum
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Cinnamon for dusting

Preheat Oven to 350.

Spray 9 x 13″ pan with cooking spray.

Whisk flour and baking powder together and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and 1 tsp. of vanilla. Beat well between each addition.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture 2 Tbsp. at a time. Mix until well blended.

Spread batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 35 mins. or until toothpick comes out clean. Pierce all over cake with fork. Cool.


Combine whole milk, condensed milk, rum, and evaporated milk together. Pour over top of cooled cake.

Whip whipping cream, 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 tsp. vanilla together until thick. Spread on top of cake and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.

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