Monday, April 16, 2018

On the Moral Character of Leadership

Currently in the news is the lovely detail about our president's sex life that he may or may not have had sex with a porn star about a decade ago. Many of my conservative friends have posted on social media that they "don't care" if he did it or not since it was before the presidency, thereby implying that Bill Clinton is more of a lecher since he was a perv during his presidency.

I think it goes deeper than that. And please keep in mind that this comes from a die-hard conservative.

When are we going to be completely honest? We, as a nation, chose a couple of crappy candidates. Let's face it, every election the "lesser of two evils" vote becomes more and more pronounced.

I DO care that President Trump potentially had a "relationship" with a sex worker. It shows a lack of moral character and decent judgement on his part. Does it negate his ability to be president? Probably not. Should I have voted for Hillary? Goodness, no. But I do care. It matters. We need to not blindly follow either party's candidate or elected official simply because we don't like the other teams' politics.

My last post was a long time ago. Right before the election. The division in this country is horrific. No longer do we have intellectual debate. We have us vs. them. It's disheartening.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Yes, a Political (sort-of) Post

This round of presidential elections has me really upset. It seems that the immediacy of social media has stripped (many...but not all) Americans of their general respect for others. And I mean this for both parties.

I am a die-hard conservative. Most of my friends know this, and really, it's not a secret. I'm a gun-carrying, pro-life, fiscal conservative, strict constructionist regarding the constitution. BUT...I have friends on all levels of the political spectrum. Because diversity is an important thing. And if I only listen to people with whom I agree with 100%, how will I ever have opportunity for critical thinking?

A couple of examples, people who are on the same political side, but opposite ends of the civility spectrum.

One person, with whom I used to work, was constantly posting anti-gun sentiments on Facebook. I'm ok with that. You're entitled to your opinion, and I don't feel the need to "unfollow" my liberal friends, because I usually want to know what they think. However, it soon came to a place where every post that she wrote (about gun ownership) was full of vitriol and blanket statements. The final straw was when she said, in her own words (not a meme), that "all gun owners are ignorant assholes". And so I sent her a message and unfriended her. That is not a conversation. Because I am not ignorant (and usually not an asshole).

I have another friend who is a social liberal. She often posts thought-provoking articles that I read. Her posts, while I may not agree with them, are well thought out and usually leave room for discourse. Articles she has linked to have made me think, made me look at how we can make this world a better place. I find that she and I probably agree on the end goal, we just don't see the same path to get there. But you know what? That's ok. Disagreement with civility is OK. And beneficial.

We should be better than this as a society. Let's rise above. Let's talk. And most importantly, let's be kind.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Life as a Series of Constant Change


This falls under the "never-say-never" category.

While I don't have answers as to why God has brought me here, I really believe that he has. And in the meantime, I have down time. More than I want, but apparently, it's what I need.

I believe I've mentioned before that patience is not a virtue of mine. I'm totally willing to embrace change, to embrace love, to embrace newness and long as it happens quickly. Ha! Isn't that just the way we work.

It's beautiful here, in a much drier way than I'm used to. I know in a few weeks I'll be missing the rain, the trees, and the mountains. So in the interim, I'm going with the flow and waiting to see what God has for me.

And I suppose I'll have time to dedicate to writing again. It's funny, I always encourage people to express themselves artistically in whatever form appeals to them. For me, it's singing and writing. So why the reluctance to write?

Friday, July 3, 2015

Egg Rolls with Liz

My friend Liz makes the most amazing egg rolls and brings them in to us at work. Today she came over and showed Jeannette and I how to make them. Now my belly is full and my freezer has egg rolls ready to be fried for dinners. Yum.

Liz cooks like I do. Trying to get her to give me an approximate measurement is like pulling teeth. However, I did get some generalizations.

Here's what we used for the filling:

3 lbs ground turkey
1 whole garlic bulb
1 package of Asian vermicelli noodles
about 1/2 a head of cabbage, chopped
2 shredded carrots
a 9-oz bottle of oyster sauce
4 eggs (Did you know there were eggs in egg rolls? I didn't. Seriously, I figured the wrappers were made with egg noodles or something.)
salt and pepper

We think the filling would also be delicious wrapped in cabbage or romaine leaves.
Next comes the wrapping part. According to Liz, this brand of spring roll wrappers is the best. We used about 75.

There are various techniques for wrapping up the egg rolls. Liz kindly showed us the one that 2 year old Asian children can do. I think there may have been an implied insult in there....
After rolling them, seal them with an egg wash. Thanks for the stellar action shots, Jeannette.



This is a good point to pull some out for the freezer to cook later.
Deep fry the ones you want to eat now. We used canola oil, but Liz recommends grapeseed oil as it doesn't leave a flavor residue. Buy it at the Asian food's a lot cheaper.

Then she made a spicy peanut sauce.
This consists of: peanut butter, cilantro, lemon juice, hot red peppers, and fish sauce. I won't even attempt to give measurements. Just do it to taste.
You would think that I would have taken some nice amazing shot of a few egg rolls on a plate with a delicate and attractive bowl of the peanut sauce. But that would have meant that they actually ever made it to the plate.
Nope, we just stood around and dipped them into the peanut sauce and kept going back.
Great fun, and intro to a food that was relatively easy, yet I never would have tried on my own. Also, Liz shared a bit about her Hmong culture and background. Since my only knowledge of that stems from Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino, essentially that means I know nothing.

Saturday, June 13, 2015


So many things have changed for me in the past couple of months. Mostly, my heart has been broken. It's healing, but slowly.

I'm finding that the hardest part for me to accept is (surprisingly to me) not the loss of the man with whom I thought I would spend the rest of my life, but the changes that I see in him that I don't fully understand. It's like he is a stranger to me now. I feel like I've lost him twice. That's the worst. Not that I want to be friends. Please, no. Seeing him on a regular basis would be like salt in the wound. However, I'm ok. Not great, yet, but ok. And I know I will be fine. If I were a bigger person, I would say, "I just want him to be happy." But I don't....not yet. I really hope he's miserable without my love. At least for a long while, dammit.

I do, however, like living on my own. My time, my schedule, my quiet, my décor, my menus, my remote. I am indulging in a bit of selfish me time.

Life for now is in a wonderful little apartment in downtown Everett with my two furry feline roommates. One more and I can cross into crazy cat lady status. On my bucket list has always been living for a couple of years in a city where I can walk to most everything. Downtown Everett doesn't quite fit that bill (I was thinking more of downtown Seattle....or Chicago), but I can get most of my groceries at the little organic co-op down the street, my office is only a little over a mile away, and there are plenty of restaurants and the library close by. I do need a hardware store, and haven't come up with a walk-able solution for that. But I did find a couple of antique shops today. I'll have to dive into those in the near future. And there is a gorgeous view from the rooftop.

Books are being read, music is being listened to, kitties are being snuggled, friends are being treasured.

For me, right now...I am content.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

quote of the day

Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do however virtuous can be accomplished alone; therefore we must be saved by love.
-Reinhold Niebuhr

Friday, March 20, 2015


My fitness goal for Summer 2015 is to run a half marathon in September. Specifically, the Skagit Flats half marathon. Notice the word "Flats". And it's just like it sounds....all flat. Flat is good.

Also, to clarify, when I use the word "run", what I really mean is "finish". I know that I will be jogging part and walking part...and I'm ok with that. The important thing is that I get myself into good enough shape to not embarrass myself, have an asthma attack, or cry. Especially no crying.

I took a gander at the stats from last year, and check out these times from the over 70 women's group.

Age 77: 2:40:19.2
Age 80: 2:44:27.8

Wait, what? The "slow" one in that age bracket was 79 years young and ran it in 3:27:05.9.  That's just under a 16 minute mile. I'm impressed.

Oh, it's on, 80-year-old....I am taking you down...


That's bad.

Do NOT take out any octogenarians during the race, Karen. Sheesh.

Sometimes I cannot take myself out in public.

Happy Spring

Every spring is the only spring — a perpetual astonishment.
~Ellis Peters

When a new season rolls around, it instantly becomes my favorite. In the Pacific Northwest, even though the calendar officially announces the arrival of spring today, we have been in it's grasp for weeks already.  It's been a very mild winter, with not a single snowfall of any measurable accumulation. Rather disappointing, as I love the crispness and cold of the snow. The mountains, as well, are low on their usual reserve, which will make for good early summer hiking, but poor water supply.

Since this is my first spring in the new rental, it is such a joy to see what plants and flowers are coming up in the beds. I have a little hydrangea bush, peonies, a whole boatload of lilies which will need to be culled this fall, and an assortment of other small plants for which I need to find names and care instructions.

This weekend my goal is to pull together some sort of springy/summery décor. Pictures to follow. There, that obligates me.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

I Had a Dream

Last night I had a dream with one scene so vivid that I took the time to write it down today. It would make a great jumping off point for a novel.

I have friends that are published authors and for years have thought that I would love to write a book. This prologue that I wrote this morning might just be my kick in the hiney.

Friday, February 20, 2015

My Valentines 2015

Joe was so proud of himself that he picked out the roses and the baby's breath (and vase!) and arranged them on his own. They really are beautiful. I had a few of these sparkly hearts hanging randomly around the house and the little paper hearts tucked into unexpected places.