Monday, June 19, 2017

The final touch ….

In 2015 I proudly posted this picture of the lovely home that my oldest son Mark designed. It was awarded House of the Year by the Moore County Home Builders Association. Visitors approach the front entry by walking around the garage and are delightfully rewarded with a water fountain and marble stairs that lead to the front door. Then, entering the house they face a barrel vaulted hall that runs the length of the house.

So, what is the “final touch”? It is this hand painted ceiling that artist Charles Goforth lovingly and painstakingly applied over many weeks. It is
indeed the touch that makes this home unique and I love that Charles even made use of his palette. It was overflowing with the many paint colors that he'd used and he had it framed and presented it to the owners. They have it proudly displayed on the wall beneath the decorated ceiling.

Here are two views. The first is looking toward the front entrance and the 2nd faces the lovely terrace overlooking the lake. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Cabinet full of sycophants …


Merriam-Webster: “a person who praise's powerful people in order to get their approval.”

Random House: “a self seeking, servile flatterer, fawning parasite.”

Wikipedia: “obedient flattery.”

Well, you get the idea and a cabinet full of sycophants was exactly what we witnessed this week as Trump introduced us to them on TV. Their lavish praise and fawning obsequiousness may have been a balm to Trump but it left many of us shaking our heads.  

The Cabinet is the part of the government that acts as an   ADVISORY   board to the President. Theoretically it is filled with strong minded experts in their field who have the good of the country as their driving force. Sadly, since Trump feels he knows more than all of them combined, there will be little advising going on.

It is obvious that the Cabinet sycophants know they live under the threat of dismissal at the whim of the President and they demean themselves by acquiescing to him. Is there not one Republican in Washington with the guts to address this? What a sad commentary.


Addendum:  I wrote this entry on Monday. On Tuesday we were shocked when a man full of hate toward the Republican party shot Rep. Steve Scalise from Louisiana.  Six years earlier another, full of hate for the Democrats, shot Rep. Gabby Giffords.  THIS CANNOT GO ON !
All the comforting words being bandied around in Washington now must be followed up by action. 

It's time for both sides of the aisle to grow up.  Stop the rigid stonewalling and have honest debates that end up with agreements rather than shouting matches.  If we are, once again to thrive as a nation, I believe that we must reject the "art of the deal" and bring back the "art of COMPROMISE". 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

A change of pace ...

In 1942 I was 9 years old and my sister and I were visiting our grandparents in New Jersey.  My Papa (as we called our Granddad) was an author and I loved his mysterious office filled with piles of paper, half-finished manuscripts and the pungent smell of pipe tobacco.  I remember that I asked if I could write a letter home and was thrilled when he said "of course" and actually let me use his beloved typewriter to do it.. 

I ran across that letter a few days ago and it took me back to those halcyon days. It was a brief but welcome relief from the constant barrage of garbage that passes for news in todays world. Perhaps it will give you a respite too...and maybe even a chuckle. (click on the letter to magnify)

Monday, June 05, 2017

Will the “real” President please stand up ...

Step aside tRump …

President Bannon is coming through loud and clear !

Your disgraceful decision on the Paris Agreement is just one more example of the depths to which our country has fallen under your command. I am embarrassed for our country and pray that the rest of the world realizes that your self-serving and deal making leadership is not condoned by the majority of us. 

Once again you are constructing a wall. A wall of isolation. Have we, under your leadership, become so self absorbed that we have no concern for anyone or anything outside of our borders? Millions of us don't fit that description and refuse to agree with it.

You could learn a lot from the gracious French President Emmanuel Macron who, despite your decision, let it be known that we were still friends and he ended with a statement that sounded familiar to yours but was so much more powerful.  His was:
                          “Make our PLANET great again.”

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

November 22, 1963… “the day the music died”

I was 16 years younger than our newly elected President Kennedy and like many of my age group it was like having an older brother in that big white house in DC. We were filled with hope and enthusiasm and we actually believed if we followed his lead we could make the world a better place. When he started the Peace Corp I was fascinated by the concept and the only thing that kept me from joining up was being married with 3 children.

As I write this it is JFK's 100th birthday and he is being remembered and lauded in many ways. I have my own fond memory and here it is:

In 1952 JFK was running for the US Senate in the state of Massachusetts and his mother Rose was one of his biggest backers. She decided to host a series of teas in and around the Boston area to introduce John, (or “Jack“, as she called him). I was in my Junior year at Boston University studying for a Journalism degree and our class received an invitation to attend one of the teas.

It was considered quite a coup to be invited so I was thrilled. I was not disappointed. Not only were Rose and John there but most of the rest of the female side of the Kennedy clan as well... serving tea and sweets and extolling the virtues of their brother and son John who was more than charismatic as he “played” the room, teacup in hand.

So, here we are, 65 years later and I can't help but wonder if we will ever hear that sweet music again. Playing off key and out of sync seems to be the norm with our current administration.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Another email to the NC Senators …

Freedom of speech is not allowed in many parts of the world and I can't imagine living under those constraints. I am so thankful that this does not apply to our country. 

When I sent my first emails to Senators Burr and Tillis I received no answers. I felt like they were lost somewhere in the Washington, DC void and I almost gave up. Then I realized that just writing and sending them was cathartic and I kept it up. All of a sudden I started getting answers from them both. I'm sure they were stock remarks but at least it shows that someone in their office is aware that I exist. If any of you have concerns, like I do, just put them down and send them off. There's power in numbers and they know, just as we do, that 2018 is not too far away.

Here's my latest … #14:

Dear Senators: I am praying that the horrendous budget proposal that Trump has sent to Congress will not pass. I work at our Counties Free Care Clinic and we care for those who have no insurance. If Medicaid is cut back in our State it means that we will see an even greater increase of applicants to our Clinic. Our patient base is enormous and we can barely keep our doors open now so it is unlikely that we will be able to help them. The inevitable outcome would be to put us back where we were before the ACA ... our ERs deluged with patients who have absolutely no way to pay for their services. We all know what a disaster that was and that we, the tax payers, were the ones burdened with the cost.

I can't believe how incredibly insensitive Trump is to the needs of these down trodden people that he swore to represent and hope that you, as a Republican Senator, will not follow his lead. You have a responsibility to these constituents and I pray that you will have the courage to do what's right for them. After all, they may be poor but they still get out to vote.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Not Barnum & Bailey … but memorable !

As the Big Top closes out its 146 year reign it brings back this memory:

In 1985 my little town of Vass, NC, with barely 700 residents, played host to a small time circus to raise money for a local charity. People from near & far came for the one-night performance and Tiny Tim was the main attraction. He plucked his ukulele while singing his off key theme song “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” and the audience loved it. I couldn’t stay, however, because I had to be up very early the next day to get to my job in the ER of our local hospital.

Imagine my surprise upon arriving there early the next morning to see a familiar looking figure dressed in a long, dark overcoat, at the front desk.

It was Tiny Tim holding a small paper bag and demanding to see the ER Dr. “immediately”. He refused to be registered and was getting more agitated by the minute. Finally he opened the bag and produced a urine sample that he swore he had obtained from a girl in Vass (!) She, according to Tiny Tim, was accusing him of getting her pregnant and he wanted the Dr. to prove her wrong.

The whole scene was getting more and more bizarre. Both the Dr. and the nursing supervisor tried to tell him that it was way too early to determine anything but Tiny Tim just became more obnoxious. He started yelling about “my rights as a citizen” and “people taking advantage of me because I’m a star”, and it was at this point that the news photographers arrived.

In retrospect we could clearly see that we’d been conned. He managed to get a front page spread in the local newspaper, as well as mentions in the Raleigh and Fayetteville ones too. The unnamed girl from Vass “conveniently” disappeared and Tiny Tim, with a big “gotcha” smile on his face, tiptoed quietly out of our lives.