The 2016 Presidential Campaign in One Tweet

For me, the photo in this tweet encapsulates the coverage the cable “news” outlets (Fox, MSNBC, and CNN) have given to the presidential campaign since the day last June when Donald Trump announced his candidacy.  Trump spoke early this afternoon in Virginia Beach, Virginia while Hillary Clinton was in Tampa, Florida.

I wasn’t watching, but RawStory was, and good for them (and us).  I’ve seen this countless times again, since June 2015, with a box with Clinton in it (no audio) squeezed down into the right-hand corner while the vast majority of the screen was all Trump.

The point of this kind of “coverage” is apparently a cover so the cables can say they “aired” her speech too (which apparently they did, for a matter of minutes (see link above)) and they can claim that, hell yeah, we’re fair and balanced!

cables on trump

One Year

One day I hope to be able to write in depth about what it’s like to lose a much-loved husband and friend of 40 years.

How do you do that without writing a 1,000-page book?

For now, I’m remembering Dan Alan Vowell, who died a year ago yesterday.  In the Buddhist tradition, I tied a ribbon of remembrance and prayers on the oak tree in the backyard outside our (now my…do I call it my or our?) kitchen window.

Sending love your way forever.

ribbon dan

Happy Mother’s Day to Women Who Mother Something or Someone Other Than a Human

I’ve always had a difficult relationship with Mother’s Day.  My mother was an emotionally withdrawn, self-involved woman who didn’t give her three kids much though; she was wrapped up in her own issues.  When I was just under three years old she had twins which I think overwhelmed and stunned her into withdrawing even more.

BUT, over the years I came to have an appreciation for Mother’s Day that didn’t involve human children, thanks to my Dear Dan.  I don’t think there was ever a Mother’s Day when my Dear Dan didn’t give me a card.  I’ve culled through a lot of stuff over the last months but here’s one he gave me in 1997 that I still have:

dan monther's day card

Inside the card says:  “What a babe!  (Of course, I always think that.)”  It’s signed:  “You are a great mother of plants and Julia. I love you.  Dan”

Julia was our dog at the time.

How cool is that that my Dear Dan recognized caring for plants (that can be a lot of work) and for dogs (that can be a lot of work too) is mothering?!!

You don’t have to be the mother of a human to mother.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Paul Ryan’s Incredibly Shrinking Medicare “Reform” Plan

Mitt Romney announced that fiscal conservative darling Paul Ryan as his VP pick at roughly 4:30 a.m. ET last Saturday.  The spin way, way, way back then was Romney was trying to solidify his wingnut bona fides with the Tea Party Republican base with such a bold choice.


Six and a half days into this charade and guess what those lying sacks of sh*t are saying now:

In his first week as a Republican U.S. vice presidential candidate, Paul Ryan has quietly moved away from the Medicare reform plan that has defined his political career.

At campaign stops, Ryan has made little mention of the Medicare and budget savings that conservatives cheered when presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced his running mate.  When Medicare comes up, it’s more often than not in an attack on Democratic President Barack Obama.


Like Ryan’s plan, Romney’s plan would convert Medicare from a program that provides guaranteed health benefits to retirees to one that provides seniors with limited subsidies to buy coverage.

Unlike Ryan’s Medicare plan, Romney’s proposal lacks the detail that would let taxpayers and beneficiaries know how much it would cost them.


Run away like a dog with its tail between its legs and attack Obama instead of being proud of your own plan? Gosh.  Now that’s “bold.”

Oh, and now the intellectual-leader-of-the-GOP and bad-ass workout dude

Paul Ryan’s mommy is getting into the act:  Paul Ryan to Court Fla. Seniors With Mom’s Help.


(Image via JustinBuzzard)


10 Hours in the Hospital = $5,230+

My husband has been diagnosed with sleep apnea.  On June 12 he spent ten hours at a medical office building across the street from our local hospital being “tested” to see which of several treatments might be best for him.  He checked in at 8:00 p.m. and checked out at 6:00 a.m. on June 13.

They hooked him up to a bunch of monitors, put him to bed in a room with a bunch of cameras, and they recorded his movement, BP, and oxygen intake for the night.  He didn’t get any food and he brought his meds with him.

We got the bill today:  $5,234.00.

medical costs

Per the “Ryan Plan,” House Republicans (100% of them) voted to give seniors who are on Medicare $8,000 a year to buy coverage from a private insurer.

Far as I can tell, President Obama has, tragically, been convinced that the Ryan Plan is a good thing and he is negotiating with Republicans to adopt some, if not all of its provisions in an effort to “reduce the deficit” and cow to conservatives who he apparently thinks are in the majority, even though they aren’t. (Google this issue.  Americans overwhelmingly don’t want cuts to Social Security or Medicare/Medicaid. They want taxes to be raised on people who make over $250,000.  Period.)

Anyway, think about this for a minute.  You have $8,000 to spend on a plan that supposedly covers you for a year and voila, your coverage essentially evaporates after one procedure?  Yeah.  That’ll work.

Fox News Trashes Mitt Romney

Fox News functions like an IV to the Republican base.  If Fox News (I use the word news lightly) doesn’t like you, the base won’t like you and Fox News doesn’t like Mitt Romney.  I dare say Mitt Romney is done because Fox is ripping the speech he gave yesterday explaining what he did in Massachusetts with regard to “RomneyCare.”

After all, righties think providing health care to needy people is a terrible thing.  Fox has convinced them of that because Fox works for the corporatocracy.   Just think:  All that money could go to the likes of United HealthCare and its bazillion-dollar-a-year CEO.

Duck the people.

Made a “Shooters Sandwich” the Other Day

Break time!

A few days ago I came across a recipe in at the Guardian that looked fun and good and easy:  a “Shooters” sandwich.  On Sunday I made a personalized version.

They made theirs with steak but I didn’t.

What I did was buy a loaf of “Shepherd’s bread”

shooters sandwich before

and I hollowed it out.  I drizzled some olive around the bottom and added a pinch of salt.  I added a layer of salami, some Havarti cheese, fresh basil leaves, a layer each of thinly sliced ham and turkey, a sprinkle of smoked Paprika, a layer of roasted garlic, a layer of tomato slices, some sliced Kalamata olives, another layer of Havarti and finally, I spread horseradish cream on the underside of the top.

I put the top on and leaned into the sandwich and flattened it as much as I could by hand.  Then I wrapped it in aluminum foil, put it on a plate and placed an inverted plate on top.  I put all that into the frig and placed a cast iron pan on the top plate and I put two bricks inside the pan.  Then I let it sit overnight.

The finished product looked a little like this:

shooters sandwich

and it was soooooo good, and again, so easy.  It took all of twenty minutes and the beauty of it is, you can put whatever you want inside.

I’d love to hear suggestions as to variations on the theme.  I’m thinking meatballs, spaghetti sauce, a gob of basil and Provolone?  (Have to heat that one up.)

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