Blessings

 

As you look at the hourglass of life, and the sands of time appears to be slipping away… you need to give thanks for the blessings you’ve received. Many of those blessings come after struggle and hardship as you turn to God for divine guidance.

Today I am blessed to look ahead and see the possibilities for the future. But before I delve into that realm of dreams and the execution of the necessary steps to achieve those dreams, I will look to the present.

I have a beautiful daughter, Chelsea. She has taught me so much about life, myself, and the importance of unconditional love. She is growing into a beautiful person both intelligent and loving. I am very proud and blessed to have Chelsea as my daughter. 

Each present we share with friends and family is a gift to share with all those that enter into our spatial consciousness. I take this time to acknowledge how blessed I am to have Nancy in my life. She takes care of me and loves me like no other, which allows me the freedom to concentrate on the finances that gives us the freedom we enjoy.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my dear friends. You know whom you are, the love and caring you give me, and how much that means to me. Each friend that comes into our lives provides an insight into communication and the importance of honor and commitment.

As we get older, those dear friends are the shinning lights focused on the memories we share. Each memory brings laughter and joy as the special bond becomes even stronger. How precious is that to step back to the past while enjoying their company for as long as forever is.

In addition to Nancy we have two little pets that bring a smile to our faces everyday. Grayson and Sassy Girl are our cats. They bring affection and joy into our lives as they scurry around the home, mostly playing, but as they get older their sleep has become a priority.

The simplicity of structure and the beauty of where we live add to this perfect formula. Our home, travel, writing, playing music, riding my bicycle, and not having (for the most part) to be anywhere at any given time adds to our stress free life.

As I ride my bicycle down Tie Creek Road I view the wildflowers I used to drive past in a hurry to enjoy a limited vacation. Then, I was always thinking about getting back to work. Now I stop and literally smell the roses.

The vibrant colors of the wildflowers, the wildlife surrounding us, and the fragrant smell of lupin and honeysuckle penetrate the senses. Add to this the middle earth like experience we enjoy (referring to the mythical place where the Elves live in Lothlorien), and how much it means to both of us.

Being at peace is so very special. It reminds me of when I was a kid and would look to the forest for places to have a fort. Everything was so simple, basic, and nature was a wide open view into exploration and the wonderment of discovery.

I’d  sit, as a kid, and stare at the crystal clear creek as it meandered to places I had yet to discover. I imagined the beauty of waterfalls with deer sipping the nectar before jumping back into the canopy of the forest.

I was blessed to have those simple thoughts because I had parents that wanted me to learn and grow as a person. They were nurturing and guiding lights into how a family should be raised. Their love would radiate to friends and family, bringing a lasting delightful exclamation mark to the music and laughter they shared with others.

Another important blessing is the travel Nancy and I look forward to. Each trip opens up the history and geography books we studied in school. Now we live in the experience of finding out about other cultures. Their historical buildings, battles, discoveries,  languages, music, poetry, and of course food and wine.

We are especially blessed to enjoy other cultures food. Soon we will be taking a trip to Spain and Portugal.  We’ll enjoy cooking classes with recipes we can bring  back to produce for our friends and family.

Then there is flamenco in Malaga, the city where Picasso was born. Driving to Rhonda a city where Orson Wells was buried, then Seville (world class Sherry), and my favorite, vintage Madeira and vintage port from the isle of Madeira and the city of Oporto. Throw in a cruise, train ride, and the unbridled joy of seeing new places for the first time, priceless.

Yes, we should all look at our lives, not to compare but to rejoice in the many memories we have that make each of us unique and truly blessed.

 

 

 

 

The Political Climate

 

Very much like the smoke and mirrors related to climate change this is a political climate that is depending on the strings being pulled on one side and attempting restraint on the other.

Here we have Donald Trump backed by a throng of loyal, patriotic followers. They hear his message of draining the swamp, upholding the constitution, and ending the divisiveness of the woke/liberal agenda.

On the other side we have an equally committed left wing group that believes in reparations for black people, teaching gender pro-nouns, and first and foremost, hating Donald Trump.

The left points to January 6th as a threat to our government orchestrated by Donald Trump and carried out as the single most egregious act of terrorism since 911. While a case could be made for this by stretching the truth like a gumby in an old cartoon. Lets first look at the event and then the cost of damages to the Capital.

The left narrative is that this “riot” disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress in the process of affirming the presidential election results. Even though Donald Trump called for the National Guard to be called to protect the Capital in case the demonstration got out of hand… Pelosi and the Mayor of D.C. turned down the suggestion.

Now, most people on the right believe that election fraud was committed, although it has never been proven. In the time frame provided to demonstrate this point, and the lengths taken to cover up this narrative, there is still no conclusive proof of an organized plot to change or destroy the vote. At the very least you could say that the voting system didn’t come under the necessary microscope that would dissuade the populace of thinking, something was amiss.

The “riot” or “siege” caused approximately $2,734,783 losses. During Donald Trump’s presidency, Antifa and Black Lives Matter were organized and sent out to cause over two billion dollars of damage. Although there were thousands  involved in the riots to protest the death of convicted felon George Floyd, a small portion of those have been sentenced to significant time while most  had their sentences commuted.

The two sides seem to be light years away from finding the common ground so necessary in healing the country. To further divide the country we have a complicit media favoring the message of the left. With softball questions thrown towards President Biden, the left leaning media has propped up this sad political figure to the detriment of the country.

Donald Trump’s followers are called radical right wing racists that threaten our constitutional federal republic. However, after the latest debate, the left leaning media is finally starting to question the mental acuity of the leader of the free world.

Now we have a very real constitutional situation coming into play. The 25th Amendment to the constitution has been invoked six times. These sections within the 25th Amendment were mainly called upon for medical reasons. The last time was November 19th 2021, President Joe Biden transferred presidential power to his vice president, Kamala Harris, while undergoing a colonoscopy.

Now we have come to a crossroads as Biden’s confidants are urging him to step down. They realize that his incompetent reign of ineptitude has run its course. Lets look at a few of his failures:

  1. Biden said the border crisis didn’t begin “overnight”. It actually did, the moment he took office.
  2. The average American family has lost $7,100 purchasing power under Biden due to inflation and high interest rates. This is the highest rate of inflation since the last terrible democratic president, Jimmy Carter.
  3. Biden and his administration frequently took opportunities to portray half the country as evil, anti-democratic monsters.
  4. Afghanistan symbolic withdrawal at the expense of soldiers and civilians.
  5. Piling on debt with such programs as “student loan forgiveness”.
  6. The weaponization of the DOJ, FBI, and CIA to create election interference, going after a political opponent.
  7. The Woke agenda devoted to the cult of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The federal  bureaucracy has been hard at work injecting every college campus with this insanity. The bottom line is that Biden, with the power of the federal government wants to ensure that your child will be gender transitioned whether you like it or not.
  8. Hunter Biden and his lap top being swept under the carpet. Interesting how no politician has lied more to the public about his accomplishments or events as he panders to whatever group he’s in front of.
  9. Ukraine is another example of a terrible diplomatic decision. Printing more money (as inflation soars) and sending it to a country we don’t have any responsibility for,  is ludicrous. Billions of dollars sent with no accountability to Ukraine. We see their politicians buying expensive homes in foreign countries with this money and no one saying anything about it.

Now we come to a point where section four of the 25th Amendment might be invoked because the leader of the free world is incapable of putting two sentences together. Then we may see the cackler (Kamala Harris) become president. If that doesn’t scare you (after her handling of the border crisis), I don’t know what will.

Changes

 

The weather, the journey, the perspective… all changing. It’s easy to understand the changing weather. Although if you are politically motivated I guess you can orchestrate a reason for climate change or the argument that our climate is based upon many factors beyond human intervention.

In the restaurant business there were a thousand reasons why we were busy and an equal number of reasons why we weren’t busy. That logic is the basis for most discussions. It’s easy to build a case arguing one side or another when your whole premise for your reality is based upon emotion and not logic.

The journey through-out life is an education that affects our connection with people, the environment, and the ever changing circumstances that inspire our state of affairs.

The books we read and the people we associate with help create a direction that becomes more unwavering as we get older.  I was thinking today about life when I was younger and how I see many things differently.

Now I’m beginning to understand the phrase, “Why is youth wasted on the young?” However, I believe that if you never lose the child within you the change that becomes a part of whom you are is less noticeable and more open to new perspectives.

Each transition in life is fraught with positive and negative events. It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you react to it. They never made a seminar for worrying, but isn’t that human nature? As logical as we try to be, there is an edge that is exposed when negative events happen in our lives. It changes us!

We learn more from negative events then we do from positive ones. The change we feel when attempting to navigate a death, a job loss, a financial setback, a move to another place, or our interaction with another… changes our disposition and becomes a footnote in our ever changing journey.

We look back and attempt to gauge where we went astray. But if you’re on the right path you look forward to looking back to see how far you’ve come. Keeping a positive frame of mind in this ever changing world is an exercise in mental gymnastics. As we get older we see the sand of time sifting through our fingers. Wasted time that we can’t get back helps us look from the past to the future with a new perspective.

Each moment is an important statement about,” How short life is.” Learning to keep your mind active with new academic challenges, or traveling to places you’ve never been, is truly the life blood of discovery. Not only the discovery of new information or places, but the discovery of your own DNA that gravitates you towards happiness.

When I was young I loved loud music. It never was too loud and it never was too far to go to enjoy a live event. Now, the music must be softer and the distance to travel to an event must be within a three hour drive, or a two hour flight.

Now, cost is not as much a factor but other stimuli determine the final outcome. Good lodging with a view of some sort of water or a city sky line is mandatory as are excellent restaurants and world class beverages.

When I was young I could sleep on a floor or dirt surrounded by wild animals or people I’d never met. Now it’s just Nancy and I, no convicted felons, no strange wild animals, and camping is staying in a hotel without room service.

The ever changing life is a connection with those things that create the happiness we all desire. An evolutionary tale of learning about yourself, the world, and those magical moments that help create the memories, so very special to the quality of life we all strive for.

The 1619 Project

 

The 1619 Project has become a leading subject of the American History wars, receiving criticism from historians, both from the political left and the right, who question its historical accuracy.

Very much like the coverage of today’s political landscape, accuracy and journalistic integrity stand in the shadows of truth and transparency. The agenda becomes the narrative, let the facts be dammed.

In a letter published in the New York Times in December 2019 (right before the scamdemic), historians Gordon S. Wood, James M. McPherson, Sean Wilentz, Victoria E. Bynum, and James Oakes applauded “all efforts to address the enduring centrality of slavery and racism to our history” and deemed the project a “praiseworthy and urgent public service,” but expressed “strong reservations” about some “important aspects” of the project and requested factual corrections.

These scholars denied the project’s claim that slavery was essential to the beginning of the American Revolution. In response, Jake Silverstein, the editor of the New York Times Magazine, defended the 1619 Project and refused to issue corrections.

On May 4th 2020, the Pulitzer Prize board announced that it was awarding the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary to Hannah-Jones for her introductory essay. In 2020 The New York Times premiered a dedicated podcast series about the 1619 Project. In 2021, a book anthology of essays and poetry, The 1619 Project: “A New Origin Story” was published, as well as a children’s book, “The 1619 Project: Born on the Water” by Hannah-Jones and Renee Watson.

In January 2023, Hulu premiered a six-part documentary TV series created by Hannah-Jones and The New York Times Magazine. This series won and Emmy for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series at the 75th Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

Basically, “The larger aim of the 1619 Project is to change America’s understanding of itself. Whether it will ultimately succeed in doing so remains to be seen, but it certainly has already succeeded in shaping how Americans now argue about key aspects of our history. The 1619 Project aligns with the views of those on the progressive left who hate America and would like to transform it radically into a different kind of nation. Such a transformation would be a terrible mistake: It would endanger our hard won liberty, our self-government, and our virtues as a people,,,”

The 1619 Project is a testimonial to the progressive left’s agenda to change the narrative of American History. Within this thinly veiled curtain of deception lies the end-game: Controlling the vote, disengaging the Republican party as a viable alternative to this narrative, and placing in power an authoritarian regime that is offended by everything that isn’t woke.

The powerful hand of an all controlling government is leading to the erosion of our personal freedoms, supposedly under the protection of the very politicians that have sold us out for power, and the corruptive influence of foreign governments.

As I write this blog I am constantly amazed at the lack of fore-thought that has gone into this calendar of deception. The very people that have orchestrated this farce must realize that soon their thoughts and deeds will lead to the very people they attempt to influence turning against their hatred for this country.

This Project 1619 being trumpeted by the liberals is going after our constitutional freedoms. The most obvious is the uproar over having to show ID’s at polling stations. They claim that minorities aren’t afforded an equal say because many don’t have the necessary ID’s required to vote, which is a fabricated lie.

Almost everything from getting a birth certificate, a job, traveling, buying a car, getting insurance, etc…. requires an ID. The attempt by the Democratic party through such legislation as HR 1 to federalize and micromanage the election process administered by the states, imposing unnecessary, unwise, and unconstitutional mandates on the states and reversing the decentralization of the American election process… which is essential to the protection of our liberty and freedom.

HR1 would interfere with the ability of states and their citizens to determine the qualifications and eligibility of voters, to ensure the accuracy of voter registration rolls, to secure the fairness and integrity of elections, to participate and speak freely in the political process, and to determine the district boundary.

The divisive nature of the 1619 Project knows no boundaries. Propelled by tales of injustice and the White House weaponization of the FBI, DOJ, and CIA acting as doormen to a vast program of social media surveillance and censorship, the American public are beginning to wake up to this charade.

The suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story, the suspension of Donald Trump, and the enlistment of social media to control the left wing agenda reveals a sad and sinister proclamation.

For the 2020 election, social media companies willing to do the bidding of an out-of-control federal bureaucracy backed by the corrupt alphabet agencies, projected an openly hostile affront to the First Amendment.

The 1619 Project is an attempt to undermine our founding fathers. This project is designed to hold them to our social proclivities while they lived in a different time under different circumstances. And now we have Juneteenth.

California suffers the indignity of the left bowing down to corrupt organizations that hate America like BLM (Black Lives Matter). This is a state that wishes to give reparations to people that weren’t slaves, paid for by  people that didn’t own slaves, in a state that never had slaves.

This is a time we must be vigilant to protect our Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and our fundamental right to have a fair and honest election. We can not trust our politicians to protect us during this wave of social and political injustice.

Our number one objective should be to seek information that is projected by people that seek the truth. There are too many that wish us to behave like the lemming as we turn into a Marxist society watching our freedoms eroded like the regression of a wave from a beach.

Father’s Day

Father’s Day is a holiday honoring one’s father, as well as fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society.

I miss my dad as many of you miss your dad. The influence on ones life, (if you are blessed to have great parents) is reflected by the many times your dad told you or showed you he loved you.

I remember one time when my mom, dad, and I were at Fosters Freeze located on the miracle mile located in San Anselmo on the outskirts of Fairfax California. I was about 6 years old at the time.

We rarely would go out for dinner, so this was a big deal. It was about six o’clock when we arrived, My dad took our order and walked to the window to order our food. We sat at an outdoor table just outside the front door of the fast food restaurant.

Adjacent to us were two teenage boys probably around 17 or 18 years old. They were kind of loud, exhibiting typical teenager behavior. We started to eat our food and somehow I got the sauce from the burger in my eye.

I started to cry and the boys at the adjacent table started to laugh. My dad wasn’t having any of that, got up, and admonished those hooligans for their unruly behavior.

They quickly apologized as my dad was in a fury. He turned on a switch I didn’t know he had. Those boys ate quickly and left with their tails between their legs.

I was quite impressed by my dad sticking up for me. I never forgot that first instance of my dad coming to my aid. There were many other instances (usually financial) where my dad offered assistance, just when I needed help.

Another time that comes to mind was when I was fired from the Caprice restaurant in Tiburon California. I had worked there off and on (because of college) to the ripe age of 22.

At that time I was made assistant manager of the restaurant with one of my duties depositing the receipts for that night and locking up the restaurant. Well, as fate would have it, one night after I closed the restaurant the safe was broken into and the cash was stolen.

Because I was the last one (supposedly) to open and close the safe, they fired me for stealing. I would never steal anything… and so it was a very humiliating experience.

My dad felt my pain. He would call up the Caprice (unbeknownst to me) and make reservations for large parties on their busiest nights giving fake names and phone numbers. This was before cell phones or being able to track the number. So they had to set the table for that reservation that never showed.

Later on, when I found out he was making fake reservations,  I asked him not to do that, but appreciated the spirit in which he attempted to seek revenge.  Interesting enough, a theft from the safe happened again shortly there after.

They caught the perpetrator, a chef, and fired him. They offered my job back after realizing their mistake… but I respectfully declined.

Father’s day, to honor my dad, was a wonderful event. My mom would always prepare a special meal for my dad, which I of course benefited from. Usually the meal was fried chicken and mashed potatoes with Kansas style green beans. The beans were cooked in bacon grease with chopped bacon infused into the mixture. Lovely!

My mom and I would buy a present for my dad which usually consisted of his favorite plant variety… succulents. A plant nursery down the street became my dad’s favorite place to procure said plant variety. That is where we would go for exotic varieties of the succulents to surprise and delight my father.

I certainly miss my dad. He passed away in August of 2011. It is a rare day that I don’t think of my mom and dad. Beyond the measure of love and service to others they exemplified a warmth and forgiveness that goes along with the mantra of unconditional love.

As time marches on I am blessed to have a child of my own. Now I look forward to the beautiful sentiment that trumps all presents as written by my beautiful daughter.

 

Writing, Baking, and Preparing Quality Meals

 

Each week I try to write a blog. Each blog is a different subject meant to provide either factual information, or bits of wisdom that comes with experience.

That experience is usually based upon action, a movement towards or away from something. This strategy is usually constructed on physical or mental attachment or detachment. Experience is the  involvement in an activity that brings you closer to a goal. That goal can be attaching to a concept of discipline that propels everything to it’s desired conclusion.

In the case of writing, for me, it is broaching a subject that contains what I deem to be interesting content. If I’m excited about the content then I have a better chance to succeed in my desired goal… a writing that makes one think.

Living in a peaceful setting enables me to live in the mode of creativity. Being creative translates to many different mediums. Writing, baking, and preparing quality meals for dear friends are certainly satisfying past-times.

Each different task presents challenges that stimulate the brain and triggers the nuance of discovery. Each discovery is a stepping stone to more advancement in the subjects listed above.

When I write, it is spontaneous. It’s not done with an outline or prior thought process other than the subject headline. From there, it’s off to the races. I never know exactly where the writing will take me, but I know that as I progress through the subject I will tie things together. Then, at the end I hope the message is condensed and speaks to the reader.

As I relate to baking I think of the treats I’ve had during my lifetime and how special some of those treats were. The delicious flavors of a Grand Marnier Souffle, or the richness of a bread pudding, creme brulee, or chocolate lava cake that brings the meal to its desired conclusion… a wonderful, captivating  warmth that spells out “comfort food”.

Each baking process is about following the recipe. No matter how complicated the directions, I must be precise in the measuring and order of execution. The desired affect is a smile and sometimes even laughter that captures the beauty of sweet confections. Of course there are also sorbets for those quitters that have bought into the whole, “Sugar is bad for you”, mantra.

Unlike when I was a kid, baking is sticking to a plan. When I would built a model car as a kid, I could never figure out why I should build the engine? It’s hidden underneath a hood. So, I finished relatively quickly as those thousand engine parts were unnecessary.

It’s interesting how important in baking the nuance of altitude, water, and flour or other binding agents that intertwine to become the finished product. Each is a lesson in chemistry that makes you adjust to your circumstance. As you adjust you learn about the importance of things you never considered as a child.

The smells that permeate the air as you bake or cook become the sensory introduction to the meal or the finishing touch, dessert. I always try to start the hot part of the meal with caramelizing onions. The sweet smell of the onions flamed in a sweet liquor or a madeira always entice the guest to wonder, ” What are those fragrant smells?”

Starting off with a chilled salad featuring different marinated vegetables combined with distinct, contrasting fruits and textures makes the beginning an overture painted on a colorful sensory palate.

The same contrast of flavors and textures is important in designing the entree. Color, height, and temperature is equally salient. If the plates are all cleaned at the end of the meal, you know you’ve succeeded in the desired outcome.

Each creative part of life becomes a plant that is fed with practice, determination, and the satisfaction required to maintain that joy from having others smile at the effort.

Each written piece, baking creation, or savory meal is an exercise in skill that improves with repetition. It is however much more than that. It is the love garnered from providing a phrase or a flavor that will create a memory for as long as forever is.

 

 

 

Encounter in the Wilderness

 

Yesterday was a beautiful day in Orofino. The clouds parted and produced a glistening sun that burst through and provided relief from a long winter. The temperature was perfect for our new favorite pastime, pulling weeds.

It baffles me that weeds grow like weeds, and everything else that provides color or sustenance is like Russian roulette at best. You can pull weeds and then another group of the unwanted bastards will rear their ugly heads. It’s truly a never ending battle, especially if you choose not to use harmful chemicals.

I’ve found that the chemicals are more harmful to humans then the very weeds they’re supposed to kill. It seems everything else either dies because of too much water, not enough water, too much sun, not enough sun… come on, give me a green thumb and I will plant like there’s no tomorrow.

Anyway, after I pulled the weeds around the pond I was inclined to further torture myself by going on a bike ride. In all fairness I do have an E bike, but you still need to pedal to get from point A to point B.

I purchased this bike when it was still snowing around this area of Orofino. The first time I rode the bike I went exactly twelve feet before I drove it off the driveway and down an embankment. This led to multiple bruises, including my pride of course. On a side bar I had already fallen off a ladder and had broken eight ribs.

What I’m trying to tell you is that I was accustomed to falling. The next time I rode the bike (in the snow), I went onto Tie Creek road to lot ten and then collapsed from exhaustion. Keep in mind we live on lot fourteen.

On the ride back I was gaining speed down this uneven part of the road. That is when I lost control and toppled sideways, feeling the full weight of the bike and the jagged gravel cutting into my leg.

I was a bloody mess, but felt even more determined to conquer this Tie Creek road. So, each time I rode, minus the snow, I was compelled to proceed farther towards the main gate. First it was lot nine, then seven, then two, and finally lot one.

I was within a short distance from my goal of the main gate. Yesterday, after pulling those bastard weeds I felt strong enough to go on a sojourn to the main gate. I brought my water, gun, and wore my space helmet… I was ready for this challenge.

My legs were a little stiff but I was determined not to stop until I reached the main gate. I passed each lot with a growing confidence, very much like a Navy Seal nearing the end of hell week…but different.

The beauty of this ride is captivating. The many trees, wildflowers, and deer, framed in a picture with the backdrop of the lake. It was certainly distracting enough to take my mind off of the pain.

As I rounded the corner past lot one, I felt the exhilaration that comes with potentially reaching this goal. The gate was within sight, and there it was, I made it.

As I sat on the rock by the gate I had an uneasy feeling that someone or something was peering at me. Being out in the middle of nowhere it could only be one thing or another. It was either a serial killer or a wild animal.

I opted for choice number two. So, I tapped my gun to make sure it was there. Then I looked around, nothing in sight. I had just read a story about two twins that were searching for mushrooms and were accosted by a mountain lion.

The mountain lion had attacked and eventually killed one of the twins. They weren’t carrying a gun, which in the wilderness, is a critical mistake.

I cautiously looked from side to side as my heart beat faster.  Now there was a drop of sweat forming on my brow. I slowly eased away from the rock I was sitting on. As I gazed upward I viewed a mountain lion peering down on me, maybe fifteen feet away.

His eyes were focused on me, possibly looking for lunch. I drew my gun and stared at this vicious beast as he prepared to leap down and attack me. It was only a moment before he leapt from his perch, heading straight for me.

All my instincts kicked in as I fired my Glock 19, aiming at his head. The shot missed and he was upon me in a moment. The struggle for life was a battle I hadn’t faced before.

He tore into my left arm as I used all my strength to separate from this 140 pound muscled creature. I gained just enough distance to get a shot off that hit it’s mark. The beast staggered, slightly wounded, and took off into the brush. I guess he  realized that this prey wasn’t like anything he had encountered before.

I was injured but could still ride my bike. I eventually made it back home, called 911 and was medevacked by helicopter to the safety of the local hospital. The moral of the story is… I need a bigger gun!