Cavewoman

I was writing on the envelope that I need to send out with my estimated tax payment in it and as I wrote the word “Greenbelt” with my medium point Sharpie, I had had this image of scrawling something on a cave wall. I thought about how many things had to happen for me to scratch something in black onto that white envelope, and for those scratchings to mean something to me, and to others who would see it. How some of the others that are united in the ability to recognize that the scratchings mean something would find a way to get my piece of paper where it needs to go. Also, inside is currency. Currency also built on the premise of scratchings on paper. Even the little thing that sticks into the corner of the envelope is currency and made of pictures that mean something.

Trump Diaries, Day 1

There were many good chants and battle cries at the Women’s March in DC yesterday, but my favorite was “We will not go away, welcome to your first day!”

This is the second day of the Donald Trump presidency. I went to the Women’s March on DC with my daughter and a friend – and hundreds of thousands of people who do not feel that this presidency and administration will represent them. Despite Trump’s acceptance speech calling himself a president for all Americans – there are obviously a large population that doesn’t believe that is true.

womensmarchdc_2017

I am still tired and hungry from the march yesterday, and laid in my bed for a few minutes just looking around my bedroom at the things that surround me. In my space, I feel pretty unaffected by him. I looked at the book titles on my bookcase and thought, “Well, I can read whatever I want. That won’t probably change.” My clothes and make-up, laying there. My blue bottles on the windowsill, needing a dusting. The view from my tiny little bohemian apartment flanked with velvet drapes, probably will stay the same. But then I remembered I had to get up and take my medicine. I went to the doctor’s last Friday with an pretty bad throat and ear infection. I didn’t get my results back before the long holiday weekend. I ended up in the ER on Monday night, late – into Tuesday morning, with my throat closing up. I saw the wonderful folks at Anne Arundel Medical Center – who gave me steroids and antibiotics. This was one of the worst infections I have had in a while. I was able to go home, throat opening up. It got me to wondering if I will have health insurance in a year.

I am divorced. My COBRA gave out. I don’t have  job that gives me access to insurance. I registered for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Despite what some folks might believe, about “shoving and forcing” this down their throat with a penalty fine and taxes on the wealthy, and medical devices, to help all Americans be able to afford the care – what it really is is just regulations to help make the whole thing more fair for patients who are getting fleeced by health care companies. When the prices went up about a year after it was enacted – the regulations were blamed – but the CEOs of these companies are still making millions of dollars and raised the prices on patients.

What I’m trying to say here is, because of this campaign for rich people to make money off of illness and their resentment of having more regulations – they have the power now to make their own rules and millions of Americans like myself will possibly be exposed to the reality of totally losing their insurance, or it becoming affordable to them because they don’t have the right kind of job with the right kind of pay – which is what you needed four years ago in order to get insurance. Why is it that only Americans with the right jobs and right pay deserve to receive medical care?

I realized that I am supposing the things that might happen. That my apartment will pretty much stay the same. That my reading tastes would still be able to be met. That my daughters might still be able to easily access birth control. That maybe my healthcare won’t be lost. I live in Maryland, at least, I reasoned. They will think of something, won’t they? But what about everybody else? What about the red state folks who need stuff? It’s all supposing at this point. So I decided to start keeping a journal to see what parts of the Trump presidency actually affect my life and in what ways – as far as I can tell, at any rate. So this is my first entry into my Trump diaries. To keep it real. To manage expectations – and to hold this administration accountable.

Along with keeping my journey here on my little blog in my little hippy town – I will be keeping up with the folks are doing at https://www.womensmarch.com/100/ – 10 Actions in 100 Days.

We will not go away, welcome to your second day, POTUS Trump.

Incident in Roosevelt Center

George Mathews with the Greenbelt Police Department responded with the following information:

At 2:50 am multiple calls of shots heard near the area of Roosevelt Center came in. A seasoned police officer responded to the call and witnessed a male individual near the Mother and Child statue. The officer witnessed the individual self-inflect a gunshot wound. The person was pronounced dead at the scene.

It is unknown at this time if and how the sound of gunfire earlier is related to this incident.  There is an investigation ongoing.

The victim’s name is not being released at this time until notification of next of kin.

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I wanted to come back and add in a helpline number and link for those who need help. Please, just take a breath. Take a moment. Make the call. It can save a life.

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

http://www.suicide.org/hotlines/maryland-suicide-hotlines.html

MARYLAND – STATEWIDE
Crisis Hotline
1-800-422-0009 – toll-free statewide

http://www.crisistextline.org/how-it-works

A Revolution

I want to start this off by pointing out something that has been a theme on social media:  people complaining that people are “offended” by stuff and how dumb that is.  First of all, those folks seem pretty damned offended for people who don’t like it when people are offended, so – “glass houses” is what I have to say to them.  I would also offer up that much of what is happening isn’t about being “offended” but finally FINALLY validating that there are certain segments of the population who are marginalized and in some cases don’t and haven’t had equal rights.  That goes beyond being “offended” by something.  It’s simply standing up for your rights and your viewpoint.

The movement to take down the confederate flag, the distancing from Donald Trump by businesses, feminist speakers facing threats of rape and murder, and the marriage equality judgement, with all the ensuing arguments, are all about pretty much the same thing.  And people who want the flag to stay on government property and people who embrace Trump and his racist comments and people who are threatening women and ranting about the downfall of America because of same sex marriage equality are reacting from a place of panic and resentment.  Maybe they do actually believe that America is under some kind of threat of too much fairness and love.  But it’s pretty disturbing to see the amount of hate pouring the direction of people who are finally feeling like somebody is listening to them after a very long time of not being heard.

The time for the rights of these marginalized groups to be equally recognized and validated has arrived.  If you are worried that your race or your religion will become the minority, ask yourself why you are worried about that.  Nobody is saying you don’t deserve your rights, just that they want theirs, too!

You can still wake up today in America and express yourself through your right of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.  No Christian has lost the right to worship.  Why not count this as a blessing? No man has lost his rights because of feminism. The Westboro Baptists can still picket funerals if they want.  KKK can still assemble in public and have websites. You can still say ugly things about the President and not be arrested and put in a government holding facility. You can still hang the Confederate flag all over your property and your business’s property, if you want. You can still call somebody horrible racist and sexist names or to tell people they need to repent and that what they do is an abomination. But there is a movement across this country right now that is saying that the days of passively validating these things is over. That people won’t be in silent compliance with these things anymore. That discrimination is no longer socially acceptable and people who don’t like it are losing their minds over that, like they have lost freedom of speech.  Like they have lost a civil right.  No.  NO!  They still have that right, it’s simply becoming NOT OK socially – FINALLY!  Ignoring privilege and pretending it doesn’t exist, has come to an tipping point in history in this nation.   We have an opportunity here, now, to do something great and love each other an come together.  Or we can repeat history and fight each other.  And what a shame that would be.

Mark 12:31
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

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Luke 6:37-6:38
Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you

All I Want is a Slushie

I read this story this morning and I just loved it.

slushiegirl

http://wtop.com/watercooler/2015/03/girl-4-sneaks-out-hops-bus-in-search-of-3-a-m-slushie/

It reminded me that not all people take advantage of the vulnerable when nobody else is looking.  It reminded me that I could smile at a story where somebody could have gotten hurt.  It reminded me that I used to be just like this little girl when I was two and three years old – having middle of the night adventures that are now family legend.

This story reminded, also, how many things go right in a day.  People fall and others help them.  People are protected from bullies and people stop to tie an old person’s shoes.  People donate money and give kindness and protect others everywhere, all the time.

We have all of these statistics about how many people are raped every minute and how many people are robbed and murdered.  And it is very important to collect that kind of data.  But you know what would be nice?  To know how many people every minute don’t hurt a vulnerable person.  How many people are loyal to their partners and generous to their family members and helpful to their neighbors.  Because sometimes I want off of this planet when I think of all of the bad things.  But this short, precious little story reminded me that even in a big city like Philadelphia a bus driver can be a protector of a four year old.  That this middle of the night journey for a slushie only ended in being reunited with her family and sharing the story with people like me, who adore it.

They don’t say whether or not she got her slushie, but I’m going to imagine she did.

What Seeds Are You Sending Into the Wind?

Minolta DSC

I’ve been thinking about resentment, jealousy, envy and their impact on happiness.  Also, all of the irony that surrounds the topic.

We all want to be happy.  Or at least we think we want to be happy.  We can’t decide sometimes, because the definition of what happiness is varies as much as the definition of beauty.  That’s where the whole thing gets even more complicated.

I guess the first thing you have to do is look at your life and see if there are things to be grateful for.  Then look at the world and see if there are things you can be happy for that are going well for others.  I am pretty sure that is a big part of growing happiness in your own garden and spreading seeds of joy for the gardens of others as well.

Delicious Creamy Mushroom Soup

If you like mushrooms and creamy soups, you will love this recipe.  AND, it’s vegan!

CreamyMushroomVegansoup

As mentioned in previous posts, I don’t measure exactly, so I will write down what I estimate I used regarding spices and stuff, unless it was easy like bullion cubes.  You’ll have to adjust the seasonings to your taste.

Ingredients:

Veggie bullion (I used Rapunzel brand – two cubes)
1 large sweet onion
2 packs f portobello mushrooms
1 pack of shiitake mushrooms1 cup of white wine
2 tbsp paprika
3 tbsp dried minced onion or onion flakes
2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp ground pepper (I use large ground)
soy milk (plain, unflavored, unsweetened)
Extra virgin olive oil
flour
Earth Balance

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Make a tan roux with Earth Balance (2 tbsp), olive oil (3 tbsp)  and flour (1/3 cup), then whisk in soy milk until it is a pasty consistency.  These measurements are approximate.

*note* I use Bob’s Red Mill flours – because they are a great company who treats their employees well.  I know that other flours are cheaper and I am on a tight budget like most folks out there, but if you can manage to support a good company, please consider this one.

Set the roux aside.

Put about 1/4 olive oil in the soup pot and put in chopped onion, saute until brown, not quite caramelized.  Add water and let cook all the way down.

Add about eight cups of water and 1 cup of sweet white wine (I used Barefoot moscato) and set aside while you chop and dump all of the mushrooms in a big skillet to saute them in olive oil.

Taste test and add more salt or seasonings to your taste.

I used portobello and and shiitake mushrooms, but I think next time I am going to add some porchini and white button as well.  If you do that yourself, please let me know how you like it!

After the mushrooms are all well sauteed set them aside, slowly whisk the roux into the stock over a low heat.  Once the roux is nicely mixed in then add the mushrooms to the pot.  Add more water if it is needed.  Turn heat to medium and allow it to heat up.  Treat it like gravy, let it boil up but keep stirring to avoid lumps.  This will not be as thick as gravy or as creamy as something that has heavy cream in it.  You could add more flour like with gravy or even some cornstarch, but I liked it slightly creamy.  If you made it creamier you could pour it over rice, noodles or potatoes.

It was delicious.  We had it with a Panera baguette.