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A Moment of Clarity

Donald Trump gives no indication he is ever going to have a moment of clarity.

For most cartoon characters that defining moment arrives when an illuminated light bulb hovers about the head of the dufus de jour. However, Trump gives no indication he is ever going to “get it.”

My southern grandmother had a sure-fire remedy to enable dim-witted males, as she put it,  to “see the light.”

According to her even the dumbest, severally challenged would turn on a dime once their noggin felt the full force of a ten-inch cast iron skillet.

Grandmother graduated to a higher realm an eon ago, but I like to imagine her having a conversation with The Donald.

For instance, Donald’s statement, “I know words. I have the best words.” I imagine anyone making such an ignorant unfettered, stupid statement would become acquainted with the back of her skillet post-haste.

After that,  a moment of clarity provided by her cast iron skillet would halt Trump’s US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement and he’d agree to let Neil deGrasse Tyson explain climate change to him.

I have no doubt my grandmother would be waiting for Donald’s return visit from Puerto Rico’s hurricane with a two-fold strike from her cast iron skillet. She would explain why the leader of the free country doesn’t throw paper towels at people who have lost everything.

If Trump’s tariff on steel created an increase in the price of cast iron skillets, that would prove to be his undoing.

Grandmother knew how to turn a phrase, or more accurately return a phrase. (I know this from personal experience.)  Donald’s schlocky phrase “lock her up” would return to haunt him and he’d find himself cooling his heels in the outdoor smokehouse with the other turkeys.

Thus far, no one has been able to reign in Trump. Perhaps there is a newly elected grandmother in Congress who will bring her cast iron skillet to Washington in January.

Mary Margaret
Mary Margaret


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Conflicting Science

Staying current with science and fashion is maddening these days.

Just when I think I’ve got it figured it out, a new study changes the rules.

A recent study, (probably covertly sponsored by the adult beverage industry) indicated the moderate use of an alcoholic beverage could stall memory problems and possibly decrease incidents of Alzheimer’s.

Another study indicated a small amount of alcohol consumed on a daily basis benefits the heart. Red wine reputedly has some health benefits. Beer may be helpful in slowing the advance of Osteoporosis.

A conflicting study (probably covertly sponsored by the religious right) indicated an increase in breast cancer in women who consumed one drink per day. The study concluded women should abstain or limit themselves to one alcoholic beverage per week. Clearly, breast cancer is to be avoided at all costs.

If I follow the new guidelines, are heart disease and dementia lurking around the corner?

Being slightly dim or having a minor hitch in your ticker is not a bad trade-off for being cancer free. On the other hand, one could do as one pleases, and wait for another study.

Fashion is a challenge, especially to those of us with generous body proportions. One fashion fix indicates hip-length jackets are best to mitigate a large booty. Other states we should cover up with a knee-length tunic or jacket.

This is clearly a no-win situation. Either the thing is exposed for the whole world to see, or it wobbles surreptitiously beneath a glob of fabric. A large following is nearly impossible to hide short of major surgery. Industrial strength Spanx tends to leave us breathless.

Hairstyles for round faces are especially troublesome. One stylist states short hair is best, while another says long hair lengthens the face. If your face looks like a dinner plate, you’re screwed anyway so wear a hat.

Pantyhose, a creation from the seventh circle of Hell, is making a comeback. Most people I know haven’t worn them since God was a boy. I wonder if their re-entry is not an evil plot by the Republicans to create jobs.

I have concluded my lifestyle changes will predicate that hopefully, I will be cancer free, but perhaps ditzier than usual. In case my family and friends do not recognize me, I will be the one in slacks, wearing close-toed shoes, sporting a hip-length jacket and topped by a purple hat.


Note: Originally published November 2011

Screw the Man Cave, It’s Time for Every Woman to Have Her Own She Shed

The revolution begins, and every woman should demand parity for the man cave…a she shed.

For some time now, the man cave has enjoyed prominence in home décor. Featuring a ginormous big screen tv, well-stocked bar, and a recliner; an enclave no self-respecting woman would ever want to visit.

While pretending the room doesn’t exist, wives surreptitiously place room deodorizers in strategic locations and close the door. The cleaning lady makes the sign of the cross and refuses to enter.

For generations, children have escaped to a tree house or playhouse for relief from adult interference, but for women, there was no place to escape. We wised up and created our own space; the she shed.

She sheds are located far from the man cave, kitchen and laundry room. Children are told to go to the important place; the man cave, if there is an emergency.

I don’t have a she shed but if I did,  it would be something like this:

There would be no tv;  soothing music, accompanied by the gentle trickle of a chocolate fountain, would replace the play by play.

No one would dare to disparage my luxurious daybed piled high with as many throw pillows as I want and a coverlet that is “a pain in the ass.”

My mini bar would have an unlimited supply of pinot grigio and white chocolate almond turtles.

Plants and flowers flourish would flourish, and unwelcome indoor fungus gnats would not.

I’m not sure if a she shed will fit on our patio, but I’m checking it out.





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Fun Facts About Venus and Mars

As long as there are batteries, label makers, and boxes, Venus and Mars will be planets apart.

When is it time to give a triple-A cell battery a decent burial? In our household, when remote devices balk, they undergo tortuous scrutiny. Mars shakes the batteries until their little hearts quiver. If this initial effort at life support fails, he proceeds to the battery tester. If there is a minuscule indication of life, the batteries survive for use in another unlucky device. In the meantime, the program Venus wanted to watch concluded hours ago.

The label maker indicates the battery is low, but Venus knows this is similar to the blinking yellow traffic light and keeps on labeling.

Venus waits patiently for the label to print. It huffs, puffs, and refuses to produce a label. Venus surreptitiously replaces the comatose energizers. Violá, a label makes an appearance. Mars hears the gentle tinkle of batteries hitting the waste receptacle and immediately rushes to resuscitate them in the battery tester. Again, they pass muster and join the inventory of iffy batteries.

Used boxes devour available storage space. Mars steadfastly maintains he must have all of these boxes. One never knows when a box will be required.

File folders, wire baskets and post it notes clog Mars desk. The overflow spills to adjacent bookcases and additional wire racks. He is a walking Wikipedia should he ever locate whatever could have been googled in seconds.

Advance planning with directions is a completely foreign concept to Mars. We have had some interesting travel experiences, If you don’t count the time we were lost in a really, really scary neighborhood in Matamoros, MX.

Venus does not own a battery tester. If devices requiring batteries do not function, she puts in new ones and watches a George Clooney movie.

Hide the label maker from Mars. The learning curve is too deep.

If the boxes don’t say “Prada”, they hit the dumpster.

Venus’ desk is neat and orderly. She scans important papers and saves on back up hard drive.

Venus prints travel directions after the scary experience in Matamoros, MX.

As long as there are batteries, label makers, and boxes, Venus and Mars will be planets apart.


Note: Originally published May 2012. 

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Tomorrow Marks the End of Paid Political Lies

I’m beyond weary of paid political lies on television.

After making the most hideous, unfathomable bald-faced lie, the politician states their name and announces he/she approves the ad.

Mary Margaret
Mary Margaret

The fact that someone approves such a message is enough to cost my vote. (And yes, Ted Cruz, I am talking about you.)

Dan Patrick’s ad features him posing beside a vintage truck, wearing jeans whose pant rise reach his armpits and we are supposed to take him seriously? First of all, no self-respecting Texan would appear in those jeans.

Then there is the really, really bad hair dye job. (Maybe he has reason to fear public restrooms.) When he starts talking Texas values, most Texans probably switch the station, as soon as the Imodium kicks in.

Some voice-over actors must be desperate; I recognize the one who does the well-known ice cream commercial. I was surprised to hear him switch from the voice-over oozing nostalgia for ice cream and front porch swings to a message from the dark side.

That brings us to the truly desperate who underscore the reason they most likely will not win. Screaming family values while touting an unholy alliance does not remove the stench of the association. An endorsement from DJT is not unlike a smooch from a mafia crime boss.

I made three trips to the liquor store, purchased two dozen bags of hot and spicy Cheetos and a dozen bags of salt and vinegar potato chips.

I hope Texans vote Texas values and I don’t have to dip into the second bottle of vodka.

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Is Nanna A Bigot?

Is Nanna A Bigot?

This is a question voting age young adults might be asking if they have watched television journalist interview older people or more specifically old white people.

The recent ad on television, “You’ll Be there, I won’t” a satirical nudge to get young voters to the polls, while humorous, unfortunately, reinforces negative conceptions about older people.

Televised focus groups with a cross-section of regional voters conducted by an earnest-faced journalist typically include the area curmudgeon, usually male who is an avowed Trump supporter.  His female counterpart most often is a retired woman, who hasn’t changed her hairstyle since the Truman administration.

As an older white woman, it is presumed I am a Trump supporter, guilty by association, an assumption that fills me with outrage.

I can’t claim that I know multitudes of old people, but I know quite a few. 

None of them voted for Trump.

Most of them voted for Obama, both times.

None of the Nanna’s I know are racist.

Most are in favor of universal healthcare.

Many are pro-choice.

We are not in favor of a border wall.

We’ve seen the effects of fascism.

Most of us are in favor of legalizing marijuana. (Believe it or not, some older people smoke pot.)

We believe assault rifles belong on the battlefield. We grew up and lived most of our lives in an era before people were permitted to carry guns. Now we have church, school, mall, and road rage shootings.

We support separation of church and state, ” Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

We couldn’t give a rip less about who someone marries or which bathroom they use.

Please dismiss any concern you might have about Nanna being a bigot.

If you hang around an older white person long enough there is a good chance you will find a liberal snowflake who wouldn’t be caught dead in a red MAGA ball cap.

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Senator Ted Cruz Can’t Read

Head in Hands

I finally figured out what Ted Cruz problem is; he can’t read.

As a concerned citizen and one of his constituents (a reluctant one), I wrote to him asking that he explain his stance on healthcare reform.

I  carefully phrased my questions and asked him to provide his solution to our healthcare dilemma.

He is more polite on paper than television. He apologized for not responding sooner as he was busy setting up offices in Washington and Texas. Self-promoting appearances all over the country influence his response time.

As I read his response, it became very clear; the poor man has a reading impediment.

None of his answers were to questions I asked.

Prior to his election to the Senate, he served as the solicitor general for Texas. How did he manage to serve that position with an obvious reading impediment?

I asked how a person with his stated religious convictions could consider repealing healthcare reform by denying coverage to millions of people who have preexisting conditions.

His response: “If Obama care is implemented, it will reduce the quality of healthcare; result in scarcity and rationing, and insert government bureaucrats between patients and their doctors.”

I was puzzled as his answer had absolutely no relationship to my question.

I asked if he was concerned that about twenty-four percent of Texas residents lack health insurance.

“Our nation’s first priority should be restoring economic growth, yet Obama care, called a “huge train wreck” by one of its chief architects, does precisely the opposite. Over the consistent objections of the American people, Obama care is driving up the cost of health insurance, causing employers to stop offering health coverage, and encouraging employers to stop hiring—even shifting more and more workers to part-time employment.”

By now, I was really convinced he had a problem. He is too old to be a product of the current Texas education system. The corporations that Texas is so proud of recruiting have been shifting workers to part-time for years. How can he not know that?

He concluded by saying, “I am honored to help lead the fight to protect Americans from the harmful consequences of Obama care.”

I am convinced he should enroll in some sort of remedial reading program and I’ll bet his health plan would cover it.


Note: originally published September 2013. Wash, rinse, repeat.



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Federal Employee Performance Evaluations that Donald Trump would Fail

These quotes supposedly are taken from actual federal employee performance evaluations.

As I read them one federal employee came to mind.

Since my last report, this employee has reached rock bottom and has started to dig.

I would not allow this employee to breed.

He would be out of his depth in a parking lot puddle.

He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.

This employee is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.

This employee should go far, and the sooner he starts, the better.

Got a full 6-pack but lacks the plastic thing to hold it all together.

A gross ignoramus – 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus.

He doesn’t have ulcers, but he’s a carrier.

He has been working with glue too much.

He brings a lot of joy whenever he leaves the room.

When his IQ reaches 50, he should sell.

If you see two people talking and one looks bored, he is the other one.

A photographic memory but with the lens cover glued on.

A prime candidate for natural de-selection

If he were any more stupid, he would have to be watered twice a week.

If you gave him a penny for his thoughts, you would get change.

If you stand close enough to him, you can hear the ocean.

One neuron short of a synapse.

Some drink from the fountain of knowledge; he only gargled.

The wheel is turning, but the hamster is dead.

I have no idea of the source of the quotes. I was cleaning up my desk and the list floated to the top.


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Are Bushy Beards the New Fashion Craze for Men?

If bushy beards are the new fashion craze for young men, I’m relieved to be out of the loop.

When our neighbor, who considers himself a “Mad Men” ad exec type, appeared with a scraggy crumb catcher I thought perhaps he was dealing with a personal tragedy.  His beard wasn’t a suave George Clooney number—but more like an Amish farmer. He seemed happy enough but the beard grew and grew and grew until he resembled a derelict moonshiner

I began to see more and more men abandoning the attractive stubble in favor of full beards. I wondered if I had stumbled into an alternate universe or even worse, I was hallucinating; the beginning of a downward aging spiral. When television commercials featured men with beards it was confirmation; I’m just out of step with current trends.

My hairstylist said full beards are the new deal (for men; if you are a woman see your aesthetician.)

My younger self swore she would never badmouth current trends. It is the kiss of death; a sure sign a woman was approaching cronehood; the crabby old female relative that finds fault with everything. The woman everyone avoids except at Christmas when people are well fortified from the wassail bowl.

I think the bushy beards hideous. Even George Clooney would have a hard time pulling off that look.

My younger self was a bit self-righteous. I see cronehood looming closer and I am at peace with that knowledge.


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The Ugly Chair

The time had come to say “good-bye” to the ugly chair. His discomfort was painful to observe. This was a difficult moment and he was going to have to find some way to get through it. His separation anxiety  ratcheted to an all time high.

His favorite chair and ottoman were being replaced; banished forever. A huge hole remained in the space they had once occupied, taunting him with their absence.

Shopping for new companion pieces was going to be difficult for him, but I would be sensitive and patient to ease the transition. I would try to disguise my glee at the opportunity to replace the Buick sized duo. I would diplomatically steer him to current options that featured comfort as well as style.

As soon as we arrived at the furniture store, my beloved headed straight for the recliners and I found myself in the ninth level of chair shopping hell.

His eyes lit up when he spotted a huge, dark brown number with massive overstuffed arms. The gimongous power cord peering from underneath the chair was a huge clue this was not furniture Nate Berkus would embrace.

The salesperson, obviously suffering from too much caffeine, could scarcely conceal her glee at an opportunity to unload the ugly devil on someone who fit demographics most likely to appreciate its benefits.

The chair did everything but make frozen margaritas. It reclined backwards at the touch of a button. She practically swooned as she demonstrated the chair tilting upward and forward, depositing its sitter upright, feet on floor with little effort.

Hubby informed perky salesperson; he did not require mobility assistance and left the store in a huff.

I am grateful to the overly zealous salesperson. Thanks to her, we are now the owners of a new chair that features comfort as well as style without a power cord.

Note: originally published October 2011. The new chair is showing signs of distress. Wash, rinse, repeat.






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