Up front, I’m Catholic. This entry is about education and freedom of religion.

Darth Pence wants to do to “reform” our public schools. I bow to the fact that some changes ought to be made, the main one being to pay teachers what they’re worth and put more funding into education so that we don’t continue to have a nation that doesn’t value intellectualism or education. That’s not at all what Darth Pence plans to do in his reform of public schools.

Darth Pence wants to unschool our children and remove science classes. He wants to replace science with teachings from the Bible.

I kid you not.

Biggest headline: Darth Pence, with the help of Trump’s cabinet pick Betsy DeVos, plan to evict the Big Bang and Evolutionary Theories from the public school curriculum and replace them with Biblical Creationism.

This is offensive regardless of your political affiliation or religious affiliation. It’s offensive no matter the end of the conservative or liberal end of the spectrum you fall. In spite of the smoke and mirrors, this has never, ever been Democrats versus Republicans, nor has it been Liberals versus Conservatives. The value of keeping Church and State separate is a value of all major parties that are seen as legitimate except for one.

It’s a Tea Party value, the Tea Party who are a bunch of jokers that know nothing about politics and are trying to destroy it from the inside out (admittedly, especially since. A bunch of evangelistic biblical literalists who are destroying the christian faith and the reputation of all Christians.

For a person of faith, like me, it’s about being balanced, faithful to God, being a better mother, wife, person, being truthful in how I live my life, respecting the world I live in, respecting the people I share the Earth with, being in awe of the Earth my God created, and loving this life. And in order to do that and to teach my family how to do that, I don’t need some judgmental, creepy, selfish, criminal, vile, wannabe, fake-ass President and his sidekick VP dismantling our schools, our special education programs, and our religion.

 

How I choose to indoctrinate my children is my choice, with my husband. Where it occurs is our choice. I want them indoctrinated in our family church that we carefully chose, and in our home. Indoctrination is to be fully controlled by us. The separation of Church and State is to be held as a sacred value.

If my children wish to pray before a test, or they wish to pray during their free time, they’re allowed due to the freedom of religion. The key is that they don’t try to convert anyone or “witness” at school (well, as Catholics we don’t do that as a rule); during free time at school they can discuss each others religions to get to know each other, and they can pray together if they want. That’s fantastic. But no class led prayer. No indoctrination.

If children … students … are to learn about religion and their creation stories in a public school there are Humanities courses or World Religions courses, Social Studies, and they teach “This is what this religion is about, what they do,” ie. the facts of various religions without commentary of the validity of any of them. If it’s indoctrination and proselytizing, then that belongs in private schools.

For those who are devoutly Roman Catholic, there’s some good news

Numerous sources confirm that Pope Francis has stated that he accepts the Theories of Evolution and the Big Bang (go to article below, and then click it).

And that is awesome. Essentially, Pope Francis recognizes that behind the Scientific Theories, there is God. Behind all of the science, there is God speaking to us and guiding us. It means he’s continued to move the Church back into the light, back towards God and away from the Dark Ages that Benedict was so determined to plunge us into. Pope Francis is a beacon of hope.

 

The theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real and God is not “a magician with a magic wand”, Pope Francis has declared. Speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pope made comments which experts said put an end to the “pseudo theories” of creationism and intelligent design that some argue were encouraged by his predecessor, Benedict XVI.

Source: Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not ‘a magician with a magic wand’ | The Independent

 

 

Me again.

Science explains the “how.” Religion explains the “why.”

I’m sure some of you disagree with me. You might say,

“They’re ‘just’ theories. They can’t prove it. Science is its own religion, and you can’t trust it! You’re rejecting the BIBLE AND GOD! YOU’RE JUST A LIBTARD!”

When I’m feeling generous, I don’t assume that those people I hear that statement from are also rabid anti-vaxxers and give them the benefit of the doubt. 😉 I instead assume that they’re open to listening to reason. I don’t assume that they’re Sophophobic (have a fear of learning and being educated).

They’re actually not “just” theories. When someone dismisses a Theory out of hand, they’re forgetting middle school and high school science when they learned about the Scientific method and how to write a lab report. It was such a valuable experience learning those things, because it taught us how to approach the world. It was supposed to teach us how to be curious and question, how to touch things and be involved in the world. It taught us that we didn’t have to be scientists to value science.

Most people seem to think that a theory is vague and maybe possibly could be a fact if there were enough facts to support the idea… to support the opinion. They think that a hypothesis mean “to guess the result of an experiment.” I thought that maybe going back to basics would be a good idea for a minute or two.

A hypothesis isn’t an educated guess. It is a tentative explanation for an observation, phenomenon, or scientific problem that can be tested by further investigation. Once you do the experiment and find out if it supports the hypothesis, it becomes part of scientific theory.

http://www.sciencekidsathome.com/science_fair/what-is-a-hypothesis.html

A hypothesis doesn’t become a Theory, but can contribute.

Next we have Theories, with tested results that can be repeated and WILL BE repeated. A Theory is something that we know is true even if aspects of the Theory change due to obtaining new information, new interpretations, or a change in some information. A Theory can be voted on in the Scientific Community. A Theory IS NOT an opinion and takes precedence over opinions, as a Theory is in fact, factual.

A scientific theory is an explanation for why things work or how things happen. Scientists develop theories based on their observations of the world around them.Theories are based on ideas that can be tested. Theories are not speculative, or based on a guess.

kids.britannica.com/elementary/article-544886/scientific-theory?

 

Finally, we have the Scientific Law. A Scientific Law is so certain that it’s absolute and unchanging. You can’t vote on it, create a new interpretation of it, or change it in any way. It’s a description of observable phenomenon and doesn’t require explanation. It can be the basis of creating new Theories. Theories don’t become Laws, and neither do Hypotheses.

A scientific law is a statement based on repeated experimental observations that describes some aspects of the universe. A scientific law always applies under the same conditions, and implies that there is a causal relationship involving its elements.

 

If you’re Roman Catholic, and you trust in the plans of God and how he’s using Pope Francis, have hope. If you’re not Catholic, but Pope Francis is still a cool dude in your eyes, hopefully this gives you hope that Christians are not represented by those who claim christianity in the government. At least there’s something positive from 2016 moving into 2017.

The plans of Darth Pence for Education, and Trump’s cabinet pick for Education, Betsy DeVos, should upset you greatly no matter what. If you’re not upset, then you should at least be concerned or moved enough to want to write to your State Representatives, your Senator, your Governor. Be your own activist, be your childrens’ advocate. If you want the future of our country to be in the hands of godly, educated men and women then speak up. If you want your nation to be in the hands of educated men and women, speak up. We don’t have to just shut up and take it.

We don’t have to just accept it. We don’t have to just get over it. We need to do something, because he’s been following through with everything he said he would and he’s not even President yet. We’re not talking soundbytes. These are the “great things” and big changes he was talking about.

 


Good morning. I’m writing with sunshine outside my window and my maniac dog in his crate or he’ll try to drink my coffee and eat the chocolate chip muffin. [Post has been edited for grammar and spelling]

After the events in Washington this past week, and after the behavior of our apparent Orange in Chief soon-to-be-fake President, I’m more angry than ever. Every day, as in the campaign, there’s something new and since the election, there’s been a worsening of the news that we get daily. My anger has turned to fury and rage.

I’m a proud American, but I’m ashamed of our government. The GOP is behaving shamefully because they’re enacting ey may no longer claim that they’re on the side of Pro-Life, just as for decades they haven’t been able to claim the righteousness of being “the Christian party” in spite of the many so-called Christians and christians that side with them and hang on every word. They are actually and literally anti-Pro-Life and anti-Pro-choice. They are anti-unborn babies; they are anti-children; they are anti-adults and seniors and teens. They are anti-disabled individuals, especially if you’ve listened to them spout how much of a burden we are. Let’s just open up the ovens again, eh? Go back to Eugenics. Apparently they believe Nazi Germany had it right.

Anti-freedom. Anti-American.

If you don’t believe me, you need to trust me when I say that you have been benefiting from the Affordable Care Act (the ACA) for years now. That’s its appropriate name. It was begun years ago [decades, in fact, even before the beloved Reagan] by Republicans and simply was refined and put into place by President Obama in a, “Why the hell did we wait so long? Now is the time,” effort.”

Revenge and Dismantling a Legacy, Simply Out of SPITE

And simply to be able to say, later what a failure his Presidency has been. Except no, the failure is theirs and the failure is the legacy of the GOP. As a white woman, as a woman, as a Democrat, I doubt I need to explain why the GOP feels they need to exact revenge.

The GOP has had a hissy fit ever since and attached the moniker “Obamacare,” because they didn’t get it out there first. Why? Well, in order to get those who already hate President Obama to hate the ACA. Their behavior has never to get people to vote in their best interests, but in the interest of the GOP and helping them obtain power. In order to try to get them to believe that something that would benefit the common Republican citizen and their families, even in ways that they didn’t understand, calling it Obamacare made it easier to get people to believe that it was actually harming them and costing them more. It was so effective that business owners who didn’t want to comply chose fucked up plans for their employees and then blamed President Obama. Even those who work in healthcare, especially die-hard Republican voters, swallowed the GOP Kook-Aid on this.

But as things have gone on, more and more people who have figured out that they needed the ACA and the good it’s been for them, even if it’s needed some tweaking, the more desperate the GOP has been to try to gain complete control. They allowed the Tea Party to take hold. They did whatever it took, including treason, to get someone they thought would be a puppet and just as corrupt as they, into the POTUS.

And now, overnight, the GOP voted to defund and block amendments of protection in the Affordable Care Act, protections that would remain while they gut the rest and “make it great” or create a new plan, a wonderful plan, a GREAT plan, a plan in the works, we just don’t know what it is yet, but it’ll be great. Things that should have remained no matter how they gutted it.

And so the Senate GOP blocked the shit out of:

  1. Protecting people with pre-existing conditions. Sorry, but you’re screwed. Remember how awesome it was when every single person who has a pre-existing condition, and was previously always rejected by their employer’s insurance plan, their spouse’s employer’s insurance plan, etc. finally got to obtain coverage because finally it was illegal to be rejected? It was illegal because it was unfair discrimination. It still is. Until now. Because the GOP has decided this protection shouldn’t be in place. Now, even if a company allows someone with a pre-existing condition and/or disability onto their plan as a non-elderly person, premiums for those individuals to be on the plan will be higher than their peers. That’s IN ADDITION TO co-pays and deductibles.
  2. Making it easier for younger people up to 26 yrs old living with their parents (like students) to stay on their parents insurance plan. Nope. Can’t do it. Disabled?Babies are only valuable and worth saving as long as they’re unborn. Don’t care. That protection was voted away. College students like my nephew, especially if they choose to go for higher than a BA. Or individuals that are disabled, need a better insurance than Medicare or Medicaid for a few extra years. This particular protection and expansion has allowed individuals with disabilities to have both Medicare and/or Medicaid as a secondary insurance rather than a primary insurance to their parents’ insurance, which has helped REDUCE costs of young people who require Medicare and/or Medicaid.
  3. Maintaining access to contraception coverage, which is essential for low-income families who couldn’t afford contraception any other way. Low income families who perhaps couldn’t even afford health insurance before the Affordable Care Act was effectively put into law. Even if you hated the fact that your (or any) employer or you as an employer was “forced” to cover contraception for employees, the overall cost of contraceptives DROPPED as access to them increased; and more people used contraceptives. That means that FEWER unwanted pregnancies occurred and FEWER pregnancy terminations occurred than would have otherwise just in 2015. Isn’t a goal of those of us who are Christian to prevent unwanted pregnancies? Don’t we want to reduce the termination of pregnancies? Don’t we want to prevent young women and in fact any woman from being forced into terminations they don’t want, but being able to have legal access to contraception that’s covered for them? And for instances when contraception fails, or when so-called “natural pregnancy prevention methods” fail, or heaven forbid there’s rape or a pregnancy with a failure to thrive and the baby dies… don’t you think it prudent that the woman have safe and legal access to doctors that SHE can make a decision with on how to handle her health and pregnancy? In sterile, safe clinics and hospitals? The GOP doesn’t think so. Because they blocked the shit out of that too. Because in case you didn’t know, they’re trying to get rid of Planned Parenthood entirely. The repercussions of that? I’ll address in a whole new post.
  4. Ensuring that the Medicaid expansion would occur. 11 MILLION Americans have benefited from this,  just in 2015…  and this is actually a positive. In 2015, Medicaid allowed people to become healthier and maintain their health versus being chronically ill (as well as the health of their children) at low cost or no cost. Most people on Medicaid don’t remain on it, and go off within two years or so. When people can maintain good health, that means that it’s easier for them to find work. When people don’t have to worry about the additional burden of excessive costs of healthcare and medical insurance, it allows them to concentrate better on presenting themselves in a professional manner for interviews. They can better afford a running car, haircuts, food, decent enough clothing. And so… During 2015 thousands of individuals who benefited from Medicaid were able to find jobs and finding jobs leads to no longer needing Medicaid. It also leads to fewer deaths.
  5. Ensuring children could keep Medicaid even if their parents weren’t on it. That’s right. They voted to defund and block the amendment to Medicaid and CHIP (Childrens Health Insurance Program) which provide comprehensive health care, preventative health care, and developmental services and care. To children. Babies. Preemie babies. That would include children in low income families that can’t afford healthcare any other way that have disabilities, chronic illness, cancer, diabetes, severe injury, or any other horror you can think of. They blocked the shit out of it. Babies lives are only valuable while they’re unborn. 
  6. Our veterans. Yes, they blocked the shit out of benefits for our supposedly “most valued citizens” and most heroic… American Veterans by blocking an amendment that would have made it harder to restrict their access to health care. It’s already difficult for our veterans to obtain/access services from the VA, isn’t it. And let’s not forget this tidbit: Trump has proposed to ELIMINATE the VA through privatization and a voucher program that 2/3 of Veterans oppose. A proposition that would increase premiums, copay amounts, and difficulty in finding doctors that would accept the various insurance plans that would then be in competition with each other as costs increasingly rise annually.

 

So really. Almost every individual that’s not a non-disabled rich white male that doesn’t have to worry about healthcare costs is being screwed over. The GOP made extra special Fuck You’s to:

  1. Women
  2. Unplanned babies
  3. Babies and Children
  4. Veterans
  5. Disabled Veterans
  6. Pretty much any Disabled Person
  7. Individuals with Pre-existing Conditions, especially if they have disabilities
  8. Young Adults trying to establish themselves with their parents help
  9. Poor people who need health care, who may or may not be working
  10. Poor disabled people who need health care, who may or may not be working
  11. Poor people, disabled or not, trying to get employed

 

We need to get out of the mindset that only healthy people and non-disabled people with stable, high paying jobs deserve health care. We need to get out of the mindset that disabilities and illnesses equal damage or a diminished individual. This has been a HUGE blow to disability rights.

We need to get out of the mindset that women don’t have the intelligence or rights to make decisions about their own health, about their own family planning, or about their lives. We need to get out of the mindset that women are lesser than men, and that women deserve fewer rights. This has been a HUGE blow to women’s rights.

We need to get out of the mindset that “It’s MY tax dollars paying for other people’s healthcare!” No, no it’s not. If that’s your justification for thinking that the ACA is too expensive, or why medical insurance is too expensive, it’s a strawman argument. The problem isn’t with sick people or injured people. It’s not even with poorer people than you. The problem is with the INSURANCE COMPANIES who believe that they can create any fee, any rule, and any cost whatsoever without justifying the cost without much regulation at all.

And if you think Your Money is paying for Other People’s Medicaid or Medicare, you need to learn how all of this works. Because that’s not how any of this works. There’s less than 3-to-7% fraud nation wide. The great majority of Americans are employed or have been employed. Even those who are in need of assistance. The great majority of those on assistance are white Republicans. You can go look up the statistic, but it’s true.

That means that even those of us who end up needing Medicaid and Medicare and any other form of assistance? We’ve already paid for it. We’ve contributed with taxes from previous or current employment. We deserve help… EVEN IF we didn’t have gainful employment. Every single person in America deserves healthcare if they choose to use it. If they need it. If YOU need it. This isn’t a bootstrap thing, It’s never about our bootstraps. It should never be about bootstraps. If you think it is, then you need to look up Eugenics and just admit that you support it. 🙂

We need to get out of the mindset that even if you really believe Your Money is helping others, it’s your Civic Duty to help your fellow Americans. I’m assuming you believe that you’re a patriotic American. It’s supremely un-American and definitely un-Christianlike to refuse to help others and turn a blind eye to their suffering.

If you’re not outraged, you ought to be. If you voted these people in, you should still be outraged because this affects you too. I don’t begrudge you the right to be just as angry as those of us who voted for HRC or one of the other candidates.

If you think healthcare was bad before the ACA… if you think it was “bad” during the ACA because you fell for the GOP propaganda… prepare yourself. Everything is about to get a lot worse. Like, fascist Germany and Russia dictator worse.

And please… stop telling people who didn’t vote for Trump to “get over it” and “just accept it, he’s the President.” All you need to do is turn on the news every day. Remember that the one trying to control the truth that the media puts out is him. Look at the media from other countries about what’s going on, and listen. They’re doing their own independent investigations and let me tell you…. it’s scary. They know and are sharing the information with their countries what our FBI, ie. Comey, won’t share about Trump.

Think about this. England is afraid of him. But even scarier, and you need to really pay attention to this: GERMANY is frightened of Trump. Germany is afraid of what will happen, in particular the things that Trump has said and is saying about Russia and the intelligence coming from intelligence agencies all over the world that the FBI is suppressing.

This isn’t a Liberal vs Conservative thing.

But back to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

This isn’t a Liberal vs Conservative thing either. It’s about living. It’s about health. If you want to spend less, trust me, that won’t be happening. This isn’t the way. Making America HEALTHY again ought to be one of our greatest priorities. Staying healthy means preventative care. Staying healthy means access to healthcare that every single American citizen deserves to have in this already great country that we live in. Why in the world are we so eager to allow the GOP to dismantle something that everyone with healthcare insurance has benefited from, even when they haven’t realized it? Why are we so eager to believe that the ACA is “so expensive” just because the GOP says so? It’s  not the ACA. The ACA has allowed MILLIONS of families who couldn’t afford health insurance to obtain it for the first time because …. drums please… it was affordable for the first time ever. Does it work for everyone? No. And that’s because you can’t make everyone happy, and some things just don’t help 100% of all people. That will never, ever happen. For the first time EVER most people in America had health coverage and were able to see doctors and get life saving medications. Pharmaceutical companies and hospitals weren’t allowed to ream people, especially poor  Americans or even middle class Americans. It’s the Insurance Companies who had a hissy fit. And I can guarantee you that once the ACA is dismantled and new rules are in place, insurance rates will skyrocket.

Human Rights have just been violated in a major way,

and if we allow this to occur, it’s going to keep on happening. You want to know what’s next? The Americans With Disabilities Act. The Education Act. The Marriage Equality Act. Those have all been specifically targeted to be dismantled by Trump and the GOP. So don’t you tell me that none of what’s happening and going to happen doesn’t and won’t affect you, your families, your friends, your coworkers, or other loved ones.

If you voted this human garbage in, any of it, you can still protest peacefully. You can contact your lawmakers. You don’t have to accept anything. It’s perfectly okay for you to be uncomfortable and angry with the fact that you voted for this filth and the other pieces of filth that are voting away all of our human rights in health care.

For fuck’s sake, we have a filthy excuse of a human being about to be sworn, in as President, a known ACTUAL criminal. Denies and distracts as he commits crime after crime including treason. Crimes he ought to be in Federal prison for; actual crimes. I’m sorry if you think that Hillary R. Clinton committed any crimes… but you fell for GOP Propaganda with your eyes wide open, and you chose it. You knew it.

You fell for it like a suicide jumper.

The difference is that you can still come in off the ledge.


This is beautiful. I can’t wait to see the full article in NatGeo. Thanks to HuffPost for the heads up on it! I found it on LGBT Aging Advocacy’s FB page this morning.

 

The stunning issue coincides with a new documentary.

Source: National Geographic Makes History With Transgender Cover Girl | The Huffington Post


I’m still breathing, I’m still here, and I’m surviving. It’s been a rough month for me, emotionally, mentally, and physically. We had snow over the past weekend and additional bad weather, and it affected my pain so terribly I spent two days in bed. I was completely miserable, in complete agony. I disconnected from everything except for my Kindle so that I could read and watch a couple of movies.

So yes, I’m here. My computer is also out for repair, so that’s hindering me quite a bit too. I just remembered that. It’s hard to type on my phone for lengthy posts. 🙂 I’ll be back soon… I promise.


I wrote this blog entry below two years ago today. How funny it is that it popped up in my Facebook memories. I don’t even remember sharing it. I haven’t seen my Rheumatologist in a while, and I’ve been hesitating on going back because of… anxiety and agoraphobia. Simple, so it seems, but so very complicated.

It seems to me that God is nudging me to start taking better care of myself again, and to include the Rheumatologist.

For that matter, I’ve been hedging on calling the radiologist to perform the Breast Cancer screening. I haven’t done it in two years. Ah ah ah… I know, shame on me. But the pain from it was indescribable.

I did get the Electromyogram (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Study done on my arms and hands. A technician did the first test, and my neurologist did the second test. I’m not sure which one was which. I had to lay down, and let them check various nerve points in my hands and arms. They used electricity somewhat like in those little TENS units you can get at CVS for $50… but stronger. And they used needles.

Even when I expected them to “zap” I still felt startled, and I couldn’t tense up or it would ruin the test. I still cried, because I couldn’t help it. It was a natural response, they said, and that my body literally couldn’t keep from crying and therefore, I shouldn’t feel badly. They also said that the pain I felt was “legit” whatever that meant.

But they ALSO said that the pain, twitching, and clenching in my arms, hands, and fingers wasn’t due to the bulging discs. It can therefore be blamed entirely on the Fibromyalgia.

They have to test my lower limbs now. We haven’t set up a test date yet for that, but I’ll be hearing from them soon.

As it is, I have to go. I have an appointment with my pain management doctor. Wheee!

 

I had a 6-month check up with my PCP on Wednesday.  Since my Fibromyalgia diagnosis, this has been something she insists on in order to see the progression of my pain and how I’m handling it.…

Source: Moving Matters Along | Ever So Gently


There’s a reason I haven’t blogged in the past week, and it’s because I’ve been struggling in being gracious inside my head and on paper regarding the results of the 2016 Presidential Election. I’ve been having some very difficult conversations with my daughters and others regarding realistic expectations, graciousness, positivity, advocacy, self-advocacy, fairness, how to deal with life when things don’t go your way, legitimizing their feelings, etc. It’s hard having those conversations when in your head, you’re thinking,

“Fuck it fuck it fuck it fuck it fuck it fuck it fuck it fuck it fuck it fuck it oh my gosh just fuck it awww look my dog loves me.”

I’m having some difficult conversations with myself, as you can see. 😉 I’m not a poor loser. I’m struggling with what it means to be gracious, and how not to throat punch those who are pompous enough to believe they can order others to “be gracious losers” and “accept the results already” when in fact they haven’t learned to be “gracious winners.”

I’ve mastered “gracious loser,” you see. I haven’t mastered grieving on someone else’s timeline.

The difficulty lies in the fact that it has nothing at all to do with a lack of acceptance over the election results. I accept him as the president, and I’m willing to give him a chance. Well, I was until he hired a well known white supremacist, but even I can suppose a second chance is on the table.

Anyway.

The difficulty lies in the fact that I, like so many others, am in a true grieving process. There hasn’t been one single day that I haven’t cried over the results. It doesn’t mean I’m a crybaby. It means I grieve for what our nation has become when 46% refused to turn out to vote. It means I grieve for the clear message that the misaligned in our nation don’t matter to most of the country.

I grieve because I know what’s ahead.

I may be part of one or two or more privileged segments of American society, but I’m part of multiple significantly marginalized groups. I paid attention during the campaign season to what all of the candidates said and what their platforms were, and I’ve been living in this body experiencing what it’s like fighting against the Republican ideal for years now.

I’ve paid attention over the past several decades regarding what the various political parties have been doing to marginalized groups or for marginalized groups. I’ve paid attention to how the parties have been evolving or devolving. I’ve paid attention to how various individual politicians have evolved or devolved over time. It’s how I came to choose “my” candidate.

It’s why I’m in genuine mourning now. I get to grieve over the loss of stability. I get to grieve over the worldwide embarrassment that the election results have given the U.S. We outdid Brexit, after all. We thought no one could do that. America has to be the best at everything.

We had to outdo England, though, didn’t we. So for 2016 we outdid them at Most Embarrassing and Dangerous Political Fiasco of All Time. We fucked up. In the most disastrous way possible. Every nation except Russia, and maybe the Korea with that crazy ass dictator that wants to nuke everyone, recognizes it. And ISIL and al queda welcome it.

It’s why I support the peaceful protests.

The protests aren’t against the results of the election. They’re not a bunch of whiny babies. They’re marginalized individuals and groups speaking out against the proposed policies of the Trump campaign, and the moves that have already been made during the transition that’s begun.

The protests are a reminder that those of us who are marginalized, and those who are our allies and those who are advocates alongside us, will not be quiet regarding rights and protections. A Trump Presidency isn’t acceptance for bigotry, misogyny, violence, bullying, racism, religionism, spiritual abuse, physical abuse, anti-immigration, acceptance for the KKK and white supremacy. The protests are a reminder of the ideals that this nation is supposed to uphold, and the people we’re supposed to protect. The protests are supposed to be a reminder of everything we are prided for, and everything that other nations have been envious of us over.

The protests aren’t so much protests as they are a reminder that the voices for freedom, advocacy, and equality will always be there to hold back the hand of abuse and suppression.

And that will not, absolutely will not, go away graciously.


Have you ever tried those little Milky Way mini bites that are caramel apple flavor? No? If you enjoy caramel apples and chocolate, you really must try them. Must.

Have you ever tried to melt one in your coffee? No? Do it.

Have you ever brewed a mug of dark roast coffee and then put in an unbrewed K-cup of dark hot chocolate? No? What are you waiting for?

Other chocolate issues that must be handled immediately:

  • Let chocolate sit on your tongue to melt. Don’t just pop it into your mouth, chew it, and swallow.  Smell it first. Place it into your mouth, let it sit on your tongue, and savor it. Let it melt, let your tongue actually taste it. Enjoy it. Let it be a full sensory experience. Eat it slowly. The point isn’t to get it into your stomach immediately. The point is to taste and enjoy it fully.
  • Once a year, allow yourself to go into a real chocolatier to buy some gourmet, handmade chocolate. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but go in and buy something you enjoy. Good chocolate is worth the money once in a while, and it’s good for you
  • Keep a candy dish full of chocolates in a space on your desk or in your desk drawer at work where no one but you is aware of
  • If you have children at home who enjoy chocolate, keep the cheap chocolate where they can see it and keep the nice stuff at work
  • Chobani yogurt with chocolate chips is delicious
  • Mocha creamer should always be in your fridge
  • After you’ve appropriately mocha’d up your coffee, add a sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Don’t ruin any chocolate desserts with whipped cream from a can; make it yourself, and use the Stoneyfield heavy cream. Don’t use the stuff that says “whipping cream” because all of that stuff tends to have fillers and thickeners. You want real, straight, will spoil within a week heavy cream. And Stoneyfield is the one that fits the bill and tastes best. I’m picky about heavy cream… it all tastes sour to me.
  • Have you ever tried adding cocoa to whipped cream? Heaven
  • Don’t bother with any chocolate shavings that are pre-curled or shaved in a bottle. They don’t taste good. They’re like wax. You either have it and do it by hand or you don’t.
  • When you bake a chocolate cake and you have to dust the baking pans to flour them? Instead, use butter or vegetable shortening; then dust the pans with unsweetened cocoa instead. Don’t cheat on chocolate cake with the Baker’s Joy floured sprays. They’re a lifesaver but not if you want the most delicious chocolate cake even if it’s boxed cake

 

Whipped Cream:

1/2 pint heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
3 tsp confectioner’s sugar

Beat on high in a cold bowl using a cold mixing paddle. I prefer to use a stand mixer with the wire mixer. Beat it until it’s fluffy and could be used to frost a cake if you wanted, but not so much that you’re turning it into butter. This amount you’re making here is good for a couple of pies, some ice cream sundaes, and some hot chocolate or dolloping onto coffee. You don’t need to use a lot because it’s nice and rich, and has a lot of flavor. Just dollops here and there.

%d bloggers like this: