Nope, not feeling it. Sorry.

13335741_10210111707656182_8635311710707222002_nOkay, here’s the thing.  I so WANT to be excited about the first woman to be nominated thing … but the truth is:  I’m not feeling it. Hillary’s nomination should feel like a very important, impactful moment in our history – a moment that opens all of the doors for women – a signal to our daughters that they really can be anything they want to be in this life. But that’s not at all how I feel. As a matter of fact, I think Hillary’s nomination is sending an appalling message to my teenage daughter.

What has Hillary’s monumental accomplishment shown my daughter? That, as a woman in this country, in order to succeed, to shatter that glass ceiling, she will need to master the fine art of ambiguous answers and half truths. She, too, can be president, if only she stays so utterly focused on that goal, she compromises her core beliefs, whatever they may be, on her path to her destiny. She should also become exceptionally skilled at backdoor promises and secret favors. She should work hard to foster insider relationships with those that, while doing horrible things, have the power to support her and maneuver her to that all powerful position which she has set her sites on. Climb that ladder sweetie, stepping on whoever you need to all the way to the top. Hurray! Because, somehow, doing all that crappy stuff along the way is going to be worth it in the end. Once you are in charge, then you can do great things. F#@$ everything that happens on your way up.

Frustratingly, many Hillary fans not only admire her ambition, drive and determination, but also her powers of manipulation, while downplaying her shortcomings. Lob any criticism her way and, bam, you are just being sexist, or naive, or undemocratic. Hillary’s biggest asset to many of her supporters is her ability to out-maneuver others in the ugly game that is our modern day political system. You’ve got to work the system and Hillary is a master at that. Right?

Well I happen to have a yuge problem with that way of thinking.  I would much rather show my daughter that I support somebody who displays uncompromised values and isn’t afraid to fight for the big ideas, even if it means being the only person in the room to speak up. She should know that I value standing up for what is right. Always. Even if it means pissing off those who could help you reach your goals. Or turning down money from those whose ideas and actions are in opposition to what you know to be right. Our system is undeniably broken. Choosing the one who has become the best at manipulating it is totally contradictory to what I think we should be championing.

And just so I’m being clear, as a progressive, there are a well known number of issues that Hillary has waivered on that I take issue with: She was against marriage equality until 2013. She is for it now. But 2013. Really??? She is in favor of fracking. She has supported and continues to support catastrophic trade policies, banking policies and military action. Yes on Iraq War, yes on bailing out Wall Street, and on and on.. Of course, she says she is against some of those things now. What does she really believe? Who knows. She seems to pick her stances based upon ambition rather than fairness or a desire to do the right thing.

Would I love for there to be a woman in the White House? Sure, as long as she’s a woman with integrity. Is Hillary better than Trump? Well who isn’t? (okay, maybe Cruz.) Of course she is better than Trump, but that is an incredibly low bar to set. It is unreasonable to me that Hillary is worthy of the nomination because she’s good at manipulation and she has a vagina. Especially since we have an actual real live candidate that has been on the right side of the issues for my entire lifetime.

So, no, I’m not feeling the excitement. If anything, I’m feeling burned. Sorry folks but, blinded by our understandable desire to finally elect a female president,  I think we picked the wrong woman for this monumental moment in history. For the sake of my daughter, can we please do better next time?


PS. Having said all of that, to avoid a Trump disaster, if given no other choice, I might be with her, nose pinched, with oodles and oodles of hope for our future based on our extremely informed, engaged and impassioned youth. However, it’s too soon to jump on board the Hillary wagon just yet. The revolution has just begun…


Music Education Rocks.

001I’m probably preaching to the choir, but I’m going to go ahead and sing some praises now anyway.  I love that my daughter has found music and I love that our music program is so fantastic.

In her band class, she is able to combine all of her various studies into one, fun learning experience.

Through music these kids are using:

Math: complicated counting, timing, beats, spaces, rests, more counting. It’s mind boggling.
Language Arts: poetry, storytelling, the expression of emotions and ideas.
History: every piece of music they perform includes a backstory; who wrote it, where was it first performed, how has it influenced other musicians or society as a whole.
Science: the creation of sound, experimentation of air flow, pressure, force.
Physical Education: her lungs get a daily workout blowing that trumpet! Playing music is a whole body activity and requires excellent posture and stamina.
Foreign Language: base notes, half notes, treble clefs.. I probably said those things wrong;) I don’t speak or read music. I am in awe of those that do. To me, it is as complicated as learning Latin or French. Musicians have their own language, both audible and written.

On top of all that, they learn teamwork, humility, sacrifice, public performance. Music education is amazing.

I’m especially grateful for our well-loved band director, Mr. Harshman. The kids adore him and I can see why. He is enthusiastic & encouraging and is the best kind of teacher in that he teaches to the top and assumes the kids will rise up to his high standards. It’s so rewarding for kids to have that style of unpatronizing leadership, the kind that knows you can succeed.

This year I’ve spent a lot of time with my fellow band parents and I think we all feel the same way about how fortunate we are that our kids get to experience so much.

Tonight is the final SWHS Wind Ensemble performance of the year. If you are at all inclined, you should come on down to see them perform. SWHS Auditorium, 6pm., 5/28/15.

Celebrate the Earth toDay

I live in a magnificent place. There is no doubt about it.  Whidbey Island is captivating.

Useless Bay

A hopeful view of Mt. Rainer peek-a-booing beyond Useless Bay

Catch a ferry ride through the whale inhabited Salish Sea to this refuge of rocky beaches littered with driftwood and kayaks, beachside bluffs towering above, crooked trees evidence of a windswept reality, a hopeful view of Mt. Rainer peek-a-booing beyond the Useless Bay.

Evergreen imprisoned country roads lead to picturesque villages bubbling with quirky small-town characters assembled from here and there. Eagles soar overhead.  Bunny rabbits and deer frolic in the meadows.

No, this is not a joke. This place is real. And I live here.

Welcome the Whales Parade

Welcoming the Whales

We fortunate Whidbey Islanders are shaped by the beauty and tranquility of our special place on this Earth. Our celebrations Welcome the Whales. Our works of art inspired by that which is all around us, smacking our faces – near constant, awe-inspiring beauty.

This place is a special place on Earth.

And so were the places I was before this, and will be in my future life.

I’ve had the satisfaction of living near and far on this planet, in spectacularly different habitats, with particularly different neighbors. Each point has had things unique. And things not so unique.

Each day I am inspired by and thankful for this Earth. Today, I’ll take a minute to dispatch a resounding Thank You and Happy Earth Day.

Ahhhh. Sleeping in. So nice.

Dear morning people, I’m sorry, I don’t get you.1097377_10151584935977169_931033024_n

Spring Break means a few wonderful things in our household. We clean out our closets, clear out some dust bunnies, catch up on some mindless TV, but most importantly, we sleep in. Late. Like it’s 11:00am and I’m blogging from bed right now.

On a typical school morning, our alarms are set for 5:45am. Well, at the exciting beginning of the school year, the alarm was set for 5:20am. Then the reality of 5:20am set in and the wake-up time was extended a little later….  Day after day, the snooze button is pushed more and more times. The frantic feeling of rushing for the 7:00am bus starts each day. We are just not morning people.

By March, we are pining for the lazy days of summer. Not that we are “lazy”, we are just more productive around 6:00pm than any other time of day.That’s always been our rhythm. Luckily we are all on the same page as a family. We aren’t morning people, we are evening people. There’s nothing wrong with that, except that the world doesn’t seem to run on the same timetable.

Just when we think we can’t possibly face another zombie-like morning something fantastic happens: Spring Break rolls around and, voila, we are settled back into our primal routine within a day or two. We stay up late, we sleep in late. We feel alive. Normal. Rested.

Interestingly, this week has been one of my most productive in a long time. I have been so focused and rested. My inspiration to work on my website, research products, clean the house and have coherent conversations has been peaked. I’m myself! I think I can say the same for my whole family. This is the kind of schedule that just works for us.

I don’t want to even think about what will happen Monday morning, beep, beep, beep…… For now, I am just going to enjoy this wonderful departure from the routine. Ahhh. I just love Spring Break.

“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sometimes the world just feels heavy. Lately, I’ve had the feeling that I’m stuck underwater, unable to figure out which way is up to catch my breath. I’ve had some health issues that doctor after doctor has been unable to explain. Worse than that, my kids have faced some hardships, physically and emotionally, and that has been beyond difficult to deal with, especially since I haven’t felt good in my own body. I have been physically unable to give them my all and it just feels bad. Business has been slow, my gazillion dollar oven is on the fritz, my car has faced its own troubles… UGH!!!!!

It’s a wonder I haven’t started drinking heavily 🙂

How much of this is character building? How much of this is manifested because of my own expectations and perceptions? How much can I take before the sun comes back into my life and I start to feel that hope again?

Cue the sunshine.

And just like that the sun is out. Around here, that means I am living in paradise. Seriously, if you haven’t visited the Pacific NW during the sunshiny summer months, you are missing out. There really isn’t any place more perfect. And because I work from home I am able to pick up my laptop and head to the front porch to soak in the beauty as much as I like. There is my positive perspective number one..

Number two.. I got a special treat in the mail yesterday – a beautiful bouquet of flowers on my doorstep from not so far away family. Then, surprise, another sweet gift from my mom – a bright and cheery dishtowel “You are my sunshine”. It feels so good to feel so loved.

Positive number three.. Our daughter is being honored by the local Kiwanis just for being a great kid. Her teachers nominated her and a couple of her peers for being all around wonderful people. Tomorrow we’ll attend a luncheon and the kids will each give a little speech and receive an award. Now that feels good!!

So just when I thought I couldn’t take any more bad stuff life gave me some really great stuff to balance it all out. All of these little reminders that I am loved, that I live in a beautiful place, that my kids are thriving, it all adds up and it all gives me hope. Yep, there’s still a lot going on and it isn’t all good. But it isn’t all bad either. As a matter of fact, some of it is positively wonderful.

My promise for today =  do my best to stand aside and let the sunshine do its thing.