Thoughts on Killing Off a Bottle of Merlot

I stopped today at a small winery in Chautauqua, Florida. In a tasting room, I sampled the Chardonnay along with a Merlot and a holiday blend. I purchased three bottles, one of each, and tucked them into my suitcase before continuing my journey west on interstate 10.

My plan was to meet up with Studly Doright at a Holiday Inn Express in Crestview, Florida. I love assignations with my husband. The prospect of a pretend illicit meeting with my man is a bit heady, so as I drive I contemplate which bottle to open tonight. The Chardonnay? No, too much of a lightweight. The holiday blend with mulled spices? No, I’ll save that for Christmas Eve. Ah, that left the Merlot. Deep and rich and red.

I can’t divulge the details of our night, but let’s just say, I picked the right wine. Here’s a toast to old married people. We live. We laugh. We love.

Peace, people.

Isn’t Trump Ironic? just keeps hitting home runs.

A lot from Lydia

Donald Trump is full of ironies. He has long been known to rely on the old trick, attributed to Nazi Joseph Goebbels— “Accuse others of that which you are guilty.” I can not find any confirmation that Goebbels actually said that, although it was a tactic Nazis readily used. It is also a tactic often used by four years olds, Donald J Trump included.

This week New York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand asked Donald Trump to resign, because of the string of sexual misconduct accusations against him. She was among the first female senate Democrats who successfully called for the resignation of Minnesota Senate Democrat Al Franken, after groping allegations were made against him. While Trump was vocal in his agreement that Franken should resign, he is not so easy to persuade to resign himself, even though the allegations against him are of a more violent nature, and made by…

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Sweet Home

Thank you to the people of Alabama. A special thanks to minority voters who stood up to voter suppression and waited in long lines to vote for and elect Doug Jones, the first Democrat to hold an Alabama senate seat in 25 years.

Now, a majority of white evangelical voters, including women, stuck with accused pedophile Roy Moore as their choice. I cannot understand their lack of decency in their choice, but then, these are the same folks who helped elect an admitted perpetrator of sexual assault to the White House. Party over country, don’t you know.

While I’ll never understand that mindset, I can still celebrate this win for Alabama and for all Americans. Congrats to Doug Jones and to all of us. What a great Christmas gift!

Peace, people.

Why Does Alabama Want to Destroy Voting Records?

Good question!

A lot from Lydia

Monday, one day prior to Alabama’s special election to fill a vacant seat in the senate, at 1:36 p.m., four people, a Democrat, a Republican, an Independent, and a minister, were successful in a lawsuit they filed. As such, a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge issued an order directing Alabama election officials to preserve all digital ballot images created at polling places across the state today.

But at 4:32 p.m. the same day, a person whose identity remains private, filed an “emergency motion to stay” the order with attorneys for Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill and Ed Packard, state administrator of elections. That order was granted by the Alabama State Supreme Court.

Now Alabama election officials have the right to delete all electronic voting records for today’s election…the election between a Russian speaking pedophile versus a Democrat. Donald Trump has been campaigning tirelessly for said pedophile.

One doesn’t have…

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Knit Wit

On Sunday afternoon I went to a Meetup group at a Tallahassee assisted living facility. Our group’s activity was to knit hats for cancer patients who’ve lost their hair due to chemotherapy treatments.

I haven’t knitted in years. As a kid I used to knit misshapen pot holders, but whatever dubious skills I once possessed have been lost forever.

Fortunately for me, the knitting done by members of the Meetup group is done using a loom similar to the one featured below.

After a couple of false starts I managed to knit several rows before Studly called wondering where I was.

“I’m knitting,” I told him.

“Does that make you a nitwit?” he quipped.

“No,” I said. “That happened when I married you.”

Occasionally I’m the one with a witty comeback in this relationship. Or in this case, a knit witty comeback. I enjoyed knitting so much that I bought a loom of my own to practice the art. Who knows what creations I’ll produce? I think I’ll start by trying to make a decent potholder.

Peace, people!

Ho Ho Ho, Falalalala, and All That Jazz

I needed a little jolly with my holly this Monday morning. Enjoy!

How could he not play a 7-letter word?

Go ahead, Santa! What do you have to lose?

It’s a Wonderful Life after all….

They call her Twiggy the Snowgirl:

Long distance?

Safety in numbers?

I know the feeling!

Mom always knows best.

Sex Ed for the gingerbread kids.

And my favorite!

Questioning America

We still have a long way to go. Thank you Jan Wilberg!

Red's Wrap

The first thing you notice at the National Museum of African American History and Culture is that everyone is trying to be so nice, especially the white people. ‘Excuse me’s’ flutter like confetti, an invisible murmuring of apology for standing in front of someone and for everything else that’s ever happened.  It’s unconscious, reflexive almost, and one wonders why the deference to history doesn’t play out in the rest of life. It’s as if we can only get it here in the lowest level of the museum studying the intricate drawings of how human cargo was arranged and stacked on slave ships.

There were different strategies, you know. Some slave ship captains packed people very tightly, figuring that even with high death rates they would still realize a profit. Others opted for a looser pack, thinking that fewer would die en route, thus ensuring a higher profit. I bet the…

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Mueller’s Probe Heats Up

Follow the money. Great piece by

A lot from Lydia

Special Council Robert Mueller’s recent subpoena of Deutsche Bank has given us a hint at the direction his Trump/Russia investigation has taken, and Donald Trump is feeling the burn… maybe that’s why he’s orange.

Trump owes Deutsche Bank (DB) $364 million, Jared Kushner owes them $285 million. Deutsche bank leant them both money when no American banks were willing to take the risk.

Deutsche bank has a cooperating agreement with Vnesheconombank (VEB). VEB is a Russian government-owned development bank and has been under US sanctions since 2014.

If Deutsche bank’s loans to Kushner and Trump have been, or were to be, transferred to VEB, Trump would have incentive to lift those U.S. sanctions. It might also be a means to launder Russian money.

Trump’s main appeal as POTUS, to Putin, was his ability to lift sanctions, and we know Michael Flynn made promises to Russia regarding sanctions. Trump, in return…

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The Case of the Missing Mary

The Case of the Missing Mary

By Leslie Noyes

(Note: This first appeared on my blog two years ago, back in the good old days when Trump’s candidacy was merely a bad joke. Guess I should’ve thrown more darts.) 

I leaned back in my wooden chair and aimed a dart at the picture of Donald Trump I’d taped to the door of my cramped office. Bullseye, baby. Before I could launch another projectile at the human embodiment of evil there was a tentative rap at the door.

Quickly I stashed the darts, downed a shot of Glenlivet and hid the bottle under the desk.

“Come in,” I intoned with as much gravity as I could muster. I was new at this detective gig and badly needed a client. Throwing darts at Trump, no matter how satisfying, wasn’t paying the bills.

The man who walked through my door was a sight for hungry eyes. Tall, dark, and handsome, and apparently built like Thor if the bulges in his well-tailored suit were to be trusted.

“Excuse me,” he said. “I’m looking for Mr. Noyes, the private investigator…”

“It’s Ms. Noyes,” I smiled. “My receptionist just stepped out for a bit.” Little did he know my receptionist, Glenlivet, was hiding under the desk. I nudged the bottle with my foot for reassurance.

“Oh!” He was clearly flustered, so I rushed to reassure him. Rising from my chair I stepped closer, hoping to encourage him to stay.

“Don’t let my gender color your expectations,” I said. “I’m fully qualified to handle discreet investigations.”

I held my breath as I watched him wrestle with his thoughts. Finally he extended a hand, and I exhaled.

“My name is Joseph. Joseph Carpenter, and my wife has gone missing.”

I motioned for Joseph to have a seat and took my place on the other side of the desk. Pulling out a pen and notepad I asked Joseph for details.

“She was right beside me. We were watching over our newborn son and I turned away for just a second to greet a man, a foreigner of some distinction, who’d brought a baby gift. When I looked back, Mary was gone.”

Joseph’s rugged face collapsed in tears. It took all of my strength to maintain a professional distance. My maternal instincts were urging me to comfort this man, but he didn’t need a nursemaid, he needed a detective. And by God, that’s just what he’d get.

“Do you have a recent picture of your wife, sir?”

“No, we weren’t into pictures. But she was just a little thing. Maybe five feet two. Brown eyes. Dark brown hair. Olive skin. She was, is, beautiful. She has the most beatific smile.”

I tried my hand at sketching a picture of Mary.

“No, her nose is a bit larger,” Joseph said. “Yes, like that. And her lips fuller.”

Finally we had a sketch that Joseph approved.

“Joseph, did you notice any strange characters hanging around, let’s see, the manger on the night of your wife’s disappearance?”

“Well,” he began, “Besides the foreigner there were a couple of other visiting dignitaries. They looked fairly trustworthy; although, come to think of it I have no idea why they dropped by.”

“Ok, that’s a starting place. Anyone or anything else?”

Joseph snapped his fingers. “There was a shepherd there ranting about some star he followed. Could it be…?”

“I couldn’t say right now, Joseph, but I promise to do everything in my power to find your Mary.” I stood and indicated we were through.

“By the way, how’s the baby?” I asked offhandedly. “I know newborns can be a handful. Is it possible Mary just took off?”

Joseph’s temper flared. I could see I’d hit a nerve. “Absolutely not! You have no idea what Mary has gone through to have this child, why….”

I held up one hand. “I had to ask Mr. Carpenter. I believe you.”

I told him I’d need a retainer and I’d bill my services at a hundred dollars per hour. Then I assured him I’d get on the case immediately.

“Money’s no problem. One of those foreign dignitaries brought gold. For a baby!” He shook his head in amazement.

As he paused at the door, Joseph Carpenter turned, his face half in shadow.

“Ms. Noyes. Have you done anything like this before?”

“Yes,” I answered honestly. “Every December.”

Almost every year one piece of my nativity goes missing. One year it was the lamb. I found it nestled next to the Christmas snow globe. Another year it was a wise man, the one carrying myrrh. He didn’t turn up until I was putting decorations away. Apparently the myrrh king had been napping in a Target bag. This year it’s Mary. One can’t very well have a nativity scene without the mother of Jesus. I’ll keep looking. Until I find her I have a cut out Mary from a Christmas card to stand in for her:

The scale isn’t that bad, right?

Quick Post

Read The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah.

I started it yesterday and finished it early this morning. Cried like a baby and never could go back to sleep.

In these days of Americans parading around as would-be Nazis and proudly proclaiming white supremacy we need books like The Nightingale to remind us of the horrors perpetrated by those who fought for Hitler’s Germany.

Never forget the atrocities.