it’s beautiful, we’re beautiful

Did you see the big game? You know that there was a game, right? Alexander Hamilpup proved to be quite the MVP. Yeah, Brady also finally joined the big game with the Patriots in the 4th quarter and upset the Falcons. That was definitely NOT the outcome we wanted to see under The Big Top. But my son-in-law won $5 accurately predicting when Brady would get sacked in the game. Most of our family circus was together under The Big Top. Together we all ate way too much finger foods, watched the Puppy Bowl XI, Super Bowl LI, the original Schuyler Sisters celebrating America, brotherhood and sisterhood, Lady Gaga’s amazing halftime performance that was patriotic enough to make the Trumpkins happy with a healthy dose of protest in there too…“liberty and justice FOR ALL..No matter gay, straight, or bi, Lesbian, transgendered life…and enjoyed all of the silly and the sublime that were the Super Bowl ads. Some argued that the ads were disrespectful and trolling the 45th president, known as Lord Dampnut here under The Big Top; but they were actually the sane and good things about America that makes us great…which might seem like trolling when one considers what the actual fuck has happened in the last two weeks in America. But this is where we are in Lord Dampnut’s America – and commercials that celebrate American values are an insult to him and the office.

Yeah.

Like the opening song and the halftime show, what I saw was a celebration of the diversity, the drive, the can-do spirit that made America great before an angry man with the worst comb-over ever and his even angrier people declared it to not be so.

Coca Cola’s It’s Beautiful ad actually first aired during the Summer Games broadcast but it was still relative as it was one of the first ads to play during the big game. More followed as did all the ugly, angry comments all over social media. Honestly, people were more angry over these spots than the fact that it took more than 3 quarters before the Patriots and Brady finally started playing like it was a big game.

Hate all you want, but pretty much all of us came from somewhere before we arrived here. Thanks to my father in law’s hobby, I know that my darling husband’s ancestors came here from England, Scotland and Ireland mostly before the Revolutionary War. My ancestry hails too from England as well as Germany, France, Switzerland and Scandinavia. Pretty much all of us come from immigrants fleeing religious persecution, famine, ethnic cleansing, poverty to seek something better. Some of us also came here against our will in chains. Like Budweiser’s Born the Hard Way ad, our people were likely greeted with a mix of open arms and outright hate, as it seems today. All of us, literally all of us, unless we are 100% Native American, came from somewhere else and, it’s beautiful. We are beautiful. America is beautiful.

And, were it not for an immigrant coming to America in THIS century looking for something better, my youngest child, my favorite son, would not be here right now calling me “Mom”.

THAT is truly beautiful!

marching, not mourning

Are you in mourning?

Not today. Today was the most perfect. day to go for a walk.

A walk with one of my daughters.

From Grand Avenue…

to Broadway…

and all the way to Frank Ogawa Plaza…

encompassing the entire western shore of Lake Merritt…

and several blocks beyond because more than 60,000 women, men, mothers, daughters, sisters, sons, lovers, husbands, wives, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunties, uncles, beautiful babies, glorious women great with child, students, doctors, nurses, musicians, preachers, teachers, politicians, rocket scientists, artists and so many more walking shoulder to shoulder together could not be contained along the planned route.

Powerful, y’all. So powerful.

The streets echoed with drum beats, brass bands, guitars, BANJOES and so many stories…

so much hope…

so much love.

More than 60,000 Americans, immigrants, refugees walking together today in Oakland, California. Oakland Police report no property damage and no arrests.

Just a beautiful day, a beautiful day for a walk…together.

 

 

things needed

When Bill’s step-mom was alive, she was known to always ask for the simplest of things for Christmas: pot holders, placemats, dish towels, note cards. Nothing fancy, mind you. I learned that gifting her with the fanciest of place mats when all she wanted was some simple-everyday-when-the-grandkids-are-here kind of placemats. The simple things were the things she wanted, needed and loved the best. Me, the 20 and 30-something, who had the most complicated (and often expensive) of wants and needs never got why someone would want pot holders for Christmas.

Here we are, years and years later, and when pressed to share what I might be wishing for Christmas this year I could not think of anything…nothing that I desperately wanted or needed. Nine months ago I downsized in a big way moving our Big Top to 800 less square footage. The last thing I needed was more stuff…except maybe I could use some new potholders.

POTHOLDERS?!

Yes. I know. I seem to be channeling Barbara but the potholders I have are old and raggedy and have to be at least 13 years old. Sure I could pick up some while making a Target run…and I should have. But while making a Target run, I am usually there for other things: prescriptions, t-shirts for the guys, trash bags, shampoo, soap, whatever, anything…anything but potholders because when I am running through Target, likely spending too much money, the LAST thing I am thinking of is those ratty, blue potholders that have seen better days.

Point taken.

And so Christmas morning, I received

Oh yeah! Potholders! Also these sweet counter height stools from Pottery Barn for my kitchen along with lots of others wonderful, thoughtful and much needed gifts including chocolate and wine; because I really do need other things.

But this, this was the best and what I need more than anything.

Even potholders.

Yeah, I’m feeling very thankful, very blessed.

thanks to perseverance and confidence in herself

PhD level unlocked.

I couldn’t be happier or prouder of my sister because she worked hard for this.

I am optimistic about your work. I am optimistic that my successor will quickly realize how important this work is. I urge you to stay the course and keep up your commitment to the work. Make your voices heard and make them relevant to the people that you’re talking to. ~ Sally Jewell, U.S. Interior Secretary

You got this, my dear Dr. Sister!