Category Archives: Just Saying

What Is On My Mind Today? The Obama Portraits….Where’s Waldo and the Many Shades of Grey



What is on my mind today? The portraits of Michelle and Barack Obama.

The President’s reminds me of a where’s Waldo picture and I have to find the one cannabis leaf. I haven’t found it yet. Still looking, because I bet there’s one there.

This quest of mine is more of a reflection of my sense of humor and myself as an artist than the former president.


Michelle’s makes me mad. Here is a woman who was our nation’s first lady of African decent and who has the most gorgeous brown skin and she’s painted grey. Grey!  What an awful thing to do to a wonderful strong role model for young black children. Especially, when so many young girls spend their entire lives trying to escape being many shades of grey.
It has not escaped my notice that white skin has taken a beating lately, but since when did black cease to be beautiful? 

People, it’s a sad thing when you lose your colors….especially the really bright vibrant ones….It is a shame when the only color on a portrait of a woman of color is the yellow, pink and red stripes of her dress…..just saying…..


What Is On My Mind Today? Happy Birthday Abraham Lincoln!


lincoln19Yeah, it is Lincoln’s birthday! I know you all have special plans to honor this tall dark quiet man who put country before self and despite all odds, won the Civil War, kept our nation whole and took a bullet to the head because John Wilkes Booth, knew that Lincoln would eventually give the vote to former slaves.

Maybe we could use him as an example of a hero instead of the Kardashians. Just saying…..

Lincoln, Lincoln I’ve been think’n you’re so sad and I’ve been drink’n…..

Just saying: There Is No Such Thing As Humanity Without God and The True Meaning of Christmas



Humans are as unique in the animal kingdom as Christianity is among world religions. Evidence strongly suggests that humans are fundamentally different than other animals. I believe that our very uniqueness as a species indicates the existence of God.  It seems to me that humanity as a concept for higher moral behavioral traits can only exist if humans were created in the image of a higher power. Without God there is no humanity.  For we would no longer be a unique creation, but would be no better, no worse, no more special than any other animal. We would not understand mortality.

Without a moral soul from God there would be no right or wrong…only survival of the fittest.  Our sole focus would be to do whatever it takes to obtain our next meal and propagate the species. Nothing would deter the violent methods needed to be successful at either of these two tasks.

There would be no such thing as a conscience.  You couldn’t afford to have one anymore than a lion, tiger or shark can afford a conscience.  The softer human traits like love and kindness would have been evolutionary death sentences.  Just like any other animal on this earth, we would merely be another link in a food chain where only the strong survive.

Of course, if here is no God there would be no need for religion. However, even the earliest humans sought out gods and practiced forms of religious rites. They had burial ceremonies for their dead and offered sacrifices to either win favor or appease gods. So seriously did they seek out gods, that not only human, but child sacrifice was commonly practiced throughout the world. In some cultures on a massive scale. A rather counter-productive evolutionary trait.

Generation after generation, culture after culture, religion after religion, humans have sought out gods.  In all of the other religions of this world people seek God. Only in the Christian faith does God seek people.

The God of Christians does not ask for sacrifice, he asks for obedience.  What does he require of us? Jesus summarized all of the commandment’s into two.  To love God with all of our heart, soul and mind, and to love one another as we would like to be loved.

The Christian God does not ask for sacrifice from us, he sacrificed for us.  In the birth of his only son Jesus Christ in Bethlehem over two millennia ago, God sought to save us, just because he loves us.   John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

God seeking us is the true meaning of Christmas. Sadly, if you don’t learn about the birth of Jesus the Christ and ask him into your heart you are missing out on the only part of the holiday season, and life, that brings real joy and peace.

Jesus is the Christ in Christmas.  Without him all you are doing is having one big commercial gift exchange.  Great for the economy, not so great for our world or your soul…..just saying.




Beware and Be Warned: Food Allergy Alert!!!…Peanut and Nut Contamination in Cookie Sprinkles


Food allergies can be and are sometimes fatal.  They are a life-threatening health problem for millions of people and must be taken seriously.

As a person with severe allergies myself including a peanut and nut allergy, I always read labels.  When I began my Christmas cookie baking this morning, to my surprise, many of the decorative cookie sprinkles, some brands I have used for years, now carry a nut warning.  Yes, a “tiny”  exposure to nut-contaminated sprinkles could be life-threatening to the severely allergic!  This includes multi-colored round beads and all of the sugar sprinkles made by Wilton and several off-brands.


As you bake and decorate goodies this holiday season remember the 1,2, 3’s of food allergy safety:

1.    For a food to be in fact “safe”, it cannot contain, been manufactured, prepared with or come in contact with other foods that contain the allergen. That, would include a person distributing  treats having their hands touching candy or cookies containing the allergen, then providing an allergen-free treat without first thoroughly washing their hands. This includes just touching the candy wrappers.

2.   A treat is not “safe” if it is packaged with “unsafe” treats.  Safe treats cannot be in the same package or combined in the same bowl with unsafe treats.  For example, if you purchased a bag of miniature candy bars and separated them into bowls of those with nuts and those without nuts, you have failed in your mission to provide a safe treat. They were potentially contaminated when packaged and are unsafe for the allergic person.

3.   Read labels!  Excellent label reading skills have prevented many a trip to an emergency room or worse.  When purchasing or baking a treat, if the label says , “Made in a factory with nuts,” even if the food item itself does not appear to contain nuts, it cannot be safely consumed by anyone with a nut allergy, and that includes peanuts. Never be offended if a guest, family member, friend, child or parent asks to see a label or recipe. They know what they are looking for and are only interested in enjoying their time with you and avoiding a health emergency.

4.   Know what is in the treats you are distributing and any foods you are serving. This rule applies to both home and professional cooks. Many baking ingredients, such as chocolate chips, are made in factories that also process nuts.  Even some frozen pizzas come with a warning that they may have been contaminated with nuts.  Also, check out what types of hygiene products you provide for your guests or customers. There are nut oils in many lotions, shampoos, hair sprays and soaps.

5.   Ask!  Waiters, waitresses, chefs, hosts and hostesses need to ask if their guests have any allergies to food. Pay attention and take it seriously. Remember that not only are they allergic to the food itself, but anything that food has touched…your hands, pots, pans, utensils and counter tops.  Dishes and silverware used for someone with food allergies should be washed separately from those that for example have peanut butter residue on them.

6.   Your best friend…is your Epi-pen!  Anyone that has a severe food or bee sting allergy needs to keep their Epi-pen with them at all times!  It does absolutely no good, to leave it at home.

7.   When in doubt….do not eat it!  There is not food product on this earth that is so delicious that it is worth risking your life for it.  If you do not KNOW that a food item is safe, DO NOT eat it.

Nobody wants to kill or be killed by Christmas cookie.  Well, maybe if they are of a murderous intent to begin with, or have no self-control and take overindulgence to an entirely new level, but definitely not from Anaphylaxis.  I hope that everyone has a happy, safe and food allergy reaction free holiday season!

For a more detailed blog on food allergy reaction prevention read:
Cooks Take Food Allergies Seriously!


Recipe: Noodle Knocking, Nursing Home Romancer and a Whole Lot of…Sugar Cookies

After reading today about Matt Lauer and Garrison Keillor getting fired for sexual harassment, I have decided that what this country needs is a whole lot more uncompromising grandmothers, hat pins and canes!  Or, as was the case in our family when a young woman reached dating age, a Great Uncle Ed that would make her a “noodle knocker”.

This device was a small oak baseball bat that could fit into a purse or backpack and was used to knock upside the head (the noodle) any male that crossed the line. If you did not have a “noodle knocker” a well aimed fist could and should be substituted.

Grandma Esther strongly insisted upon hat pin, noodle knocker and cookie baking expertise. This recipe for sugar cookies is really the best.  Actually, I made them yesterday.

Day before yesterday, my little three-year old neighbor boy asked me over the backyard fence, very politely, if he could have some cookies. He is a brave little lad as both of my hundred plus pound German Shepherds were barking him. They wanted to be petted through the fence.

It was then, to my horror, I discovered that Grandma Pat was out of cookies. I couldn’t even find my emergency child stash in the freezer. (My husband later confessed to having found and eaten them.) I did give my little neighbor some homemade bar cookies, but that is just wrong for kids. Kid cookies require either sprinkles or chocolate chips.

This generational family recipe for sugar cookies is always a great Christmas favorite. They look wonderfully festive when covered with bright holiday sprinkles.


The Swedish Farmer's Daughter

Aviary Photo_130940614679318455Aunt Esther, known as “Little Esther; Grandmother Esther and Aunt Hilda

For a while when I was in college I lived with my Great Aunt Doris.  Aunt Doris was a very kind soul and spent many hours each week voluteering to care for patients in our local nursing home where my Grandmother Esther resided.  One day Aunt Doris came home just chuckling.

It seems that in her youth my grandmother had garnered quite a bit of interest from young fellows and had more suitors than just grandpa.  As it turned out one of those fellows, who had been sweet on her so many years ago, was also a resident at the same nursing home. He was quite happy to see her and had been chatting her up and frequently tried to secure a seat at the same dining table during meal times.

Grandmother Esther was a very polite woman blessed with…

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Just Saying: Another Open Letter To Senator Al Franken…Hugger vs Groper!

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Dear Senator Franken:

I have read your “full statement” as printed in the Pioneer Press responding to multiple sexual harassment and abuse complaints.

Senator Franken’s full statement:

“I’ve met tens of thousands of people and taken thousands of photographs, often in crowded and chaotic situations. I’m a warm person; I hug people. I’ve learned from recent stories that in some of those encounters, I crossed a line for some women — and I know that any number is too many. Some women have found my greetings or embraces for a hug or photo inappropriate, and I respect their feelings about that. I’ve thought a lot in recent days about how that could happen, and recognize that I need to be much more careful and sensitive in these situations. I feel terribly that I’ve made some women feel badly and for that I am so sorry, and I want to make sure that never happens again. And let me say again to Minnesotans that I’m sorry for putting them through this and I’m committed to regaining their trust.”

Your statement is another attempt to defend your actions, while offering excuses for your inexcusable behavior choices. You did not “hug” these women…you groped them.  This is not a warm heart issue, but a warm wandering hands issue. There is never anything appropriate about any greeting or hug that ends with uninvited hands on a woman’s butt cheek, breasts or anywhere else on her person. This is not about “some” women’s perceptions of “encounters” with you.   It is about your abusive actions.

Please, please let this be photo-shopped.

After having posed for that picture where you are feeling up the breasts of a sleeping woman, it is time to ask yourself if you really can continue to be a respected and effective member of the United States Senate.  For example, should the people from Alabama elect Judge Roy Moore to the United State Senate, and the sexual abuse accusations against him prove true, would you accept a statement mirroring your own from him?  I would hope it would be rejected. However, as an a adult male who, only two short years before running for the U.S. Senate, abandoned all common sense and the moral high ground for a quick laugh at the expense of a sleeping woman, you have forever forfeited any right to question anyone’s maturity, sense of judgment or to condemn others regarding sexual harassment and abuse of women.

It seems that you are a bit like Scarlett O’Hara, in the movie, “Gone With the Wind.” In the scene where Rhett Butler finds her drunk and feigning grief over the death of her second husband.  Scarlett didn’t fool him for a second.  She didn’t care a wit that her actions resulted her husband’s death, but cared a whole lot about what was going to become of her.  Rhett sums up Scarlet’s performance by telling her, “You’re like the thief who isn’t the least bit sorry he stole, but is terribly, terribly sorry he’s going to jail.

After so much dishonor, any redemption of your reputation lies not in a legally-approved public relations statement, but in doing the honorable thing. It is time to take complete responsibility for your actions and set a powerful example for other sexual harassers and abusers to follow by actually putting the welfare of your victims before personal ambition.

Senator, you have been caught with your hands on the “cookie jar”, and it is time to pay the piper.   Resign!

Just saying…..

Just Saying: An Open Letter to Senator Al Franken….Resign and Call Off Your Dogs!


Dear Senator Al Franken;

You have been very adamant that you want to be a strong leader on women’s rights. As a senator you have been very outspoken and uncompromising on the issue of sexual harassment. Excellent! However, being a leader means walking the walk, not just talking the talk. To send a loud and clear message that sexual harassment, such as the behavior demonstrated by you in a picture where you felt up a sleeping woman, is indefensible and intolerable you must resign.

Then, you need to call off your dogs.  I am sure that you and your best political strategists have been huddled together since this story broke.  Anyone that has ever worked in politics knows that just like in sports the best defense is a good offense. It is obvious that you have already deployed your defensive strategy.

I have always believed and taught that it is better to have character than to be one. If anyone could use a good character reference or two it is you. However, it appears to be a shameful fact that a sitting United States Senator from the State of Minnesota has orchestrated, at worst, and not stopped, at best, women, from his Senate staff and Saturday Night Live, from writing letters of reference on his behalf.  Seriously, I thought better of you, than to use other women to further humiliate your victim.

To the women who signed these letters reporting Senator Franken’s respectful behavior towards them.  All that can be said is lucky you!  How the Senator treated you has absolutely no bearing what-so-ever on how he treated other women.  So, instead of supporting a sister, who has the picture to prove that the Senator obviously has exceedingly poor boundary recognition skills, what did you do?  You joined the wrong side of history by circling the wagons to isolate and further humiliate the victim, another woman. Wonderful!

Since the allegations against you, Senator, became public, there has been a lot media play questioning the seriousness of the accusations and the woman’s integrity.  I have witnessed members of the media excusing your actions.  They have used the, “It’s not a big deal” defense. Or, your behavior should be overlooked, because you talk the talk.  Then,  yesterday, I saw a meme on Facebook floating around defending your actions while showing degrading pictures of the woman you victimized.

By all means, Al, really show this gal, who did the right thing by coming forward, that she should have just shut-up and quietly accepted that she should have been honored to have been noticed by as powerful and famous man as you.  I acknowledge that you did offer an apology for the picture.  The sincerity of your apology, is between you and God.  However, you did not in any way, shape or form apologize for the forced slobbery French kiss.

What you said about the actual unwanted physical groping was that you remembered things differently.  That’s not an apology or an admission of wrong doing. It is merely an exercise in semantics.

What did you do, Al?  Memorize the sexual harassers’ handbook.

1) Always question the woman’s perception.

2) Suggest that she’s just making a fuss over nothing and she’s exaggerating.

3)  Defend your indefensible behavior by having surrogates begin with character         references for you and a character assassination campaign against her.

Actions speak louder than words.  Senator, resign and call off your dogs.

Just saying…..