a workhorse…

…that’s my personal description of Hillary Clinton. And now that her final attempt to help fellow citizens realize the American dream for themselves has been thwarted, she has earned a much-deserved rest from a self-imposed life of public service.

As with other Independents who took their time in casting their vote for president, I was skeptical about Hillary Clinton. Media spin had much to do with my indecision. However, Bernie Sanders said it best when he exclaimed that he was fed up with her damn emails. So was I.

I accepted Hillary Clinton’s apology for using a private email server, especially when FBI Director Comey found her innocent of breaking any laws. The fact that Republicans would not let go of the issue drove me further away from their candidate, towards the Democratic candidate.

The Republican Party will never curry my favor if they continue to wallow in conspiracy theories. It’s as though they prefer to practice voodoo politics instead of politics based upon facts. I have always been a “Doubting Thomas,” he who needed to put his finger in the crucified Christ in order to believe that He, in fact, was the risen Christ.

Granted, the Clintons are not saints. They have committed their fair share of trespasses. Time and again, however, they have been tried by their peers and found not guilty of breaking any laws.

The difference, for me, between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is that the foundation of her entire life has been…to serve others. His has been in service…for himself.

On stage at the Democratic National Convention, many testified to Hillary’s having personally touched their lives with her compassion and help. The handicapped young man whose cause Hillary had taken on when he was but a child. The 911 rescuers whose health issues Hillary had taken on by requesting, and obtaining, $20 billion from President George W. Bush. And yet Trump ignorantly proclaimed she had done nothing in her decades long career as a public servant. I don’t remember any individual coming forward at the Republican National Convention to proclaim how Trump had done something specific to improve his or her life. In fact, numerous voices have echoed the same sentiment about him….that they have been stiffed by Trump, or taken advantage of because of his wealth and power.

My religion, Catholicism, and my culture, Asian, has ingrained in me the need to be humble. It is therefore natural that I cannot stomach bragging in others, or in myself. Just as Donald Trump thrives on his own braggadocio, Hillary Clinton prefers to let others take the spotlight. He loves to talk endlessly about his supposed accomplishments; while she chomps at the bit to get on with the business at hand. He’s a talker; she’s a doer.

I’ve always preferred doers to talkers. Of course if someone can be both, like President Obama, so much the better. Given the choice we had in this election, I voted for the doer.

What many may not know is that Hillary Clinton would have preferred remaining in her elected position as the New York State senator. President Obama refused to take “no” for an answer when she declined his request to be his Secretary of State three times. Instead she wanted to continue in her crusade to help Americans here at home. It’s almost certain that she thought she would be able to take up our cause once she’d served her President abroad. However as we have just witnessed, she was unable to fulfill a lifelong dream…to use the power of the highest office in the land to bring justice to all who had yet to share in the America she envisioned.

As for the millions Hillary Clinton received for speeches she made on Wall Street, my feeling is that everyone is entitled to earn their living to the best of their ability. It is common knowledge that public servants make nowhere near what their corporate counterparts make. Case in point…the most powerful leader in the free world earns $400,000. CEO’s earn millions, sometimes billions, in wages and bonuses. If they’re fair to their employees and aren’t guilty of cheating taxpayers, who can fault them for their earnings.

And as for emails detailing behind-the-scene conversations, I don’t think anyone is innocent of saying one thing and doing another. I would like to be a fly on the wall in Trump Tower. All of us are guilty of telling lies, the small kind, not the outright, big ones like those thrown around by Trump during his campaign. Fact-checkers couldn’t keep up with his outrageous lies.

Hillary Clinton was faulted for her part in her husband’s mea culpa passes. Like others who have “walked in her shoes,” wives do not easily throw off loved ones like yesterday’s fashions. Our commitment to them is based upon a spiritual connection that isn’t easily severed by the physical disconnect. Will men, and some women, ever “get” that about us? Hillary chose to move to Arkansas at her future husband’s invitation, rather than remain in Washington where she had a promising career. In spite of their marital ups and downs, they’ve remained together for 30+ years. May they enjoy many more.

After all is said and done, I’m glad Hillary Clinton is no longer taking the brunt of media and Republican savagery. They can now take each other on in mortal combat, and continue…

…the feeding frenzy.

………hugmamma.

 

 

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…don’t go there.

That’s my advice to Mr. Trump if he tries to fuel his campaign by bringing up Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. Trump will be playing The Man Card. You know. The one that says what’s good for the goose, ain’t in no way applicable to the gander. Men like Trump can philander and have their cake and eat it too. But women who survive a philandering husband have to keep on keeping on…paying for the mistake foisted upon them.

None of us liked what happened, but the Clintons paid dearly…and publicly…for a sin which for me is the worst committed against women. Taking a woman’s sexuality and throwing it back in her face. I’ve crossed many a celebrity off my “favorites list” because of that…Brad Pitt, Kevin Costner, Mel Gibson among them.

Of all the dirt the Republicans have attempted to dig up about the Clintons over their decades long, high-profile, very much public life…Trump’s proposed pilloring of Hillary as an enabler…will call into question all women who have found themselves in the same situation. It would be yet another bar set by a white man who talks out of both sides of his mouth. A man who has no qualms about establishing different sets of rules…for men and women, old immigrants and new immigrants, and the bullying tactics of his supporters and those with opposing views.

It’s a credit to Mrs. Clinton that she didn’t bury herself in self pity after the devastating clobbering she took at the time of the president’s affair. Instead, she went on to do what she has done since graduating from law school. Hillary Clinton continued to serve the public, and not in a small, obscure way. She served two terms as New York’s senator AND she fought hard to be president. When she didn’t win, she still didn’t turn her back on America. She went on to serve as Obama’s Secretary of State.

If, and that’s a BIG IF, Hillary doesn’t win this election, she can hold her head up high knowing she’s served her country well. Exceedingly well! It would be our loss not to give this highly-credentialed, principled woman…the first ever…the opportunity to lead us away from a democracy dominated by men. Hillary can tell her grandchildren, she spent her life in service to her country. She held her own against those who would try to bring her down at every turn.

Maybe someday those of us who are accused of enabling our loved ones to do and be all that they can will get our chance in the sun. Out from under…

…the crushing weight of those holding the keys to power.

………hugmamma.

 

a role model?…more than

Most of you know of my dear friend Sylvia. From time to time she visits me on the internet, sharing some juicy tidbit sent by her UK network of friends and family. I first wrote of her in my post, “role models, aging gracefully,” dated 8-24-10.

My friend who’s 70ish is admirable not only because she’s such a fashion-plate, which she is, but also because she is laden with health issues that would bring a younger, stronger woman, like me, to my knees. I’m a wuss by comparison. Like an older sister, sometimes a mom, my girlfriend was a smoker for many years, but was finally able to kick the habit. Whether as a result of smoking or having had it beforehand, she continues to suffer with emphysema which is compounded by asthma. Weighing under 100 pounds she’s a lightweight, but she can be as “tough as nails” when debating her opinion. I’ve never tested her, and am not about to try. I’d rather have her in my corner. When a coughing fit overtakes her, she can easily bruise some ribs. As a last resort her doctor prescribes prednisone which eliminates the cough, but leaves my friend with side effects that linger. She has bouts of diverticulitis which has her curled up in great pain. Throughout our 13 years of friendship, she’s been poked, probed, xrayed, cat-scanned, MRI’d more than anyonelse I know. With the help of a physician who’s cared for her, REALLY CARED, my amazing friend always seems “as fit as a fiddle.” I forget her medical history until another episode occurs, and it always does.

I think I dress rather smartly, but when I’m out with my friend and her husband I know she’s outdone me. Not that I mind, for I am simply in awe of  her sense of style, wearing skirts and dresses that I never would, simply because they wouldn’t look as well on me. They’re not my “cup of tea,” but they suit my girlfriend to a tee. And the jewelry, she can wear several gold bangles, rings on several fingers, including on her toes, and of course, earrings. Stunning is the only word to describe her. Whether she’s lounging at home or stepping out, in my estimation, she’s always “dressed to the nines.”

You can continue to read more wonderful things about Sylvia, for there’s definitely more good things to be said about her, by going to the original post mentioned above. I just wanted to give you an inkling of who she is, before you read further. And you’ll want to read further, I guarantee you. Enjoy this little “gem” from Sylvia…

NO CHEATING!!!

I was really surprised to find out who my role was.

DON’T scroll down until you do the SIMPLE math below. It’s crazy how accurate this is!

NO PEEKING!

1) Pick your favorite number between 1-9
2) Multiply by 3, then
3) Add 3
4) Then again multiply by 3 (Go get the calculator…). You’ll get a 2 or 3 digit number
5) Add the digits together

Now scroll down…

With the last number, see who YOUR ROLE MODEL is from the following list:

According to Keirsey, Oprah Winfrey may be a T...

Image via Wikipedia

1)  Bill Clinton
2)  Oprah Winfrey
3)  Jessica Simpson
4)  Sarah Palin
5)  Laura Bush
6)  Hilary Clinton
7)  Ronald Reagan
8)  Ron De Roma
9)  my friend Sylvia
10) Barbara Walters

 

I know. I know. I just have that effect on people. One day, you too can be like me.

P.S. Stop picking different numbers! I AM YOUR ROLE MODEL! Deal with it!!!

now she’s your role model too…gotta love sylvia…i do…hugmamma.

president bush, “citizen”

Was pleasantly surprised to see the human side of President George W. Bush on Oprah’s talk show yesterday. I didn’t follow his comings and goings while he lived in the White House, so I can’t say I had any inkling what he was really like, personally. Professionally, I saw what the mainstream media offered 24/7. As we all know, much is taken out of context, to support whatever viewpoint is being touted. And, of course, he wasn’t “my man,” although I did vote him into office (like others who thought he might do a good job…hmmm), so I wasn’t inclined to follow George W.’s every move.

Relaxed, congenial, smiling broadly and freely, citizen Bush looked like someone I’d vote for all over again. (Except now I know better.) I guess all Presidents stop aging at lightning speed, once their terms are over. Then they seem to drop 5-10 years off their appearances. Yes, even Clinton, with his full head of white hair. Maybe it’s the strict diet he’s been on, no meat, no dairy, only grains, fruits, and a little fish.

Both Clinton and George W. had their “moments,” which will be a major part of their political legacies, Monica Lewinsky, and the Iraq War which contributed to a near-Depression. As the years advance, such remembrances recede into the corners of our minds, where “cobwebs” form and other memories replace them. That is until some incident stirs up the media, causing them to troll the “archives,” digging up the dirt once more, causing another frenzy. That seems to be the way of the world, our human world.

Life has a way of moving forward, even after major strife, President Clinton faced impeachment proceedings, and in the aftermath of Katrina, President Bush faced unfavorable rhetoric for his failure to respond quickly. Now that both are “ordinary” citizens, we celebrate personal events with them, Chelsea’s recent marriage, and the familial love of the Bush family, as seen on video during Oprah’s interview.

In the “heat of the moment,” I too was angry with these Presidents for their failure to perform their jobs as I, and others, expected. But now I can appreciate them as men with loved ones, subject to human frailties, having done their best with what talents, and shortcomings they brought to the Presidency, Clinton’s womanizing and his stepfather’s alcoholism, and Bush’s alcoholic past. Perhaps we’ll be as generous, when we reflect upon President Obama’s time in office. I’m getting a head start, I already am.

bush gave oprah a huge hug; i do the same for him, and other presidents, past and present, huge hugs for their service…hugmamma.

been there, done that

Media coverage of President Obama’s recent vacation has put Martha’s Vineyard “on the map.” Not that it wasn’t already there. According to the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal “The release of  ‘Jaws,’ the 1975 movie about a man-eating shark, first drew the masses to an island that had been a some-time presidential retreat since Ulysses S. Grant. Celebrities such as Carly Simon, Meg Ryan and David Letterman own homes on the island. …President Bill Clinton’s frequent visits in the 1990s brought another surge of interest…” Though not celebrities, my daughter and I visited the island about 7 years ago. She had auditioned, and been accepted, to dance with “Stiefel and Students.” Because she was apprenticing with a ballet company midway through the summer program, Ethan Stiefel allowed her to attend the first 2 of the scheduled 4 weeks. She was delighted to train with an icon of the dance world, and have a great job lined up for her future.

The compound which housed “Stiefel and Students” was specifically built for the program. The owner, a wealthy contractor, was a patron of ballet, his teenage daughter dancing with a private studio in their home state of New Jersey. Because he’d guested as the Nutcracker prince to their daughter’s Maria, Steifel became a close family friend. Two beautiful homes sat on a couple of acres of prime land near downtown Edgartown. Each had several bedrooms and, baths, huge kitchen with living space, large patio and a sizeable dance studio. The student dancers, including my daughter, were in one house, while the instructors and guest dancers from NYC lived in the other. I don’t recall if one or more of the 4 chaperones lived with the students, or if they all stayed in the other dwelling. Needless to say this was  one of the best “dormitory” situations of my daughter’s summer dance experiences, which has included Banff, NYC, Atlanta, Chautauqua, Jacksonville, Portland, and Irvine.

Viewing this as the opportunity of a lifetime, and it was, my husband and I decided I should summer in Martha’s Vineyard while our daughter was there. So for 2 glorious weeks I lived among the rich and famous, and the middle class, myself being one of them. Having done extensive research, I settled upon a bed and breakfast called The Lighthouse Inn. The 1 bedroom, 1 bath, kitchen-living room combination was charmingly decorated and conveniently situated in the heart of Edgartown. My husband and I hoped he’d be able to take time off from work and fly out for a respite. But it didn’t happen, so flying solo, I poked around my environs leisurely, and with relish.

Being from Maui, I’ve never cottoned to the idea of vacationing on other islands. It isn’t so much that I’m a snob, although it might seem so, but there are other parts of the world which I’d prefer to visit before opting for an island vacation, other than returning to Hawaii to see family. Having said that, Martha’s Vineyard is an island for sure, but nothing like the tropical ones with which I’m familiar. The houses, churches, store fronts, flora and fauna, and yes, the people are a total reflection of New England which, of course, is where the island is located.

As with all popular vacation destinations, the population on Martha’s Vineyard swells to overflowing during the hot summer months. On days when cruise ships are in port, there are longer lines everywhere. Traveling alone was advantageous for without an entourage, I was seated for a meal more quickly, I could wend my way through a maze of people on sidewalks and in shops more easily, when to start and end the day was my choice as well as HOW to spend it. And having 2 weeks meant I could do everything without feeling hurried. Living like a local is always my idea of a dream visit.

My daily routine, more or less, would begin with rising (not too early), breakfasting at some quaint nearby eatery, and then going for a walk. Some days I wandered different paths through town or residential neighborhoods, other days I strolled barefoot along the quiet, sandy, white beach a few blocks away. But wherever I went I always spent my days people-watching, a favorite pastime. Just glimpsing passersby, their differences, similarities, relationships, habits, is always interesting. New England’s culture could not be further removed from the Hawaiian culture in ethnicity, spirit, dress, food, religion, architecture, and perhaps, sensibilities.

Of course the first thing I noticed was the predominant, if not quasi exclusive, presence of White, Anglo-Saxon Americans. Although my complexion is brown, I’ wasn’t “put off” because by then I’d lived and worked amongst Caucasians for 26 years, having moved to the mainland in 1977. While more formal than Hawaiians, there was a semblance of relaxed informality among those who dwelled in Martha’s Vineyard. Of course there’s no mistaking a New Englander by the way he or she dressed. More than likely they’d be striding along in loafers, sandals, or sneakers with socks, rarely flip-flops. If in shorts, they’d be like the bermuda shorts of the 60’s, often topped by Izod, Hilfiger or Calvin Klein. The ladies wore coordinated knee-length skirts in small prints and blouses in white, or some other solid color. Designer purses or pretty colored totes hung over their arms or on their shoulders. Perfectly combed blondes and brunettes sported ponytails or loosely coiffed hair that caught the ocean breezes. They all wore sunglasses, probably also having lotioned themselves with sunblock beforehand. Children were dressed like replicas of their parents. The only ones who may have digressed from the traditional New England “look,” were the teenagers. There were some in cut-off jean shorts, barely-there tanks, flip-flops or bare feet, and unkempt hair as if they’d just awoke.

From my recollection, the food was pretty good, but probably pricey since everything had to be shipped in. I remember dining  in a family style restaurant, cozy B&B bistro, fine Italian eatery, hamburger joint and a diner whose concerns for food safety seemed a little sketchy. Their late hours dictated my daughter and I choosing to eat there once, against our better judgement. We left full and satisfied, so the place suited our needs just fine. Sometimes I prepared my own food, enjoying a comfortable evening in the apartment, dining on a home cooked meal while watching a good television show. Perhaps my solitary time on Martha’s Vineyard encouraged my fledgling habit of speaking with waiters and sales people. They were companions of sorts, if only for a brief interlude. I’m glad I’m still very much in the habit of treating strangers like long-lost friends.

One weekend, a best friend from Redding joined me for some much-needed rest and relaxation. She always worked too hard, still does. It was a pleasure having her along on walks, sitting across the table at a restaurant, and perusing shops for souvenirs. But our ongoing conversations about everything and anything, as though we’d never been apart, were the best part of our shared time. Sometimes talking into the wee morning hours, we were able to scurry out the door in time to greet the dawn. Huddling against the chill morning air, we planted ourselves on the sand dunes revisiting our previous conversation, or we’d just as likely drift onto another topic. But we were always wowed by the brilliance of the rising sun. We didn’t need to make the long, arduous trek up Maui ‘s dormant volcano, Haleakala (“House of the Rising Sun”) to see what we beheld on a beachfront, steps away from our front door. After my girlfriend’s departure, I never saw another dawn on Martha’s Vineyard. I’m never awake at that ungodly hour, if I can help it. But I will always associate sunrises on that New England island with Laurie, my forever friend.   

Nothing screams New England more than its architecture. Martha’s Vineyard was no exception. Stately churches standing tall and erect on tree-lined country roads in residential neighborhoods, where traditional homes with rocking chairs on wrap-around-porches, sat alongside salt-box homes in shades of blues and grays, fronted by English-style cottage gardens. Everywhere I turned was like looking at a postcard with pictures of idyllic, pastoral scenes. They took my breath away. Though an island, Martha’s Vineyard is of a different breed, one that this islander could truly appreciate for its unique beauty. I don’t think my first visit to that charming location could ever be improved upon unless, of course, I returned with my husband and daughter. But then there are other places I have yet to visit, and so…

been there, done that…hugmamma.