A Closer Look

Have you ever looked at a blueberry? I mean, really LOOKED at a blueberry up close before popping it in your mouth? I hadn’t either until I took this macro shot a few years ago. This close up view of a common fruit reminds me of a certain mega-businessman-turned-politician. After all, we don’t truly understand his motives or his actions, no matter how closely we examine them.

Almost everyone agrees it’s difficult to know for sure what Donald Trump’s thought processes are. What could he possibly be thinking (if he’s thinking at all) when he tweets threatening things about former presidents or warns the FBI Director that he better hope there are no tapes of conversations between them. These things are now considered permanent written records that can be used against him. Yet he continues.
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It’s a Balancing Act

Republican lawmakers targeted by a lone gunman a little after 7 a.m. while practicing for a charity baseball game is not what you expect to see happening before your first sip of coffee on a Wednesday morning.

The gunman died in an angry attempt to express his political feelings. What drives someone to do that? A loss of balanced and rational thinking? I do wonder what his tipping point was but of course, we’ll probably never know. What we do know is the angry divide must be addressed somehow.

Respectfully, as it should be, news from the nation’s capital is not about collusion or obstruction of justice today. This morning’s events are likely a wake-up call to politicians on both sides. I can imagine the horribly frightening moments for those at the ball field this morning.

My guess is many who weren’t there are also imagining what if . . . it could have been me. With a sense of relief many of these folks are probably sharing a lot of loving thoughts with their families this afternoon, perhaps with newfound perspective for what really matters most and a desire to find a sense of balance. Continue reading

Exit, Stage Left

Bird Exiting Stage Left

So much is happening moment to moment these days. It’s thrilling. It’s entertaining. It’s disturbing. Some people tell me they are able to push it all away, not watch the news (it’s all fake news anyway, if you believe it is), and carry on in complete denial, pretending that we do not have a very big problem on our patriotic hands. I am not one of those people. I truly believe it is my civic duty to not sit back quietly and pretend that very soon our president will learn and do better.

Yesterday the most disturbing thing happened yet as presidential cabinet members each took turns praising the president . . . on queue. As is always the case with Donald Trump, the timing of this is relevant to better understanding the purpose of his distraction efforts. Continue reading

No Lie

Writing Pen

There’s been a lot of talk lately about liars. So much in fact, that new phrases have become popular and acceptable, like fake news and alternative facts. People are arguing that ‘all politicians lie,’ as though, if true, it somehow makes it acceptable which causes one to ask, does truth-telling matter? I suppose a blog called The Other Side of Denial should at least address the dilemma.

Interestingly, the basic definition of denial is: the action of declaring something to be untrue.

Well, holy moly, this blog is referencing the act of lying! I’ve been living in denial about my blog about living in denial. No lie. Continue reading

How Did This Happen?

I’ve been on a quest to understand the mind of a Trump voter for many months now. Some I’ve spoken to admit they felt forced to vote against Hillary Clinton. Others quickly became defensive while blaming the Obama administration for all their problems. Some admitted they wouldn’t/couldn’t vote at all. But few could explain in logical detail why they voted the way they did and I am deeply curious still. Continue reading

How My Business Sold Itself

Last month I sold my seven-year old business, Big Fat Soap. Since I made the announcement dozens of fellow business owners have asked me how I did it, as though there were specific steps involved in the process. While I cannot outline exactly how the potential buyer(s) were found I would like to demonstrate what the experience was like from my perspective. Later Part Two of this series will explain the amount of work involved in getting it sold, because there was a LOT of work involved even after I watched the truck drive away with the contents of my business. Read on to hear how it happened. Continue reading

Farm Dreams — Part 1

Me and My First Love, Amigo - 1967

Where does a dream begin? How does it develop into something one must pursue? Is it ever too late to take action on pursuing this dream? 

I’ve had a dream my whole life — literally as far back as I can remember. This is Part 1 of my farm dream story:  

As a kid growing up in the Los Angeles suburbs I longed to live on a farm with horses. Corrals, pastures, wide open spaces to ride off alone, just me and my equine best friend, was what I dreamed of nearly every day of my life. I don’t know why or even where this idea came from because I hadn’t been exposed to horses or farms, except on TV. I knew kids who would visit their relatives on farms – always in the Midwest, it seemed. Eventually I married one of those kids. Continue reading

Grieving the Loss of Myself

Last month my identity was stolen. It might not have been such an excruciatingly horrid experience if it were not for the fact that we are smack dab in the middle of buying our dream property—you know, with the necessary credit checks, title searches, folks googling our names to be sure we are who we say we are. It is only by chance that we discovered my stolen identity, as it is in most cases. There is no Stolen Identity Bureau of the government who notifies us when our social security number has been used illicitly.

The nightmare began when we attempted to file our tax returns electronically, like we have for years. To our surprise the system rejected our returns because someone had previously filed using my social security number. We are lucky because the fake return was rejected, which means the thief did not receive our refund. We are unlucky because our refund will now be held up for 180 days while the IRS proceeds to confirm I am who I say I am. And unlucky because we were forced to file via snail mail (certified & registered) – complete with an affidavit, a form explaining what happened, the police report case number, and copies of my social security card and passport. Continue reading

How I Nearly Ruined My Own Birthday Celebration

Depression–it rears its ugly head when you least expect it. I will not refer to it as something I suffer from/with. I prefer to say it is my dirty little secret which I cannot quite manage to be done with (once and for all) after years of keeping company with it. I try to portray myself as one who has everything under control always. There are days however, when that is easier said than done. Even when I don’t feel it, I have a Happy Face + Attitude (HFA) that I tap into—on most days. Periodically the dreaded depression sets in deeper than I’d like. Those are the days I try to hide from the world until I can get my HFA back on track, but this week it was out of my reach. I picked up the phone when it rang and my daughter was on the other end asking what I wanted to do for my birthday. Poor thing, I do feel bad for her.

Birthday BunnyNothing. Nothing at all. I hate my life. I want to run away. I want change. I wish I lived on a farm, was my sad, forlorn, woe-is-me response.

She had to hang up pretty quickly after that. I don’t blame her. I’ll talk to you Saturday, she said. Continue reading