Monthly Archives: March 2019

Vegan “tuna” Salad

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I’ve made this vegan tuna salad for years. However, I tossed in a new ingredient into this batch that kicked it up a notch or two….hot, sweet, pickled jalapeños from Trader Joe’s. Wow! It was delicious!

This recipe uses finely chopped sweet onion, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla. I also finely chop two stalks of celery and sweet peppers. I add fresh dill, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper…lots of it. Next comes fresh Meyer lemon juice, vegan sour cream, vegan mayo, homemade pickle relish and finally, 2cups if garbanzos, smashed. I finish it off with a tiny bit of onion salt and pile it onto one of my homemade hoagie rolls, butter lettuce and heirloom tomato, add some roasted rosemary potatoes on the side ….and voila!

It’s absolutely delicious. Even my carnivorous friends and family members love these hearty sandwiches.

Polished off the meal with bruised strawberries in a balsamic reduction with fresh mint. Perfection.

Trump’s Legal Woes Are just Getting Started

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Watching the right wingers rejoicing at Trump’s self-proclamation of exoneration within minutes of special counsel specifically stating he had NOT been exonerated is kinda sad….for them….but not for America. Because the right only hears news from one or two Trump-promoting websites, they are STILL unaware that Robert Mueller sent most of the obstruction cases were sent over to the Southern District, where Trump is legally helpless to manipulate his way out of them, since he has zero legal jurisdiction. Bwahaha! This will be a real shocker, because they don’t see it coming. It was strategic. It went right over their heads.

The closure of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. election does NOT mark the end of legal worries for Trump and people close to him. Not by a longshot. Other continuing investigations and litigation are focusing on issues including his businesses and financial dealings, personal conduct, charitable foundation and inaugural committee. This will be that which ends him.

Think about it. Mueller charged 34 people and three companies. Some of those cases resulted in guilty pleas, and one case went to trial, with former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort convicted of eight criminal counts, including bank fraud and tax fraud. Longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone was indicted in January of this year and pleaded not guilty, but his trial is still pending. There are other cases involving indicted Russians that have not gone to trial. Other prosecutors within the Justice Department will likely take over criminal cases begun by Mueller.

Donald Trump is horrible for America.

Trump will face significant dents in his current jubilation from federal prosecutors in Manhattan, according to the legal experts viewing these cases. His former personal lawyer Michael Cohen said in Feb. 27 congressional testimony that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is examining Trump’s business practices and financial dealings. Cohen already has implicated Trump in campaign finance law violations to which he pleaded guilty in August 2018 as part of the Southern District investigation.

Cohen admitted he violated campaign finance laws by arranging, at Trump’s direction, “hush money” payments shortly before the 2016 presidential election to porn film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy magazine model Karen McDougal to prevent damage to Trump’s candidacy. Both women established that they had sexual relationships with Trump more than a decade ago,during his marriage to Melania, soon after the birth of their son, Baron. (As an aside, I have challenged my social media readers to document even ONE DAY that Trump has EVER dedicated to this child since he was born. ONE SINGLE DAY…..and not one person has been able to do that.)

Prosecutors said the payments constituted ILLEGAL campaign contributions intended to influence the election. Under federal election laws, such donations cannot exceed $2,700 and need to be publicly disclosed. Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, received $130,000. McDougal received $150,000.

The New York District investigation has involved longtime Trump ally David Pecker, publisher of the National Enquirer tabloid newspaper, who admitted to paying McDougal for the rights to her story and then suppressing it to influence the election, an arrangement called “catch and kill.”

Cohen has already said he was in “constant contact” with federal prosecutors in Manhattan, and said other crimes and wrongdoing by Trump are being investigated by them. Trump WILL fall, and the Southern District will take him down, but it will be after this one term. Remember, Cohen said he could not testify about the nature of his last conversation with Trump in early 2018 because it was under investigation by the federal prosecutors in New York. They will get him.

A lawsuit filed by the New York state Attorney General’s Office has already led the corrupt Donald J. Trump Foundation, which was presented as the charitable arm of Trump’s business empire, to agree in December 2018 to dissolve, and the litigation continues.

The state of New York is seeking an order banning Trump and his three eldest children from leadership roles in any other New York charity EVER. The state’s Democratic attorney general accused the foundation of being “engaged in a “shocking pattern of illegality” and “functioning as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests” in violation of federal law.

Charges stemming from this matter state that Trump and his family members used the charity to pay off his legal debts and purchase personal items. The foundation agreed to dissolve and give away all its remaining assets under court supervision, but the Trump’s have not yet faced a court over this illegal activity. Oh, but they will!

Then come the issues surrounding the emoluments. Trump is accused in a lawsuit filed by the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia of violating anti-corruption provisions of the U.S. Constitution through his businesses’ dealings with foreign governments. These are very serious charges that Trump has not been able to beat. The Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on March 19 in the Trump administration’s appeal of U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte’s 2018 rulings allowing the case to proceed.

The Constitution’s “emoluments clause” bars U.S. officials from accepting payments from foreign governments and the governments of U.S. states without congressional approval. The lawsuit stated that because Trump did not divest himself of his business empire, spending by foreign governments at the Trump International Hotel in Washington amounts to unconstitutional gifts, or “emoluments,” to the president.

Federal prosecutors in New York are also investigating whether the committee that organized Trump’s inauguration in January 2017 accepted illegal donations from foreigners, misused funds or brokered special access to the administration for donors. The Trump organization seems to have forgotten that Federal election law prohibits foreigners from donating to U.S. political campaigns or inaugural committees, and corruption laws ban donors from making contributions in exchange for political favors.

Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said in December 2018 that the president was not involved in his inaugural committee, and that the $107 million raised by the committee, which was chaired by real estate developer and investor Thomas Barrack, was the largest in history, according to Federal Election Commission filings. However, there is copious evidence implicating Trump that is on its way back to haunt him.

Under the Constitution, the president, vice president and “all civil officers of the United States” can be removed from office by Congress through the impeachment process for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” The House of Representatives acts as the accuser – voting on whether to bring specific charges such as obstruction of justice – and the Senate then conducts a trial with House members acting as prosecutors and the individual senators serving as jurors. A simple majority vote is needed in the House to impeach. A two-thirds majority is required in the Senate to convict and remove.

I don’t think Trump will be impeached, because he has so carefully shielded himself, but he WILL face charges after he is voted out of office in the next election. Just you wait.

Donald J. Trump was NOT exonerated. Got that?

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Within minutes after Barr released the statement that told America that Trump was NOT exonerated / vindicated by Robert Mueller’s report, Trump was barking more lies to the media, claiming that he had been. That’s the kind of liar he is. He’s like a flat-earther.

I am satisfied with Robert Mueller’s report, and I trust the conclusions therein. He is thorough, intelligent and has hawk-like instincts. He knows the law like the back of his hand. I believe that, as in the Casey Anthony case, or in the case of O.J. Simpson, there was insufficient evidence to make a conviction.

Mueller was supposed to decide if Donald Trump could be charged with Obstruction of Justice—or, if not chargeable, whether he should be referred to Congress for impeachment for Obstruction of Justice. But AG Barr usurped Mueller’s job and decided to make that decision himself. Wreaks of more Trumpesque corruption.

Barr was selected by Donald Trump himself upon Trump’s reading of documents written by Barr and sent to Trump allies that said Trump COULD NOT be charged with Obstruction of Justice. So in not forcing Mueller to make the decision his appointment obligated him to make, Barr was able to exercise technicalities and, in effect, TEMPORARILY saved Trump.

Rod Rosenstein, a witness in the Obstruction of Justice investigation against Trump, appears to have helped Barr—who had already put his position on Obstruction in writing prior to his nomination—in usurping Mueller’s obligation to make a decision on that question.

Obstruction of Justice is an impeachable offense, and therefore we now have a witness in a case and a man who made his views known on the case before he had any evidence on it—and who got his job because of his view on the question—saving Trump from impeachment for that.

On “collusion,” investigative reporters and independent journalists just spent years gathering evidence on a very specific allegation of collusion: that for his own enrichment, Trump traded away our foreign policy on Russian sanctions at a time he knew Russia was attacking us.

We are now being told that Mueller never investigated the collusion allegation Trump was facing—on a money-for-sanctions-relief quid pro quo—and instead investigated the allegation as Trump saw it, which was whether he struck an agreement with the IRA or Russian hackers.

For two years, as Trump’s team defined the collusion allegation against him falsely—saying he’d been accused of striking a secret accord with the Internet Research Agency and/or Russian hackers before-the-fact—his critics shrugged and said, “Yeah, we’re not looking at that.”

On this collusion allegation no one was even making against Trump, the Special Counsel didn’t find “no evidence”, he actually only found that he didn’t have the 90%+ proof of that form of collusion required for prosecution. Please re-read that if it didn’t sink in the first time. Bob Mueller did NOT say that he didn’t find evidence against Trump. Trump has ALREADY….within hours of the findings, lied about that…as Trump tends to do about virtually everything.

Any person researching and reporting on collusion—will know that we did not accuse Trump of striking a secret deal with the IRA or Russian hackers before-the-fact, and that “collusion” has never been about that.

So we alleged Obstruction—and people ineligible to make a decision on that issue made the decision. We alleged collusive activity—and it appears the activity we alleged was never investigated. That is how critics of Trump should be seeing what has just happened. That….but they won’t. Trump’s admiration for the uneducated will definitely play to his advantage today. They will get the “vindication” message out there for him, even though he has not been vindicated.

What will happen now is that Trump will say that Mueller found no Obstruction—false, because Mueller made no conclusion on that (though he was supposed to). Trump will then say that Mueller found no collusion, and that will be wrong on two separate and distinct grounds.

The first way in which Trump’s coming statement will be wrong on collusion is that the collusion he was actually accused of wasn’t fully investigated—or perhaps not investigated at all. The second issue is, Mueller failed to exonerate Trump as to any collusion.

American discourse surrounding Mueller’s investigation is at this moment in dire danger—because most in the media do not understand that a proper Obstruction finding was never made, and that a full collusion investigation was never conducted.

Since the Obstruction determination was not made by Mueller—and was improperly made by Barr and Rosenstein—it now falls to Congress to review the underlying evidence and, if House Judiciary finds it appropriate, initiate impeachment proceedings.

Trump’s collusion with Russia continues to be properly investigated—not in the narrow way Trump demanded and apparently Mueller’s team acceded to—in multiple other federal jurisdictions; 2) the inability to indict on the investigated collusion is not an inability to impeach….but I don’t see him being impeached. I DO see him going to prison after the Southern District is finished with him, but he will be out of office by then.

Like everyone else, I also note that if Mueller felt that DJT should be exonerated, he would have stated that implicitly. He would have made a specific declaration of exoneration.

I first understood that there was no evidence Trump colluded via secret agreement with the IRA or Russian hackers, so now, of course, I want to know why Mueller said he wasn’t able to “exonerate” Trump on that allegation. Trump is clearly still in deep, deep dodo.

As to the collusion allegations never investigated—as opposed to the ones Trump self-servingly himself raised only because he knew he wasn’t guilty of those I tell my gentle readers not to be discouraged. There are now 19 federal jurisdictions working on Trump probes that will resolve that issue.

Some of those jurisdictions are Congressional, and many working on cases involving people never interviewed by the SCO face-to-face—Trump, Trump Jr., Prince, Ivanka, and so many others—In other words, this is merely thebeginning of the real collusion investigation.

On Obstruction, once Congress gets all Mueller’s hard evidence, they should either proceed with impeachment or wait for other federal prosecutors to finish their collusion investigations. Think about it. If the public evidence made a prima face case—it did—so did Mueller.

I ask people to distribute this post. Misinformation spreads fast—the nation already misunderstands what happened today, as media wrongly uses terms like “exoneration,” “vindication,” and “collusion.”

Mueller did NOT vindicate nor exonerate Donald J. Trump. He, in fact, took the very unusual step of stating implicitly that the report does NOT exonerate DJT. These types of reports usually do not make statements of that nature.

Trump is NOT exonerated, even though Trump, of course, has already lied about that within minutes of the announcement of the findings. (He did that as I was typing this.)

As I stated previously, Mueller was clever to hand off all those findings/cases (19!!!) to the Southern District when he did. Those cases are serious, pending and will conclude this issue one way or the other. Whatever they conclude, good or bad, I will support it.

The hand of justice works slowly. Based on Mueller’s strong message of no exoneration, I conclude with this thought: Casey Anthony is now remarried and has another child, but she can’t really show her face in public, because everyone KNOWS she did it. OJ? Washed up. Forever.

I understand that some of my friends here feel differently and will interpret the results of this case as evidence of DJT’s innocence and feel that this is a time to rejoice. I’d probably do the same thing if I got all my information from Fox and Breitbart. (chuckle) Innet, Fluffy?

The Joys of Wedded Bliss

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Photo credit: Kat Wilson, Reno, NV.

John and I have been together for 28 years. Last night, we celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary…..and it was blissful, starting with breakfast, and until the evening was gone altogether. Our day began with sunshine after a long, cold and gray period of winter. We welcomed with a long walk up to Hawthorne street, where we dined on healthful bowls of great food and smoothies.

Both of us worked for part of the day, but neither of us minded, as we both have exciting projects going on right now, and we’re both enthused and energized by our newfound prospects. John is teaching two classes this term, and I am working on a cookbook, a novel, attending training classes for my international retreat business, still working as a fact checker and researcher, and doing all of the things that I’ve always done. Add to that, going to the gym, yoga, childcare for our Ingrid and doing everything else that we both do, and you’ll see, our plates…and our lives… are full.

We both knocked off early and hung out together and watched a film about the outsider artist, David Beck. GREAT documentary, and fabulous work. Really enjoyed the guy’s imagination and creativity. We talked and laughed our way through that, and had such a pleasant time….which is usually the case. John and I actually LIKE one another. 😉

At one point, I was presented with a beautiful bouquet of red, long-stemmed roses, which is a standard gift from John, and we exchanged presents. I presented him with a very rare and valuable leather-bound, hand-written book that he had been wanting for his collection. Had to jump through a million hoops to find it, but I was so pleased to be able to present him with it, and he was thrilled…..but not as thrilled as I was when he walked in with a new Macbook Pro laptop for me. Retina Pro…all of the bells and whistles. Wow! What a difference that thing makes! Will certainly make my life a lot easier.

So, we went to Clarklewis, and we had one of the best evenings out that we’ve had in ages.

Both of us were in a great mood, so there was lots of laughter and lively conversation. After we shared a beautiful cheese tray layered with roasted nuts, rhubarb jam, house pickles of radish and onion, delicious house-dehydrated fruits and lavash crackers to go with our bottle of Torresella, Prosecco, the meal started with a market green salad with fennel, red beets, smoked feta, walnut granola and apple kombucha vinaigrette. It was fresh, light and delicious!

Next came the soup course, which was a beautiful carrot bisque with sunchokes, miso, spring onion and crème fraîche. I believe that was my favorite part of the entire meal, but it would be hard to say. ALL of it was fabulous.

The main course followed. We both had the risotto with forage mushrooms, rainbow chard, roasted garlic, parmesan stock and black truffles…and we both loved it. It was served piping hot with fresh ground parm on top. Full-flavored, rich, hearty….perfection.

For dessert, John went for the chocolate hazelnut panna cotta with white chocolate shortbread crumble, and I had the handmade butterscotch pudding with a vanilla whipped cream topping, sprinkled with slivered almonds. Yum-o!

My delicious butterscotch pudding
John’s dessert

The restaurant’s atmosphere is a fusion of fine accoutrements blended with a hip, industrial style. It was somewhat noisy inside, but it was also exciting and loads of fun. Can’t wait to take my sisterwives, Kat and Sutton, there when they visit this summer! Planning a lot of fun with those two Reno-ites!

I am so happy to be sharing this particular life adventure with John. I have loved every minute of being married to him. Couldn’t ask for a better husband. Happy 23rd….and, at least, 23 more to go! xoxoxo


Things just fall into place…..

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I have been working on opening my own international retreat business for more than 5 years now. Primarily, I have been working and saving money, conducting research, seeking out retreat locations and interviewing retreat owners. I have been writing a curriculum, conducting marketing research and doing major brainstorming about different offerings.

On my way!

I spoke with a number of friends, and got one friend to agree to do it with me. We talked about it on and off, and every time I spoke to her, she seemed enthusiastic.

Then I got stuck.

I just wasn’t sure what my next step was going to be. It seemed like all the pieces were in place. I just didn’t know what to do next. Then, an opportunity fell right into my lap, in the form of a Facebook ad that I clicked on. Now, my sails are set and I’m going full steam ahead.

I signed up for a training program that cost me thousands of dollars, but in the first day alone, I learned more than my accumulation of research that had transpired over the last years of trying to put this together. I am ensconced in a professional organization and coaching team that assures me that if I follow their program, I can expect to bring in from $20-100K PER RETREAT! This program is so extensive, so organized and so packed with the support that I need, that I’ve already made leaps and bounds. I am amazed!

So I contacted the woman I was going to partner with and asked if she was ready to go. She responded that she was booked up for the next year and that she was going in an alternative direction. There had been no discussion, no information….She simply changed her mind, while remaining open to the idea, but I needed more of a commitment than a person who was only willing to “remain open” to the idea.

Ok.

Would have been nice to have known this before I spent the thousands of dollars for the training….but she is a talented writer and in a great-sounding writing program, so it would be hard to hold any ill will toward her, and I do wish her all the best….but I felt somewhat dismayed about having been left high and dry.

Then, I posted about my endeavors on Facebook….and what happened next proves that when one door closes, another opens.

I was contacted by a woman who had been my art instructor when I attended a small, private university in New England that my husband worked at as Academic Vice President. Jessica has held retreats before in Italy, and has many great resources. She has years of experience and feels enthusiastic about working with me.

We had clicked when I was her student, but we moved away before she and I ever had the opportunity to arrange any type of working arrangement together. She told me this morning that she had always felt that our time together was “incomplete” and both of us feel that this was meant to be…..Therefore, I thank my friend who turned in another direction, because this looks like it’s going to work out for EVERYONE. It works out for the original person I was going to do this with, and it works out beautifully for Jessica and for myself.

The program’s work is very intensive and difficult, but I feel such joy as I embark upon completing it. I SMILE as I go through the homework. These women are true professionals that know this business like the backs of their own hands. They have already reached out to me repeatedly and have given me some amazing feedback.

This morning, I had a long talk with my husband about all of this, and asked for his advice. He reminded me of why I had attended the University of St. Thomas in Houston, where we had met. It was because of an ad that he had placed in the Houston newspaper when he was Dean of their Evening and Summer Division. The ad had said something about it being MY turn to complete my degree, and because of that ad, my life changed forever. That’s where we met, and as a result, subsequently married.

So now, I’m borrowing John’s idea….or it was given to me, I should say, and I have high hopes and great happiness. My retreats will be transformational by design, glamorous, luxurious retreats in the most gorgeous locations worldwide….in Italy, in Spain, in France. I can hardly wait.

My wanderlust is in control now!.