I don’t care as much about a broken system as I care about the broken children.

The fact that we question who deserves to be helped is plain heartless, ugly, and shameful. It’s not just insulting, it’s inhumane. Don’t get me started on how ungodly it is.

Let’s be clear about one thing, having money does not make you a better person. Being white and privileged, hell, being any color and privileged doesn’t make you better. One life does not matter more than another. Life is not Sophie’s Choice.

Allow me a sidebar: Yesterday in the grocery store check out lane I saw a magazine cover with Prince George in all his pudgy, cherubic glory. He’s just turned one, and he can rock a peter pan collar. And this is where our national attention is goingI thought to myself, an admitted celebrity gusher and lover of trashy magazines, that baby George has done nothing special to warrant the attention. He was simply born to Will and Kate. His cosmic lottery hit the jackpot. That’s it. All of us are tossed around like lotto machine balls and have no clue whether we are a part of a winning combination or not.

Our station in life is not all the product of hard work or little work. The rich are not automatic heroes, and the poor are not villains. Having money does not mean you work harder than someone who is poor. Being poor doesn’t mean you are lazy, unmotivated, or stupid. Being rich doesn’t give you character clout. Being poor doesn’t mean you are out to cheat the system and take advantage of generosity. Your level of wealth and privilege do not even mean you make better choices. There are plenty of wealthy people who make some pretty crappy choices. Trust me, I know people from both camps. The poor should not be vilified while the rich are lauded. You cannot thrust your own paradigm on to someone else. We all come from a different history and cannot expect others to have benefited from the same upbringing, education, and experiences we have had. This is common sense people.

Welfare queen or banking kingpin? It’s corporate welfare that’s screwing us all.

I ask that the judging stops. There comes a point we must think more with our hearts than with our brains. The beating heart should be a bleeding heart. These are human beings — mothers and fathers and children we are bandying about in the media, and meanwhile people are hurting. We are all born into this cosmic lotto and have done with it what we can based on the paradigms of those who raised us. A cycle is hard to break. Consider this, if you come from an educated middle-class or wealthy family, chances are you will carry-on in that cycle. The same philosophy can be applied to those who were born to a different lot in life. So many are malnourished in spirit and love as well as nutrition. My point is that we are not here to judge. It is in fact inhumane and certainly not an honorable way to behave. If we have privilege in one manner or another it doesn’t mean we have license to shame others who don’t.

Refugee children at the border

Families living in poverty

Hungry children

Parents on welfare

Abused kids

Academically struggling students

Abused women

The list goes on…





Gardener’s Pimm’s – 5:00 Fridays TM

by Ilinap on July 11, 2014


photo 2 (5)

Some people toil in the soil during the spring breaks in rain to plant a garden. They anticipate summer’s bounty and dream droolingly of fried zucchini flowers, succulent tomato sandwiches, and sweet fresh peas. I plant a garden too.

But I yearn for cocktails.

My summer bounty wets my whistle, and on this hot afternoon, nothing cuts through humidity like Pimm’s.

photo 1 (7)

I like to keep things simple in my bar. There’s no British pomp when I mix up my Pimm’s. There are variations on the traditional Pimm’s Cup, and some recipes tend to be just a tish too fussy for me to deal with after sweating through the thick North Carolina afternoons, ripe with storms and heat lightning. I do love a Pimm’s Cup but today I am opting for the gardener’s cheat version.

Gardener’s Pimm’s
1 ounce Pimm’s
3 ounces lemonade
2 cucumber slices
2 large sprigs of fresh mint

  • Fill a high ball with ice. Drop in cucumber slices. Tear mint leaves and rub between your fingers to release the oils. Add to the glass. Pour in Pimm’s and lemonade. Give it a stir.

Cheers to being cool (literally and figuratively). 



Face the Teachers Leaving NC

July 10, 2014

Tweet Just google “teachers leaving NC” and await the headlines that stand at attention across your screen. There’s a bevy of adjectives to describe what’s happening here in North Carolina, what used to be the bastion of Southern progress. Sad. Disgraceful. Baffling. Maddening. Pathetic. Short-sighted. Deplorable. Misguided. The list goes on. Feel free to add [...]

Read the full article →

“How Long Is He Staying, Mommy?” – Wordless Wednesday

July 9, 2014

Tweet TweetShare

Read the full article →

Hunt Library is Spectacular

July 7, 2014

Tweet It’s no wonder the inimitable New York Public Library is looking to North Carolina State University’s Hunt Library for innovation inspiration. The place is magnificent. #1 on our annual Summer Adventure List is the Hunt Library. It didn’t disappoint. The boys and I headed over there, books in hand, to explore and read. We [...]

Read the full article →

Old Glory Red Pops – 5:00 Fridays TM

July 4, 2014

Tweet “You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. [...]

Read the full article →

Gone Fishin’ – Wordless Wednesday

July 2, 2014

Tweet TweetShare

Read the full article →

From the Mouths of Babes

June 30, 2014

Tweet Comedy Central has nothing on the cast of nine-year old boys I get to hang out with.  Deal had friends over to celebrate his birthday recently. We didn’t do much in terms of providing entertainment. No magician or mad scientist as we have done in the past. This year the boys ran amok with [...]

Read the full article →

There once was a woman.

June 26, 2014

Tweet There once a woman who was on time, often even early, for every engagement. She had her act together and color coded her calendar. Her closet was tidy, always organized by season and color (and no wire hangers). Her bills were paid on time, and there were no piles of stray paper or envelopes [...]

Read the full article →

Apology Spotted on a Sign – Wordless Wednesday

June 25, 2014

Tweet TweetShare

Read the full article →