Tag Archive: notes from rumbly cottage


The Charcuterie Board

When you hear that word – charcuterie – do you start getting nervous?

I see pictures of all of these boards for meat and cheese or hot chocolate or roasting marshmallows.

And I get charcuterie-paralysis.

What do I put on it? What cheese should I put on it? Salami or Pastrami? Fruit, no fruit?

Just the thought puts me in a stand still.

Until this past Thanksgiving.

I decided to just do it.

The kids love salami, so I had my husband buy salami. I enjoy goat cheese, so I had him buy two small packs of goat cheese. We had a berry jam and apricot jam so Iput them in small dishes. My mother bought crackers and regular cheese. There were grapes in the house and cherry tomatoes.

That’s when I grabbed a beautiful wooden board and put it on the counter. I filled it with crackers, cheddar cheese, cheddar jack cheese, a small plate with goat cheese, salami, crackers, grapes, and cherry tomatoes. I made sure to have little knives and little spoons. Then, I had to continuously refill the board.

Surprisingly enough, I was the only one who ate the grapes and tomatoes.

After making the charcuterie board, I wondered why I had never done this before. Everyone tried it. They put jam on cracker and cheese. They mixed cheese with the Salami. They ate just salami.

So have you made a charcuterie board? Was it successful? Share your pictures in the comments.

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Wookie Blondies

It’s Christmas. Which means cookie making.

But this year is a little different.

I am on strict orders to stay off my feet as much as possible. This makes cookie making a tough feat with doing the drops and taking pans back and forth to the oven, getting cookies off of the pans, and guarding them from roaming marauding cookie eaters – i.e. the husband and teenaged son.

So this years I decided to make my favorite Christmas cookie – the Wookie Cookie from a Star Wars cookbook – into a bar. And to ensure there would be enough to fit onto a cookie sheet, I combined my recipe with a blondie recipe. The sweetness of the Blondie combined with the cinnamon, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and milk chocolate chips seemed like a good idea.

Oh, and it was.

The blondies are made with brown sugar for a butterscotch-y richness. The cinnamon adds depth of flavor. The two types of chips are simply decadent. When I make this again, I am thinking of adding pecan or walnut bits to offset the richness and give the cookie a little more crunch.

Try the recipe and tell me what you think.

Wookie Blondies

1 cup butter – soft or melted

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs (room temp if you want)

2 t vanilla

2 1/4 cup flour

2 t cornstarch

1/2 t baking powder

1 t salt

1 t cinnamon (add more if your really like cinnamon)

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Start with butter and brown sugar, mix till smooth

add eggs, stir

add vanilla, stir

add salt, cornstarch, baking powder, and cinnamon, then stir

add chips, stir

add flour. stir

spray or place parchment paper on your cookie sheet

spread mixture onto your pan, making sure every corner is filled

Bake for about 25-30 mins. (mine were good at the 25 min mark but everyone’s oven is different.)

Cool, cut, enjoy!

Mkae sure to comment below how your version of the Wookie Blondie turned out

The Dress

Today, I thought I would write about the dress.

Yep, that dress.

The one that Tiffany Trump wore at her wedding that was truly spectacular.

I loved the classis square neckline, the fitted bodice, the A-line skirt, and the long, luscious train.

Then there was the fabric – satiny, shiny, beaded.

It was elegant. The bride looked like a princess.

As she should. And when we see her happy face, it makes one wonder if she was able to forget the family drama all around her.

The sister who wore a crop top at the rehearsal dinner. The sister in-law who wore some silver thing that wasn’t quite in the pastel vibe as the rest of the wedding party. The fiancee of her brother who wore black. The step-mother who wore off-white.

Well, at least her mother was beautiful in a pastel purple.

But forget all that. Let’s allow Tiffany to be known as a beautiful bride because she was. Mar-a-Lago was filled with flowers, music, food, and a little magic. She and her groom looked happy together. And soon they will settle into a new life together. She is a beautiful bride and perhaps the most renown for right now.

After the Biden grand-daughter gets married on the South lawn of the White House, we will be getting new pictures of a beautiful bride.

I hope her dress is just as magical as Tiffany’s.

Note: See pictures of Tifany’s two wedding dresses at the Hello Magazine website. My efforts to save a picture of the dress were futile.

1. The Mask Lawsuit

During the Pandemic Bailey filed a lawsuit against the State (Pritzker) to have the mask mandate removed. Bailey believed he was saving the entire state from a mandate he felt was unlawful. However, the judge deemed that Bailey’s lawsuit was justified – for Bailey only. This lawsuit would not apply to the rest of the state.

If a person fails his objective in such an epic manner, he has made some bad decisions either in going through with the lawsuit or picking lawyers to go through with the lawsuit. If you cannot make good decisions regarding a lawsuit to get a mask mandate removed for all, how do you expect us to believe that you can run a multi-billion dollar economy?

2. Abortion

Bailey is in favor of making abortion illegal in Illinois with no exceptions. We have seen how this works in other states that have outlawed abortions.

Women who are having miscarriages cannot get the care they need because their doctors don’t want to be prosecuted for performing an abortion.

Women who are having ectopic pregnancies cannot get needed healthcare because their doctors are afraid of being prosecuted for performing an abortion.

Women in need of Rheumatoid Arthritis medication are being denied their medication because one of the side effects is miscarriage of pregnancies.

If there is no regard for women’s healthcare, that women are turned into suspects because their bodies fail to carry a pregnancy (which happens in 1/3 of all pregnancies), is outlawing abortion a good idea? If making this man our governor makes it more dangerous for women to get their healthcare needs taken care of during their fertile years, why are we voting for this man?

3. Donald Trump

This man supports Donald Trump, a man who lost the 2020 election but refused to publicly acknowledge it. For months before the 2020 election, Trump stated if he lost then that meant there were voting irregularities. However, 60+ court cases and republican-led voting audits not only did not find more votes for Trump, they did find more votes for Biden.

Now Bailey is stating that he loses, he believes it will be due to voting irregularities. And he plans to have 6000 poll watchers on election day to make sure all goes well. All this is a page out of the Trump playbook. Does he plan to have fake electors as well?

4. Highland Park 4th of July Shooting

I had forgotten about this incident until I saw a political commercial today. Within hours of the shooting at the 4th of July parade in Highland Park, Bailey appeared upset that the parade he was going to be in had been cancelled. He tried to sound calm as he expressed sympathy and concern for the people of Highland Park. But then he stated that we need to get over the events earlier in the day and celebrate our country’s birthday. Yep, he said that on the same day, minutes after expressing sympathy. I heard him say this. Tone deaf much? Unable to actually express sympathy without moving away from his policies is inexcusable. Will he continue such behavior as governor?

5. What has he actually accomplished in the State house? I have seen many, many commercials from Bailey’s campaign. I have heard people talk about his farm experience showing he knows how to work. I have seen his commercials against Pritzker, striking fear about mis-interpreted laws bringing more violence and crime into our lives. I have seen Pritzker ads showing Bailey’s views on abortion and the no-votes for bills that would have help first responders and women dealing with domestic violence.  I have not heard a single commercial touting what he has done that is good for the state.

6. Bailey hates Chicago and has never hidden his feelings. But now he is renting an apartment in the former John Hancock building on the Magnificent Mile because he wants to get to know the city. What he does not realize is that every neighborhood is like a small town. Each neighborhood has its own flavor and dangers. Does he think that working class through upper-middle class Chicagoans are going to be fooled by this stunt? We all know that what he is signifying is that he will be available to the power brokers of the city because he has a place in the city. Until I see him actually visiting the best and the worst neighborhoods of Chicago, this feels like a stunt to me.

7. Pritzker may not be perfect, but he has been a good leader for the state. Our bond rating has improved. He is working at the deficit governors on both sides of the aisles built. And during the Pandemic, he was willing to make tough decisions. Even when that meant going against the President who was hell bent on denying the virus even as it killed tens of thousands of people.

Both men are rich although Pritzker is super rich.  I will take a productive blowhard like Pritzker over an unproductive blowhard like Bailey. This is a man who criticized Biden for giving handouts but took a PPP loan of $231K, and then gave $150K to his campaign a few weeks later while claiming a big loss on his taxes. (https://pantagraph.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/bailey-campaign-defends-gop-candidate-getting-federal-relief-loans/article_b853a489-4a48-56da-af60-47af5ac481ad.html). And we are supposed to believe he is a simple farmer who knows the value of hard work.

These are the reasons why I am voting my conscious and not voting for Darren Bailey to become the next governor of Illinois..

Jumping into the Mosh Pit

Jumping into the Mosh Pit

Two of my sons are in bands. They love Punk and Screamo and Heavy Metal. Their music is filled with hard driving bass lines and pounding drums and solid guitar work.

It is not always my favorite music, especially when the F-word is tossed around carelessly. Use that mo-fo for its full effect to shock and disturb by sparingly using it.

But I digress.

The thing that always seems to happen at their concerts is The Mosh Pit.

You know what it is – a bunch of young people slamming into each other with all their might.

Image from Stolen Space Gallery

I watch my sons and their friends pound into each other. Sometimes the girlfriends join in as well. I see them working out anxiety and frustration and fear. Whatever that is going on in their lives, in their minds, that causes this frustration can be expressed. And released. Its not sexual touch but emotional touch. One of camaraderie and knowing that the other person knows its not about vengeance.

In the next moment, they smile and laugh with each other. They help each other up and glory in the pounding they just took. They are not here to literally beat the crap out of each other. It is that need to touch in the most masculine way possible.

It reminds me of the movie Crash, in which car accidents happened constantly for no apparent reason. And yet, it is stated that people crash into each other because they want connection. Even if it was a negative connection. Reminds me of kids wo act out in bad ways to get attention because negative attention is better than no attention.

A part of me wants to join in. I mean this nearly 60-year-old wants to ram just as hard as these guys. I want to release these emotions and frustrations of life along with these young people. I see myself doing it.

But I don’t. Or, more truthfully, I can’t. As a diabetic, I know I could get a serious injury to my feet. I know I could get bruised or injured that won’t heal quickly. I have doctors who would hit me upside the head for such reckless behavior.

So I watch from the sidelines; far enough away that no one will slam onto my feet and cause injury. I smile at them and enjoy their laughter. All the while, wishing I could slam into the group as hard as I can.

In dealing with some life-changing stressors, I have picked up a new hobby.

Genealogy!

I have been looking for family members from all sides of my family, Somedays I am successful, other days the haystack wins at hiding the needle.

But in looking at various records, I have found naturalization dates, marriage information, remarriages and divorce dates.

It has been a fascinating ride. Some days, it can be easy and I find all of the information I am looking for. Great-Uncle’s arrival date and the ship he came on. Census records that give approximate years on birthdates and marriage occurances.

But the biggest mystery is Ira C. Marshall, my great-grandfather.

Here is what I knew about the man before I started digging. He was from Kentucky, he deserted the Army and lived under an assumed name of Chester Harry Lone. He married my great-grandmother, Sadie Proctor. They had three children together, including my grandmother. Their oldest daughter lived with one of his family members in Missouri. He died months before my grandmother was born.

That’s it, that all we had. It wasn’t much and it was made harder by his alias.

So I went to my local library that offers Ancestry. Through Ancestry, I had found naturalization dates through various documents including census and voter registration. But how do you find a man who is deliberately hiding?

I looked under his real name, I looked under his alias. I found bits and pieces but nothing connected. I found birth certificates for my great-aunt and great-grandmother, Sadie Proctor. I found a marriage certificate for Sadie Proctor and Chester H. Lone. I found military records for Ira C. Marshall listing when he signed up, when he deserted and from where. But I could not connect him to a possible family in Kentucky.

So I shifted through the family stories again. Sadie Mae Lone had been raised by an aunt in Missouri. My grandmother was raised by her aunt, Daisy ‘Frances’ Proctor Davis in Arlington Heights. (My great-grandmother was a cow bird.) I knew about Aunt Frances but who was this other aunt in Missouri.

So I looked up Sadie Mae Lone. I found her as a ten-year=old being raised by an Aunt Mary Reilly in Lafayette, Missouri. Aunt Mary who was born in Kentucky according the 1920 Census form.

I had a start.

With an approximated birth year, I began looking up Mary F. Reilly. I found a marriage record for her in the 1880s to a Cassius Picket. He dies and she receives a widow’s pension. She will remarry a Mr. Reilly in 1915 and lose that pension. And it is recorded in military records. He will be dead by the 1920 census. But then I find her in a census and her parents are R.M. Marshall and Mary Jane Coleman.

Something looks familiar to me. I have seen the name R.M. Marshall before.

On the 1900 census, there was a R.M. Marshall in White Tower, Kentucky, who was the father of an Ira Marshall, aged 14. But Ira’s mother is Katherine Ervin. So I start looking up R.M. Marshall. He was married twice. First to Mary Jane Coleman, who disappears in the early 1870s. Then in 1875, R.M. marries Catherine Ervin. They end up having five children, including John Sherman and Ira C.

My mind is blown, I have found the connection.

Mary F. Reilly is Ira C. Marshall’s older half sister. Mary F. Marshall Pickett Reilly. Mary Reilly raises the daughter Ira has with Sadie Proctor. Later Social Security records list Ira Marshall as Sadie Mae Lone’s father.

My last problem is finding when Ira died. Family lore has him passing away in 1913, which is when his wife reported to the family that he died. He allegedly died a few months before my grandmother was born. So I look in Illinois, I look in Chicago. Nothing. But the Kentucky Ira Marshall dies in 1915 from accidental asphyxiation. He is an insurance agent with an unknown wife.

Insurance agent.

I look back to the records of when Ira joined the army in 1905 listing his current occupation at that time as Agent. And then I notice who was the reporting party – John Sherman Marshall.

Bam! I found him. I have found the man known as Ira C. Marshall, my great grandfather.

I did it by piecing together census records, military records, death records, marriage certificates, and birth certificates. I went over family legends to find clues and backdoor ways in the truth.

This is the story that can can figure out.

Ira was born in May 1885 to R.M. Marshall and his second wife, Katherine, in White Tower, Kentucky. In July 1905, Ira enlists in the Army at Fort Thomas in Kentucky. But by November 1905 he will desert the Army while stationed in Fort Sheridan in Northern Illinois. He marries Miss Sadie Proctor in 1908 as Chester Lone. Sadie Mae (who later goes by Mae) is born in 1909. His son, U.S. Grant is born in 1910/1911. He disappears in the summer of 1913, months before his second daughter, Virginia, is born. At some point in time, Sadie Mae goes to Missouri to live with her aunt. Virginia is left with her grandfather and aunt. Then in 1915, Ira Marshall dies in White Tower from asphyxiation.

Thirty years in this world, three children, desertion from the army, marriage to a woman who was impossible. A part of me wants to know the rest of the story. I want to know what his family thought of him, after all his daughter was taken in by his older sister. And he came home many years after an embarrassing desertion.

In the end, I want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly about this man who is a big mystery to me. Or maybe I don’t. Either way, I am still looking up the rest of the family.

F*@k This S&@t

So another week, another shooting in America. Nineteen children 10 years old and younger dead.

It’s yet another Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moment.

We are being told stories of how these young victims could only be identified by the clothes they were wearing or their parents’ DNA. The teachers’ bodies were found trying to protect their students.

Hearing these stories, it reminds me of the mother from Parkland who screamed to President Trump that we need to do something to stop these shootings.

DO SOMETHING!

I shouldn’t have to say imagine if this was your own child to any of these politicians. They should feel the horror of what has happened at Uvalde and Buffalo and Parkland and Sandy Hook. And it should make them want to DO SOMETHING besides offer up empty thoughts and prayers.

Our usual suspects are saying how their thoughts and prayers are with the families but this is not the time to re-write legislation. I would compare Ted Cruz to a slimeball weasel but that’s insulting to weasels. Instead of running to Cancun, he ran to Houston for the NRA convention that took place on Friday.

Having meetings in rooms where guns are not allowed.

Well, Fuck this Shit!!!!

People are angry and tired and they want solutions.

Real solutions, not the next line of BS that this is not the time to do such things, are desired. Or the other line of BS of getting schools more security and training our police more extensively. Especially as more stories come out about the poor decisions of the police in Uvalde.

Scream it with me. FUCK THIS SHIT!!!!

This problem in our country that does not happen in other countries. Other countries don’t have mass shootings constantly. Other countries don’t have their schools shot up on a regular basis. This happens only in our country on a regular basis. Other countries banned guns after the first mass shooting. But not our country, we don’t want to give up our guns, especially those miltary grade killing machines.

Well, Fuck this Shit!!! It’s time for solutions.

And I am not talking about Cruz’s idea to give more money to police departments to get these bad guy shooters in jail and not out on the streets.  I am talking about some real changes.

DO SOMETHING!!!!

Forget increasing gun accessibility, as Texas laws have done. How else does an 18-year-old get a military grade weapon legally? LE-GA-LY!!!!!

I want to know why the freedom to own whatever gun you want trumps the right to people living, especially children. Why do 90% of people have to live in fear of the 10% who don’t give a shit about our safety?

FUCK THIS SHIT!!!!

I am no longer accepting the line that there is nothing that can be done to stop evil. I was given that line by an idiot after our town’s school were on lockdown for a third time in eight years because a disgruntled person brought a gun on the property. One was prepared to shoot a specific staff member.

DO SOMETHING!!!!

It’s time to bring back the ban on assault weapons. Don’t try the old lie that they are being used for hunting. Any hunter will tell you that kind of weapon destroys the meat you are trying to harvest. Instead, make the weapon of choice for these shootings harder to get.

While you’re at it, start acting as if guns are like cars. Buy a gun, then buy insurance, a license, and take gun safety classes.

Nationalize Red Flag laws so that these laws go across state lines. Want to know the truth behind Chicago’s high rate of violence despite some of the toughest laws regarding guns? Most of the guns used in crimes come from Indiana and Wisconsin where the gun laws are more lax. Make that National Registry have real teeth by connecting it with Red Flag laws so that domestic violence victims might believe that order of protection has real teeth.

And finally, stop blaming mental illness without doing something about it. Make mental health services a required part of any health insurance policy. Beef up the services people can get and expand Medicaid in your state so it is widely available.

HOW HARD CAN IT BE TO DO!?!?!?!?!?!

I have had people tell me you can’t prevent evil. But like many in this country I am SICK of these mass shootings where the only intent is to kill as many people as possible.  90% of the people in the country are sick of them and want some action.

So it is up to the 90% to do something. We need to start by writing letters to our own and all senators, especially the ones who only want any gun to be able to be bought by any person at any time. If you have a gun violence story, tell them. Make them cry. And then tell them what you want. Remember to not swear in your letter, you want to be taken seriously. At the end of this rant, I have a letter to senators you can adapt for your own. Use it as a template.

Send them a letter every month, don’t stop until we get legislative action. Call your senators every month. Keep the pressure up until they do something. Peacefully march whenever possible. Pay attention to who voted for the new legislation and who didn’t. Use your power of the vote to get rid of the ones who will not do something.

Don’t stop because when we stop, they will stop until the next shooting. This awful cycle will repeat itself. And the thing is, there will be another one sometime soon. The pattern is all too familiar, all too scary. And we should not allow ourselves to get use to it.

Now it’s your turn.

DO SOMETHING!!!!!!

Here’s your sample letter. You’re welcome!

Dear Senator,

I am writing in regards to the recent shootings that have taken the lives of 31 Americans. I am a part of the 90% that wants to see legislation happen to stop these killings.

First and foremost, we need to re-institute a federal ban on assault weapons.  These weapons are made for mowing down people. Why are we selling these weapons with little or no restrictions, as the Texas shooter was easily able to do on his 18th birthday.

Secondly, create federally mandated background checks on all gun purchases. So what if a person has to wait a few days for their gun? Isn’t it better to have someone wait? Connect that to mandatory insurance for each gun/rifle/assault weapon owned.

Third, make Red Flag laws federally mandated. One of the problems with tough gun states is that they are surrounded by states that have fewer restrictions, such as Illinois and Indiana. Perhaps domestic violence survivors would feel safer knowing their abuser could not get a weapon.

Lastly, if we are going to blame mental illness issues for these shootings, let’s require health insurance companies to give better coverage of this health problem. Expand what is available through Medicaid. But do not pretend we don’t have to address mental health. Depression, anxiety, and other disorders need to be addressed, especially if they are going to be blamed for the increase of mass shootings.

Americans want these mass shootings to stop. 90% of Americans want federally mandated background checks. Please take these minimal steps to make our country safer, to make our country more like other industrialized nations that do not have this problem.

Thank you,

Digging up Family History

As I have gotten older, family history has become important to me.

My free time lately has been filled with searching for family names and finding birth and death dates. I put in names in google and see where it leads me.

Next up will have to be ordering death certificates my mother already does not have in her collection. I would like to see if I can find pictures.

I am trying to avoid having to sign up for a paid site. But they seem to have more information that I can use. I can find some family members but a Thomas Proctor, a great-great-great uncle, born in 1850 while the family was still in England has been difficult. His widow and sons are on the 1920 census living with my great-great grandfather.

Next up, I plan do one of those DNA tests. A cousin did hers on Ancestry and said it was easy. After that I would like to set up my own family tree so that my kids can have the information – should they ever want it.

In the meantime, I am using the information I do have. The other day I spent a part of my day in a cemetery looking for gravestones. I had called the cemetery staff looking for a possible location. While they told me the lot number, I never found lot number markers.

So I did what I could, knowing that my great-great grandparents died in the late part of the 1800s. I found myself in the part of the cemetery that held the founders of the town. It took me awhile but I hit pay dirt. As I walked around with a car snow brush in hand, I uncovered a number of grave markers that looked as if they could be from the right time period.

It helps to know a little history on cemetery markers. Such as granite would not start being used till the mid-1900s. And families, especially those of some wealth would have obelisks as a family marker. The taller the obelisk, the wealthier the family.

No, I didn’t find my great-great grandparents. I found my great-great-great grandparents, the ones who came from England and helped settle the town of Arlington Heights in the Midwest. It appears I come from pioneer stock.

All of these commercials about finding your history are meant to make one curious, meant to make you wonder just where did you come from. Was your ancestor a good person or a not-so-good person. It makes you wonder where certain health issues start, such as my rosacea.

I remember when the genealogy for Barack Obama came out and there was a scoundrel somewhere in the family tree. It was also found that his mother’s family came from the second boat to arrive at Plymouth. When you go back far enough, you find the good, the bad, the incredibly ridiculous and incredibly boring.

Well, I am looking forward to finding out more of my family tree. After that, I can go farther to those British and Polish records. Eventually.

Sarah Proctor 1833-1900
Thomas Proctor 1827 -1897

Open Letter to All Senators

What did you do on January 17 to fulfill it as a day of service?

I crafted a letter that I sent not only to my senators but several other senators, including a few I really dislike, regarding the two voting rights bills that are on the senate floor.

In sending it to my own senators, I am preaching towards the choir. They are voting for Voters’ Rights. But there are others who need to stop acting as if voter fraud happened when no one , not even the former guy, has proven that it happened. I hoped by voicing my opinion, politely, maybe they would listen.

So I am putting that letter here. Perhaps it will get more attention, perhaps not. But I want senators to now that not every one who contacts them wishes them ill.

Dear Senator,

I am asking you to vote for the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Amendment.

I feel that these bills will protect the rights of voters everywhere in our country. I believe strongly that all Americans should have the same experience I do when I go to vote. Many times, I am in and out of the voting booth within 15 minutes. And that includes waiting for the election judges to find me on the rolls and give me a ballot.

No one should have to wait hours to vote, especially if they have time limits because of their work hours.

No one should have to bring along a day’s worth of food and drink along with fold-up chairs in order to vote. Or be denied the opportunity to be given food and drink while waiting in line to vote an inordinate amount of time.

No one should be denied the opportunity to use absentee ballots, especially our military serving overseas or people worried about contracting Covid-19 in all of its variants.

Early balloting should be made easily available to all. I know I used it when I served as an election judge in November 2020 and was glad I did. I ended up being assigned to a voting site not in my area. People who have to work on voting day need the opportunity to vote as easily as possible.

Voting polls should be abundant, especially in states where the counties are the same size of our smallest states.

I ask you to vote for these bills to help all Americans, not just a few. Justice denied to some means justice denied to all.

I ask you to work with the party across the aisle to make these bills passing into law a reality. These bills are for all of us, not some of us. When it comes to voting rights, we should stand together as a nation and show the world how it is done.

I may not live in your state but your vote doesn’t affect just your state. It affects everyone in our nation. Please work to make these bills become reality to help all Americans have the right to free and fair and accessible elections.

Sincerely,

Karyn Bowman

The Coffee Treat

Have you ever heard of the Lipstick Effect?

It is one of those weird little theories that states consumers will continue to buy little luxuries during times of economic stress such as recessions or downturns. Things like lipstick that doesn’t cost a lot but makes us feel good.

But for nearly the last two years, we have been living in a world where masks are a normal part of life and lipstick is not. I have not bought a new lipstick in all of that time although I have purchased chapstick. No one is going to see that.

Every week, it seems that something is the new ‘must-buy’ item at the store. Ice cream, cake mixes, flour, sugar. one time I went for coffee creamer and the shelf was nearly completely empty.

Once my workplace opened back up, I noticed something interesting. The Dunkin Donuts I passed by had a line, a long line. And it happened nearly every day. And at nearly every Dunkin or Starbucks I passed during my various travels.

I have been back in my office for a year and a half. And those lines are still long. I thought people would have moved on, found a different thing to focus on. But week after week, the lines don’t stop. One time I pulled in for an afternoon treat when there was not a line. Within minutes, there were three cars behind me.

And why not?

It’s not pink frosted or a Boston Cream but it will do.

For $5.00 it is possible to get a flavored coffee with cream, sugar, and whipped cream with a lovely sweet treat that involves flour, sugar, and hot oil. It’s a little bit of heaven during a rough period that no one would have ever believed would have lasted this long. Not only that, we can do it from our cars. Drive up, make an order, pay, and move on.

Do I have any scientific evidence to back this up? Not a bit. My theory comes from constant observation as I drive around my community.

But with the Lipstick Effect as my guide, I believe that instead of rewarding or treating ourselves to lipstick, we are now getting a coffee and donut to go. Does it last as long as that tube of lipstick?

We all know the answer to that.

But for those few minutes of caffiene and sugar, it feels worth it.