Margaret, let’s be clear.  I am obviously using the term vagina in the narrowest sense of the word as defined by the Republican Party: a noun referring to women.  And it was pretty clear at the debate that vaginas  have no value unless a baby needs to pass through one on its way to church or its minimum wage job.  Of course, if that baby is black or brown, then the intended destination changes to either prison or Mexico respectively.

I don’t pretend to think that any of the presidential candidates will ever read what I write, but if they did I hope they will remember this:  

Millions of women have been going to Planned Parenthood for nearly 100 years.  We all remember the exceptional care and the quality of the information we received from the staff at those clinics. We remember when Planned Parenthood staff held our hands and comforted us during some of our scariest moments.  We remember the relief we felt when they provided us with medically accurate information that we so desperately needed.  And women of my age also remember what it was like when safe, legal abortions were not available.

Contrary to what Republican men think, none of us ever went into a Planned Parenthood for a well woman exam, cancer screening or birth control  and mistakenly had an abortion instead.  We know what Planned Parenthood is and that is why we love and support its mission.

And in 100 years, millions of women have trusted and supported Planned Parenthood much the same way Republicans blindly trust and support the NRA.  So to the Republican Presidential Candidates I say in the only words they seem to understand: You can close Planned Parenthood when you pry it from our cold, dead hands. I mean it.  Really.

Posted by: Helen Philpot | July 31, 2015

When Did Pro Life Become Pro Lies?

Margaret, this Planned Parenthood scandal seems to be all hat and no cattle – something I’ve come to expect more and more from the religious right. If honesty isn’t your best policy then join the Rebublucan party and make some shit up.

Here’s the story in a nutshell. (The key word being nut.) People who are upset about abortions are also upset about people talking about abortions. Wow. Someone call Fox News. We’ve got a story here. If we can’t make abortions illegal, let’s make talking about them illegal.

How about this instead… 

I’m a nurse so I get that doctors, in particular, don’t have the best bedside manners when it comes to talking about the science of healthcare. Yes. It’s a science. I didn’t so much appreciate the way they talked about my breasts when I was diagnosed with cancer. They were my breasts after all, but the way my doctor talked about them you would have thought they weren’t attached to my body. So I get it.  My late husband, Harold, felt the same way about testicular cancer.

But that isn’t a crime. It might be a crying shame but not a crime. Do I wish that the doctors in those videos displayed a little more compassion? Sure. But do I think the greater show of compassion is respecting the privacy and personal decisions of women to manage their own healthcare? Damn right I do.

These videos disturbed me at first glance. But on closer inspection, they bore me. The group behind them is all hat and no cattle. All sizzle and no steak. All Christian and no Christ. I mean it. Really.

Margaret, the news has just been fast and furious this week.  One fugitive dead and one still on the run.  ISIS attacks in France, Kuwait and Tunisia.  Donald Trump becoming the new leader of  the Tea Party.   I wonder what flag that Confederacy of Dunces will fly now that the Stars and Bars is being removed?  Oh and something about a trade bill being passed and God hating America.   That last one seems to be getting the most play over on Fox News.  Never in my life did I think I would live long enough to see the gays persecuting the Christians instead of the other way around.   That was actually a Fox Exclusive!

I read somewhere that Glen Beck has 10,000 to 20,000  pastors ready to die before gay marriage would become legal.   Funny.  I haven’t seen any obituaries printed.  Religious conviction has its limits I guess, but that really is one herd I would love to see thinned.  Of course if a government is able to show more compassion than your church, maybe you should join another church.

It’s just so odd that all this hatred and discrimination seems to be emanating from a bunch of Republicans who claim to represent Jesus.  Now there is a conundrum. As a Christian politician do you abide by the law of the land and treat others with love and respect or do you follow the teachings of Jesus and treat others with love and respect?  Such a dilemma.

I look forward to the day the Supreme Court rules that a political party can’t have a monopoly on God.  I mean it really.

 

Margaret, is it a sad day, indeed.  I was just reading the news about how America has gone against the word of God with the latest Supreme Court ruling.  I am just beside myself.  If any of those judges were to just read the bible, they would clearly see the error of their judgment in the Book of Leviticus.

Thou shalt not cut your hair roundwise: nor shall you shave your beard. (Chapter 19 Verse 27)

No. Wait a minute.  That’s not it.  It’s another chapter.  That one was used by the court when they ruled on Supercuts vs. Bad Hair Days.

Let’s see.  Oh yes, here it is:

Thou shalt not eat shrimp or lobster.  (Chapter 11 Verse 9)

Darn.  That’s not it either.  That one was used when the court ruled on The Olive Garden vs. Red Lobster.

Where is it?  Oh yes.  Leviticus Chapter 18.  Here it is:

Thou shalt not approach a women during menstruation. (Verse 19)

On second thought, Margaret, I am not sure what all the fuss is about.  If you don’t agree with gay marriage, don’t marry someone with a roundwise haircut and serve shrimp at the reception.

So now that we have that settled, let’s get back to what is really important… Racism and Hate Groups.

I tend to agree with the President.  That Confederate Flag belongs in a museum.   But freedom of expression is very important, so I also agree with Senator Lindsey Graham who says that flag is “part of who we are” as South Carolinians.  And I struggle like all of the Republican Presidential Candidates do with offending everyone who flies the confederate flag.   I think individuals who want to display that flag should be able to hang it in the back window of their pick-ups for all to see.  That way, the rest of us will know that they are Republicans and can avoid uncomfortable political conversations with them over dinner at Red Lobster.

The way I see it, you can use your bible to justify hatred, and you can use the First Amendment to justify your right to express your hatred.   Or you could pull your head out of your ass and realize that you pick and choose which bible verse to quote with as much ignorance as you pick and choose which Republican Presidential Candidate to nominate.

Call me crazy, honey, but sometimes I wonder whatever happened to common sense.

I mean it.  Really.

Posted by: Helen Philpot | April 28, 2015

A Message to Whitey

Margaret – I had assumed if I wrote again, it would mostly likely be about Hillary.  But watching all this violence in Baltimore unfolding on the television moves me to write this instead.  Normally I would tell you that when it comes to racial issues, an old white woman from Georgia probably should keep her mouth shut and her opinion to herself.  In fact, that’s probably a good idea for white people everywhere because we really probably will just say a whole lot of stupid if we open our mouths right now.  But you know me, I have never known when to just shut up…

HERE IS MY WHITE STORY:

About 60 years ago my husband and I scraped together every penny we had to buy a small but lovely home in a safe neighborhood with good schools.  Our children had a lovely childhood.  They got a good education and always knew that going to college was an achievable goal.  The worst thing that ever happened in our neighborhood was a bad divorce or a scandalous affair.  Murders and robberies happened across town.  And when that happened we spoke of it in hushed tones as we smoked fancy cigarettes and drank iced tea on the back porch.   Our children all graduated from college, married and had families of their own. Our grandchildren are repeating the cycle and we even have some great-grandchildren who will continue to do well long after I am dead and gone.

HERE COULD HAVE BEEN MY STORY IF I WAS A BLACK WOMAN:

About 60 years ago my husband and I would have tried to scrape together enough money to buy a small but lovely home in a safe neighborhood with good schools.  Unfortunately the banks would not approve a mortgage for us and the neighborhood we wanted was restricted anyway.  Our children would never truly feel the American dream was about them.  The schools they attended would be poorly funded and under-achieving in every way.  As hard as I tried to hide it from them, they would know that a life of crime, drugs and violence was a real possibility and it probably would pay better than any job they could get.  Fearing authority would come more easily than trusting it.  Some of them might overcome the odds but more than likely they would repeat a life of near poverty and almost but not quites…  College would be possible but nearly twice as many of their white friends would see that happen rather than their black friends.   They would have been called the n-word in various forms many times in their life and they would know that 1 in every 15 African American men are incarcerated in comparison to 1 in every 106 white men.  When my family eventually celebrated the election of the first black President… we would have done so knowing he might be the last for many years to come.   My grandchildren and great-grandchildren might fare slightly better, but only slightly and only if they were very lucky.

Having written this, I know I should probably erase and just turn off this computer.  But you know me… This Whitey really doesn’t fully understand what is happening in Baltimore.  What I have written here is not meant as an excuse for the violence, but it certainly is a reason to look beyond the violence and try to see the truths behind it.

I know there is no excuse for violence and that it won’t solve the problem.  I know that you don’t put out the fire in your kitchen by starting one in your living room.   But I also know I have never known and might never know someone in a gang.  And I personally will probably never know anyone who has been shot at or killed by a bullet outside of a war zone.  My life is very sheltered and my opinion is, therefore, very narrow.

The images I see on television don’t even remotely relate to my reality. I am old but not so old that this is posthumous but definitely post-humorous. Yes.  I really should have just kept my opinion to myself.  Unfortunately, a 24-hour never-ending news cycle made that very, very hard to do.  I mean it… Really.

Posted by: Helen Philpot | November 25, 2014

Helen’s Thanksgiving Letter to the Family 2014

Dear Family,

This Thanksgiving I am thankful some of you have decided to go to a football game rather than gather for the traditional meal.  It means I have that many less gifts to buy this Christmas.

I am also thankful that I stopped calling myself a housewife years ago.  Those Botox bimbos on that Bravo show have managed to ruin an otherwise perfectly good profession.    I’d like to see the sorry excuse of a take-out meal they cook up for Thanksgiving.  Housewives my ass. Bless their hearts, most of them seem more suited for the world’s oldest profession anyway.

And speaking of the oldest profession, I am truly thankful that none of my granddaughters dress like a Kardashian.  That Kim became famous for putting her private moments on the internet web for the whole world to see.  We used to call that pornography but today they call it social media.   My goodness how the world has changed.  I’ll be even more thankful when her fifteen minutes…weeks…years….. are finally up because in my book she’s a glorified adult movie star.  I do, however, like her backside.  A woman with a healthy bottom can’t be all bad… as long as it got that way eating pie.

This year I am particularly thankful Sarah Palin never became Vice President. Bless her heart, she can’t help being stupid, but she really should just stay home.

And speaking of staying home, I am thankful that all of you are coming to my house to spend another holiday with me.  I’m a little older so there will be fewer rules.  One rule remains, however.  If you are vehemently vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy free, sugar-free or just plain fat-free… don’t come.

Last year I told you there was no such thing as a gluten-free Thanksgiving.  A few of you got a little upset over that.   Well I used to have a handle on life but it broke.  So I suggest you get over it and have some stuffing.  If you can find the gluten, you are welcome to pick it out and push it aside.  We can feed it to the dog.  But if you are vegetarian there is bacon in pretty much everything so your going to starve to death sticking to your convictions.

A few years ago I switched to the 2-liter bottles of soda, hoping to cut down on the waste.   Instead of cutting down on the waste, we just increased the spills.  This year I am thankful for those new tiny cans of Coca-Cola.   After years of throwing away half-empty cans the grandkids opened and then forgot about after two sips, I’ll gladly spend a little more to give a little less.

Oh and thank goodness brussels sprouts have made a comeback.  Now I have something to feed the vegetarian… no wait.  I cook them in bacon grease.  Sorry about that.  I guess if you want a salad honey, bring your own… unless it’s Jell-O salad.  If you bring Jell-O salad to my front door, just keep walking to my back door.  You’ll find the trash can on the patio to your left.  Jell-O salad looks like something the dog’s been keepin’ under the porch and I’ve got no use for salad of any kind except chicken or egg.

We’ve got two new babies in the family this year so  I’ll remind everyone of the rules.  If you change a dirty diaper while you’re here, take it with you when you leave.  The trash man doesn’t come until Tuesday.  I don’t come to your house and forget to flush the toilet so you don’t need to come to my house and leave a pile of poop in my can.  And your children are cute but capturing their every moment on the camera is just setting them up for  that social media nightmare I mentioned above.  Put your camera away so the rest of us can relax and let a notch or two out on our belts.

As much as I don’t agree, I am aware that parenting has become optional these days.  But if I can still cook a meal like this at my age then the least you can do is humor me long enough to mange your child’s plate.  I can’t stand watching half my meal end up in the trash because your child’s eyes were bigger than your husband’s stomach.

Finally, I would like to remind you that all cell phones go into the basket in the entry way.  You can pick them up on your way out.  If I catch one kid texting at the dinner table, the turkey goes into the fridge and everyone goes home on an empty stomach.

And now that I have gotten my crankiness out of the way, let me say that I am very thankful to have you in my family.  Your grandfather, God rest his soul, loved a big meal.  We’re having the same meal his mother used to make and the one I made for him every year of our marriage: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes made with real cream, sweet corn, candied yams, roasted brussels sprouts, green beans, cranberry sauce, homemade bread, pumpkin pie, apple pie, pecan pie and a nap.

I told you not to worry about bringing anything but your appetite.  I meant it.  Really.

Posted by: Helen Philpot | October 14, 2014

Someone needs to explain to Greg Abbott where babies come from

Margaret, I hear the fall colors up there in Maine rival the beauty of my spring wild flowers down here in Texas. Well, I find that hard to believe ’cause our wild flowers are mighty pretty. Maybe we’ll have to agree to disagree. But do you know what else I find hard to believe? That Texas could have a Governor more stupid than Rick Perry or even George Bush.

I shudder to think that Tweedle Dee followed Tweedle Dumb in our State Capitol, but this confederacy of dunces is only going to get worse if we elect Greg Abbott this fall. (For those of you who don’t live here, he’s our esteemed Attorney General who is running for Governor against Wendy Davis.)

Yesterday, Abbott argued that the state’s ban on same sex marriage would reduce the number of babies born out of wedlock. Evidently, heterosexuals won’t have unprotected sex as long as Ellen and Portia can’t file jointly in Texas on the off chance they move here. Thank goodness because I had given up on the idea that heterosexuals would ever get on the condom band wagon. Bless his heart. Abbott can’t help being stupid, but he could have stayed home.

You know, my generation remained pretty quiet on the subject of homosexuality – mainly because we didn’t talk about such things. But, if truth be known, most of us probably were fine with the idea. What a shame we remained quiet as I am sure there were a lot of heterosexual marriages that would have been a great deal happier if they had not included a closeted homosexual in the union.

So why am I speaking up now? Well, I found out a few years ago that Margaret has a gay nephew and more recently that I have a gay grandson. So maybe it’s time I stopped letting social etiquette stand in the way of civil rights.

Mr. Abbott, you are a hate filled idiot who is about as useful as a milk bucket under a bull. The only thing that will reduce the number of babies born out of wedlock is comprehensive sex education in our schools. Clearly whatever you were taught is for shit if you think there is any correlation between same sex marriage and unplanned pregnancies. And for the record, if you have an issue with gay marriage, don’t get married to a gay person.

And if you don’t want another idiot as Governor of Texas, don’t vote for Greg Abbott. Vote for Wendy Davis. She knows where babies come from. I mean it. Really.

Posted by: Helen Philpot | September 10, 2014

At least one meal a week should taste good enough to be bad for you

helen-mug1 FROM HELEN:

Margaret, I seem to be all over the map these days.  Presidential politics, Texas politics, the immigration debate… But if I am going to be so stressed about politics, I need to balance things as I have always done…with food.  And I know what people reading this are saying already: How unhealthy.

Really?  That’s what you say to someone well into her eighth decade? I’d say I’ve beaten those odds.  And you all should see how much pie Margaret eats… and she’s thinner than a silver dollar.  She looks like a zipper when she sticks out her tongue. Plus, she’s so tall if she fell down she would be halfway home.  I love you honey, but eat a potato chip every now and then.

Listen, I’m fat because I eat pie and think I get enough exercise just pushing my luck.  I could stand to be a little healthier in my habits.  But I know we would all be a little happier if at least one meal a week tasted good enough to be bad for you.

Speaking of bad for you… These nuanced presidential press conferences about ISIS have got to stop.  No one wants to hear that we are going to systematically degrade ISIS and ultimately defeat them.  Tell us that we will wipe their sorry asses from the face of the earth and then go back into the oval office and work with your generals to begin the systematic degrading.  Mr. President, you are too smart for your own good.  This is America.  You need to add a little bacon to your green beans.  They’re less hard to swallow that way.

And speaking of hard to swallow, Texas politics is full of more wind than a corn-eating horse.  I’m speaking, of course, about the latest television commercial from Greg Abbott, or as I like to call him – that guy in the wheelchair.   And I know what everyone is saying now:  How insensitive.

Really? That’s what you say to the fat old lady in a wheelchair?  At least I’m not using my disability to garner votes.  When you watch that ad, it’s kind of hard not to see him as the guy in the wheelchair.  But hey, whatever works.  Right?

Although, here is what the ad doesn’t tell you:

When Abbott was still in law school, he was jogging through a wealthy neighborhood in Houston and an oak tree just fell right on top of him. I’m not foolin’. It was a freak accident that put him in a wheelchair for life.  Tragic.  Just tragic.  Now, Greg did what lots of folks would do: He sued the homeowner… and a tree company. In addition to claiming medical expenses the lawsuit included non-economic damages including mental anguish and physical impairment, as well as the reduced capacity to work.  His settlement which still gives him monthly payments, amounted to more than $10 million, tax-free. Well I say, good for him.  I’ve got no problem with using the courts to right a wrong.  Of course, Greg seems to have changed his mind now that his day in court is over.  He’s built a career on making it harder for other Texans to sue their wealthy neighbors as he had done.

As a justice on the Texas Supreme Court, Greg supported limiting non-economic damages such as mental anguish.  He helped pass laws that limit the amount others can now sue for.  As Texas Attorney General, that jackass even tried to strike down the portion of the Americans with Disabilities Act requiring equal access to public buildings.   When questioned, he told reporters, “Because I filed a claim of my own, should I forever be foreclosed from criticizing frivolous and abusive lawsuits?”   This from the guy who has sued the federal government 27 times – 20 since Obama has been in office.

What’s good for the goose, is not good for the gander on Greg’s farm.   In today’s Texas, Greg would be the much less wealthy guy in the wheelchair – probably suffering from the mental anguish of having been cut down in his prime with no avenue to make it right. That’s politics for you:  Full of assholes in and out of wheelchairs.

So to let off a little steam, here is a recipe for some food that might not be good for you, but will sure as hell make you feel better:

Take an eggplant, peel it and cut it lengthwise into thin slices – thin enough to roll up.  Dip each slice in some buttermilk and then dredge it through some flour.   Shake off the excess flour and then sprinkle with some salt and pepper.  Make up a batch of goat cheese mixed with some roasted garlic, oregano and basil (or cilantro).  Don’t worry about quantities.   Your mouth is there for tasting.  Add your favorite spices as you desire.  Measuring spoons are pointless unless you are baking.  Drop a spoonful of the cheese mixture on one end of each slice of eggplant.  Roll it up so the cheese mixture ends up in the middle of your roll.  Heat up some vegetable oil (or better yet, bacon grease) in a heavy frying pan. Fry the eggplant rolls until they are golden brown all over.  Top it off with your favorite tomato sauce – I make mine from scratch but a jar will work too. 

Now, turn off the TV. Pour yourself a glass of wine and if you didn’t take my advice about the bacon grease you can call yourself a vegetarian.   Oh… and if you happen to live in the great state of Texas, come November, vote for Wendy Davis.  I mean it.  Really.

margaret-mug1 FROM MARGARET:

Helen, dear, the only thing that could improve your little eggplant recipe would be to follow it up with a great big slice of pie. Any kind will do. Life is full of questions and pie is always the correct answer.

Pie now, pay later.

Posted by: Helen Philpot | July 22, 2014

Jesus Loves the Legal Little Children

helen-mug1  FROM HELEN:

Margaret, our good Christian Governor down here in Texas, Rick Perry, said he would use his executive authority to activate up to 1,000 National Guard troops to help secure the Texas border region against “criminal aliens.”   Criminal Aliens being Spanish for children, I think.  My Spanish isn’t so good so you might want to look that up.   These are children who were not aborted so Texas just doesn’t have room for them… or compassion.  In Spanish I believe the word for compassion is… well I’m not sure what it is but I am sure that good Christian Perry knows.

Last year, Perry spoke to the Faith and Freedom Coalition about his own Christian faith and how God taught him to abandon his own selfish pride.

“Nothing less than the example of our savior inspires me as I speak to you today,” Perry said. He then read Philippians 2:5-8, in which Paul says that Christ set an example for his followers by humbling himself and became “obedient unto death, even death upon a cross.”

I always love it when a good Christian finds strength in the words of Jesus.   It gives me hope.    In this case, I think the teachings of Jesus are pretty clear…

New International Version
Jesus said, “Let the legal little children north of the border come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

New Living Translation
But Jesus said, “Let the non criminal alien children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children especially those good legal ones from Texas.”

English Standard Version
but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them unless they are illegal, for only to the legal ones belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

New American Standard Bible
But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.  But make sure they have their documentation.”

Yes.  Margaret.   It reminds me of my favorite hymn:

Jesus loves the legal children,
All the legal children of the world.
Red and yellow, black but mainly white,
All are precious in His sight,
Jesus loves the legal children of the world.

Amen.  I mean it.  Really.

margaret-mug1 FROM MARGARET:

Helen, dear.  I’m afraid I can’t help you.  I own a non-political bible and the only aliens we have to worry about up here are the French Canadians.  Does Governor Perry have issues with French Canadians?

Posted by: Helen Philpot | July 11, 2014

Which comes first, the chicken or the vagina?

Margaret, I’m old and I’m tired.  I thought I was ready to hang my quill up for good and then Rick Perry had to open his mouth again and let a whole lot of stupid fall out.   When will that man realize that his brain is older and more tired than even mine?

Last month Perry compared being gay to being an alcoholic.  This from a man who is so light in his loafers that his feet haven’t touched the ground since he got a C in Animal Breeding at Texas A&M University.   Not that there is anything wrong with that, mind you — his being light in the loafers that is. His many C’s and D’s in college is a different story.  Indeed a C in Animal Breeding is something to be concerned about.

Now the man who wants to shrink the federal government just enough to fit inside my vagina is complaining that Obama isn’t doing enough to stop the flood of immigrant children coming across the border illegally.  Evidently the only children Rick cares about are the ones who haven’t been born yet.  Once they are here – screw ‘em!

Thank goodness the clock on Perry’s record time as Governor of Texas is running out.  Sadly, it means he will most likely run for President again.  If you think I am wrong, check out his new look.  Women don’t make passes at men who wear glasses to try and look smarter.  Give it up Rick.  We all remember the Oops.

Sadly for us, the man most likely to replace him in Texas is even more anxious to get in my knickers than Rick was.  Do a little research on Greg Abbott folks.  He is the real deal when it comes to crazy.  He is suing Obama over the border issues.  He hates those children too, I guess.   In fact, the only thing Greg Abbott seems to hate more than immigrant children is the ability for women to limit the number of unwanted children they bring into the world.  This Republican conundrum is troubling indeed – which comes first, the chicken or the vagina?

Margaret, dear, my work on this earth is not done.  Texas needs another  woman in the State Capitol.  I’m for Wendy.   I mean it.  Really.

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