On My Mind: June 2017

Monday Author: Susanne Skinner 

America is a hot mess and the rest of the world is asking what we have done to ourselves. There is no simple or painless way out of this. Our nation has lost its way by electing a leader incapable of leading. This lays heavily on my heart and on my mind.

On My Mind, thinkingWe are suffering from The Trump Effect. An article in The Economist tells us it’s A Presidency Gone Wrong.  As a CEO Trump had absolute control, as a President he is out of his depth; failing to understand that business and politics work by different rules. It has stopped being a Democratic or Republican problem and become an American Problem.

What is most troubling about this Presidency is the man himself. Unpredictable, reckless and so full of hubris he is an embarrassment to our country. His personality is not suited for the job and Rebecca Solnit offers an insightful theory in her article The Loneliness of Donald Trump.

It is impossible to look away from this debacle, and it’s so painful to watch.

…and in Other News on My Mind

There is so much political discord it’s hard to focus on other news. But we are resilient people who need to stay informed. We must soldier on, believing change will come.

Here are some of the things on my mind from the rest of the internet.

This is a summary of what’s in the House approved Health Care Bill, highlighting key provisions in the American Health Care Act. Americans need to know what will happen if the Senate approves them and the bill becomes law.

The RompHIM. Seriously, this is a complete fashion don’t.  Like the Man Bun.  No.

Let’s talk about covfefe. I know—we’re supposed to create some space between our sanity and all things political, but we can’t ignore this one; it’s the POTUS tweet that broke the internet.  But what does it mean and how should we use it?? Randy Rainbow explains it all.

Where Have all the Cowboys Gone? They can be found at the Nine Quarter Circle Ranch in Montana, where real cowboys  live and work. Some of the west is still wild, and beautiful! These cowboys are the real deal.

If you’re thinking of taking that bucket list trip to Cuba here are the things you need to know. Big take away—it’s a cash country so leave those credit cards and your  US dollars at home. American money has the worst exchange rate. Change your USD to Euros before you go. 

The Summer Kitchen

Our summer season is, well…seasonal. We have 90-120 weather-dependent days to grown and enjoy fresh veggies and  I am always searching for innovative ways to use them. Here is a great one pot/one plate dinner with color and flavor from the season; chicken pesto tortellini. Food for your eyes as well as your mouth.

bowl of basil, summer kitchen, pesto, chicken pesto tortelliniThe Moscow Mule is making a comeback!  It has nothing to do with either one, and its all about using the right—meaning copper—mug. Reed’s ginger beer is the best.

If you’re into Cosmopolitans (and I am) then let me introduce you to Deep Eddy Ruby Red Grapefruit Vodka. Dangerously good when used in this recipe.

Everyone has a sweet tooth in the summer and I am all about no-bake options when the heat is on. This Strawberry Lasagna has a few steps to get to the finished product, but it’s a make ahead dessert and worth the effort.

Read ~ Watch ~ Listen

As we get ready to dive into summer I have a few recommendations for your Read, Watch, and Listen list.  Because summer is about doing stuff we love.

Read-Watch-Listen, Books, Movies, Television, Music


Sometimes Amazing Things Happen, written by Elizabeth Ford, MD, Chief of Psychiatry for Correctional Health Services in New York City. Working on the prison ward of a hospital for the mentally ill started as a medical school rotation and became a career for Dr. Ford, who acknowledges the compassion, despair and eventually hope she felt for a forgotten part of society. Her story invites you to look behind a dark and terrifying door.

The Other Einstein, by Marie Benedict, is a fictional portrayal of Albert Einstein’s wife, Mileva Maric.They both attended the Polytechnic Institute in Zurich, and she was a brilliant physicist in her own right, but very little else is known about her. This story speculates that her brilliance contributed significantly to Einstein’s theory of relativity and casts him in a less than favorable light with his attempts to stifle her.

Television and Movies 

Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot, Patty JenkinsSummer is repeat season for television and that’s when I turn to the jewels of PBS. One of my favorites, Call the Midwife, takes place in the 1950s in East London and this season they were brave enough to shine a light on the heartbreak of Thalidomide, an anti-nausea drug prescribed for expectant mothers that caused over 7,000 babies to be born without arms and legs. Sensitive and factual, it tells the story of baby Susan, and leaves nothing to the imagination.

Wonder Woman.  How can you not? Israeli actress Gal Gadot is perfectly cast with Girl Power done right. Aline gives a great review here. Do it.


Innovative music is introduced every day, but occasionally I go back to the standards.  I’m talking Frank Sinatra.  There is only one Chairman of the Board, but I stumbled across Barry Manilow’s (don’t judge me) interpretation of Frank’s classics and fell in love. Listen to The Second Time Around and Put Your Dreams Away and step back in time.

The world needs us to stay positive.  America is having a bad day; not a bad life.  We will fix this.