Mortgage backed securities? Wait, what?

Had you bought 100 Apple shares on April 19, 2013, it would have cost you $5579. Today your investment would be worth $16,291. Impressive? Sorta. In the Spring of 2013 I was driving a school bus for about $16 an hour so I would have had to work about two and a half months to save up that much. So, yeah, I wish!

All our investments are in the Pension Boards United Church of Christ, Inc.. Very smart and trustworthy managers. Good thing, too. We (I) might have put our money into fidget spinners or the like.

Meanwhile, I do like to see what is happening. I want to see how in the world we ended up with thousands of mortgage foreclosures in 2008, for example. I kinda want to go beyond the basics. After all, just bingeing on Billions doesn’t really give me the whole picture.

So I consider myself lucky to have come upon Morning Brew. This short and sassy newsletter hits my inbox on weekdays and I always come away with at least a couple or three fascinating nuggets. Like, Best Buy is starting up door-to-door sales or that Anheuser-Busch turned over its Georgia plant completely to produce cans of water for Houston’s terrible crisis.

Check out Morning Brew out. I think you might enjoy it.

Marriage without hope

She was checking me in to the doctor’s office and asked if I felt safe at home? Has your partner or ex-partner threatened you with physical harm? Have you been hit by your partner or ex-partner?

She had several more similar questions and as I repeatedly said “no”, I thought of yesterday’s blog post. Because in it I was upbeat about the mutuality and possibility in marriages.

As I often do, I reread as if I were one of my readers out there. I had left something out. Some marriages have no hope. Sound too resigned or negative? Not if you have seen the terrible repeating pattern of domestic abuse time and again. In real life, not just on TV. Some marriages are just torturous prisons.

Please read these questions without judgment or fear. They were created to help people talk, in a protected place, about their personal experience. So here they are for information but also for self examination. Please remember, they are only for you not so you can “diagnose” someone else.

• Are you afraid of your partner? Do you feel you are in danger?
• You mentioned your partner’s problem with temper/stress/drinking. When that happens, has he ever threatened or hurt you?
• Every couple fights at times – what are your fights like at home? Do the fights ever become physical?
• Have you been hit or scared since the last time I saw you?
• Has anyone at home hit you or tried to injure you in any way?
• What kinds of experiences with violence have you had in your life?
• Do you feel controlled or isolated by your partner?
• Does your partner ever try to control you by threatening to hurt you or your family?
• Has anyone close to you ever threatened or hurt you?
• Does your partner ever hit, kick, hurt or threaten you?
• Have you ever been slapped, pushed or shoved by your partner?
• Have you ever been touched in a way that made you feel uncomfortable?
• Has anyone ever made you to do something sexual when you did not want to?
• Has your partner ever refused to practice safe sex?

The morphing of a blog

Words from Warren started out as thoughts on marriage. Then there was the election of a President who, with his marriages, flaunts disfunction as a virtue.

Besides, what do I know about marriage that you don’t already know from your own experience? Most importantly, only you and your mate have that exact relationship.

The rest of us sometimes try to speak of  a couple’s marriage. Don’t we say they are “happily married”?  What does that even mean? The phrase is trite and so uninformative as to be useless. What then?

Don’t try to describe a marriage. Huh! Now there’s a thought.

Consider this: two people seem to be “happily married” but flinch because they know what they are dealing with on a daily basis. Not really UNhappy but still… Then, there are gossipers who may say something like “Their marriage is a little rocky.” Then couple gets wind of this and it can only stir up guilt or anger. That helps them? I don’t think so.

All of which is to say, in your marriage just be kind, try to listen, have patience, and don’t give up too soon. Forget what others think about your relationship. And don’t even think about their marriages, don’t compare.

And if nothing else, as far marriage goes do not, and I say again do not, let your relationship go the route our adolescent President’s.

We can do it…so let’s do it!

I have a coverless, water-stained copy of an Unitarian Universalist meditation from when I served as an interim minister in that denomination in the early eighties. It is  73 Voices Chris Raible and Ed Darling, Editors. (Check out the UUA Bookstore for a whole list.)

Today I share one of my very favorite pages.

Assurance   -John Corrado

Be gentle with yourself;

You’re okay.

Life has no erasers –        but  life is okay, too.

Don’t wait for forgiveness.

The only forgiveness you get

is that you take.

Don’t be afraid.

Have faith.

Say “yes” in spite of the temptation to say “no.”

Be a healer.

Address the world with wonder. Engage it with courage:

Daring love Daring trust Daring hope.

Open your soul as if

it were a window

Letting the sun shine in

and letting the light of yourself out.

You can  do  it.

We can  do  it.

So let’s do it!

Animal Attendants in your Ceremony

Animal Attendants In Your Ceremony
Posted on August 19, 2017 | Author Cynthia Dumont

The animals in fairy tales steal our hearts: Cinderella’s songbirds, Bambi’s butterflies and the Darling children’s Nana in Peter Pan. But how about incorporating these icons into your own real-life fairy tale? If you want to bring animals like these into your wedding ceremony, you can certainly do it. But to make sure you get the happy ending you dream of, here are a few important things you should know.

Releasing a dove is a symbol of hope. During your ceremony, you could release just two doves to symbolize your union and future together, or a flock to represent the support of your family and friends.
• The doves used for this purpose are white homing pigeons with an innate ability to find their way home within a 500 mile radius.
• Use a professional dove release company to make sure the birds are properly trained and cared for.
• Unprofessional sources may use ringneck doves, who are not strong fliers and do not have the instinct to return home, leaving them vulnerable to predators.
• Contact the National White Dove Release Society to find a responsible company near you.
Here is a very good wedding guide from Cindy Dumont of North Hampton, NH

Setting butterflies free during your ceremony is a dramatic representation of transition. Butterflies can be purchased individually or in masses.
• Butterflies are bred by reputable companies specifically for this purpose, so be sure to reserve them in advance.
• Butterflies are housed in envelopes until their release. It’s instinctual for them to fly once the envelope is opened.
• However, temperatures must be over 70 degrees for them to fly. Consider the average temps in your area and wedding month.
• Warmth, daylight, clear skies, and low wind are the conditions these beauties need for a successful release.
• Look for companies associated with the professional organization, International Butterfly Breeders Association, Inc. (IBBA) for responsible handing.

Furry Friends
You may have a fur baby you’d like to include in the ceremony. Here are some tips to make your day stress-free. (well, almost!)
• First, make sure the venue allows animals on the property.
• If your pet is the ring bearer, for example, use some sort of harness or collar with a pouch to store the precious cargo.
• Use a leash to guarantee that an unexpected distraction will not cause down-the-aisle chaos, and assign someone NOT in your wedding party to walk with the leash in hand.
• No one can control when nature calls, but if possible, have someone walk your pet in a private place just before the ceremony. Don’t forget the pooper scooper!
• Ask a friend or neighbor to be ready with the get-away car to take your furry family member home after the ceremony or after the family formals are taken.

Your wedding ceremony should be unique, expressing everything that is special about you and your spouse-to-be. If a fairy tale wedding is something you’ve always dreamed of, why not complete the scene with creatures of nature? Discuss this idea with your officiant. That’s what we’re here for.

Contact Cindy Dumont at her beautiful website 

Is there a dating site for Neo-Nazis? What percentage of white are you?

-Europeans -Normies -Red Pilling

What do you think of when you see these terms? If they are not familiar to you turn on your podcast app.

Friday, August 18th’s episode of the New York Times podcast The Daily is an eye opener (an ear alert?) An “investigative reporter” lurks in some white supremacy chat rooms. What he heard might be hard for us to believe. Hate, arrogance, calls for civil war, just to mention a few, are shocking.

Maybe they shouldn’t be so startling. It might be time for us to understand what is going on and accept that these people say that with this President they are free to do whatever they want. Take a look at RationalWiki to see this incredible glossary, the introduction of which reads:

“The alt-right uses a lexicon filled with memes, stolen left-wing terminology with altered meanings, and in-jokes. Whether this is because the alt-right is just a bunch of cringey 14-year-olds or because they hope to hide their racist intentions, the world may never know. (spoiler: it’s both)”

When we see young white men marching along at night with the tiki torches chanting hate and bigotry, it is frightening. But we can’t cower in fear. We can not be bystanders. Let’s arm ourselves, both with information and determination. We are not a white country and we do NOT want to have a white country.

Lying Hillary

Ever since that night in November as we watched the results of the 2016 Presidential election roll in, I have often almost cried that Hillary Rodham Clinton was not elected.

She said once:  “To every little girl who dreams big, I say: Yes, you can be anything you want–even President.” And then this country allowed misogyny and gutter politics to block her from the White House.

Will we soon, or ever, have a female President? I don’t know. I am a male who has worked hard on ridding myself of sexism but I think many of our institutions and political movements still have not.

The problem is that wonderful women like Hillary bog down and are rejected not because they are aren’t exceptional in their work but because they are not male.

The Democratic Party is faced with a kind of Hobson’s Choice. If it wants it’s candidate to be elected then he must be a man or…what? nothing? Which is what we got. Plus, not only nothing but a mean spirited, dangerous, cry baby. But he is a man, right. Goddamn.

In my not-so-humble opinion, the Democrats should nominate another woman and let out all stops to do whatever it takes to get her elected.

Wedding readings that tell your story

Wedding readings that tell your story  Author Cindy Dumont

poem image

To create a beautiful and powerful wedding ceremony, your wedding officiant will strive to weave together your past, present, and future as a couple. A collection of just the right words, placed in just the right order, tells the story of who you are, touching the hearts of everyone within earshot. Readings play an important role in that narrative.

Yes, you may already know you want to incorporate readings to help define this moment, but perhaps you don’t know where to begin. Readings and quotes can come from almost any source, but here are some classic sources to consider.

The Bible 

Many rely on their faith as a GPS for life. I officiated a wedding for a couple who ascribes to this philosophy. Here are a few readings they chose, setting the tone for their sacred ceremony.

  • 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs…”
  • Ecclesiastes 3: 1-14 “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up…” 
  • Song of Solomon 2: 10-13 “My beloved speaks and says to me: Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away, for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove Is heard in our land…”

Song lyrics

As an officiant, when couples tell me their love stories, I often hear their words set to music, almost like a soundtrack to their lives, and I think of the perfect song. Here are a few recent situations and the songs I suggested.

  • Samantha and Ronny were separated during Ronny’s military tour in Afghanistan. In an effort to feel close to her after he’d been away a while, Ronny asked Sam to go outside and look at the stars. He promised to do the same. The lyrics I read were from the song Wishing on the Same Star by Diane Eve Warren. Incidentally, when Sam went outside, Ronny was standing there. He had finished his tour and come home to marry her.
  • Brittany and Dave met in the second grade and were each other’s best friend until life took them on different paths after college. After being apart for six years, each came home to the other, physically and emotionally, and married. The song lyrics I chose for them was You’re My Home by Billy Joel.
  • If you use song lyrics in your ceremony, consider using that same song as your first dance. You’ve introduced the lyrics to your guests in your ceremony, and then they get to hear it during your reception. How about I Choose You, written by Sarah Bareilles or A Thousand Years written by Christina Perry?


Think of all the great love stories portrayed in movies. Do any of them sound like yours? Here are a few epic examples to inspire you.

  • Replace the words in When Harry Met Sally with those that apply to you, “I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts….”
  • In The Notebook, Nicholas Sparks writes, “I am who I am because of you. You are every reason, every hope, every dream I’ve ever had….Every day we have together is the greatest day of my life….”
  • Love Disney classics? Steal a scene from Pocahontas“If I never knew you, If I never felt this love, I would have no inkling of how precious life can be…”


It seems like I’m stating the obvious, but books are a great source of readings. Whether you’re looking for pretty prose or silly sonnets, books are where it’s at.

  • This is from The Bridge Across Forever by Richard Bach. “A soul mate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are…”
  • Children’s books provide a clear path to truths. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams is a bride favorite. “Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real…”
  • The Irrational Season by Madeleine L’Engle is one that my own husband chose for our wedding. “But ultimately there comes a moment when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take…It is indeed a fearful gamble…”


Poets are the ultimate artists, using words as their medium to express the profound mysteries of love. Weaving poems into your ceremony will add a sense of romance like nothing else can.

  • The works of Maya Angelou are provocative. Here is one of her classics called Touched by an Angel. “We, unaccustomed to courage exiles from delight live coiled in shells of loneliness until love leaves its high holy temple and comes into our sight to liberate us into life…”
  • In a recent wedding I officiated, two people read this e.e. cummings poem in concert. The second person read the words in parenthesis. “i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart) i am never without it (anywhere i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)…”
  • Graham was a gardener. A tree in his future mother-in-law’s yard was dying. Together, Graham and his fiancé Erin, nurtured it back to life until it bore fruit. Erin chose the poem Together, by Jo Lynn Wood as her reading. “Two trees near to each other stood when they were young and life was new. Their limbs reach out and their branches entwine and thus together they grew…”

Another important reading resource is your officiant. Use these examples as a starting point when searching for the perfect words to describe your unique love story. If not these, it’s likely your JP has a notebook full of beautiful words for you to choose from.

Contact Cindy Dumont at her beautiful website

The time for resistance is upon us

If you think President Trump is a joke, you are right. He is also a dangerous ignoramus. We cannot let him have our country. We refuse to be a fascist dictatorship.

Does that sound like extreme hyperbole? It isn’t. The danger of this President is as serious as that.

Suppose you were a patriotic German in the 1930’s. You said things like “Give him a chance.” or “We need to work together.” or “He is just a fluke.” or “At least we didn’t elect that lying Hillary.” (Well, not that last one but you get the idea.)

Then before your very eyes, people were being forced to wear a Star of David on their clothes. Pink triangles began to appear. The Brown Shirts marched.

And the  “Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei” – the National Socialist German Worker’s Party began to invade other countries hell bent to execute the idea of Lebensraum in order to expand over all of Europe.

Today makes me think of the time that Hitler came to power and if you don’t accept  the possibility that with this President fascism can take our democracy over then START BELIEVING!


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