The Cross House

2016. The Year-End Update. THE ROSS.




Has there ever been such a year?

The year grabbed me, snatched away countless hours of my time, and, in the end, spit on me.

In my previous post I detailed much of the work done on the Cross House in 2016. And a great much did happen.

A great much also happened to me.



In December, 2015, I did a year-end post. It was kinda grim, and detailed how 2015 was one of the worst years of my life. The year was filled to the brim with tension, in stark contrast to 2014 which was one of the best ever years. Indeed, I think 2014 was my best-ever year. I had a ball.

I was determined to have a better year in 2016.

But as these words are typed I am in a state of shock and gripped by a profound horror.

The year started out OK and it was a THRILL to see so much work happen at the Cross House. Gutters were relined, roofs redone, rot repaired, and many many many stained-glass windows restored. Each new project completed made my heart soar.

Many other projects ensued and the Cross House became incrementally better every month in 2016.

All this work buoyed me.

And, boy, did I need this.


In 2016 I lost my treasured Gilda, after seventeen years together. I miss her I miss her I miss her.  I miss her.


I also wrote about Emerald, a blind stray who worked his way into my heart (and house!). Then just a week later, he departed.


While being shadowed by grief, I was also astounded by an incredible new reality. I have lost 26 pounds and now weigh 174 pounds. I think the last time I was so thin was over 15 years ago. I also pretty much stopped drinking. And pretty much stopped drinking Diet Coke.

These miraculous changes began on October 2nd, when I woke with a deep knowing: I had to start treating myself better. I can’t explain such a knowing but I have received them before in my life and have learned to accept them. They come with a powerful sense of rightness, and this makes what would normally be a very difficult process relatively easy. The knowing is so profound that I just, well, accept the message. Resistance really is futile.

I need to remind myself of this good news because my emotional state is otherwise…very poor. I just feel shattered by the events of 11/8/2016.

This election grabbed me like no other. Indeed, it kidnapped me. There is one popular political blog that I began to look at many many times a day, and in 18 months I left 4,128 comments, and received an incredible 16,335 up votes. Some of my comments were just quickie things, but most were researched and included links to credible sources. I spent an extraordinary amount of time doing battle with trolls. They would post absurd lies and I would leap in with a detailed response again linking to credible sources.

Other readers seemed to greatly appreciate these efforts.

But it was exhausting.

This last fall I had to ask myself: WHAT was I doing?

It took a while but an answer was forthcoming.



I had a really bad childhood. There was physical abuse, verbal abuse, and sexual abuse. What got me through it was a deep knowing that, eventually, good would prevail over evil. I felt that if I could hang on until adulthood I could flee my home and find a new life. And at eighteen I did, in fact, flee. And life did get better.

My childhood though made me hyper-sensitive to abuse, as often happens. Even when others are abused.

So, my radar was highly tuned in the 1990s to Hillary Clinton. I watched her opposition and the mainstream media just beat up Mrs. Clinton. And this abuse was non-stop through the ensuing decades.

This long campaign to discredit Hillary has had its effect.

In the last eighteen months I have talked with many Republicans, and each despises Hillary, and they 100% know that she is despicable.

The surreal thing is that not one such person has ever fact-checked anything about Hillary. They just accept everything they hear/read as absolute gospel.

In talking with these individuals I point out that my opinion of Hillary is the polar opposite of theirs. “How can we both be right?” I ask. They agree that we both cannot.

I then point out that their opinions are never fact-checked. While my opinions about Hillary are based on fact-checking.

This usually causes some pause, but then: “I know I am right about her. She is horrible!”

When I point out that their absolute conviction that Hillary is a liar is not supported by the facts, and I show them this on Politifact (a nonpartisan fact-checker), they just stare at the results and say: “I know I am right about her. She is a liar!” When I then show them Trump’s truth score (he is lying almost 70% of the time), they again just ignore this and exclaim: “But she is worse!” (She is provably not. We all lie. And all politicians lie. Hillary lies about 25% of the time. Poltifact has stated that, as politicians go, Hillary and Obama have the highest truthy scores, about 75%, while Trump earned their Liar of the Year award).


As true today as it was then.
As true today as it was then.




During that last few months I read the massive biographies of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, both by Ron Chernow. What blew my mind away is that EXACTLY what was happening in 2016 was also happening in the 1790s. People just believed what they wanted, the facts be damned. And the media was just as bad in the 1790s as it it today (I have a passionate loathing of the media).

For example, Thomas Jefferson despised Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury. With zero evidence, Jefferson deeply believe that Hamilton was a crook and was stealing the treasury blind. He even organized a Congressional witch hunt (Benghazi!) with the fervent hope that it would expose Hamilton for his supposed crimes.

But Congress, after an exhaustive inquiry, fully exonerated Hamilton. And this enraged Jefferson. So, when he became president, he instructed the new Sectreary of the Treasury (who also despised Hamilton), to do a forensic accounting of the department to prove once and for all the treachery and crimes of Hamilton.

But the new Secretaty, to his great surprise, found zero evidence implicating Hamilton. Indeed, he found a stellar record of honesty and integrity. When he reported his unexpected findings Jefferson was enraged yet again and refused to accept them.

Jefferson also deeply believed that Washington was a secret monarchist and was plotting to make himself King. Again, with no evidence to support this, and all the while ignoring the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Jefferson persisted in his beliefs and went so far as to secretly fund a newspaper damning Washington. When President Washington told Jefferson (his Secretary of State) of his profound hurt and horror in reading these untruths, Jefferson never acknowledged that he was behind the terrible stories.



For twenty-five years I have watched Hillary Clinton be vilified by her opponents. And this has caused me a great deal of pain because all my fact-checking into Clinton proves that she is a remarkable person who has spent a lifetime working to make life better for people.

This vilification does not come from people who know Hillary and/or have worked for her. Such people rave about Hillary. There are consistent reports of how smart she is, warm, engaging, and funny. People love working with her.

The vilification comes from her opponents. And why? Because she is damn good, so they have to do anything they can to take her down.

This long campaign of destruction is, to me, pure evil. And I have long had a desperate desire to know that good can prevail over evil.

I repeat, I have long had a desperate desire to know that good can prevail over evil. And this is why I became obsessed with the election.

With a Hillary victory, what I endured as a child would, somehow, be just a bit better. For, a Hillary victory would prove that good WAS stronger than evil.

And I have needed to believe this my whole life.

But as these words are written I now know a shattering new truth: Evil is more powerful than goodness.

And I don’t know how to live with such a reality.

How do I live when sexual abuse is now celebrated?

How do I live when misogyny is now celebrated?

How do I live when homophobia, xenophobia, and racism are all now celebrated?

How do I live when lies are now celebrated?

How do I live when a complete lack of qualifications is now celebrated?


I feel shattered.



A lot of people are not paying attention to the fact that 80% of Americans did not vote for Trump.

And I know that there are Trump voters who read this blog.

The Trump voters I have met, some of whom are people I know and care about, have told me basically four things:

  1. Trump will create jobs.
  2. They like that Trump is an outsider and will shake things up.
  3. They nonetheless dislike Trump but,
  4. They despise Hillary with a passion.

Regarding the first, I have asked: “How will Trump create jobs?” The response I receive is always basically because he said he would.

Regarding the second, I have asked: “Would you hire a mechanic to work on your car with zero experience? Would you let a doctor operate on you with zero experience? Would you hire a house painter with zero experience? Or a hairstylist or caterer or anybody?”

They answer no to each question. But, surreally, putting something with zero experience into THE hardest job on Earth is apparently OK.

This baffles me. This horrifies me.

To their third/fourth reasons I have learned that nothing I can say, or can show them, will make the slightest difference. They know what they know and they will never be open to anything contrary. This is summed up by a quote:

Republicans believe every lie about Hillary.

And ignore every truth about Trump.



As 2016 ends, never before I have looked to the future with such despair. Never.

Had, for example, Romney won rather than Trump, I would be just a bit unhappy. No one likes “their” person to lose but I would not fear for my country with a President Romney.

But a Trump win is something never seen in American history.

God help us all.


This sums things up for me.



89 Responses to 2016. The Year-End Update. THE ROSS.

  1. Except for the childhood abuse, I could have written this post. Thank you for taking the time to put all of these feelings into words. I love your posts and historic houses. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Ross – I echo your pain and disgust and disappointment at the results of the election. I work in non-profit and fear that my world will forever be harmed (or at least sent back a few decades) by the new administration. The only salvation in all of this is learning who will truly stand with you and fight for what is right (right as in anti mysogony, homophobia, sexism, racism, etc). At least I can console myself that I live in a blue state (but we did elect Christie twice, so that’s not really a solid leg to stand on). ❤️you and continue to hold your head up and know that “your people are still out there!

  3. Dear Ross

    You are a survivor. You will survive this too.

    You made life so much better for those kitties, and that counts for a lot.

    Believe that your research has educated someone, somewhere. The Cross House, Emporia, and everyone who reads this blog has been greatly improved.

    “God help us all.”

    “And I have long had a desperate desire to know that good can prevail over evil.”

    —For those who choose to believe, God promises that good will prevail.—

    (That’s all I’ll say about that, unless someone wants to converse about it.)

  4. “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything” -Albert Einstien

    You have in your way done something. Keep your head up and continue to fight and educate the people around you. With people like you in our lives I truely believe that one day good will prevail.

  5. Ross, I agree with you 100%, and I feel your pain. I am appalled, horrified, and scared to death. I was literally physically sick until about a week ago, when I decided I had to do something besides feel bad. I committed to join a protest in Kansas City on inauguration day. I also plan to resume volunteer tutoring with English as a Second Language students when Christmas break is over. We need to resist, resist, resist in any ways we can. This is not normal, and we should not accept it as so! Thank you for all you do!

    • Sue, you wrote: “This is not normal.”

      I agree!

      But too many people don’t recognize how abnormal these events are! And that scares me!

      SCARES me!

  6. Ross, As a somewhat conservative, libertarian voter I am used to swallowing my disappointment at candidates who were on the opposite side of what I believed. New Jersey is full of Democrats that will not fight injustice, will take the easy road, and love to line their own pockets. The same can be said about Republicans, I am sure. The world still went on, despite my feelings. I don’t think Hillary was the devil incarnate and neither is Donald Trump. I believe in something greater than the Republican party. The whole world may be going down the toilet, but this world is not all there is. Give the president-elect a chance, and remember that the Lord is greater than all the world’s leaders and their powers.

    • Michael,

      Thank you for your reply.

      One thing you wrote sorta confuses me though.

      You asked that I give the president-elect a chance.

      Do you really think I should give an admitted sexual abuser a chance to run the country?

  7. Ross..

    You put into words what I have not been able to.

    I wish I could say more…but I cannot. I’m too grief stricken.

    Just know that your words mean A LOT.

    And I thank you for saying them.

    Still reading your blog EVERY morning here in Nashville, as I have for the last two years.

  8. Ross I realize that this is not a political thread so my reply will be short. In the history of the United States, we have a lot of puritanical ideas about propriety and especially sex. That President Kennedy had a sister that was institutionalized was not ever talked about. That he had a sister that abandoned Catholicism and married 2 divorced men was a scandal. That President Abraham Lincoln may well have been homosexual, or in the least bi-sexual- and had a wife that went mad and was committed may be a shock to some. President Wilson was a stern Presbyterian, yet as fallible as anyone else. He had a long term mistress. People today are a lot more forgiving and understanding regarding the human condition. We could be hard hearted like Thomas Jefferson apparently was to his perceived enemies, or possibly realize that Americans that don’t vote our way want the same things out of life that we do. I don’t think it is fair to expect the POTUS to be a paragon of virtue when most of us aren’t.

    • Michael,

      Yes, the history of US Presidents is filled with scandal and terrible stories. I am historian, and know this all too well. And I don’t expect any POTUS to be a paragon of virtue.

      But never before, NEVER, have we had a President who was an admitted sexual abuser. Who BRAGGED about sexually abusing women.

      This is TERRIBLE, and there can be no rationalizing this.

      • Bill Clinton is a known sexual abuser but everyone said that didn’t affect his ability to govern and highly praise him. Everyone has double standards to justify their own beliefs, myself included.

        • Dear Mary,

          Bill Clinton is not a known sexual abuser.

          Bill Clinton is a known philanderer.

          The two are very very very different things.

          Donald Trump is an admitted sexual abuser.

  9. Well. President Clinton was a sexual abuser. I don’t know that he was an “admitted” sexual abuser. I am sure some of his dalliances were consensual. He only admitted to things when he was cornered. So yes, there it happened.

    • Michael,

      There is no proof that Bill Clinton was a sexual abuser.

      All we know for sure is that Bill had consensual sex outside of his marriage.

      This is VASTLY different than Trump bragging about sexually abusing women, and it is disturbing that you seem intent on rationalizing something which should never be rationalized.

  10. Ross
    I debated about commenting on this post. I do agreed with you, but not your reaction. Why are you allowing him into your heart and brain? All these negative thoughts are hurting you, certainly not causing Trump any pain. He is winning again if you continue to do this. Offer it up and move on having positive thoughts and deeds. Why waste all that energy on Trump. There is a cat out there that needs you. You have a good day, the Cross House needs you to be in good spirits.

    • Marjorie,

      Thank you for your comment. I hope you always will feel free to comment.

      Normally, I would not only agree with your thoughts but would live such thoughts. The problem is that IMMEDIATELY after 11/8 my income dropped. As of today it has not yet returned to pre-election levels.

      So, daily I am being confronted, in a deeply visceral way, by the effect of a Trump win, and daily I am scrambling to keep the many balls afloat.

      This makes it impossible to take a detached view of things.

      • Ross,

        Factor in that I am 88 years old, wife, mother, grandmother. Born during the great depression. Been there done that.

        My concern is for your wellness. From your history, this is just another major bump in your journey. This too shall pass. Believe it.

  11. First, I send my condolences on the loss of two members of your fur family. Rest assured they are now in kitty heaven where all the mice are SLOW.

    Second, I agree totally with you, Ross, on your political rant. My disappointment in my fellow citizens is so great at their gullibility. The hate and nastiness directed towards Hillary Clinton is unparalleled, at least in my memory. I am heartsick and embarrassed by the person who, come January, will represent my country.

    Maybe to look at the glass half full, this has shown us that hatred and bigotry still exist but so do wonderful people who go about their everyday life with decency and kindness. For myself, I plan to use 2017 as a time to make a positive impact on my world while enduring these next four years.

    Ross, you are taking a neglected small part of our world and giving it a chance at a new life. You are restoring a grand old dame to her majestic beauty so it’s not lost due to lack of care. Please keep dwelling on that feeling of pride and accomplishment in the Cross House whenever the politics weigh you down.

    • My empathy also with your heartfelt dismay, and sympathy for the admirable Hillary Clinton, the people’s choice. Take new heart from her when she says

      ” I count my blessings every single day that I am an American. And I still believe, as deeply as I ever have, that if we stand together and work together with respect for our differences, strengthen our convictions, and love for this nation, our best days are still ahead of us.

      “Because, you know, I believe we are stronger together and we will go forward together. And you should never, ever regret fighting for that. You know, scripture tells us, “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season, we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

      Ross, don’t feel that you have lost heart! It hurts, but that’s because it’s there. Don’t let political events sunder you from friends, acquaintances, your pleasure in restoring things. There’s still a social order to be restored and we all need to put our best abilities to it!

      • Dear Linda and John,

        Thank you for your thoughts.

        Normally, I am a relentlessly optimistic person, and I think this has been obvious in my many posts these past few years.

        Please know that my love for the Cross House remains undiminished, and I look forward to the projects scheduled in 2017. I work on the house almost every day, and while there my current pain subsides.

        It is when I leave the house that my heart and soul feel crushed again by the events of 11/8 and all that has happened since. My life-long optimism vanishes (which, in itself, scares me) and I feel doomed, and feel like my country is doomed. These feelings are intense. I know too much about history, and know all too well how things now in the air can turn very ugly very quickly.

  12. Then pealed the bells more loud and deep
    God is not dead, nor doth he sleep
    The Wrong shall fail
    The Right prevail
    With peace on earth
    Good-will to men.

    Sometimes things do not work out as you might expect. All is not lost. Every day is another beginning, always and forever hopeful, grateful and Thankful because sometimes good things do happen. Do the best you can and be at peace

  13. I will be marching MY ASS OFF to oppose Trump. I’m not gay, but I have a pride flag hanging on my porch because Mike Pence lives in my neighborhood, and because I want everyone to know that my house is a safe space. My husband and I will do all we can to stop this abomination.

    Ross, you are not alone. I know it may feel like that because you’re in Kansas, but you’ve got folks all over the country who love you.

    May we always be partners in preserving old homes, helping kitties, and fighting the good fight.

  14. Many folks are in your corner Ross. Best we can do is hang in there and hold on to one another and REFUSE to let evil prevail. Getting healthy and focusing on worthwhile pursuits are two goals I’m focusing on in the coming year as well. After eagerly reading each new update on your blog, of course! ????

  15. My mantra since 11/8 has been:

    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloodied, but unbowed.

    I’m alternately furious, disappointed and embarrassed by my countrymen and women who elected Mr. Trump and have validated those who represent the worst of America.

    I’m having a really hard time shaking the feeling that assholes do always win.

    I hope 2017 starts looking up for you.

  16. My dearest Ross,

    I have begun three comments to this post. I had to hit “delete” each time, I was in danger of a rant that was longer than the post!

    Please know, your sense of loss and grief and your fear of a dangerous future for both our country and individuals in our society is felt by many of us.

    To those who want to remind me God is in charge, I will agree. And He instructs me to flee from evil. And I will also agree, He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world. (And in my view Donald Trump is a very good example of worldliness!)

    Ross, first and foremost I want you to know How important your little corner of the world is to me. And I gather there are many more of us out here who come to visit you here and peek in to get a healthy dose of restoration for the Cross House as well as our selves and dare I say our souls?

    Please know you offer a haven for many kindred spirits… and the chronical of your restoration efforts help to heal more than broken glass, blistered wood or missing shingles.

    Okay sir, first rule of caregiving: take care of yourself first so that you can help others next! Drink plenty of water, get some rest and KNOW THAT YOU ARE LOVED!

  17. I come here to read about your house restoration, and I find myself sitting through a political rant indicating that Hillary is a vilified and abused woman?? LOL!!! That’s good stuff! Isn’t she a huge supporter of abortion, which is the most racist multi-billion dollar industry that sets up most of their clinics in Hispanic and black areas? Hmmm…I didn’t see that mentioned in your eulogistic post.

    I didn’t vote for Trump either, but Hillary is no angel and I’m tired of everyone making it seem like she is. I can’t even come to a house restoration website without opinions about the PAST election being discussed.

    • Dear Catherine,

      Blogs, by their very nature, are personal.

      And Restoring Ross posts about restoration, yes, but I also post about cats and lighting and politics and my travels and on other subjects.

      People who read my blog often let me know about how much they like the personal nature of my writing.

      Also, you perhaps did not note that I broke my annual Year End Report into two posts. The first post was titled THE HOUSE, and the second post was titled THE ROSS. The latter was intended as as obvious indication that it would be a very personal post. The fact that twice as many people have read THE ROSS than THE HOUSE is a strong indicator that readers ARE interested in the personal.

      In your comment you state that Hillary supports a women’s right to choose. This is true, and the same is true for a strong majority of people in America. However, you also state that abortion “is the most racist multi-billion dollar industry that sets up most of their clinics in Hispanic and black areas.” This is a false claim.

      You seem, I am guessing, very pro-life. Did you know that every day 50,000 children die from preventable malnutrition across the globe? I repeat, 50,000 children die every day. Are you doing anything to help?

  18. Hey, I get that. It’s your blog, it’s your rules. I started reading your personal update assuming that it was going to be about your lighting business, your cats (very sorry about that by the way, I’m a cat person myself), or some other anecdote about your day-to-day life. My mistake.

    I give regularly to the Food for the Poor organization, and I have also volunteered at our local crisis pregnancy center in town. You know those evil places that actually help women in their situations with food, clothing and support to alleviate the pressure to “get rid of” their “unwanted” pregnancies. I like think that in my small way I am doing things to help. Are you? Over 58 million people have lost their lives to abortion in the last 43 years…have the crime and hunger rates gone down? How many lives have to be lost till those 40+ year old arguments don’t apply anymore? And I see no comment on the racist aspect on it, which makes me believe you fact-checked this to see that there’s something to it.

    But enough about me Ross…this blog is about you. 🙂

    • Dear Catherine,

      I admire you for walking your talk. I bow to your dedication.

      You also stated that I did not comment “on the racist aspect” of abortion.

      I did, and provided a link. Such a claim is false.

  19. Okay, one last thing thing and I’m out. I saw your link. On that same website you’ll see why you can’t trust the Guttmacher Institute for accurate information about abortion:

    The Institute was named to honor a distinguished obstetrician-gynecologist, author and leader in reproductive rights, Alan F. Guttmacher. During his presidency of Planned Parenthood Federation of America in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Dr. Guttmacher saw the need for the institution that now bears his name and nurtured its development within the Federation.

    • Dear Catherine,

      Is is wise to distrust a source simply because they disagree with you?

      Oh, and I, as do most Americans, support Planned Parenthood.

  20. Hey Ross,

    No, I’m not saying it’s wise to distrust a source that disagrees with me, I’m saying that the Guttmacher Institute has a strong connection to Planned Parenthood, which is the largest abortion provider in the country. It’s like trusting a source that says Donald Trump is a stand up guy, when that source is owned by Donald Trump. Just look around at other sources is all I’m saying. You said you are a fact checker, so this will be right up your alley.

    • I have fact-checked the issue numerous times over the last year, and credible sources support the findings of the Guttmacher Institute, and vice versa.

  21. Then you have proven your earlier comment, it doesn’t matter what you show them and what you say, people aren’t going to change their minds. People will seek information in places that support their views. You are the same as the rest of us Ross, no better, no worse. We all have to live in this world together. With every democratic president in my lifetime the issue of preserving life no matter their income or race has been stepped on and all the work done to protect women, children and families are fought against. Yet, I believe that we all need to work together instead of people trying to create divisions, which is what this whole fight post-election is doing. Keep fighting for what you believe in and believe the good will prevail. Stop hating your fellow citizens for doing the same. The majority of Americans live, work and die in anonymity, just trying to provide for their families. We’re all working toward the same thing. Let’s keep doing that and stop letting the media whipping us into a frenzy divide us against our fellow citizens.

    • Dear Catherine,

      You have made claims which are not supported by credible sources. Yes, there are a LOT of websites claiming that abortion = racial genocide, but there is a difference between credible and non-credible sources. The trick is discernment. For example, when Breitbart makes such a claim (as they have) I know to wholly discount what they say because Brietbart is SO not credible. So, too, anything that the National Enquirer claims.

      You also write: “With every democratic president in my lifetime…all the work done to protect women, children and families are fought against.”

      This is wildly untrue. Just one example? You are apparently unaware that Hillary Clinton, as First Lady, successfully fought to provide health care for 8 million children. That is a damn impressive achievement. Hillary has also spent a lifetime working to protect women, children and families.

      You wrote: “Stop hating your fellow citizens for doing the same.”

      I am unsure who you mean but I do not hate my fellow citizens, and have never made such a statement.

      You wrote: “We’re all working toward the same thing.”

      This is also untrue.

  22. Hot button issue: Abortion.

    I am told over and over “they” want LESS government.

    And yet, “they” want to legislate what amount to be medical decisions made about MY body. Perhaps we should remove this issue from the argument? Personal? Professional? Medical? Spiritual? Relegious? Ethical? Government? Just how could/should one argue the issue? To say you are “pro-life” perhaps suggest I am “pro-death?”

    I am the director of our local food pantry that, unlike a Trump charity IS 100% volunteer run and donation driven. We have NO overhead and can give food on the spot to anyone who simply expresses a need.

    Ross, this is your space and I whole heartedly support your right to express what is on your mind and in your heart. And I will read it. And ponder, and perhaps learn and apply. Both for my interest in restoration of an old home and my old soul.

    Thank you. And don’t be discouraged because in a weird twist of numbers we are stuck for four years with an empty, hollow tweeter who appealed to those willing to drink the koolaid and ignore facts as THE representative of our people. Those of us who remember the silly fool from the ’80s and ’90s who ran more than one business into bankruptcy fear what his history has shown us.

    I commented before that in the days following the election I was worried about your mental state. Having read your blog “cover to cover” I knew enough that a person of your intelligence and sensitivities would be reeling. As was (am) I. My dear friend who’s husband was killed by a drunk driver and I commiserated on how we felt grief akin to losing our loved ones. (I will spare you my story of grief here.) I read how the artist Madonna likened Trump’s election to the grief of a death, and truly, I understand.

    I told you earlier I have written and hit delete several times. I do not want to rant, but I cannot remain silent. I am not sure what action my restoration will take, but I will look for a constructive project. But here now, I want you to know…beyond a doubt…I will continue to read, enjoy and as I have since the events of 11/8 point sympathetic souls to “the blog by the guy who is restoring a house in Kansas, who rarely gets political, but you NEED to read this…”

  23. Well yes this year had many challenges, lots of ups and downs. But All Years Do. However, for the most part we make it through. We celebrate our accomplishments and lament our losses. Take stock, reflect and go about things the best we can. Sometimes we need to rest and recover and sometimes it is best to avoid triggers that make us so unhappy for awhile. For you, maybe at least the next four years just avoid politics as much as you can. Just concentrate on you, your business, and on the house. Your strengths, your oasis, your sanctuary. Your Opus. Make your corner of the world a little better. Let that be your light and use it to keep you energized and focused.

    We have slugged through tough times many times as a nation, and survived many instances of poor leadership and good leadership decisions many times over within every past administration. NO single decision is going to garner unanimous support by everyone at all times. But somehow since 1776 we have managed to make it work, remarkably well despite its supposed shortcomings. Everything resets and is kept in check and is balanced. Despite vast differences we remain a Nation United and a strong Republic.

    The Dust has settled, and the decision is made. Some happy with it, some not. But it is made nonetheless. All we can do Now Is Take a deep breath and carry on. Life goes on, always with some sun, some clouds, some ups and downs, as it goes life ebbs and flows. Life is uncertain, but at the heart it is a gift. If you seek gloom there is plenty, if you seek light there is plenty. All a matter of where you focus your time, attention and efforts. You see in it what you want to see. It is still a remarkable gift each and every day.

    No easy answers does it afford but each day we arise we have an opportunity to enjoy it to the best of our abbilities we can, or not. That is the Gift and a Choice That IS Ours and, Ours Alone. Apart from our life circumstances, we alone have the power to be optimistic even in dark times. Call the reserves and focus attention in life’s blessings rather than what it has not.

    May This New Year Bring Forth An Abundance of: Achievements both, Personal and Professional; Contintment; Health; Happiness and Prosperity.

    Now and Always


  24. You have put my feelings into words so much better than I could have. I also feel that evil has won, and I despair, not only because I fear Trump, but I fear that so many in our country have embraced lies and hatred for others. When I attempted to ask my conservative Christian parents why they support him, they became angry with me. I am heartbroken.

    • I offer you a big hug.

      One of the more baffling things about the election is how many Christians supported Trump. This is a man who is an admitted sexual abuser, is now on wife #3, is a known adulterer, has conceived children out of wedlock, and does not attend church.

      By way of contrast, Hillary has only had one husband, has never been known to commit adultery, has been a lifelong churchgoer, and can recite long passages from the Bible. Yet, many Christians refused to support her.

      • Thank you Ross. I have pointed out the same facts to Trump supporters about his apparent lack of “Christian values.” The response seems to default to a variation of your point #3 above, they mumble no one is perfect, and then move on to #4; they despise Hillary and will then bring up something about Bill’s infidelities.

        I have informed several of his supporters that “The Donald” knocked up wife number two while still married to wife number one. Many did not know this fact.

        His supporters have said to me, “I don’t like those Clintons, nothing ever sticks to them.” And when I point out perhaps there is a reason, as in the FBI declaring there was nothing in newfound emails just days before the election, his supporters do not want to be confused by the facts, their minds are already made up.

  25. Ross, I have never commented on any of the house blogs that I read, but I felt like I needed to after reading your feelings.

    I found your blog about a year-and-a-half ago, just a few months after my divorce was final. I married young and was married for 28 years. To say I was surprised by the drastic changes in my life would be a huge understatement. BUT finding your blog was a godsend! I read it from beginning to end during that horribly dark time and it made me forget.

    I live in an 1886 home, a former hospital, in southeast Kansas. I am just about 20 minutes from the fabulous WF Norman company! You got me excited about my home again! This was supposed to be my dream home but at the time it didn’t feel that way. But your blog changed that!! It is once again a dream home for me and my two youngest children.

    Being an Independent in SE Kansas is hard! I am in the minority with my community, my church, and all of my family except for my very smart two older children. I totally feel your pain and depression. I have no answers on how to make this feeling go away. I can only try to make the small part of the world that I come into contact with a little kinder. Please hang in there! There are a lot of people who need your little corner of kindness. There always seems to be a lot to go around here. I’m also a kitty lover so I cried and prayed for your babies.

    And now I’m switching gears and this is a tiny diversion tactic: What kind of tile surrounds your fireplace in the first picture of your last post? I have wondered this many times because I have the same tile around my living room fireplace. Also, I have five beautiful stained-glass windows in my home. How were the designs chosen for stained-glass? How might I be able to find out who the artist was? Ok, are you now thinking about old houses?! I hope so.

    Try not to dwell on the bad things and know that there are so many people in America who feel exactly the way you feel. Thank you, thank you, thank you for unknowingly helping me through a very dark time!

    As always, I look forward to your next post.

    • Brenda, I was quite moved by your comment and will respond more later. It is late now, and I am sleepy!

      Oh, and you MUST come visit! And I so want to visit you! I look forward to a L O N G hug.

  26. Ah, Ross, when we follow an author it’s not just the subject (maybe not even the subject) or the style or the way with words but a connection that’s detected, explored, and confirmed in our hearts. We don’t know it exactly but we know that there is a shared experience, survived.

    Mine was ridicule and the breaking of spirit in early childhood, continued with more of the same in marriage to a sentient being sans conscience.

    My flashback moments started earlier in the year and by election night a cemetery was the refuge I found after voting.

    I believe in miracles because a miracle changed my life. My life now is a miracle, as hard as it is. I pray everyday for the strength to fight this horror in the world that is everything my ex dreamed of being.

    We fight to live. We live because we fight? God bless and much love.

  27. I can’t believe this went there. I’m not going to argue the issue. Except to say these few things. I’m sick to my gut that you posted this on here. Ugh wasn’t there another place? I live my dreams through the blog. I have it saved to my phone screen. Didn’t you think this through? Didn’t you assume you had Trump supporters on this blog? I’m soooo bummed. Trumps already started bringing back jobs back. Fact! And he’s not even in office yet. Now, I’m for gay rights, I’m pro choice, I’m pro Marijuana legalization, I’m for gun legislation etc etc etc. But, our countries safety, economy, bringing jobs back, and fixing OCARE was just more important right now. So I voted Trump and no way in hades was I voting for Hillary. I didn’t mind when you posted little hints about the election I knew who you were going for by those. But a full post on here. What you wrote was so insulting to Trump voters I’m leaving the blog. I just can’t support it. I’m gonna guess more will drop out as well. WHY OH WHY DID YOU HAVE TO GO THERE. It makes me sick to never look again. Well, Good luck with the house I hope I see updates posted elsewhere. Later. Plz dont reply I’m taking the blog off my screen and emails. But in all honesty good luck with the house. It’s already looking great. 🙁

    • Dear Carrie,

      Thank you for your comment.

      You stated that you would not be here to read a reply, so what I write is intended more for other readers.

      You wrote: “I’m sick to my gut that you posted this on here. Ugh wasn’t there another place?”

      As I wrote above, all blogs are, by their very nature, personal. I write not just about restoring the Cross House, but I also express my emotional reactions to the process, and readers seem to like this. I have also written about my cats, and my emotional response to their loss. And readers seem to like this. I have also written about traveling and readers seem to like this. And I have also written about politics and readers have responded well.

      You wrote: “Didn’t you think this through? Didn’t you assume you had Trump supporters on this blog?”

      Yes, I did think this through. As mentioned above, I broke my annual Year End Report into two posts. The first was titled THE HOUSE and the second was titled THE ROSS. The latter was to let readers know, up front, that I would be writing about me.

      I read a lot of old house blogs, and am always THRILLED when the blogger reveals personal stuff. To me, this makes the whole experience so much richer. Indeed, my favorite blogs are very much about personal adventures. I recently stopped reading one old house blog because it was always about the nuts and bolts of restoration with NEVER any insight into who the blogger was. I grew bored.

      The fact that twice as many people have read THE ROSS than THE HOUSE is a strong indicator that readers are interested in the personal stories.

      I also stated in the post that I knew Trump voters read this blog. As such, I wished to be sensitive to them. I did this by not critiquing Trump in the post. Re-read the post; you will find no criticism of Trump.

      You wrote: “Trumps already started bringing back jobs back. Fact!”

      No, this is not a fact. I am aware that Trump has claimed X companies are bringing jobs back because of him, but these same companies have publicly denied this. Such jobs are the result of long-range plans which only now are being completed. For example, this week Trump tweeted that Sprint was bringing back 5,000 jobs, and that he was responsible. Sprint denied this, and reminded people that this had been announced almost a year ago.

      Trump is a profound liar, and fact-checkers have proved that he is lying 70% of the time. He received Politifacts Liar Of The Year Award.

      You wrote: “Now, I’m for gay rights, I’m pro choice. I’m for gun legislation.”

      Trump has stated that women who have abortons should be punished. Trump has also surrounded himself with people who are intent on getting rid of marriage equality (and Pence is virulently hostile to the LGBT community). And much much much worse. Regarding gun legislation, I am unaware that Trump has any plans to legislate guns.

      Hillary, who you appear to loath, IS pro-LGBT, IS pro-choice, and IS for gun legislation.

      You wrote: “Our countries safety, economy, bringing jobs back, and fixing OCARE was just more important right now.”

      How is our country unsafe? There has been no terrorist attack during the last eight years. There WAS a major terrorist attack under the previous president. Crime has also declined during the last eight years. Obama has deported a record number of illegal immigrants. Obama also inherited the largest ever deficit; he has reduced this by 80%. In addition, there has been a record 56 straight months of private sector job growth, and 65 straight months of economic growth. Unemployment has fallen from 10.1% to 5.9%, too. There has also been record stock market growth. Regarding OCARE, Trump has repeatedly stated that he will get rid of OCARE, rather than work to fix it.

      Hillary promised to fix OCARE.

      I am one of the few voters who read Clinton’s and Trump’s tax/economic plans. I went to conservative tax foundations and read their reports. And their reports on the Clinton plans were positive. Their reports on Trump’s plans were TERRIFYING. They all said that Trump would utterly destroy the economy.

      You wrote that you will now never read this blog again.

      I am sorry to learn of this. I have friends who voted for Trump and we manage to get along fine. If I required that everybody in my life have thoughts and beliefs 100% in alignment with mine I would have no friends!

  28. Dear Ross,

    Long time reader, first time commenter. I’m Canadian, so have no direct investment in the U.S. election results, but of course the actions of your President have repercussions that go well past your borders. Like you and many others, I found the election to be traumatic and shattering – I really could not believe the results as I saw them happening.

    I thought your post here was honest and open, and …. for pete’s sake, it’s your blog, to write as you wish! I also read several other blogs written by Americans, and I was interested to see the same thing happening in response to their posts written about the election results. Most of the comments were heartfelt and clearly written by people who were shocked and hurting … but in contrast, the tone of the responses of those who supported Trump was generally critical, angry, or defensive. I would guess that many people have spent too much time getting their ‘news’ from a particular kind of shock right-wing media, where there is a steady feed of negativity and (manufactured) outrage. I think Fox, Breitbart, etc. have a lot to answer for in the degradation of political discourse over the last few decades, and the difficulty of finding balanced & reliable sources of news and information. We need to do a much better job of teaching media literacy and critical thinking skills in this reality TV world.

    I also read something recently suggesting that Trump in some ways has the appeal of a cult leader, and those who follow cults generally don’t easily apply their critical thinking skills to whatever their ‘guru’ or leader is telling them – they just want to believe. Period. Here’s a quote:

    I have only one inescapable conclusion: this isn’t a political movement, it’s a cult. The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) has a list of “Characteristics Associated with Cultic Groups” including the group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader; questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished; the leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel; the group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality; the group is preoccupied with making money; and, the leader is not accountable to any authorities. Any of this sound familiar?

    Ross, thank you for all you’ve been doing to make the world a little better. I think it’s pretty clear you’re not alone in this dark moment, and I hope there’s some consolation in that. I’ll be marching in Toronto along with many other Canadians on January 21st in a ‘Sister March’ with the Women’s March on Washington.

    • Dear Susan,

      It is very nice to meet you!

      Thank you for reaching across borders, and for your support.

      You asked: “Any of this sound familiar?”

      Yes. Terrifyingly so.

      Much love,


      • Thank you for the kind response, Ross. I think one of my New Year’s Resolutions will be to engage in more positive interaction with people – real and virtual – so I will try to be less of a lurker from now on!

  29. Ross,
    I admire the way that you always compassionately and with polite dignity respond to those who criticize you. Please keep speaking your truth. Your experiences are vaild and deserve to be heard.

    I am also a survivor of child abuse, and I also escaped as soon as I could and never looked back. The president-elect’s non-verbals and gaslighting are extremely triggering to me, as those behaviors are uncannily like those of my parent-abuser.

    Trust your inner wisdom, as it kept you alive and sane during your childhood.

    I am terribly sorry for the loss of your beloved cats. I know that they received the best possible care while they were in your guardianship. I would trust you with the care of my horses. Just watch out for the pony -he’s evil.

    I’m still greatly saddened by the election. I’m still With Her. I’m a female Veteran as well as a second-generation Mexican-American; I am also a member of the Religion Which Dare Not Speak Its Name. I feel like my country has rejected me and those like me.

    You have my IRL contact information. My door is always open to you. I’m here if you need a listening ear. You do more good in this world than you will ever know.

    Warm Regards,

  30. No terrorist attacks? The soldiers at Fort Hood and the citizens of Boston, San Bernardino and Ohio State, to name a few, sadly beg to differ.

    • My previous comment on terrorism was intended to mean International Terrorism against the US, like 9/11.

      I was not thinking about Domestic Terrorism, and apologize for the lack of clarity. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

      San Bernardino, Ohio State, and Boston are all considered acts of Domestic Terrorism.

      Fort Hood was considered a mass shooting by the government rather than a terrorist attack.

      • Right….I’ll let the people in Paris and Berlin know that since they were victims of Domestic terrorists it’s somehow not as bad… All acts of terrorism are EQUALLY atrocious and should be condemned and not categorized. Should we blame the the current administration for the increase in the violence? Many say we should. I say we need to all look at one another and realize that we are all feeling, breathing human beings who ultimately want to love and be loved… but what the fuck do I know…HERE’S TO A GREAT 2017!!!! Champagne and lincrusta for all!!!

        • Dear Mary,

          It would appear that you are deliberately misreading my comments.

          I did not say that domestic terrorism was not as “bad” as international terrorism.

          I simply stated that my previous comment was intended to refer to international terrorism against the US. And there has been no such atrocities during the last eight years.

          You wrote: “Should we blame the the current administration for the increase in the violence?”

          Can you please forward, from a credible source, statistics backing up such a claim?

          The US violent crime rate has been steadily dropping since 1992, and is now half what it was in 1992.

          The US murder rate is the lowest it has been since the early 1960s.

          • Ross, why don’t you forward YOUR “credible” sources, like you did once with me already that I completely obliterated. Let me guess…they’re all from liberal Democratic sources, the only ones you call “credible.” You are so condescending to people, like you’re some professional political analysis looking down on anyone who doesn’t agree with you. You don’t reply with dignity, you’re replying while looking down your nose at whoever’s comment you’re responding to. All you do is deny the feelings behind what you comment, tell everyone their opinions are wrong, and then say their sources aren’t credible but yours is, so you’re right. It’s obvious that since you feel you have this big platform of people who you think will listen to your every word, that you should use this platform to promote your political beliefs. I’m not interested, and after reading the last few days of comments and your condescending replies, I’m out. And I’m not saying this as a Trump supporter, I don’t support him. I’m saying this as someone who recognizes a pompous ass when I see one.

  31. The name of this website is “Restoring Ross”. Not “Restoring a House”. The word restoring might be an adjective describing a great guy’s efforts to make thing right with the world, or it may be taken as a participle, meaning that the work he does fixing that which has been broken is ultimately helping him to restore himself. Any way you take it, it is like a salad bar for the mind; if you don’t like a certain item, leave it alone and enjoy the rest. Ross, keep on keepin’ on.

  32. Longtime lurker here. I have enjoyed this blog since linking it from “Old House Dreams”.

    I am a foreign national living here in the States and so could not take part in the election a few months back. One thing I have noticed about the American political process is the complete polarization of views and the disdain and unwillingness to listen to the opposing point of view. To the point that any discussion of politics ends up as a “shouting match”.

    As has been said, this IS Ross’s blog. He can say whatever he likes, about whatever he likes. I choose to keep reading. (Even if I HATE the floor treatment he did on the first floor!)

    Those of you that cannot seperate your political thinking from a blog about a house restoration are better gone. Your tiny mindedness will be no loss.

  33. Keep it up! I enjoy all of your comments and posts. I also really value civility. I wish you a Happy New Year, and many wonderful posts to come.

    Sorry for all of the nastiness here. I happen to agree with you, but if I didn’t, I would just think, well OK, I still really like the blog and the house, and this guy who writes it.

    Be well, and try and stay positive. A bit empty perhaps, but we will all make it through.

    • I hugely value civility. I am great in a relationship that way. No matter how angry I might get I will remain civil! If I get REALLY angry I might throw something, but I never throw nasty comments or personal attacks. I will never call somebody names.

      I grew up in a very uncivil environment and saw how much damage can be caused as a result. I vowed to not repeat an old family pattern.

  34. Dearest Ross,

    I know that my time visiting the Cross House wasn’t very engaging on my part (I was awestruck at the splendor AND I’m incredibly shy/awkward when meeting someone new). However, I’d love nothing more than to read and/or listen to your thoughts! Perhaps some day I will bring over lemonade when the weather is a bit kinder!

    The thing I love most about your blog is how easily you blend together your life with your passions, as well as how your civility shines (after all, restoring an old house will restore the soul). The day I found your blog and read every single post (it took a grand total of 16 hours, if you’re curious), I clicked the link because old houses are a passion of mine… but I read the entirety of the blog in one sitting because of you. I like it this way. I hope that your blogs continue down this wondrous path!

    I hope that your year (and the Cross House’s year) goes as smoothly as it can. Hopefully, solidarity will get us through. 🙂

    Take care.

  35. I audibly gasped, gasped, and gasped at the words spoken to you via comments. (Looking back, it was sort of funny to imagine.)

    You write a blog that people love (myself, diligently, since I found it long ago). I don’t come here for the paint, the lincrusta, or the windows alone. Few would read a blog about technical details, although I’m sure some do! We come to read about your passion- we all love your “happies” and feel pain in your “crappies”. You have a gift for making readers feel involved. This post included.

    I’ve never written before, but I get the feeling you do enjoy some great political conversation, even if you don’t agree, as long as it is fact-based and open-minded. I am sorry some of this was not. I work in education and find it hard to keep my foot out of my mouth on a daily basis, as we are required to be neutral.

    I am going to reread some of these positive comments as well. Such uplifting positive thinking!

    I can’t wait to hear what 2017 has in store for you this year. I, for one, will not be leaving (and I’ll probably invite more people to read in place of those who left, just because I’m petty!).

    • Dearest Megan,

      Is is total delight to “meet” you. You brought a WIDE smile to my face, and a nourishing warmth to my heart!

      You are also correct. I do enjoy a good discussion about issues but never feel that others have to agree with me. I do, however, have great respect for facts.

      While some readers protest, I am fine with this and appreciate that they feel they can express their views here. Yes, too, there are some comments which are, ah, rather intense!

  36. I firmly believe that Good can and will conquer Evil. It will take time and effort but it will be done. It is up to each one of us through personal change to do it. No one can be forced to be and do Good. However we can definitely encourage each other in that direction and be a good example. We can practice love for all human beings, peacemaking, using our spiritual intelligence, becoming free from all prejudice. A bigger project than even the Cross House. 🙂 I do not believe solutions will come from any political leaders. They are focused on power and glory, not the well-being, the happiness, of the human race.

  37. Hey Ross! You are not alone, my fellow Kansan. I too have been really struggling and have still not sorted everything emotionally or intellectually. I am telling myself it is a process, like grief is.

    My first instinct, and one I am following through with, is to retrench the focus of my actions very locally for now. Your work on your house is an example of intense local good and community involvement.

    Anyway, my reaction is still all too convoluted for me to have even attempted a written exposition yet, and I applaud you for doing so. But mainly I wanted to let you know you can add me as another sympathetic Kansan out there cheering you on. One of these days I’d love to make a trip from KCK to meet you!

  38. Hi Ross,

    I love your blog, it is uplifting and hopeful. I know you are bummed and so are a lot of people. I think our system of voting needs fixing, we need more choices! It’s upsetting to see everyone so angry with each other over who is president when we the people have been given only two actual choices (I know there were other candidates who got less than 4% of the vote.) I think you have made such a positive impact on your readers. Positivity is lacking in this world. We, as a nation, have become so embittered and negative, its not healthy. I don’t know if you love Betty White as much as I do, but she had a really great and viewpoint on what is happening in our country today. Such wisdom needs to be spread. Here is the Youtube video of her response to a question on the state of this country. Hope this uplifts you a bit. Good thoughts and wishes going out to you! Thanks for all you do!

  39. Thank you, Ross, for sharing your passions and your hurts, making yourself vulnerable as well as hopefully stronger for doing so – here. This IS your blog! Your space! Visitors are honoured to be here, and if they don’t like it, may the door not hit them in their rear as they find somewhere else to be negative in. Love your enemies…

    My heart hurts that you hurt from past and present. You obviously feel things very deeply which is a good thing, and sometimes not so good (for one’s health).

    You clearly make (most) on here smile with your cheerful updates, your enthusiastic what have I gotten myself into now posts, and ongoing sagas of your pretty kitties. It is only right to hug you when you hurt. Like family, we should be for each other even in disagreement.

    I admire you even more after reading this post, because you remained calm and treated all posters with respect. The same can’t be said about all of the uninvited visitors here.

    It isn’t up to you to agree with everyone, nor conform against your personal beliefs.

    If I don’t want to read or agree, I can just exit. Simple.

    Keep on doing as you are doing, kind soul. You’re an inspiration. Know this.

  40. WOW! You lovingly restore a grand old Dame, love cats and are politically righteous. You are my age and if you liked dogs (and chickens), I would marry you in a minute, from a California Canadian. Good luck on your lifetime adventure.

    • You made me laugh, Jean! Thank you!

      And I love doggies! I miss having one!

      I don’t think chickens though will be allowed at the Cross House by the city!

  41. I am a bit late coming to this discussion, but I am horrified at how about three people have treated you on this topic. I love you even more seeing how well you handled their irrationality and anger. I agree with all the positive posters, about how grave our situation is. I read a great deal of history, and have been shocked at the similarities to Nazi Germany’s rise. I was also seeing the Jefferson issues.

    I also come from an abusive family background as well as being a survivor of an abusive marriage. In 1993 I was able to escape with me three sons. We were just one step up from being homeless (having an apartment but no furniture) for several years. By 2001 I was able to buy a very small Victorian house in small town Iowa. December of 2015 I adopted mys sister’s granddaughters so again have young children. I am disabled with severe arthritis and a lifetime of Bipolar Disorder featuring mostly sever depression. So my only income is dependent on SSDI, which is the INSURANCE that I paid for all my working life (became disabled four years ago). I get Medicare and Medicaid and my girls are on Medicaid. Again, I paid for Medicare with every single paycheck I got. Yet these are in jeopardy with the new administration and the majority in Congress. We are scared of being homeless and without medical care.

    My oldest son’s son is most likely transgender. My daughter in law and her very conservative “Christian” family keep telling him to act like a boy and force him to wear boy clothes. When he is at my house, the first thing he does is put on my new daughter’s clothes and a wig and makeup. He tells me his girl name. He is the sweetest thing, but is viewed by one political party as a threat. I have great fears for his safety, and the hatred out there has gotten so much worse. Suicide rates for gay and transgender teens have skyrocketed since Trump was elected.

    So when people say, “it is in God’s hands” or trust our new president, or cite falsehoods, I don’t react as calmly as Ross is. It is scary and if people look the other way and don’t fight this menace to our society, we are doomed to a repeat of something like Nazi Germany, but with other countries shooting nuclear bombs at us. I am so proud when I hear folks like all the one’s above, including Ross, say that this is not good, and now let’s work on repairing it.

    • Thank you, Miriam, for your comments. I was quite moved.

      And thank you for the kind words.

      I am SO glad that your oldest son’s son has somebody accepting like you in his life. What a miracle you are to him!

      Also, while I work to respond calmly to people with very different opinions and perspectives, I am NOT calm about the danger I deeply feel from the Trump regime. Trump keeps saying he wants to make America safe. Funny, because I have never felt less safe than since 1/20/17. When I communicate with friends in Canada and abroad, they, too, feel excactly the same.

      I am sending you a loooooong hug right now!

  42. I spent the entire first month after the election in shock and horrified. I finally came out of shock, but have stayed unrelentingly horrified for the past 7 months.The only thing that helped was participating in the Women’s March in my big city the day after the inauguration.

    I’m absolutely certain, though, that if we stick together and refuse to yield to this fascism, we will be able to prevail in the end.

    I love your blog. I love your house. I love what you’re doing with it, and it provides a welcome distraction from the daily fresh horrors.

    Please don’t lose hope. The young people have our backs.

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