My Opinion about Madeliene McCann

I watched the Netflix documentary, of course. And I was as heartbroken this week as I was when it all happened. But I’m a decade older now, and a decade wiser, and this time around, I was stuck by something that really didn’t register in 2007. And that’s the absolute wretchedness of the human heart. By the way I didn’t make that up. It’s Biblical. Human hearts are wicked.

And it goes on still.

Different countries have different cultural norms and mores as you know. And the parents were at dinner…ALL of the parents…while their kids slept. Well that’s often what was done in those days, in their country, because there weren’t as many sickos running. So in their world, you didn’t have to ‘helicoptor’, and they did check on the kids, sharing that responsibility.

Maddie’s parents were devastated and they spent thousands of dollars and hours, trying to find their little girl. The WHOLE WORLD was heartbroken for them and desperate to help them and support them. For a while. And then true human nature reared its pathetic, ugly head. It seemed like the whole world turned on them and tried desperately to make THEM guilty of the murder of their child. Unbelievable.

Articles about the documentary talk about ‘secrecy’ among the group traveling with the McCanns, as though that is certain proof of guilt on the part of the parents. Well, pay attention out there: If you open your MOUTH about a crime, you will very likely be thrown in jail yourself, because some smooth-brain is going to label you as guilty. And then the circus begins. I don’t BLAME them for keeping quiet, ESPECIALLY to the media.

It reminded me of the Amanda Knox trial, and how she was vilified and imprisoned, for something they never proved, something she did not do. There’s a phenomenon called ‘groupthink’ wherein the group trying to solve a problem find a ‘possible’ solution…A possible solution…and rush that way like the Keystone Cops, eliminating all other possibilities…and in this case allowing the ACTUAL perpetrators to escape. Never to be apprehended, by the way. Savvy and educated leaders force a group to continue investigating until they come up with scenario 2 and 3, and following up on them, so that this doesn’t happen. Because most of the time, groupthink is inaccurate and it mimics electricity: it takes the path of least resistance.

Yes…you have to consider that the problem centers around those closest to the victim. If it DID, you find actual evidence. ACTUAL evidence, not someone’s OPINION of it.

Some will say that the police did the best they could, given their small force and inexperience in cases like this. Well that’s just not good enough. ASK FOR HELP. And ask for a lot of it! This is the 21st century, for crying out loud! But wretched human nature insinuates itself, egos rear up to fight for power and attention; and the case is lost RIGHT AT THAT MOMENT. Right then.

People, there is great evil in the world with regard to our children. The days of ‘free range parenting’ are over. There are people out there who view children, even babies, as commodities, a product they can sell for a lot of money. And they stalk the families and wait until you are not paying attention. The kidnappers can grab a child and be gone in mere seconds! This Netflix documentary talks about it, and about the ‘dark web’ where the purchase and sale of kids is ASTOUNDING. I suspect this is what happened to Maddie…and that breaks my heart. But I believe now, and will always believe, that the kidnappers could have been found, if not for human error, male egos and media interference in the investigation.

The great driving force in the condemnation of Maddie’s parents were the media, who were all too willing to be manipulated by the so-called investigators of this kidnapping. I was embarrassed to be human when I watched this documentary. What is WRONG with people?? I can’t imagine the added trauma these parents experienced as a result of the attack on them, and I pray to Almighty God that this doesn’t happen to them again as a result of this documentary, as I pray that Maddie will be found one day.

What is also frightening about this whole event is the reminder of how easily human beings are manipulated, and how ready human beings are to jump to conclusions. Why? Wretched hearts and a lack of ability to think things through. Those accused do NOT have to prove their innocence. It is up to the investigators to PROVE GUILT, and in the absence of PROOF, anyone continuously vilifying the accused should be held legally and financially accountable.

And that’s my opinion. Which in the grand scheme means nothing.

In Defense of the Stem

There’s a disturbing trend going on: Stemless wine glasses! I gasp.

The purpose of the stem is manifold, but chief among them is that it keeps your hot little hands from heating the wine! You know that wine should be served at the right temperature, right? If you heat it up, the flavor changes! It does! And since wine should actually be sipped rather than guzzled, time in glass could certainly give your hot little hands time to change the flavor (gasp again) of the wine.

Think how much harder it is to swirl the wine without a stem! Why, I can imagine the spills and overthrows without effort! Swirling helps to aerate the wine, which is a good thing, so you really must do it. You just must.

Nothing serves to aerate your wine in a sexy and spill-less way better than the stem. In your hot little hands, the stem lets you swirl and tilt during conversation, in a way you just can’t pull off without it, and you don’t heat the wine, remember. Think about it: lean against the column and tilt the glass offhandedly (right) and just be cool while you chat. Can’t do that without a stem.

Now, nothing says you can’t guzzle your wine, or even tilt the bottle right up to your lips if you like. The world will keep right on going if you do. And I’m no connoisseur by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I rarely drink wine unless I am having dinner with friends; and it doesn’t even have to be a great dinner. It’s the friends who count. Then, I enjoy red wine, mostly, and I can’t recite the provenance or sulfur content blah blah blah. I just like red wine, preferably Pinot Noir. And…okay, I’ll admit I’ve had wine from a plastic cup! Gasp again! You gotta do what you gotta do. But nothing…and I mean nothing…beats a beautiful wine glass, with thin glass rim, larger bowl than opening, and elegant stem. Nothing.

In other words, without the stem, wine glasses just aren’t cool.

Choosing Colors when you Plan to Sell Your Home

One of the best updates for your home when you are planning to sell, is paint. Nothing creates quite the immediate impact as fresh paint throughout the home inside OR out. But it can go terribly wrong. I have shown properties where the colors throughout the house might as well have been clanging cymbals. The colors made no sense, and in fact created an extremely negative experience for my buyers. And the homes didn’t sell until they were painted, by the way. The goal for sellers is to make the home inviting and interesting, not dreadful.

Did you know there are ‘warm’ and ‘cool’ colors? If you don’t, take some time to investigate the concept. The fastest way to set up a subconscious frown in the mind of a buyer is to mix the two. If you have a brown roof, don’t paint the exterior of the home light blue, for example. Imagine a blue room with a gold/orange accent wall. Terrible! In the picture below you see a vibrant color combination, using a warm, Tuscan theme. The color scheme isn’t for everyone, but it works in a kitchen where pretty much everything else is white.

Another good idea is to start with a neutral and use decor to create contrast.

Martha Stewart once said that you should imagine your colors as if you are looking through the space, seeing all rooms in series. The colors should be complimentary, should not clash. They don’t have to match, but they do have to harmonize.

If you’re starting with a new home, you will most likely have the builder grade monotone throughout the home, and that’s fine if it is what you like; however most people choose to customize their homes with respect to wall color. Your home is the heart of your life and it should make you feel joyful, warm, safe. Color can do that, but choose a theme…mine is Tuscan. Yours might be The Beach. You get the idea.

However you choose to decorate, remember that when you sell, you want to appeal to the buyer. So be sure…whether you choose a cool or warm palate…that you keep to the same family. That way everything in the ‘background’ of the buyer’s subconscious experience flows and feels continuous. Remember that much of marketing is psychological. So don’t shock your potential buyers with disharmonious paint colors. One negative seed can grow into a complete rejection of an otherwise great property.