Friday, November 11, 2016

Why I Am Afraid

Today we left the safety of our urban environs for a country locale.  After lunch and shopping we scampered back to a more urban area.  While in the country Natalie and I didn't touch, kiss, hold hands, or say I love you at all, but we were watched with open hostility by many around us.  I have not been that uncomfortable in a long time.  We kept asking ourselves was it like this before and we just didn't notice? Or is this new?  I don't know the answer, but it made me afraid.

Done with this week

First there was real family drama.  2nd came the soul crushing results of the election.  My wife had serious problems at work.  I had to break up with a friend,.  Finally, Leonard Cohen died today.  I am so done with this week.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


One word for how I feel today: devastated.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

9 Years & Counting

A very merry Unbirthday to me and my blog.  As of today I have been blogging for 9 years (;postID=6689280161304650187;onPublishedMenu=editor;onClosedMenu=editor;postNum=607;src=postname.)  How crazy is that, I have been keeping up with this for a long time.  Thinking I will try to keep blogging for another year, this time next year I want to say I have been prattling on about my silly self for a decade.  Saluting the milestone.

Still wishing for that perfect tea party.

Hey Girl...

My summer has not been the best. If you have been reading my blog, you know I have been struggling with Mama Drama.  This last week did not improve, and Wednesday night I was visited by my old friend, insomnia.  Somewhere in the night I gave up on sleeping and did some late night shopping.  I am not proud of my late night binge shopping spree, but I own it.  For some reason I always buy bigger after midnight.  Last year I bought a 3 foot diameter mirror, last month I bought a 4 foot finial for our house. 

4 foot finial on roof

Thursday morning on my way to work I confessed the binge to my wife and apologized for the 4 foot finial.  I ended with, "Then I find myself wondering why did I buy size 3X leggings.  By the way the leggings will be arriving next week."

My wife looked at me and said, "You are so going to so rock those leggings."

I love my wife and thank her for the total Ryan Gosling, "Hey, girl" moment.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Long Weekend or Reflection on Through the Looking Glass

I don't know what it is about a 3 day weekend, but why do you always get slammed right before it?  My work week has been crazy busy.  I keep trying to keep up.  As the Red Queen says to Alice in Through the Looking Glass, "My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”  Too true Mr. Carroll.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


I have noticed that many people spend a great deal of time fussing over what others do during patriotic rituals.  I get it some people think those things are important, okay they are.  However, I always ask myself what is more important the symbols of freedom or the freedom itself?

For example I no longer say the pledge of allegiance to the flag.  I am polite when it is recited, but I stopped participating.  As an agnostic, I do not believe, one nation under God is appropriate.  First I don't believe it and second it feels ridiculous for me to repeat words I don't believe.  Wonderfully, I don't have to say it.  I have the freedom of speech, says so right there in the constitution, and I can refuse to recite the pledge of allegiance.  Thomas Jefferson would  be proud to know that I am exercising my rights.

Now if they ever go back to the original pledge of allegiance to the flag, I will gladly recite that oath anytime.

1892 version

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Hawaiian Vacation

Almost 10 years ago my wife and I took my mother to Hawaii for her 65th birthday.  As you can guess Hawaii is one of the prettiest places on the planet.  We saw big cities, small towns, beaches of all colors, volcanos, and of course 8 stunning sunsets and 1 amazing sunrise.  The trip was worth every penny (and that was a lot of pennies) we paid for it. 

Natalie and I at the Hotel in Waikiki.

When I was five I remember telling my mother one day we would go to Hawaii together,  The trip was my way of making good on that promise.  Always one to help me with my goals, Natalie stepped up and paid up for half of the trip.  We planned for a year (and paid for it about that long too).  We made a big surprise out of the trip and for once in my life I think my mother was happy.  The shared memory of that trip was one I have cherished.

Mom and Natalie on Maui
Fast forward 10 years and the trip has become a time before my father's death and the estrangement from my mother.  I have no regrets about the trip, but some of those moments have now become bittersweet.  I miss the woman who accompanied me on that trip and wish I could have some of the essence of that version of my mother back.

Mom and I in Waikiki

The good news is Natalie is still by my side, supporting me through this painful time.  I don't know how I got so lucky to have such a wonderful partner by my side, but I would be lost without her.  Thanking her everyday for picking me to fall in love with.

Natalie in the mouth of the whale on Maui

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Things with my family are deteriorating so deeply I fear they will never be fixed.  My heart is turning to ash in my chest.  I can only work through this and hope I come out healed when all the bad words have been said.  Wishing for a better tomorrow.

Monday, August 8, 2016

My Poor Blog

I have been so wrapped up in family drama I haven't been blogging.  I doubt anyone wants to hear a dirty laundry list of recriminations.  I need to distance myself from toxic people and not allow their lives taint my own.  I am lucky, I have love in my life and I know myself.  Mantra: rise above it tempest, rise above.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Poor Fashion Choices

The year was 1987, my baby sis is not even a year old.  Fashion was all about animal prints and bi-levels (mullets are what we call them today).  In other words this is a photo about poor fashion choices to which I say, go ahead and laugh I did. 

I hope we have both improved with age.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Sock it to Me

Lately, I have been knitting socks.  I stopped knitting socks for awhile because I hit a pattern that frustrated me so much that I stopped for awhile.  When I had jury duty in February, I took a new sock project with me to work on while I waited. I have found that no one seems to connect my bamboo size 2 needles with knitting.  In fact one bailiff asked me if I liked crocheting. I just smiled and said yes. However, my last jury duty experience required lots of sitting in court being asked personal questions, not knitting. 

I had my sock pattern, yarn, and needles all ready for some serious knitting all hanging out in a bag waiting for me to notice it.  I decided well heck I have these Mermaid Lagoon socks ready I should just knit them on up.  Once finished with the Mermaid Lagoon socks, I thought heck that was fun, I should knit another pair in this here Charybdis pattern.  And I did.

The Mermaid Lagoon pattern was not particularly hard once I translated the pattern for myself.  The yarn did an interesting color change from turquoise to tan made creating a cool pair of socks.  My only complaint is the pattern was designed for a medium size foot and leg.  My canoes and hefty calves did not love this pattern.  I upped the needle size and it helped, but you know the sock could have been a little roomier.

Mermaid Lagoon Socks
Roominess was in ample supply on the next pair of Charybdis socks I knitted. One of my knit night buddies had clued me in that these socks knitted up big.  I used another color transitioning yarn from my stash which made for interesting socks.  I kind of feel like I am walking around with muddy paws when wearing these socks.  I loved the Charybdis pattern, which is free on Ravelry.  Do want to warn that it knits up big, so do a swatch, the pattern is charted, but can be modified for a smaller foot or leg.

Charybdis Socks

The real problem with hand knitted socks is I have problems wearing them.  They come out so perfect that my clumsy, size 11s don't deserve to wear them.  Working on getting over that real soon.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Queer Pride

Today is a day to remember to be proud.  Proud that you are different, proud that you have spoken your truth, proud you have survived to hold your head high with dignity and command respect.  Today it has been 1 year since the supreme court struck down hateful anti same-sex marriage laws (, and 47 years since the Stonewall Inn riots.  Today I am proud to look back on the diverse group of dykes, fags, and transvestites who made my life possible.  They are my heroes.  They refused to be put down one more time, they knew they deserved better.  They fought for basic human rights against the status quo.  I can never thank them enough.

Yesterday the place where this struggled became public, the Stonewall Inn, became a National Monument.  The fight for LGBTQ equality which started there will be honored and treasured by a nation.  I can only hope that Harvey Milk's camera shop will also garner recognition as well.  Queer history which is a part of American history will live on for the next generation and for all of this I am proud to be a lesbian.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

My Dad was a Farm Boy

My mother has been cleaning out her home and passing on many of her treasures.  Some of those treasures were my dad's.  My dad grew up on a farm and he learned at a young age, 5, to milk cows.  It was a part of his chores everyday to milk the cows.  He would tell a story about how he would squirt the milk at the barn cats and they use there paws to wave the milk into their mouth.  I am still a little skeptical of that story, but who knows it might not be one of his tall tales.

My Dad at 5 getting ready to milk a cow.
One of the things my mom gave me was the kerosene lantern my dad would take with him to the barn every morning. I remember when I was a kid that the lantern would come out when our electricity would go out.  My dad would use the occasion to lecture us on lantern safety and tell us about the time his jacket caught on fire.  He said one of his older brothers saw my dad on fire and threw him on the ground to smother the fire out.  My dad warned us, if we ever caught on fire not to run, but throw yourself down and roll on the fire like his brother had done to him.  He always said his brother saved his life that day because my dad was getting ready to run in panic.

Dietz Kerosene Lantern
That was how my dad was. He was always telling you some story to teach you something or sometimes to pull your leg.  You weren't always sure which one it was.  Regardless, I treasure all those stories now and wish he had told me more.  Miss you Dad.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Choosing Love

I grew up in a different world than the one we live in today.  A world where if a person was different in any way they were often antagonized by their peers, their community, and even at times by the courts.  I have fought the conditioning of my youth and the established society not only for acceptance of myself as a lesbian, but for others as well.  It hasn't been easy, but change has come.  Slowly, but as the ring on my left hand now has the courts behind it, I have seen the change happen.

However, looking back on the last week and the horrific massacre in Orlando at the Pulse nightclub I have, like many throughout the world, been heartbroken.  I have struggled with feelings of anger, rage, sadness, and fear.  As I am trying to work through my emotions I have found 2 things have resonated with me.

 First the strength and power of the human spirit to survive and to continue to evolve.  The outpouring of support for the survivors, the families of the victims, Orlando, and the LGBTQ community gives me hope.  Even those who have been obstacles for LGBTQ civil rights are opening their eyes and finally coming aboard to the importance of equality.  Sure some of these new converts are just jumping on the bandwagon, but that just shows the tide has turned.  To them I say welcome to the new world order. To those with sincerity and love in their heart I say thank you.

The second thing I have discovered is I will always choose love over hate.  I want to focus on creating a world where love, not hate is the currency.  People and groups espousing hate have no place in the future I want to see for those that come after us.  I will continue, regardless of the circumstances to choose to pick love over hate every time.

To the survivors, the families, the friends, and the city of Orlando I send only thoughts of love and healing, but I will never forget the sacrifices you have made.  Peace my friends.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Color Me Claret

In March the good people at Homer Laughlin announced the new fiestaware color is claret (  It looked like a pretty color when I first saw it, but as I compared it other colors I thought it would look a lot like the retired color, cinnabar.  In fact when my special box of pre-ordered happiness arrived on my doorstep Friday, I peeled the tape off cautiously.  I had ordered my favorite piece, the mini disk pitcher, and a square bowl.  The claret did look to my eye like the cinnabar redone, but when I put the mini disk side by side with the cinnabar and the heather colors I was surprised.  The claret actually is a color right between these 2 older colors.  I don't know that this hue will ever replace my favorite color, chartreuse, but it is a nice rich color.  I am liking it.  What do you think?

Left to Right:  Cinnabar, Claret, and Heather Mini Disk Pitchers

Monday, May 30, 2016

Thanking Those That Came Before Me

Took the time to stop by and visit my Great Grandparents this weekend.  I never met either of them, but in 1911 they gave me a better life.  Tired of living on an estate ran by an overlord who treated them like animals they risked everything to come to a new country.  It wasn't easy to travel with 3 small children, the youngest learned to walk on a ship.  They didn't speak the language and had to find work as soon as they arrived.  Their life was hard, but they gave their children and all the generation after them the gift of opportunity.  On this Memorial Day weekend I thank them.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


Last year I threw a bunch of wildflower seeds in a planter at the new house.  I was disappointed because the hoped for wildflowers did not appear.  I thought I would try again this year, but before I could even start again (well I did throw in a pack or 3 of nasturtiums) I started getting lots of green poking up out of the ground in the planter.  Talk about mysteries, I keep getting flowers that I have no idea what they are.  I have friends helping me out identifying the flowers.  So far I have violas (Johnny jump ups), dianthus, wall flowers, bachelor buttons, coreopsis, and delphiniums.  Feeling very successful at flower gardening right now.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Why does it hurt so much to love someone & not be able to help them?  You can only watch as they throw away the things that matter.  So sad today.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Big Green Poncho Done!

Remember when I said I wanted to knit a big green poncho for myself this year? ( ) Well, call that goal done!  After many hours of knitting and fussing over the pattern I am calling this a done deal.  Thanks to my friend Amy I can prove how done I am, with afabulous photo and all.

Now that I have bragged about my poncho, I am going to bitch about it too.  I am a person who wants to believe that the people who write patterns know more than I do about knitting.  I trusted the pattern writers to guide me correctly through this project.  Meanwhile, my instincts kept telling me the designers were hiding that stockinette stitch always curls.  It can't help that it curls, it is just what all those knit stitches do when they are together.  I know that all the blocking in the world is not going to make it lie flat.  In the end I went with my instincts knit a seed stitch edge on the bottom, good call.

However when it came to adding a cowl to the poncho, I blithely knit on as instructed.  Half way through my brain started to know this was not going to end well.  In fact I started to think maybe I was going to hate the cowl on my beautiful poncho.  As a last ditch effort I did an I cord bind off, but the cowl rolled down and all you could see was the purl side.  It made me cross at my knitting and the pattern.  To salvage the poncho I folded the cowl over and sewed it down.  It does looks better, but I am still not sold on the cowl.  Since this will probably be the only time I wear the poncho before fall, I decided to let it sit for the summer.  Once we get back to milder weather I will wear it for awhile and see what I think.  If that cowl gets on my nerves too much, I am just going to have to remove it.  Fortunately, the cowl knit from picked upped stitches, with a little effort it can in fact become mitts.  We shall see.

Poncho with Cowl
Poncho with no Cowl

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Natalie's Hitchhiker

I loved the Hitchhiker pattern so much I made Natalie knit one too.  Don't judge me too harshly, it was for a good cause.  One of Natalie's co-workers is moving to Minneapolis and I thought with the colder Minnesota weather she would need a nice scarfy thing.  I also happen to know her co-worker, like me, loves the color green.  I knew I had a "vintage" Dyeabolical Yarn skein of Derby Girl, which just so happens to be a green and black colorway.  It was one of the first balls of Dyeabolical Yarn I bought.  That said I had yet to knit something fabulous with it.  I knew it would make a stunning Hitchhiker, I also knew I was not going to have the time to knit it.  When I came to Natalie with the yarn and the pattern she saw the wisdom of my suggestion.  I was so right that colorway made a stunning Hitchhiker.  Natalie has not taken it to work yet for her co-worker, trying hard not to steal the finished project for myself.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

No Green Thumb Here

This weekend I went out and bought stuff for my yard: petunias, butterfly bush, magnolia tree, and weed killer.  I spent Saturday afternoon digging and planting stuff.  Then my neighbor gave me some elephant ear bulbs to put down.  I was downright industrious in my efforts.  I weeded and put up little fences too.  Sprayed the weeds around the dumpster to make it less overgrown.  Sadly we just got a big thunderstorm with hail.  My poor new plantings are beat up and looking bad already.  Probably, the only place which will thrive will be the area I bought the weed killer for since the rain just washed it all away.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Knot Right!

I know that sometimes knots show up in ball of yarn.  It is just a thing, but damn it pisses me off, especially in a ball of yarn that is 55 yards long.  Seriously, it is annoying.  I knitted myself a towel with these 2 balls of bulky cotton yarn and midway through the towel smack in the middle of a row I had a knot.  I should have tinked out the row, but knew I would need the yarn at the end.  Now I wish I had just tinked the row.  The towel is just for me so the messy middle will only bother me, but bother me it will.  Damn knots.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Saying goodbye to Angel

A week ago we said goodbye to our sweet Angel.  She developed a sarcoma in her mouth, and we could  not manage her pain.  As you can guess it was hard.  We knew when we agreed to take Angel that she was 10 years old and we were her retirement home.  Her life had been a series of kennels and handlers.  She had to be obedient, her weight was monitored, she had to do whatever was expected of her all the time.  Her life was one of work and constant movement.

At first we were just another in a long line of places she had been deposited.  Being petted and cuddled were not normal to her.  The treats were nice, but you could tell she kept waiting to have to work for that morsel.  Slowly, she began to settle into her life as a pampered pet.  She learned to expect warm blankets on demand and nightly cuddling.  Her new pack mates learned that you can never catch a whippet.  Retirement got good to her.  Everywhere she went she was adored.  Angel found home.

We are missing her quiet present and deep soul searching gazes.  Her few years  with us were just not enough.  Wishing our sweet Angel a good journey to a place where she always catches the bunny and the treats are endless.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Putting All My Eggs in One Basket

Tis the season to think of bunnies, eggs, and Easter.  How bunnies and eggs got attached to a Christian holiday is truly an ancient slight of hand.  Let's transpose the resurrection on to spring fertility rites.  Throw in the spring lamb and presto we still celebrate with eggs, rabbits, and lambs as symbols for the holiday.  Myself, I needed a break from the land of ponchos and decided to knit some eggs for my empty egg basket.  Please, no jokes on the symbolism there. 

Let me back up a little to tell you about this empty egg basket.  At our open house one of the guests gave us an egg basket full of apples.  Weirdly, I have a couple of alabaster eggs leftover from the 70s, a couple of shaky eggs, and a few other miscellaneous egg shaped items.  My thought was as I unpacked the eggs I would put them in the basket, but I have only found one shaky egg.  Frustrated by my empty basket, I decided to knit a few eggs.  Fortuitously, Ravelry had just the pattern I needed, Elegant Eggs by Knitty Keen.

With some left over yarn and free time I made five.  Somehow I managed to restrain myself from knitting a few more.  Natalie wisely reminded me that I still had those other eggs hiding somewhere and when I found them they would still need a place to go.  Now I can at least say a have a few eggs in my basket.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Blues

Admitting I have the blues.  Not the turquoise or cornflower blues, more like a lapis or navy blue.  I am unsure the why or where of the color change.  Maybe it is turning 50 or maybe I still haven't settled into the new house.  All I know is I am looking for more chartreuse days hoping the change of seasons will help.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

In the Land of Ponchos

In the land of ponchos I have the chiciest poncho of all.  I see myself strutting into the room with a swish of poncho and every head turns admiring my fashionable form.  Yes, the swirling fabric drapes perfectly and as I move nothing is knocked over by the furling fabric.  Yes, I am envied by all who see me.  Of course this is pure fantasy and I am sure when I am done knitting my poncho I will look like a tent going somewhere, but if you see me just let me think I am amazing.  Denial is a beautiful thing.

Monday, March 7, 2016

New Fiestaware Color: Claret

Okay, we have established that Fiestaware is my obsession.  I have all the colors, the linens, the flatware, and a tattoo, giving me the all the fiesta cred I need to prove this point.  It is a truth held self-evident by every fiber of my being that I LOVE Fiestaware.  And because I love it so much about every year around my birthday they announce a new color.  Saturday morning I woke up early to see what the new color would be, hoping for fuchsia or magenta, but the new color is Claret,as in a dark wine color.  The color actually harkens back to the previously limited run Raspberry color from  20 years ago.  I am excited and think the color will definitely find a home with the rest of my colorful dishes.  Not to be content with just announcing a new color, the good folks at Homer Laughlin also introduced a new matte black as well.  I am unsure how I feel about a non-shiny piece of Fiestaware, but I do think the matte black will lend to some great bakeware pieces.  Looking forward to seeing the new color and finish in June.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Fabulous 50?

First I want to thank everyone for all the wonderful birthday wishes, marking my 50th year.  Admitting I am struggling with this a bit.  My head is swirling with all the things I have done or haven't done yet.  I am confused because I don't feel anymore prepared for the rest of my life then I did at 20 or 30 or 40.  Also, why do I keep getting spam from AARP?  It is like being rushed by a sorority you don't want to join. Anyway, today I entered a new decade of my life, it will be whatever it is going to be as long as my friends, family, and Natalie still love me I will make it and yes of course I will continue to be fabulous..

Monday, February 29, 2016

Beatles Month

For a couple of years now I have deemed February Beatles Month.  During the month I listen to, you guessed it, Beatles music, watch Beatles films and videos, and try to learn new things about the Beatles.  I always start with the 1 album and work through the others I own.  I also listen to some of the solo stuff.  Usually, I watch at least one movie, Help is my favorite.  Basically, I wholly in everything Beatles.

February can be a cruel month.  The weather is often cold and miserable, the days short and nights long.  February also reminds me of the bleakness from 2010, when I lost my ,dad.  John, Paul, George, and Ringo help me cope with my memories of a painful times.  This month I even get a bonus day to enjoy the fab four.  Thanks Leap Year, I needed the extra day.

Saturday, February 27, 2016


Yesterday one of my co-workers committed suicide.  I saw him the day before, he gave me a big smile and told me he was doing great.  We always smiled when we saw each other.  If we had time, we talked about how things were going in our lives.  He always seemed happy and upbeat.  In fact seeing him was one of the bright spots in my day.  I, like everyone else was stunned by the news of his death by his own hand.

I was also angered at the news because I feel I failed him in some way.  I failed to notice that under the veneer of his smile was so much pain.  Pain I could have in some small way eased or lessen.  Pain I was oblivious to.  No one knows why he ended his most precious life, but we all reeled from the knowledge that he was gone.

I cannot turn back to Thursday and rewrite my last conversation with him, but can at least tell you what I wish I had said.  I wish I had told him how much I appreciated that he always took the time to smile at me and acknowledge our connection as workplace allies.  His warm hellos and inquiries as to my quality of my day were a tonic against the harsh realities of our jobs.  I would say to him I would miss him if he went away and so would many others.  I would tell him, as I am telling you, his life matters.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Knitlandia or I Read a Book

I know I am trying to get credit for something I should do anyway, but I read a book this week.  I rarely read anymore, if I can't get it on audio I normally just don't read a book.  This week I made an exception, I purchased and read Knitlandia: A Knitter Sees the World by Clara Parkes.  I had heard she had a new book out by the fine knitters over on the Mason/Dixon Knitting blog (  Ann and Kay have never steered me wrong, so I made it a point to buy the book, as in a real open the cover and turn the pages kind of book.  Parkes already has some of my bookshelf real estate with her The Knitter's Book of Yarn  and The Knitter's Book of Socks, surely I could make room for another book by her.  Both of her other books made me think about the technical side of yarn taking me a step beyond my usual questions about yarn, is it green and is it soft.  I appreciated the education and still utilize the yarn book from time to time.  Intrigued by her travelogue in the world of knitters I dragged out the debit card and as soon as I got the book home I started reading. 

Parkes does not write with the marathon prose of Stephen King or Tolstoy.  In fact her prose is compact and direct which made for a quick read, which I appreciated.  Yet, her stories of festivals, conferences, and sock summits abound with kniterati and sparking dream locations.  I mean of course I want to see Edinburgh, Paris, and Iceland, but now I want to see those places from a yarny perspective.  Parkes allowed me to enjoy her adventures while safely sitting on my futon drinking hot tea.  I devoured the book and immediately went to the internet to check on prices to flights to Iceland.  If only I had the time and the money, I would be on the next available flight to Reykjavik.   Okay, maybe I would wait for spring.

One of the things I took away from Knitlandia was how amazing it is to read about a woman who has in fact as she says, "I was simply following my heart .  Which as it turns out, is the best way to do it."  How inspiring and wonderful, women can find success in the world of fiber.  I can only recommend the book to my knitting friends and wish Parkes continued success living her dream.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Sweet Hitchhiker

Knitters are just like any other group, when friends knit a pattern we often find ourselves wanting to knit it too.  The Hitchhiker by Martina Behm is one of those pattern up there with the Clapotis (yup knit 2 of those) and the Central Park Hoodie (not yet) for knit popularity.  I checked on and the Hitchhiker has been queued 22,541 times.  The pattern runs about 500 yards of yarn per finished project, if you do the math on that it is over 6000 miles of yarns or about the distance between St Louis MO and Hawaii, but I digress. 

I wanted to knit a Hitchhiker for myself.  I had bought the yarn for the project on the yarn crawl last summer and I just need to do it.  With all the holiday knitting and crocheted owls done, it was time to knit that Hitchhiker.  I used a brightly colored DK weight cotton yarn and size 6 needles. I found after awhile I got a little addicted to knitting the points on the pattern. The pattern calls for 42 points or teeth on one edge of the pattern. (For the Douglas Adams fans out there, yes both the pattern name and the number of points are in reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.)  As is often the case, I knit mine large and added a few extra teeth, because I had the yarn.

Rocking my Hitchhiker
After I started on mine I decided Natalie needed to knit one too, because that is what we knitters do, share a fun pattern.  We also have a friend getting ready to move to Minnesota and I thought she could use a warm neck wrap.  I knew I had some old school Dyeabolical yarn in a fun green and black color way which would be perfect for this pattern.  Pretty much I said knit this pattern with this yarn and Natalie did.  Both Hitchhikers turned out great, but it is amazing how much different they are.  Mine is a little largish and her Hitchhiker is a little smallish, but both are fabulous.

Natalie's Black & Green Hitchhiker
You would think I would be done with the Hitchhiker, but no, not me.  I actually can't wait to knit up another.  However, right now I have moved on to a large green poncho.  I don't think I can convince Natalie one of those, but you never know.

Sunday, February 7, 2016


I don't really care for sports.  It could be a lack of athleticism on my part or just plain apathy, I don't really know.  That said, if you like sports, please don't berate me for my apathetic opinion.  Please love your sports and let me not love them.  I will find something else to do while you watch the superbowl.

Now if knitting were a sport I might have to buy season tickets.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Jury Duty

I spent Monday and Tuesday at jury duty.  I really dislike jury duty.  I spent 2 days contemplating why I feel so passionate about jury duty.  I think it is because the lawyers are allowed to ask personal questions and you are expected to reveal to a room full of strangers your private thoughts.  In many ways I felt like I was on trial.  However, after 2 days I was released, unpicked for actual service on a jury. Glad to be able to get back to work in the jail.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Birthday Tea at LTR

Today is my baby sister's birthday and she requested tea.  There was only one real destination for a birthday tea, The London Tea Room (  We love the LTR and have celebrated many things within the walls of this establishment.  Maybe it is the good tea or maybe the scones or maybe it has become a tradition with us, who knows, but today for baby sister's birthday we arrived ready to celebrate. 

I will always celebrate the birth of someone I love so deeply.  The last thing I expected at 20 was another sister, but fate gave me a second chance at a sibling and I am lucky to have the bonus sibling.  Part of the problem is I dislike the siblings I grew up with.  I have tried over the years to fix the differences between my other siblings and myself, but some things are just too broken and I am human after all,  I can forgive, but I am incapable of forgetting.  Baby sister gave me the opportunity to start with a clean slate not marred with pain and for that I will always be grateful.  She challenges me to stay connected to someone a generation younger than I am, and for that I am also grateful.

The day of her birth I was with her birth mother up until the moment of her arrival.  I fled unable to bring myself to witness the miracle of life.  I regret that choice, wishing I could go back and be there when baby sister made her entrance into the world.  I remember she was small, redheaded, beautiful, and loud when we meet for the first time.  It would take my parents 3 years, several legal hoops, and a chunk of change to get through the process of adopting my baby sister, but know she was ours from the beginning.

Being the much older sister comes with lots of responsibilities and sometimes I am not always up to challenge, but I am also lucky that Natalie took up the challenge too.  She has also supplemented the big sister duties with her own brand of love and practicality. Baby sister has always known that Natalie was my partner and spouse and for her this meant more love.

I am not trying to say everything is always perfect, but know having a much younger baby sister goes on my list of things that make my life (most of the time that is) more.  So to my baby sister I wish her a wonder birthday and I look forward to sharing many more birthdays with her.

Saturday, January 30, 2016


Had a tough week at work.  Actually, work has become stressful.  It always amazes me how one bad co-worker can truly f*** up a work environment.  Anyway, I asked for help from my boss and he not only helped, but gave me an inspiring pep talk. I almost cried from the support.  As I look at my up coming 3 year anniversary at the jail, I do not regret changing jobs.  A good boss is worth everything to me, everything but winning the lottery, that is.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Hat Season

Knitted Slouchy Hat with Color Changing Flowers
I have been knitting a lot of hats lately. I think it is because it is hat season, or maybe I just wanted to knit up a few patterns that caught my fancy. I have found hats to be one of the most difficult things to get right and I have complained about them before (  It is always the band I have a hard time getting right, they are either too tight or mostly too loose.  I have gotten smarter using a smaller size needle than the pattern suggests, which helps, but I still jokingly call them hates.

The Lovely Leana Hat
2 of the 3 turned out better than expected, but one require some extra effort on my part.  The Jacques Cousteau hat ( was a straight forward ribbed hat, which knitted up really nice once I got the gauge right.  The Cousteau hat was gifted to a friend and I am hoping it is keeping his head warm.  The Leana hat was knitted up with this great yarn called Leana by Schachenmayr.  I love how it striped up and the band is perfect on this hat.  I kind of love how this hat looks on me.  The third hat was a pattern I picked up on the yarn crawl last summer at the Bead Place in Illnois.  The gimmick with this knitted slouchy hat is the crocheted flowers turn colors.
Jacques Cousteau Hat
The knitted slouchy hat was a little bit of a challenge.  The band had a weird construction which included a hem and was still too loose.  Some carefully placed elastic made the band fit.  The original pattern had one crocheted flower, but I had enough yarn and crocheted 2 more.  The flowers with the buttons made the hat kind of heavy, but again the elastic did the trick.  I feel kind of over the top in the hat, but you know what I kind of like that feeling.

Crochet Flowers Turn Lavender in the Sunlight

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Alan Rickman Departs

I am stunned to lose 2 great celebrity forces in one week.  I have loved Alan Rickman since I first saw him tragically killed on screen by the very mediocre Kevin Costner.  From Truly, Madly, Deeply to Chaos Theory I have watched his films with the devotion of a fan.  I have even said if I could have a celebrity best friend it would be Alan.  Now he is gone and I can only wish him well in the next life and condolences to his loved ones.  The man could act and tangoed like a dream.   I will miss him.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Good Bye David


Today they announced that David Bowie died yesterday.  This news made me feel sad, like I had lost someone I knew, but of course I did not.  The thing is my grandmother talked about him all the time.  She followed him in the tabloids, with Rhoda Barrett on the news, and regularly would watch him on the Midnight Special.  She would talk about how he and his wife both looked like girls, he was seen wearing a purse, and he had on full make-up while performing on TV.  One night she even let me stay up and watch him perform a number on Midnight Special.  He was gloriously beautiful.  My grandmother talked about him so much, I thought she must know him. 

As I grew up I learned what it meant to be a celebrity and have everything you do securitized in the media.  My grandma did not know David Bowie, but in some ways I still felt like he was a distant relative.  He also stood as a beacon of what it meant to be different.  Even in the middle of nowhere I could see that individuals did exist in the world.  There was hope.

In 2014 I had the good fortune to see the David Bowie exhibit at the Chicago Museum of Modern Art ( ).  The exhibit reminded me of how iconic Bowie is.  Today the news came Bowie became a was, not an is.  I know like many I am wishing him well in the great beyond and thanking him for being something glittering and bright in my world.  Good night, sweet prince.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Worth the Fight

Over the last 31 years (yup I said 31), one of our biggest fears as a lesbian couple has been what if one of us gets sick and has to go into the hospital.  We were afraid either the hospital or our families would block us from seeing one another or worse health care decisions would be taken away from us as a couple.  In the early aughts we spent some bucks on designating each other with durable power of attorney.  Our lawyer did not want us to give each other those legal rights, but realistically it was the only way we knew to protect the other.  Over the years we have given copies of those legal documents to our doctors and have a file at home to grab in case of a medical emergency.  The things we did to protect our rights as unrecognized spouses.

Fast Forward to November 2015.  For Natalie's birthday we flew to Florida to meet our new niece.  The first night Natalie suffered a gall bladder attack so severe we ended up at the emergency room followed by admittance and removal of the offending organ.  It was a tough couple of days which ended with a flight home taking care of an uncomfortable and drugged wife.  What didn't happened was anyone questioning my right to be there for my wife.  I was treated with respect and dignity by all of the hospital staff.  Natalie has recovered and our new niece is indeed adorable.

I wish Natalie had not gotten sick and our trip had not been so stressful, but that said it was good to be treated like every other spouse.  I thanked the Supreme Court and Edie Windsor over and over again during those days in Florida.  This is what we fought for the right to be recognized as the caretakers for one another.  Thanking the staff at North Florida Regional Hospital for taking such good care of my wife and threating us any other married couple.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Casting Off 2015

As usual I did some knitting for the holidays.  I tried to keep it light, but you know sometimes I get a little too ambitious for my own good.  My friend Brooke Nico at Kirkwood Knittery is known for her lace projects.  From her needles comes some of the most gorgeous lace patterns, which for me can be daunting.  Counting beyond my 10 fingers gets complicated and many stitch markers are needed.  However, during the yarn crawl I purchased a kit from Kirkwood Knittery featuring the Chianti Cowl pattern in a luscious Black Bunny Fibers color way.  The kit color was in the red and burgundy family, hence the name, those shades do not flatter my complexion, but I knew it would look stunning on my mother.  I thought if I started knitting in August I would surely get done by Christmas.  The pattern needed my liberal arts brain to stay focused on the my stitches requiring the Chianti Cowl to stay at home.  Fortunately, I had a Blue Heron Chenille cowl I was knitting for my wife, Natalie, as a Christmas present, that cowl went anywhere she wasn't.

I knit with diligence and the chunkier Blue Heron cowl actually knitted up fairly quickly.  In fact I knit it up and sewed it together just in time to hear my wife say she did not like long cowls.  At 54 inches her cowl was going to be a long one.  I told myself she could wrap it around her neck twice, either that or I could strangle her with it (because the more you love someone the more you want to kill them).

The lacy Chianti Cowl was more of a challenge, that counting thing even with the stitch markers was slow knitting for me, but by Thanksgiving it was almost done. The frothy concoction needed to be blocked and finished with a 3 needle cast off.  Plenty of time I told myself.  Right.  There I was the week before Christmas blocking and trying to get it finished.  I spent Christmas eve casting off, but got it done.  The yarn with its merino, angora, and tencel blend turned out soft and light.  Brooke's pattern included an edging with a combination of stitches that not only blocked out flat, but stayed flat and looked stunning with the rest of the pattern.  My needlework was not perfect, but only another knitter would see, my mom not so much. 

In the end Natalie loves her new cowl with the cozy chenille yarn.  I have not heard back from my mom on the Chianti cowl.  I can only hope she loves the drape and color.  I also hope both know how much care and love went into each stitch.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Well, Hello 2016!

Leaving 2015 behind, the year of the big move, the year I felt displaced and out of my comfort zone always, the year I seemed to have lost everything I own in cardboard boxes.  Waking up to a me who quits moping about the move and starts finding her stuff and that damn power cord to my boom box.  I know it will get better.  I am also over knitting stuff for gifts right now when I want a big green poncho.  I need this poncho, I have lots of green yarn, and I know how to knit.  NYE resolutions: unpack my shit and knit that poncho.  Wish me luck.