Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Making a Potentially Unbearable Holiday Dinner Fun!
Holiday dinners with family can be
easily ruined. A political debate might erupt at the table over health care reform, Obama’s job rating,
or how people feel about Sarah Palin. Perhaps a new husband or wife isn’t liked, so half the table
ignores them while the other goes overboard to make them feel comfortable. Some people actually have the
nerve to state that they don’t like the food – right in front of the chef. Maybe someone has
dietary issues so the ingredients of every dish have to be reviewed before they take a bite. How about
an anti-gay comment made by someone who does it purposely to stick it to another diner – or a hurtful comment made out
of obliviousness? There might be sadness over a recent death or heartbreak from missing someone who’s
overseas with the military. What about those screaming kids banging their silverware on the crystal stemware
or china plates? Sometimes you wish you’d stayed home.
9:13 pm est
a new holiday dinner sanity idea – play charades during dinner. It might sound a little crazy, but
it works. You’ll need a timer, a place card for each person, and a piece of paper and pen to keep
Decide on the
seating arrangement in advance creating two diverse groups – mix up the genders and the ages.
2. Write each person’s name on the outside of the place card. On the inside, write
two or three phrases – see ideas below).
3. Start with the team having the oldest or
youngest member – each team will take turns acting out their phrases. If the team members guess the
phrase during the time allotted, (3-5 minutes is good) they get a point. If they don’t guess, the
other team gets a point.
4. The losing team has to do the dishes!
Simple Acting Rules:
To show the type of media:
To Break the Phrase Down into Sections:
Hold your hands as if they were holding a book.
- Movie: Crank your hand like you are winding an old-fashioned movie camera.
- Song: Pretend
- TV show: Point at a TV or draw a rectangle to outline a TV screen.
- Quote/Phrase: Make quotation marks in the air.
- Number of words: Hold up the number of fingers.
- Which word you're working on:
Hold up the number of fingers again.
- Number of syllables in the word: Put the number of fingers in the palm of your hand
syllable you're working on: Put the number of
fingers in your palm again.
- Length of word: Make a "little" or "big" sign with your hands.
- For the entire phrase: sweep your arms through the air.
- Over the River and Through the Woods to Grandmother’s House
- Plymouth Plantation (the site of the first Thanksgiving)
- The Mayflower.
- Roasted Turkey.
- Cranberry sauce.
- Giving Thanks.
- Homecoming football game.
- I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.
- Happy Hanukkah.
- I’m Dreaming
of a White Christmas.
- Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of clay.
- Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown.
- It’s a Wonderful Life.
- Behold, I bring Tidings of Great Joy.
- The North Pole.
- Matzo balls.
- The nativity scene.
- Santa Claus.
the Red Nosed Reindeer.
- A Christmas Carol.
- God Bless Us Every One.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Right Brain - Left Brain
9:09 pm est
Sorry I've been away for some time. I tried to move this blog over to another platform, one that had a subcribe ability,
but I almost lost everything I had. So, I moved back even thought this Register.com solution is limited. I'm sure
I'll change soon, but for now, I have to keep at it. My business is going through it's busy season - we sell calendars.
So, it's been a challenging period. But, that's not your problem, it's mine.
What's new? Nothing it
seems.....still a lot of press about the gay marriage contest and about young gay men being killed. What's wrong with
people - that they are so negative. The Catholic Church was all over the press today - everything from RI bishops denying
Patrick Kennedy communion because of his views about abortion. And the Church working against gay marriage. I
am a Catholic. It's tough to be one right now.
Tonight I watched a video by Jill Taylor
, the woman who had a stroke at age 36. She talks about the right brain/left brain connection - or lack of one.
Here's the link to hearing Jill talk about her stroke and her connection with the right, feeling part of her brain.
The right brain is truly amazing. I guess it's the place you go for connection...where you feel part of the universe
- connected to all other beings. See what Taylor says about where she'd rather be! I wonder if LGBT people are
more right brain connected? I think we might be. Watch the video and see what you think!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Update on Site and Other Things
1:43 am edt
I'm moving my site over to a new hosting platform so I might be out of commission for a few days. I've been frustrated
by Register.com's inability to offer a subscribe button and other things that I think are critical to a blog. I have
a word press blog for my company - www.workingnights.com/blog. So, I know what we should be able to get. For example, giving comments on this Register.com site is impossible.
I've received complaints from people who know me well. Those who don't are probably also complaining, but they're unable
to reach me.
I believe the new blog will work alot better - so please be patient.
In the meantime, I'm
thinking a lot lately about forgiveness. People cross your path all the time and sometimes it feels like a ping pong
ball bouncing you off the wall. You can't believe how someone you cared about has hurt you. What are your choices,
keep bouncing or stop dead in your tracks. There doesn't seem to be much in between.
is that it's in the in-between space that forgiveness happens. No one's perfect, right? If you are honest with
yourself and the other (who you are forgiving - or maybe they're forgiving you) then you might be able to take the whole thing
in, deep into your heart and being, and move on. Some people can't forgive and some can't offer forgiveness. Pity
them. This is one of the most important lessons in life. How can you move on from the past and make things better
if you can forgive or accept forgiveness?
As a lesbian, I've received my share of challenges, not that I've
suffered from any outright discrimination. What I have felt is a lack of regard for my way of being. A good, female friend
made mention of some guy who was gay recently, in a very condescending way recently. I immediately took offense, but
I didn't say anything. I didn't have to; others noticed.
But separate from my sexuality, I've had
many struggles with people who have felt they were better than me, people who've taken advantage of me. My nature is
to love deeply and show my emotions on my sleeve. So I get hurt alot. But, I'd rather be like that than hide how
I feel, pretending it's not important. I've been mistreated in jobs, in friendships, in casual relationships.
But, I'm not playing the victim here. I can hold my own. I'm just surprised when someone's true colors come out
and I'm not expecting it.
So, if you're LGBT, be patient. The right people with the right colors will come
out when you least expect it. In the meantime, be a good listener. Support your friends and loved ones no matter
what. Take time to love and support yourself. Forgive yourself - you can't be perfect. No one is.
At least no one that matters. The more you are aware of your failability, the better off you'll be! Sounds crazy,
but it's true.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Meet the Family Equality Council
2:42 pm edt
Maybe I'm the only person who hasn't heard about this great organization! But, I doubt it. Despite the fact that
its Executive Director is married to someone I've known for over ten years (but who I obviously don't see too often) and that
it's based in Boston, where I live, I didn't know about it. Last night I attended a fundraiser for the organization
and I got to meet a number of staff and board members. What a terrific group of people - and they are doing really good
The focus of the group is really on protecting children belonging to LGBT families. So,
they focus on:
1. Gay marriage
2. Hate crimes and bullying
4. Gay adoption
7. Transgender children
many other initiatives Family Equality is involved in. See the organizations website at http://www.familyequality.org/index.html
and the group's blog at http://www.familyequality.org/blog/
Family Equality is very much involved in the political arena, but it's more than that. LGBT parents can
connect through the organization, they have events for people to meet eachother, and they have a kids section of their website
where children can expand their knowledge of gay and lesbian issues. I recommend this site as a great resource for LGBT
kids and parents!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
People Will Take your Soul if you Let Them!
I'm thinking about loving people for who they are. There is the good, the bad, and the ugly in all relationships, and
we have to do our best to keep loving and caring. Remember the song, "You've Got a Friend?" by Carol
King? The lyrics say:
11:05 pm edt
"Ain't it good to know that you've got a friend
When people can be
They'll hurt you, and desert you
And take your soul if you let them
Oh, but don't you let them"
Why do people hurt you and desert you? I think about having your soul taken and then being rejected a lot, because
it was done to me - by someone I would have never believe could do such a thing. But, you can't really ever know someone,
I guess. I wonder how people trust again after going through this.
When you are gay and you expect that people
will love you and respect you, and they don't it's doubly hurtful - I mean most likely you already feel a bit sensitive to
being rejected, and then you are tossed out of someone's life, like you are nothing. This may be what a parent does,
a best friend, a teacher, or a sibling. It's tough to trust anyone.
Reality is you have to keep trusting
despite how tough it is. I hope it's better to trust than not to.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Where are the Gay - Straight Alliances for Adults?
2:15 pm edt
I'm sorry to be away for so long. My business is selling calendars and it's that time of year. So I've been extremely
busy! See our blog at www.workingnights.com/blog
. And, I'm going back to school; my schedule has been challenged the past few weeks. But, I have it under control
Last week my daughter came home and told me she'd been to the Gay - Straight Alliance
meeting at school that day. She's 17, and definitely not a lesbian, not even bisexual. But I can see why she went
to the meeting. She has two moms (and a lesbian stepmom), a best girlfriend who's bi, a good close guy friend who's
gay, and another close friend Chris (a boy), who wants everyone to call him Rona. What a different world than when I
was her age!
I asked how many people were there, and she said about 15 including the three teachers who
sponsor it. One of the teachers is gay, she told me, the other two are not. She said that they just sat around
and talked about stuff, but the way she said "stuff" relayed to me that I wasn't to ask any questions. So
But I've been wondering ever since, how come there's no Gay - Straight Alliance for adults?
According to GLESN there are over 4,000 Gay - Straight Alliances registered with them. But this group, the training
the offer, programs they promote and alliance groups they register are all for youth. When adults join, it's to support
young people. I wonder if today, thanks to these alliances, many youth have more support than people their parents ages do.
I looked up GLADD and they have events, but they're not clubs as far as I could tell. They put on an event in
a city (many TGIF's advertised again for younger gays and lesbians).
Why do we need a club? The same
reason young people do, for support, comraderie, a place to learn something new and meet new people. A place to spread
the news about what's going on in the gay community - a place to forge changes, like gay marriage and gay adoption.
It's amazing to me that with all that's going on, this type of a forum doesn't exist. Many people are not discovering
they are gay until they are older in life (probably because it wasn't so well accepted when we were young, as it is today
- despite continued challenges). So, they may have buried their homosexual feelings and split them off. A club
or group might help them deal with these new feelings and also with reconciling what they may have lost and gained from hiding
part of themselves for so much of their lives. I think it's be better than therapy - or at least a good addition to
I found something on line for older gay and bisexual men called Prime Timers, founded in Boston in 1987 (all
the good LGBT stuff starts here!). There are a number of chapters around the country and a few in Canada, Australia,
and one in Sweden. They have a quarterly newsletter (see www.primetimersww.org/
I couldn't find anything for lesbians. Why do groups have to be gender based, like the men's one?
It remindes me of summer camp! I like that the GSA for youth is for both genders and transgendered people.
I guess this is telling me I need a group. I don't have time to start one, so I'm going to have to look harder!
Why do I need one? Almost all my friends are straight. I've been out almost all my adult life, but I need to come
out more. What does this mean? I need a community of gays to be in my life. Not all gays, but more than
I have now. Last year I went to a party with mostly gay women (about 6 of us - actually four were gay, two are not anymore
- but had previously had a relationship with each other). I had a party at my house with about ten lesbians and the
same two women from the other party. But, more or less, that's it other than a one-on-one meeting for breakfast or coffee
with a lesbian friend. I'm going to have to work on this!!
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Today was the walk for gay rights in Washington. I couldn't go - it was my sister's 50th birthday celebration.
I saw a little of the march on TV and read about it in the paper. Those who marched are right, it doesn't
seem like Obama is too committed to change anything. But, forunately,a lot of others are. So, we are seeing big
efforts for gay marriage in some states and the anti-discrimination bill at the federal level.
9:06 pm edt
Still though, the
going is tough. There's definitely hope for the next generation - the kids of the later baby boomers are,
for the most part, very accepting. Tonight my nephew who is eleven, and my son who's nine, were talking about the
Yankees and the Red Sox. My son said he likes both the Yankees and the Red Sox (we live in Boston and my nephew
lives in CT). My nephew assumed my ex-partner lives in NY and said it was ok my son liked both teams. But,
my son said both his mom's live in the same town. And my nephew and his brother had a lot of questions about it.
Hearing my son tell the story of his life, happily and confidently, made me feel very good. On one level,
it made me feel he is adjusting okay to the challenges life has dealt him. But, on the otherhand, I'm still worried
about him. I guess a mother is always worried about her children.
This thought gets me back to the march
in DC. The video clips I saw and articles I read indicated a population of 20 and 30 year olds participating in the
march. I wonder where their parents are? I mean, a parent of a twenty five year old is probably from 45 to 60
years old. Are they there supporting their children as they make these difficult decisions in their lives - decisions
about who they come out to, who they love and care for, who they take into their lives as long-term partners?
Somehow it doesn't seem like it. I'm not saying they need to march in DC, but these parents need to have a voice.
The need Obama and the rest of the country to know that they expect their sons and daughters to be accepted, loved, and respected.
I wonder what's wrong with people who can't accept, love, and respect others. Perhaps they've never
felt this type of concern so they can't feel it for themselves and others around them. I know Obama knows how important
this is - he speaks of his mother, grandmother, and others who were important in forming his beliefs and his drive and motivation
for his life. How come he can't see that by not fully embracing gays and lesbians, he's promoting the fact
that parents, teachers, aunts, uncles, coaches, and other really imprortant people in the lives of gays and lesbians
don't have to embrace them. It's crazy, the double standard. I hope that all people will take a good, long
look at themselves and make sure they are on the path to acceptance love, and risk.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Obama Won Nobel Peace Price - What Does it Mean?
So, Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize! And, he says he's taking it as a sign of what he should do to mobilize forward
to bring the international marketplace together. I do have to add that after taking about 10 minutes to review
the Nobel Peace Prize website, I didn't find any clear mission for the organization nor anything to clearly state
why Obama was qualified and accepted.
11:44 pm edt
This doesn't mean I don't think he should have won, because I'm okay with it.
It's just that it might be a bit early given all he has on his plate. But, it's a very positive honor.
To me peace means that all people of different beliefs, lifestyles, and living situations should live together
in "peace and harmony." Why can't we just be good to one another and be in peace with ourselves and each
Parents, teachers, mothers and fathers, grandparents, and bosses who support LGBT rights, let's focus
our efforts towards acceptance of our differences. There is so much going on right now that's supportive of gay marriage,
anti-discrimination, gay adoption, ect. Every day there's some new progess to add. But, even so, half
the U.S. population is not supportive of equal rigts for gays and lesbians. We need to find a better way, that's for
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Life is Short and then you Die
11:25 pm edt
I was thinking today about how much more I'm aware about the short tenure of life than I ever realized a few years ago.
I mean, even four or five years ago, I was completely unaware about how quickly life was passing by.
are a lot of reasons I've come to this realization;
1. I'm getting older and I've faced many personal challenges
the past few years, like long term relationships ending without a full appreciation for what went wrong, people I've really
loved have let me down without even telling me why, and jobs have ended even though I feel I was doing them well.
2. I'm surrounded by older people, more than ever. I'm volunteering in an assisted living facility and
visiting other older people. They are sharing their lives with me and talking about the end of their lives too.
All their accomplishments and their regrets.
3. My mother is going to have surgery and I'm worried about
her. She's always seemed like she'd live forever. I'm sure this surgery is going to go well, but I'm still concerned.
She's afraid and I think she's facing her own mortality - something she's been facing quite a bit already the last few years.
4. I see my son, age 21, making mistakes in his life and I wonder if he can ever recover. If he's
lucky, he's 20% of the way through his life. I look back and I can't believe he's 21. I hope he will soon realize
that he's young, but getting older every day.
5. All around me, my friends are talking about retiring, sharing
health issues, planning for living in older life.
But, I don't feel old, I actually feel pretty young.
I'm starting a new business, taking big risks in my life. I don't know if it will pay off. It's a little scary.
These feel like things people do when they are under age 30, not over age 50. But, I'm alone and raising two kids full-time
and one part-time. I'm the main emotional support for all of them, I'm sure. I'm writing many things - about health,
safety, and growing older.
When I think about all this, I wonder why people can't just be accepting of each other's
differences. I mean, some are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, or transgendered. Others are from varying religious and
ethnic backgrounds. Some work in high paying jobs and others are paid less, but often do more, like those who work with
the aging or other challenging populations.
Life is short. I wish people would be more caring of others.
I guess this is idealistic, but I'll always feel this way. But there are signs of good things. We have todays
vote by Congress to strenghen the federal hate crime laws to protect crimes against gays and lesbians. See http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/10/gay-rights-hate-bill-matthew-shephard.html
for more information.
Also, the Montanta Supreme Court has done the right thing to protect
children in a lesbian family. And, along the way, the one judge has expressed his frustration about the lack of
acceptance of gay marriage and gay families. See http://beyondstraightandgaymarriage.blogspot.com/
Don't we all deserve acceptance? I wonder how my nine year old would think about all this commentary
on gay families. Of course, he loves me and he loves his biological mother. He's had to live through a lot
as a result of our break-up. But, it's amazing to me how kids are so logical and how they grasp complicated
issues at very young ages.
Life's short and then you die. I want to be with the people
I love and feel loved. That's my minimum criteria. I hope those who read this and aren't with those they love,
find their way back to them, especially families of LGBT people.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The Challenges of Today
It's been an overwhelming day. Let me tell you why:
9:49 pm edt
1. I spent from 8-4 taking an 80+ year-old woman
to her doctor's appointment. She has Parkinson's and she needed to go for observation from about 10 until 3. It
took me some time to pick her up, help her in the car and drive her there. Then she went through all the procedures
while I waited (on my laptop). On our way home she wanted to stop at a grocery store - she said her daughter just hasn't
had the time to take her lately. She lives in an assisted living facility so she has food, but how can anyone live without
something in their own room? But this day was particularly overwhelming because the woman was a psychoanalyst from NY
who had a practice of lesbians who wanted to be converted to being heterosexual (her opinion). But today she told me
about how she spoke at many Episcopal Church meetings about the importance of lesbians and gays participating fully in the
Church. I don't know what to think!
2. My business is certified as lesbian owned. Our lead sales
person isn't gay, but she is gung ho about calling the LGBT supportive businesses about their interest in doing business with
us. We talked about it on and off and whenever we do, it blows me away. Imagine getting business because you are
3. From 4:30 to 7 my son, who lives with my ex-partner was with me. I have a visitation agreement
that came as a result of filing a lawsuit against her and she settled. Our son is 9, almost ten. For the last
few months I've been trying to get him to let me cut his finger and toe nails, but he hasn't been receptive. Note -
he's with me about five overnights a month so he doesn't shower that much here. You'd think someone over there - my
ex or her new partner would think about helping him cut his nails, but they don't. Today I asked him if anyone at school
ever says anything about them, and to my surprise, he said that a kid just said today that his nails looked like a girls.
Needless to say, he let me cut both his toe and finger nails.
4. My daughter told me about how a rental apartment
my ex lived in for a very little while was very expensive. When I asked her how she knew she admitted that my ex told her.
My son had already told me that they had been talking about moving in to an apartment, leaving me to believe all is not well
at their house, I'm sorry about that on one level, but not too surprised. I told my daughter than I'd do anything
I could to make it better for my ex, although honestly there isn't anything much I can do. I don't have the money.
But, I do want our kids to be happy.
I think often about the particular challenges that our kids face.
I mean, they had two moms. That was tough enough, although they all say our community was supportive. But now
they have two moms who've broken up and one has another partner. That family situation isn't perfect because the two
kids of that person have had some challenges and so has our oldest son. If I had it to do over again, I don't think
I would have been with my ex for so long, and if that was the case, maybe we wouldn't have had all the kids. But, I
love our kids and I couldn't imaging my life without them. And they are here, so we have to find a way to make it best
I don't understand why my ex won't talk with me about all this. I guess she's uncomfortable with
admitting that the relationship she left our family for isn't the best. I would talk with her, but everytime I get up
the nerve, it seems she's prioritizing a ballgame with her current partner or some trip with her. It's really difficult
to fully understand what's going on. I do not have any intention of getting back together with her, but I do care that
she's okay and that our kids know I'm willing to help her. Maybe all I have is emotional support right now, but I'm
willing to give it!
I'll make changes to this site regularly basis, sharing news, views, experiences, photos...whatever occurs to me.
Check back often!
Love Makes You Smile - a lot!!