Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Full of Grace

  • Carol.  The movie opened on November 20th and it finally opened where I live this week. After all that cruel and unusual waiting, and all that suspense, I didn’t really like the movie. I didn't think it did a very good job of conveying the depth of the relationship (I didn't believe they were in love) until the very end and so the story didn’t feel believable to me. Or, as Martha suggested, perhaps it was just too hard to watch my pretend wife making love to another woman.  It was however, a very pretty movie to watch and I loved seeing the finely detailed New York City in the 50s.  And, of course Cate doing anything.  And now I have a new crush on Rooney Mara.  So I suppose I liked the movie but not the way the story was told.  (I would love to hear what other people thought)
  • Survived the chaos that is Christmas Eve with Martha’s family, complete with four 2-3 year olds, one of whom ran his dinosaur through a Dicken’s Village destroying quite a few buildings, a rottweiler who grabbed the whole turkey and ran, and a remote control drone gift that hit a couple of open liquor bottles which smashed on the floor, all happening with a decibel level comparable to a jet engine.  I love these people but wow, I am always happy to come home and decompress.  
  • Enjoying our Christmas day traditions like eating way too much sugar, taking an afternoon nap, and sharing a roast beef and yorkshire pudding meal.   
  • Winning a marathon game of Go to the Head of the Class.  We have this old (1965) version of the game and some of the categories are Army Insignia, battleships and sports (but the sports figures are all pre-1965).  It takes us a long time to advance classes.    
  • Snow!  We finally have snow!  I will be sick of it by the end of February but right now I am as giddy as a little kid.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Full of Grace

  • That it was warm enough to open the windows wide after everyone in our household was sick with colds and a stomach bug. Fresh air does wonders.

  • Getting major “super cool mom” points for getting tickets to see Adele in concert. I was one of those who waited in the 45 minute queue and got lucky.  My daughters now think I'm amazing.  It won’t last long, but I’ll bask in it for a little while.

  • The most strenuous thing I did on Sunday was to pick up a phone to order pizza.

  • Celebrating another Beaner birthday together.  It was a little difficult as it was her first birthday in many years without a boyfriend but there’s nothing like a fine Italian dinner and a bottle of wine to soothe the rough edges.

  • Working a Make A Wish booth for a couple of hours and having a parent of a former wish receiver stop to say thank you. Her son got his wish and died a year later at 9 years old.  It made me remember that there is nothing I am more thankful for than the health of my children.

Monday, December 14, 2015


I have watched the video of Daniel Holtzclaw being found guilty of multiple counts of rape and sexual battery many, many times now.  I watch the man rocking himself  like a little boy and sobbing as each count is read. Each time I watch it I pity him.  I believe he truly expected to get off and now, going to prison, he knows what to expect there too.

Everything I’ve read about this case points to Holtzclaw specifically targeting black women because he knew that they would not be believed.  That was his expectation.  The word of a white police office would always trump the accusations of a black woman.

And I’ve read the stories of some of these women.  Not surprisingly, they too expected not to be believed.  Until one brave woman said, “He picked the wrong lady” and someone believed her.

I have browsed black social media looking for reactions.  On one site I read that this is the first time a white man was convicted of the rape of a black woman.  While I know that is not accurate, I understand the sentiment.  That is the expectation, based on years and years and years of practiced injustice.
I remember sharing with a straight blogging friend a picture of Daphne and I in Europe.  Her response was “I love to think about you two galavanting around Europe.”  And I thought “how naive she is, we were scared to death.” as we were whenever we were out in public - an interracial lesbian couple, in the 80s, and now far from home.  We made ourselves as small as possible and expected to have problems. But privileged, straight, white women get to have different expectations.  

When Daphne and I were sexually assaulted the police interviewed me and wrote their report.  I was afraid and in shock and fighting to be able to see Daphne.  I am told I was taken to a hospital so my body could be examined and photographed, my clothing taken for evidence, my broken bones cast.   I have very little memory of this.  But I do remember speaking with the police who said to me, on more than one occasion -  “well, what did you expect?”  

What did I expect?  I’m not sure I had any expectations, but it I’m sure it wasn’t that.

I do not know what it is like to live as a black woman in our culture. But I do know what it was like to love a black woman.  I know what it is like to have no power to fight an aggressor. I know what it was like to have my life and love so devalued that a police officer would just assume we deserved to be attacked.  I can only imagine how frightening and dehumanizing it must be for black women when faced with that kind of white power.   All. The. Time.

My heart weeps for those 13 women.  The jury felt they did not have enough evidence to convict Holtzclaw on all 36 counts. But I believe every single one of them.  I believe every word of their agonizing stories.  I hope that they will be able to find some peace and pride and healing.

I have watched the video of Daniel Holtzclaw being found guilty of multiple counts of rape and sexual battery many, many times now.  I watch the man rocking himself like a little boy and sobbing as each count is read. Each time I watch it I feel pity for him.  

I did not expect that.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Full of Grace

  • That although the larger world seems to be filled with hate and violence, my everyday world is filled with love and support and incredibly kind people.  It’s good to focus on that.

  • All reservations made for a warm January vacation.  

  • A vivid dream of my father, on what would have been his birthday, that made me feel like I just had a very sweet visit with him.

  • My sister sent me a batch of my mother’s handwritten recipes. They will be cherished.

  • A weekend spent baking cookies, decorating and getting the xmas tree which helped get me in the holiday spirit even though we are having Spring-like weather.  I think I may be only dreaming of a white Christmas this year.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Full of Grace

  • Thanksgiving with Martha’s family is always a loud, blustery affair.  Traditionally arguments center around why the Cowboys always get to play on Thanksgiving instead of the Jets, Bills, Bears or Giants depending on who’s doing the arguing.  But the biggest argument is about whether stuffing should have cranberries, or not.  Even though the hosts make both kinds to please everyone, the argument still dominates the table.  But this year the adult kids of the hosts decided to make a drinking game out of it.  Every time someone said craisins or cranberries, everyone had to take a drink.  Needless to say, everyone was pretty mellow (or asleep) by the time dessert rolled around.
  • My experiment of growing salad in the basement is going well.  These two flower boxes are providing me with a fresh personal salad everyday.

  • Martha asked me to get an old oak desk out of the basement.  It was too big to get up the stairs so after stripping the salvageable wood and drawers, I took a sledgehammer to it and just wailed away.   What a great anxiety/stress reliever!    I highly recommend it.
  • Recreating Friday movie night when the girls were little.  I know you can’t go back in time but all of us cuddling on the couch, sharing popcorn and watching Frozen came pretty darned close.

  • Beautiful weather for a Black Friday hike in the woods which reminded me of this poem:

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any--lifted from the no
of all nothing--human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)