Friday, December 30, 2011

Buy More Stuff

I had the day off from work.  I woke up early and went out shopping.  I left my husband at home with his cold.

I got my car washed, and then I went to North Park, DSW, Wisteria, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Party City, Target, and I stopped at the grocery store on my way home.  I did so much shopping I forgot to drink or eat anything all day. Even though I was a bit dehydrated, it felt amazing. Until I got home...

When I got home my husband, the CFO of the household, was a bit annoyed with me and my purchases. He kept asking how much stuff cost.  He said something like: "I don't understand, it's like your only goal today was to spend money."  And then he continued with, "Was your Christmas cash burning a hole in your pocket?! Did you need this stuff?"

I was proud, because I could have spent so much more.  And I used my Christmas cash, mostly.

My mother called and she asked what I did today.  I told her I went shopping all day and then I got lectured from my husband about shopping all day.  She laughed.  I haven't heard my mother laugh since her accident.  It was a great sound.

They Ruined It

We struggled through the slow pace of the extensive character development that was the first season of Boardwalk Empire.  It was worth it.  The second season of Boardwalk Empire was fantastic.  However, they ruined it with the final episode of season two.  It was a deal breaker for me, and I will not be tuning in for the third season.

First, I can't believe what happened to Jimmy.

Second, I don't believe if Margaret Schroeder were a real person (not a fictional character) she would sign over her wealth to the church.  That just seemed a bit much.

I think this is why I don't watch much television.  I don't like getting invested in characters and then the writers messing them up.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


"Same-sex spouses are paying as much as $6,000 a year in extra taxes because the federal government doesn't recognize gay marriage, according to an analysis conducted for CNNMoney by tax specialists..."

More here.


I just read the article profiling the First Baptist Dallas preacher, Robert Jeffress, from my subscription copy of D Magazine.  The headline says it all:

"How First Baptist's Robert Jeffress Ordained Himself to Lead America.  He says that Mormonism is a cult and gays are “filthy.” But he says it because he really, truly doesn’t want you to go to Hell."

If Hell really does exist and "filthy" gay people are going there, then that's okay with me.  I am fine spending eternity surrounded by homos in Hell.   We'll have one gay-ol'-time.  It'll be more fun than hanging out with Nuns and Baptist preachers in Heaven, no doubt.

Jeffress is free to believe whatever he wants just like I'm free to not believe what Jeffress preaches.  This is America and we each have freedom to believe whatever we want.  God bless the U.S.A.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

This picture of our two nieces on Santa's lap is the perfect way to greet Christmas.  Merry Christmas.  We had a lovely day at my parents' house. 

I hope you are able to welcome Christmas with the individuals you love, and if you cannot spend Christmas in-person with your beloveds, then you can spend Christmas in-spirit with your beloveds.  You can always carry them in your heart.

Happy Everything

Here's a quote from our Christmas card.  (I don't like to share photos of us, so I won't post the photos from our Christmas card.)

"This year was our most adventurous one yet.  We skied the Rockies in Park City; we witnessed the moon, the stars, and the sun's gamma rays from the observatory in Abastumani, Georgia.  We visited family near and far.  We spent a beautiful weekend in Seattle.  We spent several weekends in Austin.

"This year we shared many spectacular laughs and we even shed a few tears.

"We're excited about the endless possibilities of the upcoming year.  There's always a chance for something magical to happen!

"Wishing you and yours the best."

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Christmas Adam

My life-long friend Sharon's family were the first ones to celebrate Christmas Adam (Adam came before Eve) and my husband and I have included that holiday in our celebration schedule.

Today was a great day.  We celebrated my uncle's birth.  I hung out with family all day.  I baked 8 pans of cinnamon rolls, and we just watched Darlene Love sing my favorite Christmas song Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)  on Letterman.  It's moments away from Christmas Eve and I'm headed to bed!

Nighty Night and Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Tradition

My uncle, who's somewhere between a father figure and a brother figure in my life, introduced me to Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory  many years ago.  It has become a beloved Christmas tradition to watch the late 1960's television episode narrated by Truman Capote and starring Geraldine Page.

I now like to read the short story every December.  If you get a chance, then you should read A Christmas Memory, and make it part of your holiday tradition.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Healing Town

My cousin made her Coconut Pound Cake and dropped it by my parents' house.  I think I've eaten half of this cake by myself.  It's delicious!

My parents still live in my home town, and their community has provided a steady stream of meals and sweets!  Food from friends provides nourishment and encouragement- both are important for their healing.

The sense of community I feel from my home town is amazing.  It makes me want to live in a small town again.

My parents are getting better each day.

Cold Dog

My parents house always feels at least ten degrees cooler than it needs to be in both the summer and the winter.  Their house is a cool retreat in the summer time.  It's also, at times, a frigid space in the winter.  My parents two dogs and our two dogs are competing for the dog bed in front of the heat dish.

Baking Box

I won't be baking my cinnamon rolls, a Christmas Eve tradition, in my kitchen this year, but I've packed up all my baking equipment so I can bake in my mother's house.  I'll keep you posted on the results.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Alive Awake Alert Enthusiastic

What a week.  Here's the numbers that have been swirling in my mind this past week:

  • One week
  • Two parents
  • Three emergency room visits
  • Six nights in the hospital
  • One long road to recovery
Who knew my father was so romantic?   While my mother was in the hospital recovering from her brain trauma my father, perhaps in an act of solidarity, had a mild stroke and ended up in the hospital too.  The good news is that, in time, they both are expected to recover nicely.  Also, this week has focused my entire family on what's important- the joy of living!  Life is short, fragile, delicate, and can unexpectedly change at any time.  Life is a risky journey; therefore, we need to soak up the joy in each moment we have together.

I think we might rename "Christmas" this year.  We're going to call it "Thanksgiving" because my family is so thankful that my parents will be a-okay!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Family Trauma

We had a very scary weekend, but I think the worst is behind us now.  It's safe to smile again.

My young (56) and healthy (she walks 1.5 hours a day) mother accidentally fell on Friday morning and it was a couple of hours before my father discovered her unconscious.  (We're so lucky my father wasn't away on business.)  The ambulance rushed her to the closest hospital, and then transferred her to a trauma hospital.  She spent the weekend in ICU, but she got moved to a regular hospital room last night.  I hope she'll be home by the end of the week.

From the moment I got the 9-1-1 call from my father early Friday morning until we spoke with the brain surgeons on Friday evening I thought I might have to live in a world without my mother.  I was both terrified and angry.  Lucky for me, my mother is expected to make a full recovery. 

I'm already practicing the don't-ever-accidentally-get-hurt-again lecture I plan to deliver once she bounces back.

My mind is still spinning a bit, but when I saw my mother's eyes "light up" when she saw me in her hospital room this morning I knew everything was going to be alright, eventually. 

If you could please send healing thoughts and prayers to my mother I would appreciate it.

Friday, December 9, 2011

We Do Stuff

It's hard to stop and enjoy the moments in life.  We're so busy knocking out the "to-do" lists in life.  When I get to work I have a list of stuff I need to do each day.  When I get home I have a list of stuff I need to do each day too.  Our weekends have another list of stuff we need to do.  It's some what of a trap.

It'd be easy to wake up in 30 years and wonder- where did all the time go?

I have to learn to stop and smell the roses.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mary Anne and Wanda Weekend

Do you remember the line in The Dixie Chicks' Goodbye Earl?  "Right away Mary Anne flew in from Atalanta On a red eye midnight flight..."  In 1999, when I first heard those lyrics I was amazed at the dedication of Mary Anne and Wanda's friendship.  Mary Anne took a red eye midnight flight to be with Wanda in her time of need- incredible!  It made me want such a dedicated friendship.  

Fast forward to 2011...

We have a friend that's unexpectedly going through a painful divorce, and even though December is the busiest month of the year; I thought of only one solution.  We're jumping on a Friday night flight to be with him all weekend long.  He's our beloved friend.  We're going to huddle up and support him in his time of sorrow.

Dedicated friendships are sacred. 

Vintage Dish

My husband's lasagna taste better when it's baked in my Granny's Corningware baker.  My Granny died when I was in 6th grade, but her memory lives on... 

Christmas Cutie

This weekend my brother and his wife hosted a Christmas party.  We were the only non-breeders invited to the party.  The house was full of 20 adults and 5,000 running kids under the age of 10.  Santa Claus even stopped over and handed out presents.  I spent 90% of my time hanging out with my brother's youngest daughter Paxten.  I love my little niece.

Monday, December 5, 2011


When I woke up on Thursday, December 4, 2003 in my small bedroom in the small house I shared with two other roommates during my last year of graduate school I could not have predicted that that day was the first day of forever-and-a-day. 

My first date with my future husband was eight years ago yesterday at a First Thursday party off of South Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas.  It was magical then.  It's magical still.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


"This is not a partisan issue.  Marriage equality is fundamentally consistent with both parties' principles, and especially, conservative principles.

"This about it: Limiting the intrusion of government into family affairs, promoting family stability, keeping government out of private contracts between consenting parties..."

-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg during his address a the HRC's National Gala, where he was honored for his leadership on the marriage equality win in New York.  Sarah Jessica Parker introduced Bloomberg at the annual celebration.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cranberry Relish

My husband's mother makes superb cranberry relish, and after Thanksgiving she sent me home with my very own jar.  I eat it in the morning on toast.  I eat it in the evenings wrapped in lunch meat.  But I mostly eat it out of the jar with a spoon.

Zach Wahls

Today my brother emailed out this YouTube link to our family.  If you haven't seen this clip of Zach Wahls speaking about the strength of his family, then you must watch it now.  Or watch it again!

In the comment section under this video I found this profound statement, which is referencing the "likes" and "dislikes" on YouTube:

"You know what I've learned today? That as of right now, 73,243 people who visited this page are for equal rights, and 679 people aren't. How is it even possible that those 679 people are capable of telling the rest of us what is right and what is wrong?"

No More Chic-Fil-A

I love a good chicken biscuit.  I also love a large glass of iced tea.   But the next time I get the craving for chicken or tea, I will not be stopping at Chic-fil-A.  They have a track record of being anti-gay.  Why does my relationship with my husband matter to the people at Chic-fil-A?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Blow Out at the Office

This morning at the office I walked by my buddy Jordan.  He paused and then uncomfortably asked if I was wearing red boxers?  I was wearing red boxers! Was he psychic?  I wish.  Jordan then informed me that I had a big hole in my britches.  It was a little embarrassing.  I showed my buddy Dave, and then my other buddy Michael.  We laughed, and then I walked out of the office with my long coat to cover the blow out.  I went to Banana Republic for lunch. I got a new pair of pants.

I'm going to yoga.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Oh No! The Big "D" for Del

You can read it in The Advocate or The Dallas Voice.  This weekend our friend Del posted the following note on his Facebook page:

To my fans and friends:

It saddens me to inform you that Jason Dottley and I are divorcing.

I will always cherish the almost ten years that we were together -- married for eight, legally for three. Jason was a wonderful husband to me and a great step-father to my daughters. I will miss being his husband.

Jason and I both fought hard for marriage equality, and I will continue to fight that fight until gay marriage is legal nationwide. Our divorce only proves that like straight people who have the right to marry and divorce, we are all equally human.

I know we are going to disappoint a lot of people and for that, I am truly sorry. But I will never feel that we failed, and I have no regrets. This was not what I wanted, but I must now accept what Jason wants. I only wish him the very best and will celebrate his continued success.

I've had lots of losses in my life, and I've found that I heal when I turn to my pen, my writing and my work. I promise you more twisted stories, that will make you laugh, think and maybe shed a tear
or two.

I welcome any words of support, but this is so hard, and privacy is important to me and my daughters during this difficult time.

Del Shores

I thought Del very eloquently points out that like straight people gay people are equally human, and we deserve the right to marry and divorce.   

Del and Jason's wedding was the first gay wedding I ever attended.  I was inspired. They were at our wedding three years later.  Del married us.  Earlier this month they were at our home celebrating with us, it was a great party with friends. Last week their marriage came to an end.  I'm sad for them.  I'm sad for Del.  This divorce is a terrible reminder that when one person wants out of a marriage there is nothing the other person can do. Nothing! (That truth haunts me a little bit.)

Sing it Adele: "Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead."

College Days

During the long Thanksgiving holiday my husband and I stayed up late and slept late.  I haven't slept until the clock hit double digits (10 or 11) in what feels like ages.  It was a throw back to my college routine.  I liked it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a very enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday.  This year we were with my husband's side of our family and since we were not with my side of our family I thought I'd be distracted from the First Holiday Without My Grandmother sadness.  Unfortunately, that didn't work out.  I walked into my husband's parents' house, received an enthusiastic huge from 7-year-old Lucy (which melted my heart and my defenses) and then started crying while I greeted my husband's sister.  Awkward.  Luckily I rallied and we had a fun two days of family, food, and fun!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tortilla Soup

The cooler weather means it's time for my husband to make a pot of his tortilla soup.  It's a delicious tradition.

Not Lotion

Any time our friend Del, who lives in Los Angeles, is in Dallas on business, which is about once a quarter, we insist that he stays with us.  He's the most considerate house guest; he tells good stories, he takes us to nice dinners, and he makes us laugh non-stop.  We love him.  In fact, he's been popping in and out of our house so consistently for the past three years that we refer to our front bedroom as "Del's bedroom."

He flew in town for my husband's party last week and he turned it into a work week.  (Sidestory: Del's husband is a very busy man, but he flew into Dallas for 16 hours just so he could attend the party too!  How rock star is that?  Note to self: At least once in our life fly into a city for 16 hours for a party.  Be a rock star.)

Del woke up the morning after the party with his face flushed with red dots. Hives? He worried he was getting an allergic reaction from the crawfish tamales.  (But they were so delicious it was worth it!)  He took a bunch of meds and carried on.  The next morning he woke up with his face bright red.  It was no longer worth it. He found a doctor.  The doctor said it wasn't an allergic reaction to shell fish, and it looked like it was a reaction to something he was putting on his face.  The doctor asked what he'd been putting on his face?  Del said he left his night time moisturiser at home so at night, before bed, he'd been using our pink grapefruit lotion.

Of course, when he got back to our house he realized that he wasn't using grapefruit lotion.  We don't have grapefruit lotion.  He was using grapefruit hand SOAP as lotion!  He was rubbing it all over his face, and then going to bed.  Not once, but twice.  He did this two nights in a row. Of course we laughed....non-stop...about his self administered chemical peel!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pear Preserves 2011

This morning I made pear preserves with vanilla beans and organic honey.  I love making blackberry preserves and pear preserves, because I can create concoctions with layers and layers of flavor.   I used a combination of Taylor Gold, organic Bartlett, and local pears.

While we were at Central Market my husband noticed the $22 worth of pears, $8 in vanilla beans, $14 in local raw honey I needed to make preserves.  (Plus I had canning jars and sugar at home.)  He pointed out that we're spending $50 to make Pear preserves, and then he walked over to the jelly aisle and showed me a $5 jar of pear preserves.  He asked if I wanted to buy a jar instead?   When I turned down his offer (pointing out that I don't add any preservatives or pectin to my preserves) he said that he's going to plant me a pear tree so we can at least get free pears.

Old Friends, New Memories

It's always nice to meet new people and make new friends; however, there is nothing sweeter than life-long friends.  I have a handful of "lifers" that I still see a few times a year.   Earlier this week my lifer Jennifer and her husband William and two year old daughter hosted a dinner party because another one of my lifers Zach and his wife Sarah and six month old son were in town from Alaska.  William picked up food from a Cajun restaurant and for dessert we had Nothing Bundt Cakes!  

Thank you Jennifer and William!

Bright Lights

These are some photos my mother took with her cell phone last weekend at my husband's One Billionth Second of Life Celebration!  I like the way she captured the lights, and I found it enjoyable that she snapped a photo of the turkey!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Especially The Chandelier

Our caterers sent us the following handwritten note after my husband's party:

"Thank you so much for letting us cater your one billionth second birthday party.  We can truly say this was a first for us.  Everybody was so nice and seemed to be having a wonderful time.  Your home is lovely.  It had so many neat items especially the chandelier.  Please think of us again in the future.  Have a wonderful holiday season.  Sincerely David, Drew, and Nakima."

Isn't that nice?  My husband and I consider our home a sacred space.  We take great pride in surrounding ourselves with beautiful objects than inspire us to relax, achieve, appreciate, and live life graciously.  We love our home, which is all that matters, but I find it (unexpectedly) rewarding when other people (friends/family/caterers) seem to appreciate our home too.

Hey, Turkey!

I first told you about my turkey in 2009 and again in 2010 and now it's 2011 and the Turkey is, once again, watching over our house.  I think it's a fun November tradition.  Gobble, Gobble!

One Billion Seconds

Last week my husband turned One Billion Seconds old.  My husband who graduated with honors from UT as an electrical engineer (sometimes I like to call him my engi-NERD) wrote a computer program several years ago to calculate when he'd turn 1,000,000,000 seconds old.  He reached that point last Monday.  As such, we hosted a dinner party to celebrate my husband and his first one billion seconds of life!

It was a spectacular event.  We served delicious food and never-ending drinks.  I could not have picked a more interesting group of diverse individuals.  Our dinner guests span an age range from 25-ish to 64-ish.  We had Americans, Africans, Indians, Australians and Russians in our home.  We had small business owners, doctors, architects, lawyers, business professionals, educators, yoga instructors, entertainers, a writer and a meteorologist in our home. We had Republicans, Democrats, Independents, married people, divorced people, single people, straight people and gay people in our home.   It was a nice mix of people, and everyone came because they wanted to honor my husband.

Our family members have told us that they liked our friends, and our friends have told us that they liked our family members.

It was a great party.

It was so much fun we should do it again; therefore, please save-the-date: in less than 31 years and nine months we're having a Two Billion Second party for my husband.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

More Than Ever

You must find ten minutes and watch this short film.  It's The Devotion Project's "More Than Ever" which is about Bill Campbell and John Hilton, a couple who have been together for 54 years.  Like us, they are a devoted gay couple.  They were together in the 1950's, '60's, '70's, '80's, '90's, '00's, and this video was made in the 2011 - they made it to the '10's!  Think about how much the world has changed from when they first met until this year.

I'm so thankful Bill and John shared their story with these film makers.  It's beautiful. (Remember, when it's all said and done the only thing that will matter are the relationships you have with the people you love.  Nothing else will matter.)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Concert Film

I almost did a cartwheel in my office I was so excited this afternoon when I accidentally discovered that on November 29 Adele is releasing a full concert film!  I haven't stopped listening to 21 since I downloaded it this spring.  Her album is as perfect of a creation as humanly possible. 

Adele's "Someone Like You" is one of my most loved songs, EVER.  Her words, her music, her voice- it's a trio of greatness created by one person.  I love Adele.


Grilled BBQ chicken, pickled beats, curry couscous with grape tomatoes, and grilled bacon wrapped cream-cheese stuffed jalapenos- it was a delicious meal.  I thought I'd share the deliciousness (via photo) with you.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mother and Son

I spent Saturday with my parents in Canton, Texas. About mid-afternoon my father went in search of something refreshing to drink, lemonade, while my mother and I stepped into a little art gallery/jewelry store.  It was a small space.  No other customers were inside and so perhaps we felt free to interact with each other openly.  The store was interesting enough that we lingered longer than usual.

When we were checking out the lady behind the cash register introduced herself as the artist.  She also asked my mother if I was her son.  Of course my mother claimed me.  The artist went on to explain that she has a son, Adam, and our interaction reminded her of her interaction with her son.  She said nothing is more special than the relationship of a mother and son.  The artist said she could tell we had a special relationship.

I think my mother started to tear up at this point.  However, the nice artist yelled at her to STOP THAT!  She said my mom can't do that in her store, because if my mom cries then the artist would have to cry too.  They both laughed and the laughter allowed my mother to pull back her tears.

While all this was going on I immediately thought of my uncle, my mother's brother.  Last month my grandmother died.  And with her death my uncle lost the special relationship a mother has with her son.  It made me sad.  If I put myself in my uncle's shoes, then it's frightening to think that I wouldn't be able to call, email, text, or hang out with my mother. 

I love my mom!