Another lesbian love letter … happy birthday my love

My one, my truth, my reason for idiotic bliss. I cherish this, your birthday as I have the others who have come before with as much awe and honor as I ever have.

You never cease to amaze me as we grow older, year by year and side by side.

The first birthday we shared I brought you the wrong gift but with all the right intention. You were so sweet about it all, I was embarrassed but glad to be with you.

My crush weighed so heavily on my brain I could barely remember to wrap your gifts.

Since your last birthday we never spent a night alone. You were next to me for cake and ice cream, for laughing until we cried and for beer on beaches. For every sweet moment in between.

My crush still weighs heavily and at times I can barely speak.

Sometimes it is all I can do, I stare in wonder and amazement that you are here with me. No miles to distance us. No goodbye need ever be long.

I am honored to spend this day, the birthdays previous and the days to come celebrating you. Your laugh and your smile. Your kindness and your generosity. Your strength and your courage. I admire you.

I am in awe of your ability to tackle anything that comes our way with strength and wisdom. You surprise me each passing year with your passion and commitment to our little family. I am moved by your beautiful gaze and am transported by your touch.

 

 

My pride, my lover, my best friend and my destiny. I have never been more grateful to be in your company.

Happy 41st my love, my gorgeous. My darling wife.

I adore you more than words will ever say.

 

 

 

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Mothers Day in a new light

Today is the first day of May.

Today is the first full month of 2018 that I feel somewhat less lost as a mother, as a daughter and as a woman.

I have grown children, and teenage children, and fur children. I have a wife who I have been accused of treating like a child on occasion. Nobody is perfect, judgmental Judy.

I even have feathered children (I love those little cluckers).

I know, I look way too young to have grown children, thank you for thinking it.

The fact is I do. The oldest are adults, adulting in a grown up world far from my nest.

In case you need a quick refresher note here is a mini version of my sorta-adult life:

A long time ago in a land far away there was a young “know it all teenager” who found herself pregnant and stupid. She married her boyfriend, bought a house with a white picket fence added in a couple dogs and had everything but happiness.

More ridiculous things happened in the middle. Blah, blah, blah …

Fast forward 20 something years and that stupid teenager is a self proclaimed wise(r) woman. She made mistakes. She fell down alot, skinned her knees and nearly broke her neck emotionally and mentally. Eventually that lost girl found her happiness. She distanced herself from her own mother for fouls of a personal nature for years but has since, very recently, found forgiveness. Her grown children are distanced now, not by spite but by miles and sparse communication.

For all of my woes there is a light in distance, there is a summer plan to bring all of my people to the same harmonious place.

By harmony I mean grass and lawn chairs, sipping cold beverages and cheering on a game of corn hole or horse shoes. There will be laughter and loud voices, there will be barking dogs and trash talk. There will be breezes to blow the smoke from the grill.

There will be a stillness inside me finally even in the midst of reunion chaos.

Mothers Day may come in mid May but I am celebrating a little earlier. For the first time in a long time I have something entirely and unexpectedly related to extended family to look forward to.

Something that isn’t a surprise pile of dog poo in the hallway in the middle of the night when I get up to pee.

Something not related to a bag of cheese puffs in the pantry with a single cheesy puff left in the bottom of the bag.

Something uncommonly good to look forward to. Something not at all like a field trip leaving tomorrow at 4 in the morning which I learned about the night before.

Nope. Something really, really good.

Something great is on the horizon. A Happy Mothers Day indeed.

 

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Making my own sugar scrub and imagining my death scene

We went to the beach about 2 weeks ago and for the last few days my gorgeous tan has started to peel like glue on a preschoolers fingers.

As I reached for more lotion I wondered how hard it would be to make a scrub.

I’m a tall girl and not tiny. I’ve got curves in the right places (plus some, whatever). The point is you won’t see me buying enough fancy scrub for my whole body. They don’t sell tubs of the stuff big enough anyway.

I did a little search and *voila* a recipe with simple enough ingredients I could probably whip it up and scrub up these flaky legs.

It couldn’t hurt. I mean what’s the worst that could happen?

I grabbed the big container of coconut oil and a spoon. As soon as the spoon touched the smooth white surface it stopped. The stuff is solid. So I think to myself I will microwave it. Pop it in and look for the sugar.

By the time I realized the container was still in the microwave I had found a bowl, measured sugar, spilled some, wiped it up and wondered to myself where the coconut oil went. Ooops.

I get it out, it’s no longer solid but a clearing mess with white globby things of unmelted goop floating around. I scoop the goop chunks and start stirring it in the sugar.

It smells fainternet-meme-of-cat-at-spa-with-cucumbers-on-eyes-and-wearing-a-bath-robefabulous. I start feeling crafty and wonder if I could be famous for sugar scrubs one day. It could happen.

I don’t remember what the recipe called for but I thought it was about half and half so I kept eyeballing sugar and oil scoops until I thought it was just right. I put half into a cute little jar and the other half in an empty plastic container to take to the bathroom with me. One can never be too thrifty.

Plus we only had one tiny jar.

I was feeling extra fancy so I lit the beach scented candle and started the bath.

I perched on the toilet and grabbed a little scrub and started to rub it on my legs. It wasn’t quite liquid, not quite solid, but definitely messy. Some dropped on the floor to make little sugar splats and the rest coated my shins like a sour gummy candy.

I thought it best to probably get over the tub so not to make a mess. I tried to balance with no such luck. My one foot landed into the super scalding running water. In my genius I jump in with the second foot because balancing wasn’t working out.

* pro-tip: your oiled up hands will not hold you up on linoleum. 

I hurry to the front of the tub and turn the water to cold, at this point getting out of the tub seems more dangerous than boiling to death in it.

Remember those dropped sugar globs? Death waiting. I’m not going out there yet.

I get the water just right and settle in. I smoothed the scrub all over my legs and it feels so heavenly I think I should do as much of me as possible.

There is now coconut oil in my eyeball. How does this even happen?

The bathroom is really starting to get a tropical feel. I had closed the door but not turned on the fan so it was getting really steamy. Really stuffy.

Suffocating really.

My entire body is covered in oil and my pores can’t breathe. My lungs are filling with what Yankee Candles considers the beach. This is starting to seem less and less fancy. This might have been a bad idea.

I rinse off. Actually  considering how well water rinses oil I just moved water around but we’ll say I rinsed. I drained the tub and stepped carefully onto a towel in the floor.

Then it hits me.

That light headed, I don’t think I can make it to the bathroom door, dizzy feeling. The one your mother warned you about; the sitting in a hot tub for too long kinda feeling. The one where things get fuzzy and your legs feel weak.

I consider what my dead body will look like when my wife finds me. I’ll be collapsed in a bath towel – right there in the hallway. This will not due.

I wonder if she does find me dead if she will notice my ridiculously moisturized skin.

I have my doubts.

She will probably just wonder where all the sugar went.

Bravely I made it to the bedroom and collapsed into a heap on our bed. I let my body temperature cool while searched for more scrub recipes.

Next time? Adventures in coffee grounds and safflower oil.

I just might make it big one day.

I can’t wait.

The day they ate all my cocoa almonds and the world almost ended

It may seem a little dramatic for a blog title … “The day they ate all my cocoa almonds and the world almost ended”  but it’s the truth.

I was having a bad day at work. I had skipped lunch because I knew we would be celebrating one of our favorite friends birthdays that evening.

My wife on the other hand had the day to herself and decide to get her snack on.

She found a hidden bag of cocoa almonds tucked away in the pantry. A delicious dark chocolate snack I was saving for a day of all days. The kind where you want to eat something deliriously chocolaty for dinner and wash it down with a chilled bottle of wine.

I wasn’t even so upset about it when she text me. She was giddy. Like she found a pot of chocolate wrapped gold coins at the end of a Skittles rainbow.

I didn’t pout when she told me she opened the bag and sampled the goodness inside.

It was alright. Really.

I was focused on making it the rest of my work day and getting to the restaurant on time. I knew what I was having when we got there too; a buffalo fried chicken salad with ranch, a couple beers and a big ole piece of that red velvet cake we bought the birthday girl.

To say I was hangry by the time we got to our favorite lakeside patio and were seated would be pretty accurate. I was both agitated by work events and starving from a lack of lunch break.

I needed sustenance … pronto.

We were seated and approached by non other than the server from our last visit. The one we didn’t like. The one who was slow to fill our drinks or even check on us last time. I was hopeful that this visit wouldn’t be a repeat.

I was so naive.

We did get our appetizer, and our first beer. He did take the cake to the cooler for us and promised to bring it out when we finished our meals. That was about the extent of my hopefulness.

Our friends orders came out wrong and missing side items. Our food never came at all. He never came back to check if everything was alright. I was getting more and more anxious and well … pissed off. I watched other tables get their orders. I watched the sun slowly setting on the horizon. I watched a small child nearly fall into the lake and  most importantly I watched my glass empty.

I was getting more and more irate. Have you ever witnessed a professional in the business of customer service be under served? It isn’t pretty. I said bad words. I shot a glare across the breezeway that made the server want to jump right past that unattended kid and into the lake.

Our friend flagged him down and forced him to confront our table. He nodded that he understood our complaints and ran off. A manager quickly came back to smooth things over. She made it all well, apologized for ruining our evening and summoned the remainder of our order.

We finished our meal and a second round before I requested the special item we brought in with us be delivered. The manager looked at me quizzically, she had no idea what I was talking about. Or she did and realized that this meant not only was dinner a disaster but it was a special occasion.

In the end everyone was fed, we shared cake with other tables and the helpful manager. Our bill was comped and we were given coupons to come back, all totally unnecessary as we are regulars and would have come back anyway. It was a nice touch though and I appreciated the efforts.

The end of the night came and I strolled into the house, put down my bag and went to turn out every light in the house so that we could go to bed.

I walked into the kitchen and there it was … my bag of almonds. Or should I say the bag that held my almonds when I left that morning.

It was like the final smack in the face.

One tiny chuck left in the bottom of the bag. The kids had polished off the sweet open bag of goodness like it wouldn’t be noticed.

I took a deep breath. Then another. I turned off the lights and took a shower. I climbed into bed unable to turn to the wife. I just couldn’t make her understand why I was so damn mad. My work, my birthday dinner surprise, now my almonds. My cocoa almonds!

When I was a child I was told once the world wouldn’t end if I had a bad day.

Yesterday it almost did.

 

Her Birthday.

Every year it is the same thing. She doesn’t want a big fuss but if she doesn’t get the traditional “happy birthday” and a gift there will be hell to pay.

The last couple of years we made a point to schedule our vacation time for her birthday week. Most of if not the entire week is spent on beach chairs, sipping from alcoholic beverages and soaking up every bit of sunshine humanly possible.

This year was no exception to the few before.

Except that I planned to buy her a birthday cake. I wanted to surprise her somehow in the room before her special adults only dinner. Her favorites, crab legs and more beer than one stomach should possibly hold.

Only this year it didn’t quite go as planned.

It so happened my only chance to get her cake was while she was with me. She had a minor tantrum right there in the bakery section of the grocery. I asked her to pick out a cake, she argues she doesn’t want one. I insist that the children want to celebrate her day and cake is how it’s done. She shrugs in  defeat and walks to the cake section again like a toddler forced to participate in group play.

She chooses a cheesecake.

I roll my eyes.
Not in such a way she shouldn’t have what she wants; I absolutely think one should be treated to any sweet desired on her birthday. However, I had planned on cheesecake for the private after dinner treat at her favorite restaurant.

She was ruining things and I was losing my temper.

Finally she picks a cake, after some threats and whispered expressions of aggravation. All the while we are circling a public shopping center. Shooting dirty looks at each other and anyone who dares notice the tension.

We make it back to the room and she gets her cake. The kids are happy. Everyone is happy.

Then comes time for the date night birthday dinner.

She loves crab legs, she eats them only once a year. The first year we were together we were engaged over crab by the ocean. Each birthday since the first she has enjoyed the same for her birthday week. It’s her thing. I don’t partake in such but I respect that it’s her favorite.

This year like all the others I watch her eyes dance when the plate is delivered. She reaches for the utensils to pull the meat from the long, freakish looking shells. She then drudges each piece into the cup of melted butter … dripping everywhere as she does. She scolds me to look away but I can’t. I just can’t avoid the butter on her fingers and the shine on her chin. You would think this to be intensely disgusting but in her own charm she makes it look sincerely endearing.

She continues on and about halfway into her mound she comes across a particularly tough leg to crack. She gives it her all and in slow motion we watch as a piece flings from our table to the next … narrowly missing the occupants. The piece bounces off an unknowing strangers handbag and onto the floor.

We look on horrified.

My hand to my mouth and her with buttery fingers still holding the remainder of the leg with a hint of butter slick on her chin.

Nobody seems to notice what just happened. I wait to take a breath for fear we will be escorted out before she can have her damn cheesecake.

We are asked if we might need a box, I advise we do. She exclaims to the waiter that she needs no box, only a shower. Probably an even mix of beer and truth talking.

Before long the plates are cleared and to-go boxes readied. We continue drinking her ginormous 100 ounce personal tap and casually discuss her day. Sunshine, sand, birthday dinner … it’s been a great day.

She heads to the bathroom and the waiter sneaks a fancy fried cheesecake thing with ice cream and a chocolate strawberry swirled concoction laced over the top. This bowl is surely delivered straight from the birthday heavens.

She is overjoyed.

The waiter comes back to ask her how she likes it, tells her happy birthday once again and retreats. She smiles.

Success.

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Birthday girl

Happy birthday my love. May we spend many more with even better stories to tell. I adore you.

Real marriage advice – life, love and not speaking to each other

It has taken me awhile but I think I have learned a little about relationships, marriages in particular. It can be such a beautiful thing, hand in hand with the intention of growing old together, raising your children and retiring to rocking chairs on the front porch. Then there are days where you can barely stand the sound your phone makes when they send you yet another text message, to which you will also be ignoring.

I have put together 7 age old ridiculous tips and some alternative real life advice from an actual married person.  Actual advice for us long term ball and chain type couples; the gay, the straight, the somewhere in between  … because we all at some point need to step back and just laugh at ourselves.

Never go to bed angry.  Seriously? Who is this helping if you stay up way past your working adult bedtime?

SHUT THE HELL UP AND GO TO BED. Your co-workers will thank me for this tip in the morning. You can hash out whose turn it is to clean the bathroom another time.

Always compliment your lover. I only agree with half of this. Do not throw around over used, thoughtless words you think she wants to hear.  She doesn’t. She will stop buying into your lip service pretty quick. That is no good for her self esteem. All you are doing is encouraging your partner to not believe anything you say. Ever.

Always be sincere. If she is looking hella hot in that dress, by all means tell her so.

**I use the pronoun “she” here but this applies to everyone. Keeping in mind this is  written by a woman who is married to a woman … I use the feminine for everything. This advice could easily be just as good for that gorgeous hunk of a man in your life.

Be reasonable in your expectations. I don’t even know what this means. What exactly is a reasonable expectation? This varies wildly. If you were raised outside of the jungle you know how to behave in society and with other people. Don’t stress about what you are expected to do as long as you aren’t being an asshole.

Real advice: No really. Just don’t be an asshole. The only expectation should be that you are kind to one another and expect that no day is ever the exact same as the one before. Roll with it together.

Trust each other. This is a hard one for me personally. Do I trust she won’t leave one day with our dogs in the passenger seat and a trail of dust behind her? Sure. Do I trust she won’t drink the last of the wine or eat all the fancy ice cream? No.

Real advice: Don’t cheat on her or eat all her ice cream. Done.

Figure out your finances before you tie the knot. Uhh, we have been married awhile and we still havn’t figured this out.

Real advice: You are on your own here. I have no advice. We make the money, we spend the money.

Be affectionate as much as possible. For the sake of everyone around you, please, we beg of you do not do this. It is rude and we will tell you to get a damn room.

Real advice: In the confines of your home or around a private corner in public places by all means grab a quick feel or smooch like teenagers. All is well and good until you are holding up the line at Target looking deeply into each others eyes.

Handle your disagreements in a healthy way. We all know that couple that breaks up and makes up all the freakin’ time. Stop it. Don’t break dishes, don’t drive off squealing tires, don’t call names and never, ever tell them you don’t love them. There is no glue to mend that kind of thing and spray paint and ribbons are not a fancy fix all. No matter what you read on Pinterest.

Real advice: Be honest, take time if you need it before you respond, use your best inside voice. We learned about not throwing tantrums and using inside voices in preschool yet sometimes we forget as grown adults.

The very best advice I have ever been given was to learn from successful couples who have amazing, healthy, happy marriages. Learn from those who know they are not perfect but they keep working on it anyway, those people are the successful ones.

Most of all be willing to laugh at yourself. It’s a lot better than being laughed at.

Leave me your best marriage advice in the comments below, I would love to hear your best “real” advice!

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Parenthood: tales of the lesbian step-mom

My kids are amazing. My wife is amazing. Together they are sorta a train wreck and today I feel a little like a helpless damsel in distress tied to the train tracks with nobody to save me.

This is how it all happened …

My youngest son (preteen) and my youngest daughter (barely a teen) live with my wife (acts like a teen sometimes) and I (always the mean mom) in our lovely rural home while their father lives across the country (we like it like that). This means for the bulk of the year we co-parent in my household with 2 moms. One of those moms never had an actual human child before this relationship, let alone a pair of prepubescent know it alls.

My kids love her, she is an amazing step-mom. She does everything I do as a parent plus more, mostly without complaining.

Like I said she is ahhh-mazing.

The kids absolutely agree, her meals taste better, she is more fun … she yells less. Whatever.

Then there are the days, like today. I get a text as a I exit the shower that the boy child is home. He didn’t catch the ride to school with his sister.

I wonder to myself what happened … is he sick? Should I check on him?

Then the real questions begin …. did I bring a robe to the bathroom?

Is this towel big enough to cover me if he is lurking in the hall?

Will he see me sprint naked and afraid the 3 steps from our bathroom to the bedroom door?

After the wife arrives home from the obligatory school drop off she begins to tell me the tale of 2 children. Of how the female child was dressed, back pack and shoes ready while her younger brother was most definitely not.

She describes for me in detail what happened with the boy.

He was standing in wrinkled shorts and holding his arms wide, in a gesture we can only guess was to make himself look bigger and scarier, like a grizzly bear in an old western movie. He stood there defiantly in support of his inaction this morning, making some desperate argument about why it is he wasn’t out of bed and ready to go. He stood there insanely ranting, thin arms spread wide, arguing about whether he did or did not wake in time to leave by 7:15.

As this was unfolding the wife was processing the entire scene in her head.

This kid was wasting precious teeth brushing time. In her infinite mom wisdom she decides the boy shall stay home. The punishment stood and she left him, in his sleep clothes, red eyed and cranky.

When she returned she checked in on him and found him playing video games. Like any kid home from school (as punishment?) would be doing. I didn’t have the time to argue as I slipped a cardigan over my shoulders and grabbed my bag for work.

A few hours into my work day I receive a Skype from the wife, not abnormal as we communicate periodically like this during my work day. This time it wasn’t about after work plans or when we were scheduled to take the car in for an oil change. No. This time it read like this:

[11:42:14 AM] Wife: Your son is up here looking for borax and glue
[11:58:44 AM] Me: uhhh, no?
[11:58:48 AM] Me: for why?
[12:00:01 PM] Wife: Making messes. Aka slime.
[12:00:14 PM] Me: No.
[12:00:29 PM] Me: Welcome to parenting boys 101
[12:00:35 PM] Wife: He was about to get into the Tide. I said no.
[12:01:09 PM] Me: this is the shit I need to blog about
[12:01:24 PM] Wife: Ha.
[12:02:02 PM] Wife: Yeah. I told him we aren’t making messes today.

I am 99% sure I am going to go home this evening to find no detergent for my laundry this weekend, a slime coating on my kitchen table, an empty potato chip bag and some soda cans mixed in with a beer bottle or few, and my kid still sitting in the same wrinkled shorts playing video games.

The truth is I really don’t think I want it any other way. Except maybe if they didn’t use all the Tide for slime and maybe tossed the dirty socks into the washing matching instead of kicking them under the couch. That would be good.

That seems like the perfect equivalent to untying the distressed damsel from the train tracks …

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These people are my heart. They make me laugh, make me cry. Mostly though they make me shrug my shoulders and smile.