I'd love it if you joined my readers. It's nice to know I'm not just typing into a black hole.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


In my youth I was quite vocal with my opinions and beliefs. A bit of a smart-ass really. Still am to some degree, but I've quieted down a lot. As I've aged, I've become exceedingly aware that people are rarely open to hearing opinions which oppose their own. I've also learned that, if I'm going to evolve at all, I have to be open enough to new information that I'm willing to alter my own ideals. This makes me redescent to state opinions which I might later lament.  Thirdly, as a result of certain stressful events in my life, I've developed a pretty healthy fear of conflict. So, in general, I avoid my soap boxes for the safety of the ground.


"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever an form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such forms as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." - United States Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.

So, despite my own fears and inadequacies, I am stepping back up onto my neglected soapbox. And, to all nine of you, who read my blog, I beg your open minds and hearts. I do empathize with your hesitancy to be open on this matter. I assure you, as a daughter of faith and religion, this is not an issue I have taken lightly, or formed my opinions/beliefs about easily.  I am aware that you might argue with me, or even "unfriend" me.  I welcome the discussion.  The unfriending will sting, but, I think I'm okay with that.

A great deal of research has been conducted on the issue of homosexuality in relatively recent years. Though, most would say we're just beginning to study it, some progress has been made. For instance, after half a century of research, assessing nearly every imaginable psychological cause of homosexuality, researchers have discovered that homosexuals are no more likely than heterosexuals to have been neglected, smothered, or sexually abused (Kinsey Institute studies). Studies by Bailey, 1995, and Golombok and Tasker, 1996, also showed that children raised by gay fathers or lesbian mothers were NO MORE LIKELY to be homosexual or, deviant, than those raised in heterosexual environments. Which leads me to wonder how a gay couple down the street, or even a homosexual teacher would have any notable effect on the future survival of heterosexual unions.

Both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association state that homosexuality is not a mental illness and should not be treated as such. There are still some advocates for "curing" homosexuality, despite overwhelming evidence that these attempts to alter one's sexual orientation are ineffective and even harmful.

The majority of credible mental health professionals view sexual orientation much like handedness. We tend to be right or left handed regardless of our desire to be one or the other. There appears to be NO CHOICE involved in the matter. In fact, most homosexuals admit going through at least a period of time where they desperately wanted to deny their sexuality and many make great efforts to un-gay themselves. They try therapy, treatment centers, prayer, celibacy, heterosexual dating or even marriage. These attempts are universally unsuccessful. If they are lucky to have support, they eventually give in to the inevitable and "come out".  Unfortunately, there is a significantly high rate of suicide or attempted suicide in homosexuals, largely due to their inability to change themselves and their sense that they will lose everyone they love if they don't. Just sit with that for a minute. It is real and we ALL contribute to it, either positively or negatively.

While there are virtually no credible studies linking environmental factors to sexual orientation, there are many studies suggesting a possible genetic and/or prenatal influence (Zhang and Odenwald, 1995; Whitman and others, 1993; Bailey and Pillard 1991, 1995). It is also well documented that homosexuality exists widely throughout the animal kingdom where psychological and spiritual factors play almost no role at all.

Despite the wealth of information now available to us on this issue, it seems that far too many people are still uninformed and/or unwilling to consider that homosexuality is benign. They are deeply afraid of it and it's potential impact on what they deem to be a successful society. Somehow, they fear that if gays are allowed to get married, heterosexual people will no longer want to marry(??).  They fear that if their children are exposed to gay family models, that those children might then become sexually deviant, or worse, catch homosexuality! They might even make friends with a homosexual, or not cringe at the sight of a gay couple holding hands in public!!

Consider the mayhem?!! I mean family values might just flush right down the toilet! Just imagine! 40% to 50% of marriages might end in divorce (National Center for Health Statistics and the Census Bureau)! We might break out in an epidemic of fatherless children. 36.2 million people in America might go hungry (USDA, 2007). Drug warfare might become a problem (you know how those gays are with their gangs and drug trafficking!) I'm certain that teen pregnancy and STD's would rear their ugly heads. There's just no end to the disastrous possibilities that might ensue if we choose to love and accept homosexuals into our, now utopian, society.

Sarcasm aside, I do understand standing in that fear. I stood there for a good portion of my life. It never set well with me though. I always had trouble mingling my desire to love "others as myself" with my belief that homosexuality was an "abomination" in the eyes of God. The conflict disturbed me. I remember being thankful that I wasn't gay because at least I didn't have to figure it out. And I was able to keep it at arms length because I knew relatively few gay people and had managed to not have any meaningful relationships with them. But ultimately, I wasn't able to quell the inconsistencies of this issue in my mind. I tried to take comfort in the camp of "we love them, we just don't love what they 'do' (more accurately, who they are)."  That stance appeased me some, but, as I carried that philosophy to it's conclusion, I realized that, it's an oxymoron. Or, frankly, it's Bull Shit.

In my attempt to honestly love gay people, I began to see them as human beings that have hopes and dreams, love their families, and contribute to society. They hurt over broken relationships, strive to succeed at their jobs, are creative, thought-provoking, intelligent, and loving. Some of them are screwed up. Some of them are cruel. Much like the rest of us. They do not have "agendas" to make the world gay. They just want to be loved and accepted for who they are and have the same opportunities for safety, life, liberty and happiness as the rest of the "created equals".

I can not address all that I want to in just one blog. As it is, this is quite long and I hope you've made it this far. So, I will continue this later. I just have one request for now. Get to know them. Not from a safe distance. Up close. With your heart. We'll talk more later.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Over the River and Through the Woods...

I spent this last weekend visiting my sweet pregnant friend, Cara. Since I won't be able to attend her baby shower, I decided I needed to make the pilgrimage on a separate weekend before baby arrives. I'm so glad I did.

First off, let me say that I couldn't get enough of pregnant Cara! She's almost at the end of her journey and is more than ready for it to be over. She feels puffy and sore. Her legs and feet are so swollen that she can't fit many of her shoes. Her belly is round and perpetually shifting as baby girl let's us know she's feeling a bit cramped in there. So, Cara may not be able to see it, but she's SO beautiful right at this moment. I assured her that she will be glad to have all these preggy pictures which I and others have taken of her, but she's not completely convinced of that yet.

On Saturday we drove from Minden to Reno so we could play at a pottery painting studio. It was in a cute little plaza so we waddled through some of the local shops first. Of course, it didn't take much to lure us into the local bakery as well. It was so good for me to sit across the table from one of my soul sisters. I felt that rare sense of safety in knowing she would handle my openness with great care.

When we finally made it through the doors of the pottery studio, we were already tired, so the racks of blank pottery canvasses overwhelmed us. I think we spent half of the time just trying to decide on which piece to paint, and then HOW to paint it! Cara was a little over-ambitious and became quite fatigued by the tediousness of the dotting.

I'm pretty sure I put too many coats on mine and it will all crack and burn off when they go to fire it. I don't really care much, though. It was all good therapy for me.

The sun was setting as we headed home and it was perfect.

On Sunday we lazed around a bit with the felines (Lola and Othello), and then headed to a Minden local breakfast joint. Breakfast is, by far, my favorite meal to eat out. There's nothing like a good coma-inducing Waffle, or French Toast, or Pancakes with that huge ball of butter melting on top. I always struggle with my order. I spend a lot of time trying to beat the system in my attempt to perfectly blend an omelette with a sweet counterpart. Ideally that would be french toast but, usually the best I can get is a pancake.

After breakfast I loaded the van and started my drive home. I drove up in the dark so I was looking forward to the scenery on the way back. Minden is nestled in a valley of farms and scattered trees, all surrounded by snow-peaked mountains. Truly serene and somewhat timeless.

I drove up through the mountains.
I wish I could have captured more of what I saw. The trees were an unbelievable blend of colors. Dense evergreens were interrupted by brilliant yellow, orange and red leaves.
In some sunlit clusters, they glowed as if on fire.

I couldn't just pass through Tahoe without stopping to say hello to the lake. It was crisp but sunny and the water was three shades of blue.

I think I took about 50 photos along my drive down the mountain. Would have been more if I had more time.

Again, good therapy.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sweet Distraction

I spent this morning with the Oswells. I love this couple. They are in their 70's and wear the age with about as much grace as I've ever seen. They have an authentic love for life and all its sentiment. They have savored every breath and have acquired a collection of treasures as evidence.
These relics have been scattered throughout their home like a living scrapbook. 20 to 30 original paintings from his father's hand. Her mother's old hat boxes. The very cool lamp their son made. The piles of quilts and afghans and pillows. Baskets and tins from everywhere filled with balls of yarn for Mitch to knit with. And a houseful of antique wardrobes, dressers, chairs, chests, clocks, stained glass, and window frames.
The moment I stepped into their home, I felt its wealth of eclectic warmth. They confided that they were feeling discouraged because they had recently been told by another designer to scrap much of their collection and buy all new matching pieces. What a tragedy that would have been!
So we've spent the last several months taking inventory and reorganizing their entire home. We added a honey wheat paint to their family room walls, created a unique media/fireplace wall, hung many of John's father's paintings, completely re-shuffled the furniture, painted an old wardrobe, and designed a metal top craft desk for Mitch using some vintage table legs John found on the street. It's been a great creative release.
To show her appreciation, Mitch knitted me a pair of red fingerless gloves. I love them. Can't wait to wear them. I told her I was learning to knit and she could hardly contain herself. Pulled out her book of patterns and gave me a great pattern for knitting a scarf with a clean edge.
As usual, we ended our visit with take out pasta from a great little restaurant in Danville. We sat around their petite oak table and chatted about the recent anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake. Where we were, what we were doing. Music from a local alternative rock radio station played in the background. Both of them in their hip J-Crew outfits, laughing out their many stories and filling me up.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I'm just not doing all that great. Have very little inspiration for blogging. Am battling depression. Am discouraged about treatment. Just all around feel like crap.

I admit I was not being as faithful with my meds as I should have been. I was supposed to take the 3 doses a day and was frequently taking 2 a day because it upset my stomach so much. So, I'm taking 3/day now and maybe that is contributing to my symptom increase. Maybe not. Who the hell knows. Maybe it's all in my head.
I'm fatigued. My hands ache. My hips ache. My jaw, teeth, right eye, face hurts! Every afternoon I feel like I have the flu. I'm a pain in the ass to be around. And I'm DAMN Depressed.

Sometimes projects help in times like this. So I've been thinking about painting over the green walls in the hallways, or repainting my badly abused table. Got rid of the very stinky rug that was in the family room. Put all my clothes on new skinny hangers and organized them by type and color (well, that project is kinda in progress). Baked/cooked but don't have much of an appetite so...

I do have an appointment with a design client tomorrow. A very sweet couple in Danville. I completely reorganized their home, redesigned several pieces of their furniture and created a fireplace/flat-screen tv wall for them. Tomorrow I'm going to help them hang about 20 pieces of original artwork and vintage family photographs. It's like putting a puzzle together. Could be therapeutic. If nothing more, they're good company and they're buying me lunch.

I realize there's nothing anyone can really do for me. It's just what it is I guess. Sometimes you just have to wade through the muck. There's no other way. And don't get me started on "The Secret" or the power of positive thinking. I'll deal with that in another post if I ever have the energy.

For now, I'll get the kids' homework done. Take the dogs to the park. Make dinner. Go to sleep.

Good night.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Definitions of depression:

  • a mental state characterized by a pessimistic sense of inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity
  • a long-term economic state characterized by unemployment and low prices and low levels of trade and investment
  • natural depression: a sunken or depressed geological formation
  • sad feelings of gloom and inadequacy
  • a period during the 1930s when there was a worldwide economic depression and mass unemployment
  • low: an air mass of lower pressure; often brings precipitation; "a low moved in over night bringing sleet and snow"
  • depressive disorder: a state of depression and anhedonia so severe as to require clinical intervention
  • a concavity in a surface produced by pressing; "he left the impression of his fingers in the soft mud"
  • angular distance below the horizon (especially of a celestial object)
  • pushing down; "depression of the space bar on the typewriter"

Monday, October 12, 2009


Broken fragments of the ground

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pumpkin Soup

Fall is teasing me. It's here, but, not really. Not yet. It finally seems to be cooling off, though, so maybe...

I have been excited to see the pumpkins and all the fall store displays. Already made my first stop by Williams Sonoma to smell and taste their treats. I even pulled out my own seasonal decor. Wreath on the door, lit twine pumpkin, and nubby fall branches with crimson leaves. I don't know, still waiting for the cold weather outside and the warm feelings inside.

My kids have learned to love this season as it seems to be the one time of the year that mom actually enjoys cooking. Cornbread, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, (ya, pumpkin anything) potato soup, AND the most kick-ass cottage cheese loaf you've ever tasted.

Anyway, as I'm writing this I'm eating some left-over pumpkin soup, so thought I'd share the very simple recipe with you. Hope you will enjoy it with me.

Pumpkin Soup
Serves 4
Step One:
Saute together
2 Tb Butter
1/2 cp Chopped Onion

Step Two:
2 cp Chicken Stock
1 Large Potato Chopped
1/2 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Pepper
1/8 tsp Thyme
Boil until the potato is tender then you can either blend for creamy consistency, or mash for chunky. I kind of like it chunky.

Step Three:
14 oz Can Plain Pumpkin
2 cp Milk
Heat and blend thoroughly.

Step Four:
Add sour cream for garnish and flavor.

Related Posts with Thumbnails