Thursday, October 9, 2014

Placing Bets on Marriage Equality in Florida...

I'm putting it out there. I see Marriage Equality in Florida by the end of the year. Let's see...

I don't know how many of you are following this but history is happening. This week we went from 19 states allowing Marriage Equality to 36. This happened because the Supreme Court has let all lower court decisions stand instead of fighting against gay marriage. In Florida we now have 5, yes 5 court decisions saying that gay marriage should be legal here, unfortunately each time Scott and Bondi block it by issuing a stay. Now they have asked for the stays to be extended past the election and that was granted!!! So 5 court cases, 1 in Tallahassee, have all been blocked by these two. Remember that when you vote. ‪#‎marriageequality‬ ‪#‎equalityflorida‬ Equality Florida

Saturday, September 27, 2014

In My Own Skin...

It has been an on going process for far too many years to get to where I feel like I fit in my own skin. With my birthday a week away it has been on my mind more lately than usual.

What am I getting at? Well, it's hard to explain but I'm talking about the process of being me and being comfortable with who I am. I don't mean that just as in my body but I mean more like I'm more okay today than ever with who I am. I embrace most of my quirks and weirdness. I'm okay putting bugs on my nose and well, if you don't get that I'm fine with that, too. I am okay with being silly even when others are looking. I'm more okay now with having my own opinions. Yes, I know some of you will find it shocking that I ever had any reluctance in sharing my opinion. It's true though. I would over think that and even after sharing wonder why I dared to open my mouth.

I've come to terms with being me. Sounds like it would be something so normal to do but I think that people may struggle with this. I can't really be the only one, right? It takes effort and time and acceptance. Heck, I'm still working on that myself. But it's taken me getting to the 40 mark to get that. Wow.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

I've Watched One Too Many Romantic Movies...

...and I think that has done me in with unreal expectations of romance. Well, that or I am just a huge romantic at heart.

Somehow those big-hearted gestures get me every time, yet in real life they just don't seem to happen. Well, maybe I've had a few romantic moments in my lifetime, maybe three, but I'll keep those to myself.

But never have these things happened:

  • Delivery after delivery of floral arrangements filling up the room. 
  • Flash Mob wedding, prom or date proposal. 
  • Showing up with a picnic basket for a romantic evening date near a body of water.
  • Those moments of dramatic speeches of "how much love there is," how "you are the one and only," "the whole world should know how much I love you..."
  • The boom box held over-head playing "our song". (Okay, that is from Say Anything.)
  • Giving me your one earring. (Yep, Breakfast Club.)
  • The car waiting in the parking lot to take me away from reality. (Uh-huh, Pretty in Pink. It's all John Hughes fault I guess.)
  • No showing up at my door with a special bottle of something. 
  • Rose petal path to the bedroom. (I actually don't even like that one. So cliche'.) 
  • Spa days scheduled because you know I needed it. 
  • A brand new car with a huge bow sitting outside.
  • A surprise vacation of my dreams with all details thought of ahead of time. 
  • The surprise proposal with the perfect ring, in the perfect size. 
  • Coming home to a candlelit dinner. 
  • The long run across an open field into each others arms. 
  • Kissing in the rain after a long time apart.
  • Running to each other at the airport.
  • Waiting to hear a dedication song just for you on the radio or at the skating rink.
But hey, those aren't real moments, right? 

What about you? Have you had any of those romantic moments? Want to share? Comment below. Let me know those things really do happen. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Save the Drama for Your Llama.

There is wonder if my life needs chaos to survive. I know that change is inevitable but it always seems to find me. Or do I look for it?

Truth is change is scary. Then again, so is stagnation. I guess that is me always, always, always trying to find that balance. Doesn't seem to matter if it hits the personal life or the professional part... It's change none the less. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Could Florida Be the Next State to Allow Gay Marriage?

Today was the day for the gay marriage case to be heard in Miami, Florida.

Wow! To think that Florida may soon allow this is kind of amazing. I actually got chills and tears welled up in my eyes reading some of the different quotes that came out of the hearing today.

And now we wait. They expect the judge to rule in the next few days or weeks from what I understand.

Interesting Fact from Equality Florida: "Every court to consider these federal constitutional claims since last summer’s Supreme Court decision has ruled in favor of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples, including federal and state courts in Utah, Ohio, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kentucky, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin."

While I may not be one of those couples waiting eagerly in line to be the first ones married if this actually happens, I will be with them in spirit. My heart will sing and be happy knowing that we are that much closer to equal rights and that maybe, maybe one day, that will be something I can have too. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Girl Who Doesn't Know How to Be Loved...

It was pointed out to me today that this may be me... The Girl Who Doesn't Know How to Be Loved. 

So I guess that's me.

Thing is, it is me.

I've been accused of being "independent to a fault" or "fiercely independent". I took that as such a negative. That I was unloveable, didn't need others. That's not really the case. I do need others. I thrive with contact from others.

Maybe today I just understand it a bit more. She's right. That's me. Perhaps she just really gets me. :-)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Dating Profile

So for those of you not in the know and who don't follow SDL, allow me to explain. Yep, that's Single Dad Laughing, and the main man, Dan Pearce. Well, Dan decided to write a WONDERFUL online dating profile for himself and post it today. 

I am inspired. I am even using his format of questions. Go, Dan!

Scared but inspired. 

Well, here it goes. Wish me luck.

This is scary. 

Let's start with me...

B/W makes everything better
Au Natural
Relationship Status: Single, er, divorced? Well, dissolved. Okay, if you haven't read my last post we will just go with single. 

Age: 40. I said it. 4-0. But I don't feel like I am a day over 27. Unless you hear my knees make noise, then you'll think I'm 80. 

Have kids: Yep, and she's mighty cool. 

Want kids: Yep, the one I have. :-) Oh, more kids? Yeah, not so sure about that. I liked saying "one and done" for the last many years. 

Ethnicity: White, er, Caucasian... with some German and some French. But G'pa used to talk about some Native American and Scottish so I'll go with the Heinz 57 mix. That's not too unPC, is it? 

Body Type: Um, skippppp... no, really. I've got some extra pounds but they don't stop me. I'm active. Just this past weekend this body was Dragon Boating. I regularly do 5Ks, especially if it is a cool location or for a cool t-shirt. 

Height: 5'5" or 5'6" in the flip flops. 

Faith: I personally like that "Faith" is followed by "smoke" and "drink" so they can tell just how much of a heathen you are. Faith, well, as long as it isn't too organized I'm good. Spiritual = yes. Religious = not so much. But being raised in New Orleans I still find myself interested in some of the ritual Catholic stuff here and there. 

Smoke: Only when I am on fire. Wait, you've heard that one before have you? Okay, only when at a cool new Greek restaurant and they have the big hookahs to try and crazy stuff like cherry flavored vapor. Once. 

Drink: Yeah, what of it? I say, "I need a drink!!!" far more than I ever do it but if there is a new beer to try count me in. Also, if my step-dad is making a batch of mojitos I'm in as well!

Headline: Just a girl always looking for a fun adventure! Wait, what kind of fun adventure did you think I meant? 

Profile: (AKA All About Me) 

I'm looking for some folks to hang out with and do some of my favorite things. Maybe you can introduce me to a few of your favorite things, too. I mean favorite things as in a beautiful hike, a new restaurant, or a good farmers market. Not your favorite things like your lint collection or your set of Elvis coins. Wait, those Elvis coins could be pretty cool. 

I do love my family life and being a mom but I am surrounded in a world of my straight, married friends that I do love dearly. (Yes, I love you all deeply!!!!) I am out every where I go whether I set off alarms or not. It doesn't define me, but it is who I am. 

I love a good conversation and exploring new things and areas. Weekend road trips were made for me. I love being outside and doing anything that involves nature. Wait - most things that involve nature. Even I have my limits.

I'm originally from New Orleans. That's big. Really big. I get homesick and want to go back at a moments notice. Especially if I catch sight of my FB page and there is a picture of a beignet, snowball, street musician or Mardi Gras trinket. Or if my Mom calls and mentions that she just saw any of the above mentioned items. 

I am opinionated. I now own it. But only opinionated where it matters. Figure that one out for 2 points. 

I ride a motorcycle. Really, I do. I'm cool like that. Or bad. Or just a motorcycle rider. Sometimes. When the weather is nice. And it is daylight. 

I do crazy stuff like this picture sometimes. If you find it embarrassing, step away. If you'd join me you are my kind of person. If you'll laugh, even better. 

Being a Dork

My Interests: Didn't we cover that? Should I keyword myself? Here it goes...

nature, outside, photography, travel, adventure, motorcycles, tattoos, education, art, 5K, kayaking, dragon boating, hiking, festivals, music, food, fun, friends, beach, sun, movies, swimming, food trucks, new restaurants, roller derby

Sports & Exercise: Yep, and I'd love to do more! Want to sign up for a 5K together? Yeah!!  What about Dragon Boating?? Yahoo! Want to kayak and see the manatees? When? Okay!

Pets: Yep. And he is BIG. He's a Greyhound. Did I say big? Think miniature pony. No, that's a Great Dane you are thinking of. I said Greyhound. 

Political Views: I said I was opinionated, right? Well, single term those folks and then clean house. If I don't agree with you I probably won't vote for you. Crazy how that goes. 

Sign: Libra. Yep. I'm always searching for balance. ALWAYS.

Favorite Hot Spots: I live in Florida. Everywhere is a hot spot at this time of year. 

College: Yep, I went. A few times. I check the spot marked graduate degree usually.

Favorite Things: Seriously, like possessions? I like this laptop, my camera, my bracelet... 

For Fun: It just dawned on me who might read this. That's going to be fun, right?!?!?!? 

Last Read: Duh. Dan's dating profile. I  thought we said that way up top!

My Idea of a Great Date: I once upon joked and said to walk around IKEA and see if we pick out some of the same things. I don't think that is a half bad idea. Do you?

What I'm Looking For:  You are educated, honest and interesting. By interesting I don't mean you are a habitual liar (been there), or that you can't hold down a job. You aren't a couch potato or sleep the day away kind of person but an occasional day in is always nice. You have a positive attitude and a good head on your shoulders. You are taller than 5'6" (see my height comment). You have your life together but are just missing that one extra piece, or two. You must be able to handle sarcasm. Seriously. You must. 

***not looking for couples or to be a third of any kind. Thanks!*** (Crazy how you have to say that, right?!?!?!)

-------------------------------------What do you think???------------------------------------------------

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Well, I'm divorced. Er, dissolved?!?!

I guess that's the big news. I'm divorced. Or dissolved? Since it was a Civil Union they call it a dissolution but that just sounds even odder than saying divorced.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about you can view my original post about this subject.

And I guess it really all happened about a month ago. Remember that paper I got saying it was filed? Well, filed meant completely done as well.

I had been calling to check on the status and finally got someone today. All done.


No extra papers requested? No serving the other party? No questions from the judge regarding custody since that wasn't allowed with this filing? Nope.

Someone finally had the sense just to understand it and go on. Yay for the battle but it is a strange feeling.

A friend also told me today I'm officially her first divorced friend. Ugh. Never thought that would be me.

In fact, what do you do with news like this? Even the ex asked if I was going to celebrate.

Celebrate what? A relationship that ended 6 years ago? A failed marriage? Hardly seems appropriate.

I guess what this makes me is more single than I already was. That's about it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Update: It's filed.

Yep, that's about it. It's filed. I received a notice this week, as did K, that the case is filed. Like officially filed and given a case number. Now we wait to see what else they need, want and have questions about.

On a separate note: Relationships suck. So hard and so much work at this point in life. Confusing, too. End rant.

None the less, I'm still a hopeless romantic.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Why Mardi Gras is so important to me...

For the last 5 years I have taken my almost 12 year-old daughter to Mardi Gras back home in New Orleans. Each and every year I get people who look at me strange or question me on taking her home for that event and I get asked each time about flashing boobs for beads.

It's hard to explain Mardi Gras to those who have never been and experienced the annual event. Mardi Gras is such a New Orleans tradition and holiday that the schools actually close for 3 days for the event. And Mardi Gras is a season, just as is Thanksgiving and Christmas. Parades and events start roughly a month before Mardi Gras day, which is today. King Cakes are eaten and many people decorate their Christmas trees for Mardi Gras.

But why is it so important for me? Why do I take my daughter out of school for this?

Here's why:

1. Family.  This trip my daughter got to peel crawfish with her 86 year-old great grandmother. My Grandmother (affectionately called either G'ma or GG'ma by grandkids and great-grandkids) french braided Cady's hair. My G'ma tells stories too about my mom when she was little or stories about me. She tells us about our family history and little bits of our history. We get a glimpse into the way things were for her and learn a little more about where we come from.

We also got to spend time with my Aunt and Uncle, my daughter's Great Aunt and Great Uncle. That's something a lot of kids don't do. They bond over card games, puzzles, Dr. Who and other board games. It's meaningful to both of us.

2. Friends. I have dear friends back home that I went to elementary and high school with. We have developed a great friendship and my daughter is developing her friendship with their children. I have another friend that we thought we knew each other from elementary school but it turns out we didn't know each other then. Doesn't matter. She's still one of my closest friends and it's a good story to tell. Plus we see my Mom's friends from college and her kids that I grew up with. It's a connectedness I haven't seen elsewhere.

3. Culture. It's like no other. My kid is somewhat versed in jazz music now and knows more about Louis Armstrong than other kids her age. She knows Tuba Skinny and respects street musicians. She knows those marching bands put a lot of work into what they do and she knows music doesn't end in high school. She knows who George Rodrigue is and all about Blue Dog. She understands Katrina and what it did to the city. She knows about the markings on the houses. This time we even visited the Katrina memorial. She knows why graves are above ground and why you can only walk certain paths in the cemetery. She's been through the sculpture garden and she loved it.

4. Food. Seriously, we make a trip just to get food and spices at the grocery store there that you can't get anywhere else. She knows that étouffée is better when it is red, not brown. She knows how to peel crawfish, suck the heads, peel shrimp and loves remoulade sauce. She craves a frozen cafe au lait from Cafe du Monde, but also knows that the beignets are different at Morning Call and loves them as well. She knows when we go we have to get a shrimp poboy and that they do not all taste the same. This time we tried crawfish beignets and oh my, we LOVED them.

5. Parades. Folks, there is no finer free entertainment than a parade. Where else can you see beautiful artwork roll past you, have a good laugh and fun time with some of the great groups that walk by (i.e. Rolling Elvi, 610 Stompers, Pussyfooters and more), catch your souvenirs for free and listen to great music? We come home with a great collection of stories, pictures and loot. Great cups, doubloons to add to our collection, and decorated shoes, purses and glasses to display as prized artwork in our home. Plus, these Krewes have a long and interesting history and each parade is different from the next.

Need more reasons...

In 5 days we went to 12 parades and one of those we saw twice.

My daughter got to climb on a float to see it firsthand thanks to some friends.

She fought for doubloons and picked up the trinkets and necklaces she wanted to come home with.

She learns to stand up for herself and handle a crowd.

She learns how to be nice to others around her and learns that everyone else may not be as nice.

She learns about what is okay to do and what isn't. There is always a lesson in there about seeing someone doing the wrong thing as with any large crowd.

She learns how to talk to strangers, including the adult musician who was speaking to her about not giving up on music and recommending many different avenues and camps to explore.

She learns that sometimes giving away that trinket or bead to someone smaller than her feels better than keeping it for herself.

She knows how to ride a streetcar and the etiquette on board.

She knows Mardi Gras. She knows New Orleans.

(Please note: I'm absolutely exhausted and this entry is probably overrun with spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. Just forgive them and move on. I need sleep.)

Monday, February 17, 2014

This really just happened...

A friend posted this on FB and I was automatically interested when I saw the image, especially since I'm teaching about those sit-in's that were at that very counter. But when I read the article - WOAH!!! Are you kidding?!?!?!

And yes, I fact checked and you can find plenty more articles covering this proposed Bill in Kansas.

Saturday, February 15, 2014


So it's the day after Valentine's Day. I've filed for the dissolution. We'll see what Vermont says.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What do your kids know about Marriage Equality?

Well, I'm kind of amazed that there was little or no press on the Federal Benefits that were awarded  to same sex couples beginning yesterday. I know it didn't really benefit everyone waiting on rights but it was a small leap forward.

So right now I am sitting looking through all this paperwork I need to get filed for my dissolution (a.k.a. divorce.) Ugh. It's not fun but at least there are some helper programs to fill out the paperwork. I don't even think I would mind if I knew this was a sure thing but because they "may" allow it because we have a daughter makes me wonder if it will all be for nothing. Then that is yet another filing fee going down the drain. Not fun. Not fun at all.

As many readers know, I'm a teacher. It's February. What's that mean? Well, yes, it is the month in which we teach about Black History. So starting with Harriet Tubman and Henry Box Brown and going through Abe Lincoln, Rosa Parks and including Ruby Bridges, well, I seem to talk about injustices a lot. But if I ask my kids what is happening the civil rights movement is today they really have no idea or no connection with it. I did have one kid pipe up and say gay rights and I was mighty proud of him and of his parents for having that discussion with him.

I wonder how often it comes up in other families. Is it dinner conversation like it is in my house? Do they even know what any of it means?

Of course, as a teacher, I tread lightly on this conversation with my class but I also feel some responsibility to shed the light on the subject for them. I mean, it is news. But hey, I love my job and want to keep it!!! I don't want to approach the subject from a religious viewpoint but seriously; what exactly should they know at age 8 about today's civil rights movement? I know other teachers struggle with this, too. I've heard them express it, some of them louder than others.

So what have you told your child(ren) about the right to marry? What have you told your kids about equality lately? What would you expect them to hear at school?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

This just in...

Sunday, February 2, 2014


Share and share a like. Looks like the original post here on the Subject of Gay Marriage has been viewed nearly 300 times.

Keep sharing, folks.

This is our story.

Well, it's the story for some of us. It gets us all to the same equality though.

Filing Paperwork...

Here I sit on a Sunday afternoon. Since the kiddo has been sick the last few days I figured it was time for me to have some fun. I've already disinfected the entire house so time to change things up a bit.

My choices: file taxes or file divorce.

Really?!?!?!? What kind of choice is that?

Mine, I guess.

So, divorce it is. Well, "Dissolution of Civil Union" is what it is officially called in the State of Vermont. Ugh on that no matter what they call it! Yuck.

It's been so long since I have thought of myself as "married" that it is tough to think of just now being "divorced". It is a strange concept to say the least. I don't like it but I know it is an evil that must be dealt with for everyone involved.

Answer question. Sign, print, save. Send. Repeat as necessary.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Well, it seems my initial post has started a few conversations and some arguments. Most notable is the debate over the phrase: "Hate the sin; not the sinner." Seriously, people do still think that way.

I posted about my experience with the saying and how much I despise it. To me it says that I know what you are doing is wrong and I'm judging you for it but with some help you can be okay. You can be like... ME!!!! Essentially it amounts to, "I'll pray for you."

I don't need a cure.

Being gay isn't a condition.

Have you looked at anything scientific on the argument of nature vs. nature in the last, I don't know, say 20 years?

Did you know that it is no longer a diagnosis to be gay? Yep, that changed, too.

A. Long. Time. Ago.

And no, I'm not trying to corrupt any youth. I don't teach it in school.

What I do teach is tolerance. That we should respect the differences. That it is okay to be silly. That it is okay to wear glasses. That it is okay to have freckles. It is okay to have two Moms. It is okay to be in a wheelchair. That the world would be absolutely boring if we were all the same. Embrace those differences.

Thanks to Todd Parr for his incredible books on just those differences.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

On the Subject of Marriage Equality...

On the Subject of Marriage Equality…

So with a whole mess of states, 18 states to be exact, now in the column for marriage equality, I felt I had to speak my piece on why said equality is so important to this single girl.

I wasn’t always single. Back in 1997, I met a girl and we fell in love. We did all the “regular” relationship things: dating, meeting each other’s families, moving in together. We even bought a nice little townhouse and then planned a wedding in Georgia (where same-sex marriage wasn’t recognized and still isn’t).

My family attended but my partner’s brother was the only one on her side to come. Her parents response to the invite was that they would no more come to our wedding than take their daughter for an abortion.

Yep, they sure did say that. (In their defense, they did better as time passed.)

We “legalized” the ceremony a few months later, traveling to Burlington, Vt., with our best friends for a Civil Union. That was back in 2000; it was still a little controversial, even up there. Hence, “civil union.” The state legislature had voted to allow it, but it had to be a little different. I guess the thought was we were a little different, so there you go.

So, now we’re happily married and it’s time to add to our family. We started planning for that and after a year of trying we welcomed our baby girl. Yahoo!  I couldn’t have been more excited. Then came the process of having our baby adopted by my partner and trying to “protect” our family, which for us meant to have the same rights as a straight, married couple.

During the pregnancy and after the birth of my daughter, we did a lot of paperwork. I mean A LOT! Like, really, you have no idea. Straight couples don’t have to do any of this. We hired an attorney to draft medical powers of attorney for both my partner and myself; she even came to the hospital for a medical power of attorney for our new baby girl and my partner.

After all I shouldn’t be the only one permitted to take her to a doctor’s appointment. See, if we were “married” (with the same rights as a male-female couple) we’d automatically have these rights.  Medical and financial powers of attorney are unnecessary.  Oh, wait, we also had to put wills in place in case anything happened to either of us so that our daughter was protected.

But wait, it gets better.

We wanted to have the same last name, too, and so came the legal last name changes. We chose to take a new name that was significant for us and it was part of a legal game as well. If we changed our names separately and filed that way, we could get a chance at a judge who would grant us a second-parent adoption in Georgia. We lucked out with the first name change and got the right judge and filed everything related. But that’s three different cases if you’re counting. My last name change, her last name change and our second-parent adoption.

Oh, and BECAUSE it’s an adoption we may actually have to have a home visit. For our own child. Yes, remember we had this child together. Willingly. We lucked out with our judge on that one, but others are not so lucky. And yes, some of the judges would grant second-parent adoptions, but not all of them in the same county. Really!

Over the following years, I logged what seemed like hours scratching out “father” on the paperwork I filled out for my daughter and tried to answer the questions that inevitably came when someone asked about our family. I did quite a bit of educating in those years. I still do.

Fast-forward 12 years. My partner and I decide that it’s time to end our relationship. Living in a state that did not recognize our civil union, we didn’t know what to do. But we had a daughter. And her adoption was filed in that state. Therefore they would handle the custody. It was a case that the county we lived in had never dealt with. Custody was the only thing they could do for us.

A year or so later my daughter asked to change her last name back to my maiden name, so we did. This sparked a need for two more court cases. Had our marriage been legal, that could have been handled within a divorce all at once.

So here I sit. Another four years have passed. I still haven’t dissolved that civil union from up in Vermont. When I first looked you had to have residency in the state of Vermont for six months or a year. 

I live in Florida. My ex lives in South Carolina. Neither are among the 18 states that recognize gay marriage. I have heard of and read stories that people are being called polygamists for getting married again with undissolved civil unions. Me, a polygamist??? Heck, no. I’ll never let that happen. (Then again, I’d have to have a prospect to marry….)

Anyhow, I recently took up the torch again regarding the dissolution of the Vermont civil union as the residency requirement was changed in 2012. But get this: you can’t do it if you have a child from that relationship! Really?!?!? I made a few calls and we were told to “try” to put the paperwork through and see what the judge says. Without this my ex can take or “claim” that we are still in this together. And if something happens to me… well, I don’t even want to think about that scenario.

And that’s where I am. (If I can find the paperwork, that is.)

So why is gay marriage so near and dear to this single girl?

Because these dang hurdles are insane! We are creating more of a mess with only some places that recognize gay marriage, some places that allow gay couples to adopt. Come on, America. Even the IRS recognizes it now! What a mess. I’m sure I’ve paid more in legal fees than I did on the wedding. It shouldn’t be that way.

Besides, who knows? Maybe one day this girl will meet the right girl, fall in love and want to get married again. One day.

Just putting it out there...

So I decided to push the "post" button and send out my story of the past many years. I just want people to see another side of the fight for marriage equality.

And a huge thanks to A.D for her on the spot editing!

On the lighter side, here's one of my favorites.