Gay enough?

So, there is a lot of chatter on social media and the media about laws that allow people to refuse service to gays and lesbians. And a lot of it centers around not serving gay people in restaurants. The ridiculousness of gay eating, the horror of “Jim Crow” laws (and I really dislike the comparison because well–that was horrific)
But, I am torn about the uproar. You see–this is not new. I am a lesbian who passes. No one gives a second glance to two women sharing a meal. Add in a crowd of children–sisters, friends, some times people even think my partner is my mother. Yeah, I may be called sir in the winter with my coat on.

Then there are occasions when we just don’t pass. Dealings with teachers at the children’s schools. Arranging play dates. That can all be one of those hold your breath and hope and pray moments. *think of the children* My kids get off somewhat easy on this one. But I imagine other couples do not and spend a lot of time hoping their kids make friends with progressive families. There were uncomfortable moments for ME…but I think the kids missed it. (You think the media is making a lot of Gay NFL players sharing the locker room–be a lesbian mother to girls who need help in a swim team locker room. Eyes down. No matter that I have no more interest in little girls than any other mother. I don’t want to upset the other moms.)
Then there is travel. We like cliche lesbians like our bed and breakfasts. We also like dumpy hotels. I used to plot travel based on Your average chain dumpy hotel won’t care what you are as long as you have a credit card. Then there were ones you see by the roadside. They include keywords that you learn to avoid. “American” “Christian Family Values.” Why would I avoid them? I am a bleeding red white and blue proud of America person. Not only that, I am Christian and hope to pass Christian family values to my children. (The real ones. Not the “Christian Family Values” that are encoded in the phrase in quotes)
Yep. Here I am. A Christian American woman who knows to avoid those hotels.
And then there is this…last year when we went to Door County, Denise booked a room in a B & B. I’d lived in Wisconsin. I knew that there were parts of it that weren’t the liberal stronghold that Madison seems to be. I knew that the need for money in the off-season might mean no one would care. But I also knew that it might. I knew that the Mother/Daughter innkeepers might find us…unsettling to share a roof with. I suspect I was right though they were delightful and OMG the breakfasts. I’d stay there again in a heartbeat.

But, I know that money won’t always win out. I know there are hotels where we won’t be welcomed or if forced to serve us all–it won’t be the same. It is uncomfortable. I am sure it is uncomfortable on the other side of the coin.

I try to go with people meeting ME not “the LESBIAN.” It works. I think it was a long time before even some of our baristas learned we didn’t work together, but were a couple. By that point, they knew us.

I don’t know where to go with this really. Yes, I dislike the laws, the threat of laws, and all of the stupid wrapped up in them. (I mean seriously–have businessmen noticed that Gay men on average have the most disposable income?) All of your outrage though? The jokes about “Gay Eating” and proving you aren’t gay so you can dine out? I know they are meant to make light of horrid situations. But they sort of hurt…me. Because while I figure we pass at most meals–I know I reached my hand across to my love at dinner in the restaurant Valentine’s Week. I know I smiled at her in a way that wasn’t two friends out for a casual meal. So, yeah, sometimes I gay eat, whatever that means. I don’t need your jokes.

The Idyll–Art and Craft Mini-Village

The Idyll has had a crafting “street” pretty much from the beginning. It morphs and changes a bit. First it started with the Fiber House. Then I realized that there was more to it. So I will start talking about them.

  • The Fiber House.
    This will be an amazing space. It will have just the right spaces for knitting, for learning to knit, for spinning wheels and looms. There will be a fireplace to gather around and knit with friends. A sunshine filled room with adjustable sides so you can knit in the fresh air. Plenty of comfortable places to knit, a place to sit your drinks, lighting, and lots of cubbies for yarn, places to store needles and more.Then there will be a paper crafting area–from making paper to scrapbooking to crazy paper projects. Tables of the right height, room to spread out, all those cutting gadgets, good paper scissors, supplies, tape, markers, pens, stickers, glitter, whatever. Bookbinding tools and areas.
    Then the sewing areas. A nice big cutting table. Sewing machines. Layout tables and walls. Ironing areas, a press. A room for a quilting frame. Places to cross stitch, embroider, hand sew. A long arm quilting machine. Plenty of light.

    Of course, there will be a kitchen with coffee and snacks. Closets/Cubbies for personal projects and supplies. Shelves. A library area for books and booklets related to the fiber house activities as well as some tech to follow patterns online (and places in the seating areas to rest a tablet, a pattern, etc.

  • The Pottery and Ceramics Studio
    This one has been a weird daydream of mine since I was a child. Our neighbor, Mrs Moss, was a potter. At first she had a place in the garage where she kept clay and her wheel and other supplies. Sometimes she’d let me and her son play with the clay. I loved it. I loved the slip, the clay. I never progressed much beyond making snake rolled bowls.  I also loved her kiln in the back yard–especially the one made from specially shipped bricks. We often considered slipping one out and peeking in. Strictly forbidden. In any case, I love the idea of a studio with all sorts of things for ceramics and pottery. Slab rollers, all those fancy tools, pottery wheels. Kilns of all sorts. An area for glazing. An area for painting. LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of shelves. (same deal with the kitchen/snack bar/drinks/closets/lockers for personal items)
  • The Glass StudioThis would be a place special built for playing with all things glass. From stained glass to blowing glass. Mosaics. Making glass tiles perhaps? I want to learn these things, do these things.
  • The Carpentry StudioFrom building cabinets and shelves to furniture to frames to tiny magic boxes. Tools. Space.
  • The metal works
    From my father’s welding and his forge he built in the back yard–metal work fascinates me. This might not be a first building. I don’t know anyone yet who could help me learn.
  • The Fix-it Shop
    A combo of a place to fix things with all tools and a place for restoration of vintage items and turning them into something new. A bit mix media,  a bit based on my father’s garage.
  • Arts and CraftsA painting studio, a place for beading, stone carving, shells and re-purposing.
  • A Scented Studio--room for making soaps, candles, lotions, all things scented. Room for curing, wrapping, worktables, wet areas, all the tools needed.

Somehow I need to sort out the distance and arrangement. The quieter craft studios should be away from the louder ones. The fire dangers will need to be addressed. I am sure I am forgetting something just now.

All of them will have appropriate storage, lockers, coffee machines/tea kettles, kitchenettes, snack areas. What else do we need at the Idyll. What Art and Craft studios do you desire?

Snow and Ice Tips from The Frozen Tundra

Some of you may be experiencing the joys of snow and ice for the first time in a decade or longer. Some of you may just feel like this winter has lasted a decade. (or that could be me)

In any case, I do have some tips-some learned as a child–some learned as a resident of places where it snows.

  1. To reduce having to shovel large amounts–particularly if an emergency arises–park your car at the end of the driveway closest to the street. Better yet–park your cars in a line very close together if you have more than one. IN YOUR DRIVEWAY. If at all possible, do not be the ass that keeps a whole side of the road from being plowed, because you parked on the street.
  2. Do not shovel snow into the street or blow it into the street. This is illegal in many places. In the rest–it is dumb because the plow will just pile it up at the end of your driveway blocking you in AGAIN. Keep the area around your mail box clear and most areas would like you to pile the snow to the LEFT of your driveway if you are shoveling.
  3. Wide plastic snow shovels are lighter and best if you are a snow pusher. The ones with metal blades are best for scraping wet snow or ice.
  4. If you get regular amounts of snow in the 3-6 inch range–an electric snowthrower is a purchase that will make you very happy.
  5. Rinse your dogs’ feet if you walk them in the street/around the neighborhood. Pet safe salt is not universal
  6. Cat litter (not the gel kind) makes for good traction on ice. It will also make a mess if you don’t remove boots upon entering the house. If you must drive in ice–put a bag in your car (along with portable snow shovel, scraper, blanket)
  7. Salt is nice. Be sure to go and scoop up the partially thawed snow/ice as soon as the salt works though or you waste the salt unless you have excellent run off
  8. Knock the icicles off your house. It is not a good idea to leave them. Really.
  9. Don’t leave sodas in the car
  10. The following will work for car ice scraper: credit card, gift card, plastic spatula, that ridiculous giant plastic fork that comes in some of those kitchen sets. Also, a tarp over the windshield held in place with wipers and closing the doors on the end will keep it from freezing. Mostly.
  11. If you aren’t using something to keep your windshield from icing over–raise your windshield wipers before the snow/ice starts. It will keep them from freezing to your windshield and you being unable to use them OR tearing them up so they are useless when you go to use the car. (or sitting for a really long time waiting for the defroster to make its way through to the blades)
  12. Don’t go out if you don’t have to go out. Boredom, “It doesn’t look that bad”, Let’s drive over to the golf course to sled while the roads are still a mess are not “have to go out.” Let the plows and sanding trucks have plenty of room to get their job done.
  13. If you do go out–I don’t care if you have 4WD, AWD, the most special snow driving car ever–drive slowly, carefully, and turn on your lights. I’ve seen plenty of 4WD vehicles stuck in a ditch. I’ve seen many a car slide off the road after blowing past someone driving carefully.  Related: Be super careful in areas where road construction is underway. The signage and cones and flashing lights might not be what they were.
  14. Look at how the snow and ice sparkles and the magic of the moon on the snow. It is beautiful.
  15. Clear the public sidewalk in front of your house. Why? Because it is the law. It keeps kids safe on their way to school. It keeps you safe from being sued if someone slips and falls in front of your house. (and I know also that you don’t want people to be injured.)


Super Busy Since the New Year Apparently

I have a billion blog posts in my mind but none I have time to type out.

Here is a wee update though:
After screaming that Avocado and Guacamole were out to poison her for a long time–girl child put guacamole on her mini nine layer dip yesterday and ATE it. She also has progressed from ramen eating to a fetish for canned refried beans.
If she starts eating bananas–I may wonder about a late in life changeling.

Speaking of the mini nine layer dip…here is the story. We have vegan child, non-vegan child, olive haters, olive lovers, lettuce haters, onion haters, etc. So instead of making nine layer dip that turns into a mess, I thought I would do it in those clear cups that I saw a couple of years ago on some blogs. Then yesterday at lunch time, I remembered the incredible fantastic corn tortillas we bought a few weeks ago. We still had some in the fridge. I decided to try the muffin tin trick to turn them into bowls. Well, the bowls weren’t perfect but fun.

I also made potato skins from actual potatoes for the first time. They were tasty.

It was an incredibly good evening with the girls. I love those!