The Texture Of Things

Sharing Circle

October 14th, 2012

I won’t call Kage Alan my old friend, but he has been my friend for 20 years. During these short, few years (ahem), he has published many novels, all of them very clever. (No, really. Please go buy one of his books.)

Because he is a writer, he has loads of free time, so it is only natural that he keeps a blog. Earlier this year, he added a feature to his blog called Face of Gay, where guest writers share their stories about being or supporting a LGBT person.

I didn’t consider myself a potential contributor because I am a boring, straight, married woman with a boring, white bread life, so mostly I just read the posts and commented occasionally. But one day not long ago, I was chatting with Kage and I happened to mention a gay student of mine from many years ago. He couldn’t let me get away without sharing my story of course, and honestly, I am happy to share it. Please consider reading it and, if you feel so moved, please consider sharing the series with others whom you feel would enjoy it or benefit from it.

Much love, my friends!

The Face of Gay 13

It Should Have Been Obvious

June 19th, 2009

…but it wasn’t to me. Having a second child has turned my life on its head. It is so wonderful and challenging, and it generally keeps me away from my keyboard. I’m hoping to write a little more in the next couple of weeks, but suffice it to say, Tater is AWESOME and Tot is GREAT and life is pretty good.

Things I’d like to write about are:
being tongue-tied
an adventure or two in raising a boy
an adventure or two in raising a baby who appears to be an eater, glory be
and other stuff and junk
anything you’d like to hear about

Meanwhile, email me if you want to friend me on Facebook. I spend a lot more time there than here because I can do it while I nurse.


January 20th, 2009

Dear Tater and Tot,

When you are old enough to wonder about these days, I want to be able to tell you about them.

Today, America changed. Today, America saw its first African American President Inaugurated. This is an important moment in our history because it is a first, a door opening for future Americans.

When you ask me where you were when it happened, I will tell you this. We were in our living room, watching it on tv. I had been walking Tater around to get him to settle into a nap while I listened to the coverage on the kitchen radio. Tot, you stayed home from preschool with a cold, so you were kneeling at the ottoman in your rainbow-striped jammies. When I asked you if you wanted to see it, you said yes.

“Barack Obama will become President today. Do you want to watch?”
“Yes.” So I turned off the kid shows and put on a news channel.

We watched a poet and a prayer and a performance and a President, and that was that.

While it was a momentous occasion, I didn’t make a big deal over it, my little ones, because I don’t want it to ever be a big deal that America can elect someone who isn’t white or male or a member of a major political party. I am glad that for the whole of your lives, a President who also happens to be a minority will simply be within normal limits. I am hopeful that by the time you are both voting age, what a person is will not matter as much as what she or he stands for, as it has so often in our past.

It is a good dream to have, for all of us.


Just So You Know, This Does Not Have A Bad Ending

January 20th, 2009

Most of our lives, we go along thinking, “It could never happen to us,” and for the most part, it’s true. In fact, if you think about it, when we hear scary stories on the news, we may well think, “I don’t even know anyone that’s ever happened to.” Well, now you do.

Our house is filled with products that have been recalled due to the salmonella scare. Sure, many homes have Austin and Keebler peanut butter crackers in the cupboard as snacks, but in this house, pb crackers are on the tot’s plate every single lunch and dinner. They are in my purse for when we’re out and she needs to eat. They are in her lunch bag at the babysitter’s house. Peanut butter and peanut butter products are her main source of protein.

Has anyone in this house gotten sick from them? No. The tot and I have a cold, but that is the extent of any illness here. Still, it feels like every time I turn around I see a packet of crackers in the snack drawer here and a half-packet of crackers leftover on the table there and I snatch them up, feeling relieved that she didn’t see them and open them for herself in a fit of independence. (It does happen from time to time.) I have told her that we aren’t eating peanut butter crackers from packages right now, only homemade ones (which she resists), but she’s 4.5 and really it’s my job to be in charge of shielding her from potentially dangerous things.

I am left with a weird feeling as this story develops. Of all the food contamination scares we’ve had in the last few years, I never really worried about them. They were all detached and distant from my life because I didn’t eat those things. I mean, seriously? Spinach? C’mon. Who the hell eats spinach? But here, this feels a little too close.

The up side to this is that the tot is forced to eat more cheese crackers (which should help desensitize her to cheese flavors) and is being offered more chicken nuggets (though she hasn’t been eating them), but even consumption of those is down right now due to her cold. For now, it’s lots of fluids for us and a big dose of relief that at least jarred peanut butter is considered safe for the time being, if she decides she feels like eating.

‘Tis a Christmas Miracle

December 26th, 2008

A few days ago, I contemplated posting that all I wanted for Christmas was some fricking sleep already, but I didn’t get to it because, well, I can’t seem to get to my computer these days.

And then Santa came to my house and brought me a Christmas Eve present of one 4.5 hour stretch of sleep by Tater, followed by a 3 hour stretch. Heaven. And then there was the unexpected Christmas night gift of the longest night of sleep we’ve had since Tater joined us. He slept 7 hours, and I got about 6.5 hours of that.

Holy crap, I heart Santa.

That probably doesn’t sound all that bad, but when contrasted with the sleep we’ve been getting, it truly is a small miracle.

A typical night has been looking like this:
*Tater nurses to sleep for the night around 10:30 p.m.
*He wakes between 1 and 1:45 a.m.
*He nurses and is back to sleep within a half an hour
*He wakes again between 4 and 5 a.m. and is up for about a half an hour
*and is up again between 6:15 and 7. (This last stretch can be lengthened if I sit up holding him instead of putting him in his crib.)

On the good end of that spectrum, that works out to a 3 hour stretch, a 3 hour stretch, and a 2 hour stretch, but that never happens. It’s usually more like, 3, 2, and 1.5, and then I just stay up because I have to take the tot to preschool and the coffee is already made*. If I’m not lucky (and believe me, this is all about luck – he’s not deliberately trying to kill me by sleep deprivation.) (Shut up and let me believe that), his night is 30 minutes, 2.5 hours, 2 hours, and 4 more if I hold him.

When I was pregnant with the tot, I used to hate all the people who told me that having to get up to pee two or three times a night was preparing me for getting up with a baby. I hated this for two reasons. First, I don’t know about you, but I can get up, pee, and get back in bed in under 5 minutes and without having to fully wake up. Getting up with a baby? Not so easy to do while sleepwalking. Second, (I heard this somewhere, loved it, and adopted it) it’s the equivalent of preparing for a famine by dieting. Um, no thanks.

With Tater, I started waking up to pee much earlier in the pregnancy than with the tot, and the chronic sleep disruption was compounded this time by insomnia that would hit me after my 3-4 a.m. pit stop. While lying awake in the wee hours, I began to see the kernel of truth in what all those well-meaning people were saying. The truth is this: the getting up to pee at all hours of the night doesn’t so much prepare you for taking care of an infant in the night as it breaks your spirit. In those late nights and early mornings of my pregnancy, I had to hand myself over to the sandman. I had to accept that I had no control over when I’d need to wake up or when I’d get to go back to sleep. I could use all my best tricks, but when it came down to it, it was no longer my choice.

The postpartum sleep deprivation is easier this time around for this very reason. I know and accept that I’m at this little person’s mercy, at least for a while yet. And the fact that I know it won’t last forever helps. (The tot did eventually sleep in stretches longer than 4 hours, though I don’t care to think about how old she was when that finally happened or what it took to get there [anemia].)

So that’s that. I’m tired, so very, very tired. But on the whole, we’re doing well. Tater is an adorable baby and a happy boy who seems bent on learning to talk already. The Tot is a doting big sister, even when she’s infected with every god-forsaken cold virus her preschool pals insist on sharing with her. (Preschool. Ugh.)

Stay tuned for more. I think now that Tater is starting to sit up a bit on his own I won’t have to hold him quite so much, which will free my hands for teh typing.

*HG programs it the night before, and I love him for it.

Top Ten All Time Foods

September 25th, 2008

The following is a list of foods I want to eat after this pregnancy and its attending diabeetus are over. In no particular order.

* Peanut Buster Parfait from Dairy Queen; would also accept that one sundae from Ritters with pecans and caramel
* Sweet and Sour Chicken from our local Chinese food joint or the one from my home town; would also accept Sesame Chicken from our second favorite local Chinese joint
* Ground beef and cheese burritos (with sides of beans and cole slaw) from HG’s favorite Mexican restaurant, with salsa
* Hungry Hippies pizza (pepperoni, green pepper, and onion with butter crust) and Three Cheeser bread
* Sugar-full Lemonade; would also accept orange juice
* Hi-test Mocha with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles; would also accept other flavors but nothing sugar-free
* Onion Rings from our local hotel bar, with dipping sauce
* Wine
* Pie

Okay, let’s talk about these last three.
Wine: I have found that I can make a beefy spaghetti sauce that, in combination with whole wheat pasta, does not make my blood sugar soar. But! No garlic bread or Chianti. That just sucks. I mean, I just want one glass of wine. (Here’s me cry-babying about it: a-WAAH!)

Pie: Let me make this as clear as possible. I DON’T EVEN LIKE PIE. Some fruit pie, about once a year or every other year, is fine. I do prefer berries, but at this point, if someone offered me a slice of apple pie with the assurance I could eat the whole thing while my pancreas cooperated and my placenta looked the other way, OMFG, I’d even eat apple pie.

IHOP: For years, literally years, I have longed for an IHOP close to my home. Then? IHOP waited until I was pregnant and on the doorstep of teh pregnancy diabeetus before they opened one. Rat Bastards. So now, I’ve been salivating for months over the thought of going to IHOP as soon as I can travel out the house to eat one of everything off the menu, including pancakes, WHICH I DON’T EVEN LIKE. Waffles and French Toast, on the other hand, I love, and I am so totally going to eat those. Totally.

omg, i’m so hungry right now.

Edited to add:
*Bonus food – cider mill cider and spice donuts from ANY-FREAKIN-WHERE

Great. Now I can’t get anything done.

September 5th, 2008

Here. Let me share the source of my pain…

and a sample…

He’s on a mission from God*

August 7th, 2008

Once upon a time, at a baby shower long, long ago (okay, it was four years ago), I received a gift from my grandmother. I received many gifts, but none of them are remembered quite as fondly by my friends as Bible Bear.

Bible Bear is wired with buttons you can push. Each button is labeled with a bible verse, such as “Gen 1:1.” When the button is pressed, it should play the indicated bible verse in two or three installments. For instance:

Press once, and the uber-perky, youthful boy’s voice shouts, “Genesis! One! One!”
Press again, and he shouts, “In the beginning! God created the heavens and the earth!”

(If the verse is very long, it will be divided into shoutable bits and you have to press a third time to hear the conclusion.)

Or at least this is what it should shout. More often than not, our Bible Bear gets its wires crossed and mixes the verses up. Or, and perhaps more relevantly, it chooses to repeat one bit over and over again, regardless which button you have pressed. In our case, beloved Bible Bear prefers to shout at us, “Romans! 6! 23!”**

For those of you not in the know, Romans 6:23 reads as follows: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Wait. Let me do that again in Bible Bear voice.


Now we are not, in our little family here, what I would call ‘practicing Christians.’ In fact, one member of this household makes it his or her practice to not practice Christianity. And I do not think of us as superstitious (though I do tend to wonder occasionally if I’m about to jinx myself, which is – OF COURSE – irrational), but I do have to wonder what exactly the bear trying is to tell us. And if my grandmother – my technologically illiterate grandmother – tampered with this bear’s wiring because she had something she wanted to tell us.

For the record, that’s not her way. She has no problem telling us to our faces that if we don’t get right with God RIGHT NOW, we’re in big, big trouble. So, the bear’s verse of choice is probably just coincidence, but it’s a delightfully funny one. Well, in the telling it’s delightfully funny. At the time, the bear was downright creepy. I’m just sayin’.

You might be wondering at this point why I would tell this story today. I will tell you. Though I thought I threw the bear away when we moved to this house 3.5 years ago, yesterday as I dug out stuff for the baby’s room, I FOUND THE F*CKING BEAR.

I have not had a chance to test its buttons yet because I am constantly shadowed by the tot, and I cannot let her see this bear because she will want to keep it and we are SOOOOOO not keeping it. So, tomorrow while she is at day care, I will pull it out and start pushing buttons. If I do not report back within a week, send help. The bear has eaten my soul.

*If you don’t get that this is a reference to the original Blues Brothers movie, I have a homework assignment for you for the weekend: Go watch it.

**And yes, as a football fan I do often want to shout back at it “Hut HUT!”

A Million Things

June 16th, 2008

That is the number of things that I need to write but do not have the time to write. I have been capital-B Busy and capital-WTSS Working Through Some Stuff lately, but on the whole, all is well.

I am:
still gestating (24 weeks and change today)
still teaching (holy gad, i hate accelerated courses)
still helping my mother (who is recovering from a slip and fall)
still procrastinating the housework (whoever is shocked by this can leave now)
still reading other blogs and sometimes commenting (sometimes)

So, I have been compiling a list of things I want to write, but I know me, and the only way I’ll get started on said things is if I put my intentions in writing.

Things to write (titles are tentative):
Tot’s Feeding and Development Evaluation
Tot’s Well-Child Check Up (a Baby Book Entry)
Tot’s Occupational Therapy (maybe a weekly summary so I can track progress?)
Dos: Pregnancy sucks. And is dumm.
Dos: Guess who’s excited?
Dos: We know what kind of Junk this kid has
Dos: Getting Ready
More Thoughts on the American Wedding: Showers

And who knows. Maybe some of the Dos entries will merge into one, as might the Tot entries.

Okay. I have to go grade papers now, before the semester ends and I’ve done nothing to prepare.

Am… So… Tired…


I am currently screwing up dinner

May 1st, 2008

I’m pretty sure I don’t know how to cook, and to make matters worse, I just bought myself a spankin’ new slow cooker, which I don’t know how to use. I just put a roast in, and I hope I’m not screwing it up too much.

The recipe is a 4 pound roast in the slow cooker on low for 5 hours, with 1 Cup red wine, 1 Cup water, and a packet of onion soup mix. The reviews said to skip the water and use beef broth, but that sounded too salty to me, so I just doubled the wine (which other reviewers suggested – I’m using Cabernet) and skipped the water. Except then the roast (which I browned first) is too big for the cooker, so I cut a chunk off. The roast didn’t rest all evenly in the liquid, and I was worried it would dry out up there like a little sandbar, so I added a Cup of water. Now the major part of the roast is submerged.

How bad is this gonna turn out? Egad, I’m afraid to think about it.

I guess I should just be glad there’s food in this house today. And we can always get take out, if it’s that bad.

I just got home and it has, like, 20 minutes left on the timer, and it smells SO GOOOD.
Will report back on turnout.

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