Tickled Pink Today! And More Shameless Self Promotion.

(Full details are at the bottom of the post, but will you please click over ----->
there where it says "Vote For Me?" It will take you to Project Mommyhood's
place where you can vote for me for Mommy Blogger of the Year! You can vote
once daily until 6/6/10! Thank you so much!!!)

Today I am Tickled Pink even though hostess Holly over at 504 Main is probably buried under "dust, bondo, dry wall, faucets, granite, tile, caulk, and wires." Holly is brave and creative, and she's all about DIY projects. She is so courageous, in fact, that she's currently tackling her own kitchen and master bathroom! She's smart, crafty, and savvy, and was one of my first followers. Go tell her hello and leave her some love.

Anypink, I'm here to tell you about all the things that have made me super happy lately.

I am tickled pink to have daughters who randomly decide to play dress up in Daddy's dirty shirts from the floor of our closet coupled with my shoes:

(Abby is on the left & Izzy's on the right)

I was tickled pink that I got to meet Polly, The 5th Sister. She was in town visiting her family and we were able to coordinate an afternoon to hang out. Polly is a wonderful poet and writer (check out her award-winning haikus!), and she was so friendly and forgiving despite the fact that I almost drove us to Chicago.

(I'm the Amazon on the left and tiny Polly is on the right!)

Next, I was tickled pink to get to meet Laura, The Purse Blogger, for lunch (thankfully she is the same height as moi). Be sure to check out the darling purses she makes here. She is moving to Arizona soon, so we had to take advantage of the fact that we both live in The Land of Oz for now. We had a delicious lunch at Ingredient in Lawrence (halfway between our respective homes), where a handsome gracious employee agreed to take our photo:

I am also tickled pink about the darling corsage t-shirts we're sporting in this pic. No, we aren't twins, we just both fell in love with these tops made by Heather over at Gerber Days and we wanted to pimp her shiz. Don't you want one now? You need to go visit Heather and order one!

I am also tickled pink about being nominated for Mommy Blogger of the Year by Lesley over at Project Mommywood. Pretty please with PINK on top go vote for me! You don't have to be a blogger, you don't have to fork over your life savings, and you don't even have to be a follower...just please go over to her place and cast your vote. You may do so once daily between now and June 5th! There's a button on the top right side of my blog that says "Vote for Me." Click it and it will take you to Lesley's blog. Look on the top right side of her page and you'll see a list of a few blog titles. Click for The Mother Load!
Project Mommyhood


Last but certainly not least, I am tickled pink about my new compost tumbler that is officially up and running. I bought it at Costco, assembled it myself took me two days and gave me lots of blisters, tools are not my friends and am just sad I didn't do it sooner:

I am also tickled pink about my day lillies that are blooming, along with our rose bushes! Yay!

What are you tickled pink about? Write a post and link up with Holly today!


My Name is Larry, and When I Was 42, I Came Out of the Closet

**If you missed the previous posts in this series by me, my mom, and my brothers, please go here, here, here, and here to catch up. Below is my dad's version. Dad is an attorney specializing in maritime and personal injury and recently moved to Mississippi from New Orleans. He and his partner, Kory, have been together for many years and had a civil ceremony in Stowe, Vermont in 2001.**

The day my family has already written about was easily the worst day of my life, and the second worst was about two weeks earlier when I had to tell my sweet wife of 20 years, Julie, the same thing. As difficult and painful as that was, telling our children was magnitudes worse. Imagine knowingly and intentionally plunging a knife into your child, not impulsively or carelessly, but because you felt you had no choice. That's what it was like for me. I was going to hurt and scar forever the four people I loved most in my life because I'd been a deceitful fraud, but the hard truth finally had to come out.

I'd known I was different from childhood. At puberty things got worse and I deceived myself about my true nature until I was 19, when I finally realized I was attracted to men, although I was entirely inexperienced. By that time I'd had several girlfriends and plenty of good, old-fashioned heterosexual sex. I believed that although I was physically attracted to both sexes, I could not possibly feel anything romantic toward a member of my own sex as I had with women, including Julie, whom I was to marry at age 22 in 1971. I took my vows intending to keep them and believing I could.
If this sounds naive and stupid today, remember what a different world it was in 1971. For me, gay people were more of a despised urban legend than a reality. In a letter to Harper's Magazine in 1970, Joseph Epstein wrote:

Private acceptance of homosexuality, in my experience, is not to be found, even among the most liberal-minded, sophisticated and liberated people. Homosexuality may be the one subject left in America about which there is no official hypocrisy...Cursed without clear cause, afflicted without apparent cure, they are an affront to our rationality, living evidence of our despair of ever finding a sensible, explainable design to the world.

Clearly I had a lot of incentive to believe anything but the truth.

I was also reasonably bright and ambitious. I didn't have a lot growing up and had visions of luxury cars, big houses and swimming pools propelling me to the American dream of a successful career and a picture perfect family. All I had to do was round off my corners so I could fit into one of the world's round holes just like all the other round pegs. I worked really hard at that, believing I was doing the right and honorable thing for nearly 20 more years. I cannot tell you in a few words why it quit working; only that it did. Suffice it to say I was faithful to Julie until just before I came out. Being a self deceiving fraud was one thing; living an intentional double life was quite another and my nature did not permit it. I reached a breaking point and felt I was coming completely apart. I just could not keep going, not another day and not another minute. I was willing to risk Julie, Erin, Mark, and Kevin, my entire family, my job and my career for my freedom...for one breath of the air of my truth. It was a wholly selfish and ruthless act, but an act of pure survival.

Those two horrible days, and indeed the weeks before and after, were like a slow motion nightmare that never seemed to end. I knew exactly what I was doing and the pain it has caused is something I live with every day. None of my four so loved ones deserved any of this and all would have been justified in never speaking to me again. I asked them to understand and with their love and commitment we have remained a family, if one of a different sort. My husband, Kory, whom I've been with for 18 years, is also part of our family now. I suppose they are all stuck with me in spite of what I did to them. I like to think they have forgiven me, but I know they can never forget. We are family and I love them so. Their love for me brings me to tears, for I know what I did to them.


I've Been Nominated for Mommy Blogger of the Year by Project Mommyhood!

I'm a pretty humble, modest person.
But today, I'm bursting with excitement.
And I need to ask for your help----lots of it.
You don't need to be a blogger or my follower to help. I'm not asking for you to sign your life away, or for you to give me money. Nope. All's you're gonna have to do is click. And vote for me!

Lesley over at Project Mommyhood notified me that I'm one of the top five finalists for her annual Mommy Blogger of the Year. I want to thank everyone who nominated me, and I'm going to be asking for your help when voting begins on FRIDAY, MAY 28. Everyone can vote once per day. Voting ends on JUNE 5. Please go visit Lesley and check out details. I am still learning myself, but wanted to give you a heads up. I am so excited and I'm sure I won't win, but it's just an honor to be considered. Thank you all so much!

Project Mommyhood

I want your votes to be genuine, however. Don't just vote to vote; vote because you really think I'm good. Because you enjoy what I have to say. I want this to mean something, as corny as it sounds. Please stay tuned for further details. I'll either have a button or a link for you to click on, and you can do it once per day. Pass the word along and I will keep you posted.

Thank you in advance!


My name is Julie, and When I was 41, My Husband Told Me He Was Gay

**If you missed previous installments in this series, go here, here, and here. My mom, Julie, is currently a clinical social worker in New Orleans. She has not remarried.**

I had an old girlfriend from Oklahoma visiting for the week. One day while she was with us, Larry (Erin's dad!) insisted we three visit an up-and-coming local artist’s studio (Michalopolous). He suggested I select an original from the works in the studio, and said it was for our 20th wedding anniversary! I joyously chose what I thought would be a daring, eventually valuable (a semi-nude portrait, when this artist specialized in upward perspective paintings of New Orleans architecture: homes, buildings, etc.) painting. This painting would come to serve as a striking reminder for the next decades of an extremely excruciating, sharp detour in the path of our lives.

I took my friend to the airport early that Sunday morning, bid her farewell, and returned home to find my husband fully showered, shaved, dressed, pale, nervous, and with some papers in hand. He asked me to come and sit in the den, as the kids were still asleep. I followed him with some trepidation into the bleak, desperate hours to come.

He had been feeling ill the past few weeks with some unexplained ailment. He never liked me to “hover” (his word) around when he was sick, so I hadn’t pushed the issue. My fear was that he was about to announce our entry into a world of medical confusion, terror and treatment. I instantly assumed that he was about to tell me he was dying.

The only two parts of the next hour that I recall were his first words, well-rehearsed:

“Into each life, some rain must fall."

Well, my little shower turned into a hurricane of untold proportions. I do remember somewhere in his “opening statement” (he used to rehearse his opening statements for court, and elicit my critiques in just the same way), the word “gay.” Honestly, it didn’t really register. All that registered was the fact that he wasn’t dying. I cried and cried with relief. I think in hindsight he must have thought I was crying in reaction to his announcement.

It wasn’t until hours later that his “announcement” really hit, and HIT it did! I fell apart in our bedroom, alone. We couldn’t tell the kids because he insisted he had to remain in the closet with the exception of our divorce! I also wanted time to digest this stunning news and all of the implications. We told the children I was not feeling well (the absolute truth), and I began the grieving process. Embedded in this decision (not to tell the children at that time) was the fact that Erin had her very first Homecoming Dance coming up in two weeks. We didn’t want that joy, preparation and life-launching experience to be ruined.

We had agreed months before to couple's counseling. We saw the therapist one time together, only to be instructed that we were more in need of individual work than sessions together. So we saw the therapist individually.Turns out Larry told the therapist he was gay during his very first session! NO ONE ever told me! Apparently they were working on his “coming out," and I thought I was working on our marriage!

In the ensuing weeks I found my strength and I absolutely INSISTED he come out to the children as soon as Erin’s date had happened, and the earliest possible time for us all.

I based my argument on the fact that the therapist KNEW, his law partner KNEW (and had encouraged him to remain closeted, for the sake of the law practice), I KNEW, and it was only a matter of time before the children would find out. In that scenario, they were likely to find out from someone other than their parents. I could not tolerate that! If honesty was to be the new policy, than the children, above anyone else, deserved that honesty. That brings us to “the day," shortly after Halloween, 1991, that my children's lives changed forever.

Now you have it (sort of)! You have each of our experiences, in a few paragraphs, with the exception of dad himself. I guess that may be to come.

Kevin is correct: the Best family keeps on! I haven’t the vocabulary to express my feelings about Erin, Mark and Kevin. Their own life paths took an extremely sharp detour on the day they found out, but with that detour, they have each managed to sharpen their life skills and their wits.“Proud” just doesn’t seem to cover it. I watch their lives unfold, and I am in awe.

To all of you following Erin, thank you for your lovely, thoughtful and encouraging responses to her writing. I agree she has a book in her, but she is doing it her way, and in her time!


Monkey Minute: *Snort* edition, Daffy / Duckalicious style

In honor of Daffy over at Batcrap Crazy, who lost her beloved Big Sis last week,
we give you today's Monkey Minute!

1 - Do you *snort*?
Um, yes. More often than I care to admit. It runs in the family.

2 - Our friend, has a nickname and it's Daffy.  What's your nickname?
The only one I've ever really had is "Ernie." My brother, Mark, dubbed me so when he was young and couldn't pronounce Erin properly. But many hours watching Sesame Street taught him the next best thing. Thankfully I'm not orange with an annoying yellow friend named Bert.

3 - Do you know sign language?
Only if you count giving the bird....

4 - What's a sample convo from your hood?

Izzy: Daddy, what's that you're wearing?
Daddy: It's a sport coat.
Izzy: Do you go sporting in it?
(during potentially last group shower, taken recently)
Abby: Daddy, what's that?
Daddy: That's my penis, that is what Daddy uses to go potty.
Abby: Why don't I have a penis?
Daddy: Because you have a vagina. Girls have vaginas.
Abby: But will I grow a penis when I get older?

5-  Do you sleep with electronic devices - i.e. laptop, Blackberry, iPhone, etc?
No, although Hubs frequently complains that I am attached to my laptop. I don't have a Blackberry. I only recently upgraded from a flip-top cell phone that couldn't even text efficiently. No iPhone, either. No iPad. And I barely know how to work my iPod. That about covers it. *snort*

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