Monday, December 30, 2013

Our Wedding Vows

In 2012 when Charles and I were planning our marriage, our Matron of Honor, @amelia_blogger put us in touch with her father, Reverend Blogger . Rev. Blogger made it so much easier and less stressful to plan our wedding. Initially we were planning on driving all the way to Des Moines, IA to get married by a Justice of the Peace. Having a minister willing to marry us made planning our wedding so much easier. We were able to go to the closest county to us instead of the closest county we could find with a Justice of the Peace who may or may not be available on the day we had scheduled for our wedding. Not to mention we had the whole Blogger family as witnesses.

I am not a traditionalist at all, so I was thinking we totally forego the whole marriage ceremony thing and fill out the paperwork and be done with it, but the ceremony was important to Charles. As the 2012 Presidential Election debates raged, and the conservative candidates kept spewing bad hateful rhetoric about people like us, I came to see Charles's point of view. A ceremony became important to me too because there were all of these people saying that because Charles and I are men, we couldn't do this thing. A ceremony became important because Charles and I would be able to stand with our friends the Bloggers and tell the world that we loved each other.

When we got into contact with Rev Blogger, he emailed us a ceremony to look over. It was fine, sentimental in all the right spots, but the vows just didn’t seem right to me:

“I, _______ take you, _____,
to be my wedded _______,
to be the companion of my days.
We shall bear together whatever sorrow and adversity life may lay upon us.
We shall share together whatever joy and fulfillment life may hold in store.
Together in love,
to work and to share,
to grow and to understand,
and to discover a deeper, fuller life.
I pledge to support you in your hopes and dreams, as if they were my own.
I pledge to care for you, respect you, honor you, cherish you, and to love you.”

These are sweet vows, and very lovely, but the more I read them the more I felt that something wasn't right. It wasn't until I started looking into different versions of wedding vows that I realized what was wrong, and its why we picked the vows that we did:

"I, ___, take you, ___, to be my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, as long as we both shall live."

We went with the traditional wedding vow. We did so for a reason. You see, our wedding in Keokuk, Iowa would be a lawful wedding. In Alabama, marriage between two men who love each other is illegal. We don't have equal rights in Alabama, but in Iowa, we do. We wanted to be sure, when we showed the video to family and friends and they heard us say our vows, that they would know that what we were doing wasn’t going to be two guys playing at being married. We wanted them to know that we were being LAWFULLY wedded.

To have and to hold, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live

Friday, December 27, 2013

Making Spaghetti

I was working on a couple of new posts when lightning took out our modem. The modem is fixed, but I haven't got anything more done on the posts. What I did do was cook my husband a fantastic spaghetti and meatball supper last night and I teased him while he was at work with of pictures of supper in progress.
Because I am pretty damned proud of the way this spaghetti turned out, I will share them with y'all.

I love to zhoosh up spaghetti sauce from a jar, and this time I knocked it out of the park. I'm not gonna put in pictures of the mixing of the meatballs because pics of raw ground beef are so yummy...

The meatballs are: 1/2 diced onion, 1 palmful salt, 1 palmful black pepper, 1 palmful garlic powder, 11/2 lbs ground beef and 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce. I divided the meat into 8 palm sized balls and seared them in a pan on medium heat. Once I had a nice sear on the meatballs I took them out of the pan and let them rest. Then I added 1 thing of sliced baby portabella mushrooms. I added black pepper and garlic powder to the mushrooms then I reduced my heat to medium/low .

I walked away from the mushrooms for about 3-4 minutes so that the mushrooms could get a nice and brown without getting mushy. If I had stayed around I would have stirred the shrooms and if you stir them they will never get brown. After they had a chance to brown, I gave em a toss and let them cook a little more, then I took them out and set them aside with the meatballs.
Then I deglazed the pan with a little left over Petit Manseng we had from Cavender Creek. If you ever get up to Dahlonega, Georgia be sure to hunt them down. Their Donkey Hotie Red is awesome.
Just look at all that deliciousness. Once I got all the tasty bits off the bottom of the pan, I added my jar of sauce.
Then I added the meatballs and mushrooms back to the pan.

I let the sauce come to a boil, put the lid on the pan then turned the heat down to low so and let everything simmer for a couple of hours. 
Because I was using 80/20 instead of lean ground beef, I had to skim the hamburger grease off the top of the sauce as it cooked down. 

After the sauce had simmered down and thickened up, I cooked my spaghetti. Took my meatballs out of the sauce, then drained and added the cooked spaghetti. Then I plated up all the tasty goodness.
Bon Appetit

Friday, December 20, 2013

What the Duck?

Social media has been in an uproar over this Duck guy's comments about gays. A friend of mine (I am not a FacePage friend whore, these are actual friends, not "friends") was posting support for them on the FacePage. When putting information on my site only seemed to make him post more support, I felt that I had to directly engage this friend and explain why we were upset. What follows is my response to all this damned duck nonsense.

Robertson then labels those “women with women, men with men” — gay people — as “full of murder, envy, strife, hatred,” and “insolent, arrogant, God-haters,” who are “heartless,” “faithless, “senseless,” and “ruthless.”

Praise be. R____________ This is why we are upset. Do you believe that I am heartless? That I am faithless? Am I full of murder? This is what your support of this man tells me you believe.

This isn't about freedom of speech. This isn't about freedom of religion. This is about a grown man calling me and people like me names. Not once has anyone said he can't say what he wants to say. Not once has anyone told him how to believe.

I don't parade about like others do telling them to look at how good I am. I don't answer publicly when someone asks for prayers because I believe we are supposed to keep our relationship with God private.

I suspect that with all the uproar over this, attacks on gay people are going to go up. Because of the words this man says, people like me will not be safe to walk down the streets holding hands.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sappy wedding photo

Me and the Husband at our wedding on July 29, 2013 in Iowa. That's me on the left. We had to drive from Mobile, Alabama to Keokuk, Iowa.

On My Family and Getting Married

We don’t talk a lot about feelings in my family. It’s hardcoded in our DNA, I think. We talk when we have gatherings; weddings, graduations, funerals, but my family isn’t the call every day type. We talk about the weather. We talk about who got sent to jail. We talk about Mr and/or Mrs. Soandso (you remember them/her/him?) and their kids. We talk about nieces and nephews and cousins. We talk about who died. We talk about who gave birth and if it was in or out of wedlock.

Some people don’t get that with cell phones everywhere, my family doesn’t make a lot of phone calls. When I grew up in the 70’s, phone calls were for important things; births, deaths, burial arrangements and the like. Not to mention back then the neighborhood was on a party line so everyone could hear your business. Now every 6 months or so I will get a phone call from the parentals telling me I need to come home to visit, that I should call more, that they have some fresh vegetables ready for me to pick up. We don’t talk about personal stuff. We don’t talk about how we feel. We are not a lovie dovie family.

The only people in my family that I have “officially” come out to are my sister and younger brother. My sister and I used to email each other pretty regularly because I had some health problems and it was touch and go there for a bit so she wanted to keep in touch. Now I am healthy and I hardly hear from her. The only time I hear from my younger brother is when he emails me that he and his wife are in some spectacular place on vacation. I imagine that will change now with their new baby. The last email I received from my youngest brother was a picture of my new niece in the onesie my husband and I bought for her. I never ever hear from my older brother. He and I never got along growing up and even now when we get together the detente is tenuous at best. As for the rest of the family; even though I have never said the words “I am gay”, they know.

I wanted to share the joy of my union with my father, but we don’t talk about it because to talk about it would make it real to him. We don’t talk about it because then he would have to acknowledge the queer in the family. I emailed my younger brother to let him know that I was going on a road trip from Alabama to Iowa to get married at the end of the month. I haven’t heard anything from him since, except to get pictures of his new baby girl. I want to share the joy of my union with my family but they chose to hate what they call a sin. What they do not realize is that in hating what they judge as sin, they are alienating and hating the person they have judged a sinner.
I know that my family loves me. It’s not something we have to say to each other. After my wedding I am at a crossroads: to continue to pretend my husband is my “roommate”, to confront my family and hope they will change, or exile them from my life.

I lived with my husband for 8 years before our marriage. During that time my father had regular doctor appointments at the hospital 1 mile from our home. He has never visited me here. My older sister and brother live an hour away from us, they have never visited me. My younger brother and his wife live four hours away and have visited once, but I don’t expect for them to visit again. When they did stop by, they wouldn’t sit down. When my aunt died and was buried, in getting the funeral arrangements from my father, I was told that there wouldn’t be a wake and that the service would be short at the graveside so he suggested that there would be “no need for you to come.” It was then that I realized that I have already been exiled by them.

As much as I would like to confront them and get the bad feelings out of the way I have to ask myself would this confrontation do more harm than good? Nothing good will come of me “coming out” now. Nothing good will come of me forcing the family into confrontation. Nothing good will come of me trying to force them to accept me, when they already choose not to. I choose not to confront my family because one of the rules I try to live by is to avoid causing someone else harm. If I were to confront my family it would be harmful on an apocalyptic scale, not just to them but to me. I have waited too long and have buried too much anger to tear that wound open. I am afraid of the person I may become if I do. Causing someone pain is never a good way to get them to see your point of view. So, I am left with exile.

The joy of planning a wedding and getting married, was tempered with the knowledge that I couldn’t share that joy with my family. They chose not to share it with me. I should be due for a phone call in a couple of months. If I answer the call, I will have to refuse the invitation. If the family does not want to be a part of my life, I can not continue to pretend to be a part of theirs. When my family decides to accept me just as I am, I will be waiting for them. As for my husband and I, we will trek onward into that undiscovered country, fulfilling our foray.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

In which something something

Where to begin? Where does one begin the story of a life? Do you begin at conception? Do you begin with earliest memories? I suppose if you began at the actual moment you were conceived that would be a little creepy. I suppose you could relate anecdotally, just let the audience in on the story as it was related to you. Still, even if its not an earliest memory, thats a little creepy. Although, it wasn't until I was grown that I realized you could count backwards to get a rough estimate of when you were conceived. 1969 must have had a very good Christmas.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Welcome. I guess.

Think I will do a little blogging. Bear with me as I get through this thing called life. Electric word life. It does not, however mean forever, I am here to tell ya.