16 May, 2012


A beautiful friend of mine, native of Colorado, 
wrote this smart and passionate letter to Rep. McNulty. 
I cannot add anything to it, because it is perfect. Here it is.
Thank you, Jill, for letting me share these wonderful words.

"Today's committee vote in the Colorado house was disheartening and extremely agitating. Instead of just yelling at my computer screen some more, I decided to write the below letter to Rep. McNulty, who orchestrated the political maneuverings that prevented the civil unions bill from going to a vote in front of the House. I know I have a lot of Colorado friends--Republicans and Democrats alike--who are tired of this nonsense and ready for our state to do the right thing. If you're one of them, make your voice heard."

Rep. McNulty,

Today when I learned that the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee voted to kill the bill that would have created civil unions, I was disappointed. Actually, I was more than disappointed. I was embarrassed. 

I called Colorado home for the first 28 years of my life, and I usually identify myself as a Colorado native with pride. Today I cannot do that. Today I cannot boast that I was born and raised in one of the greatest states in this nation ... not when that state denies basic rights to many of its citizens. 

I am disheartened by your maneuverings to prevent the bill from coming to a vote in front of the House, though I am not so naive as to think this sort of political jockeying is not part and parcel of the way the legislative game is played on both sides of the aisle.

I also believe that you sent the bill to a "kill committee" because you thought there was a good chance the House would pass it--a fact that gives me hope that many of Colorado's elected men and women do not share your views on civil unions. A majority of the men and women they represent certainly don’t. 

As I am sure you are aware, polls suggest that well more than half of Coloradans support legal recognition for same-sex couples. We can squabble over which polls and who conducted them and on and on, but one thing is clear—more and more Coloradans support extending basic legal rights and protections to all couples who seek them. 

I have no doubt that one day in Colorado men who love men and women who love women will be able to enter into legally recognized relationships just like you can, and just like I can, and will be afforded the same rights that you and I are afforded when we do so.

I also have no doubt that one day our children and their children will shake their heads in disbelief as they learn about a time when some people actually fought against granting tens of thousands of Coloradans the right to be involved in crucial decisions about the health and wellbeing of the people with whom they have decided to spend their lives. 

You chose to be among those who fought to deny people basic rights. You chose to be among those at whom so many will shake their heads. Is that the sort of legacy you want? 

Perhaps it is. 

But it is not the sort of legacy I want for the state that I love and that I will always consider home.

I hope that you will reconsider your position on civil unions and rise above the divisive rhetoric that attempts to make this issue about Republicans vs. Democrats, conservatives vs. liberals, Christians vs. non-Christians. 

Fundamentally, it is about decency. It is about respect. And, above all, it is about equality and freedom of personal choice as provided for and championed by our Constitution.

15 May, 2012

VEGETABLE GARDEN, 20 days later

The onions are twice as high. The pepper plants each have one baby pepper on them! There are small, green tomato spheres. The sugar snap peas are starting to come up. The lettuce, spinach, and brussels sprouts are getting bigger/wider. And are those the tiny leaves of carrots I see...? (I honestly don't know if those are carrot leaves or weeds. Whatever it is, it's sprouting right between the onions, where we planted the carrot seeds...)

14 May, 2012


All I really need 
is a song in my heart
food in my belly
and love in my family

And I need the rain to fall
And I need the sun to shine
To give life to the seeds we sow
to make the food we need to grow

All I really need
is a song in my heart
food in my belly
and love in my family

And I need some clean water for drinkin'
And I need some clean air for breathin'
So that I can grow up strong 
take my place where I belong

All I really need is a song in my heart 
and love in my family

Listening to this song this morning with my daughter, the lyrics really got into my heart. I mean, how much more simple can it get? We all worry about jobs, money, bills, politics, but is there anything truly more important than a song in your heart (happiness), food in your belly, and love in your family? Plus a little rain & sun, and a bit of clean water & clean air... what more could you need?

12 May, 2012


"I am driven by two main philosophies: 
know more today about the world than I knew yesterday, 
and lessen the suffering of others. You'd be surprised how far that gets you."

07 May, 2012


"One day, courage might call for a bigger self, not for making oneself smaller."

By Anouk Markovits

In high school, during a musical theatre class that I wish I could re-take now as an adult, we studied one of my favorite musicals of all time: Into the Woods by the incredible Stephen Sondheim. A big theme in the show is this: "Careful the things you say / Children will listen / Careful the things you do / Children will see and learn."

I recently saw a production of this musical, almost a decade and a half after first being introduced to the show, and with fresh eyes - as a mother. And those lines in particular struck a chord with me. Especially now that my toddler is in her "parroting twos" and repeats just about everything we say or do. She looks to us as examples... not only of how to do things, but of how to behave, how to act, how to be.

And careful is definitely one of the things we must be.

In reading Anouk Markovits' I AM FORBIDDEN, there were bits of dialogue that were somewhat uncomfortable for me. Things that a father says to his daughter that make her feel bad about herself, that cause her to have to explain herself to her friends, that even lead her to question her life and her faith. And  leading someone, even your own child, in the ways of faith can be challenging even for the best person. Faith is tricky. It is based on belief and cannot necessarily be proven. And many times, to someone who really believes their faith, it can be a matter of life or death.

But faith isn't the only thing...  all things, every thing we say or do has an impact on our children, whether we want it to or not. And I, for one, hope that I am doing all I can to present a positive image of myself to my daughter - and to hold up a positive self-image in the mirror back to her. She's too important for me to behave in any other way.

I truly believe we have to be careful in what we say and do. I've seen it with my own eyes: children will see. And learn. Children will listen.

For more quotes collected from this book, and others, visit Borrowing Wisdom.

Disclosure: I received a copy of Anouk Markovits' I AM FORBIDDEN to read and discuss as a member of the online book club From Left to Write. The thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own. Click here to purchase your own copy of this book.

04 May, 2012


My almost two-and-a-half year old daughter and I "got girly" today. Her hair is long enough now to french braid. She loves to wear dresses and "be a ballerina." And she sat still long enough to let me paint her toenails for the first time. Although it's adorable, sometimes I catch myself thinking, "Where did this big girl come from all of a sudden!?"

03 May, 2012

VEGETABLE GARDEN, 10 days later

It's been 10 days since we planted those first few vegetables in the ground... and tiny things are starting to happen! Nothing from the sugar snap peas or carrots, yet, but check out the early growers:

The peppers are getting buds for small, white flowers.

The cherry tomato plants have small, yellow flowers.

And my favorite... the onion bulbs have started to sprout!

Now to find out if flowering on pepper and tomato plants is a good thing or a not so good thing... I have so much to learn.