Tag Archives: family

go with “funny” — marital advice, should you need some

The little creature in the panda shirt here is my niece, Frances, and I could not be more delighted about that.

When Fei-Fei found out that friend Laura isn’t married (wearing no ring, as Mommy does), she suggested that she marry Pee-wee Herman, because he is funny.

Just when you needed something to feel good about.

Photo by Dwight Swanson, May 2015


gimme an “f”, gimme an “e”, gimme an “i”

Fei-Fei personally signed our guest book today.



After a rousing game of Candy Land.  She plays fair.




the trouble with labels

the trouble with labels

Her name is Christian, but she may not be what the sorter had in mind.

Photo by me (blurry, sorry) at the Rag Shop thrift store in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, 12 April 2014.

living in a crafty world — glue-sticking together for reproductive rights


Today at the Supreme Court the ruckus was all about whether that nasty Obamacare tromps on the rights of corporations (non-humans) to deny preventive health-care, specifically in the form of drugs and devices that prevent pregnancy, to employees (humans) who happen to work there. A better solution would be to uncouple health insurance completely from employment and move to universal health-care coverage as many other countries have, and as the Affordable Care Act begins to do. Until then, here we are, where under the cover of religion, a “boss” can play doctor.


I happened to be with a “faith-based” group, singing liberation- and spiritual-type songs, and bearing signs suggesting that people — and corporations! — just mind their own business regarding the reproductive organs of others. We feel this way quite strongly, as a matter of intellectual conscience, which the Hobby Lobby craft store people must understand is at least as valid as strong feelings that come from the Bible, which does not mention IUDs at all, not even once.  As I walked past the long line of folks hoping to get inside to hear the opinion, two called out trying to shame me, but mostly the crowd gave the thumbs up and much more audible forms of support.

Here’s hope that Antonin Scalia will reread that thing he wrote about how it was ok to disallow use of peyote, because not every silly thing that people do can fall under the umbrella of protected religious behavior. People just gotta go with the program sometimes! Hunt down this story by searching with the words “Scalia” and “peyote,” and you will find many sources.

Links about today’s cases: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/03/19/3416214/religious-groups-birth-control-coverage/


thanks for calling

thanks for calling

I thought the phone call was to review a wrong and give comfort, to share another moment in a long friendship with ups and downs, but mostly love and commitment.

But it was just to pass a few minutes until the car repair was ready.

photo: Andy Goldsworthy wall at Storm King Art Center, 2012.

Here but for a liver — you can help

After a long struggle and multiple peaks and valleys of hope and despair, my sister’s husband, John, has died.  At the time, he was waiting for a donor liver, and had every reason to think one would come into his world soon. (Shortly before the last days, the family had the urgent call to come to the hospital and prep for surgery, but the organ available was then judged unsuitable.)

A post-mortem request from the family is that you — you — declare that you are an organ donor.  I know that as in all matters public and private, people will fall into teams supporting and decrying the practice. Some note that organs and tissues are recycled in an unfair manner, with the less-deserving somehow showing up high on the list. (Think Dick Cheney’s heart.) That may be true, but as more organs come available in more geographic regions, the wait list shrinks a little and the bottom moves upward.


It’s an easy pledge to make on your part — see my Washington, DC, driver’s license here, which I didn’t have to print up myself or anything — and when the time comes, you won’t even know it has occurred so it will cause you no trouble.

Pledge to allow the possibility, and tell your mates you have done so.

a happy holiday

I find myself within this family that I have joined and the stuff that comes with it:  tsk-tsking about a family member who, alas, has become Christian, and what would the atheist parents say about that!; the family matriarch,  a retired Ivy-educated professional woman, whose every waking hour is dutifully prepping or cooking the next meal for her adult partner and other family members; my in-laws who after 30 years of marriage – the second for each of them – openly show affection; a “walk” in the woods that includes shears and shippers to make the trail as they go.

What the hell am I doing here?