Sunday, May 31, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

History

I'M TIRED as a mule, but the first African American president has nominated for the high court the first Puerto Rican American who just happens to be a woman.

Oh my.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

http://pjbottoms.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/memorial-day-23.jpg

MEMORIAL DAY in the States, so I'll be doing the time-honored tradition of BBQ, BBQ and more BBQ. Jerk spareribs will be smoking most of the morning as I peep in and out of the French Open tennis Slam and try to tweet updates as much as the BBQ pit allows.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The View From Here















Hubby did all the really hard work. He loves to build things.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Hyacinth And Wooden Clogs

http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0c3P1P82ypf7l/610x.jpg

A DUTCH woman looks at a flower mosaic featuring US president Barack Obama during the flower days in Limmen, on May 12, 2009. During these days villagers present mosaics made of thousands hyasinths in their gardens. The event started at May 9 and end at May 14.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Adoption, Gay Marriage, and the Black Community

MY FRIENDS over at Jack and Jill Politics gave me the honor of front-paging a long comment on the connections between the entitled subjects. Here's what went down:

When we consider that our ancestors couldn’t have their marriages to each other honored because they were considered property and had no individual rights, and therefore, our families weren’t considered important enough to keep together when it was time for one of us to be sold to another master, one would think Black folks wouldn’t want to see anybody’s marriages go unrecognized by the state.

You might not know this, but there are lots of gay people who have no interest in this issue at all. While they don’t come out against it, they don’t support it and think gay people who do are just selling out to the majority culture.

Go figure.

I must admit that being involved in marriage equality wasn’t something on my plate years ago, either. Even though I was married in the eyes of God, I was perfectly fine with that and sought nothing more from the state. But as I’ve aged, my life experience as an adopted person and as an adult adoptee rights advocate raised my consciousness. You see, in most every state in the union, an adopted person who’s an adult has no right to access his original birth certificate. That is, the birth certificate the state impounded when the child was adopted and a new birth certificate was created to include the name of the adoptive parents. The birth certificate is a person’s legal DNA. I was adopted in the late 60s, during the time when everything around adoption was about shame. Adopted people know that their birth certificate is a lie — my mother did not give birth to me as my birth certificate says she did. It was important to my psychic healing to be able to see my original birth certificate after I found my birth mother, but I needed her permission to see it. A grown man needed the permission of a woman he may have never even met just to see a copy of what is rightfully his. All across the nation, grown people are treated like children by the state, like little pieces of property moved from one family to another, a move they had no say in whatsoever, and when we’re grown and we want to know where we came from, the state tells us it’s none of our business, and if we REALLY want to know, we need to get permission from some stranger we may never even want to meet or crawl before a judge on our hands and knees and beg the judge to open up our adoption file and our birth records just so we can see that piece of paper that includes our original identity, and if we’re lucky, it will help us heal.

If you can see a connection between this and our experience as Black people in this country, then you’re with me. If not, I don’t know what to tell you.

What does any of this have to do with gay marriage?

Read the rest...



Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

http://images36.fotki.com/v1202/fileBCdH/6a797/1/1213243/6355452/DSCF1772.jpg

Wising all mothers, but especially my mother and birth mother, a peaceful and blessed day.

Sunday With Betty Carter - Amazon



Saturday, May 09, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sister

Click to enlarge



Thursday, May 07, 2009

I'm On TV!

I FOUND the brief interview after the house vote on marriage equality in Maine here. I updated the last entry but thought to post this new one as well. Call me redundant.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Maine: The Way Life Should Be

Maine Gov. John Baldacci signs a gay rights marriage bill in his office at the State House in Augusta, Maine, on Wednesday, May 6, 2009.
AP

OUR STATE motto. And it had a deep resonance today when, shortly after noon, Governor John Elias Baldacci became the first governor in the nation's history to sign a marriage equality bill into law. LD 1020, An Act to End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom, now bears the signature of an Italian Catholic state executive.

The Maine event.

I've had goosebumps most of the day.

Maine, the way life should be.

When I first moved here, people asked me why I would do such a thing. For many in the nation, Maine is akin to Siberia.

Well, in this, the whitest state in the union, Portland, our largest city, boasts a Black woman mayor and a chief of police who's a Black man.

Go figure.

I live in a rather conservative small town near the capitol in Augusta, so I get to scoot down Route 202 to the State House anytime I want to lobby or witness our legislative process up close and personal.

I'm blessed -- brilliantly blessed -- to have lived long enough to see the election of our nation's first Black president, and to live on a farm in my dream home in a place where the vows I shared with my beloved husband almost 11 years ago will now be recognized by my state.

The vows I shared nearly 11 years ago. Tempus fugit. These weren't the vows we exchanged, but here is our Declaration of Lifelong Commitment, signed by our family and friends:

WHEREAS we are of sound mind, body and spirit; and
WHEREAS we have been living and loving together for nearly two years; and
WHEREAS we have made, in the presence of our families, friends, ancestors and all that is holy, a public pronouncement of our intent to enter this union, we

Jacobus Dirk Blom & Craig Von Hickman

the undersigned, on this 22nd day of August 1998, as witnessed by those closest to us,

PROMISE to have and to hold each other, in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, in prosperity and in destitution, all the days of our lives on this earth. We further

PROMISE to recognize this union as sacred and unbreakable and will, in times of trouble or weakness, turn to God and to all those who have witnessed this declaration to support us on our lifelong journey together

And no, I don't fear the overturning of this legislation by the people's veto process via referendum come November or next June. Let the Catholic Church spearhead the effort to obtain the 60,000 or so signatures that need to be certified to send the issue to the ballot box.

It. Will. Fail.

Of this, I am certain.

The way life should be.

As goes Maine, so goes the nation.

From Andrew Sullivan:

So I sit here and toast with a small cappuccino and some petite vanilla bean scones like the big proud fag I am. A few years ago, this would have been front page news. Now it feels like history repeating. And justice slowly seeping up like a rising water table that becomes a mighty and joyous flood.

It's a new day.

Welcome.

(UPDATE: I found a clip of my brief interview after the house vote yesterday here.)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Marriage Equality In Maine

The Maine house voted to enact marriage equality 89-57. The bill goes back to the senate for its final enactment tomorrow. Our governor is still sitting on the fence about whether he will sign, veto, or allow it become law without his signature. My GOP rep in my GOP district gave the most moving testimony of the day and voted in favor of its passage. A beautiful thing. ABC interviewed me after.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Say It Again

"Straight men," Franklin said, "should learn more about the outlooks and contributions of gay men. Read a book by a gay author. Have an intelligent conversation with a gay neighbor." Franklin reminded the Morehouse students: "At a time when it was truly scandalous to have homosexual friends or associates, Dr. King looked to Bayard Rustin, a black gay man, as a trusted adviser. And, Malcolm X regarded James Baldwin, a black gay man, as a brilliant chronicler of the black experience."

"To my straight brothers," he said, "diversity at Morehouse is an opportunity that can enrich your education if you are courageous enough to seize the opportunity. We cannot force you, but we invite you to learn from your environment."

Perfection.

(Thanks, JJP)

Friday, May 01, 2009

Raspberry-Laced Vanilla Cake



GOT THIS recipe off the back of a cake flour box and made it for the daughter of a B&B guest for her birthday today. Never made it before, but always wanted to whenever I looked at the back of the box while making pancakes. Had been awhile since I decorated a layer cake of any kind and I couldn't find my pastry bag. I used a plastic bag with a corner cut out to do the trick.

CAKE
3
cups Pillsbury SOFTASILK® Cake Flour
1
tablespoon baking powder
1/2
teaspoon salt
1/4
teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2
cups butter, softened
1 1/4
cups sugar
2/3
cup milk
1 1/2
teaspoons clear vanilla
4
large eggs



FROSTING
2
cups butter, at room temperature
1
teaspoon clear vanilla
7 1/2
cups (2 pounds) powdered sugar
1
cup Smucker's® Red Raspberry Fruit Syrup



1 (12 oz.)
jar Smucker's® Seedless Red Raspberry Jam


Fresh raspberries (optional)

Preparation Directions:

1.HEAT oven to 350°F. Spray three 9-inch round cake pans generously with flour no-stick cooking spray.
2.MIX cake flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; set aside. Beat 1 1/2 cups butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on high speed until fluffy. Beat in flour mixture, milk, vanilla and eggs on medium speed until blended, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat 2 minutes longer. Spread batter evenly into prepared pans.
3.BAKE 19 to 23 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire rack. Cool completely.
4.BEAT 2 cups butter and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar and syrup; blend until well combined. Place 1/2 cup frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a #4 tip for piping.
5.LEVEL cake layers as necessary. Cut each cake horiontally to make two layers by marking the side of cake with toothpicks and cutting with a long, thin serrated knife. Place 1 layer cut side up on serving plate; spread with 1/3 raspberry jam to within 1/4 inch of edge. Top with other half of layer, cut side down. Spread with raspberry cream frosting. Repeat with remaining layers. Frost the sides and top of cake. Pipe remaining frosting on top of cake in a lattice pattern. Refrigerate cake to set frosting. Allow cake to stand at room temperature 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with raspberries.