Christmas mermen and another new year

Last year I was reflecting on what I want in a partner. One of the things that was important to me was someone who really gets me and makes me laugh. For Christmas, Vashon demonstrated his profound understanding of my deepest desires and yearnings by giving me this:


Yes. It is a completely heterosexual merman with a sequined tail, flannel shirt and large cup of coffee. A Seattle merman. To hang on a Christmas tree. Of course. 

Then he watched me search for  the (delightfully tacky) website of the manufacturer and place other similar mermen on my Amazon wish list. My amusement, enthusiasm and delight made him happy. The gift of a very kitschy merman to go on my very kitschy Christmas tree made ME happy. 

He pretended that I wasn’t insane when I wondered about such important questions as “Why does a merman need a belt? Will his sequined tail fall down and expose his mer-junk without it? Is it just another opportunity to add bling? Is it really all about the bling?”

(It is possible that I may have been overthinking a bit)

(Yes, in spite of my best intentions I do still have a penchant for overthinking and using words like penchant)

Then I returned the favor by showing him and the circle of amazement was complete. Amazement might not be quite the right word.  Bemusement? Dismay?

So. This is it, right? The time of year to summarize the past year and make a statement of my desires for the one to come? I did it last year so shouldn’t there be something again today of all days? And what do mermen have to do with any of it? 

Quite a lot, actually. 

If last year was a transitional year, and it was, then so was this year. Every year is. Things always change. People moved away who I will miss seeing. People came into my life very unexpectedly and I am embracing our differences and challenges. I have been continuing my journey toward a more emotionally open and accepting life. It has been easier to be more emotionally balanced, but I am still struggling with the physical aspects of a balanced life. In May I had an issue with literal balance on my bicycle. Bicycling may not be for me. 

Work in progress, always. 

What have I learned?

I learned that if I keep my mind and heart open, amazing people come into my life. 

I learned that it takes about 5 hours to get from NW Portland to the North end of Vashon Island at rush hour on a Friday afternoon. 

I learned that a slow pace is a very good pace. 

I continued to learn that a lot of people love me flaws and all, and I love them right back. 
As I finish writing this, about to arrive at the Tahlequah ferry dock, sun streaming in through my back window, I’m grateful for the life I have. The good stuff and the bad. 

I wouldn’t change a thing. 
Happy New Year, everyone!


Last dance in Autzen

Another season of great tailgating at Autzen stadium  is finished. I would like to take a moment to recognize the person who makes it all possible–my brother Ken.

He gives us a space to party, puts a roof over our heads, makes sure we get plenty to eat and drink, pours us car bombs, and makes sure we have heat. Hell, he even makes sure some of us have tickets. I know I wouldn’t be there without Ken!

He is not only the most generous host,  but as a bonus,  if anyone at the party ever had a medical issue, he could save their life.  We probably have one if the highest percentages of ACLS certified attendees of any tailgater. It’s a good feeling.
Of course, even though Ken is definitely the king of the tailgater, he is assisted by the best group of partiers you would ever hope to meet. Whenever I invite someone new, they always tell me how wonderful my family and friends are. It’s true.

There are far too many people to send out my love to. Ken and “I can’t feel my cheeks”Nicole, Lu and Brandon, Ma and Little L,  John and Rhodana, Marlene, Pam, the THS fun crowd, and everyone who food/drink/laughter to the party.

You are all the best.

My little brother is the bestestest though.

Love you!




Birthdays and gratitude

My love of birthdays is no secret to anyone. I love birthdays and every year I talk about mine more than is really decent for a woman of my age.

Birthdays make me happy.

Maybe it’s just because I like being the center of attention for a few days…or, uh, a whole month.

Or maybe it’s because I like getting presents. I do like presents, big or small. Roasting pan or fake cat’s paw. Love. Booze filled chocolates. Love. Skull shaped ice cube trays. Love. Power tools. Love.

I definitely love  the dinner and drinks invitations, and the people who do the inviting.

I am very much in favor of the mini-vacations and extended visits from people special to me.

There are not very many work days in a typical birthday month for me. I like working, but I like sleeping late and huddling in watching old movies even more!

It could be that what makes me happy is  the reminder that another year has gone safely by, mostly full of laughter and love.

Or the birthday cards, which always seem to make me all teary-eyed even if they literally have pictures of litter boxes on them.

It could be the cumulative effect of all of the messages, and texts, and Facebook posts wishing me well. I mean, I know that Facebook practically ORDERS people to wish me a happy birthday, but still. The fact that people take a minute out of their lives to think of me and wish me well is something that makes my tiny little Grinch heart grow at least two sizes larger each year. Considering how much it re-shrinks again over the course of the year, it’s a very good think I have a birthday every year. For the good of humanity.

More than anything, though, I think what makes me the most happy about birthdays is that they are a time to take a moment and remember all of the things about my life that are so wonderful. All of the people I love who love me back. Every drink with friends reminds me just how much I have to be grateful for.

Birthdays are my real thanksgiving. If you are one of the many, many people who wished me well on my birthday, I thank you.

Gratitude, it turns out, makes me very happy.











** PS:  Happy birthday, Doctor–I hope your birthday was as wonderful as mine!