Archive for November, 2008

Interview with Nylonthread

Once upon a time I fancied myself a crafter. As Peter would tell you, I am crafty but not so crafty. I love that other people have this creative streak to them. Scrapbookers, quilters, all-around creative types you all get mad props from me. I tried to scrapbook once. Just once.

I’d like everyone to meet one of my crafty friends that lives inside the computer. Nylonthread describes herself as a “not entirely jaded hipster mom”, but she’s so much more than that! Recently, she took her crafty wares to a show. She’s also a talented blogger that has a theme for NaBloPoMo (me? I try to get some rubbish up every day because I am competitive).

Nylonthread has graciously accepted the PenPals challenge (you thought that died with the Palin rants didn’t you? ha! it’s alive and well). Thanks Nylonthread for making my month of posting and my seven readers’ month of reading a little easier.

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300 Days of Sunshine

Lots of publications (paper and online) claim that Denver/Boulder have over 300 days of sunshine per year. In attempting to give credit to that statement, I found it on multiple visitor sites and the Univ of Colorado but not really anyone creditable.

Anywho. We have a lot of sun beams bearing down on us.

This morning at DIA I saw those rays being put to good use. The airport has its own solar panel farm, how cool is that? The huge expanse of panels which follow the sun will provide 2% of the airport’s electricity.


Photo Credit: MMA Renewable Ventures, Sharp, WorldWater – Steve Proehl

Small Spaces

Our last house was small. Not small by Manhattan standards, but small for middle-America suburb standards. It was also oddly laid out. Our bedroom had a HUGE closet. There was not a linen closet (it could be there was no coat closet … after a short sidebar we cannot agree what the original purpose of the hallway closet was). Regardless, we lived there five years and I loved that tiny house. We’d still be there if tiny people did not come with so many things.

Yes, we chose those colors. On purpose. The house was “harvest gold”, the porch was “avocado” and the trim was white. We were kickin it old school. I loved these colors on that house.

One of the things we did in that house, and have subsequently done in this house, is hang shelving in the stairwell to the basement on the highest part of the wall. In our old house the lowest shelves were 4″ boards and the highest (the ones you could not, would not, bang your head on) were 10″ deep.  The lowest ones ran at least three feet, from the start of the stairwell until the slanted wall ended the run. We stored CDs, DVDs and books there. In this house, we have the similar shelves but this time with adjustable mounting and all the shelves are 6″ deep. It made for relatively easily accessible storage in an otherwise unused space.

Our ottoman has always doubled as a toy box. Whoever decided to cut open ottomans and make them hold stuff, brilliant!

Elliot’s first big boy bed was a captain’s bed. With a baby on the way and a 12′ x 12′ room for them to share there was no space for an extra dresser. Also, he was able to get his own clothes at an early age because he could see in all his drawers. In their shared room we mounted a shelving unit to the wall so that larger toys could store under it, against the wall. Elliot could reach toys and books on the two lowest shelves. The very top held the radio, clock and things that I needed within reach with the baby.

Since we didn’t have a coat closet we had a coat hook at the front door. Once Elliot could help take off his own coat, we hung a second, smaller coat hook at his level on the same wall. It was both necessary (there were only 4 hooks on the large coat rack – I wasn’t wasting one on him) and it helped him begin to be more independent.

I look around our house now and it lacks that innovativeness. This house is bigger so I don’t have to be creative with my stuff storage. For me, having the need to make things useful drove my design. I was tickled (really? tickled? that’s all the better I could come up with?) when our house was on the market and one potential buyer said she’d want all the furnishings too because they went so well in the house. I think that might be part of my problem in this house. I still like what I liked there. This space is bigger, more sprawling. The scale is completely different and I haven’t caught up yet.

Yellow Pages

This struck as so funny because I really did sit on the yellow pages at my mom’s friends’ houses when I was a kid. Elliot didn’t really get it. I assume it’s because he’s never seen a phone book, has never sat on a phone book and cannot fathom his mom being a kid.

Outtakes

Make Love Not Laws

As promised, I took my kids to a national protest against California’s proposition 8. We went to one in Boulder, not Denver, as I decided that being on familiar turf would give me an advantage with bathrooms and food options. It was awesome. A nice sized crowd given that there was college football today (that tends to keep non-game attending folks away, there’s only one major road in & out of Boulder).

There are over a thousand federal laws that treat married people differently from single people (Wikipedia). One thousand. You cannot tell me that I deserve 1,000 accommodations because I am married to Peter and not Paula. There are so many things that we take for granted. If Peter were in the hospital I would have access to him and have knowledge of his care. If I were in a relationship with a woman, I would have no protection for that. If Peter died tomorrow I would receive bereavement days from my employer and payments from the federal government to help care for our children. If I were in a relationship with a woman, I would have no protection and no financial safety net.

Why? And more importantly, why is that okay?

As usual, the poignant Keith Olbermann has something to say.

Then spread happiness—this tiny, symbolic, semantical grain of happiness—share it with all those who seek it. Quote me anything from your religious leader or book of choice telling you to stand against this. And then tell me how you can believe both that statement and another statement, another one which reads only “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Snow Haiku

hello snow, you’re late
wish I could say I missed you
but we tell no lies

you brought friends this time
I tolerate you alone
hate bitter cold wind

prefer you fluffy
and white on Christmas day, not
dusting the ground now

National Protest

The very first time I voted was March 3, 1992. It was the Democratic primary in my state and my 18th birthday. My friend Rachel turned 18 the following day and was honestly sadened that she would not be able to vote in the primary (especially since it was her mom that knew you could register to vote before your 18th birthday if you would be 18 on voting day).

That fall as I proudly cast my ballot for the next president, Coloradans passed a deplorable amendment

Neither the state of Colorado, through any of its branches or departments, nor any of its agencies, political subdivisions, municipalities or school districts, shall enact, adopt or enforce any statute, regulation, ordinance or policy whereby homosexual, lesbian or bisexual orientation, conduct, practices or relationships shall constitute or otherwise be the basis of, or entitle any person or class of persons to have or claim any minority status, quota preferences, protected status or claim of discrimination. This Section of the Constitution shall be in all respects self-executing.

Thankfully, it was eventually overturned as unconstitutional. And now, 16 years later the people of the great state of California passed their own hate law.

On Saturday November 15, my children and I will go to Denver to protest California’s Proposition 8. We’ll do it for Rachel and her partner and their baby that is due any day now. We’ll do it for every family that is not given equal protection under the law.

If you’re unsure why you should be against Prop 8, go meet Lesbian Dad and her family. Her family that is not given the same reverence and protection that my own family receives. If you think only liberals and homosexuals are anti-prop 8, Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is against it.

And please, don’t be naive and think this doesn’t affect you because you are hetero or because you don’t live in California. If there’s anything that the recent economic downturn has taught us is that we are all in this together.

Fall

One of the fantastic things about living in Colorado is that we actually have four seasons. Granted some don’t last as long as I would like (spring) and some seem to go on forever (winter) but we do have a glorious autumn.

This is the maple in our back yard. Today it’s naked thanks to gusty winds the last few days. While it was turning colors it was beautiful. Now we just need to compost all those leaves.

Day 11

Dear Diary,

My journey is a third over. I am unsure where I will end up, but I am sure I will not quit. I cannot quit! I must not quit!! Many start this journey, but not all finish. And I see why. It’s hard. It’s like pushing a boulder up a mountain some days. And others? It’s easy, the thoughts come easily and flow through my fingers onto teh interwebs.

I will prevail.

Until tomorrow my dear diary – tomorrow I will have substance.

XOXO,
Catherine

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