Summertime!

We have been very busy for the last few weeks. Both Ethan and I finished started our summer on May 27th! Sylvia is still working and so is Jack. We do still have to get up early two days a week for my niece and nephew who come over while their mom works! Ethan enjoys playing with his cousins and we have been on a few outings having fun. I have completed two of the three days for a workshop this week that has been very interesting. I have a two day workshop next week and then that is all done! I also found out that one other hospital is covering 95% of my bills, so now I am down to just 4 medical bills. I have two doctors that I need to pay, the ambulance and the hospital that didn’t treat me correctly. I am still in discussion with them, because I got my medical records and there are NO doctor’s notes for the first visit. I just have more time to do the research now!

Ethan has a few doctors he needs to see in the next few weeks. I have met my out of pocket limit so I am going to see the eye doctor and visit my gynecologist about menopause! My insurance year starts over on Sept. 1st so I have to get in what I can now. Even my prescriptions are $0.00. Having to go to the ER seven times which included two CT scans, lots of lab work, ultrasounds, a HIDA scan and many other things is not the way to get free medical care, but it is what it is! I know most people complain about their health insurance, and believe me there are things I don’t like about mine, but I am glad I had it for this situation.

Sylvia and I celebrated one year of marriage this month. We went out to eat and had a great time. We have actually been together since the Fall of 2010, so almost seven years. I am so glad we were able to marry!

The summer is already going by so fast. My mom is having surgery in a few weeks so I’ll be helping her with that. i plan on taking Ethan to see my sister and nephew, so that will be a fun few days. I have made myself just SIT and watch some movies….which isn’t easy. I like to stay busy.

I also want to say that I am feeling SO MUCH BETTER. I know that sounds weird, but I think I finally have my stamina back since having the surgery. I am walking at least 10,000 steps. This all started about a week after I finished school.

Well, this has been a rambling post, but there was lots to share.

The Price of Salt

I love to read, but during the school year I don’t have much time for it. Therefore, I try to dedicate a certain amount of time to reading when I am off in the summer. I took a chance and looked for the book, The Price of Salt at the local library. They had the book and it was actually checked in. This is the book that the movie Carol is based on. I really enjoyed the book and it was nice to be “in the mind” of the characters to know what they were thinking. I really loved the movie Carol, but the book was better, I have to say. There is no way they could have taken all that was in the book and put it in the movie, but that is true of so many books. If you get a chance to read this book, please do. It is well worth it.

On another note….week two of being married is going very well. Sylvia has been working quite a bit, but things slow down for her next week. We still enjoy using the word WIFE a lot and tease each other. Things have changed, and yet they haven’t. It is so hard to explain. I do love her so much!! The party is this Saturday that our friends are giving us! I can’t wait!

I Just Ordered a New Book

I just ordered a book titled Switching Teams. Here is a link to the book http://switchingteams.com/index.php/about-the-book/ and also to the author’s own blog titled Switching Teams. I can’t wait to read the book. The author’s story is similar to mine but different in many ways. I have been out for a little over five years, but I still find myself intrigued by other people’s stories of coming out, especially those coming out late in life. We live in such a different time now and I wonder if we will have people who come out late in life in the future. Will they feel more comfortable coming out at a younger age? Will we have more homosexual couples and families with same sex parents? The LGBT community has more rights than we used to, but we need to remain vigilant that we don’t let the lawmakers take away our rights, or hinder us from further rights.

I hope to get the book in the mail by early next week. I’ll let you know how it is!

Civil Rights

I am really getting tired of people talking about Kim Davis and her religious freedom. I know I add fuel to the fire by writing about her and I am giving her the attention she wants, but it has just gone too far. She is in jail because she won’t do her job. She chose to work for the government and took an oath to fulfill her responsibilities as a county clerk, which means issuing marriage licenses. Now maybe she wasn’t keeping current with the current political arena and gay marriage, or maybe she just thought it would never happen, but it did. She spent two months arguing her case and she lost. The Supreme Court will not intervene and the governor of her state will not call a special session to change the law. I believe there are two other county clerks who state that they will not issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, but they have not been sued…yet.

I watched the preview for the movie “Suffragette” and I realized that groups of people have been fighting for equal rights for a VERY long time. It was only in 1919, which is just about 100 years ago that women in America were allowed to vote. “Suffragette” is about the struggle for women to vote in England, but it doesn’t matter where the movie is set, it is about the struggle of a group to have the right to be treated fairly and equally as the majority group. Women were hit by men, thrown in jail, and had their children taken away from them. I cannot imagine how hard this fight was for them. It was not easy, and yet women today have more rights because of this struggle and women are still not always treated equally in the workforce, but they now at least have the right to sue if they can prove it.

In the 1950s and 1960s African-American fought for equal rights. They were also beaten, spit upon, threatened, killed and harassed, yet they prevailed. It was not easy and yet they did it, because it was right and our Constitution says, “ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL”. Is it all fair in America now…no, but it is better than it used to be and all minority groups stand together to ensure that all groups are treated equally, no matter their color or gender.

We then move to the 1990s and the passage of the American’s with Disabilities Act that protects disabled people from discrimination and ensures equal access for all. We now have buildings that must meet requirements for access to buildings with ramps and elevators and I am sure LOTS of other things, but they are there. Interpreters are required for the deaf, but many still have to fight for this right. There are rules about hotels having handicap accessible rooms and so on. This didn’t just happen because the government thought it was the right thing to do, it happened because this group fought for their rights. It happened because “ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL”. Some would say that it isn’t fair that people with disabilities get “special” treatment, but it isn’t. It is about leveling the playing field for all.

Now we have same sex marriage and this just didn’t happen overnight. This has been a long hard battle, and I am not one to try to go back and discuss what all has happened. I have only known my true self for five years, so I don’t pretend to know what it is like to be discriminated against because of my sexual orientation. I do know that I will not be treated differently because I am gay. I will not let someone hide behind their religions freedom and take away MY CIVIL RIGHTS. People in this country are allowed to practice whatever religion they like, as long as it doesn’t infringe on others most basic civil rights. Would the Christians in this country be as apt to stand behind Kim Davis if she were a Muslim crying religious freedom, a Jew, a Buddhist?? I doubt it.

I don’t pretend to be an activist. I don’t pretend to know how to write eloquently. However, I do know that the Founding Fathers wrote the US Constitutions and it has stood for over 200 years as the law of this land with only 28 amendments (I think that is right!). The Constitution has not changed much since it was written, but the interpretation of it has changed because TIMES have changed. My sons’ generation will not tolerate those who seek to discriminate based on sexual orientation….because they are growing up with it. Times change, beliefs change and that is not a bad thing……Those who don’t like change would still like to see segregated communities, no interracial marriage, and women the property of their husbands or fathers.

I don’t think Kim Davis is a bad person, but I think she has chosen to fight for a cause that has no merit in the law….and too many people just can’t see that.

What to do?

My dad usually calls me for any summer type of holiday and invites the family over to swim. Sometimes we go, sometimes we don’t. It just depends on what we are doing, but I always get the phone call. This year I didn’t get the phone call. I haven’t spoken to my dad since the Supreme Court decided their ruling on same-sex marriage. Am I reading too much into this? I don’t know. My former mother-in-law (ex-husband’s mother) texted me and congratulated me on the Supreme Court decision. My mom was with me out of state and was quite excited. She even said she had a ring I could use when I ask Sylvia to marry me, or when Sylvia asks me!! My grandmother was quite excited as well.

My dad posts three not so nice posts on Facebook that I blogged about a few days ago. I wrote my opinion back to him and then silence between us. I have never believed in just cutting a family member out of your life, but at this point, I won’t be the first one to make the move. It shouldn’t always have to be me. If he truly is Christian then he can make the first move. Am I being childish? Possibly. I feel like this is something I have to do for myself and for Sylvia. She won’t even go to his house anymore. The last time he was here for Ethan’s birthday back in April, he had a conversation with Sylvia. Now she is from Germany and grew up listening to the Holocaust stories. She knows how bad it was and how it has been something that all Germans have to deal with and hear about. My dad actually said to her that we should kill all the Muslims….all of them, even children. She told me this after he left. Now, he shouldn’t be saying that to anyone, but especially to someone who has had the guilt of the Holocaust put upon her since she can remember. I was flabbergasted that he would do that. I don’t know what has happened to him. I don’t know much about the Bible, but I do know. “let he without sin cast the first stone” (or something close to that) and he has sinned. He goes to church every Sunday and chastises me for not going when he gets a chance. He doesn’t live a Christian life when he speaks with words of hate. I cannot tolerate it anymore. I won’t be this “kid” at the age of 48 who doesn’t stand up to her own father. He is wrong and his is SO wrong and he can’t even see it. For now, I am just not going to talk to him. It will come to a head sooner or later and it may not be pretty.

2015

Sylvia and I had a very nice time at our friend’s party last night. We met some new people and ate some good food. We got home around 1:30 and went to bed, with NO alarm set! Jack was still up when we got home, but Ethan was fast asleep in bed! We all slept in this morning to about 8:30. Jack didn’t get up until almost noon, but we had no real plans for today so we didn’t think it was a big deal to let him sleep in. We had a nice breakfast and just hung out at home. Unfortunately, my left shoulder and shoulder blade were really bothering me. Sylvia helped by putting one of those hot patches on my shoulder and I took some pain medication. She still takes very good care of me! We even got a nap in later and I think we both slept!

This should be a very interesting year for us! I should be graduating with my masters in special education next December. I will have an internship in the Fall and I am not sure how that will work, but I know my director will work with me. Ethan will start high school in the Fall, and that is SO hard to believe. I worry about this transition. Jack will stay at the technical college in the summer and attend a summer semester. This will allow him to graduate in May of 2016. It will be very strange not to have him home this summer. I will take one course in the summer, but it will be a short 4 1/2 week semester! We are taking Ethan back to the special needs camp in April, so we will get another short weekend vacation together! We are planning on having a new front door put in over Spring Break. I am sure there will be many other things to come in 2015.

I sat tonight and read over the blog posts from the first year I started this blog. Sylvia is in bed and I am up watching football (my team is losing and it isn’t looking good so far, so I may head to bed) and so I thought I would read back on some of those first posts. I still love Sylvia now as much as I did then, but I need to make sure I show her more. I still don’t want to take her for granted. I still want to make her as happy as she makes me, unfortunately the stress of LIFE sometimes gets in the way and harsh words can be used. I need to put my phone down more and really listen. I am going to talk to her in the morning as we lay in bed and cuddle and let her know that I want US to stay strong and that I will try harder. I don’t think I have done anything wrong, but sometimes people can become complacent in a relationship and take their partner for granted. I won’t let that happen and the first step is to be aware. The second thing I am going to work on is spending more time with my boys and one other thing I really need to work on is to LOSE SOME WEIGHT. Lastly, if same sex marriage is legalized in my state, I want to marry Sylvia.

What does 2015 hold for you?

Turning 47!

Today is my birthday and I am now 47 years old. I don’t feel 47, but then again, I don’t know what 47 should feel like. I have a wonderful woman who makes me happy everyday. I have reached a time in my life where it seems like things are all in place. Jack will start school in the Fall at a technical school and Ethan will be going into 8th grade. I am not rich, but financially, I am more stable than I have been in a long time. My job is going well, and I really LIKE graduate school. About the only thing I would change, would be losing about 40 pounds, but other than that my life is good. I am looking forward to the coming year and seeing what changes are to come. Hopefully, I’ll be able to marry Sylvia! I will also look forward to turning 48!

Rose Parade–Same Sex Wedding

I first heard about the wedding of two me during the Rose Parade on Facebook. Here is a link to the story(copy and paste, I can never get the link thing to work on WP):

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/12/31/same-sex-marriage-ceremony-on-rose-parade-float-planned-despite-protests/

Two of my friends posted about this on Facebook, but not in a good way. They posted that people should boycott viewing the Rose Bowl parade and not subject children to the wedding. Here is a link to the protest page:

http://action.afa.net/item.aspx?id=2147542206

One of the lines in the article states: “Millions of television viewers will see two homosexual men take wedding vows on a float that will celebrate same-sex marriage.” Sylvia and I chuckled at this one statement, because we would hope it would be TWO HOMOSEXUAL MEN and that a poor straight man would not be forced to marry a gay man or TWO straight men would be forced to marry.

People have the right to protest and boycott the parade. I have never watched the parade in its entirety. I sometimes have it on while I am doing other things in the morning, and then one of my kids usually changes it. If anything, this protest may make more people aware that this wedding is happening and they will then tune in to watch. I wouldn’t have known about this if someone hadn’t protested. Maybe I will set my DVR to record the parade so I can later watch this wedding!

What do you all think?

For My Wife

for my wife

“For My Wife” is a documentary that I recently watched on Netflix. Here is a summary from Netflix-

Outraged at how she was treated during and after the tragic death of her longtime life partner, Kate, Charlene Strong transformed from a dental office manager into a full-fledged gay rights activist who started making a difference all across the U.S. Through Charlene’s incredible journey, this inspiring documentary illuminates the importance of courage and determination in establishing equality for all LGBT Americans.

This is a documentary that really hit me close to home. After watching it, I was glad that Sylvia and I had taken the steps we did after moving in together. We visited a lawyer, who treated us as a married couple, to see what paperwork we needed to protect ourselves. We each had a Will written(I have the boys so mine was a bit more intense), power of attorney for each other and I dealt with guardianship for the boys. I also had paperwork drawn up that stated that Sylvia had the right to make medical decisions for the boys if I wasn’t there to do so. Sylvia has no family in the U.S., so she really needed something that gave me the right to make decisions if she is unable to do so. I was afraid my family might keep her from me, if I were sick and in the hospital so I wanted this same protection. I highly doubt anyone in my family would do this, BUT you never know. We have kept the house in my name, but if something happens to me then she gets part of it.

After watching this documentary, I am even more determined that WE, as homosexual individuals in the U.S., should be afforded the same rights as heterosexual couples. I can’t even add Sylvia to my health insurance, which really irritates me. I mentioned the Supreme Court in my last post, and I truly hope they do make a decision that favors equal rights for all.

If you get a minute, please do watch this documentary. It is hard to watch at times, because it is hard to see what this person went through. It is also hard to hear the ignorance of others who spoke against homosexualilty.

My Ring, Her Necklace

I wrote back at Christmas that Sylvia and I exchanged jewelry at Christmas. I gave her a necklace with an Infinity charm and she gave me an Infinity ring. I guess I am still old-fashioned enough that I want a wedding ring. I wear my ring on my wedding finger and have had a few friends, who know about Sylvia, ask me about it when they see it. I am still getting used to putting it on each morning and have forgotten it a few times. Thankfully, Sylvia doesn’t get upset, she understands that I am just not used to wearing it yet. Of course, she does remind me that she hasn’t forgotten her necklace ONCE! I am hoping that in my lifetime, that I can marry Sylvia in the state we live in!