charly needs a break from news, fake or not

Can we please watch an Amazon original movie or Netflix movie or anything other than what I’m listening to on the news all day every day?

lighten up…it’s the holidays


Stay tuned.

Posted in Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is | 12 Comments

The Rich Man, Middle Man, Poor Man Tax Reform Act of 2017

So both houses of Congress have now voted to pass their version of the Rich Man, Middle Man, Poor Man Tax Reform Act of 2017 in which the Rich Man becomes measurably (in gazillions) richer while the Poor Man, as Pretty is fond of saying, is another day older.

But what about the Middle Man? The Middle Man has been charged with paying for the gazillions of new debt that will be owed to China, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, drug cartels, money launderers, the Koch Brothers and other major political donors, lobbyist lenders, etc. for generations.  Tsk. Tsk. Shame, shame, shame.

The final draft of the Senate bill will be a surprise for the Senators who voted on it without ever seeing the final draft.  Imagine their surprise if the final version had an addendum requiring all Senators serve without pay for the next 20 years to help pay for the deficits the new tax law generates. Oops. That would never happen, of course, but what a fun thought.

Tax reform proponents tout the corporate tax cuts as the catalyst for economic growth through larger investments at home in the USA including hiring additional employees, major capital renovation and new construction projects while a number of actual CEOs questioned about the corporate tax rate cuts said they planned to use the cuts to reduce their own corporate debt and buy back their own stock. Uh, oh. Stockholders vs. sweat equity. No contest.

Regardless of the consequences to the country, the president had his first major legislation approved on the very same day that Lt. General Michael Flynn, his former National Security Advisor, plead guilty to lying to the FBI concerning the Russia investigation which the White House suggests is fake news and akin to going snipe hunting. The plea carries a maximum five year jail term so Mike Flynn is beginning to feel like the fake investigation is very real.

Talk about a mess. Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief, doctor, lawyer, Indian Chief.

They were all in the news in Washington, D. C. this week – even the Indian Chief who watched two Navajo WWII Code Talkers honored at an official White House event as they stood beneath a portrait of former president Andrew Jackson who is known for his disgraceful treatment of Native Americans (think Trail of Tears) and heard the current president make a racial slur during the ceremony by referring to a Democratic Senator as Pocahontas. Can anybody help me here.

Now the Sexual Predator in Chief has thrown his support in recent days to the accused child molester running for the Senate in the state of Alabama, Roy Moore. Come on, Alabama, I’m pulling for you to stand up for decency ten days from here when you go to the voting booths…please.

Somebody stop me.

Okay. I’m thinking back to happier times at Casa de Canterbury and wondering if they were the good ol’ days.

Pretty Too and Pretty – Christmas – 2011


Smokey Lonesome Ollie in December, 2011

I’m hoping the rest of December turns out to be less stressful than the first couple of days – for everyone.

Stay calm, stay patient in traffic, stay tuned.






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#Me Too

via #Me Too

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I was this close

The Pulitzer Prize people called and said I was probably going to win their Nonfiction Prize for Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home this year but I had to be available for an interview and photo shoot this past Saturday night. I had to say no because that was the night of the annual Carolina – Clemson football rivalry game which I never miss.

(Gamecocks lost 34 – 10) Bummer.

P.S. My Longhorns also lost their football game on Friday night to Texas Tech and, to complete the sports trifecta, my Gameock women’s basketball team lost to Notre Dame on Sunday night. Trifecta major depression…plus no Pulitzer.

Posted in Humor, Life, Personal, politics, Slice of Life, sports, The Way Life Is | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

the devil made me do it

Full disclosure: my granddaddy was a barber for 65 years. He had one chair in his very small shop in Richards, Texas, the tiny town where I grew up in the 1950s. For most of the time I can remember he charged 50 cents for a hair cut and 25 cents for a shave. His customers usually requested both.

I was mesmerized by the swish, swish of his straight edge razor against the leather strap before he began the fascinating ritual of the shave with the white foamy shaving cream and his precision stroke of the open faced razor against each man’s face. The hot towel, the after-shave lotion. Every time I smell Old Spice I can see him shaking the bottle twice, pouring the lotion into his hands, rubbing his hands together and then carefully smoothing that lotion over his customer’s face to complete the ultimate in male pampering.

My granddaddy was a magician with scissors when he cut hair, but he was an artist with a straight edge razor blade. Ask anyone who ever had one. Ask me. When I was five or six years old, he gave me a pretend shave that I have recorded in much happy detail in my first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing.  (Sheila Gets a Shave is also included in the Rainbow Radio Anthology if you have a copy.)

My point of this lengthy background is to partially explain my faux pas at our family Thanksgiving dinner last night which, by the way, was great fun with Pretty, Pretty Too, Number One Son, Sis-in-law and Brother-in-law. I could have described the evening as perfect with an excessive amount of traditional food that was mouth-watering, lots of laughter, great conversation that included agreement on the politics and sports activities of the day.

Yes, it really could have been perfect until… for some unknown reason I said to Number One Son how happy I was to see that he had no beard this year. Pretty chimed in and asked him if he was using the electric razor we bought him for Christmas (hint, hint) two years ago, and he said he was. Someone asked Pretty, Too if she preferred him with a beard or without, and Pretty, Too had the good common sense to say she really liked him either way. That should have been my signal to give the topic a rest.

Instead, the devil or the cocktails got in my head and without a filter, I began to R-A-N-T about beards and how much I HATED them – every last one of them. Why in the world can’t men just shave, for God’s sake? The more I ranted,  the more I felt the rest of the group becoming very quiet. Sometime you can just feel an awkward silence descending on a gathering. You could have heard a pin drop when I stopped to catch a breath.

( r.) Brother-in-law, Pretty, Pretty, Too, Number One Son

(I am the one in the front with my foot in my mouth.)

Sigh. Oh, well. Nobody’s perfect. I tried to tell Brother-in-law I didn’t mean his specific beard because his beard was really very well-groomed, but alas, Brother-in-law advised me that when I found myself in a hole, it would be better if I stopped digging. And I did.

In the end, we all parted friends and were still planning to get together at Christmas which I took as a good sign that all was forgiven.  Moving on to Merry Ho Ho!!

Hope all of you had a fabulous Thanksgiving with family and friends and that the rest of your weekend will be a fun one. I plan to lay low, no cocktails, no opinions on anything.

Stay tuned.



Posted in Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

an unexpected Thanksgiving

The five of us sat around a small dinner table lit by two candles in the center last night for an impromptu Thanksgiving meal inspired by none other than the traditional holiday gobbler known as the turkey. Our hostess, Kati, said she bought the large turkey breast at the grocery store this week and when she looked at it, she realized it was the perfect size to share so she invited Pretty and me along with two other friends, Brenda and Sheila Go (so as not to be confused with Sheila Slo) to celebrate Thanksgiving with her in her home.

Before we ate, we held hands and had what Kati called a “mindful moment” which was our version of saying grace, a moment that instantly transported me to the Thanksgivings of my past with my family in Texas that was no more – a moment that connected me to the friends at the table who had become part of my family in South Carolina during the past 45 years. Tears mingled with laughter as we remembered how we met, the ups and downs of our journeys both together and separate, the stages of life behind us…those still to come…the wonder of European butter.

During the coming holiday season I hope you will have an opportunity to experience the power of family in the presence of the unexpected. Discover a moment to tell someone how much they mean to you, how much you love them – take kindness to another level.

Pretty and I wish all of our friends in cyberspace a Happy Thanksgiving. We are thankful for you.






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It’s a Book! It’s a Book!

I’m so excited, I just can’t hide it, I’m about to lose control, and I think I like it!

The Pointer sisters couldn’t have been more excited about their music than I am about my new book, Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home, which is now available for pre-orders on Amazon and should be released in early December!

Four years ago next month I went to the Guild Christmas Party and had a good visit with one of my favorite people, Harriet Hancock. We sipped our cocktails and talked about the importance of preserving stories like hers for future generations – the more we talked, the more convinced we became that the idea was worth exploring. We decided to get together after the holidays to talk about it again.

During that same holiday season in 2013 Teresa and I had Christmas at Dick Hubbard and Curtis Rogers’s farm in Hopkins with our friends Dave and Saskia and their son Finn. I mentioned the idea to Dave of an oral history book with the stories of some of the organizers of the lgbtq movement in South Carolina – told him about my conversation with Harriet the night before. Dave, who is an American History scholar at the University of South Carolina, said such a book could be very helpful to the literature. Later on, Dave introduced me to one of the acquisitions editors, Alex Moore, at the University of South Carolina Press.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Through personal interviews, fabulous storytelling, laughter, tears, shared memories – I had the privilege of getting to understand why these ordinary people did extraordinary work that changed the environment for lgbtq issues in a rural conservative southern state. Amazing. Awesome. Truly a must-read.

Jim Blanton, Candace Chellew-Hodge, Matt Chisling, Michael Haigler, Harriet Hancock, Deborah Hawkins, Dick Hubbard, Linda Ketner, Alvin McEwen, Ed Madden and Bert Easter, Sheila Morris, Pat Patterson, Jim and Warren Redman-Gress, Nekki Shutt, Tony Snell, Carole Stoneking, Tom Summers, Matt Tischler, and Teresa Williams.

“In Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement, Sheila Morris has curated a gallery of queer activists’ stories. If the SC Historical Commission ever casts around for some new figures for all the surplus bronze, this book has a hero for every platform.”–Kate Clinton, feminist humorist, contributor to the Progressive and the Huffington Post

I have a special page that will be on this site permanently at the top of my blog – please read it for reviews and other important information about events, signings, the official book launch.

Stay tuned.



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where in the world is the old woman Slow?

Oh, yes there she is under all the covers while wearing 4 layers of clothes…Charly and Spike huddled next to her.

Jeopardy Question: If four trees fall in your front yard because they are being purposefully cut down, do they make a noise?

And the answer is: Yes…just ask Charly and Spike who are afraid it means the end of times and are stuck like glue to Slow.

Jeopardy Question: How many heating and air companies does it take to fix the heat at Casita de Cardinal?

And the answer is The Daily Double: We have no idea – today makes 3 and counting.

Have a great weekend, cyberspace friends – we are meeting our Best Gay Boys Basketball Buddies at the first Gamecock women’s basketball game tonight. Not only are we hoping for a win – we also hope to stay warm for several hours with the other 10,000 fans in the Colonial Life Arena! Go Gamecocks!!



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if I could turn back time…oh that’s right, I can

Each year we have an opportunity to turn back time for an hour which is probably less than Cher was singing about when she had her hit song but then hey, nothing’s perfect.

I don’t like fiddling around with time twice a year with the fall back, spring forward shenanigans we have manufactured to trick ourselves because doing so makes me question whether time is real or an illusion. If we can recklessly give and take an hour every year, who’s to say that hour really exists…and then I go downhill from there about the whole issues of time travel, is one hour really sixty minutes or is that just a television show, who shot JR…you see, some rabbit holes are better left to rabbits.

Today I watered the plants in the back yard which is a leading indicator of rain.

As the rain fell softly, I happened to look out in our front yard and saw the spectacular combination of the last brilliant summer pink crape myrtle blossoms competing with the burst of other colors that signify autumn is here.

I may have to turn back time tonight, but this is an hour I don’t want to lose.





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Pretty has Halloween treats – no tricks

Happy Halloween to our cyberspace amigos from all of us at Casita de Cardinal – hope you  have fun and high frivolity complete with walking dead figures as far as the eye can see…

I have never been a costume person, but I rarely meet a piece of chocolate candy I don’t like so Halloween isn’t a total washout for me.

Permit me to offer one memory of a Trick or Treat I went on with my friend Butch Foster when I was a little girl living in Richards, Texas. I must have been five or six years old, and Butch was a couple of years older. It wasn’t the candy I remember – no, not the candy.  But I can still smell and taste the homemade popcorn balls made with fresh popcorn and Karo syrup that my grandmother gave us when we knocked on her door. My hands got so sticky when I ate the popcorn ball, but who cared. It was scrumptious. (I’m not sure Butch was as impressed as I was.)

And now, here’s a treat from Pretty that will surely send you racing to her antique booths in Little Mountain this week – check out the chair and bench!


Stay tuned.

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