54 Quotes from 46 People

I rarely reblog from my other blogging friends (as in never) but Brian could be the Winner of all my Favorite Saying Contests that have been relegated to the “gone, but forgotten” posts. Such a clever guy. Check him out.

Bonnywood Manor

Before you delve any further: This is an older post, so I feel compelled to explain a few things. One, it’s nowhere near my birthday, so there’s no need to express congratulations over milestones or pity over my decay, unless you’re feeling really festive. Two, the bit about my having the flu seems discordant (and insensitive) these days, but that section was scribbled before the stunning madness of Covid. Three, there’s something soulfully satisfying about discovering a passage that really speaks to you, especially when those words come from a source you didn’t expect. And that’s the real focus of this collection. Enjoy.

I’m a tad late with this, but (cue minimalist fanfare) here’s my annual birthday post, based on a budding tradition that originally wasn’t meant to be a tradition. It just worked out that way.

It all started with 50/50, some thoughts I shared as I hit…

View original post 1,376 more words

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Happy Birthday to the Queen of my Heart

Today is officially proclaimed International Pretty Day in honor of

her birthday!

Pretty’s smile and laughter are celebrated every day by the people she knows through her passion for playing tennis, those who deal with her in her antique empire, her Twitter friends in cyberspace, her friends and family in real life – especially her granddaughter Ella who always lights up all over whenever Pretty comes into her view.

I am fortunate to share Pretty’s smile and laughter every day of my life. She is the Queen of my heart.

Happy International Pretty Day, Sweet! Celebrate yourself today!

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leaving on a jet plane – returning with a rough landing

Ok – who put that bird on my head?

Our good friends Nekki (with monkey on shoulder) and Francie contacted Randy at Travel Unlimited who made the arrangements for Pretty and me to celebrate not only our birthdays but also our vaccinated selves with a little rest and relaxation in the Dominican Republic which is adjacent to Haiti on the island of Hispaniola – in case anyone is interested in geography.

In July, 2014 Pretty and I flew from South Carolina to Puerto Vallarta in Mexico. The trip was a mixed bag of fun and frustration for me for several reasons: tropical heat with few air conditioners for very spoiled gringos, hills within the city that seemed higher to climb every day, the realization that my knees were beginning to rebel as I tried to keep up with Pretty who is one of the world’s foremost explorers in foreign lands – and is fourteen years younger than I am. We met wonderful people, though, and brought home a new game for us called Mexican Train that we both loved. Thankfully, it’s played with dominoes and can be played while seated.

What neither Pretty nor I realized at the time was we wouldn’t be taking another trip that required jet planes until May, 2021. This past week we visited Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, yet another tropical climate more than 1,300 miles from our home in South Carolina, a place where the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea meet. My laptop didn’t make the trip with me, the weather was perfect and, although I didn’t try parasailing, I was entertained by those who did.

breakfast, beach, discussing lunch, margaritas, lunch,

pool, discussing dinner, Presidente cerveza and margaritas,

dinner, wine, sequence, spades —- repeat the next day

Pretty made friends with margaritas again –

as Nekki supervised pool recreation

I was amazed at the warmth, the genuine friendliness, the kindness of the people we met at the all-inclusive resort. I, too, was cynical and skeptical of their care for us at first as being more concerned with our American dollars than for our having a memorable visit to their country. I know that tourism is very important to the Dominican economy. Yet, I felt the culture’s respect for their elders – my white hair was treated with a dignity I don’t receive here at home where senior citizens may be ignored or considered a liability while youth is celebrated with a fervent passion.

When we came home to South Carolina this week, the news stories were very much as we left them with the exception of the Republican Party’s removal of a woman who had served as Chair of the House Republican Conference in the 116th. Congress.  Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) was removed for her unwillingness to participate in the “war against the Constitution…and the unraveling of democracy” which took place when the Party refused to accept the 2020 election results.  I have never been a fan of anyone whose last name is Cheney, but I admire her for her truth telling which has come with a remarkably high price.

As one of the vicissitudes of life that my daddy claimed would intervene in the best laid plans of mice and men, I had traveled in a jet plane without incident to another country only to have a rough landing on the asphalt of a road near our home as I walked my dog Charly on Friday, the 14th.  Not even the 13th.

As I bent to be a good neighbor to retrieve Charly’s deposit onto the grass of a very pristine yard we walked pass every day, Charly noticed a car passing by and jerked the leash from my hands which, in turn, jerked me to the pavement. High drama ensued, but two Good Samaritan women in separate cars stopped to rescue me. They called 911, an EMS vehicle picked me up and took me to the ER of our Lexington County Hospital. One of the women took Charly, who was horrified by my inability to get up and continue our walk, home. The other woman sat down next to me on the grass of the pristine yard. We had a lovely chat.

All’s well that ends well, right? The cat scan in the hospital revealed no fractures or bleeding, released me on my own recognizance with a list of instructions for the elderly in how to prevent falls. I have now read the instructions and find no mention of being careful when retrieving dog poop. 

My face resembles Rocky’s face after a boxing match, my bionic knees are now blue with a tinge of black, but my good spirits refreshed by my vacation remain. And the concern of my granddaughter for my “boo-boo?” moved me to tears. I am the luckiest Nana today.

Stay safe, stay sane, get vaccinated and please stay tuned.

P.S. One of the women who rescued me stopped by our home that night of my accident and brought us a lovely plant in a gorgeous pot. I was touched twice by her kindness that day.






Posted in family life, Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, photography, politics, racism, Reflections, sexism, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is, The Way Life Should Be | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

burn them calories

With apologies to composer Jimmy Van Heusen, lyricist Sammy Cohn, arranger Nelson Riddle, singers Frank Sinatra and Dinah Shore plus many others – and without anyone’s permission, sing along to their song Love and Marriage introduced in 1955 with my new lyrics. If you need a reminder of how the tune goes, ask Alexa or Siri or one of those wise women to play Love and Marriage by Frank Sinatra for you. They will happily oblige.

Burn Them Calories

Burn them calories, burn them calories,

Every time we walk we burn them calories.

Life was made for goood food, but food can be a bugger-roohoooo.

Burn them calories, burn them calories,

Every time we walk we burn them calories.

Walk a little faster and pounds will fall like alabaster.

Try, try, try to keep from walking, it’s a delusion.

Try, try, try and you will only come to this conclusion.

Burn them calories, burn them calories,

Every time we walk we burn them calories.

Life was made for goood food, but food can be a bugger-roohoooo.


Now you see why I’m not a song writer.

Stay safe, stay sane, get vaccinated, and please stay tuned.

Posted in Humor, Life, Personal, Random, Reflections, The Way Life Is, The Way Life Should Be | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments


“We kill time. We save time. We rob and get robbed of time, we lose time, and we have all the time in the world. But no one of us is powerful enough to stop the march of time or slow it down.” (actiTIME, February 20, 2020)

I was born on Easter Sunday in Navasota, Texas on the 21st. of April, 1946. My mother and daddy joined millions of other WWII survivors who married their childhood sweethearts as soon as the young soldiers came home from the hinterlands – or from England in my father’s case. They eloped in May, 1945 when my mother was eighteen years old and my dad was two years older. My dad sold appliances at a furniture store in Huntsville when I was born but we moved to Houston when, as the story goes, my dad realized he needed more income with a new baby to feed. The “story” is suspiciously silent about his employment in Houston.

He floundered for a while until the GI Bill rescued him with money for college to pursue a teaching career; and my mother’s mother rescued his little family when she made room for him, my mother and a baby almost two years old in her very small home in Richards, Texas, the same town where both my parents were raised. They had come full circle to the place and people that loved us all

me and the grandmother who took us into her home

(circa 1948)

To steal a phrase, it took a village to raise me. Although we lived with my maternal grandmother Louise Schlinke Boring who I named Dude because I couldn’t pronounce Louise, my paternal grandparents lived across the dirt road and down a little hill from our house. I stayed during the day with my other grandmother Betha Robinson Morris who I named Ma because, well, she had my grandfather I named Pa. Dude worked every day as a clerk in the general store, Pa had his own barber shop to run, and Ma was my entertainment – the greatest storyteller of all time.

Ma and me in front of her house

(circa 1950)

During the past week April 21st appeared on the calendar for 2021 – this time marking five and seventy years since that Easter Sunday in 1946. Good grief. The laptop I’m using for writing this post has a screen that is roughly the same size as the one for the first television set my daddy bought for us in Richards. That small console held a television which broadcast three channels in black and white, signed off every night at midnight with the Star Spangled Banner playing as the Stars and Stripes waved farewell for the evening. My laptop never signs off unless I tell it to, will play the national anthem only if I can Google it, and I must select an emoji to wave farewell to me at midnight or any other time.

The social media well wishes, birthday cards, phone calls, flowers I’ve received this week have made me remember each decade of my “good ride” because I have friends and family from the 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s, 10s and 20s who have remembered me. I have smiled at our shared memories, laughed at our conversations and am beyond Thunder Dome grateful for everyone who reached out to make this week special for me.

all good rides begin somewhere –

mine began on a horse in Texas

This week our good friends Nekki and Francie took Pretty and me out for dinner on my birthday, and as we were getting ready to leave, Nekki asked me if I had any wisdom to offer the much, much younger women at the table. Hm. Without too much reflection I said time is fleeting, moments are passing way too fast, make sure you spend those moments wisely doing things that make you happy with people you love…or something like that. If only I’d had this:

“We kill time. We save time. We rob and get robbed of time, we lose time, and we have all the time in the world. But no one of us is powerful enough to stop the march of time or slow it down.”

if I could save time in a bottle, I’d like to save every day with Pretty…until eternity passes away

Posted in family life, Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, photography, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is, The Way Life Should Be | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

guilty, guilty, guilty

I watched with millions of viewers around the world this afternoon as the judge opened the envelope with the jury’s verdicts in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. Guilty of murder in the second degree. Guilty of murder in the third degree. Guilty of manslaughter.

And then I cried…tears of relief after almost a year of randomly remembering a man I never knew except through his death…tears of relief for a verdict I had hoped for but was afraid wouldn’t be forthcoming…tears of relief for the Floyd family whose courage throughout the trial both inspired and crushed me.

I understand these verdicts are a tiny step forward on the long journey toward true equality in our American criminal justice system, in our battle against systemic racism. But my Texas sister Leora said it best tonight when we talked. “We’re moving forward, and if you aren’t going to go forward with us, you better get behind us.”

Onward. Together.

Stay safe, stay sane, get vaccinated and please stay tuned.

Posted in family life, Life, Personal, politics, racism, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is, The Way Life Should Be | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

taken from this week’s headlines or last year’s or the years before

The nation’s attention is focused this week on the continuing trial of the man who murdered George Floyd last summer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The impact of Mr. Floyd’s death lives on in the memories of the bystanders, police and most importantly his family who lost someone they can never replace. The trial touches the nerves of people far beyond the courtroom, however, even around the world as the death brought a spotlight on systemic racism and lawlessness of the people we expect to be the most law abiding. We have a broken criminal justice system which this trial exposes in living color that could be filmed in black and white.

And yet, the week’s headlines were diverted to other, more familiar tragedies:

1 Dead, 5 Hurt in Bryan Mass Shooting; Trooper in Critical Condition; Victim Identified

Mass shooting comes on the same day President Biden calls gun violence an epidemic and Gov. Abbott vows to protect gun rights in Texas.

(Associated Press, April 08, 2021)


Lone survivor of SC mass shooting has now died, coroner says, bringing death toll to 6

(The Charlotte Observer, April 10, 2021)


On March 13, 1993 Texas newspaper columnist Molly Ivins (1944-2007) published this piece called Taking a Stab at our Infatuation with Guns.  I have reprinted it several times during the past nine years because I think it’s as timely today as it was 28 years ago.

Guns. Everywhere guns. Let me start this discussion by pointing out that I am not anti-gun. I’m pro-knife. Consider the merits of the knife.

In the first place, you have to catch up with someone in order to stab him. A general substitution of knives for guns would promote physical fitness. We’d turn into a whole nation of great runners. Plus, knives don’t ricochet. And people are seldom killed while cleaning their knives.

As a civil libertarian, I of course support the Second Amendment. And I believe it means exactly what it says: “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Fourteen-year-old boys are not part of a well-regulated militia. Members of wacky religious cults are not part of a well-regulated militia. Permitting unregulated citizens to have guns is destroying the security of this free state.

I am intrigued by the arguments of those who claim to follow the judicial doctrine of original intent. How do they know it was the dearest wish of Thomas Jefferson’s heart that teen-age drug dealers should cruise the cities of this nation perforating their fellow citizens with assault rifles? Channelling?

There is more hooey spread about the Second Amendment. It says quite clearly that guns are for those who form part of a well-regulated militia, i.e., the armed forces including the National Guard. The reasons for keeping them away from everyone else get clearer by the day.

The comparison most often used is that of the automobile, another lethal object that is regularly used to wreak great carnage. Obviously, this society is full of people who haven’t got enough common sense to use an automobile properly. But we haven’t outlawed cars yet.

We do, however, license them and their owners, restrict their use to presumably sane and sober adults and keep track of who sells them to whom. At a minimum, we should do the same with guns.

In truth, there is no rational argument for guns in this society. This is no longer a frontier nation in which people hunt their own food. It is a crowded, overwhelmingly urban country in which letting people have access to guns is a continuing disaster. Those who want guns – whether for target shooting, hunting or potting rattlesnakes (get a hoe) – should be subject to the same restrictions placed on gun owners in England – a nation in which liberty has survived nicely without an armed populace.

The argument that “guns don’t kill people” is patent nonsense. Anyone who has ever worked in a cop shop knows how many family arguments end in murder because there was a gun in the house. Did the gun kill someone? No. But if there had been no gun, no one would have died. At least not without a good foot race first. Guns do kill. Unlike cars, that is all they do.

Michael Crichton makes an interesting argument about technology in his thriller “Jurassic Park.” He points out that power without discipline is making this society into a wreckage. By the time someone who studies the martial arts becomes a master – literally able to kill with bare hands – that person has also undergone years of training and discipline. But any fool can pick up a gun and kill with it.

“A well-regulated militia” surely implies both long training and long discipline. That is the least, the very least, that should be required of those who are permitted to have guns, because a gun is literally the power to kill. For years, I used to enjoy taunting my gun-nut friends about their psycho-sexual hang-ups – always in a spirit of good cheer, you understand. But letting the noisy minority in the National Rifle Association force us to allow this carnage to continue is just plain insane.

I do think gun nuts have a power hang-up. I don’t know what is missing in their psyches that they need to feel they have to have the power to kill. But no sane society would allow this to continue.

Ban the damn things. Ban them all.

You want protection? Get a dog.


Stay safe, stay sane, get vaccinated and please stay tuned.

Posted in Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, politics, racism, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

turning corners

Spring invigorates me – I love the azaleas, dogwoods, climbing roses, the new tree leaves with their hesitation to turn green, putting our frog log in the pool for the first frogs that need to learn to avoid the chemically treated water, the hum of the bees buzzing the blossoms, washing the pollen from the seat covers on the porch – well, maybe I don’t really love the pollen that comes with the colors of spring. I’ve gone too far.

But this spring I have especially enjoyed my days with Pretty and our granddaughter Ella who was 18 months old on April 1st. Did you ask if I had pictures?

Ella and Pretty relaxing in our front yard – with azaleas and dogwoods in the background. Nothing better than having your own chair.

I know you’re taking my picture


I love my new jump suit but am not a fan of the shoes

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This Nana takes way too long to find my music


What did I just say about shoes?

Whatever your season, Pretty and I send warmest wishes from our home to yours for staying safe, getting vaccinated, and taking a moment to smile at this child who is embracing a brave new world where she now works very hard to find her words to tell us what she thinks about it.

Please stay tuned.  

Posted in family life, Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, photography, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is, The Way Life Should Be | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

true confessions

 True Confessions was first published in May, 2016 but I repeat it in Women’s History Month without apology because it’s a part of my history with writing as well as my history with Pretty. No political agenda. Just a true story. 

When Mrs. Lucille Lee taught me how to read in the first grade at the Richards public school, I was so excited I tried to read anything and everything that had words: newspapers, magazines, comic books about Superman or Archie and Jughead, signs, billboards,The Hardy Boys mysteries, The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, The Bobbsey Twins in Tulip Land, Cherry Ames, Tom Swift Jr; histories of the adventures of Wyatt Earp, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, GeneAutry the singing cowboy, Daniel Boone, Annie Oakley, Sam Houston and well, you get the picture.

I asked for extra books to take home from school, and I was the first person on the steps of the Grimes County Bookmobile every month – I always checked out the maximum magic number of four. I read whenever I took a break from playing outside or hid from my mother who routinely expected me to be practicing the piano since she had the self imposed unfortunate task of teaching me to play. Do not disturb me, Mom. I was busy reading. I had left hot humid Richards, Texas for exotic places like snowy New England to check on my new friends Jo, Amy, Beth and Meg, the March girls in Little Women, who were even cooler than the Bobbsey twins. I cried when Beth died.

Somewhere along the line in the next sixty years reading became less about fun and more about school, studying, work –  keeping up with the financial markets which in the waning years of the twentieth century moved at warp speed in a gazillion directions. Reading, for me,  moved from printed pages to computer screens and power point presentations. Gradually over my forty years working with numbers in some form or another, I lost my love for words. When I came home at night, the last thing I wanted to do was read.

The vicissitudes of life intervened, as they will according to my daddy, and I fell in love with a woman who loved to read almost as much as she enjoyed playing tennis. We met in her bookstore Bluestocking Books in the early 90s. She had a wonderful feminist bookstore located on Gervais Street in the Vista in downtown Columbia before the Vista was a hot spot and yet, her store became a gathering place for the fledgling LGBTQ community. My interest in books was immediately revived.

Alas, Bluestocking closed after two and a half years, but my friendship with the owner who was also a passionate lesbian activist endured. We were both involved in other long term personal relationships for the next seven years, but the two relationships fell apart for different reasons at the turn of the century. Pretty, the bookstore owner, and I joyfully discovered we had passions for more than equal rights as the 21st. century began.

When we bought our first house together, we had to have bookshelves built in the living room and her office. That set the precedent for every house since then. Built-in bookshelves, bookcases of every size and description in every room at Casa de Canterbury in the front house, bookcases lining the rooms of the little back house we called our bodega. Still we had books on the floor, books on every piece of furniture that has a surface – books, books, books. Plus, Pretty read every night. While I watched TV and played poker in cyberspace, she read books.

Finally, after six years of being surrounded by books, I decided part of my life was missing. But, the interesting thing is that rather than start reading one of the countless books at my disposal, I took a writing course in December, 2006. Pretty encouraged me and of course, I wanted to do well. I wrote a little story about a revival meeting in my Southern Baptist church where I heard a preacher rant and rave about homosexuals going to hell. The teacher liked it, and so did Pretty. That story became the chapter Payday Someday in Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing that was published in November, 2007.

Blogs, books, magazines – once again I have a love affair with words. This time around, though, the words are mine.  I write them. I own them. They are sometimes well received by readers, sometimes they aren’t but they come from a reservoir built steadily by years  of dams focusing on numbers until finally the dams broke when the words overflowed.  Apparently, I am unable to stop them from tumbling onto a computer screen that sometimes becomes the printed page.

True confessions: I still don’t read much. People often invite me to become their Goodreads friend; I love the site so I always say yes, but I’m a terrible friend. In spite of that, I started reading At Seventy: A Journal by May Sarton this week because Pretty laid it on our coffee table and because I think May Sarton is one of the best writers of the last century. She happened to be an out lesbian but refused to be called a “lesbian writer.” Whatever the label, she wrote fabulous letters to her friends and family. Since she answered her mail religiously every morning, I wish I’d written to her.

Letter writing is a lost art, but I suppose Facebook and other social media render it superfluous. My sense is that blog comments are like mini-letters and I love the interaction with those of you who are my followers. If I fail to respond to your comment, I didn’t see it. I am thankful for every reader.  Do not disturb. Somewhere someone is reading.

Thank goodness for the Bluestocking Bookstore owner who continues to inspire my love for words – and for her. I think I should marry that woman. Oops! I forgot. I did.

Stay safe stay sane, get vaccinated and please stay tuned.

Posted in family life, Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is, The Way Life Should Be | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

March Madness: The Pay Gap is Madness

The Equal Pay Today Campaign is a project of Equal Rights Advocates which is a collaboration of national, regional and state-based women’s legal advocacy and worker justice groups in the US whose mission is to “eradicate the long-standing gender wage gap impacting the economic security of women and families.” How long is long-standing, you ask?

Great question. Is 1967 long-standing? It is to me. I entered the work force that year when the average wage for women was 58 cents for every dollar paid to men. My starting salary at my first job at an international CPA firm in Houston, Texas was $650 per month. I was a cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin business school with an accounting major. I was assigned to the firm’s team in their small business division where I sat in a cubicle next to a guy named John who came into the firm at the same time I did but with average grades. Through a random conversation he let slip that his salary was $950 per month. I calculated my compensation was 68 cents for every dollar John earned. The gender gap slapped me in the face and never stopped slapping me during the next 40 years in every workplace I encountered.

The following image and facts are from the equalpaytoday.org website:


82 cents: that’s how much women in the U.S. who work full time, year round are paid for every dollar paid to men. This year, we’re raising awareness around this pay gap with our theme March Madness: The Pay Gap is Madness. 

Women’s Equal Pay Day marks the day into the year on which it takes for women on average to earn what men did in 2020.

That’s 15 months. Or, if you look at a typical 9:00-5:00 work day, women start working for free at 2:40 p.m.

While March 24th is the average for all women, the Equal Pay Day for Black women is August 03rd because they average 63 cents for every dollar paid to men, for Native women equal pay day is September 08th because they earn 60 cents for every dollar paid to men, for Latina it’s October 21st because they earn 55 cents for every dollar paid to men.


In addition to the wage gap inequity, Covid-19 has been particularly devastating for women. According to MSNBC anchor Mika Brzezinski more than 2.5 million women have fallen out of the workplace in the past year as a result of the pandemic.  Newly appointed Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo called the gender disparities “unacceptable and immoral” today in an interview with Ms. Brzezinski. Secretary Raimondo went on to say the Biden administration had acknowledged the needs of women in the American Rescue Plan that includes higher education opportunities for them, assistance with child care which is a huge stumbling block for women who want to work and an overall training up designed especially for women.

March Madness is a reality in our home where we are focused on the NCAA women’s basketball tournament. Our  University of South Carolina Gamecock women’s team won their second round game which places them in the Sweet 16 – that’s some kind of fun for us. But March Madness: The Pay Gap is Madness also hits home with Pretty and me, and that’s never been fun. 

The gender gap has been alive and well in the 2021 NCAA women’s basketball tournament, too. University of Oregon forward Sedona Prince posted a video showing the women’s weight room consisted of a single set of dumbbells while the men’s weight room was stocked with rows of weights and dumbbells. Her video went viral and had millions of hits. The uproar from players, coaches, fans and colleges around the country produced an apology from the NCAA…and a speedy delivery for a state of the art weight room for the female athletes.

What do we want? Fair pay. (and comparable accommodations for women in sport)

When do we want it? Now.

For everything there is a season, the Bible says, and a time for every purpose unto heaven. I think the pandemic has shined a light on a season whose time has past. Let’s get it right.


Stay safe, stay sane, get vaccinated and please stay tuned.

Posted in family life, Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, politics, racism, Reflections, sexism, Slice of Life, sports, The Way Life Is, The Way Life Should Be | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments