Blog Archives

Back to Business as Usual.

I’ll admit, I’m still torn as to whether I should keep on blogging about Walt Disney World or go back to life as we used to know it here at TD365.  So what I’m thinking is this;  I’ll write about what I feel like writing about.  Cause, well…  that’s what I’ve done for the last few years here.  LOL  Why change it now.  😉  That doesn’t mean I’m done writing about Disney, it just means I’m going back to writing however my muse pulls me.  Sound good?

Now, I think I’m going to cuddle my sleeping girl for a bit.  Watch a little streaming TV with her Daddy.  Then tuck myself into bed for the night.  I’m missing Bran tonight.  He would have commented on my last post…  and written to me on FB today.  I have a feeling my one FB post would have prompted a good laugh between the two of us.  Losing a much loved friend really freakin’ sucks.  😦

Advertisements

Pandora strikes Lily-Ann mute!

Okay, so y’all are probably getting sick of me mentioning the Goddess Girls series…  well…  too bad!  LOL  Today the challenge was to photograph something that I’m reading, and that’s what I’m reading.  Book nine:  Pandora the Curious.

Our copy of Pandora the Curious by Suzanne Williams and Joan Holub.

Our copy of Pandora the Curious by Suzanne Williams and Joan Holub.

Usually we’ve been inside the heads of the popular girls, but the last couple of books have taken us inside a couple of secondary characters (the girl and I ADORED Medusa the Mean).  Pandora, along with Medusa and Pheme are the anti-heroines to the cool clique of Artemis, Athena, Aphrodite and Persephone.  So it’s kinda fun to get to see inside their lives.

This book, in particular, is awfully special to Lily-Ann.  The first time she saw it she was actually rendered speechless for the first time in her five and a half years…  well…  since she uttered her first word (which happened to be “woof”) at three months of age anyway.  😉  What exactly caused her awestruck silence?  Take a peek:

There she is, the first name on the third line...  Lily-Ann S.

There she is, the first name on the third line… Lily-Ann S.

Kid kid managed to keep her wits about her when she saw that it was an autographed copy (she has a couple other autographed books too)…  but seeing her name actually inside the book?  Her jaw dropped and her eyes nearly bugged out of her head.  She just stood there and stared at it for several seconds, completely mute.  It was pretty amazing.

Lily-Ann LOVED the little heart.  :)

Lily-Ann LOVED the little heart. 🙂

So, that’s what we’re reading right now.  And I imagine we’ll keep on reading the Goddess Girls books for as long as Joan and Suzanne keep writing them.  I do have to admit…  I really look forward to the day that kid kid goes back on her own to read #1 all by herself.

You can keep up with Joan and Suzanne at the following addresses:  www.joanholub.com   www.suzannewilliams.com

Lily-Ann (hat hair and all) proudly showing off her Goddess Girls books.

Lily-Ann (hat hair and all) proudly showing off her Goddess Girls books.

 

Suzanne and Joan thank you so much!  You’ve given the girl and I many wonderful memories and are helping to build a love of books in a new generation – and that is something that deserves much appreciation.

Join me tomorrow as I share a little “happiness”:

photo a day challenge for january

My many hats and the people they’ve brought into my life.

I know the natural thing to blog about would be the girl’s first day of school… but to be honest? I’m just not mentally prepared to go there.  While she had a lot of fun, I missed her terribly and I’d rather focus on something positive.

I’ve been very blessed by the people who have been part of my life.  Whether they come and go, or whether they stay…  While I’ve had my share of asshats, I’ve also had a lions share of people who are truly wonderful.  People who are genuine, compassionate, and who want to do what they can to change the world for the better.

My twitter account tag line states “One woman, many hats”…  and yeah…  my life has taken me through all sorts of circles, and in each of those I have come to know some pretty fabulous people.  Moms, eco-warriors, social justice advocates, third-wave feminists, people active in the fight for equal rights, and those fighting for the rights of our animal companions…  Passionate people doing what they can to make things better for us all.  And I feel very blessed to count myself among them.

Many hats.  Yep.  It can be exhausting wearing so many…  but when I look back through all the people those hats led me to?  All those people who have enriched my life in countless ways?  It’s been worth it.

It’s Just Home!

As much as I love hitting the road for an out of town dog show, I really do love coming home after one even more.

Traveling is awesome!  Very seriously, I adore pretty much any form of travel.  Road, rail, air…  it’s all good.  I absolutely love going places – and going places with my dog is even better.  And the crazy familiarity of the dog show scene is always grand.  The same faces, the same busyness, the same routine – all repeated in a different place every few weeks is such fun.  I really do enjoy it.

And when you are away, the stresses of home all kinda melt away.  Sure, there are new stresses and things to replace them.  Even away from home I’m crazy busy with a ton to do – and yeah, sometimes I need to be up at 5:00 or 5:30 to be in the ring for 8:30 or 9:00 (which is definitely NOT part of the usual routine)…  but it’s great.

The very best part though?  Is how much being away makes you appreciate being at home.  There really is NOTHING like coming home.  Even before being a mom, I was always happy to be home with Damon and the rest of the kidlets…  but now that I get to come home to my little girl too, it’s even better.

I’m laying in bed right now, with her legs mushed up beside me as I type – almost knocking the computer off my belly.  Just listening to the sounds of the keyboard, the air filter, and her breathing.  This, to me, is home.  There is nothing better.  The dogs are all asleep around us.  Damon is upstairs, probably playing a computer game, with the Parrot chatting at him.  The cat is roaming the stairwell – looking for anything suspicious – and the turtle is sitting in her favourite spot, half in the water, half out.  Everything as it should be.  Everyone well.  Everyone doing what they always do.  It’s just home.

A2Z – Ubiquitous

bloging our way from A to Z on sexual and gender identity - ubiquitous

 

So…  for the last week, whenever I’d think of the letter U, the word ubiquitous would pop into my head.  It’s one of the few cool U words that I actually know and use.  I kept putting it out of mind, but it kept popping back in like some annoying song that Barney the purple dinosaur would sing.  *shudders at the mere thought of Barney*  The kid knows zombies and lycanthropes, but we’ve banned Barney in this house.  Anyway…  The word just kept coming back to me.  And you know what?  I’m going to go with it.

Ubiquitous.  It basically means that something is everywhere, ever present but not omnipresent.  It’s just a fancy way of saying something is everywhere.  In the summer ants are ubiquitous.  Got it?  Or should I pull out and quote my dictionary?  Oh heck…  Okay, here’s the dictionary definition:

screen shot that includes my dictionary app and the definition of ubiquitous

My desktop and the dictionary app, complete with the definition of ubiquitous.

 

So there you have it!  “Present, appearing, or found everywhere”  I don’t know why I fought the word, it really is absolutely perfect.  Whether or not we are noticeable, there are members of the acronym community everywhere.  If there are people to be found, you’ll find members of the pride community.  We aren’t always “flamers”, though it can be delightfully fun to stand apart from the crowd.  Sometimes we blend in with everyone else, completely unnoticed.  Unnoticed but ubiquitous.  😉

Okay, I’m off for the night.  Clearly I’m in a rather goofy mood.  But I figured I’m allowed…  ’cause today?  Today is one of those barf rainbows and crap glitter kinda days.  LMAO  Yep, today you’d see me from a mile away.

A2Z – In Flux

Blogging our way from A to Z on sexual and gender identity - In Flux

 

If you haven’t figured it out already, based on reading from A to H, I’ll state it here nice and clear; generally?  I’m fairly anti-label.  But when push comes to shove, I identify as “In Flux”.

The idea of people being in flux is a fairly natural one.  We are constantly growing and changing.  The more we learn, the more we evolve.  Who I am now is not even remotely close to the person I was 20 years ago, or heck, even five years ago.  So the notion that we must have a constant and steadfast label that applies in all instances seems ridiculous to me.

Not only do I change from decade to decade, year to year, but from hour to hour and day to day.  How I feel right now, laying in bed, blogging is very different from how I felt even twenty minutes ago while I was reading a novel to my daughter.  So if I change as often as the air in my lungs, how can I be expected to identify as something constant?

Some days I feel very “girlie”, others I feel far more “butch”.  I’ve always identified as female, but what that entails is different based on the circumstances surrounding me and within me.  So I am IN FLUX.  It just makes sense to me.  In fact, it’s one of the few things that is constant and unchanging.  I can say with certainty that I will consistently and constantly remain as an every changing and evolving person.  😉

What about you?  Do you identify as a static being with a label?  If so, how do you identify?  Or are you, like me, constantly in flux?

 

P.S. – if you are up for it, I believe I posted a photo of a button a dear friend and artist made for me.  It’s me, holding a label that says “in flux”.  I think it’s on a post about AKA (the art gallery in Edmonton, Alberta).  Scavenger hunt?  😉

 

 

the april a to z blog challenge

A2Z – Heroes

Blogging our way from A to Z on issues of sexual and gender identity - Heroes!

Heroes.  They are something we should all have, and they come in many shapes and sizes.  Some may be the usual suspects, heralds of a cause, but others can be found unexpected places.  In truth, I believe everyone has the potential to be a hero.  And I can’t think of any better way to demonstrate this fact that to share a few of my local Saskatchewan heroes who also happen to be members of the acronym community.

Mikayla Schultz is the founder of TransSask (support services).  She is a tireless advocate and campaigner for equality.  Through tremendous efforts, she recently put government to the test and had many successes with the signing of a declaration formalizing March 25-31 as Transgender Awareness Week in communities across Saskatchewan.

Don Cochrane is a former University of Saskatchewan professor, who continues to educate everyone he meets.  His groundbreaking work into subjects of importance to the Sexual Minority and Gender Variant community continue to force change, improving the lives of everyone in Canada.  You can see his hand all over this province, and especially at the annual Breaking the Silence conference here in Saskatoon.

Sarah Houghtaling is a local high school student.  She strives diligently to make lives better not only for those who attend school with her, but for minority students across our province.  A student activist who’s name I highly recommend taking note of.  She’s one of the many young people who WILL change our world for the better.  If you are ever able to attend one of her talks, DO!  You will be inspired.

Kay Williams is one of the most outspoken allies you will ever meet.  A determined advocate for her son, and a helping voice in a confusing world for parents new to the world of parenting LGBTT2QI children and youth.  Kay is a proud volunteer, and one of the founding members of PFLAG in Saskatoon.  She also was awarded the Peter Corren Award for Outstanding Achievement this year at Breaking the Silence – and yes, I teared up during her acceptance speech (which I recorded, and will share at some point).

Four individuals, all unique, all at different stages of their journey, all willing to do whatever it takes to see things become better for those around them.  All four are heroes, and all four I’m proud to call friend.

Who are the heroes in your life?

A2Z – Gender Creative

Blogging our way from A to Z on sexual and gender identity - Gender Creative

 

The very first time I’d heard the term “Gender Creative” I was in a board meeting for Breaking the Silence (which was held in March).  Fran Forsberg, an amazing woman and dedicated volunteer, had used it to describe two of her children, and it clicked with me instantly.  Gender Creative – could there be a more perfect or beautiful way to describe a child who is, well… creative when it comes to gender?  I absolutely love the term, and hope it catches on like wildfire.  Having such a beautiful way to describe children who don’t necessarily fit into their assigned gender.

Children are too young to know how their sexual identities and desires will eventually shape them, but they often know right from the get go if their assigned gender fits or not.  Some children easily play in one or both binary gender roles.  Others feel at home solidly in one camp or the other (and it may or may not match their assigned gender).  Describing these children as Gender Creative allows them the freedom to experiment and play with their identities – as we should allow all children.

We should actively encourage our children to try on different roles, to play different parts.  We do this with little boys by encouraging them to pretend to be firemen, policemen, doctors, and race car drivers.  With little girls we encourage them to dress up as princesses, home makers, nurses, and ballerinas.  When we should be encouraging all our children to try on these different roles – regardless of their assigned gender or assigned sex.  I know I am equally thrilled when Lily-Ann dresses up as a cowboy, or tells me how she wants to grow up to play for the Blue Jays as when she wears a tutu and wings to school, announcing that she has decided to be Tinkerbell.  We play cars and My Little Ponies.

The point is that children SHOULD be Gender Creative.  It shouldn’t be the odd kid out who plays with gender, and finds it fluid and easily adaptable.  All children should have the freedom to find themselves without society forcing binary roles onto them.  It actually makes me sick to my stomach when I hear a parent tell a child “No, you can’t have that, it’s a girl toy” or “I’m not buying that for you, girls don’t play with action figures.”  It’s when the I’m-gonna-fix-the-world me comes out, and I can’t help but do a little educating – and I’m not always as polite as I should be.  Oh, I try to be…  but there are times when the beastly me comes out, and it’s pretty much always when I see a little kid just being their genuine self, and having that self squashed by a parent who so clearly doesn’t get it.

So, until we get to the point where society is able to allow ALL children to just be children – without forcing gender binaries on them.  Until then?  I like the term Gender Creative.  What a beautiful way to express how all kids should be free to be.

Gender Creative and Proud to be a part of the Pink Revolution

the april a to z blog challenge

Sex, Gender, and How the Heck I Fit into it All!

When discussing something, relaying a story, or describing an event the logical place to start is at the beginning.  So, with the fifteenth anniversary of Breaking the Silence that would seem to be with Ivan Coyote’s performance on Friday evening.  I’ve got a couple clips that I know you’ll love.

Ivan Coyote speaking at the Broadway Theatre in Saskatoon Saskatchewan

…However, that’s not where I’m going to start.  I’m going to start at the end.  Or, well…  almost the end.  The last session of the day, before we all gathered for the conference’s conclusion:

“Sex, Gender, and How the Heck I Fit into it All.”

My session.

I had printed 25 of the handouts I’d created, expecting 15 – 20 youth.  We had 176 (it was 176 or 172, I can’t quite remember) registrants, and five options in each session slot.  And with a title like mine, I didn’t expect a huge turnout.  Not when competing against some of the amazing options that were presented this year.  I figured by printing 25, it would give me a little wiggle room, and also allow me to share a few copies with people who were in other sessions, but were still interested in the topics I addressed.

Walking up the stairs to find the room I was presenting in I passed two people who had veered off into the other upstairs lecture hall – I’d attended a session earlier in the day there (a great one by Jim Drake on personal narrative).  I kept walking…  And that was when I realized, the throng of folks walking up the stairs with me were headed into room 103…  into my session.

The room was already packed when I walked in, and more people kept coming.  I was shocked!  And I’ll admit it, I was suddenly nervous.  My throat swelled, my legs felt weak, my stomach did a little turn.  These are not feelings I was used to, however they weren’t entirely foreign either.  I remember them well from the days I first entered politics when I feared I wouldn’t be good enough, days long past now.

George Georget, a fellow member of the board gave my introduction.  He’d asked if there was anything in particular I wanted him to mention.  There wasn’t really, and I told him as much…  but I didn’t want to leave him lacking for something to say, so told him he could always just tell them I was a Mom and photographer.  I didn’t need to be worried.  He had plenty to say, all of it lovely.  I thank him for that.  🙂

I began by apologizing for my lack of handouts, and asked that they share in groups of two and three…  just so everyone could see what I was referring to.  I began handing them out.  Then realized it would be a lot more efficient to enlist a little help.  I handed some to Chance Briere, an absolutely wonderful young man I met this Summer and am proud to call friend, and some to a woman across the row from him and asked for their assistance.

Still feeling a little shaky, and surprised not only by the amount of attendees by also by their diversity (I was expecting youth only, but there was a brilliant array of ages, it was inspiring to see them all gathered for a session I thought would have such narrow appeal), I began to speak.

It took two or three minutes, but I found my voice…  the same as it always was.  Honest, open, and willing to talk about anything.

I didn’t expect the laughs, loud and openly shared.  I didn’t expect the cheers, unbridled and on point.  I didn’t expect the types of questions, asked with heart and intention.  I didn’t expect to inspire or to move people…  but that seems to be what I did.

Very honestly?  I was presenting a mainly informational session.  I knew I wanted it to be more of a discussion than a lecture – but I came prepared with an activity, just in case questions were slow to come.  I didn’t realize that I would touch lives, or give people hope they didn’t arrive with.

To everyone who came up to me afterwards, to shake my hand, to get a hug (or two or three), to share a story, to ask for help…  THANK YOU!  I appreciate each one of you.  You are truly amazing people.  You have touched my life.  You have inspired ME.  And to all of you who wanted to do the same, but for whatever reason felt you couldn’t.  Thank you for being there, for listening, for asking questions, for returning my smiles when I met your eyes during my talk.  I know I won’t change the world, but I believe that you can.

Now, for anyone who would like to see it, here is my handout.  Please feel free to share it wherever and with whomever you like.  I only ask that you refrain from editing it or claiming it as your own.  😛  If there is interest in a printable version (do let me know if that’s something you’d like to see) I’ll find the best way to make that available.

The Gingerbread Person - on Assigned Sex, Sexual Desire, Affection, Expression, Gender, and Orientation.

The Gingerbread Person on Assigned Sex, Sexual Desire, Affection, Expression, Gender, and Orientation.

Spring is Here!

Well folks, I think it’s official.  Spring has come early to Saskatchewan.  And well, let’s be honest.  I’m not sure Winter ever fully arrived.  LOL  It was an odd, odd season.

It’s even more wonderful coming outside to discover Spring has arrived when you’ve been cooped up indoors for days on end with a cold.  🙂  So after her first afternoon back at pre-k, the girl took the opportunity to jump, and splash, and just breathe in the awesome Spring air.

%d bloggers like this: