Open adoption Expert Lori Holden Talks to me of all people (Part 5: The Wind-Up)

Thanks for coming back for this final chat this week with Open Adoption Expert Lori Holden. (Parts 1 thru 4 are there to the left under “Recent Posts”.) I really hope you’ve enjoyed hearing someone else’s voice just above my own usual white noise for a change. (It’s funny. I didn’t become that annoying disruptive kid in the class until I was, like, forty.) After years of doing this buffoonery-filled blog, I decided I probably should occasionally provide useful information delivered to you by someone who knows what they’re talking about. I’ll be back to my buffoonery next week. Not like I was exactly Diane Sawyer this week. 

ed89166a2f439c05d52ea39738b4f7f5LSF: So Lori, we left off yesterday talking about the birth father. Who ever hears anything about him? Is the birth father ever involved in the open adoption process? How often? Have you seen instances where only the birth father is involved? (Sorry… It’s a New Yorker thing & a Jewish thing… It’s not about them answering your questions. It’s about hearing yourself ask them. I’ll bet Barbara Walters has fought it every day of her life.)

Lori Holden aka Lori Lavender LuzLH: Sometimes the birth father’s involved from the very beginning, helping to choose the adoptive family, and sometimes he comes in later. I have not seen a birth father-only placement, but surely they exist on rare occasion. For all the reasons having openness with a birth mother is important, so is having openness with the birth father. Access to him can be very important as the child builds his identity, which typically happens in the tween/teen years. In the absence of contact, being able to talk about his birth father with his parents can be helpful.

LSF: So let me back up out of the way now. Lori H. has some other things that she wants to tell you about open adoption that I wasn’t swift enough to mention. (My words not hers. I know my limitations.) She will also explain why her book is far superior to others. (That’s why I’m here. Have you bought mine yet?)

Lori Holden's bookcover - open adoptionLH: 1) While it’s largely understood why open adoption serves well the people living in it, this book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole also tells how to create and sustain one over the years as a child grows. It covers common open-adoption situations and how real families have navigated typical issues successfully.  Like all useful parenting books, it provides the tools for parents (both adoptive and birth) to come to answers on their own, and it addresses challenges that might arise one day.

2) Our book was written for people involved in infant adoption, in international adoption, in foster adoption and even in donor sperm/egg/embryo situations — in any circumstance in which the result is a person whose biology and biography come from different sets of parents. Adoption professionals may also be interested in having this book available as a resource for clients, as it covers not just the initial stages of an adoption, but also the parenting stages we face over the long haul.

3) If we acknowledge that adoption creates a split between a person’s biology and his biography, we can then consciously choose ways to help our child heal that split through our own open-heartedness.

Lori Holden will present a free webinar for the Snowflake Embryo Adoption Awareness Program in March, and a workshop at the American Adoption Congress annual conference in Denver in April. Find her regularly at LavenderLuz.com. Lori does yoga and drinks red wine in Denver while raising her two now-teens with her husband.

Open Adoption Expert Lori Holden Talks to me of all people: Part 4

So thanks for joining us again for Day 4 of our interview. (If you need to catch up, click on the link under “Recent Posts”.) Once again I bring to you open adoption expert, author, adoption/loss/infertility blogger, Lori Holden.

ed89166a2f439c05d52ea39738b4f7f5LSF: Welcome Lori. You don’t actually say all that when you introduce yourself to people do you? I screw people up just having my name hyphenated. Yeah you laugh. Try picking up a prescription. So yesterday when you abruptly got up and walked out (Okay, she didn’t really. That was Cam Newton.) I was asking what happens if the birth mother agrees to an open adoption and everything’s fine, then one day she’s in a new relationship and starting a new family and she’s having second thoughts about continuing this open relationship.

Lori Holden aka Lori Lavender LuzLH: Here’s where having a vibrant relationship comes in handy, for when you’re already in a relationship, you can call on the other when you need to. In this situation, I suppose the adoptive parents would make their case with the birth mother, reminding her that being around is a healthy thing for the child she loves. And assuring her that she will always be welcome in the family, and pitching “the more the merrier” arrangement — “we’ll include your new family, as well!” She doesn’t need to stay in an Either/Or mindset. She can have both her old and her new lives (and my experience with birth mothers suggests that her love for her placed child would not be so flimsy).

LSF: One of the things I think you’ve done so masterfully in this book is demystify and truthfully– de-stigmatize– the birth mother. I think for years, she was just some nameless, faceless person whom people either judged and sentenced in their own minds or forgot about altogether: Someone who just dropped off this kid somewhere and went on with her life. Then here you come with Crystal and turn birth mothers into, of all things, people! She has thoughts and plans. And imagine that… she sounds intelligent and educated and worst of all… extremely nice! That can’t be right! Tell us about her… Dish on the real Crystal.

LH: She is super nice! Yes, I got a daughter but I also got a friend.

I think a lot of people come to adoption with stereotypes about the kind of woman who would “give up a baby.” And then they actually get to know that kind of woman and end up thinking: “There but for the grace of God — and effective birth control — go I.!” Over the years I’ve gotten to know hundreds of women who placed, and I would say they are loving, conscientious people who want to make the best of a really difficult situation. That makes them not much different than anyone else… I’m sorry, Lori. I’m not going to talk further about Crystal out of respect to both her and my daughter.

LSF: I totally respect that…but just tell me: Have you ever all been together and your daughter introduced you as her two mothers and then you had to explain that you and Crystal never actually dated?… I’ll take that piercing look as a “no”. Okay then…And moving on…

Even writing this, I keep wanting to put Crystal’s name in quotation marks like I do when I’m mocking someone in my family in my blog and I tell them it’s not them even though I was too lazy to even change their name.  But Crystal Hass is really Crystal Hass. There’s the birth mother putting her name right on the cover of a book about adoption. Wow! It’s almost like a symbol of how open she really is about this open adoption. Your daughter’s a teenager now. How has the relationship between you and Crystal evolved over the years? Do you consider her family? Do you guys have cute matching T-shirts for when you go out together: “No, I’m the mother!”?

LH: What a fantastic Mother’s Day gift idea!

LSF: “Hello? Shark Tank?”

LH: You are right that this openness movement has done a lot to dissolve the shame in adoption, and she felt compelled to put her name and face on the book. We do consider her — and the other three birth parents of our children — as extended family members. An adoption professional I met uses the model of a kaleidoscope to show these ongoing relationships: Images coming in and out of view, moving around, receding and becoming more prominent and receding again. Over time, this is how our open adoption relationships feel with these four special people. There is a strong connection, but that doesn’t mean we talk every week, or even every month.

LSF: One thing you don’t hear much about during adoptions is the birth father… and you won’t hear it here either. At least not today… Please stop by tomorrow as Lori Holden and I wind-up our interview with info about birth fathers as well as things I forgot to mention and more questions I had no business asking in the first place.

Lori Holden’s Adoption/Loss/Infertility Blog: http://lavenderluz.com

Her book:

Lori Holden's bookcover - open adoptionThe Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole.

 

 

Open Adoption Expert Lori Holden Talks to me of all people: Part 3

Thanks for checking back with us today. I’ve been sitting here with open adoption expert Lori Holden for the past three days. I’m getting a little hungry and the upper outer quadrants of both sides of my butt fell asleep 18 hours ago but other than that… (Parts 1 & 2 of the interview are here respectively: http://laughingisconceivable.com/?p=5915 & http://laughingisconceivable.com/?p=5880)

ed89166a2f439c05d52ea39738b4f7f5LSF: Hi Lori… Thanks again for being here. I admit, two days ago I didn’t really like that shirt but now it’s growing on me. (It’s probably growing on you too by now… literally.) I’m sure I’ll adore it by Friday… So we left off talking about the birth mother. To be honest, when I first read that your daughter’s birth mother was not only consistently in her life but a major contributor to your book, my first thought was: “Yeah like some day maybe I’ll write a book about infidelity. Hey, maybe I can call my husband’s girlfriend. Maybe if she’s not too busy, she’d like to write a few chapters about her side of the story.” (I’m just making the “girlfriend” thing up. I mean I’m pretty sure I am. Does anyone happen to know anything I should know about?)

But it really seems like your daughter’s birth mother, Crystal, and you and your husband, Roger, have created an incredibly comfortable environment for your daughter. Is it all about a meeting of the minds between the birth mother and the adoptive parent(s) at the time of adoption? Have you had any moments along the way where you’ve said to her: “I think you’re over-stepping your role here” or in my own vernacular: “Yo back up Bitch. You’re like all up in my turf”?

Lori Holden aka Lori Lavender LuzLH: Too funny! But no. And your analogy helps me make this point. In the closed adoption era, we came from an Either/Or mindset. Either SHE’s the real mother, or she is (check out the recent Kohl’s commercial for more on this). For one to be legitimate, we have to deny or negate the other. Let me tell you, the child feels this, not just the negated grownup. Adoption creates a split in a person between his biology and his biography, and openness helps heal the split. Closedness allows the adoptee to embrace only half his identity (either that of biology or that of biography) and forces him to deny the other half.

Why would we split the baby? — especially when we can do better?

The alternative is to embrace instead a Both/And heartset. “Your birth parents are obviously very important to you and to our family story. Therefore, treating them with love and respect is a way of treating YOU with love and respect. And it keeps you from splitting. It helps keep you whole.”

Besides, as adoptees have pointed out to me, we fully expect parents to love more than one child. Why can’t we also see that a child can love more than one set of parents? Love doesn’t divide, it multiplies.

Now in the case of your husband’s infidelity (hypothetical, of course)…

LSF: Do you know something? We’ll talk later…Is there any sort of written agreement of what each of you expects from the other over the years? (I watch a lot of Judge Judy. She reminds me of my mother. I almost had a date with her son once. But that’s for another blog post.)

LH: That would have been an interesting date!

I share in my book arguments both for and against codifying an open adoption agreement. Some states require PACAs — Post Adoption Contact Agreements, which create legally bound commitments. Even in the absence of legal teeth, some adoptive/birth parents like to write things down to clarify expectations. Others prefer not to codify the relationship. Some feel this enables them to live more in the “spirit of the law” than by the letter of the law.

LSF: What happens if there is a change of heart along the way? What if the birth mother, for example, gets into a new relationship and starts a family with that person and decides to “move on” and not include the child?… Oh, look at the time! Gotta go… I think I did that more gracefully today, don’t you? I must be finally getting the hang of this “interviewing” thing.

Join us tomorrow for Part 4 of my interview with Lori Holden. In the meantime, check out her blog: http://lavenderluz.com

And her book: The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up WholeLori Holden's bookcover - open adoption

Open Adoption Expert Lori Holden Talks to me of all people: Part 2

Welcome back! (All except you over there… I told you never to come back.) So, if you were here yesterday, you know that all this week I have the privilege of interviewing open adoption expert, Lori Holden. Her Adoption/Loss/Infertility Blog: http://lavenderluz.com. Her Book: The Open-Lori Holden's bookcover - open adoptionHearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole.

And if you weren’t here yesterday, why the hell not? Well if you want to catch up and/or get on my good side again, here’s the link: http://laughingisconceivable.com/?p=5915

ed89166a2f439c05d52ea39738b4f7f5LSF: So yesterday Lori, we were just starting to discuss what really makes an open adoption open. I think people who are new to the whole idea will find comfort in knowing that there are a million options between: “Here’s the baby. Now go away.” and “So tomorrow we can all have lunch at my house and dinner at yours and then the next day we’ll switch.” Could you elaborate on various degrees of openness you’ve seen work?

Lori Holden aka Lori Lavender LuzLH: Some do see contact as a spectrum. But I encourage people to think of contact and openness as being two different measures. Contact may or not be possible, due to birth parent availability (they may live elsewhere) and willingness (some birth parents choose not to remain in contact). And don’t forget in some international and foster adoptions, contact may not be possible or wise.

But openness, the second measure, is about how willing and able you are over the years to deal with What Is, with What Actually Happened, with What Comes Up.

  • Have you healed your own infertility wounds? Or might you get triggered the first time your daughter says, “You’re not my real mom!” to you?
  • If your son asks for information on his birth parents, are you open to telling him?
  • Does your teen feel as if he can come to you with anything identity-related? Or might he think that to wonder aloud about his birth parents might come across as disloyal to you?

These are all bits of openness, of dealing with adoption-related things that come up over time. Openness is about so much more than just contact. I prefer thinking of open adoption as a grid rather than as a spectrum. No matter what degree of contact you have, or which set of parents is hosting lunch, parents should build trust continually with their child by remaining truthful and open.

LSF: Have you ever seen jealousies arise? It’s wonderful to have all of this communal love and sharing and communication between the adoptive mother and the birth parents but what happens if the birth mother learns to love the child so much through this open adoption process, she totally regrets putting them up for adoption?

LH: Oh, yeah. In the early years of an adoption, especially. I have heard many tales from birth moms that it’s so difficult to hear their child call another woman “Mama.”

LSF: It’s difficult for me to hear anyone say “Mama”. I’m from the North. We’re strictly “Mom” and “Mommy” people.

LH: Okay anyway…. Likewise, it’s common to hear from adoptive moms that it can be downright painful to see the resemblances between their child and her birth parents, knowing it’s a connection you don’t have. Cultivating such emotionally-charged relationships takes a lot of self-awareness, excellent communication skills, and the setting of healthy boundaries.

LSF: And that’s something I definitely want to talk about: This birth mother person… Well, this seems like as a good place as any to bring this interview to a screeching halt. Please join us tomorrow for Part 3 of our interview… All except you over there who I told not to come back. I’m warning you. I find the prospect of making a scene… intriguing.

Lori Holden will present a free webinar for the Snowflake Embryo Adoption Awareness Program in March, and a workshop at the American Adoption Congress annual conference in Denver in April. Find her regularly at LavenderLuz.com. Lori does yoga and drinks red wine in Denver while raising her two now-teens with her husband.

Open Adoption Expert Lori Holden Talks to me of all people: Part 1

ed89166a2f439c05d52ea39738b4f7f5All this week I’m featuring an interview that I know you’ll like. Please join us. It’s all great info about open adoption by someone who’s living it. But there will still be some nuttiness. I mean, you know… I’m still me.  Lori Holden aka Lori Lavender Luz

I have here today with me Lori Holden–That’s her in that picture right there. I’m the one above who looks like she’s up to something. (And no, I didn’t pick her just because her name is also Lori and she spells it right, although I am that shallow.)

Lori is a nationally recognized expert on open adoption, an ALI blogger (Adoption/Loss/Infertility),  and the author of The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole.Lori Holden's bookcover - open adoption

I’ll admit I hesitated having her on my blog because her book has five stars on Amazon which is half a star more than mine. Although I, myself, was already hooked by her fab title. If I’d come up with that title, I would have been like: “Wow, I think I just earned me an extended ice cream break. I’ll write the rest of the book later.” Anyway…

LSF: Lori, thanks for being here. It’s a really nice change for this blog to give people some useful information. Before you and I started talking about doing this interview, I didn’t know a thing about open adoptions. I mean I was pretty sure it wasn’t like an open marriage where you leave the front door open and see what walks through it with tight clothes and a bottle of wine.  Please enlighten those of us who know so little.

LH: Thanks for having me, Lori-spelled-correctly. Well, I guess open adoption IS a little like open marriage, now that you mention it, in the sense that “it’s OK to have more than one.” Except with adoption, “more than one” refers to sets of parents. Openness means not just contact [between the birth mother and the adoptive parents] , but also the way in which the grownups in the adoption constellation comport themselves. We are open to co-creating a relationship together. We are open to being clear and honest with ourselves so that we can be clear and honest with others in our adoption relationships. We are open to having tough conversations as our child grows and develops cognitively. We are open and vulnerable and authentic, for it is from this openness that we can best give our child the space to wonder, to develop, and to integrate his identity that come from all of his parts.

LSF: It sounds so logical when you say it. Everybody involved should obviously want what’s best for the child but when did this all happen? Years ago, who ever heard of open adoption? The typical scenario was: Parents struggled with how and when to tell their child that they were adopted and many kids felt disconnected, sometimes even tortured, for decades fantasizing about and trying to piece together the “life they’d left behind.” (Not to mention the other family’s medical history) How, when, and why did open adoption come about?

LH: The similarities are mounting! Again, this IS a little like “open marriage” in that people think it’s a new thing, but really, there were dudes in the Bible having tons of wives and concubines waaaay back when.

LSF: Hey wait… Are you making jokes? This woman’s trying to take my gig…

LH: Anyway… People are often surprised to find out that adoptions have historically been open. It wasn’t until after WWII that we decided that the shame of being “illegitimate” needed to be hidden. We began to act as if the child were born to the adopting parents, as if there were a biological connection, as if a secret birth had never happened. To cover all this up, we even had state-sanctioned lies on vital records, a practice that still goes on in many states today.

LSF: Wow. I didn’t know that and yet I can almost guarantee that the state I live in is one of them… You do discuss in the book that there are all levels of openness in open adoption… And I’d love to discuss it… but this is my bus stop. So if everybody (Wait! I’m getting off!) would please join us here the same time tomorrow… (Will you people let me through? I said I’m getting off!!)

#MicroblogMondays ‘Goings-On Around Here’

So you know when you have one of those weeks when you’re just minding your own business, trying to peddle your little, fun infertility book to people and then the next thing you know you’re doing an interview with a renowned expert on open adoption and you don’t even know what open adoption is or does and then she sets you straight that it’s not the least bit like open marriage like you thought and then this infertility support group on Facebook that you just joined like a week ago asks you if you could run a book club for them and then suddenly you’re in charge of it and you’re inviting every Facebook support group even remotely related to infertility or adoption or surrogacy or open adoption (which apparently is totally not the same thing as open marriage) to be a part of this gigantic book club so that these people can get to know about a lot of really good books on the subject and the authors who write good books can sell a lot of them and the whole Facebook infertility support community can come together to have fun and talk about infertility without having to post just about their infertility unless they want to? Well, I just had one of those weeks.

(Our friend Lori Holden, the Open Adoption expert in question, whom I met via Mel’s great Stirrup-Queens Micro Blog Mondays page has been kind enough to do a whole interview series this week with me. Please come take a look at today’s post: “Lori Holden Talks Open Adoption with me of all people- Part 1” http://laughingisconceivable.com

Also: If anyone is a member or administrator of an infertility support group on FB or elsewhere (virtual or actual) and would be interested in joining the book club please let me know. It’s simple and very low maintenance, I assure you. If you’re an author with a book that you’d like us to consider, also, please let me know.

Message me on FB or email: lshandle@aol.com or lshandlefox@gmail.com

#microblogmondays – “It was a Dark & Eery Night…”

So the other night our lights went out. My husband ran to the front door to see if there was a storm coming or if there were other lights on in the neighborhood. I ran in the opposite direction to the calendar magnet on the refrigerator, mumbling all the way: “It’s not the seventeenth yet is it? It better not be. I only have until the seventeenth.” My husband-turned-meteorologist, using his high-tech meteorological system (squinting up into the sky and down the block) confirmed that there was no apparent storm coming and that the neighborhood was indeed… to use his technical term… dark.  I’m probably the only one in the development to breathe a deep sigh of relief. It wasn’t a non-payment issue. This outage was legit. The problem apparently was… and I’m relying solely on good old-fashioned rumor and innuendo because nobody ever tells you anything… ice on the power lines. There was snow a few days before so then it froze and the weight of the ice brought down the power lines… or… some schmuck got up on a ladder drunk and instead of cutting a branch in his front lawn, he cut off the heat for twenty thousand people… either way. Where we used to live, all the power lines were underground so we never had this debacle but here they’re above ground so we always have this debacle. My theory is: The power lines have been here since the ancient Greeks ruled North Carolina and needed to light up the coliseum for the Rolling Stones concerts. From then on, the power lines have held landmark status and it is forbidden by law for them to be removed or altered in any way.

You’d think going to sleep would be the easiest thing in these situations because it’s so dark. For me, it’s the worst part. I always lie there and think about Rhoda who was in this situation on an episode of the Mary Tyler Moore Show. She told Mary: “I was lying there in bed and I was all nice and warm and then I remembered that that’s exactly how you feel right before you freeze to death.” Continue reading #microblogmondays – “It was a Dark & Eery Night…”

#MicroblogMondays “Oh Why Do I Even Bother?”

You probably know there was a snowstorm the other day. It wasn’t here but it may as well have been. My sister, my older sister, called me with that frantic, frenetic tone in her voice that I know oh so well. It’s the voice she’s used for the last forty years to convey: “I’m really concerned for you whether you want me to be or not.”

“I heard the weather’s really bad there.” She said.

“Just a dusting of snow. Maybe a little freezing rain.”

She said: “No I’m not kidding. It’s all over the news. It’s really bad there.”

I said: “No I’m not kidding. It may be all over the news but it’s not all over my driveway or my car or my lawn or my neighbor’s lawn. There’s nothing here.”

“Will you just look at the news?!”

“Why do I have to look at the news? I’m looking out my window.”

“Your governor’s just declared a state of emergency.”

I didn’t vote for him. The day he took office this place became a State of emergency.”

“They showed over-turned tractor trailers and power lines down all over the place. The news guy is thigh deep in a snow drift.”

“The cute guy from channel 2? Does he look like he’s stuck there? What are the cross streets? I just have to grab my coat and my lipstick!”

“Listen to me!! Have you gone shopping? Are you prepared?”

“Yeah, I went shopping yesterday. I got yogurt, raisins, and coconut water… I’m prepared to lose 8 pounds… even if it kills me.”

Did it Snow? Did it Snow? Did it Snow?

This is a re-post from last year because… well… here we go again.

“You can never be too careful.” I think that’s the state motto here.  If you live anywhere in the U.S. you’re undoubtedly aware of the blizzards that have been wreaking havoc over much of the Country the past several weeks. Even if you’re not in the U.S., it’s been pretty big news. I realized this week that “wreaking havoc” is a subjective term. To me, having lived my whole life until 8 years ago in the Northeast, “wreaking havoc” is what’s happened in Massachusetts: Snow drifts up to the second floor windows, roofs caving under the weight of the snow. Now, let me introduce to you to the North Carolina “blizzard” I’m experiencing now. (Oh, did I type “blizzard” in quotation marks? I wonder how that happened.)

Here they have psychological blizzards.  Instead of mounds and mounds of snow piling up, they have mounds and mounds of paranoia piling up. They don’t deal in inches here. They deal in hallucinations.

Monday, the local news started talking about the big storm that was coming. It was due at 4:30 pm. Everybody synchronize your watches. We all remembered last year when there was little warning and there was a storm and we all got screwed. I for one was stuck on the side of the highway for four hours. I read magazines, vented to my husband via cellphone and drank lots of water to keep hydrated, followed by– Let’s just say there’s one water bottle I’ll probably never drink from again.

So when these weather alerts happen here, we never know whether or not to take them seriously. So this past Monday, early afternoon, the masses flocked out of work. Schools let out early. The roads were packed with residents trying to get home ahead of the storm. Everybody stopped just long enough to get gas, batteries, water, milk, eggs, bread, propane, logs, and a back-up generator… every must-buy for your average two month hibernation… Meanwhile, we were in line at the supermarket buying yogurt, raisins, and salad dressing. I said to my husband: “Oh yeah. We’re prepared.”

And the reports were pretty accurate about the time of the storm. A freezing rain started promptly at 4:36 pm… And ended promptly at 4:45 pm. To which my husband proclaimed, looking out the window:

“The Nor’easter of 2015 has finally passed.”

But the paranoia had just begun.

On Tuesday, the entire state of North Carolina turned their sign around to “closed”. The governor declared a state of emergency. TVs beeped warnings. Cell phones beeped warnings. Schools were shuttered for the rest of the week. Every report was the same:  “Too treacherous.” “Don’t go out unless absolutely necessary”.

They claimed that that itty bitty spit of sleet that had fallen on Monday had frozen on the pavement. For five days all we heard was: Black ice. Patches. Bridges. Turn into the skid. Wear layers. Check on pets and old people. Churches are closed. Schools are closed. Closed, closed, closed. McDonald’s was open but, be careful, the drive-thru is very slippery. Last night there was a nine car pile-up at the pick-up window.

Cars were going down embankments. Tractor trailers were turning over in drainage ditches. By Wednesday I couldn’t take it anymore. Against the better judgment of everyone on the local weather report, I threw on my cloak and ventured out into the icy wilderness of Arendelle. I fully expected it to be like that episode of Little House on the Prairie when they were trekking through a blizzard and you knew none of the non-regular characters had a snowball’s chance in hell of making it home.

I was the only car on the road: The dry, dusty, not-a-speck-of-wet-in-sight, couldn’t-be-any-drier road. I paused for a moment to let a tumbleweed roll by.

I made my way to a nail place that had the decency to be open. Two women were commiserating about the miseries of the current weather. Rear-wheel drive is not good in this weather. Trucks aren’t good in this weather. Weather? What weather? Where was there weather?

I’m not sure what it is. Either people here are watching too much Weather Channel or too many Disney movies.

#MicroblogMondays “I Am Woman… Hear Me Roar”

My sixth grade teacher was Ms. Martin. Not “Miss” Martin or “Mrs.” Martin. She happily corrected people frequently. I’ve never been too OCD about people referring to me as “chick” or “broad” or calling me “Sweetie”. But lately… Is it just me or is the world separating women from men more? Or maybe I’m watching too much TV. I was watching ABC news the other night. David Muir said: “Female jewel thief”… He couldn’t have just said: “jewel thief”? I think when we saw the video that followed, since the crook was wearing what looked more like a tank top than a hunting jacket, and she looked directly into the video surveillance cameras without her face or hair being covered, most people would have figured out she was a she.

It’s also always irked me that On Jeopardy! there’s that pesky: “Notable Women” category… Are we such a novelty? Like: “Notable Reptiles” I don’t remember ever seeing a “Notable Men” category. And then, to add insult to injury in the “Notable Women” category, the answers are always the same: “Who is… Florence Nightingale? Who is… Harriet Tubman? Who is…Amelia Earhart?” There are only five questions in the category. You can’t come up with five new ones every time you have the category? Like someone… anyone we didn’t read a biography and do a report on in third grade? I know some African American people who aren’t too happy with the “Notable Blacks or African American” categories. (What do you do with Condoleezza Rice? She works for two categories.)  I know I wouldn’t be happy with: “Famous Jews”. We’re not so few and far between. You could fill most of the category with just actors from The Big Bang Theory.