It’s good to be 67!…May 30, 2014

Off to NY! I’m so excited about this trip. The City, the cruise. We had to get up at 4:20 this morning but with the three hour difference on the east coast, it shouldn’t be much of a problem.

I always feel like I’m getting a hit of program when the flight attendant announces that passengers should put on their own oxygen masks before helping others. Indeed! It’s all about self-care and self-love. If I don’t take carte of myself first, how can I possible be of service to another? If I don’t love myself the best, how can I possibly love another?  It took years for me to distinguish what was self-care and want was just being selfish. Sometimes it’s a bit blurry in which case I’ll opt for selfish. I’d rather err on the side of me though I do try to be cognizant of others and to be compassionate in my interactions.

I hate errant hairs. I have three: two white ones on my neck and one black one on my chin. As soon as they stick up their hard ugly heads, I’m on ‘em like a bee to honey. When DID this nonsense start? I don’t remember having these annoying prickly things? Will there be more as I age? Do older women always get these but are among the things they don’t teach younger folks? Well, young women, I’m teaching you now. As you age, you’ll get stickly, prickly unwanted errant hairs. Get a good pair of scissors and a magnifying mirror because your aging eyesight teases you. You can FEEL the hairs but you just can’t see them! Then pluck those suckers. The real bummer is that they may stay away for a long time or come back immediately, usually exactly when you’re on an overseas flight or a camping trip and just can’t get to your tweezers, unless, of course, they’re on your trusty Swiss Army Knife! But I’m warning you…these things are vicious!

My meditation for today (from A Woman’s Spirit): My Higher Power and I can handle anything that comes along (even wild hairs!)

Today in LGBT history (from Quist): 2014 – Lesbian activist Storme DeLarverie who threw the first punch at Stonewall pass away at 93; 1987 – Barney Frank (D. Mass) is the first US Congressperson to come out.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

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Ronni

It’s good to be 67!…May 29, 2014

What a gift we had this morning! A mama deer gave birth to two babies in our next door neighbors’ yard! By the time we first saw them, both were born, one barely, and the mama was still dealing with her placenta.

I finished packing for the trip and took the box to UPS. The box goes back to Ventura, with extra clothes, shoes, and bicycle gear. It feels weird to be fully packing again but I probably won’t be back to WA until late July. It all depends…

We’re at the Ramada at SEA-TAC as I write. The car will live here until Kelly returns. Dooney is in doggy camp at Diamond in the Woof. He’s not amused. We will take the 5 am shuttle to SEA-TAC in the morning for our 7 am flight.

I’m SO looking forward to being in New York! I love the City! And it just hit me that the cruise ship will likely leave NY Harbor and sail past the Statue of Liberty as we head out to sea. It is probably the same sight my Dad saw as his ship left NY for Europe in WWII. And Ellis Island though I doubt my Dad realized how significant it was in his own mother’s life, and his father’s as well.

The LGBT in History today talks about David Bohnett to who I remain very grateful. Years ago, while still at UCLA, I knew David and his foundation was donating computers to LGBT community centers. I asked him if he’d donate to LGBT campus resource centers as well. He said yes and UCLA was the first university recipient of David’s incredible generosity.

My meditation for today (from A Woman’s Spirit): I learn and grow by sharing my experience, strength, and hope.

Today in LGBT history (from Quist):1989. leather pride flag debuted in Illinois. Designed by Tony DeBlase; 1999 David Bohnett co-founds GeoCities. He also launches PlanetOut and NetZero.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

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Ronni

It’s good to be 67!….May 28, 2014

Happy birthday to my youngest sister, Barbra (Bebe). She turned 60 today. She’s a beautiful woman and an amazing friend. Im so proud of her and her tremendous work with creating safe corporate and medical work environments. She’s brilliant!

I did it! I finished my Kentucky presentation! I think it’s really fine, and should be quite helpful to them. At least that’s my hope.

I packed today and did my nails as we prepare to leave tomorrow for New York and the Pride of the Ocean cruise. I’m excited to get to NY for several reasons: we have tickets to see Kinky Boots, and we’re having two brunches with former students and my dear Michigan friend Andrea Constancio.

As my meditation say, I’m ready today (and every day) for God’s guidance. Thank goodness I have few difficult moments but when I do, they are indeed, great lessons. Today I feel sadness at the loss of Maya Angelou and am grateful for all she gave to the world.

I went to an open AA meeting this evening. When they’re open, other 12-step folks who are not alcoholic may attend. I love hearing the stories of the alcohol in the room. They’re always poignant, funny, sad, painful, and full of survival and serenity. I love that they laugh at themselves even through the tremendous shit they experienced. We in CoDA certainly have our own painful histories that brought us to the rooms, but, at least for me, I’m grateful that my challenges weren’t complicated with drugs or alcohol.

My meditation for today (from A Woman’s Spirit): I am ready for God’s guidance today. The difficult moments may be my most important lessons.

Today in LGBT history (from Quist):1997. Ma Vie En Rose released, telling the story of a transgender child.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

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Ronni

It’s good to be 67!…May 27, 2014

My mediation talks about difficult moments. We all have them. I sure do. It’s what I choose to do about them that makes all the difference in the world for me today.

One difficult moment this morning was that I read that hate crimes against LGBTQ individuals aren’t seeing the same improvement as other hate crime data. According to the FBI’s Hate Crime Report, “anti-gay crimes increased in 2011 to 1,508, compared to 1,016 seen in 1996. This is particularly salient as general stats on hate crimes are actually improving, having gone down since 1996 by nearly 30 percent, or 2,537 incidents. This means that while other cases of violence are decreasing, extremist sentiment against gays are not seeing the same degree of improvement.” I wonder if this is because we’re in the news more now with marriage equality, more visible, which brings the true feelings of anti-gay people to the fore.

I also wonder – this may be a stretch but maybe not – if LGBT people who are deeply in the closet and hate themselves for who they are, are some of the perpetrators. Internalized homophobia, like internalize racism or any internally despised characteristic, causes one to act at against self by hurting others. This is truly a difficult thing for me, one that I personally experienced as a young person, acting out in horribly homophobic ways in college so that people wouldn’t think I was “one.” It’s dreadful, and it hurts everyone. If you’re reading this and you’re feeling some internalized pain around your sexual orientation or gender identity, email me now!!!

Today was otherwise a fun day. When we took Kelly’s car in for its maintenance, we looked at trucks. Kelly may want one for up here in Sequim, and I’ve been thinking about one for my next vehicle. Not a giant thing, just a little butch number into which I can toss my kayak and my bikes and my golf clubs. The Chevy Silverado 1500 looks fun but I think I’ll wait a year or two for something more hybrid-y.

I began an outstanding four-month teleseminar course on creating my online writing program. Today was session 1. I love the way it’s structured, laid out on the phone and NOT a computer, and the people in this class are folks I’d like to get to know. The facilitator, Meggin Macintosh, is brilliant, funny, and a dynamic instructor.

Near the end of the call, an eagle landed on the snag in the back yard. Three blackbirds kept dive-bombing her but she sat nearly perfectly still except when she had to deflect their beaks. When she finally flew, I saw that she had a big hunk of food in her talons which must have been what the blackbirds wanted. The wildlife show up here is unparalleled!

I got my hair cut last evening in preparation for the trip, then came home to another glorious Maxfield Parrish sunset.

My meditation for today (from A Woman’s Spirit): I am ready for God’s guidance today. The difficult moments may be my most important lessons.

Today in LGBT history (from Quist):1919 – In Berlin, Germany, Doctor Magnus Hirschfeld co-founds the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft (Institute for Sex Research), a pioneering private research institute and counseling office. Its library of thousands of books was destroyed by Nazis in May 1933.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

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Ronni

It’s good to be 67!…May 26, 2014

Normal Heart. What a brilliant story of the early AIDS crisis, written by Larry Kramer. It brought back the feelings, the sadness, the pain, the anger of those early years when gay men – my fiend – died every day, when we had to take food trays into the hospital rooms for our guys because the hospital workers wouldn’t enter. The trays sat on the floor at the door of the rooms, rooms which were filthy, and the clothing and bedding rarely changed. We, the community of HIV-fighters, the people in the Jacksonville AIDS office – David Jones, Ken Hunt,  Bonnie Lott, Donna Zimmerman, David Andress, and myself, along with the community folks like Frieda Saraga and her team, and so many more whose names I no longer remember – did all that, every day, with no time to mourn the losses because they were constant and many. Normal Heart was well done. I hope our young LGBT people see it and understand the past. If they don’t get it, the past will happen again. And the current rise in numbers of HIV and STIs is proof. My heart breaks for our newly infected young though their lifespans will be much longer than the 12 to 18 months the men has three decades ago.

Today is Memorial Day. As I memorialize the young men who died in the AIDS holocaust, I so too remember those who gave their service and their lives for the US. My father was  very proud soldier in the 42nd Rainbow Division and lived many years to share his stories. My dear friend Helen served in the Army in the 60s and 70s. My cousin Jeff and many high school friends never made it home from VietNam. And many LGBT soldiers who served and still serve in the Middle East remain on my list of heroes to be honored and remembered today. Thank you, all of you, for your service…

Kelly and I went to a pot luck at the lesbian community of Discovery Bay Resort (DBR) where Kelly has a cabin. It was fun to see all the women again. This is my third memorial Day potluck spent at DBR. Sweet…

We took a walk after we got back to the house. We went up to the street where we can get a good look at the eagle’s nest. There were two babies in the nest, though the babies looked rather large. It’s always such a thrill to see these beautiful birds fly by the house or land on the snag in the back yard.

A good day indeed…

My meditation for today (from A Woman’s Spirit): I can accept anything that happens and cultivate a peaceful attitude.

Today in LGBT history (from Quist): 1988. Start of first national HIV education campaign in the US. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop oversees mailing of a booklet titled “Understanding AIDS” to all American households: 2009 – The California Supreme Court upholds Prop 8 but legally recognizes 18,000 same-sex marriages that took place before its enactment.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

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Ronni

It’s good to be 67!…May 25, 2014

What a sweet day! We had 10 women to the house for dinner today. Great conversation about politics, places, and our histories, delicious food, and warm hugs. The time went way too fast. I love this kind of socializing and look forward to doing it again sometime soon, whether with this specific group or others. I miss the interaction and the energy that women bring when we come together in community. It’s belonging, and friendship.

There is an ongoing study at the University of California Irvine in which many people over the age of 90 are being watched to see why and how they’re aging. There were four common elements to each one: they all have gained some weight, drink at least one glass of any kind of alcohol a day, exercise often, and enjoy a social life in community with others. This describes my mother perfectly! At 88, she does all of these but drink.

I’m tired from the day and my charm level has seriously waned. I need to get ready for bed so I can watch Normal Heart.

My meditation for today (from A Woman’s Spirit): Today I live one experience at a time.

Today in LGBT history (from Quist):1895. Oscar Wilde convicted of “gross indecency” (homosexual acts not amounting to buggery) and sentenced to two years’ hard labor in prison.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

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Ronni

It’s good to be 67!…May 24, 2014

Finally…a day where we didn’t go anywhere. We cleaned the house and prepared most of the food for tomorrow’s dinner party that we’re hosting. And I worked on my Kentucky presentation. I think I’m approaching the end and I feel very good about the direction it’s taking.

It was such a beautiful day, easy and sweet. It was overcast today but the gray seems to be less gray and more of a blue-ish. At the end of the day we took a nice walk through the ‘hood, along the beach and around the lagoon, a good couple of miles with some steep hills. Dooney, of course, rides in the pouch. Sometimes I feel like a mama kangaroo but I actually like it.

We leave for NY on Thursday… I’m very excited about the trip, about seeing former students, and especially about the Pride of the Ocean cruise and the world premier of our film.

I’m looking forward to our dinner party tomorrow. Kelly’s strata and her blueberry cobbler are the best! My salad is just a thing to add color.

I appreciate today’s meditation. There were so many years when I didn’t know what I wanted, didn’t know my own feelings about much of anything. I even went into therapy once because I felt like I had forgotten how to have fun. Today, I know what I like, what I want, what makes me laugh, and what makes me cry. And if there’s something I don’t know, either I don’t need to know it in the moment and I’m okay with that, or I get quiet and look inward to see if a needed answer appears. It usually does…

My meditation for today (from A Woman’s Spirit): I didn’t know where to look for help when I needed it. Today I look to my Higher Power and to people I trust. I may not know exactly what I want, but I have the trust that my Higher Power will lead me there…if I get out of my own way!

Today in LGBT history (from Quist):1976. Tales of the city by Armistead Maupin first appears in the San Francisco Chronicle. The stories become the play and the book; 1993. Open lesbian Roberta Achtenberg becomes Assistant Secretary of HUD, the first lesbian person to be appointed to a federal office.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

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Ronni

It’s good to be 67!…May 23, 2014

I have spent the entire day on this Kentucky talk! I’m not usually this anal retentive about it but for some unknown reason, I am buried in it. I guess it’s because it’s, well, Kentucky, fercryinoutloud! The battleground. The South. The LGBT frontier! It feels even more important than usual (and every speaking engagement is important for me) that my words are helpful to someone and some institution that’s struggling to create change.

It finally rained up here which killed our women’s bike ride today, but as it turned out, I had more time to work on the Kentucky project.

We went to the gym around 5 PM…very unusual because both Kelly and I are morning gym people, but we both felt the need to have physical activity today. Tomorrow we clean house as we prepare for a dinner party on Sunday. Kelly’s going to make her famous egg strata as well as blueberry cobbler. I’ll make a fun salad and otherwise keep out of her way.

My meditation for today (from A Woman’s Spirit): I have the kind of day I want today. My relationships give to me what I give to them in thought and deed.

Today in LGBT history (from Quist):2013 – the Boy Scouts of America’s national council adopted the policy accepting openly gay Scouts but retaining a ban on gay adult Scout leaders.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

 

It’s good to be 67!…May 22, 2014

FRAMELINE! The prestigious LGBT film festival in San Francisco! And we’re in it! Letter to Anita screens on Sunday, June 22, 2014, at 11 am at the Roxy Theater! This film has so much: LGBT history, Florida LGBT history, Higher Ed LGBT history. It memorializes a time in our history that impacted not only individuals like me but ignited the LGBT movement in such a dramatic and powerful way. The short version is that I lost custody of my children in 1979 when I came out as a lesbian. My anger fueled the ways in which I moved through the world until years later when I realized that my anger was keeping at least one foot in the past. If I wanted to move forward into my future, I needed to release the resentments onto which I hung so tightly for so long. This film is about the LGBT movement as about resilience and about love. I hope it’ll screen in many festivals to come and on many college campuses before this portion of our history is lost. Filmmaker Andrea Meyerson’s vision was brilliant, Adriana Torres’ filming was excellent, Meredith Baxter was deeply touching as narrator, and my son Erik was incredibly poignant as he shared some of his story. And…Anita Bryant’s son Robert gives an interesting portrayal of what life was like with her as his mother.

We went into Seattle today to do some business then went shopping at Nordstroms. Erik got me a pair of Tom’s shoes for Mothers Day but I needed to exchange them. He thought my feet were small but these 9.5s are not. But the gift was sweet and I now have a pair of Toms. I’m cool!

Gorgeous day today as it usually is in the Pacific Northwest.

My meditation for today (from A Woman’s Spirit): My spiritual growth gets a boost today when I get my ego out of the way and help someone else feel better. I enhance my spiritual growth by treating others as I want my Higher Power to treat me.

Today in LGBT history (from Quist):1929 – lesbian Katharine Lee Bates, author of America the Beautiful, dies.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

It’s good to be 67!…May 21, 2014

Still knee-deep in the Kentucky power point slides. I keep adding info and interesting slides. Soon I’ll need to do the painful process of eliminating the useless stuff.

I had a webinar today on creating a media package. It was actually quite helpful with good tips on creating an effective media package. I need this for my book as well as for my writing online webinar work which will launch in the Fall.

I went to what’s called the Lavender Hill AA meeting in Port Townsend this evening. It’s an LGBT meeting and they let other 12-steppers like me attend. There isn’t a CoDA meeting up here so I grab recovery wherever I can find it. The women’s alanon meeting is on Thursday afternoons but I will have missed every Thursday to a trip to Seattle until I leave next week.

The weather has turned chilly…53 right now, but I love the cool air up here. Mostly, I love inhaling the woods’ fragrances. I’m a beach/Florida woman, no doubt about that, but there’s something almost spiritual in the Olympic Peninsula and I feel so healthy and happy on so many deeply personal levels here.

My meditation for today (from A Woman’s Spirit): My sense of balance depends on my sense of humor. I chuckle many times today and go to bed a happier person.

Today in LGBT history (from Quist):1979. After using the “Twinkie defense,” Dan White is acquitted of the first degree murder of Harvey Milk but is found guilty of voluntary manslaughter of both Harvey and San Francisco mayor Moscone. He is sentence to serve nearly 8 years. Over 3000 people rioted in what became known as the White Night Riots in protest; 2013. Cason Crane becomes the first openly gay man to summit Mt. Everest in an effort to raise awareness for the Trevor Project.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni