Friday, November 28, 2008

If You Have An Extra Prayer

This morning, as I watched the news detailing the events of Mumbai, I saw a photo of the woman that I'd eaten dinner next to during the Cucina Schoolhouse Pasta Class. Then a video of her husband, Santos, the one that had helped me kneading the pasta dough, going to the airport to be with his injured wife.

I can't imagine his grief.

I'm sure the love that they have for each other will get them through this. But until she is in his arms, he will worry. It was obvious that he loved her with all of his being.

If you have an extra prayer, or positive thought, please send one up for them.

2 Nashvillians Hurt In Mumbai Attacks

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I won!!!! Scarlet over at As Good As It Gets is playing the Pay It Forward Game and I WON!!! Can you tell that I'm excited? You know what that means? I'll be paying it forward very soon! I'll be sure to show you what she packs up. Go say hi to her and see her pretty face because she vlogged! I love it when ya'll vlog. Love it.

Here's hoping everyone has a day filled with family, friends and blessings!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Having A Cooter Is Great....

Last night, I had the *strangest* dream. I was standing in front of the bathroom mirror with my right leg up on the counter...and I had BALLS! They just dangled back there. The odd thing is that I wasn't shocked by them. I just thought they were a tad long. Always the critic about my own body.

That dream started me thinking....I'm so glad I finally grew some balls. In the past, I've let people run over me in an effort to be "nice." Now, I quit talking to the assholes that try to run over me. If you screw me over or use me, I refuse hang out with you. If you pull the mean girl crap, I'll cut you loose.

I don't stress about culling the asshats out of my life. I did at first. But now, I'm glad they're gone.

I'm glad I have a cooter, but honestly, I'm so glad I finally have some balls!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'd Like An Extra Set Myself

What's on YOUR Christmas list?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I Rescued A Human Today

Trace relaxing on the bow of the boat last Summer.

Many of you know that I have two fur-babies, Isaac and Trace. I cannot tell you the immeasurable joy that they bring me. They make me smile and laugh every day. If you need a little love in your life, visit your local shelter. Perhaps, you need rescuing?

by Janine Allen

Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her.

I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn't be afraid. As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn't want her to know that I hadn't been walked today. Sometimes the shelter keepers get too busy and I didn't want her to think poorly of them.

As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn't feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someones life.

She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her.
Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate
for companionship. A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well.

Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms. I would promise to keep her safe. I would promise to always be by her side. I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes.

I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor.
So many more are out there who haven't walked the corridors. So many more to be saved. At least I could save one.

I rescued a human today.

Trace and Isaac kissing. AGAIN.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

You've Been Had

Talking about one of her exes, my girl says, "Why is it that you always think that he wants to sleep with me?"

"Because that's the way men are."

Or at least that's what I've been told by my men friends. After one of my relationships (how's that for vague? I've had 7 long term ones), my ex was loitering about ALL the damn time. I couldn't seem to get rid of her. When I brought it up to the guys at the gym, they said that she's just like a guy.

"What does that mean?" Honestly, it's been a long time since I've had any guy experience. Twenty seven years to be exact.

They explained:
Once a guy has well, "had" you, they think they can always have you. It's like you've been marked by them. They figure since they've done it once, they can find their way back in. By hanging around. By just being at the right place at the right time. By being convenient.

Trust me, I know women can be this way, too.

And so, I'm wondering what you think?

Guys, is it true?

Girls, what's your experience?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Don't Own A Good Knife, Do You?

When Joy Ramirez of Joy of Cooking and Claudia Young from cook, eat, FRET sent me an email detailing their first Cucina Cooking Schoolhouse, I immediately signed up. Dinner with a fabulous menu and wine for $60? Plus, I'll learn how to make homemade pasta with decadent sauces? It was a no brainer.

The last email detailed the address and said to bring your favorite knife and your apron.

Uh oh.

I don't own an apron. And my knives. I am so ashamed of my knives. I don't even know if I can say it...

They're those (hangs head) orange handled Rachel Ray ones. Those are my "good knives."

I headed out into the rainy dark night to Brentwood, clear on the other side of town, without an apron or a knife. How deep is my knife shame?

Pretending to be knifeless and apronless, I borrowed what I needed and decked myself out in a little, red candy stripe apron. I am ready to get Italian.

We learned about Italian OO flour, how to make a well, how to mix (Claudia's a two finger girl, while Joy uses a fork), and how (LONG) to knead. I triple suck at kneading. It's damn hard. Friends (aka suckers!) will be invited over to help with kneading, when I make my first batch. Ten minutes of hard, arm cardio is what kneading is. And frankly, I can't hang.

After about an hour of pasta making, Claudia returns from outside with freshly grilled bruschetta. We pour olive oil on and devour!

We start rolling the dough through the machines making long, flat pallettes that will either become the tortellini or the fettucine. The tortellini are stuffed with a sweet potato mix that would rock your world. Full of fresh parmesean, prosciutto and grated nutmeg. We stuff and fold our squares, hold between fingers and flip the pointy edge down, making pretty, little tortellini. The huge garlic cloves are sauteed in olive oil until sweet. The kitchen aroma is intoxicating!

At the end of the evening, we have made...

Sweet Potato Stuffed Tortellini with Butter and Sage
Bucatini all'Amatriciana
Fettuccine with Oyster Mushrooms, Sweet Garlic and Arugula

We al sit around a huge table full of pastas and interesting characters. Chris cures his own meats and has a phenomenal knife collection (he let me hold them sensing the fact that I was knife stupid), the Italian Stallion that is a master at kneading, his wife, the beautiful Shaman that is on her way to India. Everyone was so interesting and social. It was like hanging out and cooking with old friends. What a lovely evening!

Next month, they are hosting a Cookie Class complete with biscotti. I don't know if I can convince my girl that I need to learn how to bake cookies, but you can bet I'm going to try!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Brunch, Bloody Marys and Football

Above, you'll see the pile of wood that is severely diminished after yesterday's brunch. Last week, I decided to invite some friends over for Brunch, Bloody Marys and Titans Football. It always starts out as just a few people and ends up a crowd because I forget to count us. I'm simple that way.

Yesterday, I hosted a sit-down brunch for nine of my favorite women.

The menu:
Spinach & Shallot Quiche with Tarragon and Thyme
Smoked Ham and Broccoli Quiche
Eggs Benedict with Homemade Hollandaise Sauce (aka What The Hell Was I Thinking)
Double Blueberry Mini Muffins with Tangerine Glaze
Cinnamon Flop (my love made this with her great grandmother's recipe)
Thick Smoked Bacon
Herb Roasted Red Potatoes
Fruit Salad

I was up at 5:30am cooking and made everything, except for the blueberry muffins. A girl's gotta get some help when she can. I used the box, but I did make the Tangerine Glaze.

Since we were all in such a deep food coma, we totally forgot to take any pictures. Just imagine a bunch of stuffed lesbians sitting around in front of a roaring fire watching the Titans game.

We ended the day with Hot Oatmeal Craisin Cookies for dinner, because my best friend had a craving. I love my friends and I love feeding them. And yesterday, I loved football for a little while, too! How could I not? We're 10-0!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Guest Post: Needle In The Haystack,

Just in case you need to catch up:
Needle In The Haystack, Chapter 1
Needle In The Haystack, Chapter 2
Needle In The Haystack, Chapter 3
Needle In The Haystack, Chapter 4
Needle In The Haystack, Chapter 5
Needle In The Haystack, Chapter 6
Needle In The Haystack, Chapter 7

It has now been two days since she sent that email. I am contemplating my response – should it be tender and understanding, or should I share with her how I see the replay of this childhood memory playing out as an adult? We will be meeting, for the first time in three days, and already I know that I want to kiss her.

The day before the "date" I start to doubt myself. Was this a smart thing to do? Was I taking enough safety precautions? Was Emma really who I thought she was or was I jeopardizing my own family's safety out of selfishness? Hell, for all I knew she wouldn't even show! I decide to send one last email.

Good Morning Emma!

I apologize for my "invisibility" this week - it's been another hectic one with work and family obligations - but I thought I should probably fire off a quick email to confirm lunch tomorrow.

I'm been thinking that noon might actually work a bit better for me. If that still works for you, let's plan on meeting at noon tomorrow in the Nordstrom's shoe department at Franklin Mills, near the women's athletic shoe section.

I do appreciate you sharing your "sleepover" story with me. Funny how something so innocent, so early in our lives, can make such a vivid and lasting impact on us, isn't it?

Again, let me say that I am truly looking forward to tomorrow. At the very least, I feel confident that we will share great conversation, and that is always a wonderful place to start in any new friendship!


Her response was immediate and to the point.

That will be perfect, LouAnne. See you then!


I went to bed Friday night, my mind heavy in anticipation. I had far more questions than answers though, which was becoming quite common in the quest. Sleep was fleeting – dreams were vivid – and I finally allowed myself to get out of bed at 7:00.

My Saturday routine was nothing out of the ordinary. Up relatively early. Coffee and computer time. Long, hot bubble bath. I knew I'd need to leave the house around 10:30 to insure a noon arrival time. The story was in place (I was meeting a co-worker for lunch at this great seafood restaurant she told me about), my home responsibilities were taken care of and it was time to leave.

As I headed out, I really started questioning what I was doing and why I was doing it. Questions surrounding the impact on my family, should they find out, were the most troubling. The trip seemed to take no time at all and I found myself sitting in the parking lot a full 30 minutes early.

I didn't want to appear too anxious, so decided to sit in my car for a bit. I checked my email from my cell phone, looked at my teeth 17.2 times to insure there wasn't any food stuck between them, and headed into Nordstrom's at about 11:50.

I found my way to the shoe department and realized I had only seen a partial view of Emma's face. The photo she sent early on had a large, black rectangle covering the majority of her face. I sent a full body/head shot to her, so I was hoping she would recognize me. As I wandered aimlessly through the shoe department, looking for someone that might be her, I realized I might well have been stood up.

I caught a glimpse of a women who I thought might be her, but she was clearly shoe shopping, calling over a sales person to help her with sizing, at precisely our scheduled meeting time. I knew I would never make a relative stranger wait on me, so assumed that wasn't her. I was wrong – it was her – and it wouldn't be the last time she surprised me.

About 10 minutes after I first saw Emma (not knowing it was her) and about the time I was ready to head out the door and back to my car in embarrassment, Emma walked up to me and asked, "LouAnne?" My first impression was a good one. She was tall, fit and wore glasses. She had that geeky sexy look about her. We exchanged some small talk and headed towards the exit to the mall.

We found a nice, quiet Italian restaurant for lunch and were seated quite quickly. There was a bit of uneasiness in the conversation, not due to anything specific, but more likely because we both knew we were contemplating something a bit naughty – a bit taboo.

We ordered. Emma chose the crab cake appetizer and I ordered the lemon herbed salmon. We both ordered a glass of good Merlot. As we waited on our lunch, the real conversation began.

Emma had all sorts of questions for me. At times it felt more like a job interview than lunch with a prospective intimate friend. Why was I looking for female contact? What was lacking in my marriage that I felt the need to explore other opportunities? And my favorite, after she grilled me on my past female relationships, was I sure I wasn't a lesbian? Well, no – I'm not – that would be why I am exploring relationships with women!

Emma also shared with me her history in finding a suitable female play toy (it was becoming clear that Emma and I were looking for very different things). She told me stories of the many exchanges she had since placing her first ad six months prior. Some of her stories were comical – like the man who pretended to be a woman up and until they met in a hotel lobby – but most were clearly shared so that I would know how desirable she was.

As we ate our meals, and finished up our wine, Emma asked if it would bother me if she were to see many women and meet up with me when she was in town. My response was wishy-washy – no, I don't think that would be a problem, but would she be bothered knowing she was the only woman I was seeing? She claimed that wasn't a problem.

The waitress brought our bill and Emma, in quite a business-like manner said, "Shall we get out our credit cards and pay the bill?" Honestly, I was offended. Did she really think I would expect her to pay for my lunch? Did she believe I didn't know any better or that it was time to pay? As the waitress picked up the bill and our credit cards, Emma has one last question for me – did I have any more questions for her? Yes, it felt very much like a job interview.

We headed back to Nordstrom's after lunch. As I neared the door to the parking garage, Emma mentioned she was headed out to do a bit more shopping. I told her I needed to head back home – that my alibi was only for a few hours. We hugged, said goodbye and went our separate ways.
As I got into my car, I knew there was no chance of this being the intimate friendship I had wanted to find. The person I spent my lunch with was nothing more than my husband in a female body. Emma wanted no emotional ties to any woman. That crossed her personal boundaries as to what constituted an affair in her marriage. I wanted an emotional connection with a woman far more than a physical connection. We were looking for very different relationships.

Emma sent an email the following day.

Hi, LouAnne -- Just a quick note to say it was a pleasure meeting you yesterday. I admire the choices you've made in your life -- the decision to have your son, to go back to school, to take a local job so you can be there for the kids ... I think you deserve to find the special friendship you're looking for. It's probably not me, given the distance factor, but I'm certainly game to take the next step during the holiday season if you haven't found someone who feels more right for you by then.

In the meantime, wanted to forward the e-mail address of the woman I mentioned during lunch. You'll find her address, along with our conversations, below. As you'll see, she makes a very nice first impression. I am going to send her a note right now, telling her that it's possible she'll hear from you. Of course, there's no need to follow through on this if you'd rather not.
Again, I enjoyed our visit.

Hope you have a wonderful week, Emma

Did she really think distance was the only deterrent to our developing a "special friendship" or was she just giving me the opportunity to bow out gracefully? Did she find it appropriate to attempt to "pawn" me off on another woman that she didn't want? It really didn't matter. It was clear I was not going to get from her what I really wanted. I sent a response.

Hi Emma!

I too, enjoyed lunch. As predicted, the conversation was great!

I do think we are looking for different types of relationships - specifically I know that the emotional connection is quite important to me, and somewhat secondary to you. I respect that you are clear in what you are looking for and were honest with me regarding your desire meet primarily your physical needs as your emotional needs are being met in your marriage.

I think it's best that we both continue our search to find the specific type of relationship that will fulfill the void we are hoping to fill.

Thanks for giving this a shot and good luck in your search!


That was it. It was done.

Being the person that I am, I had to analyze the entire situation. Did I miss something in an email? Was I not entirely clear in what I was looking for? How did something that sounded so right turn out so wrong? I've re-read everything, including this story, and I can find only two faults. First, I was caught up in the moment. I wanted this to be the relationship I hoped it would be, probably more than I should, and second, I just didn't ask the right questions in the email correspondence. I felt I had expressed my wants, my desires, very well and made the assumption that it was clear what I was looking for. That wasn't the case.

Would I do it again? Probably not. The reality of what a forum such as Craig's List has to offer was disappointing. That type of environment seems far better suited to someone looking for a physical, no strings attached encounter. Additionally, the weight of the potential risk to my family was heavy on my heart.

That being said, the reality that a relationship with a woman is an important part of me – that it is part of my life that I miss and want – gave me the courage to discuss my desire to be with a woman with my husband. Even more surprising? He seemed quite receptive to the idea, even when I explained that this would be a relationship that was exclusively mine, not something I wanted to share physically with him.

Although I didn't find my needle in a haystack, I found my voice. This might be the end of this particular chapter of the story, but clearly the story continues on.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Does This Snow Make My Ass Look Big?

We're headed up to Michigan for Christmas to hang out with the inlaws. My girl just told me that she wants to go skiing. Cool! I've never been skiing!

And then I realize...she was on the Ski Team in High School. I took piano lessons.

I'm sure you can imagine the disparity in our athletic prowess. I was managing to not fall off of my piano stool, while she whizzed down the black runs.

She's tall, thin and athletic. Always has been. I'm short, wide and clumsy.

Perhaps I should just look cute while drinking Hot Cocoas in the Lodge?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hot Lesbian Action

What they didn't tell me about the huge stone fireplace in the log cabin was that it would require massive amounts of wood. The first load that we came upon was a returned favor from a guy at the boat dock that we let use our slip. He had some wood that he wasn't using and said that we could have it.

Honestly, I didn't appreciate it. I had no idea. I grew up with gas logs in the fireplace. You turned the knob and it warmed right up.

In a real log fireplace, not so easy.

We've been burning the free wood when I was a tad chilled on Saturday mornings or when it was cool and we had company over. Yeah, I'm a dumbass.

Now, we're almost out of the free wood. I noticed a sign that said FREE FIREWOOD on the way home from work last week. Free REALLY fits into our budget. I told my girl about it and today we headed out for the log gathering. It's cold here, around 50ish today, but not when you're chopping and carrying wood. It'll warm you right up. We were two hot lesbians, today.

Trust me, it sounds a lot more romantic and Little House on the Prairie-ish than it really is.

Step 1: Know your hardwoods. (insert lesbian joke here)
Step 2: Have a girlfriend with a chainsaw. Done.
Step 3: Spend all afternoon physically working your ass off carrying the logs that she saws back to the truck without killing yourself by stumbling over all of the limbs that are on the ground trying to trip you.

I'm so exhausted at 7:23pm that my arms are shaking as I'm typing. I think I'll head to bed and pray that I can move tomorrow.

I'll let you know if these cracklin', real wood fires start any flames on the couch! But first, we'll both have to recover.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I Had A Dream

We were hanging out in someone's living room. Drinking. Having a great time. We were all in our 20s, young and playful.

Somehow, he flipped me, pinning me down with his knees on either side of my shoulders.

Laughing, he says, "You're a lesbian?"

"You know I am."

"That's a shame."

Then I woke up. The one time that I could have had a romp in the hay with Paul Newman and I'm a lesbian. Geez, even *I* would give it up for him!

I tried desperately to get that dream back. Nada.

Who would you switch teams for?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I Wish You Could Have Been There!

*Click for a larger image.

Because Angie aka No More Empty Fortune Cookies and I had a fabulous Saturday. And I didn't even have to kidnap her!

My love was amazed at my lack of self preservation, as was hers. Without knowing each other, we planned to spend the day together ridding ourselves of negativity and releasing it into the Universe at Cindy Wunsch's Take Flight Workshop. I suppose it's hard for non-bloggers to understand that we know each other. That's okay. Fortunately, neither of us really asked for permission to hang out with a would-be ax murderer.

You can see my release above. Full of swallows taking off and leaving behind red poppies. It wasn't until I put some blood on the main swallow's wings that I felt like it was finished. It has all kinds of paper crumples underneath to give it depth. Drippings of soy wax. Cut outs of birds and circles. Drizzles of paint. Stamps of words that mean so much to me. I have always had trouble flying.

Angie created the most stunning mermatron! You'll have to head on over to her blog to read all about it. She details her creation much better than I ever could. Trust me. It is FANTASTIC! I wish you could see the colors in the sunlight!

What a lovely day we had! I am so grateful.