My blog is not only about the arts and crafts business but about life in general. My hope is to inspire you, inform you, and make your current beverage of choice squirt out your nose. I've chosen "Dog's Head Red", a fine red table wine that's a cut above good ol' Mad Dog. A very tiny cut above. It's not quite as refined as "Drive 'er Home", my other favorite, but quite swanky, none the less. Read quickly, before it's all too blurry.

Friday, October 21, 2011

How Things Change

On October 17th, my son, Eamon, played his very last high school soccer game. Even though the team lost, he had one of his best games, making some jaw dropping saves. (He's a keeper. That's a goalie, for you non soccer aficionados.) I want to tell you what a great experience it was, (and it was), and how proud I am, (and I am), but mostly - I was devastated. Why was I not so devastated when my oldest daughter, Kira, played her last game? Why was I not so devastated when my other daughter, Keelan, played her last game? Why? Because he's my baby. In a few short months he'll be graduating, then going far away to college. As I watch him drive off in his very own car, I can't help but wonder - how did this happen? How can I be my mother? When did I become my mother? When did she become my grandmother? Why do I sob at the mere thought of him leaving, becoming a man? Who am I kidding - he's already a man. I never thought I would be at this place, this place where only others get to. This place where we must face our quiet houses. This place where we must find out if we have anything left in common with our spouses now that we have no one to interrupt us or demand our constant attention. This place where we must face our own mortality. Oh, my. How things change.

I found myself descending not into depression, but into "the pit", or in other words, my shop in the basement. I needed solitude. I needed to think, to feel, to find a way to cope. I sat in my usual place, looking at all the little replica animals around me, waiting to be placed into someone's special piece of art for them to enjoy forever. I sat that way for a long time - no TV, no iPod, no phone - just silence. I found pleasure once again in planning my pieces, laying them out, rearranging, deciding what goes where. I poured the resin, and spent a few hours molding, shaping and building. I finally sat back, feeling satisfied with my work, yet at the same time still feeling something was missing. My hands gravitated towards a new piece of wood, towards some little toy monkeys I'd been saving for a special lamp. I sanded the wood, sealed it, did all the things I usually do to make a lamp. But this lamp was different. This lamp was for someone I haven't met yet, but whom I love unconditionally. This lamp was for the person who will, in fact already has, unknowingly renewed me. This lamp is for Greyson, who at this moment is still unborn, his two mommies, my daughter and daughter-in-law, ready to take on the ultimate challenge and experience the ultimate joy. This is for my grandson, who has helped me to understand that each phase of life comes with it's own unique set of joys. Any day now he will make his entrance, this first grandchild of mine, and change us all profoundly. Hurry, Greyson. Gramma needs you.

Here's hoping you all find peace in your art or craft, as I have.

Best regards,


Thursday, October 13, 2011

From Joy to Fury

My wonderful daughter was married to the very pregnant love of her life on September 24th of this year. New York State legislator's pulled their heads out of their asses long enough to do the right thing and legalize same sex marriage. I love this photo of them (my daughter on the right, my older daughter right behind her, and my new daughter-in-law on the left), because every face in that picture shows the pure, unadulterated joy we all felt that day. Homophobia, in fact, bigotry of any kind, does not exist in our house. Now, we just have to figure out how to get rid of it in the rest of the world.

For those of you who get offended at strong language, my apologies up front, but I have no intention of holding back. I encourage you to continue reading, as the subject matter is of the utmost importance.

My daughter works for Constellation Energy Group at Nine Mile Point in upstate New York. She is a guard at a nuclear plant. It seems that Constellation (CENG) has decided not to extend medical benefits to my daughter-in-law. Hmmm. Let's take a closer look. Obviously, my daughter and her new wife are gay. They are also pregnant. They are legally married in New York State. They are NOT domestic partners. CENG, being the total bigoted fuckwads that they are, will not allow my daughter-in-law to be covered under my daughter's medical insurance, originally citing the Union she belongs to as not recognizing the marriage. They also said they would not allow my grandson to be covered upon his birth until my daughter adopted him. Ummmmm, wrong. First of all, Nine Mile Point (NMP) is a closed shop. She can't just drop out of the Union. You're either management or Union, there's nothing else. CENG's original claim that this is the Union's fault is an out and out lie. They have since admitted that company policy does not recognize domestic partnerships. Well. How about that. Except a) they most certainly DO recognize domestic partnerships for non Union members and b) HELLO!! ANYBODY HOME??? This is not a domestic partnership - they are legally married!!! And last but not least c) according to our attorney, my daughter will be on the birth certificate when her wife gives birth to their son. No other proof of parenthood/guardianship is required. CENG has acknowledged that they fucked that up and will cover the baby upon his birth. And yet, they still refuse to allow my daughter-in-law to be added to my daughter's insurance. I commend the Union for stepping up and going full steam ahead to remedy this situation. I commend my daughter's co-workers who are completely appalled by this situation. And, if I may take a positive, hopeful note, I, in advance, commend CENG for stepping up and doing the right thing and allowing my daughter and daughter-in-law to share the same benefits as their straight counterparts, which, as I am more than sure you are aware, is their legal right as a married couple in New York State.

Now, if CENG decides to remain being twatwaffles about this, I CANNOT WAIT to launch the attorney's that have contacted us about this on them. I CANNOT WAIT to spread the word about this precedent setting case to the news media. Without making the smallest effort on my part, word is already spreading. CENG will see their name up in lights all over the country for being a homophobic, bigoted company who's main goal in life, in my opinion, is to break the Union at the expense of their employees. This is clearly discrimination. I am sure that CENG is aware that documentation is my friend. I have lots - every email that's been exchanged between my daughter and the company. CENG had no problems with adding my daughter-in-law to my daughter's insurance right up until the day came to actually add her. Then their tune suddenly changed dramatically. This is not hearsay. This is for real. This is blatant discrimination.

So as not to represent Constellation Energy Group as the only piece of shit company without knowledge of the law or a fucking conscience out there, let us give credit where credit is due to New York and Company, my daughter-in-law's former employer. She was fired when she was seven months pregnant. Why? Golly, gee, we don't know. We can't seem to get an answer. Her reviews are all outstanding. The reason they give is "policy violation". I wonder what policy? Don't know, they won't say. There were no warnings that she had violated any policy. Just "you're fired." Hmm. You know why we haven't gotten all the paperwork we requested from them, such as all her reviews, any reprimands, etc.? Because, once again, documentation is our friend, not theirs, in this case, and they know it. So, New York and Company, is there any possibility that you don't care for pregnant lesbians? Bigotry at it's worst. Your name will be right along side Constellation Energy Group's as this country's two biggest assholes. Congratulations.

And right up there with CENG and New York and Company, as much as I love my country and am a huge patriot, I must put our government. My eldest daughter is a veteran who served in Afghanistan. She's home now, complete with her honorable discharge and her mental and physical scars - but she has no health insurance. Shame on the U.S. of A. for allowing this travesty to continue to happen. Every honorably discharged U.S. veteran should have medical care for life. Period.

In closing - it's time to get our shit together, people.

One very pissed off mom

P.S For all of you expecting my usual crafting blog, or at least a blog that mentions my craft, I took some liberties today. Thanks for reading.