Challenges · Photography Challenges

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

February’s Photo Blogging Challenge theme is Winter.

These are photos I’ve taken over the course of the past month. While we have been lucky here in Chicago, the cold temperatures have overshadowed any snow we received. Although I like the beauty and peaceful look of freshly fallen snow, I’m not fond of layering, warming up the car, limiting my dog’s outside time,  dry skin, and the dirty mess that lingers long after that first snow fall. Spring can’t come fast enough for me!

This post is part of the Photo Blogging Challenge: Winter.

Challenges · Photography Challenges

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge- Wheels

“I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round,
I really love to watch them roll,”

John Lennon, Watching the Wheels

This post is part of Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge.- Wheels


Friday Fuzz · Gender

Fuzzy Friday (working title…or maybe not)

I am featuring my friend, Charissa from Charissa’s Grace Notes for this week’s Friday Fuzz. I met Charissa here in the blogging world and ever since our first encounter, my life has not been the same. Her impact has been that powerful- everything she writes is SO there….. (which is so incredibly articulate that I feel like a stuttering child in her presence). Her poetry is so beautiful and moving. Her prose is precise and powerful. Her personality is enigmatic, engaging, warm, charismatic….. She’s very cool.

When we first met, she was in the early stages of coming out in her real life. She was straddling two worlds and I have to tell you, I was blown away. I had witnessed my son try that as a college student (living in the girls’ dorm with a female roommate) and I knew it wasn’t easy.

Well, she is now fully Charissa. She’s got the all important documents. She is able to live as herself full time, not just on weekends or away from her hometown. And let me tell you, she is a force to be reckoned with.

Earlier this week I wrote- Handle With Care, a post in which I offer some advice to people who might have a transgender person in their lives. I’m sharing two of Charissa’s posts from earlier this week. They will give you just the smallest fraction of insight into WHY I wrote the post.

What I Wish People Understood About Dysphoria…

“people in my life get discouraged and frustrated with me because the next day is sometimes worse than the day before after 3 days of steadily increasing days of life and hope…”

I ache for Charissa and Kris and every single transgender person who feels this way. And I want to SHAKE those people who JUST DON’T GET IT! This isn’t a switch you turn on and POOF transitioning is over! There is a rant inside me that I’m keeping inside for now. For Kris it has been 3-1/2 years and it is not over. I don’t think it will ever be over. Maybe for some trans people, it does end and they just live happily ever after. I want that for Kris. I want it more than anything else. For most of us, it’s not that easy. When you are facing a stacked deck, relatives who look through you when they are the ones who you should be able to count on, discrimination and judgment, it’s harder.


“…I was called this today. It wasn’t malicious in intent…but it was vicious in result.  Apparently this person had referred to me that way behind my back and felt guilty about it. So they confessed to me today…”

There is a girl. Let’s call her Shelly. Our families have known each other for years. Our kids are all the same age, went to school together, grew up together, participated in the same activities. Shelly is now 21 and works stocking shelves at Target. I’ve seen her there on more than one occasion and we would say hi in passing. About a year ago, she was working the register and we talked as she checked out my groceries. Totally unbidden, she said, “Oh, I saw Kerri or whatever she is,” in the most derisive tone and a smirk on her face. I get it. Kerri was a very unique teenager. (More unique than most of us realized.) I never knew what that kid was going to wear to school and more than once I asked, “Are you sure about this? You’re definitely making a fashion statement here.” Why did I even bother? The outfit was worn and I was regaled with a list of compliments received at the end of the day. Kerri was like that and I really want to believe that this is what Shelly was referring to….but in my heart, I knew the truth. I stood there and stared her down. I wanted to slap her. Her mother raised her better than that. And if it had been 8 years ago when we were closer, I might have called her mother. I walked away sick and mad and praying that no one ever did that to Kris’s face.

People need to realize-

A person’s right to transition in order to live in the body they were given is THEIR right and NO ONE ELSE’S BUSINESS.

EVERYONE has the right to live.


Thank you for being here- it means a lot to me!


friday fuzz


Writer’s Quote Wednesday- Dr. Seuss


Dr. Seuss was a part of my childhood that I shared with my own children. His influence is sprinkled throughout their lives. Michael learned about rhyming from Fox in Socks. Kris knew the entire alphabet at a ridiculously young age from being read Dr. Seuss’s ABC. We can thank Daisy Head Mayzie for all the little daisies drawn onto the heads of the characters in all of our books, compliments of Kris. For the longest time when I would start the opening line, “The time has come. The time is now..”  Andy (then 2 years old) would wail, “Nooooo! No Marvin K. Mooney!” because he knew that it meant it was bedtime. Just last night Michael quoted from Hop on Pop. The list goes on….

And then came this quote. With Dr. Seuss’s birthday coming up on March 2nd, I knew I wanted to use one of his quotes and when I saw this one, I had found what I was looking for. When I began this blog, I had a half-formed vague idea in my head of what it would be. I knew-  that I wanted to share my experience as the parent of transgender child, I wanted it to look nice and I wanted to connect with others going through the same thing. It didn’t take long for me to realize that although I started writing here for myself, I needed to do it for others. For every transgender person who has the love and support of their family, I fear that there are more that do not. I do care a lot and I do want it to get better. Even in my adult years, Dr. Seuss continues to inspire me.

You can read more about the man behind the famous name here.

This post is part of Writer’s Quote Wednesday hosted by Colleen at Silver Threading. Be sure to stop by her blog and check it out, as well as a lot of cool quotes.


Family · Words to Live By

What a Wonderful World!

I am so excited to be taking part in Ronovan’s Be Wonderful on Wednesday (BeWoW) Blogshare!

I have found the cure to whatever ails you and I’m happy to share it with you. Ready? ………BJ at computer

Hang out with a baby. Preferably a 3 month old. I highly recommend it.

Granted I’m partial to Beej, my 3 month old grandson, but I would think most any baby would do. I have a friend who has a year old granddaughter and until Beej was born, I would indulge his numerous Facebook posts and Tweets and Instagrams of his son’s baby girl. I liked every profile picture change, even when they occurred daily. I didn’t get it. All of his selfies with the baby.

And then Beej was born. I’m pretty sure we took our first selfie while he was still in the hospital. As I was looking for pictures of snow for a photo challenge I’m doing later this week, I realized that Beej and I take a lot of selfies. A lot. And I don’t like to get my picture taken so that says a lot. But I can’t help it. There’s something about taking those pictures, and the expressions on both of our faces as the photo session continues. (Because you can’t take just one.) Sometimes we can even get 5 year old CJ to join in which makes it tons of fun. Last time CJ insisted we try to get our dog, Ari, in the picture. Epic fail.

Beej began smiling a week or so ago and there’s nothing like the feeling of smiling at a baby and knowing his happy toothless grin is a legitimate response to you and not just random gas. He has found his voice and we can keep ourselves entertained forever talking about everything. I never tire of his coos and goos and he seems captivated by my mindless chatter about bottles and thumbs and Tigger. When he smiles, he looks just like his Daddy did at that age. (Another major heart squeeze!)

This first year of babyhood is so exciting. Each week brings a new accomplishment. He’s finally gaining a little control over his arms and hands. He’s having a blast batting around the toys that are within his reach when he lays under his little activity gym thing. And when his Mommy Jasmine called to FaceTime with me, he kept hitting the phone trying to touch my face. What a mood lifter!

If the selfies, smiling, talking and playing don’t lift your spirits, the feeling of that small little body snuggling against you as he drifts off to sleep will make any tension in your body just melt away. You can’t help but feel happy and relaxed.

And if he’s your grandchild, that feeling is multiplied at least a million times. (And what a wonderful feeling it is!)

Seriously, there’s something about the innocence and joy of a baby that lightens your spirit and gives you the feeling that anything is possible! This might not be the cure of all your problems but I guarantee it will take your mind off of them for awhile.

So now you know what I do to feel rejuvenated and I’m going to leave you with a song that always makes me smile. While there’s nothing like Louis Armstrong’s velvety vocals, in honor of Beej’s daddy, I need to go with Joey Ramone.

Have a great day!