“Fear of a Black President”

This piece by Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic absolutely blew me away. Passionately, meticulously articulated, Coates tells it like it is. It’s long, but well worth it.


On a side note: the comments are depressingly predictable. Why do I read Internet comments again?

Posted in Books/reading/writing, Culture, Politics | Leave a comment

My first wedding cake

Posted in Cooking, Out and about | 3 Comments


Just as summer arrives on July 5th in Seattle, so apparently does the monsoon season in the Southwest. I woke up today to the glorious sight of grey clouds blanketing the sky, shielding those below from the sun’s relentless glare and infusing the air with refreshing moisture.

SW Colorado (and many other areas of the country) have been in the midst of a crippling drought, and rain has been on everyone’s mind. Crops are doing poorly and the price of hay is through the roof; rain now would be extremely welcome. There hasn’t been any precipitation yet, but the clouds are thick and I can smell the rain. Here’s hoping it comes and keeps coming.

July 4th  found me at my second Pick n Hoe, Dove Creek’s annual 4th of July celebration. There was the traditional pig catch, rock drilling contest and barbecue (of which I partook this year, having renounced my non-meat eating ways). The fireworks were lovely, accompanied by the same excellent bluegrass band that was there last year.

Earlier in the day, I joined other members of the Egnar/Slickrock volunteer fire department in the parade, riding shotgun in Engine 21 (a bright yellow fire truck) while our training officer and her grandchildren tossed candy from the roof to the crowds lining the parade route.

Posted in Out and about | 2 Comments

Keyvin Charles Davis, 1980-2012

Two months ago – although it seems both more recent and longer ago than that – I lost my best friend, Keyvin Davis. He was 31.

I knew that I would write about Keyvin at some point; it didn’t feel right to continue this blog, or write on other topics, without some type of tribute. At the same time, it feels a little strange to make something that is so personal, so public.

Keyvin was a beautiful, kind, complex person, the most loyal and true friend I have ever known, a beloved brother, uncle and son. He brought light and joy to my life in the time that we knew each other.

Keyvin’s life was a testament to the power of love and honor. He was intensely loyal to his friends and family, and his generosity and compassion extended even to strangers. He had a superhuman capacity for forgiveness, and always thought of others before himself.

When Keyvin was 16 years old, his father left him and his aunt to run a filling station in his absence. One day, a man drove up in a van with smoke pouring out from under the hood. His family was inside. Keyvin urged him to drive the van away from the fuel pumps, as by this time it was apparent that the van was on fire. Instead, the man jumped out and ran, leaving his family inside the burning vehicle. Keyvin got the man’s family out of the van, then got in and drove it a safe distance down the road, where it exploded moments after he jumped out.

This story exemplifies the kind of man Keyvin was: selfless, strong, fiercely courageous, always putting others first.

Even as I mourn his absence, I feel his presence and know that he left a lasting legacy in my heart and the hearts of those who knew him. My desire to honor him with my life catalyzed my decision to become a foster parent; it feels like the most fitting tribute possible.

I am a better person for having known Keyvin. He touched many lives and is greatly missed by everyone who loved him.

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Moan. Groan. Grimace. Cringe.

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Yay, me!

I just spelled “silhouette” correctly on the first try, for the first time ever.

It’s one of those words (along with “porcelain” and “exhilarating” among many others I can’t think of just now) that I end up trying multitudinous variations on – red squiggles stubbornly remaining – before resorting to the internet.

Not this time, though! Take that, silhouette!

And now, on a celebratory if totally unrelated note, the delightful harp twins, Camille and Kennerly!

Posted in Bits n bobs, Music | 6 Comments


In my capacity as a writer of tedious home-improvement articles, I find myself using Word’s handy thesaurus function. A lot. While looking for synonyms for “tacky”, I was reminded of this delightful word: tawdry.

Dictionary. com offers this definition: Showy but cheap and of poor quality”, with possible connotations of being “shameful and indecent”. I think that sums it up pretty well.

In the end, I stuck with “tacky” – I was referring to popular perceptions of wallpaper, and tawdry seemed a little too strong. Still, I was reminded of how much I like this word.

Here are some things that are tawdry:

Western purses. I love them. I want one.

Child beauty pageants. Also see Dance Moms, a reality show I’ve never seen, but which features girls as young as eight in full makeup, semi-nude, doing burlesque routines. Tawdry.

For that matter… pretty much every reality show, ever. 

Televangelism. ‘Nuff said.

Quinceanera cakes. These celebratory treats often look like the aspirational palaces of up-and-coming drug lords. Which brings me to…

The aspirational palaces of up-and-coming drug lords. Nothing says “new money” like tiers, cupolas and cascading staircases.

“Sexy”-anything Halloween costumes. Ugh. Unless it’s something creative like “sexy mailbox”, “sexy Soviet dissident”, “sexy giant salamander”. Then I guess it would be clever and winsome.

Dogs wearing clothing. As if the poor thing wasn’t unfortunate looking enough already…

Mohawks on children. When did this become ok?
There’s your word for the week… Try to use it in a sentence!

Posted in Bits n bobs | 2 Comments