The long walk

My daughter and I took a walk today. In the city, found a parking spot. Done with a doctor’s appointment, isn’t our next destination close by? Let’s walk! (destination was not close by). We started at 275 West Street.

First we encountered a cool sign (we didn’t go in).

Maryland history
Annapolis street sign
Annapolis Maryland
Awesome sign

Then we encountered a beautiful hummingbird named Ruby!

Annapolis Maryland
Hummingbird Ruby

Then a giant chicken! The first of many.

Maryland
Street Art

Then we saw some absolutely gorgeous murals. I had to wander down this street:

Street lights
Annapolis mural

To see this work of art!

Art Avenue
Annapolis art scene
Annapolis
Mural street art

We walked back to West Street.

Black History Month
Annapolis Mural
Another of those crazy, zany, beautiful, artistic chickens!!!

Zany
Annapolis, Maryland
There’s another one back there!

Wild crazy zany kooky
Giant chickens
Scary Annapolis
Ghost chicken

A pretty doorway, an Annapolis staple. 

And then, the coolest chicken yet!

There’s a loud exhaust fan blowing above this one, I wish you could hear it!

Annapolis
Baroak Chicken

We finished our second errand and turned back toward the 🚗. Whew, it’s hot! We got some water. Then a giant easel popped up!

Then another pretty mural @LemonGrass!

Annapolis
Mural @lemongrass

Another photo-op @Metropolitan!

Then almost back to our 🚗!

FinArt
FinArt
Wait! ✋ One more chicken.

Annapolis chicken
Metropolitan chicken
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Don’t judge me, I have a teenager.

My husband realized that our 13 year old daughter has not been using her toothbrush. We then came to the conclusion that she hasn’t been using her dermatologist ordered cream or antibiotic for acne. But she spent half an hour in the bathroom every night. What the hell was she doing in there? My husband deduced that she was playing on her phone for an extra half hour (and peeing). From the high level of sobs she emitted, we realized he was right. When asked why she wasn’t brushing her teeth all we could get out of her was, “I don’t know”.

.

She constantly wears a jacket. It’s got blue stripes and is like a hoodie, but with a zipper up the front. It’s about two sizes too big for her, so hangs on her like a potato sack, down past her butt. She wears it to school, to bed and everything in between. I hate it. It is horrid. No matter how nice she’s dressed, she looks like a slob. But there are the excuses; “It’s still chilly at the bus stop”, “It’s cold in the classsrooms”, and the ever popular, “I need the pockets”.  She refuses to wear anything else. I used to think she might be embarrassed by her breasts or weight, so I let it go. Now I wonder if she’s been hiding things in those pockets.

The horrid jacket.

What happened to that adorable, bright, happy, loving toddler and little girl. The one who happily brushed her teeth. She had the most luxurious, long hair that sparkled in the sunshine. Now she wants it cut shorter and it’s greasy and hangs in her face all the time. She washes it every other night and a few hours later, it’s greasy again. I don’t remember being that greasy as a teen. Hey! Don’t judge me.

Looking cute with her brother and “Doggie”

More later.

Blame Michelle Obama

I called the police on my husband and I blame the FLOTUS, Michelle Obama. See, her speech at the democratic national convention made me realize that I was being abused. Abused by the husband I love and adore.

“This is disgraceful, it is intolerable, and it doesn’t matter what party you belong to, no woman deserves to be treated this way — none of us deserves this kind of abuse.”

My husband and I met later in life. I was 36 and he, 32. We’d both been through a lot. He grew up poor in South Baltimore with an alcoholic father and a huge mother who threw things at him because she couldn’t get up to beat him. She couldn’t read or, apparently, raise children, since five before him had been taken by the state. 

Soft Surroundings

I’d been widowed at 27 by my older, alcoholic husband and left alone with our 4 year old son. Eight years later my boyfriend left me immediately after we found out I was pregnant. This child, another son who is named Chance, has cerebral palsy, epilepsy and is intellectually disabled.

“I can’t believe that I’m saying that a candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women.”

“I can’t stop thinking about this — it has shaken me to my core.” 

We met just after 9-11, in February of 2002. Chance was almost two and my husband took over as a father to him. We had our own child, Emily (a girl, finally!), in 2003. Things were great for many years. We both worked and had great family times, vacations, home lives. We even moved, from the townhouse I’d bought before we met, to a “real” single family home. 

 “It’s like that sick, sinking feeling you get when you’re walking down the street minding your own business and some guy yells out vulgar words about your body, or when you see that guy at work that stands just a little too close, stares a little too long so you feel uncomfortable in your own skin.”

I don’t remember when he started yelling. Was it when the house we were flipping didn’t sell and we incurred $60,000 in debt, when I lost my job, when Chance got so much bigger, heavier and hairier, when his seizures started, when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia?

“I can tell you that the men in my life do not talk about women this way. To dismiss this as everyday locker room talk is an insult to decent men everywhere.”

I guess it doesn’t really matter when it started. But at some point, I started dreading him coming home. He was never happy with the house or the bills or my sisters or my first son, Charlie. Or any number of things, but mostly he seemed unhappy with me. He literally ranted and raved at me every night. I was miserable and, after watching Mrs. Obama’s speech, told him so.

“We simply cannot endure this, or expose our children to this any longer — not for another minute, and let alone for four years. This has got to stop right now.” 

I also  told him that if he started yelling again, especially in front of our 12 year old daughter, I would call the police. He did, so I did.  So I blame Michelle Obama, and I also thank her so much for giving me a wake up call. And btw, he hasn’t yelled since!

“We need to recover from our shock and depression and do what women have always done in this country, we need you to roll up your sleeves. We need to get to work.”

Pure American Joy

We went to an outdoor concert recently. It was with the Irish band, #Dublin5 and they were awesome. I absolutely love the music, but the people watching is also incredible. Especially the kids, because they’re so free and joyful.

This is my favorite photo of a little girl dancing for her parents. Her Father took her up front to dance with the crowd a couple of times while Mom sat with baby brother, but she couldn’t stop dancing! So cute.

To our daughters

Oh dear daughter,

I was hoping life would be better for you,

because it’s hard to be a woman.

We’ve been fighting for so long,

just for basic human rights.

Did you know:

Women were considered chattel (property of their husbands) until the 1850’s,

Women couldn’t vote in America until 1920,

The dissemination of contraceptive information through the mail was prohibited and classified as obscene until 1936,

In 1963, Congress passed the Equal Pay Act, making it illegal for employers to pay a woman less than what a man would receive for the same job,

Over fifty years later, women still earn between 76 cents to 79 cents for every dollar men earn,

9rlu7-newamericadotcom

Discrimination on the basis of their sex leads to many health hazards for women, including physical and sexual violence, sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS, malaria and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

It’s hard to be a woman.

I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.— Maya Angelou