Island under the moon

insulanova


Insula Nova

The New Island


IT'S THE WIN!
sailing to the island
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It's done.

WE WON! Today, marriage equality is the law of the land. America won today. Everyone won (even the people who oppose it). This was a win for us, the LGBT community, for the Supreme Court, for the Constitution, for the world. A win for freedom, justice and equality, for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. For the future.

And the Court's timing could not have been more perfect for us. Because the Island is getting married...

Tomorrow.

The Island

Fág an Bealach!
Island under the moon
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Ireland votes YES for marriage equality!



YES in a landslide. GO IRELAND!

The Island

Riding with the King
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Goodbye, B.B. The King rides on.



The Island

For Ciara
dancing with the tiger
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Happy birthday, snow tiger! We're having a BALLLLLLL!!!!

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~Kelly and the Tiger Court

Cookies and milk (and more)
carnival of love
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Hot cookies and cold milk! That's what I woke up to this morning, brought to me in bed by those I love most in the world. Hot chocolate chip, butterscotch and oatmeal cookies, my very favorite, and ice-cold milk, and someone (I know who) slipped one steaming cookie right under my nose and into my mouth while I was still sleeping, so I woke up dreaming I was eating a deliciously gooey chocolate chip cookie---and suddenly I was! I couldn't stop laughing, because I should have known all about this (it's kind of an Island birthday tradition), and yet I'd completely forgotten about the whole idea, and Lucia and Zee and the Boys managed to bake me cookies by dawn's early light in total secrecy and surprised the socks off of me. Okay, I wasn't wearing any socks, but I was wearing chocolate just about everywhere by the time we got out of bed. (Massive cookie fight, and then, well, we had to lick off the forensic evidence. All gone now. Yum.)
          And today IS my birthday!!! So as today's ranking birthday girl on the Island, I'm pulling rank. I'm commandeering this journal from a certain someone who was in the very process of posting me a birthday card (thanks, Kell, you can use it later), to wish myself, and a few other people, happy birthdays. Cookies and milk all around. Extra chocolate too, please.
          This sweet warm world has more people in it for me to love than ever before, and something even sweeter than cookies and milk also helped wake us up this morning: Our babies. Yes, here it comes, stand back, make room, a little drumroll please, this is our belated LJ birth announcement...
          Lucia and I (with the entire Island by our sides, and at our backs) delivered two absolutely stunningly beautiful little girls on February the fourteenth. Lucia's little Alvorada arrived first, just after sunrise, the little early riser, and my baby Sera loafed around until about twilight. We'd spent months pondering and picking out the most fitting, the most appropriate, the most deeply considered names for these girls, and then the day they were born suddenly it was perfectly clear what their real names should be. Alvorada means dawn in Portuguese, and Sera means evening in Italian. All those other "perfect" names got bumped down the line into middle names, so when they're teenagers and they're old enough to decide they suddenly hate their names and they need new names for the beautiful new young women they're becoming (I know, I've been there), they'll have a few extra names to choose from. But for now, our little Alvorada and Sera are looking very happy with their new names. And their very happy new family. And their very happy new moms. Wave at the people, baby! Yay, she's waving! They both are! Well, no, actually they're not, they're sleeping like little logs, but Lucia and Zee and I are waving for them.
          So there it is, at last, our double baby announcement. I have a lot more to say, and more to tell the world, but I have things to do (some of them involving milk, but no more cookies, the cookies are gone). So for now, from me and Lucia and Zizi and Alvorada and Sera and the entire Island, happy birthday (and un-birthday) to me (and Dr. Seuss), and to our new babies, and to all of you. Hugs and kisses, and milk and cookies all around...

Stella, for everybody

Roman candles
sailing to the island
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Happy January Island birthdays to Mark, Maria and Lucia

roman candle

fireworks

...because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars...

Rachel and the Island

Je Suis Charlie
the island
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0211Glez

Paris is a part of our own lives, our family history, our culture, and of the life and soul of the world. Paris is in our hearts, and today our hearts are with Paris. We are Charlie.

The Island

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Island under the moon
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FIREWORKS

From the Island

Merry Christmas from the Island
Island Queen
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May your world be merry and bright!

Island Christmas palm tree

Love from the Island

A Feast of St. Stephen
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To Hell with Black Friday. The Island has declared this day, Black Friday, the day after Thanskgiving, an emergency supplementary St. Stephen's Day, and we (Caitie here, with Ciara at my side) are here to proclaim it.
          The Feast of St. Stephen is traditionally the day after Christmas Day. In Ireland, traditionally, it's also the day when we murder our Christmas houseguests who have overstayed their welcome. All past, present and future Island houseguests are hereby warned. (Wrens too were traditionally on the St. Stephen's Day death list, but we have nothing at all against wrens. We're in fact decidedly pro-wren. Wrens are hereby exempted from this proclamation.)
          The ancient and honorable tradition of the St. Stephen's Day Murders comes down to us from the Chieftains, and Elvis Costello and the bells of Dublin, and that's quite enough tradition for us. As it happens, the last of the Island's overripe Thanksgiving houseguests having finally this day fled for their lives, and fled it must be said barely in the nick of time to escape being murdered, the pressing necessity for bloody retribution has for the moment abated, and our overheated blood begins to cool. But in the past couple of weeks there have been moments, oh so many moments, when more than one of us, many more than one, have muttered softly one to another: Just bring me the knife, oh bring me the Big Knife and bloody heads will roll, I promise you...



Our past-their-freshness-date houseguests having escaped with their miserable lives, peace, love and harmony reigneth once again upon the Island. The Big Knife remains sheathed, the leftover turkey and stuffing remain unpoisoned. For now. But the knives and the arsenic still stand at the ready, and our Emergency St. Stephen's Day Proclamation remains in effect. St. Stephen himself has our back on this. And Elvis, and the Chieftains. And Benjamin Franklin, who famously remarked that two things that stink after three days are fish and guests. A clean, fresh wind blows through the Island tonight. But bring me the Big Knife, just in case...
          What happened: November brought us a season of grief. Two deaths and two funerals, unwelcome both and both deeply sad, but not entirely unexpected. My (and Ciara's) grandmother, our mother's mother, who was much loved and a grand old lady we were very close to and saw nearly every day, died after a long illness at the age of 92. The day after her funeral, our grandfather died at 93, of nothing less, we think, than grief and the loss of the love of his life. It was ruled officially a heart attack, but their doctors called it Broken Heart Syndrome. Her death was wrenching but expected and well planned for, his was not so imminently expected (though his funeral plans were also in place, as were hers), but the sudden conjunction of the two losses was very much an unwelcome surprise. Her funeral brought us a vast horde of mourners, family members both distant and close, beloved and otherwise, from all over the world, among their points of origin America, Ireland, England, Spain, South America and Australia; some of whom then naturally stayed on for the unexpected second funeral; some of whom were then, wisely or unwisely (some of them very unwisely), invited to stay a little longer for Thanksgiving; and some of those so invited became the houseguests and charges of the Island. And some of whom, as we say in our family, were Raised By Wolves. Though invariably when we say this, we make a hasty apology to the poor wolves. The Island had the complete and unquestioned authority to act as we saw fit in the name of the matriarch of my entire biological family (my mother), and if we'd decided to slit their throats and bury them at the bottom of the garden, my mother would have cheered us on. She'd have been first in line to do the honors, with the biggest knife. It didn't come to that. But it came close.
          Those wolves we've housed and fed for the past couple of weeks have now at last been sent packing, tails between their legs, and they were lucky, some of them, to keep their worthless hides. I'm dying to tell more of this tonight, just as this morning I was dying to shed some familial blood, but as I managed to keep my claws sheathed all day I'll likewise hold my tongue tonight. For now.
          For now, we'll wish everyone a happy belated Thanksgiving and a very happy early St. Stephen's Day, from the Island. Long life, love and happiness from our family to you and those you love. And as for the rest of them, well, When they draw their last breath, ah it's nice for the kids when you finally get rid of them, in the St. Stephen's Day Murders...

Caitie and Ciara

        

Silent snow
one blue tiger eye
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It's snowing and cold and the Island is in mourning. We've had a death in our extended family. I realize we've been silent on LJ and other places while this was happening, and I just wanted to let you know we'll be back soon, with news, and love. May all our friends here tonight be warm and safe and happy, curled up with the ones you love.  Life may be long or short, light or dark, empty or full, but only love makes life worth living. Ring the bells that still can ring.

~Kelly and Ciara

Halloween, baby
carnival of love
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Our beautiful Halloween baby turned five years old this October 31st. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMALIA!

birthday pumpkin

Our Amalia is beautiful, beloved, sweet, smart, funny and FIVE. All of those things are easy to believe, considering who brought this baby into this world, except maybe for the five part. But nearly all of us were present at her arrival, on that Halloween night five years ago in Virginia, so we have witnesses to the five-years-old part too. We were all here to witness her fifth birthday party this Halloween, and to quote Amalia herself, as she said to me during the party, "BEST BIRFDAY EVER, AUNTIE KELLY!"

The Island also just witnessed a major happy anniversary for one of our founding couples: Lucia and Stella, their October Anniversary Number Eight. We celebrated this exactly as if it were an anniversary for the entire family, and it is. If I or someone were someday in some far future in a galaxy far away to write the definitive official history of the Island, our family, which I am not and no one really is and don't hold your breath because the Island is too busy every day creating our future history, there would probably be a dozen or more epically decisive days in Island history which the Island's official future historian would have to conclude were monumentally lifechanging moments without which the Island never would have happened. Number one on that list of decisive moments would be what Lucia and Stella did in one single moment on October the twenty-eighth in the long-ago year 2006.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, LUCIA AND STELLA! And thank you again for helping to create the Island.

We're coming to the end of a long, sweet Indian Summer here on the Front Range in Colorado. Roses are still blooming, while leaves are falling. Days are sunny and bright, while nights are growing longer and chillier. Fireplaces are blazing, beds are warm, arms are welcoming, and snow will soon be falling. Somewhere on the Island, tonight and every night and any given moment of any day, someone here is dancing and laughing, someone is making love, someone is saying I love you. On this cold November night, we are pleased to report, the Island is well and happy, thriving and growing, moving and changing, and still, as ever and always, the Island. And wherever you are, from the Island we wish you love and happiness, and a good night.

~Kelly and Ciara for the Tiger Court and the Island

A moon for Zizi
j'adore mon zizi aussi
insulanova
Beautiful, brilliant, adorable, improbable, unexpected, unlikely, incomparable, indescribable, inevitable, indispensable, loving, sweet, sexy, funny and profound. Zizi, you are as magnificent as a blood moon in October, and our light would be in eclipse without you.

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Happy birthday, Zizi, and all our love. We will love you for as long as there's a moon in the sky...

Stella, Lucia, the Compass Court and the Island

Marriage and marriages
carnival of love
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The Island is made up of marriages. Our marriages are made of the stuff of the Island. Marriage is Issue Number One on the Island right now, and I want to talk about it here too.
          There are other basic elements in the structure of the Island, and every family, but marriages are as fundamental to us as atoms to molecules. Our marriages are various: couple and group, traditional and radical, "legal" and piratical. We are married by couples, by triples, by quads and more. We are organized into courts, which are something like nuclear families, and each of our courts is also a marriage. Some courts contain marriages within marriages, some share members with other courts, some are bound by cross-court marriages. Our marriages nest, connect, interconnect, interlock and overlap. We consider the Island itself to be one big complexly interconnected group marriage, a marriage writ large. We are women married to women and men married to men, and we're so bleeding edge we even have a few "mixed marriages." Yes. Men and women married to--each other. Shocking, I know, and yet it happens. It's a crazy world.
          Most of our marriages are what we call "Island marriages," committed life unions which are sanctioned, supported, sealed and solemnized under the authority of the Island ourselves, the Island alone, the whole Island and nothing but the Island. Not legalized or sanctified by anyone else, not by any other state, county, nation, church, religion, planetary system or galactic federation. We created them, we support them, we live them. In June of 2011 the state of New York legalized same-sex marriage, we were there in Manhattan when it happened (Kelly and Ciara were working there that summer and we were all there to see them), and the whole city, and the Island, went wild. We were by the river, celebrating this victory along with the rest of Manhattan, when suddenly there was a collective sigh among us. We realized together that this triumph for marriage equality, as great as it was, legally didn't mean a thing back home in Colorado. None of us had any intention of actually getting legally married in New York, where none of us have any serious emotional roots, and in any case "legal" couple marriages, even same-sex couple marriages, wouldn't come close to reflecting or expressing most of our real relationships, which exist in many shapes, sizes and numbers of partners, not just couples. We were celebrating a victory we felt was our victory too, but at the same time we felt left out of the celebration. Sigh.
          Then a voice cut through the sighs.
          "I'll marry you," Lucia said. "Anyone on the Island who wants to be married, I will marry you to each other. Any time, any place, in any combination or configuration you desire. You can be married by me, under the rule and authority of the Island. Who's with me?"
          "You can do that?" we said, among other things. We were utterly awestruck.
          "Of course I can do that," she said. "I'm the Queen of the Island. I can do anything, if it's for the good of the Island."
          Lucia had just that very moment thought of the idea of Island marriages, but she was right. Of course she could do that: She was the Queen of the Island. And to be technically complete, several of us present that day already considered ourselves married, having married each other under no authority but our own, our love, our witnesses, and our wedding rings. And our wedding cake. So the idea was not completely novel to us. But those improvised weddings had taken place either before the Island even existed, or just as it was emerging from the waves. Lucia was having a vision of something much more momentous and majestic, even epic.
          "But it wouldn't be legal," we protested. (I'm paraphrasing.) "It wouldn't be binding. How could we do that? How would it work? How could it last?"
          "The Island works," she replied, and I'm not paraphrasing, this is approximately verbatim. "Our relationships are working. We love each other and we're committed to each other. Our marriages will be part of the Island. They'll be as binding as the Island, and the Island is for life."
          Well, that settled that. And of course she was right, and it was a brilliant idea. That July, in Virginia, Lucia as our Queen married us to one another, in every combination and confuguration we desired, in an unbelievably magical ceremony which we created ourselves out of the stuff of the Island, and the stuff of dreams. Those marriages have thrived and endured, just as the Island endures. And evolves.

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        The Island today: Twenty-four adults, three merged families, nine courts, five small children with two more on the way (and four grown children around the world), eighteen interlocking marriages of various kinds (and counting). Among all those marriages there are exactly four that took place "legally" and more or less traditionally, each involving one man and one woman, in big churches with priests and choirs and wedding gowns, and official marriage licenses issued by official persons other (and rather less grand, in our estimation) than the Queen of the Island. We don't think those distinctions make these four marriages any bigger or better or more "real" or more binding than our other Island marriages, but they do make them very special in their own way, and each of those four marriages is a spectacular success. And right now all four of those marriages happen to be celebrating their wedding anniversaries. Right now, from the end of last week to the middle of this week, and the Island is celebrating them too. We've been celebrating for days now, and the party is still rocking on.
         HAPPY ANNIVERSARIES! To Michael and Maria, Mark and Bella, Hawk and Angel, and Dante and Francesca. Long may you love!
          The Island is a big, bustling place where everything is always happening all at once, like weddings and birthdays and anniversaries. This week we're also celebrating a major birthday. Our indispensable and adorable Marie-Azelie, aka Zizi, is turning thirty this week (she said we could say that here), and the Island has ordered up a big, red, full moon and a total lunar eclipse to mark the occasion for her. Because we love her.
     HAPPY BIRTHDAY ZIZI! Have some blood moon on us, everyone, there's plenty of moonlight to go around. Later this month we'll celebrate another big birthday when our little Amalia turns five years old, on Halloween night. Along the way we have a few other important occasions to celebrate this month. And finally Halloween, also known as Queer New Year.

         And that brings me back to same-sex marriage. Yesterday (because I wrote most of this last night and I'm finishing it, with a little help, this morning), the US Supreme Court surprised the world by declining to hear in their new term any of the multitude of urgent court cases involving same-sex marriage. (Although they might be forced to do so yet, particularly if there's a circuit split.) On the Island we were much less surprised than most. We convened a Crown Court meeting on this issue over the weekend, after the Supremes notably failed to add a marriage case to their docket last week (we were pulling for Virginia, it was the most complex case but would have made the best precedent), and we concluded that this was exactly what they would do. Or rather, not do.
          Many people are calling this a tacit victory for marriage equality. It is. The Court's refusal to act leaves the federal Circuit courts' decisions in full force, and as soon as those decisions are formally un-stayed, thirty states and the District will suddenly achieve marriage equality, including Colorado. With a single Supreme Court inaction, we will shift from a minority of states to a majority. Many other states will fall into the win column as well, as soon as other lower court decisions are also un-stayed. All those suspended victories in lower courts will now become real victories. Apparently a sufficiency of the Supremes consider that the lower courts are making good law on this issue, and therefore it's not yet absolutely necessary for them to intervene. And so they chose not to act, and in so doing they acted very consciously in favor of our side. It's a win.
          It's also a failure. A failure to lead, a failure to embrace the tide of history, a failure of heart, of vision, of imagination and nerve and resolve. It leaves unresolved the underlying Constitutional questions. It leaves millions of people fighting the same fight over and over, probably for years to come. It leaves millions of same-sex couples out in the cold. It leaves a few backward American states dug in against the future, battling against marriage equality to the last lawyer and the last brief.
          But this failure is perhaps also a "blessing in disguise." Most of us in the LGBT and pro-marriage equality worlds have been infected with a touching and completely unwarranted faith in the wisdom of the Supreme Court. It's too easy to fall into the wish-fulfillment trap of believing the mighty Supremes would someday take on the perfect case and hear the perfect arguments from the perfect advocates and in their perfect wisdom issue forth from on high the perfect ruling, which would end the struggle once and for all for the entire nation and bring marriage equality (and peace) to the USA, from sea to shining sea. The reality of American history is that the Supreme Court is often just as likely to fuck it up. They're fully capable of getting it all wrong, partly wrong or only half right, clouding the entire issue for a generation or more. Our private suspicion is that a minority on the current Court are quite aware of this danger and were unwilling to entrust the issue to the Court's majority for this term--so they found a way to let the Court quietly take a pass this time around. The lower courts have generally risen well to this particular occasion in history, an occasion the Supreme Court has declined to address for the moment, and we'll just have to keep fighting this battle in those courts, where we've proven we can win. We'll keep winning.
          If the Supreme Court had taken the case, as the world assumed they would, we'd be lucky to have a ruling by next summer, and we'd be lucky if their ruling resembled the winning rulings we've already won in the Circuit courts. Now we have legal same-sex couple marriage available all across Colorado and Virginia, our principal home states. Today. Not months or years or generations away. Today.
          For the Island, the legal same-sex couple marriages we've been fighting for will never replace our real Island marriages. Not until the state of Colorado allows, let's say, four gay women and two gay men, just as an example, to marry one another in one great, big, happy, polyamorous union. That's another battle to be fought, a little farther down the road. But we need legal same-sex marriages to happen. The country and the world need this to happen, to demonstrate that love is love and every love is of equal right and dignity under the law. This will happen, and soon.
          And the Island needs to start planning more weddings...

Rachel, for the Island, with the help of Lucia, Caitie, Stella and Kelly, and everyone


         

What it takes to be a woman
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY FRANCESCA! You know what it takes...



And you've got it. By "it" of course we mean beauty, brains, heart, guts and soul. Oh yes, and BALLS too...

Happy birthday Francesca, aka Francie aka Chessie aka Big Sis, and thank you for being a unique, irresistible and indispensable part of the Island. Thank you for loving us. Thank you for being part of this voyage. Thank you for giving the gift only you can give. WE LOVE YOU!

Love forever from Terry! and Dante, your Pearl Court, from the Tigers, and the entire worldwide Island

A message from the harvest moon
blondes are always trouble
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This isn't the post I was going to write tonight. (Hi, this is Stella, in case you wondered.) I had this very cute idea about writing a belated happy blogday post to myself. I was going to tell you all about how I used to write these adorable blogday posts every August the ninth (some of them, anyway) and how I "forgot" again this year, for a million good reasons, so here I was writing this thing almost a month late. I was going to compare my life eight years ago (eight years! oh my god!) when I first started my own LJ here at stelladellasera, to my life today. (Thumbnail version: Today wins in a landslide.)
          I was going to tell you a lot of other marginally fascinating things too, but let's forget about all that. Lucia and Zizi and I were in bed together when we got up just after moonrise (yes, we set an alarm) to go outside in the gardens to look at the full moon. We lingered out there under the blazing moonlight for much longer than we expected, because it's so cool and sweet and beautiful here tonight, and suddenly that whole belated-blogday idea of mine just seemed trivial and obsolete, just too quaint and too cute. Okay, I'm still cute, cute is just part of my DNA, it's just that there are so many more important things for us to talk about tonight, here on the Island under the (almost) full harvest moon.
          And so! Here we are inside, sprawled on the bed, candles burning everywhere. It's late, but we want to do this right now! Reporting from the Island, this is Stella, Lucia and Zizi, with our message from the moon. (It's Stella's fingers on the laptop, but all three of us are pulling the words out of sheer moonlight together as we go along...)
         We're having babies! Two babies. The three of us. Actually it's the five of us having these two babies. Wait, make that six of us. No, actually let's make that twenty-four. And even a few more. Yes, you in the back, that's a very good point, you out there beneath the moon waving your hand furiously with a burning question: True, only two of us, at the very most, can be physically carrying in our bellies only two babies. But we're in this together, the five of us, wait, six of us, and in fact there are many more of us in this boat together than just the two, or three, or five or six or twenty-four of us. All right, hands down, everybody, we'll get around to all of your questions. (No, probably not.)
          Lucia is pregnant.
          Stella is pregnant too.

          Zizi is about as pregnant as a girl can get and not actually be
the one carrying one of these two babies we're going to be having. Zizi is absolutely indispensable to this project and we never would have begun it without her being totally on board. (That was Lucia speaking.) Our brave boys Danny and Joshie are our proud baby-daddies-to-be, and they're pretty pregnant too. (If only they could carry part of the load! Well, they are, but it's a different part.) Maria and Maravilha and every single one of all the rest of the Island are on-board too, and sharing every minute of this experience with us. Well, almost every minute. We've all shared just about everything together for the last few geological eras here on the Island, and we're all sharing this too. We're all in this together for life.
        And we're having babies!
          Okay, other people in human history have had babies too, so you probably have a general idea of how this works. Any more questions? Right. Planning for this undertaking went into all-ahead-full mode last winter, while someone else here on the Island was very pregnant with her brand-new baby girl, who was born in April. (That's another announcement to be made, as belated as it is now, and it's hers to make, not ours, so we're not taking any questions on that subject tonight.) No, none of this plan was kept a secret from the rest of the Island, or (later) from relevant friends and family off-Island, but yes, this is the very first public announcement of it to our friends in the LJ world. Yes, the daring deeds in question were done the old-fashioned way, we're Old School that way. By careful planning and deliberate design (and a little luck and love), we managed to mix the magic for both of us at almost the exact same moment back in May (we think it actually happened the very same night), and the growing products of this rather amazing magic are due for delivery sometime in February. Maravilha will undoubtedly give us more exact ETAs as we get closer to our delivery dates. We're hoping for the very same birthday for both babies, but that's a lot of synchronicity to ask of the universe all at once. (And yet it could happen.) Morning sickness was really particularly bad for one of us for only about three weeks, about two weeks for the other one of us, and most of that seems to be over now for both of us. Fingers crossed! Both of us, wait, make that all four of us, are incredibly healthy and happily growing and glowing. So far, so good, and everything is looking very good right down the line. And reliable sources inform us that sometime in February (ETA TBA) we'll be welcoming onto the Island a pair of healthy happy little girls.
         Girls! Two baby girls! Oh my god! (That was Zizi squealing.) Why and how did Lucia and Stella and Zizi plan this dual simultaneous pregnancy and what on earth were they thinking? Are they out of their effing minds? How and when did all the various deep and thorny questions of the choosing of the ideal, absolutely perfect, pair of baby daddies come to be settled? What will this strange and nearly infinitely complex enterprise mean for the future of the Compass Court and all the rest of the Island's interlocking courts, and for the future of the Island itself? And what did we do and find tonight together, out in the gardens in the moonlight?
          No more questions tonight, everybody, sorry, we're out of moonlight and out of candlelight and out of time and we have too many sleepy eyes here tonight, so it's back to bed for all of us, moonlight or no moonlight. (There's still a lirttle left.)
          And so goodnight for tonight, from Lucia, Stella and Zizi, and from the two perfect little girls we're carrying around with us wherever we go, and from the Island.
          Love and luck and harvest moons from the Island....

Lucia
Stella
Zizi
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Birthdays and Tigers and August
three baby tigers
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WE LOVE YOU NATALIA!

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Happy August birthday, blue-eyed tiger girl, from your Tiger Court! Our Tiger Tallie is 25 years old and she is wild, beautiful, unique, indispensable, awesome, and adored. Purrs and grrrs from your tigers, baby. WE LOVE YOU FOREVER.

August has also brought us many other happy occasions. Just a few: A terrific homecoming for the Pearl Court (and other courts) and especially, from the Tigers' viewpoint, a joyful reunion with our tiger girl Terry, who's a member of both courts, and who was missed missed desperately missed while she and the Pearl were off seeing the world this summer. WELCOME HOME TERRY! A happy birthday for our baby Ariel, Mark and Bella's little girl, who just turned three and is as cute as a baby tiger's ear. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ARIEL! She's not listening, she's playing Ride the Tiger with Bella and Tallie. An anniversary of a collaring commitment for Danny and Joshie, collared five years ago to Lucia in an Island era long ago and far away, but that love and commitment is alive and growing every day. A three-month milestone for a project that has not yet been announced here, but which has preoccupied us in an incredibly happy way all summer long. A four-month milestone for another new project we're all pretty proud of, our new baby girl born in April. August has brought the Island supermoons and meteor showers, mountains and beaches, road trips and music festivals, so much music this summer, brilliant blue days and clear starry nights, monsoons and rainbows, sunny days with kids and pools and green lawns, and big plans for children and schools and houses and work this fall.

It's been an amazing August here on the Island. The Tiger Court hereby moves and seconds the proposition that August shall be extended for another month every year, the second August to be known as "Tiger Summer," all in favor raise your paws and go GRRRR! The Tiger Ayes have it, the vote is unanimous, the motion is carried, Tiger Summer is now the law of the Island. Now all we have to do is take over and remake all the calendars of all the world, and while we're at it we'll bring about world peace and universal harmony. No problem! After a summer like this, anything is possible~

Happy August to all of us and all of you! From the Island and the Tiger Court, back home and back together and out of birthdays for this summer, sunny days and starry nights and a happy end of a great summer.

~Kelly and the Tigers

Birthday balloons!
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For the Island's July birthdays.

Balloons on the beach

This LJ post is to officially catch up with a lot of Island birthdays and other special dates, so we're launching a whole bunch of birthday balloons here on the beach.
          Happy belated birthday love to Dante, Michael, Hawk, and Terry! You are all over the world this first of August, you are all deeply loved and missed, and we will all be back together soon. Birthday wishes as well to our friends Katya and Sergei's little girl Kelly Lucia in New Orleans. We have friends and family around the world who celebrated July birthdays and other big occasions, many of which we celebrated with them in person, some in absentia, but all of them are loved, and these balloons are for you too. This July also brought the Island major anniversaries of collars, commitments and changes. We'll catch up with some of those in detail soon.
          Some of us are at the beach far away, some of us are in the mountains or distant woods and meadows, some of us are here in town. All of us are busy and happy, and we send our love to all the Island and to all of you. And wherever you are this summer, may your beach be full of love.
          And balloons!

Stella and Kelly, from the Island

World Tiger Day
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Today is International Tiger Day, and the Island's Tigers are celebrating the tiger. Tigers, as you can see here, are cute, cuddly, bouncy, lovable little balls of stripey fur, who grow up to become wild, beautiful and elegant apex predators and fearsomely efficient killing machines. Which is a good thing. Unless you're a gazelle. But hunting and eating gazelles, among other things, is just part of a tiger's job. Tigers do their jobs incredibly well while inspiring dread, worship, imagination, beauty, poetry and art, and the world would be a poorer and dimmer place without tigers. SAVE THE TIGER!



The Island Tigers are all well and truly saved, thank you for asking, and we are all of us happy, healthy, brave and bouncy here in our Tiger Lair deep in the leafy jungles of the Island's nature preserve. The whole Island has been having an amazing summer, which we've been mostly too busy to write about on LJ, but we'll have some Big Announcements to make soon. Very soon. Some of these Big Announcements are long overdue, some are right on time, some are the future that we're making happen here on the Island. All are big and happy announcements of big events and changes and plans we're immensely proud of. We're so happy about these things we're bouncing like baby tigers!

But today is Tiger Day. Wherever you are, be happy and bounce (or pounce) like a tiger, and please help save the tiger and save some of the beauty and wildness of the world.

~Kelly and Ciara for World Tiger Day, and for the Island

How many more times?
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Answer: As many times as it takes.

Marriage equality has won in every court that's confronted the issue all across America over the past year, and we're still not there. We've won in more than twenty states, we've won in legislatures, we've won in courtrooms great and small. In Colorado we've won several times this year alone, including in Colorado county courts, federal district courts and the US Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and yet same-sex marriage licenses are still being issued here only in brave, rebellious little Boulder County. Just yesterday, Colorado's ban on same-sex marriage was roundly and definitively overturned as unconstitutional by Judge Raymond Moore of the US District Court for Colorado--overturned--and yet the judge was compelled to stay the ruling for thirty days while the Colorado Attorney General, John Suthers, appeals. Again.

The AG has already admitted that he can't defend the ban and it won't win on appeal, but he persists in pushing appeals to the Tenth Circuit, as well as to the Colorado Supreme Court and/or the US Supreme Court, neither of which is likely to rule on the issue until next year. Justice delayed equals justice denied. Suthers says he's pursuing every avenue of appeal in order to eliminate "legal chaos." Well, most of the "legal chaos" in Colorado is being created by the AG's appeals! If Suthers would stop being a dick and drop the appeals he admits he'll lose, the district court's ruling could go into effect immediately and marriage equality would arrive for all of Colorado. But he'll probably stick with being a dick, primarily because he'll be out of a job in January (he's term-limited from running for AG again) and he wants to run for mayor of Colorado Springs--where being a reactionary dick is still considered a Good Thing. So a win for justice and equality has to wait for one loser politician to lose big enough to make his losing political point so the other losers will think he's a winner. But no matter what the AG and the other losers do, when marriage equality goes to court again, we'll win. Again.

How many more times do we have to win, before marriage equality becomes the law of the land all across America? As many times as it takes.

Caitie, for the Island

WEDDINGS!
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Weddings everywhere. Gay weddings! Right here in Denver, Colorado! And we were there!

Anna, Fran and Jeremy

One wing of the Island flew back to Colorado yesterday, just in time to go to TWO same-sex weddings. Our friends Anna and Fran Simon became the very first gay couple to get legally married in the city of Denver. (That's Anna and Fran above, with their little boy Jeremy.) They were also the first gay couple in Colorado to join in a same-sex civil union, just last year. We were there to help them celebrate, then we celebrated the marriage of yet another Denver gay couple, and then we danced the night away. And slept till noon.
          Marriage equality has been on a runaway train here while we were in Virginia for our Midsummer Passage. We have put our own blood, sweat, tears and money in this fight. There's a powerhouse coalition of activists and legal experts hard at work on this, so we knew we didn't need to be here for the court cases to work their way through, but we're so glad we got here in time to celebrate. This week a Colorado District Court judge in Adams County struck down Colorado's statewide ban on same-sex marriage. Finally! And struck it down in a big way: The ban is unconstitutional and, Judge Scott Crabtree said, "bears no rational relationship to any conceivable government interest." But as expected, he stayed the order pending appeal. This week the state Attorney General sued the Boulder County Clerk, our hero Hillary Hall, to force her to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses pending resolution of appeals. Suthers, the Republican AG, expected to handily steamroll a mere county clerk, but he lost big in Boulder County Court, where Judge Hartman swatted down the AG and compared Hillary to Martin Luther King Jr. That court's ruling made it possible for the Denver County Clerk to also begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses Thursday, and that's what made these weddings possible, and many more weddings to come. We're going to three more gay weddings this weekend, and two next week. Pueblo County started issuing same-sex marriage licenses this morning and several other counties may soon follow, though there are many counties in Colorado which will have to be dragged kicking and screaming, along with the rest of the USA, into the twenty-first century. Governor Hickenlooper and the Mayor of Denver promptly jumped aboard the bandwagon, and the Attorney General has been reduced to impotent sputtering. He's fighting a losing rearguard action against civil rights history being made, he's looking like a fool, and he knows it. It's even possible (though it would be surprising, we know the guy) that Suthers might yet throw down his sword and give up. But whether he surrenders or not, we're going to win.
          This has been an epic week for marriage equality here, but these are just battles on the way to victory. There will be many more. We'll finally have to win in the Colorado Supreme Court, which would settle the issue for the state of Colorado, or in the US Supreme Court. One or both of these wins will eventually happen. We're hoping for sooner rather than later.
          And what does this mean for the Island? Are we planning a wave of Island weddings, now that our hometown has jumped the broom into the new world of marriage equality and our entire state is certain to follow, sooner or later?
          It means a lot to us. We've been working and plotting and hoping for this for a long time. When some of us were first coming out as lesbian couples, in 2006 and 2007, Colorado voters had just passed Amendment 43, our state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, and it passed by a comfortable majority. Most of the states in the Union had either already passed similar bans or were just about to pass them. It looked like a very long, rocky road to marriage equality in America. That road has been long enough, and rocky enough, but just a few years ago most of us thought it might take a generation or more to reach our destination. A few years later, Amendment 43 and all its noxious kind are swirling down the drain of history, and a final victory looks like it's right around the corner.
          But where does this leave the Island, and where does this take us? Where are we in all this, and where do we go from here?
          Soon.

Rachel and Caitie for the Island
          

Eastbound and airborne
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The Island is flying today to Virginia for our annual Midsummer Passage!

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No, our corner of the Hunt Country of Virginia doesn't exactly look like this beach, but today feels like this. It feels like sunshine, blue skies and clear water. Our Midsummer Passage is the center point of our year, it's a party, it's a ceremony, it's a wedding, it's a celebration, it's a happy ending and a happy beginning. It's the Island.
          About half the Island is already there, at the Hexagon estate deep in the woods and meadows of the horse country of Northern Virginia. The rest of us are cleared for takeoff, and we'll be getting our wings on right after lunch (and probably a few last-minute packing rethinks), and flying east to join them. News bulletins may follow on an irregular basis, as time and events, and champagne, and fireflies, and blue skies and steamy nights, permit.
          We wish you happy landings from the Island, and may your midsummer be sunny and bright.

Caitie, for the Island

Gay marriage. Colorado. Today. Seriously.
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Yes, gay couples got married today in Boulder, Colorado. An historical marker in the making. The county clerk in Boulder, where many of us went to school, started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples this afternoon. Today. June 25th, 2014. She said she'll do it again tomorrow, and she'll keep doing it until a court tells her to stop. That may very well happen, and those licenses and marriages might have to float in legal limbo for a while. Today was full of wins, but it was not the whole campaign. But what a win! And whatever happens in Boulder, we will win the campaign for marriage equality. Soon.
          Today a panel of the Tenth US Circuit Court of Appeals supported the federal district court in striking down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage. Another historical marker. This is the very first US federal appeals court to rule on marriage equality, and we won. It wasn't unanimous, but we won. The only US court above this level is the Supreme Court.
          Today also the federal district court for Indiana struck down Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage. The Indiana court did not stay this ruling, so some Indiana county clerks began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples almost immediately. This may also get put on hold pending appeal. Last week Wisconsin underwent a similar confusing experience. Hang in there, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, and all the rest of the as-yet unliberated LGBT USA. We'll get there together.
          The Tenth Circuit Court is based right here in Denver and has jurisdiction over the states of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Kansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. The Tenth's ruling is now the law of the land for those six states, but the court also immediately stayed their ruling pending appeal. The state of Utah sent a stone tablet by Pony Express from their Fortress of Solitude somewhere deep in the 19th Century, confirming that they would in fact appeal the ruling of the court of appeals. Boulder, Colorado, on the other hand, boldly decided that the Tenth's ruling was stayed only in the state of Utah, where the court cases originated, not in Colorado, where the ruling should have the immediate force of law. So Boulder is issuing gay couples marriage licenses until a judge or the Supreme Court tells them to stop.
          Go Boulder! The Island offers a chorus of loud cheers for our brave little People's Republic of Boulder, as some of our fellow Denverites like to call it. Boulder is a city and a state of mind sui generis, one with a long tradition of supporting and nurturing all things LGBT, including a brief but notorious era of issuing same-sex marriage licenses as far back in the distant past as 1975, long before most of us here on the Island were out of the womb, much less out of the closet. Hurray for Boulder!
          And hurray for the Tenth. After our incredible string of victories in state courts and federal district courts, this win in the Tenth Circuit kicked the campaign for marriage equality right up to the next level. This is our biggest win yet. Here's part of what the Tenth said today:

“We hold that the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right to marry, establish a family, raise children and enjoy the full protection of a state’s marital laws... A state may not deny the issuance of a marriage license to two persons, or refuse to recognize their marriage, based solely upon the sex of the persons in the marriage union.... It is wholly illogical to believe that state recognition of love and commitment of same-sex couples will alter the most intimate and personal decisions of opposite-sex couples."

The Tenth rules.

Caitie for the Island

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY KELLY!
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Hey baby! Happy birthday! Again! And look what we found in the freezer: Leftover birthday moon!

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Bring champagne and silver cups and meet us in the garden, Kell, we'll tiger tumble in the cool grass and lick the moon off a silver spoon, we'll lap up the moon like a tub of peppermint ice cream, like a bowl of cold milk on black velvet, like tigers licking the Milky Way, like the way we love you. Kelly girl, we could eat you up like ice cream every summer day and winter night and we love you more than the moon.

Happy birthday, Tiger Queen.

Grrrs and purrs from your Tigers and your Island forever

My birthday present
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I asked the Island for a full moon for my birthday. That's all I wanted. Just the moon. That's not too much to ask for, is it?

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AND THEY GOT ME ONE!  It was beautiful, it was a strawberry moon, it was delicious and I ate it all up, every strawberry moontiger bite of it, all by myself. Yum! No I didn't, actually I shared it with the Island and the whole world and I hope you got a slice of that yummy moon before it was all gone. We'll make another one. Next month. I promise. It's worth the wait, believe me. But there won't ever be another moon exactly like this one. This was my 24th birthday moon.

My full moon really wasn't all I got for my birthday, or for graduation, I got some amazing things, but that's another post. I just wanted to say thank you for everything. I told everyone to please not post anything for my birthday because I wanted to do this, to say thank you and I love you. I know if I really truly asked for the moon and nothing but the moon would do the Island would somehow lasso the moon for me, and the moon would be under my pillow by morning, all wrapped up with a kelly green ribbon. But the moon is just the smallest present I got for my birthday. The brightest full moon in the universe would barely light up the tiniest corner of what the Island has already given me. Because the Island gives me the whole world.

And I will give the whole world back to the Island, minute by minute and moon by moon. You are my Island, and I'm yours and I will ways be part of you. So happy birthday to all of us.

~Kelly

FLYING TIGERS!
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School's over and look, up in the sky! Tigers are flying!

Floating tigers

Grad school is over. (For now.) Unbelievably over! Two years. It took forever. It took no time at all. It's a blur. Now it's over. The last of us killed killed killed her very last final this morning and now we are GRADUATING!!!! Tomorrow. Three Tigers will receive our master's degrees tomorrow at Commencement and the entire Island will be there with us, every one of us, along with all our families and a boatload of our friends to watch us make complete fools of ourselves as we collect the paperwork. It'll take forever, it'll be a blur, I can't wait! WE DID IT. We did it we did it we did it. We did it really well. Look out world, Tigers are on the loose.

Oh yes, by the way, the Island will be celebrating this weekend.

We want to thank some people. They've all been thanked profusely a million times and will be thanked a million times more, but we want to write a few of their names here and say THANK YOU before the world. I'll go first (queen's prerogative) and then I'll hand this over. We'll probably forget to mention someone we meant to mention, so thank you too!

From Kelly: I want to thank Lucia. Lucia Lucia Lucia. Key in a million more Lucias and it still won't be enough. Ciara. Tallie. Terry. GO TIGERS! Stellastellastella. Risa. Michael, Mark, Mara, Bella. Zizi and Evie. Rachel and the Castle Court. Dante! The entire Island, Pearl and Hexagon. My mom and my stepdad. My biodad for a little of his DNA. All of the Island momz & dadz, my profs and most of all, Gabriel, Lucia's father, my second mentor and my favorite teacher of all time. I love you all. Semper insula! ISLAND FOREVER!

Ciara here. Thank you Kelly! I love you. My tiger queen for life. None of us would have made it through grad school without Kelly. Years ago people used to wonder who should be the queen of this court but I always knew. Tallie and Terry! I love you! My beautiful big sister Caitie, my role and style model forever. Our mother, the original Momma Tiger. Daddy. Rachel, Evie, Zizi, Lucia, Stella, Annie and everybody on the Island always and forever. Especially Rachel! Thanks to everyone who drove the Tiger Wagon, which was almost everybody on the Island. You got us to school on time and back home through sunshine, rain, snow and floods for two whole years. Thanks!

Thanks from Tallie to Kelly, Ciara and Terry. I will never ever have the words to say what I feel about you and the Tiger Court, there are not enough words in the world. I love you. To Mark. What can I say? For kindness and nobility above and beyond. Bella and Ariel too. Stella, Zizi and Evie. Lucia, Rachel and Michael for making impossible things possible. To my mother, who will never read this, for going beyond what I ever expected from her. Daddy too. And they won't be expecting to be thanked here, so that makes it even sweeter for me to thank my amazing aunts Gioia and Risa. Best Aunts Ever!

Kelly, Ciara, Natalia (and Terry too), the Tiger Court, for the Island

Happy birthday, Joshua!
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From your biggest fan and most ardent supporter.

Joshie"s balls

Well, one of the biggest, anyway. And the most ardent? Yes, definitely the most ardent! (The most modest, too.)

Happy birthday, Joshie, from me and everyone! Let me offer you a great big little hand in support of your most splendid gifts, and a very inadequate thank-you for everything. For all the gifts you've given all of us, for years now, every day and night. For the simply amazing gift you've given me, and which I we hope plan to return in kind. (I couldn't have done it without you, baby!) For everything we mean to each other, and you know exactly what I mean. For everything we'll mean to each other and the Island in the years to come. For being such a rock-solid part of the Island, for being a gentle warrior in our battles, for being as smooth and hard as polished marble. (See above for my supportive hand on those polished marbles.) For being the incredible Greek god you really are, inside and out. For being you, for being strong and kind, and loving and beautiful, for the mysterious and ineffable Joshuosity and Joshuality of you, for being our one and only indispensable Joshie. For being part of the promise of our future together. For loving me, and for loving Danny, and Lucia, and Zizi and all of us, here and now, and yet to come. For the way I love you, Joshua. For your love. For everything.

From Stella, for me and for the Island

P.S.  And happy belated birthday to Danny, too!

P.P.S.  Joshie, Lucia says she thinks there's something very wrong with the proportions, or the perspective, or something in that picture we posed for, with you as a Greek god. I think she's right, baby! In real life, believe me, you're so much bigger...

Love wins! (And an update)
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Oregon gets it right. UPDATE: Pennsylvania too!

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Arkansas made a great surprise start a week ago on pulling themselves out of the 19th century, but they got stuck in the mud. They'll catch up eventually. Oregon is a very different place from Arkansas. In Oregon all the stars were aligned, everything fell into place and it's a win! Same-sex marriage is now legal in the state of Oregon, effective immediately. Gay couples were lining up at the Multnomah County Courthouse in Portland before dawn to get marriage licenses! The first wedding joined a lesbian couple named Deanna Geiger and Janine Nelson, who have been together for thirty-one years.

We knew this was coming, we were confident of this win and we're confident it will stick. And every win in court and every state that sees the light adds to the momentum for marriage equality. Many things can and will delay and complicate this movement, but nothing will stop it.

UPDATE: Today (Tuesday) another federal judge in Philadelphia struck down a similar ban on same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania. We're making America a better place, one state at a time.

Caitie

GO ARKANSAS!
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All is forgiven, Arkansas. We take it all back. Everything anyone on the Island has ever said about the state of Arkansas, we take it back. Fair or unfair, funny or unfunny, myth or legend, true or false, and yes, we suspect most of it is still true -- we're still taking it all back. You're okay, Arkansas.
          Why the change? Because Arkansas is changing. Because one courageous and clear-minded Arkansas county judge (with the help of a lot of committed Arkansans ["Arkansawyers"? "Arkies"?] both gay and straight) is turning the state of Arkansas upside-down, shaking out some of its deep dark Deep South past, and dragging it headlong into a brighter future. Dragged kicking and screaming and fighting every step of the way, true, but Arkansas is right now getting a big, sweet taste of the future, and that future is marriage equality.

Same-sex couples are now getting married legally in Pulaski County, Arkansas.

          Arkansas! Not far from the last place on earth we thought this would happen. Just down the road from the last place on earth, in fact. Wait, sorry, we said we were taking all of that back, and we are. HURRAY FOR ARKANSAS!
          And hurray for Idaho too, and for all of us on the side of marriage equality. We're on a roll of unbroken victories in courtrooms all across the USA, but we're not there yet. In Arkansas it's a messy unfinished victory, but it's a victory, a startling victory, a big surprise win. And a mess. Not every county is issuing marriage licenses, the state is fighting it in court all the way despite their own attorney general being on the side of marriage equality, money and media are pouring in on both sides, there will be more victories and more delays, defeats, obstacles and reversals, and none of this will really get solved until the US Supreme Court get their butts back on the bench and finish what they started -- and they will -- but for now, we're cheering for Arkansas. Those brand-new gay marriages in Pulaski County, Arkansas, are legal and they'll stay legal, no matter what happens.
          And what happens when we of the gay persuasion finally do get married? New York City knows. The state of New York stepped boldly into the future of marriage equality three years ago, a momentous event which triggered another bold step into the future for the Island, and by now married gay New Yorkers have apparently discovered what married straight New Yorkers, and the rest of us, have always known: Stuff happens! Weddings bring wedding presents, being married means joining not just lives and loves but kitchens and closets and all that stuff still stuck in the back of our closets after we came out of our closets, and wait wait what about all those cute shoes we've been hiding under our beds, and where oh where are we going to put all of our joined-till-death-us-do-part stuff in all of our tiny adorable Greenwich Village apartments now that we're oh-my-god legally married?!
          Well, here's one New York City solution to the ever-growing clutter of gay marriage, as captured by Kelly on Lucia & Co.'s recent trip to Manhattan.

Gay clutter NYC

          Storage for all your gay clutter for only $29, and a free move? In Manhattan? Sign us up!
          So here's to gay marriage. To gay wedding gift registries! And to GAY CLUTTER! Everyone knows gay clutter is the coolest, sexiest kind of clutter. And here's to many more gay marriages cluttering up the landscape and closets and storage units of America (and Arkansas), far into the future.

Caitie and Kelly

Happy Mother's Day!
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From the Island. In the snow.

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Our big Mother's Day picnic in the spring gardens at the Castle turned into a big cozy cuddle around all of our fireplaces while we watched it snow! All day. On our tulips, and on everything else. It's still snowing, it's going to snow all night. It's Colorado! Snow happens here, in May and almost every other month, and on the Island when the Snow Godz hand us snow we make snow angels. Instead of sipping juleps by the pool in the sunshine we were making hot chocolate and roasting marshmallows. And having snowball fights! Lucia's mom throws a wicked snowball, I'm making sure she's on MY team next time. Snow or no snow it was a beautiful day on the Island, nearly all of our moms and a lot of dads were here today, including our newest mom and most of her family, and we had a terrific time.

Happy Mother's day to all our moms and all our friends everywhere! Lucky snow angels are on the wing across the globe.

~Kelly for the Island

PS More island news soon~

Happy birthday...
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To me!

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And to everyone on the Island. It's my birthday, or it was until a couple of hours ago, and I pulled rank on everyone (because it's my birthday), and reserved the right to make this birthday post all by myself. To you! My birthday is yours, it would mean nothing without you. (Except to my dad. And my mother. Happy Mother's Day, Mom!) Living on the Island I feel like every day is my birthday. If I made up an imagined life for myself, out of thin air, a perfect life cut and pasted out of pure wishes and desires, out of moondust and rainbows and hot wet kisses in the dark, out of everything in the world I've ever wanted and wished for and longed for, that imaginary life wouldn't be as sweet and hot and beautiful and full of love as this life I'm living with you. You, the ones I love and who love me, make my life infinitely better than any life I could possibly have imagined. Life is sweeter than I ever dreamed it could be. Because of you. Thank you.

I love you all. I love some of you (you know who you are, and I won't mention any names here but your initials are Rachel and Evie) more than life itself. Loving you and loving life, to me those are the very same things. And I love this family like I love the air in my lungs and the blood in my heart. You are my heart, and my home, and I will love you forever.

So I'm giving my birthday back to you. My birthday, the day after, every day of my life, and all my love for all my life. Happy Caitie's Birthday to everyone on the Island, from me.

Caitie

Happy April!
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It's April and the Island is celebrating births and birthdays. And SPRING!

April crabapple!

Happy Birthday Zero to our brand-new baby girl, born April 14th! (I promised to let her momma tell all about her, so no spoilers.) Happy April birthdays to Evie (yay Evie!), to Elise with love in memoriam, to Ronnie and Annie, to Danny, and to Angela Maria, who's five years old. Happy birthday to every April baby we know, all around the world. Love and peace in memoriam to Elizabeth, who died in an April many years ago, and to Gabriela. And to Will Shakespeare, an April baby for all time. And to everyone everywhere, love and blossoms from our baby crabapple tree, which the Island planted ourselves in a far corner of our gardens not quite two years ago and nursed lovingly through this Colorado spring's late frosts and snowstorms by hanging her full of hot Christmas tree lights and carefully wrapping her up like a mummy (twice!) to keep her warm through two hard freezes so she wouldn't get her little pink buds frostbitten. And she obviously loved all this hands-on attention, because she's rewarded us for the first time (she didn't bloom at all last spring, her first year in the garden) with an amazing explosion of radiant pink petals. (See above.) So from our garden to yours, wherever you are, happy April!

Everyone here has been too busy for too long doing too many things (and too busy playing with our new baby) (nothing in the world beats playing with a new baby) (okay, maybe a few things come close to playing with a new baby) (but only a few), so maybe a Random Island Update is in order.

Random Update

More new Island babies are in the planning stage. I mean, seriously in planning, as in down to the day and hour. Practically. Babies can be a little unpredictable. But serious plans are being made.

And babies can be so predictable. Our amazing Maravilha nailed our new April baby's date of birth, sex and even her approximate weight. She says the weight was just a good guess. We don't know how she knows the rest of it. She doesn't either. But she's always been right.

The Island will grow again this summer. Not with more babies, not this year. This summer at our Midsummer Passage we will officially grow to twenty-four adults. We think that's the outer limit of the knowable Island universe for the foreseeable future, but not even Maravilha can predict these things. Only time and tide (and the mystery that is the Island) can make these things happen. Midsummer Passage will happen in June and July in Madeira--or Virginia--or Colorado. That part is still a mystery. Many other parts too.

Rachel is an awesome second Queen of the Island. So sayeth we all. We'll find out this fall whether she's calling an Island election for New Year's Eve.

We have friends from Ukraine, in New Orleans and here in Denver, and our friends have family in Ukraine. Our hearts are with them. There's not much good news coming out of Ukraine and nothing good can come from a civil war or war with Russia. But we personally got some good news from Russia this month. "Good news" if you believe evil people should be made to pay for the evil they do, and we do believe that. Our thanks to those who exacted this small payment.

Three Tigers will graduate from grad school in June! And this summer: Tiger Road Trip 2014.

No, we were not downtown to celebrate 4/20 Day. We stayed as far away as possible from 4/20 Day. On another planet. On the Island's planet, there is no such thing as 4/20 Day.

Lucia, Stella, Zizi, Michael and Kelly (me) are flying to New York this weekend on business, for a whole week. We're doing a lot of interesting things next week, including seeing as many Broadway shows as we can and buying a company or two. Kelly (me) is also getting course credit for this trip. Course credit! For going to Manhattan! Wow. I have to interview some very smart people we know and write a case study on high frequency trading, but Manhattan in April, hot biz, corporate jet, course credit, Fifth Ave shopping, Broadway theatre tickets = ECSTASY. Missing my tigers stuck at home in school for a whole week = AGONY. But like we say on the Island, how can I miss you if you won't go away? (They're gonna miss me too.)

This spring here in Colorado it's been unbelievably crazy beautiful. Everything's in bloom. In our gardens tonight the air is full of scent from plum trees, cherry trees, crabapple trees, pear trees, cut grass. It smells like heaven. And this weekend it'll be snowing. One more time. While some of us will be in Manhattan, probably walking in the rain in Central Park. I want to be here in Denver for the last spring snow and I can't wait to get to Manhattan. I want to be here at home with my Tigers and the Island (and our new baby) and I'm thrilled to be part of this New York expedition with Lucia, Stella and Zee. Wishing you could be in two (or three or four or more) places at once is part of life on the Island. But each of us is the Island, and wherever any of us go, the Island is there. And it's only a week in Manhattan, one of the Island's favorite islands. With Broadway and course credit...

Update over for now and Kelly out, for the Island. Thanks to Stell for helping and for being Stella and for being up in the middle of the night with me, out here in the Island gardens~

IT'S A GIRL!
the castle on the island
insulanova
Our perfect new baby girl arrived tonight with the full moon, and she's so beautiful nothing can eclipse her.

mhALB3Q

Welcome home, baby! She's happy, healthy and adorable, her beautiful momma is too, everyone here is high over the moon, and tonight the Island is dancing in the moonlight.

And this amazing night we are wishing everyone a very happy April, big red full moons, beautiful babies, and most of all love love love...

From the Island

Wild ones!
the party lovers
insulanova
We were gonna write something about the Island on spring break. Don't know where to start, too wild for words, so this is how we doozit doozit doozit!~



This weekend is Evie's birthday weekend, Island parties and Snowball, Pretty Lights last night, Knife Party w/Evie & the Tigers tonight, and more birthdays soon very soon, and soon more wild ones on the wild New Island and it's a HOME RUN~

~Ciara & Kelly

PS! HAPPY BIRTHDAY EVIE!!! WE LOVE YOU!!!!! ROCK ON BAAABBBYYYY!!!!!!!!!!

For Evie
sailing to the island
insulanova
Happy birthday, baby! All the waters of all the seas can never wash away what we feel for you.

love_water_beach_bg

Caitie, Rachel and the Island

Back from the beach
tired tiger
insulanova
And back from a joy ride on a comet. OK not an actual comet and not a cute sadeyed comet beached on the beach like a big furry white windup whale, but a ride on a comet. Nevertheless.



The Tiger and Compass Courts and our cometary congress are back from Spring Break at South Beach and getting ready for spring term in grad school, class starts tomorrow and OMG we are HOME!!!

More news to follow from the comets & constellations and the Island over the moon over Miami~

~Kelly

Happy birthday, Ciara Tiger!
three baby tigers
insulanova
Happy snowy birthday, tiger baby. Hey, got your tail. Nyah nyah nyah. (And who's a tiger girl gotta lick to get a little tail around here?)



A billion birthday purrs and grrrs from your stripey sister Tigers. And a gazillion kisses and licks. AND ALL OUR LOVE FOREVER!!!

From the Tiger Court, the Island, the Circle, the world

For Stella
passion has red lips
insulanova
Happy birthday, Stella by starlight!



You're our shining star, our stella della sera. All our love forever.

Zizi, Lucia, Risa, Dante, Josh and Danny and everyone

World keep on turning
carnival of love
insulanova
I don't look for no worries
Worries and troubles come around
I don't look for no worries
Worries and troubles come around
World keep on turning
Got to keep my feet on the ground



Danny and Josh for the Island

Gioia e la gioia di vivere
Island under the moon
insulanova
Buon compleanno e tanti auguri, Gioia! Happy birthday, Gioia, and thank you for the joy you bring to all our lives. Loving you, being with you, being part of this with you, knowing we're in this together for the long run, this is pure joy. Pura Gioia.

La gioia di vivere Matisse

With all our love, from your Flag Court and the whole Magic Circle

(I asked her today, "Picasso or Matisse?" She said, "Matisse, of course. Why?")

Happy birthday, Lucia!
Island Queen
insulanova
Lucia, you've given the Island so much more than we could ever give you.
Without you there would be no Island.


Love Island

And the Island we've built together will last a lifetime. From the air, anyone can tell which little island is our Island: It's made of love.

Happy birthday!

With all our love, from the Island and the Circle

Circles and moons
Island under the moon
insulanova
Our Magic Circle, the Island and the Hexagon, are celebrating this week a number of special days.

Happy birthdays to Maria and Mark, born one day apart in the same year, a number of years ago that by someone's special request shall not be written here. (But it's not such a very large number.) They are two of the bright moons in our sky, not a couple now for many years but once a couple, and forever best friends. This week also holds strange and diverse anniversaries for Michael and Maria, who along with Mark are three of the shining stars who became the Hexagon. Happy anniversary as well to Ronnie and Annie, one of the many anniversaries they celebrate as a couple, but this is the seventh anniversary of a wild and moving collaring ceremony that took place in a dark night in the deep woods in the snow, a ceremony which also became one of the formative elements in the creation of the Island. The Island would be unimaginable without Ronnie and Annie. Welcome home to Lucia, Stella and Zizi, and Michael and Maravilha, and Dante and Francesca, all back home in Colorado from adventuring for business and pleasure in Manhattan, Miami and Madeira. The Circle is almost complete. Only Hawk and Angel and their little Angela, at home in Virginia, are apart from the rest of us right now, but in our hearts we are together.

There are not enough moons in the sky when any of us are separated, and not even the full moon this past weekend made up for missing the missing segments of our Circle. Welcome home, happy anniversary, happy birthdays, full moons and starry nights to all, and may our Circle always be unbroken.

Many moons

Rachel and Kelly for the Island

The old year passes
sailing to the island
insulanova
It's the twilight of the last night of the year, and the Island is beginning our Midwinter Passage.

Tonight we'll sweep away all the grief and pain of the old year. We'll gather up in our arms and hearts all the old year's love and joy. We'll throw the darkness into the last fire of the year, and carry all the love and light with us into the new year that's about to begin. Tonight we'll make our way through some old rituals and traditions that we love, and some new ones we love even more, and just before midnight we'll choose a new First Foot. Carrying the burden of all the Island's hopes, gifts and blessings, our First Foot and her honor guard and entourage will magically encircle our houses with luck and carry good fortune across our thresholds, all within the last moments of 2013 and the first moments of 2014. The Island has had an amazing year. We've left so much darkness behind us already. We have so much that's good and beautiful to carry forward with us, and we have the best and brightest hopes for the new year.

The Island is ready! Let the Passage begin.

Floating Island

From the Island to all of you, in the closing hours of 2013, we wish you love and light, family and friendship, health and happiness, safe harbors and grand adventures. May your 2014 shine brightly, and may all your hearts' desires come true.

The Island

Way to go, New Mexico! *UPDATE! UTAH TOO!*
all the gay girls are over here
insulanova
Marriage equality has won in New Mexico. Repeat: We have won in New Mexico! The state supreme court ruled unanimously that the equal protection clause of their state constitution ensures the right of same-sex couples to marry there. It's a win! Two women who have been together as a couple for decades, Miriam Rand and Ono Porter, were the plaintiffs in the key court case before the NM Supreme Court. The court's ruling is clean, clear and unequivocal. A quote from Justice Edward L. Chavez's decision:

"We hold that the State of New Mexico is constitutionally required to allow same-gender couples to marry and must extend to them the rights, protections and responsibilities that derive from civil marriage under New Mexico law."

Right on, NM! We were pretty confident this would happen soon, based on the legal situation there, but we didn't expect it to come just in time for Christmas. Wow! Thanks for the beautiful Christmas present, New Mexico, and merry Christmas to you, from gays and lesbians everywhere, and from everyone who believes in marriage equality and civil rights.

New Mexico Pride
18 DOWN, 33 TO GO!

UPDATE! A federal district court has just struck down Utah's state constitutional provision (Amendment 3) which bans same-sex marriage! Today! This now makes it 19 down, 32 to go. The court held Utah's ban to be unconstitutional under the US Constitution's 14th Amendment (equal protection). Utah will probably appeal (and will probably lose), but the Salt Lake County clerk's office is already issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Today. This is a landmark decision and very different from the New Mexico case, because this ruling finds a state's own constitutional amendment, passed by a large majority of the state's voters, in conflict with the US Constitution and therefore null and void. (And in Utah. Of all places. No offense to Utah, it's a beautiful state, and we're proud to welcome them to the 21st century. It's nice here in the new century, Utah, you'll like it here, and we have Christmas cookies for you.) New Mexico had no such constitutional amendment, it simply had state laws (now null and void) governing who could apply for a marriage license. The Utah case is exactly analogous to the legal situation in Colorado, so this ruling will be a tremendous help for Coloradans (like us) in overturning our evil Colorado Amendment 43. Two days, two wins for marriage equality, in two very different states. "People get ready, there's a train a-coming..."

Merry Christmas, Utah! And god bless us every one.

The Island

The heavy glow of the moon
Island under the moon
insulanova
The Moon is full. The full moon heals and renews, it makes night shine like day, it makes dark things bright. Five thousand years ago, huddled around the campfire in the dark woods, the Island might have passed among the other tribes in the forest as worshipers of the Moon Goddess. Here in the 21st century we are still in love with the moon. The full moon means more to us on the Island than I can say. No full moon ever passes without finding the Island looking up into her light, wondering and dreaming, and saying a little thank-you to the moon.

For her light. The moon fills the night with light without destroying the dark. We need darkness as well as light. The dark of night lets us reveal things hidden during the day, things of love and lust, hot dark wet sexual things hidden in the darkness of our hearts and bodies. But we need the moon to cast the shadows that bring the night to life and give it depth and dimension, make the night a magic landscape to play in, hide in, reveal ourselves in, live and sleep and dream in. For the night, the moon is the silver water of life. For her rhythm. We are women, the Island (most of us, anyway), and the rhythms of our bodies rock and roll with the rhythms of the moon. Every month the moon waxes and wanes, rises and falls, and as it moves through the heavens it fills us, empties us, cleanses us, renews us, replenishes us, makes us brand-new female creatures of the night, ready for lust and love. For her beauty. The moon, we think, is simply the most beautiful thing on Earth and makes everything on the Earth more beautiful. For the Island. Two of us on the Island, long ago, wrestled one night with a particular shade of darkness. A very dark shade. In the depths of that darkness they came out into the night--and the moon was shining. It changed everything for them. They think (and we do too) that the full moon helped to save them, somehow. It helped them save themselves, helped to light the way for them. They chose light over darkness, and they found a way to keep the dark on their side, and under their control. They chose life together, they chose love and light, they chose the Island. Without that night, and that moonlight, they might not have survived as a couple--and without them there would be no Island. No full moon passes on the Island without some small thought of that night. And a small hallelujah for the moon. We brought our friends the Haunted Windchimes to help us say it.



...There's a woman down below
She feels the heavy glow
Of the moon and the song it's softly singing

Well she walks in her sleep
To the light down the street
Giving her a fluorescent feeling

You think it's just a light
But in her own sight
A luminescent dream, oh they're waiting
You try to call her name
But she doesn't hear a thing
Only the sound of angels singing

Hallelujah hallelujah
They try to call her name
But she doesn't hear a thing
Only the sound of angels singing




Hallelujah, happy holidays from the Island (and happy Saturnalia too), don't be afraid, wherever you are, and may the full moon drive the darkness away and make all your wishes come true.

The Island

An Open Letter from the Island
Island under the moon
insulanova
To all the future mass murderers of the world.

We know you're out there. We don't know your names or motives or the settings of your future crimes, but we know you're there, somewhere. We know you're lurking silently in almost every town, every city, every nation, every school. We've seen the carnage you've left behind, at the University of Texas, Columbine, Platte Canyon, Virginia Tech, DeKalb, Nickel Mines, Sandy Hook, Santa Monica, Aurora, Arapahoe High (only yesterday), and a thousand other places around the world. We know the brutal, stupid evil you're inching toward, whether you're right now actively plotting your final act down to the last lethal detail, or still merely seething with secret rage and resentment, waiting to explode. We don't know why, and we really don't care. We know you're troubled, you're tormented, you have grievances, issues and injustices, no one understands you, nobody feels the agonies you suffer, nobody knows the trouble you've seen. So what? Everyone has troubles, everybody suffers, everyone has issues and injustices, but most of us find ways to live our lives without murdering anyone. Not everybody becomes a mass murderer who slaughters and maims innocent human lives and then blows his so-called brains out, mere seconds before someone better can do it for him. We know the dark place you're heading for, you twisted cowards, and you know it too: Death. Either you'll kill yourself when there's no other way out, or else someone who has right and duty on their side will kill you before you can kill again--and if any one of us is ever in a position to stop one of you, don't worry, we'll pull the trigger without a second thought and save you the trouble. Or if you happen to survive your sick bid for infamy (and your chances aren't good, check the stats), you'll spend the rest of your wasted life in prison or a mental institution. These are the only real options for you, you know: Suicidal mass murderers never escape. You don't even want to escape, do you? You want to die just to show us how the world has ruined your life and everything is the world's fault, not yours. You want to go out in a blaze of violent glory. We know this much about you, whoever you are.

But if you're reading this, you future suicide killers of the world, relax. We're not going to try to talk you out of your chosen destiny. We know if your number one goal is to leave this world in a hail of bullets after taking a lot of innocent lives with you, then you're probably already too far gone in your madness to be swayed by rational arguments or emotional appeals. So the Island has just one urgent and very simple request.

Do the suicide first.

That's all. If you have to kill someone, you losers, kill yourself first, not last. Just reverse the itinerary, cut to the chase, skip all the bloody preliminaries. Why not? It's your life, you have a right to end it, no one here will stand in your way--just leave the rest of us out of it. Skip the pointless murders, go right to the big finish and blow your head off with that 12 gauge you saved up your school lunch money for. Go ahead, do it right now. Show us your guts, spray them all over the basement wall if you have to. But do it alone! Spare the world our grieving for those innocent victims you would otherwise have killed or crippled. And will we grieve for you? Of course we will, and our grief for your solitary death will now be untainted by rage, disgust and horror. We might even remember you fondly, some of us, somewhere. Won't that be so much better? For you, for your would-be victims, for us, for the world? We'll grieve for your bright future tragically cut short, for the pain of your family, for a troubled young life lost to a lonely suicide. We promise. But remember, future suicidal murderers, you need to uphold your end of this bargain, or else. Suicide first, not last. Then your troubles will be over, and the world's troubles will be fewer.

The Island, with rage and sorrow for all the innocent victims of violence everywhere

Tea with the Island
the party lovers
insulanova

A quick slice of the Island's December so far.

Saturday, Pearl Harbor Day, the White Christmas Ball at Wings Over the Rockies! Most of us in the Circle were there, we never miss this thing if we're in town. Dress code is vintage 1940s and 1950s. We were all pure period correct vintage, glammed out & dolled up, ready to rockabilly, ready to swing, ready to see & be seen. Dressing for this ball is always the big adventure of the day for us, the actual ball that night is almost kind of secondary. Except this year! WANDA JACKSON! She headlined the show. "Funnel of Love" is one of the Island's songs, and she was there to rock it. Almost eighty years old, but Wanda still brings it. Makes you want to time machine back & see her when she was young & gorgeous, the hottest female in rock 'n' roll, out on the road with Elvis, she was the "Queen of Rockabilly" already when my mother was born. Her voice now is going on about half gone on a lot of songs, but she's still got rockabilly balls and tons of personality. The Island lookbook for the WC Ball this year was heavy on old movies and music, we rocked some of our best Forties gowns, suits and uniforms, plus a little Thirties and a lot of rockabilly Fifties. Tigers [with major help from Annie and her magical wardrobe trunk & stage makeup box] tackled Grant, Hayworth and Arthur out of "Only Angels Have Wings" ca 1939. Cary Grant? Me! I got my drag swagger on and rocked my best Cary Grant all night, though when I made people guess some said Errol Flynn! Which is all right I guess, but who on earth would choose Errol over Cary Grant?! Ciara and Tallie were red flaming hot as Jean Arthur and Rita Hayworth, and the rest of the Island was just amazing. The dancing started out swing, went jitterbug & jivey, and then turned rockabilly in a hurry when Wanda finally took over the stage. And getting to rock my Thirties aviator drag and hang with the genuine original B-52s and B1B Stealth bombers at Wings? Unbelievable.

Tuesday, Chris Isaak in Boulder. Must be the third time we've seen him this year. We're practically groupies. I bet Chris would miss us down at the front of the stage if we suddenly weren't there for him every time he plays Colorado. He really seems to recognize some of us, he pulls a few of us up on stage for his comedy bits on occasion, he told us his Secret Safeword, he usually does most of our favorites, he always asks us if we want "the usual" tonight. (Not really.) I'm half afraid he thinks we just follow him around because we want to take him home to meet our mothers. He's half right, my mom loves him too, they're about the same age, he'd be just about perfect for her. Except for my stepdad. And in fact I'd take him home for myself, a lot of us would, he's our kind of guy. Except he's a guy. And those of us who are into guys already have their guys, and the rest of us have our girls, and all of us have the Island and that's everything we need, so we really shouldn't tease poor Chris "Solitary Man" Isaak ("Mr Lonely Man") about taking him home with us to rock the night away. He's part of the Island soundtrack in our heads, which is probably exactly where he belongs, not in our beds. But sometimes when Chris is doing "Wicked Game" or "Western Stars" or "One Day" it just makes you wonder, just for a minute~



Yesterday the Castle and Tiger Courts took our mothers to afternoon tea at the Brown Palace, the legendary old hotel downtown. Tea for ten, transpo by limo. There are much bigger hotels here but not any classier. Today the Compass and Flag Courts took their moms to tea at the Brown. Tea for twelve! This daughter-mother-tea thing is kind of a December tradition of ours, though sometimes it just doesn't fit the calendar or else we do a spa day instead, but tea at the Brown Palace all lit up for Christmas is pretty fabulous. And we have some pretty fabulous moms, they deserve a nice hot cuppa tea. This year we did the "Veuve Clicquot Tea," with lots of champagne, fifteen different kinds of tea in silver teapots, scones with Devonshire cream and strawberry jam, little cucumber finger sandwiches, the cute little roast beast sandwiches, tarts and cakes and all the usual mysterious high tea stuff. Castle and Tiger Courts followed up on tea by taking our favorite moms down Sixteenth Street to Larimer Square & Writer Square for shopping & hot chocolate at the little street fair, and later we did Momz & Martinis at the Rialto when it got just dark enough for the Christmas lights to pop. Then we called for Joey with the limo to come pick us up. [Limos are the life! Especially for getting a limo load of happy moms full of tea and martinis safely back home.] Compass and Flag Courts did the same basic trip, but with Momz & Martinis at the Cruise Room. If you still don't know what to give Mom for Christmas, try afternoon tea at the Brown Palace, or any reasonably classy palace in your neighborhood. Recommended by the Island Institute of Good Momkeeping.

Tonight: Early holiday parties here and there amongst the Island and Hexagon bio-families. Tomorrow: Dancing! Saturday: Holiday open house hosted jointly by Lucia's and Stella's folks, the Island to provide manpower, womanpower, horsepower, and Christmas cookies. I think we're also baking pies. Sunday: The big Swallow Hill annual members' party, with the Haunted Windchimes on stage. We love the Windchimes, but we'd be going anyway. And next week is--another week in December.

Happy holidays from the Island, have a swingin' mid December, and remember us at tea at the palace. Save us the roast beast!

~Kelly

Angels have birthdays too
passion has red lips
insulanova
Happy birthday, Angel! We know you're a real angel. We have proof.

snow angel

Baby, if all the snow in all the world was made of sugar straight from Heaven, you would still be sweeter! You've always been an angel to me, to your little girl, to your guy, to all of us and to your whole world. We love you, Angel baby! Happy birthday, and we'll see you soon (but not soon enough).

Risa, for the whole Circle

Happy birthday, Rachel!
Island Queen
insulanova
WE LOVE YOU!

Love from the Island

The Island herewith celebrates our Queen, Rachel. This celebration has three principal occasions. Her first thirty-three years of making the world a more beautiful and loving place. (Today is her birthday.) Her first five years in a most uncommon and amazing marriage with the loves of her life, Caitie and Evie, the Castle Court--the triple marriage that blazed the trail for every Island triple to follow. (Their anniversary--and our Big Party--happens this weekend.) And Rachel's spectacular first year as the Queen of the Island, which comes to a close this New Year's Eve. (But her reign will continue.)

Rachel, you rock as our Queen, we'll always have your back as you have our hearts, and we love you. A lot. As much as all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the Island. Just a big, sappy, hyperbolic, over-the-top birthday card sentiment, you're thinking? No. Actually we secretly counted all those grains of sand, while you were, um, busy doing Queen stuff. We had to count a lot of sand, but we all pitched in, we double-checked our math, and guess what? That very large number of grains of sand happens to be exactly how much we love you. Strange but true.

So happy birthday!

Your Island




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