My experience with Boy Scouts of America!

We missed our weekly Boy Scout meeting a couple of weeks ago. I spent the weekend dealing with my lovely Bluebell’s illness, and driving boys around. Bluebell developed an intestinal problem (we will leave it at that) on Saturday night and was able to tolerate toast by yesterday afternoon. I developed some cold symptoms yesterday morning, and was unable to muster enough energy to get the boys to Scouts. The youngest son, The Brain, had spent the weekend camping, so he was okay with that. His older brother, Joe Cool, would rather play the PS3 anyway, so he didn’t seem to mind either.

Yesterday in the mid afternoon I sent an email to the Scout leader letting him know that Bluebell and I were both sick and that the boys would not be at Scouts that evening. He thanked me for leaving our germs at home.

That got me thinking about our Scout troop.  Bluebell and I have been attending events, Court of Honor, Popcorn sales, Spaghetti dinners, etc together with this troop for four years.  She and I pick up the boys, drop off the boys, drive them to camp outs, either together or separately.  None of the adult leaders has ever had a negative thing to say to us or our boys about the “same genderedness” of our relationship.  We never hide the fact that we are a family.  It is not swept under the rug; it is out in the open.

Then I started thinking about other families I know that have same-gendered parents whose sons are in Boy Scouts.  My friend has a son in another Scout troop in our area. She is a trained leader.  She attends all of the camp outs and leads the boys.  She is married to her female partner.  The troop leaders know this, and they have no problem with it.  (I am not going to name the troops so they don’t get any pressure from outside groups to change their behavior.) She is an open lesbian woman in a leadership position with a Boy Scout troop.

There is a new family at my church.  They are also a two mom family.  Two moms, and boys in Scouts.  They are new, so I have not had an opportunity to have a long discussion with her about how the troop treats them, however, I did learn that her boys are very active in their troop, so I am curious…

I have also found a blog I LOVE to read called “Doorknobs That Lock“.  They are a two-mom family with a son the same age as Joe Cool who is also very active in Boy Scouts.  They live in a state that allows legal marriage and they are legally married!  YAY!  Their son is active in a Boy Scout troop with two moms who are legally married to each other.  That troop is also doing the right thing.

All of this made me wonder if the Boy Scouts of America are really homophobic –or are they just against men who are gay being involved in Boy Scouts?  Most of the stories I have seen online and heard about talk about males getting asked to leave the BSA due to being openly gay.  So I am thinking maybe gay women are less threatening? The thought that gay men are predators towards boys is a myth of the nastiest kind and has no actual factual basis.  In fact, Psychology Today published an article on September 15, 2008 which states, “In reality, abuse of boys by gay pedophiles is rare, and the abuse of girls by lesbians is rarer still.”  Maybe the troops who ousted gay leaders need to read that article.

I have come to the conclusion that the Boy Scouts of America is not a bad organization as a whole.  Quite possibly the troops in the area where I live are more progressive and are trying to be realistic in their allowing gay people to lead the boys in the troops.  I suppose they believe that if we can lead our young men at home, we can lead them in a troop. I applaud the Boy Scout troops in our area, and also the one in New Hampshire that M attends.  They are people who know that sexual orientation does not affect the content of your character.

And if we need any more proof of how a same-gender-led household can raise an Eagle Scout, we only have to look at Zach Wahls:

Turtle Cheesecake…the best one I have ever had!

A few years ago I was looking for a Turtle cheesecake recipe for my sweet Bluebell.  She had asked me to make a cheesecake for Christmas Dinner, and I know that caramel and chocolate are two of her favorite things!

Whenever she buys a cheesecake slice it is always a Turtle cheesecake, so I began searching online for a yummy looking Turtle Cheesecake recipe.   I found this recipe on the BlogChef website and it has become a tradition that I make this cheesecake every year for Christmas dinner.

The kids are not huge cheesecake fans, and Bluebell doesn’t really like to share this cheesecake, so they have ice cream or chocolate pie instead.

I promise you this cheesecake is amazing!  I have tweaked the recipe a bit over the years, but it is my “go to” Turtle Cheesecake recipe.  I want to share it with you all!  If you love chocolate, caramel and cheesecake this is the one for you too.  Try it, you will love it!!


¾ cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs  (crushed)  **I used chocolate teddy grahams, because I couldn’t find chocolate graham crackers.

½ cup melted butter (or margarine)

3 (8 oz) packages of softened cream cheese

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
 (I use the fat free kind)

½ cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

3 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels

2 tablespoons chocolate syrup

2 tablespoons caramel sundae syrup

½ cup pecans (chopped)

¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
** I add 1/2 cup sour cream to give the cheesecake a more “New York” style.

** I also take some caramel candies and melt them with a little bit of heavy cream and then pour on top of the crust to form a caramel layer between the crust and the cheesecake.

Step 1: Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees and grease a 9 inch spring form pan. Combine Chocolate graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a bowl. Press mixture onto the bottom and 1 inch up the side of the spring form pan.
Step 2: In a bowl beat cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until its smooth. Add sugar, lime juice, eggs, and vanilla extract. Beat together until fully mixed.
Step 3: Microwave chocolate morsels in 10 second intervals until morsels are just melted. Stir 2 cups of cheesecake batter into the melted morsels.  Then spoon separate batters alternatively into the crust. Start with the batter without the morsels, then with the morsels, and end with the batter without the morsels.
Step 4: Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until cheesecake is set (when the center moves just slightly). When cheesecake is done, cool completely. After the cheesecake is cooled top with chocolate syrup, caramel syrup, pecans, and chocolate morsels. Enjoy.



Crust in pan:

melt caramels mixed with about 3 tbsp of heavy cream:

Pour melted caramel on top of crust:

Mix Cream cheese, milk, and sugar until smooth:

Mix in eggs, vanilla, lime juice and sour cream (Sour cream makes it more dense like a new york style cheesecake.  It is optional)

Mix together until smooth:

Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler.  (I prefer this to the microwave…less chance of chocolate burning)

Mix melted chocolate in with two cups of batter.  You will end up with some chocolate and some white batter:

Not sure why streaks in picture. It is chocolate batter in the pan. Then white batter goes on top, then chocolate and topped off with white.

Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes.  The cheesecake will be slightly jiggly in the center.  That is okay.  Once it is out of the oven, decorate with caramel and chocolate syrup. I also put some mini chocolate chips on top.  And pecans if desired.

Then slice and enjoy!!


An open letter to the Mothers of Sandy Hook

Dear Mothers of Sandy Hook,

I am speaking for myself and all of my friends who are mothers. In fact, I am pretty sure I am speaking for the entire country. Women who are mothers. Women who are grieving with you. Women who are so incredibly sorry for your loss. There are no words. There is nothing we can say to help ease your pain.

From those of us who have lost children we understand and want you to know that you will never completely stop grieving, but time, LOTS of time does help ease the stabbing incredibly sharp pain of it all.

From those of us who have not lost a child, that is our one biggest fear in life.  That something will happen to one of our children and we will never quite be the same.  From us we send our support, tears and hugs.

Every mother in America has a broken heart with you and our souls ache for you and for your loss.  The senselessness of someone taking the lives of babies.  These children were babies, many of them still wearing the chubbiness of toddler-hood.  Many of them just losing their first teeth.  Just learning to read and write.  Babies.

We want to wrap our comforting Mother arms around you and hold you until the stream of tears lessens just enough for us to tell you we love you and we will do what we can.  But we know the tears will come again.

They will come on birthdays, and holidays, and anniversaries.  They will come when you look into the backyard at the swing set, or sandbox.  When the snow comes and you think of sledding and snowmen and hot chocolate.  When the summer comes and you think of days at the beach or the pool, or the sprinklers. When you look at pictures or videos.  When you see their favorite book, or hear heir favorite song.

We know the tears will come.  And when they do, know that somewhere in America, another mother is shedding tears with you.  When we think about this event, or see it on the television, or hear about it on the radio.  We shed our tears with you.

We love you and we hold you in our arms, and grieve with you.