“Can you take a 13-year-old Caucasian boy?” Guest Blog Post for #LGBTQFamiliesDay

Lesbian Foster Family

This is a guest post written by a friend who is a foster parent. Her son has given permission to share pieces of his story to signal boost the vital role of LGBTQ foster families. This is part of our contributions to the #LGBTQFamiliesDay project. Content Note: Abuse, Trauma, Homophobia, Family Rejection “Can you take […]

Happy Birthday to my Cousin Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson Family Tree

Rachel Carson is my cousin and I’m pleased as punch. Today, May 27, is her birthday so I am finally publishing my little tribute to our family connection. I’ve spent most of my life having little to no information on the family of my great-grandmother, Jane Rice Remley. Her story was a mystery of half-hidden […]

Ten Alternative Gifts to Celebrate Easter & Spring & More

alternative easters gifts

We are honoring Passover and Easter this week along with the first real lasting bout of spring weather. This means lots of sniffles, but also buying stuff for gifts – candy, toys, etc. I don’t want to take away your joy at gnawing on that giant chocolate ear, but there are some other ways you […]

I Miss My Parents

Sometimes, I think about my parents or my brother or his children. Those thoughts are accompanied by deeply painful, gut wrenching feelings of loss, separation, and grief. We are not separated by death, but by the truths and transgressions of our lives. I haven’t spoken with my brother in nearly a decade and I last […]

This Winter’s Night

It is 12:10 am and I should be asleep. But Ledcat had to go into work from 11 pm until 1 am tonight. She has to interview someone in one of her cases and has to meet them while they are on shift. She’s too fair to shirk work even in frigid temps. She would […]

All in My Queer Family: Discovering DNA Ties to My LGBTQ Friends in Pittsburgh

queer family of choice

One unexpected benefit of chronicling my family history has been discovering that people I already know are part of my extended family.  First there was my friend Dave Ninehouser (6th cousin) and then a neighbor, John Graf (4th cousin 1x removed), followed by finding new-to-me local folks who are also in my tree. Our pet […]

The Aunt Booklet or How Our Niblings Gave Us the Best Gift Ever

Aunt Pittsburgh niblings

On Christmas Day, the Dunhoff niblings gave us a pretty cool gift – a coupon book for monthly get-togethers conceived out of their ideas of things to do with us. Ava is 13 and Jack is 10. We enjoy spending time with them quite a bit so it was a lovely gift. They handmade the […]

Sometimes I still miss the family I wish I had

Pgh Lesbian Correspondents

I had a sort of NPR ‘driveway moment’ this weekend. Mine was in the parking lot of Walgreens where I was heading to pick up a medication for the dog. I flipped on WESA because I was a little weary of Christmas music. Listening to Lee Smith on The Moth Radio Hour reminisce about his […]

A Green Christmas (Inflatable) Tree for Ledcat

Neon Christmas Tree Pittsburgh

So up high on the hill in Elliott is a 22 foot high neon green Christmas tree. It goes up on Light Up Night and down after New Years. Best view is from the West End Bridge, but we can see it from our house, too. Read a blurb about it from 1999 and another from 2002. 

It was originally owned by Fred Niepp, a second generation neon maker. When he closed his Downtown shop and bought the house in Elliot, he took it up with him. He sold the house  and the new occupants continues the tradition of erecting the tree each year.

Ledcat looks forward to this each year – on Light Up Night, she peeks out the second floor window as soon as it is dark and says “There’s my tree!” She looks every night and is genuinely sad when the tree goes dark for the year – that the end of Christmastime for her.