Polygamy Now
The unfolding story of polygamy in the United States

Monday, June 26, 2006

Lisa and Martin at Leavenworth, Part Two

[See also our previous blog entry.] We had no performances scheduled for the first day, so we took a few accordion workshops and went to see Janet Todd perform. After the show, several musicians sat on stage jamming out waltzes, polkas, tangos and other fine dance tunes.

Lisa and I jumped up and ran to the cleared area in front and began dancing. Soon several other couples joined us, including the costumed dancers you see with Lisa in the photo to the right. The dancer to the right of Lisa is Glen. More about him later.

I have several snappy moves that get the audience laughing -- sneaking a kiss, peeking up a skirt, dancing up the aisles. When we saw the costumed ensemble performing the next day, sure enough Glen had picked up the kissing move. He and his wife started hanging out with us and came to watch us perform in the town gazebo. [Can you find us both in the upper left photo?] . We must have impressed him, because he bought an accordion and took his first lesson that same day. We encouraged him to march through town in the accordion parade with us, even though he only knew two notes -- and he did! Before we left, he invited us to come and stay with him at the bed and breakfast he's creating.

Talk about inspiring someone! Neither he nor his wife have any idea we're polygamists, and we didn't want to tell them for fear of blowing a fuse.

After three days of playing, dancing, and partying, I was bushed! That's the problem with having a younger wife. Lisa was still going strong, and I was ready to sleep.

We decided that Lisa should go on to the final late night beer fest and jam session alone. I wasn't worried. Lisa has made a lot of friends in the accordion world, and I knew she wouldn't be drinking alone. You can see her here with three well-known accordionists [from left to right, Tom Dempski, Rick Hatley, and Murl Allen Sanders.]

Lisa and Martin at Leavenworth

Lisa and I drove over the snowcapped mountains at nearby Stephen's pass to spend three days in Leavenworth playing at an accordion festival.

We stayed in the Cascade room at the All Seasons River Inn that overlooks the Wenatchee river. [Three days is too long for a single blog entry, so we'll break it into two.]

The Cascade room has a special feature that we like so much that we request the same room each year. The jacuzzi tub is in a bumpout that makes us feel as if we're suspended over the river, which is white with the waves of melting snowcaps. The three sides of the bumpout are half-silvered mirrors. We can look out, but no one can look in. Several candles complete the scene.

Staying at a bed and breakfast means a tasty meal and a breakfast conversation with other couples who are usually celebrating their relationship. These conversations can be a bit awkward for us. "How long have you been married?" ["To which wife?"] We decided to test the water first. "So what do you do for a living?" "I'm a writer." "How interesting! What do you write about?" "Emerging technology and polygamy."

Everyone maintains a polite blank look, so we decide to leave it at that. Susan and Dale, the new owners, are well aware of our situation -- we commiserated with them last year about the difficulties of finding a bed and breakfast that can accomodate us. [When the three of us travel together, we stay at a hotel.]

Karen stayed home to keep the fire burning. Lisa wants the Leavenworth accordion festival to be her exclusive territory, and she and I have developed several rituals around it. Karen took a separate vacation the week before with her son [my stepson] white water rafting down the same river. [We'll blog about this when the photos come back.]

Lisa insists that Karen and I create an exclusive parallel vacation. So Karen and I plan to visit Las Vegas together later this year, just the two of us. Perhaps Las Vegas will become Karen's territory.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Finding or Forming a Polygamous Family, Part Two

In Finding or Forming a Polygamous Family, I talked about how I think polygamous relationships form, with a promise that I would review some internet matchmaking resources for you. In a more recent blog, I reviewed 2wives.com, aka Polygamy Personals. In this blog, I continue by looking at SoulfulHarmony.

SoulfulHarmony is a recent entry into the wordlet of polygamy matchmaking. There's even one of our blog entries in the left column, Polygamy is not Codependency.

SoulfulHarmony gives the appearance of generic dating service matchware that's been tweaked for polygamy. It's absolutely free. What do you get for your money? From their site --

Welcome to SoulfulHarmony.com

Create your free SoulfulHarmony.com
profile to begin the exciting journey towards finding your Perfect Match(es).
Polygamy on this site is defined as one male with or seeking two or more females
for life long companionship.

Browse real profiles of Families, Couples, Single Men and Women who are
searching for the same things you are in a polygamous relationship on this
TOTALLY FREE safe online relationship service.

Here is where you can find the Emotional support, commitment, understanding and
benefits that are not always available in a typical monogamous relationship and
a Greater Chance at a Successful, life long companionship. [...]

As usual, I find myself in a bind. I can't get into the site without posting a personal ad, and I'm not looking for another sister-wife right now, so I'd be out of integrity. But I noticed that refreshing the display brought up a new random selection of profiles. By refreshing several times, I was able to guess that the site has about 20 profiles.

I recognized taratoot and tribalchristian as legitimate profiles from other polygamy websites. About half the profiles were couples looking for a woman. The other half were harder to understand. A woman looking for a woman? Women looking for a man? I read all the profiles, and only a third provided much detail. The rest were "tell you later" or entirely absent.

Unfortunately, like 2wives.com, there's no obvious way to contact the site or reach the webmaster. Nevertheless, I'd keep my eye on this site. It shows promise.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Cooking for Thirty -- Easy as Pie!

This week we cooked for our community. Twenty-five adults and ten children under 12 signed up to eat. Children under 12 count as half, because in theory they eat half as much as adults do. Hah! Anyway, that gave us a total of thirty mouths to feed, and a budget of $80 to feed them.

Meals normally get a cook, a helper, and two cleaners. We like to cook and clean as a group house, as part of family night. Karen or I cook, Lisa and Josh help, and all of us clean up.

I decided to cook Broccoli chowder Andy, a recipe straight out of college, or rather out of The Campus Survival Cookbook #2, by Wood and Gilchrist --
2 boxes frozen broccoli, 1 cup milk, 3 cups chicken broth,
4 Tsp butter, 1 cup light cream, 2 cups (8 oz) shredded Swiss cheese

Cook broccoli in chicken broth 8 minutes. Do not drain. Add everything else.
Stir over low heat and eat right away. Serves two hungry people.

Applying a little basic math and knowing that people eat less than I think, I scaled the ingredients by ten --

12 large packages chopped frozen broccoli, 3 qts milk, one jar of chicken boullion paste,
1 package butter, 3 qts light cream, 5 one pound blocks of Swiss cheese.
Then it's off to the grocery store to buy the ingredients, and then to CostCo, our nearest giant food wherehouse, where I added --

three long loaves of potato rosemary bread, a package of one dozen large muffins
(chocolate, poppyseed, blueberry), a large bag of chopped salad greens, and
another of chopped roumaine, and three tubes of sausage.
Then back to the common house to begin preparation. I started two 10 quart pots boiling with 15 cups of water in each, scraping half of the boullion paste into each pot. Then I started the sausage cooking in a large frying pan. While the water was boiling and sausage frying, I rammed 5 quartered bricks of Swiss cheese through the food processor.

Once the water boiled, I dumped in the chopped frozen broccoli and let it come back to a boil. That gave me time to finish the sausage and slice the bread. Then I added the cheese, milk, cream, and butter to the broccoli and let it heat up. Did I mention that the predominant spice is cholesterol? I put the sausage into one of the pots, designating the other pot as the vegetarian option.

People were starting to arrive, so I finished up the show. I mixed two bags of greens into two large metal bowls and put olive oil and balsamic vinegar nearby. Then I removed the paper from the muffins and sliced each into quarters. Viola! Forty servings of dessert.

It was a succesful meal, and we had enough left over for dinner for five the next day. That's less than three dollars per person for a three-course meal, with a total preparation time of one hour.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Practical Polygamy -- Starting our Marriage Transfer

In a previous blog, we introduced you to our marriage transfer attorney, Sean Fitzgerald. Karen has gifted Lisa with a year as my legal wife, after which time I'll divorce Lisa and remarry Karen, and so forth. First Karen and I must divorce, and action we call marriage transfer.

Sean has enthusiastically accepted the assignment to be our attorney. In fact, he came over to our house to begin the paperwork. How many attorneys do you know who make house calls?

The first step is to sign paperwork that makes Sean our legal attorney and allows him to represent us in court. Sean presented us with three choices. I could sign alone, Karen and I could both sign so that Sean represents both of us, or all three of us could sign -- Lisa, Karen, and me.

After some discussion, we decided that I would sign the paperwork alone. This decision was mostly to cut down on the number of times the three of us have to gather simultaneously to sign papers.

Sean also had some suggestions to make about creating a trust for common property. We decided to talk more about this when we find a tax accountant to add to our team. We gave Sean a tour of the house, had a nice chat, and learned that yes, after two years of divorce cases, we are indeed Sean's first uncontested dissolution, that is, marriage transfer.

Friday, June 09, 2006

A night out and about town

Last night we went walking around our nearby town. We parked by the landmark nursery, which features an upscale garden furniture store, and an expresso cafe that also serves fine wine. We followed Lisa through endless aisles of plants, looking for an aloe vera plant. I had an insect bite on my hand that was itching furiously, and Lisa wanted to show me the effectiveness of the aloe, which we found near the succulents.
This plant does not look medicinal at all to me, unless you live on the surface of Mars. It's a fleshy monstrosity with sharp spikes all over it. Little shop of horrors, eat your heart out!

Lisa broke off a stem (commiting us to buying the plant), and squeezed it out on my hand. The itchiness stopped immediately. I was impressed. We left the nursery with the plant to take home and plant in our garden.

We continued our walk to the local Thai restaurant, where we sat and ordered dinner. Common meals in our intentional community tend to be a little on the bland side. The cooks try to cater for most existing community lifestyles/allergies/preferences. This usually means a chicken dish with very little salt, and a vegetarian option on the side. So when we go out, you can't blame us for craving brightly flavored and spiced foods.

We started dinner with Tom Ka Gai soup, made from coconut milk, lemon grass, and ginger. We shared a Crying Tiger salad, with strips of marinated steak, and finished with a Panang curry over rice. By sharing all three dishes and drinking the excellent tap water, we were able to have an extravagant dinner for three for less than twenty dollars.

We finished the evening at one of our five local Starbucks, flagrantly buying fancy coffees with the money we had saved at dinner. This was a so-called theme Starbucks, with a fireplace and overstuffed chairs. We pushed the chairs together in front of the fireplace, then cuddled up with a good game of Cranium, provided free by Starbucks. We'll present the most interesting game question to you below --

What is concealed inside the Matterhorn mountain in Disneyland? Pick one of the four below.

a) An abominable snowman museum.
b) Walt Disney's frozen body.
c) A gourmet restaurant.
d) A basketball court.

Turn your computer upside down! The answer is d) a basketball court.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Oh Canada! Polygamy in the News

Polygamy in Canada is very much in the news nowadays. The Salt Lake City Tribune sent reporter Brooke Adams to spend an afternoon with Winston Blackmore's polygamous family in Bountiful, B.C. You can read more about it at Bountiful Summer-- An afternoon with the children of polygamists.

The article links to Trent Nelson's photoshoot of Blackmore's children. You can see one of the photos on the right. Here, Maraya Blackmore covers her ears as Sally Blackmore tunes her electric guitar. For more of Nelson's photos, see his album Children of Polygamy: The Winston Blackmore Clan

Three of Blackmore's wives are facing deportation. They've been told to leave with or without their children, a truly terrible choice for a wife and mother to have to make.

On another front, Ottawa's Kathleen Harris of the Toronto Sun reports that multiple-wife marriages have been legally recognized in Canada to award spousal support and inheritance payments. From her article 'Limited' Polygamy --

While the former Liberal government maintained that polygamy is criminal in Canada, documents released to Sun Media through access to information show that polygamous marriages have been recognized "for limited purposes" to enforce financial obligations of husbands with multiple wives.

The censored documents, which include departmental background papers and ministerial briefing notes, outlined the last Liberal government's position on the controversial subject, which erupted during debates on gay marriage. ...

Diane Watts, a spokesman for Real Women, a Christian-based group that is lobbying MPs, warned the government will have few grounds to defend its anti-polygamy law if it faces a constitutional challenge on religious grounds. ...

A polygamous community has been operating in B.C., for years, but authorities have been reluctant to lay criminal charges because it could trigger a charter challenge.

Back in the United States, the Senate today rejected a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, leaving the door open for both gay marriage and polygamy. A small but important victory for us!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Finding or Forming a Polygamous Family

Based on emails from you, fearless readers, it’s time to talk about creating a consensual polygamous family. This is a fascinating topic for me.

First let me tell you how I think most consensual polygamous relationships form. I know of at least one in each category in the list below, and you can probably imagine others.

  1. You’re a woman with a prolonged illness. You dream about having a sister-wife to help take care of your demanding husband and your kids. You could really use a break now and then.
  2. You’re a career woman who travels a lot. You and your husband are fairly open-minded and you’d like to find him a suitable sister-wife you trust to keep the home fire burning while you’re gone.
  3. You and your husband have a happy, solid marriage. You take in an attractive woman who has run away from her abusive husband. You protect her, nurture her, and over time she becomes your sister-wife.
  4. You and your husband have a happy, solid marriage. For many years, you’ve hung out with, traveled with, and grown older with another happy couple. Her husband unexpectedly dies, and you take her in. Over time, she becomes your sister-wife.
You get the idea. Our family is a hybrid of the first three items above.

Here are some of my beliefs about forming a polygamous family --

  1. Polygamy is more attractive to women than to men. Why? I don’t know. Fear of commitment? Fear of performing sexually on a schedule? Limited income? If a man’s goal isn’t to father a lot of children, I doubt if many men would consider polygamy.
  2. It’s more difficult to form a polygamous family than to form a monogamous family. If you want a polygamous family, but you’ve had trouble forming a solid, satisfying relationship in the past, go practice until you feel confident and attractive.
  3. Chances of finding the right chemistry through the internet are pretty low, but stranger things have happened. Willingness to relocate is a plus.
I’m aware of several internet resources that purport to help you find your future husband/sister-wives. I’ll be reviewing some of them in future installments of Finding or Forming a Polygamous Family.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Take Care of Our Community Day

Yesterday was Take Care of Our Community Day at the intentional community where we live. We cleared paths, painted trash cans, repaired the playground, pressure cleaned the common house, repainted the "Welcome Home" sign on the road, brightened the speed bumps, and went looking for lost toys.

Some of us made breakfast (home-made rolls), lunch (sandwiches), and snacks (including crispy-creme donuts).

I wandered around taking photos which we watched together in the evening during an all-dessert potluck. Karen battled the everpresent invasive blackberries, and Lisa worked in the kitchen.

Lisa thought it might be fun to teach the kids how to make ice cream. Our newlywedded friends Warren and Cate had just donated their hand-cranked ice cream maker to the community. Nine quarts of heavy cream later, we had twelve quarts of heavenly vanilla ice cream.

Please enjoy these photos, but bear in mind that our community is not based on polygamy. Karen, Lisa and I are the only polygamists living here.