Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

Tibi gratias agimus quod nihil fumas.

It says "...freedom of...", not "...freedom from...".

Nolite te bastardes carburundorum!

"It's amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness. People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we're compassionate we'll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint." - Penn Jillette

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thankful


I have a few traditions on this day. Not many - the menu, recording the Macy's parade so I can watch it and fast-forward through all the crappy pop music, commercials, and talking heads to see the twenty minutes of balloons, floats and high school bands I'm interested in hidden among all that junk  (although I will have to forgo that pleasure, this year, alas), and my list of some things for which I am thankful, in no particular order and in no way complete:

The house in which I live
The Evil Genius
Mum
Someone
Sprout
Gypsy, K2, Mizz A, Kit, Sam-I-Am, PJ, Mizz Beth, and all of my friends who put up with me when I am most myself and therefor least likable. They are the net beneath me when I fly and fall.
Bread
The scent of leaf loam and woodsmoke in the crisp autumn air
Books, music, and art
Clean, plentiful water
Clean air
Clean clothes
Freedom
Nature and the way she finds to show me something new of herself every day
Words
Song
Dance
Adversity, that joy is all the sweeter (Okay, okay, the joy is sweet enough, so basta with the adversity for a minute, please)
Every creature and plant that I consume to sustain myself, because without the life I take, I would have no life to live
Love - that it exists at all is a wonder, and I feel blessed to know it in many forms
Chocolate, gift from the Gods (yes, even the perversion called "candy bar") (Mmm...candy bar...)
Strong hands
Strong spirit
Strong will
Laughter
Cussed determination not to curl up and die just because life can sometimes be a succession of truly awful, bleak, and desolate days...but sometimes it isn't.
The Internet
You

I hope you have a blessed day, and that you the things you're thankful for outweighing the things for which you're not.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all, from us at Casa de Crazy to you out in the Blue Nowhere and beyond.

Monday, November 24, 2014

What'll It Be, Hmm?

Time for the annual posting of the menu!  You've been anxiously awaiting this post all year, haven't you?  I knew it!  You may now breathe again.

Casa de Crazy presents:  Thanksgiving Dinner

Featuring: Mr. Thomas Turkey stuffed with Various Herbs

Co-Starring:  Herb and Onion Dressing, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Green Beans, Mashed Turnips and Carrots and a special appearance by Can o' Cranberry!

Also Appearing:  Mrs. Smith's Dutch Apple Crumb Pie accompanied by Breyer's Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Key Lime Pie, and possibly guest starring Something Chocolate by Angie.

Special Guest Appearances by:  Pitcher of Water and Stick of Butter, and also Coffee, Tea and Cider

Cameo Appearances:  Celtic Sea Salt and Black Peppercorn Grinder

How's your Feast shaping up (if you celebrate, that is)?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Counting Down...

Thanksgiving is in four days.  Four days!  Where'd my year go?  Gah!!!

Ahem.

Yesterday I baked herb bread so I could cut it into cubes and let it go stale.  Yup.  That's how I do my dressing, and so far no one's complained they don't like it.  I dig bread dough - it's alive!  Watching it poof up, slowly encroaching on the edges of the rising bowl, is kinda nifty.

Casa de Crazy still smells fantastic.  I baked two batches, which yielded four loaves.  Not all of it is for dressing, but I have learned that I need to make extra - filling the house with that delectable scent and not having any to nom on is just about the height of cruelty!

I'll be doing little things all week to get ready for Thursday.  We're not having a big crowd and I'm not cooking a huge feast, I just don't want to have a ton of work to do in one day.  Also, some things do better when they've had a day or three to sit and mingle.

I have turnips and carrots to mash, the good dishes need washing, and Casa de Crazy could use a general tidying up for company.  Someone won't be here, and my heart aches a little about that, but his mother may be coming and a couple of good friends are joining us, and even T will be here (the Evil Genius is over the moon about that).

How's your week shaping up?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Dreams of Falling

Once we had wings.

Once we had wings, and oh...

Once we had wings, and oh, how we soared!


Oh, how we soared, and swooped, and looped the loop, and oh how we roared and whistled and snapped and fluttered.

Once we had wings and we flew.

We remember.

We remember in our hidden minds.

We remember when we stand in high places and look out on the far horizons and lean...

We remember how free and easy we were, riding the wind like it was ours to command, to shape, to harness, to carve through.

We remember when we dream.

Dreams of flying.

Dreams of rising upward.

Dreams of our feet leaving the ground, of the sky tugging at us, of gravity relinquishing its grasp, of thrusting ourselves heavenward on stolen breathes of exquisite freedom.

We remember and we dream and we yearn.

Then we fall.

We fall back into ourselves.

The present mind, the knowing mind, the learned mind takes hold, reminds us that we have no wings.

So we fall.

Slapping back into ourselves, wondering why...


...why we dream of falling when we know we should be able to fly.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hunger, Thirst

At dinner time, before we eat we hold hands and share a moment of silence.  Then one of us will say "May you never hunger" and one of us will respond "May you never thirst".  Usually Someone and I will also exchange "Thank you for sharing food" and "Thank you for sharing life".  I continue this little tradition while he is away.

I've been thinking about hunger, lately.  While there are plenty of reports on the news about how unemployment is lower than it has been, and that people are doing better, here in Redneck Central it's still hard times.  Food banks are overwhelmed, as are shelters and services for the indigent and the food-insecure.

Amid all the stories of struggle, I was slapped by a headline discussing how a certain shelter is refusing to help gays.  Another headline lead to a story about the Salvation Army and its refusal to assist homosexuals, even going so far as to spend money donated in those holiday buckets on lobbyists to support anti-gay legislation.  So...these supposedly Christian, supposedly charitable organizations are refusing to help certain people because...why?

When, exactly, did Jesus say "Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, house the poor, but only if you think I like them"?  When did he say "Oh, no, it's okay to let the fags shiver and starve because they don't have sex the way they should with whom they should"?  In any of his teachings, sermons, rants, whispers, prayers, or other communications, did he ever once mention lesbians?

Granted I'm pagan and have been for a very long time, and granted it's been a minute since I read the bible or studied Christianity as a whole, but even with my faulty and aging memory, I don't recall Jesus ever mentioning that compassion, charity, or kindness were reserved exclusively for those in his father's house or who followed himself.  He certainly never said anything to ME about that...

To the contrary, he seemed to go out of his way to be inclusive, to the point of often distressing the people who thought they knew him best and followed him around soaking in his teachings and trying to understand his radically different way of seeing and doing things.

I still wonder how anyone can call themselves "Christian", a follower of Jesus, when they seem to so readily set aside the teachings of the man they laud as their "Lord and Savior" even as they act entirely against his teachings.  Most of the alleged Christians I know aren't.  They're church people, and they follow the bits of the Bible that fit their world view, but actually Christian?  No...not even close.

A Christian?  Would ask "Are you hungry?" and then feed a person.  No strings.  No questioning the religion or politics.  Just...fill an empty belly.  A Christian?  Would ask "Are you cold?" and offer clothing, a jacket, a blanket, without judging how the person came to be so cold.  A Christian?  Would ask "Do you need a place?" and help find shelter from the elements.  No demands that the one in need first attend a church service.  A Christian?  Would ask 'Are you sick?" and then offer medicine without demanding that the person who is sick convert to one particular church before they can receive aid.

Plenty of pagans don't give freely of themselves or offer succor to those in need...but then, those same pagans don't claim to follow the teachings of a peaceful healer who DID offer help, hope, and boundless love to any who reached out to him.

I'm NOT Christian...but here's my deal - if you are hungry I will strive to help feed you.  If you need clothing, I will strive to help you dress.  If you need shelter, I will work to help you attain it.  That's it.  You don't have to be pagan, or Christian, or anti-Christian, or straight, or gay, or bi,or whatever.  It doesn't matter your age, nationality, skin tone, or what music you listen to.  As long as I don't feel you threaten my family's well being, I won't turn my back on you.  As long as you are not doing me harm, I will try to help when I can.

You are a living being.  You carry with you the seed of life.  You are imbued with the same energy, the same spirit, that I am steeped in.  You are worthy of compassion, of love, of kindness.  You and I and all other beings are made of light and matter and vibrations and illusions.  We are the sum of the Universe.  I greet the divine in you.  I honor the journey you are on.  The sun that shines on me, shines on you...

So tell me, fellow sojourner, how can I help?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Small Things

Whenever possible, Someone calls twice a day.  We write each other several times a week, and Sprout and I go visit him once a week.  We're lucky to have that contact that we do - plenty of people over at the jail have no family, or at least no one who keeps in touch.

I think it's awfully important to maintain contact as much as possible, to remind the person in that strange and horrible pocket reality that there is this world out here and people in it who love and value them.  Every time Someone calls or receives a letter or sees us, it helps him remember himself and his connection to us.  In the jail is it far too easy for people to lose...lose themselves, lose their families, lose hope, lose touch with anything but the walls, the windows, the fear, the anger the unhappiness...

I miss him here at the Casa.  It's chillier in the house, quieter, less...vital...

It's funny, there aren't any great big things I miss, but rather a collection of small details that mean he's with us.

I miss waking in the morning when Sprout crawls in the bed with us and wedges herself between us.  I miss hearing him get up, shower, shave, dress for work.  I miss the sound of coffee beans pouring into the grinder, and Sprout's excited egress from the bed as she scampers into the kitchen to help her Papa make coffee - she like to run the grinder and help him dump the grounds into the filter - and then the smell of the hot beverage wafting through the house.

I miss sleepy morning greetings, the kiss as he leaves for work, the occasional call telling me he'll be home for lunch, hunting for his coffee cup (my goodness, but the man can find all kinds of places to put it down and forget it!).

The sound of him breathing in his sleep, and the sound of his heart as I lie with my head on his chest, drifting.

How warm he is.

The smell of him.

Sharing funny stories or bits of news, moving about the house in tandem, watching a movie together.

Sprout's giggles and squeals when he grabs her and hugs her or tickles her with his beard, and her excited exclamations over going outside and riding bikes with him, or playing tee-ball or soccer, or raking leaves, or gardening.

Most relationships cannot survive incarceration.  We've every intention of bucking the trend.  I don't give up on people.  Jail...it changes things.  It's not just the one incarcerated who is held captive.

We'll be here when he gets out, ready to continue piecing together the mosaic of our lives one little detail at a time.  Meanwhile, I am doing my best to keep it together in the here and now.