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

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Roll Tape

Isn't that the cutest little roll of tape?

I had three of them.

Operative word:  had.

Sprout found them.

Guess how much tape one of those wee rolls holds.

Go on, guess.  I'll wait.

No.  More.

More.

Close, but more.

Yep, about two miles worth, if the way the clean-up felt is anything like accurate.

Oh, well...she had a lot of fun.

As an aside, umm...when the soon-to-be-four-year-old is that quiet, it may be wise to check on what she's up to before you get involved with a half-hour-long project.  Also?  Cats do not have a sense of humor when is comes to tape and their feet.  Just sayin'...

Friday, December 5, 2014

Home

Forgive me if I have posted this before.  I am not feeling well...my heart is heavy, I cannot breathe clean or free, I cannot sleep, and I must smile and smile and show the world an untrue face because there is not room for my hurt.

Perhaps tomorrow...or tomorrow's tomorrow...it will be different.  In this moment, in this succession of moments, I play me false.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Clean Break

In the spirit of offering alternatives to going out into the feeding frenzy that is holiday shopping, I offer another option, an artisan who makes soaps, lotions, essential oil blends, shampoo, and more.  Her soaps stink purty!  Check out Soaps by Jan - her products are fantastic and all natural!

It's funny how priorities change with time - when I was a child, I wanted a pony, and toys, and candy, and...and...

Now?  I want to pay my power bill.  Barring that, I just want to spend a pleasant day with family and friends and store the memories for later use.  I like giving gifts, I like making gifts, I like knowing that I have made someone else smile a little.

I am, as usual, broker than a politician's promise, so this year I'm not sure what I will make/do...but I guess I'd better get at it, huh?

What sort of handmade things do you enjoy receiving? What sort of handmade things do you like to gift?

Friday, November 28, 2014

What If There Was Another Way?

Black Friday.  Sounds ominous.  Sounds like the day some calamitous event took place.  

Come to think of it...

We have a day each year set aside to celebrate our thankfulness.  Whatever the history of Thanksgiving, the holiday had come to be a time to reflect on what we have and to appreciate it. In our various ways we celebrate the bounty in our lives, however modest it may be, and seek to share that bounty with family and friends.  We fill our hearts with good will and our bellies with copious amounts of food, we fall into feast related comas, and we waken to eat again, watch football, play games, and participate in our various Thanksgiving traditions.

Then some of us spend the next day participating in what has long been called "Black Friday",  considered by many to be the official start of The Christmas Season (TM).

On black Friday, many stores open in the wee hours and offer progressives savings and deals on popular items, allegedly so that we can save money and buy over-the-top gifts for others.  On Black Friday, it seems that people forget their humanity, forget their compassion, forget their better selves and become raving, slavering, consumer goods buying monsters.

People buy cartloads of crap, caught up in the illusion of more-is-better.


 A number of memes point out the irony of this behavior...

For some reason, people are easily swayed by the belief that they MUST!  GET!!  THAT!!!  DEAL!!!! or die...or kill...trying.

Every year there are stories of mayhem and death because a certain item was sold out, or two people reached the last one at the same time, or someone tried to cut in line, or...or...or...
 What if there was an alternative, another way to find and purchase gits for your loved ones, meaningful gifts, gifts that are different, unique, beautiful, and supportive of an entirely different thought process?  What about a gift that is not only given to the recipient, but helps someone else, too?

You can support an artist or artisan - look for gallerys and art cooperatives in your area.  Check out craft fairs, which are abundant this time of year.  Don't want to leave home?  Just take a few minutes to cruise through Etsy.  There's Unleash the Goddess, a shop run by an artist who is a mother of two, a wife, a woman who is creative and encourages creativity in others.  There's amy's delight, another mom, artisan, and all around decent human being.  There's Stonekettle, etsy page of Jim Wright who also writes the blog Stonekettle Station - he's talented, funny, smart, kind to animals, and has a tart sense of humor.  His woodwork is whimsical, useful, and beautiful.

Want to help others build a better life?  Check out The Tinker's Packs, a site dedicated to selling you nifty things and donating ALL of the proceeds to supporting Heifer International.  Or take a look at Heifer International itself.

There are so many meaningful ways to show love through gifting, why on earth do any of us perpetuate this disheartening stampede of mindless savagery?  Does anyone need a new television, computer, talking doll, or hunk of cheap plastic crap that badly?  Is it worth a life?

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)?