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

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

In With the New

I have a new boyfriend.

I met him at Lowe's a couple of months ago.  Mom was with me, and she thought he was pretty nice, too.  She approves of him.  She thinks he'll be a huge help with getting chores done around here.

Do you believe in love at first sight?  I don't know how I feel about that.  I think we can convince ourselves that we're in love only to find it fading as quickly as it came over us.  But this?  This is The One.  I knew as soon as I saw him.  After we met, I spent hours daydreaming about him as I stood at the sink, stared out the window, and washed some of the unending piles of plates, bowls, cups, cutlery, and goddess knows what else was in the sink at any given moment.

He's not flashy, but he's nice to look at, he's quiet, confident, he works hard, and he does dishes.  He does dishes!  Eeeeee!

He's also nice to touch.  Smooth, firm, steady on his feet, well  leveled.  He moved in yesterday and is already integrated into life at Casa de Crazy.

He's not camera shy so I took some photos of him just after he got settled.  He's quite comfortable and I think he means to stay.  
He fits right in, and I'm hoping that this will last a long, long time.  
Even the kids are delighted to have him here with us.

Would you like to meet him?

Have a look:

 Oooh, sexy devil...
 Hmm...so strong...
 He has a big heart...

Oh, yeah...
Wait, what?  You thought I was talking about a person?

Oh...umm...no...no...but I guess I can see where you might think that.

Sorry 'bout the confusion.

Now if you'll excuse me (and even if you won't), I'm going to go fondle my new love, push a few of his buttons, run my hand lovingly across his front, and see how much of my dirty (dishes) he can handle at once.

How're YOU doing?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Thoughtfetti

I am preparing for race week.  What this means for me is a little house cleaning, a little taking out the trash and laundry, a little doing of dishes, a little planning of menus, and a lot of making sure things get put into the van so when I go set up my registration area, I have what I need and don't have to make trips.  I'm lazy and don't want to make trips.
~~~~~
After race week, I'm going to Ohio with the kids to camp and hang out with friends and not do much of anything.  I lam looking forward to simply being in a place that I love with people that I love and no obligations to perform, vend, organize, or whatnot.  First things first, getting through race week mostly intact.
~~~~~
Next Saturday, Someone gets out of prison.  He wants the opportunity to talk and work things out.  I can't, in good conscience, deny him at least the opportunity...but if I am true to my feelings, true to myself, I can't give him false hope.  My emotional heart's tired and not in it.  Loneliness is no excuse to hurt another person, and I'm already hurting him with this ending.
~~~~~
Autumn nears.  If the crunchy brown leaves on the driveway aren't clue enough, today I hauled trash out and pottered in the garage for a little while and I didn't feel as if I was going to melt into a puddle after five minutes, and my clothing wasn't soaked with sweat.  The mosquitoes are trying to convince me that it's still summertime, but it's a losing battle.
~~~~~
A friend of mine did an adult activity book called 'Murica, and it's available on Amazon.  It has caused me much laughter.  Go check it out, and maybe order a copy - you'll likely find something in it to make you chortle, and you'll be helping an independent and truly marvelous person make ends meet.
~~~~~
The Unpleasant Neighbor has many dogs.  That's okay, I have many cats, I don't judge.  However, several of her many dogs are quite vociferous.  Especially when we exit casa de Crazy and try to enjoy our outdoor environs.  Yarf.  Yap. Bark.  Woof.  WoofwoofwoofwoofwoofWWWWOOOOOOOOOFFFFFF!!!!!

I try to ignore it, sometimes talk to it and try to reassure it that we're all good, try not to let it bother me, but when I am trying to sleep and it's before the sun is up and the kids let the dog into the yard as they leave for school and it barks incessantly and no one in their house wants to get up and let it in, and when that barking is done at the part of their fenced area that is almost on top of the outside of the wall against which my bed rests on the inside, well...I'm only human.  It wakes me up every damned morning.

On the upside, if the irresponsible humans who have done nothing to train their critter friends and generally ignore them leave the dogs out during the day, they let me know when anyone has come down the driveway, so it's much more difficult for people to sneak up on Casa de Crazy.  I do try to find the good in things.  Woof.
~~~~~

This made me laugh entirely too hard.  I neither know nor care if it's photoshopped.  A laugh is a laugh.



~~~~~
I learned a new crochet pattern.  It's meant to be a peacock feather but I kind of modified it to be a leaf-ish thing.  I'm thinking of making a shawl of a whole mess of them.  First I have to make the whole mess of them, but I can do that while I ignore the TV of an evening.  It's a tiny thing, really, but many tiny things can be made into big things, and I feel pretty chuffed about it.
~~~~~
If you are on Facebook, check out the Bangor, Maine page.  I adore it.  If it were in the cards fro me to relocate to Bangor, Maine, that page would be one of the motivating factors.  I could happily live in a place where even ONE of the officers has that kind of good humor.
~~~~~
This song was stuck in my head today.  Now it can be stuck in yours.  Cyndi Lauper has some serious vocal chops and I respect the hell out of her talent.

~~~~~
What're you up to, these days?  Small or large, what's making you happy?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Thing

I got out of bed today.

Oh, sure, I know, big deal.

Well, yeah.  It IS a big deal.  There's this Thing in my psyche that doesn't WANT me to get out of bed, or do anything, so it can tell me how useless I am.  When I disobey the Thing and get up, it gets angry and yells at me.

So I got up and listened to the Thing grumble and complain about what a waste of time it was.

Then I did things.

The Thing doesn't like when I do things.  It wants me to curl up and stare at nothing and do nothing and feel like nothing.  The Thing feeds on all that nothing, and it's always hungry.

So I got up and did things.  Maybe it won't seem like much to anyone who doesn't have a Thing in their psyche, but it felt like moving mountains to me.  I took trash out.  I cleaned a cat box.  I swept cat poop up from the floor in the room they've decided looks enough like their toilet to suit their needs because I left the cat box I cleaned for too long.  I did dishes, and then some more dishes.  I fed the outdoor kitties and pet them.  Then I did more dishes because there are always more dishes.  I cleaned my toilet.  I cleaned the toilet in the hall bathroom.  I took a nap.  I shuffled through the leaves on the driveway and crunched them under my feet.  I made a lap for the indoor cats to claim in the name of Kittykind.  I am writing this blog post.

All the while, the Thing is grumbling and growling and telling me how it's too much, it's not enough, it's pointless and useless and so am I.  It's not a very nice Thing.  It doesn't like for me to feel good about anything, to be proud of myself.  It hates my music, photography, art.  It hates when I sew.  It hates that I figured out how to watch Netflix via the Wii because the Evil Genius's PS2 crapped out on us, and I figured it out on my own. 

The Thing likes to hit below the belt.  It tells me I'm a horrible mother, that homeschooling my kids is is ruining them, that every person who tells me I should put them in public school here in Redneck Central is right and I am wrong and that I'm not smart enough to teach them.  It tells me I'm going to be lonely for the rest of my life because really, look at myself, who would want anything to do with that mess?  It tells me everything, everything, everything is futile.

Despite the Thing in my psyche, I got up today.  I get up every day.  Maybe not for long, but I get up.  I wash a bowl.  I make breakfast for Sprout or encourage her to make her own.  Maybe I sweep a room.  Maybe I do a load of laundry.  Maybe I run an errand.  Something.  I do something.

And then maybe I go lie down again, because Thing wrestling is exhausting.  And maybe I think about all of the nothing I got done and feel bad.  But maybe I don't lie down, because Thing wrestling is constant and I have to remind it, remind me, who's running this show.

Happiness is not a choice.  Depression is not a choice.  Dragging my tired, depressed self through one day and into the next IS a choice.  I don't always want to, but I choose.

Every time I get out of bed, the Thing loses.  Maybe some day, if the Thing loses enough battles, it'll quiet down and let me have a few minutes of peace in my head.  I'd like that.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Mondaying

It's late Monday evening and I'm just now getting dinner cooked for Sprout.  Macaroni and cheese, if you'rs wondering.  I think the girl could happily eat it every day.  Hot dogs go well with it, in her mind, but not tonight.  Not home made, she spurns that...nope, nothing but the blue box for my kiddo.

The Evil Genius is spending a few days with his dad.  I always miss him when he's away, but it's also kind of peaceful, and he has fun with his father, and it's probably for the best that he's not here right now because I'm not well.

I had such terrific plans for this Monday, but things started going south last night and just kept on going this morning.

My right eye started to hurt last night.  Just out of the blue, this kind of stabbing throb.  When I gently touched my eyelid, it felt like my whole eyeball was bruised.  It doesn't look bruised.  It looks just like an eye.  Eventually I realized that the OUCH! mostly came when my eye was adjusting to more light - when I looked at my phone or computer screen, walked into a room with more lights on, that sort of thing.  Since I usually sit in the dark, that wouldn't seem to be a problem, but...I sit in the dark at my computer, and I couldn't look at the screen without feeling that stab-throb.

No idea what caused it, I figured I'd just go to bed and get on with Monday when it came.  I had plans that included baking cookies, hauling my trash to the dump, and a friend coming over and doing some plumbing for me.

The best laid plans, right?

My eye hurt in my sleep.  In my sleep!

All morning I had to sit with my eyes closed because keeping them open meant adjusting to sunlight, which bloody hurt.

My friend came and did the plumbing, and I called Mom to see if she could help me with the dump run because I didn't think I ought to drive.  Bless her, she drove down and did  most of the work because my stomach decided to rebel and...er...never mind what.  I didn't mean for her to have to deal with all that grossness, and I appreciate that she stepped in and spared me the horror.

On top of all that, like a really awful cherry perched atop a garbage scented, barf flavored, eye pain sundae, was the depression which just laughed and laughed and reminded me that this is as good as I get to have it why I will be alone for the rest of my life because who would want me, all stove up and constantly struggling?

Stupid depression.  Shut up.

I gave up on the day and crawled into bed a little after the dump run, fell asleep, and pretty much stayed that way until just before eight o'clock when I woke up and realized that I really should fix dinner for Sprout.  Luckily she's pretty handy in the kitchen and got herself some snacks while I was in a coma slept.

To hell with depression, I will cook dinner for my kid.  Good thing she's easy!  Once she's fed, cuddled a bit, and in bed, I'm crawling back into my bed because I don't feel like taking on whatever Monday has left for me.  I'll eat tomorrow...or the next day...

How're you doing?

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Beige Illusion

I have good days.  I do.  And every day I know that I have much to be grateful for.  I know this sorrow, this grief, this darkness, is an illusion.  When I'm in the middle of it, it feels awfully real and permanent, but I cling to the certainty of past experience - it will pass.  Eventually.

Today I am struggling with feeling useless, pointless.  The tremendous stone of "Why bother?" is trying to crush me.  I'm staring out at the world through futility colored glasses.  It just kind of came over me all of a sudden, the way that it does, and walloped me upside the heart.  There is no cure for this.  There's only endurance.

So I endure.

And I distract.  I can't ignore the feeling entirely, but maybe I can distract myself a little, and so I try.  I'm working on a crocheted thing for Sprout, who announced that she wished I would make HER something with the soft yarn.  In fact, she wished I would make her a circle.  So...a circle I am endeavoring to make.  It's not perfect, but she's five and doesn't notice, or care.  All that matters to her is that she asked and I am making, and I'm using some lovely soft yarn and soon she will have a circle for whatever a child of five needs a circle for.

The Evil Genius and I chatted about this Pokemon Go game he and Sprout are playing, and we decided that maybe later could be a nice time to go out and ferret out and stops in the area.  I don't pretend to understand all of the details of this game, but I've cottoned on to the fact that one must go into the world to reload on balls that are intrinsic to the playing.  I wonder if I could be forgiven for the lazy extravagance of taking the kids through some fast food joint and then motoring around our neck of the woods in search of Pokestops.  It's a loose plan, we'll see if I can make it happen.

I learned how to crochet a feather/leaf design.  In the grand scheme of things, who cares?  But I learned something, a tiny little nothing of a something, and that's a kind of triumph over the weight of entropy that makes it difficult to breath, sometimes.

I am still fighting a war with my own brain.  This battle, today's, is a losing one, but I can't win them all...at best, I can hope to win more than I lose and meanwhile keep slogging along until I get to the other side, where perhaps the sun is shining, I don't feel so damned lost and lonely, and maybe I can string together some good days into a necklace for my memory to wear when the bad days start knocking me around again.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

History

I suppose every generation has their one day in history that defines their era.  Where were you when so-and-so was shot?  What were you doing when thus-and-such happened?  For me, it's centered around September 11, 2001.  

What I was doing, just before I found out about the towers, and then the Pentagon, was sleeping.  At that time, T worked a late shift so we tended to get to bed late and thus up late.  I was wakened by the fellow who'd come to do the annual termite inspection.  As we chatted, he asked if I'd heard about the plane that crashed into The World Trade Center, I imagined a Cessna or other small aircraft.  He said he'd heard about it on the radio.  I turned on the TV (we had satellite, back then, and could watch darned near every channel known to mankind) and found a new station.  I saw the smoke and watched with disbelief as the whole thing unfolded, a horrid spectacle.  I even videotaped it because...I don't know why.  Maybe I didn't want to believe it and needed lasting proof.  Maybe I thought some day I would want a reminder of this surreal day.

Things I remember about 9/11/01:

I was dazed.
Calling friends and asking had they heard?  Did they know?  What was this new thing happening?
Waking T and telling him, standing in the living room and watching the TV, unable to turn away.
Walking outside and looking up at the sky, and the emptiness of it.
The unusual silence of a day with no aircraft going overhead.
The juxtaposition of our ordinary day with the extraordinary horror of what happened in New York City and in DC.
Crying, off and on, all day.
Anger.
A desire to do something, anything, to undo what had happened, or to help, or to fix it.
How empty the roads were - no one was driving anywhere if they didn't have to.
Wondering if there was more to come.
Watching the towers.
The realization that I was sleeping when the first plans hit, and I would have been sleeping still, unaware of this monumental thing that would shake our nation to its foundation, if not for the advent of a termite inspection.

Later there would be stories of heroism, and there would be liars and thieves who claimed a part in all of it in order to gain, and there would be stories of families blown to pieces, of people leaping rather than burning, of people going back in, back in, back in, refusing to give up as long as one more could be saved.  There would be politicians, politics, anger, rage, demands for justice, for revenge.  Later still would come the arguments about cleaning up, rebuilding.  Then the laws would change, and change again.

Destroying those buildings, taking those lives, was only the first part of a plan that still to snakes its way through our world.  The fear generated on 9/11/2001 continues to this day.  Reactionary laws created ripples that our children's children will feel.  We've given up countless freedoms in the name of safety, of prevention, of punishment.  There are those who would wrap us further up in the name of protection, wrap us in steel and barbed wire and "Keep Out" signs.  Those who would see every person armed, and those who would see every person disarmed.

For me, 9/11/2001 was shattering, not because we could be struck on our own soil - just because it hadn't happened before didn't mean it never would - but because of the hatred and fear it woke in my fellow citizens.  Because of life wasted in the name of religion.  Because I'm used to people hating what I am (no one who wears the label of Pagan or Witch can be unaware of hatred in the name of God, we deal with it regularly) but not used to that hatred striking on such a tremendous scale.  It was also the beginning of a long, slow crumbling of some fundamental rights inherent to making us the society that garnered such hatred in the first place.  Therein lies the triumph of the perpetrators of the event.  It wasn't just the immediacy of the destruction...it was and is the prolonged disintegration of a nation into a fractured society full of isolation and distrustful, angry members.

Along with our innocence, along with life and property, we lost our cohesion.

I will not forget 9/11/2001.  I will not forget watching the towers fall, nor the loss, the inexcusable waste of life.  But also, I will not allow fear to take root in me.  I will not let fear feed on ignorance and grow into anger, nor anger to blossom into hatred.
On this day, fifteen years later, I celebrate the best things that came out of one of the worst days, even as I mourn the continuing losses we experience on a daily basis.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Morpheus?

I slept last night like I haven't for quite a while.  Deep, and dreaming, and still.  I woke a few times, but not the kind of restless waking that leads to hours of staring into the darkness while my mind whirs busily through its business of nothings.  Not the kind of wakings that happen when one is perhaps not alone in their bed  but is beside someone they trust completely.  The kind of waking that usually is followed by nestling closer to that someone before sighing contentedly and falling back into the welcome weirdness of sleep and the resting mind.

No one was with me.

Well, not no one.  There were the usual cats, and later the usual Sprout.

I don't know what phantom was there in my room last night, but I felt as if they...he...was watching over me.  It felt like there was an arm around me, and a kind voice telling me all was well.  I couldn't have fretted if I wanted to, with this being there.

Whoever he was, wherever he came from, I'm grateful, and he's welcome to return at will.  Sleep like that is to be treasured.