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.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Whatsis Day!

Eighth time I'm posting this, but why mess with perfection, eh? Yeah, yeah, I'm a lazy blogger.  You still love me, right?  Right???  Why do I hear crickets...?
~~~~~
With apologies to my friend Mizz D.D. who has a far better grasp of Irish history and much stronger Google Foo than I.

I'm cooking corned beef and cabbage tonight, much to my delight - there will be plenty for dinner and enough left over for hash tomorrow. Our friend Mizz A will be joining us, and Someone is finally home to celebrate with us as well.  The man is not patient when it comes to our corned beef dinner - he'll be poking his nose into the pot and tapping his toe...and the rest of him, too...impatient for one of his favorite meals to be ready.  Bird opts out of the feast entirely, causing me to question whether he's really mine. I get not liking cabbage, but potatoes? Something's not right with the child. Someone will happily scarf the lot and go back for seconds and maybe thirds, because he's a good Irish lad.  Sprout may try a taste, or she may not.  She's trying to be more adventurous about food, but she can still be put off if it looks odd.

I'm planning on making soda bread, too, because we like it and any leftovers can be used to make a nice doorstop or stone-like axe.

Seeing as I'm Pagan, you wouldn't think I'd celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Better than most, I am supposed know what St. Patrick did to get famous and earn his sainthood. However, I'm also part Irish, and I happen to love corned beef and cabbage. Also, I consider it a reclaiming of the day for Pagans, or some junk.

A bit of slightly bent history (that has, I'll grant you, been mangled in my head over the years and is rather truncated because I'm not writing a book, here)(I'm writing a book somewhere else). When I was a child, we were told that St. Patrick's day was to celebrate his chasing all the snakes out of Ireland. It is an historically serpent-free bit of earth, and the church attributed this to Paddy and his efforts...kind of overlooking that there weren't any of the slithery things on the island to begin with, if you ask me. Which they didn't, because I was a kid and most grown-ups weren't prepared for my staggering logic and keen grasp of history but rather appalling lack of respect for theology.

Many years later, people were saying St. Patrick's Day was a celebration of all things Irish, like green beer (wait, isn't beer German??) and green clothes, and green hair, and green mashed potatoes (which I won't eat on a dare because, really...green potatoes???), and rivers dyed green (I'm sure the fish are all so very thankful to be included...like Fridays and Lent weren't enough for them!)(that might only be funny if you're Catholic)(or not) and exclusionary parades, and funny little men waving their shillelaghs about (look it up you pervs!!) and that sort of thing.

 In none of the many different explanations for this seemingly random holiday did anyone mention pagans. A most curious oversight of you know what St. Patrick, who was just Patrick at the time (not really, I have no idea what his real name was. For all I know, it was Fred), was actually doing on the Emerald Isle.

He was born and lived sometime between 490 and 461 AD, give or take. Around age sixteen, he was either sent or stolen and taken to Ireland where he spent some time hanging out with sheep and being lonely. He talked to God a lot. You may notice that lots of shepherds do that. You would too if all you had for company all day was a bunch of mutton-heads. I'm sure the Pope understands...

Christianity was rolling along like a snowball in those days, spreading out all over the dang place. Good grief, it was getting so that a simple Pagan/Heathen (there's a difference between the two, not that the church cared much) couldn't get any peace any more. Everywhere they turned, there was a church being built where a sacred grove used to be, from the trees that used to be the sacred grove, or a church going up on a sacred hill, or someone bathing their dirty feet in a sacred stream. To be fair, there was a lot of real estate lumped under that "sacred" heading in the pagan world. We're like that - we just love our planet so. Plus, you know, all those gods needed housing, and they don't do the roommate thing very well. So the pagans were running out of places to have sex on the ground, in the woods, up a tree - they were big on the sex, those little devils - and to read entrails in their spare time.

I digressed. Sorry.

So there was this lonely kid, Patrick Whatsisname, hanging out with sheep and pondering life, the Universe, and everything. He got the idea, somewhere along the way, that maybe other folks should share his God. He got out of his contract (OK, probably slavery) and went around telling folks how terrific his God was, and how he reckoned they should convert. It seems that polite conversation wasn't doing it for the pagans, who tended to stare at him, or point and laugh. Rude beggars, huh? Now young Patrick (or middle aged Patrick, or old Patrick, I have no idea) decided he needed to be a bit more...persuasive. He had noticed something common among the pagan big-wigs. The guys at the top of the food-chain, magic/spirituality wise speaking tended to have a symbol on them somewhere...often around their wrist. On the wrist that indicated their "hand of power", or the hand which they believed their "magic" flowed from. If it wasn't a tattoo, it was a torque. Guess what the tattoo/torque was? A critter called the oroborus. For them as what doesn't ken what that critter is, it's a snake eating its tail, and often represents eternity.
Pat realized that if he took away this "power", he took away their mystique and leadership ability. So he removed the snakes - often with something edged and unpleasant. Yes, he whacked off their hands. Or branded their skin. Or took their trinkets. Converting Heathens is such messy work!! It was for their own good, of course.

Some pagans today go on "snake crawls", a sort of pub crawl where they wear snakes and proclaim their paganism. I'm not quite that...er...proactive. I also don't necessarily think old Pat went around mauling everyone he met in an effort to build church membership and win a nifty prize. But it's the bloody aspect of what he supposedly did that earned his name in Christendom and for which his holiday is celebrated.

So again, why would I celebrate the day? Well, I'm all for a day when families get together and discuss history, theology, spirituality, and the like. Traditions are important - they give us a foundation on which to build our lives. People should discuss their history so they don't repeat it - whatever side of the issue they're on. Also, as I mentioned, I am part Irish. I can celebrate that heritage even as I acknowledge its imperfection. And I am Pagan - and I am celebrating the fact that I can be pagan today without (much) fear of having my (largely not visible when I'm clothed) tattoos painfully removed and other unpleasantness (except for the odd zealot who thinks I'm fair game, but I'm used to that. I live in the Bible belt, after all). Precisely because we didn't get wiped out, I celebrate. And have you ever had a really nice corned beef and cabbage dinner? I mean, yum! Oh, but I won't be wearing green. I wear blue. Don't even think about pinching me.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Night Noise

Tink (wooden bead on the end of the fan pull, hitting the light fixture)

Tink-a-tink

Thunkatythunk (cat jumping down from somewhere she probably shouldn't be)

Snort (human, snoring lightly)

Tink

Tink-a-tink

Sktch-shktch-sraaaaaasktch (cat claws scrabbling on hard surface floor)

Skrtch-skrtch-skrtch-
skrtch-skrtch-skrtch-skrtch-skrtch-skrtch-skrtch-skrtch-skrtch-skrtch-skrtch-skrtch-skrtch-skrtch-skrtch-skrtch-skrtch-skrtch-skrtch-skrtch-skrtch-skrtch-skrtch-skrtch-skrtch-skrtch (cat trying to bury something in the litterbox by scratching the bottom, sides, top, and even outside of the box)

Hng, hrck, unga, hrn, kha, hurg, hork (cat barfing soewhere

Tink-a-tink

Clackety whoosh clack whoosh whoosh clickety-clack (unbalanced fan at highest speed)

Snort, skng, sknnnnxxxx (more snoring human)

Sknnnxxx, snort, kah, SKNNNNNNXXXXXXXXXXX

Tinka-tinka-tink

Drip, drop, drip, drop (shower dripping)

Meow?  Mow.  Myow?  Mrrrrow.  MRRRRROWWWWWWW!!!!!  (cat announcing her kill of the water bomb ball she found on the floor)

MMMRRROOOWWWWW, MOOOOWWWW, MYOOOWWWWW, MRRRRRRRR!!!!! (cat announcing her desire for company in feasting on said water bomb ball)

Sssssst!  (human trying to quiet the cat)

Mrr...?  (cat wondering where the water bob ball went)

SKNNNNXXXXXXXXtink-a-tink-myow-dripetty-drop, snort, tink, 
Sktch-shktch-sraaaaaasktch, snort, kah, SKNNNNNNXXXXXXXXXXX, Clackety whoosh, Clackety whoosh
Prrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (cats crowded onto the bed, content)

Sigh  (me, hoping to get back to sleep sooner rather than later)

Saturday, January 28, 2017

To the Power of Four

Sometimes much can be said with little.  For instance:

Possibly the four most terrifying words one can hear - "We need to talk."  Those four words can strike terror into the stoutest heart!

Four powerfully uplifting words - "How can I help?"

Four words that will garner instant adoration from almost anyone - "I made some bacon."

What words or phrases are especially meaningful for you?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Thoughtfetti

With apologies to Robert Frost...something there is that does not love a charger cable.  Good cables make happy devices.  My devices, particularly my phone, are not happy.  Not just mine - darned near every cable in this house is cantankerous.  We can't keep them functioning around here.  Children are hard on charger cords and lose bricks left and right, and this leaves me wondering where mine went when they borrow 'em from me.  Somewhere, someone is making a fortune off of my family as I buy more cables with the hopes that maybe they'll last out the year.  Sigh.  I hope they enjoy their vacation home.
~~~~~
I have never kissed a clean shaven man.

That thought popped into my head a few days ago, and made me giggle because it is apropos of nothing, but I can't seem to get it out of my head.
~~~~~
Another thought I can't seem to be shed of - it is impossible to sneeze in your sleep.  Just try to unlearn or forget that.  Betcha can't.
~~~~~
The band I'm in is getting back into a practice schedule in preparation for the coming season.  We'll be at Phoenix Phyre in March and May Moon Madness in May.  We're waiting to hear from our usual June event.  I hope we have a few more performances this year.  I like to sing.  It feels good.
~~~~~
Depression is most unkind.  I'm trying to keep ahead of it right now with little success.  Still, because I'm trying not to sink any further into the bogs, I've been working in my sewing room.  I've done inventory of my sarongs and clothing and now have lists of what I would like to order, what I'd like to sew,  and a couple of ideas for new (to me) designs.  I also pulled what I have on hand to sew into clothing so I can maybe get a jump on it instead of waiting until the last minute.  It will help me feel productive.  I could use that.
~~~~~
For more than a week I've been able to wear shorts both inside and outside Casa de Crazy.  In January.  Shorts.  Crazy.
~~~~~
In a few weeks I'm going on a cruise with Mom, and I'm looking forward to it.  The kids, cats, and Casa will have to do without me for ten days while I learn some new quilting techniques and drift around the Caribbean with a passle of other quilters.  For a change, I'm looking forward to February.
~~~~~
How are you doing?

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Ink

I have tattoos.

Six of them.

I want more.

Many, many more.

There is something addictive in tattoo ink, I'm almost certain.  Ever since the first buzzing zing of the needles on my skin, I have wanted more, bigger, better.

Each of my tattoos has meaning to me - I don't just get ink for the sake of ink.  Each of the tattoos I'd like to get has meaning to me.  I am patient.  I can wait.  I prefer to ponder my ink art for a while, to be certain it's what I really want indelibly placed just beneath my skin surface to blaze out for all to see for the rest of my life.

I have a routine, when it comes to being inked.  When I find a design that I like, that resonates with me, I will think about it for a year, at least.  It's not a whim, for me.

It is sacred.

On her last cruise, my mother found a symbol that struck me to the core, and lately I have been noodling with ideas for a tattoo design.  It will have to wait, to ferment, to percolate, because tattooing isn't cheap, and I need to be sure.  Meanwhile, I have a few other ideas on the back burner.

Why bring this up?

Because I crave ink.

I spent about an hour this evening perusing designs and daydreaming about where to put them, and from whom to get them.

I'm going to need a lottery win to fund all the ink I want.

Are you tattooed?  What do you have, where, and why?  If not, do you want to be?

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Guac's Up

I've been feeling kind of low, lately.  When I'm feeling low, I sometimes don't want to clean (Oh, who am I kidding?  I never want to clean!) or cook or do anything.

Still, a body has to eat.  Since the Evil Genius is off with his father for the holidays, dinner's are a bit scattershot around Casa de Crazy.  Sprout doesn't usually want to eat whatever I'm having, so it's sandwiches or quesadillas, machos or hot dogs, and usually some kind of fruit.

This evening, while I was feeling sorry for myself in a general, I have depression kind of way, I opened the fridge and found myself at the receiving end of the reproachful gazes of a couple of avocados that have been lingering in there for a minute.  I always have the best intentions to use them, sliced on sandwiches or in salad or something, and then lose my ambition once I bring them home.

I wasn't feeling particularly inspired by anything, so I grabbed the avocados and decided to make Casa de Crazy style guacamole.

And then, because I have been a rather lame blogger for the last few years, I decided to share the recipe and pretend like I got something accomplished.  Woot!

The players:
Avocados.  How many?  I dunno, how much guac do you want?
Purple Onion
Garlic Cloves.  How many?  Umm...depends on how much you like garlic.
Lime, or limes.
Cayenne Powder.  Some folks use jalapeno peppers, and sometimes I do, too, but I didn't feel like seeding and removing membranes and then mincing the peppers.
Salt - I used ground Celtic sea salt because I like it.

Aaaaand...action!

Use whatever method you prefer to get the avocado out of the skin.  I tend to cut it around the equator, lengthwise, give a little twist, and separate the halves, then whap the seed with the knife blade, twist, and pop it out.  A sort of sideways sliding motion, pressing against the cutting board, gets the seed off the blade.  The I slice the flesh of the avocado into cubes while it's still in the skin and scoop it out with a spoon.

Mash the avocado chunks with a fork.

Mince the garlic and add it to the bowl.  For two avocados I used four cloves of garlic because no vampire's gonna get me!

Stir it up.

Slice thin slices of purple onion - I find that one slice per avocado used is a nice amount.  Mince the onion and add it to the bowl.

Stir it up.

A pinch of salt and a sprinkle of cayenne come next.  It's all about what you like, so don't be afraid to season and taste as you go.  For me, a little cayenne goes a long way so I on;y use a light dusting.

Stir it up.

Finally, squeeze in some lime juice.  Use the real thing, you'll thank me.  Or maybe not.  But I think you will.  I used one lime for two avocados, but the lime wasn't particularly juicy.  I would have used more, but I was impatient.

Stir it up.

Ready to eat!  I like it on tortilla chips with little pieces of thin sliced cheddar cheese on top.



You may have noticed something not included.  It's not a mistake.  There is not, nor will there ever be, cilantro in any recipe that comes from me.  To me, it tastes vile, like dish soap, and it flat ruins anything it touches for me.  I have stopped going to restaurants that used cilantro in everything, or changed a recipe to include the nasty stuff.

Feel free to use it if you are among the lucky souls to whom it doesn't taste like an accident in the soap aisle.  Just please don't serve it to me!