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

Tibi gratias agimus quod nihil fumas.

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

"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, March 31, 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

Thoughtfetti

We survived the weekend, collectively. I got home in time to pack the Evil Genius off with his dad (thanks to Mum, who packed his suitcase before I got home). A few Porsches got bent, and one or two were rather broken, but no one was hurt (except in their wallet) so the weekend was a success in my books. I had a blast, and I think they may ask me back again. Sprout had a good time at home with Someone - she loves her Papa!
~~~~~
I just learned that all the water in the world's reservoirs is causing a slight change in the Earth's rotation. Holy wow!
~~~~~
Popcorn + butter + salt + garlic powder = I need more of that!!
~~~~~
I never tire of watching Anthony Bourdain eat a warthog's asshole. It's wrong, I know...but ohmuhgoodness, it's sooooo funny! Having eaten my share of "eww" items, I can empathize...but I only have so much "polite" left in me, and I'm afraid it doesn't extend to dining on anus of any variety. He can have my share.
~~~~~
I suddenly have a craving for Jack Daniels Lynchburg Lemonade. Why? I haven't had one of those in decades. No kidding, decades.
~~~~~
I love listening to Someone talk to Sprout. It's even funnier when she talks back. She makes the funniest noises, now, and smiles. Hoo-ee, when she lays that thousand-watt smile on us, we melt. How has it already been two months??
~~~~~
How was your weekend?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Early Morning

Someone has been doing Papa duty solo this weekend as I'm working communications over at the track. Yesterday was stormy off and on all day, which made racing...interesting.

Last night, we went to sleep watching lightning strobe the night, listening to thunder rolling along the hills.

It seems the storm's gotten snagged in the trees, tearing itself open to scud along with the wind, dumping rain as it goes - this morning, it's a deluge outside Casa de Crazy, and the flashing outside is causing flickering inside. Racing today - two endurance races - will also be...interesting.

Sprout decided to wake me up a bit early this morning. I planned on being up at 5:40, but she thought 5:00 was better. It was nice, though, to hold her, feed her, and rock her back to sleep. I've missed doing it the last few days. This has been my first long stretch away from my family since before the baby was born. I miss them during the day.

Today, Someone gets a little reprieve - Mum is picking up the Evil Genius and bringing him to a friend's house-warming party. Then tonight, if all goes according to plan, T will pick the Evil Genius up and have him until Tuesday.

I wonder if I can get the boy's room clean in two days? Hmm...maybe if I had a steam shovel...

I have to go, now...time to paddle over to the track and see if our communications net is still alive or if we're relegated to using handheld radios for the day. I'm not holding my breath.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Guess What...

This man:

I love him. It's his birthday today. I have no gift for him. Truth be told, I think he's the gift. I baked him a yellow cake, and am going to frost it with home made chocolate frosting. For his birthday, I'm letting him cook dinner. Nice, ain't I?

Happy birthday, Sir. I'm glad you were born

Monday, March 21, 2011

What If...?

What if I hadn't been molested by a neighbor when I was 10? Would I have seen myself differently? Would I have grown into a different woman? Would I have seen the world differently? Would I have trusted more, or less?

What if I hadn't been molested by a family member between the ages of 13 and 15? Would I have done more, been more? Or would I have done, been, less?

What if I hadn't bee sexually assaulted when I was 18? Would I have felt more, or less, sure of myself?

What if I had stuck with the music degree, fought through the ennui, ignored the barbs of my fellow students, faked the confidence needed to make it through what is (believe it or not) second only to nursing as a killer major? What if I hadn't been content to be in the chorus, but had gone out for the lead every time? Would I be singing in a metropolitan opera house? Or would I be teaching voice lessons to the next aspiring generation?

What if I had paid better attention in English classes? Would I be a published author or still struggling with politely worded rejections? Or would I have seen the folly of trying to break into the vaunted halls of publication?

What if I had swallowed my anger, resentment, and pride and gone back to school, accepted my degree (I had enough credits when I left, how stupid was I to turn my back on that??)? Would I be a better person, more valuable and valued? Or would it make not a whit of difference?

What if I had done whatever it was I needed to do to hold my head up, look the world in the eye, and tell it to go fuck itself when it's being ugly?

What if, what if, what if...

I often say I wouldn't trade a single moment of my past for something different, because it brought me to this present. I've had my share of awful. Who hasn't? But without it, I wouldn't have the Evil Genius, or Sprout, or Someone, or the friends who love and tolerate me and my crazy.

Still...sometimes I will wonder...what if...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Annual Ostara Shirk...er...Post

So it's Ostara again, and once again I have not written a post about what Ostara is besides the Equinox.

I know you're terribly disappointed. How 'bout I make it up to you with some chocolate? It's on the table in the kitchen, help yourself.

Meanwhile, we're at Mum's, coloring eggs and celebrating Spring. What're y'all up to today?

Friday, March 18, 2011

You Know, You Probably Shouldn't Encourage This Sort of Behavior

Hey, guess what??

I won something! No, not the lottery...if I won the lottery I wouldn't be blogging about it, I'd be collecting it.

Nope, no lottery...but I did win a blogging award. See?

SciFiChick gave it to me. Considering my content of late, I think she was being generous, but I was raised never to look a gift award horse in the mouth.

As is usually the case with these things, there are some rules. The question is, will I follow them?? Hmm...what to do, what to do...

I guess I'll play nice. For now.

First I'm supposed to tell you seven things that you may not know about me. Wow...umm...I don't know if I have seven things I haven't already blogged about. You already know I drive the crazy train, have two kids, a Someone, and a gracious plenty of cats. You know I'm a singer, a writer, a quilter, a photographer, and a lazy so-and-so. You know I'm Pagan. Huh...what have I got left? This is like writing a bio...and I really don't like writing bios. They give me hives. Ok, ok, enough with the stalling...here goes:

1. Some folks think I don't like dogs. That's not true. I grew up with dogs, and I love 'em. I don't like ill behaved dogs. I also don't want to be the only one cleaning up after or training a dog...so until recently I have refused to entertain the notion that Casa de Crazy could go to the dogs. Now I'm entertaining the notion, but have not begin to implement it yet - Someone loves dogs and I believe he would be a dab hand at dealing with them, but a new baby sort of put a crimp in caninery for a bit.

2. I have a dictionary that weighs more than my daughter. It is one of my favorite books. Someone likes it, too. We are constantly looking things up in it. We are, collectively, deeply weird and wordy.

3. I have been known, on rare occasions (although not in the last few years), to smoke something that is distinctly not tobacco. Shh, don't tell my Mum. Oh, wait...she reads my blog. Dang. I'm an advocate for legalizing said smokey comestible and will happily engage in a reasoned, educated conversation about it but am not interested in propaganda or hyperbole.

4. I am allegedly part New England Indigenous Tribal Person (read: Native American, but don't get me started on that semantic battle), which may explain why I don't like to borrow blankets from strangers.

5. I am an ordained minister. For reals! I can perform marriages and everything!

6. Whenever I'm in a new house, I mentally redecorate it with my stuff.

7. I have always wanted to be a phone, computer, or cartoon character voice. Really. I would love to be a voice-over artist or narrator (Hello, Discovery and Nat Geo channels, are you there??) as well. A gal can dream...

Whew, I'm glad that's over with.

And now I am supposed to pass the award along to fifteen other bloggers. This part's no easier - there are so many good reads out there...if I left you out, it's not 'cause I don't love ya!

In no particular order:

Hermit Jim. He's my kinda guy - warm, personable, intelligent, capable of spell-checking before he posts a blog...and he's practically family since I stole his nephew and brought him to Casa de Crazy to shack up with me!

Mizz Suzy. She's funny. Good grief, is she funny. She makes me laugh. A lot.

Mum. Hey, there was nothing in the rules about nepotism, and I happen to think my Mum is one classy and uber-stylish woman. Also, since usually all I give her is a headache...I figure she's due an award. Too bad there's not a cash prize along with it...sorry, Mum...

Vodkamom. I adore her. You, too, can adore her. Go on, try it...it's easy, and you'll live longer...

Mizz Rachel. Sister of my soul. Poet, mama, compassionate, intelligent, and one of the people I would very much like to meet in person some day.

Mizz Treesong. The woman is the epitome of perseverance. If introducing an art program to her community doesn't define style, I dunno what does.

Someone. What, you thought I wouldn't? Whoof...he's got some crazy style, and he's all sorts of sexy (not that I'm biased) and funny and sweet. Go look, you know you wanna.

Mizz Rene. Classy lady in the classic sense.

Kit. I adore her whole family.

Is that fifteen, yet? No? Huh...ok, then...

Friar. Ohmuhgoodness, his cartoons are hysterical (in the best way).

Mizz Marcy. She's so glamorous!

Pearl. She makes taking the bus sound like a good reason to stay home so cool.

Busted Knuckles. He uses grown-up words...lots and lots of grown-up words. I adore him.

Aunt Becky. She calls her kids "crotch parasites". What's not to love?

Mizz Suzan, who isn't blogging any more, dang it...but I'm giving it to her anyway.
~~~~~

Whew...done. I'm worn slap out...time for a nap. What're y'all reading, these days?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Whatsis Day

This is a (slightly edited) re-repost. You'll survive.
~~~~~

I'll be cooking corned beef and cabbage for dinner tonight, much to my family's delight. Mum may come down because she, like me, loves the stuff. Bird likes the bread and meat fine, but not the cabbage, and he doesn't want the potatoes, which leads me to wonder if any of the one-quarter Irish in my veins made it to him. I get not liking cabbage, but potatoes? Something's not right with the child. Someone will happily scarf the lot, because he's a good Irish lad.

Seeing as I'm Pagan, you wouldn't think I'd celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Better than most, I 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 rather 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 St. Pat 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. 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 fare, 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...usually 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 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.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I Was Going to Write a Real Blog Post, But...

...I made reference to Break Dancing and the Evil Genius wanted to know what that was. Ouch. Generation gap, anyone?? So we had to surf YouTube and find some samples. Hey, home schooling takes many guises...we used this as an opportunity to discuss trends, fashion, athleticism, the need to focus and practice things, and busking, among other things.

Since I didn't write an actual post, I'm going to show you what the Evil Genius had for educational videos tonight:







Suddenly I feel all old and creaky...how're you doin'?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Weighty Matters

Sprout is reaching a point where she wants to be put down rather than held. She wants to look around, to gurgle, chuckle, coo, and squeak, to wave her arm, kick her legs, get the hang of this "life" thing. She is awake more and more (which means I can't sleep all day any more...dang), smiling, interested in the world around her.

Mind you, I like holding her. There's a special sweetness to a sleeping baby...especially when that baby's been fussing. Her warmth, her little hands resting on me, her limp collapse into me, the weight of her in my arms, these things I treasure, knowing as I do that they are all too fleeting. I will hold her for hours, just loving the feel of her.

Still, it's something of a relief, because even though it's usually just for a few minutes, I can get more done with two hands free...it's awfully challenging doing dishes or laundry or cooking a meal with a baby in one's arms. And typing a blog? Let's just say spell check and the backspace button are a mum's best blogging buddies.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Music on Monday

I've had a couple of songs stuck in my head the last few days. I used to listen to this fellow with Mum, especially on road trips - always liked his songs. Added bonus, he makes me laugh, which is nice on a grey, threatening-to-rain Monday.





And one more...



How's your Monday shaping up?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Thoughtfeti

I'm typing one-handed right now because Sprout is using my other hand as a bottom rest. I should put her down when she's sleeping, but I can't bring myself to. Help, I'm being held captive by a sleeping baby!
~~~~~
Spring is coming on apace here in Redneck Central. I know this how? Not flowers or buds or birds...nope...but because the weather can't make up its danged mind and because my eyes are itchy and watery. Yay Spring...achoo...
~~~~~
Sprout has had a bit of occasional colic. Imagine needing to burp or pass gas, but you can't. Ouch. So we've been having occasional distress/irritation/zombie-like time here at Casa de Crazy. We switched formulas, which seems to have helped but also seems to have constipated her a little. Poor kid...she keeps trying to tell us what's wrong, but we don't speak Waaaaaaaah.
~~~~~
Also in Sprout news...she's smiling at us now. Of course, she won't do it when I have a camera handy...
~~~~~
Mum stayed here for a few nights - she was working at the Sewing Expo, helping sell raffle tickets for a quilt. I asked what she wanted for dinner and she requested chicken fried steak. I made it last night while she played with Sprout. Believe it or not, making CFS, mashed potatoes, gravy (ok, so I cheated and used a powdered mix...but it's good, and I'm lazy), and green beans was a break! Sprout even snoozed during dinner, so Someone and I got to have a hot meal together, at the same time, in the same place! Alert the media...a family dinner was had at Casa de Crazy. We even sat at the dining room table. The end is nigh...
~~~~~
Yesterday I wondered how much bacon one pig can produce. An average hog will provide 34.5 pounds or about 320 pieces...almost one serving if you're the Evil Genius.
~~~~~
What've you been wondering about?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Right Now...

...I feel tired, old, discouraged, disheartened, hurt, and deeply sad. I wonder why I bother caring, or dreaming, or trying.

This is depression. It is painful. It sucks - literally and figuratively.

Right now, I can't do anything right, can't say anything right.

This is depression. Insidious, it snakes itself into everything, so that the simplest tasks become building the pyramids blind-folded and one-legged.

Right now, I am hungry but do not want to bother eating, am thirsty but can't be bothered to take a drink.

This is depression. It saps a body.

Right now, I look at my future and wonder why I should make any effort at all to meet it.

This is depression, and it passes. Perhaps in a few minutes, perhaps tomorrow, perhaps next week.

Right now, it is grinding me down a little more, wearing me a little thinner, sinking me a little deeper.

This is depression, and it doesn't get any better or any easier as time passes, or because I know what it is.

Do me a favor, go read this post - I'm pretty sure it doesn't suck entirely, and it's certainly less gloomy.

Right now, I endure.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

For Mum

A bit of levity...we used to watch this cartoon together. This bit cracked us up.

Friday, March 4, 2011

It's Been a While...

...since I posted bumper stickers, and since Casa de Crazy is gettin' rained on and the day is a wee gloomy, I thought I'd share a chuckle or three. How's your day goin'?
~~~~~
Before giving anyone a piece of your mind, be sure you have enough to spare.

Never let your mother brush your hair when she's mad at your father.

Never moon a werewolf.

Don't go to bed angry - stay up and plot your revenge.

I couldn't decide which bumper sticker to get, so pretend this is the one that annoys you most.
~~~~~
Cheers, y'all...