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

Monday, May 30, 2011

I Will Remember




Photo found here and copied entirely without permission but not without respect.


Many of my family have served their country in the various branches. My brother was in the Army, but thankfully got out when yet another gopher hole tried to eat his ankle. Don't ask. My Uncle was in the Air Force, even flying Air Force Two for a while. My Grandfather was in the Coast Guard during World War II. I have a cousin in the Air Force. I believe he flies Airforce somethingorother from time to time. I have a friend who was in the Army during the Vietnam War (conflict, my ass!) - I never once resented the calls at three-o'clock in the morning; nightmares shy away from friendly voices, from reason and reassurance. Another friend was in the Army until it broke his back - literally. He survived, but not his plans for a lifetime in the military - they don't want broken people, no matter how useful or clever they are. Someone's family is jam-packed with folks who've served - mostly Navy, I believe - and deserve some respect and thanks. So...thanks.


For a history of this day, go here. Or here. Or here. In a nutshell, Memorial Day is for remembering the fallen. Veteran's Day is for honoring the living. That's why they get two days, and so they should. Men and women stand up and make targets of themselves to maintain our freedoms every day of the year, so the least we can do is take two days to tell them "Thanks. Thanks for acting against human nature and protecting me and mine. Thanks for losing an arm, a leg, a life so that I don't have to."

It's not about the politics. I'm non-violent. I don't think war is ever a reasonable response to conflict. I won't forget, though, that people have laid down their lives so that I may stand on a street corner protesting (I never would) them, or denigrating (never, ever!) them for their service.

Perhaps one day, we won't have any new graves to decorate. Until then, I remember and (as best I can) I honor.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

While She Sleeps

I love to hold her while she sleeps, soft, limp, warm baby girl.

I love her sighs, little murmurs, tiny twitches, when she nestles a little closer.

I love to watch her wake, stretching, eyes opening, looking around,thousand-watt smile blazingonto her face.

Holding her is a reminder that despite my numerous flaws and failures, sometimes I do get it right.

She's a great comfort.

I love to hold her while she sleeps.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

But You Can't Hide

From time to time I am nearly overcome with the desire...the need...to run away.

Run away from home, friends, family, this life I'm living.

Run away from the bills I can't pay, the house I can't keep clean, the broken things I can't fix or replace, the inevitable, resigned disappointment of those around me when I fail...again...

That's the fuel - that disappointment. It hurts.

I daydream about taking the kids and starting over where no one knows me.

But I know it won't make a difference. You can run...

Monday, May 23, 2011

One of THOSE Days...er...Weeks...

Aaaaaarrrrrrghhhhhhh!

Pant, pant.

Ahem.

Aaaaaarrrgggghhhhhhhhh!!

Pant, pant, pant.

Hrrrrhhemmm.

One more...

Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrghhhhhhhhh!!!

Pant, pant...pant...

Whew.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way...

I realize that I am Entropy's bitch. It doesn't have to keep driving the point home. And Murphy really doesn't need to chime his ass in, either.

My oven is kaput. Whaydaya mean, I can't bake??

The last bulb in the how-the-heck-do-you-change-the-bulbs-in-this-thing-? foyer light blew.

The dryer doesn't care to, at the moment.

The left "Shift" Key fell off of Bob the Wonder Computer.

I got it back on, but now the space bar isn't. Spacing. I have to keep striking it until it feels space-y again, which is about one-third of the time...this post took half of forever to type.

The trash company didn't pick ours up this week...probably because I haven't paid them. Unreasonable people.

The Blue Nowhere was just the Nowhere today at the Casa de Crazy - again with the whole paying the bill thing. Sigh. I need a patron. Or a lottery win.

Sprout decided that 4:30 was exactly the right time to get up for the day and naps are for chumps.

There's more, but between the space bar that isn't and the baby that thinks blogging, like naps, is for chumps, I need to be done. How's your life goin'?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Live and Let Live...Just Not Next Door (SO Series)

Imagine, dear reader, that you are looking for a home.

No problem, right? There are plenty of free publications offering rentals and homes for sale in every neck of the woods and at every price level

But wait.

You can't move in any old where.

You have limitations.

You can't live near a school. Hmm...OK...not too difficult, plenty of places not near schools, although that makes getting the kids to and from a bit more of a challenge.

Oh, wait...you also can't live near a daycare. Oh...OK...so any neighborhood with a home daycare or a daycare center is out

Whoopsie, forgot...no church, either. Huh...there are some parts of the country where that's just not possible. Heck, here in Redneck Central you can't spit without hitting a Baptist something or other.

Also, no playgrounds, parks, or places where children congregate. No YMCA, public swimming pool, or mall with a playground or skate park.

You need to search carefully around your prospective new home, because if you don't locate every one of the above and make certain it's more than 1,000 feet from where you'll be living?

Jail. Possibly for life.

Imagine being told you cannot visit your parents, or any of your family. If you do?

Jail. Possibly for life.

Imagine, dear reader, that the same applies for place of employment, or educational facility.

Imagine that you must find a way to support your family while living within these edicts. Imagine, if you can, your spouse being fired because you're married to him/her. Imagine your children relentlessly bullied at school, at church, at soccer/football/baseball because they're yours. Imagine people coming to your house and threatening you, threatening your family.

Imagine law enforcement providing your address to anyone who wants it, because it's the law.

Imagine not being able to travel for any length of time without first getting permission.

Imagine having to turn over every phone number, every e-mail or online account with passwords so that someone may, at any time, log on and see what you are doing...and if they don't approve?

Jail. Possibly for life.

Imagine having to go every year (in some place more often) to a dark, dreary office and proclaim your presence in the area, give your address and fingerprints, and wait for someone to come and confirm that you live there. Imagine having to move because someone opens a childcare, a church, a park within the thousand feet (unless you're lucky enough to live somewhere that has grandfather clauses).

Imagine having to wear an ankle bracelet, never to be removed, that has a GPS device, and if you stray into a no-no area (inadvertent though it may be)?

Jail. Possibly for life.

Imagine never being able to see your child's school play or recital, never attending a scouting camp out or overnight function, never serving as a classroom parent or chaperon, never taking your child to an amusement or water park, never going to the beach.

Imagine being afraid to change your daughter's diaper, wipe your son's bottom, give your child a bath.

Imagine having to worry about all of that for the rest of your life...all of that and more. Imagine people treating you as pariah because you've been labelled, and that label doesn't differentiate the severity of your act.

Imagine being eighteen and thrown into a cold, callous, uncaring system, knowing that the rest of your days you will be called "Sex Offender" and will carry the burden of that label until you die. No one will hire you, no one wants you living near them, no one cares that the girl* you "offended" was your girlfriend, that she consented, that she was three days from her seventeenth birthday. Or perhaps she lied and told you she was seventeen when she was not, that she has done this before, that she likes to toy with older boys, or perhaps she's looking to score, to gain merit in the eyes of her peers (if you think that doesn't happen, you're wrong - it happens every day, girls and boys both). Her consent, her deceit, do not matter. The fault is yours and yours alone.

No one cares - all they see is the label.

They see a pedophile. They do not look, do not want to look, beyond their own presumption of guilt



*I say "girl", but this applies equally to the males of the species. Please don't get your knickers in a twist because of my gender bias - I don't care to type "girl/boy", "his/her", or "they/their" all the time. I'm lazy.

Friday, May 20, 2011

At Mum's

There are worse place to spend one's last day, should it prove the Rapture is a-comin'.

Not that it applies to me - I'm not Christian, nor am I descended (spiritually speaking) from the first two (who couldn't be Christian because Christ wasn't born then, so how could they follow his teachings?)(not that following his teachings make a Christian, because if it did there'd be a whole lot of empty churches around where I live, and no one would have to worry about whether they had a place in heaven after the Rapture). Being Pagan, I get to sit back and watch, then go looting.

Oh, c'mon, tell me you wouldn't go picking through all the nifty stuff left behind. I really could use a recliner, and an oven that, oh, I dunno, actually works (ours died its final death a few nights ago...now I can't bake anything, and that's like not being able to go to therapy...ack!!). They can't take it with 'em, so why shouldn't I make use of what's there?

Still, if I was Christian, and if I did believe that the end is not only nigh, it's breathing down our necks and crowding us at the checkout, I think this would qualify as a most satisfactory last day.

We're up at Mum's. Lately, we're up here about once a week - Someone does yard work and I keep Sprout and the Evil Genius from taking over the world. Also, I cook breakfast and dinner, because Mum could use the break and shouldn't have to fix meals for all of us, and because I'm a better cook. OK, not really that last one, but Mum reads this blog and I have to get a dig in somewhere.

Today started early for me - 5 am - but it wasn't too bad. Nice sunrise, and Sprout cuddled up and dozed on me for a couple of hours, so I didn't have to walk her around or worry about her cries waking anyone else up. A nice leisurely breakfast, then I got a pot roast started for dinner while Mum and Bird played on the Wii for a bit. After they were done, Sprout and I snoozed on the recliner (I can't loot this one after the Rapture, because Mum's not Christian either, and she might get mad if her chair goes missing) while Mum and Someone finished erecting the deer fence. It looks good. A nice dinner, and then Sprout and I made use of the porch swing as evening finished falling (but not on our heads).

Listening to the birds, the pip-pip-pip of the humming birds chastising us for being too close to their evening snack spot, the humming of the bees coming in to the home they've made in one of Mum's bird houses, the frogs singing out in their chorus, swinging in the lovely coolth...it was peaceful in a way we cannot manage at Casa de Crazy.

Now there's hockey on, and since we're at Mum's it's a clear signal, no pixelating (like everything else at the Casa, the satellite isn't working right...ugh...), so Someone won't miss a goal or some other crucial play (I'll know it's really the end when things work they way they should at Casa de Crazy).

We'll be home again tomorrow, and the world will crowd in on us once more. I'll have to pick up the small stresses that I leave behind whenever we come up here, the little worries and cares that weigh on me at Casa de Crazy but have no meaning at Mum's - Rapture or not, bills need paying, laundry needs doing, there's sewing to finish and more to begin, the house needs cleaning...I'm too busy for the end of the world as we know it, thanks.

What're you up to?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

There Is No Title

I have a recurring dream.

Actually, I have several recurring dreams, my psyche's own little video library, but I'll spare you most of them for the moment.

This one particular dream, I've had quite often, of late.

The colors are dark - greys, blues, purples, colors of night. I'm in a forest. There are hunters. They are not after me. I am gliding from shadow to shadow, sliding across frozen puddles of moonlight, seeking the hunters' prey.

He's there in the wood. I can hear him, soft though he treads; his heartbeat thunders in my mind.

I find him in a tiny clearing, illuminated. He is waiting for me, silver in the night. Just as I reach him, the hunters break through. He snarls. I place myself between him and the people who would kill him, though I am armed only with wit and will.

No words are spoken, but our intents are clear - the wolf will be the wolf, himself always, never tame, never docile, he will tolerate his chosen few but never bend himself to another's will. The hunters will destroy him if they can...all they see is his danger. And me? I will split wide the earth, call down the gale, loose the conflagration, summon the rushing waters, fight tooth and toenail to protect him. Whatever the cost, I will not let them destroy this wild, beautiful thing. In my dream, I am more than equal to these fluttering, ineffectual fools. All they have are weapons of metal and wood - I have Nature's fury with which to do battle.

Within the dream, I fear only that I will be too late. Once I've found him, that fear passes - I am absolutely confident that I will prevail. I will not make the first move, but I will not hesitate to defend him against all comers, and they will fail.

Sometimes the dream ends there - hunters circling, wolf growling, teeth bared, my hands raised, face set in stony determination.

Sometimes it ends in the midst of the melee, slain and wounded hunters scattered around us, more coming at us, wolf exuding primal rage, myself drawing on my cold anger to fuel the arts with which I do battle.

Sometimes it ends with the wolf and I walking through the silent forest, untouched, moonlight marking our path.

What have you been dreaming of?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Kick-Ass Pasta Salad

The Evil Genius spent the weekend with his dad, and Someone, Sprout and I went up to Mum's to get some garden-type things done there.It's slow going, because when we go up there it either rains or we discover that we need a tool or some other supplies to get a job done, or (as happened earlier this week) a piece of equipment craps out and we need to get it fixed (thank goodness for friends who are handy and kind-hearted - hopefully the mower will be up and running again very soon).

I made a pasta salad for lunch that was freakin' amazing. I have no photographs and no measurements, but I had to share the basic recipe with you because I am mighty chuffed about it.

The players:
Tortellini, any kind you like ( I used chicken and herb this time)
Pesto
Mayonnaise
Lemon Juice
Cabbage
Carrots
Celery
Salt
Pepper
Parmesan Cheese

Action:
Cook the tortellini until al dente. How much? Umm...how much pasta salad do you want?

While the pasta is cooking, thinly slice or shred some cabbage. How much? Again, it depends on how much salad you want, but I didn't use a lot - just enough to add a little texture to the finished product. Shred some carrots. See cabbage for amounts. Chop a stalk or two of celery.

In a separate bowl, mix two parts mayo to one part pesto. You can use more pesto if you want - I didn't have a lot of it, but may bump up the green stuff next time I make this, because I love me some pesto. Mix in some Parmesan, salt and pepper, and a few squeezes of lemon juice.

Toss the shredded cabbage, carrots, and chopped celery in a large bowl. Add half the mayo mixture.

When the pasta is cooked, drain and chill it. Once chilled, toss it into the cabbage mixture. Add the rest of the mayo mixture a little at a time until the salad is sauced to your liking. Chill. Nom. nom, nom.

What I didn't have but plan to use next time, maybe:
Green Onions
Artichoke Hearts
Fresh Peas

Lemme know if you make it, whether you add your own touches, and how you like it

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Thoughtfetti

Sprout's morning playlist (she likes music, go figure) contains Flogging Molly, Godsmack, Natalie Imbruglia, Cheryl Crow, Slipknot, Great Big Sea, Eric Church, Jeannie C Riley, Pearl Jam, Coyote Run, and Nickel Creek. Wonder what she'll listen to when she's older...
~~~~~
I cut the catnip with the special Kitty Claw Trimmers o' Doom. I like the symmetry...
~~~~~
The last few nights, I've had troubling dreams, unpleasant subjects leaving me feeling worried and stressed, but they've been lovely because they're in water colors. If only I could paint as well as my mind...
~~~~~
I may have lucked into getting my little trio of childrens' stories published. We'll see...
~~~~~
Where does Sprout put all the formula she's drinking? Four ounces every hour or two, good grief...I think there's a portable hole in her stomach, and it's all flowing into another dimension.
~~~~~
The Thai Insanity Pepper sprout has its second set of leaves and is beginning the third...I may grow one, yet!
~~~~~
Is it too late for me to learn how to play the fiddle?
~~~~~
Someone tell me why I'm paying so much for the world's largest 3G network when I can't access it anywhere because either my phone or the system is buggy...
~~~~~
Bird brought home a bible and a book of bible stories from his last visit with his father. He's been reading the stories to me, and we discuss them. He didn't know I knew the bible fairly well. I don't mind - I want him to learn that there are many religions, philosophies, and spiritual paths, and I don't think any one is the only one...but I do wish they weren't the Jehova's Witness versions of the books...oy... Guess I'll have to go down in to the library and find my old Children's Bible (the one I had when I was a kid).
~~~~~
Spell Check doesn't like "Jehova". Huh.
~~~~~
The Evil Genius is with his dad for the weekend, and Someone and I are taking Sprout up to Mum's to install deer fence around the garden (it's a project, lemme tell you). What're your weekend plans?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Short Stories (SO Series)

These are all true - they happened, either to me or to people I knew. I'm telling these stories because they illustrate (I hope) that there are many facets to this issue.

One facet - I was ten years old when a neighbor decided I was old enough to touch his penis, to stroke him and felate him until he ejaculated. I learned to keep a Kleenex handy to wipe the weird white stuff of of my mother's couch. He opined that I would soon be old enough for him to put it inside me, and that it would feel so good. Eventually he and his family moved away. I never told anyone about our after-school "dates", for fear I'd get into trouble.

D was fourteen when she agreed to go into the barn with T. He wanted more than she did. He was nineteen, and stronger than she, and he got what he wanted. It wasn't the first time he'd talked a younger girl into the barn, nor the last. Going into the barn with T gave a girl cachet, even if she wasn't entirely sure how she felt about it...and at that time, at that age, status was everything.

P was six when she went to live with her father. She was a teen when her mother finally got her back. Her father taught her many things which no child should know.

Another facet - S was fifteen when she met B. He was in his twenties, in the Navy. They were in love. They had sex. She got pregnant. They married. Several decades and two more kids later, they're still married.

K was a young teen when she met B. Still in high school while he was well out and making his way in the world (in his twenties). They dated with the consent of her parents. They married, and several decades and three sons later, they're still married.

And a third facet - S was nineteen when he met L at a party. In college, studying for his future, he was taking a rare break. She told him she was eighteen, in nursing school. They dated, had sex...and her mother found out. L's mother pressed charges, despite L's insistence that she'd consented, that she'd lied about her age (she was fifteen). He went to prison for several years.

J was in his twenties when he met X at the park. They talked on the phone a few times, and then she asked him over to her place. They fooled around a bit - no sex, just petting. Her father found out. J went to prison for twelve years. Turns out, X wasn't seventeen, as she'd said.

T was a middle-school teacher. He liked to go to the beach on the weekend, enjoy sun, surf, and sand. One day, he and a friend went to a nude beach, curious about it. They thought it would be nice to sun themselves without bathing suits. The beach was empty, so they shucked their clothing and commenced to enjoying a sunny day on the shore. The police explained, while arresting them, that the nude beach was actually several hundred yards along.

There are more stories to tell, but these should suffice. Which of the above are predators? Which are rapists? Which pedophiles? And which ones were the victims of their own misunderstanding or of another's misdirection? The law makes no distinction. The law says they are all criminals of the same class. This is wrong. They are not all the same - the young man who believes a girl when she says she's old enough is not the same as the middle-aged man who preys on his neighbor's ten-year old daughter (knowing full well her age). The man who unwittingly exposed himself to an empty beach is not the same as the one who coerced girls on the floor of a barn. They should not be treated as like...but they are. How is that just?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Vocabulary (SO Series)

I've had something on my mind for a long while now. About a decade, in fact. It is a knotty issue, one that won't easily, if ever, be unknotted. It's the kind of issue on which one generally remains silent unless one wishes to lose friends, whatever side one stands on.

My feelings on the matter stem from my own experiences in life, and from the experiences of a number of people in my life. My opinion has been shaped by laws and their implementation, and by my views of justice, of what is just.

I am not saying I'm right, or wrong, or anything but one woman who has had occasion to form an opinion regarding a particular facet of our society and its views.

The subject?

Sex offender laws.

It's too big for one, or even two posts, so I'm going to write a series of however many it takes to satisfy me that I've articulated whatever it is I'm trying to articulate.

So, to begin, let's have a bit of vocabulary, shall we?

Sex Offender (Dictionary.com)
noun
someone who has been convicted of a sex crime

Sexual Predator (Wikipedia.com)
A sexual predator is...a person who habitually seeks out sexual situations that are deemed exploitative...

Pedophile(Dictionary.com)
noun
an adult who is sexually attracted to young children.

Rape (Dictionary.com)
verb
any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.

Rapist (Dictionary.com)
noun
a person who commits rape

And one thing that is not a definition, but rather a parameter:
Age of consent in USA: 16 - 18, varying by state

One last thing - as I am certain I will write about other things (like Life, the Universe, and Everything), I will try to remember to add "SO Series" to any post title regarding this topic so you can skip the posts if you prefer. Just because I feel the need to express myself on the matter doesn't mean you should have to read about it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Consider

Sex Offender.

What does that mean to you?

Fasten your seatbelts, this blog's going on a bumpy ride.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day

I didn't post yesterday because I was busy being a mom.

The denizens of Casa de Crazy (the human ones, anyway) went up to Mum's place on Saturday night, and Someone and Mum spent most of yesterday prepping and installing the deer fence. They didn't finish, but they got a lot done, and should be able to finish it next time we're up.

This fence is an oddity to me - it's not very tall, which is counter to what I know about fencing out deer...and it's invisible. Anyway, it's invisible to the deer. I suppose it's meant to confuse them - can't jump over what you can't see. A friend of Mum's swears by it, so we'll see...if it works, we'll have more than quadrupled the garden potential for our family.

I spent yesterday hanging out in the cabin with the kids, swinging on the porch swing listening to Mum and Someone as they began fence assembly, and managing to score a nap. Not a bad day, all told.

I hope you had a pleasant Mother's Day, whether because you're a mom or because you were celebrating with one.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Aching

Whew...sometimes I wonder if I'll ever have another day without wincing.

Mind you, I know I have it fairly easy - I don't have any kind of degenerative disease or chronic condition...just a body that's getting a little older every day.

Last Thursday I was supposed to go have a little semi-surgical thing done, but I cancelled the appointment the week before. I was trying to get a straight answer as to how medically necessary it was, and no one seemed to be able to quantify the urgency...but given the casual tone of the nurse and the distinct lack of hurry-up in the return calls, I'm thinking I'll keep a little longer.

I don't really want to go have it done, if I'm being honest. I'm already tired, and hurt all over. I don't much care to add another zone of discomfort to the mix. Also, the "procedure" costs darned near $900, and that's with the pay-now discount! Talk about a pain!

Also, also, since I was first made aware of this condition (and that was an irritating process that I'm not sharing publicly...except to say that I'm not a doctor so maybe I don't understand these things, but when a patient tests positive for a condition that could maybe possibly lead to cancer some day in the future, I wouldn't wait almost a year to tell them. Just sayin'.), I was assured that it would most likely clear up. Another test, and I needed to come in for more testing because it wasn't going to go away just yet, and I would need another test. That test was near $300, and after it was done the doctor told me he didn't think there was anything to worry about, they'd call me with the results. Then they called and said I would need a "procedure" to take care of things...and here we sit.

Every step of the way, they've told me everything is fine, it shouldn't need anything more...and then they call and tell me there's more. After this, the next "more" is cancer. Can you blame me?

There's another factor here, one I'm not proud of. I'm tired in more than body. Mind and spirit are worn, too...and I have my darker moments when I must admit that I don't care if it's something worse or this next bit of medical trickery will do. Hey, I promised I wouldn't ever try to take my own life, but I never promised I'd make any effort to live.

Not that I expect anyone will, but don't panic - I am making another appointment. Eventually. Soon.

My toe aches from catching that can o' milk that cliff-dove off the counter two weeks ago. My foot, ankle, knee and hip hurt from compensating for the stupid toe. My lower back is stiff and sore. My middle back has a spot that hurts enough to make my breath catch when I don't move just. Exactly. Right. My neck and shoulders hurt from carrying around this marvelous, sweet, cranky baby girl for most of the day (because I would love to just sit and cuddle her all the time, but the laundry won't do itself, nor the dishes, nor meals prepare themselves...you get the picture), my head aches, my mind is sluggish (four hours of sleep a night for almost a week will do that to me), and my heart and soul are in desperate need of patching, if not a complete overhaul.

I'm trying to bounce. I'm trying to go outside and breathe in the sweet, clean air, trying to smell the honeysuckle and taste the strawberries fresh off the plant and soak in the sweetness, trying to enjoy the simplicity of hanging laundry out to dry...but some days it's all lost in the cacophony of a self that is aching.

How're you feeling?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Five Things (Casa de Crazy Needs Cleaning Edition)

Five Things...

...on the poor abused futon that serves as both our couch and our emergency back-up guest sleeping space (as long as the guest doesn't mind waking up crippled and/or pretzel shaped in the morning): cat hair (lots and lots of cat hair); two bath towels of indeterminate cleanliness; a roll of toilet paper; my arse print; the finest, most extensive collection of cereal crumbs, chip leavings, and other tidbits this side of the Mississippi.

...under the poor abused futon that hasn't had a break in years and has a cushion that is listing slightly to port because that's the side I sit on and my fifty-acre arse has flattened it beyond redemption: several entities that one could call dust bunnies if one was feeling charitable, and if dust bunnies could be made almost entirely of cat hair; a flattened and "stowed" purple Bongo Bag that was stuffed full of Mega Bloks and living in the garage until I "rescued" it and its contents (which contents are now in the baby's room because every newborn plays with blocks, right? Right.) and may or may not still have mouse...erm...leavings on it despite my having cleaned it several times; a large plastic tray/box insert full of tiny, baby-choking pieces of a zillion-piece farm set that won't fit anywhere else (except one duck that the Evil Genius deemed necessary for another game); part of the cereal crumb, chip leaving, tidbit collection that was deemed unfit for display but still necessary to the collection as a whole; several clods/clumps of something I hope is mud from off Someone's shoes and not the results of some unfortunate kitty digestive distress.

...that need the attention of my bored, neglected fluffy duster thingy, leaning forlornly in the corner waiting for me to love it again: every fan blade on every fan in the Casa - I bet I could shave a c-note off my power bill if I dusted those suckers and lightened the load; the place where the wall meets the ceiling (or vice versa), where I have a well-established community of cobwebs that I should take down and felt into a piece of found-object art that I could sell to help pay the fan-related power bill; the open area above the kitchen cupboards - I think a Hobbit may be wrapped up in one of those dust-danglies; the dining room light fixture, which has more hair than my haven't-been-defuzzed-in-over-a-year getaway sticks; the back of the fridge, a place I have never, ever dusted on the premise that it would take me a year just to clear off off the top so I could move it away from the wall without danger of a crapalanche, and that coat of schmutz is like insulation, isn't it?

...that should be put away but likely won't be before the year is through: the glittery gold reindeer that belongs in the box of Yule related interior decorations that is safely buried in the closet under the stairs behind where Harry's bed would be and is in no danger of being disturbed any time soon; the pile of clean laundry that has a rotating population but never seems to lose mass or density despite the ever-changing contents and frequent relocation from bed to various other furniture venues; the stuff on top of the fridge that makes it impossible for me to live the dream and dust behind said appliance; the mountain of books that teeters at the foot of the bed, waiting for space on the already stuffed-to-the-gills-no-really-one-more-book-and-we'll-collapse-in-on-ourselves-and-make-a-singularity library shelves downstairs; any and all of the millions of tiny, what the heck is this thing? toys and game pieces on the Evil Genius's bedroom floor (his feet haven't touched Pergo this year, and I've cleaned in there, honest!!).

...that should be thrown away, which is saying a lot when the person doing the saying is a freakin' packrat: the camera tripod with the broken, won't lock into place so you can't actually use it as a tripod because it'll go all wonky but maybe we can still fix it leg; the almost empty but if I tip it just right and wait for a while, maybe chant a Zen mantra or something, jar of my favorite lotion that's sitting by the bed; the self-propelled lawn mower that neither propels itself nor mows the lawn because it has an identity crisis and alternates believing it's a coat rack, a large, greasy, gritty paperweight, and an impediment to my walking through the garage without stubbing my toe; the pile of old bills and papers I cleared out of the downstairs closet so we could stow preps in there, said papers being a surprise to me because they used to be contained neatly in a file cabinet that oddly disappeared when T moved out, said filing cabinet being mine long before T and I ever met, but who's bitter?, said papers also being from before T and I met and long past the point of usefulness or necessity unless we wish to start a very large, ink scented fire; the pile of tubs, tubes, and canisters piled up with our home school art supplies because we might one day make them into musical instruments, pencil holders, or piggy banks for various grandparents and other family members, who will then be forced to keep and/or use them so as not to hurt the kids' feelings but who secretly wish they could throw them away when no one's looking because who wants pencils that smell of Pringles or cashews??

How 'bout you? Got one or twelve-thousand things that need doing? Tell me about 'em...

Monday, May 2, 2011

So What's Different?

Gettin' political, y'all...
~~~~~
Osama Bin Laden is dead.

Huh.

And this changes what, exactly?

Is the "war" over, now? Can all the men and women putting themselves in harm's way come home?

Yeah, I thought not.

It's never been about old Osama Yo Mama.

It's about the oil, and the balance of power, and votes, and retaining power by instilling fear in the populace while simultaneously thieving away our liberties. Not that I have an opinion, or anything.

I'm sorry, y'all, but Bin Laden was one man among many, and all I can muster up at the news of his demise is a half-hearted "So what?".

I am wondering if there will be any political repercussions for Pakistan, for harboring him...in a million-dollar mansion, no less.

Wait, what am I saying? Of course not. No one believes in consequences, any more.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Beltane

Whew...I'm a bit late with this, but I have a terrific excuse - we went up to Mum's, and I couldn't load photos on to her computer, and I couldn't manage to get my phone to let me write a post.

So we celebrated Beltane today. This is the holiday wherein the Goddess leaves the Maiden phase of the year and enters the Mother phase. This is where the God moves towards the fullness of his power, moving from Youth to Hunter. Today, he planted the seed for his rebirth, wedding the Goddess and (to use the vernacular) getting her with child (the child that will be born at Yule, himself come again into the world - dizzying, huh?). Lots of folks like to go "greenwooding" on May eve, and on Beltane. What's "greenwooding"? Hmm...how to put this...delicately...

Pagans. In the woods and fields. Celebrating fertility. Get it? Cool...save me from embarrassing myself.

As for myself, Someone, the Evil Genius, Sprout, and Mum? We celebrated with another tradition; we lit the balefire.

Lucky for us, Mum has a small parcel of dirt she calls her own, lives outside her town's limits (where there's a burn ban), and constantly has brush, deadfall, and various other burnables to...er...burn. Bonfire twice a year, at least, woo-hoo! Happy (not at all)naked Pagan dance!!

So, our fire:

It was a nice burn. We placed a bit of food and a libation on the fire, an offering to our Gods. We passed cakes (ok, ok, so they were Robin Eggs) and wine (eh, water, wine...it's all about the symbology)(that one was for you, Sir)(symbolism) and offered each other the blessing "May you never hunger. May you never thirst". I collected some of the ash, which I'll use year 'round for various blessings.

When we got home, Someone played in the new garden bed (he can tell you 'bout that some day), Bird played in the sprinkler, and I did dishes and kept Sprout from taking over the Internet with her cuteness. It was a close shave. You're welcome.

So how was your weekend??