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, June 30, 2011

What Happened To Compassion?

I read a story this morning about how the budget shortfalls in Illinois are causing some issues in an interesting area - it seems prisoners are having to wear soiled, worn clothing, with laundry done only twice a week.

The story itself was not remarkable, really...it's hardly a surprise that the state will cut funding anywhere it can, and prisons are an easy mark because the people inside are either employed there and can leave or are lumped under the heading of "If you're there you must deserve to be so suck it up".

What struck me was the tone of the responses to the story. The comments left were horrid, to say the least, full of smug self-righteousness and ignorance. They ranged from"Who cares?" to "They deserve to suffer."

Excuse me??

People are wrongly convicted every day. Not everyone in prison is evil. People go to prison for having the wrong kind of herbal entertainment in their pockets. They go to prison for defending themselves. They go to prison because they made a mistake and society wants to punish them soundly.

Whatever the reason, and whether they are nice, stupid, evil, intelligent, kind, guilty, or innocent, they are still people. To try and deny them their humanity is a mistake. To treat them as less than human is to take away the one thing that connects them to society and helps them change for (one hopes) the better.

Forcing people to wear filthy, worn clothing while living in crowded conditions is unhealthy, to say the least.

Saying "Oh, well,they can wash them in the sink" would make sense...unless you know how unrealistic that is. Prisoners don't get full bars of soap. They often get tiny bits, smaller than those motel soaps. It's hardly enough to wash a body, let alone laundry.

Asking why they need underwear at all is just plain stupid. While not everyone wants underthings, a prison environment is hardly the place to make someone...erm...freeball, as it were. Think, people.

The comments about how the vicitims suffered, so should the criminals? How do two wrongs become a right?

And before you jump all over me for being all soft or whatever...I havebeen the victim of crimes, with the perpetrators unpunished. Were they in prison, I would not want them to be treated inhumanely...I would want them to come to understand how they did me (and others) harm, to change and grow, and to emerge better people. Naive, yes, but there you are.

I wonder what those hateful commenters would think if it was their son, husband, brother, sister, mother, daughter, or friend? What if they, themselves, were the prisoner being made to wear dirty, threadbare clothing?

Prison itself is the punishment...being locked away from the clear sky, the freshening wind, the gentle rain, the sun, moon, and stars...to be locked away from friend, family, kind words and soft touch...that's the punishment. Fer cryin' out loud, clean skivvies are hardly a luxury...or at least, they shouldn't be.

If Illinois needs to cut their budget, perhaps they should consider trimming from some truly inhuman sources - perhaps a few politicians could use a paycut. I'm sure the bribes will more than make up for it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

But We Made It

We left Casa de Crazy on the 17'th. I drove, because while I'd only slept 2 1/2 hours the night before, Someone had even less.

The Evil Genius watched movies on the portable player (thanks for the loan, Mum) and Sprout alternated sleeping, playing, and bitching about being stuck in the car seat. In Virginia, we were stuck in traffic for several hours because of construction in or near one of the tunnels through the mountains. Sprout did not approve. By the timewe got through that mess, we werevery low on fuel and patience, but we managed not to run out.

What is normally a nine hour drive took fourteen.

Domino's Pizza in Pomeroy is wonderful -despite my calling just after they closed, they delivered dinner to our motel, saving me unhitching the trailer and finding something to eat that didn't come out of our cooler or a plastic package.

Saturday, we drove to the site and set up. We managed to get the canopies up before it rained...it was nice being able to unload trailer and van under cover. As soon as we got there, the Evil Genius shucked his clothes and ran to find his Wisteria friends. For the rest of the week, we saw him for a few minutes a day, usually when he was hungry or ready to go to bed. We will be washing the mud off of him for a month.

Sunday was more setting up and fluffing the camp, Jenny got there. She snagged Sprout and ran off with her for a few hours. Later that evening, we gossiped while Sprout drooled on her. We talked about Lo (her man), about his death last year and her new life.

Monday morning, Jenny died.

Typing that hurt.

Monday evening, we held Lo's memorial anyway.

You know what? I was going to write in detail aboutthe rest of the week...but I'm tired. Here's a nutshell:

Someone's girlfriend and her boyfriend came by, and we did some serious talking about our relationships. It was not always an easy conversation. It rained all week. I didn't sell much of anything, just about enough to cover the cost of ice and an unplanned motel stay on the way home -thank goodness for shitbag motels with cheap rooms! My relationship with Someone took a serious hit mid week, but we managed not to crash and burn and are continuingto work on it because we're not going to give up. I'm not a violent woman, but I will admit to wanting to perpetrate some ugliness on another person who will have her comeuppance, and I hope I'm there to see it beause I try to be all Zen, but sometimes I can't let go as easily as I'd like. Someone's girlfriend and I got a chance to hang out without our respective men about, and that was full of the awesome. I like her. All of us had some serious thinking/healing to do. Someone drummed every night, usually not getting back until after sunrise. It was good for him. I made it to the drumming once...it's difficult to go down to the fire when I have kids in camp-I won't leave them alone, sothatpretty much ties me to our campsite unless someone is available to watch them. I wasn't missed. The one night I went, I took Sprout with me - she loved it, and she was a rock star, collecting love and cuddles from a hundred different people. She likes fire, drumming, and glow sticks. I made it to the fairy shrine for the first time, and told the little batards to fuck themselves. It was cathartic. They gave me a blue stone, so I guess we're good. The woman who angered me beyond reason managed to compound my pissivity by hurting Someone's other girlfriend, too. Evil thoughts abounded, and Lady R and I have a common target for our ire. Low Rent (our name for the woman) is going to learn that when you fuck with community, community fucks back. Also, I learned that there are a lot of folks there who give a damn about me, about Someone, about our family and well-being...and there's nothing like the grapevine, is there?? It rained rather a lot during pack-out, so everything in the trailer is wet and will need washing/drying in the next few days. I didn't get stuck, though, so that was nice. On the way home Sunday night, I blew a tire on the trailer. It tore off the fender and shorted my dash display lights. It was my first blowout/flat ever. Welimped down the shoulder on the rim until we could find a gas station to drop the trailer at, then got a room - at midnight, there's not much more one can do. Monday morning was a flurry of finding a tire/wheel for the trailer(we got two - thanks, Mum, for saving our bacon...again...and again...and again...) and getting them replaced, then getting our butts home. After unloading a bit, I went to pick up something for dinner and ran out of fuel - the first time I've ever done so.

Someone is taking a long, hard look at himself and doesn't like what he sees. I am hurting for him and because of him. I want to be here for him, but Idon't know what to do to help...so I'm just here, hoping (believing) we can make it through this very bad place and back onto Tera Firma.

Despite everything, it was a good trip, and I want to go back next year. Strike that. I WILL go back next year.

Today is laundry and unpacking, and (if I canmanage to) napping.

How was your week?

Home.

Got home yesterday evening.

Tired.

Unpacking.

Rough, amazing week.

More later.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Learn To Be Still

Thank you, baby girl.

Last night, in the midst of frantic oh-my-gods-I-still-have-so-much-to-pack-and-sew-and-where-is-it-all-going-to-go-and-what-about-dinner-and-I'm-hot-and-tired-and-light-headed-and-there's-no-tme-to-rest-or-breathe-or-pant-pant...

In the midst of that, you needed to bechanged, fed, and be cuddled until you went to sleep in Mama's arms, and so Mama had to sit. Still.

Everything had to wait a precious few minutes.

Thank you for reminding me to breathe.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Almost

We are almost ready to head out on our annual Solstice trip - nine days camping in Ohio at a campground that's a reclaimed strip mine.

We have almost finished packing the trailer.

We have almost finished packing our clothes, the kids' clothes, and all the attendant crap that goes with taking children camping (especially as I camp comfortable).

We have almost all of our groceries.

We are almost done sewing.

I almost feel ready...but...not quite...

Ready or not, Casa de Crazy goes mobile tomorrow at six. The morning one. I have not pre-posted anything, and probably won't - everything takes longer when the baby is in a "hold me" mood, and it's difficult enough to type one-handed, let alone when the dang space bar still doesn't work correctly! We'll be home by the 27'th - if I don't see you before then, have a good week and happy Solstice!

Monday, June 13, 2011

No Way

I was coming back in from the garage and opened a box on a whim.

Me: "Oh. My. God."
Someone: "No way. You're kidding."
Me: "I'm so not..."

And into the house I came, because...yeah...

See that box?
The grey one, there?
Yeah, that one.

Guess what's in it?

Go on, guess.

No, not a body. I'd hide it better.

This box we looked through several times, each of us. While he was looking, Someone carefully emptied each box to thoroughly search it.

So how come we found this?:
Let me help you out, a little.

Here would be the coffee pot and the one-burner:
And here would be my beloved nesting pots:
There were other things, but those were the main missing items.

Damn faeries...must have heard me thinking about hiring an exterminator and hosing the Casa down with faerie repellent.

Oh, well...at least now we can make coffee. I wonder if they realized they went too far, stealing Someone's Java supplies. Some things a man won't take lying down.

I AM glad they returned everything....before I had the trailer packed, even.

How was your day?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Damn Faeries

Casa de Crazy is lousy with faeries.

Not the Disney kind that laugh and frolic and twinkle and occasionally save our bacon from disaster - no we have mean-spirited little fuckers, trickster-faeries who hide things or steal them outright, often returning them only when we've gone halfway to insane looking for whatever we know, damn it, KNOW, was right there THREE MINUTES AGO!!!

They mostly pick on poor Someone, who isn't used to having so much house to hunt through for things he can't find where he last left them. I think they like to hear him swear ans watch him turn red, see the thunderclouds build over his head, listen to him mutter. They love to steal his lighter, his socks, and especially his tools.

We have witnesses, by the way, to our tricksters' antics. Several visitors have seen Someone open a cupboard to get something to find said something not there. A twenty-minute search ensues, after which Someone will open the same cupboard, look in the same spot, and there the something is, right up front, right where he looked before.

Once, when our friend Handy J was here, he watched Someone go through the search, then witnessed as Someone called me to ask where the item he was searching for would be - when I told him, he went and looked, and there they were. Handy J was insistent that they'd both looked in that very spot...

Of course.

Usually, if Someone finally enlists my aid, I'll either walk right to what he's looking for or be able to tell him where it is...or, it'll reappear where he knows it should be and he finds it soon after.

The trickster-faeries don't like to mess with me too much. I'm a finder-of-things. It's difficult to hide stuff from a finder-of-things. Not impossible - they've zinged me a few times - but difficult.

I've been told I should give them milk. Bah. They don't care for dairy products. They don't want baked goods. They are not traditional faeries. Offerings of whiskey, wine, or beer seem to please them a little, as well as rib bones, Quahog and scallop shells, Oreo cookies, and shiny, shiny things. We have even built them their own little shrine in the woods, loaded with the things they seem to like. Nothing keeps them entirely at bay, though.

Right now, we are trying to get a lot of work done in a short amount of time - we have, realistically, three days to finish sorting, packing, sewing, cooking, and loading. We don't have time for trickster-faeries...which is why, of course, they are more than happy to make time for us.

This morning, while sorting through camping gear, I noticed some things missing. It made sense that they weren't in their regular box - Someone took them with him last Autumn when he was helping a friend with her business, travelling to shows and vending with her. They were in a different box, a smaller, more portable box. THAT box, however, was nowhere to be found.

Both Someone and I clearly recall washing things, putting them in the box, and putting the box in the trailer for the winter...but it's not among the things we unloaded...and we looked into every. single. box. twice.

I would shrug and say "Oh, well..." but I can't - what the little fuckers stole this time is a handful of items we need for our trip but cannot afford to just replace (coffee pot, nesting pots, Coleman one-burner, and all our fuel ) and I don't have time to play their games and hunt high and low for stuff.

I am...irked...dismayed...frustrated...and irked.

I hope they return our things before we have to leave...because camping with Someone when there's no way to make coffee? Daunting doesn't begin to describe the prospect...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Lots to Do

We're going up to Ohio for Solstice in a week. Between now and then, we need to:

Move the trailer, empty it, patch the holes that the neighbor's tree made in the roof and side, sort out what we're bringing and what's staying here, and re-pack it.

Pre-cook and freeze all the veggies and sides for ten day's worth of dinners for five people.

Wash, fold and pack clothing for the whole fam-damily.

Clean the van.

Sew shirts to sell.

Cut wood blanks to make into jewelry.

Buy last-minute groceries.

Figure out a watering schedule for the gardens (thanks, Gypsy!!).

Arrange and implement visitation for the Evil Genius and his father so the boy doesn't have to wait until July to see his dad.

A myriad of other small things that add up a very busy week. What are you up to?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Spam Knows

Rough night.

Feh, not rough, plain awful. Never mind. Let's look at The All Knowing Box O' Spam to see what kind of day it'll be, shall we?

Hmm.

I can earn up to $87 an hour, and apparently a hitherto unknown relative in the EU died and left me a fortune. There are two offers for the quick, free delivery of pills of unspecified origins or type.

Woo-hoo, party at the Casa!! One way or another, our cares are over!

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Things About A Baby Is...

...just when I think I'm hitting my stride, that we have a pattern to our day...she up and changes things.

Sprout's eating a bit of cereal twice a day. She had her four-month check-up last week - at 25.5 inches and 13+ pounds, she has nearly doubled in size.

She does not approve of shots, but recovers from her ire quickly enough. Yes,we immunize,and yes,we've read reports and personal anecdotes and considered the possible repercussions...and we've decided that we'd rather have some of the immunizations and chance the possibilities than have a baby or child die or be disfigured or come to harm from a completely preventable childhood illness.

She's trying to figure out how to roll over, getting closer every day.

She loves the bath - now, she likes to watch the water dribble from the little cup we rinse her with.

Look:

She thinks it's amazing.

Nap times are ever-changing. I try to get at least a little sleep-time with her every day,but some days we're too busy.

Speaking of busy...it's time for me to pack up these kids and hit the road...we have errands to run, and Someone could use a few minutes of quiet after his weekend of solo parenting.

What's new in your world?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I'm Here...

...but not entirely...heh...

I the chance to work this weekend and I took it. I'm tired - going to take a bath and go to bed. See you tomorrow.

How was your weekend?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Thoughtfetti

I have a "new" oven/stove thanks to a friend, Someone, some sweat, the loan of a circular saw, and a bitof wiring. I'm very happy, both to have saved Mum the cost of a new one (thanks anyway, Mum) and to have a working oven again.
~~~~~
The space bar on Bob the Wonder Computer is still only working intermittently. Fun.
~~~~~
The same evening that Someone and our friend Handy J replaced the oven/stove, we had a big storm. Lots of wind. The neighbor's tree fell on my utility trailer. The utility trailer I need to use in two-and-one-half weeks. The one we'll be living in when we head to Ohio for our annual Solstice camp out. It has two holes in the roof. Someone and Handy J both assure me they can repair the trailer, make it waterproof again...just as soon as we get the tree off it.
~~~~~
The same tree took out our satellite dish. With some more sweat, some creative language, and a dollop of determination, Someone got the dish back into place. The tree that came down had been partially blocking our signal. Now that it's down, we can watch hockey again. Silver lining.
~~~~~
I had to make a choice...pay the phone bill or buy nappies and formula. If you don't see me around for a bit, it's not 'cause I don't love you.
~~~~~
How're you doing?