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.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Oh, Good Grief



IYKYK

I don’t want a gold toilet.  Are you kidding me? Can you imagine sitting on a solid gold seat in the middle of winter? I don’t care how warm you keep your house, that sucker is gonna be cold! Can we say hemorrhoids, boys and girls? 

I don’t want a hoard or material goods just for the sake of having them.

I DO aspire to have wealth, one day…so I can help feed, clothe, house, educate, and provide medical and psychiatric care to people who need those things but can’t afford them.

I’m not usually terribly aware of think pieces, opinion pieces, or any pieces, really, allegedly addressing paganism.  I’m rather whatever about ‘em because I’m busy existing and walking my talk, and often times those trash piles of misused words are written by non-pagan, human dumpster fires who haven’t bothered to look beyond their own ignorance, fear, anger, hatred, or confirmation bias.

I’m only marginally aware of the latest kerfuffle because a friend basically flung it at me like a large handful of bovine excrement…which it is. 

No, I’m not posting anything specific about the piece - like I opened this list with, IYKYK, and if you don’t, I’m not feeding the dumb motherfucker’s page count and you’re welcome.

If anyone can point me to the pagan golden toilet distribution center, though, I’d take it as a mitzvah - I could sell one of those bad boys and fund some serious food/medical/housing needs for a few folks I know.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Happy Thanksgiving

Here followeth a Casa de Crazy Thanksgiving Day Tradicion:




And a new (old) addition to our warped holiday hilarity:


We hope you have a pleasant, tasty, mellow, comfortable, healthy, not-at-all-contentious Thanksgiving day if you are in the USA and an all around good one if not in the USA or not celebr
ating.

Here are the links if you want to view on YouTube:  Alice's Restaurant , Thankful and Turkey Drop

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Thankful

 I have a few traditions on Thanksgiving. Not many - the menu; Mom recording the Macy's parade so we can watch it together at Yule and fast-forward through all the crappy pop music, commercials, and talking heads to see the twenty minutes of balloons, floats and high school bands we’re actually interested in hidden among all that junk; and my day-before-Thanksgiving list of some things for which I am thankful, in no particular order and in no way complete:

What remains of my left foot, Nubbly, which perseveres and does its best not to pain me even when I deserve it
The doctors, nurses, and techs who probably saved my life and helped me get back to living it
The care that family and friends gave me while I return to upright living (or what now passes for it, which is pretty darned good) once more
The Evil Genius
Blossom (who was Sprout but reminded me that she's a bit grown, now and isn't a sprout any more, and I'm not weeping over that, you can't prove anything)
Mom
The house in which I live (beloved Casa de Crazy)
The vehicle which takes me where I need/want to be
Gypsy
Kerri
T, who may be my ex-husband but remains a staunch friend
Mr. Grey
Mizz A
Kit
Sam-I-Am
PJ, who is gone from this world but always with me
Mizz Beth
Martha 'n' Milo (who lives always in our hearts)
Avalon
My band mates
Dica
Donna
All of my friends who put up with me when I am most myself and therefor least likable. They are the net beneath me when I fly and fall
Kira, Jon, and Ric, with whom I am privileged to make music
Bread
The scent of leaf loam and woodsmoke in the crisp autumn air
Apple cider
Books, music, and art
Clean, plentiful water
Clean air
Clean clothes
Freedom
Nature and the ways she finds to show me something new of herself every day
Words
Song
Dance
Adversity, that joy is all the sweeter (Okay, okay, the joy is sweet enough, so basta with the adversity for a minute, please)
Every creature and plant that I consume to sustain myself, because without the life I take, I would have no life to live
Love - that it exists at all is a wonder, and I feel blessed to know it in many forms
Chocolate, gift from the Gods (yes, even the perversion called "candy bar") (Mmm...candy bar...)
The cats by whom I am kept
Honeycrisp Apples
Strong hands
Strong spirit
Strong will
Laughter
Cussed determination not to curl up and die just because life can sometimes be a succession of truly awful, bleak, and desolate days...but sometimes it isn't
My couselor, Jessica
The Internet
You

I hope you have a blessed day, and that the things for which you're thankful outweigh the things for which you're not.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all, from us at Casa de Crazy to you out in the Blue Nowhere and beyond.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Counting Down

 It is Thanksgiving week and there is much happening here at Casa de Crazy.

We’re celebrating at Mom’s this year unless she doesn’t feel up for it so the kids and I are terrorizing the cats...er...tidying up a bit.  Poor house is a right mess as a result of some serious depression, chaos, and stress (so what's new?), and it WILL BE CLEAN for Thanksgiving.  Or, at least, the parts our guests will see will be clean.  Probably.  Maybe.  I hope.

This is a somewhat traditional post for me - every year I write a little something about this week, as it is the lead-off to The Silly Season (aka Christmahannukwazakyule) and often one of my busiest here at the Casa.

So, here we go.

Tuesday (today) - Baking a keylime pie, mashing turnips and carrots, cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning.  Wash all of the good* dishes and serving dishes, clean off the dining room table, dig out Thanksgiving table linens, pull out the "formal"* flatware.  Panic over the cream supply - will half a gallon suffice?  Is two pounds of butter sufficient?


Wednesday - More housework.  Lort, the housework.  Then there's the laundry.  Oh, lort, the laundry.  Moving the trailer so it's not in the way of guest parking, and also so it's in its winter home.  Prepping the dressing.  Still panicking about the butter…

Thursday - Turkey goes in to bake.  Dressing goes in to bake.  Green beans are steamed.   Finishing up any last minute cleaning.  Children are shooed outside to frolic.  Friends and family trickle in.  Set the table.  Fill the water pitcher.  Watch TV and baste the turkey.  Make food, food, more food.  St
art Dutch apple pie baking and start chocolate silk pie thawing (because Marie Callender does pie so well, I'm happy to let her).  Serve.  Eat.  Coma.  Dessert and coffee/tea.  More coma.  Play games.  Pack leftovers to go for guests.  Pack baked goods for mom to take to the bake sale.  Eat more.  Sleep well.

Friday - More food coma and take the kids to visit/frolic with friends, or stay home and collectively hermit.

Saturday - Start baking holiday goodies for shipping to family and friends.

Sunday - Rest.  Possibly interspersed with napping and more baking.

How is your week shaping up?


*These are dishes that Mum and I bought one piece at a time from a grocery store a long, long, looooong time ago.  Service for fourteen including serving dishes, either free or bargain priced with purchase of a certain amount of groceries.  I love them.  Not fancy, but pretty and simple and I like them.

**Not sterling, but some rather lovely and solid stainless steel flatware from the Oneida Company, back when there was a Betty Crocker catalog and we clipped Betty Crocker points from boxes and saved them in a tin on top of the refrigerator.  Service for twelve, and some day I hope to expand it and add more serving pieces and other cutlery, but that'll have to wait a bit because it's a discontinued pattern and getting the pieces I'd like to have will cost a small fortune.  I adore my pattern, bought a few pieces at a time through the mail with little bits o
f cardboard and postage paid.

Friday, October 20, 2023

The Maass

 Long ago, when monsters could gather in numbers without fear of persecution, they would join their fellows once a year on their most sacred day and they would dance their most sacred dance.


Bedecked in their finest regalia, they moved in patterns traced into the earth by monster feet for millennia.


Called The Maass, it was both a celebration and invocation of community, of togetherness, of connection.  During the exuberant dance, each monster made contact with all of the others, renewing their unity through touch. 


Humans would keep to their homes, shivering with fear and ignorance at the terrible ruckus they heard in the dark hours.  They whispered of fearsome creatures creeping about in the night and left offerings, treats to appease the ravenous beasts and keep them from devouring tender human flesh.  On the night of The Maass, humans began disguising themselves, sometimes creeping forth to find and watch the gatherings of the monstabulary, hoping to learn more.


Human ears cannot comprehend the monstrous tongue.  The humans listened and heard “The Mash” and wrote of it in secret journals.


Eventually humans lost their fear, and their respect, and the monsters learned to hide, to stop gathering in easily targeted groups.  The monsters hid, but they kept dancing.  Alone or in numbers small enough to be overlooked, they danced, even as they were hunted to near extinction.


One day, one of the secret journals left by past humans was unearthed.  Written by a somewhat mad man who had given haven to many types of monsters in a bid to preserve them and keep their heritage from slipping into oblivion, it detailed the monsters’ daily lives and sacred days.  The Maass was written of in the holiest of forms - as poetry.


The young man who found the journal recognized the importance of his discovery.  He knew that the world must know of the beauty and stately grace of the dance, but he also knew that humans are full of fear, and that fear leads to anger, to blocked ears and closed hearts and minds, to torches and brandished pitchforks. 


Secretly, quietly, he worked to find monsters who would teach him this dance, to help bridge the gap between misunderstood monstrerkind and ignorant humanity, but there were none to be found.  Gone?  Or still in hiding?


In a bid to bring them out of isolation, he turned the poem about The Maass into a song, performing it in venues all across the land and sending it through the air in waves.  No monsters came, but he never gave up.


His descendants still play his invitation to the monsters on their most sacred night, still hoping for an answer, still hoping that the rustling shadows will resolve themselves into the beautiful milieu of the monsters spinning their magic out into the world and weaving it back together.


The world needs their magic.


Perhaps if enough humans raise their voices, one day the monsters will once more come and do The Mash.  The Monster Mash.


Now you know.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Walkin' With Joshua

 Another dream about my favourite not-my-savior.


There's a lot for him to worry about here on the Earthly plane, and he likes to have someone to hash things out with from time to time.  You know, he never gets snarky - and if anyone has the right to a little snark, I would think he does!

So we had another little get-together, he and I, a few nights ago, and I figured I'd share it because I'm a little shy of blog-fodder right now, and why not put my delusions up in The Blue Nowhere for everyone else to laugh at?

"Hey, J, how's it hangin'?"
"Now, K, do you really think that's appropriate to ask me, of all people?"
"Why not?  You got 'em.  And I bet no one pays much attention to 'em.  Good grief, most of the people who claim they're your adherents refuse to acknowledge that you're a man in every sense of the word.  That must make weekends a bummer."
"Yes, well, I have other concerns."
"I know you do.  But I don't think it hurts to remind you that you may embody your father, but you are also human, the link between mortal and divine."
He gives me the look, you know, the one that says a body's getting a little sassy but making a good point?  Yeah, that look.
I offer him a cinnamon roll.
"Thanks.  Can we take these to-go?  I feel restless."
Sometimes he can't sit still. I think when he has a lot on his mind, he needs to move around, work the thoughts out physically.  We go for a walk.
"K, why are you Pagan?"
"You really have to ask?"
"I don't mind that you don't worship me or anything, I'm just wondering."
"Why?"
"It seems like so many people say they follow me and worship my father because that's what they're told to do."
"Uh-huh."
"Well...you were told the same things growing up, right?"
"Yup."
"So why didn't you listen?"
"I have this annoying need to think and make decisions for myself."
"Bothersome."
"You have no idea.  Oh, wait...maybe you do.  Although it seems to me that ultimately you were deprived of the very thing the rest of us have in spades - free will."
"I can see where you'd think that, but I had a choice."
"If you say so."
"I do.  So you decided that my father's house wasn't for you?"
"Pretty much.  Many of the things done in your name?  Not okay.  The abuses sanctioned by the church, or covered up by the church?  Not cool.  I'm not into judgement or anger or hate, and those things seem to be rampant in the places people say they worship you."
"I wish we had more people who came to my father's house because they chose to.  I like knowing someone follows me because they want to and not because they think they have to."
"Well...you know...that's the trouble with dogma, JC.  No room for thought with all that rote."
"I wish your Karma would run over my dogma."
"Lame."
"Sorry."
"So why don't you speak up about some of these things going on down here?  You know...gay marriage?  Health care?  Oooh...or a really hot one, reproductive rights?"
"What am I, crazy?  You think anyone's listening?"

I have to stop a minute and give him a hug, because he's damn near tears and I feel sorry for him.  All he wants is for people to be kind and to live decent lives, maybe help each other out once in a while, even love one another without judging.  It can't be easy.  Imagine if you had all those people asking you to smite, punish, hurt others because they think that's what you do, when really you're just kind of a Buddhist-Hippy-Free-Spirit who wants to drink a little wine, eat a nice non-fish dinner, and maybe sit by a fire and talk about everything and nothing with people who have no expectations beyond the next drink.

"J, I don't think you're going to find any resolution on this Earth.  I think too many people have abused your name and spirit for there to be an easy answer.  I think you're going to have to come back, roll up your robes, and start smacking people upside the head with the figurative mallet (or, you know, the real one if you prefer) to get your point across, and that's kind of contrary to the message, dontcha think?  If they'd even believe that you were you in the first place."

He sighs and sits down on a swing hanging from the branch of a tree that isn't there.  I go behind and give him a push, then another, and one more, sending him arching high up over the nothing in which we dwell.

He give a whoop and a "Whee!" and we're both laughing because how can we not?

I love this boy so much.  As with my own children, I want him to be happy, to not have to carry his burdens, to make sure he knows that I am a safe person, a safe space...because, as with my own kids, I cannot protect him from his choices, from himself, from the demands of Life, the Universe, and Everything.  I can only give him these tiny moments and the compassionate honesty he so craves, and maybe the tools to help him navigate rough waters - the ones he can't just calm himself, I mean.

"You're not wrong." He says when he climb off the swing.  He offers it to me but I'm not really into it at the moment.  I'm more interested in not getting sticky fingers from carrying an imaginary plate of cinnamon rolls.  "I should go, let you get back to whatever you were doing before I interrupted."

"I don't even remember.  Dreams, such ephemeral things.  Go on, then, and take the rest of these with you.  I just know I'm going to wake up and feel the need to wash my hands."  I shove the plate of cinnamon rolls at him.  The frosting has gotten everywhere, including my hands.

Another sweet smile, another joint-popping hug, and he's gone.  He'll be back.  Maybe next time I'll make cardamom thumbprint cookies with orange marmalade and vanilla/clove drizzle...and make him carry the dang plate.

Also, I was right - as soon as I woke up I just had to wash my hands.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Pro Life

Pro-life.

Pro, meaning "in favor of".

Life, meaning...erm..."life".

Pro-life.  In favor of life.

I am, in fact, in favor of life.  But what does that mean, really?

You see it in the news rather a lot, these days: pro-life versus pro-choice, centering around abortion laws protecting or denying the right to safe, legal access to reproductive health services.

The way "pro-life" is being used by pro-lifers, what they mean is "anti abortion" because, it seems, they don't want to own that they are against that aforementioned reproductive health stuff and want to curtail or eliminate its availability.  Calling it "anti-abortion", though, makes it sound so...ugly.  "Pro-life" sounds more caring, more compassionate, more about life than controlling a person's access to healthcare because one religion/spirituality/philosophy should clearly be the foundation for all people's rights and privileges under the law.

Sort of a "My god says I shouldn't do xyz, so you aren't allowed to."

So, what does it mean to be really, truly, deeply pro-life?

I have some thoughts, because of course I do.

How can anyone claim to be pro-life when all they care about is forcing the birth of that life and then denying everything that would nurture it and help it thrive?

Pro-life (in human terms) means:

Gestating the life.
Birthing the life.
Feeding the life.
Clothing the life.
Providing a safe, accessible home for the life.
Providing medical care for the life.
Educating the life.
Protecting the life from the actions and choices of others towards it.
Protecting the rights of the life equally under the law regardless of privilege, income, monetary worth, station, sex, gender, identity, skin color, religion, spirituality, philosophy, or any other factor that may set it apart from any part of society or mark it "different" or "other" and thus, by the definition of some, "less than".
Caring for the life from start to finish.

So, yeah, in the sense that I believe that a society should provide for its members equally, make and enforce laws equally, and protect its member equally, all in ways that are in favor of all lives being viewed as important and even necessary for the health of the society and worthy of compassion and a basic level of dignity and care...I'm pro-life.

I'm just not anti-abortion.  When it comes to reproduction, I am pro-choice.  I didn't need the option when I was in my baby birthin' years, but I was thankful that it was there if I did.  I think it should be there, a choice to be made individually and with the gravity and consideration which is due to all choices regarding life, for everyone.  The right to dictate how others live based upon one's individual feelings or religion is one of the very few rights I'm firmly against.  

If a person isn't wholly in support of meeting the needs of life outside of the womb then they're pro-fetus, pro-birth, anti-abortion, pro-control...but not pro-life.