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.

Monday, May 31, 2021

Memorial Day

Photo found here and copied entirely without permission but not without respect.
For a history of this day, go here. Or here. Or here. In a nutshell, Memorial Day is for remembering the fallen.  Perhaps one day, we won't have any new graves to decorate. Until then, I remember and (as best I can) I honor.
In Flanders Fields by John McCrea

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead.  Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from flailing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

Monday, April 26, 2021


A while back (a couple of years, anyway), we had what the kids have dubbed "The Home Invasion".  

Sit back, relax, and I shall relate.

I had a gig with the band in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.  I opted to let the kids stay home because it wasn't going to be a long trip - literally drive up from Redneck Central one day, perform the next day, head home the third day.  A grind.  I don't mind long drives and quick turn-arounds, but it's a bit much for the kids to endure, so I asked my friend A to come hang with 'em while I was gone, and when the time came, I hauled out.  A was coming after work, the Evil Genius was more than old/capable enough to look out for Sprout for the few hours' gap, and they were excited about having Casa de Crazy to themselves for a few hours.  

This was the same weekend when, on the way home, the van's engine threw a rod and irrevocably died on the side of the road, but that's another tale.

The day before I needed to leave, Cygnus wanted to come over and pick up some of his things, including some of his tools.  I let him know when I was leaving and that he'd have to come before then or wait until I was home.  He didn't come the evening before or that morning, and I locked up the house and left.  

A couple of hours in to my 11 hour drive, the phone calls started, interspersed with him hanging up on me when I didn't give answers that satisfied him.  Where was I?  Why wasn't I home?  Didn't I know he was coming for his things?  Why was the house locked?  Why didn't his garage door opener work?  Why was I trying to ruin his life?  Didn't I know how important it was for him to have his tools?  Why did I hate him?  Why didn't I wait for him before I left?  I was ruining his chances to get this job.  I was doing it on purpose.  I didn't care about him, had never cared about him.  Everything was all my fault.

You get the drift.

When he let me speak, and sometimes when he wouldn't, I would answer him, reminding him of my trip, the gig, and that I'd told him when I had to go, when I'd be back, and when he had to be at the house if he didn't want to wait until I was home to collect his things.

Eventually, he called and told me he'd gotten in, his garage door opener worked, after all, and where were all the things he needed right that moment or else everything was pointless and bleak and I was a horrible human being who wanted to destroy him (in a nutshell).

As I was already hours on the road and had no idea where any specific items were, only a vague sense of garageness, I couldn't answer.  This was.  not.  ok.  More screaming, swearing, and epithets.  

I asked if I needed to cancel the gig and come home, not quite a threat since I meant it - had he made the demand, I would have done - but he yelled some more about how he wasn't going to ask me to do that since then I'd blame him for all the bad things, and on and on, so I kept going, fielding angry calls as he yelled and hung up, only to dial me up again.

Because the kids were home, I kept answering - I didn't want him unleashing his rage on them.  He absolutely would have, verbally.  After all, he had done it before, until I put myself between him and them, directed his words and actions towards myself so he would change focus.

The kids.  They were playing quietly in the house when he got there, and when they saw him drive up...they hid.

My children, in their own home, hid from this person who was once part of our lives.  

At some point after he'd hung up on me yet again, he entered the house, which he shouldn't have done - nothing he'd asked for was inside, and he had no right to enter when I wasn't home, when he thought no one was home because he didn't listen when I told him that A was watching the kids while I was gone.  

Let me just drive that point a little more home - after not showing up when he knew I would be there, after coming to the house knowing I was gone, thinking that no one would be there and that he could get into the garage at will, he came into the house without invitation, without permission, and without any real reason.

Still thinking he was alone except for the cats, he wandered around and rummaged for some things, then tried to enter the Evil Genius's room.  EG had locked his door when Cygnus drove up and made no sound, no answer, when Cygnus pounded on the locked door, so...

Cygnus broke in the door.

Yes, you read that right.  He broke in the door to my son's bedroom, a space he had not permission, reason, nor right to enter.  When he saw my son there, sitting on the bed, he froze.  Then he exploded. He called me back with accusations of lying to him, that I'd said the kids were with me, then that I'd said that kids would be at A's house, that I should have ordered them to let him in, then all kinds of hatred spewed forth.

I was angry that he'd gone into the house.  He claimed he wanted the coffee maker - my coffee maker, since he'd lost or damaged his, I can't recall - so he'd come inside.

All this time, he never looked for our daughter, never asked where she was.  She'd gone and hidden under the covers of my bed.  He never noticed her, nor her absence, never called out to her.

Shortly after he burst in on my son, he stomped around a little more then went back outside.  A pulled up soon after, and he left in a hurry.

I'll spare you a few details here and jump to the point where EG and A discovered how Cygnus got in.  Remember back when I mentioned that his garage door opener wouldn't work?  It was one that was hard-wired to his vehicle, not a remote unit.  Late the year before, A had reprogrammed the main unit and the remotes to a new frequency, for the same reason I started locking doors when I left the house (something I wasn't in the habit of doing for decades) - by this time, I didn't trust Cygnus to respect my home, because I fully believed that he would try to sneak in while I/we were out and take what he wanted. How many times had he snuck into my son's room and stolen his money and then lied about it?  How many times had he emptied my change banks, taken my toll money stash, stolen and sold things or pawned his tools then accused me of stealing them or hiding them from him?

Too many.

So I wasn't taking any chances that he'd come in unless I was there to observe.

If his opener didn't work, how did he get in?

He kicked out a panel of the garage door, crawled in, and then opened it.  He forced his way into the house.  He went looking for things, thinking he was alone and could take what he liked.  He broke into my son's room for what?  Likely to steal any money he could find, possibly to take other things to sell.

I absolutely believe he was an active addict at the time, his protestations notwithstanding.  His behavior and language were addict behavior and language.  He in no way acted reasonably, and when confrontation seemed imminent, he fled.

The kids were frightened but rallied quickly.  A and I pieced al of the above together into one timeline, and I asked if I should come home.  Gigs are a big deal, but family is bigger.  Kids and A said go perform, they would be fine.  My ex-husband came by and fixed the garage door panel as best as he could.  The sheriff was called and informed of what happened but in the end  no charges were filed.

I called Cygnus.

I was white hot.  If I'd known where he was living at the time, I would likely have turned back home and sought to do him grievous harm.

As hunting him down wasn't an option, I instead told him that he was never.  ever. under any circumstances. to come to my house again.  Not even to the driveway.  Never.  Not even if it means his life.  Not even a pinkie toe over the property line.  He will never again be welcome or even tolerated at our home.

That stands.  If the neighbors see him, they will call law enforcement.  If the kids see him, they will call law enforcement.  If I see him, I will call law enforcement.  

I'm still storing his things, although that has to change before the end of the summer.  If he wants anything, he must message me and ask for it.  When I am able, I will bring it to him.

This house is home, is haven, for me and the kids.  I will never again knowingly compromise that for the sake of kindness, compassion, or convenience.  My son will not ever again be in the same room as Cygnus.  He will never again speak to the man.  Given a choice, he will never again see Cygnus nor hear his.  His loathing for Cygnus runs deep, burns bright, and is enduring.

Sprout is torn between love for her Papa, lingering fear, and dislike.  I try to nurture the love, gentle the fear, and temper the dislike, but I won't make her feel bad for feeling these things.  When she wants to see him, if he is able, I will take her to a park where they can visit.  She doesn't want to be alone with him, though.  She wants me there, somewhere, where she can look and see me and know I've got her back.  This is not a supposition - she has said as much.

Why bring this up now, after so much time has passed?

Because healing takes time.  Because events don't just happen and then slip into the past, they ripple outward.  Sometimes they ripple for years, decades, lifetimes. 

Last night the kids and I were chatting about this and that, and memories became the topic.  The memory of the home invasion came to Sprout's fore, and we rehashed that whole weekend - who was where and had done what, when.  How we would deal with such an event, today.  How the feelings are still there, among our roots, feeding our inner life.  How we can deal with both feelings and memories so they don't keep doing damage.

I would like to say that such conversations, centered around such events, are rare, but I cannot make that claim.  I can say that we don't shy away from them, that we talk and work and talk and work until we've temporarily exhausted the matter, then revisit as needed.  None of the three of us shies away from doing the work, and we will ride these waves, we won't let them drag us under.  We are strong swimmers in the tides of life.  

Ripples come, and ripples pass, and on we go.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021


 I drove to Ohio this past weekend; a friend moved into new digs and needed household goods, and Mom, K2, and I had some things to donate, so I took 'em up.  I used the opportunity to go, be, and do.  Also, it worked as a test run for leaving the kids home without a minder - if all goes well, maybe Mom and I will be going off for a minute in the late summer, and the kids don't want a minder for that stretch.  He's 18, she's 10, and they're both pretty darned good at taking care of themselves and each other, so I may be generally nervous at the prospect in a generic, mom sort of way, but they should be just fine.  Probably.  Yeah.
The advent of spring and the vernal equinox/Easter means Robin Eggs in the candy department.  I tend to lose my perspective on healthy eating, in the presence of Robin Eggs.  This year, I only bought one bag.  Resisting the temptation to buy a dozen bags and squirrel them away all over Casa de Crazy?  Whew!  Also?  There are still some Robin Eggs in the bag.  I know!
Didn't feel like making breakfast or mucking about in the kitchen so I had ginger snaps and tea for brekky.  When did ginger snaps become so spicy???
Pollen count high.  Over 1,000.  I'd try to be more accurate, but it's difficult to count when one keeps sneezing.  It's mostly tree pollen.  They're getting their revenge for all the camp fires.  Side note - I park in a garage, at home, and my car is still turning yellow.
I wish I could change the channel inside my head.  The narrative my mind keeps telling me has gotten kind of old.  Where's a good superhero movie when you want one?
Knock, knock.

Who's there?


Ah, who?

Werewolves of London!

Say it out loud, it makes more sense that way.  You're welcome.  

Saturday, March 27, 2021

There's the Law and There's What's Right

'Scuse me while I ramble 'n' rant a wee.

Sometimes laws are made.  Sometimes?  Too often! 

The social contract tells us how to behave, in a general sense, and laws are supposed to help enforce the boundaries and keep us civil.

Thing is, it seems that some folks think they can and should force everyone else to think and do as they do, even when their mandates fly in the face of justice.

Recently, the state of Georgia passed a whole mess of laws restricting the ability of its citizens to vote.  I won't bore you with the details - they're horrifying and unjust and bewildering in their indecency.  Horrible people making horrible rules because they think they can do what they like and make everyone else do it, too.  If you're reading this, you obviously have some kind of Internet skills and can Google the stupidity.

Although the whole mess makes me irate, I'm really stuck on one part.  I am...riled...

Georgia lawmakers have made it unlawful to give food or water to people standing on line to vote.


Hello, Georgia, have we met?

Because I know, if we'd ever met, you wouldn't have done that. 

You'd have run the other way, in fact.  Possibly you'd have bound and muzzled whoever proposed it and left them on a mountain top under a new moon as a propitiating sacrifice to the gods of decency.

Because now?  The Witch is...riled...

There will be a reckoning.

Lest anyone mistake the above for some kind of threat, it's not.  I don't threaten.

What I DO is feed people.  Anyone who is hungry.  Regardless of who you worship, vote for, love, admire, wear, or follow, I will feed you.  Even the lowest of humans, politicians, I will feed if they hunger.  I will always strive to answer hunger and thirst.  There is no circumstance that will keep me from doing what I can, what is just and right and compassionate.  No mortal being, no law of the land, no threat, will make me stray from that path, will bend my integrity, will keep me from it.  I've not yet met the god that would demand I stop, nor has the power to make me.

You, Georgia lawmakers?  You are mere mortals, and among the weakest of them.  You believe that you have power, that you have mastery over your subjects.

You do not.

You believe in an illusion, and one day the illusion will fade and there will be a reckoning.

Among many pagans is a blessing of sorts:  May you never hunger.  May you never thirst.

I take this seriously.  Bone deep, in fact.

There's also the threefold law, a reminder that for every action there is a consequence, usually magnified three times - harm someone, receive three time the harm (often by your own hand).  Help someone, three times the blessing will find you.

Some witches curse.  Some people seek vengeance through action.  Me?  I bless.  Sometimes, though, it's wise to fear the blessing.

Bless you, Georgia lawmakers who enacted this travesty.  May you see yourself.  May you find the world reflecting you to you, and truly See yourself.  May you know, to the bone, to the soul, to every corner, in ever shadowy place you seek to hide, may you Know what you are, what you have done.  May you feel what your actions mean to those you seek to control.  May you understand, all the way to your last breath, what kind of evil you carry within you.  May you have opportunity after opportunity to make things right, and may you find the courage to act on those opportunities even against the poison of your own souls.  May your children, and your children's children, unto the last generation, set themselves to right your wrongs or endure the consequences and curse you for it.  May you know what it means to suffer unjustly until you learn how to be just.

May you know what it is to need compassion...and may compassion find you, reach out to you, offer succor, without pain or price, because your unjust laws?  Do not make you free from need, and compassion asks no price.  Unlike you, compassion doesn't care how it may benefit from its action.  It also won't keep you from collecting your consequences, because compassion knows that some lessons must be learned hard, and it would be cruel to protect you from your actions.  How would you learn?

Between this life and the next, there is someone standing at the gate.  They have the power to determine your destination.  Consider your actions and which pathway your feet will be set upon.  How will you answer for what you've done?  What will you tell the savior you claim to worship, to follow, to adore?  

Bless you, who made this cruelty into law.  I hope you learn quickly that there is the law, and there is what is right, and sometimes the two are not the same.  We are not obliged to obey unjust laws, and you can be replaced.

There will be a reckoning.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Kyd's Cockeyed History, A Slightly But Not Factually Edited Repost

 Another year, another repost.

I'm cooking corned beef and cabbage tonight, much to my delight - there will be plenty for dinner and enough left over for hash tomorrow.  I'll make up a to-go for Mom, since she's staying home (and I don't blame her).  Bird opts out of the feast entirely, causing me to question whether he's really mine. I get not liking cabbage, but potatoes? Something's not right with the child.  Sprout may try a taste, or she may not.  She's trying to be more adventurous about food, but she can still be put off if it looks odd.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I digressed. Sorry.

So there was this lonely kid, Patrick Whatsisname, hanging out with sheep and pondering life, the Universe, and everything. He got the idea, somewhere along the way, that maybe other folks should share his God. He got out of his contract (OK, probably slavery) and went around telling folks how terrific his God was, and how he reckoned they should convert. It seems that polite conversation wasn't doing it for the pagans, who tended to stare at him, or point and laugh. Rude beggars, huh? Now young Patrick (or middle aged Patrick, or old Patrick, I have no idea) decided he needed to be a bit more...persuasive. He had noticed something common among the pagan big-wigs. The guys at the top of the food-chain, magic/spirituality wise speaking tended to have a symbol on them somewhere...often around their wrist. On the wrist that indicated their "hand of power", or the hand which they believed their "magic" flowed from. If it wasn't a tattoo, it was a torque. Guess what the tattoo/torque was? A critter called the ouroboros. 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.  Serpents in Ireland?  Not on his watch!

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

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

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Love, Love, Love


It's a word with baggage.  An overused word.  A word applied to fabric softener and dish detergent, to songs and fast food, sports teams and automobile parts and that one particular shade of vermillion.

We love clothing and cosmetics and movies and tv shows and certain brands of cracker (but not those other ones - those other ones are horrible!).

Sometimes we say "I love you" like it's painful.  Like we're ashamed of it.

In our cultural (of the Western sort, particularly USA style), we have an idea what it means to love, and maybe even categorize it a little, but mostly we don't think about it awfully much.  We're shy of feeling it, terrible at and terrified of saying it, and generally wish we had more of it while simultaneously pretending that we're just fine without it thankyouverymuch.

Recently, the Evil Genius, his father, and I were discussing the use (or, rather, misuse) of "philia" as it is often appended to words.  That led to looking up words for love, particularly Greek words, which led to...well...this post.

It has been a minute since I read about or studied Greek (except their food, of which I am a devotee), so I only vaguely remembered that there are a handful of different types of love in the ancient Greek world, and I couldn't recall more than a couple of them, so I hopped on down the rabbit hole of the Internetz and found myself a list that seems, to my faulty memory, to be complete.  No need to disillusion me.  I am contemplating rearranging my vocabulary to include these words, because who doesn't need more verbal tools?  No need to disillusion me there, either.

Folks, je vouz presenter le list of love words.  I hope you find 'em handy and help spread the...er...love.

Eros - romantic, passionate love.  You know, cheesy romance novel love.  Passion, lust, pleasure, yes please and thank you.  Interestingly, it seems this was a terrifying kind of love to the ancient Greeks because it meant losing control, loss of free will, an unthinking drive to frolic among the wildflowers and make with the whoopee, ohhh, yeahhh.  Intense romantic and sexual feelings that demanded action, baby!!!  Eros can wreak havoc, rob one of sense, and bring a body to their knees.  It is a conflagration that is as likely to consume and leave nothing but ash behind as it is to settle into something more easily felt, experienced, and lived with.  I dread this love, because on the rare occasions I've brushed against its edges, it has been disastrous.  This one, for me, is to be endured until it, hopefully, ebbs or ends.

Philia - affectionate love.  This is the friendly love, a platonic love that doesn't require or even want, really, any sort of physical attraction.  This is a gentle, warming love.  I can relate strongly to this one.  I philia my friends so hard!

Agape - a selfless, universal love.  This is the love for the stranger, for nature, for deity.  It is an abstract kind of love.  Sometimes it feels - gently - overwhelming.  Agape is unconditional, boundlessly compassionate, infinitely empathetic.  It is a love extended to all, and I mean all.  I grok this one deeply - this love suffuses me to bursting.  It is my salvation and my curse.

Storge - love of/for the familiar.  This is a protective, kinship kind of love, what we feel for family and, occasionally, translates to patriotism.  It's a love of loyalty, of what we know, of the puzzle into which our weird, curvy parts fit perfectly.  I have an enormous storge for my family, both the born into and the chosen into.

Mania - obsessive love.  This is the love that can turn into anger, violence, and destruction with hardly any effort.  In fact, it takes more effort to keep it from becoming those things.  This is stalking kind of love.  This is co-dependency, jealousy, and violence.  This is the toxic love that poisons, devours, and kills.  This is the love that teaches us that not all love is such a good thing.  I think I've dipped my toes into this kind of love, but thankfully never fully immersed in it.  

Ludus - playful love.  This is a sweet, funny kind of love.  It's the teasing love of flirting with a crush, the affection between new lovers who laugh, joke, float along on a wave of endorphins and happy little discoveries.  You know, the annoying kind of love!  Yeah, I want some, too.

Pragma - enduring love.  Pragma is a love built on a strong foundation of commitment, understanding, the long haul.  It's a love that has gone through some shit, learned to compromise, found patience and tolerance, and matured.  I have witnessed this love, and envy those who experience it.

Philautia - self love.  No, not that kind of self love.  Or, well, why not that kind of self love?  But really, this is the kind of love that speaks of appreciation for self, of knowing, of caring for one's self.  This is the kind of love that turns inward yet help connect us to others - as we learn to love ourselves, quirks and peccadillos and all, we learn to love and appreciate others.  Like many, I'm working on this one.

I'm going to add a link, here, to a non-Greek post about another kind of love - perfect love - because I think it's pertinent.

I don't think any of the above loves stand alone.  I believe that we can experience constant combinations and evolutions of the emotion, which is probably why we find it so confusing.  Love is one wild ride, but it's a wild ride that we want, need, to experience if we are to live fully.

I agape you, and now Imma go storge my kids and philia the cats.  How's your love life?

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Washed Up

 "Something there is that doesn't love a wall..." - Robert Frost

Having been born in, and having spent my youth rambling around, New England, where Mr. Frost noticed this phenomenon and then wrote about it, I can attest to the fact that, indeed, something there is that doesn't love a wall.  Nature up yonder, at least when I was roaming through the woods with the smilodons, has mood swings.  The onset of cold weather brings an onslaught of frost heaves, which cause havoc on roads and other pavement, and on anything stacked that isn't also stuck together with cement or grout or old toothpaste (don't tell ME about how sticky it is) or good intentions (some of the very stickiest stuff in existence).

I'm not writing about walls, today, despite the promising beginning of this post.

I'm writing about my dishwasher.  Wait, what?  That's a leap.

Something there is that doesn't love a dishwasher.  Especially at Casa de Crazy.  Dishwashers just...lose their will to live.  Oh, they try.  They put up a good fight.  They groan and grind and sometimes whine a little, and they do lots of whooshing and shushing and, not to put too fine a point on it, washing, but sooner rather than later?  They up and die.

Entropy is inevitable.  Things with moving parts will break down.  Heck, things without moving parts will break down.  We will all eventually slide with cold-syrupy slowness into the long, lingering, heat death of the Universe.  Don't panic, you have plenty of time to press your good trousers and tidy up your hair.  Chugging along in all its entropic glory, the end isn't so much nigh as it is a few minutes off.

My dishwashers, though, seem to want to get a jump on things.

I am well aware that they need occasional cleaning out and perhaps a gentle pat and "Good job, well done you" to help them last.  I know about pre-rinsing as an aid to longevity, and about not overloading.  I try not to run the thing more than once a day, and will often go two days between runs.  I run the hot water to the sink, first, to prime the pipes.  I chant the incantations at the proper hour and make offerings quarterly as prescribed by the manual.

They die anyway.

The current fancy drying rack didn't make it two years.  Two.  Years.

The one before it went for about five, I think, before melting to itself on the inside.

I can't recall if there was one before the one before this one, I've lost track.  I do know I am pretty good at almost keeping up with the washing by hand, and that a defunct dishwasher makes a fine drying rack but you have to leave it open with the drawers?  Baskets?  Slide-y out-y thingies? out, which may lead to barked shins if one is careless about where they place said shins in the dark.  Also, it's a good idea to wipe down the inside of the dishwasher door and maybe the tub as well every now and then because despite it being clean dishes hanging out in there to dry, there will be a buildup of schmutz.

The inner workings of the dish machine are a mystery, to me.  Honestly, it could be trolls or golems in there, and I wouldn't know.  Pretty sure it isn't pixies or imps, though.  Repairing the things is well beyond me.  I'll have to have someone in to do it.  Eventually.  For now, I stand t the sink a few times a day, wash a handful of things, then wander off to do whatever it is I do when I wander off.

It's not exactly a pressing matter, and if I have it repaired or get a new one, it'll just break down as soon as the warrantee is up, so why be in a hurry?

Something there is that doesn't love a dishwasher, at least around here.