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.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

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 23, 2022

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 22, 2022

Counting Down

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

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.  Bake banana bread, because banana bread.  Panic over the cream supply - will half a gallon suffice?


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.  Panicking about the butter - is two pounds enough for the day?  Gah!

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.

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.

Monday, July 4, 2022

Show Up

It's Independence Day.  Every year, I read the declaration with the kids and then we discuss it.

I'm not feeling awfully independent, right now.  Right now, I have fewer rights than a corpse.  That's not hyperbole.  My body isn't my choice, any more, and things don't look to be improving any time soon.  Rights our grandmothers and mothers fought for and that we took for granted ("It's established law, don't worry, they won't overturn it...") our children will now have to fight to reestablish.  Lawmakers are gleefully seeking to curtail freedom of speech, freedom of movement, and bodily autonomy.

 Midterm elections are looming.

Midterms traditionally see the lowest voter turnouts. 

Why bother, who cares, so what?

Welp.

Because I HAVE FEWER RIGHTS THAN A DEAD BODY!!!  Your mothers, sisters, daughters, friends, cousins, lovers, neighbors, and women you haven't even met, yet, HAVE FEWER RIGHTS THAN A CORPSE!  
Maybe that could be a reason to get off your ass and vote? 

Or maybe because we're being pillaged by our own government?  

Or maybe because corporations pay fewer taxes and have more rights than individuals?

Or maybe because the wealthiest few pay the least in taxes but have the most influence on government? 

Here's the deal - show up or shut up.

Right now I'm on a long, slow, simmering burn of anger and outrage, and I don't have patience for excuses.

Get fucking woke.  Yes, woke.  Wake the fuck up.  Your complacency is robbing us all of fundamental human rights.

I'm tired of playing nicely, of hand holding, of kindness and yes, even compassion, when it comes to this.  I'm tired of softening my words so as not to offend.  I'm fucking offended that you can't be bothered.

So show up or shut up.  If you don't vote, you don't have a voice.  Silence equals assent.  Get off your ass, get your family off their asses, get your friends off their asses, get your community off their asses, get the whole motherloving country off its ass and VOTE!

Show up or shut up.

I'm done being nice about it.

Once more for those in the back, SHOW UP OR SHUT UP.

See you at the polls.  

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

A Visit From Joshua

I’m between dreams, mind processing in bits and pieces my recent experiences.  It is the liminal space.  I hear him, sandal scraping lightly on stone that isn’t there.


“Hello, Joshua.” 

“Is it ok to be here?”


I turn from the dough I’m suddenly kneading.


“You’ve never asked, before.”


“I’ve never been so uncertain of being welcome”


“Dear boy, I will always keep a place for you, here.”


I open my arms and he walks into the embrace like coming home.  We’re like that.  The love I have for this benighted man is deep and abiding.  I may not worship him, but I weep for him all the same.


“I was worried.  You’re angry, and hurt…”


“Dearheart, I don’t blame you for what those fools do in your name.  I know you too well.  Come and have a cup of tea and some toast with honey.”


“I can’t stay long - there’s so much to do, so much to make right, so much wrong done in my name…”


He falters, distressed.


“Joshua, there’s no time, here.  There’s only now.”


“Is that Irish butter?”


“Of course.  And honey from a friend’s hives.”


He sits next to me on the padded window seat that just became, and I pour him tea and give him toast with butter and honey.  He leans on me with a sigh.


“Why won’t my people listen to me?  How did they stray so far from my message?“


“Oh, honey…” I wrap an arm around him - it never hurts or is frozen when he’s near - and give a squeeze “I don’t think they ever heard you in the first place.”


“Cynic.”


“Look at how they behave and tell me I’m wrong.”


He can’t meet my eyes.  He knows.  They’ve taken the beautiful gifts he’s given them and twisted everything around until it is thorny and slicing, and they’re trying to wrap the world in this perversion of his grace and call it love.


“I think maybe it’s going to get ugly out there in the world, Joshua.  You come here whenever you want.  Never fear - this Witch will always welcome you.”


Eventually we stand up.  One more hug, and I kiss his brow just like a mama kisses her child, offering comfort and benediction.  He gives me that sweet smile and fades away with a sigh.  I notice he took the rest of the toast with honey and grin as I slip into my next dream.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Kyd’s Twisted History, St. Patrick’s Day

  Another year, another repost.

~~~~~
No corned beef tonight - I’m putting it off until tomorrow so I can go to a Tuatha Dea concert!

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.

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Perchance to Dream

 Dreams


Dreams and dreams and dreams, last night.

~~~~~

First was a concert.  Spiral Rhythm as we are now, on a high stage, thousands in the audience.  Last song, a round, we each take a section and urge the people to sing with us as we move the song in circles.  It’s a new song made up of old songs.  Thousands singing with us.  Glorious.  We are connected, we are powerful, we are one.  The crowd roars.  Tomorrow looms, dark and threatening, but tonight we sing.


I wake and say thank-you for that dream.

~~~~~

Second dream, battle.  Scenery, animals, and people drawn from fantasy and sci-fi worlds. Violent, bloody.  Lies, betrayal, we refuse to give up.  Some of the enemy discover they’ve been lied to and stand with us.  Not many, but it turns the tide.  We don’t win so much as survive, but it is enough.


I wake and lay a curse, whisper it out my window three times for the wind to bear to its target.  I am a Witch.  It isn’t all sweetness and light.  Sometimes a curse is called called for.

~~~~~

Third dream.  Same sorts of people and creatures as before.  First part in a medical facility, overrun with wounded, doing battle of a different sort.  Fighting blood, fighting infection, fighting scarcity.  Ours or theirs, it does not matter - we empty ourselves into them.  Standing between patients and Death.  Exhausted, empty, ever vigilant.  Not today, beloved, this one is mine, you shall not collect them.  He will take no one unless he first takes me.  I tell him where our enemies lie dead, go there and do your sacred task.  


Second part, a feast of remembering.  Tables in rows upon rows.  Crowded.  No one is unmarked - we are all scarred, exhausted, knowing it isn’t over, it’s never over, we have paid and will continue to pay freedom’s price.  We don’t want to be here when tyranny prowls outside the gates, but here we are.  It will help those who could not or would not fight feel better to fete the battle worn.  They cannot begin to understand what we have known.  Easier to let them have their way than to explain.  


We speak quietly to each other.  Where were you?  I was there, and there.  Did you see this person, did you know that one.  Family, friend, tribe-in-arms.  Where did they fall.  Did they make a good end?  We do not weep.  Stone faced, dry-eyed, we listen.  We bore witness and now we tell.  Who is remembered, lives.  We will not stop speaking our memories until even the unclaimed are shared, remembered, carried by all.


At the end, we stand beside a massive memorial for the animals that served as soldiers.  Dogs.  Cats.  Creatures I cannot begin to describe.  They were intelligent.  They spoke.  They knew, as we did, the cost, and they paid willingly.  It is an enormous play structure where other animals may frolic, built to stand for millennia, shining metal, looking like a cat tree mated with a skyscraper and bore this progeny.  The names of the animals cover the walls and columns.  We find the names we know, and in silence we remember, and now our tears course freely.


I wake weeping.  

~~~~~

After the third dream, I did not go back to sleep.  Instead, I watched the darkness until the sun came up and gave shape back to the waking world.  No mystery where these dreams came from, only a painful, helpless-feeling, useless-feeling sorrow and a simmering combination of rage and resentment.


Threefold.  Threefold.  Threefold.