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.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

To What Purpose?

Hope is not terribly welcome in my life just now.  Every time I have some tiny shred of it, I am disappointed.  I think I see some cause...but then...failure to thrive.  It withers and dies, turns to dust and blows away, and I am tired of it.

For a little while, anyway, I am not permitting hope to cross the threshold.  It can sit outside, lost and forlorn and learn how it feels to be shut out.

I don't have any faith in what people say, today, either.  Words, words, lots of words, but they don't mean anything, do they?  Just words, flowing forth like a river of shit, words claiming one thing when actions show another, and I'm tired of being let down so words, too, can wait for a little while, keeping hope company wherever unwelcome liars bide their time until I am foolish enough to think they are genuine again.


A little.

But also tired of the whole experience.  I long for a time when I could believe like a child believes, that people are good, that things work out, that we are not helpless or useless, that words have power and meaning, that promises are kept by everyone and not just the odd few, that the world is not full of poison and monsters and a blankie and a kiss are all that's needed to fend off the shadows.

But I don't believe.

And I wonder if I will again.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Found out that Someone's great aunt passed away last weekend.  I hope she has a peaceful journey to the next life, whatever it may be.  I should call Nanny and give her my condolences, but I just can't, right now.  My hear's too heavy, and crying on the phone is counter-productive.
Sprout got some helium filled balloons on her birthday. One of them is still floating up to the ceiling.  She likes to pull on the ribbon and watch if float back up.  I can't believe it's still going!
Nothing smells like breakfast like potatoes and onions cooking.
I don't much care to eat, these days, but I do.  I am trying to make things that are especially appetizing, but it isn't helping very much.  My stomach is just in knots all the time.  Unfortunately for my mid-section and arse, ice cream and chocolates seem to go down just fine.
I am once again reminded by the world at large that I have no real value to society.  I am worth nothing because I don't make money and must rely on others.  I am, in fact, a negative...I don't contribute but I consume.  It is unpleasant to know that I am what so many people openly revile as a social parasite.
I am making bacon in the oven.  I'm not sure how I feel about it...on the one hand, it sure is easier AND faster than using my trusty bacon-frying-pan-o-wonder, but on the other, it's just...not...the same...
I'm in a very bad frame of mind.  Once more, February has proven it is horrid.  There are bright spots in this darkness, but they are swallowed up, they can't cut the shadows, and I am tired enough to wish they would extinguish themselves rather than offer false hope that there is anything good for me in this world.  This is not self-pity.  It is simply how I feel.
Am I the on;y one who puts cream cheese in their scrambled eggs?  Y'all don't know what you're missing.
I am going to plant peas in the garden today.
What're you up to?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Mike Rowe's Integrity

I have been somewhat preoccupied, lately, with matters deeply personal.  Also, I don't have regular television, so I miss such trifles such as State of the Union addresses, the latest political scandals, and the unveiling of new ad campaigns (via The Super Bowl or otherwise).

I have not, however, managed to miss Mike Rowe's newest foray into the tangled web of the advertising world.

Below, please find a letter I composed entirely in my head, because really?  It's the only way I can pretend he would read it!

Dear Mike,

I hope I may be so familiar as to call you Mike.  I have been a fan since just after the beginning of forever.  I have admitted in public that I have a ridiculous fan-girl crush on you and, when asked what famous person I would like to have with me if I was trapped on a deserted island, I didn't have to think twice before speaking your name.  Call me selfish, but if I must spend time as a castaway, I would prefer it be with an intelligent, witty, and talented person.

I have claimed that I would listen to you read the phone book or The President's memoir.  Of the two, I would prefer the phone book.  I abhor politics and politicians, but if you ran for public office I would vote for you in a heartbeat.

I've had the good fortune to hear a few brief snatches of your singing.  There is a quality to your voice that triggers a response deep in my brain and soothes me, makes me smile.  I'd consider myself well and truly blessed to sing with you, and die a happy woman having done so.  I often laugh at the astonishment of people who don't know that you can actually carry a tune in a bucket when they first hear you singing.

I was an avid viewer of Dirty Jobs until I lost my connection to the televised world, and even after that sad day I still watched what I could on the Internet and on others' televisions.  I will listen to advertisements just to hear your voice and experience that delicious little shiver that inevitably comes with hearing you speak.

Which brings me to the meat of the matter.

You recently unveiled a new advertising campaign for WalMart.

Good for you.

Wait, what?  You were expecting another in a long line of chastisements or outright attacks?

No, sir, not from me.

You see, you have integrity.

Integrity - adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

I don't much care for Wal Mart.  I don't like their corporate ethic, the way they treat their employees, their hugely negative environmental impact.  I don't like that they bully local governments into giving them huge tax breaks and incentives to build by threatening to build elsewhere and destroy the local economy anyway.  I don't like that they actively seek to close small businesses and encourage their representatives to wager as to how long it will take before small town business areas are as devoid of life as a politician's conscience.

I have had occasion to opine that Wal Mart is a prime example of greed and corruption run rampant and is an incarnation of evil in its current state, second only to Congress.  In fact, I rarely refer to it by name, preferring to call it The Evil Empire.

I found it deeply saddening that they strayed so far from Sam Walton's ethic.

So why congratulate you for working with them?

Mike, you are about jobs.  Specifically blue collar type jobs.  You have been a staunch advocate for the working class, a voice in the wilderness concerning the folly of enforcing the idea that college is the only way.  You have not been shy about speaking of the need for blue collar workers, skilled labor, the underpinnings of our society.

The ad for Wal Mart isn't about Wal Mart.  It is about awakening the slumbering giant of our once proud manufacturing system.  Opening factories.  Creating jobs.

I don't see an ad for the Evil Empire.  I see a man well within his integrity helping to push the button that will once more start the great machine.

If Wal Mart keeps their word, follows through, freshens our economy and employs our workforce, then more power to them.  I have my doubts as to their integrity, but that's not a reflection on you, Mike.

Thank you for being so bold as to act according to your values despite risk of disapprobation from others.  I find it refreshing.

Shade and Sweetwater,
In case anyone hasn't seen it and is wondering:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


In between the ticking and the tocking, down deep in between the twitching of the thinnest sweeping clock hand, there is a hesitation when the time has come to leap between the seconds and everything stops and braces for the airborne moment.

There in those depths of time so small we barely see them, note their passing, nod as they go by, there in the brief stillness, I fly to pieces and pull myself together.

All day.  Every day.  As long as I am conscious.  Fly apart, come together.

My days are composed of waiting, and in the waiting I try to be patient but I burn.  My gut burns, my throat burns, my eyes burn.  Eat?  What is eat?  Drink?  What is drink?  When soaring explosively through the endless little deaths that occupy the betweens, one does not consume, one is consumed.

Every.  Minute.  Is.  Torture.

It doesn't end with sleep.  Sleep is simply a way for the mind to transform what is experienced during the day.  Sleep twists it, turns it, knots it up and hurls it into the psyche where it drops with leaden precision onto the most fertile ground, sends down shoots and roots and thorny runners, blooming restlessness and misery in its brambles.

There is no respite.  There is only the waiting for the leap, not of faith but simply of momentum forward into whatever waits in the continuing darkness.

Monday, February 10, 2014


The thing is, it's so easy to feel lost.  There are so many things, so many events, that can cause one to turn in a direction they never expected, walk a path they have never considered and know nothing about.

It's so easy to feel lost and alone and wonder how to get to the other side of this mess without losing as well as being lost.

It's so easy to feel lost and alone and as if one is dangling above some great and bottomless pit of darkness and despair.  It is, of course, an illusion, that pit, but when you are experiencing something, it feels very real.

Hope is such a slender thread to hold onto when dangling above that pit.  Tenuous, stretched to the snapping point, one gossamer line leading back to solid ground.

Sometimes, though, hope is all there is in the midst of seeming hopelessness.

And so, I hope...

Friday, February 7, 2014

And On, and On, and On

There is an emptiness where an ache once dwelt.

Before the ache, it was joy.

I had hoped that the joy would linger, perhaps even root and grow into something steady and sure, but it faltered and failed and became a sort of shame and sorrow that became the ache that is now an emptiness.

I had hoped that perhaps there could be a healing, a restoration, even as the ache grew and grew, before it became the emptiness where the ache once dwelt.

Now it is just a sort of an echo-y place which reverberates with a dull and throbbing pain when poked too hard while being searched for the remnants of what was joy before it became sorrow and shame that morphed into the ache that segued into the emptiness.

I wish I could fill the emptiness with some good thing, some brightness, but I think it it more likely that I will have a scarred-over callous where the emptiness took the place of the ache that was once joy.

Life goes on.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Some Kind of Record

It is February fifth and I am not mired in the Deep Beiges.

Yes, you read that right.

Don't get me wrong, I still have a case of the blahs - the same case that dogs me constantly - and every now and then it dips down into the Beiges, and even the Deep Beiges, but I am not neck deep in it like I would usually be this time of year.

They usually start creeping up on me in December, hover around mid-level through January, and whomp me upside the head at the Beginning of February.  With luck, they abate in mid-March but have been known to linger well into May.

I have every reason to be sunk in the swamp right now.  Self worth?  Zip.  Self confidence?  Zero.  Self image?  Nada.  Self loathing?  In spades!  I live with (well...kinda...live near, mostly, and sometimes with in an I'm-just-visiting kind of way), and love, an abusive addict who is sliding down the slippery slope into paranoia and self hatred as if the path was greased.  I can't manage to keep any part of Casa de Crazy clean for more than a few minutes.  Some parts, in fact, haven't been clean in years.  I am constantly cleaning up vomit, feces, or urine.  No kidding.  Several times a day, one of the denizens will deposit something somewhere - kids, cats, adults, everyone is playing the game of What Noxious Effluvia Can I Leave Where?, and I'm the one who gets to find it.  Sometime I don't find it until a day or two later, because I don't always hear the event in question.  I sometimes wonder if I am in training for my next life, when surely I will come back as a dung beetle.

I caught myself reflecting on what I've been feeling lately, which is less a deep and abiding depression and more a sort of general blues with the occasional foray into Holy Crap I'm Frelling Miserable!  Funny how something as simple as brain chemistry can rock one's world.  I have been up at the cabin, house sitting for Mum.  The kids are with me, which makes it difficult to find a moment for quiet introspection, but luckily I am a master of multi-tasking, so I can examine my navel AND yell at the fractious children.

I realize that my patience is not at a minimum.  It is worn slap out.  My anger is somewhere between a slow simmer and a conflagration, and I just never know from one moment to the next what it's going to be - as much as the people around me, I am along for the ride.  Yes, I have many coping mechanisms for depression and anger and all the other things on my variety plate, but right now those coping mechanisms are not terribly effective.  As in, non-starters.

Maybe the anger is burning some of the depression off?

The next few weeks will be unpleasant on the inside.  I can feel the pause that come just before the drop, like being in the front car on the roller-coaster just as it hesitates at the apex of the highest hill.  There is something of the same sort of dreadful anticipation, too.  I know I'll live through it, and with any luck I'll be able to rush through it and charge up the next hill without lingering at the lowest point.

Meanwhile, there is cleaning to do, and possibly some quilting, and if I can't cure me, I can at least distract me.

Sunday, February 2, 2014


Somewhere, Crocus are beginning to poke their way up through frozen dirt, slush, snow, desperate to fling themselves wide to the sun.  Somewhere, birds are finding their voices again, calling out glad tidings of light and warmth renewing.

Life is stirring.

The Goddess, worn from grieving in late Autumn and birthing at Winter's beginning, is wakening once more. She is growing stronger.

It's a time of fire, this holiday - lighting candles to welcome the sun's brightness, candles of orange, red, yellow, His colors.

Fire brings blessings, healing, and change.

Make and bless candles today for use during the year.

If the day dawns bright and clear, there will be a second (or longer) winter.

Weave Brigit's crosses from straw or wheat to hang about the house, invoking protection for the household.

The candle on our altar is burning, the light that us find our way in the darkness...may it ever burn...

Happy Imbolc.
Oh, and? Happy birthday, K2, sister of my heart!!!!!