Tuesday, March 21, 2017

No, we will no longer remain silent

 Normally I do things like this on my Facebook page, but I feel the need to share this further. Facebook has removed and blocked a photographer from their site because of a powerful photo shoot that she posted. You can see the details here

 Enough! This bullshit whiny PC crap needs to stop now! This is totally BS that a bunch of crybaby titty babies with sand in their vaginas are too busy sticking their fat fucking noses in everyone else's business. Don't want to view the pics? The learn to ducking use that little x on the upper corner TO CLOSE THE DAMN PICTURE! And if I hear one more rant about "What about the childreeeen???" I am going to go Pulp Fiction on their asses. Maybe if you educated your children instead of trying to keep them from knowing how the world works, there wouldn't be as many teen pregnancies, drug over doses, and suicides from bullying. 

 The world is a hard scary place, and while yes, children do not need to be exposed to all the horrors that it holds until they are able to understand it, it is past time to stop trying to keep our entire society in a state of extended childhood. Grow the fuck up, learn to deal with your problems instead of hiding them and drugging them away, because that solves nothing. NOTHING. 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

July Day Trip

 For our July day trip, we rolled a 4 sided die and came up with the direction of northeast, and this morning we loaded up and headed out in a general northeasterly direction meandering out of Austin. 
 Our first stop was the town of New Sweden, a wide spot in the road. The only thing of note that we could find was the New Sweden Evangelical Lutheran Church out in the middle of nowhere.


 Next stop was Coupland, population 298, home of the Old Coupland Inn and Dance Hall



 Next door to that is the other main tourist attraction in town, the former train station. 

 It's a museum now, I think. There weren't any signs of it being open, but there was a case with some old items in it inside. 



Coupland is also the birthplace of Morgan C. Hamilton. Exciting. 


 Leaving Coupland we headed north on 95 to Taylor, 8 miles up the road. The countryside out here is flat, mostly farmland growing maize and hay. Boooring to look at. 

 Taylor is a big larger town, about 17,000 people. There are definite signs of growth, as it is one of the hottest new bedroom cities to both Austin and Georgetown. The old downtown district still had some cool old buildings, but it looks like they are quickly being gentrified with new construction. 




The original bank building for the area. It's all boarded up now. What a badass home that would make for someone with the $$ to rehab it. 





 After our bit of sightseeing, we headed to Louie Mueller BBQ, owned by the Mueller family for three generations. For my blog post and review of that, click here. 


 Sorry about the fuzzy pic, I didn't take it. 

 Our trip home took us through Hutto, where they are frantically building to handle the overflow from Austin. We did stop at a nice little veg stand outside of Hutto and picked up a few things for supper. 

 All in all, a nice quiet little half-day trip. I look forward to the August trip! 



Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Sadness and Anger

 Lately the news seems to be all bad. The Stamford Rapist, and now the Pulse shooting. It seems that things are getting progressively worse, not better since the Great Recession. The country has been divided socially and economically for decades now, with the poor getting poorer and the rich dodging the massive amount of taxes they should be paying. Reading last month about the atrocities that American companies have perpetrated on Central America, it makes me sick. The people are being exploited, and the environment will take generations to recover, if it ever does.

 Westboro Baptist Church is speeding their way to Florida right now, to vomit their hate all over the grieving community. People carp on 'free speech', however, they have no clue what it is, exactly. Constitutional free speech simply means that you can criticize the government without fear of being snatched up and sent to prison or worse.What is does not do is allow you to say whatever you damn well please without repercussions. I find it thoroughly amusing that every member of Westboro will be going straight to their Hell, express lane. And they don't even see the irony. When a mother can't even feed her baby in public without some ignorant fucknut screaming "WHORE", it is past time for us to retake our country.

 As much as I admire the people preaching love and peace, remember that it took violence at Stonewall to get the message across that we will not just lay down and let the government and worthless pieces of shit like Westboro stomp all over us. Stay strong sisters and brothers, and we will overcome. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Old World Customs

I grew up for my first 10 years in an Italian household. My grandfather Pete was the uncontested head of the family, even my father made it a point to never go against him. I spent much of my time hanging out in his shop, watching him work (He was a blacksmith.), and listening to what he had to say. 

 Papa was raised in Chicago, in the area known as Little Italy. My great-grandfather had immigrated to the United States in the late 1800s, and my grandfather was one of the children born here. He was an unusual man, he left home at 13 after being molested by a Catholic priest, hitchhiked to New Orleans, and went to work on a banana boat going back and forth to South America. When WWI broke out, he lied about his age like so many young men, and joined the Army at 15. He ended up in the cavalry, where he learned the blacksmith trade. He shipped out almost immediately to Europe, saw 13 major engagements, and was mustard gassed twice. (No one to my knowledge ever saw him naked except his doctor.) He met a German girl of 16, fell head over heels in love, married her and spent five years in Ochtendung with the occupation forces, waiting to get my grandmother's papers so she could travel to the 
U.S. 
 
 My grandfather had a very interesting outlook on life. He was generous to a fault, but when he felt he had been wronged would cut a person off in a heartbeat, and never help them or even acknowledge their presence again. One of his favorite phrases was "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours." Their house in Chicago had the kitchen in the basement, and my grandmother had a table set up at all times to feed hungry people during the Depression. The hobos who traveled around looking for work marked the house with symbols showing that generous people lived there. I was taught that if someone is hungry, even if we didn't have much, we shared what we had, with the unspoken understanding that they would do the same. 

 As I have gotten older, and the world has changed, this standard no longer applies here in America. Everyone is out for themselves, and screw the rest. There are a few pockets of us still around, and usually we are called old fashioned, hippies, or even rubes, because we are still willing to help out others in times of need. I still believe, despite having been burned time and again, that it is my duty to do so. Sadly, this is seldom, if ever, reciprocated. Sometimes people mistake my generosity for weakness, and when they try to take advantage of me, they are totally surprised to find themselves cut off. I think the rest have good intentions, but they weren't raised in that type of culture, and don't really comprehend that kind of a give and take relationship. The relationships I do have like that are all with people who were raised in a similar culture, and understand it on a subconscious level.  These really and truly are the friends that you can call at 3 in the morning, and they will be there. There was a time when people had large family/tribe units to rely on, but most times that is no longer the case. People are roaming further from their families following jobs, college, romance, and are not returning to the familial areas like they used to, so those connections are being lost, and we are having to wade through a sea of posers to find those like ourselves, to create our intentional family, the people we can rely on to have our backs in times of need. Sad that this is no longer the norm in our society, but looked upon as a colloquialism, a throw back, old fashioned. 

 

Monday, August 17, 2015

End of an Era

 Within the last 3 weeks, we have had two holidays, and three upheavals. We celebrated our anniversary and my birthday, and in between the two, S got laid off by AT&T after being one of the top 1% in his department for nearly 11 years. Rather than try to return to the call center, he has decided to move forward, rather than back, and look for a job in the computer industry, which is the field of his degree. 

 I had decided to close the Pagan shop, and scale back the bakery to my current customer base several weeks before this happened. Instead of trying to open back up, I too have decided to shake things up, and finally get around to writing. I was published in my younger days, and with self publishing, writers are no longer tied to a publishing house, fielding weeks/years of rejection letters, and being under the editor and agent's thumbs. This will be my first foray into fiction, as previously I wrote research papers and a bit of bad poetry, which none the less managed to get put into print, long before home computers were a thing. 

 Number three hit last week was our son informing us he was quitting college to find a dead end minimum wage job. I am super bummed that his biofather is letting him get away with this. Why the man wanted a child in the first place, I will never know, since he takes zero interest in what W is doing. They have given him little help in the year he has lived with them, and he is refusing to move home so he can get his life together. I'm sure he's going to show up on my doorstep at 28 with no job, no education, and no where to live, and I will have to fix my ex's fuck up once again. 

 So at 52, I am once again striking out to new territory. Brave new world! 
 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Whyever did I think this was a good idea?

 It's May, it's May, the lusty month of May......

 Yes, I tend to revert to my musical theater days when I haven't had much sleep.

  Our newly formed Kindred had its first ritual, Valborg, the spring celebration. We invited some of the members of a local Druid Grove we are considering Hearthkinning with, and it was a good ritual and a pleasant evening. Shawn and I did manage to make it to the dawn ritual as well. 

 It has been a long time (Close to 10 years.) since I have had to deal with people in more than a very limited social setting. I do enjoy social gatherings, but I try really hard to not get sucked into people's lives and drama, because it saps what limited energy I have that I really need to other things. Shawn is keen on the hearthkin thing, but after the events of the last couple of weeks, I am thinking that for me, this is might not be such a good idea. There has been already some fairly major drama that I have been sucked into, and I know that becoming the clan matriarch to a bunch of baby Pagans yet again means that I must be involved in their personal lives to an extent that I am not sure I am willing to take on at this time, not to mention the inevitable politics that arise in any group of people that numbers more than two.

 Time to withdraw for a time and think on things.
 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Children and time

 Talking to a friend this morning, and she commented that she was suffering from what I like to call "Mommy burnout syndrome". Her oldest is entering puberty, which is such a fun age in a young person's like. NOT! (Every mother out there who has lived with a teenager is nodding their head right now.) 

 Mommy burnout happens right about the time puberty hits. Your precious sweet little baby who you cared for through earaches, broken toys, the Terrible Twos and the start of school becomes a demon possessed spawn of evil, and it happens so fast you are left sitting in the dust thinking "What the hell just happened?" 

  During this period, nothing you can say or do is right, and unfortunately, this is the time when the little heathens NEED to listen to the wisdom you have to impart to them, things they are going to need in their young adult life. Too bad their ears are stopped up by hormones and not a damn thing you say is really going to sink in. Like the line in True Lies, their parents are now Axel Rose and Madonna, or whatever teen pop icon is out there at the time. 

  In tribal societies, it is common for adolescents to be fostered by another adult, (This does not mean the same thing as it does in modern Western society.) since they will more often listen to someone who is not their parent. This foster parent is the one responsible for teaching them the things they need to be functioning adults. The foster parent also is someone the young person can go to with issues they wouldn't feel comfortable talking to their parents about, like dating/relationship/sex issues. 

 In modern Western society, we do not have that safety net of being able to hand off our teenagers when they hit the point that even the simplest thing sets them off, like asking what they want for supper or how their day was. This causes the Mommy Burnout (Daddies get it too, but not as bad unless they are the primary caretaker.) that is so prevelent today. We really need to be able to hand off our teens at least part of the time to someone who they will actually listen to. Most people expect the school system to do so, and while many educators are wonderful in helping, but they can not give the one-on-one attention a developing young person needs, their time demands are so massive. In the lucky families, there is often a relative willing and able to take on the task, but since WWII, the nuclear family being pushed as 'the norm', the tribal aspect of family was lost. Due to the economy over the last several years, generational living is becoming more common in this country again, where the family stays together, with the older retired relatives taking care of the children while the younger family members go out and earn a living.

 If you don't have someone you can hand your child off to when they are behaving like Bevis and Butthead, I have had parents tell me that things like summer camp and activities like hobby/interest groups help relieve that constant barrage of hormones that we are forced to endure. if you are currently raising an adolescent, I feel for you, been there, done that. The good news is usually by their mid-twenties they will level out and become quasi-human adults. Just remember, this too shall pass. Take a deep breath, hang on to your hat, and good luck!