I blog gluten-free

Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year Resolutions

It's that time. I know where I am. I know where I want to go. And now, it's time to improve.


1)I will NOT vaguebook. If I do need to say something, I'll be straight to the point.
2)No more going after those little pet-peeves life throws at me with the "Letters to Entities Unlikely To Read Them".
3)I will say no with confidence.
4)I will not be ashamed for things I did not do. Nor will I be ashamed for what others have done.
5)I will stand for myself if need be.
6)If it's needed, I might not ask for help...as that's something I have the hardest time with, but will try to accept it better.
7)If someone is hurting, I'll be there. Period.
8)I will work on being tougher.
9)I will NOT give up trying to make the world brighter.
10) I will find and enter a nutrition program.
11) I will not let people be afraid.
12)I will not be afraid.

And now, to see what I can check off.

glitter-graphics.com Have a blessed and beautiful New Year. Here's to new things, to enjoying those who we never want to or could replace, and of course, to health, to good food, and to growth. God bless!
glitter-graphics.com

Thursday, December 29, 2011

If You Build It...

It's getting towards that time for New Year's resolutions and promises to treat myself better and do better. First of all: focusing on survival may be important, but you end up forgetting to live. Time to get out there, and learn to live. Life cannot possibly be all paperwork and while being an adult is a time when we put away childish thing, there's no harm whatsoever in occasionally letting myself enjoy the childlike--- (Fraggle Rock? Yes, don't mind if I do.)

Let's see... here's where I am... let me see where I can go.

The house I grew up in: was a house. Sometimes bright and bustling with Polish foods and various new foods to try when Dad couldn't have potassium, etc. Sometimes, a little bit of a prison.

When I was a child I wanted to be: First, the world's foremost expert in mothering a stuffed baby seal larger than I was, named Binky. Then a lawyer---but I detest arguing. (If, as a child, you hide when people fight... law is not your cup of tea.) After a while, I started being extremely interested in just what human beings are made of...from the most basic "building blocks" G, T, C, and A, on up.

The moment that changed me for ever: There's so many candidates for this one. I'd have to say that the most recent was learning that the "healthy" foods I'd been given had damaged my ability to retain and use nutrients.

My greatest inspiration: Eeek. So many, many candidates. Those who showed me what not to do. Those I turned away from. Those I kept. I thank them all. I thank, whole-heartedly, all of them. Positively?  In particular, my mother, my nephew, the Miracle Boy, and his feisty, tall, and gorgeous mama.

My real-life villain: I know this woman who uses God to allow many nasty and despicable acts and abuses...and running a family that is something like a cross between the clan in Deliverance and Jim Jones and his group.  With a touch of Leatherface tossed in.

My style icon: I always liked the classics from the 40's and 50's.

If I could change one thing about myself: Among other things, I am working on my confidence. I need to learn how to say no and not expect a smack.

At night I dream of: A lot, actually. Some horrible, some good. And some that, upon waking, I scratch my head over and intone "What... was... that?"

What I see when I look in the mirror I see: My eyes change between three colors naturally--- mother has green eyes, Dad was baby blue... Jeff and I got a strange mixture... he's got Mountain-Dew-ish green cat's eyes. Mine go between blue, gray, and green and mixtures of them... I like seeing what they do.

My favourite item of clothing: Right now, I have fallen deeply in love with one of my Christmas gifts (all of them, but besides the extremely organic free-range eggs from Mom's chickens, and the ribbon candy from an adopted grandma of sorts and... :-) ) --- I have a new pair of casual moccasins... (Bearpaw Moc II---)  holy cow are they warm and nice! I just wish I didn't have such narrow feet!

I wish I'd never worn: EEK! Where do I begin? I grew up between the three-can of Aquanet and angular clothing stage (At that time, I was decidedly less stylish in my heavy orthopedic boots- leg deformity that I had to have corrected- over alls, ragged jeans and the floucy baby doll dresses Mom put me in), the grunge era- not too bad---just gotta make it clean! and the 60s-70s revival. Let's go with... uh... the horrific Lucille Ball got a bad concussion red I tried in 9th grade.

It's not fashionable but I like: big sweaters, even over the girly version of short boxer shorts I tend to relax in.  If they go to my thigh, or lower, all the better!

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at : I can sing, I can write (barely legibly) with my feet, and at one point, I hated it, but I wasn't bad at canoeing. I always ended up with someone I'd have to correct, and it hurt the shoulder.

You may not know it but I'm no good at : arguing. I suck at it. Because I hate it so much. I also have trouble saying no, (there's a resolution I'm working on) and seeing angry people scares me and I'll need to try to nurse them.

All my money goes on : I try to save actually, but in this day and age and a GF diet? It tends to be food!

If I have time to myself : I love to head out, walk like crazy, go out, read, find new and interesting music, or play with manicures. After years of biting my nails, I like to play with them now.



I drive : Myself completely and utterly insane, because I know me way too well.

My house is : My first true taste of freedom.

My most valuable possession is : I don't really put a lot of stock in possessions. I've lost so many, and have had to replace things slowly now that I've gotten closer to a "safe and comfortable" place, that I consider only people valuable.

My favourite building : I love large, old buildings. And lighthouses. And pretty little cottages.

Movie heaven : Casablanca. Freaks. Yes, Freaks. (lesson learned: Don't get your head too far up your ass. In the end, it's those who insist that they are better than every one else that end up being the true freaks.) It's from 1932. And thanks to someone who bought it after MGM suppressed it (for rather awful imagery) for years, it is now in public domain.

A book that changed me : Each book you read educates or teaches you to see in new ways. I rather liked The Three Questions by Jon Muth. It's based off Tolstoy, (I adore Tolstoy's writings). And it does help to ask yourself about how you should live and treat others here and there, and work on improving it.
the Three Questions

My favourite work of art : May sound a little silly, but Dancers in Blue by Degas. And of course, Van Gogh's Starry Night.

The last album I bought/downloaded: Radical Face's Family Tree: The Roots. Highly recommended.

The person who really makes me laugh: Some of my friends get me laughing so hard tears will come to my eyes and my stomach will hurt, and all I can think is "Please, stop... it hurts!" I love them for it.

The shops I can't walk past: When I was a child, my mother nicknamed me "Mrs. Marcos" because I couldn't help but stare at the pretty party shoes. I wanted something other than my heavy boots! Now, it's the bookstore. No weird affectionate nickname based on a dictator's wife, yet.

The best invention ever: Think of the beckoning whisper from Field of Dreams. *Smirk!*

In 10 years' time, I hope to be: Somewhere with a porch swing, a basenji, and I'll leave it there. :)

My greatest regret: I have a terrible habit of adopting "ugly puppies"--- people who you think "Oh, it's been tough, they just need patience and care" about and end up biting you.

My life in seven words: "It's tough, sometimes. But, it's worth it."



Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hey, Mary, What are you Gonna Name That Pretty Lil' Rock 'n' Rollin' Baby?

Time for ultra, ultra silly. Let's say you belong to a torn-jeans and pigtail wearing, angsty garage band. (I've loved Nirvana since I was a small child. I still occasionally pull out my grungies- which of course, work SO well with my usual 10 inch high suede boots and my tight pea jacket, yes?)

The idea here is:
Take the above paragraph. You're a rock star. (You are, of course!) You're releasing your first CD. But, hey, Mary, what are you gonna name that pretty lil' rock 'n' rollin' baby?

Go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random
This is the name of your band.

Next: Go to http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3
The last 4 words of the very last quote is the title of the album. (I admittedly made it 5, but my rules, and I can break them as I please.)

And last: go to:  http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days/
The third random photo is the album pic.

Edit it all together in a graphics program, and Voila!

And my result?

Please put your hands together for the musical stylings of...

HMS Adventure (M23) and their delightful freshman effort, "It's Not Holding A Charge". Sadly, the sweet little bird is currently recovering from what is euphemistically called "A nervous breakdown". We do hope to hear from the sweet singer of sweet songs again, soon.



Monday, December 26, 2011

Stress Comes Wrapped in Pretty Paper and Tinsel

Now that most of the holidays are over (I know Epiphany Day, the day the Wise Men visited the young Christ is coming up, and that, I keep close as a way of saying "Yeah, they get better) I think I can vent. I don't want to. I don't like to. I need to.

-I am so goddamn tired of trying to keep a family together that prefers to argue (Oh, but we come together for copious amounts of free booze when someone kicks the bucket, don't we?)
-Mom, I try not to tell you "no"...because I was raised to know that's disrespectful. Well, I'm saying it.
I was scared out of my mind with that well-meaning "Rest of your life" bit in a Christmas card. (I don't look behind that door.) I'm not going for a "rest of"... we all know I am not at my healthiest. We all know I'm trying to fix that. I want to simply live, without looking for the Reaper behind every corner. I know...it was innocent and well intentioned, but with everything, that's scary. While we're at it...
-Those damn people who call you instead of me, who, when they talk to me, treat me like utter shit, then start a cycle of nothing happening. I already detest being spoken FOR... I accept that from no one. I also don't like that knowing my wishes, you decided to go ahead and do what you wanted. With hefty paperwork to fill out. All of which is due in a time limit that is impossible to reach...you simply cannot mail back 40 sheet stacks of paperwork in a day. Or it comes the day after it's due.
-Feeling like I am responsible for how people think and act. For being so terrified to speak to people because I am trying to deal with my stuff alone, that I end up making it worse. Because I'm supposed to be a good girl, and besides... "what's Jeff doing?" Well, Mom, I can give you three guesses, thank you so much for letting me actually try to explain things you asked me about!
-Making me feel guilty because I'm just trying to survive, making me feel fear by calling me about drama, mentioning people I try to forget. No, remembering that bitch of a former-mother-in-law smacking me around while preaching her brand of Christianity doesn't give me nightmares, at all! Of course, the crowning achievement: Yes, I made mistakes. I do not need them shoved in my face every moment. I have been trying to get PAST them. Part of it, is attempting to find good things and people.
I'm frustrated. I don't get a voice. I have to be a good girl, and behave. And if I say "Look, I don't like this" I'll be punished. But what do I know? I'm just too sensitive. But not too sensitive to have everyone else's problems shoveled onto me.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Blessed Christmas Hopes, Wishes & Early Resolutions

Have a blessed Christmas.
For pagan friends, I'm not forgetting you... after all, you are the originators of a day to celebrate light at the darkest time of year, the mistletoe (never mind that in old Germanic languages, romance under something that translates into "poop on a stick" seems a bit odd. :-p ! ) trees, candles...thank you!
May your yule, your Christmas, your Hanukkah, all be blessed. Your Kwanza and Eid as well!

It gets so dark... may those struggling, find joy and peace.

Seems odd to do so now, but I think it's time to think of promises to self... not "I will eat less, I will go to the gym, I'll go to Mass more..." --- this has plagued me forever, and it's time to say it... I must learn to say no... I do not need to worry about a smack for doing so anymore. I must learn to ask for help and say when something bugs me. I must learn to accept help with grace. I need to go past pride and eventually learn to lean when I need it. So there's my Resolution. I always give myself the tough ones.

I think this is one of the few Christmas wishes that involves the word "Poop"... heh... ignore that.

Have a bright and blessed season. Love yourself. Care for yourself. And with family drama running amok (sadly, Christmas drama seems to be a norm. :-( But around now, it IS dressed in pretty lights and tinsel! )

Be blessed.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide- The Ultra Basics

'Tis the week of... complete and total insanity!

First things first: take care of yourself. Pulling out your hair and going completely blitheringly insane will not help you.
Ok, let's take a look at general types of gifts:

The Duty Gift : 
Don't do it!
Now, if you absolutely must buy a gift for someone you don't like (Even I've found myself here) don't bother trying to extend an olive branch for Christmas, or knock yourself out attempting to charm someone who, for whatever reason, just irks you.
My former MIL and SIL were rather nasty women. I gave up on trying to crack their hard outer shells... I do believe they might be hollow, no chocolate cream filling there. Here, the drug store coffee mug bought at 11PM or later on Christmas eve works. Also, if you're forever hanging out with people you are forcing yourself to be nice to, out of "They are human and therefore deserve love because of that" start re-evaluating, and make a few changes. This might be the nicest gift you give yourself. But don't stop trying to be nice... I can tell you the amount of nasty people is actually outnumbered by the kind people, they're just generally quieter.
You aren't giving this with a genuine smile. So quit scratching your head over it. Try a $25 Wal*Mart card. (I detest shopping at Wal*Mart, so consider this my only advertising for Sam Walton's satanic super store of horror.)

Mama:
Mom is generally easy. But please remember, she is responsible for your very existence and didn't throttle you no matter what mischief you got yourself into.
Please, for God's sake, no reindeer sweaters! Try something nice to allow her to spoil herself.
Say I love you, say thank you.
Exhibit A: "Amazing Gratitude"- nice and fresh, clean.
For the non bubble bath variety, work with their interests (You know your mom, right?) - try picking up a classic film. A nice tin of tea with a bow on it. A really awesome photo in a nice frame. A nice sweater she can wear all year round... a good book. Spend time with her over a meal you make for her. Make her coffee (IN A NICE MUG. No chintzy Santas here.)
If all else fails, give her a hug and a cup of tea, and hand her one of these, so she can choose something to pamper herself. Make sure to let Mom know she needs to spoil herself, too!
Philosophy Gift Cards

Dad:
This might be tough... but I'll give her a go. A book on classic cars. A model of the Death Star. For God's sake, no ties! A model of the Starship Enterprise? Live long and prosper. Wish I could help more, here.

Siblings:
*Something from Think Geek or Neatorama. A card so they can buy something on their iPods, Kindles, or whatever else they choose. A fun little game or gadget.
For those of the feminine persuasion, think on the same lines as Mom. Favorite animals/colors?

Kids: Work with interests. This means you should let them show you, over time, what they like. For me, this involves Disney Princesses, Hello Kitty, and all sorts of typical boy stuff, like science kits and cars. Also, good, brightly illustrated books with beautiful pictures. The classic books. Actually, that could go anywhere here.

Please, for the love of all that's holy:
Stay away from chintz, forget ties and frowsy sweaters, and please... try to avoid going over-expensive in lieu of conversations, etc.

Try to avoid the big box stores. Try shopping local.







Saturday, December 17, 2011

Shahmaty

"Shahmaty" was a Russian term for chess... literally, "The shah (king) is dead"

Oh, weak and stupid king
Black hat hung rakishly upon your brow
Sweet queen sacrificed
As you make your orders
And send your knights forward

A pawn to replace your precious queen
As you shuffle impotently on legs swollen by your excess
You send your poor befuddled bishops
To avenge your precious queen
While all you can do is waddle back and forth
Shouting invectives in rage
Your face purpling, fat lips quivering

Your jowls shake
and your pug nose turns up in scorn
As your peons press close
Meeting their deaths with heads clouded by misplaced loyalty and false words of piety
With open arms, and at last, as death finally takes its' prize, the young faces betray their knowledge that they died for nothing

Louder, louder, you shout
More impotence, more angry words that have lost meaning
Innocence is lost
First you crush them
And use them as shields
Until finally
you go to your flaming hell,
Check
Mate
The King is dead, let no one proclaim "Long live the king".

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Peace On Earth, Goodwill to All Mankind ...

I never wanted to say this... the whole "Love, joy, peace on earth, good will towards all mankind" thing gets a bit harder to do sometimes.

I've been angry... I don't like being angry, it's not a feeling that I can handle. It's almost like swallowing a molten stone.

Along with Christmas cards, I had to send out a sympathy card... my father's younger sister went in a car crash one day... a woman who started out teaching, and ended up being a dog breeder, who became a mother to her husband's brood in lieu of her of her own... funny, loud... opinionated, but sweet. We had no idea what had happened until it was too late to fly over Lake Erie to get to her funeral. So no closure. Not yet.

The weather is nuts... the change between "warm" to snowy, to warm again is enough to make the legs twitch unbearably.

I've been either extremely vague or let things out badly, while holding in more. I am trying my very damnedest to avoid accidentally sounding mean, condescending, or snotty... all of which I'd hate to be.

But... damn it... it is the season of joy. The time where just once, it's time to make things a wee bit more happy, to show those you adore that they really are blessings to you, and not just "Oh, here, here's a Santa mug and a pound of coffee, enjoy!" recipients. Ew... that is so beneath anyone.
I love Christmas. I've seen miracles... just last year, I saw a gorgeous little angel saved from falling through the cracks of a school system that could not teach him, could not help him. And he still has a light in those big brown eyes, despite everything. Why not take an example from him? His way of showing love is simple, honest, sweet... He gazes at you, smiles a big grin, offers his protection (oh so cutely, he always has been the "Man" of the house.), lets you know when you're doing something dangerous. His energy and his big bearhugs (His nose is about dead center with my chest now--- with a 5'11" mother, I have a feeling, I'll be looking up at him before too long.)

So why focus on the darkness? It's eating cookies fresh from the oven, (Don't let molten chocolate chips burn your tongue, trust me!) with icy cold milk or a hot drink, it's showing your blessings that they truly are your blessings. It is a season of the simple, sweet joys.
Merry Christmas, to all ...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Snow Plows Roaming In The Night

Sometimes, we have to deal with people who don't get immune to living for about 6 months of the year with snow--- in my case... partially under it. (A garden apartment is the polite phrase for buried partially beneath ground.)

After a while, we not only can lose patience and regale them with tales of doom, cold, snow and gore, but break out obscure technical terms:

Q:How do you defrost a windshield?
A:There should be a button in your car next to "Heat" (Or, with some "The red button") and air conditioning (The "blue button") It should have a little square on it with little lines. This is the defrost button. Click it, click it good. Now, wait

Q: How you get ice and snow off a windshield?
A:There's this thingamabobber with a handle. It has a scrapey thingy on on end... use it. The bigger end is a brush. In times of despair, a credit card works just as well.

Penguins live at the zoo.

Actually, the worst winter storm I weathered consisted of sand and ice. Painful!

As for other bizarre technical terms:
1)Thingy: general purpose, see also: "specific item"
2)Thingamabobber: No one knows what it is, exactly, but you need it
3)Whoozie-what's-it: Heavens to betsy! Not the whoozie-what's-it!



Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Zoo

I didn't understand death when it first came my way. But I understood right enough when I was told "We're going to visit Grandpa"... then sat in a room, staring at a box? It never struck me that that was the visit. But... every time I was told "We're going to the zoo!" I'd perk up immediately. And then, for some reason, amuse everyone by pacing anxiously in front of the gorilla enclosure, occasionally looking up to say "Grandpa, is that you?"
Later on, I was told that a gorilla at the zoo had taken an immediate dislike to my grandfather years before. Cute baby goats to feed and funny chimps... the zoo is really creepy to me now.

Bethy's Guide to the Stars

Horoscopes tell you really general things. Taking them at face value can be an exercise in frustration.

But... fear not!

I present--- horoscopes for real people!

Today, something will happen. What happens after that depends on how you react. No horoscope in the world can tell you if Juan will finally bring you that conflict-free diamond the size of a doorknob- or if Juan will love you forever. No horoscope will tell you "How about you get off your butt and start living, rather than letting the placement of stars, moons, and planets run your life"? It should perhaps warn you: "Horoscope writer has woken up within the last hour and has not had caffeine yet".

*Warning! These are for entertainment purposes only. I am not responsible for bizarre skin reactions, strange emissions, or other unforeseen side effects. I am two sips into a coffee. Let us begin!

Sagittarius: Try living for today, without the advice of someone at a laptop, typing out general advice that may or may not come true.

Capricorn: My sources say *Not now, you guys! Keep the noise in that UFO down!* : It's not what happens, it's how you react. But that's for you to find out, not a caffeine- dependent lady somewhere on the Eastern seaboard to tell you.

Aquarius: I could crack wise on water-bearers. But along with gifts, you need to try to search for balance, or this weather could drive you insane

Pisces: Ok, gentle souls: get off your ass. Live. Neptune may be currently having an orgy with Jupiter, or you could simply be stuck reading vague advice meant to apply to the lowest common denominator.  Go do something. I'll wait.

Aries: Try to keep your temper cooled. Locking horns with others helps no one.

Taurus: Sometimes, being bull headed hurts or can even kill.

Gemini: Say what you mean, and mean what you say.

Cancer: The tendency to act crabby may get to you. Go for a walk. And don't let arbitrary advice from a snot tell you what you should do. Mars in retrograde should not effect your life.

Leo: Sometimes, we need to let our hair down and roar as mightily as possible. There's no shame. What IS shameful is living your life because you're afraid of making decisions without cosmic babysitters.

Virgo: sometimes, a little childlike joy or innocence is a good thing. Don't get all strung up on being an adult that you lose your joy.

Libra: Balance is needed. Too much noise, or too much quiet is not a good thing. You need both.

Scorpio: Poisoning others with a bad mood is wrong. It's ok to be sad or angry... it's natural. But hurting others with said attitudes is not.

*All advice can apply equally to everyone. My tongue is firmly in cheek.




Wednesday, December 7, 2011

'Tis the Season

Even in the dark, the small lights allow for a beautiful shadow version of this. :) 
This is the season of perhaps two hours of usable light a day. Stress. Darkness. People going nuts, and some, indeed finding the part of themselves that says "Screw everyone else!"

It's getting colder and darker. I am not jinxing myself by discussing the weather. (KNOCK ON WOOD.)

This is the season of joy, of miracles.

I've seen miracles---and they do outnumber the pain. Let's find that part of ourselves that says "I forgive you, my brother", to those who deserve it. "I forgive you," to yourself, who needs it too.
There is a need for light in the darkness.

Light and darkness cannot exist without each other. Too much of one would be blinding. Too much of the other would be heavy and stifling. And unbearable, like having Andre the Giant sitting on your chest.
There must, absolutely be balance.

You know what? It's time to get out of my head. Time to just enjoy, to remember just how stinkin' blessed I am.

Find peace, find something beautiful, in the darkness.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Americans Elect 2012

Americans Elect 2012 | The first direct presidential nomination:

'via Blog this'

A chance to be more involved--- not twiddling thumbs, but figuring out not only where the candidate stands, but where YOU stand. Before you hit the voting booths, educate yourselves.

Cogito Ergo Sum

I can spend time analyzing... feeling bad that I can't quite manage to say what I know needs to be said correctly.

Why worry about silly little things... when I've dealt with the big ones? If I stopped doing what I was doing, whenever people told me "You can't..." I'd be standing stock-still, a 5'5" pillar of salt. (Which, of course, would be great if people were having margaritas-- no more looking for that lost shaker of salt.)

Timing has been damn ugly. But stressing over a chain of bizarre and- let's face it- if I think about it, I have to laugh at myself... rather silly little things. Yes, sometimes, things DO get to me. That's what a good walk is for. Or cooking, or going off grid. (Not, however, letting my cell phone go dead. Bad mistake.)

Sure, there's people in the world I'd rather not have around me... everyone does.

But, it's dark enough---this month, we'll have the darkest day of the year, with the shortest day and longest night... and in the dark, it's better to give light.

I've decided... I'm thinking happy. Because, at least as Rene Descartes said, "I think, therefore, I am". (Cogito ergo sum--- it has a nice swing to it. )

 I will not, however, allow people to hurt because of me. It is not fair, it is not right.

The time is NOW... to be a source of light. To remember where my priorities lie. And laugh at silly little things that in the big picture, really don't matter. To quit slapping on a smile, and actually BEING joyful.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Laundry List

I will start listening to my gut.
If I do not need old paperwork, if I come across it? Bring on the marshmallows...  it's time for a bonfire. otherwise, seeing some things on that moldering paper... will affect me in ways it shouldn't, stunt my better reactions, and leave me open to being triggered.

Sure, I need to walk and just heal...especially after busy holidays. Dinners with my mother? Bless her heart, they leave me on edge for days. Because moms are like that. Holidays are crazy, no matter how easy you try to make them. And sometimes, being quiet is what's best. But I can't forget to make sure I answer texts and the phone next time... I keep letting it go dead for too long, in an effort to just relax. Or... well, send an email "Going off grid" so people don't worry, so that no misunderstandings are made. Because no tears did fall this weekend... I enjoyed simpler pursuits. Including navigating a store from front to back that sells grosses of bandages, among other items. a little shopping (New music was really needed.) I had a few shocks...those---well. They happen. Sure, maybe it would be best if I could vent more... I hold back. But I prefer the simplicity, the quiet, the peace. If I could, it might prevent a triggering episode... thought I was beyond those.  I'll save those. Or join a gym again.

That people got hurt, with the biggest culprit being really shitty timing? Damn!

I've got... habits I thought I had nearly squelched to re-train myself to avoid. (Nothing involving tipping back too many-- old behaviors I used that I hated then and hate now.)

I've got to learn to let myself shake things off, like water off a duck's back. Some things I can't- won't. It's not me I'm worried about at present. I can beat whatever hurts... here, in life, in the physical form... I've done it before. But no, I won't be happy-go-lucky--- nor will I simply stand by if someone is hurting themselves. I do not, in any which way, want to be the catalyst for that.

Now? It's prep season. A miracle in the offing. Not wasting that chance. To be quiet, to be still, to think, to focus. Time to rest. To heal. In the end, the only thing getting to me? I see the pain... I'm not sure if I can help.

...And a Pickle In A Pine Tree

I don't know WHY this looks wrong to me.
Gather 'round, dear children, and I'll tell you a tale.
First things first: true celebrations should only begin with murderous intent in mind, not lead to it, but here we go.

German tradition is rife with tales of Bishop Nicholas, now Saint Nicolas. Also, tales that might make the Crypt Keeper's hair stand even more on end on Tales From The Crypt.
Three little boys leave home in the cold of winter, bringing with them gifts for the now-sainted Bishop, savior of would-be prostitutes and someone who still has me all these years later, still checking my shoes before I put them on.
They stay at an inn (All good Christmas tales start in that century's version of a Holiday Inn.)
The inn keeper is a nasty, greedy man and decides that he will keep the Sainted-Bishop's gifts for himself. So he murders our tiny travelers and pickles them in brine. (Another Christmas story with a bit of cannibalistic intent, check!) The Sainted-Bishop finds out and steaming, he goes to the Inn himself. Where he resurrects (with God's help & grace) the wee pickled tots. Now, many centuries later, fun-loving Germans remember the tale with the hiding of a glass (I hope) pickle hidden in their Christmas trees. (Which was another tradition we got from the Germans, courtesy of Queen Victoria, who surprise, was more German than she was English.)
The finder receives a gift, or a year of good luck.
Considering the shape of pickles, this one might be best for the Feast of the Circumcision ... of the Young Frankenstein.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Advent

Advent is here... it's become the "Pop open a paper window"---and then? Nothing.  But with some, you could get awarded with chocolate. I decided...use it as it's supposed to be...this is waiting and prep time. Let myself be silent, and do my prayers, and...well, wait. I can joke that I got a chocolate marzipan Baby Judas today... sure... but now's not the time!

Did I get any answers in the quiet? Hmm... could be. "Be patient. You're ok, Be still..." echoed roundly in my head after a few prayers.

Sadness? It is what  it is. I'm not breaking. There's joy afoot!

As for now, the quiet includes a little music... I needed a break from the same old, same old... having heard "The Little Drummer Boy" 15 times in the space of an hour (our radio station needs to really work on that)- which I should not listen to, unless I am in a room without sharp objects and heavily caffeinated.

3 more Sundays after this one! Yes, I get so excited around this time of year.

Last year, there was a huge miracle... the Marvelous Nephew was falling through the cracks... a smart kid in a lousy school district, where his race became a huge issue. Then... the charter school called at just the right time, just after I said "I have that feeling things will get better". And... well, the phone began to ring off the hook! :) I can't take credit... I know that is one awesome kid, full of life, sweetness and fight, and unbroken even if he has seen so much pain, even if he lives on an even stricter GF regimen than I do... leaving many childhood favorites in the "Forbidden!" category. He got what he needed, with his and his mama's fight, and their faith.

Ghost Towns

I've been really enjoying Radical Face's "Family Tree: The Roots"---(the best seller will likely be Ghost Towns, simply because it grabs you and won't let go.) This is a 3 CD project, along with a free "prequel" that's not bad at all, "The Bastards: Volume One". The music all comes together to tell a tale of a family. On The Roots, no instrument was used that did not exist in the 19th century.

It's sublimely strong, and grabs your attention.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sunsets, Frozen Lakes, and Lighthouses


From September, 2009... I love that it looks like a painting.

A beautiful sunset over Lake Erie. 
frozen lake at sunrise
Light house near Chautauqua Lake. 
Nature needs no enhancement to shine. :)

These are old, pics I managed to find when I needed a bit of beauty... and God, I do love sunsets...and particularly colorful sunrises.
oh, a gorgeous find on a dark day!

Riding Through The Desert On A Horse With No Name

It is time I learned: I can't please them all. It's me, and those who care about me, and whom I care for, that I will focus on. The rest? As always--be nice but keep at arms' length.

No, I will not stop being myself, just because people don't like it.
I will continue working on bad habits I want squelched. For ME.
I will not stand by and let people hurt because of me.
I will not stop being nice, even if people do think it's artificial. I will not step down from defending myself if I need to.
I will say no.
That I'm a target because unlike some I will not sit and say nasty things for fun? Because, yes, I want people to be happy? Because I am what I am? Meh. People need to work on insults... passive-aggressive, sanctimonious? They don't work on me. I've heard it all before. And "stupid"? Meh. Try something new.
I won't be changed to fit.
No, I will not "dangle myself" in front of anyone for their friendship.
I won't tell a white lie, blow sunshine up your skirts.
Yes, I get mad on occasion. Yes, I can curse up a blue streak when I do.

I've got my full plate. I have things that have improved, I have things I am improving. I will absorb nutrients. I will show the doctors who said I'd be dead at 30. I will come to terms with grief recently re-opened, and people who know too much about the past and cannot shut up about it, thus leaving a new wound bleeding.
Yeah, I'm bleeding.
But I count my blessings. There are people, and wonderful things they've done. I can't count them on both hands, all my toes--- they are marvelous, and I am grateful.

If I am disliked because I am what I am? Tough cookies! I like me. No, I don't fall in love with me when I look in a mirror. Sure, I have moments. But... I like what's happened, happening, and will happen.
I have looked death in the eyeball, and laughed
I have lived through many a dark time, and come out stronger.
I have not lost faith.
No bragging... I can't take credit. I count, both those who have held my hand as I walked through hell, and those who tried to break me. Without them, I wouldn't have learned.

Time For Holiday Cheer

Finding old paperwork, and being the type of person who can tell when the worst of it is around (no matter how well hidden) particularly when the problem is one I haven't come to terms with, sucks. You know it's there... you know where you hid it. *sigh*

But Advent is here, as of the 27th, and it's time to get ready. To show joy, faith, peace, and goodwill to all men. I can't let a tiny thing keep me from acting like myself. Oh, no, it's time to brighten up!

First steps: decorating a tiny apartment. We'll see how this goes.
Cheer and brightness is needed. The rest, will have to fall where it may.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Castrati

Warning! The following is rather disturbing. 


This is a recording made over 100 years ago by Thomas Edison. It records the last surviving castrato (at that time) singing Ave Maria. Historically, it is a thing of value. On the ear, it may grate. (I can't hear some of it) the slight sobbing sound in the voice was taught at the time.



Now, a basic rundown on castrati:
Let's say you're a poor family. You have a son with a gorgeous voice. Now, before the testicles drop and testosterone allows the voice to deepen, you take Junior to the doctor...and lop 'em off!

Castrati were given heroic roles. They also, despite lack of testosterone, were known to be great lovers.
Castrati tended to have longer limbs and ribcages, which aided in their vocal power.

At the time of this recording, Alessandro Moreschi was older... and his voice had, in time lost some power. But on a historic level, this is quite the find.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Bits And Pieces

Favorite songs of the moment...
I'm torn between David Bowie's "Life On Mars" and the Dynamo's "Woh! Woh! Yea! Yea!"- the second is so old fashioned, so "beachy"-sounding, and so innocent and happy that it's just adorable. But, uh, yes, repetitive.




 Huge pet peeve...
I hate chunky tomato sauce. Meat sauce should be lots of beef, and no chunks of tomato. I also detest eating a slice of GF pizza and realizing the sauce isn't as smooth as it should be.

I'm attempting to learn a fishtail braid. So far, my hair is just too slippery.

On the subject of hair, I'm thinking of something fun for the holidays. I might get some gold tinsel twisted in.

Basically, I'm studying, reading, and have my Christmas stuff ready when I'm ready--- including the very tiny and cute dollhouse sized Christmas tree.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fairytale of New York

They've got cars big as bars and rivers of gold, but the wind goes right through you, it's no place for the old.


Because my other favorite Pogues song, If I Should Fall From Grace With God is doing time in Subaru commercial hell (Great imagery, I had to laugh when I saw kids oh so happily playing hockey with such lyrics as If I should fall from grace with God, where no doctor can relieve me, if I'm buried 'neath the sod, still the angels won't receive me, let me go, boys, let me go boys, way down where the rivers all run dry- oh, my, yes, I always look back on my youth and think of rather fatalistic music, don't you?)
and it is the holiday season, the only Christmas song I know where the words "Slut, faggot, and cheap lousy maggot", not to mention, "arse". are used. Still, a very big, beautiful song. And yes, that is Matt Dillon playing a cop.

A Very Special Thanksgiving Taste Test

She is a little beauty.
This week, not only am I taste-testing (remember: nothing gets served, to anyone, unless it passes MY inspection first) but I am breaking in a new crockpot that is not dollhouse sized! And I've craved turkey noodle soup for a while now!

  • Ingredients: 
  • First up: about a container and a half of turkey stock. Buy extra. 
  • To this, add: 
  • Baby carrots, 1/2 package to a package
  • 3 celery stalks


  • Pepper, salt, and oregano to taste. I am a "By feel" cook, but about 1/2 tsp of each ought to do it.
  • 1/2 an onion
  • A turkey breast. Whichever turkey sported this had about a D cup!
  • 1 small onion
  • Package of noodles...add last, about 3-4 hours in. 

  • Cut turkey into edible chunks.
  • Chop onion and celery, just toss in baby carrots.
  • Place all in crockpot. Except the noodles.
  • Cook on low for 4 hours. 
  • Add noodles
  • Cook for half hour on high
  • Or Until Noodles are Soft
  • Eat!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Counting My Blessings

Here's to you:

Dear Mom, who never let me say "I can't", even when physical therapy and math caused migraines, or I hit a plateau, but urged me to keep trying. Who tried her damnedest in 28 years to help me be healthy, to communicate, to fight. To never take no for an answer. I love you. Thank you.

To friends who wouldn't let me wallow in my own sickness- who helped me even if at first, I was embarrassed they had to see me so rough... thank you.

Thank you. I am so blessed, I could just split in two!
A toast. And many thank yous to come. I am thankful, from the heart of my bottom :)
CHEERS! :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"I Don't Give a Flying Fig" Takes On New Meaning

look at this and try not to do a Beavis and Butthead laugh, I dare you!
Today, this masochist found herself grocery shopping-- and stumbled upon a large, purplish-green leafed plant. Being ever curious, and ever prone to accidents in the language department, I held up this plant, with it's three large testicle shaped growths (fruits) and asked, intending on finding out the species, "Hey, what do these look like?" I wanted a species classification, not a smirk and "You're so adorable, sweetie"! Next time, I should be blunt "Yes, I do know it looks like three overgrown testicles. What is it?" Upon terrifying myself with a google search, I realize I was holding up figs.

It was an interesting day... although I also did the mundane like buying towels, sheets and deodorant and getting the curls tamed (NOT! I snipped an inch off to try to get rid of old growth without losing length. I now am rocking the Shirley Temple look.)

For now, to rest... shopping two days before Thansgiving, ach du lieber! What was I thinking?!
I have a new crockpot to break in, which is great.. because I have a recipe to test, and my turkey breasts are at least a D cup. The little one wouldn't have been able to hack it.

And, since I took a solitary run down the detergent aisle, I should probably try to unstuff my nose (since I had a nose bleed the other day, this isn't easy) and get some rest.

And, since the fruit of a fig is shaped like a testicle, I do look at the story of Jesus cursing a fig tree quite differently now.
1 inch cut from layers---and the curls run amok. Amok! Amok!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Just Another Christmas Song



A special bit of fun, once a year, and it sure rescues me from the horrid anger I feel every time I hear "The Little Drummer Boy". I'll save the Sweet Valencia oranges for eating as opposed to swingin' 'em.

Forgiveness and Reconciliation

In their own way, through whatever motive they have had, those who have hurt me have taught me valid lessons. Listen to myself. Don't let misplaced feelings keep me from caring for myself, from letting myself heal.
It's a terrible time of year to do this, so pat, so trite--- and could be, so much tripe. (Not the cow's stomach meal I hear is delightfully disgusting, the other meaning, which, in the words of Shakespeare, is simply, sound and fury, signifying nothing.) But reconciliation must first come within, and towards, ourselves.

I thank, with no rancor in my heart, with no sarcasm, those who have caused pain. In doing so, you have helped me to heal, to grow, to evolve. To become stronger.
I thank those who have helped me when I was in pain. It means the world to me.

Let there be... yes, peace on earth, and let it begin with me. I must learn to put the darkness in its' context, to learn from it, and move on into the light.

I deal, in my own time, and with extreme gallows humor, with pain. I also remember that the first person I need to come to terms with, and to forgive, is me. I need to know that I cannot be a door mat, that I must say, straight out "Ok, you've gone too far". I must state when I need to go to a quiet state, to think, before I take further action.  I must do so, without first letting it eat at me until I explode. I must remember to not let myself get so busy that I neglect myself.

I also must remember: I cannot do it all. That there are things I am uncomfortable with and must say, honestly "I am sorry. I can't deal with that." because holding back anger, or pain, or disagreement so no one will be mad? That hurts too. And causes further issues in the future.

I have to learn to say "no", that's also true.

Money is not worth health and well-being.
To sacrifice yourself until you are so wound up you can't heal is dangerous, and is not good for you or those around you.

Love you, first... know yourself.
And don't give up faith--- or attempting to see the goodness in mankind, which, if you look for it, are sure to find.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Once More: What Is This World Coming To?

There are a few things that will get me steaming mad, ask no questions. One of them is treating the disabled of any variety as if they are less than human. And for God's sake, infantalizing them when they're actually rather high functioning.

I'm looking at you, Mrs. Cohen from eighth grade. You, who told me I must bow my head before my betters. You who injured me physically. I do not hold grief over your subsequent firing, I do however have a bit of sadness when I recall that one of your sons is disabled.)

A child is a child is a child. They are children, with needs for love, respect and discipline (in the original sense... teaching, not punishment) first, foremost, and above all. 


A mother took it upon herself to bug her disabled child. And was alarmed at what she must have suspected, being broadcast back to her.

It wasn't a child affected by disability acting up. It was her teachers, those who should have tried to teach her within the best of their ability, to protect her. I read it, I clicked for extra information. The Stir and News of the Weird's Chuck Shepherd are both posting links, and I admit, I have a certain morbid fascination with seeing how this pans out.

1)Mother plants listening device on child
2)Overhears such lovely and demeaning conversations regarding her "fat, lazy child"
3)Overhears mockery of child (By an aide and a teacher, not other students) including "There's no wonder you have no friends" and "I don't need your test to fail you. You failed."

And because I'm currently incapable of looking at this objectively, links!
A few months ago, I think I had a mild conniption when a teenager with disabilities was told that her rape was her fault because SHE had not protected herself from a bullying student...by SCHOOL OFFICIALS.
Screw the public school system... I'd homeschool and live in a freakin' commune if I have to.
Parents: Protect your children. Let that Mama Lion Syndrome run free! And if you cannot, ensure that those the state pays for your child's education and safety actually do their jobs. Don't worry about being a pain in the ass for a school.
The Stir's Take
From the AP

And now, I need a walk.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gratitude

I'm going to throw the gauntlet. In this world, so many things can go wrong, all at once. It's a shame that we really only remember both gratitude and "Good will towards all men" once a year, if that. But: first I will challenge myself, and then if you choose to accept it, I challenge you to come up with things YOU are grateful for.

1)When I think about it, I am still the healthiest I've ever been.
2)My family and my friends: I don't know what I'd do without you!
3)A somewhat mild, and beautiful November, weird weather and leaves that seemed to fall way too soon, be darned.
4)Johnson's Baby Vapor Bath... oh, God, it really is a miracle
5)Patience when I've been a huge mess, and help when needed and I remember to accept it.
6)The capability to remember all sorts of information as clearly as a photograph.
7)BOOKS! I love them! :)
8)My celiac diagnosis, without which, I'd still be eating things that were actually poisoning me, all for health.
9)Food... Pamela's Double Chocolate Chocolate Chunk cookie, especially. That's a lot of cocoa, and it's hard to believe that they're dairy free as well as gluten free
10)My own natural stubbornness, without which, I would not be alive today. After seeing a billboard saying, in large letters:  "Being stubborn kills", I had to smile grimly. Not always!
11)People who have been there, no matter what, no matter how stubborn or what a mess I was
12)the new attitude: Sometimes, you have to remember to rest, and if it's too much, walk away, take a breather.
13)YOU. Yeah, you. You know who you are!
14)Caffeine! For comfort, for warmth, for a kick when I need it
15)Those who cared enough to give me a gentle kick in the butt when I needed it.
16)For those I may not talk to anymore, but recall with fondness and not an ounce of rancor.
17)For those I kept.
18)For tough times, because sometimes, it is how we grow
19)For growth
20)For those I call my special blessings.
I am a blessed, and grateful little goofball.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Memories of Waffles Past

Everyone has food issues. Some texture, some allergies, some "other".
I have a lovely batch of them. Yet, I really do enjoy cooking, baking, etc.

I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in November, 2009.
Now, my mother is occasionally showing signs of discomfort with wheat. She suspects my father of having them, as he always got sick when he ate wheat.

I don't remember much of this with clarity, but I remember when I was at the Montessori School, and our teachers decided to give us homemade waffles. I don't remember the day--- I probably played with Peter, an autistic child, in the sandbox again, as I did it quite often. I also know we probably trooped down to go for a swim. But I remember waffles, and what must have been a typical day. Then I remember Mom and her 1983 Ford truck... which I recall fondly... and a trip, heavens knows where, after school. I was beginning to feel sick and panicky and must have made some gestures that I wasn't quite right. Suddenly, I was sitting, covered in the mess of the waffles I'd had hours before. Knowing Mom as I do, even on that day in 1986, I am certain she went beserk.

In 2011, we have more incidents than ever before. What has society been telling us about eating healthy? Much of what I'd been told, in efforts to get me healthy has been wrong. Now I have to get myself together, and I daresay, many medical professionals I've had the honor of knowing, should perhaps put themselves to better use with their hands up a cat's behind. I am healthier now. Now, I need to build my immunity and get my vitamin levels up. Hopefully, we won't need shots anymore.

As for me, I'm going to continue to fight for health.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I am Weirdly and Wonderfully Made...To the 25th Power

1)I have these slightly weird texture issues. It often interferes with my more helpful side. (Mind you, this is a question you don't hear often)--- being asked, "where is my hair?" recently, I knew immediately, I'd have a handful of soaking wet, cheap fake hair in my hand (and hate it)--but automatically, nose wrinkling to spectator's amusement, I reached to the left of me and--- yup. I had to wash my hands a time or two just to get the "icky" feeling away.

2)"Creepy" items, like plastic, bloody, rubber limbs are not all that impressive to me. When I was 5 I received and adored a paperweight of a dead tarantula under glass. I was an odd kid

3)When I was 11, we lived near these weirdos with more exotic pets than you can shake a stick at. They had a little habit of escaping here and there, and imagine my shock one day after school when I came eye to eye with a 6-foot long boa constrictor happily ensconced upon my book shelf. My father was less amused by my "Dad, there's a snake in my room" than I'd have been pleased with, my poor mother was thankfully, at work. When he investigated, he could only say "Well, I think he likes you". Um, thanks? Upon his return, the reassuring words: "Oh, that's where he went. He escaped 2 weeks ago."

4) I'm fond of humor mixed with my horror and tend to mix in a lot of Monty Python/ Young Frankenstein/Wednesday Addams (creepy little girl) shenanigans to toss people off balance. When, recently, I was trying to inveigle people to go one way, and they absolutely insisted on not listening when I said "Follow me, over here." I finally dropped to a crouch Igor would be proud of and said "Walk this way, walk this way. I know, I know, if you could walk that way you wouldn't need aftershave, but come now!" It was good for a laugh.

5)I'm fond of cooking, and when my appetite is good, not when I've been sick from trying to shake off bronchitis, I like to taste test. Then, when it's absolutely right, it's time to feed my friends.

6)Recently, I was introduced to the shock that can be had with a surreptitious toss of gun powder into fire and waiting for the flash. Done right, it happens at the moment everyone's lulled into complacency. Fun!

7)I am constantly on the move.

8)My music tastes cannot be pinned into a single category---liking the new Casting Crowns album, "The Well", very much right now. No, not a plug

9)I find that the more I play with odd make up looks, the more I prefer clean and natural. There's a lot to be said for a little pink cheek.

10) I don't like nasty people, although as a consequence of life, they are to be dealt with. As a result, I try to maintain a sense of humor, and breathe sighs of relief if they aren't coming my way.

11)I am not religious as much as I prefer faith. That said, in troubling times or if I'm scared, you'll see me crossing myself by habit.

12)Sometimes, I am really quiet and trying to get my bearings. Really, I'd find a way to say I'm sad.

13)I cover grays. True story.

14)I'm persnickety about conditioning my hair and like to deep condition regularly.

15)I can be a major smart ass if I'm irritated enough.

16)I don't like arguing. That said, I'm not likely to back down easily.

17)I'm prone to errors in English. Some mistakes still sound positively horrid in context. I always laugh later.

18)I drink a lot of tea. I go between three favorites, the orange peel and sweet spice "Constant Comment", the English Breakfast, and the Cinnamon Stick

19)I can be brutally honest, particularly when no one wants to hear it.

20)I believe in laughing at myself. I have to, I really can pull some odd shenanigans!

21)I LOVE chocolate. It's a special treat and tends to make me smile.

22) I like light, "gotta get close to smell" perfumes. Of late, I'm loving Philosophy Pure Grace---waterlily, bergamot a few more... very light, very shower clean.

23)I still write and send hand written letters, in cursive. And I love it! It is joked that I am the only person under 60 who still writes by hand.

It's a puzzle...:-P
24) I love reading, and will read almost anything. Still, I hate "horror books" that begin "It was a dark and stormy night"---I cannot allow it and will ask "How dark was it?"

25) I am happy to be a little oddball, and will happily smile and wave off those who think I'm too weird. Your loss. I am awesome.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Even Though It All Went Wrong...

And even though it all went wrong, I'll stand before the Lord of Song with nothing on my tongue but "hallelujah".


I am, what I am. When people say things, sometimes, I have had to learn NOT to ask for an explanation. The other night I confused "Necrophiliac" and "Kleptomaniac"... and it will not sound better in context. I am stubborn when it comes down to it, if I am hurt, I will show you a side of me I don't often show, although I will hold it in for a long time.

I don't know how to rest, even when I get chances to, I'm afraid the only thing that will keep me still and not trying to ensure everyone else is OK is to chain me to the bed.

I am someone who has screwed up time and time again. I will likely do so again, whether it be because I misunderstood, I did not make myself understandable, or just via human foible, I will have to learn a lesson and dust off and keep walking.

I hold tight to a few, and don't trust easily. Sometimes, I look sad when I'm really not. People sometimes think I'm angry, when really, I'm just quiet, content, and trying to absorb the atmosphere. If I feel my trust is violated, I do not handle it well at all.

I love the simple joys... I get excited by the night sky, love laying out and staring up, day-dreaming, really. I saw a shooting star and was so gosh-darned excited, I could have burst into tears from my happiness. It was beautiful, fast, bright green and ferociously hot at one point, with a beautiful, smoky tail. And yes, I made a wish. Of course!
Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, have the first wish I wish tonight


I am me. Silly. Goofy. Sarcastic. Maybe troubled. Who knows? I do know: I like me as I am.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bethy Gets Squirrely

For too long, I have taken the crap dished out by the world and just smiled my way through it. NO MORE! I'm mad as hell!
This world is MY BITCH and I will MAKE IT WORK FOR ME.

Look here, I'm nice, I'm sweet. I even have reasonably nice breath. I do my best to fight, to keep my head above water. And I have not gone through years of speech therapy, have not fought, studied, dealt with fists, nasty words, and those "We say this because we care" oodles of bat crap for nothing.

I have been called that dear sweet little doormat. Screw you!
If you want something from me, have the decency to ask ME directly. I may say no, but I will do so to your face. I expect that if you want me to something that goes against all I believe in, all I've fought for, then you say it to me. Not my mother. I will not behave. Not for you. The best way to get me to do anything: Show me what's in it for me. I know what's in it for you. My dignity and my self-respect mean more to me than keeping the peace or doing something that takes away from all I have fought for.
This may sound selfish. Well, screw it. Everyone gets their turn.

I have fought, struggled, and learned a few nasty lessons. And I have learned good lessons from nasty situations. I don't go back in the cesspool when I've gotten out. If I have lost respect for you, there is no more to give, and repeated bull crap will just make me squirrely.

This is MY WORLD. I will make it work for me. Step back. Here I come.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Girly-Girl's Plea To Men

if you're more girly than I, I pray for you, hombre! :)
Dear Gentlemen,
Hi, it's me. Let's talk.

I am all about taking care of yourself. If you're sick, please don't be stubborn...get off your ass and fix it. Last I knew, the Y- Chromosomed ones do adore solutions!
Keeping yourself reasonably fit? Go with your bad self. No, really. You don't have to be a big, buff, handsome guy. Having a personality truly helps. Please, have some brains, and not meat from the neck up.

Men are wonderfully sweaty, hairy, creatures. There's a certain smell I go for... the natural Man-Stink and a mixture of a clean soap and shampoo. You don't necessarily need cologne, and if you must use it, kindly don't bathe in it. This applies especially to Brut and Polo, which I remember with headachey clarity as a result of my brother and his best friend. Gack.
Embrace it. A good soap, some basic trimming, clean clothes, great!

One thing I adore about a lot of the guys I do allow around me: they tend not to behave like bitchy little girls. (If they did, I'd grace them with a look to make them feel as though they've been measured for a coffin.)
Caring about calories? Ok, good. But kind of shaky territory. One thing I notice: people on diets tend to get these superiority complexes. Don't be that asshat. I'll have no choice but to give you a stinging tell off. (And it will hurt me more than it does you.)

BE A MAN. OWN IT. Don't be a huge asshat, but for God's sake, if you act girlier than I do, honey, you've got issues.

Finally, the Y-Chromosomed Ones among us seem to be becoming vain. Stop that! Bad!
1)If you are doing excessive grooming (I don't think too kindly of a man who sculpts his eyebrows, for example. Points for allowing hot wax on your face though. But um... to me, the trimmed, waxed look is a chick thing, cowboy.)

2) Diet Soda. Oh, for God's sake, boys. Yes, it's manly to drink something that tastes like liquid tin and count calories.(End sarcasm?) Guys, this is a girly-girl, stuck in the 50's type telling you "Pull your head out of your ass. Are you freakin' kidding me?" and the ads for diet soda for men are nothing more than a boyish version of that godawful liquid tin in a bright pink can, Tab (Eat less and he'll love you! Fark off.)
Gents: If you insist upon drinking that 10-calorie liquid tin: OWN IT. Dressed up diet soda advertised for the fuzzy and sweaty among us is just that.
A diet soda is a diet soda is a diet soda. Aight?

So, gentlemen? I understand: you can be smelly, fuzzy, sweaty, a bit machismo, and perhaps hold a lot of pride in oozing with testosterone. Awesome! Enjoy!

*Everyone: IF you insist upon drinking liquid tin, then please do not use it to wash down large fries and a triple bacon cheeseburger. It's kind of defeating the purpose. We live in a beautiful world. Enjoy it. Screw the artificial. Taste it. Love it. Live with it. And don't deny yourself. If you're feeling tubby, go ahead. Please take care of you. But don't become a raging ass hat.
Love.
Bethy

Trust Me, It Hurts Me More Than It Does You...

I'm generally an easy-going, happy-go-lucky sort. There are of course, a few phrases that will cause heat to come to my face and me to see the world in a haze of vermillion. (And let's face it, I made a creepy guy go away by squeaking "You goshdarned something something!" I'm not sure if I scared him or if he needed to laugh. I'm betting on the latter. Even my closest friends get a giggle at my vocabulary.) In other words, I'm not an aggressive sort... if confrontation comes, I've been holding it in for the longest time and have snapped incredibly.

These phrases include:
"It's for your best interests"
"Trust me"
"Cooperate"
"Behave" (I suddenly become a lot less nice. I've behaved a little too long, now, offered a line of bullshit, my natural love 'em all and the world is beautiful attitude goes right out the window.)
"This will hurt me more than it does you"
"Relax, Miss, it shouldn't hurt a bit."
Among all my least favorites are "Best interests", "Cooperate" and for God's sake "I feel bad for you, you've had such a tough time"... No. No. No.

Here it goes. I'm nice. But I'm stubborn. I learned a long time ago...if you ask for help, that person owns you. They'll step on you. You have to take care of you. I am also a God-awful patient and feel terrible for anyone who has felt the need to nurse me to help. I am stubborn, and want to heal so fast, I forget "rest". I figure I either have to sink or swim or alone and be damn grateful, there's a lot of great friends, and a lot of love in my life.
Thanks! I know, I'm a gosh-darned pain in the ass.

Friday, October 7, 2011

State of the Beth

With weather changes and rain, comes more and more pain etc... having chronic pain, you learn to smile and shrug a bit... shit happens, you kind of have to roll with it.

So I've come down with bronchitis, as well as a lovely case of allergies, the usual fall stuff. I do consider it a blessing somewhat: Just trying to open a medicine bottle has me sleeping for hours on end!

So now I'm getting claritin to clear up my nose and make things a little easier, along with a new addition to my health plan: apparently B-12 shots can help with pain. So I'll be getting one every month. A five minute to a nurse, once a month, to roll my sleeves up. Awesome! I'll also be doing  50, 000 unit doses of Vitamin D over 8 weeks.


I am attempting to be my sunny, mischievous self, from the couch or bed- and if I feel like I'm hungry, I'm not second-guessing myself, anything should help me feel better. Which is why last night I took a break from soup for my favorite mashed potatoes. Maybe bad, maybe good...they sure made ME feel good! And yes, if I'm needed, I'm here. I'll do my best to avoid coughing in your ear.

I'm sleepy, but happy, and think this deserves far more than a damn Cadillac ad:
Here comes the sun again








Friday, September 23, 2011

Homemade Play Dough, Corrections Made

EDITED & REPOSTED!

The colorful childhood modelling substance, originally created by a pre-school teacher using a putty wall-paper cleaner, is a marvelous toy.
How many toddlers try a few putty-y and icky bites? Show of hands? I did. The things you learn as someone with Celiac Disease--Play-Doh contains gluten. (It's in a lot of things, kind of scary, really!)

Plus, making your own, and dying it whichever color you like is a lot more fun. So, pull out the ingredients, grab the bowls, and let's make a mess!

Non-Edible:
(I'll probably be doing this, the peanut butter one is fun, and I have 7 pounds of the crap to use up! But alas, a lot of peanut allergies.)

2 cups flour
• 2 Tbsp cream of tartar
• ½ cup salt
• 1 to 2 Tbsp cooking oil
• 1 cup water
• food coloring
Mix flour, cream of tartar, and salt in a pan. Mix desired coloring with water, add with oil to dry mixture. Cook over medium heat until thick. Mix in coloring later if preferred.
Kool-Aid and Crystal Lite iced tea also make awesome dyes.



For those who can have peanut butter, an edible Play-Doh. Who doesn't like to play with their food? I used to bury small plastic Army men in my mashed potatoes. I was a weird kid. Anyway...
Peanut Butter Play-Do With Milk (Edible)
 1 jar (18 oz. ) peanut butter
• 6 tsp honey

2/3-1 cup of flour (thanks for the correction!)
• non-fat dry milk or milk plus flour to make desired consistency
Mix all together. Can decorate with raisins,chocolate chips, coconut, etc.


Peanut Butter Play-Doh minus milk (Edible)
• ½ cup peanut butter
• 2 Tbsp honey
• ½ cup flour
Mix all together.



ENJOY! :) 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Book Burning...the Amazing Quixotic Quest, II

Early in Don Quixote, our hero's niece and other alarmed members of society set about to burn books that they believe caused his "insanity". Whether Don Quixote is actually the insane one is a question I don't set about answering just yet.

Book burning is something I never can agree with. After all, is it music and books that lead our ideas and our actions, or are these simply forms of speech? (And free speech is protected.) It is the personal choice to act in some manner, and the responsibility falls upon the doer, not upon pieces of paper and musical arrangements.
You can't kill an idea... The burning of the books of knights of old, of chivalry, of adventure, of holy nonsense, will not change Don Quixote's character or or his heartfelt, inherent beliefs.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Amazing Quixotic Quest, Part I

I am currently wading through Miguel Cervantes' Don Quixote again, with these particular questions in mind, and scratched onto a legal pad at varying moments:
Not only am I using the book (Which I first read at 13) but bits and pieces of the musical, the Man of LaMancha:


1)A sane man in a world gone insane, or, simply a dreamy, but damaged man searching for the "Impossible Dream" in a world of modernity, where the knights of old had rightfully, according to nature, gone to their graves?
2)Is this a sweet, but odd quest, even if insane, that perhaps we would do well to emulate?
3)Should we, even if it is insane, go in search of our utopia, or should we work to make the present better? Live for today, or make the future happen come hell or high water? What if we fail?
4)This brings me back to: A sane man in an insane world, that lacks honor and chivalry, born in the wrong time? Or a sweet old man simply falling into his dotage?
5)Which is insane: The world, or our hero, Don Quixote?
5A: To Dulcinea: "Be just to all men, and courteous to all women."-- great advice, why not do both irrespective of gender?
6)Is good demanded of us, as humans? Do we deliver?
7)Quixotic love is agape--- strong, powerful, romantic and beautiful, and free from sexual bindings.
8)"Hear me now, oh thou bleak and unbearable world, thou art based and debauched as can be"--- this happens to all of us. How do we make the world right for us? Can we?
9) The biggest question, and one I want to answer for myself is: What does it mean to be out of place in time? And do we just simply try to meld into society, or do we make society work for us?

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Black Stork

Sometimes, in an effort to learn, I play a sort of ping pong, going between articles on various sites, looking in Google Books, and heading into archives held by SUNY, among others. Of late, I keep finding myself interested in eugenics- the same way I'm interested in learning about serial killers--- how do people tick when their minds are blackened by ignorance, ill intent, or a love only for themselves?

First I got my hands on Eugenics and Sex Harmony-Must Read of 1938! and found myself digging more, particularly after a question asked by my brother: "Now reading that, tell me, do eugenics experiments STILL go on?"
Then, amusing myself for a bit with vintage ads---both funny, sweet, and absolutely horrifying (radium enemas, anyone?) I came across for an ad for the 1917 movie, The Black Stork, starring Dr. Harry Haiselden as himself.
Here's the interesting bit. Haiseldon was in hot water for allowing disabled newborns to die, judging them unfit to live, and criticized doctors who wanted to help them. This isn't the end.

I quote:  "In the film, Haiselden actually plays himself, a wise doctor who attends the birth of a child born with congenital syphilis -- incurable at the time and a major cause of congenital disabilities. Two other doctors interfere, out of personal pride and misplaced benevolence, and try to convince the woman to save the child's life. The woman is forced to choose.
"She dreams a tormented dream of her child's probable future: He grows up physically, mentally, and morally deformed. He becomes a criminal, and fathers a brood of disabled children. He isn't allowed to enlist in the Army ("Uncle Sam won't take anybody who's not perfect"). Aware that he is entirely different from others, despised and angry, he returns to kill the doctors who performed the operation that saved his life."After this vision the woman decides to accept the doctor's advice and lets the infant die."End quote.

News articles of the time are not nearly as infatuated with him as the films' distributors, or one of the  supporters, the one and only Clarence Darrow (They mentioned Helen Keller as support---yes, THE Helen Keller, but did not supply a quote.) 

A rather alarming quote smacks of something my former mother in law liked to say:
(NOT from Darrow.)
 "It is the will of God that this baby be born a defective, and without the meddling of surgery, it is the will of God that the child die. "

Idiot. Imbecile. Defective. Parasite.
I'll repeat that... PARASITE.
"Put them down like you would any sick animal"- wait, sorry, that is said somewhat, but that's a direct quote I've gotten. I can't let myself put too much hectic color into this.

Here is a list of stills, all terrifying, from the Black Stork, and I am amazed people could watch this without vomiting.
The Black Stork, Movie Stills

Ad for the 1917 "eugenic photoplay", the Black Stork
Just know: Many so-called "parasites" actually try to make the world a better place. And look around you-- you may actually know someone who fights daily. 

The last scene of The Black Stork, seeing the baby letting go and  its' soul jumping into Jesus's arms: a nice touch. Almost comforting. Except: in the still, it looks more malevolent. All life is precious, and we all have something. Jesus said "Suffer the little children"- don't hold them back- not "If there's something wrong, kill it." 


Edit: 7:28PM 9/9/2011:
Numerous opposing comments were edited and used out of context by Black Stork supporters. Helen Keller was not a supporter, her quote would have not gone unused. Rather a dissenter mentioned Ms. Keller and songwriter, Fanny Crosby--- "If we allow this, we would have lost people like Helen Keller and gospel songwriter, Fanny Crosby". Like all propaganda, comments that disagreed could easily be edited to show support.