Monday, February 6, 2017

I guess I am just amazed

 at the vast number of people... people I know and love, even... who believe our constitution to be more scripturally sound than the Scriptures themselves!!! I mean people! Read your damn Bibles! Read what Jesus Himself said about social responsibility, personal relationships, justice, homosexuality, religion, politics... our gospels speak volumes that are simply ignored by the "right," or "conservative" or "Republican" sects in favor of our constitutional "rights." What could possibly be more concrete a place to seat our beliefs than in the words of our Lord? The words of our "forefathers."

Yeah, if you consider yourself a Christian, our forefathers are Abraham, Isaac, Moses, David, and Solomon. And princely, in Christ Himself. Go and saturate yourself in their inspired words, and then re-evaluate your positions on those same issues today.

Because our American way of life began, not at the cross, but in the 17th century. It wasn't prophesied through the ages from the beginning of time. Therefore we must assume that, as with many ways of life, it is yet another that will not stand forever. It's not the way of life that God in His wisdom sought for His people. So, as Christians first, as believers in the One True God, what way of life should we be investing all our energy in? The answers to that are not found in decisions by the Supreme Court. They are found in the Bible. Perspective is everything.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Coming out: The pee pee edition

Yup. I'm 48 and gave birth to 3 children via natural childbirth. Since right after the third one, I began to have trouble with incontinence.... just a teeny bit, but a teeny bit of pee is still pee. So if I cough, sneeze, laugh, jump (like, down out of my truck), or run (truthfully haven't done this in years because the pee pee ramifications are enough to make me need a change of clothes. I might run from zombies one day, but the rest of the time I prefer to stand--and fight if necessary--rather than embarrass myself) I feel it happen and it floods me with shame, the discomfort of having extra moisture **down there** (even if I wear a liner or pad, there's moisture and that breeds, at the very least, discontent), and changes my experience of whatever's going on to coloring everything with the overtone of How quickly can I get to a bathroom? Or better yet....back home?. 

Enter Icon. They make panties for exactly this issue, and also others to deal with menstruation flow. I have not bought any....we went a little overboard for Christmas and I need to be the un-shopper for a little while. But they're probably the very next thing I will buy for my wardrobe.

So today the newsletter they sent out (yes! a newsletter about underwear.... or all things related) was a very comprehensive (as in, understandable not all-encompassing) intro about hormones and the roles they play in our bodies. I'm inserting the link here so that you (my imaginary readers) can benefit from the education these ladies are gaining for themselves and passing around freely.

Icon Undies Blog

Even though I have not bought my first pair of their panties yet, I want to spread the word about this interesting group of young women and their worthy mission and innovative products.

Peace! (not pees)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Oh no!

Week before last we were having new windows installed in our house. Meaning big gaping holes that looked very much like escape hatches to Holly, my little Houdini Chihuahua. So she and Dixie were locked behind the baby gate in different areas where work wasn't being done. And Holly started to whine, and shake the gate with one of her paws and cock her head as if politely asking for release.

So we put their leashes on them and took them outside to "do their business." It was just an instant....she slipped out of her leash and took off running down the sidewalk, saw a person on the sidewalk and darted out into the street to avoid them, and was hit by a car. And I watched it all in amazement. And horror.

And that was it. One moment I had this cute little dog, and the next moment she was gone. She ran off like that all the time, any time she got a chance. But she always came back. I never chased her because she'd just run farther and faster. Usually I'd just go inside and leave the door cracked open, and when she got tired of being a little PITA she'd come back and nudge the door open and it would close behind her of its own weight. Sometimes I wouldn't even hear it but she'd be standing right in front of me with her ears sticking straight up. Like, "I'm back!" But that's never going to happen again. She's never coming back.

During all this time there's so much going on. Two precious little girls to watch, a new baby boy to hold and sing to, the whole of Facebook in a continued uproar over politics, traffic at its holiday mad peak, stores packed to the brim with holly and jolly and people gearing up for tomorrow, the day of gratitude to be followed by a month of festivity and good will to men....and greed. Everything is moving at this super-fast pace filled with the entire spectrum of emotion. And I see it like I'm outside it all.

Because my little dog died. And she's never coming back.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Coming Out: My Views on Immigration

I come from Texas. I mean WAY BACK. Several branches of my family came here from Tennessee in 1831 when the Mexican government offered land grants to Americans who would come settle the Texas landscape to avoid its being taken by other countries. Eventually a new government came into power and changed the deal, and Texas famously revolted and became a republic, later to be annexed into the United States.

Before that, my ancestors came from England, Ireland, and Scotland to build and later defend the colonies that became the United States. Other ancestors came over from France and Germany in the 1840's; one of those a woman fleeing with her children from what appears to have been an abusive marriage. I meet criteria for joining the CDXVII, DAR, DRT, and both the UDC and DUV. When I say I am the product of immigrants, I mean it and can damn well prove it.

I grew up in Texas, where it never really hit me how differently Mexicans were treated until only recently. It was just "the way things were," as I recall, and surprised me none when my grandfather hired "wetbacks" to do the heavy lifting on building projects, or that the ladies who cleaned house for my grandmother and cooked such amazing meals were Mexican. That was just the order of things. Now, to be fair to myself, this wasn't something I carried into school, and we were all friends regardless of color (and still are). But I realize in hindsight that THEY felt the difference. It was, after all, THEIR families that families like mine took advantage of and looked down on. And it was "just the way things were." I had truly no idea how just 20 years before, Mexicans had been put through such a ringer in their own battle for civil rights.

Anyhoo. So my kids are, in part, Mexican (even though their dad's side of the family denies this vehemently because of their own experience with racism in our mutual hometown). And my stepdaughters are in part Mexican, which thankfully is embraced so they get to experience ALL sides of their heritage. The grandchildren from both natural and stepkids are, at least in part, Mexican. And I'm pretty sure everyone is legal to several generations back. But let's say they weren't. Would I vote for some jackass wack job who would send back ANY member of my childrens' families? To a place where they were not as safe as they are here? If the answer of that is NO, I must apply that same answer to those outside my family....even to those outside my awareness. If someone fled here from a dangerous place, should we send them back? My family fled here from danger in an over-100-year span. Thank God no one can pinpoint me and say, "Guess what? You're going back to Germany. See ya."

Friday, October 21, 2016

Now I Can't Stop

speaking my mind. I can't stop telling men who speak to me in a condescending manner to shut the fuck up. I do not need a salesman or a contractor to dumb anything down for me, or keep telling me I just don't understand how the world of ____ works, and I should just sign here and trust them to take care of everything. 

No. Use the big words, don't ask leading questions, answer my actual questions, or SHUT THE FUCK UP AND GET OUT OF MY HOUSE. 

What is it? My age? The onset of menopause? Stress? The political ugliness? 

Maybe all of the above. I just have no patience for schpeels (sp?) and bullshit and bad business. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Coming Out: It Happened to ME

So yeah. I was listening to this tape that was released on Friday and it occurred to me that twice, when I was singing with a couple of different bands in my younger years, I was grabbed like that and forcibly kissed, even told that I might get more songs added to the sets if I could make sure the lead singer's inexperienced nephew got a little experience. Over hours of listening to the Trump tape over and over, it dawned on me that I had had this happen to me. repeatedly, and that I'd dismissed it as "just what guys do." Shamed myself for putting myself in that place. Dressed a certain way. Whatever.

Since that, dozens of memories have flooded my mind. And in all cases, I didn't mention it, and I still dealt with that man on a regular basis. I might have been uncomfortable and managed not to be alone with him, but I wasn't really afraid except about losing whatever position I had. He, and I, were both from the culture that "that's what guys do." Note: These were all married men. I was between 16 and 25. 

Jump forward 18 years. I have a daughter who is visited in our home by a boy she'd known from school. When he left she walked him out onto the porch and he grabbed her bottom. I was angry but didn't confront him, and didn't encourage her to. The next time he visited my husband hovered over him until he left. But STILL.... it's "what guys do." I thought it, and I let her think it. And for sure that boy had thought so.

Well FUCK THAT. If it's what guys think guys do, and it's what girls think guys do, it's time for somebody to say NO. YOU MAY NOT. I pick us girls. And the only way to do it is to say out loud A GUY THOUGHT HE COULD HAVE HIS WAY WITH ME BECAUSE HE HAD SOMETHING I WANTED, AND IT IS NOT OKAY.

Because I don't want my daughters or granddaughters to think it's just a "part of being a girl" to be.... well, man-handled. If some guy puts a move like that on my granddaughter I want her to punch him in the face, not feel unsure if she caused it, or brought it on herself, or maybe it was okay and nobody would care if she tells. In fact, I might make a dummy and TEACH her to punch him in the face. I'm that kinda Nana.

So, Mr. Trump et al., 

They are NOT just words. They were words narrating what YOU DO AND HAVE DONE, and it's NOT OKAY. 


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Coming Out: Overexposed

Yesterday I "came out" on Facebook and said that I have decided to vote for Hillary Clinton. My reasons are there and anyone can look at it who is that interested. I got a lot of positive and negative feedback, and only a couple of actual flames. It was, in my mind, a successful post because almost everyone behaved civilly, uncommon for (a) a huge chunk the people I know, and (b) Facebook in general. But today I feel like I do when I get drunk and wonder how much of a fool I made of myself to everyone. This is one of my real problems: Social anxiety. It has plagued me since I was a very, very young girl. Like, morning-after regrets after SLUMBER PARTIES or church camp or even just recess.... I beat myself up, rehash every moment that could construe me in a bad light and just make all the lights point at me in just that way. I see the pattern of it now when I look back, but also in the present time. I have not been able to escape it, so I live with it.

I stay out of the spotlight mostly, but I also do seek out safe ways to step outside my safe little world and be myself with other people, even though I know I might feel loads of shame afterward. I joined the Order of the Eastern Star and put myself in the group that's responsible for meal preparation and serving. Yesterday I agreed to teach classes at Joann's on my mom's side of town. I went to the first night of my class reunion, if not the bigger get-together the following day. I still felt the pangs after just the first night and was glad I chose not to commit to the next night. I can push my boundaries and respect my own limitations at the same time.

That's what all these "coming out" posts are about. They're about being real, dropping the mask of having it all together. They're about participating in the world even though I feel SO .... overexposed, potentially judged. And saying to myself that that's okay and proving to myself that I can live with it. Things big and little....the things that make me ME. I read something the other day about how we develop habits to keep other people far enough from us that we are not vulnerable. And it's true! I have a quick response to most things that would offer me connection to another person. So I am examining myself in one specific area to identify and sort of reprogram myself to listen longer, not planning a response in my head when the other other person is talking, giving their words time to soak in, and really considering the occasion or event that's being suggested so that I may connect even if it makes me vulnerable yet again. That way I can have some real-ness in more of my relationships, and even come into contact with opportunities that I wouldn't if I just shut the other person down with some cool but dismissive response. Oh, hell, real life is such hard work!!!!!

The reason I do these things is to continue to be an example. Primarily to my kids, and my grandkids. I look at them and hope that they see me flawed yet pressing on determinedly, and are encouraged that they can do the same. I've presented myself as being a badass pretty much my whole life, while inside feeling very much like a wounded bird. I've done SO many more things I'm proud of than not, though I feel SO much more shame than confidence. To quote my son, I am "deeply conflicted."

All of this to say, I feel bad today because I was courageous yesterday. It's just part of the cycle. Like that prophet that slew all the prophets of Baal and then the next day went and sat under a tree and begged God to just let him die. It's the human condition and I am SOOOOO frailly human. It's okay to feel like shit as long as I know that I am NOT shit. And it's okay if you do, too.