Amateur Night

I am proudly the DD tonight and I'm certainly NOT referring to my gals.

Off to a fancy schmancy dinner at Flemings, then on to my bff's casa where we have high hopes that we'll stay up until at least 12:15.

I know, I know, it's gonna get CRAZY up in here.

Of all the nights to go out on the town however, this night is our least favored for sure. All the newbies, first-timers and buzzed texters will be out tonight and we'd just as soon say "Happy New Year" at home in front of the TV.

Wait. What? I HAVE become my mother. I'm making good sense. I'm thinking like the responsible adult I never necessarily wanted to be.

I'm a professional.

Mid-life crisis

You don't hear that expression as much these days. It used to refer to a man hitting his 40's and then doing something silly to prove to himself that he was still young, like buying a sports car or getting a young girlfriend. And it wasn't every man who succumbed to this condition, only the particularly foolish ones.

Even if "mid-life crisis" never quite made it into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, it was still considered an identifiable, distinct malady, not too dissimilar in nature to a "nervous breakdown" (whatever that meant).

This dread disease would almost always have its onset in a man's 40's (there was none of that foolish talk about how "50 is the new 35" back then). And it was assumed that the man would recover as soon as his sanity was restored, sort of like a patient being woken from hypnosis.

These days, you hear the phrase "mid life crisis" much less frequently, as people seem to have caught onto its real definition: being a guy -- of any age.

Most guys act in ways which would formerly have invoked the diagnosis "mid-life crisis" as soon as they can -- perhaps in their twenties. And even at the other end, age is less an impediment than it used to be. You might say that Viagra has encouraged "old age crises."

Exhibit A: Hugh Hefner.

Exhibit B: Silvio Berlusconi.

Do these guys look silly? Of course. Nonetheless, they look less so than their counterparts on the shuffleboard court at the retirement home.

The real crisis --no matter what your age is -- is not being able to act like Hefner and Berlusconi.

Our knowledge of psychology is dynamic and ever-changing. And we are far wiser than we were thirty years ago. We now know that to say that a male is having a mid-life crisis is somewhat redundant.

To do with paganism, cleansing, and a thought

I'm having a cleansing day.
Everything must be cleansed, why?
Because I think something got dragged into the apartment sometime over the course of the last 2 weeks celebrations. Thinks are going wrong that shouldn't be and there's a not so right feeling floating around.
So out comes the herbs, the incense, the mop and bucket.

I try to keep up on my cleaning and cleansing as I welcome many people into this tiny apartment and rarely turn away those wanting to have a chat or tea, this however can drag into many unwanted things. I've have people come in that sparked a cleaning frenzy immediately because something, some emotion, some hang on, something was dragged in and left behind while others still just leave behind energy that may just not get along nicely with what's already here.
It happens and I deal with it although it's a bit early for a full apartment cleansing (I usually go top to bottom in February or March ). I have already started with my entrance way and kitchen, both of which are very important to my family and tradition.
People come and go through the entrance and usually gather in the kitchen... well around food in general. So those two places are the most likely to need cleaning. I have the entrance done and things are lightening up already, half of the kitchen has begun but not with much change yet.

I've also been reading up on some blogs, I don't really follow most because I forget, that and I read in spurts. Read a few now, make a tidal wave of comments then disappear for a few weeks. But I am getting more and more frequent with reading them, and because of this increasing frequency I have found many more that I like and that make me think.
I wont post them up yet as I want to ask if they are ok with it first but one blogger posted a few months ago about cults and the new age. This was weird because only a few nights ago I was discussing the topic with a few friends of various beliefs and faiths and most of the points we came up with matched this post more or less. I decided to do a little more digging and found that many people have similar thoughts on the subject but different views on what a cult actually is.
The collins dictionary says this



"cult  (kĘŚlt) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]
— n
1.a specific system of religious worship, esp with reference to itsrites and deity
2.a sect devoted to such a system
3.a quasi-religious organization using devious psychological techniques 
to gain and control adherents
4.sociol  a group having an exclusive ideology and ritual 
practices centred on sacred symbols, esp one characterized by lack of 
organizational structure
5.intense interest in and devotion to a person, idea, or activity:the cult of yoga
6.the person, idea, etc, arousing such devotion
7.a. something regarded as fashionable or significant by aparticular group
b. ( as modifier ): a cult show
8.modifier of, relating to, or characteristic of a cult or cults:a cult figure
[C17: from Latin cultus  cultivation, refinement, from colere  totill]"
cult. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved December 30, 2011, from Dictionary.com website:http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cult

And honestly I looked at more than one dictionary but all the recent ones say the same thing. 
The definition of the word cult seems to mean many things but I can't help but think the way it's used and the definition really is dependent on the person using it.
I have heard it used in so many different ways and it used to labels many different circumstances (though mostly bad) and it makes me want to ask a question, what really is a cult?
What is the different between many of the large extreme religions around the world and the small groups that get all the media attention.
I had a friend say something along the lines of this  "The only difference between what the media calls a cult and the large organised extreme religions is that one has more followers..." .
He further went on to discuss things like scare tactics and the like.
The average person might think this idea is crazy or may stop to think a bit, those who are in a cult may very well agree with this statement, while those of organised religious groups (from my experience only) might very well start a very long and very angry rant.

Now I know it's probably too early to have followers and maybe even too early to have many (if any) readers but I still want to ask this.
What do you think? Please keep it civil and calm as I know this topic can easily start a blaze.
I would like people to think long and hard before posting, maybe even sleep on their post, but i still want to read any comments that may or may not be left here.

Anyways Back to my cleansing.



Maturity

Was chatting with a couple guys yesterday about how we still participate in sports at an age when our fathers were more sedentary, when one of them said, "Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional."

It's a great line; when I Googled it later, it was attributed to both Chili Davis and Bob Monkhouse. I also stumbled across a Wikiquotes site which featured observations on aging. A few of the more clever ones:

"On being old -- it's not nice but take comfort that you won't stay that way for ever." -- J.P. Donleavy

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."  -- Joseph Lee

"Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what happened." -- Jennifer Yane

"Wisdom doesn't necessarily come with age. Sometimes age just shows up all by itself." -- Tom Wilson

"It's never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot

"First you forget names; then you forget faces; then you forget to zip up your fly; and then you forget to unzip your fly." -- Branch Rickey

OOTD: 12/29

Jacket: Jcrew Velvet Ecole jacket ('08)
Sweater: Sfera
Scarf: Segovia, Spain
Jeans: Jcrew Trouser jeans
Shoes: LEI cowboy boots

We took another day trip to Segovia yesterday. A little bit colder weather but the sun was shining bright. We had a picnic below the castle (the castle where Columbus was sent out to explore America) and toured the aquaduct. Love Segovia!

And we mean it...


lots of love,
Jenny, Michael, Gracie, Claire and Evelyn

Paranormal me...

So a month or so ago I shared one of my recent Paranormal experiences on my Facebook page and was rather shocked by the amount of responses I got. Until now I haven't really gotten in to sharing my own experiences, mostly because beyond telling you the stories, I have no proof and when it comes down to the Paranormal, people tend to want proof. But after seeing how sharing that simple story inspired so many others to open up, I've decided to share some more of my experiences from over the years. You don't have to believe them, and it's fine if you don't. However, I do hope that my experiences reach the ears - or rather eyes - of someone who may need to hear that they aren't alone in their own experiences.

While I'm going to work on posting my stories over the next few months I would like to share with you some back ground here. I have had more experiences than I think most people have, or at least more than anyone I've ever spoke with. I have always, since I was a child, had the ability to hear and see spirits, entities, beings and the like. As a small child I was told these were demons and evil and that I should have feared them or I was medicated and told I was simply seeing things. Needless to say I quickly learned to stop sharing my gift and keep what I was seeing and hearing to myself. Unfortunately, as many of you know, psychic sensitivity tends to be a use it or loose it skill. And although I do my best to cultivate my gifts now, through my early years I did not, and my gifts have greatly dissipated over the years. I can often still see them, and from time to time I can still hear them, mostly at this point, I can simply sense them. As I focus and exercise my gift I am certain some of that will change and I will get stronger, but for now, this is where my path has led and I am proud to be here.

It's also important for you to know that where I live, you'd be hard pressed to find a building or space without at least a minimal amount of spiritual activity. A small town was first officially settled here in 1769, however, people lived here long prior to that. Native settlements on this land have been dated back as far as 1050. And being along not just a river, but one of the few northern flowing rivers, and at the bottom of a long valley, energy and spirits have a tendency to stay put. Add to all of that the very wayward history of the area, which includes battles during the American Revolution, Underground Railroad stops and activity (much of which is still evident), countless coal mines - and the accidents which come with them, and so much more... Even those who don't have "gifts" can usually share at least a few stories of activity after living here for a while...

So when you start to see story after story, please don't chalk it up to imagination simply because of the numbers, instead understand that this is because of a combination of my "gift" and the sheer volume of local activity...

It's OK to SHINE

My Sweet Darling..... Shining






There are some people who really impress me.

And they are from all different walks of life, 
different Races, creeds and colors...

They are as varied as the colors of the Rainbow.

But what they have in common...
what it is that impresses me.

Is their Light...

Their Link to Spirit...

Do you see the shine in their eyes...

That is a silent singing heart..

My wife is one of these people.

She impresses me every day

Her Intentions beautiful


Her heart so big



Hearts made silent through a thousand years of persecution.
For the Love that was Pure.
And OH so Magical....

The people who most impress me
are the peoples whose Spirits 

Shine.



My Wonderful Uncle Lee and Aunt Isla... Shining



Taryn's Mom Julie w/ her dog...shining



Soooo Grateful to know such souls. 

Because their Spirit tells me,

"It's OK,

You don't have to hide your love anymore...."

"It's OK to Shine...."


What better a Blessing?


"It's OK to Shine"


We're Back!!

Hi friends!

We're back in New York and wading through a round of the flu. I guess it's to be expected after all that airplane time and the stress of the holidays. Despite the fevers and chills, I'm happy to be home and sort of working again.


Isn't this week SO EXCITING!? I loooooove the New Year. It feels so fresh and so full of possibilities. A wonderful excuse to celebrate accomplishments and an opportunity to plan for the future!

We're just hanging out with some friends for NYE, but I'm still hoping to do some little party decorations. My assistant Colleen and I rounded up some of our favorite New Years decor ideas here.


Also, here's a little tip - the next two weeks are AWESOME for thrifting. People are cleaning out their homes to make room for the new Christmas acquisitions and there are treasures all over the place. Even though I didn't have a pound to spare in our jam-packed suitcases, I did some thrifting in Mesa before we left town and HERE'S what I found.

Confessions of a beta male XIII: Fighting

There used to be an expression that men would use upon being insulted: "Them's fighting words." Speaking as a beta male, there have been very few such words in my lexicon. As a matter of fact, I can't think of any.

Push an alpha and he'll push back. Push me and I'll fall back. 

Alphas start a fight if you look at their girlfriend the wrong way. When I was young, I would just hope you wouldn't take her away.

Alphas are ready to fight if you insult their masculinity. My masculinity is, well, much more even-keeled.

To an alpha, the pleasure of delivering a punch to your face is worth the pain of receiving one to his. To me, a ten to one ratio wouldn't make it worthwhile.

You'll occasionally hear someone say of an alpha, "He's the kind of guy you want on your side in a bar fight." Ever since I first heard that fights occasionally break out in bars, I've avoided them. 

If an alpha takes martial arts lessons, and begins to feel proficient, he looks for an opportunity to use his new skills. To me, "self defense" means exactly that. In the twenty years since I got my black belt in karate, the only thing I've kicked are doors which are stuck. (And yes, the UFC did prove how useless karate by itself is; I might as well have gotten my black belt from the Arthur Murray School of Dance.)

I just don't seem to get that angry. I just can't think of anything other than going after my children that would rouse me to action. You can feel free to say what you want about me, my school, my hobbies, my hometown, or my country, completely secure in the knowledge that there will be absolutely no physical repercussions.

It's too easy for me to imagine what it would be like to have to put in false teeth every day for the rest of my life. Or lose an eye. Or even get a bloody nose. And I value my brain, so don't want it jarred.

Yeah -- that's why I'm a coward: I'm just way too intelligent!

In fact, I'll use any of the lame excuses that betas use to avoid a fight: Why would I want to fight him? That guy is crazy.... He's not worth arguing with. A guy like that isn't going to listen to reason....I'm the better man for having walked away.

I'm not too proud to resurrect that old standby from first grade: sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.

A beta's life is nothing more than a series of justifications.

"The Flinch"

Thought he would be home by noon.  Nope.  I had to squrim for another hour.  When he walked in the door, I was sitting at the kitchen bar with a print out of all the phone call records next to me.  I'd highlighted them.  (I had time to kill)  I'd marked days when he was obviously with her.  It was easy to tell because those were the only times when there were no calls.  I can't remember how the conversation started.  I can't really remember much about it at all.  I think I said, "Tell me everything and DO NOT lie to me."

He started telling me how he had been spending time with this girl.  I still didn't realize that it was Jaymie and that I'd met her more than once.  Told me she was only 24 and that he had told her he was only 54.   Thinking back, I heard very little of what he said.  It's what he didn't say that was alarmingly loud.  He never said, "I won't see her again."

I told him to get out.  He was shocked by that.  Can you imagine?  Not sure what he thought was gonna happen. Maybe he thought because he came home and told me the truth (or his version of it at that point) that I'd just find a way to get past it, right there and then.  I explained to him that it was what he didn't say that bought him a ticket out the door.  I really didn't want him to leave.  I kept thinking about my kids.  So, for my kids, I gave him a chance to stay.  "Call her right now, in front of me.  Tell her you can never see or speak to her again.  Then, you can stay and we'll try to figure this out."  Without even a minute to consider his answer, he told me that he couldn't do that.  He needed time to work this out his own way.  That pivotal moment in my life has become known as "the Flinch".

This is when I think I experienced the second layer of shock.  What in the hell?  How could he NOT call her?  What does that mean?  Just thinking about it now makes me swallow hard.  I challenged him.  Why can't you do it?  What is the issue?  Tell me, damn it!  Over and over.  Finally, he looked right into my eyes and admitted, "I have deep feelings for this girl."

And it just keeps getting better!  You could have knocked me over with a feather.  This man loves me, at least he has always claimed to love me.  We had a great marriage.  We were the couple everyone else wanted to be.  Does that sound like self-deception?  We sure lived the illusion, enough that I thoroughly believed in our indefectible union.  It's a huge part of the puzzle.  That fact makes the curves on the coaster bank much harder.  How can he be in love with me but want to be with her?  It took many hours of therapy to make any sense of that particular piece of my new reality.

It was time to face telling the kids.  He had to go.  I couldn't stand to look at him.  Never have I felt so many emotions at once.  Agony, despair, rage, confusion and utter disbelief all pulsed though me like acid, burning and melting my heart.
God, help me.  What would we tell our children?

Phone's busted, free anti virus for a year

I had a windows Optimus 7 that I upgraded to mango a while back. Anyways there was a glitch in the firmware that prevented my touchscreen from working. I looked it up and it affects about 10% of Optimus 7's.
I had to send it away to be repaired because Telus couldn't exchange it but I figure the 10% failure rate with these phones isn't too bad. I mean it could be worse.

Apple had an entire line of i-phones a few years back that had to be recalled because they continuously dropped calls because the antenna was placed where the average person would hold it and block the signal and BlackBerry has gone down system wide a few times in the last few years.

But I still have a few peeves about having to send away my phone.
-it'll take 3-6 weeks to get it back (no pretty phone for a month )
-my loaner phone is a blackberry that I have no clue how to use (haven't used one in a while)
-all my stuff will be wiped by Telus
-and the deposit for my loaner phone cost almost as much as the phone itself $299.00

I know I sound like I'm whining but I just want my phone back and working
This worked better before the update to mango than any phone I had previously, and had lots of apps to boot!

On the brighter side of life though I have just been informed that scotiabank customers get a free year of McAfee antivirus and if you opt for a two year the first year is free while the second close to half the price. you can cover 1 or 3 computers as well. So you know what I'm downloading tonight.


OOTD: 12/28

Coat: Jcrew Wool-Cashmere Trench
Sweater: Jcrew Marled Cardigan
Pants: Jcrew Pixie pant
Boots: Jcrew Dixon Suede boots
Scarf: Walmart

Felt better today - not at 100%, but getting there. Took a walk to get some fresh air with the hubs and pup. Went downtown to snap a photo with the famous Don Quixote and Pancho Villa statutes in our town. Windmills anyone?

Rest in Peace


It's sometimes surprising to find out that movie stars you might have assumed were dead are in fact still alive. For instance, did you know that Ernest Borgnine, who played the cruel sergeant in From Here to Eternity, was still alive at age 94? Or Joan Fontaine, 94, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in Rebecca in 1940? Or Celeste  Holm, nominated for an Oscar for All About Eve in 1950? Or Eli Wallach, 96, the ugly one in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly?

I had no idea that Cheetah, who achieved fame in the Tarzan films of the 1930's, was still alive, until this morning, when I read the following AP article stating that he had just died at the age of 80: 

http://news.yahoo.com/chimp-1930s-us-tarzan-films-dead-80-093119035.html

Cheetah never got any more acting jobs after Tarzan. He was essentially a child star who, once he lost his youthful cuteness, never got any more roles.  

One has to wonder if Cheetah was aware of his fame. If he was, was he resentful that he was typecast? He never even got a single speaking part. But perhaps becoming a crossover star wasn't really his ambition.

What would he have thought if he had seen the Planet of the Apes series? Would he have exulted in the ape's triumph over humans? Or would he have objected to the way they were portrayed: every bit as venal, selfish, prideful, and vicious as humans.

Wild chimpanzees evidently have an average lifespan of 45 years, so it's not entirely certain that this was actually the original Cheetah, and not just an impostor.

If it was him, even if he never really escaped the chimpanzee ghetto, at least he had the satisfaction of outliving costars Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sulllivan.

Little Blue Close Call


Why oh why, out of all the presents underneath our tree, did the puppy decide to destroy the Tiffany's box?? The perfect blue box, tied so perfectly with the white ribbon. Mutilated and strewn all over the front room and no evidence of it's contents.

I was gone maybe an hour and this is what I found when I returned. I scoured the house, every room, under the tree, under the sofa, under chairs and tables, and beds and even under rugs. I didn't even know what I was looking for, but I assumed the box had not been empty.

After an hour of finding nothing and contemplating a doggy gut x-ray (preceding surgery of course), I finally had to call my friend to ask what exactly I should be looking for. You see, her amazing parents had sent me a gift for Christmas and I was so excited when the beautiful blue box arrived, I very proudly placed it under the tree, content to wait until Christmas morning to open it.

"A bracelet," my bff explained. A big beefy toggle bracelet with the famous Tiffany's "return to" heart. "OK," I thought. There's NO WAY this tiny dog could've eaten that big 'ole thing.

I kept searching. Everywhere.

The third time I searched under the tree, I decided to just move the damn thing and whadaya know...there it was. I guess the third time really was a charm--a Tiffany's charm.

My best guess is that when she shook the box, like doggies do, the force propelled the contents far beneath the tree's substantial tree skirt of at least six yards of tulle and silk. There had to have been some serious speed on that bracelet.

In any event, I discovered and recovered my brand spanking new pretty thing and no family pets were harmed in the search. More specifically too there was no poop watch, no incisions and no screaming or confused children.

...and a good time was had by all.



OOTD: 12/27 - Out of Order

Sorry fellow followers, I have no OOTD photos today. I have caught a Christmas cold. It started coming on Sunday evening after church and now is in full force. I must have put too much into my Mary character during the Christmas play (visions of the movie, 4 Christmases, pop into my head - Vince Vaughn). So today I have been in paisley pjs (courtesy of Santa this year) all day. Although they are cute, I don't believe they are blog world appropriate. So hopefully I will be better tomorrow and return to my normal schedule.

Boxing day was fun, plus sick student

yup, my first time out boxing day shopping and my what a haul!
a $250 laptop, and about $5000 worth of movies for $300.

now on to more seriousness.
I have a student, and have had him for about 4 months now. He learns fast and is talented in healing and rune casting, sucks at meditation though which I think is a bit weird.
We met through friends and he learned of my healing talents which lead to him wanting to learn about it and more. But that is us going a bit sideways.
He ate McDonald's (sp?) and came down with a case of food poisoning, now I love grabbing a burger or nuggets just like many other people but honestly I think the one near our house is the worst when it comes to food poisoning. If you eat at that one in particular you are almost guaranteed to get sick, which is what happened in this case.
Temped (which is the name I will use here for my student.) figured he could "fix" it himself, now I'm all for figuring out how to work on your own time if you have a sweet clue what you're doing but Tempted is known for not thinking things through. He likes to treat the symptoms and not the source, which in some cases is acceptable, just not in this case.
He treated the diarrhea and bound himself up but in doing so Tempted also trapped the poison inside his guts to ferment and destroy. Then like the usual tried to treat the upset stomach like acid re-flux and so on and so on.
Tempted probably treated about 5 or 6 different things in the course of 2 days. Then like any good worried student came in a taxi to my house.

And I sent him home.

No not to wait it out but because I knew if I treated him here that my bathroom would never be the same and no amount of incense in the world would fix what he had coming.
I gave him a drink in an metal container and told him I would give him the recipe later but for now go home and make sure the bathroom is clear and will not be needed for a few hours.

Now after his ...flush (hehe) and a bit of swearing he phones be back asking why I didn't tell him it was this simple in the first place. If he knew about it life would have been easier yadayadayada.
Well honestly I told him that people have to learn somehow and that his learning style just seems to be one of the hard ones.      

He of course was able to tell what I gave him upon first sip, or at least the main ingredient. a litre of orange juice spiked with laxatives in case the juice wasn't enough. 

The lessons?
Flush out the problem because trapping it inside will eventually stick up your bathroom like a gas chamber.
and
If you know a restaurant has a bad rep then it usually has one for a reason.

OOTD: 12/26

Jacket: Jcrew Professor blazer in wool herringbone
Shirt: H&M
Scarf: Walmart
Skirt: Jcrew Denim mini
Boots: Blanco
Purse: Jcrew Darlington pursette

We went into Madrid to pick up our shirts and chips for the San Silvestre 10k in Madrid on New Years Eve. We also hung around into the evening to see the Christmas lights throughout the city. Great day!

OOTD: 12/25

Sweater: Turtleneck from Sfera
Jeans: Citizens of Humanity
Shoes: H&M flats
Jewelry: Jcrew St. kitts necklace and necklace from the in-laws

Merry Christmas! It has been a quiet yet filled day. We opened presents this morning (knowing what we were getting), did some baking for gifts for our neighbors, had a great lunch of ham, potatoes, and pumpkin pie with friends, and ended the night at church playing the roles of Maria and Jose (Mary and Joseph).

Great day making Spanish Christmas memories!

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Saw the remake last night. I had raved about the original movie nine months ago.

From the previews of the new version, it had looked as if Hollywood just wanted an English language version featuring actors with better cheekbones. Here are the stars of the two versions:







































I found it hard to judge the new version, having just seen other movie (and read the book). Whatever dramatic tension existed, I was somewhat numb to, since I already knew what was going to happen. And every time there was a departure from the original, instead of thinking, wow, that's ingenious, I'd think, wait a sec, that's not how it's supposed to happen.

It was a little as if I was reading two books side by side, and constantly going back and forth: it made it hard to lose myself in the fantasy.

Daniel Craig deglamorized himself well enough to be believable as a journalist. He laid off the steroids, usually had a couple days growth of white beard, and wore glasses. For half the movie he looked as if he had just gotten out of bed, the mark of an actor who can shed his vanity -- and act.

Not even heavy Goth make up and piercings could disguise Rooney Mara's good looks. She didn't give quite as hard-edged or feral a performance as Noomi Rapace, the half-Gypsy Swedish actress. But you couldn't really expect that from the granddaughter of Wellington Mara, owner of the NY Giants.

So, the new version has my recommendation. I think. But maybe not so much if you've already seen the Swedish version.

Yes I fed her

Yes I fed the snake yesterday, but I was in such a hurry doing last minute wrapping and baking that I forgot to post.
it's yule don't cha know.

Well I celebrate both Yule and Christmas because of the makeup of my family and relationship.
But beyond that.
We're having a very warm week, it's been +4 Celsius which is roughly 39.2 Fahrenheit to those of you from the States, when normally this time of year we should be getting -40 degrees C and F (I had to use google converter for that one)

The cat is sick and hates her medications, apparently she has a gluten allergy which cuts out most commercial cat food, and because of her eating it for a few months before we found out what was making her sick, the vet gave her some nasty meds that we have to torture her with every 12 hours. And she makes sure we know it's torture for her. She also has been avoiding eating her new food, which is a problem because she needs to eat with this medication so she doesn't vomit it back up.

After all the wrapping and baking yesterday me and my Fiance spent the day with my parents, sister, aunt and uncle. We all got to open a few gifts early and I think most people liked their gifts. We had chilli bowls for supper because we're all getting filled with either turkey,roast or chicken today. People annoyed others with their gifts or filled others with joy depending on the person but honestly I think the FlyingFucks annoyed anyone who wasn't operating them at the time. Those toys were probably my best purchase at think geek this year, that and toe shoes. I got my sister a pair now I want a new pair. lol awesome how the human mind works.
One of my cousins got a huge Christmas gift this year. The gift of fertility, she just found out that she is pregnant, I'm still waiting to hear if this is good news or bad new.

Today we're going to spend the day with friends cooking a feast, watching movies and playing games. But not until noon, we'll need to hit a gas station for energy drinks of some sort and take frequent naps because we'll be running on little to no real sleep this week.

Tomorrow is boxing day, we only want a few things. More movies (we have a huge collection already) and possibly a laptop or netbook for pdfs while running games or just bumping around on the internet. Nothing too heavy on the system.

Ok back to putting away gifts and cooking breakfast.

TTYL
Flaming

Today at Market

Today I had some considerable difficulty constantly not breaking into tears.
Not tears of Sadness or grief,
but tears of ecstatic joy
and Gratitude. 

Bracken was really overstimulated....
  So much going on,
so much to see and hear...
and he wanted to see and hear and experience it all.

He wasn't eating or taking his nap..
And he was soo sleepy..
and hungry..
But there are so many people there that he just loves..

He kept wanting me to hold him..

And he was soo cuddly..

Around lunchtime he was really getting anxious being restrained within our booth...

We have to take turns eating because it's hard to eat while holding him.

So I took him for a walk around the place,
and was stroking his forehead and side of his face..

And he fell asleep.

So I took him outside into the INCREDIBLE warm Sunshine.

We went over on the grass (we had played on earlier in the morning
when it was so warm we were in our shirtsleeves...and he had so much fun playing in the grass and dirt/bark.)

Anyway he fell aslepp and so I went outside where it was quiet..
and just rocked him back and forth
and kinda sang down soft and quiet to him...
And he slept there in the pack, next to my heart
which was..... a lot bigger than my body.

And two women sitting a little ways away were singing like angels,
just sittin there in the sun singing
Pretty sure they were Market people
but I didn't have my glasses on.

And I stood there and closed my eyes and felt the sun..
felt the big sweet heart of my little boy
And listened to the women sing.
And I thought about Taryn..
and felt her big shining Heart...
Bigger than all of us put together..

And today we did awesome Trades with wonderful People

And were given gifts by beautiful souls...

And Amanda walked by,
and looked at me kinda funny
And she looked all kinda blurry
So I reached up to my face and realized

tears were pouring out of me. ..

I was soooo Thankful...

I felt so blessed.

Came home, and because I kept the fire going last night...
Then really warmed it up this morning..
.and recently insolated the windows....
and packed the stove before we left this morning and turned it all the way down..

We came home to a snug and warm house.

Taryn and Bracken got bathed..
I unloaded the Market stuff and made a good dinner and took a bath myself...
Now I'm gonna go upstairs and be with my wonderful wife on Christmas Eve...
As Bracken sleeps there
not dreaming of sugar plums...
maybe Butternut Squash with Lard ....
he loves that.

OOTD: 12/24

Sweater: Jcrew Merino cardigan in Vibrant Flame
Shirt: Jcrew Silk petal cami (SP 09)
Pants: Jcrew Cafe capris
Shoes: Jcrew Marquette flats
Jewelry: necklace (Jcrew St. kitts), bracelets (Jcrew), watch (AE w/ Jcrew calf hair watch band)

We went to a friend's house for a candlelight dinner tonight. We had a great time eating Spanish appetizers (tapas), singing carols, and just chatting. Looking forward to opening presents in the morning with hubby and our church service tomorrow evening!

Grocery Store Terror

I pulled into the grocery store today to do a little shopping. The parking lot was packed but I lucked out with a primo spot right up front. I turned off the car and prepared myself to go on in.

But when I stepped out of my car, I got scared.

It was then that I really noticed ALL THE FRIGGIN' PEOPLE, the energy was tangible, like CrAzy crowded and I wasn't even in the dang store yet.

I considered the next hour and a half of my life, nearly wept on the spot in sheer terror, then got back in my car.

I'm going to sleep now, as my plan is to be at Central Market by 6:15 AM.




Does the Tea Party ever behave like this?

An article which appeared today about how some Occupy protesters drowned out Michelle Bachmann at a campaign stop in Iowa City:

http://news.yahoo.com/occupy-hecklers-drown-bachmann-iowa-diner-231024309.html

Protests on the right -- on the rare ocasions when they occur -- are inevitably orderly, well-behaved affairs where the participants clean up after themselves and obey the law. Protests by leftists -- exemplified by the recent never-ending Occupy protests -- are usually exercises in civil disobedience.

The Occupy Wall Street protesters defecated on police cars, stole from each other, and banged on drums at all hours of the night, keeping local residents from sleeping. A few committed rape and dealt drugs.

A similar pattern occurs on college campuses across the nation. Liberal speakers are never shouted down and prevented from speaking. Conservative speakers, on the other hand, are routinely picketed, shouted down, and occasionally even have water poured on them or pies thrust in their faces. And it's been that way for forty years.

If I knew absolutely nothing else about politics, I'd be able to draw a pretty accurate conclusion about which side to put more faith in based purely on their behavior.

OOTD: 12/23

Cardigan: Jcrew
Shirt: Jcrew Natasha top in Wildcat
Jeans: Jcrew Trouser jeans
Boots: Blanco
Jewelry: Jcrew St. Kitts necklace

The Natasha top is one of the Christmas presents that my mom sent. I love the print and material of this shirt. I also like how this can be a casual top or dressier one as well. So thanks mom!! Great present :)

P.S. I apologize for the squinty-eyes picture. The sun was a bit blinding when hubby took the picture. :)

Tra la la la la

Got a call from my son, who is stationed in Kandahar, a few days ago. When we asked what he planned to do for Christmas, he replied, "I'm going to leave my combat outpost and do some caroling in the local village."

MIssion Accomplished

Yesterday 16 bombs exploded in Baghdad in a coordinated attack led by al Qaeda-connected Sunnis. At last count, 67 people were dead and 169 injured.

What happened in Iraq yesterday was a foretaste of what will happen in Afghanistan when we leave there. It will explode into sectarian violence, and the wrong side will triumph.

In Iraq it's going to be either the al Qaeda-aided Sunnis or the majority Shiites. Or maybe they carve the country up. And whatever leadership emerges will almost certainly eventually establish a theocracy which can't be voted out.

Obama's pronouncement three days ago that Iraq was now "sovereign, stable, and self-reliant" was, well, pure Obama. (True, Obama didn't get us into the war; he just put a false ending on it.)

After Saddam was overthrown we wasted a lot of time there ensuring.....what, exactly? In the end, what will we have accomplished? Did we actually build a stable and self-reliant government? We stood as good a chance of converting the Iraqis to Christianity.

The same will happen in Afghanistan. We got our man (and Osama wasn't even in that country). So what are we fighting for now? The Taliban may wait a week, rather than just a day, but their ultimate triumph is just as inevitable. The best we can do while we're there is merely repress them.

What are we waiting for?

Oh, that's right, the Presidential election.

A Slightly Different Perspective



We are artists.
We create with our hands, our hearts and our minds....
And from this sacred unity we bring forth a unique new Creation...
Little Gods are we...
But alas we are also mortal men and women
who require food and shelter and warmth....
So we must make a price upon our Creations
so that we can sell them to others
to feed , shelter and warm ourselves.
We must assign a worth to our creation,
in order to put a price upon it.

And through our creating...and selling
we ,make our Living.

A funny thing about assigning worth....
First of all the general public has no comprehension of what work goes into what we do...
And some of us, do an insane amount of work
for very little money.
And yet the general public has no idea what a good deal they are getting.
Now there are a few folks who do know just how much work I personally put into each piece I create.
And these people think that I am way underselling my work.
And they are right.... I am
But it isn't because I don't assign a proper worth to my work...
That I have low self esteem and don't regard what I do very highly.

Here's the deal...
We live a very simple life...
And that is how we like it.
We live on less than most folks make on car payments every month...
Collecting Comfrey for Our Salve

And yet we feel so incredibly rich.

Yes I sell my "work"  for considerably less than it is worth,
but that means that in every single piece I make and sell
I am giving that person a gift of my time and energy.
Do you have any idea how wonderful that is for us.
In every piece...
there is a little extra Giving
a personal Gift to every single person I touch with my Art.
And I'll tell you...

that is worth more to me, than the money...

We are enriched by the Giving
much more than we are deprived
from a little less money.

It's funny though..
This System of doing Business
makes it so we can't afford our own work...he he

But that's OK..
We are so Blessed






First Post

Hello all, This is Flaming Pagan. I'll probably just refer to myself as Flaming but it's up to you guys to to call me whichever, I'm not overly picky.

As a first post I'll just outline what this blog will be about;
-My random life including , rants raves and news
-my opinions on news and stuff
-the first thing that pops in my head on Saturdays (why saturdays? well I have to wait about 20 - 30 minutes for a mouse to defrost for my snake so it'll be a random post)

I put this as mature because I am prone to swearing and not really thinking about subject matter so there may or may not be some mature content from time to time. Gotta protect those lill'ones you know.

Anyways, don't expect daily posts, you'll probably get a minimum of 1 a week and can reach up to multiple any given day as it will depend on time restraints and my brain.


That's all for now, I may post at the end of today just because I'll be busy all afternoon and will have stuff to share in the evening.

.17956

A friend recently got to chat for an hour with the leader of the mission which went in to get Osama bin Laden. I'm not allowed to describe the circumstances, but this is a true story.

Of all the elite branches of the military, the Navy Seals are generally considered to have the toughest physical requirements; less than one in five of those who try out make it. A select few Seals are selected to try out for Seal Team Six. And it's probably a safe assumption that the thirty best members of that group went after Osama.

So the guy who was chosen to head that mission was the elite of the elite of the elite.

I asked my friend, so what was this guy like? What was he built like, how smart did he seem?

My friend said that he was polite, and came across soft spoken but confident. He was in his thirties, good-looking, six feet tall, and weighed maybe 210, none of which seemed to be fat. He added, "He wasn't, you know, New York smart, like some of these guys who just have to prove to you how smart they are within the first five minutes of meeting you. But everything he said made sense and fit together, and after a while it just sort of gradually dawned on you that you were talking to a very smart guy."

My friend said that one of the more interesting things that came out of the conversation was that the military brass aren't necessarily fond of Special Operations personnel. Admirals and the like are used to having lower-ranking personnel toadying up to them, and Navy Seals, who are elite in a different kind of way, usually aren't quite as effusive in their obsequiousness. So there's sometimes a little tension.

This Seal had been on 85 combat missions before the Osama raid. That is a mind-boggling number. Let's say the odds of surviving any given mission are 98%. (I have no idea what they actually are, but that seems a reasonable estimate, and it's quite possible the odds on some missions are less.) But using that 98% estimate means that the odds of surviving all 85 missions are .98 to the 85th power, or .17956.

In other words, a less than one in five chance.

People who value their own lives less, or are at least willing to risk them in a good cause, actually lead lives more valuable than those of us who value our lives more highly.

OOTD: 12/22

Jacket: Jcrew Downtown Field jacket
Shirt: Jcrew Casbah Silk/Cotton perfect shirt
Jeans: Jcrew Toothpick jeans
Boots: LEI cowboy boots

We took a walk around our neighborhood this morning. The interesting part about construction in Spain is that all streetlights, roads, sidewalks, and playgrounds go in before apartments, houses, etc. are built. Opposite of the US, but it makes for nice walking and jogging areas, so we took advantage this morning.

All I want for Christmas...

...is for this vacation to never end. It's been the perfect mix of adventurous and relaxing.




I also wouldn't turn down a few more design books to add to my library. I tried to be really thoughtful while putting together a list of these favorites to share with you guys (you know, in case you need some really last minute gift ideas), but I feel like I'm missing some special ones. Do you have any very favorite design books you'd love to get or give?

Check out my list HERE.

OOTD: 12/21

Shirt: Crewcuts blue gingham collared shirt
Jeans: Citizen of Humanity
Scarf: find at a Portugal market
Boots: Blanco

First day of Christmas break! Wahoo! A little bit more casual in the outfit today as we cleaned, got groceries, and ran errands. We are having some fellow teachers over later to eat pizza and watch Elf (holiday classic!). Great first day of break!

If only all crime were like this....

The following AP article appeared this morning:

http://news.yahoo.com/12-indicted-beard-cutting-attacks-ohio-amish-212632091.html

Evidently 12 members of a renegade Amish sect were charged with federal hate crimes for cutting off the beards and hair of another group of Amish:

"The five attacks between September and November involved cutting women's hair and men's beards and hair. That's considered deeply offensive in Amish culture."

(The ringleader of the breakaway group was named Mullet, appropriately enough.)

There's something almost nostalgia-inducing about such a crime. Yes, it's disrespectful. And it did involve physical restraint. But in the end, it still seems more mischevious than truly destructive. What harm was done? Hair does grow back.

If only crime in the inner city were as harmless. Imagine the news reports:

"Darnell Pinckney, 19, of Detroit, was arrested on Thursday and charged with a federal hate crime for short sheeting the bed of Jermaine Watkins, 20. Pinckney was reportedly angered that Watkins had disrespected him by making a snowman and placing Pinckney's hat on top of it."

"The LAPD has reported that for the past week the Crips and the Bloods have been engaged in an all out turf war in Compton. To date 47 gang members have been arrested for crimes ranging from squirting each other with plastic ketchup bottles to drive-by water balloonings. In one particularly brutal attack, Bloods member Javon Jackson, 18, was reportedly accosted by three Crips and given a wedgie."

"Demetrius Williams, 22, was arrested in East St. Louis on Wednesday for having placed Defario Smith's hand into a bowl of warm water while Smith was sleeping, causing Smith to urinate in his pants. Williams is being held held without bond and will be arraigned in U.S. district court on Monday. Witnesses claimed that Williams was motivated by a desire for revenge after Smith allegedly put shaving cream on the earpiece of his home phone."

"Adante Brown was arrested at the Marcy Houses in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn yesterday on a charge of sexual assault. 'It was absolutely horrifying,' said victim Sheniece Jones. 'We were standing on the rooftop having a perfectly pleasant conversation when all of a sudden he tried to kiss me. If I hadn't pulled away in time he would have planted a big one right on my lips.' The FBI is looking into whether Ms. Jones' civil rights were violated."

If only...

The Duel in the Pool

An article about a recent swim meet, for swim fans only:

http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/Commentary/29085.asp?q=The-%22Duel%22

Martha Nicholas, Part II

A commenter linked this video clip about Martha Nicholas, the sociopath who scammed people into believing that she had cancer, in response to my recent post:

http://www.wric.com/global/Category.asp?c=190525&autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=6552713&flvUri=&partnerclipid=

Observe the way Martha's voice almost breaks as she says she may not see her son again. Look at her sincere expression as she speaks about her terminal diagnosis. Admire Martha's bravery as she announces that she is a three time cancer survivor and a current cancer fighter.

These whoppers are delivered with none of the hesitation that a normal person would have when lying.

If you were unfamiliar with sociopaths you'd have had absolutely no reason to doubt her.

OOTD: 12/20

Shirt: Jcrew Delaney eyelet shirt
Skirt: Jcrew Paisley pencil skirt (SU 11)
Shoes: Blanco boots
Jewelry: Jcrew St. Kitts necklace

Got to wear my two favorite things today: eyelet and paisley. Love this paisley skirt from Jcrew. Beautiful color combo, well-made - check and check.

Today's our last day of school until January 9th. I'm eager for a break but will have some work to do. I'm teaching an accounting class next semester and currently have no lessons plans and brand new book, so I will be doing some planning for sure. But at least I can plan from my couch vs. office chair. Hooray!

The fourth Kardashian sister


When I saw this picture of Jersey Shore's Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi in the New York Post this morning, it hit me who she really is.

If she actually were part of that family, her sisters would  probably look down on her for being shorter, less intelligent, and so on. But really, the similarities -- especially of character and talent -- are far greater than the differences.

Don't worry, I won't make any portentous comments about how their television shows herald the end of civilization or some such. I actually think it's a positive comment on our society that it can provide such worthless people such a splendid living.

And yes, I am completely ashamed of myself for even knowing who any of them they are.