Monday, October 2, 2017

Shop New Dresses at Modcloth

*This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.


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http://www.modcloth.com/shop/dresses

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The NFL Kneels



If you've been watching the news you'll note that instead of dealing with climate change, the Flint water crisis, Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico or the fact that instead of dismantling the ACA we should be improving it. Our Cheeto in Chief has started a fight with the NFL and other sports players who are kneeling during the National Anthem.

I've watched with a heavy heart as Trump has called them "sons of bitches" insulting not only them but the women that gave them life. I've read tweets and articles about how he thinks the NFL should fire these men for disrespecting our flag and country.

What has happened to America? I am a liberal woman and I love our country. But it is becoming harder to retain that love and respect every day this man is president.  First of all we can talk about how ridiculous it is our president attacks private citizens and can't manage an intelligent sentence. Or how unbelievably it is the President of the USA uses twitter worse than a teenage girl and that his staff doesn't slap the phone out of his hand and tell him to stop.

We can go over and over the fact that this man is not fit to be president and is basically the poster boy for White Supremacists and Nazis. He revels in the fact that those who support him most are deplorable.

However we don't need to because I've written about those things before.

No, no, tonight I want to write about how stupid this whole kneeling during the National Anthem thing is.  These men are not disgracing the flag. This has nothing to do with the flag. Colin Kaepernick sat for the first time in 2016 and then started kneeling. This was to protest racial discrimination and police brutality.  It was not about sticking it to the flag or giving a finger to patriotism. In fact he started kneeling because a Green Beret former NFL player told him to kneel instead of sit so it WOULDN'T be offensive to the military. In fact kneeling looks more humbling and respectful than linking arms or sitting

Let's also look at the fact the Star Spangled Banner didn't even become the National Anthem until 1931.

We can also consider than until 2009 football players stayed in their locker rooms during the anthem.

Members of the military lay down their lives and fight for the USA to give people the right to sit or stand during the National Anthem. As Americans we have the right to peacefully protest.

I don't want to hear about how they shouldn't protest at work. Our president is a reality TV star who puts his name on anything he can get his hands on. He's a liar and an adulterer and goes against everything good Christians and people believe in. If he is allowed to speak for our country it won't harm us to allow athletes to peacefully protest for the five minutes it takes to sing a damn song.

I've seen those memes that say" I stand for the flag and kneel at the cross." What a horrible play on emotions that is. For one there are many religions, even some versions of Christianity that do no kneel at a cross. There are also many cultures/religions that believe kneeling is a sign of reverence, of peace.

Whether or not you think this is doing any good should be the most important aspect. Is kneeling during the anthem bringing to light or causing a conversation about police brutality and racial discrimination? I'm not sure to be honest. All I know is it is starting a conversation, many as it seems.  All conversations that need to be had. If it is doing any good awaits to be seen.

For myself, a woman who does not say the Pledge of Allegiance nor do I make my children. I say that as long as you are quiet and not making a ruckus during the anthem I don't care if you stand, sit, kneel, lay down or stay in a locker room.

This country has bigger issues and bigger problems. Let's think about those.

Reference:
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2017/sep/25/short-history-national-anthem-and-sports/

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Political Flash Satements


Like flash fiction, these are 100 words or less on hot political topics. Enjoy

Women's Healthcare
Take away food stamps, take away Medicaid
SAVE THE CHILD! DON’T KILL YOUR BABY
48 hour, 72 hour waiting periods. No, I’m sorry your insurance can’t cover it.
PULL YOURSELF UP BY YOUR BOOTSTRAPS! IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD THAT KID KEEP YOUR LEGS SHUT!
No birth control, no sexual education classes
MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
Yes by making us poor, bound to our houses with children we can’t afford and lives we don’t want.
SMALL GOVERNMENT
In everything but women’s healthcare and what we do with our vaginas.

Global Warming
Hurricanes and massive fires
Droughts and rising waters.
Whatever, climate change isn’t real.
Scientist gives lectures present global indicators and other evidence.
This is the way it always has been, right?
No, not when we’ve lost nearly 100 gigatons of ice annually in recent years.
So it’s warm. I like it warm.
It’s not about how hot it is, but how fast the temperature is rising. Rapid change is the real threat.
Global Warming is a HOAX!
Yes, of course…because organizations like NASA, NOAA, IPCC, and NAS are all lying to you.
Get a clue.

Dreamers
DACA doesn’t hurt you, they don’t take your money or your job.
They are not criminals, they pay taxes, they go to school.
They were children brought here without their consent.
They deserve to be citizens and they deserve to be protected.
They go to school, they fight for our freedom.
DACA recipients boost out economy
Dreamers are Americans. This is their home too.
Deny them the ability to live in America and YOU are the criminal, not them.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

30 Day Writing Challenge- Flash Fiction



I got behind in my writing challenge. I am posting it across my two blogs just to shake things up. Fantasy on the book blog, fiction on this one.


Today I am giving you flash fiction. Which means mini stories of 100 words or less. I used to do this all the time back in my Harry Potter Fan Fic days.

An Old Enemy

Valentine’s Day, pink and purple, hearts and lovers everywhere.
I hate this holiday, it feels like my own personal arch nemesis.
I have no love and no one loves me.
Stores advertising cheap chocolate in stiff heart shaped boxes.
Restaurants promoting two for the price of one romantic dinners.
Every year I hide in my house, alone in my room, watching horror movies.
This day reminds me that everyone I love or who has ever loved me is gone.
I won’t do it anymore.
I step off the curb.
I don’t even see the taxi.



Not Quite Identical

Only Debbie got the invitation to Brad’s birthday party.
It was unfortunate but Mom knew that even though they were twins they were also different people.
Identical in every way, but personality.
It wasn’t a surprise Debbie would be invited over Allison.
Allison threw a huge fit, as only an eight year old could. She held onto Debbie’s hand and refused to let go.
Mom was surprised when Debbie left the house without hearing Allison’s wails.
About half an hour later she went into the girl’s room and found Allison locked in their closet, curled up and asleep.


Peppermint

Grandma was crazy and no one liked to visit her.
She smelled of peppermint and so did her apartment.
She claimed it was a cure for everything.
Peppermint drops, oil, even air freshener.
Her house smelled like Santa should live there.
She told me that if you combined peppermint with a long hug all your troubles would vanish.
So when I broke the wristwatch she gave me for my birthday I expected hard candy and an overly long hug.
Instead I found her dead in her bed.
She’d been dead over a week and no one noticed.
That damn peppermint.


Disorder

Sweating, heart pounding, can’t keep up.
Skinny girl on the TV in skin tight work out gear, all yellows and blue.
Words on a page, scribbled in frantic hurry.
Thin
Food
Hungry
Ugly
Fat
Beauty
Bag under the bed with additional instruments to help the goal.
Binge and purge.
Love food, hate food.
Step on the scale, step off.
Take a crap.
Get back on the scale.
Start at the beginning and repeat.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Are you scared? Cause I am- North Korea and Trump





Recently the news has been flooded with reports that North Korea threatened to bomb Guam. Right after that our idiot in chief decided to deal with North Korea in a way other presidents have not. By threatening military action, whether or not NK actually does send a bomb towards the USA.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/08/11/military-is-locked-and-loaded-trump-says-in-latest-warning-to-north-korea/?utm_term=.899177219198

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/10/world/asia/north-korea-trump.html

I am terrified.

Trump is just like the leader Kim Jong-un. A bully and a moron.

By taking this tact Trump has said, "come at me, I dare you." And it will be the American people who suffer for it. NK will send a bomb, to New York or maybe San Francisco or Seattle, possibly Hawaii and then we will have no choice but to nuke NK and there will be war. I don't think China, Japan or Russia will be happy to have nuclear fall out so close to their countries.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/08/trump-in-the-crucible/536256/

Ever since this Cheetos dusted burrito took office things have gotten scarier and scarier. The government hates women, the poor and anyone not white and they have made this very clear in their policies, their words and the laws they try to pass.

And now with this our allies are alarmed, stock is falling and the president keeps inflaming the situation. His bullying tactics and threats are not going to get NK to back off, or run away in fear. His words are going to get Americans killed. We should not be begging for Trumps staff to restrain him.

This is not a business negotiation, this is people's lives and the fate of our country. Honestly even if it was a business deal I wouldn't want this man making the decisions.

This golden haired chicken has nothing America needs and the fact he even became president is like we are living in the darkest timeline.  He is a liar and he is petty. In the face of conflict like this we need a diplomat, someone with patience and someone with a team behind him that are trustworthy and not a complete bag of dicks.

I looked at my kids last night, I told my family I loved them and I sat on the coach, with actual fear pooling in my belly as my husband and I discussed what we would do is a nuke hit San Francisco or Seattle.

This isn't the Bay of Pigs or the Cold War. This is not an event I've only read about in history books. This is our life, this is now. The people who live in this country must stand up, we must fight against this tyrant who lives in the White House. We cannot be silent in the face of evil.

RESIST.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Professor Hornet VS Butterwolf- A short story



My Itty Bitty turns eight tomorrow. I can't believe how much she's grown. She's become an uncontrollable ball of laughter, energy and attitude.

So for her birthday, here is a story I wrote, just for her.


Professor Hornet vs. Butterwolf



Pea leaned down over the railing of the top bunk in the bed she shared with her big sister. It was dark in the room and from her window she could see it must be well into the night.

She could barely see her sister, but the odd sounds coming from below her meant that her sister was asleep. Pea stilled in her bed and listened to the sounds of her house. She could hear something from the living room, but whether it was her parents or just the cats, who knew?

The noise that had woken her came again and she dug out her stuffed wolf from under a mound of mismatched blankets. Its eyes glowed red and Pea touched her nose to the stuffed animals and the light faded.

She was being summoned, she had to leave, but she had to make sure her parents were in bed first. Her mother had a rather annoying habit of checking on her before she retired for the night.

Slowly she climbed down, not worried about waking her sister, that girl would sleep like the dead. She’d slept through every adventure Pea ever had.

She stepped over toys and clothes and placed her ear on the beige colored door. Little pitter patters sounded from the living room, then a thunk. Pea froze, pretty sure it was only her cats, but she still needed to check. Opening the door she walked out into the hall and with relief saw the lights off, but the eyes of several cats were suddenly on her.

Pea went back into her room and got ready. She pulled her brassy curls into a high pony tail and shrugged on her outfit. A black leotard with a neon purple skirt, black boots that came up over her knees and purple fingerless gloves. Over her face went a purple and black mask that resembled a butterfly and on her head she attached purple and black wolf ears.

Digging in the back on her closet she grabbed her belt and pushed an insignificant brown button. A hole opened up and she slipped down in it.

For several fast seconds she slid down and around through a long enclosed slide, air moving over her. A large smile plastered on her face as she tried hard not to squeal in delight. Then the slide stopped and dumped her in the middle of a feather mattress in a dark room.

“There you are, quickly now.” A computerized female voice said. Lights came on and illuminated a room that was simple, just a concrete square with a large shimmering computer in one corner and a pink and silver scooter in another near an arched door way.
“Oh don’t complain, what’s going on?” Pea asked, coming closer to the computer, who Pea called Sue, and began studying all the charts, graphs and words scrolling over the screen.

“We’ve word that Professor Hornet is causing problems, you are requested to intervene.” The voice from the computer said again. All the data on the computer screen stopped and an address appeared.

“Alright,” Pea said, sighing, why couldn’t her arch nemesis work during the day? She yawned and mounted her scooter, the door in the arch opened and she sped out into the night.

Her scooter was special and with each tap of her foot across the ground sparks shot out the back allowing her to go quickly through the streets, so fast she was simply a blur.

It took only a few minutes to reach her destination, a park several streets over from her home. The night made everything creepy, it was dark and shadows encroached on every building and tree.

Pea tried to shrug off these feelings, she knew this place, knew the trees and the benches, she could see the faded colors of the play set and smell the fresh air as the wind blew through the night.

Tapping her mask a film lowered over her eyes and she waited until they adjusted to the night vision. Another tap to her wolf ears heightened her hearing. Parking, and locking her scooter she made her way deeper into the park.

A low buzz filled her ears, as did a sickening fluttering sound. Pea followed these noises, certain of what she would find.
Hiding behind a bush she found Professor Hornet, making a mess near the great slide. Professor Hornet was a curious creature. He had the head and arms of a man and the body of a hornet, including a pointed and dangerous stinger and a set of tiny wings.
He seemed to be building a huge grey nest attached to the slide.

This will not do, Pea thought to herself. This would hold millions of hornets and that could hurt, if not kill a lot of little kids. Pea didn’t like that idea at all, her baby brother played at this park.

Gathering all her courage Pea jumped from the bushes and growled loudly at Professor Hornet, “Stop!”

He spun around, brown hair plastered to his large bulbous head, round glasses perched on the end of his thin long nose. His eyes were blue and beady.

“Butterwolf! “ He swung his back side towards her and she jumped out of the way, his stinger barely missing her.

“I will not allow you to build this nest here.” Her hand went to her belt and she pulled out a can, pointed it towards Professor Hornet and depressed the nozzle.

The hornet man screamed and placed his hands over his noise, “No, not Stinky Butt Spray!” He howled, dancing backwards, his senses blinded by the ghastly stench filling the air and permeating his clothes and skin. It was like moldy cheese and rotten eggs had a nasty baby.

He spun around and acid liquid squirted from his stinger, some splattered on Pea’s skirt and made a hissing sound, causing tiny holes to appear.

“Ah frack, another skirt wasted.” Pea complained, glowering she rushed forward, jumped on the giant hornet man and put her face in his. Taking a deep breath she belched and the sound radiated through the entire park. Letting go of her nemesis she ran over to the start of his terrible nest.

Professor Hornet was stumbling around behind her, gagging from her Belch of Rudeness.

Pea raised her head and let out a howl, it was a loud mournful sound, like that of lonesome wolves all over the world. A sound that would terrify campers and confuse city people.

The nest trembled beneath the roar and began to disintegrate.

“No!” Professor Hornet yelled, rushing towards the nest.

A beep sounded from one of her wolf ears and Pea squeezed the tip.

“Butterwolf, wrap this up, the local authorities are on their way.” Sue’s voice came through clearly.

“Ok Professor Hornet, enough’s enough.” Pea said, facing her nemesis. He looked very angry with her and she knew, with enough time, he could come up with some awful revenge.

“This isn’t the end Butterwolf!” He turned to run.

“For tonight it is.” Pea said grabbing something from her belt. She flung her hands out and sticky gooey thread flew from them and wrapped around Professor Hornet, he stumbled and fell over, face into the playground’s wood chips. He was covered the orange good, from stinger to head, feet and wings. Only his nose and eyes appeared.

“You will stay until the police come.” Wiping her hands on her ruined skirt Pea made her way back to her scooter. Glad she could go home and back to bed, she really hoped she could sleep in. Crime fighting was exhausting.



Sunday, May 21, 2017

My Thoughts While Watching a Handmaid's Tale



I finally got around to watching a Handmaid's Tale. I was waiting to watch it with my husband, but I'm kind of glad I didn't.

Possible Spoilers though.

So here are my thoughts as I watched the first two episodes.

Episode One

- This makes me feel very uncomfortable

- I don't like seeing families torn apart

- I've had an abortion, I'd be in a camp or dead

- This is pretty accurate to the book

- This is the best acting I've ever seen out of  Rory Gilmore

- The "sex" scene is so disturbing and realistic and made me sick to my stomach, which I believe is the point

-  They've made is so modern, that girl just said Uber. It makes it twice as scary

-The imagery is great and powerful


Episode Two

- Simply looking forward to your daily walk and shop, puts my own life a bit more in perspective

- I really like how they've add modern touches and slang/wording, it hits home in a very specific way.

- I don't know how often I can use the word uncomfortable in a blog post. With every word there is a pit in my stomach, because this could happen here.

- If I hadn't had a cookie in years I think I still wouldn't accept a macaroon, those things are nasty. Glad she spits hers out.

- I like June's smile, like her secret fuck you smile.

- It's bad enough Handmaid's have to have their head in-between some frigid bitches legs while they are basically being raped. But to have some privileged chick straddle them while they push a baby out would be a God Damn nightmare.

-If they are that worried about babies dying why have they gotten rid of hospitals? Home births are safe, but not when 1 out of 5 babies die.

- I don't know I can this anymore, it's painful and good at the same time. I can't imagine someone taking my baby from me. I'm glad I chose to only watch two episodes, it's like a horror movie, I'm going to need a cheerful show after this.

- I'm hungry




You should watch this and you should be afraid.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Thin and Fat- It can't be them against us




Today one of my best friends shared an article that really upset her. A list about how thin people have privilege over fat people.

I read the list and identified with a lot of it. As a fat girl I struggle because I have to think about things like plane seat size, will I fit on rides at Disneyland, does this store carry my size, will the boy I like just see me as a whale, will my doctor judge me based on my weight and not my good test results?

So I agree on some level, thin privilege is a thing, but it's not something thin people did to us on purpose and we need to acknowledge that as a society we are fucked up. Too much revolves around physical appearance the the illusion of beauty.

When you search thin privilege a lot of shit comes up, from plus size bloggers complaining how their life is harder compared to their thin friends, to women who genuinely want to address the fact that fat people are treated differently simply because they are...well fat, to articles about how thin privilege is skinny shaming and articles explaining there can be thin privilege with out skinny shaming.

I think people automatically get defensive and hurt when they hear terms like thin privilege, white privilege and male privilege, it's in our DNA to defend ourselves. I so get that. How many times do I have to defend abortion as bodily autonomy or the fact that fat doesn't mean unhealthy just like skinny doesn't mean healthy?

In the article my friend shared I could see the point it was trying to make but it wasn't successful because too many of the things listed were not things only fat people deal with.

Not being able to wipe yourself when you go to the bathroom
Not being able to clean all of yourself in the shower
Not being able to tie your shoes
Being looked at an unintelligent
Being passed over for a job because the other candidate is better looking
People not believing you have higher education simply because you are a STAHM

The author added fat to each of these ex: FAT STAHM when none of these are things only fat people deal with, Some of them aren't things that even revolve around being fat. The author basically just made a list of bad stuff that has happened to her and labeled it thin privilege. Did some of her list hit home? As I already said: HELL YES. But all in all the article felt so negative I think it lost the point along the way.

I found this article to cover it  much better:

http://everydayfeminism.com/2016/05/thin-privilege-not-saying/

My friend is very tall, she, just like me, hs a hard time finding places who sell clothes that either a)fit her well or b) are clothes she'd want to wear.

I have thin friends with eating disorders who get told to "eat a twinkie" cause they are soooo thin or who have health disorders worse than I do. I have an aunt whose insurance is more expensive than mine because she is considered too thin.

Skinny shaming is not ok. People who are thin have problems you may not know about and while I understand the concept of thin privilege I find that it's just another way to divide us when we make lists and try to out do each other's hardships.  It can't be us vs. them. Body acceptance is about accepting all bodies and understanding there is no "good" body type.

Do I think there are some thin people who don't understand that life can be easier for them than for me? Sure, which is why we need to keep promoting things like body acceptance, healthy at every size and eff your beauty standards.

Here is an article about thin privilege written by a thin person I think is kind of brilliant
http://everydayfeminism.com/2013/10/lets-talk-about-thin-privilege/

We need to learn to not hate ourselves or each other.


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Misogyny on the Dance Floor





My birthday was earlier this month, I turned 34 years old. My whole family went to visit my parents in California. An 11 hour trip in a van with four kids that isn't unpleasant, but not a whole lotta fun either.

It was an amazing trip, eating, shopping, laughing and having a great time with family. My parents took us all out to dinner at a local Casino that is basically their home away from home.

A Michael Jackson cover band was playing that night and my mom knew I would love it. So we ate late, took the kids home and went back to listen to some awesome music, have a few drinks and chill out.

I must admit I looked great. I had on a new lace coral dress, black ballet flats and a soft pink floppy sun hat with a flower on it. I even had a new lip stain from Sephora in Wisteria that I was rocking.

I bounced, swayed and grooved, in my seat, to the music, smiling at my beloved husband and getting tipsy with my favorite uncle.

I watched with envy as dozens on people flooded the dance floor, women, men; some by themselves, some with friends, others with partners. I wanted to dance, but my husband doesn't quite like it and I felt out of place without the gaggle of girlfriends I would have normally danced with.

Then it happened...My song played. Thriller.. I love this song, have loved it since I was a child. I quickly got up ad moved out to the dance floor, by myself.

I am sorry to say it was a mistake and I am even sorrier that I feel like I need to acknowledge it was a mistake.

There I am dancing, smiling, minding my own business when suddenly a guy, much larger than myself starts dancing next to me. I smile at him and go back to what I was doing...I mean the dance floor was fucking packed. He gets closer and closer, I move back a bit from him, turn to the side, but he still he doesn't take the hint, I shake my head no and move a bit farther away, I don't want him to think in any way I am ok with him crowding me. Had he stayed a foot or more back I might have even danced "with" him.

Finally his stomach touches mine, and I pause, I put a hand on his shoulder and push him away from me and it's a fairly hard shove. I quickly sashay away near a group of girls who are dancing together. I have never wished more to be surrounded by my female friends than I was in that moment. What about me dancing alone gave him the right to get up in my personal space? My dress? My smile? Or I KNOW the fact I was a woman alone! DING DING DING!

He follows me, dancing behind me and I consider walking off the floor and back to my table, I am no longer enjoying myself and about ready to turn around and tell this guy to fuck off. Apparently pushing him away and moving away from him was not enough of a hint that I wasn't interested.  I move into the group of ladies giving one a friendly grin, she grins back and then frowns as the guy bumps into her to, seemingly, follow me.

Suddenly I feel a presence right next to me and a hand on my shoulder. I whip around because this guy is about to get a face full of me being my most bitchy when to my relief it is my dad. He looks silly bopping right along next to me, but now creeper is no where in sight.

I am horrified by how relieved I am. I don't know if my dad saw my distress or just decided to join me but I was grateful in a way that I have rarely been. My husband showed up a few seconds later and we finished out the song together.

How fucked up is it that I couldn't just be a woman alone enjoying a song? How screwed up is it that my obvious NO LEAVE ME ALONE signals were not good enough and it took my dad and husband showing up to alert this douche that I wasn't interested and he better back off. And how sick is it that I a proud feminist and normally strong alpha female was put in a situation where  not only I wished I had been there with girlfriends but that I was beyond relieved to have men "claim" me as theirs so that I could huddle under the umbrella of their invisible protection.

Even worse, as I write this, I think....Did I lead him on? Did I not do enough to make him back off? Was I too friendly, too enticing? Too nice? Then I stop. FUCK THAT SHIT! No one has the right to make you feel uncomfortable. If he wanted to dance with me he should have asked and then accepted the answer. My body and space are my own, I am under no obligation to share them with anyone.

I've faced my share of patriarchy bullshit, sexism and misogyny in the past. I have been cat called and treated less because I am a woman, but it has been a while since a man got up in my personal space and wouldn't take no for an answer.

Let me tell you ladies. If ever you are in a bar or on a dance floor and feel unsafe or as if you are being harassed, come find me. I will put my arm around you and pretend to be your BFF if you need me to. And guys? Don't just assume because she is alone, because she looks nice, because she is smiling that she in any way wants you, dumb ass.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Spirit Animal and Cultural Appropriation- A Lesson Learned



I had a very interesting conversation on a friend's thread today. I am all for educating yourself and this was a good opportunity for me. As a pagan of 20+ years I always thought Spirit Animal was simply what you called the animal spirit that guided you that you were connected with. It was today I learned that many Native Americans believe this to be cultural appropriation.

(Cultural appropriation=is the adoption or use of the elements of one culture by members of another culture.)

I disagreed with this because many cultures have animal spirits that guide you and are sacred, so I argued with my friend’s friend and then I did some research. I mean ALL religions have cultural appropriation in them, you see bits and pieces from so many cultures in everything, where do we draw the line at what is offensive and what isn’t?

Spirit Animal is a roughly translated phrase introduced by white anthropologists into American Literature. It is something sacred to Native Americans. I never knew that, I thought it was a basic concept not the actual translation of something specific.

I can admit when I’m wrong,  the term is cultural appropriation. I also enjoy learning new things, reading, researching and educating myself. So thanks to my friend’s friend! I am a better person because someone else took the time to explain something to me and while I don’t agree with everything they said- I appreciate others opinions and new knowledge.

I read dozens of articles and blogs about this subject, desperate to learn about it.

I found some Native Americans who didn’t care if white people used this term as long as they weren’t using it like “whiskey is my spirit animal.” I found others who think it’s totally inappropriate to say If you’re non-native. I also found some who didn’t care about this phrase, but did care about the use of the word totem.

As a pagan, a liberal and a human being I will try to stop saying this word if it is offensive, I would never use a racial slur or want to make someone else feel uncomfortable. It is difficult as I grew in my own religion using this phrase.

I do, however, have a few things to point out.

1) If it’s not ok for me to call my kinship with bats who have spiritually guided me for almost 20 years a “Spirit Animal” what do I call it? I have seen recommendations from daemon and muse to patronus and those are all awful. Patronus isn’t even a real thing and the other two do not actually describe what Pagans are normally talking about when they use this phrase.

2) Do not get angry if you hear your pagan friend use this term. Most pagans actually think a spirit animal or guide is simply that. A corporeal animal spirit that protects and guides you that you feel kinship with. We don’t mean to be offensive, instead educate them- kindly.

3) In the realm of cultural appropriation non-pagans should realize using terms like Samhain or forgetting you celebrate Christmas because Christians took over a pagan holiday is also insulting. However paganism is treated like a joke, unlike other religions and cultures. So no one worries about offending us. I haven’t been offended by a non-pagan saying Samhain in years because it doesn’t matter, it won’t change.

Anyone have suggestions for better terms than Spirit Animal? I really would love something that doesn’t make my religious belief sound stupid or like a joke. Does anyone know if Spirit Guide is part of someone’s cultural and is offensive? I like that term too.

Anyway, I love that even at almost 34 I can still learn new things, about others and about myself.

Friday, February 24, 2017

What it Looks Like When you Make Abortion Illegal





* WARNING: I have posted a graphic picture at the bottom of this article. It is hidden unless you click the show button. I will warn you again in case you missed this first warning. It is NSFW.


Women have been having abortions for centuries, it's true whether you want to believe it or not. Roe vs. Wade did not make it so women started "killing babies" it made it so women stopped dying from botched back alley abortions.

Abortion is not a concept to simply pop up in the last 100 years either. Women have always found a way to get rid of babies they do not want or cannot support.

Ancient Greeks used an herb called silphium, which is now extinct, they also used pennyroyal and hellbore. Most historians don't think abortion was illegal or punished at this time, either. Though what was more common was to birth a baby you didn't want and simply leave it somewhere to die. Girl children more often than boys were treated this way.
Some interesting history

In the early 1800's birth control was not available in Victorian England, so while abortions were illegal for the first time in English history women were seeking them on a regular basis. Midwives, real doctors and hacks sold all kinds of pills and assistance in getting rid of unwanted pregnancies.
Abortion in Victorian Times

In Russia and Japan abortion has been legal for decades, though this is mainly due to the fact the countries had/have strict laws in regards to the availability of birth control and sexual education.

Here in American (and many other countries) abortion spent too long being illegal. Many women died from botched abortions and doing anything they could to get rid of a fetus.  What many  people do not understand (or possibly don't want to understand) is that sex is a) natural and b) fun. That not everyone has access to sexual education classes or birth control that is either cheap or free and cannot afford to spend 60 bucks a month on a package of pills. Some women are raped, others pressured into sex. Sometimes it's simply a mistake, failed birth control or...you know what? Or it's none of your damn business.

There is this thing, and I've harped on it before, called bodily autonomy which means you have rights over your own body. It's why a corpse cannot have it's organ's harvested unless, while alive, the person agreed and signed off on it. Most of the time they STILL ask the family's permission first. You cannot give women less rights than a corpse.

Women are not hosts to their babies, we are not an incubator for a tiny fetus that leaches off our systems and cannot live outside the body. We are not disposable.

I want to share with you a story you may not have heard of. In fact, as pro-choice as I am... I hadn't heard this tale until today and did some research.

It's the story of a woman called Gerri Santoro.

Gerri was married at 18 to a man she didn't know very well.  Her husband abused her so often their daughter remembered it long after her mother's death.  In 1963 Gerri left her abusive husband, taking her two daughters with her.

In 1964 she met and fell in love with a much older married man, her supervisor at work. She got pregnant. Gerri was 28 years old. When she found out her ex husband was coming to visit she feared her pregnant state would mean he would either kill her or take her children from her.

She tried an herb to dispel the pregnancy and it didn't work.  Her sister pulled together a substantial amount of money so that her sister could go away to have an illegal abortion.

Instead Gerri and her lover checked into a hotel and he performed an abortion on her, inserting a catheter into her uterus. Gerri soon began to hemorrhage. Her lover abandoned her to die and her body was found by the maids in the morning. Her sister had to go to the hospital to ID her. Her lover was eventually arrested and went to jail for a little over a year.

A photo taken of Gerri was used in Ms. with the headline Never Again to promote need for legal safe access to abortion.

Article on Gerri

Gerri Santoros

Below is the iconic photo of Gerri, naked and dead after bleeding out on the floor. I respect the family and understand this image is horrible and should not have been used without their permission in the first place. However, now it has been used by abortion advocates for decades. It's awful but THIS is was illegal abortions look like. Someone's sweet, ordinary mother...dead on the ground. Just click the show button if you have the stomach to see it, I doubt many do.

If you don't like abortion don't have one, but don't tell others what they can and cannot do with their own body. You can be pro-choice and still think abortion is wrong....for you.







Friday, February 17, 2017

RESIST




Not even a month since Dictator Trump became president (Steve Bannon's bitch) and already I feel like 2017 might be worse than 2016.  He's already established he can and will do as many horrible things as he wants to our country and the republicans and the idiots who voted for him are cheering/enabling it.

From his Muslim Ban to thinking upping the taxes on Mexican imports will pay for his dumb wall, our country is starting to look a lot more like Nazi Germany than I would like. Not only is he basically sucking Putin's dick at this point but he's alienating our actual allies like Australia and England.

The man is a fascist, and the staff surrounding him are no better. In fact I believe JK Rowling must have prophetic powers because Voldemort, death eaters and Dolores Umbridge all could make an appearance in his cabinet or by his side the the American people would not be surprised.

American's need to stand up for our core principals and values, we must resist! All people are welcome here, all races and religions, all nationalities and well....ALL. Or have we forgotten that we stole this land from the Native Americans and the Puritans who came here were in fact escaping religious persecution? Have we learned nothing from our own history?

Why is is so hard to believe that all Americans deserve to live the best life they can, whether that includes a little help from the government or not? We deserve to be paid a living wage, have affordable healthcare and be able to access that healthcare. Our children deserve to breathe clean air and have a planet that isn't trying to kill them. Our kids deserve public free education that actually teaches them facts and science. We each deserve to practice (or not practice) the religion we choose, love whom we want and marry without government interference. The rich should help the poor and no one should be discriminated against for ANY reason. Why are these concepts hard? Why are humans so awful to each other? HOW THE FUCK DID THIS ORANGE DUSTED BURRITO GET ELECTED PRESIDENT?

With everything else going on in my life this year I haven't been as active as I would like in trying to improve our country and be apart of the resistance. Aside from ACLU and Planned Parenthood donations I haven't even been able to attend one protest, but I think about it all the time. Every time my phone goes off I wonder if it's another facebook alert telling me another horrible thing Donald Trump is trying to get away with and I wonder, is this how Hitler got his start?

My husband and I had a serious conversation yesterday about how we hoped we would be the kind of people who would take in those in need. It is a scary prospect wondering where you could Anne Frank style hide those fleeing persecution and what would happen to you and your family if you got caught.

We live in a very diverse community and my daughter has friends whose parents are either illegal or here on a green card/work visa. She has told me some of her friends are worried they will come home from school one day and their parents will be gone. What child should have to worry about that? Why don't more people see how fucked up this situation is?  People here legally are just as likely to be criminals or be on welfare (if not more so), get over your white privilege and learn to have empathy for another person!

This is not a time for any of us (the human race) to be divided. Maybe I've been playing too much Mass Effect in anticipation for the release of Mass Effect: Andromeda but Trump and his team of assholes are the Reapers and we all need to band together or they will destroy us, no doubt about it.

Please let this all be a horrible nightmare. Someone save us from this man child and the awful cronies who are helping him ruin our country.

And yet, maybe that someone is you and me. Stand up for your beliefs, fight for those less fortunate than you. RESIST RESIST RESIST

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Being a Mom in the NICU, Secret Diabetes, Spinal Headaches and Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction- A Birth Story


Eight days ago my birth plan for my fourth, and last, child failed...Failed in an epic way. At 1:30am Saturday January 7th I went into labor on my own. I was so excited because I was worried that I wouldn't and would wind up being induced or having another c-section and as a VBA2C I was trying very hard to make sure neither of those things happened.

This pregnancy was much different from my other two. I was in SO much pain the last month I couldn't walk, sleep, sit or move. I was diagnosed with SPD, Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction- where the ligaments that keep your pelvic bone aligned get too stretchy and loose too soon. So when labor began I was beyond excited.

We were admitted to the L & D around 7 am and I was dilated to a five. I almost cried when I heard that because I had been a 2 for a month and was worried the labor wasn't causing any dilation. Once we got in a room, I tried really hard to breathe through my contractions and relax, but I had been in pain for such a long time I didn't want to be anymore so I asked for the epidural.

Biggest mistake ever. The epidural went badly and the medicine went up and down, causing everything from the waist down to numb so I couldn't move and causing everything from the waist up to start numbing. My hands went first and it moved up my arms, then I couldn't feel myself breathe and my blood pressure dropped very low. I believe my doula saw it go down to 65/45. In fact my husband later told me a crash cart was brought in just in case. I had to have three doses of medication before my blood pressure came back up, plus they removed the epidural.

During this time my son's heart rate dropped dangerously low and they rolled me on my side and gave me oxygen. They broke my water to see if it would speed up labor and I drifted in and out of consciousness.

At this time they decided to deliver me via emergency c-section because the baby was now in distress. They had to put me all the way under because they couldn't risk another epidural or a spinal tap. I was not awake when my son was born. He was taken to the nursery with my husband and I was left in the care of a nurse, my doula and my mother. I woke confused, in a ton of pain, hungry and freezing. It took lime flavored ice chips, ten heated blankets and a shit ton of narcotics before I felt normal again.

While in recovery (my mom told me this as I don’t actually remember seeing my doctor) my doctor came in to tell me there was a knot in my son’s cord. Every time I had a contraction the cord was being compressed and even if the epidural hadn’t sent him into distress he probably wouldn’t have handled further labor well. I don’t know how much I believe that, but it felt better to know that the horrible events that led to the c-section may not have been avoidable.

I can admit it now, but I am very traumatized by my birth events. My doula has been concerned I will develop Postpartum PTSD. So I’m keeping an eye on it.

My son was born at 10:35 am on Saturday morning. I didn't see him until 7 pm that night. I didn't get to hold him until the next day. He was admitted to the NICU around 2 pm Saturday because he couldn't regulate his blood sugar or his oxygen and had a mild infection. He was 10 pounds 12 ounces and 22 inches long and the doctors are certain I had undiagnosed gestational diabetes, even though I passed the text at 28 weeks and was negative. I also wasn't told until I went into labor that the Group B Strep test had come back positive (two weeks earlier). Needless to say even with the same doctor as the Goblin King, I am VERY unhappy with the quality of care I got this time around.

Oh! And then I developed a headache caused by the botched epidural. So unless I am lying down or doped to the max I’ve had a bitch of a headache since Sunday night. It’s getting better now but it sucks and apparently is common and caused when the needle creates a passage for the spinal fluid to leak out, changing the fluid pressure around the brain and spinal cord. (Fun sounding, right?) Anyway, back to the story.

Having a baby in the NICU is hard, everyone knows that. However, what you don't know is how hard. He didn't feel like mine for the first three days. He was just this cute baby I could go and visit for an hour or two every day. Other people told me how he liked to be held and what his feeding schedule was. I just sat next to him in my wheel chair and thought, "This can't be my baby. He doesn't know who I am and he doesn't feel like mine."

At one point I considered not going to see him anymore until he could come home, because I felt so disconnected from everything that was going on. I felt guilty that what was wrong with him was my fault and I felt like we'd missed out on crucial bonding time and now it was all pointless. I tried not to cry, 1) I am not a cry kind of person and 2) Because it felt counterproductive.


After a good conversation with my mom, on Monday (and my husband bringing my two year old to see me) I did have a good cry and started to go see my son on a regular basis. Things began to feel at least a little normal. Until they told me on Tuesday, no way was he coming home when I did. I fact it could be three weeks before he came home.

I had to go home without my baby. It was surreal, I went home and nothing had changed. There was no baby for me to care for; in fact he'll probably be too big to wear the custom made bat outfit that's just sitting, collecting dust, on my dresser. I was 30 miles away from the baby I had just given birth to. One I never even got to celebrate because of all the drama surrounding his birth and the following events. I simply went home, saw my mom and dad, had dinner with my three other kids and went to bed....Fairly anti-climactic.

It's been eight days and, while still hard, I can say that I look forward to seeing him every day. I go up there for hours and sit, I read while he sleeps. I change diapers and cuddle. Everything I would be doing with him at home, except I’m in a curtained area surrounded by nurses and beeping machines.

I call and check on him every night and every morning. My hands are chapped from the amount of hand washing I have to do before I even get in the room to see him. Until today I was nervous every time I picked him up because of all the tubes and wires connected to him. I don't like that he's not home with us, it makes me stressed and anxious and I just want him to come home. I'm sick of feeling like I want to cry all the time, but I don't because I need to be strong. Not only am I recovering from a c-section that has been very hard on me, but I have major emotional wounds as well.

Today was a good day. My son is on the smallest amount of oxygen he can be on, he is regulating his blood sugar all on his own, they took out the IV connected to his belly button and stopped the course of antibiotics. Aside from a bad diaper rash and not being totally able to drink from a bottle (they have to pump it directly into his stomach) he could come home now. Things are looking up, and while it could have been so much worse (which honestly is a dumb thing to say to ANY mom in the NICU- it DOESN'T help) it wasn't and I know we are blessed as a family.

But tonight....I miss my baby and he's asleep somewhere else with other people caring for him. It’s hard, it is an awful sensation and I just want this experience to be over with now.