Tandem Tuesday: Chapter 8

“Don’t get me wrong, Gayle and I were always really close too. But there was nothing in this world like her Daddy.”

Kat squeezed her Grandmother’s hand comfortingly. Em’s voice was shaking again.

“Sometimes I think that’s why she rejected her gifts in the beginning. If Daddy couldn’t do this stuff, it wasn’t worth doing.”

That elicited a small laugh from both women. “Em, are you trying to say my mother was stubborn? No way, that doesn’t sound like her at all.” The sarcastic joke made them both laugh for real this time, lightening the mood considerably.

They lay in silence for a few minutes, both steeling themselves in different ways for what was to come. The stars twinkled above, the breeze was warm and felt almost like an embrace. If not for the painful conversation they were navigating, the night would have been as close to perfect as this world gets.

“I think the real trouble started when he got sick.”

Em had to pause again, as tears filled her eyes. No matter how many years passed, losing Ian still hurt just as much. Theirs had been the kind of love you find once, if you’re very lucky. She could only hope that Kat, her beloved granddaughter, would find her Ian someday.

“Stop stalling!”, she thought to herself harshly. “You’re just trying to distract yourself from answering Kat’s question.”

“Seeing such a strong man brought so low…there are no words. Gayle was convinced one of us should be able to do something, anything. She couldn’t wrap her mind around the fact that neither of us even saw it coming. And once we knew he wasn’t going to get better, well…”

…to be continued

Cent’anni Bitches!

Land the Helicopter

A true bestie will ALWAYS call you out on your bullshit.

I read a thing today where this woman was talking about leaving her husband and kids for three weeks to care for her severely ill sister. According to her, the only time she had ever spent away was a weekend with her husband when their oldest was a baby. The kids are now 14 and 11.

I completely understand that three weeks is a long time. Especially when you’re dealing with a crisis, like a sibling potentially dying. Having said that, the whole thing irritated me.

Believe me, as a mom, I’m well aware there is no winning. You’re too strict/permissive/clingy/distant, the list goes on and on. However, there is nothing healthy about being so obsessed that you can’t emotionally cope with your kid having a sleepover with a friend at 14. Which I mention because she specifically points out sleepovers as a stressor for her.

She also seems genuinely amazed that her husband and sons handled things while she was gone. To the point of making a big deal out of her 14 year old doing laundry and her 11 year old making his own lunch, tasks she admits had never occurred to her they were capable of doing. It’s a sandwich lady, not the International Space Station.

I genuinely hope this was an eye opener for her, and she realizes she has been raising her boys to be completely dependent on her. I hope she deals with whatever is going on that makes her feel that her value lies in doing absolutely everything for her husband and sons.

What do you think Dissy, am I being too harsh?

I don’t know, Barb. What I see here is that a lesson was learned. A positive and good lesson. She doesn’t seem horrified to have learned that her boys are more self-sufficient than she gave them credit for. She even says that most of these activities had remained the responsibility of the boys when she returned.

In fact, I want to psychoanalyze the hell out of you for judging this woman so harshly.

Because I remember one of the first times we hung out. I remember the look you got on your face when Jason told you, “Go out with Dissy and have fun. I can handle the grocery shopping.”

It never occurrs to you to have girl child or him do many of the things you deem “your” job. In fact, I had to bully you to start visiting me so I could make you sit around and do nothing. Me thinks Barb may be projecting a smidge. 😉

So, my response is…

You know I love you, right?

Cent’anni, Bitches!!

The Problem With Positivity

I came across another one of those stupid Inspirational Memes today. You know the kind I’m talking about.

What? Not this kind? oops… my bad.

Yes, you’re paying half your monthly income in rent for a mold infested shithole, but some people are homeless so you’re still #blessed.

Sure, your job doesn’t pay enough for you to afford food, and your boss screams and swears at you constantly, but not everyone has a job, quit whining and be grateful.

Not this one either? Boy… I’m off on my meme game today.

Of course, they’re never that honest. It’s always some sickly sweet, condescending, passive aggressive reminder that it’s never okay to be unhappy about any aspect of your life because someone else always has it worse.

Of course, positive thinking isn’t a bad thing in and of itself. No one wants to be around the person who can find the dark cloud in any silver lining. What I have a problem with is the relentless pressure to never have “bad” feelings. Sadness, anger, disappointment, these are all to be stamped out and replaced with cheery gratitude.

ewwww… gag me with a barrel of shitty bourbon.

I’ve heard people refer to this as the Oppression Olympics. The guy with the flu isn’t allowed to feel shitty about being sick, because the guy three houses down got his arm ripped off in a woodchipper. And woodchipper guy isn’t allowed to be upset about that, because the guy across town has terminal cancer. On and on it goes.

Why do we do this to ourselves? As with most things, ask yourself the most important question:

Who benefits?

Who has something to gain from keeping us broke, sick, exhausted, and pitted against each other? Not us. So lets put a stop to it, okay?

“Til next time,

Cent’anni Bitches!

Witchy Wednesday: Take 8

I was doing some meandering along the interwebz, and came across this:

How Do You Witch Every Day?

The article itself is well written and definitely worth reading, but I found it especially valuable considering the sad state of modern “witchcraft”. As I’ve mentioned before, too many people treat us like an aesthetic rather than a belief system, so I think a discussion about how this is a lifelong commitment is a beautiful thing.

Personally, one of the things I do every day is write down absolutely everything. Not only do I document appointments, events that seem significant, weather patterns, and other such daily minutiae, I plan everything I possibly can.

she really does write everything down.

Right now, I have a budget mapped out through the end of this year, lists of what episode I’m on for that show with 17 seasons I just discovered a couple weeks ago, daily tasks for work and home, you name it. Spreadsheets are my favorite thing ever, and yes, I realize what a bizarre statement that is.

The thing is, having things in writing helps me to focus my intentions for everything I do. The budget planned out a year in advance? It’s all about having something I can look at and touch spelling out the steps towards achieving financial goals.

witches really do stick everything in jars.

Secondly, I am very much a kitchen witch. Obviously that means having plenty of rituals around “big” meals, like holidays, but it’s also part of my everyday life. Throwing together that pb&j sandwich can still be a sacred act, all it takes is a moment of reflection on how lucky I am to have access to convenient, nutritious food.

What about you Dissy?

I remember reading a similar article a while back about how it’s a spell, of some sort, for a witch to make her bed every morning. It’s a form of closing the dormant time, and, when you pull your covers back to get into bed at night, you are opening the portal to rest and rejuvenation. And look at that… it’s also part of the cycle of the day, cycle of the year, cycle of life.

I realized this is something I have done every day for years. I always make the bed. I can’t stand sleeping in a messy bed, and I have coordinated bed linens, so I like it to look nice. Even if I’m the only one who sees it. .

no. this is not my bed. my dog would get that stuff dirty.

When I shower, I make it a point to wash the figurative crap of the day away.

When I sweep, I recite the broom chant:

“Sweep sweep sweep the floor
down the hall and out the door.
Anger and worry are swept away
good health and love may always stay.”

I had a friend comment on something I put on the ole facetyspace the other day. He said “everything is spiritual,” basically commenting about all the memes going around saying this and that are “spiritual.” And, actually, if you make a conscious effort to make it as such, yes, everything can be spiritual. For those who wonder why you would want to make everything spiritual, I reply with this: Why wouldn’t you want to?

Have an awesome Witchy Wednesday!!

Cent’anni, Witches!

Monday Musings With Dissy: episode 5

That’s me today. Isn’t womanhood fun?

I’m in a super grouchy mood because Auntie decided to pop in and make life miserable for a few days. In the spirit of trying to amuse myself, I started researching superstitions about women’s monthlies, oh, fuck… Say it, Dissy. PERIODS!! I was researching PERIOD superstitions. Some of these are downright hilarious.

Here are some of my favorites:

If you touch any vegetable before or during the pickling process they would not pickle and would go bad.
This gem was listed as a superstition that originated in the good ole U.S. of A. I hope this is from a few hundred years ago, as I would hate to think I’m going to go home and ruin that beautiful jar of Claussens I just purchased. Those fuckers are pricey. Oh, wait, they didn’t say anything bad would happen if the vegetable was already pickled. hmmm…

This, out of Poland:
Having sex while menstruating can kill your partner.
Hmmmm… NOW they tell me. I am part Polish, and now I have a wonderful excuse. “Babe… I don’t want you to DIE!”

Don’t paint your nails, wash your hair, or drink lemonade.
Sayeth the Dominican Repblic.

Lemonade? Ummm… Very little renders me speechless, and no lemonade on the ladies’ days has got me there. What gives?

and this one is a doozy:

Courtesy of the Phillippines:
When you get your first period you need to wash your face with the first menstrual blood to have clear skin.
I… uh… What the hell? I mean… there are people out there who drink pee, and this is not nearly receiving the attention I think it ought to be (we are like rabid dogs over people not vaccinating their kids, but the pee drinkers get a free pass?), so I guess a Flo-Mask (I am straight up trademarking this name) isn’t entirely out of the question, right?

This site also lists a plethora of things you can’t make while riding the cotton pony either. Cream will curdle, mayonnaise will curdle, and every culinary attempt will be an epic fail (thanks, Italy, for that one).

But… this next one… I’m going to make it my “best for last,” as it really can’t be topped. It truly takes the cake, so to speak.

DAMN I want some chocolate cake.

Medieval Europeans believed that burning up a toad and wearing the ashes in a pouch near your vagina would slow a heavy flow.
Ummm… Thanks? I think I’ll stick with Midol.

Please don’t burn me…

Well, there you have it. I’m considerably amused. That’s what matters here. Why? Because I’m an asshole, that’s why. Seriously, though… I hope these little crazy snippets of information amused you, too. I have to go now. Toads to burn and, you know what, screw them. I’m having some goddamn lemonade.

Cent’anni, Bitches!!

Thoughts From a Doctor’s Office

I had the day off work today, but it wasn’t for anything fun, unfortunately. My mom has cataracts, and today was the consultation to set up her surgery.

Luckily, I have a sister who splits up appointments with me, since Mom can’t take herself anymore. Today was quite the marathon. We spent about three hours in the office, so I had plenty of time to ponder life, the universe, and everything (bonus points if you got that reference).

Our family has a lovely history of complicated medical issues, combined with a total disregard for getting any of them addressed. When my mom was diagnosed with diabetes several years back, my late mother-in-law sat her down for a stern talking to.

Mother in law had been on dialysis for years, due to a severe viral infection that wrecked her kidneys, and she flatly told mom that, if she didn’t get her shit together, they’d end up side by side.

Thankfully, my mother in law could be absolutely terrifying when necessary, so mom has done a much better job taking care of herself. However, diabetes, even well controlled, makes everything more difficult.

Hence the hours long consult today.

I’m sure things will work out fine, I’ll be there and my sister will keep on her too.

Worst case scenario, we’ll have Girl Child guilt trip her.

And I’ve learned plenty about the importance of breaking the cycle and making sure I go to the doctor. Even when I don’t feel like it.

Have a great weekend, folks!

Cent’anni, Bitches!

Tandem Tuesday: Chapter 6

“Okay Em, what did you want to talk to me about?”

It had been another glorious day, followed by another spectacular sunset. Em had been hoping to stall a bit longer, but Kat was stubborn.

“Family tradition,” Em thought with a chuckle.

“First of all, no matter what, please remember that I love you so very much.”

Kat sat up in alarm, eyes wide. “Em are you sick? What’s going on?? Talk to me!”

Em gently patted her arm, attempting to calm her. “No, my darling girl, I’m healthy as a horse. I promise. This is just hard to talk about. You’ve asked me what happened between your Mom and I, and I’ve always brushed it off. You deserve an answer, and I’ve kept it from you too long. Because I’m a cowardly old woman who was afraid of losing you.”

Kat’s eyes filled with tears, and she wrapped her Grandmother in an embrace. “That will never happen. You’re stuck with me lady.”

That elicited a small smile, and Em spoke again. “Women in our family have always had certain…talents. Like how animals always love us, even the ones who don’t like anyone. Or when we’re running late, all the lights are green. Little things, that if you cultivate them, can turn into something much more.”

Kat nodded silently, thinking of the times she had been certain she was going to be late for work, only to arrive with time to spare.

Em continued, “Gayle hated being different. Not only did she refuse to learn how to use her gifts, she tried to bury them, forget they existed. I mostly let it go, because I didn’t want to push her further away. Then you were born, and we were all so thrilled. You were the perfect little girl, the sweetest, cutest baby ever.”

That made Kat laugh a little, but Em insisted it was true.

“When things started popping up around you, I never mentioned it, but I saw your Mom getting more and more tense. We took you to the zoo when you were not quite a year old, and every big cat enclosure we went to, the animals came right up to the glass just to look at you. I kept my mouth shut, but Gayle cut the visit short and insisted on going home.”

Em’s voice was shaking now, and she hesitated. “What happened Em?” Kat prompted gently.

“You were just about to turn two, I was at the house visiting and talking to your parents about whether they were ready to move you out of the crib into a toddler bed. You had been put down for a nap, when we all heard you giggling. It was that I’m up to something laugh, so Gayle got up to go check on you, and Richard and I followed. By the time we reached your bedroom door, Gayle was screaming. You had woken up from your nap, gotten bored, and decided instead of calling for someone to come get you, you were going to have a dance party on the floor of your room. You were standing up in your crib, watching all your stuffed animals having a grand old time on the carpet.”

to be continued

Cent’anni, Bitches!

Monday Musings With Dissy: episode 4

Yesterday, when Barb and I put it out there for our Facebook friends to suggest topics for us, my friend Val threw one out there that I though may be more fitting for a solo blog, so, today, I’m going to write about the differences between life as a “thin” person and life as a non-thin person.

Val and me at a 5k event a few years ago.

There are good and bad things involved in being a person who has lost 100+ pounds. At the end of the day, I have to say I prefer being on this side of the fence, though. Mostly, it’s for health reasons. Anything I could have claimed that would fall under the category of vanity was snatched away by the monster called “aging.”

On November 25, it was my fifth anniversary for having gastric bypass surgery. I usually announce this to anyone who will listen because it was a life-changing thing, for me. Not because it made me pretty, because I really don’t think it has, but because it took away a lot of problems I had. Every weight-related health problem I had prior to the surgery has gone away.

High Blood Pressure
beginning stages of diabetes
sleep apnea
myriad aches and pains

Those were the kinds of things I was looking to get away from, as it was really impactful, to me, to have my family doctor tell me if I didn’t do something, I was going to die. Honestly? for that purpose, it really helped me to have a blunt physician. Had he not put it the way he did, I may not have sprung into action. It was also impactful the day the bariatric clinic doctor told me that, if I do die, it will not be because of my weight.

I’m considered a huge success by the clinic. I love knowing that.

There are also certain vanity-related perks to being smaller. It feels good to buy jeans with a single digit size number. It feels good to fit better in just about any space you can imagine. This summer, I flew to Iceland on a very crowded flight, and I didn’t feel cramped or like I was crowding out the people sitting next to me. Five years out, though, I still find myself moving out of the way in situations where I really don’t need to move.

I don’t know whether or not weight loss gets me more male attention. I never noticed these things before, and I really don’t notice them now. It’s not that I expect or don’t expect attention, it’s that I’m classically oblivious to it. You really have to almost carry around a billboard saying “Hey, Dissy, I’m totally checking you out.”

I was with my ex when I had my surgery, and we just broke up this past spring. I haven’t been emotionally ready to dip my foot in the dating pool, so I don’t know what the outcome will be or how it fits in because of my size. Prior to surgery, I never had guys tell me I was too fat for them. If they avoided me because of that, I never really knew. That doesn’t mean that I, as a larger female, didn’t blame that, because I did. I think it’s more a matter that growth and maturity has taught me that we are all not going to be one another’s cup of tea than me thinking my size has made me more or less desirable. For me, that’s fine because there are certain traits that I find more or less attractive as well.

The mental impact of weight loss is very real. I’d have to say that, for every bit of good it has done, something negative has come as well. You have to be willing and able to deal with these things for long-term success. For example, I don’t think I’m a person who has lost weight in a “pretty” way. My skin hasn’t snapped back to where it should be, so there will always be that reluctance and shyness about being naked in front of others, and I feel like I look a lot older in my face. It took a long time to come to terms with the fact that I looked more youthful with a fuller face and I don’t necessarily look “older,” now, I’m just closer to looking my age.

I’ve made a lot of new friends along the way. Friends with whom I have this procedure in common. I had gotten more active over the last 5 years, and I hope to get back to that. It feels great to finish a 5k event. I remember about a month before my surgery, my ex and I were doing the breast cancer walk with my cousins. I couldn’t even finish.

I think I’m one of those odd ducks out there who has changed in different ways and for different reasons. I’m happy for and with what I have. I’m grateful that my risk of heart attack has become practically zero. I’m glad I have not become insulin-dependent. I’m glad I don’t need medication to manage my blood pressure. I’m glad for my increased activity level.

For all those things, I’d do the surgery all over again in a heartbeat.

Now I need to get up off my lazy ass and exercise.

Cent’anni, Bitches!

WTF Friday: vol. 6

What’s that Smell?

For those of you who’ve been paying attention, I’m sure you just knew we’d have to talk about this mess:

Gwyneth Paltrow Sells ‘This Smells Like My Vagina Candle’ On Goop Site

is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Goop has been THE place for overpriced, batshit crazy stuff that no reasonable person would have thought existed, but we’re on a whole new level here.

Apparently, the candle smells like geranium, bergamot, cedar, damask rose and ambrette seed.

Setting aside the fact that it should not take an entire paragraph to explain the scent of a candle, Gwyneth, your twat does not smell like this. No one’s twat smells like this. It sounds like what someone who has never been near a human vagina might think they’re supposed to be like.

And the best (worst?) part. This thing is SEVENTY-FIVE FUCKING DOLLARS!!

Personally, I’ve pretty much given up on humanity, what about you Dissy?

My biggest question, Ms. Paltrow, is “does your vag smell that good, or that bad?” To me, that’s not necessarily a combination that’s going to smell wonderful. I am, however, willing to be wrong, but I’m thinking “over-priced shit-stain” would be a more suitable name.

I think, however, we oughtn’t speculate on Gwyn’s vag. We don’t know. Maybe it does smell like that. Maybe the teenage boys should coin a new phrase. When I was a youngster, it was “you smell like fish.” Maybe now, it could be “you smell like Gwyneth Paltrow.”

I’d probably buy a candle with that label just because I find it amusing, but seventy-five fucking dollars? No. What the hell are people thinking spending this kind of money on a goddamn candle? Me? I’d have gone for the jade egg.

This is a much better value at 39.99.

Until next week, folks!

Cent’anni, Bitches!

Witchy Wednesday: Take 6

Hello All!

This week, we’re answering more reader questions. Remember, whatever you want to know, say the word!

~ Barb ~

A lot of people were curious about various aspects of spell work, so I’ll tackle those first.

Q.  How often do you practice?

A.  The thing to keep in mind here is, there is a difference between types of ritual. There are the eight yearly rituals for holidays, which are generally celebratory. Some people choose to also hold ritual on full and/or new moons every month, which can include spell work if you choose. You can also decide to do workings whenever you feel it’s necessary. The important thing is to make sure you carefully research and make sure all your T’s are crossed and I’s dotted. The Universe has a very…interesting sense of humor.

Q.  Talk to me about love spells, I’ve heard they’re really bad, why is that?

A.  My big issue with love spells is you’re interfering with someone’s free will. That’s not okay, and you’ll never have a healthy relationship with someone based off manipulation. Not to mention, things get awfully squicky in the consent department when you get into more, shall we say, intimate aspects. If you want to bring love into your life, the best thing to do is work on yourself. Everyone has things that could be improved, so put your time and energy into making yourself the best you possible. While doing that, there’s nothing wrong with asking the Universe to help you be more open to what you want. Best rule of thumb? If you’re contemplating something that would probably be considered romantic in an 80s era movie, just don’t.

Q.  What about money spells?

A.  Money spells can be perfectly fine, as long as you’re really careful. First and foremost, if you’re struggling financially, don’t go spend $100 at the local shop buying supplies for a money spell. People have done this, and it’s just illogical. Also, as Dissy mentioned previously, be specific and exact in your wording. If you aren’t clear, things can and will go sideways. Go back to last week’s episode and read what she wrote there, it’s great advice.

~ Dissy ~

I’m thinking Barb covered these really well. I can’t think of anything I would need to add. Bottom line? Don’t be a dick.

I was also asked about hexing.  Yes. That is a thing. It’s a thing that can and does happen. It isn’t something that should be entered into lightly, and it’s not something that should be done in the heat of anger. Be careful what you wish for, and may the odds be ever in your favor. ALWAYS ask yourself
“is it really worth it?”

Always remember… the most potent magick is done for one’s self by one’s self.

Have a great rest of your week!!

Cent’anni, Bitches!