The Warpath has Become my Path – Again

Although I recognize that through the years of Trump’s presidencies, I lost friends or diminished those “friendships”, real or Facebook, I cannot sit silent with what is happening these days. The battleground is real. The fight for our freedoms is real.

I have expressed my anger, my indignity, at recent SCOTUS rulings, and at the failure of our government to take action – and at their failure to put the people before party. But the anger renews, does not abate, and life does not get easier.

I recognize that the overthrow of Roe vs Wade is definitely more an infringement on the rights of women that on the rights of men. I recognize the argument that contraceptive devices are available – at least so far, but don’t hold your breath because those are also on the table for being banned, Clarence Thomas says – but I also recognize that those devices are not free, require some forethought, and there are too many situations where there is no time for forethought, no ability to obtain the contraceptives, or the lack of information and knowledge to utilize those devices.

If a woman is forced to have sex, whatever manner of force applied, she may not be prepared to prevent a potential pregnancy. And who pays the price? The woman, far more often than the man. Far too often, the man gets off scot-free, one way or another. If a man doesn’t want to risk the cost of fatherhood, then he also has the option of using a contraceptive device. The responsibility should not fall just to the woman. But the pregnancy does fall only to the woman. The responsibility for that child does fall to the woman.

Don’t punish all women because there are those who are drug-addled or make no effort to prevent unwanted pregnancies – don’t enforce your beliefs on those who disagree. Yes, abortion should have reasonable limits (and six weeks is not reasonable), but it should be available under those reasonable limits. Defining when an egg and sperm become a viable human life can be arbitrary, but a reasonable determination can be made and applied.

And dammit, if you don’t believe in abortion, don’t have one. Or step up to provide for those children that are not wanted, who stand a good chance of being neglected, abused, abandoned. Yes, there is adoption, but our country needs to work on that – the fact that so many people go outside the country to adopt should tell us something.

You’re tramping on my rights, but then you’ve been doing that for a very long time – you remember that amendment to ensure equality that never got ratified, don’t you? I’m talking to you superior white men who have control, who need to retain that control, whatever the cost. Beware the time women are in control.

Yes, I’m angry.

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Endings

We cannot be silent. We cannot be gentle in our opposition.

that little voice

Endings.

They can be joyful, as in giving birth to a child after 9 months of pregnancy.

They can be fearful, as in changing careers.

They can be sad, as in losing a loved one.

They can be uncertain, as in retirement.

They can be frustrating, as in ending a relationship.

No matter the ending, reactions boil to the surface attempting to find an outlet without crippling you emotionally, physically or mentally. Maybe you want to scream with delight or bellow with disgust.

So that is where we are today in our world. Be you in Ukraine where unprovoked war erupts, or in the United States where inaction by government leaders, rulings against the majority’s desires, evidence of misconduct by trusted leaders, and unfair inequities and inconsistencies are overlooked, we find ourselves battered by unforeseen endings.

We seem unprepared to find solutions, to know how to move forward, and what…

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saddle up

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Just When I Think There’s Hope

Something happens that erases all bits of that hope. Just when our government seems to be ready to actually pass a bipartisan bill that is the beginning of smart gun controls, it turns around and does something else that knocks me off my feet.

Why was Roe vs Wade constitutional 50 years ago and now it is not? Why are we concerned enough about mass shootings to actually do something to try to cut down that number of deaths, and then SCOTUS strikes down a New York law trying to manage guns in the public to some degree.

Add to that Clarence Thomas thinking SCOTUS should re-examine same sex marriage. Yes, Clarence Thomas whose wife Ginny is a promoter of false information, who supports Trump’s erroneous claims that the 2020 election was fraudulent. Why is that man even on the Supreme Court? He who was charged with sexual advances on Anita Hill – as Kavanaugh was, but still got approval to be a Supreme Court Justice.

Riddle From the Middle voiced my thoughts very well – it seems women’s freedoms are under attack, and men are free to do anything they wish. We talk about equality – we talk about being a “great nation” – we talk the talk, but we do not walk the walk. I am angry, incensed, frustrated, sad, not so proud of this country as I used to be some years ago.

Where is the fairness? Where is the equality? Where is common sense?

Can we get a do-over, please?

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I’ve Just Gotta Say It

Since the most recent mass shootings, words have been churning in my head, but I’ve been working at controlling them because they have been, to say the least, highly emotional and dreadfully disorganized. I’m not sure they’re in order now either, but some of my friends have been posting anti-gun control messages on Facebook – “it’s not the guns, it’s the people” theme, and I simply cannot restrain my words any longer.

Yes, it is the people. Yes, we have become a very angry, divided society. Yes, there needs to be a whole lot more focus on mental health. But tell me what would be wrong with banning assault weapons? What would be wrong with universal background checks and a universal registration system for guns? What would be wrong with restriction of sales of guns to those under 21, and requiring a waiting period between purchase and possession? We need to focus on both restricting access to the weapons that allow mass killing and mental health.

I’ve heard the argument – “we need to have our weapons in case our government turns on us”. That tells me maybe we should think a little harder about who we elect. We need to have our vehicles in order to escape from dangers too – and the freedom to operate our vehicles is regulated. Explain the difference to me, please?

Yes, we have a constitutional amendment that gives us the right to own guns – but that amendment was written in the times when we did not have an organized militia, and we relied on everyday citizens to bring their weapons when there were conflicts and wars. That is no longer true. And we no longer rely on our guns to bring home meat for our families. I have read comments from some of those people who hunt that assault rifles are perfect for that – huh? Doesn’t that really take the sport away from hunting? And you’ve all managed to hunt for many years without assault weapons, haven’t you?

I am also willing to bet that most of those who are most vociferous about abortion – those who yell the loudest in their desire to control a woman’s body – are also the most vehement about not having gun controls. Does life no longer matter after birth? Don’t kill a fetus that cannot live on its own, let the babies grow to school age and then kill them? Where is the logic?

The responsibility for controlling the violence lies in part with the government, yes – but our government is no longer able to govern effectively and is unwilling to oppose those who contribute the most to them, those who give them the most power. We all have responsibility – we have the responsibility to bring our children up to become responsible adults. To require that they take responsibility for their actions, for contributing to the family (I’m not referring to monetary contributions here, but sharing the responsibilities that come with a family), to require that they respect authority and abide by the rules. That is not to say they should not speak up when things are obviously wrong, or unfair, but they need to also learn to reason and to use logic – those brains they are born with need to be channeled in a responsible direction. We have the responsibility to seek out truth – not alternate truth, but real truth. We need to relearn to be objective, to reason and think, and to be less defensive and more cooperative and tolerant. We need to report incidents like the social media posts the Uvalde shooter apparently posted, threatening violence. And the authorities to whom we report these incidents need to investigate them seriously. Maybe we need to invest more in having properly trained and adequate pay for those authorities – the social workers, the police. We, the people, are the ones that need to teach our children to speak up when they read those posts, and to insist our governments on all levels finance the training and proper pay for the authorities.

Responsible. It is my hope that we become that society. It is my fear I will not see that happen during my lifetime.

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She Said it For Me

This morning, Breezes at Dawn wrote “A Story” – a story about the government’s interference in our personal lives, a story about laws passed by people who are so far out of the loop of real life that there can be no understanding of what the life of “common folk” is actually like. The story about those with power using that power to dictate to some of us, filling the wishes of those who speak more loudly, who wish to force their beliefs on all of us – beliefs, words, but no real support.

The story is about the current Supreme Court decision to come – the one that was leaked, that apparently will strike down the ruling that gave women control over their body and reinstitute laws that take away the freedoms of us to control what happens to our bodies.

I am so very weary of being told that, as a woman, I don’t count – unless, of course, I happen to agree with a specific choice. I am not, as Dawn said, pro-abortion, but I am pro-choice, and, also as Dawn said, I believe this opens too many doors to too many other restrictions.

It feels like we are moving into dictatorship, autocracy.

Robyn said it so much better than I can – please visit https://breezesatdawn.wordpress.com/2022/05/04/a-story/.

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Ping Pong

It’s been a very long time since I’ve been here. Every once in awhile, a few words that might become a post pop into my head, but those visits are short, and the thoughts quietly drift off into the netherlands. I’ve wanted to do some posts that are lighthearted, but it seems the words form more often when I have grown frustrated with the way things are.

I am a woman. I feel like a ping pong ball. Yet another state passed laws loved by the far right (as much as I hate labels, sometimes they are appropriate), further infringing on woman’s right to control her body. Yes, yes, I know some of you disagree vehemently with me, but whether or not a fetus is a living human is a matter of opinion, as so many things are. We are fortunate that there is room for differing opinions, as long as neither of us infringes on the other’s rights. I agree with term limits, but I fervently believe a woman should have a right to determine what is right for her, that she should have that choice. I have a serious problem with my control of my body being determined by groups that are predominately white male, predominately past the age of becoming new fathers, predominately much wealthier than most of us. Predominately secure in their earnings. Predominately completely unfamiliar with life as most of us know it – the struggling, the juggling, the striving, the almost-thriving, but just not quite able to attain that sense of security that allows us to relax.

Then there is our political climate – more ping pong. We have a House and a Senate controlled by one party for two years – then the other party takes over, and the ball bounces to the other side of the table. It seems every four years the party that has just come into “power”, spends its time undoing what the previous party did. No part of our Congress can work together, laws cannot be passed, Presidents end up governing by issuing Executive Orders, which are only temporary and will be reversed by the next in line. Party A is in power – time is spent undoing, time is spent blocking forward progress, time is spent in ways that are not productive, not cohesive, certainly not cooperative. Party B is in power, repeat. Our government has become a stage for those who want to spend their time being recognized, being idealized and sometimes demonized, but certainly not working for the betterment of our country and its people. I am disgusted. I hate ping pong in this form.

Otherwise, my life is peaceful, my life is quiet, by life pleases me. My furry friends are part of that pleasure, and I am often blessed with their company (although admittedly, sometimes I question the “blessed” part). There is Nong, who sleeps in my bed with Shasta and me. Nong was born on the streets of Bangkok, Thailand, and was the last Asian addition to Kat’s family.

There is Goguma, who was born on the streets of Sacheon, South Korea – he became Kat’s roommate before Nong. He is the gentle one.

There are others, some of whom you’ve met, but they’ll have their 15 minutes of glory in another post on another day. My Shasta puppy, who is no longer a puppy but an old lady, continues on, her movements much slower than they used to be, and more time spent sleeping. But she still has bright eyes, perky ears, and every once in awhile does her little bounce thing that makes my heart happy.

I have added joy to my daily life welcoming spring and creating a little container garden on the part of the patio I see through my door as I sit on my couch.

We will have another, larger garden in the backyard, starring more flowers and vegetables. I have bought two tomato plants, which will live close to the house for another week or so, until we are past the normal last frost date. Of course, the way the weather is anymore, who knows how reliable that is. I have planted some Basil, some Swiss Chard, one Dill plant so far. The tomatoes, sweet peppers, carrots, and cucumbers with various flowering plants will follow. Maybe some mint. First, however, I must work on the drip system. Any day now.

Some of my spare time is spent weaving – I finished a set of new kitchen towels recently. They will be available on my Etsy shop soon – I just have to sit down and get them added.

I have also done some wraps and some scarves. My current project is to learn double-width weaving, and after a day of frustration because my brain wasn’t absorbing some of the instructions, I found new instructions that seem to make more sense to me. We’ll see how it goes from here. This might be one of the “one and done” things, who knows?

Wishing for each and every one of you, enough in your lives. Hoping for an end to despots that create destruction and death, hoping for peace for all mankind. Hoping for the time ping pong exists only in recreational spaces.

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Another Year

I have had no words to share for a very long time, and I have no idea where this post will go – or if it will even become a post. I’m just going to ramble and see what happens.

We’ve been having very cold weather – unusually cold for our part of the world. My Nong cat has been staying inside the house instead of making her occasional short trips to the outside, and she spends a great deal of time on my lap.

Because I’ve been spending a lot of time in front of my fireplace, where it’s warm and cozy. Why? Well, outside my window, this is what I see:

And I am not a cold weather person. Neither am I a hot weather person – I much prefer spring and fall to either winter or summer. Unless summer is on the coolish side. My idea of perfect temperatures for the outside is 65 to 80 degrees.

We had a nice holiday season, quiet. The family was together, and that’s the most important thing. Gep flew into Portland, and he met us at the hotel because we had decided to spend the night. It was exciting – Kat and I found a Target near the hotel, and neither of us had been in one for a very very long time. She found some warm, comfy sweats, and I looked at all the things that whispered to me but that I don’t need – proudly restraining myself from purchasing. We even visited a Trader Joe’s before we headed home the next day. Big times in the big city! Can you tell we’re kind of country bumpkins?

Before we took Gep back to catch his return flight, we took our annual Christmas photo. The tradition is that Kat buys each of us an item of clothing – one year the item was a kind of footed green pajama that really looked a lot like Gumby. Sadly, those photos got lost, so I cannot share. This year, we all pretended we were in the tropics:

Imagine those trees as palm trees, and the snow as white sand. It might help if you close your eyes as you imagine. That one on the far right was complaining about the coldness of the photo shoot – we told him to tough it out, traditions are important.

I’m wondering what the new year will bring, and comforting myself with the knowledge that whatever it is, my life is full and my life is good, and I have enough. What more could you ask?

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I’ve Finally Done It!

I’ve finally put together and opened an Etsy shop. It’s a learning experience, and I’ve already made a few changes in the very few days since I got it online – I’m sure there will be more edits made as time goes on, and there will be more items added periodically.

In the meantime, here are some of the items I’ve offered for sale there:

I’m not much of a sales person, I’ve found, and doing this was a chore that I put off for a long time. We’ll see how it goes. I’m thinking of also setting up a WordPress page as my “sales” website, but am undecided about that.

Oh, it might be a good idea to let you know how to find my Etsy shop, huh? I’ve named it CeeJayelle Creations – my initials, spelled out. The shop can be found at https://www.etsy.com/shop/ceejayellecreations. I’d love to see you all there!

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My Walktober

Fall is here in all its glory, and I am loving every single moment of it – the beginnings of color, the crispness of the air – this is my favorite time of the year (until spring, when I will tell you that is my favorite time of the year). So I took a little walkabout our yard – and I’m hoping that this will qualify for the Walktober challenge put forth by Robin of Breezes at Dawn.

Our Maple tree.

Kat has decorated our front porch to celebrate her favorite holiday – Halloween. I don’t relate to Halloween being anyone’s favorite holiday, but those differences are what makes life interesting, aren’t they?

It’s our first Halloween at this house, so we aren’t sure what to expect. Kat has bought little packages of Oreos for the Trick or Treaters – since Oreos are about the only store-bought cookies I like, there is no danger of them going to waste if we have none of the little costumed folk. The danger is that none will be left by the time Trick or Treating happens. Because, you know, those cravings for sweetness that happen . . .

In our back yard, we have a garden area – in it we have one or two – I can’t tell for sure how many plants are there but it/they have made a very large tomato plant, which has done a very good job of satisfying my love for tomato sandwiches since we’ve been here, and I am grateful to the previous owners who did such a great job of planting.

It’s loaded with green tomatoes now

We’re going to have to pick them soon, I think, because our night time temperatures are getting very close to freezing. It will be time for some fried green tomatoes. Maybe some green tomato salsa – is there such a thing? I’ll have to ask Google about that.

Also in our back yard we have these feathered girls

They are very good about each providing us with a daily egg, which allows Kat to share with her fellow teachers. But you see that white one? Her name is Bridget, but sometimes she’s called Gertrude Meriweather – those times when she has put us at wit’s end because she is a smart girl. Also an adventurer, who likes to adventure into the neighbor’s yard because the bugs are so much better there. To her left is Calliope and behind Calliope is Mae – they are followers. To the far right rear is Artemis, who is always just a penny short. Artemis once got stuck in a corner in their old pen before we moved – it was a case of her needing to turn right to escape, but she apparently could only go left. Artemis is, therefore, not a problem. The others – yeah, Bridget leads them into trouble all the time. We may finally have found the combination that will keep them all in their proper pen, but it has taken all of our ingenuity and many modifications to their pen. We are trying to avoid having to put them in a completely covered enclosure which would drastically reduce their space. When this picture was taken, they were having a good time finding the grubs I had just thrown in to them. Because every member of the family deserves a treat now and then.

My picture verifying that in this life I have enough is this one

The burning bushes that are in the median of the street in front of our house are at their peak color now. Aren’t they just gorgeous? I’m hoping that you have enough in your life too.

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