I stand with Standing Rock

Now that I got all my squishy emotions out, I want to talk about the very alarming situation at Standing Rock.  I try hard not to see the world as a hatred filled place, I like to look for the positive in all situations.  I’m having grave difficulty finding that in this situation.  The American government is currently violating its treaty with the Lakota Sioux.  There are no two ways about it, the powers that be are encouraging militarized police forces from hither and yon to attack peaceful protesters.  This is an act of war on the indigenous people.  Remember the atrocities committed in the name of progress before those treaties were signed?  Yeah, it was not A-OK… Neither is this.


It is 28 degrees at Standing Rock, so the Water Protectors are being sprayed with water cannons.  People will die.  They are being physically assaulted by people who are obviously the sort of bad cops that have caused Miss Shannon too advise against dating law enforcement officials for many years.  When a cop beats you up and steals your paycheck, you can’t call his friends.  These are those guys, those who go home to beat their wives and kids and are protected by their shiny badge.  These are the sort of cop who makes them all look bad, the guys who wear blue so they can terrorize and cause harm.


Please know that the Sioux are not so wildly off in their belief that this pipeline could harm their water.  The Army Corp of Engineers had to concede this when their white neighbors in Bismarck objected to that very pipeline on the grounds that it was likely to contaminate their water.  So, instead, without seeking required tribal approval, the decision was made to put it through the brown people’s land.  Right through their burial ground.  What do you say, can we run a pipe through Arlington?  I didn’t think so.  This land is every bit as sacred, and shame on you if you think otherwise.

Photo of events at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., May 17, 2013. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp was in attendance as President Barack Obama laid a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknowns in honor of all those who have fallen during military combat. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Media drones are being deliberately shot out of the sky as the highly questionable police forces assault the peaceful protesters.  Journalists are being deliberately targeted in an attempt to cover up the clearly illegal actions of the police.  These people, human beings who bleed as red as my lily white ass, do not deserve the indignations being heaped upon them.  As a word of caution:  This is how great warriors like Sitting Bull are formed.  He was killed right there at Standing Rock and I’d like to believe his spirit is with his brethren.  They need it.


This is America.  These are our people.  We do not negotiate with terrorists… and there was a time when we were NOT terrorists.  What have we become?  Just last night, Dozer asked me what I would choose if I could rid the world of just one thing.  I answered hatred… because if we lost our hatred for one another most of the world’s problems would be solved.  Edmund Burke: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.    I leave you with this poem by Martin Niemöller.

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.


Always choose you, you rabid fox!!!

Well behaved women don’t make history, and Miss Shannon is not going to either.  I’ve spent a lot of time lately walking on eggshells and it has been a self-annihilating experience.  I’ve been letting myself feel less than awesome and I’m not going to do it anymore.  I’ve had this talk with myself several times lately, but there’s just something about disapproving matriarchal types that chaps my ass.  I fully appreciate the psychology behind this and we’re not going to explore that just now.  Please and thank you.  Trouble is, I’m having pesky feelings again.  A thousand times, I will tell you that feelings aren’t right or wrong, they just are.  You are entitled to whatever feelings, thoughts, etcetera that flit through your head.  You don’t always have to be right.  Now, if I could just grant myself those same entitlements, I’d be in business.  Right now, I know I’m back to only singing with the windows up or if it involves the alphabet or bumblebees.  I’m not dancing in my kitchen.  Full stop, right there.


I had a most excellent talk with our pal, Dozer (remember, no real names because he needs plausible deniability, even if he’s chosen to use his biker boy name instead.  Giggle.)  He does not like it when I am sad because two things happen:  1. Less with the cooking and the cleaning and the doing all the things and 2. Sometimes I leak.  He’s a guy, he hates that.  So, here I am, actually weeping with real tears over just nothing because there are so many valid things that I didn’t even know where to start.  Anyway, Dozer’s hoping to find some chocolate or something to throw at me because there are few things on earth more alarming than a crying woman who is not making any sense. It’s like a rabid fox… no sudden moves.


Dozer’s advice was that I need to tell people to go fuck themselves.  (God, I love that man.)  I never cared before, and I need to return to that place.  I could give you a list of my garbage that gives me a complex, but where’s the fun in that?  At the end of the day, the only person that can take me back to myself is me.  I’m reasonably sure that I am not the only person who has ever compromised themselves to fit into the slot available.  I’m also sure it’s killing me, so I’d better stop.  Eleanor Roosevelt said that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.  Guess what?  You no longer have my consent.


Here’s what I want my fantabulous readers to get from this little tale.  It doesn’t matter if you want to sparkle or you would rather be in sweats.  No matter what Joe Shmoe thinks, you have to be comfortable in your own skin.  Sometimes you have to choose a side.  Always choose yourself, at the end of the day, you’ll stick by you.  This is why geographical cures don’t work… you take yourself with you.   What I want Dozer to know is that if I’d known my heart would break, I would have loved you anyway.


How not to #*%@ Up Your Turkey!

Having decided that I am entirely disgusted by American politics, I started scratching my brain as to what I could possibly write about.  I had been thinking about just shutting down my blog.  I always feel like I’m naked… this is oversharing at its finest.  At least I’m grammatically correct, right?  I’m usually the first one to scoff at the court of public opinion… but I’m apparently feeling like a delicate tulip.  Sometimes, the thing to do is to keep your own counsel.  What I most want is to hide because I am feeling a lot of scrutiny.  I truly hate to be found wanting… but here we are.


These are such first world problems!!  Sometimes, you just write what you know.  Miss Shannon knows cooking, so I decided to give you a few hints as to how not to fuck up your Thanksgiving dinner.  Let’s be honest… it’s always either really good or really bad, there is no in between.  The turkey is the crowning glory on your table… much like your hair is the thing that pulls you together.  Planning makes all things possible… this is true for hair, turkey, potatoes and homemade pumpkin pie.  Planning would have been a hot idea before I bought a couple of pieces of antique furniture at a garage sale, but hind sight is 20/20 and I’m still the proud owner of a buffet and china cabinet in need of much love.


Anyway, I always have a big turkey because I have no idea how to keep things in proportion.  I’m taking it out of the freezer on Friday and thawing it in the refrigerator.  Not the counter, not a cooler and not in the sink.  You get salmonella from poultry, thaw it in the fridge.  Tuesday, I am going to brine that bad boy.  (Turkeys are dry because they have a low fat content.  There are few things worse than dry turkey.  Canned gravy and cranberry gel with can ridges on it make the list.)  We need to add moisture to the turkey..  There are tons of recipes for this but I want my turkey to taste like turkey, only moist and succulent.  SO, I’m going to throw a cup of kosher salt in water and dissolve it.  I’ll throw in some peppercorns and a cup of brown sugar into a big pot the turkey will fit in.  Drop in the turkey, and add water until the turkey is completely submerged.  Store in the fridge on account of the salmonella thing.  Wednesday night, after the bird has been in the brine for 24 hours, I’m going to pull it out and let it dry overnight so the skin will be yummy and crispy.


Now let’s talk a wee bit about potatoes.   If you use a box of chemical flakes to make mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving, may the gods have mercy on your soul, which is surely going to burn in hell for all eternity.  Stop that immediately and come to the light, Carolann!!!   Peel potatoes, more than one kind.  I usually get russet, red and yellow potatoes.  Trust me on this.  I throw a couple of bouillon cubes in the boiling water to enhance the flavor.  Drain them completely, there should be no water left behind.  Get a block of cream cheese, REAL butter, never ever margarine and milk or cream.  I prefer to use an old-fashioned potato masher because it doesn’t break down the potatoes in the same way a mixer does.  Salt and pepper go in this, kk??


I may or may not offer further recipes, but if your turkey and potatoes are good, you’ll be all right.  If you don’t know how to cook, Thanksgiving is not the day to learn to make everything from scratch.  Baby steps, people.  Miss Shannon believes in you and your inherent ability to follow directions.  Returning to those initial thoughts about the court of public opinion…. Nobody likes it.  Much like the state of the union, it is what it is. Our next trick ought to be to stop asking permission to exist.  Today’s highlight reel:  Moist turkey, flavorful potatoes and the fact that we have intrinsic value as human beings…. As long as you aren’t making instant mashed potatoes, in which case, just hang it up.


The Muppets Storm Washington!!!

Today’s highlight reel: Connor was sooooo excited to go to the polls and “help” me vote. He’s got a plan, he knows just who ought to b e elected and my vote alone is going to make that happen. He needed to put his red, striped clip on tie over his orange Nike sweatshirt and a good time was had by all. He’s going to cry if his candidate doesn’t win and for this, I blame Uncle Neil and Dozer. Yesterday, I noticed that one of my daycare kids was dumping dirt on another kid. I asked him why on earth he was doing that and he said… Miss Shannon, he is the dump truck and I am the back hoe. One of them is brown and one is beige and I hope to hell that the results of this election doesn’t significantly impact their ability to play together.


I did not want Hillary Clinton to be president. Not even a little bit. I also didn’t want a muppet, but here we are. The next president of the USA flaps his arms to make fun of disabled people, gladly makes fat and ugly comments about women while knowing he is on camera, and is pretty clear about being a hate monger. Stay classy, America. His supporters justify his “off the cuff” remarks that are just wretched by saying things like… well, he didn’t have time to think it out. Exactly, kiddo, he just told you how he really feels. When somebody tells you who they are, believe them.


Meanwhile… We don’t need this guy to make our country great. In recent years, we’ve survived so much… There was W… my goodness, remember 9-11 before the speech writers got ahold of him? Don’t forget the superior visit from Billy Boy, or the fact that Ronald Reagan was clearly suffering from Alzheimer’s while in office. There hasn’t been a really good president since JFK… and do I need to remind you about that little ditty from Marilyn Monroe? United we stand… so unite in favor of your brothers and sisters who aren’t living a Christian, heterosexual lifestyle… those with brown skin and people who worship differently.


This is America… land of the free and the home of the brave. We’re going to be just fine so long as we remember that the thing that actually makes us a great nation is our freedom and diversity. Stand for that, stand for equality, for the right to march to the beat of your own drummer.   For America.


Samhain!!! Buy a broom!!

So there I was, buying brooms in Walmart… which are on sale because, I assume, it’s Samhain.  I know… you say Halloween.  Or hey… let’s have a harvest festival… which is supposed to lessen the occult aspects of this holiday but is closer to its origin.  Which gives me a giggle…  Because this is the festival of the Dead.  It also celebrates the end of the growing time and ushers in the long, cold winter.  You know… Harvest!


If you are Pagan, Wiccan… anything of that nature you’re probably getting a new broom just now because you get a new broom for the new year.  (The spiritual New Year, not the secular.  That’s NOW)  It’s a luck superstition, because there’s no sense in bringing the dirt from the old year into the new.   This is the spiritual new year for people who celebrate the Earth.  The veil is thin.  You’re a little scared of things that go bump in the night.  Which is ok… it’s the reason you’re afraid of the dark.  Your elemental, childhood fears pop up… for good reason.  If your dear old Granny wants to come see you, now’s the time.  Y’all don’t like that, Miss Shannon knows.


So… for the humorous aspects of this sort of thing… Miss Shannon is an Aquarius. It starts with aqua so you feel like that’s a water sign.  It’s air… Basically, in the immortal words of Pam Tillis… I go where the wind blows, you can’t tame a wild rose… I am essentially a rootless, hippy dippy, let’s all have a group hug kind of girl.  It’s why I chose social work as a profession.  I am almost always drawn to either earth signs or fire signs.  Go check your zodiac, people.  Our pal Dozer is a Taurus… the earthiest of Earth signs.  His roots run deep, he knows what the right thing is and he’s just so grounded.  Being me, I crave roots and solidarity.  He, apparently, craves some Miss Shannon brand crazy blowing through his leaves.


So he laughed when I said I was buying brooms that were on sale… because in Dozer’s world, he doesn’t need a new broom because I got him a new one a couple of months ago.  (He had this wretched straw thing.  I’m afraid that won’t be possible.)  He has no superstitions… and I envy that.  If I spill salt, that shit is going over my left shoulder, right into the devil’s eye.  I hang a straw broom on my door to keep out evil spirits.  Dozer is also slightly alarmed that there are more than a handful of people on earth who have the same belief system that I do.  I do not blame him…


The other Earth sign in my life… my little Tugs, a Virgo, is struggling.  We went to the doctor today and got a few answers… Mama has a laundry list for this little boy, and not one thing on it is easy.  My other kids are fire, air and water.  This is a volatile household, people. Anything can happen. Anything.  At the end of the day, all my little chicks have returned to my henhouse and I am grateful.  Meanwhile… I’m going to ask water for healing and assume that Gaia, spirit of the Earth, knew what she was doing when she filled my plate.  And I will accomplish this… one bite at a time.