Dance 10, Looks 3

So I needed a new door.  Remember:  you can either have a million children or a million dollars, you cannot have both.  So, Brother Neil installed a solid slab door that was fairly inexpensive but was also unfinished.  Initially, I thought I’d paint it white, despite the aforementioned million children.  It rapidly became apparent that this was an error in judgement, so I got out the handy dandy internet and googled door colors for a brick house.  I settled on burgundy because I thought it would look nice.  Yes, my friends, the whore of Babylon just painted her front door red.   It looks like hell, despite waiting between coats and everything.  It is my current belief that the extreme 90 degree temperatures at the end of September might be the culprit, (No global warming here, folks) so I’m waiting until the weekend.  Here’s my Whore Door:

While I was outside taking that picture, I heard a group of girls teasing one another… I don’t know entirely what it was about, but the words “tits and ass” were clearly heard and dammit, now that song from A Chorus Line is in my head.  Grab a cab, c’mon, see the wizard on Park and Seventy-third…I want plastic surgery.  Honestly, if I had more cash I’d probably get a whole lot of work done… starting with my eyes and working my way down.  A whole lot of the time it’s not how you feel, it’s how you look… At least if you’re a single, approaching middle aged woman. APPROACHING.  I’m not there yet.  Guys don’t have this problem, because no matter how they look, they feel good.  Note to self:  Must work out this utter personal satisfaction.  Also, find a way to eradicate the song trolls in your brain.  And lose twenty pounds.  Bitch.

Just to top off my day, I needed to go to open house for my nine-year-old.  Remember, I have Tits and Ass, bought myself a fancy pair going through my head while I’m plastering a fake smile on my face because I know hardly anyone in the room and this is the 947th time I’ve been to an open house.  Not much changes and I continue to know where the exits are.  I got through the whole thing, incident free and then…. I just had to say hello to the teacher.  A parent I know, who seems like a nice enough guy, is trying to take a picture of something and the teacher pulls me over and announces, “Oh, he’s taking a picture!!”  A hush falls over the room.  That poor bastard starts just panicking… No, no, that’d be creepy… I’m not taking her picture…and that was awkward.  It’s the sort of thing I never really know how to maneuver.  Better, yet… I need to call this guy in the near future about a project I’m working on.  Awesome.

Little Pink Houses for you and me

So… not a lot has been happening on these hallowed pages because I’ve been really inside my own head.  My mantra lately is that I am Switzerland. I don’t have a whole lot to give right now.   I’ve been dealing with the tangled threads of bad decisions.  Often these are things that result from life choices made before I knew what that even meant.  I tend to get into verbal altercations when I state my opinions, both political and personal.   I usually blame that on the fact that I hang out with Dozer a lot, he’s especially conservative. People never used to get mad when I wanted to feed the little poor kids and I continue to fail to understand why that’s a bad thing.   I tend to have a more flexible view of the universe, but I must have touched a nerve or twenty, because recently, someone (Not Dozer) told me I just shouldn’t talk about these things… sorry, sunshine, this is my space and I will continue to use it as I see fit.  Come pay my rent and then we can talk about your level of input in to my life.

I think it’s funny that the very people who are defending the KKK’s right to free speech would like folks like me to please shut our mouths.  Miss Shannon finds all hate groups abhorrent.  I don’t care if you are blanketly hating other races, religions or sexual identity. I hate what they say, but I also defend their right to say it.   It irks the living shit out of me to see football players take a knee during the national anthem… and that, my friends is free speech. That’s part of the foundation of America, land that I love.  I don’t have to like it.  Matter of fact, a whole lot of the time, it shocks the hell out of me to hear the vile things people really, sincerely believe.  Not only do they believe it… they think Jesus Christ rode down on a chariot (or maybe an uber, Miss Shannon is not on that invite list, thus cannot be certain) to give out the Good News.  Here’s what I know:  The God in the King James version I read did not hate people based on their skin.  That guy supported feeding the poor, widows, etc.

Lately I feel like there is a disturbing level of hatred for the poor…  people who are middle class or upper class actually think they put themselves where they are, pulling themselves up by their boot straps and making something of themselves.  There were people who taught you things, made sure you went to bed with a full belly , who gave a damn and helped you find opportunities….not everybody has that.  Those same people say that if kids would apply themselves, they’d be successful.  That is not always true.  I can personally attest that when the spelling test comes before free lunch, you just don’t do as well.  Let’s talk about Maslow for a hot second… physical needs must be met before you can ever attain higher fulfillment.  I say… maybe try leveling the playing field.  Let’s give all the children a pencil… and, by all that is good and holy in this world, please stop assuming their origin is their destination.

Miss Shannon is moderately successful.  When I say moderately, I mean that I’m never going to get rich raising kids… but I get such an emotional return.  Most of the time, I can pay my bills.  I place the credit for that on the fact that I had a friend, far more fortunate than I, who thought I had potential.  Everybody has potential, but not everybody knows that.    I was lucky… someone with world knowledge took an interest in me and told me so, repeatedly and taught me things I would never have learned otherwise.  To escape poverty, you must first know that’s a thing that can happen.   I take things like racism and classism personally… my family has some gorgeous babies that came in a darker shade.    I love those kids.  Prejudice is based on ignorance and fear.   The belief that you are more valuable than someone else based on your zip code or skin tone is foolish hubris.





I would now like to thank every veteran of this nation for giving me the right to say all that.  I continue to appreciate the fact that I am not wearing a burqa and I am grateful that football players can kneel.  I am even grudgingly grateful that asshats like the KKK can mire on down in their own filth.  Ain’t that America??  Home of the free…. Because of the brave.

The clouds in my coffee

 It’s mid September, which means it’s almost October.  Yay for pink and purple hair…and here comes discussions of domestic violence that suck the life out of me like fluorescent overhead lighting.   If you thought that it’s my idea of a good time, you are mistaken.  This year, I am going to put a little focus on the aftermath, because that is what currently alters my world view. Maybe I’ll even tell you why rodents are a trigger for me.  Then again, no… there are some things we just never fully disclose.  This is also in my mind on account of that compression fracture in my spine, which is making itself acutely known, reminding me of how it got there.  Now, that’s a gift that keeps on giving!  No worries, I’ll never forget that guy… no matter how much I’d like to. We’re also redecorating at Casa Gypsy, so here’s one of this week’s projects:

For whatever reason, the song on repeat in my head is Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain.”  It reminds me of loved ones.  How’s that for a fucked up world view?  Anyway, if you’ve ever seen Inside Out, you know there are little trolls in your brain that send jingles.  My trolls usually like to send a song that fits how I’m feeling, though sometimes the little bastards send things like Elmo’s World (Admit it, you just went Dah Dah ta Dah, Elmo’s World!!)  Anyway, when a song is really stuck in my head, it means something.  Often, like now, I know what it means.  And that is mostly ok because it really is just clouds in my coffee.  Here’s the hamper I am forcing to live a little longer:

Anyway… I’ll just keep singing Carly Simon and upcycling junk.  In other news, I shit you not, someone actually stole my rosemary plant.  I can’t make this stuff up… but only the plant, not the pot.  Whaaat?  It had to be Plant Lady, except that one was doing well.  If there is a fruit loop in fifty mile radius, I will find and attract them.  Since I haven’t got time for the pain, I’ll make do with what I have and that’s a hell of a lot.  Lots of pretty babies, a nice home and a thriving business.  Not bad for a girl who was raised on a farm in abject poverty and sporting a minor spinal fracture.  Think on this:  In a world where we all want a magical solution to everything, while refusing to believe that magic exists;  maybe just create your own.

Finally, if you are part of the tribe that needs to be heard and remembered, this little blog is the place to be.  I will tell your story… and I’m on your side.  If you are a survivor or your loved one is a victim that has been permanently silenced, tell me your story.  I will represent your voice to the best of my ability.  As in, I only edit for grammar.  Our silence gives our abusers power… so let your voice be heard.  It really does make a difference.  I can honestly say that I have been told that this blog helped someone leave, find resources, etc.  Using my experiences to help others has been healing for me.  Maybe it’ll heal you, too.


So… I solemnly swear, I am up to no good.  I’m redecorating (because I redecorate instead of move.  Gypsy magic, try it sometime.)  which means I’m trying to create various craft projects that will work in a room that I painted terra-cotta.  For men… that means the color of those orangish clay pots. The ladies already knew that.   Why doesn’t anyone talk me down??  Oh yeah, I’m the only grown up here.  My little projects are disastrous just now, because you live and you learn.  Also… they’ll be fine in the end, because if it’s not fine, it’s not the end.  Get a mantra, people.  Since I have decided to leave well enough alone, I thought I’d chat with all of you.   Just for kicks, the geneticist that is supposed to make sweeping pronouncements that will profoundly affect my little zebra’s life just decided she’d like to work part time instead of full time.  Thus, the appointment I’ve been awaiting for the last three months has been canceled and he’s on a wait list.  So… back to Shriners, who will see him in February.  It’s August.  When I completely lost my marbles, it wasn’t because I think anything will really be different after the appointment.  A little guidance would be useful, but nothing is going to fundamentally change.  It’s just one more thing to handle alone… Somebody send me a little Gypsy magic for that, please and thank you.

The thing about being a single parent is that there’s never quite enough to go around and everyone lets you know it.  In my world, there aren’t a whole lot of people with the temerity to actually address this sort of thing to me, but there a handful of battle axes that can’t leave well enough alone.  Most days, I can just shake my head and know that happy people don’t run around trying to destroy other people.  Thus… I get to keep my high road. My mama didn’t raise any fools – gypsies, tramps and thieves??  You bet your happy ass, but not a fool in the bunch.   Guess what?  I could have done better.  I yelled at times when I shouldn’t have and sometimes threw up my hands in defeat.  I really can’t fix a hell of a lot, because sometimes everything just sucks and you just have to go through it.  Having successfully kept these people alive and not serial killers, I’m pretty sure, anyway, nor have they ever been homeless or hungry, this is my advice.  If you love them with every fiber of your being, and I know you do, not being perfect won’t matter.  It will be enough.

I’ve spent the last (nearly) twenty-two years of my life raising good little Americans.  Patriotic, kind, share your last bag of pinto beans kind of humans… My oldest boy has always toyed with the idea of joining the military.  We’re a Marine Corps family… and that’s where he’s looking. (A recruiter met with him last week, without me, making Officer Recruiter public enemy #1.)  I’m not surprised… he likes the big guns (pointed at my heart, bang bang, shoot ‘em, like a firing squad) My son is too young to remember 9-11, and can only remember our nation at war.  A year from now, I know I will put my baby, who used to stalk my eggs so he could “hatch” them by throwing them on my kitchen floor, on some sort of transport to Paris Island.  I’ll be proud and terrified, because I’m old enough to know that humans have an expiration date that is arbitrary.  I wish I was still telling him to color on paper, not walls.

My oldest daughter told me, tonight, about singing in public for the first time in a long time since the fellow she married ripped her up and made her feel small about it.  She gets that from me… both marrying bastards and singing out loud… Given enough time, she’ll collect most of herself back.  Immediately following this story, our Marine candidate was ready to throw down with a trucker who was feeling a little lecherous toward her on Route 20… lol… I’m not sure when my boy became a man, but he seems to have just about arrived.  My younger daughter is going to bless me with a grandson any day now… I promise, he will come out and you are going to rock motherhood.   The two little ones are still finding themselves, and they have all the time in the world.  I haven’t raised any rocket scientists, doctors or lawyers.  Instead, I raised good people… the kind who will pull over if you’re broke down, who will listen in the grocery store when you’ve just been diagnosed with a fatal disease and who will write a blank check for this country because their soul tells them they ought to.  Raising these fine human beings has been the pleasure of my life, and I am proud of every single one.

When you’re bogged down with the minutia, sometimes it’s just too much.  Like any single parent, it’s kind of the deal, part of committing yourself to a tiny human until they are ready to go forth and be.  It’s ok to fall down, so long as you keep getting back up, even if you are doing that by digging your nails into the furniture to keep yourself upright.  Obviously, Miss Shannon has had a rough week.  Instead of letting it eat at me,  I’m going to keep on keeping on and be proud that I alluded to songs from three different genres, because it makes me happy in my heart.  Take your joy where you can find it.