Monthly Archives: December 2014

holidays

I like to post when I have something to say. Not just to post. The last few weeks have been very busy on the secular level and while I have been debating on some things to write it, I felt they would be controversial. Now that I’m sick, I’ll just jot a few of those things down.

1.) I’m not big on social gatherings. More than 3 people and I don’t like it at all. So holidays that translate to “gatherings” seem more like a nightmare to me than bottled sunshine.

This makes celebrating holidays a bit of a trial because I want them to be special and meaningful, which ritual and ceremony can provide, but I don’t want to hang out with groups of people. This Catch-22 always makes December a hardship in planning activities instead of a fun time.

2.) I do celebrate Christmas. I was going to write a big long post about why but do you really need to know? In brief, I was raised by Agnostic parents (who were in turn raised by occasional church goers) with a traditional Christmas of tree, presents and turkey dinner. I loved all the magic of Santa and I still do, even though I have an atheist son, an agnostic daughter and a pagan husband.

I don’t put Christ into Christmas. Most Christmas symbols were stolen from Pagans and there is no historical evidence that Jesus was born in December – and since I don’t see Jesus as anything but a dicey historical figure, I don’t see any need to worship or honor him. I don’t do it for Buddha, so sorry Jesus.

3.) Because of my cultural history, celebrating Winter Solstice just rings false to me. I’m not blasting anyone else’s need to celebrate this, everyone has what speaks to them. What I appreciate Winter Solstice is that we get more daylight and that is indeed something I celebrate everyday past 12/21.

It doesn’t help that my December runs something like this: Daughters birthday (12/12), Sons birthday (12/15), Anniversary (12/16), Winter Solstice (12/21), and Christmas (12/25). By mid December I am generally ready to tear my hair out so adding another “holiday” to celebrate is just more stress!

4.) All the bro-haha about gift giving and the commercial side of Christmas ticks me off. Not at the retailers but the crazy shoppers AND the holier-than-thou “you don’t need presents” folks.

There is nothing wrong with having one day a year where you give and receive gifts. If someone is making it crazy, than just step off the crazy train. Don’t blame others for what you are willingly “buying” into.

My suggestions:

1.) Don’t buy presents for adults. Period. We had a long run of holiday poverty when cash was tight. We ended up telling the in-laws who were really big on gift giving that it would be homemade ONLY. Yeah, sometimes that was a bit bumpy but we stuck to it and Christmas is a lot easier now.

2.) Don’t get your kids tied into name-brands. We never did the Disney-branding crap in our home and hence we don’t have kids who must have a certain brand. This kinda stuff like Frozen is just a commercial goldmine and a parents nightmare. Steer your kid clear of it – don’t buy the pillows, sheet sets, comforter, backpacks, hats or whatever and keep downplaying “brands” of clothing as having prestige.

3.) Mock commercials that sell. Kids are quick to pick up on how stupid advertising that plays to emotion and fears is – just keep pointing it out in a humorous way

4.) If your kids are surrounded by people who put more emphasis on what they have in terms of possessions than who they are, find some new friends. It really pissed me off that daughters school in Missouri put such a big emphasis on Apple products. That crap is expensive and Apple donates Zero to schools unlike Microsoft.

Stupid parenting moves:

1.) denying kids any Christmas, not because of religious beliefs but because you have issues. My recommendation to this woman – get an education and leave retail. Retail has been slicing jobs and is declining. Don’t be thankful to the hundreds if not thousands of shoppers who were polite and happy standing in long lines.

I’m sure your kids will be so happy to have any magic to their childhood completely removed by your cynicism and “realism.”

2.) forcing kids to give to the poor by giving up their own Christmas. Hey, I’m all for teaching generosity but I do that through the year; I don’t deny my kids their own gifts to “teach them a lesson in giving.”

For example, I have stopped and given warm food to the homeless; I donate to food drives; I donate my spare change to charity; I have supported and donated to my kids schools; and have given my time and abilities to charities that I support. I do this all year long – giving at Christmas because it’s Christmas is just part of that whole false-face Christianity you see everywhere.

This type of parenting is about the parents and not the kids or even the lesson!

Well there is my sermon from the sickbed…

Reading the Teacup Oracle

Nicole at Cauldrons and Cupcakes has posted a really neat blog post about Teacups. I wanted to reblog it but the Computer said No… so this is the info on the teacup I selected:

7. ♥ Spires and Lace Teacup You’re stepping into a delicious time of creative energy. Expect ideas, insights and innovation. Challenge yourself and the status quo. Travel and open yourself to new ideas and the joy of thinking outside the square. This is a magical time for you, and you’ll be strongly guided and supported in this space of creative flow. Plan adventures, and then go! Start something new. Get things finished – there are also powerful energies for completion here. ♥ Best Crystal – GARNET ♥ Power Word – INSPIRED  ♥ Magical Healing Environment – People and places that stimulate you  Travel, go to new places, even if it is just a coffee shop or restaurant. Plan holidays and major life changes. Embark on new projects. Make things. End things or finish things. Think bold thoughts. Believe in yourself and in magic!

I’d suggest looking at the cups and instinctually picking the one that appeals before reading about them.

December as usual is either moving too slow (husbands bonus has been delayed a week which means my big holiday shopping and home improvement stuff has been delayed) or going like a freight train down track collapsing over a ravine – this Friday is daughters’ birthday, tree hunting, Son’s birthday on Monday and my horse leaves for training on Saturday. The week after Daughter prepares for an upcoming surgery and husband will start his winter break vacation.

Very Rabbitrey month – fast or frozen.

What’s mine

After I posted this, we headed to the barn, later than usual, to feed horses. This time is the most when I’m outside so I guess I do post about that daily trip a lot.

I was just telling Grenwinae on the way back that I keep seeing these hawks sitting on the ground on this big hill (it’s a retainer wall for the city reservoir) and that I think they are just eating but hoped they are okay. As I said this, there was a huge hawk sitting at the side of the road (literally one foot off the road), mantling his wings – in a tree next to him another hawk took off.

I figured he was mantling to prevent the other from stealing his food, but I stopped (no one coming) to make sure he didn’t have a broken wing from a car hit. Nope, he was just eating… nom nom nom.

1.) Make sure I protect what is mine / I have the ability to protect what I need

2.) Don’t worry I’ll catch what I need / I have the ability to get what I need

When I got home, that damn squirrel we’ve been trying to catch was in his humane trap. Off to the park 7 miles away for relocation (he had been in our attic)!

Business musings

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I have been very busy working on the business. Sometimes I feel like I’ve gained traction but than look at the hard numbers of traffic on the website, blog and Facebook and know I have a long way to go to achieve a sustainable business.

It makes me feel like I’m standing still, all the while losing time. Obviously, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and in the 2 months we’ve been in business we’ve made 27 sales, and a little over $600 in sales. I am feeling good that taxes will also show a return due to business expenses and I don’t feel that I’ve spent so much on the business as to jeopardize the family financials (I spend more on my horses per month which is a sad testament since I’m not riding at this time).

Another good outcome is that it gives me goals to accomplish instead of just friggering time away. Grenwinae and I have been able to have business reasons to leave town for the day and spend time together on treasure hunts.

However, what is worrisome to me is that without outside paid advertising I am not sure the blog, Facebook and store will take off. We paid for Google AdWords and yeah, it helped but not enough to pay back what was spent on the campaigns. If I had more stock? If I had something that could easily be reproduced en masse (like elastic baby headbands? ugh), perhaps it would pay to advertise.

Owls and Hawks have been busy making themselves be noticed, however, no specific message.

The day is gloomy here and it’s easy for thoughts to slide to that gray area.

I am making progress but it is slow. I have had to remember to pace myself and to keep things going at the level that my mind and health will allow.