Monday, February 18, 2019

Cause? Effect? Random?

Blessings Darlings!

I've had more energy and less executive dysfunction lately than I've had in ... ages.  This is WONDERFUL when you've had various types of depression, well, pretty much all my life.  Therefore, I'm trying to figure out 'what I did' that caused the change.

I'm doing this even tho' I fully realize that I'm not actually in full control of my brain chemistry.  But I REALLY WANT TO BE fully in charge of my brain chemistry.  I like feeling good.  I want to stay feeling good.

So, I'm reviewing what I've been eating, drinking, exposure to sunlight, the changes I've made in the offerings I'm giving to all sorts of Spirits, the bed board I've added to the bed so the mattress is firmer, improved sleep, reduced caffeine, exercising, etc.

But ... I can't tell what might have helped CAUSE the improvement from what was CAUSED BY the improvement.  I've no idea what came first amongst the variables.  And there are SO MANY variables. 

I want to be in control,  while realizing that I'm never going to be in full control.  I'm doing factor analysis, laughing at myself for doing it, but continuing to contemplate it.

That said - I'm happy with what's going on.

Frondly, Fern

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Pinterest Pagans

Blessings Darlings!

This is a continuation of last Wednesday's blog "Consider the Source!"

There are some Pagans/Witches/Magic Users who violate my "Sources  Matter" rede all the fucking time.  They see something that tickles their Elmo in some way, and NEVER checking to see what the source is or even checking to see if it's total nonsense.  They just add it to their Pinterest/Tumblr/spam it in FB groups immediately.  They don't care if it's true or false, or if it's plagiarized, or if actually followed it can be dangerous.  The best that I can say is that they have their feelz going, but not their brains (or ethics in the case of plagiarism.)

I'm calling them Pinterest Pagans because I really like alliteration.  In my never humble opinion, they are the Becky and Chads of the Pagan/etc community. 

I've posted before about folks who try to 'buy' paganism/witchcraft by buying craploads of tools and oils and other 'stuff'.  This is another form of that - collecting random stuff from the Internet most of which they don't use.   Judging from what I've seen - 90% of the witch/pagan stuff they share is shit.  Just ... shit.  Shit with no sources cited.  Because apparently they think that everything on the Internet is true.

If they share spells and are asked details about them, it's usually clear that they never did the spell.  They can't tell you what exactly occurred when they did it.  They can't give you success/failure rates, they can't tell you why any specific item is called for.  They can't discuss the magical theory behind the spell.  They can't tell you a specific statement of intent that they used. 

IMO, Pinterest Pagan are, for the most part, uneducated and not willing to do REAL work to educate themselves.  Not willing to even investigate what they read for veracity or intelligence or reality.  They clearly don't believe that the sources matter.  To quote Isaac Asimov, they believe that "[their] ignorance is just as good as your knowledge," or equal to the knowledge of folks who have made deep study for years into what they are posting memes about. I'm not saying that *I* am an expert that they shouldn't be comparing themselves to - I'm saying that the sources I quote are the experts, in case anyone was wondering about that.

I weep for the human race. 

Frothing Fern

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Consider the source!

Blessings Darlings!

As all y'all know - my blog isn't scholarly.  It is full of my opinions, UPG, and a lot of rants.  That said - if I cite hard numbers, info on Paleo Pagan stuff, etc - while I often give the references, if I don't I'm still able to cite my sources if asked.  As often as possible (paywalls get in the way) what I have are PRIMARY sources (or translations of them) for all of them.

In other words - the material I comment/rant about/share is from a primary source.  My commentary is a secondary source of information.  And I TOTALLY encourage all y'all to ask me for sources if you want to check things out/look further into the issue/etc.  I don't bogart my sources.

Online, if I share things from sources other than 'me' - like art work, quotes, etc - I will ALWAYS give credit to the person who created them.  If I think that art is good enough that others should enjoy it, too, then it would be a shitty thing to do to NOT give credit to the artist, and not let folks look at more of the artists work, and make it harder for folks to actually BUY things from the artist so the artist can keep creating. 

If I share stuff from a Blog, there will be a link back to the blog. 

Okay - if I use a commonly quoted line from a movie, I don't usually use citations.  "Bye Felicia" doesn't get a (from the movie "Friday", <year of movie> written by <etc>) citation.

Citing sources matters.  Because as all y'all say you know already - not everything posted online is true, or comes from a source other than UPG.  And some folks' UPG is stupid.  By the way - you can quote me on that.  And I can provide examples.  The examples will be Primary Sources.

Knowing the source of any material - whether it is a primary source of ancient lore, a primary source of scientific research (hard to get - often behind pay walls, best accessed at college libraries, and may have the holy grail - the raw data! - included), a secondary source like something written by someone who read the article, a tertiary source like someone who read a press release about the scientific research then wrote a newspaper article about it, etc lets you know how many times the information could have been misinterpreted and how many times there could have been important things left out. 

More on this - the really RANTY part - next blog!

Frondly, Fern

Monday, February 4, 2019

My Body is Wiser Than I am.

Blessings Darlings!

So, yeah, as previously blogged, I had a cold. Of course, the symptoms sucked - my throat was sore, I was tired, I had serious nasal congestion, my sinus' threatened to close, I was blowing my nose ALL THE DAMN TIME, etc.  I REALLY wanted to get rid of all the symptoms.

HOWEVER - most of the symptoms (not all of them) were caused not by the virus, but were part of my body's strategy and tactics for fighting off the virus.  I was tired because my body was putting energy into cranking out white blood cells/antibodies specifically targeting the virus.  The congestion, and the mucus, was because my body made the mucus membranes 'leaky' so it could get the antibodies to the virus infested areas easily.  If I had had a fever - that would have been because antibodies aimed at some virus'/bacteria raise the body temperature, too, because those 'bugs' are temperature sensitive.  The sneezing ... okay, that was probably the virus taking advantage of nasal structure to send itself out to infect others.

It was hard for me to not take OTC meds aimed at quelling the symptoms and let my body do its thing.  Taking decongestants and/or antihistamines would have let me breath thru' my nose, etc.  However the impact on actually getting over the cold would mean that I'd actually HAVE the virus longer.

Instead, I relied on hot herbal teas to help flush debris from the war into my kidneys, napped, ate well (tho' I could not taste ANY damn thing), used saline nasal spray to help keep my sinus' open, etc.  My husband couldn't eat the canned chicken soup that I added garlic and hot sauce to - it was way too spicy for him.  I couldn't taste any spices in it.  Once I was less sick I used my returned energy to make a batch of home made chicken soup and he carefully and Virgo-ly supervised the seasoning of it.

It was HARD to honor my body over my hatred of the symptoms.  I had to - gasp - ADULT.  I had to differentiate between 'getting better' and 'feeling better'.  I had to very narrowly focus parts of my healing work - that herbal tea was given specific target of 'keeping the sinus' open' not 'reduce all inflammation'.

I'm back to my usual level of health now.  I had to miss the local Woman's March huddle so I couldn't infect anyone, but I won't infect anyone at work tonight.  Tomorrow I get back to full exercising (which I should have stopped doing earlier in the cold - I did NOT honor my body that way at first.)

Frondly, Fern

Friday, February 1, 2019

Cold season when it's frigid outside.

Blessings Darlings!

Remember this post I made two months ago -  Sigh - it's here, and I'm the family member who has the cold.  And in my part of the country, the temperature has been in the single digits and teens - BEFORE subtracting wind chill.

I'm happy I didn't have to go out to get anything for the cold.  And you know if I had tried sending other family members that it would take longer to explain what I wanted than it would have taken going myself.

I'm having my soups and stews and juices. I added a lot of garlic and hot sauce to my soup, and still couldn't taste anything.  I had the Chubby Hubby taste the soup to see if it was 'just me' - yes, it IS 'just me'.  I've had my elderberry syrup.  I've had my nap.  I'm shocked at how quickly I'm going thru' my Puffs-with-lotion tissues.

I'm glad I have the stuff and time and cosy home to handle this ... but dammit I had PLANS for today.  It's my day off!  I am not amused.

Whining Fern

Monday, January 7, 2019

Clothes Repairs

Blessing Darlings!

As I mentioned in the last blog post - while our income is finally up and stabilized, we still need to be frugal/cheap.  One way we're doing this is to keep our clothes wearable as long as possible.  This means, amongst other things, that we .... okay, *I* need to do clothes repairs.

Therefore one of the purchases I've already made this year was material to use to patch clothes with.  The least expensive way I've found to be sure that I have a variety of colors of material for this is to buy pre-packaged 1/2 yard swatches of material at Walmart.  The brand is Waverly.  Solid colors are 97 cents before tax.  Since most repairs don't take a lot of material, one package per color lasts me at least a year, except for the black one.  I use a LOT of that to repair my work clothes.

So for $2 of material, and maybe $1 of thread, and I can save at least $10 that I'd have spent on new work clothes every year.  I probably save even more than that - repair one pair of pants and I save $15.  The shirts are 'only' $3 each, but if I only have to replace two instead of 5 a year, I save another $9.  By repairing 3 shirts the other night at work, I more than paid back the investment I made in material.

Yes, I repaired my work shirts at work.  It very was a slow night.  It was, arguably, work related.  My boss and the supervisor on duty were aware of what I was doing.  They may or may not be as hands-off if I repair other clothes at work.

By doing these repairs, I also reduce the amount of garbage I create, and, since most of my clothes are cheap cotton - reducing buying more of them reduces the amount of pesticides used and saves a lot of water use (growing cotton uses a HUGE amount of pesticides and a large amount of water.)

Oh - I don't buy the material in either white or tan.  THOSE colors of cotton I have plenty of, from saving salvageable parts of my husbands tan/khaki pants, and use them to repair his NEWER pants that need patches.  And those pants are way more $$$ than my cheap pants.

Reduce, repair, re-use, recycle!

Frondly, Fern

Friday, January 4, 2019

It's a New Year!

Blessings Darlings!

Yup, a new year.  New chances.  Mostly the same old bills.

Here there has been a change - after months of complications, the Chubby Hubby is now getting Social Security benefits.  He's in his 70's - so since starting it after turning 70 he's getting a monthly deposit that looks HUGE in our eyes.  Between that and my job all of our 'normal' monthly bills will be able to be paid without panic ... for the first time since 1991 (when he left his job with regular paychecks to start his own business.) 

How do I know that we'll be able to pay all regular bills?  Because I made a budget, of course.  We all know that we should know what our monthly regular bills are, but making budgets out of those figures can be scary.  It can show what we're doing wrong (we, for example, are spending WAY too much of our income on rent so CH has space for his business.) 

So, yeah, go forth and see what you spend on stuff last year, so you know at least what minimums you'll be spending this year.

I'm sure that we'll be tweaking this budget.  It doesn't have 'correct' amounts for things like health insurance/meds in it since Bob will be switching to Medicare and paying for that and some of the additional plans for that, and our higher income has me no longer eligible for Medicaid so I'll be paying health insurance and higher medicine and doctor visit copays.

Still, it's a start.

The current budget doesn't have room for savings, tho', and we need to get that in order.  At one point last month our savings account had only $38 in it!  Remember - that's the account that would also be  bail money for some of you who read this regularly, so some of y'all have a vested interest in us having cash in that account!

So our cheapness .... uh ... frugality is going to continue, along with refining what we really spend. 

And, seriously - why is propane still so expensive now that oil prices have dropped?  We finally we able to get the propane tank filled today, and it's going to cost around $950!  What's up with that?

At any rate, this is what we're starting our year with.

Frondly, Fern.