Tuesday, August 14, 2018

What's Up In YOUR Land Base?

Blessings Darlings!
Here in my land base, the fireflies are long gone. Night are LOUD now, with cicadas and crickets having meet and greets. I can count on seeing some shooting stars every night that is clear enough ... but I can also count on late day thunderstorms often enough that at least half the nights aren't clear enough.

And it is so very much butterfly and moth season! Monarch and swallowtail, lovely moths I don't know the name of, and the ubiquitous cabbage moths are everywhere.   Night features other moths, plus visiting bats (I'm guessing that they share barn space with the barn swallows).

The local peaches are ripe - and a local church is having their Peach Festival tomorrow.  My tomatoes are nowhere near ripe since I planted them late, but the cucs and peppers and occasional zucchini (I only started one plant) are producing.

The rivers are high due to all the rain over the past month.  Water practically pours out of cracks in the cliffs of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  The humidity is high.  Every day the forecast is "Today will be much cooler than yesterday was," but that's just wishful thinking.  The temperature has been pretty constant.  

This is when county fairs should be.  Before school starts, in the gap between when farmers harvest stuff.  Everyone should be eating funnel cakes with diced fresh peaches and powdered sugar.

Frondly, Fern

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Petty Magic.

Blessings Darlings!

I'm in a lot of Pagan groups on FaceBook.  In some of them, I even use my real name!  The groups are where I get much of the inspiration for the Pagan posts on this blog.  (Stop the pearl clutching - I don't air individual's issues/private stuff - I note general trends.)

Having joined a few new-to-me groups, I'm seeing a lot of folks spending a LOT of their time on petty curses/hexes/etc.  That is - cursing/hexing folks for doing little 'wrongs' to the person doing the hex.  And doing hexes/curses rather than, ya know, putting up shields and wards and protecting themselves from all sorts of shit, large and small. 

I admit that no one has 'stole my boyfriend' since I was 16.  Wait - okay, when I was 20 a guy dropped me for another girl, but I didn't blame HER then, either.  He did it.  I didn't do any magic to get him back because even at that tender age I figured that I didn't want to keep a cheater.  At any rate - that was 40 years ago.  So I've not had to deal with those emotions and such in ages.  But ... just maybe there are reasons that your relationship didn't work for both of you.  Maybe you need to solve those things in your life before you CAN have a long-lasting relationship.  BTW, even without any magical intervention on my part - I'm pretty sure that my ex-BF married her and they divorced some years later.  So maybe he never worked on HIS part of the reasons, Fern notes smugly, looking at her 38+ years of marriage.

Yes - that line was petty.  Petty CAN BE entertaining.  Don't get me wrong, I'm ALL in favor of doing magic for 'petty' things - petty things that make your life better/easier.  Finding parking spaces is a good example, where a shot of focused energy will save at 5 - 10 minutes of your time.  Petty?  Yup - it's very far from a life-or-death situation.  Improves your life?  Yup!

IMO, most of us got into magic for petty reasons.  My first ''big" spell was a love spell, done at age 12 or 13.  I was charging rings to deliver a dose of  'fuck you' a year or two before that.  Petty can provide motivation to learn magic. 

But petty reactionary magic - 'someone did something I didn't like and I'm butthurt and need a curse so I get get them back' - isn't either learning how magic works (it's just following a recipe, which isn't bad, but it's not 'learning magic') or putting yourself in a position where others can't magically harm you.  And if you keep ending up with the same issue that you want to curse folks over - you really need to solve the issue in your life that makes you keep putting yourself IN that position. 

It's way harder to solve issues in your life, and way harder to learn to do magic other than canned spells from others, than it is to do reactionary magic when you're butthurt.  The pay off, of course, includes that you don't end up getting butthurt all the damn time.  That might not be an appealing pay off if you want to play victim all the time, or are looking to be rescued.  If you want to play those roles, that's fine - but you might consider saving it for sex play instead of as a life style choice. 

Thus Spake Fern.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Where Order Goes to Die

Blessings, Darlings!

I am ... disorganized ... to put it mildly.  Okay, I'm Chaos personified.  My house is where Order goes to die.  Adding that to my chronic level of depression, this means that a lot of stuff falls thru' the cracks.  And even more stuff FEELS as if it has fallen thru' the cracks.

So, again, I'm trying to change that.  So, again, I have bought a weekly planner (the least expensive one that the store had.)  I had the two OTHER notebooks I've been trying to use with me at the store, so I sipped coffee and moved stuff to the One Book To Rule Them. 

To my total surprise, I found that while I've not been reaching all my goals, and CERTAINLY not getting as much done each day as I'd like to - I WAS doing at least something on almost all of my goals each day.  Didn't write down the good sales from each grocer?  No, but I looked at the ads and made mental notes.  Didn't write down a week of meals?  No, but I did plan 4 days of meals.  Didn't have a full shopping list made? No, but it was mostly done.  Didn't go all the exercising I planned to each day?  No, but I got SOME in ... and found the weights I want to work with as well, and put a temporary fix in on the exercise bike.  Didn't get done all the non-JOB stuff I wanted, but I got to the JOB every day and even on the day I was sick I made sure that the co-worker I usually drive in got to work (I had to ask the Spawn to drive the co-worker in that day.) 

I still can't find my desk under all the papers and such on it, but MAYBE I'm getting a bit more organized that I had been, and didn't notice it. 

Oh - beware of crunches just after a cup of coffee.  On that path lies danger and acid reflux.

This post brought to you by the upcoming start of the school year (therefore planners are EVERYwhere), and Lora O'Brien's site Do The Work!

Frondly, Fern

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Lammas? No.

Blessings Darlings!

Oh, goody - it's "Lammas".  Lammas it the neopagan holiday that demonstrates exactly how EXTREMELY cut off from earth/agricultural reality so very many American neopagans are.  (I can't speak for neopagans in other countries - my expertise (I was an agriculture major) is in US agriculture.) 

The winter wheat harvest ended at least a month ago.  It's WAY too late to be celebrating that.  Spare me the "Loafmas" references thinking that they mean  loaves of wheat bread.  They don't mean loaves of ANY bread - the root of Lammas isn't 'loaf' of bread, it relates more to "Lord" as in "Lord of the manor' that the serfs worked on.  It's about the 1%, darlings.

Barley harvest?  Nope.  That's just underway.  It won't end for a couple more weeks.  And no farmer is stupid enough to leave the fields during the harvest to have a harvest celebration.  So spare me the singing of "John Barleycorn". 

Spring wheat?  The harvest for that doesn't start for a few more weeks.

If you want to say that you are following a 'nature based religion', wouldn't it be nice to ... actually pay attention to nature?  Especially nature in, like, your local area?  Find out when your closest few county fairs are, or 4-H fairs.  THEY will be timed for between the local harvests.  They MAY feature newly harvested local foods = or not.  But at least you'll get the timing better.  

Me - I'm going to the racetrack and participating in politics for Lughnasadh.  Some of you know why this is way the heck more traditional than baking a loaf of bread.  Especially from store bought flour that is undoubtedly over a year old.

Frondly, Fern

Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Personal IS Political

Blessings Darlings!

We old folks, who remember feminist activism in the '70's, remember the mantra "the personal is political" - that is, a lot of what you personally experience is a result of what the Powers That Be allow/encourage.   Your experiences reflect systemic problems - they are not JUST 'your problems.'  The phrase is just as true today, 40+ years later, as it was then.

To straighten out some of the big things in your life, you end up working against rather than with, 'the system.'  And even if you kludge some sort of solution, it only helps you - it doesn't solve the systemic problem.

Let me give you an example. I live in West Virginia.  It's an incredibly beautiful state, very rural, lots of mountains.  Getting almost anywhere requires a car ... ESPECIALLY if you're poor.  That's because housing in cities and towns where you can walk to a job (or - gasp - might have buses) is considerably more expensive that living out in a rural area.  Oh, sure, it might be physically possible to walk to a job, but it will be 3 - 15 miles away.  And you'll be walking 2 of those miles on unlit roads with relatively fast moving traffic ... and either going to work or coming home it will be dark out.  And the road won't be very plowed in winter, so you'd be walking IN the road after dark, no streetlights, icy conditions, and traffic.  It . is . not . safe . to . walk .  Even if it's summer and 'just' dark.

A coworker of mine lives that rural, and 15 miles from work, AND can't afford a car.  He lives with two other adults who work and share a car getting THEM to their jobs, but they work on shifts that conflict with his.  Before, several other coworkers were in positions to give him rides to and from work AND lived in his direction.  Due to staff turnover, that's not possible now (and child care issues for the poor are part of THAT problem, as is the lack of local services for children with disabilities).  So we've kludged together a solution that involves a couple of other coworkers who do NOT live in his direction providing rides. 

One of them is driving 180 to 240 extra miles a week because of this.  Obviously, that coworker is putting a lot of time and car wear into this (the person lives only two miles from our workplace, and in the opposite direction.)  Another coworkers drives when possible, but doesn't often work the same shift.

We're getting Rural Living No Car coworker to and from work.  This 'solution' works for that one individual.  The cost is ... kinda high to other individuals - it's fortunate that the person driving him the most loves to drive.  AND the 'solution' doesn't at all address the underlying problems - rural transportation problems, low pay in the restaurant industry, and housing costs.  We, his coworkers, can't fix those problems by ourselves.  Those are the systemic problems, that affect way  more people than just him.

Heck, as I recall (and I could be wrong), the rural transportation issue is the #1 cause of rural poverty.  It's systemic. In a very real way - the system is set up so that the rural poor will always be the rural poor.

These are some of the reasons I'm politically active. We need system solutions, not individual solutions.

Frondly, Fern

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Stitches, or How I Used My Health Insurance

Blessings Darlings!

I did NOT plan on needing to USE that  health insurance within half an hour of my post on having it going up - but no one PLANS on injuring themselves!

It started off as such a good day - I was whipping thru' my To Do list at a good pace.  Out in the garden I was  putting down a layer of newspapers and pulled weeds, to smother the weeds in an area I want to put more zucchini in.  I went to break off another stalk of Johnson grass and ... it fought back, breaking in a way that it cut the living crap out of the inside of my trigger finger.  Profuse bleeding occurred.  I wasn't afraid of 'bleeding out', but it was clear that the injury warranted some stitches.

Of course, I was home alone, the husband was out to lunch with a contact and has no cell phone.  Direct pressure with gauze, lots of gauze, kept in place with masking tape (I was in a hurry and didn't want to bleed on the carpets!) reduced the blood flow as I tried to get thru' to the restaurant.  By phone. At noon. Their line was busy for rather a while.  So I called work and sent word that I was going to get medical care and probably wouldn't be in today (Thursday as I'm typing.)  Reaching Chef was a bit of a problem, since there were Events at the hotel he was up to his ears in - I had to call the Tavern and have my son (who was at work there at the time) relay the message, and I texted the sous chef.  I also checked to see if B. was working at the front desk - she works at both the hotel I work at AND at the restaurant my husband was at, so I figured if she was at the hotel she could text the restaurant.  No luck there.

Finally got thru' to the restaurant, they had no problem identifying the Chubby Hubby from my description, and he came home with the car to take me to Urgent Care.  Urgent Care was empty, so we got in for treatment right away.  Well - right after adding my new insurance info to my account!

Four stitches and a tetanus shot later, I was good to go.  No meds -  the wound bled more than enough that it washed itself out to prevent risk of most infections, and no pain killers.  Just take Motrin if needed.  Ten years ago, and in Maryland not West Virginia, I'd have been given Tylenol with codeine.  Different times, different place, less worry about the epidemic of opiate abuse.

It really hasn't hurt at all - even before getting the stitches.  Most likely because it was a sharp plant doing a clean cut, tho' the numbness still in part of my finger tip hints at there being at least an insulted nerve.

But I sure didn't get more stuff done around there, other than taking the laundry off the line.

And now I can see I need to increase my preps.  First - I need to learn how to do sutures.  Second - I need at least one left handed can opener.

Frondly, the Patched Up Fern

Thursday, July 19, 2018

I'm JUST Poor Enough.

Blessings Darlings!

For the first time in rather a while - I have health insurance.  Because the home business side of our income has been suffering and we've not been able to pay ourselves, I now qualify for Medicaid (The Chubby Hubby has a plan under ACA that he pays $1.13 a month for). 

So my doctor and I are trying to get all sorts of tests/etc. in FAST, since the business is improving and I might lose my coverage next month or the month after.  Blood work, mammogram, colonoscopy, pneumonia shot, of course my annual exam/meds refill visit, etc.   All things I've needed for years (I know my LDL levels are high as are my triglycerides, but haven't been able to afford blood work in a decade or so).  I have a 50/50 chance of having the Ashkenazi Jewish colon cancer gene from my mother.  Two of my father's three sisters - and the only daughter born to either of them - had breast cancer.  I need those tests I couldn't afford.

This, my darlings, is the reality of 'health care' when poor.  Most of us simply cannot afford health coverage unless we qualify for Medicaid, and live in fear of making so much we don't quallify any more for that but won't be able to pay for 'regular' health insurance.  So when we get coverage - you bet your ass that we get our testing done and get treatment while we can.  Our doctors aren't trying to 'bilk the system' and 'run up our bills'.  They are helping us play catch up.

Do I fear what some of the tests might find?  Sure!  But facing fears is part of adulting.  I wish that NOT having fears came with being a grown up, but that's not how it is.

So for now, while poor enough, I'm going to get my basic health care.

Frondly, Fern