bogwitch64: (Default)
One nation, UNDER GOD, indivisible.

That's the sign I saw prominently displayed over the entrance of a business, along with several American Flags. It was the weekend of the tenth anniversary of 9/11.  Patriotic fervor had flags displayed as abundantly as they were right after the event (when a $15 flag shot up to $40 overnight, but I digress...)

One nation, UNDER GOD, indivisible. Just like that. BIG BOLD letters for the under god part, and my immediate thought was, "How divisive."

This is not a patriotic statement. Patriotism was second there. It was a religious statement, and the statement was, "Under GOD, suckahs! Yeah! You got that right. UNDER GOD!" It was capitalized to make a statement; no matter how many of us liberal heathens are out here, this person was nose-thumbing. This person was taking a solemn occasion and using it to further the notion that this is a Christian nation. If it weren't, the UNDER GOD would not have been in big, bold letters.

Let me go on the record here saying, whever my own opinions on the "under God" addition to the pledge, my rant is not a religious one, in the same way the display of that sign was not a patriotic one. It's involved, but not the crux.

One nation, indivisible.

How powerful that is. Without the qualifier, there are no conditions to that indivisibility. There are no groups left out of the equation. Do you see where I'm going? There was never a time when this country was a Christian nation. Before Europeans ever arrived on the shores of North America, there was a huge nation of non-Christians. The notion that it's a Christian nation has ever been false, but so let it be written, so let it be done. In 1954*, UNDER GOD got added to the pledge, and The United States of America became divisible almost by mandate.

If you want "UNDER GOD" as part of your plegde, that's your choice. I have not said those words since I was a very little girl and didn't really listen to the sounds I was uttering. When I got to high school, I very quietly omitted the words from my pledge. I love this country, despite and because of all the nonsense that goes around hiding the bigger issues from the public's scrutiny. I will go on record as saying that separation of church and state has never been more of a myth than it is now.

Whatever your faith, or lack thereof, we need to become one nation, indivisible. Maybe we never were. As long as that qualifier overshadows the indivisible part, we never will be.



*Many attempts were made to add "Under God" to the pledge. It was added in McCarthy era America, though it was President Eisenhower (raised Jehovah's Witness and baptized Presbyterian in office) who finally passed it through. Wikipedia actually has a good account, if you're interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance 
bogwitch64: (Default)

dead-nip: a blue mark in the body, not produced by a blow, contusion, or any known cause...sometimes called a "witch's nip."
~John Jamieson's Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language, 1808

There is nothing particularly interesting or cool about this word, but rather the historical fact that came with it: On this day in 1647, the first New World Colonist (we weren't Americans yet) Alse Young of Windsor, Connecticut, having done nothing more than use herbs to treat a neighbor's illness, was convicted of practicing witchcraft and hanged. In 1648, Massachusetts appointed witch finders, men "trained" to ferret out witches. They were skilled at torturing confessions out of the accused--after a full body scan for the witch marks, as mentioned above.

Forty-five years later, the hysteria of the Salem Witch trials would hang nineteen people (and press one*) between March 1, 1692 and September 22, 1692:

Bridget Bishop
George Burroughs
Martha Carrier
Martha Corey
Mary Easty
Sarah Good
Elizabeth Howe
George Jacobs, Sr.
Susannah Martin
Rebecca Nurse
Alice Parker
Mary Parker
John Proctor
Ann Pudeator
Wilmott Redd
Margaret Scott
Samuel Wardwell
Sarah Wildes
John Willard

It just didn't feel right to pass this by without taking a moment to acknowledge the solmenity of it. Historically, politically, religiously, it is an interesting study, but if we don't feel  history as well as study it, what can we possibly learn?


*Giles Corey, an eighty-year-old farmer, was accused of witchcraft. He refused to stand trial. Avoiding conviction made it more likely that his property would go to his two sons-in-law after his death, rather than be confiscated, as was often the impetus behind an accusation. The penalty for refusing to stand trial was death by pressing under heavy stones. On Monday, September 19, 1692, after five months in prison, Corey was stripped naked, a board was placed upon his chest  and heavy stones and rocks were piled on the board. It is rumored that he goaded, "More weight" each time another stone was added. Some say it was so he would die quicker. Personally, I think it was the old guy flipping off his executioners even as they killed him. 


IT EXISTS!

Apr. 17th, 2011 11:08 pm
bogwitch64: (Default)



North Carolina, yup. Dismal Swamp, and it IS dismal, I'll tell you what. I drove through here years ago and thought I remembered wrong. Nope! There it is! With a sign to prove it.

I am home. I am beat. I am relaxed. I am ready to tackle the next two writing weeks HARD in an effort to finish this manuscript. Let's see if I can. I'm hopeful, but not  confident.
bogwitch64: (Default)
For those of you who read my guest post over on Ruby Slippers, Jamie remembered this scene from HP and the Deathly Hallows, and it exactly explains my not-dreams:

Harry says (of his conversation with a dead Dumbledore), "'Tell me one last thing . . . Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?'

And Dumbledore beamed at him, and his voice sounded loud and strong in Harry's ears even though the bright mist was descending again, obscuring [Dumbledore's] figure.

"'Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real.'"
bogwitch64: (Default)
I'm attempting to train my ankles. Train ankles, you ask? What could that mean?

Most of you who've know me for a while know that I don't own a pair of pants that goes past mid-calf. Many think it's to show off my tattoos! Ok, that's a perk but not the reason. I can't STAND anything touching my ankles. It makes me feel constrained. Same goes for the wrists. If I wear anything long sleeved, the sleeves are rolled up. It's part of the reason I never wear a coat either.

I was really proud of myself last week. I bought TWO pairs of jeans!!! I even wore them to go out, considering the extreme cold. I fidgeted all night, but I managed not to roll them up in the end. Why am I confessing my crazy to you, LJworld? Because today--I'm wearing socks!

Yes, socks. The kind that don't scoop underneath the ankle. Socks that come up over my ankles. They're soft and warm and if I can bear ANYTHING around my ankles at all, it will be these. Maybe, before spring comes, I'll have trained my ankles sufficiently enough to wear pants without dying inside.

I came up with the idea last night when my slippers just weren't doing the job. I will, if it's cold enough, wear these kind of colorful acorn boot socks: 
Acorn Women's Versa 2 Way Fleece Print Sock
They bug me, but I can deal. I thought I'd try wearing them around the house, see if I can stop noticing them.
What does this have to do with writing? Nothing, I suppose--unless it's to illustrate how crazy writers can be.
 
 

bogwitch64: (Default)
I don't want to read Twilight. I don't want to go see the movies. I have no vendetta against the stories or Ms. Meyer. I actually have taken part in discussions that applaud Bella, Edward and Ms. Meyer for bringing new readers into the world of books. I'm glad you've enjoyed the saga. I'm certainly glad to know it made you read when you haven't otherwise read a book in years. But really now, please leave me alone.

I read the first several pages of the first book, then skipped ahead, then skipped ahead again several times hoping that I could find at least two full pages that did not make me roll my eyes or groan. It's just not my thing. Please stop making it your personal quest to show me the errors of my reading ways. I know you mean well. I know you think I will absolultely love the books if I only gave them a chance.

So I'll tell you what, if you will read a book of my choosing, a book I truly love and wish to share with you, I will do the same. But you don't read books that are not Twilight. You made that clear. I guess that means we don't have a deal. That's fine. Just leave me alone now, K?
bogwitch64: (Default)
Maybe because my kids aren't little anymore, but what the HELL happened to Tinker Bell? I have been seeing commercials for the new Tinker Bell movie (http://disney.go.com/fairies/movies/movies.html ) coming out tomorrow, and that is NOT the feisty, snotty, ill-tempered but fiercely loyal fairy I know and love. I suppose it shouldn't come to any surprise that Disney vanilla-ized her like they do with EVERY fairytale princess (I shudder to think what they've done to the obnoxious, spoiled princess from Frog Prince in the upcoming movie.) Tinker Bell was--well, TINKER BELL! She tried to kill Wendy! She betrayed her friends! She was ornery, jealous, mean-spirited and snotty. But she was fiercely loyal to Peter, and love for him ruled the day in the end. Perhaps you could posit that she mended her ways--but to turn her into a giggling, schmaltzy Disney Princess?? She's not Tinker Bell anymore. Leave SOMETHING of her character. PLEASE!!!

Do we want our girls to believe only the sweet, noblest of hearts can be the heroines of their own stories? I hope I'm totally wrong. I hope that someone with younglings can tell me that no, Disney did not strip Tinker Bell of all those traits that made her the beloved fairy we all clapped back to life. The trailer makes my spirit wither.

We need noble bad girls. We need heroines who walk the dark side once in a while. We need Tinker Bell.
bogwitch64: (Default)
What is it called when you see things out of the corner of your eye, fully fledged things like birds or squirrels or people, only to turn your head and find nothing there? There has to be a word for that.

This happens to me constantly. Is it an active imagination? Floaters? Do I see dead people??? What?? It's driving me insane.

Maybe I'm just nuts. (Ok, I asked for it!)
bogwitch64: (Default)
I went into my garage this evening to get a scrubby sponge from the shelf out there. I've a whole sleeve of them--a plethora of scrubby sponges!--because that's how Costco sells them. Walking through the kitchen to set it into the sink, a spare for the little flippy drawer underneath, I was suddenly struck dumb; thrown back into a past I haven't lived in a very long time.

I remembered driving to the 7-11 in the middle of the night, because I just couldn't make it through without the decongestant I needed. I'd taken the last of what I had earlier that night, hoping I'd be ok because there was no money to buy more; we certainly didn't have the money to keep a ready supply on hand. I borrowed from the diaper money to buy the medication. When I needed diapers, I probably swiped it from elsewhere.

Standing in the middle of my kitchen, scrubby sponge wrapper half opened, that memory hit me like it was happening right then and there. Maybe, as I get older, doorways in my brain are waiting for a small spark of recollection to leave something ajar so that they can bang open and let some cobwebs out.

The memory made me feel very lucky to have a plethora of scrubby sponges in my garage. I also have bandaids, tylenol, advil, benedryl and all the other remedies one of us might need in the middle of the night. We can drink orange juice instead of Tang. Hotdogs are not a staple. In this economic turmoil all around us, we're ok. My husband has a great, secure job with a nice income; one that allows me to stay home and write instead of joining a work force I was never really part of.

I am very, very fortunate, even if I paid my dues. Lots of people paid their dues and continue to struggle. Standing there with my scrubby sponge, I realized my good fortune. I remembered that night in the seafoam green, 1965 Mustang, and the baby in the back seat because she would NEVER SLEEP. I remember hoping there wasn't tax on the box of pills because I didn't have it. I remembered putting groceries back because the tab came to more than I had in my wallet. I remembered so many things all at once. But there I was in my nice kitchen in my nice house in beautiful, rural yet suburban Connecticut,  a plethora of scrubby sponges in my garage.
bogwitch64: (Default)
This happened a few years ago, but it came up in conversation the other night at book club and, I must admit, I am still flummoxed as to the right and wrong of the event.

I don't like being called Mrs. I don't like Ms. I don't like using my last name as an identifier--period. My name is Terri, or Terri-Lynne. It's the only  name that is truly and forever MINE. Ok, it's a quirk but it's my quirk. When I am introduced to anyone as Mrs., I am quick to say, "Please call me, Terri." And usually, that is instantly and graciously respected. (I'm ok with Miss Terri; that is what my Girl Scouts always called me. And still do when I see them out and about town.)

BUT--when I was introduced to a friend's children a few years back as Mrs., I said to this friend, "I prefer Terri, if that's all right." To which she responded, "No, it's not."

Hmmm...ok. I do understand a parent's right do insist they use 'respectful' formal names with adults. But if respect is the goal, why would you blatantly disreguard that person's feelings? If it didn't really matter to me, I wouldn't have said anything about my preferences; but as I did, wouldn't it have been a matter of courtesy to respect that preference?

A parents' right to raise their children according to their own set of beliefs and moral standards is inherent (though I could argue that fact, we'll take it as such for this particular case.) I let it slide, because that's usually what I do. It takes quite a bit to get this she-bear to roar. But it has puzzled me over the years as to whose rights should have been respected in that situation. Do I have the right to the name I prefer? Or does this mother have the right to insist I be addressed by another name?

My LJ friends are pretty smart; I'd like to know your take on it.
bogwitch64: (Default)
I don't know. Sometimes I remember things that never were. Maybe I am from another reality and have no idea that the one I'm in never had commercial-less cable TV. In my reality, that was the REASON you paid for cable TV, because there were no advertisers paying for the stations' upkeep.

The only non-premium chanel I get that doesn't have commercials--ever--is the Smithsonian Chanel HD. Sometimes I watch it even when I'm not interested in what's playing, just so I don't have to see commercials starring Billy Mays. Nickelodeon and Disney and a bunch of other 'cable' networks used to be commercial free. I just KNOW it!! In my reality, anyway.

I feel like I should be on the front porch with a blanket over my knees and cats at the ready to hurl at any unfortunate child who happens upon my yard, but when I walk that fucking treadmill for my half hour a day, I want something to distract me, not five minutes of the show, seven minutes of commercials.
bogwitch64: (Scott)
Last night, Scott called Frank and me his 'rents. I've heard the term before, but Frank hadn't. He loved it for some reason. Thought it was great. So today, Frank was talking to Scott and in the process referred to him as 'dents.'

Scott: Dense? Dad, that doesn't even make sense.
Frank: Not dense, 'dents. Like when you called us 'rents last night. 'Dents, as in depenDENTS.

I thought that was pretty funny. Frank was very pleased with himself. I don't know what Scott thought but he laughed. I hope it was in a good way. ;)
bogwitch64: (Default)

Note: This list is based on the results of a Harris Poll that asked 2,413 U.S. adults to name their favorite books.

Ok, not a lot of people, but this list struck me as absolutely preposterous. DaVinci Code? Angels and Demons? I'll even argue that the Harry Potter books shouldn't be on there. The only ones I agree that SHOULD be on there is To Kill A Mockingbird and, possibly, Lord of the Rings. Not that I don't love HP and didn't enjoy DaVinci Code (yes, I did--shut up!) but great as some of those books are--should they be put under the heading of  "Ten books to read before you die?" I think not.

Bible
Gone with the Wind
Lord Of The Rings
Harry Potter
The Stand
DaVinci Code
To Kill a Mockingbird
Angels and Demons
Atlas Shrugged
Catcher in the Rye

So, my question to you is, what THREE books would be on your list of "must read books before you die" and why?

My three?
The Giver, by Lois Lowry, because it is as chilling as it is timeless, and ultimately beautiful.
LOTR, (all three) because it is as epic a story about human nature in all it's terrible magnificence as one will ever read. AND, it's as classic as classic gets.
Lolita, because the kind of writing that can make generations of people feel for a pedophile while still being repulsed by his actions deserves to be immortal.
 
bogwitch64: (Default)
We got a tree. It's fake. It looks good but, well, it's fake. I like the pine smell. I like the cool a real tree gives off. I just like having a real Christmas tree in the  house. We tried again to bring it inside, but though my reaction wasn't as severe, I still itched and clogged-up all night.

Frank and I went out yestereve to seek out a nice looking fake tree that wouldn't break the bank. Yeah--right! Walmart, Lowes, Namco, Home Depot--they all sucked. Cheap, but wow--I could do better with pipe cleaners. I actually considered a white tree, because if you're going to go with a fake tree, why not make it REALLY fake, right? But no--in a log house, a white tree just doesn't cut it.

I was ready to give up. I figured we could bring the tree in on Christmas Eve, I'd live with it for one night, and take it out again after Christmas guests left. But lo! There is Stew Leonard's! Methinks there are trees in there! So in we went. I had to actually touch the fake trees to tell that they weren't real--for only $500-$900.

Can't do it! I JUST CAN'T DO IT!!! Even if I had loads of money, spending that much on a holiday decoration was just...no.

Defeated, we left. On our way to dinner, we passed by Costco. "Let's just go see," says Frankie-baby. So we went in. There was ONE tree left--the display tree. It looked good. The price was ok, but look! A $50 instant rebate! Even better. Then the manager said, "We'll take another $50 off because there's no box."  Well, golly gee! That box was going in the fire pit anyway! Huzzah! We got a nice looking tree, pre-lit with colored LED lights for about the same $ as a really huge live tree would have been. AND, it fit into the back of the car without having to take it apart.

It doesn't smell good, but it looks nice. The lights are pretty. And when I go out onto my porch, I can inhale the piney goodness of the live tree that will be covered in its own pretty lights this weekend. I'd rather not be allergic, but this isn't too bad. Best of all, I slept the night through without itching, without my head clogging up, and I didn't even sneeze once this morning. Whew.
bogwitch64: (skychair)
After some brouhaha yesterday morning, the fam went out to pick out our Christmas tree. We brought it home, put it up, went out for dinner, came home, read. While sitting and reading contentedly on the couch beside the fragrant behemoth, my chest felt a little tight. I wasn't having a hard time breathing, but just a little. I figured I was full from dinner. I decided to stretch out on the bed to read a while and ended up falling asleep. But lo! I woke up all night wheezing and stuffy and my head generally feeling like it was leaking vital fluids from every leakage place possible.

Sunday. Morning. 7:00. Can't sleep. Unfair! Because it is the only day I actually DO sleep later than 7:30. So I got up. It started getting more and more difficult to breath. Just EATING breakfast was too much. I couldn't catch my breath. I felt like I had a brick on my chest. Crap--I'm sick.
Or am I?? If I'm sick why do my eyes, nose and throat ITCH? Hmmm...

At this point, I begin suspecting the tree. It's a little coincidental that this all began when it came into the house. Still, I figured I'd take a shower and see if I felt better. Yeah...no.

I still didn't want to blame the tree so, as an experiment, I bundled up, went outside and sat in my skychair (that has YET to make it into storage) with my book and, yes, you guessed it. I felt better within a few minutes.

INSERT BIG CURSE WORD HERE!!!!

The tree now sits out on the front porch where it will remain. We'll put lights on it and it will look just lovely. It'll probably last longer too. And now we must go out and purchase a :::shudder::: fake tree.

With the allergy problems I've been having this year, I should have known, or at least guessed, that I wasn't sick but having an allergic reaction. This really, REALLY sucks because I've never been allergic to anything other than mold until this year. I had seasonal allergies but nothing I needed medication for--until this year. This really, really sucks. And I feel really, really bad, because the house smelled so piney-good last night. Sigh...

Well, when my kids were little, we had a fake tree so that they wouldn't be able to eat the live one. Now my kids have to sacrifice having a real tree so that their mother can breathe. And Frank always wanted a fake tree anyway. ;)
bogwitch64: (Default)
...to me at least. I just about wet my pants when I read this one:

Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
 
 
The bozone layer never goes away, in rare cases, it can transfer from one person to another, but it usually just copies itself.

Dear Phone

Oct. 31st, 2008 05:11 pm
bogwitch64: (Default)
I know we've been together a long time. I can't remember a time that you did not make yourself available to me. To be fair, you can say the same about me. I have always been there to answer when you ring, no matter what I'm doing. Whether it was my sister on the other end, or my brothers, my mother, husband, friends--whoever it was, I answered, because they might need me for more than a hello. You were that go-between, and I do appreciate all you've done, but I have to break it off now, for my own good.

It's not you. It's me. I know that sounds trite but it's true. I COULD ignore your ring. I COULD not respond to the loved one on the other end of your wiring. I have told them all over and over again that I'm WORKING between 9 and 2 and please don't call unless it's an emergency. But they call and I'm afraid that one time I don't pick up it WILL be an emergency. It's happened. Not often. But it has. I cannot continue this way, however. I cannot mindlessly respond to your ring like one of those drooly-dogs.

It starts right now. I am going up to my loft to write for one solid hour before trick-or-treating happiness begins. I will not answer you if you ring no matter what number shows up on the caller ID. And next week, if you cry out for me between the hours of 9 and 2, I will ignore you. I must. My sanity is at stake.

Please don't cry. I don't mean to hurt you. I know it's not your fault. But you will be the one to suffer my breaking point. I promise that I will check you for messages should the need arise. I'll even check you during my lunch break. But I will answer no ring. I will return no calls that are not important. Not until my writing day is done and I can do so without wanting to tear out every last hair on my head.

We had a good run, you and I. I can't say I'll miss you. That would be a lie. What I will say is that I have alternately loved and hated you. Before I only hate you, we must part such intimate company. Farewell, old friend. Until after two on weekdays.
bogwitch64: (Default)
I got married at 18. Without going into the rights or wrongs or logistics of the decision, I took my husband's name. I diligently brought my marriage certificate to Social Security, got a new card, and voila! I was no longer known by my maiden name.

My husband died. I again went to Social Security, filled out all sorts of paperwork and began recieving survivors' benefits for myself and my children to the name then on my Social Security card. The same name I'd been using for three years to file income taxes.

Three years later, I got married again. I decided, once again, to take my husband's name AND retain my late husband's name. So off I went to social security, marriage certificate in hand, and had it changed again.

For TWENTY years I have been filing income taxes under this name. I dropped the late husband's name in everyday life, but usually sign it 'officially' when it is something, oh, say, OFFICIAL. Like income taxes.

Why do I mention all this? Well, it seems that I don't exist. At least, not as I know myself. Because we haven't gotten that fabulous rebate we were supposed to get in May, my husband called the IRS today. Terri-Lynne late-husband's name, present husband's name doesn't exist. Neither does Terri-Lynne late-husband's-name, nor Terri-Lynne present-husband's-name. Who does??

Terri-Lynne Maiden Name. A name I have not used in 25 years. That just goes to show that when the gov WANTS money, they'll take it from anyone; but when it's time to GIVE money, they don't know your name.
bogwitch64: (Default)
Coming under the category of people who won't take responsibility for their actions; subsection, parenting:

Parents who let their kids eat nothing but peanut butter and hot dogs because, "They don't like anything else. I can't let him/her starve!"

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