I just want to read

I learned to read before I went to kindergarten. (Trust me, this will piss off a teacher no end) My oldest sister – aka Satan – was in college, learning to be a teacher, and she practiced on me. Actually, all the kids did, I was the youngest so when we played “school,” I was the one who learned something while they were just being bossy. 🙂

When I got to first grade and was totally bored with See Jack Run (yes, I’m old, as my friend Kristy says “shutty.” ), the teacher was equally bored with me and didn’t exactly encourage my prowess. It didn’t matter. My parents were both readers, and all of us in my family share a love of books to this day.

I read everything that looked like a good story, and some that were not so great. It didn’t matter, really, it was a book, and it was a ticket to an adventure, and another world, and I can’t tell you how many times I was told to go to bed and I begged for “just one more chapter!”

I think I was in high school before I paid attention to the name on the front of the book, the name of the person who actually wrote these stories that took me to far off lands and wonderful adventures. I had never paid attention to anything but the story itself. I think it was J.R.R. Tolkien who changed that for me, I tore through The Hobbit and the trilogy and what the heck? People actually write series? I can read more than one book about a character? Holy cow, who knew?

I never cared about the author, except if he or she had a new book coming out, or if the last one was as good as the others, or dear Jebus, does the library carry them? I didn’t care about the author’s skin color, or race, or nationality, or religion. I didn’t care about the characters skin color, or race, or nationality, or religion unless it was pertinent to the story.

I still don’t care. I just want to read a book, If the book is about something abhorrent to me, if the main character were a horrible racist and described as a hero, I wouldn’t read further. I’m an adult, I can figure out that I wouldn’t enjoy that story. I don’t have to agree with someone to enjoy their work. I might not like the guy who plows the roads but I’m damned happy if he does a good job! (It snowed here this morning. In April. Don’t get me started on global warming.)

And in today’s world, children – and yes, they seem to be children to me – are cancelling authors who may have written wonderful, amazing stories, that would be a life line to a child in need of one, They’re cancelling authors for any number of reasons. I saw a sad post from an aspiring writer the other day – she said she loved to write stories but as a white person, she felt terrified that she would get some detail wrong if she wrote about a character of another color, as a heterosexual female, she felt she had no right to write about a character who was of another gender or who was perhaps bisexual or gay, and that no matter how much research she did, she would never feel that she wasn’t making a mistake, some tiny mistake, that would destroy any work she might have done. She said that she was thinking of giving up her dream because there was no longer any joy.

I just read We The Living, by Ayn Rand. (Speaking of authors, this one I never read till college and then was forced into Atlas Shrugged at a time when it made no impression on me at all. Or did it? I returned to her work at the suggestion of Peachy (aka, my enabler) and it’s certainly making an impression on me now) Some of the characters in this book experience this same despair – for those of you who haven’t read it, it’s set in the early days of the Russian revolution and the Communist takeover. It saddened and frightened me to see this same despair playing out in a young person today. In America – where I grew up believing you could be anything you wanted to be if you just tried hard enough.

What’s the point of trying if you’re going to be cancelled for a “micro-aggression?”

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One step away from my own episode of Hoarders

We are keepers, my husband and I. We keep everything and store it and never look at it again. We have a storage unit that’s filled with stuff we rarely ever think about, but we pay the bill every month without fail because it’s our stuff, and it’s our past, and it’s not hurting anyone by living in that unit, is it?

We got a letter a couple of weeks ago that the rent on that unit is going up. Not by a huge amount, but it’s an increase that made me stop and think about how much we’re paying each year to keep stuff that we never use. It’s not a huge amount of money, but it’s money we could use for something more productive than stuff we don’t need.

So the cleaning out bug has hit. We’re planning to move all the crap we really can’t live without to the house, but the house is already full of stuff we really can’t live without! Yesterday was hoe out the computer room. Files and papers from 2015 were tossed into the box to be burned – we have a burn barrel, that’s something that living in the country lets you get away with. Next up is the box of books I bought at a used book sale about 5 years ago, I spent $6 and each book was a quarter, so there are 24 books in that box that have been sitting there for 5 years. It’s time to decide if I’m gonna read them, take them to NY or redonate them. And then the room will actually be usually as my office, as was intended when we built this house.

I suppose I have to tackle the craft room next. It’s totally out of control. I’m heading to NY for my annual trip soon and one of my friends is going to be the recipient of every partial ball of yarn I can dig out, and her daughter is getting all the trims and fabric bits I’ll never use. That will knock it down a good bit. Sewing and knitting for the most perfect baby to ever grace the world is also knocking things down – who knew I had so much fabric perfect for little boys?

So you won’t be seeing me on Hoarders this season. I think. I hope. Keep your fingers crossed!

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Priorities

I have about 5000 homework papers and midterms to grade. I should have done them yesterday. However.

Yesterday I went to visit the most perfect baby ever born.

And so today I play catch up and do the laundry that I didn’t do yesterday, clean the bathrooms I didn’t clean yesterday, sweep the floors and vacuum, make lasagna, make Maverick cookies and then when I’m done with that, I shall grade.

But I’ll be thinking about the buntings I want to sew for said perfect baby, and the hats I want to knit for him

Probably not a good idea for students to test my patience today.

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Office hours on the patio

Well, it seemed like a good idea but it’s a bit difficult to see the computer screen in the sun. I was going to grade midterms, after I completed the midterm – which I have to do because the answer key is wrong. Note – LIFO means LAST in, first out, not the other way. (And no, I don’t care if you insist you’re right, Mr. Dept. Chair, you are not) (Look it up and if you’re teaching this to your students, ummm, seriously?)

However, I can’t really see the excel spreadsheet so I can’t do the exam. Maverick is pleased, however. Maverick would like to live outside now, it’s not too warm, there are plenty of leaves on the bank from last Fall that he can amuse himself by watching as they blow around and every now and again, a hawk flies over and he can chase the shadow. I think he has the right idea.

I could be knitting, but I’d have to get off the lawn swing and go get my bag. I’m not feeling motivated enough to do that. However, I did managed to pick up and knit a couple of rows of the WW pouch so I’m feeling pretty damned proud of myself for that. I might work on that tonight when Law and Order is on – one of the few shows I try to watch regularly. I don’t like some of the newer characters but I love Olivia and well, Elliot – he’s just yummy.

So I’m listening to a book. And enjoying the breeze. And I think it’s a pretty perfect way to spend an afternoon.

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Cancel culture

Peachy and I run a book group. It has a gazillion members who discuss what book is going to be the next hot item in the y/a market, what author, what artist is the new wonderkind, etc. (That totally doesn’t look like I spelled it right but I’m too lazy to look it up)

Last night someone wanted to post an unsubstantiated – at that time – rumor that a certain unnamed author was a racist and anti semitic. I refused to publish the post because a rumor is a rumor and I’m not about to help ruin someone’s career by helping to spread something that may not be true.

I was immediately questioned as to why I declined this post. After a conversation with Peachy, we put up a post saying that we didn’t want to participate in cancel culture and until this accusation was proven, we were not going to discuss it.

You would have thought I drowned a puppy. HOW DARE I not participate in cancel culture????????? Don’t I know that racism is important???????????? Don’t I know about ASIAN HATE?????????????????????

News flash – Peachy is Asian.

Back to the book group. I commented, after a bit, that they were forgetting that one admin is Asian. HOW DARE I USE HER AS A TOKEN??????????????????

Pretty sure no one uses Peachy for anything unless Peachy says it’s okay. But then, I know her, they don’t. And the more I’ve thought about this, the more it pisses me off. How dare THEY think that Peachy, apparently because she’s of Asian descent, is so stupid and gullible that she would allow herself to be used? How racist is THAT? She can’t possibly have thought the same way I did about this issue because I’m white and she’s not so one of us is leading the other and it can’t be her doing the leading because she’s ASIAN! (Yeah, tell my credit card bill how often this child leads me down the path of one more book!)

Anyway, cancel culture – where do we draw the line between investigating true instances of hateful behavior and believing every rumor? And honestly, is it my job to do this? Do I really care what someone does in their personal life as long as it’s not impacting children or puppies? Write me a damned good story, and I’ll read it. I may hate the author, but does that seriously mean I have to hate the work?

Most famous people are not terribly nice, even if they portray themselves to be. (It’s called acting. It’s how they make their livings) Do I care? Am I horrible for not caring? Am I a horrible racist because I honestly don’t think that someone should really take the words of a book so seriously that they feel that they have to destroy the life of the author? Read it or not, but don’t try to make that decision for the rest of us. I’m pretty capable of knowing when something is a stereotype or not.

So what are your thoughts? Should we censor or cancel authors?

**News flash two – think about CCP trolls and Asian hate suddenly being a thing. Just think about that for me.

The current occupant of the White House has heavy ties to China, that’s not a rumor. Suddenly we have a problem with Asian hate? Seems a touch suspicious that this has become the latest cause celebre. Or maybe I’m just suspicious. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist, by the way, I’m asking why it’s suddenly in the forefront of all conversations.

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Just a joke

A former student sent me a message today. I had a feeling I shouldn’t open it because he’s known to send those stupid memes that end with a scary face jumping out at you. I don’t think those things are funny. I’ve told him this more than once, but there’s something about scaring other people that seems to hold an appeal for some.

I have arachnophobia. I have this to the point where if I see a spider, I will run screaming from the room before I realize I’m gone. I then shake uncontrollably and normally cry for several minutes. I think this started when I was a little kid, I have a vague memory of my oldest sister putting a spider on me and then calling me a baby when I screamed.

I guess this sort of thing was always considered funny.

So in spite of my gut feeling, I opened the message. Two young boys, sitting in front of a cabinet, slowly opened the drawer and out jumped a huge spider. Realistic enough that it seemed to be jumping at me, and my phone flew across the car seat, landing face down, as I screamed and then began to cry. In my car. At the park.

He knows I have arachnophobia and he knows it’s bad. When I calmed down, several minutes later, while praying that this image wouldn’t haunt me all day (and yes, that sometimes happens), I messaged him. In caps. If he ever sent me anything with a spider again, I would unfriend him and never speak to him again. His response – “hahaha, I just had to.” My response was not fit for virgin ears but since I know y’all don’t fit that description, it was “no, m*****f****r, you did NOT HAVE TO.”

Then he was sorry. I said not to apologize, just don’t ever do this shit again.

All of this got me thinking. Why do people think it’s funny to scare people? Do they like it when they’re on the other end of it? I have a happy, everyone loves me, puppy, who thinks that every person – almost – in the world has been placed there simply to pet him. I, however, know that there is the odd person who fears dogs. (One of my sisters is one of them) (She won’t admit it but she is) So if someone doesn’t appear to want to pet him, I ask if they would like to, and if they say no, I walk him away. We’re all afraid of something,

I could say it’s just boys being boys but I’ve had women do this to me, as well. Grown women, who should know better, cackling with laughter when I threw something across the room because they had hidden a rubber spider inside.

These are not people who don’t know about my fear. I just don’t get it.

And if anyone posts a picture of a spider in the comments, you will immediately and irrevocably be banned. Momma ain’t playing here.

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Progress

Sleeve # 2

It’s gorgeous outside so to heck with cleaning- it’s the lawn swing, the Kindle and knitting today!

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Spring has sprung, the grass has rizz

the birds are singing in the trizz

my nose is really on the fritz

Okay, it’s not great but it sorta rhymes

I have allergies

Spring allergies. Big time allergies. My head is clogged, and I swear if I sneeze many more times, my head is gonna fall off and roll down the driveway.

I love Spring. I love the awakening of everything that went dormant over the winter. I love the warm days and cool nights, and even though I dearly love summer, spring is probably my favorite season.

Except for the damned sneezing. And the itchy eyes. And runny nose. And exhaustion.

I can’t take allergy meds, they make my heart race. So I suffer, but I never suffer in silence. Nope, if I’m suffering, I want the world to know about it.

So no, darling students, I’m not grading your stuff tonight. Perhaps tomorrow, when the exhaustion has lifted, I will look at your journal entries and they won’t all look backwards.

Or maybe I’ll just put a border on this:

I think a plain pale blue border and then a wide puppy print border for this one.

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It’s Maverick’s fault

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

He’s gotten into the habit of being a real butnit in the evening so we go for a ride in the car and that seems to settle him down. Only problem is we inevitably end up at Hobby Lobby.

Today’s haul was a couple of skeins of yarn for another Wallaby for the baby that’s due in a few weeks, since the smallest size is a 2, I may as well make a couple. (I always plan on making a couple of whatever project I start and sometimes I even do it) Some pretty plum yarn that was super soft caught my eye, so I’m sure someone will get a scarf next Winter from that. Quilt battings were on sale and there’s the baby blanket that needs done and the puppy themed throw I cut blocks for the other day, so that went into the basket. Some dog themed fabric I hadn’t seen before also caught my eye – my niece in law has never met a dog she didn’t love and she’s snagged every mask I’ve sent with a dog print, so this was for her. A half yard is plenty for a couple of masks, and even though I swear I’m not making any more, she’ll love it, so there you go.

And home we came. The weather is beautful but Barky McBarkerson has to let every bird fart be greeted with a barrage of bellowing so we didn’t get to sit outside long. Soon the Bear will have the lawn swing put back together and we can sit in the back yard, where the birds don’t fart, the squirrels stay away and Maverick can’t see every car that passes by 750 feet away from the house.

in case anyone is interested, this is the quilt I’m going to attempt. https://youtu.be/Uyd3jbTXRS0

If you’ve never watched this lady, she’s a hoot.

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Liverwurst

There’s some nasty stuff right there.

This is from a website somewhere and I don’t know how to credit it

Maverick does not agree

Maverick thinks it’s quite tasty

This is a good thing. Mommah is hiding his pills in it. Mommah doesn’t like shoving them down his lovely little throat, and he won’t swallow them otherwise. So, little balls of stinky liverwurst to the rescue.

Oh, the things we do for our kids. My fingers are stinky but the pills are swallowed.

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