Wednesday, June 20, 2012

New Spot

Hey! I am not really going to be using this site anymore. As fun as it has been, I am trying to focus more on my writing and my new romance series, Jericho Falls. Thank you so much for all the fun and support over the years. And listening to my rants! The boyz say, "Thanks for the adoration we so richly deserved over the years!"

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Guess What I've Been Doing?

Church Creek, I presume?
After at least three years of neglect, the walk to the creek was rotting and completely overgrown with marsh trees and grass. It wasn't as much work as I feared - two sessions about two hours each. The trees were mostly saplings growing off sucker roots and in the swampy mud, were fairly easy to just rock loose. The rest was just trimming the marsh grass back. Next we'll need to rebuild the walk. We are going to line it with some landscape timbers, pour out some sand and then put gravel on top. At high tide it floods, so hoping the timbers will hold the gravel in place. Hoping to be able to fix up the bank enough to launch kayaks.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Power of Words

I don't have a facebook account, but I do read the people that Jason follows. He has such a wonderful group of artists and thinkers that I enjoy peeking in on their conversations.

One of his friends (on facebook and in real life) posted a cartoon the other day. It was a spoof on all the "wars" going on in America.

The War on Christmas.

The War on Job Creators.

The War on Religion.

The War on Freedom.

And off to the side, I saw this comment and it made my heart almost stop.

I don't know this person, but I am going to reprint his words here because I feel they need to shared:

"Dustin Whited As I sit here watching a group of family and friends plant American flags alongside the highway, in preparation for the funeral of a fallen soldier, I'm inclined to remind people what real WAR is, and to take care when throwing the word around. There's a dead kid coming home in a casket from a real war tomorrow. The shame is that sentence is applicable on most any given day."

I am humbled and shamed and will refrain from using the word "war" to describe political differences.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Got Peeps?

Loki sez: Happy Easter!


Jason is reading an awesome book, Karen Armstrong's 12 Steps to a Compassionate Life.

He has been reading me bits and pieces of it.

Here is a sort of meditation the book suggests. You can do this with any material thing, but lets look at this shirt I am wearing today.

It's a nice bright red t-shirt I probably picked up for $5 at Walmart.

Let me take a moment to think of the person who rang up my purchase.

And the person who stocked it on the shelf.

And the person who drove the shirt to the store, who was probably away from his family while on the road.

And a moment to think of his family anxiously waiting his safe return.

And the person at the warehouse who received the shirt from another truck driver whose family worried for him.

And the person who made the shirt, who stitched these seams that are still in good
shape after all these years.

And the person who dyed the fabric.

And the person who wove the fabric.

And the person who picked the cotton.

And the person who planted the cotton.

There is a long line of people connected to me through this simple red t-shirt.

Look around you at all your possessions. Imagine how many people, all over this planet who touched those things, who had a hand in bringing, creating these things for you.

Today, I think of them.

Monday, April 02, 2012

I Have a Problem

Actually, I have several problems, but this is the one giving me trouble today:

My sneaker obsession.

Other women go crazy over slingbacks or kitten heels or FMP's, but not me. It's sneakers.

Recently I purchased these:

Today, I ordered these.

This is getting worse than my Kindle book downloading problem.

Thor sez: Your biggest problem is that those "healthy" crunchies are still in my bowl, human.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mandate Is What You Have Been Asking For People!

For all you people against the health insurance mandate, here is a simple explanation of how it will help YOU, the person paying his/her hard earned dollars for your own insurance plan and make those lazy welfare bums you hate so much begin to pay their fair share.

Isn't that what you want? People to pay for their own health care and stop making you do it???

Okay. So Joe Blow has no insurance for whatever reason - unemployed, pre-existing condition, job doesn't offer it, can't afford, or maybe he's just an idiot who is hoping nothing bad happens to him.

So he rides it out and oops! Something bad happens. And because he hasn't been going to a doctor for yearly physicals or anything, he ends up in the emergency room and/or having a nice little hospital stay.

He can't pay.

Hospital is out money.

Hospital raises charges for those with insurance.

Insurance company does not like paying out more money.

Insurance company makes up loss in profit by increasing your premiums, deductibles and co-pays and/or decreasing services covered.


Now, if Joe Blow is required to find some sort of coverage, hospital gets paid, doesn't raise charges, your insurance company doesn't fear for its CEO's multimillion dollar bonus so doesn't take it out on you.

It is as easy as that.

So supporting the mandate helps you by requiring people to pay for their own insurance rather than gambling and leaving you to pay the ultimate bill.


What's It All About, Alfie?


and Thor-bitude:

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Military Made Me a Liberal

I get confused when I hear some on the right claiming that those on the left are anti-military.

It was the military that made me a "liberal".

See, I was an air force brat.

I was taught to not see color.

I was taught to not see gender.

I was taught to not watch who went to which religious service.

I was taught to treat everyone with respect.

I was taught to respect those who wore the uniform.

And I took those values with me into my civilian life.

I was (am) against certain military actions simply because when I ask another citizen to risk his or her life for me, I want it to be an absolute last resort.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Living in The Teapot

I am female.
I do not worship Jesus Christ.
I have a college degree. In science.
I have two cats.
I have a sprig of sage on my front door and in the heart of my home - the kitchen.

I am about two election cycles from being burned at the stake in Marion Square.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


If having sex is a life style choice and women should take complete responsibility for the possible consequences and 100% fund their own birth control,

if having a uterus that malfunctions is a personal problem and the hormone therapy to cure it just happens to double as birth control so again, 100% fund your own medical care in addition to paying for your health insurance premiums,

then why are all doctors visits, testing and medications for erectile dysfunction paid for without question by insurance?

I mean, if your penis does not work and you make the CHOICE that you would like to use it to have sex, then shouldn't you fund that 100% on your own also?

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

This. Just This.

Last night at work, the subject strayed to the very early spring and warm weather. I made a joke that I was beginning to hate global warming because it forced me to begin shaving my legs more regularly.

There was some joking about hairy legs and I propped my right leg up on a chair and lifted my pants leg to the gasps of horror from my fellow co-workers.

And the first thing someone asked was, "What does JASON think about that?"

It reminded me of when I stopped coloring my hair and that was what everyone asked me, "What does Jason think about that?"

I had had enough of that particular question one night and told the asker, "Jason loves me, not my hair color."

And she said: "So he SAYS."

This is why Rush Limbaugh calls us sluts and prostitutes for using birth control.

This is why Congress can bring in a panel of old, mostly white, MEN to discuss women's health and not one person in the room thought, "Hmmm?"

This is why the current crop of GOP front runners can wage an all out war on women's rights in this nation.

Because we are still measuring our entire worth by what a man thinks about us sexually.

We are still denigrating each other for our choices and threaten each other with the loss of male sexual approval if we stray from what we think we should do to get a man.

But guess what, people? I'm sporting a little middle aged belly, have a completely white head of hair, I only shave every month or so, I'm completely lax about eyebrow waxing and make-up application. I dress almost exclusively in jeans, t-shirts and tennis shoes.

My fellow is nine years younger than me and he can't keep his hands off me.

Wanna know why? Because he loves me. He loves my sassy mouth and my snarky attitude and my big fat juicy brain cells, that's why.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

What Was It Even For, Then?

Beware! There be spoilers below!

Hunger Game Trilogy spoilers!

I'm serious, y'all.

She's serious, humans.

I was seriously unhappy with the ending of this otherwise electrifying series.

Stop now if you don't want to know!

1.Prim’s death.
Prim was the reason for the entire series. Katniss did everything for Prim. So that Prim could be free, so Prim could live without fear, so Prim could determine her own fate in the world and not be subjected to the whims of those in power. More on this in a moment.

2.The aftermath of the assassination of Coin.

The reason Katniss did this was obvious. The Capital District represented the horrors of plutocracy: the very few controlling all the resources and using poverty and fear to control those providing the labor for utilizing those resources. The people in the other districts were too afraid to speak out, to rise up, they just went about their routines, trying to keep themselves and their families afloat. Even the people of District One, who had a cozy relationship with the Capitol, were being used for their willingness to oppress others for the opportunity to not be as mistreated as the other Districts.

District 13 at first seems like a wonderful haven to the people of the other Districts, after years of starvation and fear. They are safe, there is enough food. But it is a benign sort of totalitarian government. There is no real freedom.

Katniss’ assassination of Coin (she knew Snow was going to die soon anyway, so her execution of him would have been an empty gesture) was because she realized that trading one form of oppression for another wasn’t the answer. The people of the Districts, after so much suffering and death and bravery should be free to choose their own path. That is why she did it. Because that was what she wanted for Prim.

But the narrative of the book never explains that. Instead, Katniss is whisked away, drugged into a coma while she is pronounced “insane” by an unseen court. She is then sent away to do nothing for the rest of her life.

If Prim had to die, then all of Katniss’ hopes and dreams for Prim – freedom, safety, self determination – should have been transferred to the people of the Districts. Katniss should have stood up and stood strong for Prim, in her memory. To send Katniss away was to make Prim’s death for nothing. Nothing.

To create such a strong female character and then have her collapse (permanently) into helplessness was a slap in the face to those who followed the story, who cheered for Katniss, who tried to draw some of her strength into our own lives.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

New Great!

I'm a great aunt again. Welcome Kensley!

Congrats Sarah and Steve!

Monday, February 20, 2012

New Grand!

I'm a granny again!

His name is Neeko. He is a 9 year old rescue (turned in to the shelter by divorcing parents). Made a little tear come to my eye to think this poor little guy had a home, then got sent to cat jail, but now has a second chance.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hey, Hey, Hey, Good Bye

No, not to KOTK, not yet anyways.

To the state of South Carolina.

No, not yet either. But getting closer.

People ask me why. Charleston is one of the most gorgeous places on the earth, why would you want to leave?

Have you seen and/or read The Help?

Okay, you know how the white women were always talking smack about the black women right in front of them, not even thinking about it or even caring about it?

That's how I'm made to feel almost every day in the lovely state of South Carolina. Almost anytime I venture out of my home, at some social gathering, at the workplace (although more rarely now that I have pointed it out to them), in the grocery store, in a doctor's waiting room, I am treated the way the black women in the movie/book were (are).

Because my skin is white. Because my hair is gray. Because I am middle aged. Because I reside in the South.

I have had my very core beliefs denigrated, attacked and vilified.

To my face.

And the people who do that simply EXPECT that I agree with them.

Or if I don't, too bad, I shouldn't be one of those people any ways.

I just want to live where there is some respect. Where you don't just expect that everyone agrees with you merely by the fact that they look like you or live near you.

That's all. I'm tired be being called names.

So tired that I can't even defend myself anymore. It's not even worth it. So I smile, detach myself from the conversation and walk away.

But your vile, poisonous words are still ringing in my ears.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Year of the Dragon

Shout out to The Other Janet for bringing these sweet babies to my attention! Normal girls get all crazy for dress shoes, I'm a sucker for tennies.

Thor approved.

I am SO wearing these to work tomorrow night!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Boy, Oh, Boy

A little while back, Jason and I went to see the Charleston premiere of the documentary, Miss Representation.

You can read about it here.

Near the bottom, I mention that I liked it because it touched on the problems that boys face in the dehumanization of women and the way they are socialized and expected to act.

This was played out quite painfully in a movie theater this weekend.

Jason and I went to see the movie Chronicle. (His choice, but better than I expected it to be.) Behind me to my left was a family that included a boy who was, oh, I'm bad at this - older than 11, younger than 14.

There were two scenes in the movie where the boy immediately and verbally proclaimed his stress.

The first, one male character who has always been an outsider with few friends asks his male cousin, "Do you like me?"

Now, he meant it as, are you my friend because you like me or is it a family obligation.

The boy sitting behind me, immediately said, "ooooohh, gross, god," and made some noises of disgust. Those retching, shuddering sounds played out through the entire scene.

Immediately. He put no context into the question. Do you like me meant sex and ew, that meant he might be perceived as gay and so this threat to masculinity must be immediately and unequivocally rejected. Verbally so there was no doubt that he was not gay by the implication of his silence.

The second scene, the three main characters are doing something dangerous and one almost gets killed, but is saved by another. In his exuberance, the saved teen is jumping around, hugging the savior, telling him, "I love you, man!".

The boy sitting behind me, again, immediately upon the first hug, began to verbally reject what he was seeing. When the saved boy began kissing the savior on the cheek - in an obvious, over-the-top bit of playacting - the poor boy's mother had to shush him, he couldn't emotionally handle the scene.

So, where did he learn this behavior? It is not normal. It is not normal that the mere mention of "like" or any other emotional connection between two men is immediately interpreted as "gay".

And can that poor boy sitting behind me ever tell a friend, I love you? Or will his emotional life be cut in half? Only allowed to express feelings of caring to females?

The objectification of women in the media, the vicious attacks against women in positions of power are harmful to women.

But the portrayal of men as consumers of women harms them also.

So, when you are navigating the world of media and educating your daughters, don't forget to look at what those images on the screen are teaching your sons.

Monday, February 06, 2012


Random kitten pictures because I've been slack.

Saturday, February 04, 2012


Recently, the American people spoke up about SOPA. It was a bad bill, harmful to many and people flooded their Senators with phone calls, emails, and internet social media sites were buzzing.

The bill was removed.

Then, the Komen Foundation removed funding from Planned Parenthood under a thinly disguised "new policy" that somehow only applied to PP and not several other corporations who were under investigation also.

The people called bullshit and flooded Komen with phone calls, emails and the social media sites went crazy with support for Planned Parenthood.

The funding was reinstated.

Now, a group called One Million Moms has demanded that JC Penney fire Ellen Degeneres as their spokesperson because she is gay. Penney's, to it's credit, immediately told them NO.

Finally, a company that stands up to bullies.

Penney's has received emails and phone calls thanking them for their stand. Social media is buzzing.

Do you feel your power, people?

A few clicks on your computer. A simple phone call. Your voice is heard.

Don't be silent. Don't say your lone voice won't make a difference. That's the idea we've been fed to make us feel powerless, to make us believe we can't make change.

But the past few weeks have shown us that we can.

Drown out the bullies. Speak out!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

I'm Just Trying to Walk Here

A while ago, a nurse who works with us had a baby girl. She and her husband were keeping the name secret until it could be announced to the gathering family. The next night when I came back to work, I asked what it was. Elizabeth.

I said, "I thought they would chose a Biblical name since her big brother's name is from the Bible."

Another nurse said, "How is Elizabeth a Biblical name?"

I laughed and explained to her then said, "How is that I, the nursery pagan, know this, but you, a professed Christian, do not?"

She laughed about it but another nurse asked me what I meant by pagan.

The nurse I was laughing with said, "Janet's an atheist."

And I cringed and said, "No, I am a non-theist."

I got the usual grilling: Aren't you afraid? Of what? Of going to hell? No. What about the Bible? What about it? It's been proven that it is the true word of God. Has it?

I don't call myself an atheist because there is a fallacy within the construct of the word. Without God. This implies that there is a god, but the person chooses not to follow/believe in that god.

I do not believe that there is a omniscient ethereal being watching over every aspect of every human beings life.

I do believe that some pretty astute and compassionate philosophers have constructed pathways to guide us on our life journeys.

If your path includes a god, that's cool. Mine doesn't. Why can't that be cool with you?

This is what it comes down to: we all just want to have a life where we can love, be loved, feel safe and contribute something worthwhile.

So just let me walk here. I'm not hurting anybody.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Adventures in Baby Land

Allow me to introduce Katherine (Katie) and Marie. They are the twin daughters of my cousin* Jim and his partner Charles. Aren't they adorable?

Now. The girls were born a few weeks premature in Northern California. They hung out at the hospital for a while and are now ready to go home.

To upstate New York.

In a rented Winnebago.

I have a slight amount of disappointment that I was not invited on this trip to document what would surely become the next innerwebs sensation.

That's all I'm saying.

*cousin. Actually I think my grandfather and Jim's mother were cousins and the number of seconds, thirds, and twice removeds is beyond my reckoning capabilities and so, since we *are* Southern, we'll just let it go at cousin.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Adventures in Thordom

Thor saves us from the invasion of the peanut sucking zombie squirrel:

Thor sez: No thanks needed. Second breakfast will be sufficient.
(Photos by JAZ)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Day LOLCats Died!

Email, call your Senators! No to SOPA and PIPA!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Go Get 'em, Mitt!

Mitt Romney is airing a commercial in SC saying that he will judge every federal spending program by this criteria:

"Is is worth borrowing money from China to pay for?"


I'm sure Wells Fargo, BP and other corporations who raked in record profits over the past few years AND received about $125 BILLION in tax payer money on top of that profit are shaking in their boots now!

Right Mitt? Corporations that make huge profits, we don't need to borrow money from China to give them anymore, right?

Mitt? Mitt? Hello! Over here! Mitt, I'm trying to ask you a question.

Average federal tax money spent on "traditional" welfare programs: 59 Billion.
Average federal tax money spent of "corporate" welfare programs: 125 Billion.

To paraphrase Ghostbusters, "Who you gonna cut?"

Mitt? Yes or no? Are your corporate sponsors on that China criteria or not?

Yes or no.

Thor sez: Even I can answer a yes or no question, Mitt.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Do You See What You are Looking At?

Last night, Jason got an assignment and I was allowed to tag along. I earned my ticket price by acting as a human light stand for a little while, so it's all cool.
We went to see a screening of a documentary that is beginning to make a splash and SHOULD be making a tsunami.

The title is Miss Representation.

Here is a trailer:

If you can watch the entire documentary, please, please do. Pay particular attention to how women of power are treated in the media. The film makers also most excellently draw the lines from deregulation of the air waves in the 80's and 90's to the explosion of political opinion as news that we see today on all sides of the spectrum.

One illustration that stood out to me was a print article in which a female legislator had "complained that", but a male counterpart had "stated that".

There was a good crowd there and a lively panel discussion with much input from the audience. I wanted to say something but didn't because, believe it or not, I am extremely shy in crowd situations. But the question was, what do we do from here? We've seen these things, now what do we do?

And I wanted to say, "Tell other people. Because once you see something, once you know something, it is very hard to unsee, unknow it. You can go into a state of denial, but the tension will always be there. Once you know how you are being manipulated and lied to, it will begin to lose its power."

I will add to that, don't buy that magazine. Don't watch that tv show. It only takes a quick search to find an email address and shoot off an email to a network to express why you will no longer watch their product, much less time than it will take to watch the show, I am sure. When you pull up your favorite news site, don't click on the celebrity news story. Don't click on the obviously made up for sensationalism story.

It isn't exactly true that the media is only giving us what we want. They are giving us what makes them the most money. So take your money away from them and they will have to find new things to give us.

Watch the documentary with everyone you know. Talk about. Find examples in your everyday media consumption and ask yourself, why? Why did they use that word? Why is the woman dressed like that and the man is in a business suit? Why?

And, here is my little pet peeve. I cringe at the word feminist sometimes because it is so easily manipulated into something ugly. I was very happy with the number of men in the audience last night because this isn't only about women. Men are affected by this also. It's a human problem when half of the population is not allowed to reach full potential.

The boyz say: But what about the negative portrayal of cats and cat people in the media?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Charles Towne Landing

Douglas, Adrianne and I met my brother Mike and his son Eammon at Charles Towne Landing last week.

This is a life sized statue depicting a captured Indian woman.

A picture of Doug and Adrianne taking a picture of Doug and Adrianne.

Rigging on the Adventure, a replica of a trade boat.

Eammon steering us to distant lands.



And Thor,

oh my!