Good Morning! Let the stress begin!

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Let’s not and say we did.

We had a few “decorative” signs and pieces of embroidery in our kitchen that shouted THERE WILL BE STRESS! THIS IS A HOUSE OF STRESS! in various cutesy sentiments. One I took down last night, a framed crewel embroidery, featured a cannon firing the words GOD GRANT ME PATIENCE RIGHT NOW!

That’s not nice to have in your subconscious every time you go in your kitchen.

I took them down and replaced them with one that conveys a comforting sentiment (and has a cat on it!) and another rather intriguing piece of old needlework that someone in the family framed. When I first saw it up close, I thought it was just a framed piece of old tatting. I had to look at it from a distance to make out the word. It’s not for sale, and I don’t have the pattern, but if you’re experienced at needlework, you could surely make your own version, and if you don’t sew, you could paint or stencil it onto an old board and use twine to hang it.

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— Robin

A look into the future

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Or maybe it’s the power of suggestion, a positive reading giving you subconscious cues to change your attitude and behavior, telling you what you already know, giving you the incentive to make it come true.

I’m an amateur amateur (yes, I meant to type it twice) at Tarot. I don’t do any type of card readings for anyone but myself. I haven’t yet worked up to the Celtic Cross spread. I still prefer my oracle cards, particularly Les Vampires, featuring the art of Jasmine Beckett-Griffith. Vampires are one of my favorite things. I find the Les Vampires oracle cards pragmatic, comforting, and a pleasure to the eyes.

But back to the Tarot. I have three sets: a no-frills Rider-Waite deck I bought in middle school, The Victorian Fairy Tarot, and The Green Witch Tarot. I like a lot of lush imagery that creates a storybook world when looking at decks. I’ve had the Green Witch deck longer and used it more than the Victorian Fairy deck, and I’ve found the Green Witch deck to be accurate more than half the time.

Twenty-some years ago, I had a past life reading by a friend of a friend. I had never had a professional Tarot reading until last night.

Professional readings seem expensive until you’ve had one and understand how much time the reader spends interpreting each card. Almost all professional Tarot readers offer choices of spreads. You can choose a three card spread, a Celtic Cross spread, or one of many others depending on the reader. The more cards in your chosen spread, the more expensive the reading.

Last night, I was lucky enough to see that Sister Spell Binder on Twitter was offering $4 one card readings. I saw her tweet that the special offer was open for 30 more minutes. It took me 15 minutes to sign up to her site, but I got my request in and she contacted me via DM shortly after. She’s very nice, and she took enough time that I felt she really sat and gave the card she pulled a lot of thought. The card was in the suit of Pentacles. I immediately felt positive about that because I’m a Capricorn, an earth sign, and Pentacles are the earth suit of the Tarot deck. I found the reading very relevant to my life in multiple areas. I read it aloud to someone who isn’t at all familiar with or “in to” Tarot, and they were surprised at how personal the reading was. Sister Spell Binder sent me a scan of the card along with the reading. I forgot to ask her what deck she used; I’ll do that later today. The art on the card contained a lot of personal symbolism to me. I was more than pleased that I took a chance on the reading. It gave me some hope and motivation. When I can afford a more in-depth reading, I’ll go back to her.

If you’d like a professional Tarot reading but don’t have much money or want to see how you like a reader before you invest in a full reading, try a single card or three card spread, or follow a reader who interests you and see if they offer a special. It’s especially worth it if you’re a beginner at Tarot to get readings from others because that helps you in your study of the cards and preparation for giving your own readings.

Let Down

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Why is depression killing some of the boldest, most influential voices of my generation?

We lost Chester Bennington yesterday. It’s been just barely over two months since we lost Chris Cornell.

They were rock stars. They moved in the same circles. They performed together. They had “rock star issues.”

But the “rock star issues” seem to be pounding the life out of my generation, most visibly in the musical community.

What fucked us all up so bad? We seem to opt out in our forties and early fifties. Could it have anything to do with looking at the future and not seeing one as our parents did?

I don’t fucking know.

And the tears fall like rain
Down my face again
Oh the words you wouldn’t say
And the games you played
With my unfoolish heart
Oh I should have known this from the start

Oh the winter and spring
Going in hand in hand
Just like my love and pain
How the thought of you cuts deep within the vein
Oh this brand new skin stretched across scared terrain

I don’t want to be let down
I don’t want to live my life again
Don’t want to be lead down the same old road
So I don’t want to be let down
I don’t want to live my lies again
Don’t want to be lead down the same old road

All those years down the drain
Love was not enough when you want everything
What I gave to you and now the end must start
Oh I should have listened to my heart

‘Cause I don’t want to be let down
I don’t want to live my life again
Don’t want to be lead down the same old road
So I don’t want to be let down
I don’t want to live my lies again
Don’t want to be lead down the same old road

Oh

I don’t want to be let down
I don’t want to live my life again
Don’t want to be lead down the same old road
(I don’t want too be let down)
So I don’t want to be let down
I don’t want to live my lies again
Don’t want to be lead down the same old road
(I don’t want to be let down)
Don’t want to be lead down the same old road
(I don’t want to be let down)
Don’t want to be lead down the same old road
(I don’t want to be let down)
Don’t want to be lead down the same old road
(I don’t want to be let down)
Don’t want to be lead down the same old road
(I don’t want too be let down)
Be lead down the same old road

Dead By Sunrise – Let Down

I listened to this song over and over after I gave my ex-husband the second chance and he blew it. It is so hard to accept that this person who expressed my emotions better than I could myself suffered from the same mental illness that still tries to pull me down every single day.

The future is bleak.

Thank you for not parenting our kids

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Someone wants to ban Teen Vogue. She claims it’s because the magazine is sexually explicit, but I’m sure we all know the real reason, and it starts with T and ends with rump.

Whatever her faulty “reasoning,” her campaign is doomed to failure because:

  • Teen Vogue isn’t going to be banned; in fact, she’s only going to rally support for the publication.
  • There is absolutely no way to keep any form of media out of the hands of teens. I know this from my experience as a teen and a stepmother.

I was eight when MTV debuted. We didn’t have cable then. When we finally got cable, my mother was so appalled by the likes of Duran Duran and George Michael (miss you, George) that she actually had MTV blocked from our cable package.

I spent almost every weekend sleeping over at my best friend’s house, watching MTV and horror movies and Cinemax all night. Now I write about vampires, ghosts, and fairies (REAL fairies, not Disney fairies) while listening to 80s music. I also care for my mother, and now she watches things like Alice Cooper and Queen concerts and enjoys them. Well, actually she laughs at Alice Cooper, but she does like Queen. Our favorite band and singer will always be Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks. I was in an evangelical private school during MTV’s heyday. We got regular sermons about the evils of rock and roll, and they always mentioned that Stevie Nicks would drag you to hell because she was a witch.

Mysteriously, my interest in paganism and Wicca began at the same time.

And then I repeated the silly cycle when my stepdaughter was about nine and my ex-husband and I didn’t think she should be listening to Britney Spears. I’m so embarrassed now, and I’d like to apologize for that here in writing. That did not help the delicate stepparent/stepchild relationship.

Of course, every parent has the right to set limits for their child and attempt to enforce them. THEIR CHILD. This is the problem with the book banners, who I dealt with when I worked at the library, and the magazine banners, and the album burners, and the art-censoring crowd. Whatever “it” is, they can’t just restrict it from THEIR child. They want to make the parenting value decisions for OUR kids, and even if I might not really love the thing in question (but Teen Vogue is awesome), I don’t need Susie Quiverfull taking books or magazines out of the school library. It is, quite frankly, none of her damn business.

No one is entitled to have the world baby-proofed to suit their so-called family values. Period. Do you want your child to have access to materials about safe sex, YA books with LGBT characters, The Color Purple? Susie Quiverfull has no interest in respecting your parenting decisions. She wants to make them for you.

It’s very important to tell Susie and Sam Quiverfull that your child is none of their concern. Even if what they’re trying to do is stupid, like banning Teen Vogue, they’ll eventually worm their way into your child’s school library and go after a book like The Color Purple. They will absolutely try to impose their “morals” on your child.

So please, when they show up in your town and try to censor the teen magazines at the public library or the grocery store, or they go after the 9th grade reading list, put your foot down and tell them that you are entirely capable of raising your own child and they can keep their “values” in their own home.

My Great-Grandmother’s Mirror

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In packing up my aunt’s personal belongings before her house is sold, my mother and I came across a very precious item. My mother was overwhelmed because of who it had belonged to and how long it had been since she last saw it. I was a bit stunned that we found it. I’ll say why in a moment.

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This is a mirror that hung in my great-grandmother’s house.

I never had the good fortune to meet my great-grandmother because she died of pancreatic cancer in 1956, when my mother was eight. Even the coldest older members of our family almost break down when asked about her. Grandmother was sweet, grandmother was quiet, grandmother was always working, grandmother always had her head down.

Well, with the jackass she married–and I’ve heard plenty about HIM–I don’t doubt she kept her head down.

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I was told that she made her wedding dress. Then she became a farmer’s wife. She lived in a tumbledown farmhouse and had seven daughters and a son. They all lived, even my grandmother who had diphtheria as a kindergartener.

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After all the children were born, my great-grandfather sold this property and moved the family into a nice “modern” house. And that is where my mother remembers seeing the mirror.

The mirror is rounded, dim, and distorted, but you can still see yourself in it. The first time I looked into it, I had an unsettling sensation. My great-grandmother looked into that mirror. It doesn’t seem to be the style of mirror a woman would have in her bedroom. Did it hang in the hallway, near the front door? Did my great-grandmother stop, look into it, and adjust her hat before she went out? Did my great-grandfather pause before it, take a comb from his pocket, and run it through his hair? Did she wish for something prettier, more stylish? Where did she get the mirror?

These are things I will never know. I’m going to add sturdy hardware to the back and hang it over our sideboard, and then I will always be drawn to look down that dim tunnel, and wonder.

Edit: I forgot to explain why I was so shocked that we found the mirror. My grandmother, even though she was the second-oldest child and the oldest girl, she got almost none of her mother’s belongings. Sadly, a couple of her younger sisters cleaned out the house before my grandmother got there. All she had (and we still have) was an old bottle with a cork, a foot-long hatpin, and a rhinestone brooch. We had no idea she had the mirror. She must have kept it put away, and my aunt found it after her death.

Family members can turn greedy and do things you wouldn’t expect after a death, especially the death of someone like my great-grandmother who held a very large extended family together. My grandmother loved her sisters, but at the same time, she carried the hurt of being left out of the dividing up of her mother’s things for her entire life. We live in my grandparents’ house. I suppose bringing the mirror home made me feel that my grandmother knows somehow and it made her happy.