Sunday, February 27, 2022

Ugh. Christ is not a club.

I've been reading more and more people are turning to God and faith.  This, being a good thing, is not where my current issues lie.*

No, I've been reading a lot of long-time so-called Christians using faith and Christ as a club to beat on the new kids. Granted, there are areas in which a lot of these new believers are in need of correction; however, this is not the way to do it. 

People: it is above your pay grade, and mine too, to say "if you don't believe x, and show it in y way, you will go to hell." 

Yes, that means I'm not saying you will go to hell for telling people they're going to hell for this, that, and the other minor thing, like not being exactly the same flavor of Christian you are.  That means I think you are breaking the third commandment.  

Seriously: if you say "When you do [insert whatever peeve any given individual has that may or may not be mentioned in the Bible], you're making Jesus cry/going to hell," you are professing that you know the mind of God better than anyone else anywhere, and you are putting words in his mouth.  THAT right THERE is breaking "Thou Shalt Not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain..." (Exodus 20:3) 

Specifically, last night I read a social media post from some dipshit that's got a lot of stuff biblically right, but this...damn.  Said dipshit was pushing that there's no biblical support for Lent, and that practicing Ash Wednesday and Lent is a sin.  Because of course they have to be based on pagan holidays, of course, because most holidays are.  And if you practice Lent, you're going to hell because it's not biblically supported.  

Dipshit clearly doesn't understand either his Bible or history in general, much less the history of the Faith.  

First, let's take that whole "no support" claim.  I have no idea about Ash Wednesday, considering I was raised RLDS** and not Catholic or Episcopalian or Methodist.  However, Lent itself--and the timing therof, is pretty damn clear to me.  

Before Christ went to Jerusalem for Passover that last time, He went into the desert alone.  40 days of prayer and fasting--no food at all, which is a miracle He didn't die, right there, just not one that most people think of as a miracle.  Remember, folks, He was made flesh, with all the weaknesses thereof, including the physical necessity of food, water, and shelter.  And at the end of it, He faced temptation to turn from his path, which He rejected.   

Lent is us, acknowledging that while we cannot go to those extremes, we can suffer some of what He suffered, while in a season of prayer and contemplation of the gift of forgiveness and grace he gave us, ending in the Easter season.  Lent is us, removing some of that which we put between ourselves and God, and trying to move closer, in the hopes that we will feel some comfort during this season which might carry through for a while.  Lent is us, reaching.  Praying.  

Second.  The whole "holidays are pagan."  

Dude is a dipshit.  Some holidays have pagan timing in their roots, yes.  Mostly in the timing, rather than the symbology.  Christmas,*** in particular, comes to mind: yes, it was timed to preempt Yule celebrations; however, the symbology of Yule itself is not pagan/anti-Christian.  Every culture celebrates the turning of the year with the return of the light.  This is a human thing, a hope thing, a faith thing, not a pagan, following-other-gods thing.  Judaism has a longer celebration of it than most other European pre-Christian cultures, and some of that bled over when the very early church was emphasizing similarities between the Christian faith and whatever pagan flavor they were trying to persuade from a path of blood and conquest and death into a path of cooperation, coordination, coexistence, and life.  

Easter, however many similarities there are with pagan holidays, is not a pagan holiday.  It was the End of His life, and beginning of our grace: at the end of Passover, He was crucified, died faster than most of those crucified ever did, was dead and buried, then He rose to bring us word of our forgiveness, and tell us that He would return for us, though we knew not the day.  That's one of the reasons that the timing of Easter changes a little from year to year: it's timed to the end of Passover.  

Were it the other holiday with a similar name, it would be timed with the equinox celebrations.  Not the end of Passover.  

The Lenten season leading into Easter...maybe this wasn't something commanded for us to do,**** however, there is biblical support for it, it isn't pagan, and anyone who judges others for how they reach toward His Comfort...

Well.  Remember what He said about the Pharisees?  It seems that may apply.  It may not, I don't know.  I don't profess to know the mind of God. 

That's way above my pay grade, and y'all ought to be thankful it is.  I know I am.

*Actually, no.  That's not quite right.  I hate that so many had turned away in the first place, or had never been taught faith.  

**Think Mormon, but split off before the whole polygamy thing ever got started.  

***The shepherds with the flocks in the fields in Israel, lambing time, and other parts later in the life of Christ indicate He was born right before Passover.  NOT near the winter solstice.  

****The only things we were commanded to do were to gather together in His name, and to partake of bread and wine in His remembrance.  Oh, and to love one another, not use Him as a club because "you're doing it wrong!!!"

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Two doctors

I have an endocrinologist, and a general practitioner I see routinely.  And I am about ready to drop the damn GP.  

This week has been...yeah.  Monday, I had to go to the lab for blood work.  I went in around 3-ish because the endocrinologist wants blood work done right before I take my thyroid meds (and that would put me around three hours off my schedule did I go in first thing in the morning).  And...there were different phlebotomists in the lab, not the usual one.  Three pokes, and no blood.  They missed badly enough that I just had the needle marks without any bruising.  

Because I was freezing.  More on that in a little bit.  

So I went back yesterday, after having tripled my liquid intake (one cup of coffee instead of three, three 30 oz mugs of water instead of my normal two before that time, and a 20 oz bottle of Gatorade to keep my electrolytes from crashing), pulled out my flannel lined jeans (yeah, they're too big--but they're the smallest size sold in the men's department at Walmart), a warm shirt, and a pair of yoga gloves.  Kept my coat around my shoulders.  Was still chilled (give it a minute), but they got me.  Phlebotomist on duty got a good vein in my elbow--third one that managed that little trick in the past fifteen years--and they the blood pulled for both my endo's requested tests and my GP's.  Who I'm scheduled to see next week (remember that bit--it comes into play later).  

I got a call first thing this morning from the endocrinologist's office, telling me that my TSH was high, and T4 was low.  Duh...freezing, remember?  I can't get and stay warm.  There are other symptoms, but I'd already known I was low.  I actually mentioned the increase in low thyroid symptoms at my appointment in October.   

I'm not surprised, either--I'm taking things that interfere with the thyroid meds, and can't stop taking them.  I'm taking Quercetin/Bromelin intermittently to support my immune system (natural antihistamine) and get it to stop freakin' attacking me.  And that interferes.  So does Aleve.  So does the celery seed extract I take to support the Aleve (acts as a mild diuretic and reduces inflammation a little in the joints because it's a diuretic).  

There was a strident tone to the nurse speaking with me...which says it's probably a little worse than they want to admit.  Which means that yeah, they probably should have bumped me up in October, when I complained.  

Thyroid hormones out of whack also contribute to extra inflammation and joint pain...and bump up cholesterol.  

Which...leads to my annoyance with my other doctor.  

I got a call from the GP's office a little bit ago.  I've said before (more than once) that I will not take statins.  Will not.  The cost/benefit analysis with my issues and family history indicate that statins are a really fucking bad idea.  They cause fatigue and joint pain--both of which I'm already suffering from, and don't need made worse.  They also cause cognitive decline in a certain segment of the population.  Three out of three of my relatives who were prescribed and stayed on the statins developed early onset dementia.  And worsening mobility.  And...

Just.  No.  

Beyond that.  There are certain reasons my cholesterol might be high.  First of all, I'm still losing weight.  Second, I have high inflammation in my joints, which drives up cholesterol by itself--cholesterol is one of the means by which the body tries to repair itself.  Third, my thyroid levels are low, which drive it up.  

The GP's office--with whom I have an appointment next week, mind you--called about half an hour ago, pushing statins again.  I will explain, again, why I will not take statins. But I will not explain it a fourth time. 

I like the NP the kids see better than I like the twit that took over for my other doctor.  She listens

Saturday, February 19, 2022

A pretty good day.

My son and husband had some errands this morning; this afternoon, after my darling other half did our taxes, I took my daughter for a wander around Hobby Lobby.  

This is something I'd been promising to do with her for a while--a couple of weeks ago, we went in while they had fabric-by-the-yard on sale and bought three yards of hedgehog print flannel.*  She wanted that for pajama pants, so...yeah.  That's what we got.  But we were in, grabbed the flannel, and back out as fast as possible.  

I promised I'd take her back when it was just the two of us, and no hurry.  

Today was it.  

We started in the fabrics and trims section, and I let her wander, look at all the fabric, touch stuff, squeal, and talk about what she'd make out of the fabric.  She was utterly delighted with all the fun and/or pretty buttons, and all of the drawers packed full of patterns for things.  And the yarn!  And the embroidery floss!  And the frames for embroidery!  OH MOMMY, DID YOU SEE ALL THE STRINGS OF BEADS FOR NECKLACES!!!  And...

Yeah.  She had an utter ball.  We walked around and looked at different things for around an hour.  Her favorite parts were the fabrics section, the jewelry making section, and there was a small display of glass paperweights/jewelry boxes shaped like animals.  She absolutely adored the hedgehog paperweight, the turtles, and some of the little hinged boxes for things like earrings and other little things.  

We saved that for last, because I figured she'd spend all the time and energy she had, looking at just that one spot.  And she admitted I would have been right.  

Then, when we got home, and rested for a while, and after I'd started supper and was letting it cook, I worked on her hedgehog pajama pants.  I'd started them yesterday (with her help).  I had them most of the way finished before supper, and had them all of the way finished before she got out of the shower.  

I did, however, screw up on measuring for the elastic.  I'm going to have to take that in a bit more, but it shouldn't be hard.  And no, it's not still finished, but I'd have had to peel them off of her to finish them (I wanted her to try them on, and she decided she was going to sleep in them instead of letting me finish tacking the excess fabric at the hem, or taking in the waist, or trimming and ironing the seams flat). 

All in all, it really was a pretty good day, and exactly what I needed in the face of the nastiness bearing down on us all. 

*Adorable, cartoonish hedgehogs, with little flowers and butterflies in pink, bright blue, and yellow. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Break the cage.

I listen to a lot of music.  In the mornings, it's often the radio while I'm throwing my clothes on.  During the day, it's music I can't listen to with my kids present.  Radio in the car, and back to my computer play lists (with different music) in the afternoons and evenings.  

The new Three Days Grace song, "So Called Life"...I kind of like it, but something about it bothered me, for lack of a better word.  

It goes through and describes, honestly, feeling trapped.  And feeling battered by being trapped.  I get that.  I know exactly how it feels when you feel too constrained to be able to do anything.  

The where it goes off the rails.  He starts calling for antidepressants/anti-anxiety meds.  I get that some people need those daily to function; however, going by the rest of the lyrics, his need is rooted in the current events and situation.  

People right now...the ones convinced they need drugs to fix what's feeling broken?  Most of them don't need drugs.  They need to stop mindlessly obeying authority that lies to them.  They need to stop believing the lies they're fed by the media and their masters.  

They need connection.  They need freedom.  They need to hang around with their friends.  They need crowds and noise.  They need normalcy.  The old normal, not what the idiots and liars in charge are pushing as "the new normal."  

The lying bastards who created this mess out of a fucking cold on steroids built a cage of fear and "rules" that change on an arbitrary basis.  And they're working on breaking the normal people because they can't rule people who don't pay attention to their lies.  

The people who feel trapped and constrained need to stand up and break the cage, instead. 

Monday, February 14, 2022

The things you find...

I've made good headway in getting the house (mostly) under control; now, it's time for the garage.  I made a small start on that last week--I got a bunch of stuff gathered in a pile designated "trash" and picked up a lot of broken glass.  Managed to not cut myself on the glass, even.  I was pretty proud of that, honestly.  

Then, I picked up a small box with...general stuff in it, and went to work it onto a shelf.  Didn't fit.  Should have fit.  Turned it, maneuvered it, stuck my thumb down inside the flap...and gave myself a rather large paper cut.  Which ended last week's attempt.  Because it wouldn't...stop oozing blood.  Wound up having to put a band-aid around my thumb and call it a day.  

Today, I went back out with a bag, and bagged up the trash.  Looked at the overall job, and broke it into smaller chunks.  

And I found a large chunk of fabric that I'd forgotten I had.  I mean, I've had it for years.  I'd initially purchased it intending to make a cape?  I think?  So yeah, there's a lot of it.  

It's heavy fabric, too--cotton, and closely-woven.  Almost a canvas texture.  Sort of a teal-green.  

I wasn't...expecting to find that.  When I found it, it was in the shape I was expecting: dusty, and covered in mouse evidence.  So, it's been through the wash, as of now.  

I have no idea what I'll do with it.  

But I have it.  And it was a nice thing to find.  

Update: There's a little over 5 yds of fabric, washed and shrunk as much as it's going to.  Probably about 45"or so wide. 

Sunday, February 6, 2022

What the actual...

Okay.  Yesterday, I went to the local Red Rack thrift store.  My younger sister needs an old, beat up crock pot, so I went looking for one for her.  (I found it.  It's bright turquoise, holds about 5.5 cups, and should be about what she needed.)  I also went looking for jeans in size 4 petite.  I found jeans, alright.  I found second hand jeans, in the sizes I need, at prices I'd be paying for new jeans from Walmart.  



I am not paying new jeans prices for used.  No way, no how.  Especially not at a store where most of the stuff is...honestly kind of grungy.  Not "gently used."  I don't care if those jeans are name brand.  If they're half worn out (or more), I'm not paying more than five bucks for them.  

Thing is, if they'd been in better shape (my mother-in-law has found things in thrift stores so "gently used" that they still had original price tags attached), I'd have paid the $10-$16 per pair.  Not gladly, and I'd have not bought more than one or two pair, but I wouldn't have had to alter the ones I'd bought.  Because the thrift store had my sodding size.  In petite.  

That particular thrift store relies on things donated.  I know: I donate to them.  One of the ladies checking out in front of us had stuff we had donated in her cart.  

Taking worn out jeans, looking at the brand name, then slapping that big of a price tag on them because of the brand name is...not going to help them in the long run.  

 I also looked at a couple of chairs that I thought might be nicer to use when sewing than my metal folding chair.  Not a single one was anything other than beat up and rickety.  There was one rolling office chair that had, at one point, been quite nice, but the button-tufted leather was...cracked and ripped.  And they all had prices marked on them far higher than they were actually worth.  

There was a guy in front of us, wearing a nice, wool tweed blazer.  He pulled it off, pulled a tag off of it and put it back on.  I didn't see what he did with the tag...but Odysseus did.  He wound up wearing that blazer as he simply walked out, and never paid for it.  Hipster douchebag type.  

When we told the gal about it as we were checking out, she admitted that they have a lot of stuff just...walk out like that.  Told a story about a woman with over $300 of stuff in her cart attempt to just...push the cart out the front door, and only a hovering manager prevented it.  

 (First of all...$300 worth as marked on the tags?  Or actually worth $300?  Because if it was worth $300, I have no clue how she managed to push a cart that full.)

This is not something I condone.  I wouldn't have done it.  I didn't do it--I put the jeans I pulled out and looked at back on the rack--but with the way they overprice most of the things in the shop?  I honestly half wonder if maybe they don't create their own stated shoplifting problem.  

This doesn't mean I'm going to stop donating stuff to them.  But it does mean I won't shop there anymore.  If I'm gonna have to pay Walmart prices, I'd rather pay Walmart prices for actually new stuff.  Even if I have to shorten the pants legs. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Weird mindsets and parallels

 I have done five years of research into ADHD, what's going on, symptoms, trends in common, and common flaws in thinking, mostly so I can help my son learn to mitigate the debilitating side.  I've discussed the whole issue with executive function, but there are a couple of things that I've seen evidence of in a more widespread trend:

Magical thinking.  

When you've got kids, you can catch them marking on furniture with a Sharpie--catch them with the Sharpie in their hand, uncapped, still making marks.  A lot of kids will deny, even in the face of that, that they did it.  

They're not necessarily lying.  What they're doing is engaging in magical thinking: "I did it, I regret doing it, but if I believe I didn't do it hard enough, I didn't, and it wasn't done."  

Most kids outgrow that after the first or second time they face harsher consequences for denying reality than they'd have faced for having drawn on the furniture with a permanent marker in the first place.  

ADHD kids take longer.  Because their emotions drive them, and drive their reality--surely it should drive real reality, right?  

ADHD kids can be trained out of that.  It takes longer, but it's a pattern that can be changed.  So long as they are forced to confront that they cannot reject reality and substitute their own version.  

What we're looking at, worldwide, is a bunch of toddlers holding Sharpies claiming that they didn't draw all over the white couch, the carpet, the walls, and the dog.  And they've been left so long without being forced to confront real reality instead of what they believe with all their hearts that it should be that I don't have the first fucking clue how to fix the problem.