I've not posted lately (obviously) for many reasons, first and foremost being the crazy amount of busy that comes with this time of year. I may not post again until after the 25th because we have crazy holiday stuff going on, but if the mood strikes, you never know.
While I'm on the subject of Yule: I do want to re-share this post from last year, of my amazingly awesome shortbread cookies. Easy to make and staple in our home at Yule. A variation of this recipe will be included in my Yule cookbook next year.
The second reason that I haven't been posting is that I have just felt incredibly unmotivated lately. I'm thinking of trying a new medium come the new year - vlogs. I'd upload them to YouTube and then link them to the blog here, so that they could be watched from here anyway.
The thought is that it would help me with my confidence/self esteem issues, as well as being something new and so perhaps I could be motivated to do something! What say you? Would you be interested in seeing vlogs from me?
You know, I seem to be linking to Tales of a Kitchen Witch a lot lately. Luckily, she's awesome, so no one should mind. Regardless, her post today stirred up a memory for me. She wrote about Michelle Duggar's miscarriage, and some of the nasty things she has seen posted online about it, and her own experiences with miscarriage.
I have one child here with me; but there are 9 other babies that I will never get to hold, never get to tell that I love them. I have a great life, a great family and great friends - but it wasn't always that way. So when someone gets e-bullied for having a miscarriage, it bugs me on a personal level. I've experienced plenty of bullying about my miscarriages, so it is truly personal thing. There are the usual people that say you can always have another child - I won't go into that here, because that isn't what this is about. We all know at this point that a new child does not replace a lost one. No, the thing that bothers me is that I've had so many people tell me I'm lying about my miscarriages, that I couldn't have had that many, or that I was just imagining it.
Literally. That I was imagining it. That it was all in my head.
One of my miscarriages - I won't say which one, because of certain events that may be identifiable to some people I know - was a little harder to handle, because some people I lived with referred to it as my fake pregnancy.
"It wasn't fake! I LOST my baby!" I said to them once, fed up with it.
"Uh huh. Well you aren't pregnant, are you? Yeah." They replied.
It is difficult to convey the snippy tone in which it was said.
In some ways, I still mourn all of my babies. I never forget them, regardless of that I have my Brianna now. Sometimes, at certain times of the year, I find myself thinking, "That one would have been 4 right now." Not everyone is going to understand miscarriage. That's okay. What isn't okay is calling it fake because you don't understand it, have never experienced it. After all, Karma is a kicker. The people I mentioned above are now having fertility issues of their own, and finding themselves unable to have children. And you know what? I hurt for them.
It never gets less sad or emotional as life goes on. You can move forward, but you never really get over it. So please, be compassionate to those in your life who have had a miscarriage. Whether it is their first or their fifth, if they have other children or not, it is always devastating.
I can just see all the heads shaking. What? What is she trying to say? Am I supposed to get it?
This, my friends, is Brianna learning how to say "Yule Tree".
We set up our Yule Tree yesterday - doesn't it look pretty? Yay for smartphone pictures.
We got new-to-us couches this year, and we didn't even think about the tree until about a month ago. Which is when we realized that there is now a couch where our tree went last year. So this year, it is in one of the entrances to the living room, of which we have two. One from the kitchen, and one from the entrance hall. I think you can tell which it is in, simply because of the coat closet and lack of kitchen-y things.
We are not so much poor as we are lazy. We have had the same garland strand since Sean and I first got together, through cats and tiny babies and two moves - it's pretty ratty, and there isn't enough to go all the way up the tree. To which we say, Meh! The lights are all attached to the tree (I DID say we were lazy). We have the breakable/heirloom ornaments at the top, and all the plastic/unbreakable-we-think/paper ornaments toward the bottom. At the moment, Brianna is doing pretty good not touching it too much, and being gentle when she does.
This is the first year that she has been aware enough to realize something is going on! It's pretty awesome.
In relation to holiday-theme posts, I have a question for all of you. Joni over at Tales of a Kitchen Witch posted today about why they don't do Santa. It broke my heart a little bit reading what her daughter said to them when she found out, mostly because I remember having a similar reaction though my brother wasn't yet born. So my question to you, friends, is what do you do in your house for Santa? As someone on a Facebook group suggested, do you do fairies or elves instead? I had been considering going the fairy route, where the fairy would bring something for the 13 days of Yule; like a recipe to make that day or a new cookie cutter, or maybe a craft. I am at an impasse with myself, though. Do I do the fairy thing, because it will make Christmas magickal for Brianna? Or do I not do it at all, because we are a home that values honesty?
We Pagans love our candles, don't we? How many of us have a million candles (give or take) but when we see one we just ABSOLUTELY NEED we have to have it? Right? These, my friends, are those candles.
Solas Candles is run by a Pagan woman out of Alberta, Canada - same province as me! She has an Etsy shop, as well as a Facebook page. The candles are lead free, made with soy wax and a cotton wick. The colours are picked by the buyer. AND she offers bulk pricing. Can it get any better?
Yes. Yes it can. Because she doesn't just do dragons.
And she does so much more than candles...
Go check Solas Candles out. She has so many things in her shop - rune sets, wire jewelry and more. Especially in this economic climate, we should be supporting small businesses as much as possible!
Let me know what you think? What is your favorite item in her shop?
Have you seen this article by Jason Pitzl-Waters? It's fabulous, and you need to read it.
Go, I'll wait.
Alright. In the comments, a woman posted who obviously did not read the same article I did. Apparently Jason is telling us to reject Capitalism, (he didn't) and this is part of what she posted in reply:
"Practice what you preach before you preach it: Give your stuff away. Reject capitalism. Go to the barter system. Pay more taxes if it pleases you. Come back and let us know how well it works."
Now, if he had actually said all this, I would have shrugged at the comment and gone right by it. Of course many people jumped to his aid as will always happen with fabulous and ethical writers like Jason. But this comment made me think. I've been having an ongoing discussion for the past couple of weeks with my family members about this very thing.
Why do we feel the need to have everything? Of course, as human beings, we are always going to feel envious of what "the other half" has, but what happened to living within your means? What happened to being thankful for what you have, saving up for what you wanted, and staying out of debt? Of course, in the world today, debt it unavoidable. That's okay. We have debt. You, my reader, probably have debt.
What we are talking about is a choice. What do we choose? Do we choose what we need, or what we want? Most people choose what they want.
Lets look at the average family. I fully admit that this is an "average" family in my head, and not based off of any stats, but humor me. Let me know if it is too off base. The "average" family lives in a home they consider moderate. It is probably between 1500 and 2000 sq feet, or a little more, not including the basement. They probably have two cars. A TV in the living room, bedroom, and possibly the basement if they have a rec room in there. They probably have a gaming console or two. They will have a home phone, and each member of the family will also have a cell phone, except maybe the youngest child. They probably have a computer or two in the house, be it laptop or desktop. I'm sure there are things that I'm missing, but you get the picture. Now think of all the debt that would be incurred for that home, those electronics, etc. According to a CNN Money piece (undated) , " The average American household with at least one credit card has nearly $10,700 in credit-card debt " That is just an example of course, but that also doesn't count mortgage, car loans, or any other debt.
Now, would I like to have all that? Yes. I'm not going to lie. However, it's all about priorities. Would I rather have a home that, in my town, would cost upwards of $330,000? Or would I rather not work a "normal" job, and stay at home with my daughter? If I'm going to have credit card debt, what do I want that debt to be for? A new 3D TV? Or the new computer I needed to keep working on because my last one died? Considering that I have financial endeavors which need a computer (Etsy, cookbooks, etc) I'm sure you can guess my choice. That isn't to say that Sean and I weren't drooling over a 3D TV at the mall the other day...Maybe one day, IF we have the money for it. The only reason we have a flat screen HD TV right now is because it was a wedding present. Before that? We made do with a 21", as I liked to call them, bubble screen. In a perfect world, we would be able to save up money for every big purchase instead of putting it on the credit card, and a lot of the time we do. However, we are normal people and have money issues just like everyone else.
I suppose my point is about moderation. If everyone has a cell phone, you don't need a home phone. One computer (unless there is something for a job that needs to be separate) will suffice. Heck, one TV will suffice. We live in 910 sq ft, and we know that when we struggle to find room for things, that just means we have too much stuff.
It isn't about rejecting capitalism. It's about rejecting excess. It doesn't mean you have to live a minimalist life, you just have to live within your means. Has the American financial system done Americans wrong? I believe so. Is the Occupy Movement relevant? I think it is, and also vitally important. Those who had homes taken away by greed not their own are not to blame - but maybe we need to look at what we really need, instead of what we want, and make our choices accordingly.
I woke up at the usual time today - a little after nine. Got Brianna up. Slept on the couch while Brianna was watching her cartoons and eating breakfast. Brianna woke me up at quarter after 11 by hitting me in the face with some candle wax. There is always candle wax around our house. She went for her nap at 11:30ish, after which...I went for another nap. I slept until 2.
And I'm still tired.
This is the worst part for me about being sick. I have stuff to do! I have things I want to write, things I want to make, my family to take care of! Sean is still really sick, but I'm in the process of recovering from being sick for the most part. What surprises me the most is how much muscle I've lost in my arms since I got sick. Having typed all of the above, my arms are starting to get tired from being held at the keyboard.
Anybody got some tried and true anti-tired remedies? I don't drink coffee!