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Thursday, November 24, 2022

It's About Gratitude ...

 



Believe it or not, the last few posts - and this day of Thanksgiving - are about gratitude - being grateful for what you have, instead of what you don't :)

Everything you have experienced - the good, the bad, and the middling - has brought you this far and made you into the person you have become :)

Happy Thanksgiving!  :)





Monday, November 14, 2022

The University of Virginia Football Team Mass Shooting ...

 

I hadn't planned on another post today (or at all), but this shooting happened, and our neighbor's son, whom I mentioned in a prior post,   is a freshman running back on that football team.

Here is Xavier's stats page: 






To be clear, Xavier was NOT on the field trip with them when this happened; however, 3 of his teammates are dead, and his running-back mentor is critically injured in the hospital. 


I just caught his father on the way out to drive down there for Xavier.   He seems in shock himself (hope he's okay to drive).  He said Xavier said he was okay, like he always does, but he didn't believe him - he can always tell when he's NOT okay :(


BTW - this same family is first cousins with Kenneth Walker - boyfriend of  Breonna Taylor (Louisville racist cop shooting). 


(Louisville cops just kept trying every way in the world to find something to pin on Kenneth to justify the shooting, but there was nothing - because they were looking for someone else entirely!)


Meanwhile, Xavier just somehow keeps on, keeping on, getting straight A's all his life anyway, now on scholarship at UV, making yards on the field even as a freshman, despite all this violence that has touched his family, due to no fault of their own (to include a BS racist shooting at the hands of cops)!

He absolutely amazes me, the whole family does, with the amount of adversity they have had to endure and been able to overcome.


Really puts all our own troubles in perspective, doesn't it? 


And there is something we can do to help - something we HAVE to do - which is vote and contact our congress members to do more, both about gun violence in America in general AND the social injustice of police playing judge and jury, automatically sentencing people of color to death by gunshot!







The Same Message As The Below Post, Only With Less Sugar, More Salt? ;)

 

*Edited out the verbosity to shorten the post, but then added a PS (11/17/2022)  anyway lol

I know that people are going to do what they're going to do,  especially when emotional, sometimes not thinking through the  consequences (I've done that myself a time or two ;)  - but here's a couple more things that I learned a long time ago, probably in my mid-20s, and they are: 


1)  Though those 10,000 other little life blessings that I spoke about are nice,  never imagine that you earned them or you deserve them, especially more than anyone else - because God/The Universe/The World actually does not OWE us sh*t.  

Because as bad as we think our childhood or life was or is, there's always someone with worse - and like Clint Eastwood said, in the "Unforgiven" - "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it, kid." 

 

2)  Unless it's discrimination or an accident, it would never even occur to most people of color/other poorer people to even think of filing lawsuits, because they know they can't afford them, that they aren't well connected/powerful enough, and that the odds are stacked against them.  

So if you are well connected enough and/or can afford a good attorney? 

That's already Exhibit A of how privileged and good your life is compared to so many other people.



This is why I have never, in my life, heard a person of color ever say: "I'm going to sue!"

Only us over-privileged white people say and do things like that (which is why people of color and other under-privileged people roll their eyes and laugh at us, when we do ;)

That is not to minimize anyone's suffering or encourage anyone to not acknowledge any pain, it's very important to do so to heal - but it IS to meant to put things in a broader perspective.


So then do we - as self-identified liberals especially -  really want to take advantage of  our white privilege and a broken justice system like this?

Also, lawsuits rarely bring full answers or peace, nor do they actually heal any wounds; in fact, oftentimes, they don't even bring true justice.


That is because unfortunately, our justice system is based on the best (and sometimes shadiest) lawyers money can buy.

If a poor, powerless person/business faces a rich, powerful person/business in court in America, the more rich and powerful of the two will usually win, despite what the truth is.  


And lawyers will always try to appeal to your sense of victimization and your greed and want even more, because the more you can get, the more they can get ;)


This, in turn, will likely cause even more family drama than whatever the initial lawsuit was over, due some family members suddenly  being bitten by the greed bug, even feeling falsely entitled to their share.

I'm speaking from experience - I've seen that happen in my own family members, after my grandmother died, though not even a tiny fraction of this kind of amount - and thus, why I signed off on all rights to her estate, specifically  to avoid this problem. 


Speaking of lawsuits, I'm going to leave this up for a few weeks and then mark my blog private - because there is now a lawsuit in the works over this DNA situation and I don't want anything I say (or have said) here to be used by either side.


I am neither the defendant nor a plaintiff in the lawsuit -  in fact, I have expressed that I want no involvement in it whatsoever - but my DNA results are currently being used as proof.


Also, I made clear that I otherwise want no part of it - and I do not want any backlash from it, here or anywhere else - and if anything I've said here (or anywhere else) IS used for a lawsuit that I've already said I want to no part of - or if I find that myself/my family are subpoenaed against my/their expressed wishes - then I will withdraw my consent for use of my DNA - then there'd be an even bigger unnecessary legal problem.


In fact, had I known that my DNA test would result in civil lawsuit, I NEVER would've taken it - 

I was simply trying to help someone I'd never met solve their family mystery before they passed.

IMO, filing a lawsuit over this is pushing an already stressful situation to maximum-capacity for everybody - and Mark and I have been on extra-drama-free diets for some time now lol.


Also, I do hope those involved will consider the the following ... 

This is not a national or multinational corporation, it's a hospital, most likely already strapped for cash, just trying to stay afloat in times of exorbitant healthcare costs.

So where would that money come from, over an unintentional mistake they made 79 years ago?  

Those responsible are either dead or would have to be 100 years old - and it wasn't an intentional mistake anyway.

What if this bankrupted the hospital and left those in the community without access to healthcare, over a mistake made 79 years ago - just so one or both parties could feel a little better and not have to worry about money- how would they feel then? 

Sure, there's a lot of good that you could do with a win - but does the end justify the means, and how many current lives would be affected by lack of access to close-by healthcare?  


And you see, I already know that once you involve lawyers and money into family problems, now you've got even more family problems than you did before - and I also know that money won't change, resolve, fix, or truly heal anything at all. 

(As mentioned above, just ask my older sister Kim about whether she feels things are resolved or healed as a result of her actions ;)

As for me, one of the things my husband says he loves most about me is that I cannot be bought - money has never been a motivator for me - to the extent that people have thought I was stupid because I didn't choose it or "play the game" when I could have lol.  

That is because despite what people say - or project onto me - I'd rather live in cardboard box, having lived a life of integrity and kindness, than a mansion that I obtained from either ill-gotten gain OR greed.


Little personal story to illustrate ...


Once upon a time, my dad called my (maternal) grandmother's house in 2007, while she was dying of cancer, when no one had heard from him in years.  I'm not even sure how he knew about this situation.

He said he had come into money (which he always said, which sometimes was true, sometimes wasn't) and asked if there's anything we needed.

This was code speak for "I don't really mean that, I just want you to show off and act like a big shot, so you can see what you're missing out on." 

I know this because I took that bait before, twice - wanting to believe he wanted to be a father now and pay me back for the non-paid child support and money he stole from me that I made from that movie - and one of those times only ended up with me stuck paying for a college semester's tuition myself again, because he'd already blown what he made.

Also, since that time, I discovered how he made it, which wasn't legal - and I wanted no part of his dirty money.


Me:  "No, Dad ... a big wad of dirty cash out of your dirty, sweaty hand to show off -  money which you got illegally, I'm sure -  won't fill that giant void you left in our lives and won't make up all the pain, abuse, and money you literally stole from your wife and children - including my income from the movie."    
"No, what I need from you AND Mom is to take responsibility for your actions and abuse, and how they affected your children, without blaming each other for them, for a change - and that costs you nothing but a little soul-searching and a little humility. "  
"Think about whether you can do THAT or not. If you can, call me back and we can talk ... if you can't, then I guess this is goodbye."  

 

Dad:  "Wow, you've finally toughened up and grown a backbone instead of being such a scaredy-cat wimp, all the time, good for you! That's all I ever wanted for you and tried to teach you, but you were just too weak."  
 
Me:  "Gee, I wonder why I was scared all the time, Dad, and why people scare me, it's a real effing mystery, isn't it?" 
"Yep, I'm just now learning to find my inner bitch, glad you like it.  But don't credit yourself, tho' -  if anything, it's DESPITE both you AND Mom -  and people like Kim and my ex-husband (who might as well as be your clones) when y'all take things way too far." 
"And you tried to 'teach me' to 'toughen up' - how exactly was that, dad?" 
"Oh, I know!  Beating the shit out of your wife at least once a month, and your children?" 
"Or maybe it was that time you gave me, your 9-year-old girl, a "boxing lesson," under the guises of trying to "toughen me up"  - calling me a wimp, slapping my cheeks until they were red, trying to goad me into a fight with a grown-ex-football-playing-man  - which was actually just a ruse to further bully and laugh at me, as well as to prove your physical superiority and that resistance was futile?" 

 

"Well, I can't thank you enough for that Dad!  Clearly, that worked to toughen me up instead of giving me trauma and trust issues for life!" 

 

"But if you want to throw your money around and act like a big shot so badly, maybe you can pay my first therapist, the friends I grew up with, and my first boyfriend for all the stuff that I verbally vomited all over them  and expected them to make up for, because of those things." 

 

"Did you ever think that maybe I didn't need to toughen up as much as YOU needed to stop being such an abusive, bullying asshole -  who interprets not only anxiety (which you have yourself), but other people's kindness, empathy, and benefit-of-the-doubt giving as "weakness" and "stupidity?"

 

"By the way, how's your nose?"  :) 
"Because the only way I could win that unnecessary "boxing lesson" was to wait until  you thought I'd given up, you dropped your block to laugh at me -  and then I gave it all I had and punched you square in the nose - and I broke it and it bled everywhere." 
"All this time, you thought I did that by accident, didn't you?  That I was too "dumb" and too weak to think of that?  And I let you, because if you knew the truth, you would've pummeled the shit outta me hehehe"
"Then you told everyone it was an old football injury acting up - simply because you didn't want to admit one of us girls - your 9-year-old "scaredy-cat, weakest, dumbest" daughter  - was how your nose was rebroken!" 

 

"Now - what YOU should've learned from ME, from that situation, Dad, is that I always did have a backbone  it's just my first, natural response to conflict isn't violence, like you." 
"I don't like to fight anyone, unless all else fails - diplomacy, a "please don't" or even begging - but I will take the punches only for so long - because if you push me in the corner too far, for too long, I'll eventually come out swinging and shock the shit outta you lol." 

 

"But you're right, though I've always fought for other people as underdogs, I have been scared all my life to speak up and defend myself, because it hasn't gone well when I do, it just gets flipped back on me." 
"But yes, I'm learning how and when to find my inner bitch, after I've seen and heard enough bullshit - and I've seen and heard enough bullshit from you." 
"Now you heard what I said, right?  Money isn't going to fix this - taking responsibility is what I need from you.  Think about it and call me back if you can do that.  Otherwise, guess this is goodbye."


He said nothing for a minute, just sat there silently, I could hear him breathing.  It must've felt like a punch in the nose.  

Then he just hung up.

After he hung up, I hung up - but I said this out loud, as if he was still there:  


"NOW who's the scaredy-cat wimp? So big and bad with your fists, your bullying, your gaslighting, and your money - but not brave enough to take a good long look at yourself and take responsibility for your actions, are you? I believe that's a TKO for us 'weak, dumb' girls! BUH bye!"


Needless to say, he never called back.

In fact, I never heard from him again, unable to bring himself to do this for his children.  

I don't think he experienced the emotion of guilt like normal people, neither parent did - I think we kids felt it all for them and blamed ourselves (or at least I did and they were happy to let me).

Instead, they kept blaming the other one for the horrible things they did to each other and their children. 


Regardless, I made this decision because I realized that not only does money come with obligations, it's not going fill that void of pain - only one thing would - and I was never going to get that one thing from either of them - because they're simply not capable. 


So -  how was I going to resolves these issues if they weren't capable? 


Well, apparently, he died in May 2018 - and I didn't hear about it until 2019. 

By that time, I was perfectly okay with it - I wasn't sad, I didn't cry - I wasn't even angry with him anymore, in fact, I had even forgiven him.  I felt ... nothing at all.


You know how I did it?

Because years ago, I had taken a weekend to have a little imaginary funeral for him, in my head.  So I already grieved his loss - both the flawed, damaged person he was, now with empathy for how he got that way, as well as his good qualities (because no one is 100% all good or all bad)  - as well as the father and childhood I should have had.

Both versions of having a father died a long time ago, long before he actually died, and though it's sad, I knew there was still love to be given and received by people who ARE capable :)

Most importantly, I learned the problem was NOT that I was unlovable, as I'd been told, after all :)

No, the problem was that he was sort of disabled, in a way - he simply wasn't capable of either giving or receiving love properly, neither of my parents were.  

Everything was always about them - no one ever loved them enough,  nobody ever appreciated them enough, nobody ever gave them enough  - nothing and no one was ever enough for them.


I decided that I needed to break this pattern because I could easily go the same route due to the void in my background, like theirs - and that I needed to make a choice, especially after already making that exact same mistake already, as a teenager.

I realized I actually did have a choice - I could demand everyone else to fill that void, with it never being enough, like my parents did   - or I could fill that void myself, as well as learn how to better recognize those capable of reciprocity instead of being drawn to new people like my parents out of familiarity.

I accepted that I was never going to get these things from either parent, that I shouldn't force them - or anyone else - to or love me in the way that I wanted - because they're simply not capable out of their own damage.

In short, I began to learn how to 'parent' myself, as well as to learn to recognize what healthy relationships were - how to  better recognize people capable of reciprocity, capable of both giving and receiving love and appreciation properly, instead of trying to solve this old puzzle with new people I was drawn to out of familiarity, who actually had the same issues as my parents ;)

Then, after that, just a few years ago, actually, I finally started believing that maybe the problem wasn't that I was unlovable - maybe I deserved healthy after all - that I might actually be worthy of being just as loved and appreciated as all the love and appreciation I gave others.

And wouldn't you know, the people closest to me in my life now are rare gems, capable of true reciprocity - good balance of give and take, nobody's needs or boundaries are more important than anyone else's :)

With new people, I still give the benefit of the doubt for as long as I can (sometimes too long still) and several chances - but I'm learning where that cut-off point is -  how many red flags are too many for me personally, despite guilt trips, emotional manipulations, or self-interest pseudo-explanations being thrown my way.

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, was the beginning of the art of self-parenting, in a nutshell and I'm better for it - obviously, with more work to do ;)

Love and best of luck to all,

~ Chrystal

__________________________________


With this lawsuit being filed - which again, I have no part in and do not condone - I have now closed my comments again to avoid any spin-off trouble from either side over it - and I will be marking this blog private in a few weeks.


__________________________


PS  - The Queen of Swords? LOL


So one of my new family members is really into tarot and believes she is psychic.  I don't know, I've never had a reading with her (and the reading below was done by someone else).

As for my beliefs about tarot, I used to be into tarot years ago and have studied the history of the tarot - which are the basis for today's playing cards.

They were originally meant as a card game (that no one today knows the rules of now), much like chess, never meant to be a tool for divination.  In fact, they're a bit like if you used the pieces of a chess board, and the moves that are made, as a tool for divination.


Over time, they became used to help a person gain insights into themselves and the environment but not in a "supernatural" way - just view a problem from a more objective "third party" perspective - take a step back and consider things you hadn't before about the situation, as well as yourself - including things you hadn't realized, feared,  or had even hidden from yourself.  

In other words, what YOU saw in the meaning of the cards was more important to gaining true insight into yourself and the situation rather than what the reader saw, if you were open to new perspectives. 

(In fact,  the famous psychologist and Freud protege, Carl Jung, was a fan of the tarot for this reason - not for spiritual elements, but  uncovering the subconscious, after putting the individual in the context of their environment to look at themselves/the situation more objectively.)


The cards themselves are ancient, possibly originally a Roman card game, but using them for the practice of divination is a relatively recent practice (within the last half-century, likely by "Roma" gypsies, who practice a combination faith of Christianity, old Roman-based faith, and pagan mysticism).  

Regardless, the tarot contains numerology and astrology symbolism, and much like astrology and numerology, tarot used also coexist peacefully with Christianity - i.e. the "Three Wise Men" were astrologists and numerologists, most likely of Zoroaster faith - and curiously, despite God's stance on being the one true God,  they weren't just tolerated at the birth of Christ  - they were actually welcome guests. 

Perhaps that is because astrologists and numerologists don't "worship" these things, they believe in God, too.

However, it is also believed, with some evidence to support, that the reason for this is because the Zoroasters (Canaanites) were already in Canaan when the Israelites arrived after the exodus from Egypt, and we do know that the two people and faiths peacefully shared Canaan for hundreds of years before Christ was born.  It's even possible the Zoroasters helped them survive in the new land.


Whatever their relationship, the numerology and astrology of the Zoroaster religion were eventually incorporated into not only Judeo-Christian culture - but baked into the bible itself.

Examples?

As already alluded to, the Star of Bethlehem and the three wise men following the star, interpreting it as a sign from God to mean a king had been born?  

Peter denying Christ 3 times to seal it, then after the resurrection, Christ himself asked Peter to say he loved him 3 times to break the seal/curse?

 Christ using the the number 7 for eternity, or 70 x7?


Likewise, Wiccan witchcraft - and actual Satanism - do the same thing - say a spell 3 times to bind/seal it, but if you curse someone or hex them, it will come back on the spell-caster x7.


In other words, astrology and numerology are neither Judeo-Christian, witchcraft, nor Satanic, nor are they incorporated byproducts of Babylonian or Egyptian captor culture - they're incorporated Zoroastrian - such that our own bible is steeped in astrology and numerology faith and belief.



As for tarot cards - the significance of card numbers is based on numerology - and they. too, initially peacefully coexisted with Christianity, until the late Dark Ages and again during The Reformation, when people who challenged some of the church's policies began using the cards as a method to pass along messages to each other that criticized the church-government combo, to avoid being tried as heretics and killed.


Thus, when the church/government caught wind of it, they labeled the tarot "Satanic," "Witchcraft" and "Heretical" as a way of keeping themselves as the sole and supreme authority and thus above reproach, stamping God's name on it themselves ;)

This is also the time when astrology and numerology were stamped with the same labels - anything that encouraged independent thought and not being solely and completely dependent on the church was labeled by the church as witchcraft, Satanic, and heretical.


Now, having said that, as for being psychic or spiritually intuitive, I personally believe that there is a small percentage of people who genuinely have extrasensory perception, are natural empaths or intuitives, and it's the same gift, regardless of the faith label stamped on this ability.

Then there is a significantly larger percentage of the population who are just outright frauds and cons.

But IMO, the largest population within the "psychic" world are simply people who legitimately believe they are psychic -  but are not.


Lastly and most importantly, sometimes even people who do have this ability can't see the forest for the trees, because their own issues get in the way; in other words, they are too subjective to see clearly.  


True "psychics" know this, which is why they seek readings from other psychics on their own issues, much like therapists have therapists, so that they can make sure they get their own stuff out of the way first lol.


Now, with the latter groups, it's true they still sometimes get things right -  but even a broken clock is right twice a day lol.


Regardless, as I said, I believe the very small portion of the population who truly have this ability are neither Godly nor Satanic - it's the  same ability, it's just your intent, your use (or misuse) of it, as well as the label we slap on it that make the difference.

In fact, I personally don't see much difference between people who claim to be prophets of God versus witches, especially charismatic evangelical prayers can sound just like spells or incantations.



Either way, IMO, that's the wrong focus to try to credit or blame God for the outcomes of things we humans do, and we shouldn't be directing God what to do through prayer, we should be led instead, because we can't see everything from a bigger perspective.

In fact, I believe that what the bible may have meant by "witchcraft" was any time a person attempts to invoke a supernatural power in their lives/the lives of others to obtain a sense of personal power or protection - regardless of whether they attribute that power to God/light, nature, or Satan/darkness - because horrible things happen to Christians, just like everybody else.

Thus, I'm inclined to believe this isn't even possible and thus this type of belief in "supernatural personal power" through prayer OR spells only sets people up for disappointment - which is possibly why it's a "sin" - not because you're a bad person, but because like so many other "sins," it's simply not good for you - because it sets you up for disappointment (for which you'll likely blame God when the prayer doesn't "work.")

Now - people that do genuinely have this gift, when using those cards as a tool, can be very helpful to see the situation from a third-party perspective, kind of like a therapist :)


However, anyone that tells you that they can see the future for certain is not being honest and misusing the tarot - they either don't truly have the gift or they don't understand it.

That is because the future is never written in stone - and we can  actually screw it up if we take actions believing it's the definite future.  In other words, we can sabotage the future ourselves with our own actions. 


Regardless, though I haven't had a tarot reading in probably 15 years, I decided to have my own tarot reading a couple of nights ago, unclear on whether I had made the right decision as to whether to extricate myself entirely from this situation, doubting myself, and whether I had been too harsh about it.

I talked to a couple of tarot readers who were absolutely terrible first, who gave no specifics and got everything wrong, and didn't even make any sense.

Then I talked to someone who specifically said she was a licensed therapist as well, and she doesn't attribute this gift to either witchcraft or God,  she's not "talking" to God or spirits - it's simply being a naturally intuitive/empathic/extrasensory perception and the tarot are tools to help her interpret (or try to interpret) the situation as objectively as she can, but she is human and thus it's still a subjective interpretation.

She shocked the sh*t outta me, I've got to tell you.

I could say a lot more about what she said, but the short version is, the answer was yes - I had made the right decision at exactly the time, that I was an empath of sorts myself, and to stop doubting myself - that that efforts to place appropriate boundaries on the situation previously more gently had been ignored and that I should trust myself more - that though it's always good to re-evaluate yourself and self-examine, but then trust myself, despite what other people think and say.


Anyway, I came up as the Queen of Swords,  in the "upright" position (rather than "reversed" or upside-down) ... 






Well, that's new - because in my youth, I used to almost always come up as either Queen of Cups or the Knight of Cups (sometimes The Empress) - upright, rather than upside-down or "reversed" - very loving, compassionate, nurturing, and generous, sometimes to their own detriment, but very emotionally focused, making decisions rashly, defending others rashly, out of sense of loyalty to others, without thinking things through -  and above all, the cups suit has a tendency to be too trusting and very naive.


Thus, I thought the life transition from the Queen of Cups to the Queen of Swords was very appropriate for not only this situation, but the title and general point of this post :)


I had to look up the full meaning of the QOS personality from several sources because I'd forgotten - and actually the Queen of Swords makes sense for who I am now, and I think this description is probably the most comprehensive on the personality (the latter part of the last paragraph below) ...




In a nutshell, she is the mature, wise widow,  the "impartial, fair-minded, judge"  and problem-solver, who can see all sides to a situation;  both logical and insightful/intuitive, she has obtained much wisdom after suffering much loss, pain and grief.  

She has a sharp wit -  and sometimes her candor/forthrightness can be interpreted as also having a sharp tongue (oops - true :/).

She's very empathetic - but she will not allow her empathy to be taken advantage of  - and she will cut through the bullshit quickly and sharply to get to the heart of the matter and determine who the most vulnerable party actually is despite how it may appear, and then fiercely protect them.


In fact, the suit of swords in general represents fierce protection/vigilance (some cards in the suit can mean offensive aggression, including if the QOS card if she appears reversed/upside down, but mine was upright), past or current pain, as well as "cutting through" the BS to find both the crux of the issue and clarity :)


Interesting - the transition of cards reminded me of the changes in Sansa Stark, from Game of Thrones ...




She initially annoyed the crap out of you, especially versus Arya (though they were both fairly crappy to each other).

She appeared stupid, naive, petulant, weak, and a follower sheep rather than shepherdess leader.  The lights were on, but nobody was home lol. 

She just wanted to believe in fairy tales, and thought that if she just learned to behave like proper, dutiful women were "supposed" to, as opposed to Arya, everything would turn out all right.

She was too naive and too trusting, despite the reality, which is that she couldn't trust anyone - this was a power game of thrones and unless she developed a quiet strategy to simply protect herself and stay alive, there was no hope.

The best hope we had for Sansa, in the beginning, is that she would marry well - and oh boy, did that not turn out like she fantasized it would.

Then Sansa suffered betrayal after betrayal, loss after loss, and the worst possible outcomes of arranged-marriage scenarios you could  even think of - either betrothal or actual marriage to a gay prince who could never love her or provide children, then two total psychopath princes, whose hobbies were hunting for, and torturing, both innocent people and animals for sport (who repeatedly violently raped her).

The only exception being Tyrion, of course, but she was still too young and fairy-tale minded, at the time, to see Tyrion clearly, which she later acknowledges. 

She didn't realize, until too late, that there was not going to be a fairy-tale ending for her and that her trust must be earned rather than given freely, and she found a way to combine her femininity and strength in a way that worked for herself as well as others.


Nevertheless, it became clear that we actually underestimated her, she somehow was able to survive, though so many others around her fell - and she grew up to become the Lady of Winterfell, then finally, Queen of the North  - actually very intelligent, very insightful, and a dutiful leader rather than a dutiful follower, in the end -  having learned her lessons perhaps later than others, but through the hardest of possible ways.


In fact, when first watching the first season of GOT, both Arya and Sansa as children, Mark said, "You were totally like Arya as a kid, weren't you?"  

Erm - no, I wasn't, as a child - unfortunately, I was probably more like Sansa.

Now - if I had to pick someone overall in the entire story that I identified with, it would actually be Tyrion Lannister, because of the way his family viewed him - like a curse, due to wrongful societal mystical beliefs (in his case, regarding his "dwarfism" stature) and that although highly intelligent, he didn't realize until too late that the best solution was just to leave the toxicity, rather than continue to try gain their approval.





But we were talking about the characters as children, in the first season, and unfortunately, I was probably more like Sansa than Arya, as a child :(

So I told Mark "Far from it" - and added that I had this feeling Arya was actually going to grow up to become fairly cold and merciless, overly fond of sword-fighting and obsessed with revenge, and that I suspected that Sansa was smarter than she let on (the way she handled the young boys' swordfight was an early clue), and was actually going to grow up and surprise us by being the more fair-minded, service-oriented and dutiful leader, between the two, even if by default  - and that they did! 


Back to the tarot reading, it was interesting, how the cards for me had changed - the "Sansa-like" transition from the Queen of Cups to the Queen of Swords.

I don't put too much stock in things like tarot readings much anymore, and the future is never set in stone, but it did help me realize my own growth.  

I realized that I matured and learned, as a result of my own losses and and betrayals, and well as how to better consider the various possible futures, as well as the possible consequences of my choices for the future.

So I walked away gaining better insight, doubting myself less, as well as feeling that I had made right decision after all, hopeful for the future - not the immediate future, apparently - but the future nonetheless lol :)





Friday, November 11, 2022

Good Advice I'd Forgotten ...


Several years ago, I had a wonderful conversation with a very wise woman of Hindu faith who said: 


"When life slaps you in the face, God grants you 10,000 other little prayers - but if you're so focused on the slap, you won't notice."


She went on to say that it could be something you don't even realize was a prayer or a wish - like "My GOD, why won't my flower just bloom already" - and then it does, but you don't notice because you're so stressed out about work, politics, family, etc., right?

Not only is she saying that God is neither to blame or credit when bad things happen, but she's speaking of the importance of gratitude, being grateful - to God, the universe, your parents, your spouse, you children, you friends, whomever - for what you DO have rather than what you don't.

I've become pretty good at doing this, actually, despite my biological/genetic propensity for clinical depression (which is largely about feelings of worthlessness for things I couldda/shouldda said and done differently, who I am, etc., rather than what I "don't have" anyway.)   I was even able to do it when I was in a genuinely very bleak situation.

However, I think it's human nature to stress about negative things that happen and try to "fix" them - but it may not be healthy to do this for too long, and it does prevent us from paying attention to "what's good."

That is not to say it's not important to acknowledge the slap, the darkness, because it is, and you certainly have the right to feel hurt/sad/mad about these things - but equally important is to eventually find the light, find the blessings you already have around you, which maybe we overlook because of the slap,  yes? :)




Thursday, November 10, 2022

Just A Reminder, Fayette County Public Schools ...

 


... of our district slogan, because it seems you've forgotten, that it's not about you ... 




I can't say much more than that, because the national news (Newsweek) has now gotten a hold of the story, though they don't know much.  

The local TV news has reported it as well, but our local newspaper, the Lexington Herald Leader has not.  

That is because administration is telling them all the same thing, that it's "under  investigation," keeping things very tightly under wraps.

And by "investigation," they mean both an internal investigation and a potential criminal investigation, since there has been a death associated with the situation.

What I CAN tell you is that it's even worse what little the press knows - much, much worse.


I also would like to say this ...

That regardless of your side of politics, the Trump-promoted trend of cronyism - rewarding people for either personal or political loyalty by placing them in jobs they're unqualified and inappropriate for because they'll represent you/your politics better,  then protecting covering for them when they prove just how unqualified and inappropriate they are -  needs to die and die hard.  



And that's all I have to say about that, said Forrest  :)





Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Lake Cumberland State Resort Park, Part 2 - November 5-6, 2022




So as I posted about two weeks ago, we went to Lake Cumberland State Park Resort for the weekend - and unfortunately, left some hang-up clothes in the closet there! (Mark thought I grabbed them, he thought I did.)  

The good news is, housekeeping was kind enough to hold onto them for us, and we decided to drive down to stay a night, on Saturday night. 

At first, we couldn't get a room and were going to stay an another another state park about an hour away, but luckily, a room opened up.

Because we were there only one night, you won't be as barraged with as many photos as two weeks ago, but we still packed in plenty :)

When we first arrived, it was relatively cloudy - and most of the bright-colored leaves were gone -  but  at about 7 p.m., we noticed the trees slowly began to illuminate at dusk ...  




Until suddenly, everything around had an orange/red hue.


Note:  These are NOT filters - there are no filters on any of these photos - this was the actual shade of the sky/trees at the time ... 












And when we walked over to the other side of the lodge, we could see why - one of the most spectacular sunsets I have ever seen in Kentucky (also seen in the first photo at the top of the page :)












Until eventually, it looked like the sky itself was on fire ... 







And just before the sun disappeared in the horizon, three deer came out to graze ...










The other side of the lodge, just as the sun tucked itself behind the horizon ... 









The next morning, we decided to take a walk down to the State Dock Marina to look at the houseboats, considering Lake Cumberland is known as "The Houseboat Capital of the World."

Truth be told, we've been half-considering buying a small one to to live in, docked at a mountain lake property in North Carolina.

This is just the state-owned public dock, mind you - the private marinas are much more lavish, although don't make the mistake of thinking they're cheap - you can still find several multi-million-dollar houseboats here, and there's a general store and a restaurant/bar ... 







It's also worth a mention that before you even get on the boat, most boat owners, small or large boats, have on their portion of the docs full mini-bars, mini kitchens, and outdoor patio seating areas with TVs (though most actual houseboats already have these things inside)  - sometimes with several tables -  as if they're running a small restaurant/bar.  

So no matter the size of the boat, don't ever make the mistake of thinking even the person with the smallest boat doesn't also have money, they're just not as ostentatious/don't need a full party barge ...




I mean ... I'm pretty sure a small, poor family could live on just the deck and believe they'd died and gone to heaven :/

Each covered-slip dock has them, the point being, essentially, a giant party where you can party-hop.

I'm not sure, but it almost seemed like a competition, with each dock stall trying to outdo the one next door to it?

In case you're wondering how much these dock slips cost to rent, the covered dock slips can range from $200 to $1,000 a month.

And then there's the high-end houseboats themselves, from the $500,000 to $850,000 range ...









To the $1 million range ...






To this $2-million top of the line, custom-made Thoroughbred (considered the "master" custom houseboat builder - the top three houseboat builders being found right here in South-Central Kentucky near Lake Cumberland).  It may not look like too much from the front (except that this is a curved glass enclosure behind the front deck, which is unusual/custom built) ... 






But then note that it goes on forever, like a train car ... 










And then culminates with THIS on its back deck ... 







That's right, folks ... that's golden statue of Pegasus on the top deck.  And though you can't really see the inside from this pic, inside those gilded doors is sparkling, textured, gilded wall, meant to look like a wall built of raw just-mined gold.

Well, you know what happened to Pegasus, right?  He flew close to the sun, and ... it did not end well. 

  

That's just ... obscene lol.  Have you ever seen such (cough, cough, unnecessary) extravagance?  

The thing has like 10 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms or something, back and front decks, plus a covered deck up top.

(Oops, looks like they had a side-window mishap.  Drunken party guest?)




So all in, the dock deck full bar and mini kitchen on the dock, boat furniture and appliances, all the extra touches, we're talking upwards of $5 million.

I mean, I'm pretty sure you could like, buy Haiti for less, but here they are, all the faux gold touches, just to show off in front of everybody  and be the biggest, flashiest fish in the pond... at. Lake Cumberland, Kentucky?!?

Alrighty then. 

Don't get me wrong, I could totally live in a houseboat on the lake for life - like I said, we have half-considered living on a houseboat when Mark retires -  but I wouldn't need all the glitz and glam, nor the deck party with my neighbors every night - that's just not us. 

Also, not a single non-lily-white person anywhere in sight. 

HOWEVER - on the plus side, the boat owners we met were very, very nice, super friendly :)

 They were NOT The extravaganza boat owners - but like I said, make no mistake based on boat size - they were certainly not poor. 

One man in particular was super nice, so down to earth, who was unfortunately now disabled - you would've never known talking to him he had once been the trainer for Loretta Lynn's horses :)

We also couldn't help but notice a plethora (cough, cough, overkill) of American flags, way past the 4th of July? 

And I should say they were all super nice, with the exception of THIS dude - not sure if you can see it from the picture, but he spent the better part of both days parading up and down the cove, honking his horn and flying his "Trump 2024" superfreak flag ... UNTIL ...




... Captain Ahab finally ran out of gas and had to have some brought to him ...





Hehehe ... no, wait ... HAHAHA!

Please, God -  let that be a metaphor for what will eventually happen to equally obnoxious Trump -  that he'll just run out of gas and be in need of rescue (but no one does?) lol


Mind you, part of the reason we took this trip, besides leaving some clothes in the closet last time, was to have a little peace, a little calm before the storm with elections on Tuesday, but you cannot get away! 

   

You know what, I'd be danged if I'd put any politician's flag on my boat ...

... especially one that isn't even in the current election ... 

... but most importantly, the most over-privileged, pathologically lying, criminal-minded, delusional douchebag ever to hold office as POTUS (and that's saying a lot, because unfortunately, we've had a lot, sitting in that seat)!  LOL


But ahem, I digress ... back to things that should exist in nature and cost us nothing lol ...

Just some pictures and video of true things of beauty ... 

Some local deer ... 









Not sure how well you can see this one, he was pretty far away, but a 6-point buck (fairly young) ...












And (Wild) Tom Turkey. followed by his harem of hens ... 










The latter of which we got a video of, and if you listen closely, at timestamp 1:09, you can hear the Tom call out his "flock locator" call, from the woods, a sort of soft, high-pitched trill, rather than the rattling "gobble" we all know (which I imitate shortly thereafter lol) ...



By the way, I ask Mark in the video what a group of turkey was called, but neither of us knew.

So I looked it up a later - a group of turkeys is called a "rafter," apparently?


And though most of the leaves have now gone away, you could occasionally find some residual patches of color ... 















And alas, it was now time to go home, but on the way out, we decided to take Brookie as close as you can get to the water, an old boat launch, no longer in use, down "Old Rowena Road" in the park, which Brookie thoroughly enjoyed ... 










As did we ... 


































All in all, another wonderful mini-getaway to a Kentucky State Park :) 








Y'all come back now, ya hear?  :)