Friday, December 30, 2011

The Crone's Year in Review.....

Tomorrow is the last day of 2011!

As I go about my daily business (whatever that may be) I'll suddenly realize that I'm thinking back on things that have happened this past year.  My musings are not in any way negative, 2011 has been a wonderful year despite injury and disappointment.

The Crone musing about the year past!
Perhaps this is a condition of "Crone-hood" - you take the good and the bad and find acceptance and joy in both.  Without the negative you really don't appreciate the positive.  It's the balance in your life that keeps you sane and whole.

For me this year saw a "trip of a lifetime" shot down in flames, however the flames will hopefully bring about change in an area of the world that needs it!  My Crone thoughts and wishes go out to all of those around the world who dream and fight for freedom and dignity.  The year saw me injure my hand to the point that it will never work correctly again.  I can live with that....a small price to pay for otherwise good health...something that as I age is becoming more and more important to me.  Maintaining my health is taking more and more of a focused effort and commitment.  I look around and see so many who do not have good health and I consider the effort well worth it and count myself blessed.

This year I feel I have progressed in my study of Belly Dance.  I have performed several times and truly enjoy the experience.  As one who always considered herself to be at best uncoordinated, dancing was always something that "I couldn't do!".   My teacher and good friend has shown me that work, joy, and learning to accept yourself and your body enables you to do amazing things.  The sisterhood and friendship I have found among my fellow dancers is the best gift of all.  Thank you my sisters!  Dance on!

I've enjoyed communing with my "dark flock" of crows.  Becoming friends with a local flock of crows has been enlightening .  I knew, but now have experienced the amazing intellect of these beautiful birds.  We (humans) are not the only thinking, tool making, creature on this planet.
The most important part of my life is of course my dear spouse "Himself" - and my two loyal mini-minions Rupert (my one eyed blind English Bull Terrier) and Boomer (my slightly psychotic Mini-Australian Shepherd).  Without my "boys" my life would be as dark as a crow feather.  My boys fill my life with joy, laughter, lightness of spirit and happiness.  I love them. 

I've enjoyed exploring the path of the Crone.  I'm finding that my life is more rich and exciting than ever.  When you open yourself to the wonders of the universe and accept the gifts that are presented to you, you realize that magic is real.  "The eye sees only that which the mind is willing to comprehend" - Henri Bergson....to this quote I'd like to add, "only that which the mind is willing to comprehend and the heart accept!".  

2012 is just a number of hours away.  The new year stretches out before us like a blank canvas waiting for each and every one to paint their new masterpiece with love, work, creativity, joy, happiness, tears, heartbreak, and above all with magic.  This little Crone is looking forward to it.

Le Petite Crone says:  Happy New Year to all....may your year be blessed with magic!    

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Winter Solstice


December 21st is the Winter Solstice, here on "The Peninsula" the solstice officially happens at 9:21 PM.  The Solstice has historically been an important date in our Northern European culture.  

The solstice itself  was probably a special moment in the annual cycle of the year even during neolithic times.  Astronomical events, which during ancient times controlled the mating of animals, sowing of crops and the doling out of winter reserves between harvests were of major import.  Early civilisations had only the stars and the heavens to look to for guidance. This is attested to by physical remains in the layouts of late Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeological sites such as Stonehenge in Britain and Newgrange in Ireland. The primary axes of both of these monuments seem to have been carefully aligned on a sight-line pointing to the winter solstice sunrise (Newgrange) and the winter solstice sunset (Stonehenge). Bonfires were a common method of celebration for the ancient Celts and others, the symbolism of the bonfire represents the returning sun.  Even though the days may be cold, the sun is in the sky for longer and longer periods of time heralding the warm days of spring and summer, days when death is further away.

The winter solstice may have been immensely important because communities were not certain of living through the winter. Starvation was common in winter between January and April.   In temperate climates, the midwinter festival was the last feast celebration, before deep winter began. Most cattle were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during the winter, so it was almost the only time of year when a supply of fresh meat was available. The majority of wine and beer made during the year was finally fermented and ready for drinking at this time.

Since the event is seen as the reversal of the Sun's ebbing presence in the sky, concepts of the birth or rebirth of sun gods have been common and, in cultures using winter solstice based cyclic calendars, the year as reborn has been celebrated with regard to life-death-rebirth deities or new beginnings such as Hogmanay's. In Greek mythology, the gods and goddesses met on the winter and summer solstice, and Hades is permitted to enter Mount Olympus (his domain being the underworld, he of course does not get accepted at any other time). Also reversal is yet another usual theme such as in the Roman holiday of Saturnalia where slave and master symboically exchange roles for the day.  Christmas is celebrated near the winter solstice because the early Christian church overlayed many of it's celebratory religeous dates onto "pagan" feast days and celebrations to win over the populice to Christianity.  It's a good fit, the rebirth of the sun and the birth of the son of God.

Take a moment on this Winter's Solstice to reflect on your status, where you are, what you have accomplished, what you wish to accomplish in the coming year.  Light a candle, burn a log, build a bonfire.  Take a moment to realize that the night is long but will begin with the morrow to be shorter.  The days of sun will lengthen and the new year is on it's way.  What was old is gone, leave behind what you wish and focus on what you want, what is new.....

Le Petite Crone says:  Tomorrow is another day....and a longer day.  Enjoy. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Zombies! - They ARE real!

Himself and I just returned from a holiday visit to Reno, Nevada - otherwise known as "Las Vegas lite!".  I use to live in Reno and still have family in the area.

We visited my son, his wife and our grandchildren, attended our grandson's 6th birthday party and generally had a good time.   I also was able to spend some time with my brother who also writes a blog "The Geezer's Guide to Life" (you can check his out using the link on the left side of this page).  We visited with cousins one of whom we haven't seen in well over 40 years!  Time flies when you are having fun I guess.

So, I know you are wondering what a holiday visit with family has to do with "Zombies"..a good question.  My son is a big fan of zombie movies and we had a fleeting conversation regarding the creatures.  He was commenting on being prepared for the upcoming "Zombie Apocalypse" which he laughingly told me was due to happen in the near future.  This thought unfortunately took up residence in my brain.

...and then I started to see them.....

Zombies....

...they ARE real.....they frequent the late night and early morning hours of Reno casinos...in fact they are probably in every casino no matter where it's located. 

Casinos are odd in and of themselves anyway.  No windows, no clocks, dark, flashing lights, mirrors, noise...it's all very disorienting.  I like to imagine myself in a space station - like Deep Space Nine.  Casinos are just an unnatural setting.  Now however due to my son's fascination with Zombies I know the truth.  Zombies live in casinos.  I've seen them. 

Walking through the aisles of the slot machines you see them, slack jawed, glazed eyed....obviously the living dead.  I saw one female Zombie, she had about eight empty beer bottles lined up by her, oxygen machine pumping who knows what into her empty head, scraggly dirty white hair, a white cane (she was blind), smoking cigarettes (explosion anyone?) her face pressed up against the screen of the slot machine.  It was eight in the morning.  I kept my distance in case she might need some brains to go with her beer and oxygen.  You see them walking about the machines, in search of whatever it is they are looking for, lurching from one bright flashing light to another.  Pale faces, empty eyes.....it was hell.


So, now I'm watching.  Perhaps I'll start to see zombies everywhere.  Who knows.  It was an interesting experience of seeing how a fun conversation got stuck in my Crone's brain, expanded with my imagination and ended up creating a reality!  I'm glad I'm back home!

Le Petite Crone says:  If you think it, they will come!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Vacation


My beloved spouse "Himself" and I will be on a weeks holiday spending time with our children and grandchildren.  I will enjoy not having to make the bed, cook, clean, play with my loyal mini-minions Rupert and Boomer or even feed my dark flock of crows.  However I will miss them all, miss my normal routine and miss the magic of my home and hearth.

I will get to visit my dear brother "the Geezer" (see below for a link to HIS blog - MINE is much better!) and that is a good thing.  We are both orphans now, our parents having passed on to the next life.  It's good to keep in touch and stay connected.

I am looking forward to a grandson's birthday (6 years old!) and seeing a granddaughter who is growing up way too fast.  I am going to enjoy spending time with Himself in a new location, renewing our romance and reminding ourselves why we are so crazy about each other (all fun things to do!).

To be honest I'll enjoy the time away from the computer, the Internet and facebook.  I love writing this blog, I love seeing who reads it and I'd love it if more of my readers made comments.  I find it amazing that this technology makes it possible for an old crone on "The Peninsula" to have readers in Malaysia, Germany and Russia (three of my hot spots for readers).  Please let me know what you like, what you want to know about me and my life and why you read!  It will make my experience of writing this blog more enjoyable.

Perhaps after the first of the year I'll post a real photo of myself so you will all know what I really look like.  Perhaps.  I'll be back in a few days and continue to post my thoughts, feelings and observations from "The Peninsula".

Le Petite Crone Says:  See you in a few days.....



Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Dark Time


Mother Nature doesn't own a calendar.  This year Autumn came early to "The Peninsula" chasing our brief but beautiful summer away seemingly overnight.  One day it was warm (for here) and the next day crisp and cool.  The air had that slight smell of smoke and the light had that magical golden hue that you only see in the Autumn. 

This week Winter arrived.  I stepped outside to greet the morning and there it was....Winter.  I don't want it to be winter...but it is.  The crisp morning air of Autumn was gone...it was cold.  The golden hue of Autumnal light was gone...the hard grey light of Winter was painting the woods an almost black and white palate.  I retreated inside to console myself with a cup of hot coffee. 

I love Autumn, it's my favorite season.  There just seems to be so much magic in the air during Autumn that I feel alive and almost giddy with happiness.  Winter here on "The Peninsula" can be depressing, grey, rain, rain, rain and more grey can get you down.  I know that seasons change and that each season has it's magic.  I've already seen some winter magic in the past few days.  I watched the morning sun, hard and white stream through the rain drenched hemlock, pine and spruce trees surrounding our home.  The sun's light turning each raindrop into a tiny prism decorating each tree with rainbows.  I watched as mists rose from the forest floor and floated away like the ghosts of long lost souls weaving their way through the skeletal branches of the now leafless Alders.  I've watched as my crows walked about the front yard, their dark black so stark against the frost covered grass.

I sometimes think that my dislike of Winter is due to my age. I see in the changing seasons my own decline. I like to think of myself as in my golden Autumn years; years filled with magic, beauty and excitement. I don't like to be reminded of the Winter years that are just around the corner.  Who does?  Yet I know that this time will come and I have to choose how to face it. 

For me Winter is now the time to turn inwards and take stock of things.  Just as our ancestors took stock of their stores of food, seed and firewood judging if they would survive I take stock of where I am, where I am going and how I will get there.  As a Crone I'm learning that the dark time is not a time to fear but a time to rejoice.  It's the end of a cycle and the beginning of another.  I'm hoping that when my dark time of Winter arrives that I will have been stripped bare of all that I no longer need, as beautiful, stark and strong as a leafless tree in Winter. 

Le Petite Crone says:  Do not be afraid of the dark.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Shape of Things


When I was young I was skinnier, had a round soft face, my waist was just below my belly button, everything was pretty much located where it was suppose to be.  But as I started down that long creaky road to cronedom I noticed that clothing just wasn't fitting the way it use to.  What is going on?

I realize that your body changes as you age.  Your eyesight gets worse, your hearing seems to diminish (either that or you just don't pay attention to anything anymore).  Knees start to creak and when you turn your head from side to side you hear this horrible sound similar to sand being ground between two stones...but it's coming from INSIDE!  Inside your neck where WD40 just can't help.

I find that my body tends to create new and exciting pains and irritations to amuse me in the middle of the night when I'm sound asleep.  I am jolted awake by some strange cramp, sharp pain or odd sound coming from...yes, INSIDE my body!  Gurgles, hisses, bubbles, grating noises...you name it I've heard it. 

I also started to notice that clothing that use to fit just fine is incredibly uncomfortable now.  I'm not heavier...I take the same size....it's just that my parts don't seem to be where they use to be and my clothes just don't fit anymore!  No one told me that your body parts migrate!  Really now, don't you think that's an important bit of knowledge that needs sharing?  I do.

My waist has migrated down so all my jeans fit above my waist now.  Not comfortable.  Years of lifting weights gave me pretty broad and muscled shoulders for a woman...now the seams in my petite tops don't even make it to the end of my shoulder.  It's extra large for me!  To be honest sometimes I've taken to purchasing men's shirts because they fit better (and last longer - another subject for a future blog!).  So far I'm very happy that by breasts "the girls" haven't started the dreaded migration down to my knees....still in good shape for their age!  Keep it up ladies!

My father once told me that your warranty was up at forty.  He was about right on that.  I woke up on my 40th birthday with aches and pains that I hadn't had the night before.  However, no one told me that mass migration starts in your mid-fifties. 

I've come to accept that change is the only constant in life.  As you age your beliefs and thoughts change, you grow, shed, acquire new aspects to your personality.  You also change physically...from youth to prime to aged...Maiden, Mother and Crone.  It's the way of life.  You can accept change gracefully and with joy or you can be miserable.  I chose to be joyful even with my migrations and bodily symphonies.

Le Petite Crone says:  Enjoy the shape of things to come!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Commercial Age



We don't watch much television here on "The Peninsula".  It's not that we don't have television it's just that we have better things to do.  I do watch movies and old series now and then on my laptop.  I enjoy this as I can watch on my schedule.  I'm not tech savvy enough to enjoy the blessings of Tevo and DVR's and all that.  I'm not even sure what they are.  I'm still trying to figure out our remote controls.  We have one for the VCR, one for the DVD and one for the TV which we are apparently suppose to be able to program to do everything.  So far no luck!

My dear spouse "Himself" and I do have several shows that we regularly watch.  We like to watch the news (NOT FOX news!), we like South Park, Futurama and The Daily Show.  I have a couple of series that I like to follow but I usually watch these on my laptop when I have free time.

One thing we find slightly annoying while watching these programs are the commercials.  Not that the commercials are inane, idiotic, stupid and seem to assume that you are a moron (even though they are and do).  What we find annoying is that they assume you are a certain age depending on the program you are watching.  While I realize that this is all part of the "science" of advertising I still find it annoying.

I really dislike having to sit through commercials about cholesterol medication, laxatives, erectile dysfunction and adult diapers while watching the news.  I equally dislike having to wonder what in the hell the commercials are even FOR while watching South Park!  What is 4G and why do I want one?  I don't want to know about the hottest sex chat phone number that you are suppose to text either!

Speaking of sex chat, when I was single I lived in an apartment upstairs from a woman who worked on one of those sex chat lines.  She was in her 60's and would stand outside her door talking dirty to her "customer" while wearing fluffy slippers and a ratty bathrobe....buyer beware!

Sometimes I wonder if advertisers just assume that no one in their crone years would ever consider watching South Park and The Daily Show, or that a young person would watch the network news.  My dear spouse "Himself" likes to think that because we tend to watch "younger" shows that obviously makes us "cool".  I for one would just love to see a commercial for adult diapers air during South Park.  Give the younger generation a heads up on what they have to look forward to.

When I seriously think about this I feel that media is trying to categorize all of us into age brackets and program a certain image, mental state and way of being based on what age group we fall into.  I don't like it.  I'm in spirit younger as a crone that I ever was as a teenager!  I intend to stay this way.....

Le Petite Crone says:  Age is just a number!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Vibrations of Life

There is a quote supposedly by Albert Einstein that goes "Everything in life is vibration".  Technically this is correct as each atom in creation vibrates to some wavelength. This thought intrigues me to no end.  My atoms and the atoms of a tree, a rock, water, air, the elements on a far distant planet....all vibrate.  I don't want to sound all George Lucas, Jedi Knight "the force" here, but it's a mind bending concept when you dwell on it.

Have some people retained the ability to be sensitive to the vibrations of the universe and perhaps manipulate these vibrations.  Could this be the basis of miracles, faith healing, people who see spirits or are psychic?  There are of course frauds and fakes out there but there are also those few who defy the skeptics and have unexplained abilities.  I think it all comes down to vibrations.

I've recently read of studies done by several universities that measure electromagnetic field fluctuations during group prayer, chanting and ritual dance.  The results showed that there were wild and powerful vibrational fields generated by these activities.  People were generating and manipulating the vibrations around themselves.  This explains why in "primitive" cultures the shamans and healers use chanting and dance as part of their healing ritual.  Modern science has shown that playing  music (vibrations) helps reduce pain and speed healing in hospitals.  I've known people who swear that their plants grow better when they play music or talk to them (vibrations).

Have you ever been drawn to a specific place, a tree, a rock formation?  Have you felt as if there was something calling you?  I have, I think it's a vibrational connection.  Perhaps this is what spirituality is, connecting with the elemental nature of all things.  I also feel that sites of great trauma, such as disasters, battles or violent acts can retain the vibrational imprint of what happened.  If you are sensitive believe me you feel it and perhaps even see images of that past (ghosts).  I've been on former battlefields and have had such an overwhelming reaction that I could hardly breathe.

Take some time, sit quietly and let your mind be at peace and try to sense the world around you.

Le Petite Crone says:  Stretch out your senses and allow yourself to feel....you may just connect with something beyond  and within yourself. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM LE PETITE CRONE!




Le Petite Crone says:  Yes, this is me!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Samhain Magic


 
It's that time of year again, there is something magical about October and Halloween.  Is it magical because we think it is or is the magic real?  I for one know it's real.  I feel it in my old crone bones and I've had too many experiences not to believe.

The fabric between what is visible and the netherworld is thin and the veil is lifted on Samhain night.  You can feel the change start when Autumn comes, the reality of what we see begins to vibrate along the earths ley lines, the light changes, the air smells different.  Mother nature is more alive in the Autumn one last burst of vibrant energy prior to the dark time of winter.  It's the transition between light and dark, life and death, that creates the special magic of Samhain.  What is and what isn't stretches and warps.  You become aware of shadows playing and flitting about just on the edge of your vision.  Every crow caw seems imbued with meaning, every noise seems clear and sharp like crystal breaking.  Morning fog twists and turns seductively as it wafts through the woods seemingly intent upon a destination.

Gazing into the night you can hear voices and feel that delightful tingle along your spine that tells you someone is watching.  You can be afraid if you want, but really there is no reason to be.  Behind each of us is a phantom family of those who have passed to the other side.  This is the time of year when it's easiest for them to visit and for us to feel, sense and acknowledge them.  They are family and one day you will be with them.  When the time is right, invite them into your life, share a meal, talk to them and listen.  Listen and you will hear them and you will be the better for it!

We are so involved with things we deem vital in this modern world that we as a society have forgotten the importance of acknowledging those who have passed.  We may have forgotten them.............but they have not forgotten us. 

Le Petite Crone says:  Have a spirited Samhain!

    

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sick Minion



Sorry I haven't been writing recently.  My loyal min-minion Rupert (my one eyed blind English Bull Terrier) has been sick.

He started to three leg it about the house a couple of weeks ago.  He then developed a fever and was definitely not feeling well.  We went to the vet and he seemed better after a ten day session of antibiotics and pain medication.  He was still three legging it though and then the vet put him on some anti-inflammatory medication.  No luck...no change. 

After last night with him whimpering (a very rare occurrence - he's normally such a stoic little guy) we discovered that his right paw and leg were swollen.  So now we are back on antibiotics, pain meds, anti-inflammatory medication and Epsom salt soaks.  If there is no improvement the next step is x-rays.

I know it seems a lot to do for a pet, but my mini-minions are such an important part of my life that I think of them as my fur children.  I'd no sooner let my dog suffer than I would my child.

Man and dog have evolved together.  I love my minions.  Stay tuned for further updates.

Le Petite Crone says:  Please share a prayer for my pup.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

It's Spider Season!

The hollow winds begin to blow,
The clouds look black, the glass is low;
The soot falls down, the spaniels sleep,
And spiders from their cobwebs peep.
–Dr. Edward Jenner (1749–1823



Autumn brings a special season to "The Peninsula"...it's spider season!  It's the time of year when silvery spider floss is gently floating about in the air.  The local orb weavers are spinning and creating massive webs like crazed eight-legged monsters (just my opinion here!). I'm not talking about an occasional spider either....everywhere you look, there they are.  You can't walk anywhere outside without hitting a web.  It's horrible!

I love nature, I really do, but try as I might I can't find a warm spot in my heart for spiders.  I know they eat huge amounts of insects and are a benefit to any garden but even that doesn't temper my visceral gut reaction to walking into a spider web.  I yelp like a little girl, jump about, waving my arms like an idiot and then proceed to brush off every inch of my body...all the while knowing that somewhere, someplace on my person a deadly, creepy, crawly spider is inching it's way to my neck to suck out my vital fluids and leave me a dried out husk of a former crone!

I'm not the only one who reacts this way.  You see people about town, walking down the street and then suddenly performing a Saint Vitus dance, waving arms, twisting about and slapping their body with great vigor.  Like I said...It's spider season.

Once the spiders get into the house I show no mercy.  Dead, dead, dead....kill'em, kill'em all!  Himself, who is truly a nicer person than I am, will gently capture them and take them outside to freedom.  Doesn't he know that these freed monsters will now lie in wait for me, ready to pounce seeking revenge for their eviction????

I have to admit that I'm not totally blinded by my distaste of spiders.  I've seen some beautiful sights created by our orb weavers.  There is nothing more magical than seeing a perfectly created web glistening with dew in the morning sunlight.  The spiders here tend to weave gigantic webs some of them stretching several feet from one object to another.  They will sometimes leave a single strand floating about and objects such as leaves, pine cones or small twigs will catch on these and appear as if they are suspended in mid air....almost like time has halted or some force field has stopped their fall.  Magic.

Last year one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen was spider created.  Himself and I were driving over one of the local bridges which spans a river estuary.  Along the shore was a large field of marsh grass and on each and every clump of grass was an orb weaver web covered with moisture shining like diamonds in the morning light.  It looked as if each blade of grass was covered with diamond lace.  You only see sights like this when you have no means to take a photo.

Despite the beauty of their webs I have to admit it's all spoiled by the fat eight-legged brown horror sitting in the middle of this architectural wonder.  I shudder each time I look out my window, hoping to enjoy the beauty of Autumn and instead I see one of these monsters hanging there smiling at me, gnashing it's poison dripping fangs just daring me to step outside.  Deep down I know they are out to get me.

Le Petite Crone says:  Aaaaagghgghghghg!



 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Goodbye Summer

My dear spouse "Himself" made the comment that here on "The Peninsula" we have two seasons...."rainy season" and "not so rainy season".  He's not that far off.  I do love Autumn, it's my favorite time of the year (it falls halfway between rainy and not so rainy!!).  Autumn has been in the air for quite a while now despite so many friends trying to desperately hold on to summer.

The leaves are falling, the grass has stopped growing, the periods of bright blue sky are further apart.  It's been warm but the last couple of days even that has changed.  Today we spent our inside time sitting in front of a nice warm fire in the fireplace.  Our mini-minions love it when we have fires and either snag one of the recliners or lay on their dog bed in front of the fireplace.  It's cozy.



We stored the BBQ in the garage and covered all the patio/deck furniture.  Himself mowed the lawn for probably the last time this year.  He also swept the deck and patio, part of his never ending crusade against the leaves and pine cones that fall.  Mini-minion Boomer helps in this crusade, each time he comes in from outside he brings in a leaf or a pine cone hoping we'll chase him through the house trying to get it from him.  It's one of his doggy rituals.

We are "hunkering down" for the rainy season, getting prepared for the storms of November (usually our worst month weather wise).  Our chainsaw is ready to go, our emergency box is packed, we've gas for the generator.  We have a goodly supply of lamp oil and candles.  We have our hand crank emergency radio and flashlight.  The flannel sheets are on the bed.  We are ready.  Yet we still have hope for those magical warm sunny days that can dazzle.  We still have hope for a less than torrential rainy season.  As I'm doing my final review of this posting it's poring down rain!  Yikes!  We still have hope for a short winter.

Age has taught that each season turns, the wheel goes around.  It's Autumn now, Winter is on the way and then we'll start all over again.  The cycle of the seasons is something to celebrate and we'll hopefully learn the lessons that each turn teaches.

Le Petite Crone says:  Goodbye Summer....see you next year. 





Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lessons From An Old Dog - Part Two

Part Two.....

My blind, one eyed mini-minion Rupert is an English Bull Terrier.  In Part One of this posting I mentioned that Bullies have an obsessive compulsive nature.  Bullies also tend to have a very high pain tolerance...which ties back to their pit fighting days.  Bull Terriers (aka...Bullies, The White Cavaliers, the Gladiators of the Dog World etc.) are tough little guys.  You have to "inspect" them on a regular basis to make sure they are not cut, scraped, injured etc. as they usually don't show pain unless it's really bad.  They just don't seem to notice injuries that much.

Walking a blind dog is not the same as walking a sighted dog...and no, it's not because their white cane gets in the way!  I have to guide Rupert around objects and watch that he doesn't fall off of curbs or into ditches.  This takes more awareness of what your dog is doing than you would normally have to give.  We were on a walk one time and I became distracted watching a container ship go by on the river.  Rupert walked into a light pole with such force that he cut his face and knocked himself a bit silly, he then did a header off of the curb.  I felt horrible even though I'm sure someone watching would have found the entire episode sort of funny.  Because of his blindness and also his breed Rupert is never off leash outside of the house and backyard.  Many dog parks wont' allow "bull" breeds in anyway.

I know that because of his many physical problems and his blindness I tend to overprotect Rupert.  He's such an important part of my life and such a comfort to my soul that I don't want to risk losing him to injury or illness.

Where we live on "the peninsula" is in a small community that has a private park bordering on a beautiful lake.  There is a small island that can be reached by a couple of bridges.  Some volunteers recently put a gate on the last bridge and cleaned up the island making it into a dog park.  Mini-minion Boomer has been to this dog park several times with Himself and loves it!  A few days ago we took both Rupert and Boomer.  I decided since there were no other dogs to let Rupert be off leash for the very first time.

It was a joy to watch him explore this new space.  He was cautious in his explorations but good about halting when I told him to stop (such as when he was headed into a blackberry bramble).  Rupert had such a huge doggy grin and his tail was wagging in double time.  I'm sure we will be spending more time on the dog island.  I have to admit that it was difficult to let him go and wander around on his own even though I was walking close by. 

Le Petite Crone says:  Sometimes you just have to let go.

P.S. I'd like to recommend another blog to my readers.  It's listed in "My Blog List" on the left...."The Geezer's Guide" - think of him as a male crone.  I just happen to know this particular person - in fact he evidently dropped me on my head when I was a newborn baby....that might explain a lot!  He's my big brother.  I enjoy his writing and hope that you do too.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Lessons From An Old Dog - Part One

My English Bull Terrier, loyal mini-minion Rupert is only eight years old.  Due to his physical difficulties (many surgeries, foot problems, glaucoma, blindness, losing an eye) he seems and acts much older. 

Rupert is a sweetheart of a dog.  He's over forty pounds of solid  muscle that loves to snuggle and cuddle.  The only thing he loves more is to eat, however even with his slower lifestyle he is not the least overweight.  He's as solid as a brick wall and walking him is like trying to walk a tank. 

I recently had two experiences with Rupert that brought me to tears, taught me some valuable lessons and once again confirmed how special a dog he is, even though I think all dogs are special.

For those of you who don't have the privilege of knowing a Bull Terrier I need to tell you a couple of things about their nature.  Bullies were bred to be fighting dogs (yes, like Pit Bulls) but around 1840 or so they started to tweak the breed to remove aggressiveness and make them into a companion animal.  They did an outstanding job; however Bullies are lumped into the Pit Bull regulations in many places around the country.  I have people react to him the same way many people do to Pits.  I'm a responsible owner and Rupert is never off leash in public and he has good manners.  He's a good boy.

Because of the intensive breeding done with Bullies (I won't get into how I feel about pure bred dogs and what we've done to them) they have a slightly, how shall I put it...an obsessive compulsive nature.  In fact in some Bullies it's so bad that if they, as an example, obsess over chasing their tail you actually have to euthanize them because they will do so over eating, sleeping etc. until they become sick.

Rupert has two obsessive traits, both harmless.  The one I want to tell you about is a game Himself and I dubbed "Bully Ball".  Rupert takes a toy in his mouth and then bats a tennis ball with his front paws (in a cat like manner) and the mouth toy around the house and every object in the house that he can get around.  There are obvious rules and regulations that he follows including "time outs" and "penalties" for missing the ball.  Points are obviously scored if I have to retrieve the ball from under the couch.  We've been able to control his obsessiveness by just taking the tennis ball away and only letting him play "Bully Ball" for limited amounts of time.

As Rupert lost his sight his ability to play Bully Ball diminished.  With just one eye and about 95+% loss of vision in his remaining eye he now has such a difficult time playing that it's really painful to watch.  I feel so sorry that he can no longer indulge in his game that brought him so much joy.  We have stopped giving him his tennis ball because it made "us" feel so bad.

The other day my dear spouse Himself took mini-minion Boomer with him into town to do some shopping.  Rupert and I were home alone.  Rupert seemed so depressed that I got out the old Bully Ball tennis ball.  The transformation was amazing.  Rupert was so obviously thrilled.  He tried to play Bully Ball by the normal rules and I could tell he was frustrated that he couldn't see the ball.  We ended up laying on the floor together, nose to nose batting the ball back and forth between us...modified bully ball!  His joy over such a small thing brought tears to my eyes.  I realized that even though he couldn't play like he had in the past, he could still play.  I had been so concerned over how I felt, my sadness over his loss of sight that I forgot to take into account how Rupert felt. 

Le Petite Crone says:  Even if you can't play like you use to, keep playing!

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Magic of Cooking

I love to cook.  My dear spouse "Himself" is always ecstatic when I say this as he loves to eat.  It's a match made in culinary heaven.  In fact a close friend said that my spouses idea of a menage a trois was "three women in the kitchen cooking for him!".  Probably right.

I learned to cook the old fashioned way, standing silently by my Grandmothers, Mother and Father's side as they prepared dishes.  They never really gave me any instruction, it was learn by osmosis and careful observation.  I seldom use a recipe,  most of my cooking is a pinch of this, a dash of that.  I go by what feels right, what seems to be the best ingredient, and a lot of faith that the culinary Gods will not fail me.  So far so good!

To me there is something magical and elemental in the act of cooking.  You take the bounty of the earth (if you use "real" food that is - not a manufactured food-like substance) and through your ritual of cooking turn it into a meal to feed your senses, your soul and yes your stomach.

Himself and I try to buy as locally as we can.  We buy our eggs (chicken, duck, turkey and Guinea Hen) and locally raised meat from a small farm the street over.  Most of the seafood we get is directly off the fisherman's boat.  We frequent farmer's markets.  Our little neighborhood "general store" (and yes, it really is a general store in the old fashioned sense) buys most of their produce locally.  I try to use seasonal fruits and vegetables.  I grow my own herbs. 

I like to practice what I call my "Mindful Cooking" ritual - perhaps this is another aspect of getting older and being Crone.  As I'm cutting, chopping, mixing and cooking I like to think about the food.  I like to picture in my mind how it grew, where it came from, what it took to get to my kitchen.  I like to say a mental prayer in thanks for the food.  I cook with this ritual and the food is the better for it.

I love to cook in the Autumn as it's harvest time.  Perhaps my love of Autumn cooking is due to a racial memory of my ancestors celebrating a good harvest prior to the scarcity of winter.  A celebration to the Gods and Goddesses they believed in for giving them the means of survival.  To me Autumn food tastes best.  The act of cooking becomes even more enjoyable and my ritual takes on more meaning.

As I am writing this I have a pot of harvest soup simmering on the stove.  It's filled with squash, cabbage, carrots, onions and ham hocks.  My crows are flying about the backyard cawing at me.  The sunlight is golden, burnishing the greens, golds and reds of the forest.  It's beautiful.  The house smells wonderful. 

Le Petite Crone says:  All is right with the world!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Saggy and Baggy

Let's face it women have always been concerned about their appearance.  Women of every culture, from every age have struggled to achieve what was considered their "ideal of beauty".  From a certain hair style, to scarification, tattoos, nose rings, neck stretching, head shaping, foot binding, pale skin, dark skin, sharpened teeth, white teeth, full cheeks, sunken cheeks, tall, short, plump, skinny...you name it at one time, some where, some place it was, has been, is or will be considered beautiful.

Unfortunately along this journey the pressure to be and become beautiful has warped our sense of self.  We women are more than an ideal that was created by society, by the media, by ourselves.  I feel so angry seeing young girls trying so hard to be something other than a young girl.  You see them online, in the stores, in magazines, on TV, on the streets.  Little girls with painted faces, pouty lips, dressed provocatively looking and acting like the kind of women their moms would divorce their fathers for looking at!  I've a friend who call these little girls "prosti-tots" - an apt description of how they look.  It makes me sick.
 
I can understand it though, I have not been immune to this desire for achieving the "ideal".  I spent so many years growing up feeling like an outcast and ugly because I could never in my wildest dreams be what was considered beautiful.  I was never popular in school because I wasn't one of the "cute" girls.  I wanted to be, I tried to be but I could never, have never and will never be tall, skinny and tanned with big boobs.  Well, ok, one out of four I've got.  Trying to be something that I could never be made me nuts and about ruined my health.  It certainly screwed up my mind. 

Age can be illuminating for some women for others it isn't.  For the crones out there, you know what I'm talking about.  I am, now, for the first time ok with how I look.  I may have a few wrinkles, I may be a bit saggy and baggy.  I've got pale skin, silver hair and a few extra pounds.  I'm ok with that.  I'm happy.  I like myself.  I wish it hadn't taken so many years to get to this point.  I worry about all the young women out there who may never realize that perfection and beauty really is inside.

Le Petite Crone says:  I'm beautiful just the way I am!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First and Second Sleep - Oh Joy!

One thing I've noticed as I age into my "Crone years" is that I just don't sleep well anymore.  I like to borrow a notion from J.R.R. Tolkien's hobbits who had "first breakfast" and "second breakfast" - I now have "first sleep" and "second sleep".

I go to bed, I may be dead tired but as soon as my head hits the pillow my brain seems to jump into high gear.  I'm trying to sleep and that little voice starts talking...."Hey, did you ever think about this?" or "When you get up in the morning these are the things we have to do!".  Sometimes the voice goes off on some wild tangent and it will be hours before I finally fall asleep.

Now I'm asleep, aaaahhhhh!  Lovely!  Usually about three, maybe four hours later I'm wide awake....we start the entire process all over again.  Morning comes and I'm dragging my little crone body out of bed wondering why I'm so tired!  Aaaaggggghhh!

Why does this happen?  I remember my Dad, in his later years, telling me that he just didn't seem to need as much sleep anymore.  I think he was just saying that.....I don't think that as you age you don't need sleep....I think you just can't get it! 

My personal theory is that my brain, whom I think of as a separate entity....is so afraid that if it goes to sleep it would just take way too much energy to get going again, so it's just easier to stay awake.  Granted I can understand this feeling....I feel that way about my body.  Once I get moving it just easier to stay moving.  Once I stop it's hard to get going again.  If you are under 50 you in most cases have no idea what I'm talking about...but trust me, it's true.

Anyway, here I am, me and my brain stuck in first and second sleep......I try not to listen and my brain just keeps on talking. 

Le Petite Crone says:  Get a good nights sleep!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

My Dark Flock

I've been attracted to crows for quite some time.  They hold a special meaning for me (read "Feathers Three" posted on 1/6/2011).   Before my dear spouse "Himself" and I retired we shared our home with an amazing African Grey parrot named Horatio who  forever changed my view on the intelligence of birds (I'll write more about Horatio at some later date). 

When Himself and I retired and moved to "the peninsula" we knew that Horatio would be miserable here, we travel a lot and it's very difficult to find a bird sitter (African Greys can not be left alone for long periods).  it's also dark and gloomy most of the time on "the peninsula" so it is not a good location for a tropical soul.  It was difficult to let him go but we knew that we had to, so we found a good loving home for him.  I think the crows that live in the woods behind our cottage are my answer for missing Horatio. 

For those of you who know nothing about crows let me first say that they are smart.  Wickedly smart.  Crows use tools.  They watch and learn and think.  Crows have a complex and fascinating social structure.  Crows in a certain area will have a slightly different language than crows from another area.  Crows live in small family units grouped into larger extended family units that during the winter form huge flocks of thousands of birds.  They mourn and hold "crow funerals" for dead members of the flock.

After my experiences listed in "Feathers Three" I started to take the time to talk to the local crows whenever I saw them.  They in turn have been studying me.  Earlier this year I started to leave bits of bread on the backyard deck railing.  I go out, "caw"a few times to get my flocks attention then leave the bread.  Initially it was a large male whom I named "Curly" due to the unique fuzzy feathers on his head and his mate who first came down to the deck to eat the bread.  Then Curly and his mate brought their babies once they learned to fly.  Now it's Curly and his extended family.  My flock is growing!

Sometimes Himself and I feel like we are living in Alfred Hitchcock's movie "The Birds".  When we wake up we occasionally find crows looking at us through the window.  They like to watch what I'm doing in the kitchen and will caw excitedly whenever they think I'm coming outside.  I'll be working in the yard tending my herbs and suddenly feel as if I'm being watched.  Looking up I'll find the nearby trees filled with ten or so dark ominous watchers....intent on my actions. 

Himself built a crow feeder which seems to be a big hit.  I've moved from feeding them bits of bread to peanuts to dog food.  Crows love dog food kibble.  I'll occasionally add bits of meat or egg or anything else that is available.  My crows are happy.

This isn't just a one sided relationship.  Like all good relationships there is give and take on both sides.  The crows take the food which I give.  I take a great amount of enjoyment from watching my dark flock.  The other day the crows gave me something else.....after spending the year watching Himself and I go out to our back yard to pick up our mini-minion's "leavings" (aka dog poop) the crows have taken to picking up dried dog poop and leaving it on the deck railing for me.  It's obvious to them that it's something valuable to us, something we want since we collect it so often.  They are just lending a helping wing.

I have found it so rewarding to take the time to get to know my dark flock.  I have learned so much about them and I'm sure they are learning just as much about me.  It has been and continues to be a fascinating relationship.

Le Petite Crone says:  Take the time to foster different relationships!





Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Changing of the Seasons

It's Autumn on the Peninsula.  I know according to the calender we are still deep into Summer...but mother nature doesn't go by a calender.  It's Autumn.  All the signs are there.
I think the change came about a week ago.  It was early morning, I was standing outside on the deck enjoying a cup of coffee watching my loyal mini-minions.  The air had that crispness that you only get in the Fall.  It was warm but there was a tinge of cold..just enough to cause your breath to fog.  Leafs are starting to fall, and here and there you can see a splash of orange or red.  When the wind blows you see little whirlwinds of leafs happily dancing down the road.

The orb weavers are starting to spin their webs.  Morning brings dew covered spider webs into view....shimmering like diamond encrusted veils draped here and there about the garden and on my herbs.  When you look off into the dark woods behind our little cottage you can see swarms of gnats swirling and dancing, the sunlight making them sparkle like small tornadoes of glitter.

Yesterday in the afternoon the fog came ashore.  I stood on my deck, cup of hot tea in hand and enjoyed the feeling of the mist as it moved around me.  Small streamers of fog wafted by like ghosts, moving past me and off into the woods.  Perhaps the spirits of Summer silently returning to Mother Nature?

Today the sky is blue, not a cloud in the sky. The sunlight has that golden hue that you only see in Autumn. Every color seems more intense. The green leafs and grasses seem as if they are burnished with a slight bronze patina, yellow and orange blooms seem to almost glow with an inner light. There is a quiet, a hush almost as if nature is holding it's breath...afraid to break this magical spell of the changing of the seasons.

Being a crone you are in the Autumn and Winter of your life.  Autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering, of paying thanks.  Autumn is a time of incredible almost magical beauty.  In Autumn I have always felt more alive and more connected to  nature and the spirit.  I am learning to embrace this changing of the season in myself, to look for the beauty, to live with and enjoy the magic that surrounds us all.

Le Petite Crone says:  Find your inner light and glow!



Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hello Readers....

I wanted to take a moment to say hello to all my readers in the US, Malaysia, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Netherlands, and the Ukraine!

It is amazing to see how many readers you have, where they are from and how many "hits" you get from other countries.

I'd like to ask each of my readers, from whatever country you are from to leave a message/comment on this blog and let me know what you like, why you read....and what you want to see more of.

Le Petite Crone Says:  Thank you all for reading my blog.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Lessons from my Mini-Minions

I am constantly grateful for the company of my two mini-minions, my dogs Rupert (a one eyed blind English Bull Terrier) and Boomer (a slightly psychotic miniature blue merle Australian Shepherd).  Rupert, Boomer and Himself (along with a flock of crows) make my life here on "The Peninsula" worth living and oh so interesting.

This morning I was thinking of all the things that I've learned from my two mini-minions and I thought that I would share a few gems of doggy wisdom with you.

From Rupert:
It's ok to go back to bed after a good breakfast!
Go to bed when you are tired!
If you are out on a walk and get tired stop!
All food is good as long as it's called a "treat"!
If you are too tired to jump it's ok to let someone pick you up!
Cuddling is the best way to spend your day!
If you are cold, snuggle under a blanket!
If you are hurting cuddling with someone you love makes it better!
Even though you can't see don't let that stop you from exploring!
Patience and determination pays!
If you wait in the kitchen long enough, someone will feed you!

From Boomer:
If you don't like it spit it out!
Greet each day with joyous barking!
A good joke is always worth telling again!
Smile, smile, smile! Laugh, laugh, laugh!
If you get excited it's ok to wiggle (but try not to pee)!
If you keep trying you just might solve a phobia!
Even if you can't catch still play ball!
It's fun to be chased!
It's ok to be goofy!
Getting to sit next to someone you love is a nice way to spend the evening!


I'm sure you can tell Rupert and Boomer's personalities based on the lessons that they have taught me.  Dogs, and all animals are wonderful teachers as long as you take the time to watch and listen.

So, to borrow a lesson from Boomer....

Le Petite Crone says:  Greet each day with joyous barking!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Love of the Blade

When I was a little girl I use to sit and watch my dad sharpen knives and this tradition continued even when I got older.  When my dad came to visit me he'd always sharpen my kitchen knives. My father always loved knives and swords and he had a talent for sharpening.  It was almost a form of meditation, the slow precise movement of the knife against the oiled stone, the sound a soft hiss as it passed over and over, each pass adding that much more edge.

I inherited my father's love of sharp pointy things (unfortunately not his talent for sharpening - that went to my son).  A finely made knife or sword is a work of art.  When you think of a traditionally crafted blade it's almost a work of magic.  Ore is dug from the ground, refined, melted, cast, hammered, folded, bent, shaped....some hand crafted swords take years to make and are priceless.

When I hold a fine knife or sword in my hand it almost feels alive.  You know whoever made it poured his soul into it.  I can understand why many swords and knives are given names.  I can understand cultural traditions concerning knives and swords and why many ceremonies use blades even today.  A sword is used to confer knighthood and swords are still symbols of leadership in the military.  Without swords and knives there would not have been culture, no advancement from our primitive state.  We owe much to the blade. 

I am drawn to swords like a moth to the flame.  I hold a sword and sometimes I swear I can hear it sing.  There is almost a sense of communion with the steel - who held this before me?  Did this sword have a name?  What has it done?  Where has it been? What has this sword seen?  To me swords are magic.

It's only natural that despite my serious tremor I find myself drawn to belly dancing with a scimitar.  She is a fine dance partner...and a nice addition to my collection.  While some women collect quilts, or dolls....this little crone collects swords and knives.  I'm so glad my dear spouse "Himself" is so understanding.

Le Petite Crone says: Never come between a crone and her blade!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Becoming Crone

I was asked the other day just what is a "Crone"?  Is it an old woman?  A withered, crabby, witchy haggard useless old female?  Are all old women crones?  How do you become "crone"?  All good questions...

While I'm not aware of a formal definition (other than the dictionary) of "crone" and there is no course you can take (at least any that I'm aware of!)...these are my thoughts.

A "Crone" is a woman, an elder woman but not every older woman is a crone...it's more than just being old.  I've seen women my age, younger and older who fight the aging process, refuse to admit that they are getting older and fear the fact that they ARE aging.  They try every beauty aid, every dye, every surgical procedure to hide who they are.  Others give up on life once their youth fades.  "I'm old, I'm useless, I'm just going to sit and wait for death!"  They feel that they have nothing of value to offer because they no longer meet their cultures ideal of beauty. 

Then there are the women who look at age as just a number.  These women are comfortable with their gray hair, their wrinkles, their stiff joints.  These women feel that this point in their life is not an ending of something but a beginning of a new way of living and connecting with themselves, others and the Divine.  These women are Crones.

You don't just wake up one morning and say "Ok, I'm a crone!".  It's a process and usually not an easy one.  Remember when you were a child...how everything seemed so amazing.  Even the most simple thing was full of awe and wonder.  Then you moved into adulthood - you spent your time working, raising a family, doing what "they" said was the thing to do....but now you are in your third age...you can either become crone and get back to that sense of wonder and excitement about the world or you can sit and wait to die.  Becoming "Crone" takes some effort.  It is not easy to put aside all your thoughts and norms from adulthood.  It's damn hard.

I work at being a crone each and every day.  I try new things, I open myself up to new thoughts and feelings, I try to see the world around me with the eyes of a child.  I try to give and even harder leave myself open to receiving.  It's hard work, but being a "Crone" is well worth the effort.  No matter your religious bent, being a Crone is beneficial.  I think crones have a lot to offer and we are a good example of how to age and live this last act of our lives gracefully.

Le Petite Crone says:  All hail the crones of the world!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Crones Guide to Marriage Part 4 - The Joy of Silence

Women love to talk.  I know this comes as no surprise to anyone, or as an average male would say "no shit".  Women and men view talking differently....I don't mean the type of talking we do to communicate necessities, but our leisure talking...what you do with friends and loved ones.  Usually women talk to share emotions and to bond.  Men talk to exchange facts and offer solutions.  Here in lies the rub (to borrow a line from Mr. Shakespeare).

When my dear spouse "Himself" and I were first married I'd come home after work and complain about my day.  Himself would offer solutions to my problems.  I felt as if he didn't trust in my ability to handle a situation.  I just wanted him to listen and share my pain.  In the end we both suffered the pain of male/female miscommunication.

Years of marriage and the wisdom of age has enabled me to realize that if I want him to share my pain I'm out of luck.  I can however just get him to listen if I say, "I don't want solutions, I just need to vent.  All I need you to do is listen and occasionally acknowledge that you are still listening!".  It's like magic....he'll sit and listen, say "uh huh" or "aw" and I'm so much happier...and so is he.

I also know that if I let him offer solutions that many of his suggestions are usually much better than solutions I've thought of.   I love to listen to his thoughts, thank him for his suggestions even if I don't use them.  He feels validated as a provider and as a male.  It's such a small thing to do...but an important thing to do!

There is an aspect of our communication that is new.  I've noticed that as we've aged we are comfortable with silence.  We don't have to talk constantly.  We can sit in the same room, comfortable with our thoughts...not needing to talk.  I don't feel as if he's "avoiding" me and he doesn't feel as if I'm "angry" at him.  We can enjoy each other just being.

Our ability to just "be" and enjoy each others company in silence is liberating.  I wish it had not taken so many years to come to this point in a relationship.  When you are together every day, every night it's nice to have the time to think, to be inside your own head without having to worry about what to say or how to respond in a conversation.  It's nice to know that silence isn't a threat to a good relationship.

Le Petite Crone says:  Enjoy the sounds of silence!

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Crone's Verbal Peeve

As I've aged into "Crone-hood" I've noticed that I am much more blunt in my speech.  I tend to say what I mean, mean what I say.  I suppose I'm going to end up being one of those crotchety old ladies that the neighborhood children fear (if I'm not already!).  I enjoy my new found verbal freedom.  I'm not abusive in my speech, I'm just not going to avoid saying something that needs saying...and I'll take responsibility for what I say!

I remember my father being equally as blunt and myself being embarrassed over his comments.  I think I understand him now.  You spend your life watching what you say as a child...."Oh, don't say that...that's a bad word" or "Don't talk like that, that might hurt someones feelings!".  Once you get into school you have to watch your language around your teachers and of course every word you utter is up for ridicule by other students.  School is a hard time verbally.  Once you make it into the workplace you have it even worse.  Not only can a wrong word get you fired, demoted but in some cases the public can get violent!  Aaaagh...no free speech there.

Ah, the freedom of being a crone.  I'm young enough to know what I'm saying and old enough to not give a damn what anyone thinks!  It's very liberating!

Lately there has been a "verbal fad" that is, to be blunt, pissing me off.  This is one of my pet peeves...a verbal pet peeve that I would love to see die a very horrible death.  I've noticed that people say the most horrible things and then end their comment by saying "Just Say'in"....like this inarticulate utterance absolves them from the responsibility of what they said. 

 "Damn, that shirt you are wearing is about to pop!  You've put on a lot of weight...just say'in"

"All the politicians should be taken out and strung up...just say'in"

This is just another example of the creeping lack of self responsibility that is infecting modern culture.

Le Petite Crone Says:  I AM saying....and I mean it!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Crones Guide to Marriage Part 3 - I Won't Ask, You Can't Make Me!

We've been having problems with one of our cars.  We have a 20 year old pick-up truck which is losing paint, has rust and moss on it (a byproduct of living on "The Peninsula"!).  Our truck is the workhorse of the family.  It just keeps on going...the only problem we ever had with it was when a mini-minion (a crippled Scottish Terrier named Angus who crossed the rainbow bridge years ago) chewed the wiring apart from the undercarriage.

We also have a twelve year old min-van that is our good vehicle.  For some reason the battery has been discharging on the van and on occasion when we go to use it we have a dead battery.  This happened the other day.

My loving spouse Himself spent quite a bit of time pondering the cause of this problem.  I made, what I thought was a reasonable suggestion, that he call the local repair garage and ask if one of the mechanics could come over to hear the odd sounds emanating from the bowels of the dead engine...because once we jump started the battery this sound always went away.  Granted I know next to nothing about car repair.  Himself knows a little bit but just general type stuff.

As he sat in the front seat of our dead vehicle (in the "thinker" pose) I could hear his thoughts...."Oh my GOD, she wants me to call someone.  What am I going to do?  I can't call anyone and ask a question?  Perhaps if I just sit here thinking she'll go away and I can just jump start the engine and I won't have to ask anyone anything..."  On and on...I could see the pain that my suggestion was causing him.  It had nothing to do with the actual mechanical problem...and ALL to do with asking a question.  I finally had pity on my poor suffering spouse and suggested that he just go head and do what he thought best since I "knew nothing about cars and really he was much more knowledgeable than I was".  I was willing to give way on my suggestion in order to save him further suffering.  I'm a good wife!

Women always joke about the fact that their husbands won't ask directions if they are lost.  They won't ask questions in the store on where to find an item.  If I send Himself off to purchase groceries by himself, I have to be VERY specific on my list otherwise it's very stressful for him.  As a general rule men won't ask questions of any male that they don't know.  This drives women crazy!

Women tend to look at men as being very strong.  What most women do not realize is that men actually have very fragile egos, especially in front of women and strange men.  Asking a question is in their subconscious a sign of weakness.  If you go back to the dawn of time any sign of weakness would have probably lead to a life of ridicule, banishment from the clan, no status, no mates and perhaps even death.  We as a species haven't evolved since that time....we are more educated, have more technology but we still have caveman (and woman) brains. 


On a side note..my dear spouse says that he has no problem asking a woman a question.  While he doesn't want to sound sexist his opinion is that a woman will think "Oh wow, what a sensitive and valuable male - he's asking a question!".  So in his mind asking a question of a woman only bolsters his image/ego!  My opinion is that the woman will think, "Wow, his wife has trained him well!".

I guess my point is that once you understand that the inability to appear weak in front of a possible rival (for status or even for YOU) is a trait that goes back thousands of years.  He just can't help himself.

Le Petite Crone says:  Give the poor guy a break!

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Crone's Guide to Marriage Part 2 or You Mean the Tub Isn't Suppose To Be Orange?

When Himself and I first got married we lived in different towns.  Usually Himself would drive in to visit me on the weekends.  The drive was 172 miles one way.  I eventually made the commute myself out to the middle of nowhere to spend a few days with Himself in what was to be our first home together. 

The next morning I got up and went in to take a shower.  The tub was orange.  It was a beautiful creamy orange...really quite lovely.  I did take note that the bathroom sink was in fact white so using my pre-crone reasoning power I deduced that the tub was not suppose to be orange.  Some cleanser, a little effort and the tub was once again it's natural gleaming white.

When Himself came to take a shower he commented that the tub "looked different".  Really?

I patiently explained that the tub had in fact been really, really dirty...well actually just stained from the highly mineralized well water that was our only source of water.

Our first home was located in a small "almost" ghost town that was at a minimum 150+ miles in any direction from any other town.  We were very isolated.  We had no television, only one radio station, a physician's assistant came to town every Wednesday (you didn't want to get seriously ill on any other day!).  I think living where we did gave Himself and I a great foundation for our marriage.  We worked together, lived together and had no entertainment other than ourselves.  We were together 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  We learned how to talk to one another and our understanding of male/female differences were critical to our survival as a couple.

Back to the orange tub.  The lesson I learned from the infamous orange tub is that men as a general rule are really NOT lazy when it comes to keeping things clean.  A woman can usually spot a dust spot from across the room a man can't.  A woman will enter a man's apartment and think "what a mess" - the man just doesn't get it because (tadaaa!) he doesn't even see it.  I've done experiments and not cleaned house to see how long it takes before Himself comments on anything.  It took a looooooong time.  I was miserable after a week, it was over a month before Himself commented that the rug needed vacuuming (and this with two shedding dogs!).

So ladies, if you think your guy is a slob...he really isn't.  He honestly doesn't see the mess.  Really, he doesn't.  I've also found that if I just "ask", Himself will help clean anything.  Since he doesn't see it, he's not going to just do it...but if you ask, he will.  Don't expect him to read your mind.

La Petite Crone says:  It all comes down to communication! 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Just one more time.....

My father has been gone from this existence since July of 2000 my mother since 1988.  I don't think a day goes by that I don't think of both of them. 

I love my mother dearly and miss her, but I had a much closer relationship with my dad.  When I was little my mother wanted me to be girly.  She complained to me several times that she had wanted a little girl like Shirley Temple but got me instead.  I wasn't into girl stuff at all....didn't play with dolls even though my mom spent months making an entire wardrobe for a large doll I received for Christmas one year.  The clothing was beautiful (undergarments, satin dresses, bridal gown etc.), but I seldom played with the doll.  I know she was disappointed and I wish I could have been more of what she wanted.

I loved to listen to my dad's war stories and he'd sit and talk to me for hours telling me things he had done.  I loved seeing the knives that he had in his collection (more on my love of sharp weapons in a later post).  I'd be happier tagging along with my dad watching him work than playing with dolls and having tea parties.  If I could get a smile from my dad I was happy beyond words.

Whenever my dad left to return home from a visit he'd always say "see you later" the last time he left he said "good bye".  It struck me as odd as he'd never said that before.  It was the last time I saw him...he knew he was leaving this world. 

So on this father's day - take a moment to remember your father (and your mother).  If they are still with you cherish them and tell them you love them.  Some day you will wish that you did.

La Petite Crone says:  Just one more time I'd love to tell you both how much I love you and that I'm missing you!