The Nothings

I had a dream that left me inspired but sad. Not sad but heartbroken. Not heartbroken but empty. This could be due to the current feelings I went to bed with or a situation or the fact that I can feel other people’s emotions. The only problem with this is I can’t let it go.


There’s a darkness that escapes only to feel the light for a second.
This escape is a leak of nothings.
It’s feeling a loss that was never found or buried.
It’s feeling cold in a warm car.
It’s a memory that never happened.
It’s being lonely with someone sleeping next to you.
It’s feeling empty after a meal.
It’s pretending to be happy when all you want to do is cry.
Let the darkness escape to feel the light.
Feel all the nothing feelings.
And when you’ve felt all that you can feel of the nothing,
Seek out the why and give the nothings something to hold and feel.

A Quick Daily Study: Stanza 2

I am acquiring books upon books about Norse myths, Asatru, and even geography. What I learned this morning is that the Hávamál is broken into sections: Gestaþáttr (guests section), Loddfáfnismál (from what I understand this covers more on morals and ethics and code of conduct, Rúnatal (Odin reveals secrets of the Runes), and finally Ljóðatal (from what I gather thanks to Temple of Out Heathen Gods, is about Odin speaking of his sacrifice (which he did to gain knowledge among other things). Ok, I know that there are some of you rolling your eyes but understand that what you are thinking about my path, at one time I thought about yours. This is where tolerance and acceptance is practiced OR read something else. It’s that simple guys. Moving on, Stanza 2 (Hollander translation):

2. All hail to the givers! A guest hath come
say where shall he sit?
In haste is he to the hall who cometh
to find a place by the fire.

Pocket Version 2:
Givers, hail! A guest is come in: where shall he sit? In much haste is he, who on the ways has to try his luck.

There is some controversy over the meaning of this stanza. Some translators believe that it’s a warning for the host to be wary of the guest coming to visit meaning harm. Some believe (which I lean towards more) is that the guest is needing to get warm from the elements. I can see both sides of the translator’s thoughts since the first stanza warned us to be wary of the people we are visiting. So shouldn’t we watch carefully the guest coming to our home as well?

When I do try to make friends upon meeting them the first time I’m pleasant while introducing myself. Over several times meeting or talking I’m paying attention to their mannerisms, how this person treats others or interacts with their family. If I’m not comfortable with something we become acquaintances. It’s that simple or that’s how I understand this stanza.

This will give me a little something to think about today if I meet people. Happy Wednesday everyone and I would like to say hello to my readers in Poland and Sweden (I seen Y’all on my stats map…AWESOME).

A Quick Daily Study: Stanza 1

I gained a little bit of confidence after reading so many people posting their favorite scriptures or what moves them or that is helping them through hard times. I own a pocket Hávamál but have never REALLY studied the words or applied a meaning. If you would like to learn more about what the Hávamál I’ve provided a clickable starting point. There is so much information and research into the origins of these words that it can be a study in that of itself. I’m going to start with the first stanza and go from there. There are different translations but I prefer Snorri’s.

1.
At every door-way,
ere one enters,
one should spy round,
one should pry round
for uncertain is the witting
that there be no foeman sitting,
within, before one on the floor

 

 

(pocket version)

  1. All door-ways, before going forward should be looked to; for difficult it is to know where foes may sit within the dwelling.

What does this mean to me? Well, I guess it’s something that I already practice. I am aware of my surroundings where ever I am. I learned and I’m sure you’ve experienced this as well, a friendship that is fake. If allowed it can do more harm than good either physically or mentally or both. Be careful where and who you keep company.

Cookie Fun and Truth to a Teen

This past weekend my middle child wanted to decorate cookies. You’re thinking, ‘Why is her kid asking? Who doesn’t decorate cookies around this time of year?’ Well, this mom. Working 40 hours a week, updating coding skills, cooking, cleaning, dieting, trying to write, oh yeah and a shower kind of sucks all the Christmas cookie decorating spirit right out of you. But, she asked and I thought for a second and decided the best way to tackle this project would be to get EVERYTHING pre-made and supplied. Then there was the scheduling that needed to be figured out. The younger kid wanted to play with friends and the oldest daughter was at work and then there is dinner.

So, I sent my husband to brave the store and find the kits, son went to go play with strict instructions to be home at 4pm, and I started dinner (shepherds pie). Everything was going great until my teen decided that after work she would rearrange her closet. I didn’t argue because we all still needed to eat dinner. When she finally decided to come and join the family we had already finished supper and I had already set everything up. The less she had to do the better. You know, the whole pick your battle sort of thing. We began decorating the gingerbread houses. I was careful to pick the easiest house for my son as I didn’t want to battle him feeling like a failure because the house didn’t turn out. Let’s face it, those gingerbread house kits don’t always go as planned. We made jokes about each other’s houses but what I didn’t allow was the negative and the mean comments to come through. My oldest teen tried that with my younger son and I squashed her words before they could finish coming out of her mouth.

When we were done and I had everything cleaned up, I pulled her to the side. ‘Look, I get it. You’re too old to do this and it’s all beneath you. But knock it the fuck off! I don’t want anyone to remember your negative comments. I want us to remember the laughing and time spent together. Deal with it! We’re family and we’re spending time together. I’m a naturally negative person but I work REAL hard to not be mean. You need to practice the same!’ I got a yes ma’am and a good night. Is there a better way to put what I said minus the cursing? You’re probably right but since my daughter is like me, that’s what will hit home. People are going to be harsh when she moves out into that big world and I’m not going to beat around the bush with her. Next weekend…we’re going to try homemade crafts for the tree. Fingers crossed there isn’t bloodshed.

The Holiday Season

During my college years (it sounds like a long time ago but in truth, it took me almost 6 years to complete my degree being a teen mom and wife 2 times over), I studied many subjects. I tried to keep in my career field of art and such which brought me to theology and tolerance. What does that have to do with art? Actually, a lot. I learned how what we consider art is now, but then was just a way of expression of truth from decades past. One thing I had to keep in mind was that history was written by the victors keeping in mind that some history and stories were lost in death. I know, rambling but hear me out. Some cultures tattooed days of importance on their bodies through symbols but when they passed away those symbols of that storyteller was gone…forever. Or during the Christian wars, entire families died and most of a lineage was erased and the ones that were left could not pass on important family history.

Where am I going with this? We need to be tolerant this holiday season of other people’s beliefs. I’m fortunate enough that I don’t need to hide mine from my family anymore and can openly begin celebrating my beliefs this season. This is huge for me as I always just made sure that my kids had a happy ‘Christmas’. I’m excited this year. I’ve been wood burning and I’m going to venture to make my Yule goat (hoping that’s not a fail) and some upcoming cooking and poetry writing to coincide with my Asatru calendar. This is my first year really practicing but I’m hoping I get more adept as my studies come along. But back to tolerance. Even though I’m not of Christian faith (and haven’t been for some time now), I do like reading blogs that people write about their faith whether it be Christianity, Taoism, or whatever because how am I going to teach my kids tolerance and practice it myself if I’m not educated and providing an example?

I’m writing this because my son and his friend were having a conversation and my son was explaining about Norse gods and Asatru to the best of his studies (yup there are books for kids) and I heard,

Friend-‘Dumbass, that isn’t true! Jesus and God are the only way!
Then my son– ‘That’s ok, you believe what’s right for you.’
Then his friend-‘You’re stupid and going to hell!’

That’s when I stepped in. I asked his little friend to go home so I could talk to my son. I asked him if he was ok and he said he was. I asked him if wants to learn more about Christianity and this is what he said, ‘Sure mama but I want to believe in what I want.’ I asked him why did he want to learn more about Christianity he said, ‘I want to know why (kids name) hated what I was saying and how we can still be friends no matter what we both believe. I get what he was saying but I hated that he experienced something so judgemental and having another belief pushed on him. I further explained, ‘Sometimes people don’t want to hear alternatives to their faith because they weren’t taught tolerance and acceptance. Tolerance is when you told (kids name) that it was ok to believe in what’s right for him and not getting mean and telling him he was wrong. Acceptance is not letting what he believe bother you.

So please, I ask this season be tolerant and accept that other people’s beliefs are right for them. If you have questions, ask but without being condescending. Be respectful. There needs to be more tolerance in the world and I think it should start now. There’s already too much in the news about old classic Christmas shows and music because people are not tolerant. It’s just as easy to turn off the music, TV, or even walk away from an individual. Be kind and happy Monday everyone.

 

Weighing In on Weighing in With Another Gain

I could write about what a failure I am about not losing all the pounds I gained over Thanksgiving. I could write about giving up and go ahead and eat whatever I want. I did one of those, ‘look at the scale’ shrugged my shoulders and made some coffee. This is because I’m surprised it wasn’t a ‘gain’. I at things…forbidden things that weren’t easily measured in points. The cookies and cupcakes for my birthday were yummy as hell. Then I realized something else…my hands are puffy. Maybe a little bit too much TMI but it’s that time of the month coming up. I have been able to control my cravings before but when it’s my birthday I’m leaving no cookie left behind.

All this means is that it’s going to take a bit longer to reach my goal weight. I’m not fully giving up and have already packed my lunch and breakfast menu planned. Today my points rollover and I plan on making the best of them (even though I dined on meatloaf and mashed taters…hell even a biscuit). Another huge change with the program I’m doing, is apparently, I don’t need as many activity points? They changed how they calculate that so I need to read the article more thoroughly.

I passed my first two quizzes for my web development course so I’m going to focus on that.

Happy Thursday everyone…eat the cookie, it’ll be fine 😊

 

Dress Coding-Behind the Scenes

Let me start by saying that it has been a hectic past two days and this is going to be a long read. This time of year can always be especially at the first of the month. I even forgot something SUPER important but when my husband gets up he’ll get what’s needed. Now, I’m one of those moms that will only step in when the problem is for a parent to intervene and take the wheel OR it stresses my children out to the point of them losing themselves. I have raised my daughters to be proud of themselves and that just because they are beautiful young women that don’t make them a ‘slut’. It’s not an invitation for anyone to harm them. Understand the situation that unfolded my daughter owned her part in it but she is NOT responsible for the way it was addressed.

Yesterday imagine you’re walking into the lunch room with your friend by your side. You’re talking about the upcoming weekend and the band concert next week. You’re not thinking about the shirt that you have one and have worn 1000 times before, right? No one really is until a teacher yells across the lunchroom, ‘pull your sleeves up! No one was paying attention to what you were wearing until now. The room goes quiet and everyone turns. You look at your friend nervously and pull your shoulders up only to get yelled at again, ‘PULL THEM UP MORE’. You frantically pull them up until the blouse front starts drooping and you panic. Everyone is watching and the teacher is staring you down. You give up, with a red face you put on your hoodie. You feel like your taking the walk of shame as you walk up to get your lunch believing everyone thinks you’re ‘that’ girl. The teacher NEVER formally dress-codes you. It was a huge embarrassment. You walk through the rest of the day, with your head down, in a hoodie because of the situation that happened.

This is what happened to my daughter yesterday. She got to the car and just started spilling EVERYTHING before she was fully seated. I listened in horror. My first instinct-truth-was to hunt through the halls for this teacher and humiliate her like she did my daughter and worse. Instead, I took her home and went for a drive because I didn’t want her to hear the phone call I was about to make to the principal. Unfortunately for me, fortunate for her, she was in a meeting. So I set out to write an email:

Good Evening-
My Name is NAME, DAUGHTER NAME mother. Jo is fine. I tried calling after school today but was informed that you were in a meeting. I understand wanting to go home after a trying day and not return an angry mother’s call. I’m having a trying evening too as my daughter is upset about what occurred during commons (lunch). My daughter was walking into the lunch room when Mrs. TEACHER NAME (probably butchered that spelling) yelled out for my daughter to pull up her shirt. IN FRONT OF EVERYONE. I cannot STRESS that enough. My daughter admitted that she was breaking dress but wore this shirt many times before with a wide strap halter top underneath and no one EVER said anything. Now, she wants everyone to know that she isn’t ‘that’ girl. She wants everyone to know that she isn’t a ‘slut’. Thank you for allowing my daughter to be humiliated in front of TONS of people, some of whom were wearing code violations but were not humiliated and shamed. When my daughter pulled her sleeves up it wasn’t enough and she YELLED AGAIN in front of everyone to pull them up some more. HUGE problem! Not once but TWICE! She SHOULD HAVE walked over to my daughter and asked her to step away from everyone and said something. Instead, she thought it was best to yell, in front of other students? This is unacceptable. The shirt is now in the garbage. EVERYONE watched as my daughter, red-faced, put her hoodie on. She wanted you to know that she isn’t ‘THAT’ girl and doesn’t get into trouble. But your staff has labeled her as such, verbally, in front of everyone that was sitting in that room.
What the teacher obviously didn’t think about (through the whole ordeal of humiliation and shaming of my daughter) is this could’ve caused backlash and ridicule from other students. You of all people should understand how some children are with taunting and bullying. My daughter hasn’t had much of an issue with this and I hope after today’s episode it STAYS that way. If not, I will hold Mrs. TEACHER NAME and yourself accountable. How do I explain to my daughter that I know she isn’t ‘that’ girl? How do I explain that Mrs. TEACHER NAME wasn’t singling her out because she thought she was a slut?
My daughter deserves an apology but she doesn’t want one. She feels like it’s all her fault. In partial, yes it is for wearing the shirt but she IS NOT responsible for how you allow your staff to address situations. A teacher can yell at my daughter, humiliating her, but can’t say a word to the kid that is cussing a teacher out? That makes so much sense. And to top EVERYTHING off, DAUGHTER NAME did not receive an official dress code violation! What was the point?
My daughter wants you and everyone else to know that she isn’t ‘that’ girl. I will work on building her confidence back up about her body and not to be embarrassed about it. That she is a beautiful young woman and being so doesn’t make her ‘that’ girl. I’m furious beyond what you can imagine. I am ‘that’ mom and will say that this is UNACCEPTABLE. This needs to be addressed! DO NOT HUMILIATE OR SHAME DAUGHTER NAME ANYMORE! My daughter also knows that she has been instructed to call me and put me on speaker during any meeting that is about this matter if she is included.
You can either reply to this email about this matter or call MY CONTACT NUMBER
Thank you,
Jo
This is an example of the shirt she was wearing:

I also included an image of the shirt that was identical to the one she had on. What the picture doesn’t show is that my daughter wore a tank underneath this style shirt. I did get a call from the teacher but it went to voicemail because my mom had to stop by with my birthday present and even though I don’t get along with my mom all that well it’s still disrespectful to answer the phone during her visit. There will be a meeting today and I have to work but according to the voicemail that the principal had left is that I will be placed on speaker during the meeting. Probably a good thing because I am ‘that’ mom that mom that has a temper.

I don’t know when it became an issue. When did clothing afford the right for humiliation? When did society say it was ok to break a young woman down for the clothes she is wearing but not punish the kids that cuss out teachers? When did my daughter’s bare fucking shoulders become the reason that boys can’t study or wait, eat lunch? She NEVER has been catcalled or anything while wearing this shirt and wasn’t in that room when that teacher yelled at her. My daughter doesn’t want an apology because she is embarrassed and I want this woman’s head on a stick. But for now, I’ll wait until the meeting and have my say.

What are your thoughts on dress code violations and how they should be handled?

Another Weekend-Another Year

There is something to be said about being productive on a Saturday morning. All week I’m drained by my day job and then come home to get my day to day done. It can be draining. Trying to explain to my husband that physical tiredness is different from mental tiredness. There isn’t any amount of sleep that can help recoup from being mentally tire. I woke up early and decided that I was going to be good to myself and got on the treadmill. I didn’t make it the 30 minutes that I wanted but I did make an effort. I spoiled myself with oatmeal and banana but also took the time to apply for more jobs. I wrote personal cover letters and summaries for each application. Then it was off to fetch groceries and fill the car up ALL before the snow storm system moved in. Once home I completed some of my web development course. It’s amazing how much came back to me after years of not coding. Sunday was my ‘lazy’ day. Since my birthday is today and I have to go to work I laid in bed watching Netflix. I cooked an awesome dinner and watched Christmas shows with my family. I couldn’t have spent an early birthday any better.

Today I will order cookies for a belated birthday treat for my coworkers tomorrow. As much as I would like to forget I’m turning a year older, we do not have a bakery in my town. The business that bakes fresh cookies only does it during the week because they don’t run oven during weekend hours. I’m ok with that. I debated on treating my coworkers but they haven’t really been that awful towards me, it’s management. So today I contemplate opening another Twitter account to accompany my graphic artist portfolio or one for my blog. Happy Monday everyone…let’s kill it!

This is a stippling doodle I did at work on Friday. It felt good to doodle again. I do have to replace my pens and markers because the dogs ‘plucked’ my art bag out of my purse that was sitting on my bed and demolished them. I will slowly replace them a little at a time.

Friday’s Corner

It’s Friday! Made it through another week. I’ve had hardly any work to do but since everything is blocked on the internet I’m left sitting playing solitaire on the computer. I had people express their sympathy for how I’m being treated and that it hasn’t gone unnoticed but that’s not going to change the fact that I’m looking for another job. I had two emails from employers, ‘we are going ahead with our process’ or ‘we feel another candidate would be better suited.’ I’m just hoping that my current employer has given a bad reference. Why would they? I’m bringing my doodle book and some other stuff to keep me occupied.

I wrote a little short story. It’s nothing much but it was enough to get me excited about writing again. Happy Friday!

Corner Watcher

For years she played with Gemma. They were inseparable just as a girl and friend should be. Then her Gemma grew apart having less in common. Gemma sits on a chair in the corner of her friend’s room, watching as she made plans and growing up.
She sat in that corner for years watching her friend grow up into a young woman.
She watched triumphs and trophies, first loves and heartbreaks. She watched fights with her parents and life learned lessons. Through the years Gemma noticed an unknown shadow slowly get closer to her friend’s window. At first, Gemma didn’t think anything of it but grew concerned when she could see that the shadow had human characteristics. She wanted to scream at her once forever friend about the danger lurking outside. One night her friend was woken by the sound of broken glass. Gemma could see the figure was now in the room and her friend was making an escape. Gemma glared the man down as he hurriedly left out the window he broke through. The father came in the room with a 911 operator on the floor, ‘Yes, I think we’ll be able to identify the intruder,’ as he picked up Gemma from her corner chair. As usual, Gemma saw everything sitting in the corner. The triumphs, heartbreaks, plans being made and thanks to the little nanny came, she also saw the intruder.

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