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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Let's Get Naked!

When I was a little girl, my grandparents used to take me "up to the lake" practically ever weekend during the summer. Up to the lake translated to the type of resort/campground that provides lots for trailers, like a summer time only trailer park, in an idyllic setting in the woods at the edge of a lake. They had a couple of tent sites, but pretty much everyone who went there were regulars. My grandparents had several friends of 30+ years that they only saw there. At this resort, every trailer had it's own bathroom/shower, but you know, they're kinda tiny, so there was also a building divided into men's and women's sides containing a couple of toilets and a couple of showers.

Often, I chose to use the shower in the building rather than the one in our trailer. At first I was too young to really notice or care that this meant that I'd likely see other women/girls naked. Then one summer when I was about 9, I realized that I could be naked under my towel, and no one would know. I guess it didn't occur to me that the lack of swim suit straps would be a dead give away, lol! I wrapped a towel around me, gathered up all my clothes, and walked back to our trailer. No one said anything, to my knowledge, and I felt powerful! I could be naked in public!

Now that I am an adult, I know that if I were watching a young girl walking across a campground in nothing but a towel, I would smile, and just let her think she was being sneaky. So, I guess that's probably what the various adults around the camp did to me. So much for being powerful with secret nakedness, lol!

In my teens, I tried to work up the courage to sneak out at night to go swimming naked, but I couldn't, because I was positive that naked night swimming was ONLY for skinny people who looked good while naked, you know, in case they were caught. It never once occurred to me that swimming naked was for anyone with the courage and desire to swim naked. I'll also admit that the thought that there might be boys or men out there was also a big factor behind my desire to go do it, and my being too scared to actually do so. This was probably for the best, because there really were plenty of adults that stayed up drinking on their boats at night, and while there was never any sexual assault, there also probably wasn't any other young girls out swimming naked at night to tempt a drunk man.

Fast forward a few years, I enrolled in massage school, and while I knew that massages were best done naked, I somehow thought that the students worked on each other while wearing bathing suits or something. I learned that this was not true... well some who were very uncomfortable with the idea that they might be exposed could wear a bathing suit, but other than that the students were all naked under their sheets. This appealed to me. Once again I could be naked in public, but not be judged. It was very important to everyone in the school not to judge someone's body, after all our future clients were going to come in all shapes and sizes.

After massage school (during which I learned that massage is so good for you during pregnancy that you won't even know you're pregnant, lol!), I was looking around online for nudist things and jobs, and I just so happened to come across a job AT a nudist resort/campground that was just down the road from my mom's house, where I lived at the time. Talk about a sign from the gods!

The job was part time, and even better, when I told them that hubby was looking for a job too, they hired him as well! It was a bonus to them to find a couple to take care of the place 2 days a week so that their regular caretaker couple could have a break. That was the start of The Best Summer Ever! This nudist resort was everything I loved about going up to the lake - minus the lake - but better because everyone was naked!

It was there that I learned that being naked in public wasn't just for the gorgeous skinny people, it was for everyone! There were people who had been going to that campground for 40+ years. The regulars were normal people from all walks of life. Old, young, skinny, fat, oh-my-goddess-I'd-like-to-fuck-that-one hot to people who were ugly like me. Being that we worked there, we had to read a book to teach us the "official" answers to the questions we were always asked by newbies and those who might be interested in becoming newbies.

The book we read was very much like this one. It seems that most people are taught to equate being naked with sex, so with that in mind, the idea of being naked around one's parents or children is downright sick twisted and wrong. If being naked really was a trigger to uncontrollable urges to have sex (in other words if every time you saw me naked, you just HAD to have sex with me whether you wanted to or not) then yes, I could totally see how it would be wrong to be naked around anyone who had not consented to sex, but in actuality, being naked and having sex are two separate and different things. It is true that being naked can lead to sex, but then again, being fully dressed can lead to having sex too, and you don't see people going around condemning people who wear clothes because it can lead to sex.

Other cultures have communal nudity, in fact most cultures had communal bathing before the modern age of private showers. Ancient Romans had famous bathhouses, and to this day, it's a favorite Japanese custom to vacation at a hotspring. Hotsprings are mostly separate sexes, but there are plenty with a mixed gender bath.

These days, my husband, boys, and I don't have much opportunity to practice nudism outside our home, but  99% of the time, if you were to show up unannounced, you'd catch us naked. This is fine by us, come on in and take off your clothes too if you want. Otherwise call us before you come over so that we can put some clothes on, and hey, if you give us enough warning, you may even get to see what our apartment looks like when it's more clean than dirty, lol!

Is it a Meth Lab???

Today started interestingly enough, the boys played a game on the computer, and came in to ask for my help. I shoo them away, and realize Hubby is still abed. This is actually kind of rare. About a minute later, I hear a familiar jingle, and tap Hubby on the hand. "I think I hear your phone."

Hubby gets up and checks, and sure enough his friend K wonders if one of us could give him a ride to Annandale to drop a cat off with his fiancee. Hubby has to work, but I'm up for a little road trip. I should mention that Hubby's friend is blind, or nearly so, and has good reason to ask for a ride.

In preparing for the roadtrip, it comes to light that K is apprehensive about seeing his fiancee as things have not been going well between them, and he's worried that they will fight in front of me and my boys. This is not an incentive to go, especially since it was snowing, and even jeeps with 4 wheel drive can get into accidents.

Plans abandoned, I decide to surf the net, and Hubby leaves for work. A bit later, I look out through the venetian blinds that I have slanted to allow light in, but people can't see in unless in just the right spot. (So yes, a few of my neighbors do know that we are nudists!) I see a police officer walk by my apartment, and pause to look in through my boys' bedroom window. My first thought is, "Oh shit! Who has called the cops on me, and why do they care that my boys' room is a disaster area?" I mean seriously, it's a kids room, and a boys room at that, of course it's messy.

Then I thought, "Calm down, we not doing anything wrong, so it can't be us... in fact, judging by how the cop moved on a bit, I think he's looking in at the neighbor." Not that I am the type to ill-wish my neighbor, but I was home alone with my kids with no one to look after them if I got taken to jail. It's happened before due to an unpaid traffic violation, and it's not fun!

A bit later, I see a fire truck pull up, and I think, "Hmm, I wonder what's going on? No ambulance, so not a medical emergency; a rescue perhaps? Someone died? There's no alarms going off, surely it's not a fire."

I got dressed, because I was getting motivated to go find out what was going on. I went into the kitchen to get a drink of water, and I smell something that is like a mix of gasoline and nail polish remover. (But still better than the horrendous overpowering perfumy stench that came from the neighbor's apartment 2 Sundays in a row!) I picked up my phone, and called my neighbor who is directly across the hall from where I am sure all the action is happening.

"Hey, do you know what is going on?"
"Actually, I do, The police and fire dept are in the apartment across from me, and there is this obnoxious smell. They've opened the door and the patio door to the apt., and the door to the building to let it air out. It's getting into my apartment, and I need to leave!"
"Feel free to bring your boys over here for a bit. I can smell it, but only by the door."
"Great, see you in a few!"

At this point, I am thinking, "Oh great! Is there a meth lab next door? It would certainly explain the gods awful smell that occassionally comes from there."

I will also be the first to admit that yes, this IS an ironic statement coming from me since our apartment often smells pretty bad... somewhere between garbage dump and the Bog of Eternal Stench... or so I'm told. Hey! I've already stated that our apartment is home to 2 tornadoes, a packrat, and a sloth; a little stench is bound to happen. (Sigh! I know I know! I gotta work on that whole cleaning thing. At least the boys seem willing to help out, for now.)

A and her boys A and A come over, and having four boys aged 4-6 in the house is an extremely loud experience, but it's good for them, so we suffered through it for a few minutes before shushing them. Then we were able to talk about the potential meth lab in the apt. next door.

Was is a bomb? Oh Gods! My boys are in the room closest to that apartment, if a bomb went off in there... I just can't think about it!

Turns out that the neighbor was mixing up a chemical to exterminate some unwanted guests of the insect kind that we had been vaguely, at first, and then increasingly suspecting ever since the neighbors first moved in. We did confirm their presence, so I totally believe that the neighbors were just trying to kill some bugs... and yet that still bothers me.

They KNOW we have kids. They may not know that we are chemicla free in this home, (and that includes cleaners, we use all natural everything) but they MUST be able to read the bottle enough to mix it up. They MUST have read the part that warns not to use around children and small pets. How could they not even warn us? I would have the courtesy to go over and say, "Hey, were going to drop the insecticidal equivalent of the H-bomb over here. You might want to find somewhere else to be for the night." Or wait, isn't that actually supposed to be 4 days? Anyway...

Now, everyone's in bed sleeping, and I am listening to the latest album by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, track 4 - Mountain. Good Stuff Maynard!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Book - The Falcon

I know I've talked about my book a lot, and as I have stated before, books are pretty much my life. So, I thought I would take the opportunity to post about my book... only I have trouble talking about my book because I want everyone to read it for themselves, and be surprised rather than have me describe it from beginning to end. 'Cuz ya know, once I get talking, it's hard to shut me up!

So, rather than describe my book, I decided to post a chapter as a preview so that y'all can read it and decide for yourselves if you want to read it. (Apparently I am channeling my southern past tonight as I type, lol!)

Chapter 1

“Happy Birthday!” Were the words Dantaelian awoke to, she smiled.
“Good morning father.” It was a ritual they performed every year.
“Today, you are sixteen. How does it feel to be sixteen, my love?”
“It feels marvelous,” she replied, rewarding her father with a hug and a kiss. “Even though my true birthday is not for a month and a half.”
Richard smiled, and handed his daughter a rectangular box. There were no secrets between the two of them. “Open it.”
Dantaelian eagerly opened the box, and gasped. “Father! They’re beautiful!”
Richard watched as she removed her presents from the box. They were a matching set of daggers. One was 11” in total, one was 7”, and the last was 4”. He held up the longest of the three.
“This one shall fit perfectly strapped to your inner thigh, this one is for your forearm, like so,” Richard demonstrated by strapping the dagger, in its sheath, to Dantaelian’s forearm. The hilt of the dagger rested against the inside of her wrist, and the tip fit perfectly so that when her arm was bent, it lay snugly in the crook of her arm. “And this last one is a bosom dagger.”
Dantaelian laughed. “I’ve known all of that since I was 5!”
“Yes, I know, you’ve learned a great deal from me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t remind you if I feel like doing so,” he said affectionately.
“Of course not.” Dantaelian smiled.
“I have a surprise for you, Dantaelian. I’m bringing you to see the King.”
Dantaelian sat quietly for a few moments trying to decide whether or not this was good news.
“I am unsure I wish to meet my grandfather,” she responded finally.
“I understand if this causes you anxiety, but remember, as far as everyone else is concerned, you are my natural daughter, and therefore the King is your uncle.” Richard placed a hand comfortingly over Dantaelian’s. “And besides, the real reason I’m bringing you to court with me is not to meet His Pretentiousness, but to aid me in fulfilling a contract.”
“You mean it?” Dantaelian asked eagerly.
“Of course. It’s about time you had some hands on training,” Richard explained.
“What does Margaret think about this?”
“Just because I saved Lady Margaret from an attempted murder, and made her my wife, does not mean that she knows everything. I’m sure she’ll be far too excited by the chance to visit court to question my motives behind the trip,” Richard answered. He thought back to the day he had been forced, by Edward, to pay a visit to Adam on one of Adam’s birthdays. (Edward hadn’t wanted to be around the sadistic ass by himself, and had dragged Richard along “for moral support”. The coward!)
They had just put in a sufficient appearance, when they were informed that the weather had taken a violent turn, causing them to remain the night. After they had retired to their rooms, Lady Margaret, a fellow reluctant guest, became lost on the way to her mother’s chamber, accidentally witnessing Adam performing a few acts of extreme depravity.
She fled the scene, as any sane person would, barely managing to stay ahead of Adam’s brutes. This caused Richard to step out of his chamber to investigate what sounded, to his skilled ears, to be a chase.
Richard grabbed Margaret as she rounded the corner, and swung her into his chamber, instantly shutting the door behind them. The confused would-be killers retreated, causing Adam to howl in frustration.
He talked with Margaret, and they came to an agreement. If she would never admit to witnessing the heinous acts, he would ensure that she remained alive.
The next morning Richard approached Lady Margaret’s over-bearing mother, and said to her: “My Lady, please forgive me, for last night, while you slept soundly in your bed, I tricked your lovely daughter into mine. You see, at the time, I had no intention of doing anything more than using her for a night’s entertainment, but this morning, when I awoke atop the beautiful Margaret, I discovered that I could not part with her, for the Lady has stolen my heart.”
Richard fully expected to be slapped by the flabbergasted woman, provided Margaret didn’t do so first, for had just ruined her reputation without warning her first.
Edward, eager to avoid what promised to be a nasty disaster, speedily issued a royal decree engaging the couple. Thereby soothing the ruffled feathers of the Lady’s distraught mother. Her reason for dragging Margaret to Adam’s had been to see her married to the King’s brother, and it made no difference to her which one.
To Richard’s surprise, he’d discovered over the years that he truly did love Margaret, and that she completed his little family nicely. Sadly, she hadn’t been able to give him more children.
Nonetheless, there were many things he kept from his wife. He knew she had figured out, by the way he raised his daughter, that he had a deadly secret life, but they had an understanding between them. She did not ask, and he did not tell.
Richard came out of his reverie to the realization that he was staring at his naked daughter. Mind you, he was wandering down memory lane, and did not see her, but it embarrassed him that she would think he stared at her so.
“Why father, you’re blushing!” Dantaelian teased. “Could it be that you have finally noticed how many curves I’ve developed?”
Richard quickly covered his eyes as they began to traverse those exact curves. “I finally understand why men would rather have sons. It’s very hard to discover, quite suddenly, that your daughter has grown into a woman. Especially when she has as many charms as you, my dear.”
“I bet now you wish you had groomed me to be a properly modest, brainless twit. Yet, it’s like you always say, an assassin endangers his own life when he allows himself to be ruled by things like propriety and modesty. Always keep a cool head, and a cocky tongue, and you will be able to waltz through even the most dire of situations,” Dantaelian recited.
“You are too apt a pupil, although I don’t seem to recall the part about the cocky tongue,” Richard remarked as he removed his hand from his eyes.
“Really? Hmm, I must have made that part up. Now, if you are done being embarrassed by the discovery of my new developments, could you please help me with this strap? The way it is situated makes it difficult to tighten it sufficiently enough to hold it in place.” Dantaelian pointed to the dagger she was lashing to her thigh.
“Isn’t it amazing how a leather worker can design a thigh sheath that molds to a woman’s leg perfectly, but he can’t seem to understand that the strap should be pulled towards the front, not the back of the leg?” Richard asked, finding that the conversation helped him to concentrate on the task at hand rather than his sudden urge to lock his daughter away from the world.
“Yes, well, since a thigh sheath is almost exclusively used by women, the leather worker probably made the strap difficult on purpose. After all, he probably helps the majority of his clients fasten that very same difficult strap,” Dantaelian replied. She then sensed her father’s discomfort over his newfound fierce protectiveness.
She smiled, and tried to set his mind at ease. “Father, you know as well as I do that I can take care of myself. You have seen to it that I continually train with the foremost experts in weaponry, and fighting techniques. Why do you now worry so about me?”
“Until now, I have always thought to myself: ‘Richard, you have nothing to worry about. Your daughter, unarmed, is more deadly than 10 trained soldiers. No man will ever be able to lay a finger upon her.’ However today, I have realized that you are growing up, and there will come a day when some handsome young man will catch your eye, and you will let him lay not just a finger on you, but his whole hand, among other body parts.” Richard explained.
“So… What you are saying is that you would prefer it if I were attracted to women?” Dantaelian goaded.
Richard burst out in shocked laughter. “You know, there may be some truth behind that saying of yours, your tongue does seem to be rather cocky!” He remarked as he tackled his beloved child, wrestling her to the ground. This was a favorite pastime of theirs, a way of bonding playfully when so much of their activities together were serious in nature.
“What do the two of you think you are doing?” Margaret asked loudly.
“Oh come now Margaret, Dantaelian may be growing up, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still wrestle every now and then.” Richard pointed out.
“I realize that your relationship is much closer than that of most fathers and daughters, but for dear Jezlyn’s sake, Richard! Do you know what people would say if they discovered any man on the ground with his naked daughter?!” Margaret questioned sternly. Neglecting to mention that Richard's robe had come undone, exposing him. A fact Dantaelian had been using to her advantage by using the sash to bind his feet.
“Egads! It seems I had forgotten that detail!” Richard exclaimed in surprise. He tried to stand, and tripped over his bound feet. Dantaelian would have helped him, but she was curious about something.
“You mean to tell me that there are actually men out there who would look upon their naked daughters with lust?” She asked Margaret.
“Unfortunately, my dear, there are a great many such men, and many others who are even more depraved than that,” Margaret answered, shuddering as she briefly recalled witnessing such a man performing such an act.
“Well, that is not a pleasant thought,” Dantaelian remarked dryly.
“No it is not,” Margaret agreed. “Now let us remove those so that you can get dressed. We need to go shopping, for one must look resplendent if one is going to visit the King.”
“They are not coming off!” Father and daughter insisted in unison.
“That’s absurd! Why would anyone, let alone a 16 year old girl, need to walk about wearing weapons hidden in their clothing?”
“Mostly so that she can become used to doing so, but also to have them on hand should she need to fend off any over-zealous suitors.” Richard grinned.
“Honestly! You would think that after 3 years of marriage, I would understand you better, but I must confess that each day you manage to baffle me more than the day before! All right then, off you go. I would like to see Dantaelian wearing something more than weapons. After all, I did promise my favorite dress-maker that I would come spend enough coin in her shop today to buy her a house, and allow her to retire a wealthy woman,” Margaret said as if this were not news that could cause a fatal heart attack.
Richard forced himself to breathe when he realized that the spots he was seeing were caused by a lack of oxygen. “Good news Darling! I’ve just decided to join your shopping expedition.”
“How wonderful!” Margaret replied in a tone that suggested she thought the idea was exactly the opposite.
Later that day, Richard wished he’d had the good sense to stay home. When he had mentioned to Margaret that they were going to visit court for a week, he had no idea that Margaret’s small comment of: “Well then, I guess Dantaelian and I are going to have to buy a few new dresses in which to impress the King,” directly translated into 21 fabulously expensive gowns for each of his beautiful women.
“Margaret, darling, don’t you think you’re overdoing it just a tad? After all, we may not even stay a whole 7 days.”
“Richard! How dare you call this overdoing it? The King is your brother. Your mother was Queen Consort, and even though your father was not a king, he was the brother of a king! That made him a prince, that makes you a prince, and most importantly of all, that makes Dantaelian a princess! Now, seeing as how the King’s wife, Prince Adam’s wife, and your first wife all perished in childbirth, the kingdom will look to Dantaelian as their leading lady. Perhaps also myself in some small way.
“WE WILL LOOK THE PART!!! Am I understood?” Margaret explained loudly to her gaping husband.
Richard exchanged a knowing glance with his daughter, who appeared to be trying very hard not to laugh. Little did Margaret know that there was so much more truth to her statement than she could possibly suspect.
“Well, since you put it that way, darling, how could I possibly argue?” Richard retreated to a corner to watch the proceedings, and not be underfoot. Try as he might, he could not stop himself from flinching as each gown was designed, for at this rate, each dress may just cost him his weight in gold!

To Homeschool or Not To Homeschool, That is the Question

Shortly after I turned 18, I moved out of my mom's house. She was hurt that I was chomping at the bit to get out, but I was tired of putting up with my stepdad, and decided that moving out was vital to my happiness. A month later, I dropped out of school because school had always been the bane of my existance.

All the way up to 6th grade, I was a straight A student. I soaked up all knowledge like a sponge. I remained pretty much an A student through 8th grade, but I began to grow bored at the repetativeness of the lessons. I never felt challenged. I realized in 9th grade that they were literally repeating everything I had learned in the previous 8 grades, and I HATE repeat work. My grades slowly fell so that by 12th grade, I was getting D's and F's. Not because I couldn't understand the classes, but because I was not interested in learning the same things over and over. I got an A in Avionics because it was fresh and new and interesting.

To clarify the point a bit, begining in 6th grade, every student is given a standardized test for reading/writing and comprehension. I passed it with nearly 100% score in 6th grade. In 8th Grade, they start to give a standardized math test. I have no idea what I would have scored because I was sick when it was given. They didn't tell us beforehand, so it wasn't me trying to skip out. When I found out I had missed a test, I wanted to make it up, but was told that I couldn't. They give that test out every 2 years (as opposed to every 3 for the reading test), and come 10th grade, I scored high enough on it to not have to take it again.

In 12th grade, before dropping out of course, I was in homeroom one day when the teacher passed out a test to everyone but me. I looked around and raised my hand, "You missed me."
"No I didn't, you don't have to take it," she replied.
"Huh?" Then she explained that this test was given once every 3 years and was a standardized test of how well a student could read write and comprehend. At first, I seriously had to think when I could have ever taken such a test, and then I burst out, "You mean that thing I took in 6th grade?!"
Needless to say, as I once again looked around the room, not too many of my classmates were pleased or even impressed to hear me say that. Me, I was in shock that I was the ONLY one who didn't need to take the test. I mean come on, it was so easy I passed it 6 years prior! It also occurred to me that I may have wasted 6 years in school taking the same classes over and over not because I needed to, but because everyone else did.

Hubby had a similar experience, only he did not have the benefit of being a perpetual favorite of his teachers. In fact, he seems to have been picked on by students and teachers alike. If I thought school was a waste of time, he thought it was hell. So, when we got married, and heard of homeschooling, we were in perfect agreement; no way in hell were our kids going to school!

I researched homeschooling in depth before I ever even conceived my first child, and I had a definite and clear plan of attack, so to speak. Then I had Gryffin and Phoenix, and now I realize that homeschooling is not like regular school in which you can just shove a lesson down a student's throat at your convenience. Good homeschooling is led by the child; when they are ready to learn something, they do, and there's really very little you can do to stop them. If they are not ready, all of the bribes, coaxing, and threats in the world can't force them to learn. This is a concept that public schools cannot cater to, and is why so many students are labled as learning disabled when they really just need more time to be ready, or have a different learning style.

Then there is the nutrition aspect. Plenty of studies have proved that good nutrition helps a child learn better, but the food in school is definitely NOT condusive to good health or learning, sigh!

This year, Gryffin turned 6, and I have been officially homeschooling him his whole life, but now it is extra official because he is actually old enough to go to school. I don't have to make it official through the state until the first October AFTER he turns 7, and since he turns 7 IN October, I don't have to make it official until he is almost 8. He's a social butterfly, so he BEGS to go to school. He doesn't seem to know that a kids goes to school to learn things, all he cares about is having as many friends as possible. He is like me, so I know that, like me, he will be gullible, and take the things that his friends say literally, or perhaps I should say, he'll take it as the gospel truth, even if it's not. In that respect, I am glad I get the chance to choose his friends for the time being, but I am big on independance, so he will get to choose his own friends soon enough.

That said, I know it is hard on him to stay home with no one to play with but Phoenix and me, so I try to make sure he gets as much social interaction as possible. I take him to swim lessons at the local YMCA, and I let him play to his heart's content in the YMCA play area with tons of other kids. I also arrange playdates with other homeschooled kids, albeit not as often as I should.

But here's the thing, there ARE things I think he should learn that I just can't teach him, such as gym, art, and music. Luckily, I can homeschool Gryffin AND enroll him into the public school for just those 3 classes. That means that come fall, Gryffin's going to school, lol!

As for Phoenix, I have an even less active role in teaching him, because he learns just by being in the room with Gryffin; he always has. When he wants to know something, he comes and asks me, and we figure it out. Gods! Homeschooling is such a beautiful thing!

Finally, now that I have managed to actually track down some other pagans in St. Cloud, hopefully they will learn a bit more about religion, and their education will be complete... for now, it's an ever evolving thing.

So, that's why I homeschool. Hopefully, in doing so, my boys will grow up following their passion, rather than, well what I did, which is pretty much nothing at all, except try to be the best mama I can be.

Friday, February 25, 2011

My Life Pretty Much Revolves Around Books

Well, actually, my life pretty much revolves around my boys, but long before I had them, long before I was married even, my first love was books. I love to read them, I love to write them, I love to discuss the books I read with others. At length. In fact, I'm usually still discussing the books I love long after my discussion partner wants me to stop.

When my discussion partner happens to be Hubby, he fully admits that he tunes me out, but that's OK because I do the same to him. It works for us, lol! Somehow, despite frequently tuning each other out, we still manage to learn new things from one another.

Anyway, back to books. My apartment perpetually looks like a tornado blew through it. Two actually. Their names are Hurricane Gryffin and Hurricane Phoenix, because yes, a hurricane is just a tornado that started over the ocean and got a serious power boost. I have joked, "My apartment looks like it is inhabited by 2 tornadoes, a packrat, and a sloth!" I would be the sloth. Scattered about in this debris is a whole ton of books. About 100 belong to the boys, Hubby owns his fair share, and I own the rest. I honestly couldn't tell you who owns more books, hubby or me.

My book collection has an interesting evolution to it. It started when I was 12, buying all the smut books(AKA historical romance novels) I could get my hands on. Then, around 18, I grew very interested in Wicca. I think this was started when I watched "The Craft" and "Practical Magic" and realized that other people felt the same as I did. My book collection started to look like a pagan's dream library, and my mom bought me my first Tarot deck for Christmas. Ironic, I know, but at least I had her full support.

Then, in short succession, I found out I was diabetic, and went to massage school, so my library expanded to include alternative health books and herbals. One day, I found out I was 8 months pregnant, and the next month I was a mama, so I didn't have much time to add pregnancy and child rearing books. As a result, I have a couple, but not many. These books served me well through pregnancy #2, and are NOT the typical "What to Expect When You're Expecting" books. Rather they are books like, "Natural Pregnancy" by Aviva Jill Romm, and "Magical Child" by Joseph Chilton Pierce.

Finally, after Hurricane Phoenix was born, my passion turned to nutrition and farming. By this time, the budget was tiny, and the public library was free, so my collection did not explode, but over the years, I have bought those books that are important to me. Such as "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon.

All of the previous rambling occurred so that I could talk about "Nourishing Traditions." THIS IS THE BOOK THAT CHANGED MY LIFE! Don't get me wrong, I took a bit of advice from "Back to Eden" by Jethro Kloss and "Patient, Heal Thyself" by Jordin Rubin, namely that food is typically the cause of all illnesses, and that food is also the way to heal most illnesses. AKA we literally are what we eat. If we eat junk food, our bodies turn to junk, but if we eat health food, we enjoy good health.

The problem is that most people have no idea what health food is! They think health food is soy, which is in fact toxic ("The Whole Soy Story" by Kaayla T. Daniel), and that full fat milk is bad for you, which it's not ("The Untold Story of Milk" by Ron Schmid). "Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats" takes the reader, chapter by chapter, through real nutrition. This is the kind of nutrition that allowed our grandparents, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say their parents and grandparents to live long and healthy lives. The kind of nutrition that could not rely on the food industry to make food "safe" for us to eat, because there was no food industry yet.

Above, I mentioned that I was diagnosed with diabetes, and since my mom had previously been Dx as borderline diabetic, I knew that it was definitely in our genes. Like 80% of the women in our family are, or have been at one point, overweight, and shaped like an hourglass that mated with a pear. You know, top heavy, bottom heavy, and just plain fat in the middle. With this in mind, I made it my goal to do whatever it takes to get my boys to the age of 18-21 without being diagnosed with diabetes, borderline diabetes, or, as it turns out, cancer or heart disease.

That's a tall order, don'tcha think? It's actually really easy to do, if you become a Nazi about food and nutrition, but doing that is not so easy, especially when all of one's family and friends have the attitude that "Food is just food, it doesn't make a difference what you eat." Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say, "What are you talking about? This food IS healthy!" Simply choosing to eat as organically and sugar free as possible meant that my boys and I no longer ate practically anything that my family eats.

Isolation, sigh...

I must confess that I would have probably given up long before now if I hadn't read "Pottenger's Cats" by Dr. Francis M. Pottenger. Dr. Pottenger conducted a 10+ year study on several generations of cats divided into 3 catagories, and I realized that his conclusion has SCARY parallels with my very own family. One group of cats was taken off of a cat's natural diet (which in the wild is whatever they can hunt, hence RAW meat). The 1st generation placed on a different diet (a diet that was deemed healthy for Dr. Pottenger's human patients at the clinic he ran. Noticing that a few of the cats running around his clinic started to present the same diseases as his patients prompted the Dr. to conduct the study.) enjoyed perfect health until their old age when disease set in. The 2nd generation had health problems in their young adulthood, including difficulty in conceiving and birthing children. The 3rd generation was sickly from the start, and any of them that managed to conceive all had miscarriages and still births.

In my family (in humans in general), I think it is more accurate to describe it in 4 generations. My grandparents (on my mother's side) are the 1st generation cats. They left the farm (their natural way of eating) and enjoyed more or less perfect health until their old age. Grandpa then died of various cancers. My mom and her sisters are the 2nd generation of cats, that were more or less healthy until middle age, when they had things like obesity, heart disease, and cancer. I'm a 3rd generation cat. I was Dx with obesity in my teens and with diabetes at 21. I already went low carb to treat my diabetes, which cured my infertility, and is what I give credit to for the fact that my boys are as healthy as they are.

My boys... they are the fourth generation... I added a generation, so they would correlate to the 3rd generation in the study. The one that has nothing but problems from birth, and cannot conceive or give birth to a new generation. This breaks my heart to think about; but for my careful, strict, and constant attention to nutrition, my boys could be Dx'd with all of the now common childhood disorders that never even existed when my grandparents first left the farm.

Being a food Nazi has been hard, BUT it's been worth it so far, my boys are wonderfully healthy, and I have absolute faith that I will accomplish my goal. It's a long road, but it's the right one...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

First Post

For some time now, I have mentally debated starting my own blog. Almost immediately, I became my own nay-sayer. "Who really wants to read yet another foodie blog written by a homeschooling mama?" I asked myself, and this is why I procrastinated.

Last night, I was typing up a "note" on Facebook when I realized that my Facebook profile was my "keep it nice and clean in case people decide to judge your book based on what you post" profile. As a result, I keep quiet on a few things, and it hit me, that's my niche! If I started a blog that was not limited to any one aspect of my eclectic personality, but inclusive to all of them, I might actually differentiate myself from the rest of the blogs on the web!

That is when I decided that I would use this blog to make glaringly public all the things I tend to keep on the down low unless asked, because once asked, well... it can be hard to shut me up, lol! Herein enters the main self-conscious problem of mine; I like to think I am funny because I crack me up all the time, but apparently no one else seems to think so. It's a side affect of being married to my hubby. He IS stand up quality funny, and I pale in comparison. So, if anybody out there ever reads this blog, please let me know if ANYTHING I wrote ever made you chuckle in the slightest.

Ok, so on this blog, I warn you now, I will be posting anything and everything that crosses my mind, and it will trip over a wide range of topics, including my 5 Degrees of Weirdness. They are:

1- Food Nazi - This means that I value nutrient dense, preferably organic foods over all else... but have to live within a food stamp budget, so compromise must ensue.

2- Homeschooling Mama - This means I will ramble on with something akin to motherly pride and wax poetic of my 2 boys at the drop of a hat, pin, or the occasional frog.

3- Nudist - Yep, I'm letting it all hang out here, lol! We as a family believe clothing to be unnecessary and optional. Aside from theoretical savings on laundry, this is mainly due to The Best Summer Ever in which Hubby and I worked at a nudist resort/campground. I took my clothes off there, and haven't put them back on since... while I'm at home anyway. The unfortunate part is that I am also bordering on so ugly I should wear a bag over my face at all times, plus fat that's hard to look at, SO it's a good thing that my pumpkins - AKA breasts - are distracting enough to draw the eyes away from the unfortunate parts.

4- Wiccan - Oddly this used to bring more gasps than the nudist thing, but these days, people actually do try to be open, or at the very least, I have been so down low for so long that people don't actually know I am wiccan. I did not "go underground" in an attempt to hide my beliefs, more like I just got tired of arguing religion one day, and stopped talking about it altogether. AND lastly,

5- Swinger - Yep, swinger. That means that Hubby and I have an open relationship, and we are not encumbered by The Rules of The Lifestyle. Therefore, if something happens, it happens (YEA!) if not, oh well. C'est la vie!

Then, of course, I will drone on about crochet from time to time.

And there you have it, my 5 Degrees of Weirdness, and the theme of my blog. I want to be one of those bloggers that posts a good pic whenever possible, but rest assurred that I will make sure I am hiding Weirdness #3 (and 5) in all pics in order to conform with The Rules of Blogging, lol!

Charts and Readings