This journal is filled with adult content.

I regularly discuss things of interest to adults: responsibility, politics, religion, survival skills, cookery, science, filk, hobbies, government, current events, literature, history, human rights, jobs, finances, weight, disabilities, gardening, and more.



The Pretty Good Witch

1. You give fucks. BUT - not just any fucks. You cultivate them in pots and plots and pick and choose the ones about which you will give - picking only those that appeal to you and about which you can realistically do something. Your field of fucks is vast and well-hidden; the ones you give are select and few.

2. You really, really are selective about the fucks you give, and no one can influence that selection unless you were already leaning that way. It looks to outsiders as if you don't give any fucks at all, but that's because you're not giving them to *those* people.

3. You're mostly invisible. People rarely notice you, and they frequently forget about you. This is great, because it assists in your "give a fuck" selection as well as in your patterning.

4. People are so comfortable around you they will reveal all the information you need, want, and then some. They'll forget they told you all this, but you will remember, so when it's time to give a fuck, you can review and decide you gets the fucks and who doesn't. And you're very selective.

5. Because you are practically invisible and people are so cozy around you, you can always tell when someone is full of it. You know things, and you know the people.

6. You may have been harassed or persecuted or bullied when younger, but once you donned your cloak of invisibility with age and wisdom, you've glided through life forgettably, which allows you a tremendous amount of freedom and power.

7. You encounter a lot of synchronicity and you've learned how to manipulate the patterns to create more, so your life may have its bumps, but you have the skills to smooth those over - for yourself and for those fucks you choose to give.

8. Your effect on others is subtle and far reaching. They won't know it's you, but you will. You prefer to deal in the small and subtle. Perceptive people may realize you are the epicenter of these small things, but rarely will they think you are the cause. They may want to be closer to you, or smooth your path, a few may obstruct it, but you know work-arounds.This allows you so much freedom. Nobody ever suspects the kindly ones.

9. Sometimes your invisibility reverses itself, usually with others who are truly kind people. They will often approach you to tell you how comforting you are; they will speak of your kindness and your goodness. Accept these with grace and return the compliment as truthfully as you can.

10. Your experience of other senses and dimensions is greater because you don't ignore them. You may have developed ways to increase your perceptions and practice them frequently. You are more observant and people believe you have greater psychic skills than you do. You don't disabuse them of that but you also don't confirm how you know what you do - it makes your life easier and helps you choose which fucks are the best ones to give.

As a pretty good witch, you easily incorporate the physical and non-physical realms. Your observation and patterning skills are excellent, allowing you to be in the right place at the right time, and helping you choose when you need to step into a wrong place and time to cause the effects and changes you have determined need to be done. You are often a scientist, even if it's a citizen scientist without a college degree, because knowledge is your bread-and-butter - true knowledge, not pseudo-scientific crap. You spend some time dispelling pseudo-science because the more people support true science, the easier your field of fucks grows and the more generous you can be with those fucks.

Life as a pretty good witch is pretty good.

Woman's Work

How did it become determined that certain tasks were woman's work? When did it become codified as such and why? Is it biologically determined, or are there other forces at play? Does it still apply today? Is this true across all cultures? Is it consistently true within a culture?

And then ask:

Does woman's work have to continue to be divided along gender? Is woman's work lesser than man's work? Should woman's work, if not lesser, be less valued than man's work? Are women more biologically fragile than men? Are women more mentally fragile than men?

And of course, we can substitute "man's" for "woman's" and ask the same questions. The answers would be as revelatory and relevant.


1 - Who is your favorite actor (male or female) right now?

It doesn't ask about living or dead, so I'm going to go with Danny Kaye.

2 - Favorite movie based on a book?

I don't watch a lot of movies...Princess Bride, probably.

3 - Ketchup... yes or no?

Homemade ketchup is delish! Storebought adds too much salt and vinegar.

4 - Do you remember the first boy/girl you kissed? What was his/her name?

None of your business.

5 - Flashback to when you were a teenager. What were the posters on your wall?

I grew up pre-posters. I wrote on my walls.

6 - What embarrassing moment in your life are you willing to share?


7 - What is your favorite junk food?

Egg rolls

8 - Looking under my bed, you will find...

Carpet with dust bunnies

9 - When I was a kid, I wanted to grow up to be...

Airline stewardess for the ability to travel. I never grew tall enough to qualify, so my next best hope was to be a foreign language interpreter, so I learned Chinese, Russian, Sanskrit, Italian, German, and a few others. My education, however, was in phytotherapy/compounding pharmacy and fairytales.

10 - Skipped school... yes or no?

No, I didn't even know it was a "thing", no one I knew skipped school. If any of us were absent, we had a compelling reason for it.


Most gods are our external, anthropomorphized moral conscience. They are also external, anthropomorphized arbiters of social behavior and protectors of natural, common-use resources. They guard borders and boundaries and remind people of locally specific risks and potentially costly engagements. They frown on over-exploitation of resources, like over-hunting, or over-picking the berries, or polluting the drinking water. They conform to local problems - one reason for deity-reinforced food taboos. People whose gods come from a desert, for example, would have an eating pig taboo because pigs are tasty but they consume more resources than they provide and too many people would die to allow a few to eat pig, so the god will say *no one* gets to eat pig, it's "unclean".

As such, gods can be *useful* in directing human behavior into kind, moral, helpful, conserving, sharing, cooperative directions. A belief in gods triggers moral cognition.

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I have a list of fandoms in which I participate. Some aren't necessarily what others consider a "fandom", but I'm OK with that.

Here's my current list. I am much more likely to add a fandom than to subtract one, but I have been known to drop one.

Science fiction
Elf Quest
Downton Abbey
Wonder Woman
Addams Family

Dr. Who
My Little Pony
Batman (but mostly Poison Ivy)
Star Trek
Star Wars

Monty Python
Big Bang
Nightmare before Christmas

Ghost Bride
Babylon 5
Battlestar Galactica

Death and Funerary Customs
Specialty Celebrations (Corn Festival, Watermelon Festival, Hillbilly Games...)
Soda making
Wine and mead making

Service Dogs/Animals


It should come as no surprise to anyone that I ascribe to the Epicurean school of philosophy. In many ways, it resembles Stoicism, but is less about self-abnegation and acceptance and is more positive and thriving oriented.

I think the story Goldilocks and the Three Bears kind of sums it up - the porridge that's too cold, the bed that's too hard, those are Stoic attributes because at least they have porridge and a bed, they accept what is sent their way without complaint.

The porridge that's too hot, the bed that's too soft, that's sybaritic. An overindulgence, if a little is good, then too much is better.

But the porridge that was just right, and the bed that was just right - that's Epicurean. You have what you need, but not so little or so harsh that you must endure it, and not so much that you are overwhelmed - just the right amount to fulfill your needs.

Epicureanism is a philosophy of living a life - for oneself and others - that is free of unncessary pain, free of want for necessities, free of oppression. It's about balance and thriving, of having enough so one is free to pursue the arts or to spend time thinking and learning because time isn't spent in struggling to survive. It's about having enough and knowing one could have more, be more, do more, so there's still the impetus to strive that is robbed from us in a sybaritic world of complete indulgance.

I like Epicureanism, and the more I study it, the more I like it.

Steampunk Home Style

I've seen any number of articles on how to have a steampunk style home. The photos they share all look either contrived or very modern trying hard to be steampunk.

There are a lot of elements that can make a home look steampunk without it costing a lot to do.

I think one of the first things that annoys me about all those articles is that they all start with using muted neutral colors, especially for paints. Dudes, the Victorian Era was when aniline dyes were discovered - they used color everywhere they could pack it in, as bright as possible. Don't get sucked into "neutral colors" as steampunk. Go bold in your color choices. Reds were a favorite, as were yellows - both look good with steampunk paraphernalia. Go for stripes, and ornate wallpaper, too. I recommend getting fabric you like and attaching it to the wall with liquid starch. This has the benefit of being cheap and easy to remove if you change your mind (or are renting). Just mix up a batch of liquid starch, paint the top of the wall you are covering with the starch, put up the fabric (and pin it in place with push pins, otherwise it will get too heavy as you work and fall down) and paint it again with more liquid starch. Work your way down the wall, painting the wall, smoothing on the fabric, then painting the fabric. Trim and smooth the edges. Let it dry, and voila! cheap wall "paper" that will come cleanly off with some steam, followed by a good soap scrub on the wall to remove any residue.

The point is - don't settle for neutral colors on the walls - go for interesting prints and colors.

Definitely use repurposed and refurbished furnishing - Victorians and steampunks are inveterate scroungers. Display those re-crafting skills proudly.

If industrial doesn't appeal to you, don't use it. If it does, go for it. Exposed beams, brick walls, exposed pipes, metal framed windows, replacing light switches with levers or gear driven switches, bookshelves made of pipes (or PVC painted to look like metal pipes), that sort of thing.

If you are an artificer, don't hesitate to display your work area, works in progress, or the finished products. If you are a supporter of the artificers, be proud to display your gorgeous purchases.

If you display photos, consider a tabletop display of sepia toned ones in ornate metal frames or a wall of plain framed sepia photos with some ribbon bows above or below a frame or two.

Display knitted or crocheted throws and antimaccasars (the doilies placed on chair and sofa arms and head rest areas to absorb dirt and oils from people).

Use textural contrasts - hang jewelry with leather bags and knitwear, for instance.

Have an umbrella/cane stand or coat/hat rack. If it looks like an elephant's foot or something exotic, so much the better. You can make cool looking ones from paper mache.

Put small items in small wooden boxes and display the boxes in groupings.

Display books. I know some articles suggest old books - but they weren't old back then, so have a mix of old and new books. Do intersperse the books with odd objects - an unusual rock, a brass telescope, a small globe, pieces of antler, an amethyst cluster, a specimen jar with *something* in it.

Chandeliers in the dining area or the formal parlor (what we call the living room - not the snuggery or den - those require table lamps).

Furniture-wise, historically, the more rooms you had in your house, the less multipurpose functional and more comfortable your furniture would be. If you had a room where you could meet visitors, that room would be your showcase room, with the most comfortable furniture and the most interesting displays. The wealthier you were (or wanted people to think you were) the more occasional tables, side tables, specialty tables, padded chairs, small sofas, foot stools, and so on you'd have.

The fewer rooms you had, the more functional and less comfortable the furniture would be. Furniture would be spare and essential and often performing multiple tasks.

I kind of think that's still a good aesthetic. If you live in a small house/apartment, then you'd want less furniture in it and all the furniture would be multipurpose. You'd have one large sturdy table to be your writing desk, your work table, your dinner table, your art table, your cutting table, your sorting table, and so on, instead of a table just for writing, and a table just to display your photos, and a table just for receiving letters or holding keys, and a table for eating breakfast, and a table for eating family meals, and a table for entertaining, and a table for crafting, and a table for rolling dough on, and a table for cutting fabric, and a table for displaying collections, and so on. The more space and rooms you have, the more furniture you have and the more specialized hte furniture - and often the more confortable the furniture. Of course, modern furniture doesn't have to sacrifice comfort for function. A sleeper sofa may not be as pretty as a Victorian canarde sofa, but it is comfortable as both bed and sofa. And it can be prettified with antimacassars and throws.

Steampunk could emulate that depending on the look you want to achieve.

I've repurposed my rooms in my house so when you first enter it, you enter my work space. It's functional, with folding tables that can be put up and taken down at need, shelving to hold supplies, bins on the shelves, and so on, but the walls are bright, the floor is smooth, and the chairs are comfortable. It doubles as extra workspace for large baking/cooking projects, and as a dining room when guests come over if it's raining or too hot or too cold to eat outside - the back patio is the preferred dining spot for company.

The smaller bedroom has become my parlor. I call it a snuggery because it's small and intimate. It contains the TV, a sleeper sofa so it can double as a guest room, a couple of comfortable chairs, some small tables, a mini fridge and soda stream, and tea things. The sofa is heated for winter comfort, and the room is cooled in the summer. It also acts as an exercise room as the elleiptical is in there unless it's being used as a guest room, in which case the elliptical gets moved into the bedroom. And it acts as an initimate tea parlor for one or two guests, and as my personal dining room, and the room the dogs love the most because their beds,f ood, and water are in there.

The garage has been converted to a library/storeroom. It was already converted to a room when I got the house, and it acted as a library until my children moved out and has become a default storeroom that is slowly being sorted and will become a library/game room once again.

The kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom retained their original functions but got paint and decor to make them more interesting.

The dining area became a walk in pantry and prep room for baking and distilling and preserving food.

It's a small house, so each room is multifunctional except for the kitchen, bathroom, and my bedroom.

Small houses like mine partake of many functions and display many interests, larger houses have the space to have rooms be singular in function and decor.

You don't have to set your house up in the common way unless you want to. The more rooms you have, the more options you have for how you use the rooms. And the more options you have for decor.

I Could Live in a Small House

If I had no life, I could live in a small house.

If I didn't have hobbies that took up so much space and needed so many things, I could live in a much smaller house.

But I need room to spread out fabric for layout and cutting and fitting. And for storing patterns, fabrics, dress dummies, books, sewing machines, tools. Not to mention space for the iros and ironing boards.

I need room for rolling out doughs and cooling racks of cookies and making doggie jerky treats and canning foods and making wines and so on. And I need room for the baking racks, oven, fermentation equipment, canning equipment, and other tools of adventurous cookery.

I need room for pre-spring seed starting. Those seedlings need growing room, and I need access to them to care for them. And I need space for the garden tools I keep indoors because the shed outside isn't suitable for them.

I need space for winter exercise equipment. The elliptical, treadmill, and OT shoulder and hand therapy equipment all take up space, both for using and for storing.

I need space to store my books, and a desk for writing and my computer. Even though I've traded most of my fiction for their e-forms, I still have a lot of reference materials.

I need space for building projects. I don't build big things - bookshelves, pet crates and cages, pet toys, small mechanical devices, sculptures, that sort of thing - and that all requires storage space for the equipment as well as space for the making.

I need space for crafting things like plushies, and hat decorating, and jewelry making - both for the making and hte equipment.

I need space for making my potions - the stills, the beakers, the braziers, the jars and bottles and cannisters.

I need space to entertain my friends - so we have room to work on crafts together, to eat together, to game together, to discuss religion and philosophy and science together, and for Dorky Movie Night.

If I had no life, if all I did was work and come home to eat a microwaved dinner and watch TV, I could live in a small house.

Itzl's Birthday


Itzl is having a birthday party this year. For the first time since he was born, we aren't going to be at MedFair during his birthday, so friends have decided to host a party for him.

At first, it was going to be a small, silly get-together, just a few of us, for tea and cookies and playing croquet with the pink flamingo mallets I made.

Then more people wanted to come.

And more.

And now, there are so many people who RSVP'd that we've had to move his little party to a hotel.

So we're opening up the invitation to ANYONE who wants to attend Itzl's 11th Birthday Bash a la Steampunk Mad Hatter. Come dressed steampunk, or with mad hats, and play croquet (that's still on, the hotel will allow us to use their lawn for this!), eat tea goodies and drink tea or spa water. Itzl and Xoco will be there.

The hotel is the Hilton Garden Inn, 801 South Meridian Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73108
(405) 942-1400.

The date is April 4th, around 2:00 pm.

No gifts, although donations to his vet fund are always appreciated (Neel Vet in Oklahoma City, Itzl Brothers). If you live close enough, bring tea snacks (on serving trays if possible), extra tea pots, and your own tea cup set.

We'll provide hot water, spa water, napkins, paper plates and cups and plastic flatware (for those who don't have any or can't bring their own for some reason - which includes "Oops! I forgot!" because I do that sometimes myself), 4 flamingo mallets (unless I can manage to make more before then), the croquet set, loose leaf teas, sugar, creamer, lemons, some tea snacks and serving utensils, and of course, the Birthday Dog, Itzl, and his little Xoco.