Quote: Remain Silent

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

Abraham Lincoln



Photo by jonkeeltyOne of the things that amazes me is that people will latch onto excuses for why others are acting as they are, and it has no bearing on reality.

I have heard this several times recently. I have overheard, or had said to me “you just don’t like me because I’m…” fill in the blank here: gay, straight, white, black, female, male, younger than you, older than you, a Republican, a Democrat…you get the idea.

Let me tell you a story.

When I was teaching, I had a student who was a nice kid. He asked intelligent questions, and often ate lunch in my room. He was out of school for several months with an injury, and when he came back he was in my repeater class. During the intervening months he had decided to come out as gay. This is a difficult thing, and he struggled. But he had also turned into a mouthy, obnoxious, whiny kid. He was failing my class because he refused to do the work, even in class. He argued with everyone, including me. And at one point, he looked me in the eye and said, “you just don’t like me because I’m gay.” And I walked to the other side of the room and bit my lip to stop from saying, “no, I don’t like you because you’re an asshole.”

So someone said to me the other day, “you just won’t listen to me because I’m a republican.” Nope, I won’t listen to him because he starts every conversation with me telling me how I’m wrong.

It’s fairly simple, and has nothing to do with gender, skin color, sexual orientation, political party or anything else. Those who believe that no one likes them or is willing to listen to them need to ask if maybe there is a common denominator: their own behavior is turning people away.

Photo by jonkeelty

Warning Labels on Books

Photo by Silly DeityBack in the 1980’s, there was a movement to put warning labels on music so that parents could tell if the the content was objectionable. There was a big outcry at the time, and I know some of my friends bought music just because it had the label. Ivnever really minded because the music I listened to fell into the “safe” category.

Today I found myself wishing for the same sort of label: one that would be applied to books and that would warn me of god talk.

I recently bought a book aimed at helping me find more time. But instead of helping, I find myself being lectured that not doing regular self-care is driving a wedge in my intimacy with god.

I am not looking for more guilt in a chapter ironically about ditching guilt. And I’m certainly not looking for guidance on establishing a relationship with a deity I don’t care to be in contact with — one who is ready to punish me at every turn.

Yes, I get that the author is a woman of strong faith. But surely one can find more time in one’s schedule without involving a vengeful and jealous deity?

I run into this quite a bit in my blogging reading. Many of the women-authored blogs I stumble across are jam-packed with references to their god, their faith and their practice. This is great – and I respect their rights to believe as they wish, and put their faith into practice. Although I don’t see why one would have to incorporate prayer into making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Maybe in case the peanut butter had gone bad?

Yes, I want recipes for school lunches or bullet journal ideas or organizational tips. Apparently I then have to be dosed with unrelated spiritual practices as well. Yes, I understand the concept of integrating spiritual practice with daily life. I do it myself. The difference is that I don’t dish it out to everyone else in my writing.

I really wish that books would come with a warning label that would allow me to steer clear of god-jamming when dealing with a subject that is not spiritual. It would set the context, and I wouldn’t be so annoyed at having to work through the god talk to get to the message underneath.

And as far as the business book on finding more time…I skimmed the rest of the book. Apparently her god has buckets of time up there and we just need to ask for it on our knees.

Silly me, I thought time wasn’t a commodity that could be bought and sold.

Photo by Silly Deity


Stranger Letters

Photo by jasleen_kaur

Last Saturday we received two interesting pieces of mail. Both were addressed to us by name, and both were from strangers.

The first was a letter urging us to study the bible and attend the writer’s church. It quoted Bible verses, the benefits of study, and of course, the benefits of joining the church – which happens to be a local megachurch.

The second was a hand-written postcard from the local delegate’s mother, urging us to vote for her son in the upcoming election.

One of these sent me off into peals of laughter. Can you guess which one?

In any case, the correspondence had no effect on me. I’ll keep going to my own church, and vote for the person I think will do the best job (who is not the one with the over-involved mother, BTW.)

And I’ll keep shaking my head in wonder at the things people will do…

Photo by jasleen_kaur

The Bathroom Project

Photo by stock.photosIt started as a paint job. I was tired of the pale purple walls and ivy wallpaper border. I wanted something more cozy.

The master bathroom in our house is not a small space. Coming off the bedroom, extending almost the length of the garage, it is big enough to fit the other two bathrooms in our house inside the empty floor space. It has a shower, a garden tub, a double sink and a toilet room.

But I was tired of the initial decorating job. So I picked out a bold deep blue for the walls (it is a big space after all, and can handle a dark color). Hubby found a charming dolphin border.

During the Independence Day weekend I patched, painted trim, and then painted the walls. I then asked hubby to fix the tub – the stopper didn’t close all the way and the drain was slow.

And that’s when things took off.

Our bedroom carpet, showing the wear and tear of 15 years and four cats and one dog, needed to be replaced. I wanted to go with Pergo, and that was set for a few years from now. But then hubby said, well, what about running the Pergo into the bathroom? It was a good idea. But then if we’re going to put in a new floor, why not rip out the tiny shower and put in the tiled one? And we’ll replace the shower hardware, so we need to replace the other faucets. And then we need lights to match. And then outlets and light switches….

The process started in early July. I had a working shower in mid-August. And it was just mid-September before the bathroom was back to its usable state.

I had to keep reminding myself that it would be worth it.

And it is.

The shower is luxurious, and I don’t have to worry about bumping into the door or walls while I move around. The tub doesn’t drain slowly, and it holds water. The new faucets in the sinks make it easier to clean. The floor is fabulous.

There are just a few more cosmetic things that need to be done in there, but it has been worth every bit of time.

Hats off to hubby, who did almost all of the work himself. (I helped with the painting and cleaning). Our bathroom remodel is complete.

Next up? The Pergo in the bedroom, which I have been told will go very quickly because he doesn’t have to make any weird cuts.

Photo by stock.photos