Monday, June 15, 2015

Furniture and Eye Styes

Thirteen days ago I passed a milestone and had my fifty-fifth birthday. Andy and Laura had us over for lunch and they gave me a wonderful present of a porch glider for the back deck we've been fixing up.We bought a beautiful tan and navy patterned outdoor rug for the deck and went ahead and ordered an all metal gazebo to replace our flimsy one.

It wasn't a particularly happy birthday time except for the cookout due to some stress in my life.

First, the constant monitoring of comments and news on the Josh Duggar situation. It's been very depressing to me. While I wanted the show to be cancelled, this is not at all how I wanted it to play out. God help those girls.

It also means I have been working way more hours than ever on NLQ because of the large hit numbers and interest in the story. Lots of interesting hate emails have come my way.

Second, there's been real  drama, which I will not speak of except to say if you are upset with me it's always a bad idea to start off by calling me a name in the first sentence. It violates my boundaries and after everything I've lived through I just don't respond to it any longer. I disengage until that person and myself are both calm enough to rationally discuss the issue. That goes for friends, work acquaintances, family, bulletin board members, HOA board, blog and NLQ. Names? Nope. Later calmness? Yes. I will not do drama.

I'd pretty much stopped doing anything but working on NLQ for these weeks. Last week I finally had to do laundry as I was running out of clean clothes and today I've scrubbed and rearranged my kitchen. Tomorrow is my 'down' day, the day before In Touch magazine releases new nasty information on the Duggar family and the internet explodes again. Kim Kardasian's ass didn't break the internet, but Josh's bad touch just might. Tomorrow I will do laundry and try to focus on other things.

This Friday was the first time in nearly a month when I wasn't endlessly updating NLQ so I took a little trip with Jim. He took his sales materials, I drove and we visited furniture stores between here, Charlottesville and over into Waynesboro.

Remember the guy that is one of Jim's friends who I was sure was trying mightily to scam Jim and I? Mark? He, Jim and a friend of Jim's in Pakistan have been working on getting a furniture import business off the ground. At first I was completely dismissive of their efforts because of the high pressure sales job Mark kept trying to do on Jim. But as time passes and I saw that there was no way for Mark to force Jim to cough up money for this venture and that he seemed to know what he was doing I relaxed and thought perhaps this might work out.

Jim's made some sales calls and generated interest. He's gotten a handful of places to say they were interested in buying furniture made in Malaysia where Mark lives.

Then the factory that Mark works with said that they weren't interested in working with Jim and Mark, that they had enough work without exporting to America, and, get this, they didn't think it would work because Americans are so much bigger and fatter than Asians so the furniture would be too fragile for our American lard asses. Well, they phrased it a little differently than I did, but not much.

So now Mark is scrambling for new factories and factory contacts, but Jim is still out there chugging along talking to retailers in the furniture business. He says he prefers to have me along on the furniture calls because it goes more smoothly, I have so far been able to answer questions he drew a temporary blank on. I've been enjoying it as I get to see all this just gorgeous furniture and I've learned a great deal about the business and what types and grades of furniture there are out there.

Plus I'm starting to see how courageous Jim is for trying to start another business in his sixties. Even if that business never really takes off. Part of it is that he is worried about his upcoming retirement at the end of July, which running the numbers really shouldn't be a worry.

Originally he said we would take a year here and then move to Costa Rica. He changed that a few weeks later to say he would retire in December. That suddenly turned into July with a move in December to Costa Rica. Now it's a move to Florida in December and a year or two later to Costa Rica.

This has been part of the irksome unsettledness going on that's been making me feel sort of down. Make a plan, stick with it. I know this is all worry about retirement too, so I'm not going to believe anything until it actually happens.

Yesterday had to take Jim to the doc in the box followed by the hospital ER. He's been having trouble with a swollen eye the last five days and it got much worse on Sunday. They said finally it was an infected hair follicle and sent him home with antibiotic cream for his eye, but I'm not entirely convinced it's not an underlying condition. He's exhausted and feverish too. He's home today and has spent much of the day in bed.

I've relearned yet again that I am the worlds worst nurse while I shuttle up and down the stairs with the camomile compresses the ER doc recommended for his eye.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

How to Read Past the Coded Language to Spot the Dangerous Religion Aspects of a Candidate

My husband Jim reminded me early this morning in an email that today was voting in our town, a primary to pick the Republican nominee for our local state legislative body.

Yes, I realize I'm not a registered Republican, but neither am I a registered Democrat either. But one of the wonderful things about Virginia voter laws is that anyone of any party affiliation or not, can vote in any primary. That's how the Democrats and Independents managed to push out Congressman Eric Cantor in a primary and elect someone completely new, Dave Brat.

Sadly Brat seems to be something more of a joke that Cantor was. He's fallen a couple of times for urban legends and made a number of statement that make me question his intellect.

So getting back to today's election, I knew nothing about the three candidates and had to do a quick read of all three candidates websites to decide. Once I was there I ran across that coded language Fundy-speak that is part of many politicians belief set that they try to hide.

You can apply this to anything, politicians, toxic pastors, emotionally unstable people, damaging Christians, teachers, you name it. Any people group, if they start speaking in coded language you can rule them out.

Let's look at some of these statements and decode what they really and truly mean.

Statement: "I believe that recent efforts to undermine traditional marriage in the Commonwealth are a direct attack on the family unit"
Decoded: "I fear and hate homosexuals"

Statement: "The excessive proliferation of government welfare programs has led to a breakdown in the traditional family structure by rewarding reckless behavior and contributing to a never-ending cycle of poverty, and we should work to remove from government the power to destroy marriage."
Decoded: " I believe everyone not in a two parent family is scum that does not deserve to be helped out of poverty."

Statement: "Bureaucratic red tape associated with adoption must be reduced significantly to provide a ready option."
Decoded:  "White middle class Christians should be allowed to adopt immediately no matter how unsuitable they might be as parents."

Statement:"Additionally, parental consent and involvement should be expanded for the safety and security of our children."
Decoded:  "I believe that children have no agency and are completely owned by their parents."

Statement: "we should prevent taxpayer dollars from being spent on the abortion industry – an industry that millions of Virginians find morally objectionable and should not be forced to support financially"
Decoded:  "No abortions for anyone, not even in cases of rape or incest."

Statement: "Thousands of Virginians are currently being denied the opportunity to provide for their families, achieve economic independence, own a home, or start a business due to onerous taxation and government regulations.  Government should not interfere with an individual’s right to work and provide for one’s family."
Decoded:  "Religious families should be allowed to do whatever goofy thing they consider a business and not have to put up with being regulated by the government. Home based businesses should have complete freedom."

Statement: "I pledge my opposition to any policy that limits the free enterprise economy, such as burdensome regulations that cripple small business or efforts to undermine Virginia’s “Right to Work” law."
Decoded: "Those isolationist Christian families should be able to pay you whatever they think is right and have the ability to fire you for something as minor as refusing to pray before meals. I don't give a rip about helping Virginia's workers and working families."

Statement:  "I will push back against the EPA and other federal agencies that usurp the authority of our Commonwealth"
Decoded: "Fuck the environment and your pesky whining about pollution. I think Global Warning is a lie and likely deny all science."

Statement: " I am committed to upholding the constitutions of the United States and our Commonwealth by opposing illegal immigration."
Decoded: "And I hate Mexicans too."

Statement: " Further, as with other infringements of law, illegal immigration imposes a great cost on the citizens of Virginia.  This is realized through public safety issues, expanded welfare programs, overcrowded schools, etc."
Decoded: "I really hate Mexicans."

These were all from one of the candidates website, but the two others were not dissimilar. Knowing that the world of Evangelical Christianity thinks it's their mission to take over the government to control those that think differently than them makes it important to examine the stated stances on issues while decoding their Fundy-speak more important than ever.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Modesty Struggles Or Is That Really Appropriate Church Wear?

I attended church today for the first time in many moons. Why? Because of something the pastor said to me all those months ago. The reason doesn't really matter.

But... what exactly is appropriate to wear to church these days? I don't want to return to the old church days of either loose jumpers over tee shirts or equally baggy clothing that disguises every bit of the human female form.

During my years at the old church you could see a long strange assortment of things worn by the ladies, from loose jeans and tees, through the Little House on the Prairie frocks among the most conservative. Our pastor even got up and gave a long lecture one day on what proper church attire for women consisted of. Basically anything that did not cause him to stumble into lust from the pulpit, no short skirts, no sleeveless shirts, no halter tops. Cover up and make is loose.

When he gave that sermon myself and several others all murmured that we were not about to give up sleeveless shirts during menopause in the heat of the Southern summers. I actually told the pastor that if seeing a bra strap triggered him or any other male into lust then it was they that had the problem, not the woman and to be grateful we weren't going braless and causing even more lust distractions.

So I've come away with the idea of whatever you want to wear to church that covers up gonads is a-okay, and if your church is at a nudist camp, like one shown on the news last year here in Virginia, going with the accepted flow is alright. Even if that means nude.

But this morning I was very distracted at my big mainstream church by a lady around the same age group as myself, in her fifties. Every time she got up, sat down or moved around she exposed the spectacle of her ass crack and tramp stamp. Had on the shortest shorts in the middle of church. It was distracting to say the least. We were sitting behind her and as much as I tried to focus on the service my eyes kept going to the carpenter's crack when we had to move.

There are just some things you cannot help but look at, no matter how hard you try to look away. Which leads me to wonder if there really is a line of things you should not be wearing to church. What does that look like and how do you enforce it?

It's not good to run off folks from church because of their clothing choices... but ouch my eyes!