Thursday, March 15, 2012

New World Childe...

Why is it never sunny when I need it to be? After days and days of a jacked up sleeping schedule, I finally get somewhere close to normal .... and it's raining.

I wouldn't mind the rain if it didn't make me hurt. God knows I miss the days of walking in it and sitting in trees to watch the storms pass over me. Oh well.

I'm thinking of embarking on a new journey. A parenting blog. I know, I barely make use of this one. Fail. But more and more often I find myself needing to talk about Bratexander the Great and my experiences raising him. I'm not sure that this is the place to do it. I've got a theory that I accidentally killed this blog by mixing up who I follow and instead of keeping up my normally compartmentalized life. I think of it as an awkward party where the frugal peeps are in a corner whispering about the witch-y peeps, who are all staring down the Christian peeps.

And now I want peeps.

Except not really. My stomach has been warring against me for nearly a week now. I think it has something to do with the acupuncture kicking in and doing too good of a job. So, I'm learning my way around the changes.

So.. New World Childe.  That's what I describe the boy child as to my mother when I need to make a point, or when I feel like I need to make a point. He wears pink, and loves the Harajuku mini line at Bullseye, he wakes trees with bells, loves to garden, cries a lot, and makes all my neighbors go " Well.. he's fabulous" in that way that means they think he's gay.

Yeah.. he's eight and autistic. It'll be a long time before he discovers any kind of sexuality. He just like what he likes and has parents who let him be.

The Royal Queen Grandmother of Bratexander the Great.. also known as my mama.. well, she's possessive of him. Her biggest pet peeve is his hair getting too long, and she hates any sort of structure and discipline. This is the same woman who regularly whooped my ass at home for sometimes petty reasons. God forbid I give him a stern look. She's got Grandma syndrome.

She's also a hardcore Christian. So.. whenever The Brat wanders into territory I think she'll dislike, I remind her that he's not me, and he's not her. He's his own person, growing up in his own time. He's the child of a new world. That world isn't her home of Peru, or even my home of the nineties. He prays to God and talks to trees, he likes dresses and skirts and pink, he thinks he's Irish, and loves taking trips to new places. He thinks the world ends at Georgia.

Sometimes he kills me with cute and other times I think I'll kill him with my bare hands. Boy has got an ATTITUDE. All the talking in the world doesn't seem to be helping.

Gahh... the family is awake and I must run. More blogging soon.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Grocery List and pinteresting food ideas...

I have been dying to blog about food shopping for like EVER. Having been ridiculously inspired by Frugal in Florida, I've been counting down the days until it was time to make a supermarket run. Finally, that day was yesterday. Our freezer had the sufficient amount of space empty and the pantry was looking a little bare.

Normally I don't wait until things get that bad, but, for a couple of months we had been shopping for the sake of shopping. Stocking up on things just because they were on sale. Which, unfortunately led to having to throw out half-used things in order to make room. Well, that just about killed me.

Anywho.. I'm nowhere near stocked for the month. There's still more shopping to be done. Which has me feeling horrible, since I over-spent yesterday. Only by about twenty or thirty dollars, but that's a lot of money to me. I can't just shrug it off.

So.. What did I pick up?

Two pints of grape tomatoes at ninety-nine cents a pint. I loooove these.
One pound of strawberries.  $2.50
Three cans of sweetened condensed milk. 3 for $5.00
Two jars of Kosher Dill Pickles. $1.99  These are for Bratexander The Great.
Two heads of Cauliflower at $1.50 a piece.  I'd like to go back for more.
Two lbs Tropical White Cheese at $2.50 a lbs.   A splurge, but the price was amazing. It's usually twice that.

One bottle of Worcestershire sauce for $0.99 cents.
Two four-packs of Pillsbury biscuits at $2.99 per pack.
Fifteen plantains for $2.00
Three lbs of Dried Black Beans at $4.00
One round loaf of Semolina bread $2.59
One round loaf whole grain bread $2.59
One Whole Eye Round Roast for $19.43  Good Lord, that was $4.29 a lbs.
One dozen Medium White Eggs $1.39
One package of Split Chicken Breast $5.68
One more package of Split Chicken Breast $6.75
Two jars of Sofrito $4.00
One box oatmeal creme pies $1.79  Because The Brat asked nicely.

I shall try to edit later with pictures of our meager haul. All of the above totaled up to $77.60.  I normally make eighty dollars of groceries go so much further.

Stay tuned for dinner. Steak and cauliflower poppers and a random veggie.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hello Bloggy it's me again. Punky.

It's been what feels like forever since I last posted an entry. There's been a lot on my mind, and I've been thinking about airing it all out here, but I'm not going to do that today. That will wait for another day. Today I'm going to talk about how beautiful it is outside, how it's the perfect start to Imbolc, and how tomorrow we have plans to honor the Goddess in a simple but wonderful way. At this time we can't go out and buy new things, and we don't even have to.

Angel told me that because I'm the Celt, I have to be the one that comes up with a game plan. And actually, I have, tonight we're going to lay out pieces of clothing that we wish the Goddess to bless, and give our thanks to her. Tomorrow we're going to the park, we're going to walk around, asking that all the greenery quickly comes forth to give way to spring, and look for any new signs of life.

Tonight, after I've cooked, I'm going to see if there's any way to make Brighid's Wheel out of paper, and put it up somewhere. Most likely on the front door. It's not much I know, and it's not even all I'd like to do but right now it's all I have and I honestly know the Goddess will be alright with that. I think, as I always have, that Brighid is the closest Goddess to my heart, and that she'll see my good intentions and know I have a welcoming and loving openness to her.

I hope that makes sense.

PS. It really is beautiful outside. Stepping out into it put a spring in my walk, and joy in my heart.

-- Punky

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Witch's Circle...


My bloggy godmother Aine has just been all up in my brain today. She's just posted a Witch's Circle discussion post, and it just so happens to be about something that's been on my mind off and on recently.

Here's the short background on me. ( Short as in shorter than the usual version, but probably not that short at all.)

I was born and raised right here in New York City. I've traveled up and down the eastern coast of the states, but New York has always been home. I love to travel, but this is where I hang my hat. As for heritage, I'm so mixed it's not funny. Typical, as they don't call my city a melting pot for nothing.

I am half Inca Peruvian, on my mother's side and a weird mix of Puerto Rican French on my father's side. These pieces of me are very specifically divided up with neon lines. I'm the sort of person who compartmentalizes everything, and the make-up of my blood is no different.

When I say I'm half Inca Peruvian, I mean it. My mother is a native, child to some natives, who all come from a remote little no where in the jungle. She is an Inca as I know them. They call themselves Indian now, but we all know that's just a word the Europeans brought with them. It's not even the right word, Christopher Columbus was just a confused son of a bitch. My mother's mother spoke Quechua, one of the two native tongues of Peru. My mother did too, until tragedy best saved for another day because this is supposed to be the short version.

My mother sung me Peruvian lullabies when I was a child. Half-Spanish, half-Quechua. She told me fairy tales about the children of the sun and taught me endless dances set to pan-pipes and sorrowful sounding flutes. Such large parts of my childhood never melded with anyone else's because she was so different. She came from such a different place. Peru is still, and always will be, a magical wonder to me.

I've talked about her before. My five-foot nothing pocket mother. She's a tiny thing, with no boundaries and all the grace of a bull in a china shop. She's primal and wise and ... too many things to put into words. At once she'll give you the feeling that where she truly belongs is back in her lands, surrounded by rainforests, calling out the sun, reading futures in wine and making life's every need with her own two hands.

In the next she's the woman who had it writ in stone that I marry a white man with blonde hair and blue eyes, preferably of German descent, with a military career. At least once a week we debate the merits or lack thereof, of coming to this country to start a new life, leaving all she knew behind. If it were up to me, I'd be there right now, tending sheep.

I grew up with that duality, and an extra side helping of my non-Spanish speaking Father who wanted me to go to Harvard and become a lawyer. The Great White Hope. Sadly, my parents were suckers. They were so ready to turn their backs on where they came from in order to produce a child belonging to this country.

They were screwed. Not initially though, and even now not completely. As a child, I took for fact all they said. I learned perfect English, and have not a trace of an accent. I got good grades and prepared for my own military career. The American Way was the Right way. I had a longing for all things White.

As a teenager, I wanted to be a goth kid. That was how I identified. Now here in NYC there are all kinds of goth kids. Spanish, Black, Indian. We all club together in the city with our dark eyeliner. But good God do we stick out like sore thumbs. We're the odd men and women out in the sea of white boys and girls, with their pale eyes and pale skin. They don't need an extra dusting of Urban Decay to look the part. They wake up in the morning, throw on a band t-shirt and they are the part.

This was and still is a theme that recurs throughout my life.

Very lately, I've noticed how it creeps into this witch-y path I walk.

I haven't been a devoted Christian since age thirteen when my life went to hell in a handbasket. Even before then, when I was a Christian, pagan paths called to me. How could they not, given the way my mother raised me?

I believe in the existence of many deities. I am drawn to the magic in nature. I dream things that'll happen to me. I see shades. There's no denying, at least for me, that part of life.

So why have I had such a hard time coming to this path? I think, because I was trying to do it the white way.

Go back a few posts and you'll see some pictures of me. I am not white. I sometimes wish I was, but I'm not. I can't even pass for white. Couldn't if my life depended on it. ( I've got Southern in-laws now, and someday my life will depend on it. At which point I will be dead.)

So what am I doing, boning up on the Celtic ways? I've got no business dabbling in Irish things, and British things, and Euro things. I am not any of the above.

As recently as last year, I was wracking my brain trying to figure out why I couldn't keep up with the pagan days and all they entail. Why was I such a failure? Why couldn't I Winter Solstice with everyone else?

Because my Winter Solstice happens on the 24th of June. That is when my people report to the sun-father, and ask his blessings. My people kill a llama and burn its heart. We divine in a drink made of purple corn. We just do it differently. Never better or worse, because those terms don't apply. Just different.

I'm different. My path is different. I think in Spanish, and speak in English, and then I wonder why incantations just feel wrong. I'm the product of migration. My mother got it into her head to cross a hemisphere and start over, and I flail about lost with no grounding and no understanding why I feel upside down.

Thank something or other for Bloggy Godmothers.


P.S.  I epically failed at answering the questions in Aine's post, but I just feel too stupid to answer them. I apologize.

Mastering Intent

Aine's recent post about feeling some creepy energy sent me off into a thought spiral that I couldn't jot down quite fast enough.

For the most part energy has been on the mind because I've got endless questions that I fear I already know the answer to. There's nothing worse than being able to look just that far forward, the feeling of thinking you know what the answer is but not really knowing if you're right or not. I've blogged about it before, I don't exactly have a plethora of people in my life that I can turn to about these things. I actually miss the sort of witch-y community I knew.

I live in an ancient building. Like most things and places that are old, there are the usual creaks and groans of old age, and then there are the unusual ones. It's not just the creaks and groans though, it's the shadows you see out of the corner of your eyes, the nightmares that have nothing to do with personal fears, and other strange occurrences. Funnily enough, for a place that has so many different people in it, it's pretty much accepted fact that the building is haunted. Neighbors from all walks of life, past many language barriers, all have stories of their apartments having ghosts in them, or other such stories. Things go missing only to appear in another room. Things that sound like the works of fairies.

One neighbor in particular has had feelings of being ..hmm.. I don't know the right words. I believe her words were something like ' a witch riding her back '. It's a night time happening that dispels with prayer.

So, what's behind it all?

I personally don't think that there's only one answer. I think it's a little bit of everything. Energy in different forms, with different intentions. Some of it is even most likely self-manifested. Give something enough thought and you'll just about bring it into existence.

I relay the following story a little cautiously.. I know, and can imagine the many reasons why, it will upset some. So.. I'll warn now. It's about a family member dying from cancer. If that's a personal trigger, it might be safer to just walk away from this entry now.

Some years ago, my aunt passed away from ovarian cancer. The cancer, as I imagine it is for everyone who receives such a diagnosis, was a shock. She was quite advanced in years. QUITE. Not dropping numbers here, out of love for her, but let us just say that even before the cancer news, she'd already had all her ducks in a row in terms of final wishes.

Healthwise? She was actually pretty healthy for her age. She was ninety-percent independent, and lived on her own. She cooked her own meals, unless I was bringing dinner over, and only had a handful of hours a day with her home attendant to do things like shopping. She lived on the third floor of a walk up, and always managed to make it up and down just fine.

For almost a year before her diagnosis, she talked to my mother and I about knowing that something was wrong. She felt like something was wrong, but couldn't tell us what. She thought maybe it was her stomach. She had a very good team of doctors taking care of her health, but so far no one had found anything. After some time, she became frustrated with them. An emotion I am too familiar with.

In private however, my mother talked to me about the possibility that my aunt was going to make herself sick. Not quite Munchhausen's, but intent and thought. I rebelled. My mother and I weren't on great terms at that point in my life, and my aunt was.. just about everything to me. She was a mother and a friend and a therapist and even escape from some of the darker days.

So I didn't want to hear that she was making herself sick. Until it came true. I was the first person she told. I was in the back of ambulances with her when she became sick, I slept on her couch, she took care of me and I took care of her. I put my heart and soul in it. I wouldn't lose her to this. No way.

I didn't even think about the things my mother had said until one day when my aunt looked over at me very smug and told me that she'd been right. She gave a small I Told You So speech, which I handled well, if only because we shared the plight of always being in hospitals and doctor's offices and I know what emotions that sort of life brings up.

I didn't mind the I Told You So, I knew it wasn't personal. She just needed to vent.

Except she seemed so damn happy to be right. I couldn't help it, I thought about my mother, her words, and lost myself in a dark spiral of doubt. Could she really have given herself a disease?

Now, raised as I was raised, believing what I believe with no fanaticism whatsoever, I believed then as I believe now that it's possible. Not that it's fact, but that it could be.

I know Cancer is a disease. I know it's not a germ you pick up at a playground, like catching a cold. I also know that it's a mystery. If we had it all figured out, and if I wasn't a conspiracy theorist about our government and pharmaceutical companies, we could cure it.

The knowing and the believing are not mutually exclusive, they exist in the same place inside me. I don't know if my aunt wished herself into illness. I only know that she could have if she wanted to. I believe that thoughts can be that powerful. It is with thought that we manipulate energy around us. Thought is usually the beginning of all things.

So.. given everything that I believe.. I become stuck when it comes to the goings on of my own home. What do I do about the shadows and bumps in the night?

Punky is from The South. She's from the kind of South that has to be capitalized, that's how southern she is. So naturally she believes in a good old fashioned sage-ing. This is apparently all the rage down there when your house needs a little spiritual cleaning up. Even though I've never done it, I'm familiar with the process.

Satan was from a totally different place with a similar custom. In his case you'd burn incense and carry it around the house, waving the smoke with your hand. It's supposed to dispel negative energies, and rid the home of unwanted guests.

Me personally? I was raised Christian, and know the power of smoke. Consider this if you will, in the bible it says you can burn something here on Earth and the aroma would reach God. These days I've strayed too far from that path to call myself a Christian anymore, but I still believe in the power of smoke, for lack of a better word.

The hangup is that I believe you have to do these things with unwavering conviction, or not only will they not work, they'll backfire. I'm all kinds of wavery. I don't have the sort of strength necessary within myself to do these things as they should be done.

Physically I'm a big believer in Man Up and Walk It Off. Hell, I push myself to walk three miles a day on broken and aching knees. I also know that the worst thing that'll happen is that I'll fall and go to the hospital.

The worst thing, in terms of spiritually stirring the pot here at home, won't just be a trip to the hospital. It could be much much worse and make for very unpleasant living situations.

So how does one master intent? My money would be to start out with some meditation. Always a good idea to look inwards, except that right now I'm in a place that makes me scared to look inside. I've been dealing with too much doctor bullshit. I'm all fucked up about it. Sometimes it makes me into a person that I don't want to be.

So.. temporarily, I'm lost.