Daily Dose- Label

via Daily Prompt: Label

I have the money in my pocket, a limited amount

so I’ll have to try my best to make every penny count.

When we’re on the road it’s non perishables

I scan the aisles for,

as much sustenance and variety

as dried goods and cans can hold.

When there’s a kitchen

somewhere in my life

the choices are more abundant but still,

I have to pick and choose,

stretch a buck and do my best

to read each and every label.

Corn syrup, red 40, GMOs,

sugar, sugar, sugar,

“some artificial flavors added,”

what the heck is anhydrous dextrose?



How can I make the right choices

and still keep everyone fed

for less?

So, we started reading labels

and I’m more confounded than before.

Why does everything red, purple or orange

have to have red 40?!

Even my blueberry newtons,

fruit snacks, goldfish crackers too?

Would it be so much harder to use beet juice

than this brain invading goo?

Big business is the bottom line,

and healthcare doesn’t mind

if my family gets a little sick

or takes years to slowly die.

My budget is my own problem,

my family’s health my concern alone

and things are constantly slipping

farther and farther from progress.

So I’ll stroll the aisles and I’ll try

to do the best I can

and maybe someday someone

will let me plant a garden on their land.


Everybody Needs a Rock

An absolute favorite, perfect book to read before bed, or before searching for rocks. This is not my original work. This belongs to Byrd Baylor. And she’s a genius.

p. 1

a rock.

I’m sorry for kids
who don’t have
a rock for a friend.

I’m sorry for kids
who only have
they don’t have
for a friend.

The Queen of Lost Things

It’s the bane of my existence,

it’s the thorn in my side

It plagues me with persistence

To this fate I am resigned

Oh, I’m the queen of losin stuff

No matter how I try

It always leaves me in a huff

When there’s something I can’t find!

I always leave my keychain

In my little bag with stripes

But somehow the bag never remains

faithfully by my side.

I tear the house apart

lamenting, “I’m sure it was¬† right here!”

But I may as well be searching in the dark

For when I check the last place seen, my trinkets are nowhere near.

I carefully choose where to set things down

then scurry about to tidy my nest,

and in all the bustling and shuffling around

Where the hell my things went, is anyone’s guess!

Thank you to https://apricotsandadmiration.com and https://theartjunkie.wordpress.com/ for helping me edit!

Daily Dose-Controversy (Not my usual fare)

This is a long and nasty one, not what I strive for, but this topic motivates my lifestyle and my thinking. I would really appreciate it if you could read all the way through and by all means, comment!

I’ve never had a strong opinion on a major subject changed so quickly. There was a woman in my small town of residence at the time who ¬†we’ll call C. H. It was one of those small towns where the interstate became a main drag through down before proceeding at high speed on the other side of town, a mile away. C. H. ¬†lived right off this road with her husband and their three kids. Her two year old was frequently seen playing in the busy road, or grabbed up after ¬†throwing rocks and sticks at cars, and carried back to the house. Everyone in town knew about C. H. Which is why, when she became pregnant with her fourth and fifth babies, twins, and rumors of her continued intoxication ¬†swirled, and then the boys were born at a respective one and one and a half pounds, very little money was dropped into the collection jars placed in stores around town.

I was raised a good little Christian girl. Long straight hair, Mary Janes and panty hose. People frequently asked if my sisters and I were home schooled. Despite being an apple that fell quite far from the withering tree, that little girl will pops out from to time. And it was her who reacted, at work at the gas station, when C. H. came in. She’d just left bingo at the legion and come to buy smokes and lottery tickets with her winnings before proceeding to the hospital.

“Yeahhh, ” she grumbled,” I gotta fuckin drive to town cuz one of the kids died. I had to leave bingo. ”

Tears ¬†pricked the backs of my eyes, but the sweet little Sunday school girl politely handed C. H. her change and mumbled condolences. She left and I ducked into the back room to cry. Little did I know she wasn’t even a unique sort of horrible. Women like her are a dime a dozen.

Maybe a month later, I’m at my other job, and the sweet little child is back to fiercely stand against my coworkers in a debate on abortion. “Poor, innocent babies” is my platform. And then someone says it, the most obvious truth : “So C. H.’s ¬†kids are better off alive ?” It hit me like a ten ton truck. No one engaging in the debate had that smug look of having shut down an opponent. No one was proud to have changed my mind.

And since then how many children have I met whose mothers’ thoughts I can only assume were not fully formed regarding the genesis of the lives in their care. There was baby S. While pregnant her mother was regularly heavily intoxicated. I saw her when she was two months old and her drug addled father forgot her food before being driven way out into the country with her, to a house in a place with no stores open late at night. He asked me to rock her to sleep so she would stop crying. I was a teenager, freshly out of my parents’ house and naively in the wrong place, with the wrong people. I didn’t know who to call and I couldn’t ¬†drive. I laid the baby on my chest and cried with her. The next day I declared a social work major, but my school cut the department, in the middle of a semester no less. I dropped out.

I should have realized it was a bad decision anyway. You know what a whole slew of good social workers have in common? They quit. They go in wanting to help and find themselves overloaded, hands tied with red tape, unable to do the things they came to do. I should know from my own childhood, after having it gently explained to me by one such social worker – there are so many kids who have it worse than I did. The ones on the brink of starvation, or being hurt badly enough to be hospitalized or draw attention from teachers are the children who get tossed into the gamble of foster care and group homes. While people like my father, from his twisted mind to his testicles, rejoice in the freedom to behave as they please, because the powers that be are busy.

There’s R. He’s five now. He still poops in his pants. ¬†When he was two something happened, but no one will ever know what. He started aggressively touching other’s private parts. His suburban grandmother vilifies the other children. “We can’t punish R forever. Just let the others play with him.” His mother stays proudly silent, saying things like, “Yeah, I was waiting for you to talk ¬†to me ¬†about this,” when other parents come to her about what her son did to their kids. She’s lost relationships, been kicked out of homes, R has been kicked out of day cares. R’s mother is not seeking help for him, dragging ¬†him from one place to the next, going from one boyfriend to the next. R has begun hurting and violating animals. He’s gotten smarter with the other kids. Instead of being violent now he calls it “Playing Privates,” and he asks the other kids to go somewhere secret with him so he can see them.

There are a startling number of girls I was friends with in high school who became teen mothers. I know every once in a while, despite everyone’s best efforts, there’s a kid who just won’t live like they were raised, but isn’t it safe to say good parenting could probably cut down the number of teenage parents, maybe even significantly? Instead I see all these girls’ parents thrilled to become thirty five year old grandparents, offering jobs, free lodging and babysitting, even watching the kid/s while mommy goes out daddy shopping and comes back knocked up by someone else. A lot of girls follow the teenage mother m.o., as indicated by the cutesie “look how creative I am” names they give their children (maybe a subject for another post. This is a topic that Really gets me), the cute little outfits and the complete and total lack of effort exerted to do any actual parenting.

One girl in particular from my hometown has three children, two of them born before she was twenty. They may not have matching fathers, but you can tell they’re a set by their cute matching names. All she ever talks about is herself, using relationship after relationship to seek validation without considering the effect it has on the small humans who have no choice but to strap in for the ride. The youngest is four, the oldest not quite nine. They have seen at least four men they knew as “daddy” come, stay for a while and then leave. Her middle child makes me think, in the next ten to twenty years we will see a name for the condition so many children now live in- being the only truly fatherless child in a batch where the others leave for visitation, but they’re always at home with mom and whoever she’s dating now, watching Thomas the Train wondering if anyone will ever come give them a second Christmas, or take you away for a weekend.

I could go on and on and on like this with one horrible example after the other, from the women I met in Washington who talk, in front of their three kids, about the other three they “adopted out,” but here they are, trying again, despite no change for the better in their circumstance, to the quiet little suburbs where “nice men” do meth and don’t talk about being molested as children, until their wife gets so drunk she accidentally brings up how that might be the reason her son demonstrates some odd behaviors. Oh, the Silent Suburbs make me sick. Below the poverty line there’s little to no hope. You’re generations deep in lack of education or opportunity, having grown up from one of these children I’m talking about, into an adult who creates more of the same. But the p.c. white ladies who give their children pills to make them behave and think they’re good people because they have jobs, while their husbands hide out in the basement watching internet porn and dreaming of a time when they thought life was full of possibility, those people I out and out hate. They have a choice. They know better. They could do something.Maybe after this drink, or after Ellen is over.

I want to see change. I want to see people respect themselves and therefore be capable of healthy relationships where they wait until they know what they want and with who to procreate. Creating little human accessories you get bored of once it quits being easy is unacceptable. Ladies, birth control is FREE if you have no money! Do I believe death is better than many of these kids’ lives? You bet I do. The only time anyone wants to talk about “sanctity of life” is during an abortion debate, not throughout a child’s actual life. Does this mean I think abortion is the answer? Fuck no! I think a little forethought is the answer. Just don’t get knocked up, for child’s sake!

I want to see people step up. I want to see people fight for an actual education for their children and stop this, “Don’t make the slowest kid feel bad” crap. I want the standards to quit being lowered and parents to rise to the occasion. I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, all the world’s problems could be solved by good parenting. No one can stand in for a parent. I’ve had a long and miserable journey to that realization. Being failed by your parents leaves a permanent gap in your soul and any and every thing can happen as people grapple with and try to make up for that. Lots of people will repeat the very cycles I’m talking about just trying to get the family they never had, so motivated by desperation that they don’t slow down to see they’re creating another layer in the same mess they sought to escape.

Now I’ve been a lot of places, and met a lot of people from all walks of life, and the more well-to-do always seem shocked by my examples, as though this can’t be the majority. I assure you, I have not seen only one side. And, believe it or not, I don’t really like to stir the pot. (Insert catchphrase here: This is why I live in a bus.) I choose to change my reality drastically so as to raise my family as apart from the madness as possible, because I am painfully aware of my limited ability to enact large scale change. But how can you stay silent when THE CHILDREN ARE AT STAKE? Everyone’s future.

I was riding the city bus one day with my children and a man said to me, “You know, if you think about, the way you raise your kids affects the future.” I stared at him for a moment, agape. I said, “If you think about it? The children ARE the future. The way we raise them is EVERYTHING.” Do you know that? Do you realize there is nothing more important than your role as a parent? It seems our culture is moving farther and farther from this realization. Is it because, in this country (U.S.) the state will cradle you in its arms and carry your family, feeding them and paying for the doctor so you don’t have to work as hard? The decision to take on more children then becoming less of a burden for parents to shoulder? Not to mention, multiple fathers will just owe you multiple child support checks. Is there a way to offer help to those who need it without enabling bad, no the Worst, decision making? If you do well for yourself the government will just take a bigger slice of your pie, make you pay for overpriced services and accommodations yourself, making it nearly impossible to survive, leaving you with the choice to strain and fight to climb as close to the top as possible, knowing you can never make it all the way if you weren’t born into it and aren’t willing to fellate the right rich guy, or just give up altogether and live on the wealth of hand outs.

How did we even get here??? Again, this is why I live in a bus. This madness makes me hurt from my head to my heart to the deepest reaches of my soul. And we all know. The humor in family sitcoms now is all about how married people hate each other, kids hate their parents and everyone just wants to get laid. Everything else is about mindlessness and/or fear. We all know what’s happening. It’s right in most of our faces in some way or another but we just don’t deal with it. It’s rude to confront people. It’s painful to confront yourself. It’s hard work to shape up and fly right. We bounce between self loathing and the self perpetuated failure cycle, and telling ourselves to be confident until we’re just brazenly arrogant because we didn’t take the steps to have something to be confident about.

And, though I rant on and on, there’s one more vital bullet point. Child molestation is rampant and I have seen first hand far too many shame faced, tucked away secrets. Secrets that were tucked away by people they did not belong to! Mothers who don’t want to admit their failure. Fathers who would rather blame mothers. A string of boyfriends who can’t find a decent girl who hasn’t already been used up by thirty other guys and the only clean girl is his new girlfriend’s little daughter. I was raised on horror stories of little girls plucked from their front yards or routes to school and found in dumpsters and ditches. You know where I met monsters? Hiding inside a quiet old man hired to substitute by the principal, whose former school district just quietly let him go when he was found having sex with students; at my great uncle’s house when my mom took me to visit; at the neighbor’s when my dad couldn’t be bothered to wake up to take me to school so my mom left me next door when she left for work; and, as is incredibly common, in my own house, under my father’s wild, flickering eyes.

Do you know the three most important words here? DON’T BE QUIET! Children, demand to be listened to! Shout, cry, tell everyone until someone listens. Parents, listen! Be aware, ask questions, CARE. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but I’ve yet to find a village I trust. If you’re still reading, thank you. I know this is disgusting to muck through, but it’s one of two things I care the most about and I’ve wanted to find some way to reach out for a long, long time. I don’t really know what I can do, other than live my life in the light, but it starts here, with my “voice.” What can we do?




I was raised christian. The bad kind. The everything-but-what-we-think-is-evil-and-I-will-cripple-your-mind-for-life-with-the-fear-of-god kind. Western religion is the bastardization of other cultures’ reverence of nature, and the resulting anthropomorphization . European powers bent these beliefs in the name of social control and economic gain and there stands Western religion to this day. I am descended from the Celts. My fascination with the beliefs and practices of my ancestors is rapidly growing and, perhaps the slot created in my soul when I was a child for religion still seeks to be filled. I like to say, “I am spiritual, not religious.”

This time of year brings out great reverence in me, however and I strive to express myself without inhibition , however “silly” I may feel conveying my perhaps antiquated emotions per the subject matter. I do not seek to copy more primitive peoples, or replace one god with another of someone else’s making, but I do want to give my children the same sense of the divine I get from my natural surroundings. I want to perform symbolic rituals with them, of our design, to express our gratitude and exaltation. The Celts as our inspiration, the Earth as our guide, our own souls as our action.

We have chosen today to pour milk onto the ground, to return some of the Earth’s bounty to her in thanks, recite original poems and tonight, if we can find dry wood, I would like to have a fire. I’m going to wing it now, and make up a poem which I will not edit. Feel free to offer input and suggest edits!

(The photo is from our Satanic Christmas Card Photo Shoot this winter. No animals were harmed in the making of this work. I can’t speak for the virgins, however. And, as a disclaimer since you folks don’t know me so well yet, the photo shoot was for fun, nothing more. If you ask, I’ll share the card we made and the accompanying story.)

Life springs forth,

the green returns,


spreading like gently building flames consuming the earth;

consuming my mind.

I have survived another winter.

I have no need to toil

and stock

throughout the summer’s belting tirade,

suffer through ice,

cradling ailing infants,

lamenting empty stomachs.

I live in the age of eternal light,

though this surplus allows time for evil to abound in new ways.

We want for nothing, yet take everything

for granted.

Light of Life, I turn my face to you.

Age of Abundance, I bow to you.

I am nothing more

than soil,

and fallen rain and one day


from which life again will rise.

I am all things

and in this I feel the surge of new life

As the Earth gently turns her head,

in my favor, towards the sun once more.

In all things, I am grateful.

Daily Dose- Luck

All my life, without searching, I’ve found 4 leaf clovers. Even 5,6 and 7 leaf clovers, whose luckiness I always wondered about. Is ¬†finding a 6 leaf clover like an external super power, or is it anti – luck? 3 is ordinary, 4 is lucky, more is a rare curse? I once read the chances of finding a 4 leaf clover are 1 in 10,000 , (or was it 100,000?) so what are the odds of my collection of 50+ clovers? And furthermore, who said it was Good luck they bring?



My husband’s second or third tattoo is a little snake accompanied by the words, “Shit Luck.” Have you heard the phrase, “If it wasn’t for bad luck I wouldn’t have any”?

Take, for example, our experience this summer. We finally got our school bus, the long awaited realization of a dream. We ripped out all the seats, put in a bench seat and beds, made the space our home and began round one thousand of our family’s possession purge. (I’ve gotten so much better at this process than when I first tried, nearly 4 years ago, so convinced that I Needed all my things.) My husband hears from a fellow traveler and so he and his road dog (human travel companion) set out in the bus, and I finish up with the road readying and set out a few days later in the car with the kids.

My husband calls me one night as I’m setting up camp in the sultry Kansas evening. The bus broke down, he tells me. He and the fellow he went to pick up walked some 10 miles into town. There’s an issue getting our whale of a vehicle towed. (It’s a short bus, but it never fails to make AAA nervous.) I make the rest of the journey the next day to the place he’s stuck. We wait through the weekend. The owner of the shop where the bus is languishing is kind enough to let us still sleep in our beds on board. Walmart provides bathrooms some yards away. We’re hopeful, exuberant, finally on the road as a family! The heat, nor ¬†the home bum who calls himself Luscifer and has decided our bus is the drinkin spot, can keep us down!

And then we get the news. Despite all the new parts the previous owner put into the bus, he still had the old engine in there. And it’s shot. Toast. No hope. At least 1k for a new one. We call around to find out the price of an engine swap on a beast like this. We’re met with quotes of 5k. That’s ten times what we stole the bus for!

It seems all is lost. The journey is over before it began. But we’re not okay with that. This is our dream! We’ll stick it out, I’ll get a job, we’ll find a place to park where Luscifer doesn’t show up at 7am with dementia patients whose family abandoned them at McDonald’s, leaving them to believe they’re going hitchhiking with bums until police come to respond to noise complaints on said bum and find aforementioned 90 year old lost grandpa.

We drive all over town, asking ¬†everyone with a huge parking lot if we can take up a parking space indefinitely. The churches want nothing to do with us. The shelter can let us park if we pay by the month for a unit inside and sign forms agreeing not to panhandle. The police say it can be parked anywhere, but we can’t sleep in it and it has to be moved every three weeks or if will be ticketed. No one is having it.


Finally we get permission to park in the field next to the dog park, near the river and the big city park,  which includes an intriguing menagerie resulting in the sounds of crying peacocks and donkeys regularly piercing the sizzling summer air. Air which is rife with the biggest mosquitoes any of us have ever seen, so the windows have to tightly closed through sweat drenched nights.

I got a job and we began working towards our goal… Until a timing belt in the car snapped, resulting in several broken heads (this is my girl understanding of the problem. If you’re techanically inclined and I said the wrong thing, hopefully you still get it) and now we have a little Sophie’s Choice on our hands-keep a functioning vehicle, but one we can’t live in, or give up our transportation and keep our sleep space. Ultimately we got a bike, which led to the discovery that North Platte is goat head hell. I think the bike had a total of 7 flat tires before we gave up.

There were other snafus and colorful events and our time in Nebraska resulted in an interesting collection of tales, but in the end it wasn’t the shit luck that won out, even if the car did go for parts at a ridiculously low price ($73), and the bus continued to wilt in a storage lot. For once the police saved the day, including bringing us deer steaks and towing the bus. One officer even made up one third of the team who PUSHED the bus to its place in the lot of despair. They had our backs when the pastor of the Nazarene church tried to tear our family apart for no other reason than our unwillingness to offer up our children’s brains to the church. A colossus of a storm churned through town sometime in July, and missed our broken little house on wheels by one block.


And, in the end, all of our troubles led to new, unforseen circumstances with people who love nothing more than to help us achieve our dreams. So is even “shit luck” just the wrong way of looking at forks in the road, only because we expected spoons? Or is it the mischievous universe’s backhanded compliments?

A seven year old in Washington ¬† ¬† D. C. told me it’s bad luck to give them away if you find 4 leaf clovers. I guess I’ll just start holding on to them from now on and see what happens.