Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Counting Down To Christmas

There was a lunar eclipse last night. I didn't bother to watch it, because it was to happen in the wee hours of the morning. That was way past my bedtime and besides, I had already seen one before, so no big deal. Add the one I saw a year or so ago to the solar eclipse I saw when I was in high school sometime in 1963/64, various comets, Sputnik, and views of Saturn, Jupiter and the Jovian moons I saw through my telescope, and my life's card is marked with some pretty impressive celestial sights. Perhaps the most impressive though, was a naked eye view of the Norther Cross over the Atlantic on a full moonlit night, while sitting on top of a sand dune on Ocracoke Island one August night many years ago. The reflection of the nearly full moon on the ocean, accompanied by the blanket of stars that stood out so well, so many miles from civilization's light pollution, was truly a sight to behold. Of course an evening's banquet of steamed crabs we had caught that afternoon, an abundance of cold beer, and numerous inhalations of a smoldering cannabis cigarette being passed around by friends, only made it that much more pleasing an event.

I went to my mother's Monday night as always, and she had received the set of kitchen and steak knives I bought for her. For those of you unfamiliar with my mother's cutlery, it was good for cutting things like pudding, butter and jello, but not much else. She managed to saw through roasts, hams, and turkeys with a bread knife of all things! I suppose I have to give her marks for ingenuity, but really........sawing through a Thanksgiving turkey with a bread knife? I couldn't stand it, and had to do something about it, so I bought her a nice set of razor sharp stainless steel carving knives, for Christmas. Her first reaction was, "I can't open that package you sent me." OK, I can understand that, after all she does have arthritic hands, so I opened it for her, and unwrapped each knife and placed it in the accompanying wooden block.
"What made you think I've been needing this for a while now?" she asked. "Because I have seen you sawing through meat too many times, with a knife designed to cut bread!" I said. "But the bread knife works fine for me.", she said................

Oh well...........the best laid plans of mice and men, often go awry. I guess the old adage is right, "You can't can't teach an old dog new tricks". She will use them eventually I'm sure, and I'm equally sure she'll get used to them, once the idea that she didn't specifically request them wears off. She'll be ninety a week after Christmas, so I'm going to go easy on her. Anyone who makes it to that late in the game, deserves our deference.

While we haven't quite returned to normal temperatures, we have thawed somewhat, and I was finally able turn the heat down some. Tonight is the first in a month, that I haven't had the radient quartz heater in front of my chair turned up to full blast furnace mode! As I sit here typing, just one low wattage element is aglow, and the fan is not turned on at all! I'm keeping my finger crossed for Christmas, but right now the forecast is iffy. A nor'easter is supposed to develop off the coast of the Carolina's on Christmas Eve/Day, and roll on up the coast. Nor'easters are the mid-Atlantic's heavy dumpers during the winer months. Depending on the coastal track of the storm, and the inland temperatures, we could get anything from a wintery mix of ice and snow, to a full on winter snow storm. Christmas is at my mothers, 45 miles east of here in Richmond. There is an average 10°F difference between Richmond and out here in the Piedmont, that makes driving in wintery conditions extremely hazardous. Depending on when the storm hits Saturday, I may have to stay home. The narrow two lane roads out here in the Piedmont have no shoulders, and often have deep ditches to either side. They can be quite treacherous when iced up. I've crashed one vehicle when I didn't know any better, and lost control on black ice. I don't ever want that to happen again. There is nothing scarier than driving on down the road, and suddenly losing all traction. At that point, you have completely lost control, and become a passenger in a vehicle controlled by fate. Not a good position to be in.

I've noticed our once universally supportive Blogistan, slowly degenerating into a forum of divisiveness, ever since the appearance of a certain wily, yet extremely ill-mannered miscreant last summer. Please dear readers, do not be seduced by silver tongued narcissistic she-devils, who will manipulatively stroke your fragile ego in one breath, while verbally eviscerating one of your sisters in another. Even if you don't think you may be anything like those "others" that are being attacked, that never justifies supporting those who hurl their hideous invective at them.

On a further note. When you invite someone into your home, would you tolerate them verbally assaulting your other guests? I certainly wouldn't, so in that vein, I will no longer follow any blogger who allows anyone to insult me or any other commenter on their blog. This means it's up to you to monitor the comments on your blog, and delete all obviously spiteful comments made by others in a reasonable time frame, that are specifically directed at another individual commenter. If you are unwilling to do this, then no matter how long I have known you, or how well we have gotten along, I will depart your blog and have no further contact with you. I didn't come here to make enemies, I came here to share sympathies and support with like minded trans-folk, and I'm fed up with those who are obsessed with constantly drawing upon our differences, instead of embracing our similarities, which are absolutely abundant, whether they wish to admit them or not, and especially with those who obsequiously kowtow to manipulative bullies, in order to continue being stroked by them.

Peace and sisterhood to all of those who have it in their hearts to accept it.
Melissa XX


Natasha said...

I do understand what you mean, Melissa. I am done with trying to play nice with certain...unfortunate guests. I have no room for that in my life or my blog.


Amy K. said...

My ban will remain in effect, ummm... probably forever. I do still get a comment or two here and there, but I delete them without even reading them. There can't be anything worth reading, so why bother?

As far as the lunar eclipse, I did manage to see it. The family was all asleep, since I had found out about it AS it was happening. So many times have I heard about things like this after the fact. So I was very pleased to have seen it. I tried to get a photo, but my camera is no good for that kind of thing.

Elly said...

I set the alarm so as not to miss the Lunar Eclipse, it was just as breathtaking as others that I have seen. Now the Northern Lights(aurora borealis)are something else altogether-wow!

I've seen enough negative comments and agree with you Melissa, delete them and avoid the source; life is too short for negative behavior.

Hugs, Elly

Anonymous said...

I have tried as far as possible to allow people to have their voice heard even if I don't like what they have to say... up to a point.

And, I admit to having retorted to some in ways that I probably should not have.

We are all of us flawed and hopefully trying to improve every day. That is certainly my intention.

I am willing to forgive myself for my failings and others for their missteps, assuming they are repentant.

In spite of your admirable exhortation to supportiveness and kindness, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of capacity for forgiveness in your comments on this issue.

I, for one, would rather be shown the error of my ways by a kind and intelligent sister than thrown on the scrap heap for my mistakes.

Melissa said...

@ cdjanie

There was a particularly nasty comment directed at you on your blog by you know who. Your response to her was spot on, but a waste of breath, because such responses only get her wound up. She has been leaving similar comments on blogs, directed at me and others for quite some time now, and she has no desire to be forgiven. She is too self-righteous for that. She will continue her abuse, as long as others provide her with a forum to do so. This has nothing to do with allowing people to freely express their views. It's about maintaining civil discourse. If you want your blog to degenerate into a cesspool of vituperation, that's your prerogative, but I won't be a part of it. I hope you won't either.

Melissa XX

Anonymous said...

@ Melissa,

Thanks for the heads up. I found my exchange with her to be quite upsetting, and her to be completely unrepentant.

I was actually praying that someone would come along and take my side in that argument, but no one ever did. Nor did I know that she was a known quantity until now.

Your endorsement of my response has made my day! I was likewise delighted to see the posts by you and others on T-Central after I called out the TS commenters for their repeated negative and dismissive treatment of CD posts about their personal experiences.

Claire L Hallam said...

Melissa, have a great Christmas, you and your close family.
I'll keep to the eclipse.
It coincided with sunrise here on the shortest day of the year....it was stunning, sunrise, snow and blood red moon.

Calie said...

I have been so frustrated with my mother in past years, trying to get her to do something in a different way. As she has grown older, I have found this to be nearly hopeless, so I have just let her enjoy the rest of her life in whatever manner she has seen fit. Terribly frustrating. I do hope your mother enjoys the knives. I'm sure she will once she tries them.

Missed the moon thingie. Raining cats and dogs on that night.

Calie xxx