Mum’s Day.

By Ronincmc – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, wikimedia.

So, Mother’s Day. Let’s start with a bit of uStates history in that regard:

The modern holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. St Andrew’s Methodist Church now holds the International Mother’s Day Shrine. Her campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Ann Jarvis had been a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War, and created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues. Anna Jarvis wanted to honor her mother by continuing the work she started and to set aside a day to honor all mothers because she believed that they were “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world”.

In 1908, the US Congress rejected a proposal to make Mother’s Day an official holiday, joking that they would also have to proclaim a “Mother-in-law’s Day”. However, owing to the efforts of Anna Jarvis, by 1911 all US states observed the holiday, with some of them officially recognizing Mother’s Day as a local holiday, the first being West Virginia, Jarvis’ home state, in 1910. In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.

Although Jarvis was successful in founding Mother’s Day, she became resentful of the commercialization of the holiday. By the early 1920s, Hallmark Cards and other companies had started selling Mother’s Day cards. Jarvis believed that the companies had misinterpreted and exploited the idea of Mother’s Day, and that the emphasis of the holiday was on sentiment, not profit. As a result, she organized boycotts of Mother’s Day, and threatened to issue lawsuits against the companies involved. Jarvis argued that people should appreciate and honor their mothers through handwritten letters expressing their love and gratitude, instead of buying gifts and pre-made cards. Jarvis protested at a candy makers’ convention in Philadelphia in 1923, and at a meeting of American War Mothers in 1925. By this time, carnations had become associated with Mother’s Day, and the selling of carnations by the American War Mothers to raise money angered Jarvis, who was arrested for disturbing the peace. Source.

I don’t much like the idea of a mother’s day, or a father’s day. I certainly don’t like that they have become an obligation, which in many cases, takes the form of a minor gift surrounded by insincerity, marked by a lack of actual appreciation. I do think that if you’re fortunate enough to have good parents, immediate or extended, then yes, it’s a grand thing to have a special celebration, on top of a true appreciation of that parent or parents. Many of us walk this world without anyone to appreciate in that regard, and I think it’s grade A shite to try and guilt everyone into paying homage, whether they feel that or no. I greatly dislike the afterthoughtness of father’s day, and I dislike the distinct gendering of parenting.

Love, honour, and appreciation should not be an obligation. No one should be made to feel less than a worm because they didn’t show with the obligatory card, candy, flowers, tie, or whatever. Parenting is the biggest gamble a person can take in life. Sometimes it works out well, and sometimes it doesn’t, with immense grief all the way around. Parenting is difficult as all hells, you’re never without challenges, the rewards can be bliss, and the disappointments heart-rending.

If you have parents who love you, and work for you, every day, and you love them, then show them that, and not just once a year. The smallest things, little gestures, unexpected, can be some of the very best ways to show your care and appreciation. Long days ago, I used to stop at a florist, get a single flower, and show up unexpectedly to present that to an adult who was very special to me. That’s the sort of thing I mean. Every day mindfulness means more in the long run, than a holiday which tends to mandate more frazzled people than anything else. Sometimes, just offering to do the dishes (or the cooking, or …) is a great gift.

And sometimes, if you’re someone who doesn’t have a good parent[s], there’s one or more adult, somewhere in your life, who was at some point, a lifeline, with a word or kindness, or a gesture of care that kept you hanging on. Those people deserve to be appreciated too. Rather than focus just on mothers today, to all those parents who do their very best each day, doing that most difficult of jobs, you’re doing good work, and I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for raising up future adults who will do right and good things in this world. And great thanks to all those adult children who now find themselves caring for parents, with all the love, patience, and care. A Happy, Loving Family Day to you all, no matter the shape your family may take.

It’s My Party…


but it wouldn’t have been much of a party without all you wonderful people who bother to read and comment here. You are what keeps me going, and you have provided a great deal of support through many dark days. You have also provided me with a wealth of content, my profuse thanks for that, too! So…


And Happy Anniversary to us all!

A Monkish Method.


I really like and enjoy the incense Marcus makes and so generously gifts me with, and burning methods have come up. Most of the time, I just light a stick up and lay it in an ashtray. There are times when I want to burn frankincense or myrrh, and those call for the monkish method. Charcoal tablets are available in handy little rolls from any monastery supply. Using tongs, light up your tablet – I use the stovetop, just holding one edge to the flame. These burn easily and well, so you don’t need to torch them to death. Care is required here so you don’t burn your house down. Place the tablet in or on a fireproof surface. Think of it as a little stove, you need zero clearance. You don’t need anything special, rocks work great. Care is also needed when placing your incense of choice on the tablet. These produce a great deal of smoke, so be stingy with the amount you place on the tablet at one time. As you can see, smoke starts billowing right away. If the smoke decreases, gently blowing on the tablet will start it going again. The monkish method works great with Marcus’s incense, too!



© C. Ford.



Oh, I has all the loot, with deepest thanks to my Marcus. Not long ago, my beloved little Samsung netbook suffered a dead screen. It’s old, so replacement isn’t an option, and the cost would likely be more than I paid in the first place, even if I could find a new screen. That little netbook was the one computer that actually managed to last around me, and I have missed it. Now I has another one! And external hard drives. And a DVD player. And more magical laundry liquid (which, if you start using, will soon find addictive). And incense with a sublime scent! Imma go play for a while now. *Happy*

11 Foot 8 Schadenfreude.

At the corner of Gregson and Peabody streets in Durham, North Carolina, lies a railroad trestle with an infamous history. The 11-foot-8-inch underpass, also known at the “can-opener bridge,” has seen hundreds of truck collisions over the past eight years. And Jürgen Henn has captured nearly every one of them with a surveillance camera and posted them online. A local celebrity, Henn and his 11foot8 website provide a delightfully painful reminder to pay attention to what’s around you—and to never underestimate your truck’s clearance height.

Via Great Big Story. I do love the Crash art, but I’m odd that way, with my collection of swarf, and other odd things which always end up in my pockets during a walk.

Rat Cordery.

People who have small animals know they have a special love for electrical cords. Chez Caine, there are always those rats who are looking to jack on. Part of setting up Athena (the new computing machine), is to deal with cord. For the very fine cord, which runs from the machine to the adapter is a favourite for jacking on. So, that part: slice open black aquarium tubing, place over the cord, secure with electrical tape. This impairs their ability to sense the current running through. For the rest, I cut lengths of cotton cloth, and wrap the cord, followed by a quick wrap of shiny wire, because rats are easily distracted by shiny metal, and will chew on that and forget about jacking on. Got Athena all fixed up, and Hades tested for me – yep, boring. That’s a good thing.





© C. Ford.


Finally went machine shopping yesterday, brought home an Asus, Athena. After I get it set up, Hekate (the Lenovo I have a hatehatehate relationship with) will be yet another machine for Rick. Not looking forward to dealing with Winshit 10. And I really, really need to clean my desk.