-- This Thanksgiving was a dutch oven challenge. Today my dad & mother & Brother-in-law and I dutched a pork crown roast basted in spiced apple sauce, an amazing potato dish (Yukon golds, baby reds, baby purples, red & green bell peppers, red onions, 2kinds of mushrooms and bacon), 2 loaves of sourdough bread, and sourdough-dried apple cake.
-- In addition to the dutch craziness, Papa and Mother cooked a prime rib roast, deviled eggs, stuffed mushrooms, stuffing, and golden glow...ok, since the golden glow is a jello salad, I can't really say that they cooked it, but they prepared it anyway.
-- Since there were 20 of us sitting down to the meal, other folks contributed to the feed as follows: fried artichokes Italian style, rice casserole, mashed potatoes, broccoli salad, oriental cabbage salad, fruit salad, yams, fresh veggies for dips, homemade chex mix, bacon wrapped hot dogs, pumpkin pie, apple pie, cheesecake, cupcakes, and ice cream.
-- Yah. It was all good.
-- Yah. I'm beyond full.
-- Yah. I have more things to be thankful for than I can count.
Have a wonderful evening and a happy Thanksgiving.
This weekend was...interesting. I cried a bit, thought a great deal, and reached a realization.
On Friday, I was asked (nicely) to leave a group, not because of somethting I had said or done, but because I am a Christian. Now, this is absolutely the moderator's right, especially as regards to their goals for the group, and I do not question it...but my feelings were hurt. I have known some of the members of the group ever since I became a Beliefnet member some 6 or 7 years ago, and I had thought that I had proven myself to be acceptable. So, after crying for a bit, I began to think. Why would this happen? Why does this barrier exist between Pagans and Christians, even when interaction between them is courteous and pleasant? I thought about some of the experiences related to me by my pagan and heathen friends about things that had been said or done to them by professing Christians, and I came to a realization:
If you have ever been attacked by a dog, then every time that you meet a new dog, part of you is waiting for him to bite you. No matter how nice the dog seems to be, you can't bring yourself to trust him fully. Makes sense, right?...Now replace the word "dog" with the word "Christian".
I have had enough disagreements with my brothers and sisters in Christ that this analogy makes a very uncomfortable sort of sense to me. And if it does make sense to me, then I can't get mad at someone for acting on that uncomfortable, mistrustful feeling. Sigh.
This realization led me to another contemplation. One of the reasons that I was asked to leave was that monotheists were not welcome in the group (not just Christians). The problem is, I don't see myself as a monotheist. I've seen too much, talked to too many people to say that my experience or belief is the ony true or possible one. On the other hand, I'm not a polytheist either. I don't want to worship or give my love to anyone other that the God I already serve. He's done just fine by me, thanks. So what am I? I found a term in "Gifts from the Jews" by Thomas Cahill a few years back (great book, btw, terrific read) & realized that it seems to fit my beliefs pretty well.
I am a henotheist.
What on earth (or elsewhere) is that? Short answer: A henotheist is one who has chosen to give his or her devotion, love, worship, to a single deity, but who acknowledges the existence and power of other deities. Henotheism differs from polytheism in that, while a soft polytheist acknowledges most or all deities in any pantheon and can worship any of them in any number and a hard polytheist acknowledges the deities within a given pantheon and can worship all of them even if sworn into the service of a particular deity, a henotheist acknowledges other deities but will only worship (pray to, etc.) a single deity. In other words, I know who I belong to, but I play nicely in the sandbox.
Learning is at best uncomfortable, but it is undoubtedly necessary. So, this weekend was a learning experience for me.
<table border=1 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=3 bgcolor=white>
<tr><td><a href="http://www.colorquiz.com"><img border=0 alt=ColorQuiz.com src="http://www.colorquiz.com/images/colorquizlogosmall2.gif" width=120 height=32></a></td>
<td>Paks took the free ColorQuiz.com personality test!<p><i>"Seeks success, stimulation, and a life full of exp..."</i><p>
<a href="http://www.colorquiz.com/cgi-bin/results.cgi?do=print_blog&picked1=4,3,2,1,6,7,5,0,5&picked2=3,4,6,2,1,5,7,0,7&sex=f&blog_name=Paks">Click here</a> to read the rest of the results.</td></tr></table>
Santa Ana winds gusting up to 60 miles an hours out here in sunny So Cal - My sister & her family have been evacuated from their home - one of the 10 fires that's burning tonight was across the road from their house - the folks only live about 10 minutes down the road, but so far they're ok - the winds are supposed to die down by 6pm tomorrow. We'll see how much of the area is left by then.
Ok, sometimes dreams are not so subtle. Last night I dreamed that i was showing someone all sorts of things that I've been doing to "play nice" with my ex, that is, foster a better relationship for the sake of my kids. My ongoing mantra has been "I love my kidsw more than I'm mad at my ex", followed by, "the kids need me to not be mad." At the same time, in this dream, my daughters were crying because they were hungry & I was too busy showing off how nice I was being to feed them.
This dream was a solid self-check to remind myself that instead of just talking, I need to be certain that I am truly focusing on the kids & their actual needs, both physical & emotional.
Sometimes I feel like I'm too busy or too broke to keep up with their needs. There's a neighbor that lets them play at her house & gives them cookies & lets them play with her kittens & stuff. I know that any friend that they have is a good thing, & that I've raised them to be independent & outgoing, but part of me feels a bit jealous that they like spending time with her...On the other hand, it's not like I'm naturally a "buckets o' fun" person. I love them & they love me, but I'm not one who constantly thinks up fun things to do. I'm usually just trying to keep up with life as best I can.
So, do I make a resolution to be more fun, or do I make a resolution to concenrtrate more on my children's needs as people...the 2nd, I think - Need to readjust my thinking...
Whew! Ok, I've opened up the doors & windows, dusted, laid down some nice rugs & set up a couple of comfy chairs by the windows. There's a pot of coffee cooking & I think I'm ready to explore. I miss the discussion boards already, but whatever the beliefnet folks have come up with here looks like it could be interesting. Time to go knocking on some other doors & find a few friends.