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On Flags and Country

9 Jul

Flags. Man, have we seen a lot on flags lately. Of course, I’m referring to two flags in particular, both of which that incite feelings of hatred, discrimination, division and/or exclusion. One was created purposely to incite those feelings; the other was created to show solidarity among one group of people being excluded and discriminated against.

In this blog, I’m going to address the controversies surrounding the Confederate Battle Flag. While the Supreme Court ruling confirming gay Americans have the same rights to marry as heterosexual Americans is very important, I’ll have to save that for another day. There’s just no way to fit both in one blog.  In this blog, I will not be advocating the total ban of the Battle Flag, removal of Confederate monuments, changing street names, etc. Don’t go getting your panties in a wad before we even begin, okay? I will be addressing only FACTS, my favorite of all the f-words. I will include source material so all of you can look this stuff up for yourself if you think I’m bullshitting.

Buckle down, this one is going to long. There will be material used that should be offensive to you. I will not edit facts just to be politically correct or downplay what happened here in my beloved south. The rewriting of history is how some of us have been misled to believe in false ideologies. You have been forewarned.

Bitch of the Moment:

I am as southern as it gets. I have lived in the south my entire life, with the few months here and there that I lived in a small town in Illinois. I was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas and currently live in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area. All I have to do is speak, and people instantly know what part of the country I am from – I have a truly horrendous, southern accent. I love sweet tea, gossip and crawfish boils. The food, the weather, the landscape and the flora of the south are all very near and dear to my heart. I even love the humidity (yes, I’m odd – I can’t live without humidity as my eczema-ridden ass would dry up completely without it). I could not imagine living anywhere else in the U.S.

Here in the south, I have seen the Confederate Battle Flag displayed prominently and proudly more times than I could ever count. When I was young, many people I knew displaying the flag in and around their homes, family or otherwise, were racist. That’s not an assumption, it’s fact. Some friends couldn’t even go to a friend’s house for a sleepover if that friend’s mother was married to a black man. Where at all possible, separation of races was not encouraged but demanded in these white, southern homes. This wasn’t the 50’s or 60’s, folks. This was the late 80’s and 90’s. There is a portion of this nation’s 30-somethings who were raised this way. Unfortunately, some are now passing that legacy of hate down to their children.

Some of you may be thinking, ‘Well, that’s not how I was raised. I’m not a racist. I display the flag to show my southern heritage as I’m proud to be from the south! The flag is a symbol of states’ rights and not racism.” Great. I’m genuinely ecstatic you didn’t grow up around those types of people. If you see all people as equal, without any prejudgments based on skin color or that race’s culture, you are a phenomenal human being. I, too, am proud to be from the south as I stated above. However, the Confederate Battle Flag and the Confederate Flag (yes, they are two different flags) are not symbols of states’ rights. Even if they were about states’ rights, what was the biggest “right” that the Confederate states were fighting to keep? They both absolutely represent racism, and the only heritage they symbolize are the southern heritage of racism and slavery. There is a reason the Battle Flag was/is flown during lynchings and KKK rallies and was adopted by those defending segregation in the very same states that fought for slavery.

Stay with me, here come the FACTS. When you see a (*), there will be a link taking you to the source material.

First, we have to have a little history lesson before we can get to the actual design of the Confederate flags and their intended meaning as told directly by those that designed them.

What caused the Civil War?

Abraham Lincoln was elected President on November 6, 1860. He was known to the slave-holding states as an abolitionist and hostile to slavery.* Lincoln’s first inauguration was held March 4, 1861. Before Lincoln took office in March 1861, seven states had already seceded from the Union to form a new “permanent federal government”, the Confederate States of America (South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas). On April 12th, South Carolina (the first state to secede from the Union), fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston, which was held by the Union. The attack on Fort Sumter initiated the Civil War. Four additional states would join the Confederacy shortly thereafter (Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina).

Why did the Confederate States secede?

Only four of the eleven seceding states issued formal declarations of causes for secession. Those four were: South Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia and Texas.* The other seven states issued ordinances announcing their secession from the Union. Those seven were: Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina.*

I cannot list every single declaration or ordinance of secession in this blog as it would make it an unbearable read. However, the four states that issued formal declarations of causes for secession make it explicitly clear their reasoning for abandoning the Union (soon after ruled illegal*), and those reasons were the preservation of slavery and the superiority of the white race.

Of the seven remaining states that seceded, Virginia and Alabama reference aligning with slave-holding states in the Confederacy to end the slave-holding states’ “oppression”*. That oppression being the abolishment of slavery.

Louisiana did not reference slavery in their ordinance, but they did in their letter urging the state of Texas to secede from the Union*.

Arkansas, like Louisiana, did not reference slavery in their ordinance. However, my home state tried to have the U.S. Constitution amended to end the “hostility to the institution of African slavery, as it exists in the Southern States, …”*.

Florida apparently drafted a declaration of causes but the committee formed to draft it was dismissed before it was completed. Only an untitled and undated draft remains in the State Archives of Florida*. If this is truly a genuine draft of Florida’s declaration of causes written sometime in February of 1861, it definitely references the preservation of slavery and the inferiority of Africans to whites, stating, “Their natural tendency every where shown where the race has existed to idleness vagrancy and crime increased by the inability to procure subsistence”. As a bonus, this draft also refers to President Lincoln as “an obscure and illiterate man…”. Florida – Keeping It Classy Since 1861.

North Carolina and Tennessee are the only two Confederate states that simply withdrew without mentioning causes.

For those not keeping count, nine of the eleven states that seceded from this country and by their actions caused the largest loss of American soldiers’ lives to date (620,000*), did so to protect the rights of slave owners. Their main objective was to maintain control of their “property”. Slaves were so dehumanized that they weren’t even referred to as people.

In the very likely event that some of you can’t be bothered to click on the (*) links I have so painstakingly provided for you, here are a few gems from those sources (these are all verbatim – I will not correct spelling, grammar, etc.):

Excerpts from Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union, adopted December 24, 1860:

“But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. Here is where the states’ rights argument falls apart. If the seceding states were FOR states’ rights, they wouldn’t have protested other states enacting laws that protected people from degradation and entitled them to the basic, human rights that all Americans are guaranteed. But again, the Confederacy didn’t see slaves as people, they were “property”.  The seceding states were acting against OTHER states’ rights.

It goes on to state: “Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.” OMG! They gave them books! The horror!

Lastly: “A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that “Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free,” and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.” That statement says volumes. South Carolina did not want slavery to become extinct so they said, “Fuck you, guys! We’re out!”

Excepts from A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union, adopted January 9, 1861:

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery— the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. This statement isn’t buried in the declaration. It’s starts with the second sentence. Fearing they would have to expose themselves to the tropical sun and actually get their hands dirty OR god forbid, hire workers that would be treated humanely and would receive actual payment for their labor, Mississippi seceded to ensure the prosperity that slavery afforded them.

That we do not overstate the dangers to our institution, a reference to a few facts will sufficiently prove. It advocates negro equality, socially and politically, and promotes insurrection and incendiarism in our midst…. It has enlisted its press, its pulpit and its schools against us, until the whole popular mind of the North is excited and inflamed with prejudice.  Equality? Well we certainly couldn’t have that, could we Mississippi? I think it’s hilarious they complain about prejudice against them.

Excerpt from Communication submitted by Geo. Williamson, Commissioner from the State of Louisiana to the Texas secession convention, written February 11, 1861:

Louisiana looks to the formation of a Southern confederacy to preserve the blessings of African slavery, and of the free institutions of the founders of the Federal Union, be­queathed to their posterity…. Louisiana and Texas have the same language, laws and institutions. They grow the same great staples—sugar and cotton. Between the citizens of each exists the most cordial social and commercial intercourse…. both States have large areas of fertile, uncultivated lands, peculiarly adapted to slave labor; and they are both so deeply interested in African slavery that it may be said to be absolutely necessary to their existence, and is the keystone to the arch of their prosperity. Sounds a lot like what Mississippi had to say, huh?

Louisiana remembers too well the whisperings of European diplomacy for the abolition of slavery in the times of an­nexation not to be apprehensive of bolder demonstrations from the same quarter and the North in this country. The people of the slave holding States are bound together by the same necessity and deter­mination to preserve African slavery. Nothing needs to be said here.

Excerpt from the draft of Florida Declaration of Causes:

By the agency of a large proportion of the members from the non slaveholding States books have been published and circulated amongst us the direct tendency and avowed purpose of which is to excite insurrection and servile war with all their attendant horrors. A President has recently been elected, an obscure and illiterate man without experience in public affairs or any general reputation mainly if not exclusively on account of a settled and often proclaimed hostility to our institutions and a fixed purpose to abolish them. It is denied that it is the purpose of the party soon to enter into the possession of the powers of the Federal Government to abolish slavery by any direct legislative act. This declaration is by far my favorite. The whole thing just rambles on aimlessly and it’s the only one that directly insults Lincoln. “Oooooooh, sick BURN! We really stuck it to him.” I can just imagine them giving each other high fives and slapping each other on the ass.

Now class, what have we learned from our little history lesson? After reviewing the materials outlined, what seems to be the prevailing cause for the secession of Confederate states that led to the Civil War? It’s okay, you can say it. Slavery. That’s right, A+ for all of you.

On to the flag(s)! I can’t link to an electronic source for this part. So here is the source material that you can look up if you wish. The part on the Confederate flags starts on Page 383: Our Flag: Origin and Progress Of The Flag of the United States of America with an Introductory Account of the Symbols, Standards, Banners and Flags Of Ancient and Modern Nations By Captain George Henry Preble, U.S.N., 1872. 

The Flag(s) of The Confederate States of America

All Three Versions of the Flag

The Confederacy had several issues with the design of their flag.

The first version, the “Stars and Bars” was meant to look similar to the Union flag. They were essentially stripping the United States flag of “their stars and bars”. The issue with this flag was that it looked too similar to the Union flag. During battle or in undesirable weather conditions, it was too hard to tell the flags apart. It proved problematic during the First Battle of Bull Run.

The second version of the flag sought to end the confusion and to completely separate the Confederacy from the Union. The man who designed the “Stainless Banner” was William T. Thompson, Editor of Savannah Morning News. As he was the Editor of the “News”, he had the free reign to publish his intent with regard to the flag’s design. I’m very glad he did. Directly from the man himself:

Our idea is simply to combine the present battle flag with a pure white standard sheet; our southern cross, blue, on a red field to take the place on the white flag that is occupied by the blue union in the old United States flag or the St George’s cross in the British flag. As a people we are fighting to maintain the heaven ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race a white flag would thus be emblematical of our cause. There it is in black and white. This isn’t conjecture; this isn’t a broad interpretation – this is directly from the man who designed the flag that was to represent this new government. This is the heritage he sought to convey.

But again, the Confederacy had issues with this version. As it was on a predominantly white sheet, when the flag wasn’t flying at full mast, say on a windless day, it looked like the flag of surrender or truce.  You can see why that would cause problems.

The third and final version, the “Blood Stained Banner”, kept Thompson’s original design but added a vertical red bar to the end to prevent it being seen as a flag of surrender. Mr. Thompson, once again, took up his pen to state:

Such a flag would be a suitable emblem of our young confederacy, and sustained by the brave hearts and strong arms of the south, it would soon take rank among the proudest ensigns of the nations and be hailed by the civilized world as THE WHITE MAN’S FLAG. By the way, I didn’t capitalize that last bit. That is exactly as it was published. There shouldn’t be any confusion over what he meant. He emphasized it for us.

The Confederate Battle Flag

The Southern Cross

This is not the flag of the Confederate States of America. This is the Confederate Battle Flag. It was designed by Colonel William Porcher Miles. Col. Miles doesn’t say much in as far as what he wished the flag to convey. He mainly spoke of preserving the red, white and blue in the flag and avoiding religious objections by having the cross displayed diagonally instead of upright. However, he did write this with regards to getting recognition for designing the Battle Flag after the war was over: It is certainly not worth while for us vanquished Confederates to contend among ourselves for the honor (if there be any honor in it) of having designed it and cheerfully would I yield my own pretensions to any merit whatever in the matter. The very man who designed this flag said he would gladly give up any claims to it. If the creator of this flag found no honor in it, why should we 150 years later?

Even Robert E. Lee distanced himself from this flag or any other divisive symbols from the Civil War that his side lost. He declined invitations to be honored from the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association, stating, “I think it wiser moreover not to keep open the sores of war.” Even in death, Lee abstained from promoting the Confederate cause. There were no flags flown at his funeral, Confederate or otherwise.

This was the flag flown during battle by the Confederate soldiers. It’s the banner under which men fought and died to enact secession, with the ultimate goal of preserving slavery. It’s not a symbol to be proud of or one that should be used to express our southern heritage. It definitely should not adorn any state or federal building in this country, as that flag does not represent the United States of America. It represents separation, not unity.

If you bothered to click on the (*) links above, you’d know that no state may secede from the Union (U.S. Supreme Court case, Texas vs. White, 1869). Therefore, this is a flag of treason. Sugar-coat it anyway you want, that’s what it is. If a large group of individuals today decided to shed allegiance to the U.S., and carried out an attack on a U.S. military installation, would they be called heroes or domestic terrorists? If you are a proud to be an American and love the freedoms you enjoy as a citizen of this UNITED country, this flag does not represent that sentiment.

Conclusion

Now, I said in the beginning that I do not advocate the total ban of the Battle Flag. I believe this flag does have its place.

It belongs in museums and textbooks, so that future generations can learn from our past transgressions. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I don’t believe the flag or what it represents should be white-washed or revered as some sacred artifact from the South’s glorious past (Texas, do you hear me?). It should be represented as what it was and still is, a symbol of degradation and oppression.

It also has its place in Civil War reenactments. These are historical demonstrations and they provide valuable learning opportunities. These reenactments are a way to remember the 620,000 fallen soldiers and they provide a historical perspective on the turbulent times during the Civil War. Not all soldiers who fought for the Confederacy were bad people who advocated slavery; many were there unwillingly (look up the Confederate law of national conscription if you want more info on that). They died fighting a war they did not volunteer for and as such, they deserve to be honored along with Union soldiers who died in battle.

It also has a place in individuals’ homes if they wish to display it. We, as United States citizens, are free to express ourselves. If someone wants to fly this flag on their property, they have every right to do so. I don’t want to live in a country where personal expression isn’t allowed. However, just know if you do decide to fly this flag in or around your home, you are being judged. Anyone displaying the Confederate Battle flag will be judged in the same manner as those judged for flying a Nazi swastika or an ISIS flag (again, they have the right to do so if they wish). All three flags symbolize genocide, oppression and discrimination. If that’s what you wish to convey, go ahead and fly the Southern Cross. If it’s not, I beseech you to reconsider and find a flag better suited to represent your “southern heritage”. The only flag I plan on using to display my “southern heritage” is a New Orleans Saints flag. Can I get a “Who Dat?!?”

I’m proud of this flag. Who Dat?!?

Bitchin Moment:

I can’t leave without saying at least one thing about marriage equality: Love won!

Liberty & Justice For All

Liberty & Justice For All

Later Bitches!

Momma, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Douchebags

8 Dec

Bitch of the Moment:

Now I know what you’re thinking: “She’s not going to call children douchebags, is she?”

Yes, she is.

Admit it, you’ve all thought it. Kids can be douche-y sometimes. There is no age minimum on the ability to exude douche-like behavior.  Sometimes, just sometimes, you witness a kid doing or saying something so abhorrent or tasteless that you say to yourself (or aloud like I do,) “What a douche!”

I want to tell you about the little douchecanoe that inspired this blog. I do not know this child. I’ve never laid eyes on this child nor heard him speak. With all that said, I know he is well on his way to becoming a Class A douchenozzle. I know this because of what he told my child.

About a week before the election, the Oldest came home from aftercare quite worried. As I was making something resembling dinner, he told me in a very concerned voice that we just HAD to vote for Romney. Now, this took me back because the Hubby and I never talk about politics with our son. I wasn’t aware that my son even knew that Romney was running for President. You all know by now who I was voting for but my son did not. I have not and will not push my political agenda/opinions on my children because I do not want to indoctrinate them into my way of thinking. I want my kids to think for themselves, to be capable of critical thought. I know, the horror!  Besides, the fucking kid is 6 years-old! Why on Earth would I tell my kid who they should want to vote for 12 years before it’s even a possibility. I digress.

I got my wits about me and asked him WHY we just HAD to vote for Romney. Again, looking very anxious and concerned, he says, “Because if Obama wins, he’s gonna kill all the white people!”  What. The. Fuck? My kid was sitting in front of me about to cry, thinking if the current President won the election he was going to die because he was white. This bitch went RED! What racist, piece of shit told my son this nonsense? Who was going to incur my wrath and be on the receiving end of a right and proper bitch-slap?Gathering all the restraint I could muster, I asked him where he heard that statement.

I was expecting an adult’s name. I don’t know why but I did. Children (at least kids I surround my family with anyway) usually don’t emit such derogatory sentiments. We live in the deep south. Good ol’ boys are alive and well and…..well, stupid. It’s not uncommon to hear the “N” word thrown around carelessly at all-white functions that involve alcohol, football or spicy, boiled crustaceans on a newspaper-lined table. Luckily, I haven’t heard it dropped around my kids by anyone I know otherwise they wouldn’t know us anymore. BitchinMommy don’t play that. Back to the douchehat at hand.

My son tells me that a kid that he talks to at aftercare warned him what would happen if Obama won. I had to sit and explain to my child that his President was NOT going to kill him simply because he was white. That the President had already been in office for four years and so far had not killed one white person because they were born white. I explained to him that the kid who told him that did not know what he was talking about. I told him the kid was stupid. Yeah, I told my kid that another kid was stupid. If he’s “grown” enough to be handing out political advice to my six year-old, he’s grown enough to be called an idiot. Finally, I told my son that when he’s old enough, he would be able to form his own opinions on who he should vote for and should never let someone else’s fear-tactics and prejudice influence his decisions. He should seek FACTS (you know how I love those) and then choose the candidate who represents his views the best. He said, “Okay, Mommy” and then went about playing Angry Birds, waiting on his pseudo-dinner to be finished.

This kid may not be a full-fledged douche yet, but he’s well on his way. He could wind up turning into a decent, unbiased man who loves all people equally. I’m not going to hold my breath. And who’s to blame for this boy’s ignorance now and the possibility that he will fall off into the Douche Abyss as an adult? You know who. His parents/guardians/mouth-breathing bigots, etc.

Even if you are a shitty parent, your kid wants to be just like you. “Mom” and “Dad” equal God on the lips of children. At the end of the day when everyone else thinks you’re a complete twatwaffle, your kid loves you. They hang on your every word and emulate you at every given opportunity. They are watching you, studying you, soaking it all in. They truly are sponges. Once they’ve absorbed enough, they are going to start wringing it out all over the place, regardless if it’s appropriate to do so. Any parent who has dropped F-bombs in front of their kids can attest to that as fact. I’ll never forget the first time my kid yelled “Motherfucker” across a playground. A word he had learned because he had sat too many times in traffic with Road Rage Mommy.

This kid is learning to be a bigot at home. He’s regurgitating sentiments he hears from the adults he trusts the most. Sentiments that may get him a good ass-beating if repeated in front of the wrong audience. To instill hatred of any kind in your children is despicable on a level that can’t be measured. You are limiting their possibilities, their growth as people before they’ve even had a chance to really experience the world and wonder where life will take them. You are ensuring the next generation of douchebag-backwash, because honestly, they are what’s left of you in the end.

I was nice this time by only saying the kid was stupid. The next time my son comes home repeating shit from this little sponge-of-hate, I’m going to send him back with a few gems to repeat for the whole Douchebag Family to enjoy.

Bitchin Moments:

Today was pretty bitchin’. It was Free Food Friday at work. The first Friday of every month, my firm caters breakfast for everyone in the office. Good breakfast, not hard biscuits and day-old donuts. Also, for the first time in a long time, I got to enjoy lunch with the Hubby. I got to meet some of his co-workers and enjoy a delicious Five Guys burger. Dayum, Dayum, Dayum! (If you don’t get it, go to youtube and type in Dayum. It’s worth it.) Lastly, Santa Clause made the rounds in the office and left us all a very nice CASH Christmas bonus which was sorely needed as bills took most of our paychecks this week.

We have most of our Christmas shopping done so that’s a relief. I braved the Black Friday crowds and actually scored some really good deals. It really wasn’t that bad this year. I cheated a bit, though. I didn’t go right when everything opened up. I waited about two hours. The crowds had died down, there was still plenty to choose from and I didn’t have to wait in line to check out. So all-in-all, I kicked Black Friday’s ass. Woot!

I’ve started couponing again. I had been slacking for a while and my checkbook definitely showed it. Since I’ve started back, I’ve made some of the best scores I have EVER made. One trip to Walgreen’s netted me $30 in products for 15 cents plus tax. The next day, I nabbed $60 in products from Rite Aid for 18 cents plus tax. I couldn’t believe it. You’d have thought I won the Powerball. I was that stoked. I need to post the pics and contents but that shit ain’t happenin’ tonight, this morning, whatever. I’m doing good just to publish this blog. I’m not going to push it.

Later Bitches!

Bitchin’ in the New Year

6 Jan

Bitch of the Moment:

Let’s all just agree that I suck for not blogging regularly and leave it at that. Okay? Okay.

So it’s a new year. Am I excited? Not really. Did I make any resolutions? Nope. I can’t seem to follow through on any of the shit I have going on now, so why would I add another goal/task/lie onto the pile? That’s just setting myself up for failure and I need further disappointment in myself like I need a hole in the head.

Please excuse my lack of enthusiasm for 2012. I know it’s supposed to be about new beginnings and letting go of the past, so on and so forth. My demeanor is probably influenced greatly by the fact that my father-in-law died the day after New Year’s last year. So from December 5th (his birthday) and up until the anniversary date of his death, that’s all we thought about at my house. It’s astounding to the hubby and me that it’s already been a year. The wound is so fresh that it feels like it was just yesterday. How can it be a year already? It makes me wonder if my kids (the older two anyway) have any concept of how long it’s been since they last saw their Grandpa.

It kills me to think about them forgetting him. Forgetting how much he loved them, how funny he was, how talented he was and how passionate he was. Lil’ Man will never remember his Grandpa as he was only seven months old when he passed. I’m pretty sure the girl will soon forget if she hasn’t already. I have no memories from when I was two which is how old she was when it happened. The only one I hold out hope for is the oldest. His 5th birthday was four days after his Grandpa died. Was a big enough impression made in the short time he had with his Grandpa for him to remember?

I know a lot of people will say that we can ensure they remember by talking about him, showing pictures, etc. but it’s not the same. My father-in-law was a force of nature. Pictures can’t convey that. Stories help, but we have so few from recent years since we lived in another state until 2009. Ties to the old stories that would paint a good picture of who he was have been somewhat severed. The family hasn’t really come together since he passed, not even over the holidays. Some have just plain cut ALL ties with us which just digs the knife in a little further. Not only have we lost him, but we’ve lost them and their stories and memories of him. Stories my kids will never know and why? We have no fucking idea. It’s heartbreaking to say the least. Especially when my kids ask to see those family members and don’t understand why they never call or come over anymore.

During the grieving process, sometimes my sadness turns to anger as it does with everyone who goes through this. He is missing out on so much by not being here. Lil’ Man finally started walking and is banging on everything like it’s a set of drums. He is the spitting image of his Grandpa some days which would have made my father-in-law grin from ear to ear. The girl, though completely an ass most of the time nowadays, is so stinking cute that she’d have him wrapped around her finger. He’d get a kick out of her singing every song she hears. And how he would have loved being here Christmas morning when the oldest got his very first set of REAL drums. Knowing that he may have a little drummer following in his footsteps would have delighted him to no end. Not to mention how the oldest loves to draw and paint just like his Grandpa. It really pisses me off he’s not here to take credit (which he totally would have) for any of their talents and interests. Why couldn’t he stop smoking? Why didn’t he change his diet? Why didn’t he just go back home when he first started getting “winded”? I know there’s no way to know if any of that would have made a difference, that’s it’s probable he would have passed away regardless but I still wonder anyway. At least if some changes were made, there wouldn’t be questions now. Somehow, I don’t think I would feel like my kids were being cheated as badly if he could have at least done one of those things considering his previous heart attacks.  Fifty-two years-old is just entirely too young to die.

I hope with this new year we heal a little more. I hope we find ways to ensure our kids “know” their Grandpa and how special he was. I hope bridges that have collapsed within the family start to rebuild. I hope to be able to think about my father-in-law and smile instead of cry. I don’t have any resolutions but at least I have hope.

We miss you, Chuck.

The Oldest & Grandpa's 1st Jam Session

The Girl & Grandpa at our family reunion.

Lil' Man & Grandpa on Christmas Eve

Bitchin’ Moments:

Okay. Enough melancholy. My damn mascara is running all over my face, making for a scary looking bitch indeed.

There have been several awesome events since the last time I blogged. As I stated above, Lil’ Man FINALLY started walking. I know most parents dread this step of child development but seriously, I was starting to get worried. He was 19 months-old for cripe’s sake. The other two weren’t very early walkers either, but neither came close to the year and a half mark. We knew he COULD walk, he just WOULDN’T. I guess that’s the trade-off for having an easy-going kid. He is also saying a few more words now, though not many. “Thank you” is by far the cutest even if no one else on the planet can tell what he’s saying but me. Since he wasn’t keen on talking anything other than his own personal “blickum-blickum-blickum” language, I finally taught him how to sign “eat.” And boy, does he use that one. The kid must’ve been starving before.

The girl, well, is the girl. I truly have no idea where the Diva gets her attitude from but I don’t think I would have made it past the age of five if I talked to my mom or dad the way she talks to us. Her balls are the size of melons. What can I say positive about her……Oh! I haven’t been able to record her doing yet, but I promise to post it if I can ever catch her without her noticing. The girl sings her ass off to the birthday song covered by the Ting Tings on Yo! Gabba Gabba! So. Awesome.

The oldest turns six years-old today. It’s amazing how quickly they grow. He still surprises me everyday by how smart he is. We finally got with his school to see what we could do to challenge him since he was so bored in class and therefore, a distraction to other kids. He now goes to the 1st grade class to study reading and math while his class works on their reading. He is definitely more interested now and it seems his behavior at school has improved. I’m just so very proud of him. We’re throwing him a birthday party this weekend and I hope most of the family shows up. If not, oh well. That just means I can keep more of him all to myself. : )

Later Bitches!

P.S. Since I feel guilty for not providing my usual humor-laden blog, here’s a little something to make you giggle. You’re welcome.

And the dragon comes in the Niiiiiiiiigggghhhhhht!

The Itsy Bitsy Spider My Ass

20 Jun

Bitch of the Day:

Fucking. Bugs.

For those that don’t know, I live in south Louisiana. It has to be the bug capital of the United States. I’d even say the world but I think Ethiopia has us beat with all those flies. *Side Note: Does anyone else watch those “Feed the Children” commercials and find yourself saying to the t.v., “Please kid, just swat that fly off your eye. I’ll send you 30 cents a day if you’ll just knock those damn flies off your head. Please. It’s really freaking me out.” No? It’s just me? Oh. Nevermind. Point was, we have a lot of  damn bugs here and I hate every single one of them.

Where I’m originally from, we have bugs. You know, mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, etc. If you go hiking through the woods, you can pretty much bet on your ass getting covered in ticks. Or worse, seed ticks. Those little bastards get all up in you. While these may be annoying, they are not dangerous per se. Brown recluse spiders on the other hand, are abundant there. As I type this, I have an old friend there recovering from a bite. They are nasty business, for sure. But even they don’t hold a candle to the shit crawling, flying, lurking down here.

We have mosquitoes the size of pterodactyls here. I’ve never seen them as big anywhere else. And they will chase you. I shit you not. My first trip to Louisiana was in 1996 with a couple of friends. We stopped at this state park because it was called Corny Lake. Finding that an extremely hysterical name (we were obviously easily amused back then,) we wanted to check it out. Why it was called a park, I still do not know. After driving for a while through what can only be referred to as Deliverance Country, there was nothing there but one crumbling dock that led out to the “lake.” The “lake” was a big mud puddle. A few weeds, mud as far as the eye could see and about a gallon of “lake” water. We were no longer amused. As we were turning to leave, I started to feel things bounce off me. When I realized they were mosquitoes, I hauled ass to the car. When I slammed the car door shut, several mosquitoes actually hit the window and bounced off. They were flying so fast in pursuit of me, they could not stop from slamming into the car. You could hear them smacking into the glass. I couldn’t make that up if I tried.

I can’t come inside my house at night without being pinged by a million moths, gnats, junebugs, who-the-fuck-knows-what repeatedly. You wanna see me freak out? Watch what happens when a bug flies in my face. You’d swear I was battling an invisible ninja. Someone should videotape it. That shit would go viral.  It’s not any better during the day. Wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, anything with a stinger in its ass is after us. I’ve bought more wasp spray in the last three months than I did in fifteen years where I’m from. I should buy stock in that crap. To give you an idea of how bad they are at my house, one of the tasks on the hubby’s weekly chore list is to search around the house and fence and knock down all the nests. He always finds new ones – plural. The really bad part of this (besides getting stung sucks ass) is: the hubby is allergic to stings. We’re talking full-on anaphylactic suckfest. My kids probably are, too. Maybe I should be buying stock in EpiPens….

I saved the best/worst for last. Spiders. Fuck spiders. They are everywhere. Spiders I’ve never seen before are all over my yard and more than likely, in my house. When I walk into my backyard, I can see dozens of little spiders sprint away from my feet. These aren’t dangerous to me by any means, but that fact doesn’t make them any less creepy. Wanna shit your pants?  Walk around the corner of your house and come face-to-face with a banana spider. Studies show they won’t kill you if you get bit by one but who the hell wants to find out for sure? The damn things are huge and nasty looking. Nothing good can come from them. The winner though, by far, is the black widow. That bitch is rampant around my house. If a spider freaks out the hubby, you know it’s bad. I’ve seen black widows before, but never the size they are around here. They are so big, you can see the red hourglass on their backs from quite a distance. These bitches earn an automatic death sentence on sight. If I can find something to spray, throw or shoot them with from a considerable distance, I will obliterate them. Even their egg sacks are scary, of which, I’ve found many in my shed. I’ve personally carried out many spider abortions in there. Again, fuck spiders.

Here’s the shitastic thing about spiders. You can’t just lay down poison and wait for them to die. See, spiders are nasty fuckers that don’t clean themselves. So walking through liquid or powdered poison has no effect unless they have to swim in it and accidentally ingest it. You have to directly spray them to kill them which means getting near the damn things. Doesn’t leave you with warm fuzzies, does it? I have a huge jug of poison on hand when I’m lucky enough to run into one of my uninvited guests. But it doesn’t do you a damn bit of good if you lose the spider.

My inspiration for this blog was a big, bulbous, black spider that lovingly jumped at me when I was pulling clothes out of my hamper. I was trying to multitask by doing laundry while watching five kids, aged 5 years-old and younger. Yes, I’m stupid. Of course, when I yelped because of the lunging spider, four of the five kids ran towards the laundry room. In trying to run interference so no one would get bit, I lost the spider in the hamper. After hogtying securing all of the kids at a safe distance away, I tried to find it by carefully pulling clothes out of the hamper from three feet away using my son’s “grabber” toy. When I couldn’t find it, I beat all the clothes as much as I could with the “grabber.” If someone had walked in at that moment, they would have thought I was completely nuts and removed the kids from my house. The hubby came home hours later and found the beast. It wasn’t a black widow as I had thought, but he didn’t know what it was. This incident has forced me to call in reinforcements. The bug lady will be here first thing in the morning. *Another side note: The girl is so cute. She keeps referring to her as “The Ladybug” no matter how many times I correct her. LOL!  Anyway, I honestly don’t care what chemicals she sprays around and in my house as long as all of these bastards die. I’ll take a toxic fume-induced horn growing out of the back of my head if it means I can sleep soundly at night knowing a creepy crawly isn’t going to climb in my gaping mouth as I snore the night away. Fuck. Bugs.

Bitchin’ Moment of the Day:

I’ve done my first guest blog! One of my favorite bloggers, Mrs. Hyde over at A Bitch Called Mom was gracious enough to let me fill in for her over at her site while she’s studying like a mofo for her PhD. She used one of my previous posts We Need a Clean-Up on Aisle U, which you can view on her page here. I fucking love this woman. She thinks exactly like I do, but has the balls to put it out there for all to view. Please go by and check out her blog if you get the chance and show her some love. Tell her bitchinmommy sent you.

Later Bitches!

Completely Useless Information on Moi!

6 Jun

Bitch of the Day:

I am devoid of any original ideas at the moment.

Since the Rapture didn’t happen and it seems we’ll be around a while longer, I thought I’d share a few useless insights as to who I am. Plus, I can’t think of anything else to post that’s not political or mundane. I stole this from Erik at Gambrinous with Griffonage, whom I absolutely adore. If you are in NW Arkansas and need a tattoo, he’s your man. Or, if you need a new ‘do, his husband is your man. They make the world a more beautiful place, one person at a time. 🙂

4 Things

4 Things I need to spend more time on in my life:
1. Having unadulterated fun with my children and husband;
2. Getting my finances under control;
3. Finding a passion for something, anything. I don’t think bitching counts;
4. Relaxing.

4 Things I need to spend less time on in my life:
1. Facebook;
2. Resentment;
3. Trying to keep my children clean;
4. Worrying about money.

4 Things I wish I could spend more time on in my life:
1. Traveling to somewhere besides Walmart;
2. Family and friends;
3. Laughing (I concur, Erik);
4. Sleeping. This should be number 1.

4 Things I love about myself:
1. My sense of humor;
2. I am as loyal as the day is long;
3. My compassion for others;
4. My ability to talk to anyone – and talk and talk and talk.

4 Things I hate about myself:
1. My temper;
2. At 34, I still have body image issues;
3. My inability to let shit go – I hang on to it like luggage;
4. I let others control my mood; like the shitheads at Safeco Insurance.

4 Things I love that I used to hate:
1. Spicy foods. The ol’ taste buds must be dying;
2. Flip flops. Seriously. I cringed at the thought of them before because they raped my feet. Now they’re pretty much all I wear;
3. Speaking in front of others or anything that drew attention to me. I must love it now, I write a frickin’ blog;
4. Taking naps. Man, I was dumb before kids.

4 Things I hate that I used to love:
1. Miracle Whip. Foods aren’t supposed to have a “wang” to them. Unless there’s a wang in it;
2. Bikinis. ‘Nuff said;
3. Shopping. The kids have sucked the Shopping Diva right out of me;
4. Extremely loud music/tv (except at concerts, of course.) I have to nag the hubby all the time to turn shit down.

4 Things I look forward to:
1. Watching my children grow up, go to college, get married, have children, etc.;
2. Vacations. And lots of them;
3. The kids’ bedtime;
4. Any opportunity to hold conversations with people over the age of 5.

4 Things I dread:
1. Watching my children grow up, go to college, get married, have children, etc. It means they won’t be with me everyday;
2. Losing anyone close to me. I have panics attacks at times due to my anxiety over death;
3. Paying bills. I’d rather clean a toilet than deal with my lack of funds;
4. Hurricane season this year. With all the devastating tornadoes this past month and the shit winter everyone had, I fear we’re in for a rough ride.

4 Things I once believed in but no longer do:
1. Complete trust in any one person. Humans can and will fail you, eventually;
2. With hard work, you’ll go far. Hard work don’t mean shit in a recession;
3. You can save someone from themselves if you try hard enough (or give them a thousand chances or loan them money or put a roof over their head or try to reason with them, etc.);
4. My ass will return to its former glory after I lose the baby weight. I miss my pre-baby ass.

4 Things I believe in that I didn’t use to:
1. Forgiveness is possible, no matter how greatly you have been hurt;
2. No matter how much I bitch, my hubby will never put his damn clothes in the hamper instead of on the floor NEXT to the hamper;
3. Saving for a rainy day;
4. Counseling/therapy. Sometimes you need a mediator. Sometimes you need someone to call you out on your shit.

4 Things I love to do but I’m bad at:
1. Sing. Even if I can keep pitch, I don’t know half the words to the songs I’m trying to sing;
2. Art projects with my kids. My OCD doesn’t leave a lot of room for creativity, which sucks for a five year-old;
3. Being photographed. I always want to be in pictures (since I’m usually the one taking them) but when I do make it in one, Quasimodo stands in my place. Photogenic, I am not;
4. Keeping up on this blog. I gotta carve out some more time to focus on it.

4 Things I hate to do but I’m good at:
1. Cleaning. I’d rather the hubby do it but I know it’d be half-ass and I’d wind up going behind him anyway;
2. Organizing files, rooms, photos, etc. I like the idea of an organized house or office, but I think I’d rather eat paint than have to do all the work;
3. Deal with certain people because I’m related to them or bound to them in some way;
4. Apparently I’m good at being a bitch. Without trying most days. While I hate for anyone to think badly of me for me being – well, me – all I can say is that I won’t sugarcoat the truth to make anyone feel better nor will I ignore facts or logic to validate someone’s views/opinions/beliefs. I call it like it is and if they can’t deal, they can grow thicker skin or get the fuck out.

4 Things I did that I am ashamed of:
1. Played with someone’s heart that didn’t deserve it;
2. The later half of the 90’s were filled with a lot of drug use. Luckily, I was able to walk away from that lifestyle easily with no lasting repercussions;
3. Let a secret slip that led to someone’s divorce;
4. I used to watch Rush Limbaugh regularly. In my defense, I was 15 and not fully capable of understanding the level of his doucheocity. I watched it because the “grown folks” watched it.

4 Things I did that I’m proud of:
1. Managed to still be married after 11 years in a marriage NO ONE thought would last;
2. Had 3 of the most beautiful babies (in my opinion LOL) when I wasn’t supposed to be able to have any;
3. Sold my last home in an unsellable market in under 30 days because of my mad staging skills – WHAT?!;
4. Conquered my fear of speaking in front of others.

4 Things I didn’t do that I regret:
1. Finish college;
2. Keep a better eye on her;
3. Save for a rainy day because it’s been pouring like a mofo for a while;
4. Insist on a c-section with my first-born. That would have saved me from a huge pain in the ass. Literally.

4 Things I want before I die:
1. Travel the world. There’s way too many places for me to list. Although, it’d be nice to get some use out of those Japanese lessons;
2. Learn to play the violin again;
3. To just be content. Happy with who I am, where I’m at and what I have;
4. See my kids achieve success and happiness in whatever it is they do with their lives.

Bitchin’ Moment of the Day:

A lot has been going on since I last posted.

Lil’ Man turned one year-old on the 26th. It’s amazing how the time flies by. He looks so much like my oldest son but completely different at the same time. He’s so sweet it makes my heart squeal. And he loves him some Mommy. He forsakes all others for me and while it can be a nuisance when I need to do something, it secretly makes me feel like the most special person on Earth that he chooses me.

His party was a success. We had a great turnout of family and friends for the festivities. I believe it was the first time we’ve all been together since the funeral in January. Looking around the room while everyone was here, I was saddened because of the one missing. He loved being with his grandkids and he always made it to their parties when he could. It’s still unbelievable that he’s gone. As strange as it sounds, I sometimes forget he’s no longer here. If there’s a question I have or advice I need about gardening stuff or household projects, I instantly think, ‘Oh, he’ll know how to do that…….wait.’ The void left is still expanding months after his passing. I really miss him and the relationship we were finally building after so long.

In happier news, the Hubby and I have made strides in the race against debt. We consolidated some of the bigger bills at a ridiculously low-interest rate so more money is going to the balance rather than interest. We also have set up a budget plan. It will take a few years, but we will be debt-free sooner than we ever imagined possible. I can now breathe. Can I get a “Hell Yeah!”?

Another item of note: I now weigh the same as my hubby. That has NEVER happened. I’ve always weighed more than him. I’m currently wearing a size I haven’t seen since 7th grade. That fact brings about a feeling of euphoria I cannot even describe.

I think that’s enough for now. I’ll try to post an actual blog by week’s end. To all of you still reading, thanks for hanging around. I promise, something will piss me off soon enough to write a proper bitch. 🙂

Later Bitches!

We Need a Clean-Up on Aisle U

28 Feb

Bitch of the Day:

Attention shoppers: Some of you are nasty asses.

I have worked in retail off and on since I was sixteen years-old. My first job was in softlines at the big, blue box.  I worked in women’s and accessories. It sucked. A lot. This was before the 24-hour supercenter of today – which shows my age a bit. The store would close at 10:00 p.m. and we’d be lucky to get out of there by 11:30 p.m. due to “zoning” the store. Women’s always took the longest to straighten. We bitches can tear up a clothing rack. Would it kill us to put the sweater back where we got it, instead of tossing it on top of that pile of nicely folded shirts? Or hey girls, that’s a table of folded jeans, not a place to plant our ass. Nor a jungle gym for our monkey kids, for that matter.

At my current retail job, we had a very busy weekend. We had a bagillion coupons out that were about to expire, so every penny-pinching cheapskate – I include myself in that group – came out in droves to get them some savings. There’s nothing worse than a cheap bitch in a clothing store. She is going to tear up everything in her path to find the one shirt, in her size, that will bring her total up to the spending minimum to use that coupon. Now, I understand the need to get the most for your money. I love the high you get when you walk out of a store with four bags of groceries for $14.00 because you took the time to match coupons with weekly sales. Yes, sadly, my life has become so dreadfully dull that couponing can be the highlight of my week. What I don’t understand is the total disregard for items that don’t belong to you and that you know someone else has to clean up after you. I think it’s only fair that, if I catch you tossing an entire table’s worth of folded shirts in the floor with no intention of picking them up, you should have to serve a “retail sentence” of sorts. The perfect sentence would be that you have to work the sales floor in a popular, women’s clothing store on Black Friday, the week before and the week after Christmas. You would never make a mess in a store again. I promise.

I’ll also let you in on another truth that we womenfolk like to pretend doesn’t happen: We DESTROY restrooms 100 times worse than men. It’s true. Even if your husband/boyfriend/son has the aim of Helen Keller in your bathroom, they are more sanitary than we are in public restrooms.

Men generally don’t give a shit (pun intended) who knows they are taking a shit. My husband loved to regale me with stories of the home office men’s rooms at lunchtime. God help you if you were foolish enough to try to talk on a cell phone in that restroom. There was no buffering the, um, noise. Most women DO care if others know they are taking a shit. We will go to painstaking lengths to hide the fact we are engaging in a completely natural act. In doing so, we cause toilets to overflow due to too many “courtesy” flushes. We stop up toilets with toilet paper, somehow thinking that will mute the sounds coming from the bowl. Worse, we wait too long before going, praying we can finish shopping/working/whatever and make it home so we don’t have to go within earshot of other females. When it becomes futile to postpone the inevitable any longer, we rush to the restroom. Sometimes ladies, we don’t quite make it in time. I’ll let your imaginations work on that one a minute. And yes, it’s as bad as you imagine. Unless you have the pelvic floor and kegel muscles of a Yoga goddess, you shouldn’t try to prevent things from moving along. Go to the damn restroom. You’re never going to see those other bitches ever again anyway (unless it’s at work. Then you have to weigh if you would rather Tina in Accounting talk shit about you for taking a shit on the toilet OR taking a shit on the floor or yourself.) If you can’t bring yourself to shit in a public restroom, for Christ’s sake, don’t eat an entire Big Box meal from Taco Bell before going out knowing you have IBS.

If you thought the above paragraph was gross, don’t read this.

Why would I mention the sales floor and waste elimination in the same post?  Wait for it………wait for it………Bam! Got it?

That’s right, girls. Some of our fellow bitches are so stubborn about not shitting in public restrooms, when they’ve waited too long and now CAN’T make it to the facilities in time, they go to first available private place. Yeah…..the fitting rooms. I’ll say it again. Instead of going to the restroom, like normal humans, some women defecate in the fitting rooms. And as an added bonus, usually on a pile of clothes. Double fun for those of us that have to clean it up. It’s not bad enough we have to pick up after you like we’re your mother on the sales floor. Now we have to literally clean up after your ass, too. Women have pee’d in the fitting rooms, as well. To that I’ll say, if you have an overactive bladder to the point you’ve taken to pissing in fitting rooms, you shouldn’t leave the house. At least not without a catheter. This isn’t a problem at my store alone. This happens at EVERY store. A word from this mutha: Don’t take off your shoes in a fitting room. Ever. EVER.

The moral of today’s story? Don’t drop clothes, or anything else, on the sales floor. Thank you for shopping. Have a nice day.  🙂

Bitchin’ Moment of the Day:

I am so flattered that you all have taken the time to read my blog. Really. I had doubts if anyone would actually bother to read my meandering rants when I started this just over a week ago. Very much to my surprise and frankly, delight, I have had nothing but positive feedback and traffic has steadily increased.  I received 60 hits this morning alone. Not too bad for someone with only four subscribers. Thank you all from the bottom of this bitch’s heart.

Later Bitches!

Let the Bitchin’ Begin

16 Feb

Urban Dictionary defines Bitchin’ as:

1. Bitchin’

1) similar to “awesome” or “bad ass”
2) when someone complains, mainly female

Welcome to anyone bored enough to read about what disgruntles me and/or about what I find awesome on any given day 🙂

As I usually write a small novel when I update my FaceBook statuses, I figured I might as well start a blog and spare those of you who have me in your news feed. Some may not want to read about snot, shit, snarky spouses or any of the other S’s that fill my day when they open FaceBook. Those who DO want to read about it, can come here. So as not to be a complete bitch, I will also post all the sweet smiles, silly songs, shopping sprees and all other S’s that make for a bitchin’ day (bitchin’ days are good!)

So, again, welcome. Feel free to bitch… er comment, share with anyone you may think would be interested in my diatribe or just read. This is a work in progress so I am open to any suggestions anyone may have about the format of the blog. The content, however, is non-negotiable. It’s my blog and I’ll bitch if I want to 😉

Later Bitches!

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