Tuesday, January 21, 2014

American Gods

It has been a really long time since I read Neil Gaimen's "American Gods", I don't remember much about it now, but it still pops up now and again in my mind, and with it the question of "who are the American Gods"? Some (many?) are borrowed from our European ancestors, but others were a part of this land before we were, as unique as the earth they were born in. 
  Johnny Appleseed, Paul Bunyun, and even Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson  could all be candidates.  Deities such as the Corn Mother of Native Americans (who bears a strong archetypal connection with Demeter) should be brought up here, although many of these our current culture doesn't pay homage to outright.  Indirectly we worship the corn, because it provides our nation with just about everything right now.  People living in the midwest can attest to this, as we've watched the tiny tree-lines dozed to make way for yet more corn (and hopefully the occasional crop rotation of soy--Make way for the Goddess of Corn In Excess!!).
  What other God/desses do we have here? What do we worship both directly, and indirectly?
  Football, and thus, competition and aggression seems to be high on the list, as well, as acquiring physical goods, especially, technological goods.  A God (or Goddess?) of the internet cannot be denied, we have come so far from Hermes' (often a god of technology) original domain, I can only assume that a new god has had to wrestle the keyboard from his Father's shaky hands and say "no, Dad, that e-mail that says you won 5 million dollars will actually re-direct you to a phishing site."--"A fishing what?"
  We may not set up conscious alters to these Gods, but we worship them in indirect ways nontheless. Think of all the set-up that goes into Super-Bowl Sunday, with special foods to cook, special colors and items to wear, it kind of reminds me a bit of x-mas...
  I could elaborate, but I think it's time to get on to other things, you hopefully get the idea.
But tell me, what Gods do we worship that I didn't mention, and what things do we do for their worship, what kind of domain do they control?
Just something to ponder.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sick After The Holidays

This holiday season seemed to extend on forever.  I am ready to get back into some routine.  As many parents of young children know, however, you just get into the routine in the winter, when your kids get sick.  Then whilst getting up at night and nursing them back to health you get sick in the process. 
  At least we seem to have caught most of the nastiness early on this year.
  This time, our son just threw up once, then seemed right back to his normal self.  I, on the other hand, am just constantly nauseous, and questioning the sanity of eating the jalapeno poppers I just made (wouldn't those burn on the way up??).
  Is it just me, or have the stomach bugs and respiratory bugs the past couple years been extra virulent?
  I am amazed at the regular folks (with no kids to throw up on them) who are catching these things.  Prior to 2011, I had not had a stomach flu in 15 years.  At least not one that actually caused me to throw up.  After these past couple years I can now tell if I have a "touch" of it...sometimes that happens without much of any other symptoms.
  I can't believe we officially made it through the holidays with nothing new, only to have it now.  I don't think there was a single dry nose during the entire X-mas season.
  Now, just to avoid a post wherein I do nothing but whine I'll post something more helpful:

 Apparently the bugs that cause the stomach flu can stick around on surfaces for something like a week.  Around here I mix thyme oil, lemon, water and a bit of crappy, hawkeye vodka.  I spray everything down after we've been sick including the cloth surfaces, spray a bit in the air, and wash all the towels and sheets, and either wash the blankets or spray them down on both sides.  I especially do this if I know another Little One is coming over.  I don't remember how affective something like Lysol is, but I do know I prefer the smell of the thyme and lemon for sure.  I can't find the article anymore, but thyme is supposed to be even better at killing virus and bacteria than Lysol. There's a bit of science to back it up--which is a certainly a plus. I did find this article though. 
  I also use one of those essential oil plug-ins with the cotton pad on top.  I usually put cinnamon in it, as I don't like the smell of thyme 24/7.  I suppose a nebulizer would be more effective, I really have no idea, I just use what I have.  So far this year, I haven't caught any of the many flu bugs circulating this house.  Barring any of those, you can always boil a bunch of rosemary and/or sage from your spice cabinet, keep it going while the most airborn flu particles are circulating (like active barfing).
  Good luck everyone!