Ladies! Listen up! Detecting breast cancer early is the key to surviving it! Breast Self Exams (BSEs) can help you to detect breast cancer in its earlier stages. So, on the first of every month, give yourself a breast self-exam. It's easy to do. Here's how. If you prefer to do your BSE at a particular time in your cycle, calendar it now. But, don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
And, once a year, get yourself a mammogram. Mammograms cost between $150 and $300. If you have to take a temp job one weekend a year, if you have to sell something on e-Bay, if you have to go cash in all the change in various jars all over the house, if you have to work the holiday season wrapping gifts at Macy's, for the love of the Goddess, please go get a mammogram once a year.
Or: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pays all or some of the cost of breast cancer screening services through its National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. This program provides mammograms and breast exams by a health professional to low-income, underinsured, and underserved women in all 50 states, six U.S. territories, the District of Columbia, and 14 American Indian/Alaska Native organizations. For more information, contact your state health department or call the Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER.
Send me an email after you get your mammogram and I will do an annual free tarot reading for you. Just, please, examine your own breasts once a month and get your sweet, round ass to a mammogram once a year. If you have a deck, pick three cards and e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll email you back your reading. If you don't have a deck, go to Lunea's tarot listed on the right-hand side in my blog links. Pick three cards from her free, on-line tarot and email me at email@example.com. I'll email you back your reading.
One of the things that I've learned by living on -- and paying attention to -- this one little piece of land for a number of years: the crows always crow for a discernible reason. Months can go by and I neither hear nor see a crow. But when a murder of crows shows up and the crows make their insistent caw, there's a reason and I'll be able to discern it.
This morning, when I came out onto the porch with my mug of coffee and my bacon sandwich, the crows were in rare form, flying amazing formations through the sky above my yard and my next-door-neighbor's yard, and cawing up a storm. I waited and watched, but I'd almost decided that the warning was about something to come later today when: There. She. Was.
I've seen her, or, given their life span in the "wild," it could have been her grandam, a few times before. And, lately, my neighbors have been seeing her and worrying. She's "wild" after all, and she could "go after a dog or cat, you know." But my relationship with her is different. She doesn't show herself to me very often. But, when she does, she tells me the same thing that G/Son and I tell squirrels and birds and does: I would never hurt you.
The land here roils in odd hills; my yard slopes downwards both from South to North and from East to West. It's part of what made landscaping here a special problem. And the two yards behind me to the South have steep, sudden, odd hills, held back by cracked and crumbling retaining walls, curtains of ivy, and the roots of white crepe myrtle, covered now in blooms. And that's where I saw her, leaping from retaining wall to crepe myrtle steppe to high hill. She paused upon the high hill, displaying herself to me, ignoring the crows as a star ignores paparazzi. She looked at me across the valley of my neighbor's yard, across the plateau I've made of mine, through the screen porch, into my soul. And, then, she disappeared behind the retaining wall, though the ivy, to what I hope is her v secure den. Benediction delivered. Thank you for alerting me, Dear Murder.
All day, all day, all day, I remembered her, her calm repose under pressure, the silent message of her lovely long body displayed from East to West, standing secure upon a broken ledge.
I'm going to guest blog a bit, along with many other far-more-worthies, for the goddess of herpetology while she travels above the Arctic Circle. Check out my offerings over the next week or so at Echidne.
I bought 99 of these Adios Noninolilies mostly on a whim and because they were on sale. Landscape Guy, in his infinite wisdom, convinced me to spread them all around the yard, even tucking them into odd corners, instead of making a big spread. They've had big, fat buds for over a month and just this morning I was imagining, sadly, that they probably wouldn't bloom this year due to just having been planted in June. When I came home from work today, the first two had bloomed. Now, I wish that I'd gotten another couple of hundred.
The pineapple sage will bloom sometime in September and, then, it's falling leaves, all the way down.
Photos by the author. Please link back if you copy.
The WaPo has up some interesting thoughts about religion's role in oppressing women, inspired by President Carter's decision to leave the Southern Baptist Convention because of its views on women. Specifically, writers were asked to respond to this question: Former president Jimmy Carter and other world leaders issued this statement: "The justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable." What's your reaction to these statements? Are 'male interpretations of religious texts' to blame for the 'deprivation of women's equal rights?'
Interestingly, the article is titled: "Elders or Patriarchs: Who Speaks for Women?" Of course, historically, it was males doing the interpreting, but that's beside the point. As is the question of whether it's "elders" (which appears to have some specific meaning for this article) or "patriarchs" -- usually, there's little difference between the two -- who get to speak "for" women.
Susan Brooks Thisthethwaite expalins:
Women's second-class status in the world's major religions is not primarily a text problem, it's a God problem. As Mary Daly said so many years ago, "When God is male, the male is God."
The root of prejudice against women in today's religions stems from the fact that, for millennia, females have not been regarded as reflecting the image of the divine in the same way males are held to hold that image in humanity. I believe, therefore, if you don't fix the God problem, you'll never get at the text problem.
The 'deprivation of women's equal rights' in the major religions is not primarily a problem of "misinterpretation." While deeply appreciative of President Carter and his fellow religious Elders in their concern that women are definitely deprived of equal rights in, through and by religious interpretation, they are looking at a symptom, not a cause.
When I taught undergraduate religion, I assigned Merlin Stone's fine book about ancient, female-centered religions: When God Was a Woman. A woman student came to class one day and told the rest of us that she had been reading her assignment on the campus bus and a male student had expressed outrage at the title. "That's ridiculous," the young man protested, "Everybody knows he has no sex." This male student's choice of pronoun says it all: God is a "he" and "everybody knows that." Women need not apply.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."