As Thanksgiving Approaches, I Am Reminded

 

Native Americans are more American than Americans because Native Americans were here before Americans even found America and called it America which was already the Native Americans’ home… America.

 

usa-1940242_1920

 

And yet, Native Americans are still treated like, “savages”.

Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

I found all these pictures of Native Americans from history, and yet I have no idea who they are, what they went through. I don’t know their stories. I don’t even know their names.

We are making such magnificent progress with people of color and women’s rights. We’re even talking about how men need to be able to cry and talk about their emotions without being told they’re not a man. Yet, Native Americans are still shuffled to the side, like so much nothingness.

 

photo-1023416_1920

 

In 2006, Native Americans were 1.5% of our country’s population. That is roughly 4.5 million human beings.

Current sources say there are now 2.9 million Native Americans in the US. That is 0.9%

We went from 4.5 million to 2.9 million. 1.5% to .9%.

 

historical-1386161_1920

 

In 2004, the Department of Justice found that Native American women are 50% higher in rates of domestic abuse and rape.

That’s not 50% higher than other humans in the US. That is 50% more than the next most victimized demographic!

Meaning, whatever the next group of human beings who rate as #2 highest in rape and domestic abuse… Native Americans are 50% higher than them.

Native American women are also much more likely to be assaulted than other women, of any race.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics, the US Department of Justice,  and Office of
Justice Programs had this finding to report:

at least 70% of the violent victimizations experienced by American
Indians are committed by persons not of the same race— a substantially higher rate
of interracial violence than experienced by white or black victims.”

Meaning Native Americans are typically raped and beaten by races that are not Native Americans.

In case anyone wants to try and blame their pain on themselves. As if the victim is as at fault. Because, hey, we don’t blame victims in this country’s daily chosen culture. (And so no one tries to report this as an alternative fact, this paragraph is sarcasm)

 

historical-1386167_1920

 

1 out of every 12 Natives are victims of violent crimes, every year.

Native American youth have the highest rate of suicide in all of the youth in our country.

More than 4 in 5 Native men and women have been victims of violence in their lives. That means, in numbers,  730,000 women and  595,000 men.

48.8% of Native women have been stalked in their lifetime. 18.6% of Native men have been stalked.

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has this to say:

“It is significant to note that American Indians/Alaska Natives frequently contend with issues that prevent them from receiving quality medical care. These issues include cultural barriers, geographic isolation, inadequate sewage disposal, and low income.”

Oh, and also:

“American Indians and Alaska Natives have an infant death rate 60 percent higher than the rate for Caucasians.”

 

native-american-indian-2078493_1920

 

Gee, I wonder why they don’t trust the government. We have all these facts. And what are we doing about them?

What can we do?

We can see Native Americans as people. We are all humans. We all deserve respect, love, dignity, human rights, and the same opportunities.

We can talk about what is wrong about the current state of affairs.

We can talk about their beautiful and intriguing cultures.

Cultural awareness comes with stories poking at us until we see the truth. We can spread their stories. We can find them, tell people their names and their histories. We can care. We can love. We can hope.

But more than that. We can be the engine that moves hopes into reality.

 

dreamcatcher-336639_1920

 

Sources:

https://assets.aspeninstitute.org/content/uploads/files/content/images/Fast%20Facts.pdf

http://www.ncai.org/about-tribes/demographics

https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/249736.pdf

https://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=3&lvlid=62

 

Advertisements

Peace in the Holiday Bustling

 

This holiday season is different for me.

Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years.

If you celebrate something different than Christmas, no exclusion here. This includes you too.

 

Difference of perspective is what I wish we would all accumulate this year.

Peace instead of rat racing about, hurrying for this sale or that. Running to this relative’s house with every present we can find, ignoring sneers and petty comments because that’s what we’re supposed to do. Love instead of yelling and snapping when someone drops a feather on top of the stress-filled weekend because that’s what family does. Respect instead of ramming shopping carts into toddlers so that one sale doesn’t evade. Hope instead of miserating over aloneness.

Peace. Love. Respect. Hope.

Let’s go with those.

Instead of “shoulds”. Instead of “because that’s what family does”.

Should is a quick fix if you want suffering.

And for the record, family is respectful. Genetic donors are not. Family is understanding, forgiving, and will allow you to hold your boundaries without childish or spiteful vitriol. Genetically related individuals don’t’ make those loving choices.

Because let’s get honest. It’s a choice. Every moment is a choice.

We each have a choice.

Holiday spirit is real. If we chose to feel it. To make room in ourselves for it to enter.

To make room, we must cut some things out. Like hate. Resentment. Bitterness. Doubt. Rigidity. The belief that we have no control over ourselves, our lives, or the treatment we receive from others.

 

Peace. Love. Respect. Hope.

That’s my goal for this holiday season.

My hope for you, is the same.

 

 

I’ll just leave these thoughts here for you…. (they’re really resonating with me right now)

 

“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”

 

“Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.”

 

“Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.”

 

Rumi

 

3 Strange Recipes Spawned by Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is soaked in traditions, historical debates, and gravy.

Let’s focus on the gravy. Most of our traditions surrounding Thanksgiving are kind of wonky. And every family has the odd relative with the questionable food choices.

That relative? She’s been breeding. So have her children and her children’s children. And it’s ended us up with an interesting arrangement of Thanksgiving food options.

Strap in kiddies, it’s going to get stranger, the farther down the rabbit hole we go.

And no, I’m not going to include the turkey stuffed with an octopus. Because.

Just no.

 

 

Ice Cream

How about some Thanksgiving flavored ice cream? Skeptical? Me too.

A San Francisco ice cream shop called Salt & Stew, have made five different Thanksgiving flavored ice creams. And people actually seem to like them. So, what’s on the menu?

Sweet Potato Casserole with Maple Pecans uses marshmallows, caramel, and pecans in their sweet potato ice cream.

Persimmon Walnut Stuffing is literally made with walnuts, persimmons, and stuffing, along with a few other ingredients.

Salted Caramel Thanksgiving Turkey is forged with turkey stock and candy-coated turkey skins.

Spiced Goat Cheese & Pumpkin Pie is goat cheese ice cream made with mashed pumpkin and pumpkin spices.

Last but not least, we have Buttered Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, which has a gravy fudge mixed in.

Anyone want to drop by San Francisco and grab me a pint? Or ten?

Actually, I’d just prefer Cold Stone Creamery would move back to town, but whatever.

New ice cream flavors are never a bad thing. At worst, we get to watch someone’s face move into hilarity.

 

Turkey Cake

If that doesn’t jingle your disturbing bells, don’t worry, there are more oddities out there just waiting to tantalize your taste buds.

Take turkey cake for instance. The name pretty much says it all. Check out some differing recipes to appeal to your particular taste buds, sure. But they all have pieces of turkey in the actual cake.

TURKEY in CAKE.

Can’t wrap my head around that one.

Some even include stuffing. The recipe centers on pumpkin flavors, adding spices and sometimes actual pumpkin puree.

 

 

Moist Maker (a.k.a. “The One with Ross’s Sandwich”)

Why not go Hollywood and make the famous Moist Maker?

First cooked up by Ross, a fictional character from a popular television show, F.R.I.E.N.D.S., which follows a group of friends through their comedic personal and professional lives in Manhattan, this sandwich has grown to become quite loved among fans and non-fans alike.

Ross Geller loved his Moist Maker. And I mean, really loved it. When his boss stole his (obviously labeled) lunch from the office refrigerator, Ross lost his mind.

Then his job.

Plus, he scared some pigeons (poor pigeons).

And to add insult to injury, his boss didn’t even eat all of the Moist Maker. He threw it away! Who does that to Thanksgiving leftovers? We can all agree; leftovers are important.

How to make this delicious oddity? If we want to keep to Ross Geller’s original recipe, we’re going to need leftover gravy, cranberries, stuffing, and turkey. And, you know, bread. Three pieces to be exact.

If we want to redo the recipe to fit more with our tastes – which I definitely would need to do – all we really need are our favorite leftovers. Stuff them in between some bread and there you go. But don’t forget, the middle piece of bread must be soaked in gravy for it to be a Moist Maker.

And don’t let anyone steal it. Bad things happen when Moist Makers are stolen.

 

I don’t know man. This holiday creates some strange foods. Did you know there are gravy and turkey flavored potato chips??

 

What strange Thanksgiving recipes did you guys make and/or eat this year?

Heard of any stranger recipes?

No Need

“No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.”

Virginia Woolf

 

small and simple

real and true

 

this holiday season, please remember to be who you are

slow down

and be

 

Do Something Thankful

I love Thanksgiving.

It’s a beautiful time of year. People are focusing on what they’re grateful for. Who they’re thankful for. Looking at their life and illuminating all they take for granted.

It ties for first place with Halloween for me.

If you know me, that’s saying something big.

 

 

This Thanksgiving I’d like to challenge you to find someone to do something loving for. Pick one person. Pick twenty people and/or animals! And be genuine.

Do something kind. It doesn’t need to be anything big. Only honest and meaningful.

 

I checked it out on Snopes, and this is a real deal.

There’s this boy who loves Christmas and probably won’t live to see it this year. His name is Jacob and he also loves penguins. His family has asked for Christmas cards.

 

Here is his address:

Jacob Thompson

C/O Maine Medical Center

22 Bramhall St

Portland, ME 04102

 

For an original post, go here:  http://www.wlky.com/article/cancer-patient-cards-last-christmas/13144608

For the Snopes post, go here: https://www.snopes.com/2017/11/08/jacob-thompson-xmas-cards/

 

 

Anywho, send him some love. What a beautiful smile he has.

What a genuine request.

I am thankful for amazing people like Jacob who know they’re about to die and still smile for real. Still find joy in little things.

This post is for Jacob and all the beautiful souls like him.

 

If you have any great causes, big or small, comment below. We can all share the love. 🙂

Thanksgiving

The term “thanksgiving” is defined in most dictionaries as ‘an expression of gratitude’.

Around this time of the year, I get really humbled. There’s this feeling that permeates my day-to-day as I take to heart the meaning of Thanksgiving, in a basic way. As an expression of gratitude.

Because I have a lot to be grateful for.

I have a lot of love, support, and kindness in my life now.

I’m so grateful for change.

The changes in my life that have brought me to the place I am in life. The changes I’ve decided to make on my own. The fact that I, as a human being, do not exist in a fixed or forced state and I can change.

My family. My friends. My job. And family includes my dog.

I think I take a lot of things for granted. Things the homeless people I see every week are suffering from lack of. A place to live. My own bed. Food. Heart and air conditioning. Running water. Electricity. And I have more than that. I have conveniences. A phone. Internet. Music. Cable. Books.

I am overwhelmingly grateful for the few true and unbelievably real friends I have who know what I’m going through and offer me understanding, honestly, love, patience, an ear to bend, and a shoulder to lean on (even through the internet).

My family is such a blessing. I have learned so much from them. I can never number the greatness of experience and support I have gained because of them.

Not to mention that my family and friends have always supported me through my writing endeavors. Even the past year as I haven’t written a single creative word. And I probably went a bit mad because of it.

I have learned so much.

I turned twenty-four recently and though I am a late bloomer in life and wish that I’d been published by now, gained a job sooner, and gathered my health enough to function sooner – I am finding that I’m actually glad what has happened has followed the path and timeline it has.

I cannot thank the kind people in my life enough. It’s a new experience for me, kindness.

I am so ever grateful for love. The impact it can have, if I allow it.

For the opportunities to grow and open my eyes.

For stories. For all the authors who helped me escape into another world.

The spark inside me (or, as Robin Williams put it, the spark of madness) that has always  held me firm in the knowledge that I am a writer.

Also, the pain I’ve experienced. I’m not masochistic by any means, but suffering what I have allows the joy in my life now to really mean something beyond the capture of words.

Art in all its various forms. Beauty. Inspiration. Blogging. Chocolate (come on, you saw that one coming). Donuts! Hugs. Real emotion. Books, movies, music, and tv shows that create emotional resonance within me, spark something, ignite something raw. Quotes. Time. Life. Second chances. Earphones. Sweaters. Boots. Pillows. Notebooks.

Men who see women as equal human beings and not sex toys. Women who don’t consider ‘being a man’ to mean jerk behavior, size, lack of emotions, arrogance, coldness, being controlling, or the kind of car he has. I’m glad for equal rights for women.

Those who love their pets and fight for animal rights and against animal abuse.

Did I mention donuts? Thank you donuts, for being so cheap.

I am grateful for the chance to live in this crazy world and create a life of my own, one with meaning. There is so much in my life that I am grateful for. It is so much clearer, easier to see now that I feel I’m beginning to see through my own eyes and feel via my own heart.

I am thankful for hope.

 

What are you thankful for?

 

heart-1050338_1920

Halloween (and lost weight)

By the way, this was me on Halloween night. I was wearing glow in the dark skeletal shorts underneath, only I didn’t realize they were glow in the dark until I put them on that night. I was worried I’d be walking down the street and my butt would start glowing. Thank the Halloween stalker demons that it didn’t.

(Yes, this is me bragging that I lost all that stupid weight. Don’t fall over, have heart failure, or drop your gremlin dentures. I’m allowed to brag now and again. And yes, I’m standing in front of my own front door like a totally dorky chick. Cuz I’m totally dorky.)

 

Daphne Shadows Halloween 2015
Daphne Shadows Halloween 2015

 

What did you guys do for Halloween?

Because chocolate.

Anything Halloween-like that you want to share with me?

Any ghost stories you particularly like? Anything creepy?

What did you guys dress up as? (if you dressed up) Any adorable munchkins or fuzzy munchkins dress up this year?

 

ALSO – people please remember that Thanksgiving comes before Christmas. Have some gratitude before you stomp people to death looking for presents.

Oh – and who else thinks “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is both a Halloween and a Christmas movie???

Any plans for Thanksgiving?

 

Wow, that was a lot of really random questions.

Anyone have any really random (but related) answers?