Facebook Meme Says It Straight Up

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Elizabeth Kaeton

“Proposed budget cut to Meals on Wheels: $3 million
Cost for one weekend at Mar-a-largo: $3 million

Proposed budget cut to National Endowment of Arts: $148 million
Annual cost to guard Melania at Trump Tower: $183 million.

Go ahead, darling. Eat that bowl of jeweled spaghetti.
Never mind that the elderly are going to bed hungry tonight.
You look marvelous.”

(words are not mine)

Yes, clothes matter. | the girl inside

Source: Yes, clothes matter. | the girl inside

This is a well written article and I recommend it


A Plea To You


A while back I posted a page called “Help Charissa Transition”.  I have not pushed it whatsoever, but wanted to have it there.  I have been blessed by a couple of contributions, and they mean so much to me that someone believes in me that much.

But I wanted to bring it up…as I have recently passed 500 followers, and the issue of being a trans-ally is a hot one right now, what with Qs about what can be done that demonstrates being an ally.

Well…here is sumfin to think about:  if each of you contributed $100.00 (which is about 10 hours of work at minimum wage), the fund would swell to $50,000.00…and just like that all the othering and obstacle of gate-keeping insurance companies is overcome and I would be able to get my Gender Confirmation surgery.

If each of you contributed 10.00…well, I could begin some of the FFS surgeries that I would greatly benefit from.

And if you gave more, the balance that I did not need for my own surgeries would be donated to a few trans-women that I am connected to.

I think things like this will be the future, ways to do and to be what is needed in spite of the way that the system seeks to other us.

Just think about it…perhaps it is foregoing Starbies for a month…or skipping dinner out 2x, or…fill in the blank.

And thanks for even thinking about it, btw…it is exciting to contemplate and dream about.

Much Love,

For Some Reason I am Compelled to Post this: Are you Sick? Then Read…


Traditional Foods 101: Bone Broth, Broth & Stocks

Bone broths are given special emphasis among traditional foods circles.  Preindustrial societies across the globe have always placed particular and special emphasis on the preparation of the whole animal – and that includes emphasis on using bones for making broth.  African tribes placed emphasis on bone broths for babies and small children.  In Asia, emphasis is placed on stocks and broths made from fish and fish bones.  In Europe, stocks and broths have become the foundation of cooking and are used in not only making soups and stews, but also for preparing reductions, sauces and for braising vegetables and meats.

bone brothwhat’s the difference between broth, stock and bone broth?

In traditional foods circles you’ll hear a lot about broth, stock and bone broth – and they’re typically used interchangeably.  Bone broth, broth and stock are built on the same basic foundation: water, meat or bones (or both), vegetables and seasonings.  As it cooks, the liquid is typically skimmed (although this is not necessary since the scum that rises to the top of the stock pot – off-putting as it is – is a rich source of amino acids) and eventually the solids are removed by straining the stock with a fine-mesh sieve or reusable coffee filter.

  • Broth is typically made with meat and can contain a small amount of bones (think of the bones in a fresh whole chicken).  Broth is typically simmered for a short period of time (45 minutes to 2 hours). It is very light in flavor, thin in texture and rich in protein.
  • Stock is typically made with bones and can contain a small amount of meat (think of the meat that adheres to a beef neck bone).  Often the bones are roasted before simmering them as this simple technique greatly improves the flavor.  Beef stocks, for example, can present a faint acrid flavor if the bones aren’t first roasted.  Stock is typically simmered for a moderate amount of time (3 to 4 hours).  Stock is rich in minerals and gelatin.
  • Bone Broth is typically made with bones and can contain a small amount of meat adhering to the bones. As with stock, bones are typically roasted first to improve the flavor of the bone broth. Bone broths are typically simmered for a very long period of time (often in excess of 24 hours).  This long cooking time helps to remove as many minerals and nutrients as possible from the bones.  At the end of cooking, so many minerals have leached from the bones and into the broth that the bones crumble when pressed lightly between your thumb and forefinger.

why bone broths are good for you

Bone broths are extraordinarily rich in nutrients – particularly minerals and amino acids.  Bone broths are a good source of amino acids – particularly arginine, glycine and proline.  Glycine supports the bodies detoxification process and is used in the synthesis of hemoglobin, bile salts and other naturally-occurring chemicals within the body.  Glycine also supports digestion and the secretion of gastric acids.  Proline, especially when paired with vitamin C, supports good skin health.  Bone broths are also rich in gelatin which improves collagen status, thus supporting skin health.  Gelatin also support digestive health which is why it plays a critical role in the GAPS diet.  And, lastly, if you’ve ever wondering why chicken soup is good for a cold, there’s science behind that, too.  Chicken stock inhibits neutrophil migration; that is, it helps mitigate the side effects of colds, flus and upper respiratory infections.  Pretty cool, huh?

Colorful Squash SoupBone Broths are Also Inexpensive and Very Convenient

Bone broths are easy to prepare at home, very inexpensive (the cost of bones is usually under $2/lb), and are very convenient and simple to make.


ready? start making bone broth today

Ready to start making bone broth?  Start with the recipes below, they all involve the long and slow cooking process that allows for the full release of nutrients – amino acids, gelatin and minerals – from the bones.

how to use bone broth

My husband and I aim to consume about one quart of bone broth per day, per person.  While we start every morning with a mug of broth seasoned with salt, pepper and crushed garlic, we also use bone broth to braise meats and vegetables as well as in soups, sauces and stews.

How to Store Bone Broth

Bone broth can be stored in the refrigerator for no more than a week.  You can also freeze it in ice cube trays, and transfer the frozen cubes of broth to a resealable freezer bag where they will keep for 6 months.  Alternatively, consider making Homemade Bouillon.

get started on bone broth with these resources

Typically, all you need to prepare bone broth in your kitchen is a good stock pot or a 6-quart slow cooker and something for straining the broth.  To prepare a very clear broth, I recommend straining with a very fine-mesh sieve or a reusable coffee filter (using both in conjunction yields the finest results).

I AM NOT A SHILL! I just happen to love…(sigh)…


Yes, it’s true.  The ubër expensive store…the one that things are expensive at 50% off.

I don’t care.  They make clothes that are like my heart, and when I wear them…well, I only have one top by them, and when I wear it I feel like I look pretty, and that is worth a lot to me.

If I ever become rich in a monetary sense, I am going to shop only at anthropologie!  Well, and Buckle.  Well, and some good place for underwear too.  Well, and…LOL!  Okay, so I love to shop.

But Anthropologie is my favorite place to go, and bathe in the music and atmosphere as I wander thru the racks and try things on, and then over to their housewares section for that special serving platter or table runner.

One of my most heartfelt dreams is to go to Anthropologie with my bff, and no limit on our pocketbook…and then off to coffee and each of us with a book tucked away close by that we find lines from coming alive and jumping out of the book and into the conversation and sipped along with the coffee…

Sigh…I miss those times we never had, DDH…I do indeed.

SO anyway, please enjoy this cute lil video that captures a lot of the intangibles that make me sigh.

Days and Nights and Nesting Dolls

We walked in that old thrift shop musty,
dingy light seeping around stacked shag carpets
and formica tables piled high with bakelight plates.
It smelled of dried rain and wet mildew.

It beckoned us luridly, promising hidden treasures
squirreled away in dank depths and skinny aisles
piled high and tippling.

Your eyes glinted with purpose and glee
like Sherlock Holmes on the case,
so I resigned myself, Watson-like,
to the chase and followed
your dashing red boiled wool coat
and white fuzzy stocking cap deeper in
to the belly of this lazing laughing thrift whore—err—store.

And sure enough your squeak of discovery
morphed into a squeal of delight
and you held up your find like Aphrodite
holding up her heart to Adonis’ ruby thirsty gorgeous lips,
and you possessed, moved demi detourné
and grinned gleeful in the tight aisle
when changement you spun to hand me
your thrifty trove plunder…wait…

Russian nesting doll?

“Oh Charissa!!”  You spoke softly
but your sotto voce rang in my heart booming
cus you know that place big and special
that only you live in and call my Lady’s Chamber…
“It’s soo you!” You cooed and fussed in total committed certainty
that this odd intricacy was me.

It was wood, golden glossy with painted folksy face

…and it was male??  Wait.  Whaaaat is…?


You saw me, my confusion in this
the only time in my living memory
you had paid this shell more than
the passing glance and haughty sniff

we all share at how uncooperative
our bodies can be, and your smile
more tender than all the leaves of every Beech and Birch under the moon.

“Oh Sweetie, let me tell you…these dolls…you…well,
there is a history here, right?
Tradition carves these, dolls within the dolls within the dolls
until the core and look!  Just open it up, ‘kay?”

My eyes were blurry and my nose felt raw
rubbed in rough coarse handkerchief flesh
oversized and clumsy and inside my lil toes
throbbed hard in hurt stomped ache
from what you had not done ever
and yet had brandished that day
in triumphant tinkling delight…

but behind your insistent excitement
I saw awareness, I saw your pleading strong
ask of my trusting heart open to you
there and waiting…

So I took it, I felt
its smooth warm grain
inviting and fairly singing
of mystery and glad discovery
and with a last foreboding look
at your face illumined I twisted it open
to find the waiting center was another doll like the first
and painted gaily and it was female…il_340x270.514347819_kdil

and when I looked inquiring
if I should open it too,
your fierce nod was
in time to the trembling
of my hands as meaning
washed me and when
I twisted it open
the skritch of the wood turning
sang together with your
smothered cry of joy in me…

..and I saw the small girl I am
but never was and inside
the baby whole and of one piece…
“See?? I told you, Charissa! It’s SOO you!”
And with that, you pushed past me
like winds pushing past the windmills
and me turning in your wake
to follow you to the place
of purchase and presentation.

I sit and stare at those dolls…
I remember that day when you were here
and our short time was forever and our poor spouses weary
from our fevered pursuits so fueled by that find
and so eager for our next parable-mystery tracked out…
and all the days since, and

who knew that so many dolls
could fit in so many days?
So many you’s in me and me’s in you
as we walked us the streets of life together
and laughed our way deeper inside
from me to you and back to me,
and us, nested there within.


An Armful of Loneliness

As you wandered,
boppin and beboppin
to the buzzy sounds
that breathed into your ears
the codes, the messages and melodies
of the age,
your earbuds
wrapped around you,
wrapped you in snaky coils.

You were royalty,
rich in plumage and
arms full of
your booty plundered
from the aisles and
displays of the latest…
cool, collected and sure.
I smiled and nodded
with sparkle eyes and hope,
and you saw,
flared your nostrils
as you caught
my prole-parole
scent and manner.

You graciously tipped
your china-delicate chin,
white and chisled
and went on your way,
arms full, head full, ears full…

of what?  Trinkets?  Treasure?

But I followed at a distance,
careful and sideways
so you wouldn’t see,
and when you trembled,
when you sighed,
when your heart
rose unbidden and cried out
“Is this all, is this all”,
I heard your subsonic scream,
and dogs howled.

And then I knew that
what looked like
an armful of wonder
was only

an armful of loneliness.



Grand Mall Seizure (from my “punk rock phase, 1982)

I was rambling thru the mall on the move to avoid them storefront snares.
Watchin people cruisin by me wearin those “as advertised” hypnotic stares.
Some of them looked like machines, and some of them were worn out by their Calvin Klein jeans
But me I just kept runnin from that sugar coated FM radio blair.

I fought thru hordes of folk who’d tear the shirt off your back over in Sears.
A bunch of bargain basement bounty hunters gibbering like a flock of auctioneers.
I saw a girl who looked like she was panicking, then I discovered that she was just a manikin!
A plastic Venus Fly Trap catchin human flies to feed her profiteers!

They were the victims of a Grand Mall Seizure!
Epileptic captives of a false scheme of leisure!
If you worship them golden gods of pleasure,
you gotta swallow your tongue and start doin’
The Grand Mall Seizure!

See that red faced man a-hustlin by moppin his forehead with his handkerchief?
He don’t know where he’s goin he’s just like a lemming leapin offa cliff!
That woman eatin chocolate Lady Fingers?  She has forgotten she has value, not a memory lingers,
Of a time when humankind was more than micro-chip computer hieroglyph!

Can’t you see that you been mauled by them big boys up on Madison Avenue!!??
They pulled them alligator t-shirts over your eyes with their magical television voodoo.
You swallowed their bait hook line and sinker, and you been duped cus you refuse to BE A THINKER!
And you ain’t really in a mall at all, you’re in Consumer City Zoo!!  And you’re the victim of a



Weekend Adventures and thoughts…part 3

…and on Sunday, it was as if the clock had struck midnight.

I woke, sad, and achy in my gut.  My inside girl was frantic and spinning around as if the walls were closing in on her and she was gonna get squeezed smaller and smaller until she disappeared into herself.  Dread had sidled up to me in the night, and stood a pace, sniggering and bourbling evilly at me…you know the sound of hyenas?  That was the psychic noise.

Constant Reader…Constance…do you know what this is like?  The litany?  Impervious to self talk otherwise…untouchable by me getting a grip and talking sense to myself.  All heard, all affirmed, and all the effect of spitting on the Great Chicago Fire.  As the others slowly awoke, I waited, tense and sick and full of the tangy bad taste of a 9 volt battery in my soul.

At last everyone was up, we all dressed, and went out.  We went to the Locks, and this area had many tourists, families, and people there to sight-see and enjoy the day.  But imagine my shock and dismay as I watched people looking at me.  Women looking me up, down, and then in the eyes with a variety of reactions, the most common one being loathing.

Curled Lips.  Sneering mouths.  Flat eyes.  Pursed chins.  Or, just “you-are-not-there”.

I felt so small and so null.

I walked on, listening to the other 3 of my dear ones chattering happily, greeting people as we walked, me trailing in their wake like the sea gulls trail in the wake of the fleet hoping for scraps and garbage to at least quell their hunger.

Then there were the men…total disgust, puzzlement, and one time, even a weird light of desire flickering.

Old people by and large?  Anger.  Kids?  Flat out open curiosity and interest.

OMG…how to process that!!!  Not one of those people knew, me!  Not one of them knew that I would be delighted to know them and seek to be a blessing!  Not one of them knew that I was dressed as my true and real self, and this wasn’t a joke, or some deviant perverted sexual thing.  I was just wanting to live and breathe with no bands across my chest squeezing me until I broke.

I hung back further and further, and oh my god that is when the pity party starts…y’all been there?  Right?  It is like a snake eating its own tail until all hold with any reasonable understanding of the moment is consumed, and my tears started to flow…so now there I am:

A Big Ol’ transgender girl walking along awkwardly, early in transition and moulting, bearded, too tall, too…everything…crying, snuffling, and snot beginning to run.

I finally just started looking at the ground, walking in shame and feeling like a curse.  As I walked I thought of so many women I have seen walking like that, and I so badly wanted to go up to them and edify and encourage them, but they would have seen my shell, and thought I was some predator.  And now there I was, walking that same trail of tears.

I continued to think about acceptance, for I am going to be exploring that word…how that word has been put to nefarious use as a slaver technique, how that word has power and potential, and finally a seeking to redeem that word for a new time and age, a new paradigm and people.

My daughter and her room mate of course were/are affirming, and my honey too…the dear, she really has to endure the worst of it with me.  But she drove us home, and let me sit and hurt and ache without having to negotiate the freeways.  And She let me seep tears and seek comfort, such as could be found.

What a contrast of 2 days, 2 states of being…lots of things there to ponder, but I will leave you with this exhortation:

Try to be a Saturday Angel, and not a Sunday Critic.


Weekend Adventures and thoughts…part 2

So…the crown jewel being the concert, the whole weekend was so special and meaningful to me on a couple of other levels as well, and yet it was tinged (as always with me, it seems), by sorrow and the desperate clawing at the edges of joy as I slid back down the precipice of a heavenly couple of day and into the…gawd I have no word…of daily work, and the hiding and skulking that I must engage in to survive.

See, we are hoping to move to Seattle in a few years, and by then I will be far enough along that I can legally change my name and gender markers on my ID papers, and perhaps even take the very significant and serious surgical steps that I dream of.

To be clear, I do not consider SRS to be any sort of “proof-text” of one’s gender, and the options for transgender women in terms of transition are as numerous as the women themselves.  We are women first and foremost for the very same reason any woman is one…we know it of ourselves within ourselves without thought or choice.  It is who we are.  Surgeries and medical assistance are powerful allies to help diminish and disappear the dysphoria and pain of misaligned body and being, but they are not the “brands” that prove anything.

But I know for myself that they are important to me, because of the way I answered the magic button Q:  “if you could push a magic button, and immediately be bodied correctly, whether by surgery or other means, would you do it?”  Or another way to say it…”if money and social barriers were not an issue, and you could go today and get the necessary body corrections, would you do it?”  In each case my answer was an unhesitating and overwhelming YES.

So, that is my position on that, and I will write at length another time on gender expression as a philosophical idea, and the notions of what define we humans in our gender.

Anyway, Seattle is a huge city, and I am not known there in any capacity as anyone or anything at all, really.  My daughter and her room mate have made it clear to me that their neighborhood is LGTB friendly, and that as they themselves have both witnessed and done, trans people overall have a fairly safe and non-confrontive experience in that city.  Thus, when I am there, I am free to not cross-dress, free to walk openly and with unbridled joy in my being, and free to be myself in all ways.

This experience has happened only twice so far.

What is it like?  How to tell someone who is cis-gendered in aligned ways what it feels like?

It is like a burning torturous fire not only goes out, but the blessed coolness that begins is refreshing, restoring and renewing.  It is like getting a bad tooth out and no more throb.  It is like getting rose thorns out of your palm or arm that had been inflamed and infected and hurt even it you thought of brushing up against something.  It is like being let out of prison…

…in fact, I wrote a poem about this sort of experience back at this link:  The Yardbird Sings …go ahead and read it, I will wait…giggle.

I still have neatly trimmed facial hair, so I was a gender bending mess to cis eyes that weren’t used to seeing someone who was blurring the binary.  There I was, with pretty hair clips in my hair, a beautiful necklace on that was a bold combo of brass and red inset stones, my cute jeans and top along with my earrings and Nike Flats flashing Hot Pink, and the sweater/shawl I love to wear which is long and flowy and disguises the lack on figure I have…and my big red stunning Vintage Coat made from an old Hudson Bay Blanket and genuine old fur.

I was walking with my darling, my daughter and my friend who is roommates with my daughter, and I felt like I was in heaven.  People were friendly, helpful, complimentary, and interactive.  I felt received as a human being!  I didn’t have to have a sign on my back saying anything at all about me, I was just myself and as such was able to touch hearts with other humans.

It was divine. (I mean that, by the way).

Watching from the bottom of my eyes, or their corners, I did not see any disgust, sneers, rejection, revulsion, or dismissal.  I was complimented on my clothes and jewelry…I even tried on things at a vintage store without any policing or revulsion.  One patron was a retired Nordstrom’s buyer, and she absolutely insisted I try on this beautiful dress, and proceeded to give me teaching on what to wear with it and how to accessorize with it.

We went to book stores, coffee shops, clothes shops, stationary shops, florists and finally food places.

That was Saturday, and I wanted the day to never end.  I had nothing else in mind, no fears of future days, no dread for the bondage of what work entails for me being-wise…only them moment, and living free and flowing.

But Sunday came…


I need to sell some things

I am selling some of my collectibles on ebay…please check out my auctions of Harmony Kingdom items, various books, and Christmas decorations such as authentic vintage German Nutcrackers and Smokers and Pyramids (or Windmills).  They are pretty nice things, and the money will go towards helping me out with future medical costs.

http://www.ebay.com/usr/litehous    hopefully that link will work, or if it doesn’t then go into ebay and search for my user name litehouse, and/or Harmony Kingdom.

Thank you so much,


On the Shore

On the Shore

Brrr…I am a lil skert, starting this blog.  It is the very first baby step towards being out as who I really am, the me that I was born to…I am frightened, and yet so excited all at once.  I love this picture, because it shows how I have always been…gazing out, yearning, standing off to the side, there but not there…and I like that there are 3 women down in the shelter.  They represent my core support…bless you ladies who love me with your hearts!

And I love that we are all surfers in this pic…waves are toys and funland rides to surfers, skimming along on stormy waters and dancing.

I have no idea where I will be in 3 months, in a year.  I have no idea who will be in my life besides the ones who are with me, and who will be out of my life.

May God give me grace to welcome all in, and never shut any out, and then I can have peace, knowing that I have lived in integrity and shalom, and that I am literally not responsible for the choices of others.