Ben Hatke

His blog isn’t WordPress but he is a fantastic author and illustrator. My house ages 7 to 50 and we adore his books and graphic novels.  From Zita to Little Robot.  Barnes and Noble lists both his author works and his illustration work.  The Etsy is empty at the moment; he will add things now and then – original pages and artwork.  They sell out quickly.  Feel free to click around.  Follow him EVERYWHERE! He is really close to 1000 on FB

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Hatke House on Etsy   Amazon Author Page   Barnes & Noble

All images and book covers are property of Ben Hatke

Christmas is for Losers: How the Nativity Story Rips on Power and Privilege

Peace Hacks

Drunk Santa

The nativity story is probably one of the most misunderstood episodes of the Bible. It’s an ancient Jewish story – not a modern Christian one, jam-packed with scads of cultural idiosyncrasies that are a bit difficult to understand for us modern Western folk. Nonetheless, read from a 1st century Jewish perspective, it’s a far better story than the one we usually tell. It goes something like this.

There’s these three groups of losers…

The first group is hanging out in the hinterlands of the Judean region when some really scary shit goes down. We call them shepherds and typically think of them as humble, simple folk – people at one with nature, animal lovers, passive, kind, etc. In their day however shepherds were considered by many to be the lowest of the low, though not as low as tax collectors (that’s a different but very interesting story). Shepherds would frequently…

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Christmas Answer or Real Answer

With a myriad of Christmas/holiday specials on TV I found myself watching an Ice Age Holiday short last night.  It was full of Mammothy, Slothy, Sid and Diego goodness.  At one point, Manny askes Diego “How does it look?” referring to a Christmas item.  Diego responds “Do you want a Christmas answer or a real answer?” Manny responds with “A Christmas Answer.” “Wonderful, it looks great!”  Which,of course, is a total lie.

This got me to thinking.  Our houses, cars, families and lives are all gussied up for the holidays. Covered with lights, garland, and ornaments.  The air is full of the wonderful smells of baked cookies and pies. Wrapped, pretty and shiny just like the presents we share.  The reality is that our houses, cars, families and lives are not all shiny, pretty or even healthy.  We put on a happy face from Thanksgiving to New Years and then go back to the REAL world.

I am struggling and have been for a while.  I try to keep my social media “happy” and usually just flood it blog posts about food, sharing others’ posts or books.  Facebook and Instagram full of pictures of my youngest son or silly snapchat filtered photos.

My son and stepson bring me joy and for that I am grateful.  I think I may lean on my children to much.  I am a bit of a nerd and so are my children.  We enjoy anime, Potter, Dr Who, comic books, regular books, video games, movies, musical, anything PBS etc.  We talk, watch and read.

The truth is I dread my day to day.  My routine of fighting the alarm every morning and going to work.  Coming home for the dishes, laundry, dirty toilets, dinner prep, homework, reading, bath time, bed time etc.  All these things keep me busy but feel a bit robotic.

I dread my husband coming home with nothing or little to say. When he does speak I can’t tell if I actually say something that upsets him or if he is looking for a way to be upset with me so he doesn’t have to engage.  Of course asking this gets flipped and I was rude or snarky which caused his discomfort and resulting silence.  Maybe it is my fault.  Maybe I am a snarky, rude person.

He may or may not eat the dinner I prepare that is on the table prior or close to when he walks through the door.  I try to get us all to eat together every night.

I dread the awkward silence that has become my house.  My children talk with me and sit and watch Jeopardy with me but my husband sits in the other room wearing headphones and watching videos on his phone.  The other night – the only time he came out was because his neck/shoulder cramped and he needed someone to rub it.

Once my youngest is in bed and my teenager is sitting at his own computer with homework or whatever has caught his eye; I am essentially alone.

I am alone. I feel alone in a house full of people.  I just crawl into bed and close my eyes until the alarm goes off telling me to do it all over again.  I dread my empty feeling.  I dread that I feel I deserve to be empty.  I dread the empty feeling I have when I look at my husband.  A man I feel I have nothing in common with. This Man I vowed to be with until I died.  Maybe it is me.  Maybe I am a snarky person.  Maybe I do deserve the way I am treated regardless of how I feel.  Maybe I should just be quiet since it is apparent that to the other party that I have brought this on myself.

I feel like I should move out.  I feel like I should take my biological son and go live with my parents.  My stepson is a senior in High School.  He is currently rebuilding his relationship with his biological mother who suffers from a mental illness and hurt him and herself because of it.  I feel I should stay for him.  He will soon be an adult but I feel I should stay until it is official.  I feel like I should stay for my young son.  Give him a 2-parent household and maintain his stability.  I feel like my unhappiness is not important.  I don’t want to stay in an unhappy relationship.  I don’t want my sons to think their wives will just take care of everything while they talk on the phone with their friends, sit in the garage and smoke [cigarettes] and watch videos on their phones or surf the web.

I wrote a document in 2015 when I started having this crisis of mind.  I brought it up to my husband then that I felt we didn’t have anything in common any more.  I used to be semi interested in the things he was. Now, honestly I could care less about going out on a Motorcycle or going shooting.  As for the physical, I don’t feel it either. Not even cuddle.   He basically, then and now, blamed my feeling of having nothing in common and my emptiness on the children.  The premise for his blame and argument being that I am more in love with my children – and more specifically my one biological child – than him.

The truth is it is Christmas and this is not a Christmas problem.  I can’t ruin Christmas.

WDEL runs circles around News Journal with OMG !!!!62 million dollars in unpaid school taxes in New Castle County — Kilroy’s Delaware

Odessa National Golf Club owes $500K+ in school taxes to Appoquinimink as district seeks referendum By Amy Cherry 11:14pm, December 4, 2016 – Updated 11:23pm, More than $50 million is owed in back taxes to New Castle County’s six school districts–money that could be used to help fund what many are calling an under-funded and […]

via WDEL runs circles around News Journal with OMG !!!!62 million dollars in unpaid school taxes in New Castle County — Kilroy’s Delaware