Conversations with the Maiden, Mother, and Crone

Looking at ourselves and the world through the lens of the 21st century.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Rules for Being a Boss Bitch

Wednesday, on the podcast, Amber introduced us to her favorite oracle deck and the book that inspired it, “Literary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women Writers.”  This topic was a great tie-in to International Women’s Day, which just so happened to be celebrated on Wednesday. March is also “Women’s History Month”, and you may have noticed that we’ve been sharing several female-centric blogs and podcasts, including February’s “Women in STEM” episode and, coming up next week, the as-yet-untitled podcast about role reversals. It’s going to be a good one, so don’t forget to tune in; I’ll have links below! Rather than rehash our discussion about our favorite Literary Witches and Boss Bitches, which I also listed on our Heard it on the Podcast post this week, I thought it might be fun to take a look at what makes someone a Boss Bitch.

Some people (okay, many) have a problem with the word bitch because it’s been used for so long to deprecate women. I have, admittedly, used the word that way myself when describing someone who is harsh, bossy, catty, mean, or temperamental. I’ve even used it to describe women who put their careers first at the expense of their families and loved ones. That is not what we are talking about. “Boss Bitch” is not the same as a bossy bitch, and I’ve come to embrace the word as a sort of feminist badge when used in the more traditional context, especially in regards to strong, alpha females, who rule their pack (think wolves) as strong and independent leaders. In fact, the urban dictionary defines a Boss Bitch as:

“A confident, successful, and independent woman who speaks her mind and stands up for what she believes in.”

I like that. I like that a lot. In fact, I think that’s something we should all aspire to, whether male or female. So, what do all these boss bitches have in common? What does it take to be a Boss Bitch? Here are my Top 10 qualities for being a Boss Bitch:

  • Passionate: Boss bitches have found their calling or at least something they are truly passionate about. Whether it’s caring for their family, feeding the homeless, or making a place for themselves in this male-driven world, boss bitches know what is important, and they aren’t going to let a little something like “the norm” or “tradition” keep them from achieving it.

  • Vocal: Boss bitches are not afraid to share their voices. They speak up when they see injustice, whether it’s in the form of #metoo or #freebritney. 

  • Authentic: Boss bitches are real. They are true to themselves and they don’t dim their beautiful and brilliant light just to fit in with what society has said they should be.

  • Confident: A boss bitch knows what she is capable of and she believes in herself. She is courageous and willing to take on daunting tasks. She does the right thing, even when it’s scary because she knows that fear is often a sign that she’s on the right path.

  • Independent: A boss bitch knows that some things have to be done alone, without the support of others. She’s willing to do all the work herself if she has to because she knows she can. If others step up to help, then all the better.

  • Hard Worker: Boss bitches have a great work ethic. They won’t quit until the job is done and they aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty or mess up their pretty manicure. She’s a good employee, and an even better boss because she’s not afraid to get in there and do the job as a part of the team.

  • Gracious: Boss bitches are not bitchy. They are courteous, kind, and well-mannered. Classy and tasteful. Graceful under pressure. Likewise, boss bitches would never put someone down, belittle, or disparage others. They respect authority and work within the current system to make things right or get what they or others deserve.

  • Supportive: Boss bitches empower others to be their best selves, too. They don’t feel threatened by someone else’s success. They share their knowledge and experience with others, so they can be boss bitches, too.

  • Loyal:  Ride or die, a boss bitch is there until the end, no matter what it takes. But you better deserve it.

  • Grateful:  Above all, a boss bitch lives a life of gratitude. She knows she pulled herself up by her bootstraps, but she also recognizes and appreciates the fact that sometimes she’s had help along the way. She is thankful for all the boss bitches who came before her, as well as her friends, family, fellow bitches, community, and faith.

I think these are good qualities for anyone to have, and whether or not you agree with using the phrase “Boss Bitch,” maybe it is something we should all strive to be. 

Do you know a real boss bitch? Give her a shout-out here or on our Facebook group, MMC Chat. Don’t like the phrase “Boss Bitch?” What are some other titles we could use to acknowledge these fabulously strong and powerful ladies?

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Heard it on the Podcast - March 8, 2023


Did you miss a link we mentioned on the podcast? Here's a quick post we do most Wednesdays to share any links or information from the podcast. We'll also keep a running post on the "Links from the Podcast" tab so you can refer back to any previous episode. Here's the links for this week:

S3E10: Literary Witches and Literal Bitches (Boss Bitches, That Is)

  • Literary Witches by Taisia Kitaiskaia
  • Good House Keeping, 120 Women Who Changed Our World
  • Gris Grimly, Frankenstein graphic novel
  • Britney Spears, Work Bitch
  • Movie about Julia Child: Julie & Julia
  • Rombauer, Becker, et. al., The Joy of Cooking
  • Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking
  • Literary witches we named:
    • Shirley Jackson
    • Sylvia Plath
    • Toni Morrison
    • Flannery O'Connor
    • Emily Dickenson
    • Virginia Wolfe
    • Sandra Cisneros
    • Jane Austen
    • Charlotte Bronte
    • Emily Bronte
    • Gertrude Stein
    • Agatha Christie
    • Mary Shelly
    • Margaret Atwood
    • Ayn Rand
    • Maya Angelou
    • Laura Ingalls Wilder
    • J. K. Rowling
    • Lois Lowery
    • Suzanne Collins
    • Veronica Roth
  • Literal (Boss) Bitches 
    • Barbara Walters
    • Ellen Degeneris
    • Dr. Ruth Westheimer
    • Georgia O'Keefe
    • Helen Girly Brown
    • Sandra Day O'Connor
    • Ruth Bader Ginsburg
    • Margaret Thatcher
    • Malala Yousafzai
    • Helen Keller
    • Anne Sullivan
    • Temple Grandon
    • Rosa Parks
    • Mother Theresa
    • Michelle Obama
    • Nancy Reagan
    • Eleanor Roosevelt
    • Queen Elizabeth II
    • Princess Diana
    • Queen Elizabeth I
    • Meryl Streep
    • Erin Brockovich
    • Margaret Sanger
    • Tarana Burke
    • Ann Landers
    • Abigail Vanburen
    • Julia Child
    • Oprah Winfrey
    • Gloria Steinam
    • Marie Curie
    • Martha Stuart
    • Susan B. Anthony
    • Harriett Tubman
    • Juliette Gordon Lowe
    • Danika Patrick
    • Janet Guthrie
    • Amelia Earhart
    • Bessie Coleman
    • Dorthea Lange
    • Jane Goodall
    • Coco Channell
    • Mary Kay Ash

    Monday, March 6, 2023

    Literary Witches

    Hello everyone! This week on our podcast we are talking about literary witches and literal bitches (boss bitches, that is). Our podcast was inspired by the book Literary Witches A Celebration of Magical Women Writers and the companion oracle deck the Literary Witches Oracle written by Taisia Kitaiskaia and illustrated by Katy Horan.

    Literary Witches book and deck

    The book reimagines 30 female authors as “true witches: not hook-nosed creatures riding on brooms, but figures of radical creativity, originality, and empowerment.” Kitaiskaia’s book asks the question “what is a witch anyway?” As we concluded on the podcast, a “witch” doesn’t have to be literal, it can be a strong female that makes “magic” in her everyday life. She can be a catalyst for change both literally and figuratively. She is a true boss that demands change. This book is a perfect homage to these writers and the magic they have written.

    The literary aspect and the artwork by Horan initially attracted me to this deck. I am always looking for unique decks to add to my collection and this one does not disappoint. Whenever I find a new deck, I feel like the deck “finds” me. I am usually not explicitly looking for a deck when I see one, and this was the case with my “Literary Witches” deck. I do not generally read from oracle decks, but I felt like I had to have this one, being a lover of literature, especially strong, female authors. The artwork by Horan is nothing less than amazing. I am a huge fan of minimalistic art and I like that her artwork features symbols from the writers’ most famous works. For example, Mary Shelley is a featured writer in the deck/book, and her photo is rich with symbolism from Frankenstein, her most famous piece of work.

    Mary Shelley is a great example of a writer that made magic in her lifetime. Shelley wrote Frankenstein when she was only 19 years old while on vacation at her friend Lord Byron’s house on Lake Geneva. The weather was horrible and Byron’s houseguests remained inside most of the time, telling ghost stories. Lord Byron issued a challenge to his houseguests which was to write a ghost story better than the stories they read aloud to each other. Thus, Frankenstein was born and so was the first ever science fiction novel. Over two hundred years after the writing of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley continues to inspire writers and filmmakers alike.

    Another example of a writer that made magic in her life is my favorite female poet, Emily Dickinson. Dickinson is considered one of the most important figures in American poetry. Most of Dickinson’s poetry was published posthumously by her sister, and she did not become famous for her writing until after her death. At the time, Dickinson’s poetry was groundbreaking in the sense that she heavily used dashes in her poems and slant rhymes, or near rhymes. Dickinson did not follow traditional poetry rules, and most of her poems were heavily edited to conform to the poetry “rules” of the 19th century. It wasn’t until around the 1950s that Dickinson’s poetry was published in its true form. Dickinson and her “no rules” approach to poetry are now appreciated and serve as inspiration to modern poets that don’t fit with traditional poetry rules and standards.

    The final female author that I’d like to talk about is an author I learned about in college: Angela Carter. One of the many English electives I took as I was working on my degree was a fairytale class. Angela Carter’s most famous work is called The Bloody Chamber, a book of fairytales and folktales written with a feminist twist. Like most modern children, I grew up on fairytales, especially the Disney versions of fairy tales where the princess is saved by the prince and they both live happily ever after. In Carter’s versions of fairytales, the female often saves herself by taking a more masculine role or she is the villain all along. In her story “The Werewolf,” which is based on “Little Red Riding Hood,” the wolf turns out to be the grandmother all along and Little Red must save herself from her grandmother. In another version of the story called “Wolf Alice,” Alice (Little Red) herself is the wolf. Carter was innovative in the sense that she opened the door for bolder interpretations of fairy tales, inspiring more modern feminist writers.

    Literary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women Writers is an amazing canonization of female writers. These writers truly created magic in their writing and in their lives and this book is a must-read for anyone looking for inspiration in their writing and their feminist studies. The Literary Witches oracle deck is a must-have for any collection.

    I want to hear from our readers. Who is your favorite female writer? Who do you consider a “boss bitch?” Let’s continue the conversation below or on our Facebook Page: MMC Chat.

    Thursday, March 2, 2023

    Peanut Butter Cravings

    It’s March again! Last year, on my blog, I wrote about National Peanut Month (the month of March), and my cohosts and I love peanut butter so much that we decided to do a podcast about it this week dedicated to that magical goodness.

    After my weight-loss surgery, there were only two foods that I tolerated: eggs and peanut butter, which is a weird combination that I didn’t eat at the same time. Now that it has been about four years since my surgery, I have branched out a bit. I still love peanut butter, however, and it is a frequent phantom period craving.

    What is a phantom period? It is a period or period-like symptoms without actual period flow. I have been experiencing this since my oophorectomy over ten years ago. An oophorectomy is a partial hysterectomy where only the ovaries are removed. As a result, I was forced into surgical menopause. So, even though I don’t have periods, I still get bloating, cramps and cravings once a month. 

    My cravings are usually for something sugary or carbohydrate-rich. Each month the cravings are different, but last month it was peanut butter. I was surprised by this because I hadn’t touched peanut butter or made my “peanut butter treat” in over six months. Peanut butter is an easier craving to manage than, say, ice cream or pizza (which was my January craving). Another craving I have often is crab rangoon.

    After my surgery, to offset my cravings for sweets, I often made what I called “Peanut Butter Treat.” This treat can be made as keto as possible, which I will detail below (since a small amount of peanut butter is allowed on a keto diet).



    • Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and cover. Stick mixture in refrigerator or freezer for at least three hours and enjoy.

    In my blog last year, I mentioned peanut butter spreads that I liked to buy from the local farmer’s market. Recently, I discovered a small business of peanut butter spreads that has become viral on TikTok called Nerdy Nuts™. I have not ordered from this company yet, but I enjoy watching their videos. 

    The question remains: why peanut butter? In my previous blog, I mentioned that peanut butter used to remind me of poverty, but now it’s nostalgic. If I have to have any phantom cravings, I’d rather them be peanut butter, and I’d like to take my “Peanut Butter Treat” to the next level like Nerdy Nuts™ has.

    I want to hear from our readers. Do you like peanut butter? What is your favorite peanut butter treat? What is your favorite craving or guilty pleasure? Comment below!

    Wednesday, March 1, 2023

    Heard it on the Podcast - March 1, 2023


    Did you miss a link we mentioned on the podcast? Here's a quick post we do most Wednesdays to share any links or information from the podcast. We'll also keep a running post on the "Links from the Podcast" tab so you can refer back to any previous episode. Here's the links for this week:

    S3E9: For the Love of Peanut Butter

    Monday, February 27, 2023

    For the Love of Peanut Butter and Living in the Now

    I had a plan. I was going to raid my extensive recipe collection for my favorite things to make with peanut butter because that is the topic of this week’s podcast – “For the Love of Peanut Butter”. Instead, I decided to drive out to West Texas for a few days with my hubby, Mark, to visit friends and family while he does his annual service at South Plains College as a member of the Sound Technology Advisory Committee. I figured I could write my blog in the car on the way down and have it posted first thing Monday morning. What I didn’t count on was sleeping almost the entire drive after having only two hours of sleep the night before, and my failure to make copies of my recipes before I left. So here I sit, with no recipes, and no idea how I can write a blog about peanut butter. So…change in plans (although I will share a family favorite recipe at the very end).

    Two years ago, this situation would have sent me over the edge. I don’t really deal with change. I’m not flexible. I get stuck in routines and plans, and I get anxious and even angry when those plans don’t go my way. I really don’t want to sound like a broken record, but reading Eckart Tolle’s “A New Earth” was a life-changer for me. So now, instead of getting all bent out of shape over not having the supplies I need to complete my task and feeling the crunch of not having finished it in time, I am calmly looking at what happened and trying to find the lesson to be learned in all of this. Tolle has helped me learn to accept what “is” and move on, rather than dwelling on what “should” have been. I can look at what went wrong, tuck that bit of knowledge away for the future, and start looking for a solution rather than someone or something to blame.

    As I look back at why I might have wound up in Lubbock, Texas without my recipes and a fully-written blog post, I think it is pretty clear that “Perfect Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance,” as my husband would say, as does getting a good night’s sleep the night before – two topics we’ve discussed on our podcast are the main culprits. I had started packing for my trip earlier in the week, but when I reviewed the list, I didn’t think everything through to print several of the documents I would need while on my trip (not just my recipes). And the sleep issue came about because I was up very late trying to get it all packed – something I should have done much earlier in the week. I was living “behind the clock,” as Amber would say, and it was my own fault. I tried to do too much, didn’t follow my own plans, and let distractions and spontaneous opportunities steal my time and deplete my energy.

    Good planning is essential to creating a balanced and purpose-driven life. I like to call it “being a grown-up.” Think about it this way…children are not capable of thinking in the long term. When you tell them that Santa comes at Christmas, and it’s only July, that time span feels like an eternity. They can’t really plan in the short term, either. They might want to eat a snack at 5 o’clock when dinner will be served just an hour later. A child’s focus is entirely on the now, and what they want in the moment – instant gratification. A child does not think ahead or plan for the future. As we mature, we (hopefully) learn to delay gratification, understanding that there are more important things than play, acquiring the next toy, or eating a whole package of cookies. We learn that work comes before play, actions have consequences, and instant gratification is a fleeting comfort. 

    Can you imagine if we all lived our lives with the mindset of children? Stop for a moment and picture your life lived as a 10-year-old child. What would that look like? Would you eat junk food all day, stay up all night, skip school or work to play video games, buy every gizmo, gadget, and sparkly object that catches your attention, and get mad whenever things go pear-shaped? Do you do that now?

    An adult, a mature adult, has the capacity to differentiate between what they want and what they need. A mature adult can put off what they want in order to take care of what they need. Planning, responsibility, forethought…these are all hallmarks of a mature adult. But what about now, you ask? Isn’t this idea of thinking ahead, planning for the future, and taking care of responsibilities ahead of time in direct opposition to living in the now? Absolutely not

    Living in the now does not equate to YOLO (you only live once), which became so popular with younger generations a few years ago. Eckhart Tolle teaches us that acceptance is an important aspect of living in the now. Accepting our responsibilities without complaint – doing the things we must do, managing the tasks that are required or expected of us, following through on the commitments we’ve made, and engaging in the everyday necessities of life – these are the characteristics of maturity. It is in the acceptance of these responsibilities that we find we are living in the now. When you can go through the motions of a dreaded chore while embracing the moment that is, accepting, or even enjoying, the process without complaint or grumbling about what you would rather be doing – that is the essence of living in the now. Be in the moment. Savor every minute of every day…every task, every duty, and every burden in surrender and peace rather than thinking about what you would rather be doing, or worse yet, shirking those obligations in favor of momentary diversion or fleeting pleasure.

    So go ahead and plan. Plan well. Think ahead. Consider every possibility. Look at every detail. Give yourself time to take care of your responsibilities, and then add some extra time to it and schedule it to be done before it is due. Use the Eisenhower Matrix to plot out what is urgent vs. what is important. And always, always follow through. Drive your life like you mean it. Live it like you are an all-star batter, hitting that mid-field home run that affords you the leisure of jogging through the bases with no worries, rather bunting and then sliding into first just in time to avoid being tagged out, only to have to worry about how to get to the next base and the next. Be the grown-up. Make the plan. Follow through.

    Is it foolproof? Not in the least. Will you still have to play catch-up, switcheroo, or scramble to get things done? Count on it. But it won’t be as stressful. It won’t throw you out of sorts. And you will be amazed at how much time is left over for all that fun stuff when you actually plan everything out.

    Oh, and as promised, here is a family favorite peanut butter-based recipe that you probably haven’t tried – Thai Rice Salad. I discovered this recipe over 30 years ago when I worked for Furr’s, Inc., a regional supermarket chain based out of Lubbock. The company hosted a Food Fair at the local convention center, and the corporate office employees (me) got to attend the night before it opened to sample food, take home swag, and learn about various vendors and suppliers. Uncle Ben’s rice had a booth there, and they were giving away free recipes. As my husband is a huge fan of Thai food, we decided to give this recipe a try and it is truly one of our family favorites. You can serve it warm or cold, and I have prepared it with various forms of cooked chicken including boiled and rotisserie. I hope you enjoy it!

    Listen to the podcast this week and then join us on MMC Chat for discussions of all things peanut butter. And don’t forget to comment about the blog below.

    5 Ways to Manifest Your Best Life

    Hi there, and welcome back! Since we have been heavily focusing on goals and planning, I thought we should discuss manifesting. I love this ...