Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Reason for the Season

Skyrim is eating up whatever free time I have, so posts I had intended to, uh, post won't be getting here any time soon.

Alrighty, down to business.  With the winter holidays coming up quick there is no doubt in the return of the whole 'Put Jesus back in Christmas' issue.  I usually ignore it since it doesn't really apply to me.  To each their own and what not.  I am a firm believer that religion should stay out of public schools and have been for years.  Hell, I even wrote two term papers on it in high school.  I try and stay out of those conversations because it just brings up so much bad blood and ill will in a lot of cases.

Recently I found out that two pagan friends have 'switched sides'.  I know that sounds horrible but that's what popped up in my head when I found out/heard about it.  Both women were very devout in their Pagan ways and we talked to each other about all manners of Pagan and witchy stuff.  It made me feel happy to have someone to talk face to face about what we do in general practice or to come to each other for advice.

The first friend, and the one I know best, was very much into her beliefs and was part of a small group I was in trying to get a Pagan group started at a local college.  We weren't there to start a circle, but to educate people on the Pagan community but that's neither here nor there.  She had been a friend in high school so when I found out she was Wiccan I rejoiced.  Now, though, she converted to Catholicism due to her marriage.  At first I thought it may have been one of those moments where she was like 'sure, whatever' but the more I kept up with her online the more confused I got.  She still wishes me and our other Pagan friends happy holidays when they pop up but I noticed she was asking where she could find pins that proclaimed 'Jesus is the reason for the season.'  I saw that and I was floored.  She is an educated person when it comes to the history of religions and faiths so it bothered me greatly to say that winter holiday is thanks to one person who fits a description of many *coughMithracough*.  It usually rubs me the wrong way when people want to be PC but, honestly, when it comes to holidays I want that PC-ness.  Don't wish me Merry Christmas, please.  Don't tell me Happy Hanukkah or any thing else for that matter.  If you do than I will wish you a Happy Yule or Twelfth Night.  My point is, is that the assumptions irritates me to the point that I have the urge, during work, to tell those who say 'May God bless you,' 'May Odin All Father bless you.'  :|  That'll go over well.

While I understand it my friend's right and privilege to follow what ever she wants to follow, it just baffles me that someone so devout in their previous beliefs could suddenly pop up something else.  I can blame it on the husband all I want but it makes me question my friend.  Was she so devout?  Was she just trying something on?

My other friend I don't know so much about.  She had been going through a rough patch and, again this is in my head, I think someone may have gotten to her in her weakness.  She is now born again and seems to completely ignore her past dealings with Wicca.

I think I'm getting bitter in my age.  I'm only 27 and I'm getting cranky with others for odd reasons.  Grendal is there to help figure things out when I just sit around and grump, but even he was surprised.  We've chosen to let it go but I do have something to ask those who happen to read this: Do or did you know anyone who suddenly went from one religion/faith to another out of seemingly nowhere?  What went through your head? :\

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Long, Long Time Ago....

Yeah, I'm still alive. XP  Life is kicking me in the butt so haven't been able to make it back to the blogosphere.

Updates in my life:

Grendal and I are the proud parents of a furry baby. We got her from an animal shelter about an hour away. Fuyuko (roughly translated as 'winter child') is a 1 year old mix of, what we think, is Pitbull, Shiba Inu, and possibly German Shepard.  She's a hell of a dog and getting along decently with Tinker.  We do get a little nervous about Yuko's play with Tinker.  Yuko like to mouth and use her paws, plus she's bigger than Tinker so we have to keep an eye on them.  Nothing bad has happened so that's a good thing.  We've been taking Yuko everywhere with us.  We've even had play dates with my older sister's dogs.  So far, after two weeks, things couldn't be better.

Grendal has been hired as seasonal help at a local Bergner's store.  While normal chances of staying on after the holiday season is low, he's been trained as both a cashier and a dock worker so we're keeping our fingers crossed!

After the previous holiday I decided it was time to dust off my altar and spruce it up a bit.  Everything is a little tidier now, which makes me and the altar happier.  What's nice is that I've found two crow feathers in lovely condition, both right in my path on my walks home from work.  I had them on my altar as well and since Halloween has passed I was able to purchase two crow figures to place on the altar as well.  I had my eye on them for a while so when they were still there when the sale started I figured that it was time to snag 'em.  Besides, with my recently formed connect with Odin what better way to represent him!

What else.....I can't think of anything new and exciting that has been happening in my life.  I've managed to write a little on my novel in progress but still nothing significant.  With autumn slowly giving way to winter I've felt that familiar intimacy with the night and the earth.  I can't really explain it.  While the world is alive in spring and summer all I want to do is nap in the sun like a cat.  In the colder months, though, I feel at peace.  I want nothing more than to stay inside and make it feel like home through baking and soup making.  The nights are blissful despite the eerie silence thanks to the snow.  Even with the house being near a busy street it feels like we are far away from the hub bub of the city and in the middle of the countryside.  I think I'll wait until the deep parts of winter to make an 'official' connection with the All Father.  For some reason it feels right, and that's what matters the most with these types of things.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


First off, hello to those who just found my blog thanks to the Real Witches of Halloween event! Thanks for checking me out and possibly sticking around to hear what I ramble on about.

I've always thought of myself as a crafty person, but not in that unhanded 'oooo I'm gonna get ya' kind of way.  I bake, I cook, draw, write, and make jewelry. What has always escaped me, though, was crocheting and knitting. I know many women who do this: my mother, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, my sister, aunts, friends and even my grandmother. I look at the end product and want to do that but I'm nothing but thumbs when it comes to attempting. Luckily, though, I may have found an alternativeNålbinding! 

Nålbinding, or Needle Binding, is something that I just kinda stumbled upon. I was looking through sites on Norse history and mythology and the next thing I knew I was looking at this craft. I love working with my hands(making hemp necklaces and the like are my favorite) so it instantly piqued my interest. I looked through many pages of history and how-to videos and picture instructions before I went running to Grendal with the specifics of making a needle. It was a quick make so I found myself sitting in the living room trying my damnedest to make it work. It took me the better part of the day but I know how to do a simple line(the Oslo stitch apparently). The thing doesn't look too pretty but I can do it! My goal is to make a hat for Grendal(I'll be a dork and post pictures of the progress whenever I get it going), one that should keep him warm during the winter. :)  He'll be one step closer to being a viking in his own right.

Links(the ones that helped me):

Nålbinding- Viking history
Bernhard's Nålbinding Site

Another nifty thing I've found myself getting into is the idea of working a loom. This, though, I've been fascinated by for some time. Rather than jumping into working a large one I've decided to stick with an inkle loom. I'll be making belts and what not, but I'd rather have something that small and learn that I don't like than get my hands on a large one and figure that out. :\  The loom will take a little longer for me to get and prepare so I can't go into much detail about that.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Black Birds

I've always liked Crows and Ravens. I don't really know why but I do. Recently I've began to notice more and more Crows in the area, almost always in duos. What strikes me as odd is the fact their population in the area either increased or became more noticeable(believe me when I say that I keep an eye out for these birds) when I began to study the Norse deities, more importantly Odin. I do know that Crows and Ravens come from the same family but they're different enough. While Odin's birds are Ravens rather than Crows, I don't think Ravens would fly so far from their normal homes just to make a connection. Let me just say that I'm not one to go around and saw everything is a sign from this deity or that one. I don't know why but I study the moment and really look at it from every possible angle(yay for being a Libra). Either it was some sort of 'sign' or it was just a very strange coincidence that the crows have shown up in force.

One thing that I suppose I should note is that this isn't the only time that I've had odd occurrences with these birds. Over 12 years ago, I think I was sophomore in high school, I was sitting on the back porch talking to a friend over the phone. I was really expanding my views and capability with Paganism in general about that time, and I was pretty much alone(no friends were 'into it' and I had to do it in secret for the time being). While my friend and I were chatting two large black birds landed in the yard. When I saw large I mean LARGE, like the height of a Bald Eagle. While that species does appear here randomly, these two were juveniles. These two were pitch black rather than brown. I had made a comment to my friend that these two crows were in the yard. While we chatted I watched them. They moved through the yard and towards the house....i.e. me. I was growing more and more nervous as they kept walking and made sounds at each other. When they reached the halfway point in the yard I hurried inside. I never say birds like that again and I still have no explanation on what they could have been. I've recently looked at images of the birds in the area and nothing matches up.

So while part of me just dismisses it, another part likes to think that Odin had attempted contact before and I'm now able to listen.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Turning the Wheel

Grendal was nice enough to get our connection to the internet back in working order, plus cleaning out the machine so it runs a bit faster. With that being done I can talk about that book I've been meaning to. Just let it be known that I haven't written a book review or even a book report in years, so it may be disjointed and full of rambling. :P

I don't remember how, exactly, I stumbled across Wheel of the Year: Living the Magical Life but I found it after Yule of last year and bought it for myself. The book doesn't hide what its going to talk about, telling you right up front that you'll be going through the months of the year and seeing the connections of the seasons. It talks about old and more modern traditions for the various holidays and Sabbats. Each chapter starts out with a description of how the month has effected the world around the authors' farmstead, weaving a beautiful image, before jumping into tradition.

The pages are filled with little crafts to do, as well as some simple spells that connect with that month's over all feel. I just re-read October's entry and found myself overly excited for the weeks to come. Don't go into this book in hopes of finding out the history of each Sabbat. That's not what this book is here to do and there are many others out there do that, which is probably why the authors shied away from doing so.

Over all the one down fall to this book is the fact that it seems to be the epitome of picturesque witchy living. Big farm house, nice fireplace, large garden and orchard, etc.  While I do live on a nice piece of land and may be able to mirror a few things garden-wise, most others live in large cities and these things are hard to accomplish. I do suppose that this book follows the rules of many other Wiccan books out there when it comes to spells: these descriptions are guide-lines and inspirational notes that should lead you to do what you are capable of doing. (quick example) While I love the idea of doing ocean magic, I'm way too far from an ocean to do anything but I do have reasonable access to rivers that flow there. With a few modifications I could make it work.  The same applies to this book: Modifications may be necessary.

All in all this book has rekindled my love of the seasons and my want to tune myself with the ebb and flow of them. I have found myself watching the happenings of the birds and nature in general, and learning new things that seem to herald the changes. This year I learned from Grendal's father that after the cicadas start their songs it'll be around 3 weeks before it starts to get chilly(this is what he was told, by his mother, when he was a child). Me being curious, I kept 'watch' and sure enough 3 weeks later we had a cold snap. :)

The book is worth a flip through if you can manage to find. I didn't have the opportunity to peruse it before purchasing but I don't regret it. This book sits proudly in my bookcase, alongside the other well read books.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Oh noes! The internets....

Grendal's parents decided to mess around with the router in the house, thus disconnecting our computer from the web while keeping theirs in semi-working order. I was going to post a slight 'review' of a book last night but with a mixture of messed up internet and the fact that I left work an hour and half later messed that up. While the internet is still in the house I either have to blog on the TV in the living, use a dinosaur of a laptop, or just wait it out. The wait might not be too long. Hell, Grendal may have everything fixed by the time I get off of work tonight but I don't know for sure. :\

In other news, I think I may have to search for a new job. I love the people that I work with. Hell, I met a fellow Pagan in my department and we chat whenever we work together but that can't keep me going. The place I work at got bought out by a competitor which is fine and dandy. The not so dandy part is that suddenly the store is implementing seniority. I went from a hard worker with some 34+ hours a week to a hard worker who'll be lucky to get 30 hours a week. Part me understands it but it irks me when four fellow co-workers, all whom live at home with mommy and daddy and don't have any sort of rent or bills to pay, are getting more then their 'allotted' hours. One of them is below part time and is supposed to get anywhere from 16-24 hours a week. This week she's getting 38. :I   Annoying to say the least and my Pagan coworker(a 50 some odd year old woman with more than her share of worries) is getting poor hours as well. She told me that I gotta do what I gotta do....besides, she can bother me on facebook.

I've been trying to figure out some way to decorate and celebrate this season. I wore my 'witchy' socks on the 1st and have been going over some books in my collection but so far nothing much. Autumn and Halloween are my favorite times of year and have been since I was a kid. No kids wander on to our 4+ acre of property for candy(it does look like a spooky place at night) and my relationship with my elder sister is still rocky, so handing out candy at her place probably won't happen. I'm going to start planning something out for the 31st in way of honoring the spirits, but I'm not too sure what.

One way or another a 'review' will be posted on a book that I have and I think I'll explain some nifty crafts that I've been trying to get into, and how I found them! :P

Monday, October 3, 2011

Quick Recipe of the Season

Besides the colors and the crisp air, another reason why I love autumn is the sudden explosion of pumpkins! Big ones, small ones, all of 'em! My sisters and I would do your traditional pumpkin carvings when we were young, giggling at the gross mess we made with the insides and threatening to chuck it at each other. We'd pick through to get the seeds and my mother would toast them in the oven for us. There is something special about homemade toasted pumpkin seeds that seems to be lacking in the store bought variety.

Looking through my mass of recipes I found a quick one for toasted seeds and thought I'd share.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
2 cups pumpkin seeds
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Wash pumpkin seed in a colander under running water.  Wipe off excess fibers.  On a cookie sheet, combine pumpkin seeds with remaining ingredients.  Bake approximately 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until seeds are dry and golden.

 As with any recipe, add what you'd like to it! My elder sister does her own spicy variety and I add some cayenne pepper to a portion of mine for Grendal. I haven't tried a 'sweet' variety but I do think it could be done. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Be Kind to Your Fine Feathered Friends

From what I've been told I was bitten by a swan when I was a child. It must not have been very traumatic because I don't remember it and I adore most birds. My grandfather had a Martin house set up in the backyard before he and my grandmother moved to their current house. He has a pair of binoculars and a bird book right next to the large windows that overlook their backyard. It's a haven for wildlife, as small as the yard may be, and it's thanks to him that I've taken a liking to feeding the birds and squirrels in our own yard.

The whole 'grandparent feeding the small animals' thing isn't just in my family; apparently Grendal's own grandfather feeds them. What struck me as awesome was the fact that the squirrels and chipmunks would actually run up to him and pretty much ask for some peanuts. For the 6+ years Grendal and I have been together I hadn't seen it happen. One chipmunk had attempted to get to him but was frightened off by the crowd of people at the family get together. This past weekend, though, I actually got to witness it. Grendal found it amusing because I reverted back to a child when the chipmunk ran up to me and grabbed my finger, thinking I had something for him. He loved it even more so when his grandfather handed me some peanuts and I began to feed the little guy. The chipmunk would take three peanuts(one in each cheek and on its mouth) and then bounce off to its home, only to come back for more. Grendal's grandmother said they're usually nervous around other people but it seems like it warmed up to me rather quickly.

While I haven't gotten the squirrels or chipmunks to do that around here, Grendal and I have managed to gather a rather large community of birds:

I find myself sitting next to the cat by the window watching the birds, chipmunks, and squirrels eat. We have Goldfinches, Whitebreasted Nuthatches, Mourning Doves, Cardinals, Sparrows, House Finches, and Blue Jays flying around. My favorite are the Nuthatches right now. I just love how they shimmy down the polls, flip on the horizontal poll, and eat 'upside down.' I do love the Cardinals, especially in winter when their colors pop against the snow, but the male we had this past spring was constantly singing. Grendal said he was just expressing his joy, but it eventually rubbed him the wrong way when the bird decided to sing right outside the bedroom window!

I've seen other bloggers joining little blog parties before and it has piqued my interest many times. I've seen what goes on and I've thought about joining. Me being me, though, I've stopped short many times. Why? Because I'm so nervous and shy. Why should I be, though? This is the internet! Anonymity it supposed to give you courage to be yourself! I think it's more of the whole 'am I pagan/witchy enough' feel. My blog isn't dedicated to my witchy lifestyle but that is more of me still flexing those muscles. I am knowledgeable in my own right! I have no need to fear others looking this over and thinking that I'm not what I should be. I have been following this path for over 10 years! So yeah, I joined something: The Real Witches of Halloween. Hopefully I will meet new people, find new blogs, and expand my view even wider!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sad times

Yesterday I was going to post something rather happy, along with a couple pictures, but the day went from wonderful to bad with a simple phone text. Turns out the family sheltie, named Pikala, had to be put down. Out of the current dogs at my parents' house she was the one I looked forward to seeing. I always gave he first greeting. Whenever I sat on the porch while everyone was out she would sit right next me and watch everything as well.  She was the only dog that would give me a kiss when I would give her one.

In essence she was like a younger sister to me. Grendal loved her dearly as well and was heartbroken by the news. Pika was young for a sheltie but had medical issues and had to be put down. What hurts the most was that it had been 2 weeks since we saw her, and at that time she appeared to be rather healthy. We never got to say goodbye and it hurts to wonder if she had missed seeing us one last time.  All we can do is be happy in knowing there is no more pain and that she has gone to a better place.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It's the most Wonderful Time of the Year

It's already September, which means it's close to my birthday and closer to my favorite season: autumn! I never really experienced the color extravaganza that come with season when I lived in California and Georgia. Sure trees changed but it's nothing like what I've seen here in northern Illinois. The first time I saw such a lovely display was actually in the backyard of my grandparents' house(my father now owns it). I'm not too sure what type of tree it is but every autumn, for a few days, the leaves are a beautiful crimson. After a point, though, they turn brown and fall. :P

One of my favorite places is a stretch of road not too far from a community college. Trees create this nice tunnel effect as they loom over the street, and once autumn hits the place looks similar to this, but with more reds:
When the sun begins to set the whole place seems to glow! It always takes my breath away. I love the place so much that it inspired an area in my novel-in-progress. The forest always has autumn colors, which just makes it a dream place in my head.

Grendal's father had gone around the yard last month looking at the oak trees in the yard and decided to figure out what kind we have. From what I've been told we have three different kinds, which makes the whole lot of us happy. I've also taken notice that they're producing a nice amount of acorns and have decided that I'm going to try and harvest some! While it seems too early for me to start feasting on nuts, I can't help but want to harvest them. Acorns, walnuts, chestnuts, and almonds, all in their shells, was something my mother bought me every winter when I was kid. We had a nutcracker that I was able to use to crack 'em open, though I stopped using the poor guy when I noticed his jaw was loose(I also liked watched The Nutcracker, so I I thought mine came to life at night and wouldn't appreciate a wiggly jaw). When we moved up here to Illinois my little winter tradition stopped mainly because I couldn't find that array of nuts together and for a reasonable price. So I'll be keeping an eye out for the right harvesting time and the grocery store whenever they get their own nut harvest.

On the mead front, its drinkable and yummy!! Grendal and I are happy that our first batch came out so well and we plan on not only making another small batch but saving up money so it can be our drink of choice at our joining/handfasting/wedding thing. I think we had agreed on two 15 gallon jugs. The big thing is figuring out flavor. We've thought about spiced mead and even a berry kind but nothing is set in stone yet. I think I'll nab a book on mead making before all of that gets underway.

Other than that not much has happened in my corner of the world. I'm trying desperately to save money but it seems to be harder than I thought, mainly because I've had to empty my account twice to help pay the electric bill. This coming Friday, though, I will be getting that money back since the electric bill isn't really what was agreed upon when it came to me paying for stuff. It also helps that Grendal's father has gotten a job, so there will be a little more money coming into the house! Grendal is still trying to focus on the home business but it doesn't seem to be going anywhere, which frustrates everyone. Grendal has mentioned that there needs to advertisement and his mother shunted that responsibility to him, which probably wasn't the best of things. He's at a loss on what to do and that seems something like his mother would be a bit better at some degree. All that really needs to be done is create a flyer with the phone number and the etsy site url, along with a brief description of what they do! Put it up around town and business bulletin boards and there you go. Online advertising, though, might be a little harder.

That's it for now. I'll be back whenever something exciting happens! ;)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fire Hot

Fire indeed hot! (woot, for murdered Futurama quotes)  Seriously, though, when doing a spell with fire remember that one can be burned in the literal sense. :|  Had a nasty flare up and lost some hair on my arm. Slight burn but nothing aloe could take care of.  Yeah, made a mental note on how to 'properly' work with fire.

Anywho! Serious life things have been serious. Quick run down: Job going well(coworkers love me!), financial situation of the house is looking slightly better but still bad, my student loans are coming in which means I gotta start paying them off next month(ick), summer is too damn hot, I'm making mead, we have an etsy shop(click the RyallWay image on the side bar to check it out) and Grendal proposed about two weeks ago!!! :D

After nearly 7 years together he proposed.  He had been thinking about it for a while, we had talked about it together, and then it just happened.  Grendal felt bad that he didn't have a ring but gave me his necklace that has Mjöllnir on one side and a dragon on the other.  He was also slightly unhappy with how the proposal went but I think it was memorable. Grendal took me to a local forest preserve and we sat and looked at the lake. Sadly we weren't alone: there was a gentleman fishing a few yards to our left as well as two different groups on other parts of the lake(one being a rowdy group of 20-somethings).  There was also one annoying bird, but we were lucky enough to see a crane fly by.  We sat together just looking over the lake, enjoying our time. I started getting eaten alive by mosquitoes (I'm rather allergic if I start to scratch them) and the 20-somethings were getting louder(one of 'em shouted 'ITS A TRAP!' which cracked me up). I said we should head out because I needed to get some benadryl.  Grendal hugged me and said that this wasn't how the proposal was supposed to go.  O^O  I was stunned, got teary eyed when I noticed the serious look on his face, and said yes!

There is no set date, though I suggested June 21 2013. It's a Friday as well as midsummer, so it works out. Grendal seem okay with that and we've agreed to make a BIG batch of mead for the celebration. We do know our 'wedding' won't be traditional. Most likely we'll be doing it in his yard. It'll be more like a big party then anything else. Food, music, friends, family, and a bonfire once it gets dark! One of Grendal's cousins said he's legally capable of marrying us, which would be great. I don't know where to find a person who could do a handfasting, let alone how much it would cost(we're goin' the cheap route). :I

So yeah....that's my update for the time being. Haven't been spiritually 'active' in the sense that I had been a while ago. I'm still trying to get used to working and my energy is slowly catching up with me. Plus I'm still doing some soul searching in that department. It seems like once I think I may have found something, something else pops up and get my attention so I MUST investigate. Either way, I'm learning, living, and growing so much!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chopping off my Feet

Haven't posted in a while but I have good reason: I'm employed!  I finally got a job at a grocery store about a block from the house.  Not the most ritzy thing(I work in the deli) but I'm getting money which is something that is in demand.  I've been working for the past week, putting in about 30 some odd hours.  Turns out I need new shoes, too.  The ones I have are bad on slippery floors and my feet kill me at the end of the day.  :I   Not good.  So, after taking my cat to the vet and seeing if there is anything I MUST do first, shoes will be bought!

Renny is moving on Monday.  He'll be about a 2-3 hour drive away now.  I'll miss him but for the past week Grendal and I have been rather irked by the boy.  Grendal has is reasons and I have mine(warning, slight rant ahead).  My problem is two part.  Renny has been writing a memoir/journal of sorts about his time here in the Rockford area.  Sounded interesting enough.  I've been reading it and it's nothing new.  Then the comments started popping up from his other buddies.  They were complimenting him on his writing and saying how he has a writer in him.  This floored me.  Being an aspiring author for the past, oh, 17+ years, writing mountains worth of stories, and attempting to go through the process of being an English teacher, I had to disagree though I didn't 'say' anything.  The writing is on par with SMeyer of Twilight infamy, something Grendal pointed out to me.  He also said that Renny had been a big fan of the series and it also appeared that many of his friends were in the same boat.  It made me feel a little better, though a little worse.  I've been working on my novel for nearly 2 years and can't get a person to read it and tell me what they think.

The other part of my agitation with his writing is the fact that Renny has MAJORLY down played his relationship and interaction with his gaming group.  We've spent Friday afternoons for the past 2-3 years geeking it out video game style, followed by Sunday night Dungeons and Dragons for much more than that.  He glanced over the bit where he played D&D with us and has yet to mention our Friday endeavors.  I feel slighted.  Talking to Grendal about it he feels the same way.  If his next two updates don't bring any of this in, I'll suggest a better title to him and tell him, in the nicest way possible so he doesn't shut down, that I feel rather insulted and upset about it.  I don't care if he wants to go on about the 3 years he spent pining after a girl he dated for 1, and the hell he put himself through because of it.  End of rant.

That being said, everything is looking better in my world.  Let's hope it stays that way!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Lots to Do!

Some pretty good things have been happening as of late! I had an interview at a local grocery store and, if my friend Renny is correct(he works for the same company), I got the job!  I know there is a chance that I don't but I want to feel good about something. :P  Grendal's father also has a possible job lined up, which is wonderful!  The group of us are also going to be having a craft booth at a local cruise night.  Grendal's parents are buddy/buddy with the owner and the guy was apparently more than happy to let us have a small booth.  This means the guys need to make some awesome wood items and I have to work on some jewelry by the 26th of next month.  That means I need to work on my macrame and beading some more.  Plus Grendal's father is going to fashion some nifty wooden items so I can make earrings. :D

I mentioned my whole gardening thing before and I'm still working on that.  Grendal tore out some old stumps so there is even more room!  I need him to take out a few roots(too big for me to handle without hurting myself) and another stump looking thing.  There are two plants growing, one is a thorny thing and another already has yellow blossoms.  More than likely I'll keep the flowering plant since I believe that was something Grendal's mother had planted a while back.  That and flowers are always nice to have!  With the possibility of a job I can make sure I get some good seeds as well as some starter plants to increase the likelihood of have a good harvest.  We're thinking about adding some sunflowers to attract even more birds and squirrels, which is awesome!  We have a cardinal and his mate who have made a nest near by, and the male is constantly chirping/singing/talking/whatever.  So much so that I now can pick out the sound of a cardinal where ever I go.  We also have some Blue jays nesting in the yard somewhere.  They show up randomly, more specifically to confuse the poor squirrels so they can have the peanuts I toss out.

Grendal and I have taken up a new hobby.  We're in the process of joining a local 'chapter' of the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism)!  I stumbled across the group when I decided to look up Medieval Reenactment groups for Grendal.  He's been into the idea of reenactments but doesn't like the whole World War and Civil War type stuff.  So when I found this group and that there was one in town we quickly made it a point to contact the group and make sure they're still together and that we can just show up.  Last week was our second time going.  Grendal was going to try out the heavy weapons fighting but had hurt himself removing stumps, so he couldn't.  Renny was with us and ended up trying his hand at fencing(he loved it).  Grendal, Renny, and one of the fencers are trying to get me to try it out too, but I'm not sure.  I'm way too shy for my own good, so it'll take me a while before I can get the courage to do it. XP  What I do want to do is more of the Arts and Sciences that the SCA have.  Stuff like bardic arts, beadworking, brewing, dyeing, and herbcraft.  The idea of being a bard, though, is awesome.  I could tell some awesome stories!

Another awesome thing is that Grendal and I get to pick personas.  Its really no surprise that we're both going Norse.  He jumped at the idea of being a viking and, well, since we've been together for nearly 7 years and I've been getting into Norse history I thought 'why the hell not.'  I've done more research now, getting ideas for names and costumes and what we can do.  This'll be awesome!

That's it for now!  I get to take it easy thanks to the threat of rain.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Gardeing....Ain't my thing

I have a black thumb, I swear. My mother told me banzai plants were hearty and they were hard to kill. I got myself one, pruned and watered it, even kept it in a nice spot. Sure enough it died. D:

For years I've wanted a garden, one that thrives with all the veggies and herbs I could want! They always die off. One time I asked Ba'al to aid in the fertility of my plot. Turns out I should've been a bit more specific because EVERYTHING went nuts. The weeds couldn't be controlled and then the prairie plants sprung up well over my head. To make matters worse, my parents' garden thrived like no one's business. :I

So, once again I'm setting out to garden. There is a nice bit of soil that is black compared tot he sandy dirt in the rest of the yard. I believe it was to thanks to the fact that no one touched it and the weeds and prairie plants grew. So I've been pulling up the dead stuff, getting rid of the small weeds and what not. Hopefully the seeds I've found are still viable, because we're still in a bit of a financial bind and every bit helps. Growing our own veggies, while not an immediate saving will help.

The big thing will be keeping the animals away, people(mainly children) from tromping through, and making sure no one takes my harvest without asking ME first. I have no problem sharing with Grendal's sister and her family, but I find it rather rude that they assume they can just take it. I've been debating about doing a ward or something, and the big reason is because of the financial situation. Who knows. That will all depend on if I can make something grow.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Odd Occurrence

Usually I don't let my train of thoughts get too out of hand. The random thoughts that pop in my head aren't too random and I know where they come from.

Today Grendal and I were milling about our room when we both heard a bird outside. I stop to listen and Grendal has an odd smile on his face.  I tell him I've never heard that particular call before. He informs me we have a hawk in the yard.  He hurries downstairs while I grad a light jacket and some sandals so we can sneak a peek at our guest.  By the time we get out the hawk is gone and the little birds are tweeting and the squirrels are back searching for food.

Grendal is, of course, a little disappointed that we didn't get to see it so we start heading back in.  My mind, for some reason, jumps to crows and I think 'I always see two.'  Now, this just causes me to halt all form of thought in my little head.  Where did that come from?  Yes, I do see crows often and they always seem to come about when something is upsetting me or if I need some eye candy in the trees(odd I know). Crows have always been comforting for some reason and I just love watching them.

I know it isn't too far fetched to think of Odin and his two birds(I know they're ravens rather then crows), Huginn and Muninn, especially since I've been going on a bit of a Norse binge.  Yet, that couldn't be right.  If my brain is bringing up some recent stuff I've been reading I should be having random thoughts about hobbits and the Illuminati/Free Masons(Dan Brown's stuff can be entertaining). So where did this thought about crows come from? Grendal and I have talked about them either.

As hard as is it for me to mention it(don't ask why), I think someone may have been trying to reach out to me.  Well, just gotta keep an open mind, yes?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Here Comes the Rain Again

While I do love winter and the blankets of snow and chilly weather, the two good things about spring and summer are the flowers and the storms.  On Ostara there was a lovely storm and right now there is another one!  Some of my fondest memories are of storms.  Yes, I used to get scared when they got bad and still do(major fear of tornadoes!) but for the most part they're calming.  The thrumming of heavy rain, the wind, and, most of all, the thunder and lightening.

Georgia has some of the best storms in my memory.  We lived on an Air Force base and it was actually rather dull where we were.  The best thing there was the wooded area behind the house, which was a conglomeration of backyards of a large block of houses.  This place had a dried up stream that would fill up with a heavy rain and enough trees to play hide-and-seek when need be.  We lived at the top of Hill Street which was obviously a hill.  There were a few times the rain got bad and there was flooding but we were lucky enough not to be in danger.

During the thunder storms I would sit under the carport with my father and just watch the lightening.  I don't remember the conversations we had but I believe they had to do with science and nature, which was appropriate.  A few summer storms my sisters and I actually ran into the down pour and played around.  Bare feet and sundresses that quickly got way too heavy.  The only bad thing about playing in a summer storm is going into a house that has the A/C going.  Talk about chilly!

Well this storm tonight has been special.  Some cases of heavy falls and big gusts of wind.  I told Grendal I had the urge to run around outside but I wasn't.  He asked me why and I told him I'd get cold, plus I didn't want my inner child to win.  Grendal told me to go ahead, we have towels and its rather cozy inside.  That was enough for me.  I slipped on my sandals and hurried outside.  Yeah, cold rain isn't as fun as the rain from the middle of summer but I still enjoyed it.

An odd thing happened and it my just be a coincidence but it was thrilling to me.  I stood there, eyes closed and face turned skyward, and enjoyed the rain.  All I could think was that this was so rejuvenating.  The moment those thoughts were, well, thought there was a huge flash of lightening(the kind that makes it seem like its noon) and a deep roll of thunder.  I kind of took that as a 'your welcome' from my storm God of a patron.  :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Aw Man

No super-moon viewing for me last night.  It was all thanks to cloud cover.  On the 'bright' side I woke up to the sound of rain and thunder. :)  Don't know if I should be thanking Ba'al or Thor right now, though I'm leaning more towards Ba'al.  What a nice way to kick off the season!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dirty Fingers

Today was a fun little day.  We were doing a belated celebration for the Grendal's brother's birthday.  Grendal's eldest niece was over, which is always a delight.  The two of us have a problem with young kids.  I get frustrated very easily and don't like the whole diaper thing, and Grendal can't really touch them with out feeling physically ill(don't know why).  Ri(who is 5 I believe), though, seemed to be an exception; Grendal was able to pick her up at the age of 3 and feel just fine.  Since Ri is past the whole potty training time I'm good too, lol.  She is always happy to see the two of us and loves Grendal to death.  Its only around Ri and my youngest niece that I ever really feel maternal, which is odd.  The second oldest niece of Grendal's is the same age as my youngest niece, yet I can't really tolerate her.  I don't know why.  The youngest of Grendal's nieces isn't 2 yet and that's not a good age for either of us.

One awesome thing about Ri is her love of playing outside.  Grendal and I were very much the nature lovers growing up and we still are.  So I ventured into the yard while Grendal and the other men worked on one of the cars.  Grendal's mother and sister were watching his nieces(yeah, no male grandkids).  Ri and the other two were playing around, mostly in the dirt.  That side of yard had been torn up by the county so that the street could have water and 'proper' sewage.  The tree line was completely demolished and there isn't a thing growing.  Honestly it looks hideous.

So while the kids are playing I go poking around in the dirt and start finding some interesting rocks.  Nothing spectacular, just ones with 'sparkles,' oddly shaped ones, some with holes, and some nice pebbles that had kind of a milky look to them.  It didn't take long for Ri to notice what I was doing.  I showed her the rocks I was placing on the trunk of a fallen tree and soon she was looking for her own rocks.  She now has a nice group of rocks she wishes to clean and then put in her room as decorations.

One of the reasons why I think Ri seems to adore Grendal and I is the fact that we're a loving couple.  Ri's parents are divorced and it wasn't a happy one.  Her mother is unstable at times and appears to be chronic liar, making things hard for a growing child.  Coming here she sees the stability of a happy family and that relationships can be good.  I also think Grendal's brother finds it odd that I get maternal with Ri.  I play with her, I let her sit in my lap when I'm flipping through books on faeries(gotta love Froud's work!), and I tend to her when I can.  Grendal and I hold her hands when we go out, swinging her around and what not.  Grendal throws her over his shoulder and gives her piggy back rides.  If we were suddenly given Ri as a child I think things would be a happy one.

If I ever have a child, I want her to be like Ri.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pagan Blog Prompt: St. Patrick's Day

Ah, St. Patrick's Day - a day for pinching people not wearing green, drinking lots of green beer, eating corned beef with cabbage and potatoes....

But do you know why we even have this day? What's the story behind "saint" Patrick? How does it relate to us Pagans?

Explore this topic with a little research, then share your knowledge with the rest of us :) You might be surprised what you find.... 

 Growing up I didn't know the specifics of the day. Just that I needed to wear green to avoid the pinching that would occur. Growing up the green got less and less.  It went from shirts, to ribbons to buttons, to me saying "I have enough green in my eyes, leave me alone."  I do have some Irish blood in me, and I believe I used that as an excuse for not wearing green either.  Since I'm not much of a drinker, the whole getting smashed bit doesn't appeal to me.

I do know that St. Patrick was never actually given sainthood by the Pope, but we've been celebrating theday for so long I doubt its going to change.

I will say that I don't really celebrate this day any more.  Why?  Well, because of the whole snake-pagan thing.  Yes, there are no actual snakes in Ireland, not after the last ice age.  The druids had snake tattoos, thus running the snakes of the island was pretty much kicking the druids off the island.  It irked me so I just didn't bother with the day any more.  I do try and cook some Irish food to celebrate that part of my lineage, and with Grendal's family being very much the Irish family I can't help it any more.

One person some where said that on St. Patty's day they don't drink to the man's memory but more to his death, and the fact that those 'pesky snakes' have returned.

All in all, just another day. Happy celebrating to those who do so.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Surprised Me Too

Grendal and I don't have access to cable in our place and after months without it I don't know why I ever enjoyed it.  Scratch that, yes I do!  My favorite channels are History Channel, Discovery Channel, TLC, SyFy, and NatGeo.  I honestly can't get enough of those 'educational' channels.  My father and I watch shows on the military and wars, as well as anything to do with ancient civilizations and the occult(we LOVE watching things on 2012).  We don't bond over much but it is our love of odd knowledge that brings us together.  He told me about the book Chariots of the Gods after I talked him about the show Ancient Aliens, and how one of the authors was on the episode.  My father also told me about people working at Area 51, even though it doesn't exist but it moved somewhere else and the military is still closely guarding the place.  Yeah, my father is a well of information and I love every bit of it.

So yes, my love of informative tv shows, no matter how odd and possibly misinformed, knows no bounds.  There was a series called Clash of the Gods that quickly grabbed my attention.  They were to take myths and talk about them and show the real life similarities.  I was excited!  Their first episode was about Zeus and while I may not like him, the show was rather interesting and had some tidbits I didn't know.  Sadly this was also around the time that we got rid of cable.  I couldn't see myself going to my parents' house to watch the show because it takes 30 minutes to get there.  So it just fell to the side until I could get a copy of it.  I was happy!  They had an episode on Hades, Medusa, Thor, and even the tale of Beowulf!  It took a little convincing but I got Grendal to watch some with me.

Tonight we had watched the Beowulf and Thor episode.  Its been a while since either of us read the tale of Beowulf but things seemed off.  The people on the show REALLY wanted to tie the story into some christian allegory.  O_o  Apparently Grendal(uh, the character) represented the Pagans, so when Beowulf killed him it was a metaphor for the ending of the Pagan beliefs.  What?  I must've missed that during my read through.  I highly doubt that during the story's oral tradition that the story tellers wanted to bring down the Pagans.  Not to mention they seemed to royally screw up the meaning of the word Pagan.

We brushed off our misgivings about that episode and continued on to the episode about Thor.  Now, I think I need to say something before I continue.  Grendal isn't a Pagan or a Wiccan.  He's more of a polytheistic-agnostic....or something.  He came up with a decent word.  Anyway, if Grendal ever did settle into the realm of Pagan worship and picked a pantheon, he would quickly pick up the Norse pantheon.  He studies the Norse tales, enough to hold lengthy conversations, and even has a pendant with Mjöllnir on it.  To our friends Grendal is known as the viking or the Norseman.

Anywho, Grendal went into this episode a little nervous.  Things started out fine, though my first gripe was the "actor's" lack of a beard.  The narrator couldn't decide on whether or not to call the jötunn giants or ogres, referred to Loki as Thor's servant, and completely screwed up the trials of Útgarða/Skrymir.  What got us was the story of Ragnarok.  Grendal and I never read the complete 'tale' of Ragnarok but we know what it is: essentially the end of the Norse pantheon.  It had always bothered me that the Norse pantheon had a tale of their own demise, seeing how none of the other pantheons in the world seem to have them(please correct me if I'm wrong).  The show went through the gist of Ragnarok, of coursing focusing on Thor since he was the episode's star, but then it took a christian bend that Grendal and I hadn't expected.

Through out the episode Grendal was constantly flipping through a book I bought him called 'Norse Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs' by John Lindow.  When they started talking about Ragnarok he quickly read it and made a surprised sound.  I asked him what was up and he just told me to watch, he wanted to see something.

Here is what the book says, which is pretty much what the episode said in an odd, round about way:

But Ragnarok has two parts, and the second involves rebirth.  the earth arises from the sea, and a new generation of gods inhabits it.  They have reminiscences of their forebears and some mysterious gaming pieces that link them to what went before.  Hod and Baldr are there, reconciled, and Hoenir too has survived the conflagration, for he "chooses lot-sticks," that is, he performs some sort of ritual activity.  According to the Hauksbok redaction of the poem, "the powerful one" then comes, and this looks like a reference to the christian deity.

Snorri paraphrases these verses and adds a few details, of which the most salient is the presence of Odin's sons Vidar and Vali and Thor's sons Magni and Modi, who will possess Thor's hammer Mjöllnir, in the new world that follows Ragnarok.  Snorri also, following Vafthrudnismal, says the humans will survive into the new world, through Lif and Lifthrasir.

I knew about Baldr and a few of the other gods surviving but I was shocked about the whole human race pulling through thanks to a man and a woman.  The show pointed out the similarities to Genesis in the Bible and even referred to Ragnarok and the Norse mythology as the prequel to the Old Testament.  WHAT?  I was shocked and, honestly, rather pissed.

Grendal and I did some talking and came to our own conclusions.  Now, the book doesn't really tell how old the Norse beliefs are via artifacts but it does mention that in 1000 b.c.e. some rock carvings were made that could have had a religious purpose.  My point, though, is that the christianisation of the area didn't really get underway until about 1000 c.e.  This means that the Prose Edda, the go-to for Norse mythology and written in the 13th century, was constructed when christianity already took up residence.  Churches were built over old temples before which made Grendal and I wonder if it wasn't too far fetched to create a bridge, story wise, to have people go from Pagans to Christians.  There has been no other reference to "the powerful one" that Grendal can find.  As for the Lif and Lifthrasir, I find it just odd.  Yes, in the beginning of Norse mythology Ask and Embla (Ash and Elm) are the first humans, but they were found washed up on a beach(or possibly created by the dwarves) by Odin, Vili, and Ve and given life/what was needed to live.  You can't really point to the Bible on that one because, hell, it sounds similar to the Hawai'ian creation myth.

So yeah, Grendal and I are a bit perturbed by the whole thing and firmly believe that Ragnarok was either completely created to bring people to the 'new religion' or modified to do so.  I guess it also doesn't help that the show made it sound like becoming christian brought peace to the world and made everything better.  :|

Okay.....enough of my ranting.  Despite the OBVIOUS christian bend Clash of the Gods has the show is enjoyable.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Some Spring Cleaning

Well, its been a difficult week. The day after my last post Grendal had the difficult job of explaining to his mother that it was Lucky's time to leave us.  Lucky was still trying to get up and move but his periods of sleep were getting longer and longer.  It was troubling Grendal and myself.  So that afternoon just about the entire family went to the vet to say our final goodbyes.  Everyone was in tears.  I couldn't stay in the room to watch the procedure, despite the fact that I was planning on going into the veterinary field.  I have to say I was having flashbacks of sorts to when my family went to the vet to say farewell to our boxer, Ali'i.  In a sense he was the brother I never had.  My farther took it the hardest since they were the best of friends.  Honestly, when I looked at Grendal that day I couldn't help but think of what my father went through.  It always hits me hard when I see grown men cry.  I guess its because I've always seen men with stone faces, smiles, and the general 'man' look about them.

When we got home we cleaned up.  It was hard because the cleaning consisted of ridding the house of Lucky's belongings.  Grendal put his foot down, not wanting to get rid of Lucky's harness, his collar, or his favorite toy.  I can understand it but it seemed like his parents were confused.  Hell, Grendal went through the garbage to get the toy and its sitting beside the altar right now.  Tinker, my Main Coone, seems to be rather lost as well.  She and Lucky were friends.  We caught them curled up next to each other a few times and she even sat beside him for a few hours during his last week.  Their method of play was Tinker would play chicken and encourage him to chase her through the house.  She would also knock over the smaller trash can near the computer and he'd nose through it looking for stuff. In the end the decision was hard but we all agree that it was for the best.  Lucky is in a better place and free of the pain that he had been in.

We've been getting back into the mix of 'normal' life.  Grendal and I have been cleaning the upstairs which is where we live.  We managed to move some of his parents' things from a bookshelf and, after months in boxes, just about all of our books/comics/manga/reading material are out in the open!  This makes me happy because not only are my pagan books within grabbing distance but we got rid of 3 boxes.  That means more space!!  The place doesn't look as tiny and we can stretch out a bit more.  Now I can catch up on my reading.

I know the change of seasons is drawing close and I'm not too sure what to do.  There are some Pagans in the area and I've met with a group, but I got an odd feeling when Grendal and I sat in on their social gathering.  They're trying to do some good in the community and push aside some stereotypes and bad mojo from the few groups in town, which is wonderful.  What was odd was it felt like I was that geeky kid in high school trying to sit at the cool kids' table.  :\  I felt like I was being judged a bit and I was totally out of the loop when they started talking about old stuff.  I was missing the inside jokes in a way.  So while there are Pagan groups they don't really hold big to-dos and I can afford going out to the Chicago area to do some of the cool stuff.  I've thought about looking into some of the things that happen in Wisconsin, since the border is a stone's throw away from the backyard, but I just haven't gotten around to it. Blarg.  I know I don't need to go out and meet other Pagans but I've always been interested in joining in and seeing what everything was about.

So yeah, with Ostara right around the corner I'll probably do what I usually do: make a nice meal for my family, light some incense, and put out some offerings.  Now, more cleaning!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Battered and Bruised

I guess a good way to start this post off is with some poor humor: I now know what it feels like to be punched in the neck.  Oh, this may be long and rambling but I need to just lay this out for my own mental well being.  Alrighty, serious face on now.
This past Saturday Grendal's Siberian Husky, Lucky, had a stroke.  He's turning 10 this year and he is Grendal's buddy. When it happened everyone freaked out; Lucky was thrashing, vomiting, pushing himself in circles on the ground, and could not stand.  We found an emergency Vet Clinic and took him.  The Vet there said all it was, was vertigo.  Dogs Lucky's age get it so it isn't anything abnormal.  We left him at the clinic overnight, much to everyone's dismay(spent more money then we honestly had, but he's family member).  Grendal was pretty heartbroken.  Lucky had only been away once before and that was when he was neutered.  This was also the rare time I say Grendal in tears.  He was fearing for his friend's life and rightfully so.

We brought Lucky home Sunday morning, figuring that being around his family and getting some decent attention would help.  Grendal keeps turning to me for information and suggestions since I just about finished my training as a veterinary technician(had to stop due to lack of money and horrible teachers).  This was out of my realm but I knew enough to keep Lucky comfortable and to make sure he didn't hurt himself.  He's been in the middle of the living room ever since, on a plastic sheet, blankets, and puppy training pads.  Lucky's entire right side is almost useless.  He can twitch his legs but he has no sensation.  Grendal and I have tickled his feet, pinch his legs, and pulled out the fur he would be shedding and there was no facial reaction and no reaction of a skin twitch when we messed with the fur.
Grendal is also the only one strong enough to handle Lucky.  The dog is 85lbs of dead weight right now.  It takes two people to pick him up and move him.  We need one person to hold Lucky still while the other one lifts his rear to remove soiled training pads.  When Lucky decides to flail and try to move we have to calm him before he slams his head into the ground.  Grendal can stop him with one hand, Grendal's father can seem to calm him with his voice and holding him, I have to use both hands to hold his legs and even my lay my entire body across him at times, and Grendal's mother is unable to stop him at all.
In my attempts to keep Lucky calm and from injury, I have to use my entire body(like I said).  Lucky has slammed his head into my chest twice and once in the neck.  I've been kicked and scratched during his flails.  When I was struck in the neck I had Lucky in an odd bear hug and tumbled backwards onto a bowl that had been used to contain food, bruising my left arm terribly.
Its obvious that our sleeping habits have taken a major hit.  Lucky needs someone with him 24/7.  Due to the stress and lack of proper food, Grendal's immune system has taken a hit and so has mine, and he has strained his back.  Our eating habits have taken a nose dive(Grendal thinks I've lost weight) and even our hygiene hasn't been the best.  I've been unable to do laundry since we've been cleaning Lucky's bedding and no one has really left the house.
There has been no recreational moments for anyone in this home.  Grendal and I don't have much of a social life to begin with.  We're home bodies but every Friday and Sunday we get together with our friends to play games and socialize.  Everyone understood when we canceled Sunday; a good chunk of our human companions are parents to furry children.  Now, though, it seems that we won't be able to see any of them for another week.  Grendal and I are going stir-crazy.  We haven't really communicated with people online or even through our video games online.
Grendal has come to terms with the likelihood of having to put Lucky down.  So have I, his father, and even his elder sister.  His mother, though, is standing firm and clinging to every thing as a show of improvement.  Lucky has improved since he's come home.  He can eat solid food(a bland diet), he can drink on his own, he can 'sit' with his good side, and he is lucid.  Sadly there are some unexplainable blood spots appearing, he pushed his head against my foot and almost instantly fell a sleep(twice!), and he has hurt himself trying to stand since he could not move his feet into the proper positions or put weight on them.
Grendal's mother is pushing to keep him at least until Monday, and wants to see what progress he has.  She can't explain what amount and type of progress will make her happy.  Grendal and I are both thinking that she'll take any progress and run with it, claiming he's getting better.  We can't take much more of this.  The three of us who are unemployed can't get jobs with Lucky int his condition.  These things take months before the dog can be back to semblance of normalcy, which I know I can't handle.  Grendal is nearing his breaking point and his father is teetering as well.  Grendal's mother, the one who hasn't dealt with him as much as the others, hasn't seen the bad and hasn't put nearly as much time into this, and it fine.
We have a tough road ahead.   

Grendal and Lucky, '09

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Still Around

I'm still here, just not much to blog about. :p  Winter is always a slow season for me.  Its chilly outside so there's nothing to do and without a job in the foreseeable future, nothing to celebrate.

Ever since coming up north I always think the same thing when ever winter hits: how did people way back when get through this?  I hear my friends complain about how cold it is as they bundle up in their expensive clothes and start their cars from their bedrooms so it'll be warm when they climb in.  Not to mention the heaters in the house keeping it comfortable.

As I take the dog out at night, bundled up in a homemade cloak and staring up at the sky I just wonder what it used to be like.  No heating except a fireplace of some sort, no cars but horses and carriages, etc.  Not to mention clothes! I get weird looks walking around in my cloak but its warmer then my leather winter coat, so screw their funky glances.

I talked to Grendal about this and he laid things out.  It should've been rather simple to come to the same conclusion but I just couldn't wrap my head around it before he spoke.  I love him dearly.  We both seem to be on the same wavelength when it comes to things like these.

The changing of the season is roughly a month away.  The family is still struggling with money and job searches.  Grendal's father is having a hard time justifying working for minimum wage, which is understandable to a certain extent but right now money is money.  This family wont stay afloat with only one paycheck.  Nothing is panning out for Grendal and I job-wise either.  My depression is starting to rear its ugly head once more but Grendal is helping along with it.  If I had the extra money for seeds and what not I'd try my hand at another vegetable garden to help the family out in the food area.  But there's that 'm' word again.  Can't seem to keep it around.

I think if we could move to a better place we would.  The unemployment rate around here is bad: 9.3.  The bad thing is that's only those being counted now. The three of us in this house aren't being counted and there are others that aren't, so its probably a little worse then that(like that in the other states too).  I'm just praying that something will change.

Well, time for happy thoughts! I'm off to do laundry, bake some bread for the family, and do some fun stuff.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Oh Happy Day!

I've been jobless for almost a year now, and I've been tiptoeing around so much.  I only have 48$ to my name, meaning that I can't do a damn thing.  I freak out whenever I cough or my ear aches, thinking that this could lead to me needing to head over to a walk in clinic.  Fridays I get down on myself because Grendal and I can't chip in for a nice meal with out buddies.  Its even hard for me to buy cat essentials and my monthly, womanly items.  To make things worse, I'm living with Grendal and his parents.  Out of the four of us in the house, only one of us has a job.  To add more pain to it all Grendal's elder sister, and her family of 4, lives next door and mooches off the family.  Both families are going through hard times and it irks Grendal and myself that she shamelessly does this, but we have no control.

I'm hoping that is about to change.

Applications are the bane of my existence right now but since I need an income I kept putting in more.  I found out that Teavana was opening a shop in a nearby mall and thought 'why the hell not.'  So, Saturday morning I submitted my online application and figured I wouldn't hear from them.  Three days later(ie yesterday) I do my daily email check and the first thing I see is an email titled 'Interview Invitation.'  And it was from Teavana.  I freak out, flail at Grendal to look at the computer, and then proceed to do a little happy dance.  This is the first application out of all that I put in that had a response.  I know its only an interview but its a HUGE first step.  I worked at Starbucks for a little over a year and loved it.  Part of me is hoping that whole bit propels me forward and helps land me a job.  I mean, I don't care what position it is, I just need this job.  Plus, I'm hoping to get some nice tea discounts out of this. :D

So, my interview is tomorrow.  I've already put out an offering and asked that things are favorable for me in this endeavor.  I'll do the same tonight and probably do something right before my interview tomorrow.  Here's to hoping that my luck is turning around!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Witchy Meme

Saw this on a few different blogs and, well, decided why the hell not.

Please describe briefly your Path: Its an odd array of things. Since I'm not part of a coven or group of any sort, I just became a cherry picker. Certain things sounded better then others and I applied that. Its my own thing and really odd. Eclectic is the only word I suppose.

Please describe briefly how you practice it: I work alone. I do my things at night for the most part and it is VERY spontaneous. If I feel like I need to do something, I do it because there has to be some reason why that thought/feeling cropped up.

When did you first commit to your Path?  Heh, I was in the 6th grade when one of my female friends, at a slumber party, brought this stuff up. All the girls thought it was cool, we watched The Craft that night and what not. She and I were the only ones who stuck with it, though it may not have been 'good.'

How is your practice different now than it was then? I'm serious about what I do now. I think about it and try not to do this in the heat of the moment. It's like night and day, actually.

Is your practice different today than how you thought it would be back then? Oh yeah. I was inspired by witch movies, so its very different then my little 6th grade mind had planned. Plus I've found deities I never thought I would.

Does your Path and core belief system differ now than how it was when you first started? Yes. I lean towards Egyptian and Canaanite deities rather than just the Goddess and the God, and back then I didn't really grasp the meaning in all of it.

What is your heritage and how does this inform your Path? I'm a huge mix of European nationalities. For a while I was told I was also half Hawai'ian.  While I still consider myself as such, that Hawai'ian side is actually Portuguese, the Azores to be exact. My descendants were some of the first Portuguese there and they lived on the Islands long enough to be considered Hawai'ian. Because I had been raised with that Hawai'ian side of me very prominent I learned a LOT about the deities. I've paid homage to Pele and know all the stories. While I don't actively worship them, if I do return to visit family I'll pay homage to them when I can.

What are your main influences for your Path? Bah, I don't know. Grendal and nature in general. Grendal supports me and we talk about all of this a lot. Nature-wise, I just try to keep in tune.

Which do you do more: practice or research? Research. I read a lot but wish I could do more practice. Things get in the way and I try to at least thank the deities in my mind when I can. I really need to do more stuff.

Do you feel that one is more important than the other? Not really and I can probably blame my own self for that. I need balance where ever possible.

What values and ethics are important on your Path and in your practice? Balance, equality, patience, and trying not to harm others, unless absolutely necessary(I can explain at another time). 

What sort of cycles do you feel your practice goes through? Normal highs and lows. I get into those stints where its all I think about and others where I can't seem to focus.

What is one of the greatest obstacles or struggles you have had to over come? Acceptance from friends/family and, in turn, not caring.

How do you see yourself practicing in ten years? Probably no different though I hope I bring my beliefs more and more in my life.

How do you incorporate your practice into your life? Being so close to nature. It helps remind me.

Has walking your Path changed you as a person? Oh yeah. I'm more even and I have found my love nature that I thought was left in my childhood.

Do you consider yourself to be a priest/ess? How so? I could be but not now. I practice alone.

A witch? How so? Depends on your definition of the word.

A shaman? How so? Nope. Have no idea about shamanism, so I don't claim to be a shaman.

Which matters more: getting the vocabulary right or the actual practice of what we are trying to define? It always bothers me when I look at huge rituals and wonder how people can remember all of their lines. And if they do the same thing each time, you just end up going through the motions and the feeling behind it might not be all that great. For me, its the practice.

One of the most profound things anyone ever said to you was: I guess there is two. 1- 'Oh, you're Pagan too? Awesome.'  2- 'My mother and father know all about that. They'd love to talk about it.'  They're profound to me, dang it!

A defining moment on your Path was: The dream that I had when Ba'al made himself known to me. :D

Have you ever taken a “leap of faith”? When I first started, it was a leap.

Please tell us something stupid, reckless or embarrassing you did once in your practice: Voodoo.....nasty stuff if you don't know what you're doing.  ._.

What is the most frustrating thing about your Path? Not being able to stick to it.

Have you ever been frightened? Yup.....the voodoo instance.

Can you perform ritual without a script? Yeah, because I don't use 'em.

Have you ever preformed spontaneous magick/spellcraft? All the freakin' time!

What are you still exploring or experimenting with? Heh, everything I suppose. I believe one is never done learning.

What (or whom) are you the most committed to in your practice and on your Path? Bast and Ba'al at the moment.

Ritual tools are …what ever I can find!

Magickal tools are …what ever I can find!

The one thing you can’t do without is: My necklace. It has a dragon and a cat on it....means a lot.

Seeking personal power is …natural.

Politics and you Path are …I don't like to talk politics. Too much fighting.

One thing you wish people would understand about your Path and/or practice is: Its just as good as yours and stop trying to tell me I'm going to hell. That place doesn't exist in my faith, so I can't go there. :p

Do you teach? I wish I could. What I want is to 'teach' children in the sense that there is still wonder and magic in the natural world.

What do you feel is the role of clergy in modern Paganism and Heathenism? Eh, I don't know. I'm of the opinion that you don't need a priest or priestess because all the information is there. You can learn about it and get stuff from it with or without them. Its like teaching in a sense: some people make it seem like you don't know a damn thing and they're all knowing. Not good.

When the Veil (or Hedge!) is thin, how does that feel to you? Static in the air. Anything can happen.

What entities do you work with most? (ancestors, gods, fae etc)Deities and Dragons.

What is your relationship with the Land? I love it and talk with it.

The most important aspect of ritual is: the thought and emotion behind it.

The main purpose of ritual is: I don't know how to answer this one. I suppose it depends.

What is the purpose of divination/dowsing (or whichever form of augury you use)? To see the possibilities and if a 'fix' is called for.

What was the most difficult book you ever read? (Either difficult to understand or hard to face what it said or both) I don't remember the title but it was the first book on Wicca that I picked up. I was so lost.

What book do you recommend the most to others? Honestly, anything by Cunningham. Some people may not like his work but I think it is the perfect springboard! Its all easy to understand and it helps newcomers to work their way into it.

What is you favourite podcast (if any) and favourite blog (other than your own)? Yikes. Not a podcast person and I go to too many blogs to figure that out. @_@

If you could impart only one last piece of wisdom or knowledge, or share one experience with the world at large, what would it be? Look to nature if you loose your way.

Is there an additional question you would like to see here? What is it? (please also answer) None.  This was good.

Please finish this meme with a picture, image or photograph of some sort:

 Heh, sim me!