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The Price of Blogging: $66.21

I opened my cable bill and it was much larger than it typically is. I had an internet overage for the month of November in the amount of $66.21. Then it dawned on me. National Blog Posting Month. I’d NaBloPoMo’d myself to the tune of $66.21.

It didn’t occur to me that I might need more gigabytes. But Patsy at my local cable company knew just what to do. She increased my gigabytes by 150 and with any luck that’s enough. But there’s another 150 waiting for me if I need it. And at $10 a pop, it’s inexpensive compared to the sixty-six dollars and change that appeared on my cable bill. They’re helpful like that. In a couple of weeks, they’re coming out to install a larger cable to our home. We’re on the end of the line apparently, and we need a little more boosting to get a signal. We already have a larger one than usual, but apparently we need more.

She also convinced me to take part in their phone promotion. So, my landline is back on after being off for a year or so. It drops my bill by at least $25 for the next two years, so I agreed. The ringer will never be on, and I’ll never give the number out. I hate telemarketer calls. I know they’re just trying to make a living like anyone else, but I hate them anyway. It’s small of me, I realize. I should be better than that. But I’m not. And they were why we took the land line out in the first place. I don’t even want to know what my new phone number will be.

But it’s like that comedy bit that George Carlin did years ago about stuff. When you get more stuff, you have to buy a bigger house and such to put it in, etc. I have a feeling gigabytes are like that. And as for NaBloPoMo..

IT WAS WORTH EVERY PENNY!!!

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I Did It!! #NaBloPoMo Day 30

#NaBloPoMo

I did it! I’ve written every day of National Blog Posting Month. I’ve learned about search engine optimization, and I renamed my blog at the beginning of the month. The old name really didn’t apply anymore. I had written a post entitled Stepping Aside which explained some realizations I had arrived at over time. Women in their Crone phase of life are often dismissed as emotional and out of control. Menopause is a time of challenge, to be managed. To those people, I say, are you kidding me?

When a woman reaches her Crone years, she’s achieved a level of clarity that others may find uncomfortable, and the last thing we need is to be managed. In fact, it’s probably not a good idea to even attempt to manage me. We may stay silent; we may speak out, confusing our families by the things we do and say. Truth be told, I couldn’t care less. It’s my time now. Mine. And I don’t have any intention of answering to anyone.

I’m amazed that I’ve found topics to blog about. #NaBloPoMo topics have helped, as have the Daily Prompt over at WordPress. Once I got started, it was much easier than I thought it would be. I’m a bit wordy at times and blogging daily has helped me condense a bit. The Yoast SEO plugin I installed has been immensely helpful in that regard, suggesting areas to improve I had never even thought of before.

All in all, finding BlogHer has been inspiring. It’s been fun following my fellow bloggers both on BlogHer and on Twitter, reading as well as sharing their work. Some of the stories are funny, poignant, and a few brought tears.

So, thank you for letting me share my thoughts with such an amazing group of people. It’s the last day of National Blog Posting Month. We did it!!

~Blessings to all!

 

 

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Witch Notes: Priorities, 29 Nov 2015

Witch's wonderland

 

Priorities. I always need something when I’m snowbound. I planned for the event by shopping the day before. We had no idea how much snow would ultimately fall. With a long driveway and a low to the ground car, driving through snow can be a challenge. My Camry has a very cool spoiler on the front which I won’t ruin for anything. The lawn tractor has a front blade, but I neglected to order tire chains and weights which Home Depot doesn’t carry. So it sits because it can’t move forward without traction until I find a John Deere dealer. Clearly, my own lesson in priorities.

But today, after Jerry did a little shovel work where the snow was deepest, we made our way up the driveway and drove to Walmart. Although the street looked mostly clear by our home, the rest of the streets near where we live were treacherous. I saw little evidence of gravel on the roads, only thick ice, which continued all the way into Walmart’s parking lot.

I don’t think it snowed more than a day or two. Usually, the temperature increases a bit, clearing the roads. But that didn’t happen. This time, it has stayed below freezing since the storm began, the nights in single digits. I spent part of my childhood in Alaska, so I love snow. There were times during winters there where the temperatures were no higher than 30 degrees below zero, so I’m accustomed to cold weather. But I’m older now, and safety seems more of an issue I suppose.

The ice in Walmart’s parking lot where we parked was life-threatening, no bare pavement visible in many places. We did the best we could as we returned to the car, moving from one dry area to another, until all that was left was 30 feet of solid ice with only the cart to hang on to. It was our choice to go there and to park where we did. But as a taxpayer, it would be nice if the roads had been better. It stopped snowing several days ago. The sun comes out, the road heats up, and because the temperatures remain below freezing, more ice develops. And it’s not like it’s unexpected around here. Most of us live between 3000 and 6000 feet above sea level. Central Oregon is an exquisite mixture of High Desert and the Cascade Mountain range. We say that there are two seasons here: Winter and August. Three, if you add fire season, what with all the ground-striking lightning that occurs.

So you’d think our local folks would plan a little better. It speaks to priorities, I think. Our safety feels like an afterthought at times. It’s expected to warm up on Tuesday, so the ice may melt before the snow plows come back. Limited funds, they’ll say.

Priorities, I say.

~Blessings to all!

 

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Synchronicity, Numerology and a Tempest in a Teapot

Synchronicity

Synchronicity is amazing, isn’t it? Feathers appearing before me on my path, random shiny pennies found while on a walk, I feel surrounded by the energy of the universe. I love when I look at the time and see master numbers appear. 11:11 is common, but anything with 11 or 22 is significant. Of course 10:13:57 is awesome because it’s my birthday. I’ve only seen that twice since I’ve been paying attention. And I don’t think waiting for the numbers to appear by watching the seconds tick by counts. It’s the glancing up and seeing it as it appears that creates the synchronicity.

Numerology involves reduction. My birthday, for example, reduces to 9. This happens by adding up the numbers until you can’t anymore. 10 becomes 1; 13 becomes 4; and, 1957 becomes 22. From there, 1 + 4 + 22 = 27. And lastly, adding 2 to 7 reduces to 9, representing my life’s path or destiny. Nine is the number of completion and indicates a sensitive, psychic person with a humanitarian focus. Interesting that I’m both a witch and an empath.

When I’m looking at the number 13, I tend to leave it as it is. It can reduce to 4, symbolizing Gaia energy, structure and foundation, but it’s interesting on its own. It’s karmic and reminds me of the rune, Hagalaz. The ninth rune of the Elder Futhark, Hagalaz is the rune of destruction before transformation. Thirteen represents both dragon energy as well as the Blessed Virgin, an ancestor of mine. To a witch, thirteen also represents the number of moons in a year.

Never a bad day for a witch, Friday the 13th is filled with possibility and magick. Had I been born on Friday instead of Sunday, my synchronicity with thirteen would be complete. But Sunday has significance as well. From Llewellyn’s 2105 Magical Almanac:

Sunday (Sun): Healing, spirituality, success, strength, and protection.¹

And from Wikipedia

Sunday, being the day of the Sun, as the name of the first day of the week, is derived from Egyptian astrology, where the seven planets, known in English as Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury and the Moon, each had an hour of the day assigned to them, and the planet which was regent during the first hour of any day of the week gave its name to that day. During the 1st and 2nd century, the week of seven days was introduced into Rome from Egypt, and the Roman names of the planets were given to each successive day.

So while it may not be as interesting as Friday the 13th, Sunday is right in line with my life’s destiny. On a sadder note, on Friday, 13 October 1307, my 21st great grand uncle, King Philippe IV of France, ordered hundreds of Knights Templar³ (some of whom are also ancestors) executed, some by burning. He’s not the only destructive character in my ancestry. Plantagenet history is a veritable tempest in a teapot. Henry V (a cousin) accused Joan of Navarre, the Dowager Queen, (another cousin) of trying to poison him with witchcraft. She was convicted in 1419 and spent four years in prison. She survived and lived in Nottingham Castle until her death (4). Lady Janet Douglas, my 14th great grandmother wasn’t as lucky. She was burned to death for witchcraft by my 15th great uncle, James V, King of Scotland, during the North Berwick witch burnings.

Like I said, my family is a tempest in a teapot.

~Blessed Be

References:

  1. Llewellyn (2014-07-01). Llewellyn’s 2015 Magical Almanac: Practical Magic for Everyday Living (Llewellyn’s Magical Almanac) (Kindle Location 2059). Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.. Kindle Edition.
  2. Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunday
  3. Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knights_Templar
  4. Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joan_of_Navarre,_Queen_of_England

 

 

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In The Home Stretch #NaBloPoMo Day 27

Home Stretch

We’re in the home stretch. Day twenty-seven of National Blog Posting Month. It’s my first time at this, and I’ve written every day so far. I’ve had my blog for almost three years now, and I’ve never written every day. I typically let a few days pass unless inspiration happens to hit sooner. So #NaBloPoMo has been an incredible experience.

I gained a level of courage from writing this month that I didn’t realize I had. My tenacity alone has been surprising. I’ve looked for no excuses, staying up many nights until after midnight to post, giving me the next day to do everything else like shopping for groceries. A blogger does have to eat, something I forget to do when I’m focused on other more interesting things.

The snow still weighs heavily on the the juniper branches. Supposedly it’s going to warm up, but with the current temperature at zero, that’s probably not happening today. That means I’m donning my boots once again to make the trek up my long driveway, hauling the trash and checking the mail. I have a new pair of tall Uggs arriving from Zappos today. I love Zappos. They’re fast and they say the most delightful things in their messages. Here’s their latest gem:

“Our best elves are getting your order ready to ship. We’ll be sure to send you a shipping confirmation once it’s out the door! Also, a fun little fact: the elves are on track to break a new candy-cane-eating record… Wish them luck!

XOXO,
Zappos.com

P.S. Call us if you have any questions or concerns…”

Unlike Amazon, after those three little dots, there’s a toll-free number listed to call. You know, if I have any questions or concerns. I love Amazon too, but they could take a lesson in simple expressions of love and appreciation that Zappos has down completely. They always end with XOXO. And their phone number. I simply love them. Maybe even more than the tall Ugg boots they’re sending me.

So three more days, my bloggerific family. To those who have previously survivived #NaBloPoMo, this newby is in awe. Because there’s something to be said for sharing something of ourselves with even just a little corner of the world.

~Blessings to all!

 

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Gratitude and Thanksgiving #NaBloPoMo 26

Gratitude and Thanksgiving

 

It’s said that expressing gratitude changes your life. I tried having a gratitude journal, but it felt false somehow. But in reality, it was probably just my reluctance to give up focusing on nonsense. And now that another Thanksgiving has arrived, I feel compelled to express some gratitude.

  • I’m grateful that I’ve learned how it feels to stay in my own focus. I don’t always achieve it, but at least I know when I’m there and when I’m not, so that’s something.
  • I’m grateful for Jerry, my husband, who knows how to do everything. Seriously. I think he was born knowing. He grew my cannabis for me in the early years of my recovery, and taught me everything I know about growing. He saved my life. But then he’s like that.
  • I’m grateful for my two sons. After being a mom for thirty-five years, I know less than I did when I started and I’m more confused than ever. But believe it or not, their chaos keeps me focused on my own alignment. The alternative to that is tears, endless tears, and I’m not doing that anymore. Adult children have a way of breaking a mother’s heart that feels never-ending. And I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity to look past anyone’s behavior and see him or her as the holy extensions of Source that they each are. It’s a blessing beyond measure. Especially when it’s your children.
  • I’m grateful for my home, five acres of lovely diversity. Life abounds here. Even after we put up the eight foot fencing to keep out the deer. They had taken over, you see. And as dear as they are, I wanted flowers without the inevitable carnage that would ensue. Around here, deer-induced carnage is almost a rite of passage for any gardener. You either fence, or you give up. After giving up for years, we chose fencing. And now we have flowers and a beehive, with two more hives going in the apiary next Spring. Which brings me to the next entry.
  • I’m grateful for my bees. I know that it’s the other way around. We’re their humans; they’re not our bees. But still, I love them. We began with 10,000 bees. I don’t know how many there are now that the hive is covered in snow, but they were out and active the other day before the snow fell. I stood there, a few feet away from the hive, entranced and enthralled, as always. I needed to hear them, and they were pure magick!
  • I’m grateful for my recovery. I never thought I would survive rheumatoid arthritis, but then I gave in to Jerry’s insistance that cannabis could help me. The drugs clearly weren’t moving me out of the severe range and I was only getting worse, so I figured, why not? At least I might be comfortable in my last days of life on this earth. I had no idea that three months later I would be in remission, but that’s what happened. I’m one of those cannabis success stories. And I don’t think I’d be here without it, writing a blog post on Thanksgiving for #NaBloPoMo. So there you go. Plus, I can walk now, which gets its own bullet point.
  • I’m grateful I can walk. Anywhere. Quickly. Sprinting, even. I power walk nine miles a day, unless there’s a foot of snow out and I can’t wear my tennis shoes to do it. If my Camry could get down the driveway, I’d drive somewhere to walk, but we’re snowbound at this point. When I was ill, I was lucky to walk from the car to my chair inside our shop. Airports were a nightmare as was a large grocery store. I was a former Kenpo instructor, a Black Belt, who trained daily. When I became ill, that ended. And the damage I have from the RA prevents me from training in the way I’d like now. During the thirteen years the RA was at its most severe, I couldn’t train at all. For a Black Belt, that’s horrific. Injuries are difficult enough, but I’ve had to accept that there are some things I just can’t do anymore because I have too much damage to deal with. But you never know. I’ve been able to come back from a really bad place. So I’m grateful for the progress I’ve made, because anything is better than what I was experiencing.
  • Saving the best for last, I’m grateful for this wonderful blogging community I’ve joined. Your writing is thoughtful, funny and informative. There’s always something wonderful to read and I love what you all share. You challenge me to write more and better, all the time. Being in your company has been and will continue to be an honor. Thank you so much!

When you start listing all the things you’re grateful for, it’s hard to stop. Suddenly, your mood changes and you feel like cooking a turkey. Which I’m going to do now in my new convection oven. It’s purple inside, almost like they knew a witch would be using it.

So blessings to all on this snowy Thanksgiving! In spite of distances, real or imagined, we’re all one in love and in Source.

Purple Oven

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In Staying Mad, The Past Is Alive

I can’t stay mad at you. I like today’s Daily Prompt over at WordPress. It refers to our focus. Are we focused upon the present, or the past? Staying mad at someone keeps your focus on your perception of what they did. That’s past tense. I know because I’m currently studying Latin and I’m learning once again about verb tenses. It’s easier now, given that I had three years of Spanish in high school and two years of French in college. Not that I can speak a word of Spanish or French, mind you, but at least the process is familiar. It’s a witch thing, Latin. Spells are better in Latin. I’m reasonably good at writing them as long as they’re simple, but I really want to be sure I’m saying what I think I’m saying. So I’m embarking upon a course in Wheelock’s Latin over at Udemy. Self-study is fine, but the instructor offering the course is a retired college professor, and I think I would benefit from a more structured setting.

Anyway, back to being mad. We tend as humans to live in the past, holding anyone and everyone in a place of our choosing. We become not-so-little pockets of resistance, swirling about, never moving forward, expecting everyone else to buy in to our view of things. And we’re shocked when they resist.

Mad words give way to madness as we hang in there, self-righteously explaining the truth to others as their eyes glaze over. We can never seem to let others just be. Our mothers told us endlessly to mind our own business. Did we listen? Of course not. I don’t know if it’s about winning, or being right, or what it’s all about, but if we’d just let people be and stop judging them for everything we think they did in the past, the world would be a much calmer place. Because when what we’re mad about isn’t happening anymore, facts give way to perception, and then it’s game on. And for what?

Thanksgiving is tomorrow. I’ve not cooked a turkey in my new convection oven yet, and I’m eager to see how it turns out. Our two sons are married and not really in our lives anymore. The vision I had of holidays together as our family grows in number has now been relegated to wishful thinking. A mother’s wishes derailed by her sons’ choices. So instead, it will just be us, my husband and me, as it was in the beginning, thirty-six years ago. My husband insisted then on a Butterball turkey, a twenty-two pound Butterball turkey, for the two of us. I considered buying a separate freezer for the leftover turkey alone. I confess to buying other brands over the years, but we always return to the Butterball.

And while the turkey thaws in my canning pot, I wish everyone a lovely Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow, filled with love and family. Let’s leave the mad feelings where they belong, firmly in the distant past, where they belong. And tonight, whether you can see her or not, take a walk outside and receive Goddess blessings as the Full Moon shines bright. Know for certain that you are loved beyond measure!

~Blessings to all!

2015-11-25 09.10.17

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As Winter Covers Me, The Seasons Change

Winter Covers Me

It’s snowing! Winter has finally arrived on the High Desert, just in time for Thanksgiving. I’m trying a new rub for the turkey using some cannabis-infused coconut oil as a base along with herbs I grew this summer. I’m cooking my standard Butterball turkey in my new convection range. The oven is purple inside and it’s the first time I’ve had one without an element to ruin. It makes clean up a breeze.

The ducks hover together in the clear portion of the pond, swimming about as the winter ice melts. When we left for the walk this morning, it had just begun to snow. It was dry and brushed easily off our coats as we walked down the road. But then the wind began blowing from the north, which is never a good sign, and the snow began to stick to us and everything else. We turned back early for home.

A few fWinter alyssumlowers still cling to life, the alyssym appearing as small white tufts under the snow, while vegetables continue growing in the greenhouse. Winter carrots, gourmet beets, lettuce, kale, parsley, and radishes give us welcome relief from buying produce at the grocery store. And I refuse to eat a tomato from anywhere other than my garden. They just don’t taste right otherwise.

Winter bladeAs the winter storm approached, my husband attached the front blade to the lawn tractor yesterday. We purchased it last winter after the two weeks we spent unable to drive my Camry down our nearly 800 foot driveway. The snow was two feet deep, which made hauling the garbage up and checking the mail interesting. Had I still had my Rav 4, I would have been fine, but the Camry is seriously low to the ground. But it’s a hybrid and I love it. So I bought the blade. Of course we could have repaired the farm tractor we have that has an actual blade heavy enough to build a road, but that’s a subject for another blog post.

But for today, I spent time in the first snow, letting winter cover me as I have each year since I was four years old. My family had moved to Alaska of all places, and as a child born in California, snow was the most amazing sight I had ever seen or experienced. Feeling the snow signifies movement into another season, the turning of the Wheel, as life slows down and stillness begins, eventually giving way to the genesis of Spring.

And while the snow falls, I’ll drink a nice cup of tea, review my seed catalogs and plan next year’s garden.

~Blessings to all!

Winter in the backyard

 

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Witch Notes, 11/21/15: Gunshots and Face Cream

Witch potion aka face cream

The week began with gunshots and ended with face cream. I know, but I promise, I’ll get from one to the other. The poster child for the NRA lives next door to me. I made my husband walk down the fence to see if there were any holes. We heard voices and there were flashlights. Fortunately, no holes in the fence.

My bathroom light came on by itself this week. It’s not the first time it’s happened of late. And I’ve been finding pennies on my walk route. And then an infinity symbol appeared in two different places. Evidently someone wants my attention. Synchronicities happen daily, and I love it.

I finished some tinctures this week, a diuretic tincture that I really like, and three cannabis tinctures. Vortex is a sativa-dominant strain that controls pain while providing an uplifting feeling. It’s great for daytime medicating in tea, or warm water. Mickey Kush is also high in sativa, but her THC content is so high that it makes a nice tincture for both pain and sleep. Ripperwise is the last tincture I bottled. This was the first cross I did, pollinating Jack the Ripper with some pollen from a male Pennywise plant.

Jack the Ripper was used in the creation of Pennywise, a TGA Genetics strain high in CBD, meaning less of a high when using it. Children with severe epilepsy use oil made from high CBD strains. I’d like to say that my choice to cross Pennywise back to Jack the Ripper was intentional, but it wasn’t. Jack had a nice low branch that I could easily paint pollen on without getting it anywhere else. I managed to get around one hundred seeds out of the project, and Ripperwise was the result. It’s really nice. With the higher percentage of CBD than in traditional Jack the Ripper, Pennywise provides a gentle feeling with excellent pain relief, making it fine for daytime use.

I like to use tinctures in treating my RA. I can add them to tea or smoothies, or just put some in a cup with hot water. Their versatility and portability make them a great choice for traveling and vacations. They’ve been a part of my treatment plan for several years and my RA responds well to them.

I’ve been practicing alignment this week, staying in my own lane as it were. I found that it’s easiest when I’m around people in positive moods. I don’t do so well around moody folks, particularly those close to me. I have to believe most people really don’t understand the effect their energy has upon others. Happy is easy. The energy flows smoothly and unhindered. But when it’s anything else, the energy becomes almost painful to experience. It’s difficult not to feel in to that. But if I do, I have a tough time disconnecting, and I end up experiencing emotions that aren’t mine.

If I can’t remove myself from the situation to calm down, I’m stuck waiting it out. So I decided to spend that time making face cream. I used some of the rose water I made this summer, as well as some cannabis-infused coconut oil. I added some sweet orange essential oil which made it smell nice. And I used some of the cocoa butter discs that I found online. They melt easily, as do the beeswax pearls I used. I hate grating solid beeswax. The pearls, on the other hand, are wonderful to use.

My mixer performed beautifully as did my double boiler. The face cream came out well, with a delicate sweet orange smell, and an ever so slight green color.

So the next time you hear gun shots, after taking cover, make some face cream. Even if it’s a week later, after you come out of hiding.

~Blessings to all on this 21st day of #NaBloPoMo! We’re in the home stretch!

Face cream

 

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A Train, Of Course

The sun sets as the train moves down the track

It was a choice between trains, planes and automobiles in today’s Daily Post prompt. I’ve taken trips in the latter two, but never a long distance trip via train. The idea of going cross country in a plane is exciting. I have no idea how I would fare, but I would be able to see sights I never get to see when driving. I could take pictures and video and a bathroom would always be at the ready. No waiting for rest stops. Bathrooms are a girl thing. We need them.

The advantage of a train over a plane is that I would be able to walk around and visit the other cars. My husband and I took our vacation in Sedona one year, and we took a train ride while there. It was an old fashioned train, and I paid for first class tickets. So did parents of toddlers. And babies. I felt sorriest for the waitress who was inundated with offers of Tylenol and aspirin at the end of the trip. She was lovely and maintained her professionalism throughout endless screaming fits. They must have been contagious, because as one began crying, the others followed. There was an open air car adjacent to a family car, but the parents evidently didn’t take the hint, or pay attention to the dagger-like stares from the rest of us. My head hurt too much from the screaming to turn around and stare at them myself, so my husband did double duty for the both of us. We would have done better in the open air car, even with all the cigarette smoke out there.

Still, trains are wonderful with all their moving parts. I would love to take one through Europe, as well as across the United States. I’ve only been in a few of our states, and traveling across our beautiful country would be amazing. It would be nice to travel around the edges, in a loop. That way, I would spend a fair portion of the trip along the coastline. Of course, I have no idea if there are train tracks that circle the country along its edges, but that’s what I’d like to do.

I’d also like to take a trip across the lower part of Canada, all the way to Nova Scotia. I have family from Scotland who settled there when our country was new, Cobequid Planters they were called. I’ve always been drawn to Nova Scotia. I had no idea why until I researched my ancestry and found that family had settled there. I love synchronicity. And if I could take that trip across Canada on a train, all the better. It’s expensive..I just checked. But you never know. Anything could happen.

I wonder if I can take a VitaMix on a train?

~Blessings to all!