Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rain Dance

It is some kind of nasty where I live right now.  Apparently, the wind got so bad last night while we were under a tornado watch, that it knocked out the power and broke the umbrella we had on the porch.

All I want to do today is curl up and sleep.  I have my coffee, but it's offering very little help right now.

Draco, of course, is still out of town and I have had some very spiritual things happening to me lately that I'm still trying to sort out and I'm not quite ready to talk about.  Until I get it sorted, the Card of the Day feature is on hold.

I have made many decisions lately, both personal and for my family.

I mentioned us moving before, and we are still going to, but things have changed a smidge.  The apartment that Mini-Me is moving out of, we won't be taking.  After giving it a good looking over, we decided that it was just too small for us and we would like something bigger.  A large part of that is to do with our business, which I have also made some decisions about.

I have decided to close the business for the moment.  Honestly, I haven't been doing that much business and it's just not quite what I really want.  I will be opening another business at a later date, but for now, I need to get us moved and possibly find a part-time job.  Once all of that is settled, I am going to take stock of what I have, what I want to do and I'll be adding some stuff and then I'll go from there.  We'll see what happens.

Now that word is starting to circulate about our move, people are coming around and trying to help.  L is taking it better than I thought she would, and her family now understands why.  It's like I told L's mom yesterday (which is where I spent practicallly my entire day), we're not leaving because there's a problem or we're not happy.  The simple truth is that we haven't had our own place in about 3 years now, and it's beyond time for us to get out on our own and do it again.  I know it will be hard and a little more expensive, but the things worth having in life are never easy.

Draco and I need our own space to grow and explore our relationship now that we have an empty nest, we need space to practice our religion without the worry of how it will effect anyone but us.  We need to be able to laugh, love and fight loudly if that's what we need or want to do.  Those are things that it's hard to do when you live with other people.

Our time here has been wonderful for the most part, and we still love L and Little Diva to pieces and they will continue to be a big part of our lives going into the future.  We still plan to get together regularly, include them in family things and have them play a big part in our lives.  I'm grateful for everything the God and Goddess has given us in our relationship with L and I don't plan to loose it.

Our next hurdle will be this coming month.  We have a lot of money to put together in just a few weeks all while we try to sort the issue of after living with other people for 3 years, we don't really have much in the way of household stuff of our own.  

I'm tickled though, about a set of dishes L gave me yesterday from her stash at her Mom's house.  The plates and blowls have herbs on them and they are awesome!  

Well, that's it for now.  Mabye later today I can pull one of the plates out of the box and take a pictuer to include.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Finding the Joy

Today's card caught me off guard, considering everything that's been happening.  There have been a few things going on behind the scenes here, that I have intentionally not mentioned.  Today was the day I had planned to mention some of it anyway, and I get this card:

The Six of Cups.  It means joy.  Usually revisiting something that we know made us happy.  This plays right into what has been going on.

Herbal Tarot by Michael Tierra

Everyone knows that Draco and I have enjoyed our time with L and Little Diva.  L is a wonderful friend, and as far as living with other people go, I couldn't have asked for a much better situation than what we've had here.  It's absolutely been a far cry from what we went through staying with my parents during my Mom's illness where I felt that I was a constant target for someone.

Time moves on, though, and Draco and I are becoming an "older couple".  Life is forcing me to accept the onset of my Crone phase, and I'm finally beginning to do it gracefully, but as time moves on, situations, needs and wants change.

Draco and I have not had our own place in something like 3 years now.

We gave up our last place to go stay with my family to try to help out when Mom had her heart attack and then she got sick and we haven't had our own place since.

It's time.  Really it's beyond time.

It just so happens that Mini-Me is looking to change her living situation as well.  She's had a small, 1 bedroom apartment, fully furnished, right down the road from us, and she's looking at something closer to the heart of town, and closer to her friends.  She's been trying to move for about a month now and hasn't been able to pull together the resources to do it.  She even has a roommate lined up to help her with the bills.  I'm happy for her, but it got me to thinking about the apartment she would be leaving behind.

It is rather small, but Draco is gone most of the week and during that time, it's just Dutchess and I.  My body has moved into the Crone phase ahead of the rest of me, and it's harder for me to do extensive housework than it used to be.  I don't want a lot that I have to clean.

Also, I'm becoming something of a minimalist.  I would rather be surrounded by the things that I love, that bring me joy and make me smile, than to have a ton of stuff I don't care about.

Add to that, I've been having some odd dreams about a cottage-type setting.  It was small, cozy, rustic...and honestly, I think with some TLC and the right witch's decorative hand, that little apartment could be awfully close to what I've been dreaming.

I feel that the Goddess and God have spoken to me on this and that this is the right direction to move in, or to at least try.

Because of Mini-Me's financial situation, it may be a little bit tricky, but we intend to try.

Our obligations to L hold us here through the end of the month, but after that, we will be able to do whatever we want to do.  We will be focusing the next few weeks on helping Mini-Me prepare for the move as well as trying to prepare ourselves.

I have to say that although it will be an adjustment to be on our own again after all this time, and I will miss L and Little Diva terribly, I am excited and looking forward to this next Phase in life.  I will try to be around as much as possible and keep the updates flowing.  Wish us luck!

)0( Love & Light )0(

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Monday, September 10, 2012

New Vibe On Life

Today is update post, but I'm also going to be trying something new.  Each day (I'm going to try to post everyday) I'm going to draw a card from my Tarot deck for myself.  Regardless of what I post, I am going to include the card I drew and what I feel it means for me.  Here's today's card...

The Herbal Tarot By Michael Tierra
The Six of Swords is a positive card.  It represents finding solutions to problems.  This is a good card for me today, as I have had a lot on my mind lately.  I'm thankful to know that even though I have not reached the shore yet, my journey towards solving some issues may be at hand.  It could also have something to do with the topic that is most on my mind this morning.

A note about Vervain.  Vervain has been used in the treatment of ulcers and I happen to have a bleeding ulcer that's been acting up.  No small coincidence there!  Guess I need to get a handle on that!

I have decided that it's time for me to start thinking seriously about my health.  Since the death of my Grandfather some years ago, I have not been much of a "modern medicine" kind of girl.  What happened with my Mother this year, seemed to cement that for me.  Instead, I turn to herbalism most of the time for remedies to what ails us and I know that living a healthier life-style helps those herbs (and my body) do what it's supposed to do.

With that said, I have joined up with Get Off Your Broom to do the Fall Into Fitness Challenge!

This challenge is a little different, in that it will have a Pagan twist to it.  We'll be doing Element work as we go and doing Pagan challenges as well.  I'm all excited to be joining up to do this!  Check-ins are on Sundays and it will run to November 30th.  I hope you'll come and join me in this challenge to get healthy!  At the very least, leave me some comment luv on Sundays to help cheer me on!

And, I've joined SparkPeople to help me keep track of things like calories.  If you're a member, you can find me there!

So, that's today's post.  Hopefully, tomorrow I will get this up a little earlier, but life off the computer has interfered today in the form of Mini-Me's 19th birthday and L's Mom having surgery.

Hope everyone has had a Blessed Day! )0(

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Mediation and Week in Review

It seems like I've been writing all week without really publishing anything.  I have weeks like that sometimes.  It seems like every time I sit down and try to put a post together, I have to get up and run off to do something and don't make it back to the computer.

There were a few things that happened to me this week that I wanted to write about, like my experience at a UU church last Sunday, and my ride with my Dad Monday that turned out to be a family history lesson.  Some of the things Mini-Me is going through...

Now I find myself staring at the end of my week.  Draco comes home today and I can tell it's going to be a crazy weekend.  I don't know when or if I'll have another chance to write before the beginning of next week.

I hope to be able to finish the posts I started on those other topics and maybe get them up over the weekend.

Today, I have other things in mind, though.

Even though I decided to make this a Pagan blog when I opened it, I find that I don't actually write much about Pagan stuff.  This has been on my mind a good bit lately and I had to ask myself why.

There have been a few Pagan Meme's I've run across, but I just skipped over them instead of writing anything.  For a while, I couldn't put my finger on why, but after giving it some thought, I think I figured it out.

I know that although I have been Pagan for going on 20 years, I haven't always been what you'd call a "practicing Pagan".  I lived by the Rede and Rule of Three and have always had an altar set up, but that altar has largely sat and gathered dust.  I fell out of practice years ago and have only recently taken up my wand again.

I think I have feared sounding stupid, or saying something wrong.  I tend to forget that religion is a largely personal thing.  You can share the general idea with others, but what you get from it is intensely personal.  I can't say that my experiences are right or wrong, or that someone else's are either.  What I get from it, may not be what you get from it.  That's one of the reasons I left main-stream religion.  I wasn't getting the same thing from it others were, but there, you're expected to.  In Paganism, it's our differences that makes us unique and we are supposed to embrace those differences.

I admit that after so many years of being out of practice, I feel like a beginner all over again most days, so I'm going to share my journey here on my blog.

So, with that said, I'd like to discuss something new I'm learning.

The church we attend offers activities throughout the week and one of those is Meditation classes.  It caught my eye on the calendar recently and I've thought about going, but I hesitated.  I don't know if it's something they're teaching, or something they expect you to have experience with before you go, and I don't like to look silly, so when I saw a book on meditation (Living Healthy Through Meditation it's still free today, by the way) for free through the Facebook page  Pagan eBooks for Free, I decided I had to download it.
I began reading it last night and even tried one of the basic techniques.

I've tried mediation in the past, and ended up disappointed.  I don't know if I was doing it wrong or maybe if it was my ADD getting in the way, but I couldn't seem to muster the ability to focus my attention, without focusing on anything.  I have a vivid imagination and a busy thought process and the whole "empty mind" thing was hard for me.

The techniques offered in this book are much better than some of the others I tried in the past and I was actually able to achieve a meditative state for a short time.  This may not sound like much, but for someone that's been trying for almost 20 years without much in the way of results, it's huge!

I woke up this morning feeling more grounded as well.  Grounding and centering have been my go-to's for managing stress ever since I learned the techniques, but I felt grounded without the need to ground (if that makes sense).

I also found that I feel more in tune with nature this morning as well.  My stress level seems to have dropped noticeably, and my ability to focus this morning is better than normal.

If I can experience benefits like these from just a few minutes of meditation, I can't wait to see how much I can achieve by being able to hold it longer!

I will try to remember to post occasional updates on my journey with mediation, but I really wanted to share this book with you.

Don't worry about religious tones if you're not Pagan.  This book is not religious that I've seen so far, it's just good techniques for meditation that anyone can try!


Saturday, September 1, 2012

In Review: Blue Moon

We didn't get a chance to really "celebrate" the full moon yesterday as we'd hoped.  Our day went full-blast from 9:30 am until I finally fell into an exhausted sleep somewhere around 11pm.  Yesterday's events made me feel like the energies of the Full Moon (and Blue Moon) were present in my entire day though.

Most of our day was devoted to cars and cell phones.

I found a car that I liked, that is in our price range, but they wouldn't take my trade-in.  This morning, we'll be heading out to see if we can sell our car in a different way.  Unfortunately, this also means that I'm probably going to be without a car until next weekend.  The place we're going to try to sell it to does a bank draft and it's the weekend, so no telling how long it'll take the draft to clear.

Draco did get me a new phone yesterday since mine was acting like it'd been possessed by demons.  I got a T-Mobile My Touch and I absolutely love it!

In an unexpected turn yesterday, I saw my Dad.  Wasn't expecting to, but when I got my new phone, I got a new number and although I considered not even worrying about it, I couldn't make myself not call him and give him my number for emergencies.  He actually sounded much better.  Draco had left one of his old phones that he needed for work, so when Dad said he wanted company, I figured we'd give it a shot.

We did get Draco's phone, but more importantly, I saw Dad acting more like Dad than I have in I couldn't tell you how long.  He truly laughed, without the aid of Xanax or alcohol, for the first time since before mom got sick.

Apparently, he finally broke down and went to the doctor and discussed his medication with him (something I tried to get him to do when we were living there and he wouldn't.) and got his medication changed.  He's no longer on Xanax and what he is on seems to be helping much more.  No more slurred speech or staggering (in some people, the side-effects of Xanax can mimic alcohol and this was the case with Dad).

He was alert and making sense when he talked.  He could remember numbers and conversations clearly.  The house was clean, he was showered and shaved and Sabrina (my Mom's familiar even though she never accepted that) appeared to be taken care of and is even getting around better on that leg finally.

I have to say, though, beyond my Dad and my Sister, I'm just really not interested.  Even if any of the rest of the family were to try to reach out now, I just really don't want to deal with it.  I don't approve of or agree with a lot of the things going on in some of their lives and don't really want to be a part of it anymore.

More than that, where the hell were they when Mom died and I needed support?  Too wrapped up in their own shit to be bothered, I suppose.

No, I didn't expect anyone to come running and handle everything, I did all that either by myself or with the support of my little sister and Aunt D (I'm still very grateful for everything Aunt D did to help me because I truly had no one else to help me make decisions), but a phone call to say "Are you ok" would have been nice.

Unfortunately, the majority of my family are selfish assholes that could care less about anyone but themselves.  They want to act like they give a damn when it suits them but when you really need them, they're in the wind so fast it'll make your head spin.

That's ok, I really don't need that kind of "caring".  Let them stay gone from my life.  I wish them luck, and don't wish anything bad on them, I just don't need the heartache anymore.  Loosing Mom and realizing I had no one but my Sister was enough for me.

Funny though, how the 2 girls of the family that have always been the outcasts that got talked about like they were shit half the time, were the ones that stepped up and took care of Mom in her final moments and took care of Dad when it was the hardest.  Just goes to show, you can't judge a book by it's cover.

So, some things came full-circle, some issues got resolved, and we are prepared to embark on some new beginnings.  Although it wasn't how I'd intended to spend the Full Moon, I think it turned out to be a nice celebration anyway.

How did you spend the Full Moon?

Divider Graphics

Thursday, August 30, 2012

PYHO: What Hurts The Most

I'm a day late with this link-up and I know I probably won't get much return readership because of it, but this is a Meme I've been considering doing for a while now.  From now on, Wednesdays will be my PYHO day, where I share something close to the heart, something that is bothering me or weighing on my heart and mind.  Please be gentle...I am a Pisces afterall...

I think that everyone has a need to feel important.  You read all the self-help stuff, inspirational quotes and such that tell you to "love yourself", "be important to you", etc, and all of that is fine and well, but it truly isn't the same as feeling loved and important to someone else.

These are feelings that we're supposed to get from our family, be it the one that raised us, or the ones we raise and most especially from our partner.

I never had it as a child growing up.  It was missing in my first marriage.  I had hoped that my 2nd marriage would be different, and sometimes it is, but lately...well, lately I'm just not feeling it anymore.

My husband works out of town Sunday through Thursday.  He's worked for this company before, and they worked out of town on a job for almost a year and it was a spectacular disaster.  Granted, at the time, we were pretty young and I was going through what I didn't know at the time was a false pregnancy, I got diagnosed again with Hypertension and I had a handful of other health problems flaring up.  I needed him home and he couldn't be and it caused a lot of arguments.

Fast forward to last May, when he brought up working for the company again.  I wasn't over-joyed with the idea.  I remember what it was like before.  But, we're both older and I thought life had settled down some since then.  He basically told me that this kind of work (which isn't what he'd been doing since leaving the company) was the only kind of work that had ever made him happy.  What was I supposed to say?

I told him that if it was what he wanted, go for it, but we'd really have to work together to make things work with him being gone all the time.  He agreed.

Since then though, when he's gone during the week, it's almost like he has a different life.  One that doesn't include me.  Our communication, even at night when the work is done and their at the house they're renting down there for the night, is next to non-existent.  We barely talk.  When we do, he's distracted and talking to the guys he works with, one in particular.  I've tried and tried to feel like we're still connected, still a team, even when he's gone, but he just doesn't seem to be interested.  And we're fighting again.  A lot.

I've tried targeting shows we normally would watch together if he were home and asking him if we can watch them together now and either talk on the phone or text while we watch...give me some kind of feeling of connection.  He says he will, then gets tied up doing stuff "with the guys" and is a no-show, or is late, or he falls asleep.  He'll put his phone on charge and forget about it for hours and won't answer texts or phone calls and say he lost track of time.

When I confront him with it, he claims it was an honest mistake or whatever and gets mad at me for being upset or feeling let down.  When I say we won't make those kinds of plans anymore since he's obviously too busy, he insists that we do and promises that next time will be different, but it never is.

I've even suggested that maybe we needed to separate (which I really don't want), even just for a while, while he decides what he wants because it feels like he's no longer in this with me and he freaks out and begs me not to leave.

 I don't know what to do anymore.  He's the love of my life, and our relationship has SO many good points to it when he's not working away from home.  I kept telling myself that it was only until the end of the year and I could suffer through it, but now I hear rumors from one of the other guys wives that the company is planning to bid on another job there, which means another year (or more) of them working there.  I honestly don't know if I can take another year.

He says he needs to work for them for 3 years to get the experience he needs to apply for the same kind of work locally, but I just don't see me being able to do it if it continues to be like this.

I'm at a loss and seriously don't know what to do anymore.

I know that no one can tell me what to do about my life, or my marriage, but I just needed to get it off my chest and I really don't have anyone to talk to about things anymore, so I figured I'd do it here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

An Unexpected Make-Over

Last night, I was working on a post and doing a little site-work.  I wanted to put in a comment system instead of just using the one I had, so I started trying to install one.

Let me tell you, while I enjoy using IntenseDebate on other people's sites, it is a pain in the tush to install!  I'm sitting here minding my own business and it tells me I need to save my template and copy and paste this and that and before I knew it, my html had gone screwy!

Luckily, my good friend @PonderingMama was up and watching her Twitter and came and bailed me out.  Somehow, I ended up getting a make-over I had no idea I wanted or needed until she did it.  I love the new look of the site and all my social media.

Now, I'm all excited to get started with blogging again!

I got a little frustrated because there aren't a lot of meme's out there to get involved in for Pagans (at least that I could find) and I felt that getting my site out there and gaining a readership wasn't happening the way I wanted.  Then, I had some personal stuff going on that I will talk about in other posts over the next few day, and before I knew it, the blog was sitting here unloved and unused.  

Now, I have a new look that I'm all excited about and I'm thinking about going back to the Meme's that I was doing before a few days a week and then just blogging in general the rest of the week.

I'm so excited to be getting started again!  I hope you are, too!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Not happening

I spent most of my weekend and the first part of the week feeling like this...

Click for credits

I had some problems come up over the weekend where I was being harassed by someone about their problem with someone else.  I felt like I had been invaded and violated.  I set everything to private everywhere and almost deleted my blog.  Again.  I went silent on all forms of social media for a few days.  I was so frustrated and aggravated, and yes, angry.  Angry enough to want to hop on a plane and probably get myself into trouble.  I didn't do it, but for a minute, I seriously wanted to.

You see, I spent most of my life hiding for one reason or another.  When Mom got sick and everyone started to realize she wasn't going to make it, our family - which had never been close to start with- scattered to the winds.  When she passed, I felt I was finally free to just be myself and not to have to hide anymore.  In a moment of panic, I reacted on instinct and did what I'd always done.  I hid.

I was grumpy, ill, angry, stressed and just not a good person to be around in general for several days.  I felt like I did as a child, knowing that I could not be myself, could not express myself, because of the thoughts, views and opinions of someone else.

I decided to take some time to sit down and think things through.

I knew that I personally had done nothing to this person and had done nothing wrong in general.  The person was taking their anger out on me because I am the only person they have to take it out on.  When I refused to tell them what they wanted to know (because I don't have the information they were originally after), they lost it and took it out on me.

I tried to be a good, decent person.  I tried to show a little compassion, and I got attacked.  It was as simple and as complicated as that.

The truth is, I really don't have a family anymore.  Really, I don't think I ever truly had much of one anyway.

The only member of my family that appears to still even be talking to me is my sister and she's been estranged from the rest of the family for years.  Loosing Mom broke what little connection there was between me and the rest of the family.

What this person obviously doesn't know, is that I have always been the black-sheep.  I have always been the out-cast.  I was only ever tolerated by my family.  No one ever listened to anything I said, they didn't care how I felt and my opinion counted for nothing.

I have been estranged from my family more than I have ever been part of it and while I loved my family dearly, the feeling was not mutual.  They have always meant more to me than I ever did to them.  I kept trying to insinuate myself into a family that openly told me they didn't really want me around.

Even when I was asked to come and help through Mom's illness, it was made clear to me that no one wanted me there, but they needed the help and felt they had no choice.

I should have said no, and sometimes, I wish I had, but they were my family and I loved them.

Now, none of them will even speak to me.  This has been a tender subject for me and this person brought all those painful feelings to the surface.

I realize that they obviously know little of the true dynamics of our family.  I'm sure they thought that we were a "normal" family, but sadly, we aren't.  Our family is the poster-child for a dysfunctional family.

So, after giving it some thought, I decided to ignore it all from here on out and go on with my life.  I was left, yet again, in the position of someone either trying to blame me for other people's crap, or expecting me to clean up someone else's mess, and I'm just not doing it.

Honestly, I have accepted that I don't have a family anymore.  Although it hurt me for a while, I have come to terms with it and I have decided that I don't need the stress anyway.  I have my husband, my daughter and the extended family I have made for myself.  I have my sister when she chooses to be around.  That is enough.

It has taken me years to find any kind of peace with myself over the reality of my family situation, but I finally did, and I'm not going to let anyone take that away from me.

So, here I am.  I will not hide, I will not act as if I have anything to be ashamed of or as if I have done something wrong.  I am not the rest of my family and I am not responsible for the things they have done, or not done.  It is not my job to fix their lives or solve their problems, just as it is not their job to do so with mine.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Phases: The Next Step

Draco and I have been really focused lately about getting our lives back on track.  We took the years following Mini-Me coming to live with us (I was a Weekend-Warrior until she was 13 - not by choice) to raise a family.  At the same time she was leaving home to start her own life, my mother's health began to fail and we dedicated the next 2 years of life to trying to help my parents.  For the last several months, we've been staying with our wonderful friend, E, and her daughter, Mini-Diva.

We really hadn't planned on changing anything until some recent developments.

About a month ago, we applied for a loan for the first time in years, in an effort to rebuild our credit.  As a young couple, we messed our credit all up, not realizing how important it really was to being able to live a normal life.  In the last 7 or 8 years, we really haven't touched our credit at all.  It was bad, we were broke, so there wasn't much we could do anyway.

We went to the loan company prepared to offer collateral because of our now non-existent credit, but without much hope of actually getting approved.  We couldn't even get a bank account until recently because our credit was so horrible.

We did get approved, which came as a shock to us both, but not for very much.  We also got some advice while we were there based on why we only got approved for such a low amount.

Now, the car is acting up.  We have no clue what's wrong with it, so we don't know what to do to fix it.  Dad recently purchased a "new" car from a local dealership's used lot, and it got us to thinking about those "Buy Here, Pay Here" places since we're attempting to rebuild credit anyway.

We checked out a few, but since I have a licence, but only work at home and Draco works but has to get his licence back, they won't sell us a car.

On a whim, we went to the dealership my Dad recently used.  We looked at 2004 Ford Taurus.  Not a new car, but newer than the Saturn, which is a 1996.  We didn't think we could actually get anything, but after talking to the salesman, we got approved for that car.  Albeit with a down payment we can't quite afford right now, but still, we got approved.

The salesman decided to impart some advice as well, just as the loan company had, and it was a repeat of what the loan company said.

Our loan was so low and our down payment was so high because of our situation.

We have lived with someone for years.  Although we were at my parents for 2 solid years, it obviously doesn't count because nothing was in our name.  Here at E's, it's the same way.  They all want us to have our own place (doesn't really matter if we rent or buy as long as it's under our name), utilities of some sort in our names (even if it's just a cable bill or home phone bill).  Residential stability (find a place and don't move), work stability (Draco has worked with this company for about 5 years now total, but has left the company a few times when work was slow and has only gone back this time a few months ago).

We were surprised to find out that while I have no credit score at all, Draco has a mid-line credit rating (we have no clue how since we haven't used his credit in years until we got this loan recently).  He has what is considered "slow credit".  In spite of my lack of a score and his mid-line score, we could have gotten more on the loan and a lower down payment on the car if we had met the stability terms.

So, basically, in order for us to ever be able to rebuild our credit and have anything, we are going to have to get our own place again.

We haven't started actively looking for anything as of yet, but we have explained the situation to E and she understands.  We're keeping our eyes and ears open for anything that becomes available in the immediate area and we're about to start trying to save up for deposits.  It's going to be a process, and it means I'll be spending some time alone with Draco working out of town, but it's a step we need to take to get our lives back on track.

Wish us luck!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Box

The house was dim, like someone had forgotten to turn on a light on an overcast day.  Obviously, it was time to move again.  Boxes lined every visible wall and seemed to reach for the ceiling in the gloom.

Faint shuffling noises emanated from the direction of the kitchen and I turned and headed in that direction.

There was Mom and Dad, pulling boxes from a corner and shifting them in the direction of the doorway.

I approached them and held out my hands for the first of the boxes, passing them to Draco.  It struck me as odd that he would be there.  I knew somewhere deep inside that this was a dream.  A familiar dream.  An echo of a memory stirred somewhere in the back of my mind and I knew that something had changed, although the feeling of familiarity held.

Then I saw it.  It was the box of nightmares past.

I had dreamed of this box since my teenage years, and never quite understood why.  I knew enough to know that I feared this box on some deeply rooted level that I couldn't explain.

Mom calmly pulled the box from the corner and passed it to Dad, along with a look I couldn't define.  I realized then that Mom should not be in this dream.  Mom was gone.  Almost 2 months now.  Was she now haunting my dreams?

Dad took the box and sat it on the freezer at his side and avoided meeting my gaze.  This was odd because in dreams past, the box had been kept from me.  I had experienced being in it's presence, but had never touched it.  One of my parents, generally my mother, had always taken the box away almost immediately, like something being hidden from me.

I reminded myself that I was an adult, not a frightened child, and willed myself to reach for the box.  Still, my hands would not move.  I stood, rooted to the spot and stared at the box, trying to remember why I should be so frightened of a silly box.  I could feel everyone watching me without looking directly at me.

The box was the same as I remembered, but was showing the signs of age.  A darker brown, dog-eared flaps crisscrossed the top.  It seemed to bulge a little at the top where the flaps didn't quite make a complete closure, as if something had repeatedly pushed against the top from the inside or it held something that didn't quite fit.

I felt Draco looking at me with curiosity, somehow sensing my hesitation.

Finally, I held hands that trembled out towards this seemingly innocent package.  I picked up the box with determination and turned and headed towards the door instead of passing it to Draco as I had the others.  I could feel his presence behind me and knew he wanted a private moment to ask about the contents of the box.  I wanted a private moment with this box.  I wanted to know what the box held that had been kept from me all these years, but at the same time, I was afraid of finding out what was inside.

As I crossed the living room, I could feel the box tremble in my hands.  I tried to tell myself that it was me that was shaking, and I was, but I knew that the box was vibrating of it's own accord as well, like it knew that I was the one that held it.  It only ever seemed to react this way in my presence.

Without warning, the sounds began.  The growling of a trapped animal.  The box somehow knew that I held it.

It was then that I realized that it wasn't the box I feared, but what was inside.  Memories flooded my senses as I remembered fragments of other dreams in which this box had made an appearance.  In my mind's eye, I could see the tiny eyes peering out of the space in the top of the box where the flaps didn't quite meet.  A flash of some kind of fur...

I nearly dropped the box and headed for the door, but somehow I felt that this box and it's contents were mine although I couldn't say what or how.

Instead, I turned the corner and headed into my parent's bedroom and set the box on the first empty surface I came to.  I took a step back involuntarily and stared at it.

As Draco came along-side of me, the box began to shake violently and I knew that whatever was in it wanted release.  I felt a moment of compassion for what was trapped inside, along with a kinship I couldn't explain.  I thought about throwing caution to the wind and releasing the flaps, allowing freedom to the thing trapped inside but something stopped me.

As I watched, a little furry head forced its way through the opening in the top and it looked at me with curiosity as if it were just as curious about me as I was about it.  Somehow it didn't look as frightening as I had thought it would and I felt that pang of sympathy, once again, for something trapped inside a prison defined by others.  Caged for what it was.

It looked like it should have been a dog of some sort, but somehow, it wasn't.  I knew all too well how it felt to know that you should be something you weren't and to be hated for it.  I knew from years spent in my room, what it felt like be locked away like a dirty secret.

It was then that I realized that this box, and the creature in it, represented me and my feelings about my place in my family.  The place where my mother had put me.  In my room, a figurative box.  A prison with a view of a world I was told I would never fit into.  I could see the outside, but I couldn't be part of it because something about me was different.

As I looked this creature in the eye, I knew that it was a part of me.  It was all the parts of me that I tried to hide from the world in an effort to fit in.  It was a representation of everything about me that had ever been "different".

As the first tear slid down my face, I reached for the box once again, this time without fear or hesitation, but with compassion and understanding.  I pulled the tiny creature from the box and embraced it and felt whole for the first time in my life.

*Author's Note:  I have had variations of this dream since I was about 14.  Roughly 2 years after going to live with my Mom.  I believe in my heart that my Mom somehow attempted to return to me something we both felt she had taken from me in this dream, and for that, I am grateful.  This is the first time I have dreamed of my mother since her passing on June 13th of this year.

It should also be known that I have always been a vivid dreamer, and I have found that more often than not, my dreams hold meaning either for me or for someone in my life.  I don't always know what they mean, and in this case, it has taken me over 20 years to finally understand the meaning.  I have never written about my dreams before beyond private journals, but I'm finding that I like it and I will most likely start writing about them here.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Gone too long

I could smell the damp, earthy scent of the bark on the trees.  The rich black soil beneath my feet was like a sponge as I ran, absorbing the sounds of my footsteps.  My breathing came fast and hard like I was being chased by the long-ago boogie-man of childhood.

I ran alone.  Searching for something...some place.  I knew I should know the way, but I had forgotten, the memory only a faint whisper in my mind's eye.  Panic begins to set in.  I realize I'm becoming more and more hopelessly lost with every step.  My mind screams at me to stop and take stock of my surroundings.  Make an effort at getting my bearings, but my heart pushes me onward.

I need to find this place.  This place out of time that was once mine and mine alone.  I need the embrace of knowing I am exactly where I belong, like coming home.

It was getting darker and darker, like ink spilled on paper, reaching out to absorb it's surroundings in an attempt to consume it all.

Night sounds come alive in the ink blot running hard on my heels.  I know that I should not be afraid, but the fear licks at the corners of my mind like the flames of a bale-fire.

As the darkness reaches for me, I begin to see little flickers of light.  I chase after them, feeling a deep-rooted rejection as they outpace my frantic feet.  Somewhere deep in my heart, I feel a kinship with these lights.  I know that if I can just keep up, I will find what I'm looking for.

The panic reaches deeper into my soul and I can feel the hot streaks marking the tears on my face, I can taste the salt of my fears.

Hopelessness consumes me.  I can feel myself giving up the fight.  I just want to feel safe and I begin to realize that I will not reach my destination this night.

My steps falter and I realize that one of the lights has slowed it's pace to match mine.  Then, it too, falters and circles back.  As I slow, I realize the sound that I thought was the displaced air rushing past my ears is actually a whisper.  I strain to hear, knowing I should be able to understand.

As I focus on the sound, the light takes shape and I see the tiny wings, the little face that seems to glow from within is before me.  The whispered sounds take form, just as the light had taken form...my heart breaks as I hear her words and I close my eyes...

You have been gone too long....

I open my eyes to the sun beginning to peek through the curtains of a familiar room and I realize that I am once again in my bed.  My faithful companion of this world, curled and sleeping at my side.

A feeling of loss consumes me and I know that I will not reach my destination this night.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Irons in the fire

Lately I find myself with too much time on my hands and no sense of direction. I've felt adrift with no purpose. I know that these feelings aren't good for my depression or disposition so I have decided something must be done.

Around the time that Draco and I got married, my parents bought into a leather business. It included Indian crafts as well as hand-made leather items and jewelry. A few years later, we bought the business from them.
I won't go into huge amounts of details, but while we were moving a short time later, our equipment was stolen and I'd pretty much forgotten about it.

While at my dad's sorting through boxes filled with 30 years of marriage, I began to come across supplies. Not the equipment, because I'd bought that myself, but supplies for the jewelry and Indian crafts. My dad said throw it away but I talked to him and he agreed to let me have it.

After some talking to Draco and E, I've decided to re-start my business. I'm hoping to pick up some of the supplies this afternoon so I can decide how much of it has survived the years in storage and what hasn't.

To say that I'm excited is an understatement.

I need this badly. It's no secret that my health and mental/emotional issues prevent me from holding a normal job. Some days I'm great, other days it's all I can do to peel myself off the mattress. This will allow me to work in my own time and at my own pace.

Blogger doesn't really allow selling on their blogs, but eventually I will be adding a link or button on the side-bar for a website where I can sell my crafts.  For now, though, I'm in the sorting/gathering/planning phase.

Note: I wrote this post a few days ago and got caught up in a few link-ups.

I'm happy to report that most of the supplies I picked up from my Dad's on Wednesday is still in great shape! That means my start-up costs should be minimal beyond the crafts I'm intending to add-on. I've even started filling my 1st order and have got a 2nd order today!  Stay tuned for more details to come!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Writer's Workshop ~ I don't wanna grow up!

This week, Mama Kat has asked us to list the 7 worst things about being an adult and at this point in my life, it's a very easy list.

1.  Feeling responsible for everyone and everything.  I always feel like the world is resting on my shoulders.  Although I know it's not true, I often feel like everyone's problems are either my fault or my responsibility.

2.  Making the hard choices.  Since Mom passed a few weeks ago, I have been faced with many decisions I've had to make, not only for myself, but for my husband and father as well.

3.  Being the bad guy.  Being an adult also means that after you've made all these decisions because of these feelings of responsibility, you often have to tell people things you know they don't want to hear.

4.  Bills.  Wouldn't it be great if none of us had to pay bills and could just spend our hard-earned money on the things we want and love?

5.  Aches and pains.  The closer I get to 40, the more things hurt.  It never used to matter what kind of mattress I had, now I wake up off and on all night having to reposition because this or that hurts.

6.  Not enough "Me Time".  I remember being bored somewhere in the neighborhood of 99% of my childhood.  Now, I'd kill for the time to be truly bored.

7.  Dealing with grown children.  You think once the kids are grow up, parenting is over, but all it really means is that you still hate what they do but you can't do a damn thing about it.

So, that's my 7, what's yours?

Mama’s Losin’ It

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday Dump

I won't even pretend I'm not inspired by Fadra from All Things Fadra and her Stream Of Consciousness Sunday meme. The truth is, though, I don't have time at the moment to do the blog hopping involved in participating and I also tend to bend the rules and just dump for however long it takes.

If you feel so inclined, please go join the link-up at Fadra's and if you do, leave me a link to your post in the comments and I'll stop by. You won't find a nicer bunch to spend your Sunday with.

Now, on to my dump...

I think I've avoided my Dad today. Not out of spite or anger, but just because I need some "me time". I think I've earned it.

In the last few weeks, instead of dealing with my own grief, I've tried to stay strong for those that needed me. Now, I'm not planning to spend the night crying. If it happens, it happens and I think I'm entitled if it does, but right now, I just need the world to back off for a minute and let me get my shit together.

I need a minute to just be me with just my own worries and problems.

I feel like I'm in one of those over-dramatic movie scenes where the woman in a long, flowing dress stands barefoot on a cliff overlooking the sea with that spaced out look on her face. I'm never certain if she's just thinking or if she's gonna jump. That's how I feel right now.

I'm pretty sure if everyone could just handle their own shit for 5 minutes, I might be ok...but if one more person demands I handle someone else's shit, I might jump.

I have to admit, though it'll probably piss a few people off, I'm even a little pissed at Mom right now.

There's no way she couldn't have known what kind of shape Dad's in. Mentally, emotionally, financially. She knew.

My brother and I nearly committed Dad at the first of the year. Mom cried and begged us not to so we backed off.

Now, the one person he'd listen to is gone. No one can do anything except stand back and watch and hope for the best. No one will do anything but lay it at my feet.

I feel like I should have had help and I didn't really except advice from Aunt D. I still don't know what I would have done without her.

Draco left to go back out of town today and it hit me that I was going to be alone tonight. Really alone. I am now.

Right now, I'm just trying to get things off my chest so maybe I can relax for a change.

After this, I think I'll just putter around the house for a bit and see how I feel. E said if it gets too bad to come have coffee at her work and I might. We'll see.

Falling apart, and back together

My life has been a huge, complicated mess for about a month now.  I've been lost and lonely, scared and confused.  Angry and depressed.  Some days, I didn't know how I felt.  Some days I just wanted to quit and give up.

Through it all, I'm still standing, but it hasn't been easy, and I know it's not really over yet either.

Just as a warning, this post may be a little wandering and confused, but I've been unable to really write anything since I lost my Mom and I think it's mostly because I haven't written about loosing her yet.  So, here is my therapy post.

My Mom went back in the hospital around the beginning of June and by June 13th, she was gone.  The last 2 weeks of her life, spent in the hospital, weren't pleasant for her or for the rest of us.

Shortly after she was admitted, Dad called and said that he'd taken her back to the ER with a distended abdomen and that as him and my Uncle tried to get her out of the house, she'd begun having seizures.

I went up there to see her and she was in her first stint in ICU.  They had just taken the respirator off to see if she could breath on her own and it wasn't looking promising.  When Mini-Me and I got there, though, she was mostly lucid and we were able to talk to her.

She seemed to know, even then, that her time here had come to an end.  She had things she wanted to say to us and she was able to say them.

I will be forever grateful that I made that trip that night to the hospital.  It was the last time I would be able to talk to my Mom and know that she heard me and knew who I was.

The hospital said she had a blockage, but she was too weak and not breathing well and they couldn't really do much for her.  She was in and out of ICU and CCU, on and off a respirator, for almost 2 weeks.

Finally, around the 10th or 11th, the head surgeon came to my Mom's room to talk to my Dad.  There was nothing more they felt they could do for her.  She was dying and there was nothing they could do to stop it, only prolong it.

The decision was made not to put her back on a respirator or any other machines.  She was listed as do not resuscitate.  She would be moved to a hospice facility.

Early in the afternoon of the 12th, she was moved.  Dad was supposed to let me know when they got her settled and I was going to come up there and see her.

Early in the evening, I received a phone call.  My Dad had talked to a family member and somehow they had gotten the impression that Mom had passed already.  After a flurry of phone calls, I finally found out that although she had not yet passed, they didn't expect her to make it through the night.  She was what they called "Active", which meant that she was in the process of passing away.

Before I could get up there, my phone rang again.  It was one of the nurses.  Dad was at the hospice facility and they were concerned about him.  Could I please come see to him ASAP.

When I got there, Dad was a wreck.  I finally got him to go home and my Aunt and Uncle eventually convinced him to let them take him.  I walked in the rain and in the dark back inside the hospice facility.

I noticed on my way back in that the hospice facility, while very nice, was some kind of weird mixture of a hospital and mortuary.  It had that mortuary feel to it.  I realized then, for maybe the first time, that this was a place where they sent people to die.

I was almost in a daze by this point.  More on auto-pilot than anything.  I sat at the nurse's station re-signing paperwork my Dad had already signed, discussing what funeral home they should call and making sure names and phone numbers were correct.

When it was done, I returned alone to sit at my mother's bedside.  The only sound in the room was my mother's labored breathing.  I sat beside her, held her hand and watched her fight for her life and knew it my heart that it was a fight she was loosing quickly.

When the nurse came into the room to check on her, she said that it could still be hours yet and encouraged me to go home and get some sleep.  She put her hand affectionately on my shoulder and said, the next few days are going to hard for you and your Father.  Go and rest while you can.

I leaned over the bed, softly kissed my Mom on her forehead and quietly left her room.

I couldn't tell you anything about the walk back to my car.  It should have taken moments, but could have taken hours.  In those moments after leaving my mother's bedside, nothing had meaning.  I don't remember thinking anything at all.  I was numb, in a daze.

The next morning, just before 11 am, a few ladies came to my Mom's room before I could get back up there and offered to pray with her.  My Aunt and Uncle were there and said that while the group of ladies prayed, my Mom briefly open her eyes, something she hadn't done in 3 days.  She seemed to look at something only she could see.

At 10:55 am on June 13, 2012, my mother took her last breath.

She was a force of nature, born to a family that would never understand her, she made her own life, her own way.  When her way was blocked, she plowed through it as if it were nothing.  She never allowed life, or anyone in it to stand in her way.  When she wanted something, she made it happen.

She was not perfect.  She was not always the mother I needed her to be.  We were not always close and even went years sometimes without speaking over some disagreement or another.

But, in spite of her faults, she was my Mother and I loved her very much.  I'm not sure I will ever stop missing her.

Unfortunately, I was not to have time to grieve.  I went from handling my mother's final affairs, to immediately caring for my dad.

I was a mess, my dad was a mess and my life was about to become a mess.

It was decided that Paul and I would leave our happy little existence at E's and move in with my Dad because he was grieving so hard for Mom and didn't need to be alone.

In the weeks that I was there with him, we did accomplish a lot.  We were able to go through a lot of the stuff that was still sitting packed up in boxes.  I was able to help him deal with Mom's personal items.  I was able to be there for him through the worst of his grief.  I was even able to secure him enough of an income of his own to be able to provide for himself.

The whole time we were there, though, I couldn't seem to think of it as home.  E's was home.  It was where all my things were.  It was where I had finally begun to smile and laugh and make some good memories.  I missed it and wanted to go back.

I didn't know it then, but I would be returning to E's sooner than I would have thought.

Yesterday, Dad and I reached an impasse.  There are some things I just can't live with and there are some things he's having a hard time living without.  I put Dutchess in the car and drove away.

Today, the guilt has all but eaten me alive.  I feel guilty about leaving him alone.  I feel guilty that I couldn't help him.  I feel guilty for being relieved to be back at E's.

I still haven't grieved for my Mom.  I need time to myself to allow myself to deal with it.  I feel that I can do that here.

E has always been a good friend to us and I love her to pieces.  She's become kind of like a little sister to me and she was there, once again, when we needed her.  She's allowed us to come back for as long as we need or want.

We're torn at the moment between getting our own place and staying here.  We were happy here and I know we will be again.  I also know that it's been 3 years since we had our own place and it's beyond time.  But still....we would be happy here...

Anyway, that's pretty much where I've been and what's happened up to now.  Maybe now that I have finally taken the time to talk about Mom's passing, I will be able to free myself from this writer's block.  It's not a great way to start a blog, but it is what it is, I guess.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Making a come-back

Almost everyone knows that I lost my Mom on June 13, 2012.  With the loss of her, I've decided that I no longer care what anyone thinks about my choice of religion, sexual preferences or anything else.

Due to a budgeting over-sight, I forgot to pay my hosting on my last blog and, to be honest, I really can't afford it now that I'm taking care of my dad.  So, free Blogger it is.

I will post again when I'm done setting up the blog and Facebook page and add some more information about what's going on in my life now.  Until then...

Love, Light and Happiness...