Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dancin in the Rain...

It's raining here in the Sand Hills and tonight I took the little Witchling out to dance in the rain. It was so much fun... Ravyn laughed and laughed and laughed... Here she is on the front porch all wet and still giggling for all she's worth. 

Earlier today, Mommy took her to see the allergist and we found out she has multiple allergies, but not allergic to the dogs as her regular pediatrician thought. She's back on her Zyrtec and also has 2 inhalers. One for daily maintenance and one for rescue. Poor baby has been so miserable since Friday because she couldn't have her Zyrtec for 5 days prior to the appointment today. And on top of hives and rashes, she's teething and couldn't even have her Tylenol or OraJel. 

She's in a MUCH better mood, and getting back to her playfulness...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Munchies ~ Pineapple Salsa

Pineapple Salsa
inspired by Chef Jamie
1/2 a pineapple {or 1 can} roughly chopped
1/3 red onion, diced
1 tomato, chopped
1 jalapeno, deseeded and diced
1 large handful parsley, chopped
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice {or sub lime}
salt and pepper
Method | Simple. Mix together and season to taste. Make sure some of the pineapple juice gets in the mix to ensure it’s extra tasty.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Culling the Blog Roll

This morning as I was reading some of the blogs I'm subscribed to or following, having my coffee and trying to wake up ...  I detected a pattern in some of the things I saw. At first I thought I was reading the same blog over and over... unfortunately I was wrong. It seems there are a LOT of people writing the same stuff. And it's not pretty...

I have over 100 blogs on my blog roll and I enjoy reading many of them on a daily basis, or at least as often as the author writes and posts. After this morning I'm going to be reducing the number of blogs I follow.

I don't mind reading about your adventures through your life. I DO mind reading about how in one paragraph you have changed things up, made improvements to everything going on in your world, and in the next line you are slamming something you just said you had changed. Or judging someone else for doing the same thing you are doing.

So beginning tomorrow, I'm going through my blog roll with a fine tooth comb and culling the list. If you survive, congratulations. If you don't, buh bye...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thoughts On A Thursday...

Since there has been a lot of activity the past few days, I'm hoping to take it easy today. I have 2 discussion questions to write and post over at Ashford University. I'm currently in week 2 of American National Government, which is putting me on over load... SO much information to read and then work through...*sigh. Ahh it is what I signed up for and to be honest my classes are very interesting and motivating. I'm looking forward to this class giving me information I could possibly use in the future for *activism work*, LOL!

Stay tuned my Darlins... it's only going to get better from here, LOL!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rising From the Ashes & Mercury Retrograde

A few weeks ago, around the beginning of June, I went through some changes in my life, both the personal every day life as well as my online persona. I eliminated some things and people I thought were holding me back and causing me to be angry, irritable and in general a person I didn't want to be. This falls under that I am ever evolving work in progress blanket I wrote about a while ago.

I also made some changes to the blog layout, removed some widgets that no longer served a purpose for where this blog is going, changed up the lay out and tried to make it more appealing and easier to navigate.

Here at home, I cleaned out some clutter that had accumulated in the form of junk mail, and miscellaneous crap, you know, those unimportant pieces of paper just lying around. I cleaned and rearranged some of my kitchen cabinets, and the cabinets in my bathroom. Straightened out my closet and organized things according to the pieces I wear the most often.

Mercury went Retrograde on July 14th, amidst one of the most powerful solar flares we've had in quite a while. Mercury Retrograde is usually a difficult time for me. I become more of a raving bitch than I normally am, I snap at everyone and everything, I'm more easily prone to crying and I'd much rather just be left completely alone. Unfortunately, I can't wallow in my misery. So, I spend a little while each morning in my newly REarranged and REorganized (some of those *RE* things we are supposed to do during the retrograde) Temple room listening to music and grounding. Usually this works and I can have a peaceful and productive day... not so much the past couple days.

I've been working in the room where I had my altar and Pagan items. I decided to dedicate this room entirely to being my Temple. Before I made this decision, I had so many different things in there and the energy was scattered all over the place. I moved my desk back into the office and put all office supplies back in there as well. I also took my vanity/makeup table and put it in the master bedroom. It now sits in front of the window and I have natural light when I'm getting all dolled up before leaving the house... LOL! The emergence of the Temple is a separate blog entry in itself... I have pictures to go with it and will try to get it written before the weekend.

Online I deleted some accounts I no longer use. Email accounts that had been set up for marketing purposes. You know, the ones they call disposable accounts that you use when you sign up for something new or take a survey so your *real* email inbox doesn't get packed with useless spam. And I removed some social networking accounts. I have too much going on in my personal life and couldn't give as much attention as some require.

In the midst of reworking some of my online accounts I found a couple places that I added to the list of the ones I'm using. They are sites giving advice on how to improve your blog and possibly make money for the things you write about. I haven't spent much time actually checking them out to see what all they offer, but the few pages I did read in full, made me want to subscribe and be able to get more information. I'm planning in the next few weeks to go over these pages with a fine tooth comb and see what suggestions I can implement to make my blog more marketable.

Out of all the rubble I had created I found I have a few more friends than I knew about. When I removed the *toxic one* from my life, I also removed all the friends we had in common without stopping to think if I would be eliminating someone who was a positive part of my world. I just went through the friend list and deleted them without question...I figured if they were friends with the *toxic one* they were probably toxic as well and I didn't want that in my life any longer. I'm ashamed of my assumptions and I'm happy to say I was wrong...

One that I didn't remove and had kept in contact with even though the *toxic one* didn't like that I still had her as a friend (how the hell a person can dictate which friends one can have is way beyond me) turned out to be someone I highly respect and look up to. Even though we met through crazy circumstances, we became friends and have nurtured that friendship to the point we chat online every day. She is an amazing woman, has an active family, is active in her Pagan community and still finds the time to not only write The Multi-Faceted Experience, but also hosts Pagan Pages Blog Hop. Kourtney is also active in Pagan Blog Project, writing an entry each week, and all the while living with clinical depression and rheumatoid arthritis. To say that this woman is amazing would be an understatement. I am fortunate to have her in my life. I was extremely happy to continue the friendship we had begun and I'm looking forward to the future...

One person I was surprised to have contact me was Bella... She and the *toxic one* had been online friends for many years and I was under the mis-assumption she wouldn't want to have anything to do with me once we had no friends in common. Again, I'm sorry for assuming anything. Bella sent me a message on Facebook and we began chatting on a regular basis as well. She recently went through some hard times with the loss of a family member. It's extremely hard to lose someone you are close to and for a stranger to say *I know what you are feeling* is difficult to not only hear but believe. However, I too had lost my father and knew exactly what it's like to be Daddy's little girl and lose your hero. Our relationship has grown from those first few weeks where communication was sporadic as she went through the grieving process. We have a 4 way conversation going on continuously with the others who have come together as friends after eliminating the *toxic one* and you should hear some of the things the 4 of us talk about, LOL! Bella is another SAHM and writes her blog Tales of the Wolf Queen. If you don't know her or follow her blogs you are missing a very talented lady. Stop on over and check her out...

The final person I was surprised to hear from was actually friends in real life, face to face with the *toxic one* and after Melissa read my blog entry on Friends and What They Mean to Me, she messaged me to let me know my entry had given her pause and caused her to evaluate the people in her life as well. To say I was flattered that my words could have such an impact on someone is understated. I only write about the things I live, feel and believe. I was humbled by her words. That entry was the catalyst for Melly to remove the *toxic one* from her life. This was a difficult decision...not only were they face to face friends, their husbands were friends and they lived around the corner from each other. However, because of some of the things that happened which made Melly feel not only uncomfortable, but angry and hurt as well, she did the only thing she could do and remain true to herself and her husband and son. Melly deleted her blog because of some of the comments made to her and hasn't created one again...YET. We are working on it and when she's satisfied and it's up and running I'll make sure I post a link to it.

So, I want to thank the *toxic one* for coming into my life when she did, and introducing me to some of the most amazingly wonderful, strong and spiritual women it is my pleasure to know and have in my life. Even though we are spread out over different parts of the US, we are together, united and bound by friendship. A friendship that I have no doubt will stand the test of time. We all know the true meaning of friendship, we have survived the *toxic one* and we have Risen From the Ashes... LOL!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Munchies ~ Grilled Corn with Honey-Ancho Chile Butter

Grilled Corn with Honey-Ancho Chile Butter

yield: Makes 8 servings


  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 8 ears of corn, husked
  • Ingredient info: Ancho chile powder is available in the spice section of many supermarkets and at Latin markets.


Melt 2 tablespoons butter in small skillet over medium-low heat. Add chile powder and cumin; stir 10 seconds. Transfer to medium bowl; stir in honey and cool.

Add oregano, coarse salt, granulated garlic, onion powder, and 6 tablespoons butter to butter mixture. Mix until smooth. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill corn until charred in spots, turning often, about 13 minutes. Transfer corn to platter. Serve with honey-ancho butter.

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Day of Sadness...

It's all over the internet. You know...the shooting at the movie theater in Aurora Colorado that killed so many people and wounded more. Innocent people who wanted for just a few minutes to have a hero to look up to, someone to give them hope and inspiration and possibly escape their somewhat harsh reality.

It's also all over the blogoshpere, so I'm not going to dwell on it. All I'm going to do is add my voice and my prayers for the families left behind...

May the great Goddess guard them, May they safely find their way to the Summerland, and May their loved ones know peace with their passing.

Adventures in Maryland... Part 2

So, when things began to calm down after the heart attack causing excitement on Thursday night into Friday morning, Jimmy & I were able to spend a little time reconnecting with Mylia and Cheyenne. We had coffee or tea and Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, chilled for a bit and then decided to get out of the  house for a while.

Our first stop was Crystal Fox, my absolute most favorite Pagan/New Age/ Metaphysical shop in the world! NO honestly, I've been to quite a few and CF is by far the one with not only the very best selection of everything you could possibly want or need, but the energy coming from inside the building actually flows out into the street. I absolutely adore the owner Sterling, his staff is more than knowledgeable and they actually enjoy helping the customers.

I was able to get some things I needed, some chime candles (the 4" colored ones), nag champa cones, white sage, the new Witches Datebook for 2013 (so I don't have to order it and wait, and wait and wait for it to arrive, LOL!), and a book that Chey had been wanting. (I actually ended up going back the next day and getting some crystals). I think we spent probably close to 90 minutes there, just absorbing the energy and giving Chey the chance to ground after her misadventure.

From Crystal Fox we went to Longhorn and had a late lunch, extra protein was just  what we needed. Gave us the extra little energy boost and we were off to Ikea. K, I have a confession to make... I have NEVER been in an Ikea store. I know *gasp, you poor, poor child! LOL! I have never seen SO MUCH STUFF in one place in all my life! After walking around and following those cute little arrows that tell you which way the flow in the store goes, I found many things I just gotta have. But not when I have to pack it in the back of a rental car and drive 5 1/2 hrs home with it! I refrained from buying out the store, but did manage to convince myself I absolutely could NOT live with out the stainless steel paring knife I found. It was purchased and stashed for transport home.

Mylia did buy some shelves for Chey so she can better organize the books in her room. And like most of the females in our family Chey is PASSIONATE about her books...

The rest of the day into evening was spent back at Mylia and Chey's just relaxing and catching up. I hadn't seen either one of them for a little over 6 years and even though we chat daily on FB and talk regularly, it was more than nice to sit and talk face to face. Mylia and I were able to talk about some of the things she's having a difficult time remembering because of the Chiari, and Jimmy & Chey played video games. It was a great way to spend an evening.

Saturday morning, it was coffee and donuts again... have I ever told you how much Jimmy LOVES him some Dunkin Donuts coffee?? Anyway, Jimmy & I had made arrangements to meet up with some of my Facebook friends so we could actually *meet* face to face. I was more than excited about this, I already knew I loved these gals and wanted to be able to cement the connection. So off we go from College Park to north of Baltimore. We met up at Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch and OH MY! what a time we had getting to know one another. I felt like I was coming home... Kelly, Shelby, Jaden, Sammi, Lyssa and Linda are awesomely amazing! And I am more than blessed to be able to not only call them friends but sisters and nephew as well.

Shelby, Lyssa, Jaden (in front), Sammi, Linda & me

Shelby, Sammi, Jimmy, Linda, Kelly, me & Jaden (in front)

After we left to go back to College Park we went to turning Wheel in Baltimore looking for some crystals. As many of you know, most of my things were left behind in MI when we moved to NC 4 years ago. I'm just now beginning to replace some of the things I used on a regular basis. I didn't find everything I was looking for so we ended up back at Crystal Fox where I found exactly what I wanted... *thanks Sterling!*. We took the scenic route between Turning Wheel and Crystal Fox, driving through some of the places we used to go when we lived in MD. It was great to drive over the Key Bridge and see the inner harbor (I took pictures, but the didn't come out). Once we made it back to College Park, it was another quiet evening at home with my daughter.

We got up early Sunday morning to drive back to NC, and we brought Cheyenne with us. We thought maybe it would be a good idea to give her a place where there wouldn't be people yelling at her. Since her mother and I didn't yell, it stands to reason we didn't feel anyone else needed to either. She will be with us until we take her home on the 17th and I'm hoping she doesn't get too bored while she's here. Living in a small town without transportation can really bite at times... LOL! Her Aunt Taz lives just down the street and  I think she's going there this weekend to go swimming...

So there you have my adventures...all of it.This week has been tough...Mercury retrograde is kicking my ass. I'm tired and irritable. Tomorrow is Friday, I don't have Ravyn and I don't have any plans to do anything. I may just declare it to be a Jammie Day and chill out all day doing nothing...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Re-Inventing Ones Self

Lately, I've been seeing many people who aren't happy with one or more aspects of their life. Maybe it's their weight, or a relationship, or their spiritual walk, or maybe they have figured out their life is a farce. When the revelation hits, they seem to freak out and do everything possible to wipe out their former life so they can begin a new one.

I know a few people who fit into this... for one reason or another, they aren't satisfied about something in their everyday existence. Instead of picking up the pieces of the life they feel is shattered, they throw it out the window and try to build it again from the ground up. Unfortunately, this doesn't always work. When you try to begin completely fresh, you still have remnants of the previous life or relationship you are running from. And if you haven't learned where the mistakes are, you just build them right back into the new person you are trying to become.

You can't run from your past. You need to have those pieces present each day so you can meet them head on and remember who you were and why you wanted to change. I'm not saying you have to take them out of their box and play with them every day. I'm saying you need to keep some of those memories so you don't fall back into the same patterns you are working so diligently to get away from.

Contrary to popular belief, this metamorphosis doesn't happen over night. You can't be a raving lunatic one day and wake up the next morning and say "I've changed, I'm not the horrible person I was when I went to bed last night." You can get up and say, "today I begin the work needed to transform myself into a person people want to have in their life". This is how you know you are honestly trying to make changes in your life.

Deleting your Facebook page, changing your email, creating a new blog for the umpteenth time, getting a new job, or moving for the third time in 6 months will not give you immediate results. Becoming a better person is not something you can go into blindly. You must have your eyes, ears and heart wide open in order to see, hear and feel the things around you that are working in your life to help you become a better person, friend and human being.

I am and always will be a work in progress. I learn from the mistakes I make, and I try with everything I have to not make those same mistakes again. Yes, I do repeat them, sometimes they can come to you in disguise of a different issue, but in fact are some of the same problems I've dealt with previously. Do I delete my life and frantically begin anew. NO! I have had the same Facebook page since I signed up on February 27, 2008, I have the same blog and I've kept the same name for it since I launched it back on March 24, 2008.

I *know* I've grown and changed. I don't need to throw away my previous life/mistakes and re create myself each time I screw something up. With 315 Facebook friends, over half who are actual face to face friends and not just internet buddies, 139 followers to this blog and 106 people who *Like* the Facebook page for Aoibheal's Lair, I gotta believe I'm doing something right.

My changes are daily, I don't shout them from the rooftops, I let them manifest and allow others to notice the differences. I don't run from my past, I don't throw my previous life away and declare I'm a changed person. I just keep growing, changing, evolving...

I don't try to re-invent myself... I am a work in progress.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

When I Needed You...

...each and every one of you affirmed the true meaning of friendship

Last week on Thursday I got a frantic call from my daughter in MD. My 16 year old granddaughter had run away. Now, many people would say this is to be expected, it's something that most teens do. Not so with Cheyenne. She isn't a *normal* teen in as much as the rebellion and rocky relationship with her parent. Cheyenne and Mylia have an amazing parent/child relationship. And for this to have happened was incomprehensible. None of us could begin to wrap our heads around what might have caused  the flight.

As soon as I got the news, I immediately sent out a cry for help. Everyone of you picked up that cry and flung it even wider across the interwebs. I posted a picture of Cheyenne that went viral and was seen and shared over 17,000 times within 10 hours. The police in MD were called, and the waiting began...

Jimmy rented a car, I threw some things into a bag, and we hit 95N at 8:00PM on our way to do what ever we could to help find Chey. My phone blew up and continued to buzz every few seconds with messages of support, some of them from people I had no idea who they were. But since I posted the picture with my contact information *publicly* for everyone to see, it stands to reason I got messages from strangers.

This was a very emotional time for me, I was more than worried, had questions I couldn't find answers to, and was about as close to a break down as one can get. But I HAD to be strong because I didn't know what I'd walk into once I got to my daughter's house. As the messages of support continued to come in, I did have a mini meltdown... I was completely overwhelmed.

I'm just me, a normal wife, mother, grandmother and friend. I'm nothing special. Evidently many of you disagree with my opinion of myself because you all showed me how much you care. I can't begin to express how much you all mean to me, you are the best friends and family anyone could possibly ask for. If any of you EVER find yourself in a situation where you need something... a prayer, a hug, to vent, to scream, to cry... ANYTHING... I hope you will turn to me and I can try to reciprocate the unconditional love you have shown to me.

We were an hour away from our destination when I got the call that Cheyenne had come home on her own. To say that I was relieved would be quite the understatement. As soon as I could I sent a message letting everyone know. And again the responses (even at 12:30AM on Friday morning) were beyond belief...

When we arrived, my first thought was to give both my girls a huge hug, I needed to wrap my arms around them, just to make sure they were really alright. Then I wanted to know why Chey made the decision she had. I think I surprised them all by not ranting and yelling... all I wanted was for her to be safe and thankfully she was. There were those who felt they had the *right* to scream, rant, rave, degrade, and generally try to make her feel even more guilty than she already did... if that was even possible. Luckily those people weren't there when I arrived, this was NOT a time for screaming... Cheyenne needed comfort and to be able to explain.

The reasons behind the flight are many and complicated. But NONE of them have anything to do with the relationship between my daughter and granddaughter. Cheyenne is a *protector*, she defends everyone in her life, whether  they be family, friends or acquaintances. This time it was a friend in need, someone who was being physically abused at home. And even though it had been reported, there wasn't enough evidence to do anything about it. The friend decided they needed to leave home and Chey being the type of friend she is, made the only decision she thought would work at the time... she left with them so her friend wouldn't be alone.

After discussing things with her mother, Chey figured out she actually could have brought the friend home with her. And even if said friend wasn't exactly the most favorite person, they would never be turned away when they need help. That's just how we do things in our family... unfortunately, things aren't going well for the friend after they got home. It looks like all forms of communication have been suspended, no cell phone, no internet, no nothing. And to make a difficult situation even worse, the friend is being sent away to military school. I'm praying this will be a good decision in the end... I'm hoping the friend will become more self confident and able to stand up to the abusers... I'm praying ...

So there you have my adventures in the readers digest version. I can never express how much I appreciate every one of you. Your love, prayers and support helped to bring Cheyenne home safe... sooner than I thought. I am eternally grateful for my friends and I love each and every one of you...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Munchies ~ Grilled Skirt Steak with Cilantro Garlic Sauce

yield: Makes 6 servings


For sauce
  • 1 medium garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne

For steak
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 pound skirt steak, cut crosswise into 3- to 4-inch pieces


Make sauce:

Mince garlic and mash to a paste with salt. Transfer to a blender and add remaining sauce ingredients, then blend until smooth.

Grill steak:

Stir together cumin, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Pat steak dry, then rub both sides of pieces with cumin mixture.

Heat an oiled well-seasoned ridged grill pan over high heat until hot but not smoking, then grill steak in 2 batches, turning over occasionally, about 2 minutes per batch for thin pieces or 6 to 8 minutes per batch for thicker pieces (medium-rare). Serve steak drizzled with sauce.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Munchies~ Chipotle Guacamole

This is OH SO YUMMY !!

Chipotle's Signature Guacamole
From Chipotle Mexican Grill
For a complete chip and dip experience, serve guacamole with tortilla chips that have been tossed with lime juice and a sprinkling of salt, a signature at Chipotle Mexican Grill.
Recipe For Chipotle Guacamole
6 large ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
1/4 cup citrus (lemon and lime) juice
3 cups fresh cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 cups red onion, finely chopped
12 large serrano chiles, seeded and finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Tortilla chips, for serving
  1. Using a fork, mash avocados with citrus juice in small bowl.
  2. Add cilantro, chopped onion, serrano chilies, and salt. Stir to combine. Serve with tortilla chips, if desired.
Makes six to 10 servings.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ahhh, Sunday How I Love Thee...

It's been a great day here in the Sand Hills of NC.

Jimmy came home yesterday afternoon, was able to stay long enough for his 34HR reset. This means he won't need to park in a truck stop someplace on the road and be unproductive for 34 hrs. Ravyn loves her Papa, and when he's home she's attached to him like a little monkey. He carries her around all over the place, even outside when he goes to let the dogs out or to smoke. His time with her gives me a bit more freedom to do other household things. Alas, he leaves at 4:30 in the morning and not sure how long he'll be out this week.

In my previous post I let you all know I'm going to be making some changes to the cosmetics of Aoibheal's Lair... I'm removing some gadgets I no longer use/need and I'm thinking about changing up the actual layout. Not sure on that one yet.

I've been promoting this blog and Journey to Faerie over on Facebook and I'm excited about the new followers and friends. There were 12 new likes for Aoibheal's Lair (68 total) and 17 for Journey to Faerie (42 total) just today! Thanks for liking me and welcome to the insanity of my life, LOL!!

OH!! We also have 2,220 people who like One Million Pagans...that  is SO awesome! Kelly is doing a great job as an admin and I'm blessed to have her helping me out. She really finds some great things that are full of information to post on the page.

I've also been kicking around an idea for yet another blog or FB page so I can share all the cool and amazingly  awesome information I'm learning as I progress into my course of study over at Ashford University. Complementary and Alternate health has SO much great information that I feel is important to let as many people as I can know about. So far, I'm leaning towards a *page* on FB, I think I'll start there and see if there is enough traffic to warrant adding a new blog. My only concern with a FB page is the traffic, with the way FB is now set up, it's an *iffy* thing whether your page posts actually get seen by those people who have subscribed or liked the page.

The temperatures here have been horrendous this past week, we've either met or broken the record highs. Thankfully it looks like there may be some relief this coming week. Temps are supposed to be in the mid 90's tomorrow and then drop into the mid to upper 80's for the rest of the week. And we are supposed to have rain every day (all day on Tuesday) this next week...YAY! I LOVE the rain.

Well, that's all for this Sunday evening. I'm off to a bubble bath and snuggle time with my sexy man. Good night and sleep well...

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Changes and Rearranging...

In the next couple of weeks I have some changes I want to make here on Aoibheal's  Lair. I'm hoping they will all come together without too much trouble and distractions. I'll be adding some new things and removing the ones that I'm no longer using.

Please be patient...I'm a work in progress...

Friday, July 6, 2012

Friends and What They Mean to Me...

The other day I was having a conversation with someone who made a random statement about how it is impossible to have real friends in this age of electronics and frenzy. She said she just can't seem to maintain any type of friendship relationship, because people are either too busy with their own personal lives or they are stuck behind a computer monitor or video game. She went on and on and on about how selfish her friends are and I have to be honest after listening to her whine, I wouldn't want to be her friend either.

This made me stop and really think about what she said and evaluate my life and my friendships.

Here is the *I* clause... The one that's all about me and what *I* do:

Yes, I am busy. No I don't work outside my home, I do take care of Ravyn 5 days a week for 9 hours each of those days. Along with this I make sure my house is clean, I cannot stand to live in clutter. I have a place for everything and try my best to keep things put where they belong. Sometimes I succeed, others not so much. I make sure our bills are paid on time, I take care of my husband when he is home. I take care of our fur babies and in a limited way, I also take care of some of the plants outside.

I'm also a full time college student maintaining a 3.9GPA. The degree program I'm enrolled in is for Complementary and Alternate Health with a minor in Entrepreneurship. It's a LOT of work, but I'm passionate about this and dedicate MUCH of my time to making sure I know the material and then doing the work required to *honestly* earn a bachelor's degree. At the end when I have my degree in hand, my ultimate goal is to have a Wellness Center offering options to western medicine for health care 

Here is the how I feel about my friends:

I have quite a few friends, personal, close friends who have been part of my life for many years. My BFF lives in Maryland, we have been friends and Spirit Sisters since 2004. Even though I moved away from MD in 2006, we still talk constantly, she knows when I *need* her, no matter the situation. I can't imagine my life without her. And on the other hand, I'm there at the other end of the phone or computer monitor when ever she needs me. I value this friendship and do everything I possibly can to nurture it...

Which brings me to the next point... I nurture each and every relationship I'm in. Whether it's a face to face relationship or an electronic relationship doesn't make any difference. BOTH get the same from me. I refuse to judge anyone for the way they believe about ANY subject. I have my own beliefs and when or if one of my friends and I can't agree with the other, it doesn't cause us to get all pissy and blow off the relationship. We choose to learn and grow from our differences. I don't expect everyone to agree with me and my feeling or beliefs, and I certainly don't completely agree with those of my friends.

So why is it so difficult for this person (the one who got me thinking) to make lasting friendships? I've talked to her a few times, so in my not so professional opinion, I feel she is too needy. Every conversation must be about her, she has no respect for any others ideas or opinions. No matter that she thinks she's the best friend going, if people won't stay around her and the drama that just rolls off her, she is the one with the issues and needs to do some deep soul searching to figure out how to change.

It doesn't matter if you feel your life is going good and you feel good about yourself (that's a form of narcissism) if others don't want to be around you for any period of time, there is definitely something not quite right with the inner you.

My friends, ALL of them, are very important to me! I love them all, whether I know them face to face, or they are on the other end of my computer monitor or a text message or email. Each of them have feelings I try to be aware of, each have family or relationship issues of some sort, and each of them have their down or low moments. It doesn't matter what mood they are in, I still love them. And they all know, no matter what is going on in my life, when they call me for ANYTHING, I'm there for each of them... NO QUESTIONS ASKED!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Daily Om July 5, 2012 ~ Remember the Light Side

July 5, 2012
Remember the Light Side
In Praise of Fun
by Madisyn Taylor

During our journey we can become very serious, it is important to remember to have fun along the way.

Often when we talk about fun, or doing things just for fun, we talk about it in a dismissive way as if fun isn’t important. We tend to value hard work and seriousness, and we forget to pay our respects to the equally important, light side of silliness and laughter. This is ironic because we all know the feeling of euphoria that follows a good burst of laughter, and how it leaves us less stressed, more openhearted, and more ready to reach out to people. We are far more likely to walk down the street smiling and open after we’ve had a good laugh, and this tends to catch on, inspiring smiles from the people we pass who then positively influence everyone they encounter. Witnessing this kind of chain reaction makes you think that having fun might be one of our most powerful tools for changing the world.

Laughter is good medicine, and we all have this medicine available to us whenever we recall a funny story or act in a silly way. We magnify the effects of this medicine when we share it with the people in our lives. If we are lucky, they will have something funny to share with us as well, and the life-loving sound of laughter will continue to roll out of our mouths and into the world. 

Of course, it is also important to allow ourselves to be serious and to honor that side of ourselves so that we stay balanced. After a great deal of merriment, it can actually be a pleasure to settle down and focus on work, or take some time for introspection until our next round of fun begins.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Life Transitions

A few years ago, my spirit sister and BFF Silver got me to sign up for Daily Om. I get things each day in my email and after reading them I either implement them or put them in a file to keep for later. This is one of the entries for today July 4, 2012:

July 4, 2012
Life Transitions
The Death and Rebirth of Self

Sometimes a part of us must die before another part can come to life.

Sometimes a part of us must die before another part can come to life. Even though this is a natural and necessary part of our growth, it is often painful or, if we don’t realize what’s happening, confusing and disorienting. In fact, confusion and disorientation are often the messengers that tell us a shift is taking place within us. These shifts happen throughout the lives of all humans, as we move from infancy to childhood to adolescence and beyond. With each transition from one phase to another, we find ourselves saying good-bye to an old friend, the identity that we formed in order to move through that particular time.

Sometimes we form these identities in relationships or jobs, and when we shift those areas of our life become unsettled. Usually, if we take the time to look into the changing surface of things, we will find that a shift is taking place within us. For example, we may go through one whole chapter of our lives creating a protective shell around ourselves because we need it in order to heal from some early trauma. One day, though, we may find ourselves feeling confined and restless, wanting to move outside the shelter we needed for so long; the new part of ourselves cannot be born within the confines of the shell our old self needed to survive.

We may feel a strange mixture of exhilaration and sadness as we say good-bye to a part of ourselves that is dying and make way for a whole new identity to emerge in its place. We may find inspiration in working with the image of an animal who molts or sheds in order to make way for new skin, fur, or feathers to emerge. For example, keeping a duck feather, or some other symbol of transformation, can remind us that death and rebirth are simply nature’s way of evolving. We can surrender to this process, letting go of our past self with great love and gratitude, and welcoming the new with an open mind and heart, ready for our next phase of life.

Happy Birthday America, and a Happy Anniversary too

Happy Independence Day! I've been thinking about what I wanted to say here in observance of the birthday of America, and I'll admit, I'm having a difficult time. My thoughts are pretty jumbled with all that's going on in our country. Too much to put here, so I'll just simply say Happy Birthday America! I wish many more celebrations for you and those who live here...

AND...today is mine & Jimmy's 11th anniversary. One of the great things about this  is we are still as dedicated (if not even more) to each other than we were when we first met. I am SO blessed to have him in my life. We have an amazing life together and even though we have had some uphill struggles, we came through each and every one of them together as a couple. And when we got to the other side of them, we were able to look back and know we did it together...TOGETHER!

We have both grown, made adjustments and changes, I'd like to think they were positive things. We both have become better people for these experiences... at least I know I have.

Things are beginning to have a bright side, and I'm excited to see where we are going next!

I love you Jimmy! And I hope our next 11 (or more) years are as exciting and fulfilling as these first 11 were...

Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday Munchies

Something new for me, and I'm hoping I can remember to keep up with this. I'm going to try to post a favorite or new to me recipe each Monday. Here's today's offering courtesy of Rachel at:

Chicken-TacoChicken Taco's

3 Chicken Breasts, sliced into thin pieces
Pico de Gallo
Sour Cream
Black Beans
Cilantro, chopped
Shredded cheese, Mexican Blend
Soft Taco Shells
1 Lime

Chili Powder
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Lawry's Seasoning Salt

Cut chicken breasts into small thin pieces and toss into a large pan with seasonings, all to taste. The juices from the Chicken is enough, no need to add oil. Cook for about 10-15 minutes depending on how small the pieces of chicken are. Layer chicken, beans, corn, lettuce, sour cream, salsa or pico de gallo, cheese, and squeeze lime over taco's and top with fresh cilantro. SO EASY, and healthy! Enjoy :)