Tuesday, November 12, 2013

NaBloPoMo Day 12 ~ Name 5 Things in your Refrigerator and How You Feel About Them

This prompt comes at a perfect time cause I just cleaned out the fridge on Saturday, so there isn't much in it. I haven't bought groceries yet. You all know how much I LOATHE going to the grocery.

1. An unopened bottle of Spiced Mead from Starrlight Mead. My willpower to NOT open this is tested each day! It is a heavenly blend of apples and spice and can be likened to spiced cider when heated.

2. Leftover homemade chicken pot pie from Sunday. I always make a huge dish of this and we eat leftovers for a couple days. There may be just enough for lunch tomorrow.

3. Various condiments like mustard, soy sauce, catsup, salad dressing... this are basic staples in our house. The MUST HAVES in any situation.

4. Water, I keep water in the fridge ALL the time. We drink so much of it, and it's gotta be cold.

5. The LAST jar of my first attempt at canning... I made peach preserves and they have lasted just about 2 years. I wasn't in a place where I could do any canning this last summer. I'm not sure if I'll be able to next year or not.

I'm Playing Catch Up

... after being away from the internet for 3 days over the weekend.

30 Days of Blogging Day 10 asks What is the Best Trip of my Life?

When I was between husband 3 and 4, I went on a family (my parents, my brother, his wife at the time, his two kids and me and my 3 kids) vacation via motorhome from Arizona to northern California by way of San Diego, (the zoo, Sea World, the beach) to LA and Hollywood (Disney, Santa Monica, Hollywood Blvd) Malibu, San Francisco (Fisherman's Wharf, Lombard St, Ghirardelli Chocolates).

Even though the motor home was 40 ft. that many people in tight quarters was bound to have some issues. But I will always remember that trip as it was the last one we were able to do as a family. We had such a great time, saw SO many things and ate some amazing food. The pictures and souvenirs and memories made this an unforgettable trip.

Day 11 Wants to Know My 10 Favorite Foods

I'm going to change this up a bit and add in my favorite things to drink too. I did this post on a 10 Things Thursday last year so I'm resurrecting it again for Day 11...

1. Seafood ~ This includes but is not limited to lobster, crab, shrimp, Mahi Mahi, salmon, and sea scallops. I can and do cook shrimp and scallops here at home, but enjoy eating out for lobster and crab. When we lived in MD we used to go to Annie's for brunch where they have a killer cream of crab soup. And don't get me started on the places to go for fresh crab, YUM! Yet one more thing on my list of why I miss Maryland...

2. Mexican Food ~ The real authentic Mexican food I haven't been able to get since we left Arizona. I have gotten pretty good at substituting things when I make a dish here at home, but so far the ONLY place we have found even somewhat close is a little restaurant in Odenton, MD called Pachanga Grill. Their food is the  closest to all we left in AZ. And let me tell you we have searched everywhere we live to find good and authentic Mexican food. When I cook at home my favorite thing to make is Green Chili Chicken Enchilada's with sour cream and queso fresco...YUM! Add home made salsa, guacamole and a Mexican Mojito and call it a meal. 

3. Fried Chicken ~ My Momma's recipe with a cajun twist, LOL! My Momma taught me how to cook many dishes, my second mother in law is Cajun and I learned to make quite a few dishes from her. I still remember them, how to cook them and have shared some of these dishes with many friends. The Cajun twist to Momma's chicken is adding just a little cayenne pepper to the seasoning and then frying it in crisco in a cast iron skillet. Spicey, brown and oh so yummy.

4. Gumbo ~ Chicken or seafood, it doesn't matter as long as it has that deep dark roux and spicy flavor that just won't quit. Add in a little Boudin sausage and you got a meal fit for a king! I am SO looking forward to cooler weather so I can cook up a big pot of Gumbo and rice...

5. Spiced Apple Cider ~ Around the holidays sometime beginning in mid fall, I'll drag out the crock pot and whip up a batch of spiced cider. I make mine from fresh apple cider, unprocessed when I can find it and then add cinnamon sticks, cloves and a little brown sugar. Simmer for about 6 hours, and then drizzle home made caramel sauce in the mug before adding the hot cider. Top with fresh home made whipped cream and you can't go wrong.

6. Mulled wine ~ A few years ago I believed I had an allergy to the sulfates in wine and wouldn't drink it to save my life. Then I found I could drink Mead and figured I'd try the wine again. If I did have an allergy, I've either outgrown it or it doesn't manifest any longer. I am happy to report I LOVE WINE! A couple years ago I ran across a bunch of recipes for Yule celebrations and many of them included a mulled or spiced heated wine. I was skeptical at first, and asked every one I knew for their favorite mulled wine recipe. I got a ton of responses and set about reading each of them. Many were pretty much the same and a few were more challenging than I figured I was up for. I did find one I fell in love with and now I try to make at least one kettle full each Yule. 

7. Coffee ~ Hi my name is Vickie and I am a coffee addict... LOL! Not just any coffee either. It MUST be Starbuck's Verona blend. I go out of my way each payday to buy 2 pounds (sometimes 3) of this blend for home brewing. Then I set the coffee maker up each night before going to bed so I can either have it already for me if I know what time I'm getting up or I can just push the brew button on the way through the kitchen as I'm taking the fur babies out first thing. Jimmy drinks his with some half & half and I use either Amaretto or Cinnamon Vanilla creamer. I will also confess to having an addiction to flavored coffees, and right now the fave's of those are Kahlua and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Pumpkin Spice (staying with the season here).

8. Chocolate ~ Yes, I am a chocoholic too. But here again I must be the difficult one in the family. I prefer dark chocolate, and sometimes the darker the better. 

9. Red Velvet Cake ~ Not everyone likes Red Velvet cake, and I'm OK with that. But if I have a choice for any type of cake I'd like to have for a celebration or just an ordinary day, I'll vote Red Velvet all the time. I'm not even sure exactly *why* I love it so much, but I do and when I see it on a menu as a dessert choice, I'll cut back on my entree just to get a piece of cake... 

10. Tea ~ Even before I worked for Teavana I had an affair with tea... I just didn't know all the health benefits associated with this heavenly brew. Now, I've been called a tea snob. That's more than alright with me. I will not use tea bags, nor the Kcups for my Kuerig. When I make a cup or pot or pitcher of tea, I use only whole leaf tea, and the water and brew time is monitored as well depending on the type of tea I'm making. I have a couple favorite blends and flavors, Six Summits Oolong has a very subtle raspberry flavor to it and I've grown attached to one called Hot Cinnamon Spice. Perfect for the cold winter nights.

And lastly, Day 12 wants to know My Favorite Childhood Book?

This one is easy and I can only say when I read it once, I read it many times again. For a while there I could almost recite it from memory. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

What's Inside My Purse?

30 Days of Blogging asks this question and I literally had to empty it out so I could answer.

I'm usually pretty organized (semi OCD) even down to what goes in my purse. Right now it's kinda cluttered because this weekend was payday and I have various lists, notes and receipts I haven't filed away yet.

Coupons for JCPenney, Witches Datebook for 2013, 2 recipes I tore out of a magazine while I was waiting for my truck to be inspected so I can renew the tags, extra set of keys, bottle of acetaminophen, Bath & Body Works hand sanitizer, lipstick, chapstick, lipgloss, pen, usb car charger for my Jabra bluetooth, a straw, a penny, new Harris Teeter VIC card, misc receipts, and my miniature altar box I got for Yule last year and carry with me EVERYWHERE.

There ya go... the uncensored contents of my purse.

Which Movie Would I Want to be Trapped Inside of for 5 Days?

Without a doubt it would have to be Practical Magic.

The aunts are so wise and have so much to teach, I'd be hanging on everything they say. And I especially like the idea of taking the things I learned from them and then using that knowledge to improve on a situation or even remove the problem without them standing over me.

Yes, there is no question. I'd be grateful to spend 5 days inside Practical Magic...

Friday, November 8, 2013

30 Days of Blogging

Today I've been asked to give you my 5 most recent goals.

I'm not good at setting goals, I don't usually have enough patience to let them manifest as they should. I'm always running a scheme in my head trying to achieve things at a much quicker rate. I do have goals, and some will *eventually* be fulfilled. Maybe...possibly... someday, LOL!!

In no particular order I give you my top 5 goals

To finish my degree. There are days and even weeks that I get bored, irritated and just plain overwhelmed with some of my classes. But I keep going knowing I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it gets brighter as the days go by.

Move back to Maryland. We have been away from Maryland since October 31, 2006 and we have been miserable. We miss the family, friends and the lifestyle we lived there. Both of us had decent jobs, a nice place to live and a new car.

Lose weight. Yes, I've been saying this for quite some time. It is still on my list, just haven't gotten the priorities in line to begin the process. I know I need to for my health. I'm a daughter of two diabetic parents so my chances of becoming diabetic is pretty sure, IF I don't make some major changes soon.

Get Jimmy a job so he's OFF the road and home every night. I'm not sure this is even a possibility here in NC. We have looked here in our area and there is NOTHING local that will pay him anything close to what he makes OTR. We've just begun to get our finances straightened out and a loss in income of any kind would severely hurt. I'm not sure how much longer either of our sanity is going to hold out with him on the road.

That's not five... but it's all I can give you tonight. These are the top *pressing* things that need to be accomplished.

Today NaBloPoMo Wants to Know What I've Learned About My Daily Blogging ...

It's not as easy as some may think. Everyone I know is busy, more busy than they have hours in the day. I'm right there with them. I'm not saying I have it harder than anyone else, I'm saying I TOTALLY understand how so many people can become overwhelmed in everything they do, including blogging.

While doing the daily prompts, I've found I rely heavily on them. I don't need to come up with a topic, just write about what thoughts I have because of the topic that has been presented. I've also found by utilizing the daily prompts I can write at a higher level of thought process.

The most important thing I've learned is if I want to be a successful blogger (and please don't think I'm all about the numbers. I'm not. IF you chose to read what I write, I'm ecstatic. If no one reads what I write, that's OK too. I write for me) I need to put more effort into my posts, continue to be honest with my thoughts and words but most of all to write from the heart and soul. To me that is what makes a successful blogger or writer of any written material.

As a side note here, I'm good with reading an occasional *guest post* on those blogs I follow, Goddess knows I've been a guest  blogger myself. However, I feel those who have a blog but do a very limited amount of the actual writing of the blog and rely on the efforts of guest bloggers or a compilation of contributors might want to re-examine their reasons for having a blog in the first place. To me, this seems a lot like they have no confidence in their own ability but are desperate for the increased traffic and statistics.

Just my thoughts on What I've Learned About My Daily Blogging...

Thursday, November 7, 2013

My FIVE Favorite Songs...

Day seven of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge wants to know my Five favorite songs. A little over a year ago, I did a post similar to this for my Ten Things Thursday. So, I just resurrected some of the music I listed on there. In no particular order I give you:

1. Devil's Candy by Gary Alan: This song is about addiction and as some may know devil's candy is another name for cocaine. No, I don't use drugs of any kind. This song and album came out about the time Jimmy & I got together and ended up being sort of a *theme* song for us. One line goes "I've always had a sweet tooth for the devil's candy". From this line Jimmy told me I was his addiction... that he couldn't get enough of me. I guess it's pretty much spot on, we've been together for going on 12 years so I figure I'm still feeding his addiction, LOL!

2.  Melodramma by Andrea Bocelli: If you haven't heard this song, you really need to. This man's voice is so beautiful and powerful at the same time. This song and entire album (Ciele Di Toscana) is one of our favorites. It holds many memories of our first Christmas together and the trip we took to Sedona AZ where we stayed at the Poco Diablo resort. I can enthusiastically recommend any and all of the music by this incredible man.

3. Alive by Omnia: This song gets my blood pumping and makes me want to move. I haven't known about this group very long, but from the minute I first heard them I was hooked. This can be classified *Pagan* music and at one time I have a couple tracks in the music player I had here on the blog.

4. Rhiannon by Stevie Nicks: Stevie Nicks is probably my all time favorite female artist. I've seen her in concert multiple times and she gets continues to wow each time I see her. When we lived in Scottsdale, we actually lived on the same street she did and would occasionally see her in the grocery. She's as down to earth as you'd imagine and has such a huge heart. Rhiannon is about a Welsh Witch and even though Stevie tells everyone she's not a Witch or Pagan, there is just something about her that makes you think it might be possible.

5. Cathy's Clown by Reba McEntire: This is a remake of an old Everly Brother's song from back in 1960. I love the version by Reba and the video that goes with it has Bruce Boxleitner as the male star who the song is supposed to be about. Reba did the song and video in 1989 and was her 30th number 1 hit. I love Reba, and there isn't much of her music I don't like. This was a toss up between Cathy's Clown and She Thinks His Name was John...

If I HAD to Change My Name...

When I was growing up I hated my first name with a passion. I had every nasty nickname hurled at me that anyone could imagine. And I dreamed of what I'd change my name to if I ever got the chance. For some reason, those names I chose never really resonated, I lost interest quickly and moved on to a different choice. At least for a few weeks.

One day I just literally woke up and said "hey!! there is NOTHING wrong with your name and as a matter of fact it pretty cool. Since then I've chosen an alias here or there for one reason or another, for email, or because I didn't want to share my given name. I've had ex husbands give me their pet name which I QUICKLY ceased to use or answer to upon separation/divorce.

But if I absolutely HAD to change my name, I'd want to know the circumstances for why the change was important. Did I need an alternate name/life/personality because I gave testimony against a hard time criminal and went into the witness protection program? Or, did I commit a crime under my birth name and needed a new identity to stay out of jail? Maybe it was something simple and easy, like one of my alternate names just became the name everyone knew me by and I decided to just make the situation hassle free and legal?

I guess in the end, I wouldn't want to change my name, voluntarily. Someone else would have to decide for me, and it would have to be one that stands out in a crowd. And lordy, PLEASE don't give me one of those crazy Hollywood star type names ... with my red hair and freckles it must absolutely be something with an Irish or Scottish flair. And NOT Mary!! There are just too many Mary's in the world and I am not like anyone else who has ever walked this plane.

Maybe Moira or Shiobhan or Payton ...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Day 6 of 30 Days of Blogging Challenge

Today's question is "What are you afraid of?"

My biggest fear is being homeless. I've been close a few times and by the grace of the Goddess, things changed and we didn't find ourselves living in the car.

Now, I will admit to being considered homeless by North Carolina standards. When we first came here from Michigan in 2008, none of us had jobs, we didn't have a place to live and we stayed in a Motel 6 for six months. We were unprepared for the slow economy, lack of employment opportunities and housing.

Here's the deal, when we lived in Michigan, I worked for a company based in Atlanta GA that was expanding regionally by leaps and bounds. I had been promoted to General Manager and groomed for taking over a store that was under construction in Raleigh. Well... here's where things went south. We had already given our notice to the landlord in MI, Jimmy had given his employer 2 weeks and Tanya had done the same. Things were going along as scheduled when a BIG monkey wrench got thrown into the plan. Seems there was an issue with the retail space in the mall where my store was supposed to go. The current tenants didn't want to opt out of their lease like I had been told, so construction was rescheduled for November. Here it is April, and I have NO place to go, no job (the company couldn't give me a leave of absence for that amount of time, nor could there be 2 managers in a single store. AND There wasn't another store in the state  AT.ALL.), no house, ... NOTHING!

So, our scrambling to find something in MI in the time period I had to work with (read a few days here) didn't pan out, we put 99% of our things in storage, packed what we could get into a 98 Chevy Malibu and a 2006 Taurus and came on down to North Carolina. Surely we'd find something before our savings ran out??

I think I have selective memory when it comes to the time period between April 1 and October 25, 2008. There were jobs, (day labor wasn't an option. Seems NC doesn't do day labor like all the other places we've lived), lots of microwave food, and then I found a cute little 2 bedroom duplex that fit right into our limited budget, and with the help of a couple family members, the deposit and first months rent were paid and we moved in. Slept on the floor until someone took mercy on us and gave us a twin bed. Burned up some clothes in a dryer that had been left in the apt, and spent that Thanksgiving (Thanks Evonne) and Christmas more than thankful for the little blessings we'd been given.

Coming to North Carolina wasn't the best choice we've ever made, it's been tougher than both the move to MD from AZ and then to MI from MD combined. But we have survived. Even though things still aren't exactly where I had hoped we'd be, we are doing OK and living each day as it comes to us. Every night I send up prayers for the ability to move us all back to Maryland sooner rather than later...

If I Could Change Just One Thing...

It would be that I need to stop being roped in to things. For the longest time I refused to get involved in anything that didn't resonate to a higher calling. Then I fell off the wagon and hitched my team to a broken, down on their luck, status seeking bully. And I  hung on with everything I had for a little over a year. I made excuse after excuse for the behavior I was witnessing.

Then one day I literally woke up and asked myself what the fuck are you doing? You are not a follower, you strike out on your own and lead. If people don't want to follow YOU, that is their problem.

When you remove those people from your life who resonate at a lower level than you do, it's like you are flying. NO!! Soaring! My vibrations are much more focused, not scattered like particles of dust, and I know where I'm going. What I need to accomplish to get there and the best thing??? I do not need to walk on, step over or climb on the backs of any one else to get there. I'm doing this all on my own and it feels like nothing I've ever felt before.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My Proudest Moment

For the 30 Day Blogging Challenge I'm supposed to write about the moment when I was most proud. How can someone with 3 grown children and seven of the most amazing grand girls choose just ONE proud moment?? I can't and I won't even try.

There are SO many things in my life I am proud to have accomplished or proud that my children and grand girls have accomplished. My children have done some amazing things with their lives.

Mylia is a single mother working for NASA in Greenbelt MD, and she also lives with Chiari Malformation type 2 in addition to some of those other *you don't look sick* diseases (you know, fibromyalgia, crohn's, lupus) each and every day. She has one daughter Cheyenne, who is the light of her world. They look out for each other and sometimes I wonder who is the mother and who is the child. Cheyenne is VERY protective.

Tanya recently became a single mother living with hyperthyroidism and the possibility it is actually Graves Disease (undiagnosed due to no insurance), but makes sure everything she does is centered around and in the best interest of the Witchling. This is sometime more than challenging, but she's keeping strong. She also keeps in daily contact with the father of Angel, her oldest daughter who lives in Michigan.

My son Justin, not only works full time at Lufkin Industries in TX, but he is also a volunteer firefighter with his local fire department. And he has FOUR awesome and cute as a button daughters who excel at so many different things in their school and church life. Alanna, Micheyla, Taya & Cassandra are what keep my son and daughter in law Tiffany on the go all the time!

No, I can't give you ONE moment where I was the proudest. But, I will give you that I am most proud of my children and grand girls every day in everything they do.

My Writing Space

NaBloPoMo wants to know where I write, and what my space is like.

It's pretty standard. We have a cherry table/desk in our bedroom that supports the desktop PC and both of our times on the computer. I'm online and the computer more often simply because Jimmy is driving and his home time is limited. Not only do I write the blog, I also have my classwork for Ashford and a million and one other projects I may be working on at the time.

There are many times throughout the day when I have a thought flash through my mind and I'll come to the computer and type it out in Word or a blog draft. I have been known to jot thought down on napkins or receipts which prompted the habit of carrying a notebook in my purse.

My area must be clutter free, if it's not, I organize the space before I try to write. I can't work in clutter and it spins my world out of control when things on my desk are a mess. I usually do most of the actual writing at night after the Witchling has gone to sleep or her Mommy is home to take care of her. The house is quiet and I can pound out my thoughts without interruptions or distractions. Most times, the furbabies, Chaos & Calliope are curled up in their bed (they took over one of the laundry baskets, so I put a couple pillows in it and they are more than content) next to me and every so often Calliope will try to get on my lap as I'm working. This usually means it's time for Mom to take a snuggle break and spend some time with her.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Day 4 of 30 Days Blogging Challenge asks "What is my Dream Job?"

I don't have a dream job. I've done SO many things in my life for work, employment, career, or what ever you'd like to call it. BUT! I do have a dream business...

Most of you know I am studying for a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Complementary and Alternate Health. When this is achieved, I will continue my education in the Master's program at Maryland University of Integrated Health in their Herbal medicine Program. When my education is complete (or even during the Master's portion if I can get things together) I want to own/work in a Alternate health care facility with a wide range of treatment modalities. Everything from Acupuncture to Massage to Reiki to herbal remedies.

I dream/envision a large Victorian type building with a wrap around porch sitting in the middle of a grassy lawn. Wild flowers all around, and a well tended herb garden in back. We'd have all sorts of options for our clients, even a tea room where they can sit and relax if they choose while waiting for treatment. And the apothecary is similar to the one in Practical Magic with bottles and jars on shelf after shelf.

Will I manifest this into reality? That is my goal, one I can see a bit more clear as each class is completed.

Who Is my Favorite Character of ALL Time??

This is the question asked today over at NaBloPoMo. I wish this wold have been a little more specific, such as favorite fictional character from a book or movie or ... hmmm.

I'm going with my favorite character from a book. This would be Skye O'Malley from one of my favorite authors Bertrice Small.  Skye O'Malley is an Irish lass in a male dominate family. She is a strong and brave character who has no problem fighting with pirates, the Dey of Algiers or even Queen Elizabeth.

Here is the lead in from the website of author Bertrice Small:

There has never been a woman like Skye O'Malley! Beautiful, wise, courageous, and intelligent; she becomes, through her own efforts, a woman of great wealth and power. She is brave enough to do battle with Queen Elizabeth I, and win! 

There are 6 books in the direct Skye O'Malley series with 6 more in the Skye's Legacy series. Yeah, I'm going to have to say Skye O'Malley is my favorite character of ALL time.  And even though she is only a fictional character she has so much her adventures could teach women of the world today.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

I'm Feeling Kinda Liberated and Wanting to Write...

Today I finished all the discussion questions and assignments for Special Populations over at Ashford University. Technically, I have until tomorrow (Monday) night at 11:59PM to complete and submit everything. I did not like this class at all, I was bored, my heart was not in it and I couldn't keep myself focused. So, today I pushed myself and hammered out the last of the requirements and now I'm finished AND I have a TWO WEEK break from classes. This gives me some time to rest, relax and catch up on a ton of things I've been neglecting.

If you look over there >>> on the right side column of the blog, up there in that top spot, you will see where I signed up to do NaBloPoMo for the month of November (yes, I KNOW I didn't complete it for October, so I'm trying again, sheesh) and I found this neat blogging challenge that I'm going to do too. I figure I've got 15 days to write out and schedule the posts for each challenge, but before I do that I need to catch up on days 1, 2 & 3 of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge.

So Day 1 of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge wants to know *Your Blogs Name*

The name of my blog is Aoibheal's Lair. I chose this name after reading Karen Marie Moning's Highlander series where one of the characters name is Aoibheal. In these books, Aoibheal is a Faerie Queen, who looks after the one of the main characters Adam Black. Aoibheal is also a Faerie Queen of the Unseelie Court and has a twin sister named Aine, a name I've used previously for various things.

Day 2 of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge wants to know *20 Facts About You*

1, 2, 3, & 4. I am married, I'm bisexual, I'm a witch, I believe in plural marriage/relationships.

5, 6, 7, 8 & 9. We have 3 grown children, 7 grand daughters, live in North Carolina, want to move back to Maryland, and I'm a full time student trying to earn a Bachelor's degree in Complementary and Alternate Health.

10, 11, 12, 13, &14. I love to read, I believe in Faeries and actually consider myself a FaerieWitch, I sew, have an etsy shop that is kinda defunct ATM cause I haven't sewn anything since February, and my favorite color is purple. The dark royal purple.

15, 16, & 17. I enjoy cooking, baking and I've recently tried my hand at canning.

18, 19, & 20. My favorite food is seafood (shellfish to be exact, crab, lobster, scallops), I enjoy a good glass of wine or mead and I'm over the moon about dark chocolate.

Day 3 of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge wants to know *Your Favorite Quote*

I have a couple of favorite quotes:

"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best." ~ Marilyn Monroe

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” ~ Shel Silverstein

“Well behaved women rarely make history” ~ Laura Thatcher Ulrich

And there you have the first 3 days of the 30 Days Blogging Challenge. More tomorrow!! 

Friday, November 1, 2013

NaBloPoMo Day 1 ~ If you found one million dollars in the morning and had to spend it by nightfall, what would you do with the money?

I had to seriously think about this for a few minutes. I could be glib and say I'd give it all away to charity, but in reality like many other people in this world, my family, ALL of them could seriously benefit from one of us having access to what can only be considered a *landfall*.

So, what would I do with one million dollars? It's a huge list, and one that many would consider selfish. I don't, I'm not spending it all on me, and I'm sharing it with people who are in need. They just happen to be related to me, family or really worthy friends who have had some of the same challenges I have faced.

First, the bills would be paid. I'm not just talking about the utilities, mortgage or rent, credit card (who in my circle actually HAS credit cards?) and car payments. I'm talking about the bills that have gone into collection and have decreased the credit rating. You know, those forgotten medical bills or defaulted student loans. Maybe a repossessed vehicle or even child support arrearages (thankfully Jimmy's is almost paid off! He only owes $384.00). After this is accomplished, everything else would come in random order...

I'd also set up college funds for my SEVEN granddaughters. I know Cheyenne is interested in paleontology and wants to study with Robert Bakker a famous paleontologist. This would mean she would need to have the ability to travel to where ever he is teaching currently. The remaining six haven't given me any indication what course of study they'd like to pursue, but I want them to be able to do anything they choose. I'd also set aside the cost of the master's program I want to enroll in after completing my Bachelor's degree at Ashford.

Somewhere in all this time frame, I'd buy a house ... in Maryland. We have been away from there since October 31, 2006 and I miss everything about being there. From family and friends to the lifestyle we enjoyed. My ultimate goal is to move back to Maryland where we have family and friends. This was supposed to happen this year (2013), but as with many things, life got in the way.

Thank the Gods for the internet, I'll be able to locate and purchase the building I want for the tea shop/metaphysical book/alternate health business I've been dreaming about for all these years. This is what I'm working towards with the classes I'm taking, the degree I'm pursuing and the dreams that keep me plugging along even when I want to quit.

A million dollars?? Hmmm, I'm thinking I won't be able to make it stretch as far as I'd like it to...

Thursday, October 31, 2013

October, Where Did You Go?

It's funny to me how I can so easily lose track of all time and space except for when it concerns my family and studies. I've lost an entire  month and can't for the life of me figure out how it is the last day of October. October is the beginning of my favorite time of the year, the seasons are changing, temperatures turning a bit cooler and even though it also signifies the beginning of the earth readying itself for the long winter sleep, I personally feel more alive. Usually...

Today we are celebrating Samhain, that time of year when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest and the spirit of those gone before us find it much easier to come back and communicate with the ones they've left behind. It's particularly poignant for me this year because my Mother has been gone a year on the 27th of the month. To say it's been challenging wouldn't even begin to cover the roller coaster my emotions have been on, just when I think I've got a handle on things, my mind shifts and I'm lost once again. And to make it worse, I haven't set up my ancestor altar.

I have been doing a bit of web walking at night when I'm supposed to be asleep. When I first began my travels a couple years ago, I wasn't sure what was going on or if the things I saw or felt actually happened. More recently, I've found I can recall most of the details and write them down in a journal when I wake. I'm also enjoying the guardians I'm meeting along my journey. In the beginning I was more than cautious and even a bit frightened by those spirits appearing to me, now I feel safe and even a tad more adventurous.

Tonight Tanya and I are going to take the Witchling out trick or treating. She's 2 now and can enjoy it more than last year where she was shy and often frightened by the bigger kids running past her in their rush to get the candy. That's not to say we won't have those same issues tonight, I just think she's going to have a lot more fun. We plan to take lots of pictures so I'll post some of them probably over the weekend.

This is the final week for Special Populations over at Ashford. I'll be finished with this class on Monday and beginning Tuesday will take a 2 week break from classes. That's one of the great things about taking classes online, if you need a break at any time for any reason, you just let your academic advisor know and she/he rearranges your schedule to accommodate it.

There is MUCH more on my mind, but if I get into it all now, this will be more confusing and rambling than it already is. I'll work on bringing some of those posts in draft mode out into the light in the next few weeks and maybe then my world will once again be right on the axis.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

~ All Hallow's Grim 2013 ~

Yes, I AM participating in this years All Hallow's Grim over at Pagan Culture and I am very honored Magaly feels my short story is worthy. Without further ado, I give you ...

Persephone's Side of the Story

They thought I’d been abducted. Maybe its best that’s what they believe.

How do you explain to the mother who has your entire life planned out, you weren't the lily white daughter she had built all her hopes upon? When I saw her last I was a slender, young maiden with flowers in my hair. My cheeks would turn pink each time a boy so much as looked at me, my innocent sighs so charmingly executed.

Some days I still yearn for flowers, but wake up to find jet roses in my bed and at my feet. No longer the tender young thing, now I’m full, red and ripe. I have no use for sonnets or ribbons in my hair. I clothe myself in spider silk and shadow, and speak with the tongues of nightmares.

Mother would have had me wed to some milk faced boy, who would follow me around blindly and paw at me when the lights were turned out. I cannot see myself sitting idly in the sunlight, fanning myself and drinking watered wine. I’m addicted to the darkness, where I can submerge myself in the night and drag my fingernails across Death’s shoulders.

She had always talked about grandchildren, and it never occurred to me to disagree. How do I explain to her I find the cries of the dead far more pleasing than the thought of a whining child at my breast? I know she would be astounded to know, here in this place, I have no need to bow my head. I am much more than wife and the things I say are law.

Now that you have seen me and fulfilled your duty, return to her and if you wish, tell her I was afraid, that I begged him to release me and let me go back. Tell her I screamed when he held me down and forced me to submit. It’s for the best she doesn’t know my screams were not from fear.

By now, I’m sure she’s gone to Zeus begging for him to hasten my release. I’m pretty sure her cause is lost, you see, I swallowed much more than seeds that night. Mother will feel better if she thinks I grieve for those scattered blossoms, lost on Enna’s rolling hills. She must never know I have learned to love the taste of blood and I’m not going anywhere…

The inspiration for this story came in an unexpected occurrence. And I would like to thank Ms. Dianne Sylvan for helping me to reach the Shadow Goddess.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Welp ...I did it, I've Fallen Off the Wagon

I'm talking about my commitment to participate in NaBloPoMo and NaBloWri Mo. I said I would write something for each day in October and and I am so far behind I don't feel like I can catch up. BAH!

Last year I did great, up until October 27th ... we won't talk about that date ATM. Even working behind the scene posting a daily blog for another project I was involved in I STILL made my daily entry for NaBloWriMo.

I do have a contribution for All Hallow's Grim 2013, So Good, So Dark over at Pagan Culture that will post tomorrow, but that is all I'm going to promise. I'm sorry I couldn't meet my obligation. Perhaps I will do better next year...

Friday, October 11, 2013

NaBloWriMo and NaBloPoMo

There will NOT be a post for Friday October 11, 2013 other than what you see here now. I have the yuckies again but worse than Tuesday. If I recover, I will write two posts tomorrow.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

NaBloWriMo Day 10 ~ What Does Writing Mean to You?

I began writing this blog as a way to help me through severe seasonal depression while we lived in Michigan. I had never experienced the days upon days of nothing but snow and cold and having to stay inside for extended periods of time.

Since then my writing has evolved and changed into many different venues. Sometimes I write just to put words on *paper*, others I write if something is on my mind and I have to rage at the cause. Then there are times when I write to give updates on what is going on in our world. Because we have family & friends all across the country who sometimes check in here, I try to keep them informed of our life and how we are doing.

Even though after October, I tend to fall off the wagon and not write every day, that doesn't mean I don't want to or I've forgotten about my blog. There are many days when I'm busy with the Witchling or doing household chores that something will pop into my head and send me running to the computer so I can put it down in draft. Sometimes I go back to that draft, look at what I wrote and think what the hell was I thinking, and promptly send it back to the draft folder. Where it may stay for weeks... or... until I figure out IF those thoughts really were important enough to post for public view.

Then there are also the times I have heard a new song and I quickly run to YouTube to see if I can find a video to share. Or maybe someone has shared a story or poem or picture, or even their thoughts and that sets me off into fingers flying mode.

What does writing mean to me?? It means I have a self contained therapy session and when the fingers finish flying over the keyboard, I can chose to share my discoveries about myself or not, depending on the outcome of that therapy session.

NaBloPoMo Day 10 ~

Which is better to jump in: a leaf pile or a puddle?

I grew up in the deserts of Southern Arizona and we didn't have leaf piles to jump in. Rain puddles were more common during what is known as the *Monsoon Season* mid June to mid August. And we spent many afternoons wading in the flood waters that had accumulated in the streets and sometimes in the washes if the current wasn't too dangerous.

I didn't fully experience leaf piles until we moved to Maryland in 2002 and by then I'm a full blown adult. However, I did fall in love with the crunch of the dry leaves as I walked through them across our front yard in Millersville. And I continued that love affair when we moved to Michigan in 2006.  But I was able to fully enjoy the leaves after we moved to North Carolina and especially after the Witchling was able to be outside and learn new things.

My memories of puddle jumping will always be with me, but now I'm making new memories with the leaves and I'd have to say I prefer leaves to puddles.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

NaBloWriMo Day 9 ~ Something New

A couple weeks ago while Tanya was at work her store was robbed. This was the second time and this one really shook her up. Why this time and not the first? Easy... this time the guy jumped over the counter and got into her *personal* space (before the guy just stood on the customer side of the counter and flashed a knife, demanded money and left when she gave it to him). Even though there was no weapon involved in the second robbery, she was in more danger with him coming over the counter. SO, as a result she gave her notice and her final day will be this coming Saturday. Thank Goddess!!

Tanya is not one to sit around doing nothing... she HAS to work or she goes insane, I'm NOT joking. Luckily she has found something that is not only better, safer and she doesn't have to work nights, she will also be making more money. For now it's going to be part time, but after today working with the owner/boss, I have a very good feeling it is going to be full time work in just a few short weeks.

Here's where I get to be selfish. If/when it goes full time, she will be working 8-5 Tuesday through Friday and half day on Saturday with Sunday and Monday off. why is this selfish for me?? Because I won't have to freak out about having discussion questions posted on time (this was a problem when she worked nights on any random Thursday), nor will I stress over the assignments due on Mondays. But the BEST thing is the Witchling will now be able to have a *normal* schedule, normal routine and normal life (OK, except on the weekends when she goes to her Dad's).

Yeah, I see a bunch of positivity coming out of this change...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

NaBloWriMo AND NaBloPoMo ~Cheating AGAIN...

It's been a day of sick Witchling and Abi here in our house today, and now Tanya has come home sick too. So, I'm not feeling like I can sit here long enough to give you a decent post for either entry BUT I wanted to keep up so I don't get lost and overwhelmed.

I'm going to the shower, putting on my comfys and crawling up in my bed with the furbabies and the remote. I'll try to be back tomorrow... but that depends on how Pookie is feeling and if I stop throwing up right along side her. Yeah, I know TMI...

Monday, October 7, 2013

NaBloWriMo ~ Day Seven

Off and on all day I have been trying to find a platform that I can use to post comments or status updates to each of my social network profiles.  I was hoping I could make my life much easier and even simpler if I could post to every account or at least be able to choose which account I wanted to post to. No matter how I searched, I couldn't find one single thing that did that. I found some that would post to Twitter, Facebook and G+ (which I RARELY use, BTW), and others would post to Twitter, Facebook, mySpace (who still uses that?). But none I found would post to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and About.me all from ONE centralized place.

I tried HootSuite, but couldn't add About.me, I tried TweetCaster, but it doesn't do anything like what I want either. So, for now, until someone develops the app I'm looking for or I find one that has already been published, I'm guessing I have to keep doing what I've been doing. Cross post from Facebook to Twitter and log into the other accounts to post directly from each of them... sheesh!

NaBloPoMo ~ Day Seven

If you were an apple, which type of apple (Granny Smith, Gala, Red Delicious, etc) would you be and why?

My first response to this was going to be I'm 100% a Pink Lady. I'm tart, yet sweet, and stand on my own and full of attitude. Then I thought, no, I could be a Granny Smith. It's tart and tangy and is used in almost every recipe I know. I'm tart & tangy, but I don't like to be added to everything, so I'm going with my first response, Pink Lady, tart, tangy and full of attitude, LOL!!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

NaBloWriMo Day 6 ~ Sunday in Memphis...

I'm not really in Memphis, but there is a song by Big House called Sunday in Memphis that always seems to run through my head on days like I had today. It's an easy kinda song, with just the right amount of missing you. And yep, Jimmy has been gone for 7 days, it's time for him to come home for a few hours and I am missing him...

Today was a more productive day than yesterday, I was in the chillax mode most of the day, but did one load of laundry (I needed clean comfies, duh), and gave the furbabies their bath so they could get their flea medicine. Watched a couple of the shows I have on the DVR and then set it to record a couple new shows that I want to check out. I don't watch much adult TV while the Witchling is home, we spend a lot of time with PAW Patrol, Bubble Guppies, Dora and Team Umizoomi.

Jimmy is somewhere in western North Carolina on the way to Statesville, and then have no idea as of right now where he goes next. Will they let him come home for 34 hours or send him someplace else? I am SO appreciative that he continues to do a job he doesn't want to do, not because he doesn't like the job, but because it keeps him away from home so much. Unfortunately, there isn't anything else available locally that he could be home every night where he could make the money he is now, so we just keep plugging away, and calling as often as possible. It's tough... on ALL of us.

The Witchling comes home in the morning, this is Tanya's last week at Short Stop. After being robbed a week ago this past Thursday, she decided that job isn't worth her life. She has something lined up and even though it's on'y part time, it isn't in a convenience store where she's working til 11 at night all alone. Hopefully this will either go into full time or she finds something different sooner rather than later.

Welp, that's all I have for tonight. I'm off to a nice hot bath, my comfies and snuggle with my furbabies for a while.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

NaBloWriMo Day 5 ~ I Bet You Thought I Forgot...

But I didn't. I've just been having a very nice relaxing, do nothing kind of day. The kind of day that I've not been able to enjoy in quite some time cause I'm either busy with school, or running around like a chicken with it's head cut off.

Jimmy is on his way back to NC from TX, Tanya worked this morning and the Witchling is at her Dad's for the weekend. That left the house ALL to me for the majority of the day. I've been reading, snuggling with the furbabies, watching mindless TV, HEY!! Have you seen that show on Animal Planet called Too Cute?? If you haven't you NEED to check it out. The only thing I did that used up any energy at all was I colored my hair and it's back to the dark with purple highlights I have for the fall/winter.

I'm thinking tomorrow may be a repeat of today, and maybe I'll do my nails... or not. I need to figure out how to have more week one weekends like this one. No assignments, no crazy hectic, frantic Vickie. Just calm, centered and peaceful... oh yeah!

Friday, October 4, 2013

NaBloWriMo ~ Day 4

This past Monday I finished my last class for the Political Science Minor I'm pursuing (along with the Bachelor's) over at Ashford University. I learned a LOT, but I'm not sure I'll be able to implement the things I did learn. I will at least have a better understanding of the government and how things are supposed to work, even if they don't always follow the process the framers chose when writing the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

And those six classes filled two requirements. First they were required for the minor and secondly they fulfilled the requirement for the electives I need to graduate.

Now I'm going into the heart of the degree program and also beginning the classes for the Entrepreneurship minor as well. I'm almost midway through my 3rd year and can see graduation on the distant horizon. And then I'll be making arrangements to enroll in a Master's program for Herbal Medicine at Maryland University of Integrative Health.

Yeah, I can see the future and it looks extremely bright!

NaBloPoMo Day 4

 Tell us about your favorite Halloween costume from childhood.

Hmmm, this was SO long ago I'm not sure I can remember. I'm having flashes of something that could be called Pippi Longstocking. I remember tattered overall's, a baggy plaid shirt (probably my Dad's) and orange yarn made into two braids that my Momma helped work a wire coat hanger through to make them stick out form the side of my head. I already had the freckles but she painted more on with an eyebrow pencil. 

There was a HUGE neighborhood close to where we lived at this time and I can definitely remember getting together with a few friends (of course a parent or two went along as well) and making sure we made it to every house that had it's porch light on. Back then, that's how you knew if trick or tr eater's were welcome, you always watched for the porch light. If it was on you were good to go. If it was off (even if there were lights on inside) you did NOT knock on that door. 

Yeah, I'm going with Pippi Longstocking... that one seems to standout the most. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

NaBloPoMo Day 3

Today's prompt is Will you dress up for Halloween? What will you be?

I had thought about dressing up this year because I was hoping since we are in a new house in a new neighborhood with more children, we'd get at least a few trick or tr-eaters. That bubble was burst this morning when our cul de sac neighbor who's been here for many years, told us nope... no kids come to this end of the street.

See, the plan was for Tanya to dress up with the Witchling, take her around the neighborhood and I'd stay home and hand out treats. Again that plan has been shot down, cause you know, it's all about the Dad and how he has to be involved in everything the Witchling does. So, as of this minute, no I'm not dressing up for Halloween.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

NaBloPoMo AND NaBloWriMo Day 2 ~ What is Your Favorite Autumnal Flavor?

Yes, I know... I'm cheating. The truth is I don't feel well. So I am going to take a warm bath, get into my comfies and find a cup of tea with honey and cinnamon and then crawl up into my bed and not come back out until sometime tomorrow.

My favorite flavor for Autumn?? Hmmm, again I do not have just one, but I can narrow it down to two.

Apple ~ everything apple and apple cider. Pies, hot caramel apple cider, apple cider donuts, spiced apple fritters. Apple chips, Fuji apple salad from Panera.

My Momma used to bake us a cake she learned how to make when she was just a girl growing up in the mountains of Western Virginia. She called it apple sauce stack cakes and it was unbelievable. There were 7 or 8 thin layers of a spice cake, with fresh homemade apple sauce spiced with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice in between each layer. When served, she would add a spoonful of apple sauce for an extra oomph and you had instant nirvana. I do not have the original recipe she used, nothing was ever written down, but I did find one that sounds close enough and I'm going to add this to my harvest feast.

I even have mulled cider candles burning through out my house, well at least until I change to the pumpkin spice, LOL!!

Pumpkin ~ yeah, like many others I am a sucker for anything pumpkin. Did you know Dunkin Donuts makes pumpkin pie donuts? All I can say is they rival Starbucks pumpkin spice latte. Evenly! And this year Target has an exclusive on Pumpkin Spice M&M's, I am not joking. If you like pumpkin, you need to find these.

Even though I am a pumpkin lover, I am not overly crazy about a normal pumpkin pie. I know, crazy right?? That's OK though, I can get my pumpkin fix numerous ways... pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin coffee creamer, pumpkin cake & cookies, and my all time favorite... pumpkin cheesecake! Yikes!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

NaBloWriMo Day ~ 1 What Was I Thinking????

I've joined three events for October...  As you can plainly see, I'm once again doing NaBloWriMo, I've also picked up NaBloPoMo AND I'm posting a short story over at Pagan Culture between October 13th and 21st for Magaly's All Hallow's Grim 2013.

The month of October is especially busy for me but I enjoyed writing a little each day last year I decided to go for it again. This is my first attempt at NaBloPoMo and I'm going to try diligently to follow the daily prompts that are posted.

NaBloWriMo will also have prompts, I'm just hoping I can keep them straight for which prompt goes with which event, LOL!!!

All Hallow's Grim is always so much fun to read, this year with a little encouragement, I decided to join in the festivities. I only have one post so far, but I'm working on something that just might fit in. I'm not much for writing fiction of any kind, but this one little tiny story I'm sharing says quite a lot for me.

Okay, there you have it. My day 1 post for NaBloWriMo. Yeah I know it was kinda short and even a bit stale. But like most things... I'll improve over time.

NaBloPoMo Day 1 ~ What is your Favorite thing about Autumn?

Soooo many things!! But here are just a few off the top of my head...

I cherish the changing of the leaves before they fall from the trees for winter. The colors are so vibrant and invigorating. I can be more than content just gazing at the color. I'm working on another trip to Jimmy's home state of Vermont where the foliage in beyond compare!

I love that the temperatures have finally begun to cool which makes sitting on our deck much more enjoying and relaxing.

Bonfires!! Fall is the perfect time for bonfires. And here in the new place we have a fire ring in the back yard that will be burning each weekend.

Being able to dig out the warm comfies for wearing first in the evenings and then during the day as the temperatures continue to fall.

Apple cider! I have a recipe that I've adapted from Starbucks and it is divine! Fresh unpasteurized cider, whole cinnamon sticks, a few whole cloves, a little brown sugar and cook all day in the crock pot. Add home made caramel sauce and whipped cream, sprinkle a little ground cinnamon on top and Viola!! Heaven! (I've also been known to add a little vodka or rum if the mood strikes).

Chili, beef stew, chicken pot pie, potato soup, cornbread... all home made from my Momma's recipes with a little of Vickie thrown in for originality.

The feeling of peace as the earth begins to ready itself for the coming winter and cold.

And last but by no means least ... SAMHAIN!! I absolutely love October 31st and the beginning of  a brand new year for those of us who follow a Pagan path. The veil has already begun to thin, I can feel spirits in everything I do and I welcome the messages the elders have to convey.

Friday, September 6, 2013

My Two Cents ...

I have been trying for more than a week to produce a coherent blog post regarding some of the things going on in my world, both directly and indirectly. Each time I have begun writing, my concentration shifts and I get lost in what can only be considered a tangent. That is not how I wanted this entry to read. I have walked away from the computer many times only to come back and try again to convey how I feel about the things running through my mind. Maybe in this moment in time, today, I can get them written down and still have you be able to make sense of my thoughts.

This past week has been full. It's been from one end of the emotional spectrum to the opposite. Thankfully we weathered the rocky places and came out none the worse for wear. I'm loving my life right now and I have to say it is so much more peaceful than it was just a few short weeks ago.

Here at home, things are good. Jimmy is finally getting some decent miles which makes the paychecks work better for paying the monthly bills, while at the same time allowing the savings account to grow. North Carolina said his child support is paid off, but we got a letter from Vermont saying he still owes. I don't understand how there can be two different amounts, especially since Vermont sent a total amount past due to NC for the employer to deduct from the paycheck every two weeks. Jimmy says it's because VT charges a fee when the payment is late, again, how can it be late when it's coming out of the paycheck?? Anyway, it *should* be completely paid in about 6 weeks... I hope.

Things with Tanya are about the same, so far. There is still plenty of drama surrounding the separation and custody agreement, but today she was required by the court to attend a class on *parenting apart* and then an introduction to the custody mediation process. The latest is that Ed has vocalized he doesn't have to attend either of these things because he already went through the parenting apart in the case concerning his son from another mother. Tanya's papers form the court says he does, we will see what happens when she gets home. Also he has flat out told everyone who will listen that he isn't going to the mediation and will demand to go *straight to trial*. Foolish man, there is NO trial in custody and divorce proceedings, just the attorneys and a judge. Whatever, just one more way he's trying to make everyone think he is intelligent and knows more than even Tanya's attorney. As well as be in control of the situation. That is his whole problem with this, he isn't in control and he can't stand it.

My classes at Ashford are going well. For a while I was disillusioned and seriously thought about quitting... for a number of reasons. With the increase in interest rates, my student loan debt is going to be pretty much overwhelming. I did know before I enrolled I'd have debt, just didn't realize how much. And then I looked at my core classes required for the degree program and felt I wouldn't have enough information to proceed with the hope of practicing alternate medicine. I almost transferred to another college, but their program is only an associates degree and I need a bachelor's to get into the masters/graduate program I want in herbal medicine. So I'm staying at Ashford. Currently my classes are going towards one of the minors in Political Science, I'm really enjoying these classes and feel I'm learning quite a bit about our government. And I'm still carrying a 3.97 GPA.

Here's where things get a bit more intense. Over on Facebook and here in the blogging world there has been quite the ruckus about plagiarism and copyright infringement. A week or so ago, I was sent a link to a blog written about someone who had apparently done quite a bit of both plagiarism and copyright infringement on a FB page and in numerous blogs he wrote over the course of the years. After reading the blog, I posted a link to it on One Million Pagans, not to malign the person in question, but with the sole intention of sharing information. For that action, some of this person's friends and supporters came to the One Million Pagans page and reported it for harassment, thus causing my posting abilities to both my personal page and the pages I own and manage to be suspended for 12 hours. With a warning that IF I ever did something like this in the future, I would lose my FB pages and profile completely.

Before I go any farther, I'd like to clarify something here. I have my own reasons for not supporting Edward Menten and his Facebook page Confessions of Crafty Witches which have NOTHING to do with the accusations levied against him for copyright infringement and plagiarism. And as a matter of fact, my issues with him came a few months before any of this behavior was brought to light. I would also like to clarify, I had NO knowledge of the person, persons or *team* that wrote the blog Stop IP Theft (which has of this writing been removed from the blogosphere. I've since found out who the authors were/are, and if I HAD known who wrote it I would not have shared it or helped to promote their hate campaign).

Once word got around that I had had my posting abilities suspended, and some other information came to light about EM, another entry was posted on the now missing blog Stop IP Theft linking back to a brief PSA blog I wrote letting everyone know why I hadn't been on Facebook the day before. First off, I wasn't associated with the Stop IP Theft blog, and secondly no one was polite enough to ASK me if they could hitch my horse to their wagon. Maybe not copyright infringement, but RUDE just the same. When I found I had been linked I chose to send that PSA to the draft folder. Boy did I catch hell for that. Let me be the first to inform you, this is MY blog, and if for any reason you want to use my information or link back to a post the smart thing would be to ask before you include me in anything. At. ALL. I will remove anything I do not want attached to nastiness and what many consider (I'm right there with them, more on this later) a vendetta that got way out of control.

On Wednesday, Magaly over at Pagan Culture (YES, I DO have permission to link to her blog) did an online *interview* with Edward Menten to make sure we all knew both sides of the story. As a result there have been a LOT of angry words spoken, people have removed friends and it's gotten very nasty. NASTY doesn't even cover it. Some have even gone so far as to give ultimatums to the people on their friends list with a deadline for either un-liking the page in question or run the risk of being unfriended by these people. WTF is that about and who made you God? I get that YOU may not want to support a page that has been accused of plagiarism, but where do you get off telling other people who and what they can do? Haven't you ever heard of free will???

There are also people who feel they are justified in their efforts to find and report plagiarism, it's like they are a dog with a bone. But no one can explain to me or the others who have also asked what gives these individuals the right to seek out copyright infringement or plagiarism? Who commissioned them into the internet police department? Is this their new job? If so who hired them? And if not then please explain to me why it is SO important to them to make it their business to dig in someone else's trash?? Cause that's all they are doing, dumpster diving at its best.

I've been following the actions and reactions from some of the people who have either been involved in the big middle of the situation or who were on hand to give their support to guide EM in the proper manner of posting things on his FB page. And each of these well known Pagans have taken a LOT of crap from people who were calling for the crucifixion of someone they felt justified in condemning. Even though these same set of *judges* have numerous times stated they have proof of their attempts to contact EM in a civilized manner, none of this proof has been produced when asked for. Making demands on a person or calling them out in a public forum is not the way to get the results you may be looking for. Or were you looking for all the attention this has generated? Either way, even though EM has apologized in a public forum, both in his interview with Magaly, on his FB page for CoCW, AND on live radio with Christian Day, it seems there are those who are waiting with baited breath for him to screw up even the tiniest bit so you can be justified in saying "see, I told you so, he wasn't sincere and we knew he was looking for his one minute of fame".

To this I say shame on you. You who consider yourselves to be above scrutiny, above reproach, up there on your pedestal. The things you have said and done are the exact definition and examples of bullying. And no matter how many people tell you you are doing a good job, no matter how many messages you may get telling you thanks for thinking of the artists, and no matter how you try to justify your actions, it is still a witch hunt and a vendetta against someone you consider unworthy of you and your circle of friends.

Remember that old adage from your parents or even grand parents about people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones? Yeah, I do...

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cleaning the Blogs or Making Sure I'm not Caught by the Copyright Police

I went through every blog I've written to make sure I gave attribution where it was needed and removed those things I could not find either the artist or author for. I do not want to be the next victim of the self imposed copyright/plagiarism police.

Seriously, this is just ridiculous... get a job, get a hobby or get laid.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Public Service Announcement

Due to a link I posted yesterday on the One Million Pagans page on Facebook to a blog that was written exposing copyright infringement and identity theft, my posting privileges on Facebook have been suspended for the next 11 hours. I have challenged Facebook's decision but have heard nothing as of this writing. I can read everything you post, and can even private message with you all, but I cannot comment or like any of your posts... for now.

This is yet one more example that Facebook's terms of service are skewed to protect the dishonest...

Friday, August 23, 2013

If You Give it Time

Sometimes, as humans, when we have been hurt or are angry, we tend to lash out and react with our emotions. I can readily admit I am one of those types of people. I want to grab my laptop and go off on a tangent in my blog telling anyone who follows my ramblings just exactly what happened, and why I feel justified in my reactionary posts. All the while knowing, if I just sit back, watch what happens and wait patiently (not my best attribute) those who have hurt, angered, or maligned me will find themselves facing some of the things they have carelessly thrown out at others.

If you can find the quiet place within yourself to just sit back and wait for the universe to take care of the situation, more often than not, the outcome is much more enjoyable than anything you could have imagined. And instead of boisterously celebrating the fall from grace, it is much more satisfying to walk around with a smile on your face, which in the long run is even more gratifying because that smile will drive people crazy wondering what the hell you have been up to.

Yeah, I've got that smile today...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Moon Day Meanderings...

Here we are at another Moon Day with so many things running around in my mind. Some I'll share, others I won't simply because I have decided to limit the information I am putting out into the inter-webs. Before you get all hoity toity and want to know why now, what has happened to cause me to change up the way I do things, I'll give you a reader's digest explanation. Simply put, there are those individuals who are not privy to my life any longer and they have no business reading or knowing anything at all about me and how my life is going. This is how I feel *today*, who knows what tomorrow will bring ... I may go back to being the unfiltered, uncensored, loud mouth Bitch you have all come to love (or hate, which ever the case may be).

There is SO much going on in our little corner of the world, most of it is great, while a tiny portion I could do without. But since everyone I know has the same process going on in their life as well, I really have no room to complain about it. I will say, the trials I'm going through *now* will only make me stronger and more powerful for the next time. Thankfully, I learn from my experiences whether they be good or bad and tuck that learning into the back of my mind so I can pull it out and flex that power when needed.

The weekend was a bit strange to say the least. It was the first weekend of *agreed upon, legal, papers to prove it* visitation for the Witchling to spend the weekend at her father's house. Before I go any farther, I will tell you all and this is no secret so I don't care who reads this... I do NOT like the dad, At. All. In my opinion, he's a worthless piece of humanity who is taking up valuable oxygen that someone else could be using. The world in its entirety would be a much better place without him in it. He lies so much he can't keep straight what he has told to who and when you call him on it he tries to turn things around to make you out as the guilty party. He plays the system, is an expert at it ... and doesn't get caught. He was injured at work in 2011, was off the entire year of 2012, received a Worker's Compensation settlement for the injury that didn't prohibit him from riding the quads with his Dad, or doing anything else other than WORKING. Everything is gotta be about *me* and if it's not he throws a temper tantrum worthy of a 2 year old. I. Am. NOT. Joking. He will not EVER take responsibility for any of his actions, always blaming everyone else. And just so ya's know... it's all my fault my daughter moved out of his house and filed for custody. I only WISH I was that powerful and had that much control over her, if I did, she wouldn't have married the sorry bastard in the first place.

Okay, on to happier parts of the weekend... it was payday weekend and after paying the bills that were scheduled we still had money left over in the bank. WOOT! First time that has happened in a while. Our Friday night began with steaks on the grill with baked potatoes and corn on the cob. After cleaning up the few dirty dishes ( I LOVE our grill, we cook almost everything on it!), Jimmy and I ordered Les Miserables (yes, I know I'm way behind the times...sorry) on Demand, sat back with a glass of wine (Duplin's Black River Red) for me and a SoCo and Coke for him, and thoroughly enjoyed our time together (Witchling had already been picked up for her weekend at her dad's, and Tanya was still at work).

Saturday we piddled around the house for most of the morning and finally decided to get motivated. We had planned to go to the beach, but it was raining and was supposed to all weekend, so we changed things up and went out to lunch. After lunch, we did some shopping at Pier 1 and BJ's, with a short trip to Michael's looking for some black candles. Since Samhain is right around the corner, most paces are beginning to put out their decorations, alas... no black candles were found, yet. From there it was off to see my tattoo artist where I got one of the pieces I've been saving my pennies for. I'll post pictures after some of the redness goes away. Someone else I know began having work done on a gorgeous piece, but I can't talk about that yet. Again, pictures will follow at a later date.

Sunday, Jimmy goes back on the road, this time to North Little Rock and Tanya and I spend a nice quiet day just doing a whole lotta nothing. In reality we BOTH did an enormous amount of cleaning and sorting (Tanya did more, she finally unpacked the rest of the boxes in her room) and I took some time to go through my altar and remove some things that no longer resonate with me. These were things I've collected in the last year or so, and at the time I thought I was supposed to have them. Fortunately, after some grounding and refocusing my intent, I found these items were actually holding me back. I gathered them up and tossed them into the trash that was picked up this morning. After cleaning out the negativity, I smudged the entire house and burned some of the incense (my FAVORITE scent, Isis) I found on the trip to the beach with Amanda a couple weeks ago.

The Witchling came home at the agreed upon time this morning and it's been a strange day. She's been overly quiet, and hasn't wanted to eat much. She's colored and watch Bubble Guppies and Paw Patrol, but that's about all. She took a short nap and woke up SCREAMING after being asleep only about 10 minutes. After hugging and rocking her, she went back to sleep and woke up on her own about 30 minutes later. She looks extremely tired and just not her *normal* self. I know this is a huge change and shock for her, I'm just hoping there isn't something else going on...

Tomorrow starts week 5 of Environmental Policies. I already have my research paper finished and ready to be submitted, and there is only one discussion question for the week. Next Tuesday the 27th, I begin Intro to Politics, another class for the second minor I've chosen. I've ordered the textbook (have I told you lately how much I LOVE Amazon? I have been able to purchase my textbooks for less than a third of what they are listed in the college bookstore) and it should arrive this week. My classes are so much more interesting now that I've gotten into the actual degree courses. I've also found another place I want to check into for some classes in  Mind Body Transformational Psychology, with an emphasis on Holistic Nutrition & Urban Farming, and a concentration on Spiritual Studies.

I've also found myself obsessing over Deity, I work well with a few Goddesses and Gods but have not ever been able to say I'm a child of or a daughter of ________. Each person is different and unique in the way they walk with their chosen Deity, some say you can't be chosen by this one because she requires a lot of physical activity, others say this one won't work for you if you don't actually see a sign, a physical sign from them. Well, after much deep personal soul searching and cries to the heavens, I'm here to shout ... No one has the right to tell anyone who or how they can be spiritually led. Each Goddess or God shows themselves to an individual in many different manners and just because you work with a specific Deity in your manner does not mean I or anyone else will work that way as well. Again, this is part of the *I should have known better* place that I was lost in for a while. Many different people who I face to face know and respect tried to tell me I was going about things wrong. I just needed to open my heart and mind and LISTEN. Once I did this, I had no problem figuring out where I'm supposed to be walking. And again, I'm not in the sharing mood on this one yet, so ya'll's just gonna need to sit tight till I decide I want to tell you what and who I've been attached to.

I think that's enough rambling for this Moon Day, there is more I could share, and I'll probably be back later in the week to bore you again. Until then I leave you with:

Monday, August 12, 2013

Moon Day Melancholy

Webster's dictionary gives a few different meanings for melancholy; I think the third definition suits how most of my Moon Days (or Mondays as they are more commonly known) feel for me ...

melancholy - adjective - given to or marked by long, quiet thinking.  

Synonyms: broody, cogitative, meditative, musing, pensive, reflective, ruminant and thoughtful

Even though Mondays are probably one of the busier days of the week for me, I have found it is also one of the best and easiest days to be able to do some soul work on myself. Tanya works a mid-shift and is home somewhere after 5:00 so that means I have Ravyn from about 9:30am so Mommy can get ready for work, to around 6ish by the time she stops at the grocery to pick up odds and ends we may have missed over the weekend. I usually have an assignment as well as responses to 2 discussion questions for Ashford, and it's the day I prefer to do laundry and household chores if possible.

Somewhere in the midst of all this craziness, I find the time to mentally slip away to my quiet place and go within. I had been using the time after the house is quiet for the day, after everyone is asleep, to just sit in the peacefulness of the house and look back on the previous week to see where any adjustments may need to be made. However, since I began the current Chopra Center Meditation Challenge last week, the mornings before everyone gets up for the day seem to work much better. This week, my Moon Day began as planned with day 8 of the Meditation Challenge. (let me add right here, this challenge seems to be more personally fulfilling than the previous 3 I've completed)  After the recent craziness in my world, this challenge came at the perfect time to nudge me back on the path I wandered from.

I've already blogged about how I *lost* me and the conscious effort I've made to not only get back on track but to stay there, so I won't reiterate it here. Just know I *have* begun the process and I am doing much better without all the excess drama in my life and the constant behind the scenes bickering. I've subscribed to a few new blogs about working with your higher self, have found those persons who do not resonate with your higher self are easy to remove from your life and my inner peace and spiritualism is once again in harmony. I've also begun to once again listen, I mean really LISTEN to my Spirit Sister and mentor and to make informed choices rather than knee jerk reactions.

The best part of getting *me* back to where I'm supposed to be is the reconnecting with my family, and friends who I pushed aside while I was riding the crazy train. These people never left my life even though I felt I had no room for them and I am so thankful they welcomed me back with open arms and gentle admonitions. I have been able to get back into the books I felt were my *bibles* when it came to my Craft, and I've found new things in a couple of them I somehow missed the first 3 or 4 times I read them. All in all, my life is pretty good at the moment ...

OH! Those nightly candle lit lavender bubble baths?? I haven't given them up. They are my time to relax and reflect at the end of a busy, hectic, crazy day in the life of me ...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wednesday Wanderings

Yesterday afternoon, Tanya and I had a few errands to run ... the attorney's office, Apple Crate and groceries. After we were finished in the grocery, we are walking through the parking lot to my truck. As we stop the shopping cart at the back of my truck so we can raise the hatch and load the bags, I hear Tanya yelling STOP, STOP, HEY, HEY and then I'm picking myself up off the ground ... the driver of a pickup has backed out of it's space, not paying attention to what he's doing and runs into our cart full of groceries. This sets up a domino effect, the cart is knocked over, I'm knocked to the ground, the cart lands on top of me. I don't think I hit my head (it's not sore nor do I feel any bumps), but I sure landed hard on my back. The police arrive, the ambulance comes zipping in, I get all checked out, the police give us paperwork, and I refuse to be transported by ambulance all the while promising I will go get checked out. And I did ... just not until this morning ...

Last night is a blur, I know we had dinner, home made tostadas and then it's off to a hot bath I go to soak in lavender bath salts to try and ease some of the ouchies I've developed. After putting on the PJ's I find I have quite the collection of purple bruises on various parts of my body. Great! Into the bed I go, try to get comfortable enough to sleep, which seems to be the most elusive thing I could imagine cause I'm still awake at 2 am. Out of bed, find the Tylenol PM and back to bed to toss for another 30 minutes or so. Finally somewhere around 3:45 (the last time I remember looking at the clock) I manage to finally fall asleep.

Up this morning and I am more than sore, my back won't stop hurting so it's off to the ER we go. Three hours, 10 Xray's and two prescriptions for pain meds and muscle relaxers later, I get the news there is nothing broken, however, this accident *may* have aggravated some underlying issues in my back that I *may* not have been aware of or had any trouble with until now. YIKES!! And they give me a referral to a back and spine doctor and a physical therapist. I am NOT a happy camper at this point.

On a positive note, I DID get to do Day 3 of the Chopra Center's 21 Day Meditation which actually helped me to balance this crazy day. So I feel pretty good emotionally, just kinda tired and sore in my physical body. I also have a heart meditation I've been doing at bedtime and with last night being the exception, I have slept more soundly and peacefully than I have in quite a while. I guess my Momma's saying about going to sleep with a clear conscience really does come into play with one's sleeping habits.

Tanya is off tomorrow and she has one place she's wanting to go. I don't know if I'll go or not. Depends how I'm feeling. I do have an assignment due at Ashford on Monday, 2 discussion questions for tomorrow and a quiz due on Sunday. So I may stay home and use the quiet house to get some of that work done.

Well, my Darlin's, that's all I have for this time. Yes, I know journal/diary type entries are kinda boring, but for now this is how I'm proceeding. Ya gotta follow your Muse and she's telling me to take it easy, at least for a little while.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

New Day... New Attitude

Morning Everyone! And Happy Tuesday to you all!

When I woke up this morning I made a conscious decision to make the best of each and every day. I'm not going to promise each day will be full of sunshine and rainbows, because you all know I have a temper, love to rant and some days just need to be utilized for snarkiness. I did begin today with Day 2 of the Oprah & Deepak 21 Day Meditation Challenge. I have already participated in this challenge 3 times & each time I finish the challenge, I find a new and different perspective to my world.

I've also re-examined my personal goals for my family, education and spiritual life and found I had been detoured from the steps I set down to achieve those goals. As of this morning's meditation I am please to say I am back on track. I will be working daily with my spiritual mentor to maintain the balance of my higher self so as to keep my feet firmly planted on this track to bigger and better things for my life.

In the past few weeks I have been reminded that I have many friends and family members who for one reason or another have developed some pretty debilitating diseases or medical conditions. One cousin by marriage has had a re-occurrence of cancer, one daughter suffers from Chiari Malformation and  fybromyalgia (this is not a new diagnosis), the other has hyperthyroid disease (again, not a new diagnosis) and is trying to schedule an appointment to test for Grave's disease, and a close personal friend has just recently been diagnosed with Stage 1 Multiple Sclerosis.

This made me stop and examine the things I do in my personal life to see if I was on the fast track to developing some of the conditions running rampant in  my biological family. And it's not a pretty picture. Both my parents were diabetic, both had high blood pressure, and both were over weight for a large part of their lives. So far, I haven't been diagnosed with diabetes or high blood pressure, but I'm thinking if I don't make some changes I'll be right there in a few short years.

Again, these changes are going to be difficult for me to follow through on, I'm lazy when it comes to healthy eating and I do not like physical activity other than walking around my neighborhood or the mall (I've thought about joining the mall walkers over at Cross Creek Mall, but I haven't figured out how to do this with Ravyn, yet). Somewhere in all the mess I call my life I HAVE to find the drive and determination to get up off my butt and make some radical changes.

Also, the tone of the things I share here in the Lair will be changing. And if you find them too boring I will understand if you decide to stop following. Last night I had an epiphany... I do not need or want the numbers. I began this blog as an outlet for my depression and even though it's gone through many different phases of my life, the numbers were not important then and they are not important now. Just as I've reduced the number of people on my friends list on Facebook, the pages I *liked* and the number of people I follow on Twitter, I have also removed some of the blogs I followed at one time simply because they no longer interest me or fit in with the things I want for the future.

Plans have changed for the political themed blog I was going to begin writing, it's still there in the back of my brain, but the focus has shifted and for now Opinionated Pagan has been shelved. Once I manage to balance the things I'm already involved in, I'll reevaluate the desire to become politically active.

That's all the updates for today. I *plan* to write a bit each day, perhaps along the line of a daily journal type entry. And if *life* doesn't get in the way as it is known to do in my world, I'll be able to keep this commitment to myself.

Have a great Tuesday and be safe...

Monday, August 5, 2013

Revelations ... Or Why I NO Longer Belong to A Tribe

I've been relatively quiet the past couple days, there is a lot going on here at home. Things that at one time I would have shared with my online family. Unfortunately, an online family is one of the biggest fallacies anyone could ever imagine. These are people you only know online through social media such as Facebook or Twitter or what they write in their blogs. Some, you may have even met a time or two, but mostly haven't spent any amount of time really getting to know. I've often wondered who is this I'm calling friend? That point was brought home with a vengeance over the weekend of July 26 - 28th, but more on that later.

This post is probably going to be full of rambling thoughts and somewhat incoherent. There is so much going on and I want to share some of it. First, contrary to recent popular belief, I am exactly who you see or read online as well as in real life. A week ago, I was called sister, today that same person called me a drama queen. By definition a drama queen is "Someone who turns something unimportant into a major deal. Someone who blows things way out of proportion whenever the chance is given". Ask anyone who *truly* knows me face to face (and here again, I'm not talking about meeting over lunch and knowing who I'm dealing with, cause BOY was I fooled) has spent any amount of time with me if I am a drama queen and they will heartily laugh in your face.

Yes, I get emotional, yes I am passionate, and YES I get angry and do stupid things. But drama queen just doesn't fit. At. All.

Next up is passive aggressive. Yep, I've also been called passive aggressive. And the urban dictionary has that as * A defense mechanism that allows people who aren't comfortable being openly aggressive get what they want under the guise of still trying to please others. They want their way, but they also want everyone to still like them*. Hmmm, I looked in the mirror just to be certain and I found nope, this one doesn't apply to me either.

Passive aggressive behavior is running rampant, rampant I say! And the ones that are behaving this way have no idea it is they who are actually exhibiting the same kind of behavior they are so quick to label someone else with. And I'm here to tell you, writing a blog entry, or a status message calling some one their shit without naming names is NOT being passive aggressive. If that were so, then all ya all's bitches would be passive aggressive.

Let's see, next is hypocrite. The Urban Dictionary defines this as *Someone who says something that even (s)he disagrees with. A person who is the exact opposite of what (s)he is. Anyone who discriminates against people or things that are just like them or that they do.

*Oh we love and accept everyone and everything!! Unless it does not agree with what they think, and especially the fearless leader who throws a freaking full blown temper tantrum if you dare challenge their opinion or call them out on their scathing hatred for anything that does not agree with them.* Yep, that my friends is about as close to an example of being a hypocrite as I can find.

And the icing on the cake is: Saboteur. Urban dictionary defines this as "A person who often engages in sabotage. Often being sabotaged by someone else. Someone who commits sabotage or deliberately causes wrecks." Just to be clear let's add the definition for sabotage: "Sabotage is a deliberate action aimed at weakening an enemy through subversion, obstruction, disruption, and/or destruction." Now, there is a wild and crazy story making the rounds on the inter-webs, and I will admit it is true...partly. However, as usual, an action was taken WAY out of context and hysteria was born. Here's what really happened, but seriously, I could confess to murdering the Pope here and it wouldn't make any difference to those who follow the crowd and have already made up their minds. But just in case there are some who would like BOTH sides of the story before they rush to judgement, here goes...

Some say I had a disagreement with a couple ladies over on Facebook, that isn't the case. I posted a mini rant on my Timeline that many took offense to. OK, that's fine, I don't try to please everyone. These same ladies unfriended me over said supposed argument. Again, OK, no big deal. Now here's where the *real* story comes in. Truth is, I was more than tired of the catty, scathing, judgmental, backstabbing goings on of more than one individual. The accusations of copyright infringement (at this point there was none, but once someone makes up their mind that's all there is to it), the bitching about "the athame I saw in a picture of her altar looks like the ones I make and I didn't make it for her", and "Vickie's making Tarot bags and I already sell them" (note to anyone who cares: I make Tarot ENVELOPES not Tarot pouches with a drawstring closure) and the constant bitching because someone else just doesn't measure up the the lofty standards of a few select individuals. And I posted in a public forum about how fed up I was. (Yes, this was wrong) I also *unpublished* a Facebook page that was linked to my personal account so I could figure out how to unlink it, before moving away from it. At that point I wan't going to do anything else, I was going to leave quietly. But then the attacks came, cloaked as concern for the bigger picture. After dealing with the *why did you do this?* and *put it back and let us take it over*, I also chose to change the password on the email account for said group, again, until I could figure out how to unlink it from my personal account. At this point I still meant no harm and didn't want to damage anything.

Ahhh, but then the holier than thou all knowing jumped on the bandwagon and accused me of sabotaging an entire years worth of the project, ruining the project and threatening to sue me for loss of  income from some of the people who may or may not be involved in the project. By the time this version of the tale had made the rounds I was worse than pond scum to many. After the accusations and threats I DID delete both the Facebook page and email account. By this time I was DONE with the shit and walked away. I feel no shame or remorse for my actions. Does this make me a saboteur? Maybe... do I care? NOT ONE BIT!

Moving along here, I'm back to rambling so try to hang with me. This does have a point somewhere.

Some people feel lost without the sense of having a tribe to belong to. I admit, for a very short time, just about a year, I was looking for a place to belong. When I found what I thought was my little corner of heaven, I quickly found it was more like a piece of hell. But finally I *belonged*, I had *friends*, I had ... the Pagan Pat Robertson... that's right, or maybe it was more like Jim Jones. After I stopped drinking the Kool-Aid I woke up and realized, I didn't like the popular crowd in high school. What the hell made me think I'd like them as adults?

Now this next part may seem a bit off track, but hang on and I'll tie it into my thoughts. There is an increasing number of people in the Pagan community, who for one reason or another find themselves in a leadership role and shouldn't be in that position. Many of these people began as a regular Joe, hanging out on Facebook, writing blogs, forming groups (some of these groups have even sprung up across the U.S.) and doing everything they can to *help* the community. Once they begin collecting minions, they find they need more and more and more. You get my drift. They begin to see themselves as all powerful, but in reality they are just power tripping on their own imagined importance.

Once you get to the point of self described importance, you feel you have the right and ability to judge those who don't measure up to you. You become a danger to the community. Become a liability instead of an asset. Much like a dictator, a vastly intelligent dictator, because not only a dictator, but one who makes everyone else LOVE them, LOVE being manipulated by them, LOVE throwing themselves at them, and LOVE  slamming other people to get their approval.

And Goddess PLEASE! Do Not EVER make a mistake, because even if you do take full responsibility for your actions, you will never be forgiven, only tolerated until you just can't take anymore and walk away from the dictatorship. Except, leaving a dictatorship always has repercussions you could only imagine before you took that fateful step away from the madness. When you do find your way back to sanity don't be surprised when those you walked away from need to publicly create some bullshit drama about it instead of telling the truth. Oh, yeah... and it will always be your fault, never theirs.

My point to all this mess is simple, at least to me it is. The need to *belong* is deep within us all, and we are constantly searching for our family, tribe or group. For some, they will fit in nicely because they are the followers. But for others like me we won't fit in for very long, when you have more than one leader or *Type A* personality in any given situation, it rapidly goes to hell in a hand basket. I've known for most of my life I am not a person to follow along blindly in any given situation, and I am sorry I let me get lost in someone else's obsession to climb to the top regardless of how many people are stepped on along the way.

I was warned ... but I chose to ignore the advice all because I wanted to belong, I paid for my disastrous decision and now I'm through trying to be part of the *in crowd*.