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 all from ONE centralized place.

I tried HootSuite, but couldn't add, 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.