Category Archives: Life happens
Sorry I haven’t been around much. Life has been crazy and although we’re in a slow-spot at the moment, I know it’s not over yet.
Mini-Me moving down here has changed life for all of us. Now that Draco and I have someone else to care for, and to consider, a lot has changed (or changed back, anyway). It’s mostly been good and, aside from the occasional bad day here and there, everyone seems happy.
The business isn’t really moving yet, but some of that has been a hold-up on my part. If someone were to place an order, I’d fill it, but I haven’t really gotten up new pictures on the FB page yet, or started advertising some new ideas I’ve had thanks to a few dear friends. Most of that is waiting until we move and I have room to work.
Mini-Me is still job hunting and although Draco still has his job, he’s still searching for something local. Eventually, this job will run out and his company will move on to other places. We’re here for keeps, so a local job must be found.
The move thing is still up in the air. We all finally agreed to look for something else, somewhere else, but when Draco gave our notice to the landlady, she said she wants us to talk to her when we get our taxes. There’s a possibility we could get the house we’ve been secretly wanting for months. That would keep me in this neighborhood for sure. It has (almost) everything I was looking for!
So, in a few more weeks, we should know something there. I’ll be so happy to have that question finally answered!
I’ve been cooking more, and breaking out new — and old — receipes, but I forget to take pictures when I cook. So no new receipes for the blog yet. 😦
Last night, Draco and Mini-Me cooked spaghetti together while I watched Monk and tonight, Draco has been cooking pulled BBQ chicken for sandwhiches all day, so I’ve gotten a couple days off dinner-duty. In return, I got up and made homemade biscuits and sausage gravy with sliced canteloupe this morning. It was awesome and they ate it all.
We’ve been spending time together as a family, and it feels good, so even though I have missed my blog in a lot of ways, I’ve been taking my own advice and taking life by the horns.
Life hasn’t been all good, or all bad. It’s been a steady combination of the two, kind of like that place where two rivers meet. In some places, the blending is seamless, in others, the water can be down-right turbulent, but we’re all learning to navigate the rapids much better than we ever have. We’ve come close a time or two, but so far, we haven’t flipped the boat yet!
In spiritual news, I’ve had some things happen recently and my previous path is being mostly left behind. I’ve been eclectic Pagan for years and now I’m looking for ways to blend my heritage. I’m Cherokee-Welsh, (Welsh has Celtic roots), so I’m searching for where those meet and forging a new path for myself.
If 2013 has had a theme so far, I think that’s what it is — blending and combining — searching for that place where more than one way meets and can travel together for a while. It’s strengthening my bonds with those I love most and creating an over-all peace in my life that I’m not certain I’ve ever known before, and that, dear friends, is fabulous!
I’ve made progress in my Shadow Work with Hecate and I’ve made peace with a lot. I know I still have work to do, but for now, the lightening of the load feels good.
It feels good to just be myself. No regrets, no excuses.
Well, I suppose that about wraps the news from my side of the forest. What’s going on in your neck of the woods?
Today, I took a leap of faith and began the process of bringing PoM to where I want it to be. I have signed up with a review company and will be (hopefully) starting to do product reviews soon.
I don’t intend to turn my blog into a review machine and not blog like I usually do. Reviews will most likely be one or two out of the week and will be in addition to my regular blogging.
At some point in the near future, I am also supposed to do a give-away for my own business (that Mini-Me and I will be running) at a friend’s blog (we’re still working out the details there) and I will be reopening that business officially on January 1st.
To say that starting 2013 will be different from any so far is an understatement. Mini-Me lives with us, is currently job-hunting and volunteering at the Equine Rescue three days a week, Draco still works (and I’m still the only person in the house that can drive), I’m reopening the business I closed last summer, I still intend to blog and doing reviews means stepping up my social media presence. I will be busy, busy, busy whie I work on balancing all of this and still have time for connecting with my spirituality and my family.
Needless to say, this will be my last round caring for my landlady’s pets while she is away. If I find time to give pets, other than my own, a piece of me, I will go volunteer at the local SPCA where the demand is not all day, every day. I love them all, and I’ve enjoyed it, but I honestly don’t see me having time for much besides what I’m already committed to.
(I see me blogging on my phone in parking lots and carrying a craft-bag on my shoulder everywhere I go to optimize my time usage as it is.)
Needless to say, I’m all kinds of excited, but I know that what I’m undertaking is huge. I’m sick of empty, mindless hours watching TV shows that are surely killing my brain cells faster than any drug ever could.
For years, I avoided having a full life, so afraid that if I attempted anything, it would be another failure. Something else for my mother to shake her head in disdain over. Well, Mom is gone now and I see the damage years of brainwashing has done and I intend to break the cycle. If I don’t succeed immediately, I will keep trying until I do. I’m not giving up this time. Period. I will become the person she, nor I, ever gave me the chance to be.
So, with that said, I say “Come on, 2013! Let’s do this!”, and prepare to step into my future!
Draco, Mini-Me and I were determined that we were only giving a nod to traditional Christmas this year, and we accomplished it. Here is a little share of how our day went down.
I forgot to turn off my weekday morning alarm all week, so even though there’s been no point, an alarm has woke me up at 6 am, including today.
Around 7 am, we woke Mini-Me so that she could open her new (and approved of) boyfriend’s gifts via Skype. We all sat around the table and watched (she got gifts from us on Yule last Friday).
After that was over, we went in search of an open store, but came up empty handed. Mini-Me spotted an IHop though, and offered to buy breakfast, so we stopped, beginning our first new Christmas day tradition.
We laughed, we ate too much, we had wonderful iced mocha coffees, passed food around the table and made too much noise. It was great!
By then, Draco and I were running on too little sleep and full bellies, so we headed home to nap and figure out what to do with the rest of the day.
When we got up, Draco was out of Mt. Dew, so he suggested trying to find something open again. Corner stores are open on Christmas, so armed with his 2-liter and a few 20 oz drinks, we hit the road with no destination in mind.
We ended up in Georgia (we live in southern SC) in some quaint little towns where we saw stuff like this
A windmill decked out in lights.
We stopped at a lake and took a walk around, allowing me my first boost from moving water away from the house
We crossed the Savannah River twice
And Mini-Me chilled in the back on her phone
Even Dutchess was relaxed
After three hours, we finally made it home. I think Mini-Me enjoyed the change from the normal hustle and bustle (and stress – the cops got called at my ex’s family’s Thanksgiving, and that kind of crap is common over there), and I know Draco and I did.
On our way in, we did a round through the cemetary at the end of our street where many Union and Confederate soldiers are buried, along with many much older graves no one tends anymore. We gave holiday greetings to “the forgotten” and felt a wave of embracing energy as we left.
It was dark, foggy, and raining, so I can’t be certain, but I’m sure I caught a glimpse of outlines in the rear-view mirror when I tapped my brakes. A longer press revealed nothing but lonely markers in the mist.
The food portion hasn’t happened yet, but will soon (it was supposed to be a Yule dinner, but we were on the road bringing Mini-Me home that day, so it was put off).
Mini-Me starts volunteering at the Equine Rescue tomorrow, and I need to go grocery shopping, so tomorrow will be another busy day.
Hope everyone in Blogland enjoyed their holiday and is ready to make the New Year incredible, magickal and unforgetable!
Friday, we made the almost 3 hour drive to pick up Mini-Me from where we all lived up until 2 months ago. She decided when we moved here that she wanted to stay behind and try to make it there.
Mini-Me is 19, chronologically, but mentally and emotionally, she is not.
She is capable of holding a conversation with people she knows, but people that don’t know her can tell she struggles with basic social skills.
She is capable of working a job, but learning new skills, especially complicated ones, takes her longer. She is easily distracted.
She has a big heart, but it’s easy to take advantage of her. Easy to convince her you have her best interests at heart, even if you don’t.
At 13 she could not read, and even after working with her for years, she struggles, although she can read well enough now to sit down with a book — providing she can sit still long enough.
As she was growing up, we were aware of the challenges she faced, but it never felt like raising a Special Needs child, even though it was.
In so many ways, she was a normal kid. When she sat at the table coloring with Draco and jabbering on about the kinds of things little girls gabber about, she seemed normal.
When she stood at my elbow in the kitchen learning the art of cooking, she seemed normal.
When she came home from school, the victim of ridicule and bullying, she seemed anything but. When people talked her into things they knew she would get in trouble for, just so they could make fun of her, I wanted to go on a “Mama Rampage” and kick the asses of all the parents that raised bullies.
Leaving Mini-Me behind broke my heart and shattered my nerves in ways I wasn’t prepared for. I had to let her try though.
Bringing her home brought me comfort. To my nerves, to my heart and to my soul.
As I sit and look across the room to where she is sleeping, curled tightly in a ball with her kitty, Miracle, I am comforted.
Saturday, in spite of being completely exhausted still from Friday, we all climbed in the car and I took her out to see that there really was more to the world than the little country town we live in.
Our most important stop of the day was at the local Equine Rescuse that is run by our local branch of the SPCA. She got to see a few of the horses and applied for a volunteer position (that could possibly lead to a job some day).
Last night, they called her and she starts on Wednesday. She was beyond excited. They volunteer from 8am – 2pm during the week, so she plans to look for a regular job for nights and weekends so that she can do both.
I overheard part of a conversation she had with a friend last night and she was gushing about how “awesome” it is here and how happy she is. Again, her words were like a balm on my heart.
Having her home is healing something I didn’t know was broken. Yes, there has been some stress involved, adjusting to the added demands on my time and on our very limited resources, but it has been a happy adjustment.
I’ve come clean with her about the memory problems I’ve been experiencing and she’s seen how easily I can get overwhelmed at times, but she seems to be trying to make this work as much as we are, which is good.
Yes, I’m finding comfort in having her home with us, especially at the holidays. Life is damn-near perfect!
As I passed a doorway, I glanced inside. I caught a reflection in a mirror framed by the door and saw my mother’s face. I saw her eyes, the arch of her brow, the slope of her nose, the strong and determined chin.
I saw a strength radiating from the reflection that I had never noticed before. A set to the shoulders, a sense of self-pride that comes only from embracing hard truths.
On closer inspection, I realized that the woman staring back from the mirror was me.
The resemblance of the women in my family is striking. I can’t look in the mirror without seeing my mother, my grandmother, my daughter. As I grow older, it seems the comparison is only growing stronger.
Since the death of my mother last summer, I’ve learned, and come to accept some very hard truths, about our relationship, about her as a mother, and her as a person. Seeing her face every time I look in the mirror hasn’t been easy. It’s led to a lot of me trying not to look.
Finding out that someone you loved and respected wasn’t who you tried to believe they were is hard. Finding out after they are gone and unable to explain or defend themselves is even harder.
My relationship with my mother was troubled, but in spite of that, I loved her and craved her approval and love more than my next breath. I believed her to be perfection personified. Not that I believed she’d never made a mistake, but the grace and ease she seemed to move through life with left me in awe and with a desire to be like her.
In truth, my similarities to my mother end with what I see in the mirror. This used to upset me, but with the lessons I learned right after she passed, I’ve found that she wasn’t quite the role-model I believed her to be.
Learning that a parent is, indeed, nothing more than human, can be devestating, and it was for me. I spent the first few months grieving more for my lost image of her than for her as my mother. Reality can be a relentless companion.
As I look into the mirror now, I no longer see the woman that failed at everything, that was weak and never did anything right. I no longer see shame in my eyes for the times I disappointed her.
Now, I can stand tall when I catch my reflection. Shoulders back and head held high, knowing that I have not lived a perfect life, but I have lived. I have made mistakes, but I have learned. I’ve had my heart broken, but I have known love.
For all my imperfections and short-comings, I have a beautiful daughter that I love with all my heart, the love and devotion of a good man and a handful of wonderful friends that I can always count on when I need someone.
I no longer live my life by the measure of a woman that hid her impefections while expecting those in her life to live up to unrealistic standards. I have begun to set my own standards for my life. I have learned that expecting the people in my life to perform to my expectations will leave me sad and alone, a fate I am determined not to share with my mother.
I have come to realize that her expectations of me were unrealistic and that if she could have seen past them, she could have really known me as a person and been able to see that I am a good person, with a kind heart. She could have seen how much her love and acceptance would have meant to me.
I will not continue to make these same mistakes with Mini-Me. In my eyes, as well as my heart, she will find the acceptance she seeks. I will know the person she is and not be blinded by my own wishes for her. I will accept her for the beautiful individual that she is and support her in her decisions in life, even the ones I don’t agree with. I will give her what my own mother never gave me, a place of love in my life where she never feels inadequate or unworthy of my love.
I don’t want it to take her loosing me for her to find her self-worth. I want to be part of watching her blossom into the outstanding woman I know she can be.
When I am gone, I want her to see my face in her own and for it to bring her pride and joy. I don’t want her to search eyes so like my own for an acceptance she should have found in mine.
As I finally begin to heal and move past the loss of my mother, I can’t help but wonder if she left this world with peace in her heart. Did she realize, too late, the things she missed out on? Was she satisfied, in her own heart, with the life she lived?
I will never have the answers to those questions. I will always wonder, and I can’t change that. What I can change is leaving those questions in my own child’s heart when I’m gone. I can live my life in such a way that she will always know where my heart is and that I have found peace in my life. I can teach her by example, to live a life filled with the joy of living and the love of those that matter.