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?
I really enjoy learning about other paths since I’m such an eclectic at heart! Here is a post on Asatru (Norse Heathenry) that might shed light on anyone curious.
For those who don’t know, the Norse dieties are like those associated with the movie Thor.
Heathenry, or Germanic Neopaganism, centres on Scandinavian, Germanic and Anglo-Saxon deities and mythology. Heathens are largely polytheistic and follow a reconstructionist viewpoint, which aims to recreate the religion of ancient people through study of archaeological and historical records. These records include Old Norse texts (such as the Prose and Poetic Eddas, and the Icelandic Sagas), Germanic folklore, and archaeological evidence.
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Over the weekend, Draco and I spent a lot of time talking about the near-future. Tax-time is right around the corner and it’s the time of year when low-income families find themselves making the big decisions. For us, it’s been a question of if we are going to attempt to find cheaper housing and move from where we are now.
Originally, I was behind the idea of moving.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the neighborhood we live in is still absolutely beautiful, especially in the fall when the leaves are changing colors. I still love living near the cemetery and the little lake pond that we can almost see from our back door. Our landlady has been, and continues to be, so very understanding and good to us (like this week when Draco’s check from Christmas week was only $140 even though our rent is $200 per week).
The reason I’ve been behind the idea of moving is simply because our rent is $200 per week, the fact that I have felt as if I were in hiding because everyone on our street is Christian, and we’re not, and the fact that since Mini-Me has come home and has decided to stay, we really need another bedroom (our little house is a 1 bedroom cottage).
Before Thanksgiving, I applied for Food Stamps. It was a decision that Draco and I reluctantly made at the urging of our landlady. It’s not that we think there is anything wrong with families that need help getting it, it’s just that we try very hard not to need help, from anyone, including the government. I found out last Friday that even though our rent is over half of Draco’s weekly pay, that we got turned down. Draco and I had said when I applied that if we could get stamps, we would try to stay where we are and if we couldn’t, that we would look for something more in our price-range.
As we kicked around options last weekend, we were also faced with having to tell our landlady, that has been so good to us, that we only had half the rent for last week and that this coming week was probably going to be the same. I fully expected her to ask when we planned to move out, but when Draco went to talk to her, she told him that she could work with us for a few weeks and asked when we thought we’d be able to get back on track.
When Draco came home and told me, I was shocked. We’ve never had a landlord, anywhere, that was that understanding. Most of them only care about getting their money. They don’t care if you have groceries, gas to get to your job so you can work to pay the rent or anything else that you might consider a priority, like car insurance. Most of them could care less about what you have or don’t have, and that’s been our experience. We’ve gone without more than once in an effort to keep a roof over our heads.
After the talk with the landlady, Draco and I started circling the moving issue again. Yes, on just Draco’s income (especially when work is slack like it has been the last 3 weeks or when the weather is bad), and with what we currently pay, it’s out of our price range and we do need that 2nd bedroom desperately (Mini-Me currently sleeps in the living room), but, where the hell are we going to find another landlord like the one we have? She let us move into this house without any kind of deposit, all of our utilities are in her name and included in the rent, she let us have Dutchess (and now Mini-Me’s cat, Miracle), she has given us food when she thought we might be doing without and not asked for anything for it, she throws odd-jobs my way (like taking care of her dogs and her house when she travels) so that I can make a little extra money here and there, she got Dutchess fixed for me when she found out that she wasn’t and that she was about to go into heat again because I couldn’t afford it….the list goes on and on. She has done so much for us in the short time we have known and rented from her, more than any landlord (and even most friends or family) would have done and she’s willing to work with us when Draco’s checks run short.
Draco, honestly, is against leaving from renting from her. He’s not opposed to a place with a 2nd bedroom, because he knows Mini-Me needs her own space and privacy, but he wants to continue renting from our current landlord.
It just so happens that since her Mother passed away a few months ago, she does have a 2 bedroom house sitting empty and unused right across the street from us. Draco and I have been giving it the eye since Thanksgiving and we even mentioned it before Mini-Me came home about possibly renting it instead, but it’s been tied up in probate and she was uncertain what she even wanted to do with it. Her original response was very non-committal and I told Draco I didn’t think she was going to rent it to us.
Of course, then, we didn’t have Mini-Me home and wasn’t sure she really would move down here. Now, she is, and Draco is thinking about bringing it up again and see what she says since she just mentioned the need to “get in there and get stuff boxed up” the other day.
Now, you want to talk about perfect? That house has it all. It is 2 bedrooms, has a pantry and a little storage kind of area outside the bathroom that adjoins to both bedrooms. It has a large porch with a gate on the front, a small enclosed back porch and then a huge open (but covered) deck on the back that leads into a large fenced in back yard. The back porch offers a lovely view of both the cemetery and the pond, year round.
Of course, our internet and phone signal troubles with be the same as now, but that can be worked around, and we’re not sure if she would charge more for that house because of the 2nd bedroom or not.
As for the price issues, there is a little wiggling we could do that might help. Right now, we pay $200 per week because our utilities are in her name and included in our rent, but we do have the option to pay $500 per month if we put the utilities in our name and paid them ourselves. $500 per month plus our utilities (as long as they are reasonable) is a little more do-able than $800 per month (for the months with 4 weeks, $1000 if the month has an extra week).
So, Draco wants to talk to her and see if she’ll rent us the 2 bedroom. If she will, we’ll put the utilities in our name and Mini-Me has offered to contribute regularly when she gets a job to help afford it because she really likes it out here as well.
The only real problem that will leave is the religious part, and I suppose I can work around that as well if I have to. It’s not like I practice Skyclad out in the yard or anything anyway. My main things have been a lack of privacy if I need or want to do an outdoor ritual and at the other house no one can see the back porch at night unless they come up the dirt road, which is seldom used at night except by us. I finally broke down and set up my kitchen altar here, so I guess it would be no different to do it there, or I could just put it in our bedroom and not let anyone in there.
So, we’ll see what the landlady says when Draco brings it up again. Really, if we can get that house, staying out here wouldn’t be so bad. Who wants to leave something like this anyway?
They say things happen for a reason.
That even the seemingly bad things in life have a purpose, even when we don’t see that purpose ourselves at the time it’s happening.
I’m a firm believer in this myself. I truly feel that there are times in life when you just have to trust that Divinity has a plan and that they see more than you do in that moment, even when it feels like your life is being torn down completely.
I also know that this “tearing down” process is something that Hecate is well known for among her followers. Most people that work closely with her (and she is well known to approach those of us with Shadow Work to do) say that their lives seemed to be completely destroyed and rebuilt during their service to her.
I also know that this process I’m going through, even though it’s scaring the hell out of me, is for my own good in the long-term.
I know that it’s something that I need to deal with now that Mom has passed, my family has shown their true feelings towards me and I have moved away from the toxic relationships I have been involved in.
Taking my life out and looking at all the dark corners that I’ve tried to ignore for so long is not proving easy, no matter how necessary Hecate, or I, may feel that it is.
There’s been something of a power struggle about which pieces I deal with, and when. When I don’t agree willingly, She forces the issue, like She did yesterday when I was sought out in connection with my Dad and had to tell someone important to me that I’ve pretty much been disowned and why. It was humiliating and degrading in itself, but I got the distinct feeling that I wouldn’t be hearing from that person again now that Mom is gone and Dad doesn’t seem to want me around, which just added to my pain.
I had hoped for some kind of show of support. I should have known better.
It was just another time when I thought that after all that I had done, or tried to do, for someone we both loved, it would earn me some kind of love or respect from them and it didn’t even seem to matter what I had done or been through.
In the end, I guess I have exceeded my usefulness to yet another person I cared for and now I will fade into the forgotten corners of their world.
Amazing how things change when you refuse to be the “family bitch” or clean-up crew anymore. Suddenly no one needs or wants you around.
Lately I have felt a pull to other Deities, but I know that She is not done with me yet and that at least until I get a little further in my work with Her that She isn’t going to give me much room for exploring. Again, I know that this is necessary. I can get distracted easily (my legacy of ADD) and leave things unfinished if I don’t make an effort to stay focused.
I also know that part of the reason I’m finding other gods so appealing right now is because I don’t like the work I’m involved in with Hecate.
She is forcing me to not only see the people in my life without the filter or excuses I’ve spent my life throwing up in front of them to try to justify their treatment of me, but She’s making me see myself the same way.
As hard as it can be to be honest with yourself about other people, it can be so much harder to see yourself honestly, without a filter.
To have to take out decisions that were made – good and bad – and examine them without being able to make excuses; to have to admit the times when no matter what you told the world, the choices made were from somewhere selfish, is hard. To have to admit to yourself that you were wrong, or that something you’ve spent a lifetime blaming others for was really your own fault, is hard.
For those that think Shadow Work is easy, let me tell you, it’s not. It’s painful and emotional. It rips your heart out and holds it beating in front of you. It tears down your image of yourself and the people and world around you and leaves you with a view of your life, and the people in it, that you no longer recognize.
So, why would anyone choose to do it?
I can’t speak for everyone, but in my case, it was either accept it and do it, or I was afraid I was going to go crazy.
The nightmares I had after my Mom passed were robbing me of my sleep, my health and my sanity. I couldn’t take it anymore. Hecate, being one of the goddesses of the Underworld and Crossroads, offered me an option and I took it. In return, She took the nightmares away. Now, I am fulfilling my end of the agreement by dealing with my Shadow-Self and my Shadow Work.
I know that at some point in the future, She won’t be quite as overwhelming as She seems to be now. As I continue to move through the people and issues in my life that I have to sort out, the demand will lessen and I will have time to explore other deities and aspects of my spirituality and craft unhindered, but She is right in keeping me focused now, when it would be so easy to walk away and quit because it is painful work.
Have you ever had to do Shadow Work yourself? What was the experience like for you?
Everyone pretty much knows by now that I have been having problems surrounding my family since my mother passed away. I haven’t talked to my Dad since before Thanksgiving (he stopped answering or returning my phone calls), I haven’t talked to most of the rest of my family since the days right around my mother’s death. (I lost all family support because of my Dad drinking and telling people things about me that weren’t true.)
Night before last, I received a text from our old roommate saying that a family member had tried to contact me through her and that it was about Dad. I don’t have a good number for this person, I managed to dig up an old number early this morning when I couldn’t sleep, but it’s not their number anymore, so I guess I wait and see if they attempt to contact me again. I’ve decided that I’m not going out of my way about it though since I have already decided that I don’t want to get involved again.
The thing is, this is one of those family members that I haven’t spoken to since the day Mom died. I don’t know if they’re aware of what has gone down between me and Dad or not. I don’t know if they know that because of the damage to my reputation (among other reasons), that I now live two and a half hours away from him and everyone else. I don’t know if they know we haven’t spoken in over a month (since the last time a family member contacted me saying something was “wrong” with Dad and he became hateful when I finally reached him after blowing his phones up for almost an entire day).
This person certainly hasn’t been around to deal with all the fall-out I’ve dealt with surrounding my Mom’s death and my Dad’s subsequent tumble back into alcoholism. They haven’t heard the things from some of Mom’s closest friends that I have. Haven’t heard the drunken retellings of marital problems I wasn’t even aware existed.
They weren’t there when I cried the day after my mother’s death as my father went and sold all her jewelry except the few pieces I managed to grab for me and my siblings, and was later accused of stealing. They weren’t there when I was forced to take all my Mom’s clothes out of the closet and drawers and go through them to be given away to Goodwill at my father’s demands before she’d even been cremated.
They don’t know how many times I picked him up out of the floor where he’d fallen because he was drunk. They don’t know he was drinking and driving. They don’t know that he called me a bitch to my face when I told him I couldn’t stay with him if he continued to drink. They weren’t there when I had to take away his checkbook and ATM card in an effort to keep him from drinking and driving after he popped the curb near his apartment and could have hit the children playing nearby. They weren’t there when he made it a point to remind me that he is not, in fact, my actual father and that I had no say-so in anything he did.
They don’t know what I’ve been through. What I’ve dealt with. The pain I have suffered in the months since Mom passed while I watched my entire family either slip away or walk away. They don’t know the shame I have suffered as the lies that have been told on me in an effort to gain sympathy have gotten back to me.
They don’t know what I’ve been through.
I honestly don’t know what they expect of me. I don’t know what he’s done (this time), but there really isn’t anything I can do. I tried. I did my part and I was run off carrying the burden of shame that was not mine, left to try to defend myself to people that know that before my Mom died, Dad didn’t lie, so they assume he’s telling the truth and that I’ve done these things. They haven’t been around to deal with any of it, to see what I was put through, to be supportive of me while I tried to care for him and wasn’t even able to grieve for my Mom until months later.
I don’t know what they expect of me now, but when they finally reach me, they are in for some surprises when I tell them what I have already been through in the last seven months and that I am just not willing to jump back in the fire with this one again. They are welcome to do whatever they think is necessary, but I’m not getting in it again.
For me, that part of my life is over.
I tried to be there for Dad, I tried to take care of him, tried to help him take care of himself. I tried to be the dutiful and loving daughter that I felt was expected of me and everyone left me alone to deal with it with no help and no support. All I got from him was belligerence and accusations and damage to my character and reputation with people I respected that I can’t fix without painting a very ugly picture of him.
I shouldn’t care about what people think of him because of what he’s put me through, but he’s my Dad and I do, so I chose to remove myself from the situation instead of either having to deal with shame for things I have not done or constantly defend myself and make him look worse than he’s managing to make himself look.
Maybe it’s selfish of me to not want to get involved again, but it was selfish of my “family” to leave me completely alone when I was going through it, too. They weren’t the only ones that lost something when we lost Mom. They weren’t the only ones that hurt and were confused and had their foundation ripped out from under them. All of those things were mine as well, except I dealt with it alone, not by choice, but because I had no choice.
So no, I don’t think I will be jumping through any hoops to get in touch with them as I originally tried to do. I have left them a message with my number where they can see it, if they ever bother to look, letting them know that I don’t have a number for them, so have no way to contact them. I contacted another family member yesterday (the only one that was there for me at all after Mom died) and asked if they had heard anything and they haven’t. If he had passed away or was in the hospital, I can’t imagine that this person would not have heard something by now, and they will tell me if they do.
I still love my Dad, and I still love the rest of my family, but they have never managed to be around when I needed someone to be there for me. I have never been able to count on any of them for anything, really, other than judgment for my life and choices.
I have finally begun the process of dealing with the reality of my childhood and my life where my family is concerned and I am trying to heal myself from the things I have gone through. Jumping back in the middle of it now to once again be the “family bitch” that deals with everything just isn’t in my plans. That role in the family is no longer mine. I was there through my Mom’s end and tried to be everything the family expected of me to my Dad and was reminded that he is not mine to care for, so now that burden falls to his real family.