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?
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!
“I can’t just run away from my problems, Mom”, spoken in the closest imitation of an “adult voice” 19 year old Mini-Me can muster.
While I agree with the sentiment, I can’t seem to get her to understand the difference between “running away” and moving on.
Running away is being in the middle of problems you can’t or don’t want to deal with and removing yourself instead of dealing with your problems. Moving on is walking away when you’ve done all you can to resolve those problems and you refuse to stick around letting the people in your life run over or mistreat you.
In truth, she’s not doing either. What’s really happening is that the situation has reached the point where it should end, but she’s unwilling to let go. She would rather suffer than write the end of the chapter.
It’s hard being the parent of a young adult that is so head-strong and so confused at the same time.
Draco shakes his head in frustration, as uncertain as I am as to what we should, or even can, do. I remind him that Mini-Me, right now, is only one year younger than I was when we met. He looks at me in disbelief, and I can understand how he feels.
As much as Mini-Me has been through that is so similar to my own experiences, when I was 19, I was the mother of a toddler, I had been in an abusive marriage for a year with the man I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. At 20, I was legally separated, in the process of a divorce, had had my child taken from me by my abuser and was in the middle of a nervous breakdown. I suppose I seemed so much older to us both because those experiences matured me. Life has a way of doing that.
I know that 75% of her situation is a matter of the heart. She loves him, right or wrong, and is still trying to hold on to the illusion that one day, he’ll change and be the man she needs him to be. I went through that with her father, I guess her existance is where the path split for me.
Would my choices have been the same had it not been for her? Would I have held on longer had I not had a child to think about? Would he have ever changed had I stayed?
I like to think that I would have made the same choices out of respect for myself, but is that what 19 year old me would have done if Mini-Me hadn’t been a factor or is that nearly 38 year old me speaking with the hindsight I now have to see how my ex-husband’s life has continued a downward spiral to where he is now?
I won’t lie, nearly 18 years removed from the situation, and I still ask myself in the lonely hours of the night if I could have saved him from himself. That’s what love gives you sometimes, unanswerable questions.
I still don’t know what choices Mini-Me will make, or if she’ll live with a lifetime of regrets and questions she will never have answers to like I have, but I do know that she’s not the only one learning as we continue to try to move from a parent/child relationship to one of mother/daughter.
As we progress down our own path, I’m constantly reminded that while I continue to try to teach and guide her into full adulthood, that I continue to learn from our experiences as well.
She is teaching me, just as I am teaching her. She reminds me to be open, to question, to look at my own life and choices with new eyes. To ask myself what I might have done differently and wonder if those options would have been right or wrong. She reminds me what it’s like to see life, and love, through the eyes of a soul not worn down by time and bad decisions. She reminds me of what it felt like to love blindly, without hesitation or reservation.
Watching her love is like riding a bicycle downhill with no hands and sometimes, I think we could all use a reminder of what that feels like.
I recently downloaded a book for my Android Kindle App called Hippie Witch: Magical Life by Tori Douglas and was so very impressed with how she lives her life. At the time I downloaded it, it was free. It is now $2.99, but it’s a price I feel is well worth it.
This book is another blogger gone published, and I have to say, even when I’m impressed with the blog itself or the blogger in particular, I don’t usually run out to buy a book if they publish one and I’ve never done a book review on any of my blogs. In this case, I found the book first, which lead me to the blogger instead of the other way around.
While this post won’t be a review either, I had to give credit to my inspiration for it. If you’re interested in looking up her blog, you can find her here.
What I would like to talk about is the impact her book had on me personally and why.
As you know if you follow the Fairy Phases fan page on Facebook, Draco and I recently (about 3 weeks ago) moved about 2-1/2 hours away from where we’ve lived the majority of our 16 years together.
It was where I was raised and have lived all but about 2 years of my life. It’s where the kids are, it’s where what’s left of my family is (other than my brother). Other than the 2 years I spent up north when I was in my early 20’s, it’s where I’ve always lived.
Leaving was such a mix of emotions. I was excited and glad to not have to be apart from Draco all the time, but leaving where you’ve lived over 30 years is hard. Since Mom died in June, though, my conviction to get away has been stronger than it’s ever been. I knew I had to go no matter how hard it was.
Moving has been a good thing in spite of my initial feelings and bouts with being homesick. We moved into the house we want to grow old in last week and I can’t remember when I’ve been happier or felt such peace.
Knowing we were totally on or own with no help has really put things into perspective as well and life has gotten really simple, really fast.
Most of our possessions, including the majority of our decorations and magickal supplies were put into storage and left behind and that added to the initial feelings of being severed from everything. I found myself thinking things like “how can I practice my religion without my things?” And “I don’t have half my stuff here, I can’t even cast a proper spell!”
After about the first week and a half, I began to remind myself that in the beginning, I had no tools other than myself. I didn’t run out on a magickal shopping spree either.
So, I told myself, we’re back to basics. We can do this.
I began to remember my earliest magickal training. The books I’d read that had warned about getting so caught up in the process and trappings that you didn’t live magickally. I remember thinking, as a young woman of 19 and new to pagan religions, that it would never happen to me.
Guess what I realized? It had happened to me.
When I first started as a Wiccan and Paganism was something I didn’t really know how to do, I went with my instincts and I stared out incorporating what I was learning into my day-to-day life, especially in my cooking and housekeeping. I used to make my own floor wash from orange peels to cleanse negativity out of the house each time I mopped the floor and when I cooked, I used herb associations, burned incense, listened to music and drank wine.
What happened to the witch that chanted to herself when she swept? That only stirred food clockwise unless there was something to banish?
What happened to sitting outside with nature without a phone in my face?
Where did my habit of saying good morning to the sun and goodnight to the moon go?
It was then that I realized that those were the things that had brought spirituality into my everyday life. I was no longer experiencing spirituality, I was simply practicing a religion; akin to going to church on Sunday simply out of habit and spending more time considering lunch options than listening to the sermon.
I knew it had to change, but 19 was a lot of years ago and the BOS (Book of Shadows) that held all that gathered information was long gone. I found myself frustrated and stumbling more than starting.
Out of frustration, I sat down with my Kindle App and determined to do what I’d done in the beginning. Read.
I’m a fan of Pagan ebooks For Free on Facebook, and I remembered downloading a ton of books on Tarot, herbs, gems and even healing, but wasn’t certain if there were any regular pagan books or not.
I started and stopped probably half a dozen books and had almost given up on finding the inspiration I needed to get back on track when I saw the title Hippie Witch in my archives. I immediately pulled it up and began reading and didn’t stop till I finished the book. I was truly disappointed when it was over and immediately craved more.
I remembered seeing something about her being a blogger and wondered if her blog was still up and active (so many pagan blogs sit neglected these days). I quickly sought out her blog and was thrilled to see a very recent post. I immediately became her
cyber- stalker newest follower and have followed her on Facebook and Twitter as well.
Her book is all about bringing the simplicity back to her craft. How she incorporates it into daily life and she also offers some very good information.
She doesn’t know it yet, but she became the inspiration I needed to find myself and my path once again. For that, I can’t express enough gratitude.
So, I am now on a voracious quest for knowledge. I am re-teaching myself and it is a beautiful thing, especially when the classroom looks like this,
How awesome is that?
This week while Draco is at work, Dutchess and I are going to spend some time in the graveyard at the end of the street honoring the dead for Samhain.
I may not know where this path is going to lead me this time, but I’m determined to enjoy the view!
Oh, and it looks like that writer’s block problem was a spiritual thing, cause, baby, I’m back!
)O( BB )O(