The Great Blog Overhaul of 2015 (otherwise titled, “Whoo-HOO!!”)


Right now I have five current public blogs. Count ’em. FIVE. Mind you, most of them still don’t have much on them yet, but they’ve all at least got something. And I spend hours today overhauling and updating them. There’s only one that I didn’t really touch. For all the rest, I did some major work. It may not seem like much, but it was for me. Mostly what I did consisted of creating new pages, including breaking some of the pages I already had down into multiple pages on each blog. I also wrote and posted several new pages. Most of these pages are identical to each other from blog to blog, or at least very similar. But I wrote at least one lengthy page specific to one blog. I now have a separate page on almost all of my blogs that links to the other ones. I have a page on most of them talking about people I mention frequently. And I have some pages that have similar information phrased differently on some of my blogs.

I changed the wordpress theme of “Island, Ocean, Sky” from “Brand New Day” to “Somethng Fishy”.  And even though I still don’t have any posts on that blog yet, I wrote a new page for it expounding on the title, which you can read here. Hopefully, I’ll put at least one post up over there soon, but I can’t promise it. I also changed and edited some of the widgets I have on there.

I tried to fiddle with the widgets on Seaside Symphony too, but I was only partially successful. I remember having problems with that before, and by the time I got to it tonight, I had been at it a long while so I just gave up temporarily in frustration.

I added pages about the other people I write about, one describing a new header photo, pages linking to my other blogs, and an explanation for why and how I cross-post.

Yeesh, even as I’m typing this blog post, I’ve gone back to adjust and fix things.

I also did some editing, almost all of pages, but I did do one blog post. I fixed typos and changed places where I used the wrong word. I also added missing links and I updated some out of date information.

This is something that I’ve wanted to do for a REALLY long time, so I’m uber-excited about it! But I knew it would be a massive undertaking and I also mostly blog from my phone these days, which really in’t conducive to most of that stuff. So I’ve been putting it off. But not today!

There is still so much more that I want to do, for example, adding new categories and going back and putting the appropriate posts into those categories, as well as any new ones, but I think I made incredible progress and I’m incredibly pleased with it.

That’s not all I did today, either. I may write a blog post about that too, but I may not. We’ll see. Honestly, there are SO MANY blog posts that I want to write right now. We’ll see if I get any of them done soon. 🙂

 

Once More Into the Breach


Well, hopefully more than once more. I’ve been lax about blogging lately. I figure I’d better get to it now because, as busy as I’ve been, things are about to get even busier.

None of this is helped by my sleep schedule being all over the place. That’s not good for me in general, but it’s really not good for Addison’s Disease.

I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow that has been rescheduled multiple times due to complications. I’m getting a shot of medication to treat osteoporosis.

In two days, July’s CampNaNoWriMo starts. Since I finished the last one, I’m hopeful that I can with this one too. I’ll work on the same novel I’ve been working on and I’m hopeful that I’ll complete this one too. I set it up almost as soon as I could and I’m aiming for at least 10,000 words again. Last time, I cut it close, but I only actually wrote for it for nine days out of April and I still finished on time. It was a first for me meeting my word count goal for it, so we’ll see if I can do it again.

Phire’s and my anniversary is in July as well. A friend of ours is moving on the same day, so we’re going to try to help him move — provided all hell doesn’t break loose. Fortunately, he’s only moving within the same building, which should make life a lot easier.

I should also attempt to make and go to more doctors in July — we’ll see how that goes. And utilities and bills need to get dealt with.

I’m planning on applying to college in July as well. I mentioned here that I applied to Berklee College of Music. Unfortunately, I didn’t get in. I will try again someday. In the meantime, I’m applying to another college I’d really like to go to that has rolling admissions. Hopefully, I’ll get in and if I do, I’ll be even busier.

I’d also like to go to my old hometown before the season ends. I want to spend some time there and I’d like to restock my Pagan supplies at a store there that is mostly a hippie type place, but also slightly New Age. They don’t have all the supplies I could want, but they do carry candles, incense, sage bundles, and big tapestry/sarong things with Pagan designs on them that I use for outdoor altars. Unfortunately, the store is only opened during the summer.

I haven’t celebrated my last two Sabbats. I’m really dissapointed about that. I’m hopeful that I can still celebrate Midsummer — ablbeit late. There was a different ritual that I wanted to use to celebrate Beltaine, but I never got around to it. I don’t usally have spoons to do Sabbat rituals without assistance anymore, and finding a time when Phire or SJ have the time and energy at the same time that I do is difficult sometimes. It’s been even more difficult lately.

I was supposed to visit family in Florida, but wound up not going. The airport was a disaster that I just don’t feel like writing about right now.

I haven’t been journaling much lately, either.

While I’ve done some other stuff (like read), I’ve been doing a lot of other stuff lately. I finished the two non-credit courses online that I was taking. I got good grades in one (84%) and great grades in another (98.2%). I’m really pleased and proud of myself. I wouldn’t have done as well as I did, though, if SJ hadn’t helped me a lot.

I got a decent amount of housework done, but there is still more to do.

I think that’s about it for now. I’ll try to post more often, but no promises. It depends on what I can do and when, and on how much “real life” stuff takes precedence.

I’m Grumpy (Mopey Rant)


I feel guilty for whining. I’m over the worst of my cold by far, but it just doesn’t want to quit. We managed to pay off a big bill entirely this month, which is great. Phire is officially into his trial period at college and doing well. And I didn’t have to go to the hospital over this cold, which is great. We also have food and plenty of it — not something to sneeze over. And my college application is completely submitted. My friend submitted my recommendation letter and loaned me the money for the application fee. I’m just waiting for them to receive my transcripts. But I called my high school because I was getting nervous and they said they sent them out. My grandmother bought me a new pair of shoes. We ordered three books this month that I wanted (two were cheap and replacements for copies that got destroyed in a flood years ago — the third wasn’t so cheap but I’ve wanted it for years). Two of them came, and I’m waiting on the third. And I got four reasonably cheap t-shirts yesterday. Three are black, one is dark gray, and I like them all. It’s good to have clothes that fit me and don’t contribute to my dysphoria again. And it’s especially good to have black clothes that fit that description again. I’m also caught up in my college courses, which is really good. Though I didn’t do as well as I hoped in them for the first week’s peer review grades.

But my sleep schedule is screwed up. My med schedule yesterday and today are screwed up. And I have SO FREAKING LITTLE ENERGY! I’m worried about finances and there is a to-do list of 18 things (it started out as 32) that have to get done. Most of them I have to do myself, though a few Phire and SJ can do. And my friend volunteered to do a few of them, which I really appreciate. But I have no energy to do the things that I have to do.

I still haven’t celebrated Beltaine because I haven’t been well enough, haven’t had enough energy, and haven’t had enough time.

I also have been doing VERY little writing. I wrote one journal entry in May, started one other one, and then wrote a grumbly little thing today that was less than a page long and mostly consisted of how much I didn’t feel like writing. I think this is my second or third blog post this month. And I wrote a verse for a project for one of my online courses. But that’s it.

And I also haven’t been able to practice music.

Oof.


First of all, I have a cold. I caught it from my poor father, who drove me to the doctor last week despite being sick. SJ and my grandmother caught it too. SJ getting it doesn’t really surprise me, and I have a compromised immune system, so no shocker there, but my grandmother rarely gets sick. Mercifully, Phire isn’t sick — at least not so far. He has a great immune system, so hopefully he won’t.

I got my grades back from the two peer review assessments for the first week for the courses I’m taking online. While I didn’t exactly do BADLY in the one, and I did well in the other, I did far worse than I expected in the one, and a little worse than I expected in the other one.

I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow partially for the cold (because my Dad needed to go to his doctor to get prescription medicines for his) and partially because I need to get my script and my referral renewed for my wheelchair, which I thankfully only need to use some of the time. But because my sleep schedule has been all screwed up, I’m worried about making it there on time. I’m also not looking forward to hours of bus rides, waiting for buses, and walking to and from bus stops while I’m sick. I feel guilty because I’m probably get other people sick, and I’m worried because going to the doctor’s office might get me sick with something else — especially since I’m already dealing with a cold.

I still haven’t sent in my application to Berklee because I’m waiting on my friend to send in his recommendation letter for me and loan me the money for the application fee.

I didn’t celebrate Beltaine yet. Initially, I was going to do my ritual for it sometime during the week this week. Then, when plans to go to my Dad’s this past weekend fell through, I hoped to do it over the weekend. Then, of course, I got this cold. So that is delayed until I feel better.

Also probably delayed is the bloodwork I’m supposed to get done.

I had wanted to spend more time with the puppy after CampNaNoWriMo ended. It’s not that I’ve been ignoring her, or anything, and it’s certainly not like she’s neglected. But most of the walking her, playing with her, taking her out to pee and poop, feeding her, giving her water, and putting her to bed at night has fallen on the guys in April. Between CampNaNoWriMo, needing to replace her gentle leader, and those two bad health weeks I had in the middle of April, SJ and Phire have been doing most of the legwork. I planned to change that as soon as CampNaNoWriMon ended. Unfortunately, two days after it ended, I got my cold. By the third day after it ended, I could no longer pretend it was just allergies. On the bright side, at least it waited until after CampNaNoWriMo was over to kick in — and until we had money to buy OTC cold and flu treatments and we could afford bus passes for the month.

I also haven’t been able to practice for a few days and SJ, who is far better with keyboard than I am, hasn’t been able to help for a few days. I REALLY don’t like being sick.

Then, my friend, who has been interested in Paganism for a while, but who is only just starting to get into it now, sent me a text this morning asking for advice on how to do a ritual asap, ideally today. Like the title says, “Oof”. I did tell him that that isn’t the kind of thing that would get done in one day, even if I wasn’t sick. I did give him what advice I could, including some things I definitively don’t think he should do. And I spent the last several hours texting with him about it. I may have managed to annoy him, but I hope not. And I wasn’t trying to be critical, nor to say he shouldn’t do a ritual.

I don’t want to make it sound like it’s all bad. At least the cold is just a cold, not a flu, or an Addisonian related thing. And Phire doesn’t have it. I’m still riding the happiness high in a major way from completing CampNaNoWriMo, applying to college, and and taking the online courses.

Also, I have MAJOR good news. Phire is mostly in at Full Sail University! He started his orientation and month-long trial period today. It’s even more awesome, because he wasn’t sure everything would be finished pending by today, in which case, he would have had to wait an additional month to get started. But it’s done, he doesn’t have to wait, and as long as he does well, and he likes it there, next month he will officially be a student of Full Sail University for a Bachelor’s of Science in Music Business. I’m so proud of him, and so, SO happy. He’s also getting a new computer this week which will make his and my lives significantly easier.

He’s done with the computer for now, and my friend doesn’t seem to be texting me back at the moment, so I’m off to do some of my course work.

I sincerely hope all of you are well and that none of you have colds! 🙂

A Trip to my Hometown


It’s not technically my hometown. Not in the sense that I was born there, or lived there for my early childhood, or that I live there now. But when I was in my early childhood, I spent more time there than I did in my technical hometown. Later, I lived there for sixteen years — with a few stints of living for a few months in a nearby town and in the town I grew up in scattered throughout those years. But to date, that far exceeds the number of years I spent anywhere else. Two years that I barely remember in north Jersey, eight years in the town I ostensibly grew up in, just under two years spread out over three occasions and two separate places in a little town in the Pine Barrens, and, so far, two years in my other hometown (where I live now).

It doesn’t seem like much. But it’s huge. And it doesn’t seem overtly spiritual, but it is. Besides, my general life stuff blogs aren’t really running yet. One isn’t created and the other has a few posts and I’ve been delaying writing more on it until I can do a follow-up to my last post there. So for those reasons, I thought I’d post about it here.

We were running errands, but we still had fun. It’s only about twenty miles from where we live, but we don’t have a car and it’s rare that we can afford a cab or catch a ride with someone. So we rely on public transportation, which thankfully is pretty stalwart around here. Generally, these days, we either all have to go somewhere, or one person has to be with me, whether I stay at home, or go out. Then factor in the puppy — someone needs to be here almost all of the time now to watch her. We could crate her for a little while, but bus trips plus whatever we’re doing when we get there almost always takes hours, and I can’t be sure we’d be back in enough time for her bladder to hold out.

Then factor in how easily exhausted and fatigued I get these days, and the trouble I have regulating my temperature, AND all the medicines and such that I need to bring with me. And that I can never just pick up and go anymore. Everything requires planning and packing at least one or two bags of stuff to bring with me. Finally, add in the weather, which has NOT been cooperating for travel for a long time. It’s been months — like, MANY months since I went anywhere outside of the house that didn’t involve a doctor’s appointment, a chore, or errands, and usually some combination of those in one day.

We were still running errands today. But the pace was (slightly) more leisurely. We didn’t exactly take our time, because while SJ and I went out Phire was at home alone watching the puppy, and feeling sick to boot. But we had to stop to eat twice. Once we got comfort food for me — the most awful, greasy, disgusting pizza known to man that I normally can’t stand and that I shouldn’t be eating anyway, but that is nostalgic for me and is kind of a huge thing in these parts, and once we got comfort food for SJ — ye old Mickey D’s (shudder, grimace).

We also brought the wheelchair, which was a huge pain in the ass, but also a really good thing because there’s no way I could have walked that today. My muscles have atrophied to begin with from my illness, and the stagnation of the last few months along with having less energy for some of it because my schedule was screwed up have not helped matters. It was hard work for both of us, which I feel guilty saying because SJ was the one pushing me all over creation while I just sat there — and I’m sure it was a lot harder for him. And yet, we still had fun.

We got coffee, mine was supposed to be decaf, but I think they flaked and gave me a regular which is usually a disaster for me these days. I was feeling it, but it wasn’t as bad as the number full caff often does on me these days.

And I scraped my thumb, which wouldn’t stop bleeding (Yay, steroids) and went for a pit stop in city hall (hurray for automatic doors!). Getting on and off the bus, in and out of buildings, and up and down curb ramps still covered in snow was an experience, but still we had fun.

We walked/rolled on the boardwalk. I got to see the bay on the way in and out of town, the other bay at the end of our street on the way home, the ocean, the beach, and some shore birds. We also went to the bank and the pharmacy, which were the errands we actually needed to run today. I’m too tired to do the other things on my to-do list today, but those got done, and to paraphrase one of my least favorite protagonists, “tomorrow is another day!”.

And it was SUCH a beautiful day! Not warm, but not frigid, and fine as long as you dressed appropriately — even for me, with my abysmal body temperature regulation these days. The sun was shining and it FELT warm in comparison to all the freezing cold, sleet, rain, snow, and even hail we’ve had lately. And the sun was shining fiercely. I’m not a jewelry person, you want to talk to my grandmother for that, but the bay looked speckled with topaz and champagne diamonds.

We had a lot of fun, and in many ways it was a religious experience for me, with my connection to the land and town, and my animism that is strongly bioregionally based. It was good to be home today. And tonight, it’s good to be at my other home. Cheers!

Life Happens


I just wrote a long post about feeling like I’m not being “Pagan Enough” essentially. It’s not really about living up to other peoples standards, it’s about living up to my own. And part of it is purely selfish — I feel better when I actively express my spirituality.

But the thing is — life happens. In November I had a flu. We got a puppy, which I think I mentioned. She is sweet and good and adorable. I love her and I’m so glad we got her. But puppies are a LOT of work. Then, in December, I had a cold. In the last two months, I spent either four or five weekends away from home. I had just gotten over the cold when I got my period. Money is really, really tight for us right now. It’s always tight, but now it’s tighter than usual. I haven’t had time or energy to dedicate to writing or to the at-home businesses we’re trying to get off the ground — and neither has anyone else. And I’ve had lots of doctors appointments with lots more coming up.

The not practicing hasn’t just been over the last two months, so all of that isn’t entirely to blame for it. But it sure doesn’t help. And the chronic illness factor is mostly to blame, but there just isn’t much I can do about that.

But it helps to pause and realize that there really is a lot of stuff to factor in. Now I just need to make a concerted effort to do more of what I want to do without burning myself out.

You Wouldn’t Even Know We’re Pagan


Soooo…I’ve got a Sabbat coming up in a couple of days. I’m running low on candles and incense and I’m out of a few candle colors that I really “should” have. But having enough money for food is kind of an issue right now, let alone replenishing Pagan supplies — however cheap those supplies may be. Additionally, the only place locally that I can buy those things is only opened during summer and a few weekend in late spring and early autumn — the joys of living in a resort area. That means I have to buy any supplies online for the next few months. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled that there IS a store that I can get Pagan supplies at nearby. It’s not a Pagan, or even new age store per se, but they do carry candles, incense, sage smudge sticks, and some other things.

I’m having a crisis of…not exactly faith. No, not of faith. But of identity I guess. I just don’t have it in me to do rituals or other Pagan activities the way that I used to. I don’t have time and I don’t have energy. This doesn’t mean that I NEVER do Pagan stuff, but it’s pretty rare. I miss Sabbats sometimes and I’ve been doing things like meditation, chakra cleansing and balancing, and the stuff my Druid orders exceedingly rarely. I’ve mostly only been praying before I eat, and not always even then because sometimes my sugars are so low that I have to eat right away, or I have to rush off to a doctor’s appointment and don’t have time to eat AND pray.

In our last house, we had a HUGE altar/shrine in the bedroom. It wasn’t very high tech or anything. It was literally set up on and in several milkcrates set up on top of the dresser. Phire also had a dragon shrine in his office room (now none of us have an office — the last place was huge, and this one is pretty small). The dragon shrine is back up, minus the books about dragons, and it’s in the living room on top of the organ now.

There are two shelves on a bookshelf that are supposed to be for my altar and shrine but that I never set up. Right now, they are being used as storage for mail and other things that need to stay out of chewy puppy jaws. Though my main box of Pagan supplies in on one of our shelfs.

There is a tree stump back in the mud room that is supposed to be for my Druid altar. But it’s heavy and the top is uneven. Stuff always slides off of it and it’s heavy enough that it hasn’t migrated into the house proper yet. I want to dry it out properly (it may be too late — it’s already cracking), but I don’t know how to do that. The mudroom is dirty, cluttered, and disorganized. It’s also too small to do a ritual in — there’s exactly enough room in it for three people to stand without moving much, at least, as long as two of the people are really skinny. Other than that, not so much.

And I FINALLY set up the two outdoor altars, which I think I posted about on here. But since I set them up, I’ve only used one of them once after that, and the other one not at all.

Even in the place before the last place we lived, I had a combination altar/shrine. It was tiny, and people had an irritating habit of using it as a table. But it was there. And when I had that one, we were literally living in TWO ROOMS. One of which was a bathroom. The other room was living room, bedroom, kitchen, dining room, office space, and ritual space.

Needless to say, we’ve come a long, long, way and I am eternally grateful. I LOVE our house and our property, even though I’m afraid we won’t be able to afford it financially one day — even though it’s cheaper than renting.

But the small amount of acreage on our property needs more time and attention than any of us can give it right now. There are minor repairs that need to be done around the house. There are improvements that we want to make someday. And others that we’ll have to make some day. And it’s an old house, which creates it’s own quirks. But I LOVE this place.

What I love less, is that now you couldn’t even tell we’re Pagan. We finally got away from malicious landlords, insane neighbors, and abysmal living conditions. We have our own beautiful place that we love. Financially, our house is cheaper than renting was. But many of the outward signs of our religions are not showing.

Yeah, sure, if you look at our bookshelves, you would PROBABLY know that we’re Pagan. There are lots of Pagan books (though bibliophile that I am, not as many as I would like) and some Oracle card decks. But there are also lots of books from lots of other religions on our shelves. There are some faery art prints and there’s the dragon shrine/altar. But lots of people who aren’t Pagan like faeries and dragons. If you rooted around, you’d find my big box of Pagan supplies, my little box of Pagan supplies, and my third box, which has a few supplies in it, but mostly other odds and ends. If you kept fishing for stuff, you’d find my BOS, my Druidy notebooks, and my Pagan binder, along with Pagan art and documents and bookmarks on all of our computers. And you’ll find issues of Pagan magazines. One of the pieces of jewelry that I never take off is an amethyst point — but lots of non-pagans wear crystal and gem stone jewelry.

And it’s NOT about the material stuff. I KNOW that. But it bugs me that there aren’t that many visible signs of our faith, especially mine in particular, because, to be honest, I don’t really think it bothers Phire or SJ. It really, really BOTHERS me that I’ve barely been practicing. And I think that’s the root of the problems.

I dislike not having candles and incense available that are appropriate for when I CAN do rituals. I’m overwhelmed by having many Gods, as well as ancestors, guides, nature spirits, and faeries that I don’t feel like I’m doing enough for. It overwhelms me that I’m trying to learn how to practice Druidry in the traditions of two different orders. It makes me feel embarrassed, ashamed, guilty, and angry with myself that I don’t have the time, energy, money, or sometimes even motivation to practice how I want to.

So, kind of a downer post. Sorry about that. But that’s all for now, I think.

Meh


*WARNING — potentially deppressing rant ahead*

I really, really don’t feel like writing a blog post right now. So why am I? I don’t know. Because it’s been over a month since I blogged here, probably as long or longer on my other blogs. And because I’m frustrated.

I’ve been dealing with my phone malfunctioning periodically since June or July, which is when I got it.

I have the flu. I am, however, super excited that I didn’t need to go the hospital because I have the flu (trust me, that’s a really big deal)! And I’m getting over having the flu, which is awesome.

I’m annoyed with myself over all the stuff I haven’t been getting done around the house.

I only got two of the five, six, or seven small rituals done that I planned to last month. I Flamekept, so that’s three I suppose. But I missed Mabon. I didn’t leave offerings for my other Gods besides one. I didn’t ask their permission to work with the potential new entity, except for one. And now it’s almost Samhain. I’ve only done the one Flamekeeping shift. I missed my last one, and there’s one in two days, I believe, that overlaps with the new moon, when I also want to honor The Morrighan.

I did really well with journaling in September. I only missed four or five days for the whole month. But then, two weeks into October, not even, really, and I missed four days by then. So I missed the same number of days in two weeks that I had previously missed in a month. So far, I’ve either missed four or five days this month. Granted, one of them was the worst of the days I was sick with the flu.

The ceiling is falling down in the dining room due to an incompetent job by the heating guy. The door knob on our front door is broken. There is a hole patched with cardboard and printer paper in the drywall in our attic, which we use as the bedroom. The lawn needs to be mowed and the litter scooped. The sink is full of dirty, germy dishes. Less than a month ago, a sewer main at our curb overflowed, which mercifully was not our problem…except that the pipes in our house gurlgled and backed up because of it for two days and there was sewage around our house for days afterwards. The whole house needs a thorough cleaning. All three of us are still hacking and coughing up phlegm, and SJ still has a fever.

I am tired, and sick, and frustrated. Angry, even. I’m angry mostly because I feel so fricking helpless.

Somehow, someway, I will pull myself out of this.