Celebration!


It’s ocurred to me that I’ve posted several times about things I’m dissatisfied with — not journaling frequently, not celebrating all the Sabbats, etc. There’s really nothing wrong with that. It’ll happen from time to time. But I want to take a moment to celebrate all the things I am really, really pleased with — and there are many. I think it’s important for me to mention the good things too. 🙂

  • In the past two months, I’ve gotten a lot of knitting done. I’m most of the way finished a blanket that I started a year and a half ago. I’m almost at the end of the third, and last panel. Then I just have to stitch them together and do some touch-up work and it’ll be done!
  • I have AWESOME family and pretty good friends.  I’m especially extra grateful  for my Mom, my grandmother, my Dad, Phire, SJ, and our pets.
  • My Mom’s cat, who was very ill seems like she’s going to be okay.
  • My Grandmother bought me chocolate and hair clips. She collects her easy open medicine bottles and her spare food storage containers and gives them to us. She’s also bought me clothes recently.
  • My Dad drives us to run errands at least once a month most months and drives me to doctor’s appointments frequently. He bought us sunflowers, bottled water, and decaf coffee, and he bought me clothes recently.
  • My Mom is kind and willing to go to bat for me. She bought stuff for me to use in Florida (I didn’t go — long story) and is sending it hear.
  • Phire and SJ are incredibly sympathetic and kind, and they go above and beyond looking after me when I need it (which I sadly do sometimes these days).
  • Our pets are amazing, friendly, playful, cuddly, and caring.
  • I LOVE or beautiful house and property.
  • Phire and I planted the sunflowers my Dad gave us yesterday (with phone assistance from my Mom — the Master Gardener).
  • I tied back the Rose of Sharon that has been blocking the side of the house. I think it’ll need a more permanent solution (the stakes and twine are pretty weak), but it’s done!
  • Phire and I also trimmed the front hedges, at least somewhat.
  • Phire and his friends collected someones junked pickup truck bed cab. We’re going to repurpose it to give the feral cats someplace to shelter in the winter. He and I moved it across the backyard.
  • I applied to college in April. Sadly, I didn’t get in, so
  • I’m applying to a second college now! Phire helped me with getting stuff together for it.
  • SJ ran to the store today to get food for us and he cooks awesome meals for me.
  • I got my first shot of Prolia for osteoporosis treatment yesterday. While it was a really rough day, and I’ve had some minor side effects, so far, so good!
  • I’ve been reading good books lately, and a lot of them.
  • I updated, edited, and added to my blogs yesterday, making major headway in a huge overhaul of them.
  • CampNaNoWriMo July has begun! 🙂
  • I think I blogged more in the last 24 hours than I have in the last two months. 😉
  • I have SO MUCH more energy than I used to on most days, at least for now.
  • I’m also generally healthier than I’ve been since I got sick.
  • Last week, I washed all the dishes in the house. ALL of them. Trust me — that’s no mean feat. And I pulled it off!
  • Phire rearranged the living room and it looks better that way.
  • I’m largely more productive than I’ve been able to be for years.
  • I can exercise a little sometimes now.
  • And then there are the million and one other things I’m grateful for — love, food, a roof over my head, running water, electricity, air conditioning, drinking water, internet, cell phones, books, journals, as much of my health, mental acuity, emotional well-being, and mobility as I have, my Gods, Ancestors, the faeries, my guides, and for happiness, and beauty, and so many, many other things. 🙂

I’m sure there are other things I forgot to mention.

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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.

CampNaNoWriMo April 2015 (Probably) Final Update


Screenshot 2015-04-30 06.31.46 Screenshot 2015-04-30 06.41.03

I finally completed my word count goal for a CampNaNoWriMo! I also took a bunch of screenshots for posterity. Hopefully, if I picked the right pictures, you can see that I wrote 10,1027 words for my novel this month. When I validated my word count, their word counter considered it 10,146 words. In the second picture, you should be able to see the bottom of the little “winner” ribbon they stick on your novel when you validate your word count. It took me a while to figure out how to validate my word count, but I finally managed it.

Also, you can see that I only wrote on nine of the days this month. That isn’t strictly true, and my days for writing are somewhat off because for several of the days I started writing on one day, and wrote until after midnight. But when I did that, I still counted my words as being for the day before, since that’s when I started and it was done in one session.

I’m also kind of torn about it. I’m disappointed that  I only worked on my novel for nine days this month. By the same token, I’m ecstatic that I still managed to get it done, even though I only wrote for it on nine days this month. It makes me more confident about being able to do it again in general, and also about being able to pull it off in the future even if I can’t writ for a lot of the days in some of those months.

I’m so happy and excited! I have been tying to do the NaNoWriMos and CampNaNoWriMos since at least November of 2012. And this is the first one I’ve finished. Hopefully, it’s the first of many.

My confidence was starting to get kind of shot where completing them was concerned. But I also have to remember that I started getting sick in 2010 and got gradually worse until 2012, when I got way worse. I didn’t get a diagnosis until spring of 2013. I took longer than that for me to fully understand what my diagnosis meant. And I didn’t get a good endocrinologist until either later in 2013 or possibly 2014. I also didn’t really start getting “well” again until 2014 and it’s been a long, hard, slow road. I’m still working on it, but I’m doing much better.

So it also makes sense that this one is the first one I’ve completed so far. Did I mention I’m excited and so, so, happy? 🙂

I’m looking forward to doing it again in July. July might be a little complicated. I don’t have any doctor’s appointments that month so far, but Phire’s and my anniversary in July. A friend of ours is going to be in the area twice that month, so in addition to the usual visitors, he may be over, too. And, I might have to attend a wedding with him. Also, if I get into Berklee, tuition deposits are due in July, which means that’s probably the month I’ll enroll and start buying textbooks and supplies.

But I’m really looking forward to both July’s CampNaNoWriMo and Berklee, so I’m thrilled.

Also: YAY!!!! 🙂

April is Looking Up!


April started optimistically for me. I was looking forward to CampNaNoWriMo, I didn’t have many doctors appointments scheduled, nor anything else complicated. And I wrote a lot for the first few days.

It went downhill from there for a while. I almost had an Adrenal crash, though not quite an Addisonion crisis in the supermarket after running errands all day. I picked a really bad time to go back on Facebook because it kept draining my time and energy. I got into a disagreement with someone on there over something I posted. Unfortunately, it’s something important to me and I tried to discuss it with them. But eventually I had to stop. It was taking up a ton of my time and energy and stressing me out. SJ and I have spent most of the month worried about an old friend of ours who is going through a really rough time. We had no idea because the only way we had to contact him was Facebook and we’re so rarely on there.

The phone company had a computer error and turned off our phones, even though we paid above what we needed to for the payment plan this month. SJ sorted that out. In the gross department, I had diarrhea from the last two weeks in March through the first two weeks in April and I had a really hellacious period. I wound up spending a night in ER due to low blood pressure, headaches, severe cramping, nausea, and slight dehydration. And while most of that rough stuff was going on, I went two weeks without writing for CampNaNoWriMo. I only entered two contests for gift cards this month.

But things really started improving since then. I decided to largely stop going on Facebook until after April, except to check on our friend and to enter contests. I also started cutting out some of my groups and turning off notifications for most of them. When I return to it, I plan on mainly just posting to closed groups, to cause less problems and deal with less time consuming notifications.

I joined enrolled in two courses from Coursera. Coursera offers free courses and many, many subjects from leading universities and colleges. Alternatively, you can pay about fifty dollars and gain a certificate from them.

I got a new issue of The Writer magazine and my mother was kind enough to gift us with more files for the filing cabinet.

I also only have about four thousand words left to write to make my word count goal for this CampNaNoWriMo.

I’ve been practicing music frequently and I’ve been very productive in general for the past several days.

And…drumroll, please…I’m applying to college! I am SO excited by this! I couldn’t have done it without lots of help. SJ and Phire helped and supported me, as did my mother. A friend of ours is loaning me the money for the application fee and letting me pay him back slowly a little at a time. He also stayed on the phone with me while I applied for financial aid and helped me through the rough patches. AND he’s one of two people who is writing me a recommendation letter.

So far, I’ve applied for financial aid, filled out the application, asked for transcripts to be sent to them, talked with my application academic advisor, and written and uploaded a personal statement. I can send the application without them having received my transcripts yet, so I’m just waiting for one more person to send them a recommendation letter and for my friend to loan me the money for the application fee. I think the letter will get written this weekend and I have until May 15th to submit the application. So I should have plenty of time.

I’m applying to Berklee Online, which is the internet arm of Berklee College of Music for a degree in Music Business. I am SO excited! I’ve wanted to go to Berklee for years and I think that now my health and my life are stable enough that I can go. I’m nervous about getting in, but I really, really hope that I do. I should find out towards the end of June or the beginning of July, so I’ll try to update here. Phire is applying as well, so I’m also really excited about that and hoping that we both get accepted. 🙂

I think that’s it for now.

Puppy


My sunshine. My exercise buddy. My, “I’m going outside today (which is good for me) even if it’s raining, even if it’s snowing, even if it’s forty degrees out and feels twenty, even if the perpetual gale force winds in South Eastern New Jersey have just kicked into high gear”, my bruised legs from a tail that wags SO hard, my million kisses a day, my reason to laugh and smile, one of my biggest reasons for getting up every day. My phone alarms going off for something other than just times to take more pills. My assistant in creating structure. My, “life is so awesome!” — even when I’m tired, or in pain, or depressed. My instant mood booster. My goofball. My cuteness.

The bald spots on her poor nose and muzzle are from when she tried to get her old gentle leader harness off by plowing her nose against the ground through an area full of shrubs and twigs.

Mixed feelings about CampNaNoWriMo


I wrote 1,114 words last night, giving me a five day buffer and — I think — a total of 4,187 words for this years CampNaNoWriMo for April so far. That also means that after I get three more days worth of writing done, I’ll be more than halfway there. The closest I’ve ever gotten to completing a CampNaNoWriMo was 8,459 words — also with a 10,000 word goal. But I was working on a bunch of stuff then, as opposed to one manuscript.

So before the BIG goal, I have two little goals to shoot for surpassing: 5,000 words (the halfway mark) and 8,459 words (the farthest I’ve gotten before).

Naturally, I’m ecstatic about all of this. And yet.

I haven’t missed a day of writing completely yet, though I did miss meeting my word count goal for one day (though I more than made up for it), and it’s getting exhausting.

Almost every day I’ve finished my writing after midnight. And by the time I save all of my documents, usually in two formats, back them all up, and update my word count on the CampNaNoWriMo webpage, it’s even later than that.

Lots of stuff is dropping by the wayside. I went several days without calling a family member that I should have called sooner. They didn’t seem to mind, and it worked out okay, but I feel guilty about it.

With the exception of one day, my journal writing has been pretty slim. I only missed one or two days of it, but my entries have been short and I’ve left out a lot of stuff I wanted to write about.

I’ve walked the dog again now that we have a new gentle leader, which a dear friend of ours ordered for us, after she ate part of her old one. But I’ve been letting housework slide. I’m deeply appreciate of Phire, who did a bang up job with a lot of housework and decluttering today.

I haven’t been knitting. I started a blanket last year with needles and yarn donated by family and friends. It’s three panels, and I’m on the last one now, but I haven’t touched that panel since March. Knitting is soothing and meditative for me, and I also try to do it as a devotional act for Brighid.

I’m hoping to give the blanket to my mother, and I was hoping to have it ready in time for her birthday, but that’s unlikely, as her birthday (and Phire’s) is only ten days away.

And I think I mentioned in another post that I’ve barely been reading.

I also haven’t practiced bass for at least a week. SJ and I have a system set up where I try not to go more than three days without practicing — bass, guitar, or vocals, though bass is the main thing. But I just haven’t been managing. I love making music and listening to music. I don’t want to forget what I know, and I want to improve and learn new things, and bass will also qualify for the Bard path in AODA, so that’s upsetting.

I’m doing things like balancing checkbooks, budgeting, and paying bills and dealing with utilities companies today, and I’m just taking a break from that to write this. I was hoping to have all that stuff done in one day, but it’s late enough that it looks like it might stretch into two.

Also, my body has decided that today is a perfect day for me to deal with LOTS of pain, for some random reason, so I’m dealing with that too.

I’ll try to get more adult stuff done and then I’ll see about writing some more for CampNaNoWriMo if I can.

CampNaNoWriMo and Journals


This is what eight years of journals looks like^^

Bear with me if that image doesn’t show, and I’ll try to fix it later. I’m writing this blog post from my phone.

I feel like I’m being a boring blogger. Not only is this supposed to be my general Pagan blog — and I haven’t been writing much about Paagan stuff, but I’m also hardly writing about anything besides CampNaNoWriMo and journaling.

Still, that’s because I’ve hardly been DOING anything else except writing — NaNoWriMo, journal entries, and blog posts. I should be happy, though. And I am happy, because I’m getting those things done.

I did do a little bit with Pagan stuff in March, starting my Ancestor journal and celebrating Ostara AODA style.

Yesterday, I only wrote four hundred and eleven words. Actually, when I stopped for the day, I was literally one one short of my word count goal for the day. That was uber-aggravating. So, I opened my word processor back up and wrote another paragraph or two.

So, I did make my word count goal yesterday, but not by much.

So far, my Easter weekend marathon is about 50/50 — great the first day, not great but acceptable the second. We’ll see what today holds. I haven’t started writing for it yet today because Phire’s computer is broken, so we’re sharing mine until we can afford to get him a new one, which may be some time down the road, but hopefully not. And he’s on it right now.

Yesterday, I DID write seven pages and some change in my journal, finishing that notebook in the process. I am noticing a pattern: the days that I didn’t write in my journal, or didn’t write much in it are the days I got the most written for CampNaNoWriMo and vice versa.

My last journal lasted seven months and I started a new one today.

I’m going to try to get as much written today as possible, because tomorrow, I have to actually go be an adult — call the utilities company, figure out our budget for the month, and pay the bills. Maybe I’ll do some dishes too, but that might be reaching a little high, especially because I’m still hoping to write tomorrow, too. Maybe I can delegate the dishes to Phire or SJ.

I still have three days of buffer, but next Saturday is one of the days that I doubt I’ll be able to right, as my Dad and Grandmother are coming down to take us to run errands, which I deeply appreciate. They usually do that about once a month and it makes our lives a lot easier, since we don’t have a car. And it’s good to get to see them. But we normally go to anywhere from three to seven places on those days, so it takes several hours or all day, and it’s exhausting. Sunday is another day that I’m not sure I’ll be able to write, because these days I usually need at least one day and sometimes more to recover from big errand days.

So I’m going to try to build up additional days of buffer today.

I’ve been reading far less than I normally do in April. But that’s to be expected. I should be careful because I get cranky if I go for too long without reading. But I also get cranky if I go too long without writing.

What I’ve been reading the most of is back issues of The Writer magazine. I have about six months of issues that I hadn’t read. At the time it was an annoyance that I didn’t have the time to read them. But it was only a mild annoyance, because the reason I didn’t have time to read them was because we had just gotten our puppy. We were adjusting to having her in our household and she needed almost constant supervision. Now, that she’s older and better behaved (though she still needs a lot of supervision) I actually have time to read them. And the timing is perfect, because it’s really helping me to concentrate on CampNaNoWriMo and creativity.

If I already wrote some of this stuff, I apologize. Brain fog being a thing, I don’t always remember what I wrote before and I don’t really have the time or energy at the moment to double check.

Phire just handed of the computer to me, so I’m off to go write some more. Wish me luck!

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.