24 December 2010

Happy Week!

So I meant to post this sooner... as is usually the case. lol

Sunday was my birthday. While not a bad day, it wasn't terribly exciting either. Most of the day was spent looking forward to dinner and dessert. Spiced porkchops, potatoes au gratin, and green beans. And dessert: birthday pie! Apple pie, to be exact. Birthday cake is overrated (and is too time consuming to decorate), and apple pie is DELICIOUS. So that's what I had.

Tuesday, as we all know was the Solstice. As well as a full moon and lunar eclipse. I missed the lunar eclipse; I slept right through it! Although, I don't think I'd would have been able to see it anyway, due to cloud cover. Camden and I did, however, go out to watch the sun rise. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see that, either. Cloud cover, again! It was too thick to actually see the sun break the horizon, which was really disappointing. I was really excited about it, because this was our first Yule at home. Typically we've always been at my parents' for Yule, and, therefore, missed any celebration of it so we (I) didn't make the parentals uncomfortable. Ah, well... There is always next year!

And now we have Christams Eve, and Christmas is tomorrow. More presents (Camden got a TAG reading system for Yule), more food, more family. I'm excited because I'll get to see my sister for the first time since Spring... Or maybe even longer than that. And I'll get to see my brother before he deploys. Not to mention the time Camden (and I, of course) get to spend with my parents.

So, happy Yule (a few days ago) and happy Christmas. Happy holidays. :)

18 December 2010

Good deeds. Ah, Rats!

I don't do a lot for others. I try to take care of my friends, but that is usually as far as it goes when helping others is concerned. It's not that I don't want to help others, though. My time is limited between school and school work and taking care of Camden, so it's not like I can volunteer once a week at the Humane Society (which happens to be one of the few places to volunteer around here--no soup kitchen/homeless shelter/etc). I am generally broke, so I can't donate lots of money to organizations. I try to drop change into the Salvation Army buckets every year (actually, I make Camden do it), but that's about my limit.


(Photo not by me)


Well, a month ago I offered to help transport some rats who needed a home. In the rat world, I guess this is called a "rat train", getting rats from one place to another via multiple people. The rats were in St. Louis and needed to go to Ames, IA. I'm somewhere in the middle of all that, and (stupidly?) offered to pick the rats up in Columbia, MO, then drive them to Ottumwa, IA. All that equals out to be about 6 hours of driving for myself. And if I had thought about that before, I might not have done it. But, I said I would, and I did. And I feel good about doing it. I helped two girlie rats (who were likely at least slightly under-cared for: no fun toys, poor socialization, icky cage) find a forever home, with someone I know (well, very much suspect) will care for them and love them.

So I'm counting this as my one good deed for the year. Well, the big one. It was worth it.

14 December 2010

Holiday Cookies!

My favourite part about the holidays is making/decorating sugar cookies! Well, maybe not making them, since my sugar cookie dough NEVER EVER turns out the way it's supposed to, but I like cutting the shapes out. Especially if I happen to be doing it at my parents' house, because my mom has buckets (literally) of cookie cutters, so we always end up with the usual wintery shapes, but also mooses, lobsters, and of course, dinosaurs!

This weekend, Camden and I bought (sad face!) some sugar cookie dough that was pre-cut (more sad face, but I don't have cookie cutters) so we could make some holiday cookies. It was a fun afternoon diversion, since it was much too cold to even THINK about playing outside.


Not only do I not have cookie cutters, but I don't have colored sugar... So I made some! 3T of sugar and 4 or so drops of food colouring, mix it up. I don't think it would be useful to save, but it worked for what I needed it for.


Awaiting the oven! (See my sugar?!)


Cam got to decorate the first cookie.


Cam's snowman. I helped just a little bit with it. :)


Nom!

10 December 2010

Back? I hope so

The last couple of months have seen my life turned on its head. And not in a good way! I feel as though I lost a part myself this last semester. Or maybe I didn't lose it: maybe that part ran off until things get better. While I don't want to use this time or space to whine about my life, I will say this: it's been the roughest time in my life I've experienced since I was a self-hating teenager. I found it rather amazing, with the addition of so much stress, how easy it was to fall back into those self-loathing and unhappy life patterns. I stopped cooking "good" food. I had almost no time for books. (I've read... two? books since the start of the semester.) Worst, I stopped being a mother to Camden. That was my worst offense. We would get home in the evenings, and I was so exhausted and mentally tired, that I set him down in front of the TV. Every day. Until bedtime.

But thankfully, I've realised this. It took me a while. But this morning, I said to myself (and David, who happened to be there) that I don't like who I've become. My happy-Syd took a vacation and left the person I used to be in her place.

Thankfully, again, the semester is so close to being over, I can taste it. I have one assignment, four finals, and one jury (playing through what I've worked on over the semester in my percussion lessons) left. And that, my friends, seems like nothing. Even just tonight, I feel like the old (new?) me again. I was able to play with Camden without it feeling like a chore. I feel such a sense of relief and release, that it is almost as if I've been holding my breath since August.

So, now I am back. Hopefully to be posting again on a regular basis about the regular variety of topics found on my blog. (If I can even remember what those topics are. haha)

13 November 2010

Transcendentalism

I have been very absent. And I have to say: I really miss this blog. Good news, though: the end is in sight! I have three weeks of class left (+1 week of finals) then it is Winter break. Huzzah! I'm hoping that the next few semesters, while busy, will be NOTHING like this semester. In fact, I've kind of insured this, by adding an extra semester to my schedule before I graduate with my BA. (Which, in turn, adds an entire year to my whole schooling schedule.) But honestly, I CANNOT go through another semester like I've just had.

Anyway, I've had a few high points. In the last few weeks, my American Lit class has been reading Emerson and Whitman. And really, all I can say is: LOVE! There are hearts drawn throughout the pages of these writings (Emerson's Self Reliance And Whitman's "Song of Myself"). Reading these, it was impossible NOT to see echoes of my own philosophies, and I've connected to these writings in a way that I rarely experience. (Good news: my convo buddies in the class also connect with the writings, and we had EXCELLENT discussions about them. And the professor noticed and basically said we were awesome. :D)

If you haven't read Emerson or Whitman or Thoreau, I highly suggest it. Don't believe me on the awesomeness level? A few of my favourite quotes from Whitman:

The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it,
And ceas'd the moment life appear'd.

All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.

I exist as I am, that is enough

Divine am I inside and out, and I make holy whatever I touch or am touch'd from

Why should I wish to see God better than this day?
I see something of God each hour of the twenty-four, and each moment then,
In the faces of men and women I see God, and in my own face in the glass



--heart--

(Photo not mine)

29 October 2010

Life

I knew I wouldn't have much time to post this semester. I just wish I'd known what else this semester would be bringing me. This is by far the most stressful semester I've had. And it's showing. :( Both in my happiness levels (way down from usual--not good!) and my grades. I was supposed to graduate in May, but after experiencing this semester, I've decided to hold off on a few classes and just graduate in next December. This semester I've stretched myself nearly to breaking point, and if I'd stayed on course for next semester, I would have broken. So, after this semester, I'm taking it easy. Well, easier.

On Monday, I had a meeting with one of Camden's speech therapists. And she finally gave me a name for his speech problem: Apraxia. At the time, I thought, thank goodness, we have something to call it, and I didn't really think about the implications too much. Today, I actually read up on it. And it's terrifying. Not in and of itself. It's basically a miswiring between the brain and the muscles which facilitate speech. It's terrifying because there's no guarantee that he'll be able to talk clearly. This could be with him forever. Or therapy can beat it out of him, and he goes through life with no trouble. It is the uncertainty that gets me. I've said for the last two years, "well, he'll catch up." And now I can only hope and pray that he does.

It's not all doom and gloom, though. His speech is becoming more intelligible. And he's noticing (sometimes) when his words don't come out correctly. (He says "My mouth no working.") He's adding in consonant sounds where they should be, at least part of the time. Last week we were working on saying spider-man. He was saying it "buyer-man," but without a strong /r/ or /n/ sound. Now he says it Sss-pi-der-man. Which is amazing. He's an amazing child, and I am blessed to know him.

And since I know I'm going to miss it (because I always do), Happy Samhain/Halloween.

16 October 2010

Cleaning house

My last apartment was a mess most of the time. As embarrassing as it is to say, I'm not talking about the "oh, sorry about the mess" when there's maybe a spot of dirt on a vase in the corner. I'm talking about a small path leading from one room to the next, with the rest of the floor containing toys, books, dirty clothes, clean clothes, etc. (But not rotting food or anything of that nature. Not dirt or filth or refuse. Just stuff). Every once in a while, I would get the urge to clean. This urge was usually accompanied by the urge to move furniture, which often required a clear floor. But I always got too busy. Or too tired. Or too uncaring. And within two weeks, my place would once again be filled with landmines made from pokey toys or books. By the time I decided to move out, I just stopped worrying about it. I figured I'd take care of it in the move. And that once I got to my new place, I would have a fresh, clean start.

However, it didn't really work out that way. Yes, I had a fresh, clean start. However, that attitude and those habits I failed to cultivate in my previous apartment(s) didn't just magically appear. My new apartment was supposed to have a place for everything with everything in its place. But neither Cam nor I were very good at picking up our messes. :/ Granted, there were no longer toys in the living room: those had been sequestered to Cam's bedroom. But other things just filled it up. And I continued on with being too busy, too tired, too uncaring. I looked past the mess. I looked straight to the TV or the computer screen or my book. A messy place isn't a problem if you don't see it.

And then I did see it. And I decided I was tired of it. I started in Cam's room. Cleaned, put things away, purged, rearranged furniture (of course). I did that last weekend. And all this week it's been "make sure everything gets put away, Cam." And surprise, his room is still clean. A week later. This never happens. And through a serious of unfortunate events (Columbus Day, Cam having a fever, daycare closed to move to a new building) I was home most of the week. I had one full day at school, and the rest were mostly me going in for a test or a rehearsal. So my time spent at home was spent expanding the clean bubble to the rest of the house. It helped that I was upset about something (I don't even remember) at least one of those days, which always helps fuel my drive to clean. So I have a clean bathroom, a clean(ish) bedroom (not including my closet though), a clean living room, and a generally clean/uncluttered kitchen. The kitchen still needs a bit of work (ie, I need to knock a wall out and claim some of my neighbor's space to put in more storage). But all in all, my house is clean.

It's still a work in progress. It's still a struggle. But it's getting easier. After my walk-through tonight before bed, the living room will be in the same state it was in Wednesday when I cleaned. And that, for me, is a miracle. (One might even say magic).

It's more than just having a clean/nice place for the random chance someone might stop by, though. A home should be a sanctuary from the chaos of the world, and if that home is chaotic, what sanctuary can one find? I've found in the last few days that I'm happier and calmer. I have the space to free my thoughts and think. And I'm enjoying the time I spend at home.

09 October 2010

Not-Movie Night!


(Photo not mine)

Our normal after school routine usually consists of coming home, turning on the TV and chillin.

And I'm sick of it! The TV is on CONSTANTLY until Camden goes to bed. He has no chance to work on speaking, because he's only sitting there listening to the TV talk. His toys are pretty much forgotten. I doubt he would have missed them if I threw them out!

Yesterday, though, I put an end to it. I decided to take the more difficult road. (Because it is just SO MUCH EASIER to turn the TV on for him while I'm trying to get a moment alone, or cook, or do homework, or hang out with/talk to David.) We had a not-movie night. And you know what?

We didn't die! Haha! We were close a time or two, but we made it through the night. I even managed to keep myself away from the computer. I think for now, we'll just keep it to one night a week, and slowly add more days until the weekdays are all not-movie nights. (Unless we get one from Netflix that we absolutely CAN'T wait to watch).

Wish us luck!

03 October 2010

Rats!

So, I bought Camden a rat for his birthday. We named him Robin (because Cam is Batman).


And, well, when we got home, I decided I wanted to know everything about having a rat for a pet. So I get online, search around. And found out I did it wrong. :( Pet store rats = less than good. (Because they're usually bred for snake food, therefore, the breeder doesn't worry about genetics or socializing the animals). And also that rats need buddies. Since there aren't any good rat breeders (or rescues) near-by, I went back to the pet store. But she had already sold all the rats she had. So we had to wait another two weeks. And into our lives came Remy and Spencer!

We're still working on getting the rat twins acclimated to living with us, but I think that within the next month or so, we'll have a trio of happy rats.

In other news, we're happy that it's October. Because October means Halloween/Samhain time. Yesterday we made a Halloween cake (from a box, I was feeling lazy!) and bought a pumpkin. Today, the pumpkin got turned into a mean jack-o-lantern (per Camden's request) and its seeds are sitting in a bowl of salt water waiting to be roasted. Yum.

Before classes started (or just really early in the semester) I started experimenting with energy manipulation. Well, I was attempting to train myself to be more open to feeling/seeing/sensing energies. Sadly, this semester has been MUCH MUCH busier than I expected (or hoped) and everything but day-to-day living and school work has fallen along the wayside. Including any magical living ideals and this blog. But not to worry! Only eleven weeks left in the semester! :)

27 September 2010

Wordless... Monday?

Okay, I feel TERRIBLE about having no time to post (or read others' bloggings). And I still don't have time to post (or read). But here are some pics. (I'll be posting more about the rat in a post coming this weekend, I promise!)




I was playing with my macro on the next two pics.





I just snapped this pic randomly but I absolutely LOVE how it came out.

16 September 2010

Magic

Over the last few months, I have been working towards being a more of a practicing Witch. I've said in previous posts that "I don't DO magic. I'm a religious Pagan." And, well, that was true. But I've always felt a little... I dunno. Bad about it, I guess. Magic was something I always intended to do, but I always had trouble with visualizing what I needed to visualize or feeling what I was supposed to feel. It always felt like I was just going through the motions of the spell, with none of the power. I couldn't feel or see or comprehend the energy being raised. It's funny, because the spells I cast usually worked. But I felt so incompetent during the casting, that I just decided to lay off. But I'm trying to get back into the habit. I'm trying to make my life magical. :)

I've been thinking about how magic works. How my magic works. I've been doing a bit of study on psionics, or energy manipulation. I can raise energy between my hands (like I'm holding a ball with two hands), but the moment I take one of my hands away, the energy seems to dissipate. (I do this mostly by feel; I can't see the energy structures.) But in general, my magic requires props. Rocks, or bottles, or a twig, or chanting, or a bit of string, or whatever. I guess, I need something to focus on, something through which I can channel the energy/magical intent I raise. And of course, magic through actions, or living with magical intent: rather like a domestic or kitchen witch, but without the fancy title.

Okay, this is scattered... And not particularly well written. I'm just trying to get my thoughts down. Maybe I'll come back and make it more coherent. Or I won't. ^_^

14 September 2010

Four years

Four years ago today, a new life came into this world. This life came into the world with the name Camden Zachary Taylor M. The life was beautiful (and still is) and shone with the pure light of miracle. He is a blessing. He is a trial. He somehow strengthened my belief in myself and in my religion. He allowed me to be fully myself. He made me whole. Rather, he somehow allowed me to find that part of myself that I was missing, so that I could be complete and happy within myself. I am a better and happier person today, four years later, than I would be if he had not come into my life. And that's the honest truth.

I am glad you came into my life, Camden Zachary, my beautiful son; my son, my sun, the light of my life.


(Pic is from Cam's party we had at my parents' house over Labor Day)

You are not little because you are already grown, playing among your lifetimes as do we all, for the fun of living. You have no birthday because you have always lived; you were never born, and never will you die. You are not the child of the people you call mother and father, but their fellow-adventurer on a bright journey to understand the things that are. Every gift from a friend is a wish for your happiness. . . . Fly free and happy beyond birthdays and across forever, and we'll meet now and then when we wish, in the midst of the one celebration that never can end.
--Richard Bach

10 September 2010

Great assignment

I want to teach elementary music. Unfortunately, I'm going to a school that tends to cater more towards high school band directors. Which means I have to take some classes that will, in all likelihood, be completely useless to me. One of these is a class on marching band techniques. But despite that fact, I rather enjoy the class. Largely in part, because Pete is helping us to find our "style" with very non-musical assignments. Our first was "What car would you be?" (I chose an orange Dodge Charger. One of the older variety, not one of the newer ones.) But the one that I really liked was "design your logo." A logo for a letterhead, website, etc. A pictorial representation of ourselves.

This is what I came up with:


The mother/child are self explanatory, I think. The spiral is a less in-your-face symbol of paganism than a pentacle would have been. The dandelion is for whimsy and child-like abandon. And the fact that the seed-heads are music notes... well, that's just an amazing coincidence. (All these images are very much stolen and likely copy-righted. Oops)

I spent maybe a grand total of 45 minutes on this assignment. The majority of that time was spent looking for the images, with about five minutes for putting them together and making the spiral blue. Despite the small amount of time I spent on this project, I feel a connection with it. Because I think it DOES accurately portray who I am. I don't think a person could look at it and go "That's Sydnii." without knowing what it is. But I think, if I said, "This is my logo." the person would GET it.

So the moral, I guess, is that I should be glad for taking classes that teach me nothing useful as a teacher, and instead help me grow in my understanding of myself. :)

05 September 2010

Computers

I think, if the Christians are right and some of us do end up in Hell, while others go to heaven... I think Hell would be an eternity of fixing computers. Just think: when your computer is broken and you have to send it off to get fixed, where does it go? Obviously, to the bowels of the Earth, where all those poor souls are doomed to an eternity of dealing with broken computers. Or when you're having technical issues, the people you call are probably sitting in cubicles in Hell, doomed to help you with your computer issues.

If that's the case, then my labor day weekend was spent in Hell. lol My parents' desktop stopped working a while ago (something wrong with the internets, so they said) so they bought a new one. And kindly gave me the old one. (Which wasn't working, did I mention?) After around 6-8 hours of face time with the machine, I finally managed to reinstall Windows on it and get everything working.

As if that wasn't enough, the parentals asked me to do a few things with their new computer. And then they were having issues with their digicam.

I'm gonna start charging them for this! Geez.

Side note: School is keeping me MUCH busier than I anticipated. But I'm still hoping to make it around to post once a week. Not getting much blog-reading done, though.

30 August 2010

Tree Meditation

Garden Buddha, statue, meditation position under a large tree with pink flower offering, Wedgwood, Seattle, Washington, USA
Pic by Wonderlane, on Flickr

Today, I was stressed out almost to the point of tears. Not over anything in particular. Just about lots of little things. But I was about to snap. So I set Cam down in front of a movie, and I ran off to my room for some alone time. And some meditation time. 'Cause I needed to chill out.

So I sat down (with a chunk of tumbled sodalite), closed my eyes, and tried to think peaceful thoughts. I was reading last night about a girl who was trying to channel tree thoughts, and it came to me as I was trying to relax that being a tree would be pretty peaceful. So, I imagined I was a tree. With a root system below me and branches spreading out from my head. I was a tree, holding onto the soil, the sun warming my leaves and trunk as the wind made them shiver. Then the thought floated through of a thunderstorm, and suddenly my branches were waving in the wind and I felt the pain as leaves were torn from me. As suddenly as the thought was there, it was gone, and with it, the storm. I became aware of the water seeping into the ground, and I drank it up through my roots. I could feel it as it traveled up my body. It was cool(temperature wise); it was energizing. It had just reached my head/top of my trunk and was starting out into the branches, when David came in and jumped on the bed in front of me.

I didn't close the meditation as I should have. Taking the time to sink away from the tree's form and into my own. He distracted me. So five minutes later, I was still feeling the branches sprouting from my head. haha. I put my hands on my head, where I could feel them, and tried telling them to "go away." David asked me if I had a headache. And I told him I still had branches hanging about. Which made him laugh. Because he could see them ghosting about my head. And on came the jokes about my foliage. Oh, geez. Luckily, the ghostly branches faded away before too long, and even more luckily, the peace and tranquility I felt as a tree has stuck with me.

29 August 2010

Thrift Store + School

School first, I think. Classes have started for the semester, and this semester is going to be CRAZY BUSY for me. I'm only taking 14 hours, but it breaks down into nine classes. Oh, the joys of being a music major, no? A lot of my time is going to be spent in the practice rooms this semester (and next) because I'm taking methods classes, where I learn to play brass, woodwind, and string instruments, and I have a recital coming up in April that I need to prepare for. EXCITEMENT. So I won't be posting much. I'm shooting for once or twice a week. And I won't have time to read everyone else's blogs, which REALLY makes me sad. :( I shall do my best, though!

Thrift Stores!

I adore thrift stores. I try to go into them with no specific purpose, other than to see what I can see. Because, if I have something specific I want, like clothes for Cam or me, or a table, the stores DO NOT have anything. However, I recently won an auction on Ebay that was an athame and a ton of herbs. The herbs mostly came in zip-lock baggies, which made the package smell delightful when it finally arrived. I was absolutely heady from the scent of all these different herbs. But, yeah. Keeping herbs in baggies isn't really ideal. (It's not pretty, you know?) So I headed off to the thrift stores, with the specific purpose of finding smallish glass jars to store my herbs. And I found them! Lots and lots! Which meant I got to enjoy the heady aroma of herbs some more, as I transferred them to the (newly washed/dried) jars.

So now I have a collection of herbs in nifty jars in my witchy cabinet. Perchance I'll get around to taking a picture later in the week.

Love!

26 August 2010

Childhood memories

My childhood isn't very clear in my mind. It wasn't awful but it wasn't great, either, and I've mostly filed it away. I remember places from my childhood. I remember a few people. But actual memories? They are rare. And the memories I do have, I can't put an age to me. I could be one or I could be nine. Like the day I found the cat who would become the mother of on of my family's favourite cats (named Stupid, believe it or not). I remember I found her in the creek, when we (my brother, our cousin, and I) were off exploring. I remember it was Easter, or maybe just around that time, because I tried to feed her a chocolate egg. (She was hungry!) But putting an age to me? I'm fairly certain I was around five, from the image of my brother and cousin. But maybe not.

Two days, no, two moments stand out clearly. One was quite possibly the saddest day of my childhood, and the other the happiest. My birthday, talking to my dad on the phone. We'd just learned the day before that he was being sentenced to prison for vehicular manslaughter (bad car accident). I got to open one of my presents early: it was a bear from the PX I'd been begging the parentals for all year. The other is a few days after my birthday, three years later. Waiting anxiously in the living room. Hearing the truck pull up, dashing out the door in naught but shorts and a tee. My birthday is in December. There was snow on the ground, and ice underfoot. I jumped on my dad and held on for dear life.

I was seven. I was ten. Second grade, fifth.

I got to thinking about childhood memories because one came up out of nowhere as I was walking home today. Classes finally started, and I had a break for lunch, so I decided to make a dash for home to fix a sammich. I walked under a walnut tree, kicking the walnuts as I went, and their scent wafted up to my nose. They say scent is a strong memory aid, and now I'm rather inclined to believe it. Anyway: walnuts. When I was a kid (age: unknown), we would collect walnuts. I dunno from where. But we got them. And we would take them to some place, that was off the beaten path, and kinda creepy, where they would hull the walnuts. My memory: sitting in the truck bed watching the walnuts being hulled. And while this seems rather simplistic... That's because it is. Because I know there's no way I can describe the sun on my face, the cool metal of the truck under my bottom, the smell of the walnuts as they were hulled, the sound of the machine, or what it looked like. It just was. A perfect moment, frozen in time. And kicking a walnut into the street slammed that moment into my head.

20 August 2010

Serial Furniture Movers Anonymous


(Photo not by me)

Is there really an SFMA group? 'Cause if there is, I desperately need to join it.

I am not happy in my apartment unless something has been moved around in the last month. Whether it's something in my bedroom, or Cam's, or something in the living room. I just have to move the furniture around! Maybe, if when I arranged the furniture, I paid attention to feng shui (amazing! I spelled that correctly the first try!), then maybe I wouldn't have this urge every six weeks or so to move furniture. Or maybe I just like new things, and putting my couch in a different spot lets me see it in a new way. Who knows?!

Anyhow, my last endeavor involved moving ALL of the furniture in my living room. Except a lamp. This involves: a loveseat, a futon, a dining table, two dining chairs, a popasan chair, coffee table, large area rug, two end tables, TV and TV cabinet. I also bought a bookshelf, put it together, and added it to my living room decor. The day after this, I was SORE! And I'm still sore! (Moved everything around Monday night.)

But it was totally worth it! Because now I can look out a window while I take my meals. I can quite clearly see both the door and the windows from every chair (just in case of zombie apocalypse). And some how or another, the space just breathes better. (David says its less of a clusterfuck. Nice of him, no?)

Now I can only hope that my back is better by the time I start feeling that itch again. Well, okay. I feel the itch all the time. So, I guess, I can only hope that I'm able to resist the urge to move the furniture until my back is better.

Anyone else have this problem? (The SFM syndrome, not a bad back)

18 August 2010

October?

Yesterday, we had a high of ~75 degrees. No, I'm not kidding. It was FANTASTIC! And somewhat disconcerting. LOL (At some point last night, I woke up FREEZING and had to get up and dig a blanket out of the closet.) It is so odd to think that one moment we are in the depths of summer, then the next we are receiving this fall-like weather. Unfortunately, the cold front didn't hang around for long. We'll be back in the 90's by tomorrow.

This "cold snap" has not helped my longing for Fall and its cooler weather, and (insert list of lovely things about fall here). Ah, well. We must all play the waiting game at some point or another.

16 August 2010

God-form

On Friday, David and I were bored of just hanging around the apartment, so we decided to walk downtown. We went in a few stores (mostly to escape the oppressive heat) one of which was a consignment shop. I don't usually find anything when I go in there (and I generally find it overpriced) and since I've moved away from the downtown area, I haven't been in. But we went in and looked about. And I found a Green Man! Okay, it's a leaf with a face on it, but I'm claiming it to be a Green Man. (Close enough, right) Anyway, if you've been following my blog, you know I've been searching for a god-figure to go on my altar. And this was it.

However, I didn't have any monies on me. And despite my plans to return the next day, debit card in hand, I was absolutely positive it would be gone. (Because that's how my luck runs, sometimes.) So David marched us to the bank to get some money, marched us back, and bought it for me. Because he was absolutely positive it would b gone if I waited, also.

And that is the story of me finding my god statue.



Normally, he's lying down flat, because Cam and I like to bounce around a lot and I worry that he'll fall and break. But I thought I'd sit him up for the picture. My altar is the top of a little cabinet (which used to be painted with sunflowers, but I painted over) where I keep my craft tools: candles, tarot cards, incense, etc. It's not a working altar, though, since it sits on my kitchen counter and is much too high to reach.

13 August 2010

Rocks in my Head

I am fond of rocks. And stones. And pebbles. And boulders. I get it from my mother, I think, although she prefers big rocks to use in landscaping. However, while I'm still living in apartments, landscaping-sized stones aren't much use to me, so I tend to look for smaller rocks.

Today, I decided to go out to the state park and visit the creek. I've been feeling kinda down lately, and I find running water to be soothing and comforting. So off I went! And after battling 1/2 a mile of bugs, mud, spider webs, and washed out bridges, I made it to the creek, where there's supposed to be a water fall. But I guess it's been kinda dry the last week or so, and there wasn't quite enough water for the fall. Which really ruined all my plans! haha

Instead I went exploring down stream, not really planning on finding anything. But, I did! This creek is a goldmine for spiffy rocks and quartz. I found nine chunks of quartz, one of which is a tiny baby (see picture below; I put the wire on it so I wouldn't lose it as easily), and also a piece of quartz that is naturally tumbled. Unless someone happened to lose their tumbled quartz in the creek bed. (For some reason, the tumbled quartz didn't make it into the pic. I found it afterwards, hanging out about five inches away. Go figure.)





This rock (below) was hiding out right around the fall (where the fall should have been). It caught my eye because it was white and angular and was sitting on a grayish area. I picked it up, gave it a look, and was getting ready to put it down, when I noticed the crystals growing in the middle of it. I really want to break it open to see what the rest of the insides look like, but I probably won't, for fear of ruining the crystals. You can't see the crystals that well in the pic, but they're the greyish area in the middle.



And lastly, a picture of a rock that I did not find today, but last week. Remember in my "Vacation" post, I wrote about finding a rock with a heart in it? Well, here it is! I ended up giving this to David. I'm just glad that he's sweet, and as sentimental as I am.

12 August 2010

Freeing Secrets

I had a secret. I carried it with me and kept it close to my heart. I shared it once, with one of my first boyfriends. I was convinced he was the one for me, and I could be safe telling him. I told him and he drew away from me. I learned then, that maybe this secret was too much for anyone else to bear. So I carried it with me and kept it close to my heart. I kept it safe and never told a soul. It was my secret, my burden, my shame. It was my cross to carry (haha). Over time, I was able to forgive myself for the secret. I was able to forgive (or just not care enough to carry the grudge) the others involved. It became just a secret, not shameful, not a burden. Just a secret I carried and kept close to my heart.

In April I met David. We've been dating for three months now. It feels like so much longer. I feel as though I've known him forever. But a few weeks ago, I told him my secret. Part of my secret. My secret comes in parts. He did not turn away from me. Now he shared my secret.

We were talking yesterday about... something. I don't remember. Our conversations don't follow a very logical track sometimes, because we are both think in associations. What starts out as a conversation about dinner ends as a conversation about the merits of one couch over another, with gods only know what other topics in between. Our conversation yesterday ended with me talking about the two people who have betrayed my trust to such an extent that I couldn't forgive them. Not yet. And David asked the most amazing question: Has anyone betrayed your trust before? Did you forgive them? Yes, and yes. My secret. It was a betrayal of trust. And I forgave. I told him the other part of my secret. He knows all of it. And still he didn't turn away.

I had a secret. I carried it with me and held it close to my heart. But yesterday, I set it free. And it feels as though I can breathe for the first time in my life. Perhaps it is still a secret, shared between David and I (and the others invovled), and perhaps I carry it with me still. But perhaps it has decided to just float away and enjoy its freedom elsewhere.

I had a secret; I carried it with me and held it close to my heart. But now, I am free.

09 August 2010

Beginning of the End

What is it about transitional holidays that lead us to thinking about the season they usher in. Imbolc brought wishes of Summer heat and bounty. Dreams of fishing, swimming, and sunburns. Okay, maybe not sunburns. But zucchini, grilled hamburgers, summer storms. Summer road trips, lazy days, beautiful flower gardens.

And now Lammas has graced us with its presence. The first of the harvest festivals. The beginning of the end of Summer. Now new dreams are dancing through our heads. Pumpkin pies, crisp fall mornings, leaves to crunch. Brilliant gold, yellow, and red trees, the start of school and classes, the darkening days. Stews and casseroles, quilts on the bed, thinking of Winter before us.

Is it coincidence that these two holidays fall at the height of the season? Imbolc when Winter is at its coldest and Lammas when Summer is at its hottest? The seasons know their end is near, which seems to make them fight all the harder. And the harder they fight, the more we dream about the coming Spring/Summer or Fall/Winter.

And after all that philosophical stuff, I just have to say... I'm ready for Fall, even if I'm not looking forward to another NEMO Winter.

03 August 2010

Vacation

I've been visiting my parents for the last week or so. It's kinda nice to get out of NEMO with its wet. Of course, I came to SWMO with its HOT and DROUGHT-like conditions. But its nice to see the parentals, and I know Camden always has fun when we're down here. (Plus, I get to take care of dr's appointments.)

Anyway, we decided to do something a bit different for dinner tonight. We packed up some hotdogs + other campfire paraphernalia and took off for the river. We also called up my Aunt and Uncle and invited them to come roast on the riverbank with us. It was only around 98 degrees. Anyway, we had fun splashing around in the water and munching on hotdogs and chips.

And like I do anytime I'm near a place with running water, I looked for holey stones. And I found them! I found EIGHT! Talk about a treasure trove. Maybe it's just the type of rock down around here, or whatever. Now I just need to figure out what I'm going to do with them all! (I think if I manage to have another giveaway anytime soon, I'll put one in that.)

I also found a stone with a heart-shaped indention in it. It's cutesy and adorable and awesome all at the same time. lol

I promise more posts are forthcoming, once I make it back to the drowned lands, I mean NEMO.

27 July 2010

Kids say the darndest things, no?




"I wanna play cowboy. You be cow, Mama"

"Eating hurts! No eat people! Eating people hurts!"



"Mean dinosaurs go in jail" ... "What about the good dinosaurs, Cam?" ... "No. Not good dinosaurs. Only mean dinosaurs go in jail."

"Apple butter, apple butter" (This is funny, because he was sitting in the bath, splashing as he yelled "apple butter" over and over. Even funnier that he won't try it and thinks it's gross "Apple butter, bleh!")


22 July 2010

Animal friends

For the last week or so, Cam and I have had an animal visitor at our place. He just showed up one day and has been hanging out ever since. Who came to call? Our very own praying mantis! I've been calling him Manny; how original, right?

Yesterday, I left the house to get Camden from preschool, and saw Manny on Cam's bike. "Manny," I said, "Cam's gonna want to go to the park, and he's gonna want to ride his bike. You'd better climb back over to the charcoal bag." Of course, praying mantises probably don't speak very good English. But they're excellent at staying still. So he was still there when we got back. And Camden wanted to go to the park, and Camden wanted to ride the bike. Of course.

So I picked up the brush for the grill, and started pushing it at Manny. I was kinda worried he'd fly away (praying mantises can fly, can't they?) or that he'd attack me. After a little convincing, I managed to get Manny onto the brush, and I set him over on the pumpkin plant.

This morning I looked for him, and to my dismay, I couldn't find him. I was certain he'd gotten pissed off and left. An hour or so later, though, I found him hiding under a leaf. Hurrah! Except, now he's hiding somewhere else.

I think I'm attached to this praying mantis. And I think that's unhealthy. lol But it's going to be a sad day when he does decide to fly the coop. I just might cry.

21 July 2010

Little pick-me-ups

I like to do things for myself that make me smile. Generally these things are a bit more, and a bit less, than buying myself a candy bar.

I don't have a printer at home. So when I need something printed, say a paper or some music I've been working on, I'll email the file to myself and print it at school. (Yes, I have a junk drive. Sometimes, though, I can't find it or I think I'll forget it, as I seem to do quite often, so I email. Much safer!) Anyway, it's really boring getting an email from yourself that contains nothing but a file to download. So I write to myself. lol Nothing too in depth or lengthy, because I know how my day is going/has gone. But always a little note that says something along the lines of:

You're beautiful.

Have a wonderful day!

You're better than you think you are.

Smile, because it makes you about ten times as lovely.

You're well on your way to making your dreams come true.


While I generally know what my email is going to say (sometimes, I do forget!) it's still nice. I tell myself these things because they make me smile, and they make me feel good. I also have a habit of telling these things/similar things to my friends or other people that I know well enough to talk to.

So, dear readers. How do you brighten your day? How do you brighten the day of others?

20 July 2010

Rained out

Yesterday morning at a bright and cheery 7.45 in the morning, I left my apartment for school in high spirits. My professor had left some music out for me to pick up, and I was going to work on some arranging. As I sat down in the computer lab and opened Finale (music program) in walks a fellow student with an umbrella? "Is it raining?" I asked him in ABSOLUTE HORROR. Because, you see, I live about a mile away from school -- and I walked. He said no, it's not raining, but it will be. I figured there was nothing to do except finish up my work as quickly as possible and hope to the gods I made it home before it started pouring.

I step out of the music building to a very pleasant cool breeze. Uh oh. I look to the eastern skies -- cloudy, but not too much. My gaze swings over to the western skies, and I kid you not, my reaction was to say (loudly) "Holy shit!" and start running. It was black. Black! At nine o'clock in the morning! Not only that, but it was already sprinkling! "Please, please, please let me make it home!" I begged to whoever would listen.

I'm not quite in shape enough to run all the way home. I think I made it about three blocks before I gave up on the running and settled for a quick walk. Every time I crossed a street, I would look to the west, trying to gauge how fast the storm was coming. And every time I crossed the street, I would pick up my pace and usually utter some expletive or another. lol

Luckily, the gods/weather spirits heard my pleas. It actually stopped sprinkling during my walk home. And the rain didn't hit until I'd been home for about five minutes. And then it stormed. And it stopped. And come nightfall, it stormed some more.

This morning in class, everyone was talking about how they'd stayed up all night because of the storms, listening to the thunder and reports on tornado warnings.

And I slept through it all! As did my mother (who's visiting for a day) and Camden.

17 July 2010

Journaling in July - Page 3



If you've been reading my blog for a while, or if you've gone and read all of my past entries, you know I'm a musician. And if you've done neither of those things.... Well, I'm a musician. I'm entering into my fourth year of music study at college and am well on my way to being an elementary music teacher. Excitement! When I was in high school, thinking about what I wanted to do with my life, all I could think was "music." But I like music and I like children (usually) and elementary music ed seems like more of a "fun" job than, say, working in an office or even teaching high school band. So, in short, this week's spread is my music page, "Music: My soul, my life."

While it's nearly impossible to see in both the small and large picture, there is a poem winding around the treble clef that merges into the eighth note. It reads

Whenever I can't breathe
I can put my music on
The melodies take me away
Making me feel strong

On a high and windy cliffside
All alone and safe
This is where I go
It is my own special place



I can't take credit for the poem. Unfortunately, I can't really give credit for it, either. I found it online and can't remember where. Oops.

Working on the art journal has made me feel really creative. I've started digital scrapbooking. While a few people I've talked to have felt that this is "cheating" as far as scrapbooking goes, I disagree. Especially since these days so many photo memories are digital. Plus, I am far more artistic on a computer with premade fonts and such that can be edited and tweaked in any number of ways than I am trying to do it myself, by hand. Plus, you can get much more scrapping stuff for free in digital form than in non-digital form.

At the moment I have about a dozen pages or so. I'm hoping to do at least 50 (of the entire family, not just Camden) by Christmas and put them on a cd for my parents.


14 July 2010

Blog Buttons

Okay, so I just realised, about 10 months into this blog :), that I don't have a place for my readers to leave their buttons! Don't I feel like a slacker? Yes, yes I do. Anyway, that's what this post is for.

If you want your button on my scrolling blogroll over there ------> leave the code in a comment, or a link to where I can find the code. And I'll add your button!

11 July 2010

Monsters Revisited

It's almost hard to believe that it's been almost six months ago that Camden made friends with his monsters lurking in the dark. And about a month ago, two new monsters joined the party, which brings the count up to four! And you know, he hasn't been afraid of things going bump in the night once since we first spoke to them. He still doesn't care for the pitch black because he can't see, and I can't really blame him for that!

In the same vein of news: I think I'm making some of my own monster friends. Or dragon friends, to be more exact. Earlier this week as I was driving to my parents' house, I saw a cat-sized purple dragon curled up on the dashboard. Not very clearly; I still have some mental blocks against that sort of thing. But I saw him there, saw him raise his head to look at me then lay it back down as he basked in the sunlight. And last night, as I was lying down for bed, I felt something in my hair, up against my head. The visual image I got was a small shadowed dragon, just a little bigger than a mouse, making a nest in my hair. At some point she shared her name with me, and I heard her calling the purple dragon, so I learned his name, too. This morning when I woke up, my hair was a mess! Not knotted or anything, just lying completely in the wrong direction where the little one had been sleeping. lol

So, dearest readers, I ask you: do you have any monsters of your own lurking in the dark? Or in the bright gardens? Or in your cupboards, eating all your food?

10 July 2010

Journaling in July - Page 2

This week, I lost one of my Sisters (not a blood relative, but one who was a member of a group of women on an online community I am a part of) to cancer. Her name was Padra. Her real name was Tricia. We all thought she had beat it. It was breast cancer. I remember some point last year, she had posted about having the breast reconstruction surgery done. And then just last week, or the week before, we all found out she was not doing well. She was moved to a hospice earlier this week and died the same day.

I barely knew this woman. And I cannot help but feel my life is worse for not having known her well; my life is worse because I will never get that chance. Those who knew her, though, always spoke of her smile. She had a smile for everyone. So my journal page this week is in her honour. I only wish that I was slightly more talented (or had any talent at all) when it came to visual arts.

For my Sister, Padra Sedai. The Light shine on you, and the Creator shelter you. The last embrace of the mother welcome you home.



Happy home-going, Sister.

08 July 2010

A little on tarot

While each card has a symbolism and story specific to itself, you can draw the same general symbolism from the card by knowing some basics about the suit and also which number or court card it is.

Suits:

Wands are associated with air. The wands suit deals with career, projects, and inspiration.

Cups are associated with water. This suit deals with emotions, relationships, and creativity.

Swords are associated with fire and deal with challenges, intellect, and ways of thinking.

Pentacles have earth associations and deal with the physical world, money, and resources.

Minor Arcana cards:

The number cards show different situations of every day life.

Aces-new beginnings, opportunity
2-balance duality crossroads, choice
3-full expression of the suit, achievement
4-structure, stability, stagnation
5-instability, conflict, loss, opportunity for change
6- communication, problem solving, cooperation
7- reflection, assessment, motives
8-movement, action, change, power
9-fruition, attainment
10- completion end of cycle

The court cards bring personality to the aforementioned situations. They can represent other people or the querent, or usually just a facet of a person.

Pages-novices, eager, enthusiastic, sometimes shallow; can indicate a message the querent will receive
Knights-extremists, very focused, can be unbalanced or fanatical; may represent fast moving situations
Queen-mature and expressive; one who nurtures; prone to obsession
King-mature and expressive; one who organises and controls external matters, sometimes at the expense of internal or personal matters

03 July 2010

Journaling in July - Page 1



Here's my first page for Journaling in July! It's based around the idea of knot magic (because, as we all know, I'm a fan). Click the photo above for a better view.

The book I'm using is a 6x9 inch leather bound journal with graph paper. It also has a handy bookmark string! You can't really tell from this picture, but I've distressed the long edge of the pages by cutting 3-4 pages at a time with those nifty crafting scissors that cut neat designs. This book is a cross between a journal, a spell book, a prayer book, and a book of shadows.

I started this page by painting some disconnected lines in dark green and purple, then added some dark blue spirals. Then I added the words in yarn/string, the little sayings, magazine clippings, and finally the black yarn around the one. The next few pages in the journal are going to be devoted to, what else, knot magic.

And I already have another idea in mind for my pages this coming week. :) Happy journaling!

02 July 2010

Advertising 2 blogs

So I've been meaning to make this post for a few days, but I've been putting it off in favour of doing homework and being productive! (Yay for me!) And watching 30Rock. (Not so yay for me!)

The first blog (and giveaway!) is one that I found a few months ago called Handmade by Jessica who is a fantastic artist. She's just posted a tutorial on carving stamps! And she's trying to get some knowledge out there about her blog, so she's giving away a few stamps she's made herself (!) to some lucky winner!

And also!

If you happen to be following The Whimsical Cottage you know she's running a blog party.



And if you happen to be participating in said blog party (which involves making pages in an art journal!), you just might be interested in the link above to Jessica's blog so you can possibly win some nifty one-of-a-kind rubber stamps.

Happy creating, either way! :)

What I've learned this day

Today, I learned a very important lesson. One that I'm surprised isn't brought up, as far as I can tell.

Anyway, if you are planning on doing a knot spell that requires you to untie the knots to release the energy...

Don't be a dummy and tie the knots so tight you can't untie them.

... We shall see if cutting the knots with ceremonial sewing scissors releases the energies just as well. lol

30 June 2010

Heritage

Like any good American, I'm a full-blooded mutt. :) I have German and Scottish blood in my from my mother's side (prolly others too), and Welsh blood from my dad's side (and others!) I think I also had ancestors from Norway, although I could just be making stuff up. lol

While my mom and sister have done some work on building a family tree, I've never really cared that much. It was enough for me to know where my roots are. However, learning the stories of how my roots moved from Europe to the US are fascinating. For example:

Four brothers came to the US from Germany looking for, what else, opportunity and the American Dream. However, for one reason or another, they chose to go their separate ways. Each took a different spelling of their name (my line is Stoll) and went off to settle in different parts of the United States.

That is my family history. Other people may have stories of what happened in the civil war or underground railroad or even Revolutionary War. But I don't have any stories like that, not that I've been told, anyway. However, I think the story I do have is AMAZING! I know that when my mom is looking up family members for the family tree, she's tracking down those missing brothers. And sometimes I can't help but wonder, how many other people are our there with this same history, this story of four brothers coming from der Mutterland and going their separate ways with different names?

27 June 2010

Fun Day!

Yesterday, Camden and I had a "fun day." Well, we took a break from the "fun" to go grocery shopping, because that's what we do on Saturday mornings, but the rest was geared towards fun! After shopping, Cam and I went to the park (he rode his bike; I walked) and played until it was too blasted hot to move. So we came back home and played with his cars and read books. He watched a couple of episodes of the Backyardigans.

And in the afternoon, after a lunch of chicken nuggets, we went to the movies! The last time I can honestly remember going to watch a movie was over three years ago, when Meet the Robinsons was in theatres. Oddly enough, that was the last time Camden had been to the movies, too. But Toy Story 3 is out, and having loved the first two, I absolutely had to see it, so I thought it would be a fun treat. Oh, Cam really liked the Toy Story movies also, so I figured he would enjoy the new one, too. ^_^ So we went and enjoyed the movie very much (except that Camden started getting tired about halfway through, and he was also getting bothered with the 3D glasses, and the fact that I was crying like a baby through the whole last half hour. lol)

Once home, we continued our playing until dinner time, when I grilled some hotdogs (Cam's absolute favourites.) I like my hotdogs practically burnt, so I made some that were nice and black, though most of them were normal not-quite-so-charred grilled hotdogs (for Camden.) Except that when I let him pick out his hotdog, he chose one of the burnt ones! It makes me happy to see that he takes after me (and, I believe, his great-uncle Mike.) Dinner was followed by more park time, except that this time we both walked. :)

However, the day was not all fun and games. :( When I gave him his bath, I noticed a razor in the bathtub and moved it to the sink counter, so he wouldn't hurt himself. Well, wouldn't you know it; later on he was messing around in the bathroom, and somehow brought his hand straight down on the blades. He sliced a bit off one of his fingers and bled quite a bit, but no worries. He told me this morning, it was a "little bit better."

One of the better parts of the day, though, was him going to bed. I read him a few books, turned on the night light, covered him up, gave him kisses, and left. Five minutes later I walked by on my way to the bathroom, and we was fast asleep. Can I just say that never happens?

20 June 2010

Solstice (a day late)

The longest day of the year has passed. The Holly King again walks the earth, while the Oak King bides his time in the underworld. This is a time of declination. The days grow shorter, imperceptible amounts each day, as we begin our trek towards Yule. We celebrate a time of abundance, when things are at the height of growth and progression, a height we can only appreciate by thinking back to the depths of winter, and also thinking forward to the same.

Oddly, despite the fact that it is 90 degrees (F) outside, I've been thinking of winter. I suppose it is like how in the depths of winter, I think of summer. I'm not looking forward to winter by any means (for winters here in NEMO are cold and windy and not fun), but I look forward to what it means. That the earth has completed another cycle of the sun. That the wheel has completed another rotation. Another year has gone by. That life gains its meaning from the eventuality of death, and death gains its meaning from life. Life is meaningful to me. In 100 years, I doubt anyone will know my name. But my life gains meaning in the lessons I've learned and the values I've passed/will pass on to my children. I can take all that with me, for I believe in the continuity of the soul, of harboring many lifetimes of lessons. (Which, of course, we forget the moment we're reborn. Quite unfair!) Our lives mimic the seasons. We are born in the depths of winter, by spring we are beginning to blossom with our physical, emotional, and mental developments, in summer we are young and fertile and growing, in fall we enjoy the bounty of our summer in the form of children and life accomplishments, and in winter, just as we were born, we die.

But, for now, it is summer and the Earth is glorious in her youth. Happy Solstice (one day late ^_^)

16 June 2010

Loving a Silent Child

In my head, I call Camden my Silent Child. Although he is fully aware and comprehending of the world, it is still hard for him to express feelings, thoughts, anything abstract. He can tell me the color of something almost all the time (he has trouble with the color grey, who woulda thunk it?), he can tell me what something is (sometimes surprising me at his knowledge), he can count. He can even pretend. He likes to cook playdough foodstuffs, if he's wearing his fireman outfit, he'll put out fires. Last week he was in his bath, and I heard him making his bath toys talk to each other: he'd never done that before.

My Silent Child. He talks. He tells me very basic things about his day. He tells me if he wants something, what he wants. Last night he asked me something and said "pleasepleasepleaseplease" which made me laugh, because he'd never done it before.

He's further along than he was. But his progress is still happening at a snail's pace. He's four years old; strangers should be able to understand what he's saying more than half the time. I can only understand him (without him repeating what he says over and over again) about half the time. People who don't know him or don't spend very much time around him have almost no chance of understanding what he's saying. While this is hard for me, not being able to understand my child, I can only surmise how difficult and frustrating it must be for him, to not be understood. And the worst part is that there's nothing I can do about it that I'm not already doing. Reading books, playing word games, speech therapy, praying, asking the gods for assistance. My Silent Child, who is slowly finding his sounds.

I don't know why I posted about this, except that it's been running through my head for the last week though, my worry over his speech. And writing is cathartic.

14 June 2010

I be versatile!



Yep, that's right. I got the versatile blogger award. Like a week and a half ago. Oops. I'm a slacker, what can I say? It came from the always lovely inannasstar over at Ramblings of a Domestic Goddess. And a thousand and one thanks to her! :)

The rules for " The Versatile Blogger" award are:

1. Thank the person who gave you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic!
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.
( Rules are flexible, in case you're not good with rules!)

Now for my seven facts... Hrm.. This could take a while...

1. I love dancing in the rain. Of course, this includes jumping in puddles and just standing in downpours.

2. My favourite pizza topping is ham/canadian bacon with pineapple. It's delicious!

3. One of my favourite books is Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank. It's a post-apocalyptic book based on what would have happened if the world used nuclear weaponry. Come to think of it, about 60% of my favourite books are survival-type books, where a character is stranded in the wilderness, or there's been some horrible catastrophe and civilization as we know it no longer exists.

4. I HATE long showers. They are pointless, waste water and energy, and are just dumb. What is the fun of standing in hot water for 30+ minutes while doing nothing? Sorry, but I'll get my kicks somewhere else, thanks. (Same goes for baths.)

5. I wish I baked more. I love baking, and I love eating stuff that I've baked. But, well, I'm trying to get into shape before I keel over while chasing Camden around the yard. Which means I'm choosing not to eat cookies every day... However much I'd like to. That, and it's too hot to turn the oven on.

6. I know where there's a waterfall. In NE Missouri. It may only be about 3 ft high, but it's still a waterfall!

7. I'm afraid of cows. If they're on the other side of a fence I can deal, but being on the same side of a fence with a cow, or especially with more than one, makes me really nervous. I blame this entirely on a dream I had way back when. In the dream, a bunch of cows were chasing me, so I climbed a tree to escape them. Well, I escaped them, but then they started taunting me. Calling me chicken and telling me to jump down so they could trample me. And, if you follow my blog, you know that sometimes my dreams have a tendency to come to pass, so I'm always terrified any cow I see is going to chase me up a tree and start heckling me. lol

Here is where I'm supposed to nominate people. But I'm not going to. However, if you're reading this, and the last fact about me made you laugh, I will gladly pass this award on to you. :)

13 June 2010

Dreams

I've had two dreams in the last month where I woke up while trying to protect Camden from some danger or another. The first was a zombie apocalypse dream, the second was a tornado. While I realise zombies don't exist and could in no way endanger Camden, that dream really freaked me out, aside from the fact that I'm terrified of zombies. In the dream, I had just left him with some people while I went for help, and then I woke up. And all I could think was, "Oh, gods, I left Camden!" The feeling of abandoning a child is not a fun feeling. This morning I awoke from a dream that a tornado was coming and I was huddled over Camden in a closet, trying to protect him. Waking from this dream wasn't nearly as horrifying as the first, probably because I had still been with him in the dream.

And then the thought occurred to me: Do our dreams end when we wake? Yes, they end for us, but do they continue on their own? Are dreams really made up by our subconscious, or do we somehow jump into a dreamworld when we sleep? (And, yes, I realise I'm being rather silly by speculating on this. I just think it's a neat thought.) In my dreams, I can always recognize my parents' house, although it looks nothing like my parents' house in real life. And from dream to dream, year to year, the dream house does not change. In my dreams, I can recognize my high school, although it, too, is nothing like my actual high school. Other buildings and places, too, but those two stand out the most in my memory. The only time I can remember a dream being exactly like real life is during one of those moments when I realise "I've dreamed this."

But, like my parenthetical said, I'm just being silly and speculating and theorizing about something that is rather unlikely.

On a side note, I've started reading Way of the Goddess, and while some of the exercises and meditations are interesting, the rest of it is not really my cup of tea. Ah, well, I'll continue on and see if it changes. :)

09 June 2010

New Books

When I was at my parents' house, my mom gave me a bunch of books to sell at Hastings. Originally, I had planned to sell for cash, but I found a couple of books that I didn't mind spending 'ghost' money on.

One of these is by Scott Cunningham, Earth, Air, Fire, & Water: more techniques of natural magic. I love, love, love Cunningham's books. Even with their strong Wiccan flavour. He had a new book published last year, did you know? They found the manuscript in his things after he died. It's an American Traditionalist's Book of Shadows. Now, I'm not usually drawn to published books of shadows, but seeing one by him, and thumbing through it, I have to say I was tempted. Mayhaps one of these days when I'm looking to spoil myself.

The other book I found was Way of the Goddess by Ann-Marie Gallagher. Like any neo-pagan book, it contains the usual: exercises/meditations, spells, rituals, brief history. Actually, now that I have it, I'm not entirely sure why I bought it, except that at the store, I knew I had to have it. And let me tell you, I am NOT an impulse shopper. In fact, I carried it around with me for twenty minutes or so while I looked at other books, which is normally the amount of time it takes me to go, "I don't really need/want this." But that thought never crossed my mind. It still hasn't. I'm glad I bought it, I just don't know the exact reasons why.

06 June 2010

What is needed

This morning, Cam and I were out sitting on our porch/overly large step enjoying the air. It was light and chill, but damp with the morning's dew. Camden was playing with a cafe rod, meant to be hung with curtains in his room, but since the curtains have yet to be made, it is his walking stick. His idea, not mine. He went off to the sidewalk with his stick, and was turning in a circle saying "Go away wet" or some such. I smiled to watch him, and asked, "Camden, are you doing magic?"

And you know what he says to me? "No. Me no have wand." And I couldn't help but laugh. My son, the ceremonial magician.

I don't have many tools for working magic. Well, as I've said before, I don't work much magic, so I don't need many tools. :) But I have some crystals, I have a small (copper?) cauldron, and I have a chalice. Oh, and a broom that stays in my car. (So I can say I took my broom to the store. haha) When I was younger and first starting out in the Craft, I just knew I had to have an athame, a bolline, a wand, and whatever other tools the books told me were absolutely necessary to have. But, I was in the closet. And I was poor. And I was selective. And so it has taken me nearly ten years to amass a grand total of zero tools, not counting my cauldron and chalice. One of these days, I might just find the perfect knife. I might just find the perfect stick to make into a wand. I might fill a large leather-bound tome with all the "secrets of my Tradition" and call it my Book of Shadows (or Grimoire, which I find to be much more Romantic-sounding.) For now, though, I guess I'll just make do.

And giggle at the temerity of my son, the Proper Witch.

05 June 2010

Familiars

I'm going to start the post off by saying: oh my goodness I am a slacker! And I just haven't had anything to talk about, really. Ah, well. Such is life, right?

The topic of familiars is well known throughout the pagan community, I would think. So I'm not going to waste my time, or yours, explaining what a familiar is and all that. I've never had a familiar. That isn't to say, though, that I haven't developed a close bond with any particular animal.

Several years ago, about five or six, a black cat showed up at my parents' house. Not an unusual occurrence, since my parents live out in the middle of nowhere and people who decide they don't want their pets for whatever reason seem to think that dropping them off in the middle of nowhere is the best option. But this cat, I believe, was special. I'd seen him wandering about a time or two, and then one day as I was driving home from school, I saw him walking alongside the road. And since I'd always wanted a black cat, I stopped, hoping I'd be able to catch him. Wouldn't you know, he came right to me? He let me pick him up, take him to my truck, and drive the rest of the way home with him on my lap.

I never got around to naming him, or I could never find a name that fit him, so he became Cat. (A few years after Cat showed up, another black cat started coming around, one who looked just like Cat, except his face was a bit more triangular. Whenever I saw him, I'd say "Hey Cat" then realise it wasn't Cat and I'd say "You're not Cat!" Guess what his name is? Uh-huh. Not-Cat.) I would say that Cat and I have a bond that, while maybe not magical, is something more than what I've shared with any other animal that I knew. I wasn't able to bring him with me when I left for college, but I knew that he would be miserable cooped up in an apartment and unable to go out in the woods and terrorise birds and mice.

I've been at my parents' for the past week (which is part of the reason for my not posting after my "return") which meant I got to see a lot of Cat. He's no longer pure black. He's starting to get white hairs here and there, which means he's getting old. Which makes me doubt that he'll ever come live with me. I am still stuck in an apartment, and even when I get a job somewhere in a few years, I will likely still be stuck in an apartment and not a place he would enjoy living. I know my parents appreciate him (I think he's their favourite) but I miss my Cat and want him to live with me. Aside from that, though, I doubt I'll find another animal, feline or otherwise, with whom I have such a rapport.

27 May 2010

Dreaming

I feel as though I am living a dream. Not in the sense that my life is working out perfectly and everything is amazing; I feel as though I am drifting. My sense of time is all out of whack. My sense of focus and drive and purpose, also. Is this what happens to people who have nothing to occupy their time? Even when I try to be purposeful about something, it seems to always get pushed aside for something just a bit more whimsical. Why unpack when I could be with friends? Why organise and sort when I could be outside playing ball with Cam. Why blog when I could be reading a book?

Maybe because it's summer. Maybe because classes are over. Maybe because despite the move, this has not been a week for focusing on things outside of myself. (A yellow jacket stung my ankle Sunday morning, and my foot was quite swollen and painful up until last night.)

Tonight is the full moon. I hope that the comfort of ritual will snap me back to myself. Purpose. Drive. Direction.

26 May 2010

I'm baack!

My computer has made it home! I picked it up on Monday, but I've been busy moving and haven't had a chance to post, or even get online for much more than a quick email check. However, as of today, I am officially moved in to my new place; I just have the unpleasant job of unpacking and the somewhat more pleasant job of hanging pictures and whatnots on the walls.

Okay, so I had plans for this to be a bit longer, but my mind is wandering. Hopefully I'll have a chance to make a real post tomorrow. Until then. :)

19 May 2010

LAZY

Okay, so it's officially summer for me, and let me tell you: I have checked out. Unfortunately I seemed to include the blog in things I was checking out of. Of course, I've also been busy with packing and cleaning (moving next week!) and also with general laziness. And I'm about to be without computer for at least a week. Anyone know a spell to keep a powerjack from going all wonky? (This is about the 4th time I've had to have it fixed)

In the less mundane and every day news, a day or two ago, a friend gave me a deck of Gilded Tarot cards and a companion book. We were talking about tarot readings, and I had said that I've done a few, but I didn't really know what I was doing. And the next thing I know, he's handing me a deck and this book. How neat! So I'll be spending my week or so without computer (and internets) learning me some tarot. Well, it will probably take longer than that, but at least I'll be able to make some good headway.

16 May 2010

Just a quote

We have not passed that subtle line between childhood and adulthood until we move from the passive voice to the active voice -- that is, until we have stopped saying ''It got lost,'' and say, ''I lost it.'' - Sidney J. Harris

15 May 2010

Yardsale!

Hi, my name is Sydnii, and I'm a yardsale addict.

And I just so happened to come across a HUGE one yesterday. It was actually more of a rummage sale, but that's only if you're being nit-picky. I'm glad I stopped by. I found two flower pots (because I really needed some /sarcasm), a skirt, a cute summer dress, some candle plates, a book for Camden, and an audio book for Camden when he's a bit older (it would be awesome if I could find the print version for him, too.)

And, why, exactly, am I blogging about the yardsale I found? Well, because it was sponsored by a pro-life group. And I am vehemently pro-choice. So from the time I heard about the sale (about Wednesday night thanks to a local Yahoo group I'm a member of) to the time I actually decided to go, I did a lot of flip-flopping on the decision of whether I should go or not. Because, as woman who believes in having control over her body, wouldn't it be hypocritical of me to give my money to a group who, in general, prefers to disallow women to make their own choices?

No. I don't think so. Because I remembered back to four years ago, when I *ahem* made the choice to be a mother. During my pregnancy, I went to a pregnancy support center once a week to take "pregnancy/parenting" classes. I got points for various things, usually "homework," which I got to then spend in their store area, which had baby clothes, blankets, maternity clothes, etc. It was really an invaluable resource for me during that time. And after I had Camden, I often donated his old clothes to the center. The support center was very pro-life. And yet they still helped me, if only because I chose to be a mother.

I like to imagine that the money I spent at this yard sale is going to a center like the one I went to. One that helps girls and women who have no idea what to do with themselves, one that gives shelter to teenagers who have made mistakes that their parents can't or won't accept. And I can only hope to the gods that my money is not going to help fund a group that stoops to murdering doctors who perform abortions.

13 May 2010

Observations

In my quest to be a music teacher, I have to jump through a few hoops for the university. One of these hoops is doing 55 hours of observation. 10 in elementary, 10 in middle school, 10 in high school, 10 in special education, and 15 where ever I choose to spend them. Considering that I switched to an education major near the end of the last winter semester and I have to have all 55 hours completed before I take my clinical experiences course (next spring), I was a little worried I wouldn't get it done. Most people have from their freshman year onward to get it done. I have less than a year.

But after this week, I only have about 14 hours left, 10 of which will include my high school observation hours. I've spent the last four days observing different middle school music classes (rock history, choir, band, and general music) as well as the special education program at that middle school. It was exhausting! And also fulfilling. I did very little actual teaching (because I wasn't there to do that) although I did point some of the percussionists in the right direction (because they were having issues playing cymbals, triangle, bass drum... pretty much everything) and I got to conduct the 8th grade band while the band director filled in on the tuba part. Despite that (doing very little teaching) I got a chance to see what I could possibly be doing in two year's time. And that is awesome.

10 May 2010

A Little Knot Magic for Lost Things

I don't normally do spells. Perhaps that's an odd thing for a witch to admit, but there it is. I just don't usually have any reason. If I'm worried about my grades, I study, if I'm worried about making money, I start looking for a job. Sometimes magic is useful to get a witch into that mindset, but usually, I don't need it.

Until I lose something.

I lose things all the time. And generally find them in the damnedest places. Once I lost my television remote for more than a week, only to find it in plain site on top of the TV stand. *grumble* Tomorrow, I'm taking Camden to the circus and I want to take pictures. But my camera battery was low, so I was looking for the charger. Could. Not. Find it. Despite the fact that a few weeks ago it had been floating around on my living room floor. (Yes, I live in a messy and cluttered apartment. Bad me.) I looked *everywhere* in my apartment for this thing. And finally decided to do something I rarely do: a spell. And more than that, it was knot magic.

A little knot magic for lost things
Cut a piece of string or cording (I used white cotton yarn because it's what I had handy) to a length of about 12 inches. Some people get really technical with the 9 inches or 13 inches. However, I just snip snipped. ^_^

Throughout the rest of the spell, visualize finding your lost object and what you'll be using it for (why you want to find it.)

In the middle of the cord, tie a knot, reciting,

What was lost, shall be found.
With this knot, it is bound.

Tie a knot on one end while reciting the couplet again.

And a third knot on the other end, again reciting the couplet.

Tie the cord loosely around your wrist until you happen to find what you're looking for.

Once you find your object, remove the cord. Then do something with it. Some people suggest burning it, others suggest keeping it. Right now, mine is hanging out with my goddess-figure on my altar.


I ended up finding the battery charger about 20 minutes after I performed this little impromptu spell. In the back seat of my car, hiding under some papers. Go figure.

Happy knotting!
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