10 October 2012

my son the hero

I missed making a post for Camden's birthday, which was almost a month ago.  He turned six.  We had a minimally ninja themed party (ninja cupcake toppers and a homemade ninja pinata) at my parents' house.  It was fun!  Why am I bringing up his birthday now?  Partially because of something he did yesterday, and partially because of something he did in late August/early September.

I'll start with what he did a while ago.

We were walking into Walmart to do our grocery shopping, and he saw a poster for The Lorax, the movie. He wanted to know what it was... So I told him the gist of the plot... A person is cutting down trees and the lorax is trying to save them... And at some point in this, I mentioned that it is kind of telling about the Amazon rain forest.

Camden looked at me, and he got a little teary-eyed.  "I want to help the rain forest," he told me.  I told him there are places we can donate money, and they will use that money to help protect the rain forest.  He then said "I want to do that for my birthday!"  So this year (one of) my birthday present(s) to him was a $25 donation to the World Land Trust.  I tried to find an inexpensive jaguar or other rain forest animal to attach a card telling him about the donation and what it is going to, but couldn't find an animal and figured that since he isn't reading yet, it wouldn't make quite the same impression.

Last Tuesday was the first day he could check out a book from the school's library, and I'm sure you can imagine what his first choice was... The Lorax!  Astonishingly, we hadn't picked it up at the public library in this time.  Nor had we ever read it.  (He did watch the movie with my mom, though, shortly after our conversation at Walmart.)  So we read it that night.  And the next.  And the next.  Every night.

Monday, he took it back to school so he could check out a new book on Tuesday.  We got home on Tuesday, and I remembered it was library day so I asked him excitedly what book he checked out.  I opened his backpack and pulled out... The Lorax.  My kid is a riot.  :)

Anyway.  He seems to enjoy this book greatly, and it reminds him of the Amazon rain forest, which desperately needs some help.  I'm going to buy him this book for Yule, and use it as a log for donations that he makes or donations made in his name to the rain forest.

It's my hope that he remains an advocate for the rain forest, and for wild lands everywhere.  It is my hope that in the future, he will read The Lorax to his own kids and inspire them to champion their own causes.

02 October 2012


It was a good morning, despite waking up earlier than I wanted.  I got me and Cam dressed.  I made his lunch.  I helped him play some computer games.  I fixed us breakfast.  We almost had a meltdown about Camden wearing a coat, but then we agreed that he could wear his (lightly padded for warmth) rain jacket.  Got him out to the car with his backpack, homework, and lunchbox.  Buckled him in.  Opened the front seat..

And my wallet is laying out of my purse, with my driver's license next to it.


My glove boxes are both wide open with all my papers thrown everywhere.


Our iPod is gone.


Last night Camden wanted to play outside, so I unlocked the car to get my hoodie out of the back.  Aaaannnnd.... I forgot to lock it.

Thankfully, the bleepity bleep(s) who broke in only took my iPod.  I didn't have any cash, and they didn't find my debit card.  I thought I had a book of checks stolen, but remembered when I was in at the bank that I had brought my checkbook into the house last week.

I went to the police department and filed a report.  I went to the bank to get a new check card (just in case).  I've locked my car.  I've hexed the person who stole it, may they be in a state of agony every time they lay eyes on what is mine!

I never thought this would happen... But people never do, do they?  I live in a small town.  I know of several people who never lock their car.  I lock mine every night.  Every night!  Except for this one time that I forgot.  How cruel.

It isn't even the loss of the iPod that gets me riled up... Just the thought that someone, ANYONE, could so violate another person's property like this.  My protection spells on my car have always been against physical damage: crashes and broken windows and the like.  Why would I think to protect it against someone just... opening the door?

I am on edge and slightly stressed out.  And frustrated.  And angry.  I was panicked before I went to the bank, but after I realised they didn't get any of my financial information, the panic subsided.

Even if, somehow, I get my iPod back (not likely, however much I curse them)... How can I get back the feeling of security?  The feeling of peace?  What was someone doing lurking in the freaking dark around my house (which is in a private-ish area)?  Are they looking in my windows, too?  Did they try my door?  They looked at my license.  Do they know my name?  Will they come back?

Why didn't they take the charger, too?

25 September 2012


I am going to be a teacher. I may have said that before on this blog. I might not have. At one point I thought I was going to be an elementary music teacher, then I realized my college was trying to teach me how to be a band director and nothing about how to teach general music to the kiddos. So last October, two months before my undergrad graduation, I changed my path to gen-ed.  A regular old classroom teacher.  But, hey, I will get to teach reading and writing, science!, math, social studies.

Last week I got my internship placement.  I was (and still am) so excited.  I couldn't stop grinning for about 24 hours afterward.  I can't wait.  I get to stay here in Kirksville to do it, which is great, because I won't have to worry about having to transfer Camden in the middle of the school year.  I'll be working with 2nd graders, which is the grade I have been leaning towards teaching.  Although so far I've had a pretty narrow range of kiddos that I've worked with, so I'm not really sure what it's like to work with the older kids, like in 4th or 5th grade.  Anyway!  I start in January and end in May.  I'll only really be teaching full time for about a month in the middle of that time, but I will be in the classroom for all of it, teaching at least some during the entire time.

And after that... After that, I will be a fully certified teacher.  Ready to go out and shape young and impressionable minds.  Imagine!

Just a little update on the awesomeness that is my life right now.  ^_^

10 September 2012

Harry Potter

I re-read the Harry Potter series over Christmas break. Eight months ago. I recently acquired the audio books, because I thought they would be good for car trips and the like. Little did I know, I would once again be sucked into the world of Harry Potter. And even more little did I know, so would Camden. We've listened to books 1 and 2, and are on the second to last chapter of book 3, now.

Last week, Camden decided he had to have a wand. Why? I don't have any idea. But he absolutely had to have one. So I made him one using this instructable. A wand from a sheet of paper and hot glue! Who knew?! But he didn't like it. Apparently, wands are supposed to have bends in them. Like a stick of wood. The other day we were outside, and Camden found a stick he wanted to use for a wand. Then... He had to have the rest of the costume. So I looked. And looked. And shopped. And price-matched.

And everything was pretty expensive! I am NOT made of money, however much I might want to be. (Plus, his birthday party was last weekend, and I may or may not have overspent.) So I found a tutorial for wizard robes that said it could be done by cutting an XL t-shirt up the front. Voila! I happened to have a black XL t-shirt. Then we ran to dollar tree and found some reading glasses of close to the right shape. We popped out the lenses and tah-dah.

Harry Potter!

05 September 2012

my summer and my return

I left the blog behind this summer. For a variety of reasons. Mainly because my life has been crazy busy. I have been living and writing my "story." In June I was teaching summer school (third grade). In July I was taking classes. In the first week of August (or the second week, maybe), Camden, my mom, and I were roadtripping. We visited my brother, who is in Ft. Knox, KY and my sister, who is in Atlanta, GA. We got home with a day to relax before Camden started Kindergarten.

The secondary reason is that this blog started out as my own religious meanderings, and now that I've finally settled down into a religion of sorts, I've been wondering what to do with this. Granted, it hasn't been a religion/spirituality-focused blog in quite a long while: not since I changed to "One Witch's Story." So this summer, in the midst of my hectic life, I've been debating whether or not to shut down my blog. But... something happened a few weeks ago that made me want to keep trying on this blog. Return it not only to telling my story, but to the religious/spiritual meanderings on which it started. What has sent me scurrying back to my blog (aside from the free time I've found in a 14 credit-hour semester)? It was something Camden said.

We were talking about god, specifically, the Christian god and how he isn't exactly a benevolent being. And we talked about Thor (who he, admittedly, views more as a superhero than a god, thank you pop culture), and the Oak and Holly Kings, and a little about the goddess. And why I/we worship them as opposed to the Christian god. I told Camden that I'm a pagan, so I can believe in more than one god, unlike some of his friends who are Christians and only believe in one. I told him that he could choose what he wanted to be, and he said "I want to be Pagan." Which, in turn, makes me want to be a "better" Pagan, so I can help guide him. So, with lots of luck, I will return to my blog on a more regular basis! And write about Pagan-y topics, as well as telling my story.

I found a kitten hiding under our dumpster in June. He's now a member of our family, though sometimes he drives us crazy. Camden named him Rock Leone.

We made a trip to the zoo in St. Louis! 'Twas awesome... and ridiculously hot!

On the way to Georgia!

This is a picture from our time in Georgia, at the Fernbank Natural History Museum.

And, of course... Camden's first day of school. He didn't really want his picture taken, but I took it anyway, because I'm mean like that. ^_^

12 May 2012


Last time we were at my parents', Camden asked my dad to build him a boat. And every time he asked, my dad said he didn't know how. We're here now for part of my summer vacation, and it seems my dad was busy while we were gone... He built Camden a boat!
He had to go to every patch of lily pads and check them out. He really wanted to get out of the boat and sit on the lily pad, but we convinced him that the lily pad wouldn't hold him.
We don't have a life vest for him yet, so my dad waded out in the water and followed after him. Just in case, you know. But as soon as we have a life jacket for him, we'll be able to watch him from the bank and he can paddle all over the pond!

21 April 2012

Easter Weekend

Yes, I realise Easter was a week ago. I feel that I should mention that at the moment I'm finishing up my first semester of Graduate school, so life is crazy busy. Plus, while this Easter holiday is filled with fun memories, it also holds a very sad one for us.

The sad news first. My rat Gus died. I of course knew it would happen. Death comes to us all, no? And I expected it. He's been losing weight and slowing down since December. But he lived to a ripe old age of 3-3.5 years. He's been with us since November 2011, and I like to think that I gave him a happy end to his life, with the love of me and Camden, and also the companionship of Robin. Saturday (the 7th) night I held him while I sat outside on my parents' porch swing and read. I snuggled with him Sunday morning, also. I knew he was close, but I didn't expect it. Not really. I went to town, and when I came home, he was gone. I buried him in my parents' orchard, which is close to the garden I've planted there. He's "just a rat" and I only knew him for a year and a half. But I loved him. And I miss him. He was such a snuggle bug. And now Robin is alone, which is terrible for him, I know. I'm giving him as much freedom and time with me and Camden as I can, since I can't bring myself to get another short-lived rattum to keep him company. Is that selfish of me? Probably.

And so I can end this post on a happier note: We did have a lot of fun at my parents the days we were there.

Saturday, Camden and I helped my dad get the garden in. He's trying a new thing this year: raised beds using stock tanks. He planted green beans and zucchinis in them, hoping it will be easier to harvest them. And since I'm fresh out of home-grown canned green beans, I say more power to him! And if it saves his and my mom's backs, even better.

Planting corn with my dad's fancy corn planter.

Planting a garden is hard work! Naps afterward are always nice.

We also went to Haha Tonka State Park. I was hoping to see the bats fly out of the cave at dusk, but unfortunately, I should have done my research first! Apparently the bats were still hibernating, and we saw nary a one. We did have fun picnicking at the cave, and walking a shortish (3/4 mile) nature trail with my mom, who never goes for that sort of thing because of her knees. Amazingly, we even got my dad to go with us, even though I think he would have rather stayed at home. (But I'm pretty sure he had fun, even if we didn't get to see any bats.)

A jack-in-the-pulpit. This is the only place I've ever seen one.

Me and Cam and Molly. I have zero idea what he's looking at. *cough*weirdo*cough*

Walking the trail. I cut through a grassy area to get ahead of them to take the picture. Camden got on to me for it :(

Dad jumped out from behind a tree and (tried to) scare us. We'd been hearing him making owl sounds since about halfway through the trail, so I wasn't that surprised. Funny story: He was making owl sounds to mess with us, and then an actual owl started answering him. I think he and Cam are listening for the owl in this picture.

The bat cave! The entrance is in a sink hole, so you have to walk down a bunch of stairs to get to it. They've posted three or so thermometers along the way so you can see how the temperature changes as you go down the steps. So nifty. We're going to try to catch the bats when we're back in the area in mid-May. Wish us luck!

03 April 2012

the princess and the peas

Sunday night I had the opportunity to rescue my neighbour's girlfriend. Kind of. I had put Cam to bed, and was enjoying my alone time while browsing Pinterest. At least, I was until I heard what (I imagined to be) a person being thrown to the ground and start crying. After going through the possibilities (zombies, thieves/plunderers, domestic dispute between my neighbour and her boyfriend who live across from me, or something else) I decided to brave the unknown and poke my head out my door. It was not zombies, or thieves, or my neighbour's boyfriend beating up on her, but what appeared to be a basket of laundry spilled across the grass and sidewalk. That would explain the sound I thought. The door to the apartment next to mine was open, and that was where the crying was coming from. I knocked and called in, "Are you okay?" She answered, but I couldn't tell what it was she said. I walked through the house, idly musing that it was a mirror image to mine. She was in the back bedroom sitting on the floor with the lights off. I turned on the lights and looked her over, but I couldn't see what was wrong. "What happened?" Apparently, she had been carrying laundry to her car and stepped off the porch wrong. She told me she heard something snap. I winced inwardly, having just recently done about the same thing (I sprained my ankle pretty badly right before Valentine's day). Quickly, I ran back to my place for a bag of ice. Except, I don't have ice. Or an ice pack. I did, however, have some frozen peas. I poured those into a Ziploc bag, wrapped it in a dish cloth, and ran it back over to her. "Do you have a phone to call your boyfriend?" I asked her. She did; that was what she was after before I came over. While she called her boyfriend, I stepped out to give her some privacy (partly because she started crying again when she told him what had happened) and decided to pick up her laundry for her. After I made sure her boyfriend was coming to help her, I told her I picked up her laundry, closed her front door, and walked the few steps back to my place. And I sat there wondering if she'd just sprained her ankle or if she'd broken it. A few minutes passed and I heard her boyfriend's Jeep pull up, and the sounds of him helping her to her car, then them both leaving. This morning, I saw her boyfriend and asked him how she was. He said it was just a sprain. Thank goodness for that!

12 March 2012


Last week, I mentioned that I pulled my bow out and was shooting it. And that Camden was jealous and wanted to shoot, too.

Well, now he can!

Lookit, lookit! He has a bracer, too. And tiny arrows. He was so excited when I was opening the package; he was literally jumping up and down.

We're still working on proper stance.

A huge thanks to Bogaman for the totally awesome bow. Camden loves it!

02 March 2012

spring break, finally!

Spring Break! *cue McDonald's music* I'm lovin' it!

So far, it's been a pretty exciting break, for all that it's only been three days.

On Saturday, I attended a marimba competition (to watch, not compete). It was amazing! The best part: five of my friends were competing (though none placed) and the majority of the percussion studio from Truman were there to a) support those competing and b) they were the featured ensemble for the concert that night! The featured marimbist/guest judge was Mark Ford, who is a pretty big name in the marimba world. It was a great day of competition, and a fantastic concert that night! My only regret is that I'm no longer a part of the studio, and I wasn't on stage performing with them.

Yesterday, I pulled my bow out of storage. Since I can successfully do push ups, I thought shooting might be a tad bit easier than it was five-six years ago when I was first learning. (Note: I haven't shot in those five-six years.) I was surprised at how easy it was. Not that I was getting bulls-eyes or anything like that, but I was hitting the target more often than not and from further away than I was shooting before.

Camden was helping me by being my quiver. He'd hand me the arrows and help me fetch them. (I sent him after the once that missed the target. I'm lazy. I know.) He really wanted to shoot the bow. But at a 45 pound draw, that just wasn't happening, though he tried several different times. Poor guy.

After shooting today, he decided that he wanted to go deer hunting. So we took the bow and arrows and went for a walk in the woods. Climbed a tree; threw some rocks and sticks into the ponds; looked for some wild animals, but saw none.

Tomorrow, we're off to explore a cave! I say explore like we're strapping on head lamps and knee pads and crawling into some dark crevice... But, really, we're visiting a cave with nice smooth paths, hand rails, lights, and guided tours. It will be exciting anyway! Prolly more so than dark crevice exploration, considering that I have a great fear of enclosed dark places.

16 February 2012


Have I posted about camping before? Possibly; it's on my mind a surprising amount. So, if I have, and if you've already read about it, I'm sorry. This might be more of the same. (But then, it might be entirely different! Who knows!)

When I was a kid, my family would go camping all the time. At least two times a year. Wow, okay, maybe that's not all the time. But still, it was a big part of my life growing up, and I always looked forward to it. We did what I refer to as "real camping." We didn't pay to stay in a managed campground. Excepting the last few years, we didn't bring a camper. We mostly cooked over the camp fire. The first few things we did on arriving at the campsite was mow the grass and dig a latrine. (Well, the first few thing my dad and brothers did. I jumped in the river!)

I miss those lazy weekends on the river, where the only worry was cottonmouths. (Hmm.. That's kind of a big worry, now that I think of it.) I miss spending the day trekking from camp, to the river, back to camp, back to the river. I miss the cheap soda we bought to bring along. I miss the frustration of putting up a tent with it's stupid bendy poles that never seem quite bendy or quite long enough. I miss the early mornings and watching steam rise off the river and the fish jumping for bugs.

I've finally decided that I am going to go camping again. Camden is old enough to truly enjoy it, I think. I'm finally brave enough to try doing it on my own. (Probably the biggest thing that has been holding me back.) I know that I'm not, and Camden's not, going to have the same experience. And that's okay. It's not about recreating my childhood, right? It's about forging ahead and creating our own traditions.

Now I just need a tent! Oh, and it needs to be summer.

30 January 2012

My Awesome Weekend

It snowed Friday afternoon and into the night, giving us about an inch of snow. When I picked Cam up from school on Friday, there was already a good dusting of snow. And for whatever reason, he decided he need to clear the "roads." So he ran into the house, found his toy snowplow, and started clearing roads on the sidewalk. The funniest part: he was saying he was clearing the roads to Camelot (no, I am NOT making this up), so he was Camelot's snow plow. So we played in the falling snow for about half an hour, because the wind wasn't blowing, so it felt positively balmy out, despite the snow.

Saturday, we spent more time outside, clearing more roads. Though it was a tad bit more difficult, since the wet, fluffy snow that had fallen had frozen into the kind of snow that doesn't want to be messed with. The kind that crunches with every step you take. And laughs when your snow plow tries to break through. Luckily, we had something of a staging area where his trucks could work without the snow being in the way. (Can you see the payloader in the bit of dirt? He was loading the dirt into a dump truck, taking it over to a bit of snow, and dumping it. It was "sand" to help clear the road.)

I'm still making headway in eating better. Last night, I had homemade sloppy joes. Before, if I wanted sloppy joes, I would buy burger, Manwich, and hamburger buns. But in my healthy eating, hamburger buns are obviously off the table. And with the second ingredient in Manwich being HFCS, and the third being just corn syrup, well, I don't really want to eat that either. So my sloppy joes took a bit longer and a little bit more effort to prepare. No problem. (BTW, have I mentioned just how thankful I am that I enjoyed cooking/knew how to cook before I started on this food adventure?) I wish I had had a red bell pepper, to replace half of the green bell pepper that I put in the sauce. That's my only complaint. Too much green bell pepper taste. Not bad, I say. Oh, and that I had put the onions in to cook sooner, because they're still crunchy, and I'm still not a fan of crunchy onions.

Sloppy Joes

8oz tomato sauce
1 C ketchup (I used HFCS-free stuff. One of these days I'll learn to make my own!)
1/4 small onion, diced
1/2 small green pepper, diced (or 1/4 green and 1/4 red)
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp mustard (oops, I forgot this in mine. Oh, well!)
1 pound ground beef

Brown the ground beef.
Add onion, pepper(s), and garlic and cook until soft (or to desired crunch level).
Add remaining ingredients, mix.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10-20 minutes.

I also made my own buns. The recipe can be found here. They make an excellent GF/low carb alternative to hamburger buns and with the strong flavour of the meat sauce, you really can't tell that they aren't your typical buns.

15 January 2012

what i miss

Mostly I miss being able to eat whatever I felt like. Yeah, I always had to worry about what might disagree with my stomach - but that was the thing, sometimes I would eat something and be fine, then eat it a day or week or month later, and be sooo much LESS than fine. Now I can't pick up anything in the "inner aisles" of the grocery store without scanning the ingredient list - some of the things in the outer aisles need to be scanned, too. So I guess what I miss most is my ignorance? It's easy to be ignorant. Now I have to make good choices or pay the price (nausea, head ache, general malaise).

But for specifics:

I miss oreos.
I miss being able to whip up a batch of cookies or cupcakes.
I miss pie.
I miss macaroni and cheese.
I miss tortillas. (Have yet to have a taco in the last two months that doesn't have my entire face and both hands covered in taco-stuff.)
I miss being able to buy a box/bag of "food" for lazy food preparation.
I miss sammiches.

But it's getting better. It's getting easier. When I see a picture of a sandwhich, I recoil a bit, because I know how terrible and awful I would feel if I ate it. Christmas at my parents' was a fun exercise in staying gluten free. I didn't want to be miserable, but my mom had made poppyseed bread, which is my absolute favourite! so I kept joking about different processsed food stuffs - well, if it has gluten in it, at least I'll be able to enjoy the poppyseed bread because I'll already be feeling miserable from this! Luckily (unluckily?) nothing I ate had gluten in it (except for some gravy at a HyVee food court. oops!)

So, I've been gluten free (except for two mishaps) since Dec. 1. And I've had very little in the way of any sort of grain in that time, too. I've made steps toward eliminating (or severely cutting back) the presence of processed food-stuff in my diet. I've almost completely eliminated franken-foods like hydrogenated vegetable(*cough*SOY*cough*) oils and HFCS.

Go me!
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