Sunday, July 31, 2016

An August Break Project

So for August I'm going to partake in The August Break as prescribed by Susannah Conway in her blog. For this month I'm going to work on drawing one tarot card a day from various decks as well as re-examining a beloved mantra from a past Mentor ("Make it worse; make it hot") and introducing a new one borrowed from my Kettle Korner ("Do something, even if it's wrong.") So for each day of the month I'll share a tarot card and also a picture for August. I'll be using the prompts from Susannah Conway (unless of course inspiration takes me).

I want to invite others to join me! Please check out her blog so you can get a better idea of the spirit of this project. You don't have to share your pictures, or take one everyday. The point is mainly to slow down and appreciate the things around you. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Letting it Go; Helping it Grow

This was the pumpkin plant as of the 23rd of June. And I thought he was so big!
I sat down yesterday at work and wrote about the things I need to let go of. Firstly, I need to accept the loss of two of my favorite rings. They were both opal - lab created for one and most likely fake for the other - but they were important to me. One signified my engagement and the other was a beautiful gift to Hannah from her grandmother. I'm very sad that they are gone but at the moment there is nothing I can really do about it other than try to call all the pawn shops in the area to try to track them down. But today is not for wallowing in loss. Today is for a rebirth into the hot months of summer and then into fall. So we're going to rearrange things and clean things. 

This is the pumpkin plant now. I had to replant him into the ground instead of the blue tub.
I also had to move the tomato plants! Little pumpkin plant took over.
Secondly, I need to let go of all my email trash. I need to clean up my inbox (sort and delete as necessary) and make it place where I can keep track of things better and be more efficient at responding.

Forget-Me-Nots - when they were first starting to bloom.
Thirdly, I need to go through everything in the spare bedroom and continue getting rid of things that no longer serve the Hannah or myself. We are doing a pretty good job of that but alas my Bowie room remains a complete catastrophe of excess and has yet to become a true office. 

The first of the Marigolds to show their beautiful faces this summer.
And this leads me back around to my plans for rearranging. I'm going to create an office in the bedroom. I would love to go in there and work on writing. It's quiet and cool and there's gorgeous tree and plant life right outside the window. Also I could go in there and work even when we have guests over if I wanted to. The trick for me would be to get a comfy seat and a little pull out table. I might pick another one up today at the store. 

So many beautiful Marigolds now. Took this photo today. They just keep blooming!
Life is really busy. I've learned recently that, religiously speaking, I prefer interacting with the divine through nature and deity acknowledgement. I guess you could say I like being a totally typical pagan. My lifestyle is a combination of Witchery and Heathenry but religiously I'm a total 'go with the goddess flow' kind of gal. I had thought perhaps I might be more Jodo Shinshu Buddhist but... while I love and wish to live by much of Buddhist philosophy, the religious aspects imparted by the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Priest I spoke with a few weeks back do not really jive with me. At least not at this moment. But in the future who knows!? That's what Buddhism is all about: impermanence and a life full of 'nows.' I love the idea that we only have the now and should spend our time making the now as happy as possible. Tomorrow I may feel differently and that's alright. Each now builds on the last and continues to shape the person that I am in the moment. And I want to work toward being the best person that I am able to be in each now.

A Bachelor Button. It was one of the first. We've had
blue and purple and pink ones off and on for the past month.
That being said I want to speak about my garden some more. I'm really finding an inner peace in working with the plants. The other day I thought about Masuru Emoto's experiments with water crystals. How water (an allegedly non-sentient element) reacts directly to positive and negative energies. I thought about how soil and air also must react these energies. I want to give 'happy' water to my garden and plants. I want to share my love of growing things with the soil and air so that the green things growing there are imbued fully with the happy water, happy earth, happy carbon dioxide, etc. I think about the sun and wonder if our energies are strong enough to make it to the center of our solar system and the answer is - why not?

And here is one of our vertical garden survivors: the proud and flowering Catnip!

And here's who loves the Catnip. She loves it fresh but I want to dry some
so she can have it for smelling and playing in later in the year.
This whole planet used to worship the sun and the moon and the earth and all the things that made up life. And in return for that worship, weren't people rewarded? Why can't a rain dance actually bring about rain? How can we live in a world now that is so disconnected from the reality of energies and intention? You get out of life what you put into it. You have to put love in the family recipe or it doesn't taste the same. You have to thank the sun for giving us warmth and life and you have thank the moon for giving us cycles and tides and the push and pull of emotions and deep dark beauty. And you have to love and honor the earth for every single day you're alive. I think the most aware I am of life and energy is when I spend time with the green babies in my back yard. It's nice to feel that connectivity and it's that understanding that will help me let go and live in the moment and rearrange my house. And make the most of my day. And my life.

And a final look at the large pumpkin plant. It's probably taking up twenty feet now.
I love this plant and I like to think that my love is part of why it's so huge and healthy!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Silverwood, Sherman Alexie, Impromtu Idaho

Two weekends ago the twins came up from Moscow and we had a really great time. I didn't get to do anything for them on their birthday in March so instead, we all went to Silverwood with my mom and we spent the day looking at all the cute little shops, riding many of the rides (Corkscrew, Timber Terror, Tremors, Panic Plunge, Tilt-a-Whirl, Roundup, and the wave pool of Boulder Beach Bay), and relaxing. We enjoyed tea and coffee at the Victorian Coffee House and while sitting outside under a tree, were blessed with a view of hundreds upon hundreds of bumble bees buzzing around the blooms of the tree. It was a nice scene. Lots of walking (over five miles!). Lots of people playing Pokemon Go. 

When we got back to my place, Hannah was cooking us a nice meal. The twins and I decided to run to the hot tub and soak for a bit since we were sun burnt and sore. While there I took off my engagement ring and the ring of Hannah's that I'd been wearing for the past ten or so months. I set them beside the hot tub and forgot them when we all left a bit later. I remembered pretty quickly that I'd left them and rushed no more than twenty minutes later but the rings were already gone. I'm trying to get my apartment managers to watch the footage and help me track down my rings but I don't really think they give a shit. Meh. I'm angry at myself for losing the rings and trying to make it a lesson against materialism. Except... it was one of Hannah's rings that I lost too. And that one is the one I'm really sad about losing. 

That week at work, a few things happened. Firstly, we finished moving our department from the lobby level to the third level. It's going to take some time to adjust I think, but so far I like it. Not sure what the future holds for me right  now, but I'm going to just embrace impermanence and live in the now. Right now I have A, B, and C. I won't worry D until D comes to pass. Nothing lasts forever and all we really truly have are the moments happening this instant. 

And speaking of nothing lasting forever, on Thursday, my supervisor's father passed away. I guess technically he entered a vegetative state. I'll know more about all of that later but for now, my heart really goes out to my supervisor. She is a very sweet person and a total daddy's girl. I cried for her the night after I heard about what she's going through. That same day, another coworker learned that her mother's cancer had come back. So it was not a good day for a lot of us. I was in a funk. That night I went to Stitch and Witch feeling distant and weird and it made Hannah really upset that I was so out of it. Once I got in there though and did some shitty coloring (and oh man was it shitty!) I felt a bit better. Also I got to see my favorite Free Mason there and he did a neat Tarot Name reading for me. I love hearing him talk about the Tarot and love his kind, soft energy. I'm really glad he came to Stitch and Witch and I hope he keeps coming. 

On Friday, as I walked to work from the Plaza stop, I saw a sign outside the Bing Crosby theatre announcing that Sherman Alexie would be reading there that night. So instantly, my Friday night plans were made. I had Hannah meet me downtown after work. We grabbed a quick shitty meal at McDonald's and then saddled up for the show/reading. It was exactly what I needed. Brought back all the good memories of the MFA program and restored in me some of my old passion for the written word. I've been very depressed and lackluster about writing lately but seeing Sherman, listening to him, watching him move and engage the crowd. Getting his signature. It was a great evening. That night I slept pretty well. Satisfied after spending the evening with Sherman Alexie. And it was good that I slept well because I was wearing an oxygen tester on my index finger. It's the first step to finding out if part of my overall health and attention issues are due to sleep apnea. I don't want to have sleep apnea, but if I do have it, I want to be treated immediately. I want my energy back!

The next day, Hannah, Fiona and I all went to the Perry Street Fair. I went mainly for the Buddhist Temple Open House but it was fun to see all the vendors and feel the creative energy. Unfortunately I was already starting to get sick so I didn't get quite as excited and inspired as usual when I go to things like these. However, there was a strange and endearing moment: Hannah had left me for the car and Fiona was up the road checking out the rest of the vendors and I had managed to find myself in a little throng of people watching a street magician. He was wearing all orange and had a dry, understated sense of humor that really worked for him. I love magic shows. I know there is a trick to it... I know that there is some kind of mechanical answer to every mystical feat but I don't fucking care. Bring on the illusion and deception and the magic! This orange street magician was pretty fun. At one point he nailed a giant nail into his nasal cavity and this he told us wasn't actually a magic trick, that it was a carnival thing and then he kept starting and stopping so much that his audience was about to have a heart attack. A tall man beside he grabbed my arm and asked if it was okay if he clung to me during the trick. I said yes. So we watched and sure enough the man hammered the nail straight into his head via the sinus. It was so weird and I loved it. 

By Saturday night I was feeling pretty goddamn awful health-wise. It felt like I was getting bronchitis, you know... like I always do. And so I drank lots of fluids, took 1000 units of Vitamin C and headed to bed at about 9 or so. But it was awful and I couldn't sleep. Finally close to 3AM I texted my boss telling her I wasn't sure if I was going to make it. I did get about an hour and a half of sleep before dragging my ass into work. I kept a running dialogue with my boss via text. She was checking up on me, making sure I was doing okay. Well I survived the work day and then drove home. Only I was so out of it that I passed my Pines exit. Passed three other exits. Passed Liberty Lake. And then saw a "Welcome to Idaho" sign. Apparently my sick brain had decided to go to my parent's house for a while. 

So I went to see my Dad, my Mom was at my Aunt's house. And Dad took care of me, put me to bed, brought me tea, patted my back during a coughing fit. Ellie Bellie, the black Persian, also played the Nurse. She kept curling up with me in the bed. I maybe got another hour of sleep before I couldn't take laying flat anymore. Dad was so cute. He was going to pull out more chicken from the freezer so that I could stay for dinner but I told him I had to be getting back so Hannah wouldn't worry about me. He managed to make me stay longer, however, by tempting me with a corndog. But after the corndog, and the microwaved quesadilla, and the coffee, and more Ellie cuddles, and conversation about how horrible people are (we were watching the News), Dad finally let me go.

That evening while watering the pumpkin plant, I found an infant bird. It looked as if it had fallen out of the tree while trying to fly or had somehow been injured. We put in a large box with a towel to keep it comfortable. A friend of ours who knows a bit about birds told us that was the best thing to do. That the parents would come for it later if it was meant to live. The next morning it was dead. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Busy times, an update on life in general and the Bucket List

It has been incredibly busy. My counterpart, the Hannah, has mentioned some of this business in her blog, but I wanted to recap it a little here. It's been sort of nonstop, go, go, go for a while and today being the Fourth and all I wanted to just slow things down a little and reminisce. We've sold the Jeep. Our friend has a tiny bit left to pay on it, but more than that I'm super excited for it to be alive again so that she doesn't have to keep renting Uhaul trucks to move her Kettle Korn stuff from place to place and also because I feel the Jeep is somewhat safer and more reliable than the old yellow truck that she'd been using before. So knowing she's safer makes me happy.

After selling the Jeep however, Hannah and I got a real wild hair to go and trade in the Kia but right now it just isn't going to work. We had a bit of a meltdown last Thursday about all of that. Being without my depression meds for a while certainly didn't help. On Friday we went with mom to Silverwood. I love that place. For me it is a clean slice of a different world: Victorian and elegant yet rugged and rustic. And I love all the flowers. I never noticed flowers before as much as I do now. I think being able to plant in the back yard has really changed my perspective on green things. My Kettle Korn friend calls me a Green Witch. I just might be. 

On Saturday Hannah and I went to our friend's house for soap making. Hannah made soap. I attempted to write for NaNo and ended up taking a much needed nap in a comfy as hell recliner. I worked the next morning (not too many issues) and then we returned to said friend's house for a round of gaming. I really enjoy this group of people and hope that I don't ever get too weird or obnoxious for them. I know that I often lack the 'okay you're going too far' self warning. I think as I get back on my meds properly I either won't A) be as obnoxious or B) won't worry as much about it knowing that my friends love me for who I am. 

Today I worked the Holiday at work and everything went very well except for the fact that the phones weren't working for about an hour. Even so it went very smoothly. When I got home though, I did something I regret a bit... I curled up on the bed in the bedroom and napped the fuck out of the afternoon. It wasn't particularly restful sleep but it was tremendously comforting because for the entire time that I was napping, Narcisa was right there with me. I think she knew I needed a nap companion and I think she knew I was a bit out of sorts. Tonight Hannah and I are going to watch a movie and enjoy Butter Chicken. I don't work until 8 tomorrow, which is awesome and also sucks. I love getting done at 4 but on the other hand I've been working from 7 until 5 for the past two weeks, so just doing a regular 8 hour day (with one hour for lunch) is going to be a real treat I reckon. I only have to make it through Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. And then I can have some more fun this weekend. I'm trying to cram in as much fun as possible. Rest is great but going out and doing stuff, getting some Vitamin D, socializing... these things are helping me reboot for the work week more than anything right now.

Also, here is a quick update of the Bucket List for Summer of 2016: So far I've only managed to cross off camping and star gazing and one time for Silverwood. My goal for Silverwood is three. I'll be closer to that goal after this weekend though. I really do enjoy that damn park. It's incredibly nostalgic for me.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Into July with Work and Writing

Camped a weekend ago and it was marvelous. Just what I needed to get back in touch with nature. It was brief and it rained but it was lovely. This weekend started in a weird panic attack of adulting. I was supposed to go to the doctor's on Thursday but the appointment was cancelled. No big deal really except that I've been out of my meds already for a month (been cutting pills in half and skipping days here and there to keep myself somewhat normal). Also Hannah and I have been wanting to get a car and we did some serious budgeting the last few days and that resulted in crying. We will be getting a new car and we are fairly certain what type we want and from where but it will have to wait just a little while longer. That's been a huge bummer for us, but we can't do much extra right now. We're making it but not with too much wiggle room.

Yesterday Hannah and I went with my mom to Silverwood. We played in the wave pool and saw the magician, Nick Norton. That was about it. And that was pretty much perfect. She has a pass so we can go anytime we all want to this summer, so there wasn't that panicked must-cram-it-all-in-today feeling. After the park we brought home funnel cake, some coffee, and some chocolate coated espresso beans for dad. We did a belated father's day. We watched a German 'found footage' movie that kind of sucked and then went to our old favorite 'The Vicar of Dibley.'

Today I worked on some laundry and then Hannah, I and some of our friends all convened at De's house for soap making lessons. Well some of us got soap making lessons... I took a shower and then curled up in a comfy chair and tried to get a good start on Camp NaNoWriMo. I got about three sentences out and fell asleep. And snored. To which my friends reminded me that I really need to get a sleep study done because I definitely sound like I have sleep apnea. Which is one of the reasons I really wanted to have that doctor's appointment last Thursday.

Speaking of Camp NaNoWriMo (NaNo for short) I'm going to spend this month finishing and polishing my Death Man novel. It's about damn time I finished it. Once it's complete I'll work on the sequel and then, if I can, I'll pump out my Dust Bowl story. I really love that one. I think it's a bit more 'literary' in a way than Death Man but that's not why I love it so much. I'm just very centered into the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. That time period speaks to me in the same way that WWII speaks to Hannah. I'm intrigued and inspired by those that left and those that stayed and how they managed to survive such an unrelenting period. But, just like getting a new/er car, the Dust Bowl story will have to wait. For now it's nose to the grindstone at work and get Death Man done.

Tomorrow is Sunday. It's D&D night for one of my and Hannah's campaigns. I like it because it's very flexible and we just sort of schedule it when we can all make it. The next day is the 4th of July. I don't know what Hannah and I are doing for it yet. We've been invited to the family thing at my Aunt's and we've also been invited to the lake with some good friends. Those things are possibilities but not highly likely - Hannah isn't wanting to leave home for some reason. I'm working in the morning but after that we're thinking of possibly having a small cook out at home. Or maybe we'll just spend it alone, just the two of us. We could watch fireworks on YouTube and just spend that time with the kitty. Maybe we'll do card games or tarot or something. No matter what, I just want a nice, safe, and relaxing fourth.