Thursday, June 28, 2012

My library card

Once upon a time there was a little girl. One evening she was at the library for story time, and was told a story about a mouse. There were lots of strawberries in the book, and lots of red.

That same evening she got her first library card. Her father wrote her last name on it, but allowed her to write her own first name. She was so proud that she clumisly wrote the letters of her name upside down so that the librarian could see what her name was.

The girl is now 23 years old, and although some might have "lost" their card so that they could get a less childish signiature on their new one she has kept it. That awkward signiature is proof of how long she has been a library patron, and she takes a certain childish delight in how old it is.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

DONE

I have offically worked my way out of a job.

I've already shared that my job was in a library, but for privacy's sake I didn't say exactly what I was doing or where. Now that the job is over I am finally comfortable sharing those details!

Washington County Cooperative Library Services (WCCLS) has been switching over to using RFID technology. There are a lot of libraries in the system, and a ton of books and other materials. Since each item needs a tag (and some need two tags) this is a huge project. Was a huge project. It started on January 1st, and has taken until this week to complete.

Yes, I was a tagger. Eight hours a day, five days a week, putting RFID tags in items and then programing the tags. Sound monotonous? It sometimes was, but usually time passed pretty quickly. It also paid well. :)

One cool thing about the job was being able to listen to audio books while working. But I think the best bit was going to the different libraries and getting to see behind the scenes in all of them. Maybe that makes me a nerd. Yes, I guess it does make me a nerd. But that's fine, because nerds are fun.

So it's back to job hunting. Hopefully I'll find something quickly. Hopefully. :)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Religion: created or discovered?

I'm not sure if this should be part of Pagan Values Month, but am going to use the label "Pagan" anyways. If it is Pagan related it's only because it's one Pagan's random ramblings on the topic.

Last week I was spending the evening with family. I seemingly got on a sugar high (although I don't know what from...several snickerdoodle cookies?) and got into a weird and giggly mood. We got on to the topic of religion and the question of whether it is discovered or created was jokingly asked. Naturally, I jokingly answered. But even as I spoke I knew that my answer wasn't really a joke.

I said that whether it is created or discovered depends on how clearly a person sees. If they see very clearly, then it is discovered. But if someone makes things up, or if others make up details to fill in the gaps (and face it, there are going to be gaps) then it's created.

Or is that the difference, mostly, between religion and spritiuality? Certainly religion can be discovered and spirituality can be created, so I don't want to say that it's a hard and certain difference. But maybe that's the rule of thumb.

What do you think? Did I hit near the mark in my sugar high? Or do you disagree with me? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Pagan Values Month: Litha

How to become the most popular employee at work? Bring in brownies. And yes, this does have something to do with the solstice. :)

Two days ago on Litha (aka summer solstice) I didn't have any plans. I had been working for the sixth day straight because that's just how my ever changing schedule worked out since last week my days off were in the middle of the week and this week they're later. In fairness, I have been taking enough sick days recently that my employer probably didn't expect me to make it that long without calling in sick. In truth, neither did I. Apparently I'm getting better.

But back to solstice. I didn't have anything planned, and was really tired. I mean, really tired. But I somehow found the energy to cook. So cooking turned into my celebration.

My dinner

The marinade ingredients
I experimented with marinating for the first time, using sake with some soy sauce and a bit of ginger and garlic powder. I marinated chicken and mushrooms for about two hours before cooking. It was delicious. I also cooked some potato slices later, and together they made for a delicious lunch the next day.

But the brownies...oh the brownies. Yum.

You see, I have a secret ingredient in cooking brownies: cayenne pepper. Actually that's my boyfriend's secret ingredient, but I stole it from him. It makes brownies so delicious that coworkers kept complimenting me, and one even asked for the recipe.

So that's I celebrated my solstice: cooking. And it made me very popular at work the next day. :)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Love

So I wrote a bunch of posts, scheduled them, then got side tracked. But I finally responded to comments and am now writing another post!

So...have I mentioned that I'm in love? There are many things I love about my man, "Murray". Two reasons are that he's really nice, and that he's an amazing cook. Last evening he demonstrated both of those qualities.

He said he would come by at 6pm, and I knew I would be getting home from work right just before then. And I was hungry. But it turned out that he had already eaten. When I found out that he'd already eaten I fixed myself a dinner of mushrooms, chicken, and rice. Except...I didn't. The chicken had gone bad.

I had already put the mushrooms on the stove when I made this discovery and was trying to figure out what to do. Murray asked what was in the fridge, said that bacon would go well with mushrooms, and then took over cooking for me.

He really is a good cook. ❤


Friday, June 8, 2012

Pagan Values Month: Balance of gender

My chosen prompt for today is the following: Today's topic is the balance between the God and Goddess in our own journey. Are you more attuned with the Lord or Lady? Do you follow a path that focuses on one more than the other? Or have you found a good balance between the 'two halves'?



I don't do a very good job of balancing the two. Most of my friends have tended to be female, and most of the deities I work with are also female. Don't ask me to give a reason, because I can't. It's just the way I am, without even making a conscious choice to be that way. Maybe it's the result of a past life experience, maybe I was surrounded by way too much testosterone in a past life, or have tended to be a man in my previous lives and need to balance it out...? But those are just random guesses. I really have no idea.

Perhaps down the road I'll be able to find a better balance. I guess that should be one of my goals. But in the meantime the Goddesses I turn to far outnumber the Gods.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Pagan Values Month: Music

The prompt I've chosen for today is on the topic of music. What Pagan music do I like?



This one is titled "The Hunt is On" and it's sung by Heather Alexander. I don't know if she actually is Pagan but she has some other Pagan themed music, as well as lots about fairies. :)


The next one is by the band Omnia and it's about the Morrigan.


Not all of Omnia's songs are quite so warlike, just FYI.

I also like music from the CD Return of the Goddess by Lindie Lila, and you can find her stuff on YouTube. Heather Dale also has some Pagan themed songs (including one about the Morrigan) although most of her music that I own is actually about the Arthurian legends.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Pagan Values Month: Magical Herbs

Today's Pagan Blog Prompts that I'm writing from is on the topic of magical herbs.

Do you use herbs in your practice? Do you grow them or purchase them from someone else?

What are your favorite herbs to work with?


 

Yes I use herbs.

When I smudge I like to use sage that I planted and harvested myself from my parent's backyard. In fact, as I type, I've got a bunch hanging to dry behind me! This stuff though will probably be used in food, and given away to friends if I can manage it. I slightly harvested more than I know what to do with, even though I still didn't thin out the overgrown sage in my herb patch the way I maybe should have.

I've also got mint hanging up to dry, but I never have actually used it in my practices.

There's also blackberry vine, and as I mentioned a couple days ago is rather special to me. I'll smudge with it if it'll burn (that can be a challenge) and have crumbled the leaves into salt when cleansing. Just tending the vines I've got in my parent's backyard is good for me spiritually, and I guess you could say it's somewhat refreshing. Even more so than gardening with any other plant.

Don't tell me that blackberry isn't an herb. I don't care. :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Pagan Values Month: Illness

The Pagan Blog Prompt I'm working from is the question of illness, which is particularly apt for me since I'm dealing with illness and today (which is Saturday, not actually the day this is being posted) stayed home from work sick.

How do you deal with illness?
Does being sick hinder your magic work?
Do you employ magic to make yourself healthy again?
What about others? Do you work magic to heal other people?



How do you deal with illness?

I usually deal with illness by staying in bed and sleeping in. Then maybe reading and maybe eating some kind of chicken soup. That is, when I don't have to go to work and when it's not too bad to keep me from work.

Does being sick hinder your magic work?

I'm not actually a witch, I'm a shamanic practitioner. But yes I would say that it hinders me. I can't really explain it, but I guess you could say that illness sort of gets in the way.

Do you employ magic to make yourself healthy again?

Not as often as I should. Remember I said before that I don't always do things that I know are good for me? this is one such case. Except that I often don't even think to. But when I do I usually call on Brighid to help me, and even if I don't feel better immediately it's comforting.

What about others? Do you work magic to heal other people?

Yes, I have. For three people that I can bring to mind. Two of them when I was still a practicing (though very inexperienced) witch before I discovered shamanic practices. The third one has been since. I didn't have miraculously results but I think I helped two of them. The third, my dad...I don't know. But he has post-polio syndrome and it would probably take an awful lot to make that go away.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Pagan Values Month: Foraging

The prompt I chose to respond to today is on foraging: do I forage, what is there for me to forage? This would all be in addition to whatever I grow in my (parent's) garden.



I haven't really foraged. Ever. Unless you count eating berries that I come across when hiking with friends. I mostly do this when I'm with my friend The Belly Dancer...which means that it hasn't been in a while, since she moved away well over a year ago. She's much better at identifying edible berries than I am.

I usually eat blackberries when I find them even though I only like the biggest and juiciest of them. I've always felt a special liking for the vine, a bit like Magaly has a special liking for daisies. Never mind that the vines are weeds and are generally considered unwelcome. I actually planted a few of them in pots that are still at my parent's house, being tended by me.

And by now that is totally off the topic of foraging. But I really do love my blackberry vines, and you'll see more about them in a couple days. :)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pagan Values Month: Growth

And this time the prompt I'm using from Pagan Blog Prompts is on the topic of growth: where am I seeing growth in my life right now?

 

Obviously, since I just moved out of my parent's house nearly two months ago (it'll be two months on the 9th!) I'm growing in my independence. Also in learning to cook for myself! And I learned to look for the word "boneless" when buying chicken...

But I think I'm also growing in my spiritual practices. Maybe. Hopefully. *fingers crossed* I don't want to share the exact details of that online, but I think I am growing there. Hopefully.

Looking good!

There are quite a few things that I didn't write about since I wasn't really blogging for a while, and here is one of them.

Stress can cause acne. So you would expect that moving into my own apartment might cause me to get more acne, right? Well guess what? The acne actually cleared up right after I moved.

I didn't even realize that my skin was looking better. I knew my face looked different (weird, I thought) but I was trying to avoid looking at myself too closely in the mirror. Of course I looked at myself, but I didn't look. If that makes any sense.

It took my boyfriend, "Murray", commenting on it for me to notice that it had cleared up. He observed it very carefully, like he thought that his observation of my clear skin might offend me.

I had been waiting for my skin to clear up for maybe ten years and when it finally happened my boyfriend had to point it out to me. I guess I was really distracted.

Unfortunately my acne returned in the last week, but hey, I had about a month of it being fairly well cleared up. :)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Pagan Values Month: Nature Escapes

This is Pagan Values Month, and I'm getting a late start (only a few days late though!) but still wanted to participate. I wasn't sure what to talk about though, so I decided to turn to Pagan Blog Prompts for ideas. Their latest prompt is the question of where we go to get our nature fix.



I hate to admit it, but I often don't do things that I know are good for me, and that means that I also don't get outside often enough. But when I do get out there's a park -- with swings!!! -- nearby, and a little waterfall even closer that I like to visit. The waterfall is better for connecting to nature though, since I don't get distracted by the swings.

It's possible to walk out to some rocks where I can sit and be surrounded by the water. It's even a place in a story I once wrote about a rambunctious young fairy! I like to sit, close my eyes, and listen to the water.

Socks

This is about the cat, not the article of clothing.

Socks is one of the cats that stayed with my parents when I moved out. In the last couple weeks my mom rushed him to the vet because he couldn't use the kitty box (that problem was solved during the vet visit, apparently all over the vet). Mom took him to the vet again on Wednesday, this time for diarrhea.

Socks is also lighter weight than he should be.

He seemed to be happy enough when I saw him, but mom says that he may be in the last months or weeks of his life. On one hand I want to say that it isn't fair to lose him now, but the rational part of me knows that he's 17 years old and has lived a good amount of time for a cat.

Darn, 2 out of 3 of my first posts aren't that pleasant. One about my back pain and another about a cat that may be dying. Hopefully things will get more cheerful soon!