July 31, 2008

Bad Days

I don’t know if my fibromyalgia is being aggravated by my period this month or what, but it seems to be an awful combination. These past 2 days have been pretty miserable for me.

Yesterday morning I met with Amaset to do some shopping for supplies for our upcoming workshops at festival. I was in an FMS fog most of the time, having trouble thinking clearly and just in lots of nagging, dragging pain. I used the shopping cart to help me walk, because my energy was so low and my arms and legs ached and felt like dead weight and I was feeling nauseated from the pain.

Luckily we finished sooner than we thought, so I left early because I still had some other errands to accomplish– but all I could think about was crawling into bed, so I used that promise to push myself through the rest of what I needed to do. I had to have lunch while I was out, hungry but nothing sounded good to eat because of the nausea. Hoped eating would help me feel better, but other than helping with the headache, I was still in bad shape. Even driving the car was tiring, my arms and shoulders pulsing with pain– turning the steering wheel felt like such a huge effort. Went to the bank and ran a couple other places and came home, took pain medication, undressed and crawled thankfully into bed for the rest of the afternoon, hoping when I woke up I’d feel better.

I promised Firehand we’d go look at shower pans for the downstairs bathroom last night, so I got myself up before he was home from work. I felt slightly better than earlier, but still in a fog and absolutely exhausted despite my nap. We went to a couple of places to look at shower pans and then had dinner. Nothing sounded good to me, I had no appetite and just picked at my food, brought most of it home with me. More pain meds and went to bed and slept like the dead all night, for which I am thankful, because often when the pain is this bad, I’m unable to sleep.

I thought I was feeling better when I got up this morning, but that didn’t last very long. I was up for a little while, but freezing and aching, so went back to bed. Now I’m up again, but hot and aching and sick to my stomach with this dragging pain. And so tired.

You know, I try not to gripe about this, because nobody really wants to hear it, but sometimes it is so bad and I just wish I could explain how bad it is to someone and how much it drags me down. Not for sympathy, but just to know that someone gets it. Because feeling this bad and hearing dismissive crap from people who don’t get it just makes me feel incredibly isolated.

I am planning on going to bed early, and hopefully tomorrow will be a much better day.

July 25, 2008

Feline Firday: It's In The Bag

We lost our sleeping bags when the basement flooded and you would not believe how hard it was to find something similar to what we had before: rectangular, super-oversized, flannel lined, good to -20*F, water proof outer shell. The closest we found were sort of oversized, flannel lined, good to -10*F.

Moose was eager to provide a quality inspection for us as soon as we unrolled the new sleeping bags.

Cuddly flannel? Check.

Squishy filling? Check.

Plenty of room for lounging? Check.

Yeah, and the box is pretty nice, too…

July 24, 2008

Happy Noise

Lotsa sawing, drilling and pounding going on in our basement. We finally have a contractor and he’s begun work!

Did I tell you that after removing soggy carpet, carpet padding and 2 layers of floor tile after the flood, we made the horrific discovery that a very important structural support post had been removed? You know, the post that holds up one half of the house? Yeah. I guess it was in the way when the brainiac who finished the basement was building his wall, so… he just cut off the post level with the concrete floor and continued on his merry way.

Like I said, this flood has been a blessing in disguise. We discovered the missing support post early enough that no structural damage has occurred to the house. But if we’d never had to remove that flooring… our house would have started to sag and the walls crack and we would never have known why.

Consequently, replacing that post has been the first order of business. Last night Firehand and I both went downstairs and gazed adoringly at the shiny new support post, solidly in place, back where it belongs. As a homeowner, I find that little things like this make me a very happy woman. I am also excited about the newly framed and properly floated wall in the bathroom.

Just think how ecstatic I’m going to be when I get my new shower base and the new wall and doorway to the guest bedroom! And when the laundry room walls have been completed and the plumbing in there is fixed and I’m able to wash my clothes at home again… I’ll probably SWOON!

July 22, 2008

Festival the First

I spent last Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday camping in the mountains at the first of two pagan festivals I’m attending this summer. This was a small festival, but it is my favorite one.

Everyone was divided into an elemental group and we were then given the task of creating part of the main ritual, based on our element. I was in the water group– for our part of the ritual we had everyone help conjure a water spirit from the lake to impart its wisdom upon us. For our water spirit, we used a 2 ft. blow-up monkey that we rigged to stand up in the water on the edge of the lake and dressed in a shell necklace and “toga” and had holding a wand, made earlier that day in a wand making workshop.

During our part of the ritual, we had everyone sing, “Born of water, cleansing, powerful, healing, changing, we are” and make “waves” by fluttering blue cloths in the air, to raise water energy. Then one of us “heard” the spirit of the lake and led the group around the rocks to the edge of the lake where they could all see the Mythical Sea Monkey of the Lake standing there. His message was to learn to ride the waves in our lives and go with the flow. I think the Sea Monkey was a hit; he got some laughs at any rate.

The moon was full during festival and on Thursday and Friday nights everyone who was gathered at the community camp fire for drum circle howled at the moon as she rose. (The Lady of the Lake asked us not to howl after 10 PM, so no howling on Saturday night, as the moon wasn’t visible before then.) Nonetheless, drum circle on Saturday night was an absolutely incredible experience, by far the best drum circle I’ve ever attended. I can’t even begin to explain what happened, but I do know there was some incredible witchery going on that night.

I kept coming across beautiful chunks of quartz all over the campground. Firehand helped me gather some lovely pieces and I made an altar at our camp site. The quartz, pine cones and wood I used were all found around the lake area. (That’s a battery operated tea-lite in the candle holder, in case you are wondering. Smokey the Bear says, “Only YOU can prevent forest fires!”)

This was a wonderful festival– I went for a hike, went swimming, made a wand, enjoyed some solitude, enjoyed some community, experienced a great drum circle, got rained on, got sunburned, howled at the moon, sang and chanted, heard hoot owls, ate with my fingers, shared marshmallows around the fire at midnight… an overall damn good time.

July 15, 2008

SPC~ Skills #2

Ever since I learned about rubber stamping, I have enjoyed making cards; it’s one of my skills.

One of my favorite looks for cards is to stamp a detailed image with black ink and then color it in using colored pencils. I like playing around with layers of color and I really get into my work. I get caught up in the zen of coloring and my mind drifts peacefully.

Also, the more into my work I am, the closer my nose gets to what I’m working on. See my tangle of hair hanging down on the left side of this picture? My hair is only chin-length, but as you can see, it’s touching the desk, which means my nose isn’t too far behind. So I’m definitely into my work here.

Wanna see how my cards turned out? Check them out at the newly relocated Turtleheart Crafts!

Wanna see more SPC Skills? Check them out HERE.

July 11, 2008

Tarot and More Tarot

I met with Amaset on Wednesday to work on the tarot workshops we will be giving at festival this year. We are doing the Chakra Mapping Using Tarot workshop we did last year, which went very well, and now we are planning a follow up class called Tarot & Chakra Healing.

Our meeting was very productive. We made some updates to some of our chakra mapping handouts and determined which handouts and how many we needed for the workshop. We also inventoried our other supplies for the workshop and made a list of what else we needed to get before festival. Then we turned our attention to developing our new class.

After running through some ideas that weren’t quite what we wanted, we began to build on what we liked from those ideas, and suddenly the class started to come together nicely. We created a chakra healing tarot spread that we’re very pleased with. We wondered if perhaps we were using too many cards in the spread, but when Amaset counted up the cards in our layout and found it came to the number 13, we dubbed it perfect! We’ll use the chakra spread two different ways for healing exercises. Now we just need to round out these activities and complete handouts and we’ll be all set. I’m very excited.

We also discussed Amaset’s class on using the tarot for ritual and altar building that she’ll be presenting at festival. I’ve offered to help her with this one in any way I can, I just love the whole concept. We talked about different ways tarot cards can be used to create altars and I conceived a couple of ideas for an esbat altar and an elemental altar, which Amaset invited me to set up and share for the workshop. So I’m very excited about this workshop too, and want to get out my different decks and play around with them just to see what else I can come up with.

Then last night was my tarot practice group. Amaset presented some material for yet *another* workshop she’ll be doing for festival (she’s doing 4 in all). This one is called Introductions at Court and it’s a series of meditations she has written on the court cards for each suit in the minor arcana. Let me tell you, these meditations are wonderful, absolutely wonderful. She has really captured the essence of the court personalities and the meditations are so rich and vivid with beautiful, descriptive language. Really well done.

Working with the tarot has been a real treat for me this week.

Feline Friday: Everything Old...

… is new again! Moose has a “new” favorite toy.

When we were moving the living room furniture around recently, I found this cat toy I’d made ages and ages ago out of a decorative curtain tassel and yarn… Moose immediately decided it needed to die:

I think it’s been dubbed officially dead now. As you can see, it was quite an exhausting endeavor. But the house is safe once again. Until next time…

July 10, 2008

SPC~ Skills #3

I have learned the magic of compartmentalizing when it comes to organizing, and I *love* to organize stuff. I like the challenge of organizing, although when first starting on a project, it usually feels absolutely overwhelming. I get great ideas from Organizing Junkie– this is where I learned all about being creative with containers when organizing.

Here’s a project I’ve been working on the past couple days or so…

… reorganizing my craft supply closet. I’ve had these pull-drawer bins for years now, but they were in need of a major organizational overhaul. To let you know just how thorough (translated: obsessive) I am, I even have my stamps sorted by category; House Mouse in one drawer, DeNami/line drawings in another, words and alphabets in another, and so forth. I also have these pull-drawer bins in a smaller size for organizing my polymer clays and related tools. I highly recommend them.

To see more SPC skills, visit HERE.