I was away at my dad's this weekend and had a great time! We visited my grandad in the hospital (he broke his back and is not doing well ...) on Saturday morning, then after that we went to New Hope, where I got my ear pierced again...
Shiny new inner conch piercing:
(and of course kick ass spirals as well).
Sunday was our picnic- we had an amazing time there as well! After that we had a Wii tournament- word of advice: Wii tournaments make it really hard to walk or do anything a couple days afterward! LOL It was so much fun though.
I found out my dad and Katie and I have way more in common than we thought. I'll probably be going back next month for my cousin's School of Rock concert.
...On Guinness Draught, yea!!!
I never liked beer. I had about three drops of Honey Brown Lager when I was younger- and swore off beer forever.
But I was determined to find at least one beer that was tolerable. There were a few (like, three) that I really wanted to try. Guinness was one of them.
I had to try three different places to find a four pack of Guinness Draught cans- and pay through the nose for them. But I actually like it! No, love it!
I like the smell, the color, the taste, everything! My only disappointment is the 'feel' of it- from all reports I was expecting something much thicker and creamier...though I guess if you're used to light "beer" or some such, this might well be very 'heavy'. I also wish it kept its head better. Mine is almost headless and I've only drank half the pint.
The Beer Fairy has been leaving gifts of Old Horizontal Barleywine Ale (read: Ass Kick Beer) in my car at work. That stuff is awesome. I highly recommend it.
Judging how I took to Guinness, and Barleywine, I'm guessing I should never touch light "beer" with a twenty foot pole. There are a few others I want to try- ales and stouts. And I'm genuinely curious about a few of the "big name" beers (Genny cream ale and Yuengling Black & Tan) but they don't top my list of things to try - they're probably cheaper than the stuff I currently enjoy, though, which is a big plus.
My love of wine got off to a great start, and promptly ended- I'm allergic to the stuff. Both red and white- so I'm guessing it's the sulfites. *cries*
I normally don't do tests like this, but this one was just too good to pass up.
Funny I only scored "moderate" as a heretic, when I'm not even Christian!
The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Fifth Level of Hell!
Fifth Level of Hell
The river Styx runs through this level of Hell, and in it are punished the wrathful and the gloomy. The former are forever lashing out at each other in anger, furious and naked, tearing each other piecemeal with their teeth. The latter are gurgling in the black mud, slothful and sullen, withdrawn from the world. Their lamentations bubble to the surface as they try to repeat a doleful hymn, though with unbroken words they cannot say it. Because you lived a cruel, vindictive and hateful life, you meet your fate in the Styx.
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Level | Score
Purgatory | Very Low
Level 1 - Limbo | Low
Level 2 | High
Level 3 | High
Level 4 | High
Level 5 | High
Level 6 - The City of Dis | Moderate
Level 7 | High
Level 8- the Malebolge | High
Level 9 - Cocytus | Low
Level descriptions: http://www.4degreez.com/misc/dante-inferno-information.html
Take the test: http://www.4degreez.com/misc/dante-inferno-test.mv
I finally got to change my new 14g earrings today!!! I put in my Shorty Goddess Spirals by Little Seven (actually called Shorty spirals but they're a smaller version of their Goddess spirals)
And a close up:
Those are actually 18g LeRoi flatbacks in the bottom holes. They're meant for labret piercings, mostly, but they work great for earrings. A little difficult to put in and remove, but awesome for long term wear - just make sure the balls are tightly screwed on every day. No post jabbing you in the side of the neck, no clutch back that is almost guaranteed to fall off!
My navel ring did NOT grow shut, in fact...the hole shrunk quite a bit but I was able to stretch it back open, and I now have a beautiful new titanium barbell from Industrial Strength. It's a shorter barbell, at first I thought it was too short, but I LOVE the shorter barbell. It feels so much more comfortable than the longer one I had been wearing.
(You can see the nasty surgery scar that is *slowly* healing and fading, and yes, my stomach is that hairy LOL I should totally take a better pic)
And last night, I got my ears pierced again! I've wanted a second set of holes for about 6 years now, and I only recently decided on 14g mostly because there are some REALLY AWESOME 14g earrings I want to be able to wear. So I'm now wearing a brand new shiny pair of 14g stainless captive bead rings.
The piercer is awesome, I called him last night when I got home from work and he said he wasn't going to be in today, and he was going to close up shop early but if he knew I was coming he'd stay. So I hopped in the car and drove down there. He was super friendly and knew what he was doing, too.
I laughed, he had the needle lined up and said "OK, on the count of three. One, Two, *JAB*. OK I cheated." He had the jewelery in before I even realized it.
The second ear: "Well you already know my trick so I'm just gonna do this *JAB*." If I would have flinched I didn't have TIME to. LOL
I love my new holes. Pics coming soon. '
I gave Dean a nice tip and will totally go back to see him again if I need anything else done.
Well, to make a perfect end to the clusterfluck week...I wound up having (minor) surgery today.
I had a cyst near my belly button...as a result I had to be cut open and it drained. I had to remove the jewelery until it heals which means it'll probably grow shut and need repierced. *sigh* That's the last thing I wanted (well rejection would be worse but...) but right now I'm more worried about the wound healing than losing my navel ring.
The PA that did the procedure is awesome though. Nephele you would love him. He's covered in tattoos, had zippers in the sleeves of his lab coat (so that he could roll them up easily) and a leather watch with an iron cross on it. Had the radio on while he did the procedure. And halfway through cutting into me and says "have you ever been to Burning Man? You have to go to Burning Man."
We spent the whole time talking about Burning Man while he was cutting the cyst out. LOL And then afterwards he took me into his office to show me a picture from Burning Man. LOL!!!
I just finished Gladiatrix last night, and just submitted the rough draft of the review today. WOOO HOOO!!!!
Update on Flash: he has been eating his tail. A whole 1/4 inch it seems like disappeared one day- but I have an idea why this might be happening. Turns out, the poor guy's bowl was in the sun for several hours a day! I was at work during this time, so I had no idea. I have taken measures to make him feel safer, and to stop the sun from shining on him. So here's hoping the situation improves. I'm sad and frustrated. He had such a gorgeous tail and it's nearly gone! (and it's not fin rot, either.)
He is eating, I got him some bloodworms and different pellets. He will not eat the pellets, but he attacks to blood worms viciously! While I was at the store getting him different pellets, I couldn't resist and I acquired this guy:
Meet Cobalt. He lives in a bowl on the other side of the dresser, and is MUCH calmer than Flash EVER was. Flash is a high anxiety fish. Just like his mama.
On Friday I hennaed my hair and I gotta say, I LOVE IT!!! The color develops over time, so it will continue to darken. I hope it doesn't darken too much more though. I have had a lot of different shades of red in my hair over the years, I dyed it often when I was younger. But orange is some place I never thought I'd go, and now that I see it I can't figure out why.
This is yesterday:
As you can see the color is darker, but still quite red. I can't believe how much of a difference it made, even in the way I feel. I really missed having red hair. I think I'm hooked for life now!
I've given up on getting my own place for now, as I did the math and realized that I just cannot afford to live on about $800 a month, which is what I'm making after taxes when you don't count the overtime. Although, I have everything I want here, so I don't think this is a huge big deal.
My Gwyddon Initiation will be on Samhain and I'm really hoping I'll be able to get time off work to fly out to Kentucky for it. I'm crossing my fingers and bugging every deity I can to make this happen. It will mean a lot to me.
Since things seem to be slowing down a bit here, I'm going to try to be more active on UNRV. I hope. *crosses fingers*
I got a new fish, pictures posted Here.
He seems to be doing well, still won't eat. BUT his beautiful tail that you see there, is in shreds!!! He must've got it caught on the plant (I removed the plant) and it looks just awful but I'm so worried about stress on him and the possibility of fin rot.
My poor, beautiful baby. And his poor tail. I just fell in love with that tail. I am so sad.
I'm still reading Gladiatrix and I must say, I am pleased with it. I'm almost done, but I haven't been reading as much as I should be. I'm actually pleasantly surprised by the book.
I've been working 9 hour days (well 9.5 hours. Half hour unpaid lunch) and Saturdays usually. Busy, busy busy.
Life goes on...
I'm really sad to report that Lasairian died this morning.
I don't know what happened. I changed his water on Saturday and he was fine. I fed him Saturday. He took one bite of food (I think it was too big a bite. More than one pellet stuck together or something) and went to the top of the bowl. Just hanging there. He stopped eating.
All day yesterday he was either at the top or bottom of the bowl...totally just like 'meh'. I could tell the spirit wasn't in him. He ceased to be Lasairian and started being 'fishy' again.
This morning I looked at him and knew he was a goner...he wasn't dead but I considered flushing him to put him out of misery. At about 8.15 or 8.30 this morning...I was at work...I got a 'flash vision' like a window opened in my head and there he was...his old self.
I knew right then. When I came home he was gone.
This wasn't as difficult and messy as I thought it would be. Worked far better than trying to do this with honey.
I started with a little less then the amount that my container would hold of fractionated coconut oil. (I love that stuff...but I'm going to have to start using something else soon). I put that in a double boiler (well, the makeshift version) and I ground up the myrrh resin as much as I could. I put this directly into the oil which I heated, stirring for a good 15 minutes or so. (I couldn't tell you how much myrrh I used. I just "eyeballed it").
When it smelled decently of myrrh and was a nice golden color, I strained the oil back into the measuring cup I'd started with, and cleaned out the pan with a paper towel. I then strained the oil back into the pan, put it back in the double boiler and heated it again, this time adding beeswax until it hardened to the consistency I wanted. (Test this by dripping some onto a cold plate.)
Allow to cool enough that it won't melt the plastic container, pour into container and there you go.
It does not have a lot of smell once it's solidified, but when you rub it into your skin the scent returns.
For the first time in literally months and I feel GREAT!!! I had forgotten how awesome it could be to just dance with no purpose in mind (as opposed to dancing in order to work some Big Time Mojo during which I always wear myself out and leave myself feeling rather icky for days afterwards). WOO!!!
I just received a signed copy of Gladiatrix to review for UNRV which I can't wait to get started on it! I've been busy though, I plan on starting it this weekend.
Tomorrow I'm going hunting for Indian artifacts if the weather holds. I'm going to be tired tomorrow night, though, because I am going after work. I'm not working 9 hour days, starting at 6 am, so I'm keeping myself pretty well beat.
This weekend was the Pow Wow and I had an amazing time! I danced, and danced...and my legs STILL hurt. But I'd do it again tonight, pain and all. I LOVE Pow-Wows and this one was particularly amazing.
If anyone is wondering the Beltaine ritual went splendidly.
I didn't realize it'd been so long since I updated!!!!
I've been keeping myself busy, I jumped right in with my Gwyddon studies and I have my first group ritual this Monday (Beltaine!!!). I've been collecting supplies, sewing robes and am preparing to set up an altar. Most of it I hope will be set up tomorrow. Unfortunately the onyx bowl I ordered isn't here yet...I didn't realize it was coming from Canada or I would have ordered it sooner. *sigh* I may wind up using a temporary one until it gets here.
I had a therapy appointment on Thursday (that reminds me!!! I have to add my next one to my calendar or I WILL miss it!) Tamar says I'm doing REALLY well. I am, I can totally feel a difference. Last night I joined a site called Anxiety Tribe and I happened to pop into the chat room (something I rarely do...I was bored and lonely). I already met someone there I think I'll be able to really connect with!!!
I got a new deck of Tarot cards (which I love!!!! I'm a divination geek *grins*) and a Celtic Women CD, which I double love!!!
I've got a cold. Joy of joys. My coworker snapped at me yesterday morning...I only have a vague idea why and I really think he overreacted...I don't believe for a second that I deserved it. But I know he's been having a bad week, because he's getting sick as well and my boss has had him running around like a chicken. *sigh* he doesn't understand my curious problem-solving nature and I think it pisses him off when really, it shouldn't.
MY NEW LAPTOP IS HERE!!!!
Her name is Josie. I had to practically chase the mailman to get her but she's HERE!!!!
I spent a few frustrating hours getting her set up, but now I'm laying on the couch watching TV and posting blogs like a good little lazy techie.
It took a little while, but I'm getting used to the keyboard and touchpad and I LOVE IT!!!!!
Now if only Kitten would get on so I can bug him on webcam.
Tomorrow is Friday. ME SO HAPPY!!!
I didn't think I would, but I love the Google desktop. I was trying to figure out how to turn the damn thing off when I realized "hey I kinda like this" so I started playing with it. It's really neat! I put the scratchpad gadget on mine. Purdy!!!
I now have DSL (it was really pretty painless) and my laptop is in Allentown, so it should be here sometime early next week (provided DHL Express doesn't decide that they won't deliver it to my house, grrr). I'm really excited to get it. So YAY.
I got to see my therapist on Wednesday, and she says I'm doing really well. Major improvement from last time. But I am really glad I got to see her, because I needed to. The newest thing I have to deal with is that my best friend has an excruciatingly painful chronic illness and I am not handling that well. (Though I have gotten to the point where I can do some basic research on it online. If I stay in "science mindset" I can handle looking at the information.) I've known about his illness pretty much since I met him and he handles it very well, but since my breakdown in January I don't seem to be able to cope with it.
I found out on Thursday that a dear friend of mine's son is rejecting his donor kidney, again. And it looks like he won't ever regain full function even with medication. We're all hoping for the best, though. (and that, my friends, is the 'shit')
On Monday I summoned up my courage and asked for (and got!) a raise, and more hours. That turned into more stress than I needed, but alls well that ends well, and I did get a raise and more hours (and the increase from my old weekly income is going to go right into my savings.)
It took me most of the week but I found a DSL provider, for less than I actually expected to pay! I ended up going with the phone company, which I DIDN'T want to do for various reasons, but I did have to as Verizon wasn't available here. I think I made out OK.
I also ordered a new Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop. I think it will be here this week, I hope. It has an integrated webcam and I upgraded the battery. I've wanted a laptop for years, but I never had a reason to have one. Now I do (more on that later) and I am getting a big tax refund, so I went and did it.
The DSL will be installed on Wednesday. I hope all goes well. I'm a little worried since I cannot be there when they install it, and my mom doesn't know anything at all about computers. I also have a therapy session on Wednesday, hopefully, if it doesn't get canceled again. At this point it's just a hassle and I'm not entirely looking forward to it.
I'm thinking this week will be another busy week for me, and I hope it's not as interesting as last week. *laughs*
Yesterday I set up a blog for my Cill work: Keeping Brighid's Flame. I've invited any of the Cill members who want to join me in posting there to do so. No one has been added yet, but I have at least one other person who will join.
If there is a line between "house plant" and "plant house" I think I'm about to cross it. Seriously.
I used to not be able to grow ANYTHING but I now have...ten plants that are *definitely* mine, and my mom has I don't know how many that are *definitely* hers, and then there are a few we fight over...
My most recent additions (this week, in fact) are a beautiful palm from the local nursery and a GORGEOUS sago palm. I LOVE cycads...and I certainly hope that my new sago loves me. I managed to kill one once before...
This is my new Sago beauty:
(Sagos, by the way, are not palms, they're cycads. Cycads are actually prehistoric conifers. They're absolute evolutionary marvels...they have not changed much at all in 200 million years! Now THAT is an awesome plant!)
I spent today repotting some of my plants: my two African violets (well, three now. I divided one. It doesn't have many roots so I hope it survives...there were two crowded into a small pot in a way that they did NOT like, and so I have given them their own 'houses' to live in. ) and my 'gold dust tree' which is growing quite large since I got it last year.
Tomorrow my...zebra plant? Is likely to get divided.
When we go back to the nursery (I hope soon!) I hope they still have a Fantasy plant (I think it's a type of Draceana. I can't remember what it's called exactly, but it's got red and yellow and all sorts of funky colored leaves. I wish I'd bought one when I was up there before.) It's that time of year, when I want to bring nature indoors and I can never have too many plants. This year's collecting begins...
I worked this morning, and then spent the day repotting stuff. I'm beat. I'm trying to get my mind and body both together in order to do my weekly ritual, which I'll do when the sun sinks a little lower.
So I've been making my own body balm...yummy...Recipe Here.
It's so easy even I can do it and the benefits of this stuff (over commercial products) so far have been WELL worth the effort (besides, I enjoy doing this).
I made some mandarin first, and tonight, grapefruit and ylang-ylang. It smells SOO good (and it's a light scent...which I need because strong scents make me sick). I made some of it stiffer, this time, and put it in an old Lip Smacker tube. I actually had just enough to fill three containers, which was awesome luck.
I ordered some more fractionated coconut and beeswax as well as some essential oils in order to make more. I'm thinking of putting an order in somewhere else to get more containers, and some loose herbs besides. I think the scent of grapefruit is REALLY helping my anxiety, just based on tonight's experience. Or else the act of doing something fully involved helped a lot, or both.
I got some bad news yesterday: someone has gotten hold of my credit card number and tried to charge $757 to my account. The good news, well great news, is that Capital One caught it right away. Did not approve the charge, and is sending me a new card.
I also got my windshield fixed for the fourth time yesterday, hopefully for good. *eyeroll* thank gods warranty is covering it.
And of course, the thing that makes me REALLY happy, is today my boss showed me how to do some really basic, but pretty awesome (for me at least) things on the RoboDrill. He also talked a bit about programming, and said that if I stick with it and I like it, I can go to programming school. I was having a really articulate day and was able to pick up on what he was saying and showing me *very* quickly...and remember most all of it...which is really rare for me. I really think I would enjoy programming these machines (my two loves: metal and computers!).
I've had a really good week all things considered. Some things not so good, but it's been far better than most of the past several months of hell. So I'm content...not really happy right now but content.
I've gone and created another blog. This is blog #8...my friends all think I've totally lost it.
I guess I truly am a blogger at heart. Plus, wordpress is entirely too much fun.
So without further ado, I give you: Tranquil Mayhem.
I posted a recipe for an awesome (and awesomely simple) hair/body/lip balm. I love this stuff. I'm currently ordering supplies to make even more.
I'm doing alright, today. Actually had a good day...it's the first day in at least a week that I've actually been able to relax, at least some what. Lately I have been literally incapable of relaxing, which really sucks. Anxiety is evil and vicious. I have my next appointment with the therapist on the 18th...my appointment got moved back due to scheduling difficulties.
It HAS been a while. My presence on all of my 'usual hangouts' has been greatly reduced. I'm sure you guys know that I've been struggling with some sort of depression...so here's the REST of the story.
I'd been slowly 'losing my grip' for months now. Most noticeably since Christmas, when I started having panic attacks. Well, about a month ago I guess it was now, a very dear friend of mine became ill (he has a chronic illness) and was in the hospital for a time. Then I stopped hearing from him. Turns out, he was busy with work, but that is NOT what I was thinking. Mind, I was already 'losing it' and this was a LONG time in coming. But for three days about a month ago, I was in such a bad way that I nearly called off work to check myself into a psych ward. About a week after that, I nearly didn't make it OUT of the bathtub one Saturday night.
I finally got the nerve to talk to my mom about it, and it turns out that this is largely genetic. Everyone from my great grandmother straight down the line has some sort of anxiety disorder. My great grandmother and grandmother are both on medication.
Picking up the phone to call the counseling center was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.
So these past few weeks I've been trying to hold it together, trying to apply for Medicaid, and all that happy horse crap.
Now for the better news:
I met with my therapist for the first time on Wednesday, and I have a partial diagnosis: Generalized Anxiety Disorder. She asked me how I felt about medication, and I said that I'm not drastically opposed to it (I used to be...but that first week changed my mind) but I would rather try other things first. I am going to be doing cognitive behavioral therapy (I only have a vague idea of what that is.)
It's REALLY scary for me to talk to a therapist. I think I talked her head off just because I was so nervous...I am hoping that next appointment will go better, because, well, I'm scared. LOL
My next appointment isn't until March 13th, but I do have some homework and I'm getting along alright.
The best part is, I am not paying a dime for my treatment. The county is paying for it all.
I'm feeling wordy today, so I am jumping back into the forums a bit.
Most of my Brighid's Fire (the actual ritual part) was short, sweet and to the point. I lit a candle, said a few prayers, did a bit of healing work.
The "prep work" took the majority of my evening. I started at about 3.30 or so...painting a bottle to go on my shrine (it's sitting next to it as it's too big to go ON the shrine, it looks silly and easily tipped over.)
Then I spent...close to two hours painting my legs with indigo. The indigo painting, for me, is part art, part therapy, and part religious observance. Some people might think it's crazy to spend hours painting something just to have it gradually disappear over the next week...but it's impermanence means I get to do it all over again!!! :yay:
I'm glad Brighid seems to encourage displaying work done in her honor!