Monday, December 31, 2018

New Year Light Bulb Moment


Hello my friends!

I hope you have a nice evening tonight if you're ringing in the new year. Alex and I will be spending a quiet night at home, having a Raclette dinner and some cocktails with homemade sugar pie at midnight. We are such homebodies, which is funny because we both used to be such social butterflies. We both worked as bartenders and had lots of friends in our 20's. Now we would just prefer to spend our lives away from society, with each other and the pets!

So...on to my light bulb moment - just in time for the new year! :)

It's about my shadow self. Carl Jung defined the shadow self as the "hidden or unknown dark side of the personality." After reading his definition, I certainly didn't want to uncover my shadow self! I started to do some work in the fall, but got scared and forgot about it.

But lately I've been doing more reading and this is a different definition that motivated me to do more deep thinking. I found it after typing into Google "What is the shadow self?":

The shadow self is at first an unconscious side. It is only through effort to become self-aware that we recognize our shadow.

Although many infer the shadow is ‘negative’, this is not really true. The Shadow is rather what you yourself perceive as dark and weak about yourself, and therefore needing to be hidden and denied. But this depends on your own perspective on life, and your levels of self-esteem.

So while for one person their shadow might just contain such classic elements as sadness, rage, laziness, and cruelty, you might also hide your personal power, your independence, or your emotional sensitivity.


The above definition explains things more clearly for me. I've been spending lots of time in the woods lately walking with Charlie. Being in the woods is like therapy for me, I can kind of think out loud, consider lots of ideas and options and talk to Mother Nature and nobody bothers me! :) I guess it's my version of prayer.

I had my epiphany moment this morning walking home from the woods. I realized quite suddenly what my shadow self was and why I was hiding it. I wish I could share it with you but it's so personal that I just can't! But trust me, it's not the "classic elements" mentioned above like rage, cruelty or laziness!!

The realization of my shadow self abruptly boosted my self-confidence through the roof. I have never felt as happy as I do in this moment! What I thought I wanted out of life for so many years...my mind just debunked. Now I realize that what I truly want out of life isn't something to be hidden or ashamed of. It's something to celebrate and put into action.

Without being too cryptic, I'll try to explain. I thought I wanted a certain lifestyle; and when I am truly honest with myself - I don't want that certain lifestyle. I want something almost completely different. The way I was finally able to see this hidden self was through a very simple exercise. 

Daydreaming.

Every day for the last week, I've set some time aside to day dream, just to see where my thoughts would go. I would ask myself "how do I want to live the rest of my life?" and "how do I want my relationship to go forward?" etc...Well, the daydream I had this morning was so poignant. It was the exact opposite of what I'd been THINKING I wanted for the last decade or so. I think that my perception on how a woman in her 50's should be living was just skewed. I'm not going to beat myself up, just to say that my life experience has put a damper on a lifestyle I've been wanting to live since I was a teenager.

This epiphany moment is something that will definitely strengthen my independence, personal power, self-esteem, happiness and my relationship with Alex. My plans to homestead are still there and even stronger now. 

It's just unbelievable to me how one moment the light bulb was just turned on and I feel so enlightened. And interestingly enough...I knew all of this about myself for many years and somehow, some time...it just fell back into the shadow.

Does this make any sense to anyone? :)

Friday, December 21, 2018

Winter Winds Of Change


Happy Solstice Friends! :)

I hope you're having a nice day. I am! Today I celebrate the return of the Sun. Fall goes by so quickly, it feels like it's too fast for me. But, for someone like me, who lives for the warm weather, it's definitely a day to celebrate!

What good things are blowing your way this season? 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Holiday Planning and Consumerism


Hello Friends,

I hope you're all doing well. Yuletide is just around the corner. It's a fun time of year! I celebrate the Pagan holidays and the traditional ones. Since we're in savings mode, Alex and I decided on no gifts for the holidays - including our birthdays which fall in January and February!

So instead I'm celebrating with food. This really brings out my creative side. Not only for the menus, but for the cost - I need to be frugal!!

Most of you know I do a monthly shopping list. This means I plan a month's worth of meals according to the shopping flyers. Then Alex and I spend one grueling day a month in the "flats" shopping and driving; then we're safe in the mountains and free from being around society for another 30 glorious days! :)


I've pretty much planned every holiday meal so far:

December 21: Yule
December 24: Christmas Eve
December 25: Christmas
December 31: New Year's Eve
January 1: New Year's Day
January 2: Twelfth Night.

Lots of fun food, drink and sweets planned! What's your holiday season looking like? Alex and I don't have any family, nor do we really have close friends, so we spend all of our time together and with the furballs. This pretty much eliminates all stressors for us and we can enjoy each day as it comes. I hope you don't deal with holiday stress...it's not fun. I've been there and I won't do that again - EVER!!

Another subject I wanted to discuss is consumerism. Let's face it, though a lot of us would LOVE to live like pioneers, off the land, off the grid, self-sufficient etc...we were born in a modern world. I personally LOVE plumbing and electricity! :) And I love my internet. But...I still try to make do with what I have, not buy new things unless it's absolutely essential. Alex and I are striving for more self-sufficiency, but we will always rely on some supplier or another for something in this modern world.


I can give you countless examples of my beef with companies. I don't know how many times I opened up a container of milk to find it had already gone sour WELL before the expiry date. I write to companies all the time when their products are mediocre and I always get replies - usually in the form of a coupon or refund. In this case, I wrote to Quebon because of the milk going sour. I got the standard reply and some coupons in the mail. YES, it helps the budget and I am grateful for that...but what is really being done about this? The companies seem to be in this mind-frame that throwing money at people will just shut them up. Are they REALLY practicing sound quality control? I'm not an alarmist, but gosh...we really do rely a little too much on other people for safe products. 

Another great example I can give you happened this week. We only recently were able to drink the water here in our well. Before it wasn't in good shape and now it's testing fine. So before now, we had to purchase our water. To make life easier, we'd invested about $100 towards a counter top water dispenser. A few months after purchase, it leaked, so we had to fight Amazon to get a replacement because it was one or two days past their 3-month return period. 

We were drinking that - yuck!

Now, a year later, the tubes feeding the water from the jug started to deteriorate, causing little bits of plastic to float in the drinking water. Amazon wouldn't do anything so I actually wrote to the company asking them to look into the quality control of the plastic tubing in their water dispensers. I wrote a very thoughtful email, including photos of the deteriorating tubes, the plastic "floaties" and a description of our disappointment in the product. I honestly wasn't expecting much and didn't ask for anything either. This was their reply:

"Hello,

Your order for replacement unit is being processed. Please allow 5-7 business days for delivery.

Thank you"

No standard "we are sorry"...no "Dear Ms. Frances"...not even the name of a representative after the "Thank you" - just a "signature" of the company. Really? Are companies so used to complaints about their crappy items that they can't even bother to personalize a response anymore? And you're sending me an entirely new unit? How is this really going to change the quality of the item that will likely deteriorate in another year's time?

I have to tell you my friends, I feel weird about this. They are simply sending me a new unit that I didn't even ask for...to shut me up again? Of course beggars can't be choosers and I always appreciate replacement items and coupons, but this trend is bothersome.

It's almost like it gives the companies a free pass to sell crap because of their "very generous" return policies. 

As a Pagan, I try my best to be gentle with the Earth. I try to re-use, recycle, re-vamp or go without as much as possible. I try not to use non-biodegradable items. I'm not perfect by any stretch. But the continuous replacement of crappily made products...how is this honouring Nature and the environment? It bothered me to the point where I replied asking them NOT to send me a new unit. But I didn't get any response so I have no idea if it's been sent or not.

Anyway, that was bothering me and I needed to vent about it!! Any thoughts?

PS: I've noticed the "Followers" gadget isn't showing up at all on any of my blogs anymore, same with you guys?

Friday, November 23, 2018

Busy As A Beaver


November's Full Beaver Moon is in the sky! Do you feel that energy? I do! Alex and I did our monthly shopping yesterday and driving back, the full moon lit our way home. I felt like the moon was guiding us back to safety and comfort! :)

This has been a very busy week for us. We are trying so hard to be frugal, to save money and to use the car less than 10 times until the spring, so there is a lot of planning to do when it comes to the monthly grocery shopping. But...it's done for this month!

Rain and Alex (not actual photo)
This is how we feel today lol...I don't think I will ever get used to a bustling society ever again. We've become quiet homebodies over the years...hermits really. We get physically and emotionally exhausted when we're around crowds now. I'm happy to be home in the mountains, quietly listening to the dogs snoring! Did you know that beavers mate for life? :) I think I do too lol...

If you need a little inspiration this month, take your cue from the beaver who is hard working and determined to build his home through hard work. Sink your teeth into whatever project you've started, be flexible but don't give up!

Build yourself a firm foundation, but if it's not working, walk away and re-invent. Then remember to rest up after all of your hard work!


How about a little snow magick? Make some ice lanterns and light them at night. Gaze at them and make wishes! I make these lanterns every winter. All you do is fill some balloons with water and let them sit out and freeze. Usually I will chip away a little bit so the candles rest on the inside of the ice lanterns but today we didn't have any wind, so I set the candles on top. :)

Snowball magick: If I have any worries, I grab some snow and roll it up into a ball, imagining my worries are being absorbed by the snow, then throw that snow ball of worries away as far as I can!


Building a snowman is fun too. Ancient Pagans used to build snowmen and charge them to protect their homes from intruders or enemies. Not a bad idea! :) I'm still working on learning this digital painting program. I'm having fun with it! Are you trying something new lately?

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

What Do You Want?


Is there something that you've always wanted to do but you haven't for one reason or another? Is there a way of life you want to live, but for some reason, you've chosen not to?

I've always wanted to travel across Canada in an RV. Not a big expensive RV, but I thought about buying a beat up van and restoring it into a wee little living space for myself and whichever dog(s) was with me at that time.

I really was THIS close in the spring of 2010!! But my older pug Winston developed very severe dementia and I couldn't put him through that constant change. So I decided to shelve that dream for a few years. In 2013, when I found my relationship, the dream got lost in the shuffle as I changed my life.

What about you? Is there a reason why you are not fulfilling a dream you've always had? Is it lack of money? Lack of motivation? Lack of skills? Is something stopping you from being YOURSELF?

Is it lack of support from someone you love; or is it that someone seems to be holding you back? Are you holding yourself back?

Deep thoughts! :)


Since I was very young, I never related to the Catholic upbringing in my family. Mainly because the way they practiced it was based on anger and fear. I was going to hell every day for some reason or another.

I remember at the age of fourteen, walking by a Buddhist temple in China Town, in Old Montreal. I was intrigued by the outside of the building. I just sat out there for a while as I saw people coming and going. I braved getting a little closer and even walking in. There was a meditation in progress and a light bulb went on over my head! There WERE other options!

During my teenage years, I secretly researched every type of religion and spirituality that my local library had books about. These were pre-internet days! Later on, I even took a few courses on World Religion at Concordia University in Montreal. Paganism always appealed to me because I was so nature-based in my thinking, even at a young age.

I was confused for too many years and at some point, decided I didn't believe in anything. But then when the internet became readily available, I learned how to use it and started to research more about Paganism, especially Kitchen Witchery and Cottage Witchery.

Everything made so much sense to me. All of the spirituality revolved around Nature and the Universe, the garden and the harvest. I did more research about all Nature-based religions and spirituality. I looked up ideas about Celtic Paganism and my ancestry. I felt really at home with these concepts and they made me feel safe and whole. I had faith for the first time in my life!


It took me a long time to "come out of the broom closet" so to speak - to admit publicly that I have different spiritual beliefs than a lot of people do. When I mentioned my spirituality to my family one day back in the 1990's...I was so ridiculed that I hid myself for another 20 years. I think this is one of the reasons why I didn't want to share my life with anyone, I was afraid I'd be made fun of just for being me.

Even in my relationship now, it took me years to talk openly about Paganism and my beliefs and spirituality. And despite the fact that I'm totally comfortable being myself - I always have a little bit of trepidation that maybe I'll still be made fun of.

We all have our soft spots. I know I'm very emotionally fragile. I will never have a "thick skin". When you've experienced humiliation from people who are supposed to love you, it's not easy to shake off. But I do believe in myself, I do know that what makes me happy is right for me.

I try to live MY best life now; and not let anything or anyone stand in the way of my spiritual lifestyle because I do cherish it very much. We only live once on this Earth, let's make the best of it.

*************
My other blogs:

Rain's Garden 
Latest Post: Painting and Pesto

Rainy Day Cheese Making 
Latest Post:  Wrapping The Cams

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

New Moon Intentions and Cherries


I believe in magic. Not the "I hate society and will seek revenge by conjuring a hurricane" type of nonsense you see in the movies!!  😲

For me, magic is all about intent and action. If I want something to manifest, I need to believe in my intention; then follow it up with action to actually make it happen. 

Of course, I am not too much of a dreamer. I know that I have limits to my intent and actions. I can't change the world, but I can change MY world!

I also believe in projecting my wishes out to the Universe and the law of attraction. If you are a negative, terrible person...you will attract negativity into your life. If you are a positive and happy person, you will attract positivity into your life. It may not happen immediately, but you will see the change when you make it! 

When I was younger, I lived a negative, bitter and unforgiving life and I was miserable. When I shifted my thoughts to positivity and started to live a meaningful life of gratitude, I got all of that back in return. That's not to say that all of my troubles disappeared; but life became so much better, so much so that those troubles and challenges were and are easier to cope with. I have faith that everything will always turn out in the end. I know the Universe has my back! :)

We are entering a New Moon phase of the lunar cycle. The moon is dark and quiet and her energy is weak - recovering from the immense energy of the past full moon. Now is a great time to set intentions and start the magical process of making your wishes come true. What you project out to the Universe right now sets your intentions into motion. As the moon strengthens over the next four weeks, her energy gets stronger and stronger...so keep those intentions in mind as you take action to manifest your dreams, goals or intentions.


I came up with a general charm for this time of the month because I believe in symbolic acts and rituals to make the intention stronger.

Cherries represent love and happiness. The New Moon's element is Earth. So this charm involves cherries and the Earth. When it comes down to it, all I want in life is love and happiness, so tonight I took a few cherries out to the yard and held them in my hands in the darkness of the New Moon. I voiced my intentions out loud as I buried the cherries into the Earth. I had to get through a little snow first though! :)  

I then sprinkled a little cinnamon on top for protection. There is a spot in my garden that gets full moonlight and that's where I did my little charm. That way when I look out my window, that part of the garden will be moonlit and I'll remember my intention and work earnestly towards achieving it.

My photo didn't turn out, this is a photo from the cookbook!

I also decided to do some kitchen magic! :) I made Cherry Cheese Blintzes with the Absinthe cherries that Alex and I aged in the summer of 2017. The filling is a mix of cream cheese, Ricotta and those delicious cherries among other things! They melt in your mouth!! As I made our supper, I had my mind on my intention. 

It's very easy to wish for something...but unless you have great luck, you need to take action to make that wish come true. These little charms I do help me to keep the intentions in focus. And it's fun. :)

If you're looking for a fresh start or to start/restart a project, now is the time to do it! Try taking some time every night to gaze up at the sky and feed off the energy and beauty of the Moon!

Monday, November 5, 2018

A Little Positive Post

Sometimes you just hear something you need to share. :)

Whenever I do my cardio workout on my little mini trampoline, I listen to music to help me keep a good tempo. One of the songs I was listening to this morning was called "The Middle" by a band called Jimmy Eat World.

I got this burst of happiness when I heard it...like an all-encompassing hug! I wanted to share a few verses with you, I hope you feel this gives you a little pat on the back!!  :))


I've met many a "bitter heart" in my life. It seems like their main goal is to bring you down to their level of misery!!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Falling Back


Okay, I'd like to say something positive about Daylight Savings Time...I got an extra hour of much needed sleep today and that's all I'm going to say!!! :)

I have many goals for the coming year. Some are big and some are small. I have a journal of monthly goals and projects that I keep. For the last ten months or so, I've forgotten about a few of them because I convinced myself that I found them too difficult. I'm disappointed in myself because they are goals I really WANTED to achieve. I gave up because other stressors in my life lead me to believe they were too difficult.

But all disappointment aside, today, instead of beating myself up by saying that I failed, I was weak, I was lazy, I gave up etc....I think of it more like I put those things on hold while I was able to get my emotional health back into a good state. Sometimes there's a curve along the road and we have to follow it to get back to the main path! We can stay in that curve or we can push ahead and walk the walk. My "curve" is now behind me and I'm on track for those "forgotten" goals and projects again.

One thing I really wanted to do was develop a solid daily yoga practice. I do a lot of yoga, but it's sporadic. Sometimes I'll do it daily for a week and then find some excuse or another not to take the time. But when I do yoga, I FEEL good. Again, why do I resist doing something that makes me feel good??? Because some mornings I just think it's too hard to get going I guess. That's what I need to leave behind...that FALSE belief that taking half an hour or so out my daily routine is just too difficult. It's not. I have to switch that bad habit with a new one - a new way of thinking that it's not too difficult. It's just that I'm groggy and tired when I wake up but that as soon as I start the routine, I'll instantly feel energy and peace.

Have you done this? Have you put certain projects and goals on the permanent back burner because your mind has convinced you it's too hard? Is it really too hard or is that just a mind game playing tricks on your logic and your drive? Do you just need to put it on hold temporarily while you take care of more immediate needs? Or are your priorities skewed? 

Are you afraid of something? Is fear stopping you from moving ahead? Remember, you thought about this particular goal or project at some point because you were excited about it, you really wanted to accomplish it! So it's worth making time for, or making an effort for.

Think about a time in your life when you accomplished a project or goal...how good that felt! Try to find that motivation again to get your butt in gear!! 

What is motivating me right now is how nearly a year of stress building up in my body makes me feel like I'm 50 years older than I am. My aches and pains have gotten worse where just a year ago, I was so flexible and to be honest, a few pounds lighter.

A big adventure is on the horizon and I need my body to be in great shape, I need to be flexible and not so fragile. I rejoined my favourite online yoga site today and I have chosen the first yoga routine I will do tomorrow morning. It's a Hatha yoga routine called "Yoga For Burnout". Hatha yoga is a good start for beginners. It's a slower type of yoga, focusing on proper posture and breathing. I have to be careful starting out again because some of those twists and poses can be hard to do and I've hurt myself before when I try to advance too quickly! My friend Dianna said once that yoga can be violent and I agree! But I'll be going at a turtle's pace to make sure I keep going!


For further insight and peace of mind, I drew a card from my Celtic Tree Oracle deck. I drew the Poplar/Aspen card. This is the message the card represents:

"The poplar and aspen trees are hardy, fast growing and strongly resistant. This card offers you the strength to endure any adversity and promise success after your difficulties have ceased."

How reassuring! :)

I'm really looking forward to this journey - even though it may be challenging at first, I know why I want to do it and nothing is too difficult for me when I want to better myself. :)

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Achieving Your Goal


Hello my friends :)

Do you set goals? Are you the type who dreams big or are you a baby step type of person? :)

I used to dream big, but was never able to achieve the goals I set because I never took the proper baby steps to get there. I just wanted things NOW NOW NOW..and when I didn't get them I'd simply give up and pout about how unfair life was. Not quite a recipe for success is it? :) 

Now I do things a lot differently. I'm no longer about the destination, I'm all about the journey.

My biggest goal for the next year is home ownership. Well, let's just say "home ownership" when we all know it'll be me and the bank owning the home until it's paid off lol!!

I have had that goal for so many years. I achieved it back in 2001, but burnout put an end to that when my condo in the mountains was foreclosed. I was too proud to accept unemployment insurance, always doubting the doctors' diagnoses and assuming I wasn't as sick as I really was...I blew through my savings in less than six months. When I finally was accepted for disability income, it was too late. I'd missed several mortgage payments and as we know, banks don't have empathy! I learned a lot from that experience. It was very tough to lose my home, have to move back to a crappy apartment in the city and deal with burnout at the same time.


But I made it through the most difficult time of my life. I survived. I feel like I'm still rebuilding my life. But you know, if all that didn't happen, I wouldn't have met Alex and have the life I have now would I? There is always some kind of silver lining!

I read Tarot cards pretty much every morning. The cards always have a lesson. I call them "poor man's therapy"! My favourite deck is a Fairy Tale Tarot Deck. I wrote the Tarot spread above and I did the reading for myself this morning.


My first card was Goldilocks and the Three Bears. That little girl does NOT belong in the house of the bears! She is basically meeting her immediate needs without considering the potential consequences of her actions. I'd like to think that the cards are telling me I don't belong in THIS cottage lol...that I belong in my own cottage in the woods!!! But more realistically if I look at the fairy tale and the message it sends out, I think it's mostly about considering consequences. Every decision that I make for the next six months will beg the question...does this bring me closer to buying a home? If not...scrap it! :)


How will I achieve this goal? My card was The Elves and the Shoemaker. Hard work will pay off! :)


The third card, what hinders me from achieving my goal...was The Princess and the Pea. The poor girl needs to prove that she is indeed a Princess. This card symbolizes our genuine nature.  I think that the pressure to perform can get to me. This stems from always feeling I need to do something for someone to receive their love and appreciation, I never felt I could just be me. I am trying very hard to shake off the chains of my people pleasing nature and focus on me and my family. I need to stop fearing being that person! I remember during the summer, having a hard time because I'd basically stopped planning and making nice delicious dinners. Alex told me even if I never cooked again, he'd still love me. :)  But my whole life I felt pressure to please people...I do know this stems from childhood, but it's so natural to me now that it needs a lot of work to undo. I don't need to be Martha Stewart for anyone to love me! I just need to be me! It takes a lot of work to re-program what was drilled into us for so many years! :)


The last card asks what I need to let go of to achieve my goal. I drew Beauty and the Beast. The ultimate "transformation" message! I used to self-impose so many restrictions on myself, I was very hard on myself and I was plagued with guilt and anxiety. I have to embrace this transformation of self that I'm going through right now instead of fearing it and resisting it. It's a good change so why fight it? Because that's how I've been all my life? That's no reason not to change!!! :)

See what I mean about the cards?? :) A lot of people think that Tarot readings are all about premonitions and reading the future. I see them mainly as thought provokers and self-improvement!

The next six months are going to be good ones. I'm going to use this winter to make meaningful changes to my own life, habits and attitudes in order to stay on track with the biggest goal I've ever set for myself. What about you?

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Samhain Thoughts


A Blessed Samhain to you my friends!

It's the end of the Harvest...the beginning of a New Year. As I look back on the last year, it wasn't quite what I expected!! My path curved a little bit and I had some big challenges with my emotional and physical health...but today I am excited. I'm excited for what the next year will bring! I have great goals in mind, great ideas and lots of motivation. I'm also a little bit wiser. :)


One thing that stood out over the last year was that I put my own happiness aside for others. It's a slippery slope to fall into that trap. You may think you're being a good person, generous, empathetic...but when it starts to affect your own happiness, then there is a problem. This year I'm putting myself first. I have a clear vision of my path to happiness and it revolves around my home and family.


My biggest goal over the next 12 months is to buy a home. Having a cozy Hygge home, filled with love and comfort, Alex, the dogs and cats...that is all I need. That's my happy place and I'm focused on it. 

I know that this isn't the traditional new year for most folks out there, but do you have any goals you want to reach over the next 12 months?

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Healing

Pavlov and his mom Stella

Hi Friends,

I have been feeling nostalgic lately. It's been just over a year now since Stella and Pavlov were "dumped" on us for nine months.

For those who don't know, we have three dogs and three cats. We had a friend whose father passed away and the morning of September 23rd 2017, he called us. He told us he had to immediately fly overseas for the funeral, and asked us to take care of his two dogs, Stella and Pavlov, for a weekend. Of course we complied, we love those dogs and he was a good friend. We got into the car and drove the 4 hour round trip to the city to pick them up.

A weekend turned into a week, then two weeks, then the possibility that he was never coming to get them...then it was January...then back to not coming back...then March...gosh it was an exhausting emotional rollercoaster not knowing what the heck was going on!

Last winter was very tough. Caring for 8 pets in our cottage rental was a challenge. It was a lot of work, personal hobbies were put on the back burner, stress and anxiety was a way of life. A few times they both had to go to the vet. Though our friend did regularly pay us for their food and any vet bills, it didn't seem like enough compensation for all of the time we were putting in. 

Shoes were chewed up, our couches were destroyed, fights between the two alpha girls, the cats were freaked out, lots of laundry, cleaning, grooming, walking and poop-scooping. But on the bright side, there was SO MUCH LOVE in our home! Basically our time was consumed with pet care but...other aspects of our lives were neglected.

The five dogs obeying for cheese! Marlene, Charlie and Jack. Behind them are Pavlov and Stella.
In April of 2018, our friend told us he'd be back in August to pick them up because he wanted to make a vacation out of it. Really? A vacation...NO WAY. We'd been hearing excuse after excuse since September and we were finally fed up. Our patience and empathy were exhausted. At that point, our little hound dog Jack had gone through a rough winter with injury and illness and I really thought I was going to lose my mind if that guy didn't come pick up his dogs. We loved them too much to put them in a shelter and we couldn't imagine if we were in a position where we may have to keep them. Anyway, he got the angry ultimatum from us; and in mid-May, he flew back to pick up his dogs and bring them home with him.

It was an awkward visit and didn't last more than an hour. It was hard saying goodbye to the dogs! We've only talked to this guy a few times since then, and the dogs are doing just fine. I miss them!

Every time I see a photo of those two dogs, it brings a little tear to my eye. I really bonded with them - especially Pavlov - he became a "mommy's boy" just like Jack. Those two boys never left my side. They were so sweet...

Without getting into detail, there was a history of this guy shuffling Pavlov and Stella off all the time to suit his own whims. In fact, in the summer of 2017, we took Pavlov in for 6 weeks while he was looking for a new apartment. He gave Stella to someone else. The poor dogs were separated/abandoned so often that they were severely anxious and lacked confidence. This contributed to the empathy we felt for them and the reason why we allowed them to stay so long.

Near the end of their stay, all eight pets were getting along and things were getting smoother - which made it all the more difficult to say goodbye.

The feelings of resentment, distrust, betrayal and disappointment that I felt for a long time had to be dealt with too. This guy was oblivious to what he was putting us through. I often felt guilt for my resentment because I was confused, I mixed up my feelings of missing those two sweet dogs with the bitterness I felt for their owner. To be brutally honest, the only word I can think of to describe what I was going through was a mind-f*ck...(sorry for the bad language, but it describes it perfectly!)

When I suffer anxiety, my "eating system" fails. I have trouble swallowing food, if I can swallow the food, it often gets stuck at the base of my esophagus and I either have to wait it out painfully or try to bring it back up. It's traumatic. I have digestive issues and often lose my appetite. This problem I've had my whole life but it comes and goes depending on how much stress I'm dealing with. 

Well, it came back right before Christmas of last year and just recently eased up about a month ago. Despite the fact that I tried really hard to work through my feelings, they lingered for nearly a year.


Alex and I have built ourselves a nice, cozy, comfortable life together. When we got stuck with two extra dogs, it threw us for a huge loop, but we tried our best to deal with it.

I don't purposely hold on to pain and anger because I know the damaging effects of it. But my mind and my emotions seemed to be on a slower schedule.

How do you deal with pain and anger? If someone wrongs you or "dupes" you, how long does it take you to get over it completely? Do you have physical or mental side effects?

I spent the summer in the garden and outside enjoying Nature to try to heal myself further. I journaled a lot. I meditated, did breathing exercises and yoga; and read a lot about healing and forgiving. I didn't put any pressure on myself to write blog posts or join painting challenges, or even plan dinners the way I used to. I just couldn't do it. It's weird because I had an underlying exhaustion and depression that I hadn't felt since the early 2000's when I was going through a burnout. 

I'm doing a lot better lately though. I feel like my old self again. I live by routine. I'm able to manage anxiety and depression (mostly) through natural methods. But when I'm thrown for a loop, my gosh, I feel so out of control! If it's something like...the car needs a repair, or I get an unexpected bill, or I hurt myself or pull a muscle...or suffer a migraine...I have no issue finding a way to deal with it and manage life successfully. But when another human is involved...my gosh that hits me to the core. If the loud weekenders are especially annoying, it throws me off my routine. When I go grocery shopping, I'm useless for a few days afterwards. I need to recover and rest and restore myself anytime I'm anywhere near people. Funny huh? So when someone I trust wrongs me the way that guy did...I feel like I can never get over it. Of course, I can eventually, but it's a long healing process for me.

At the beginning of the summer, I wrote this Tarot spread, that I did often, to help me get past my healing block:


I think my inability to cope with human-related life stressors contributes to my desire to live life as a hermit, to live more isolated. Alex is the same as I am and I guess that's why our relationship works so well. We are safe with each other, and very content too. We both enjoy and value our online friendships, blogs and a little social media, but that's about it. Truth be told, if we didn't have to interact with society in person ever again, I think we'd be okay. I used to feel wrong about this. You know how it is...we are brainwashed into the belief that we MUST be a part of society in order to be healthy. Well, for us, it's just the opposite!! And I'm really okay with that.

Don't fix it if it ain't broke right? :) We tried to do a good thing for those dogs and we don't regret it at all. Would we do it again? I doubt it. But as Ijeoma Umebinyuo says about the Three Routes To Healing...you must learn from the pain. Because after all, anger, resentment, feeling betrayed...all stem from pain you are feeling and cannot seem to resolve. I think once you're able to get to the route of the pain, it starts the healing process. Otherwise you are just putting a band-aid on the situation by avoiding it or not delving deep enough into the issue. But you know...pain has an terrible way of popping up in your life in other ways - usually as illness. Have you found a good way to heal from the pain/trauma that you've suffered in life?


Monday, September 24, 2018

Full Harvest Moon - Clear The Clutter and Prepare For Winter!


Autumn is a wonderful season. It's time to reap what you've sown...collect the bounty that you deserve! Do you deserve a bountiful harvest or do you need to work a little harder towards it?

Tonight's Full Harvest Moon symbolizes the home and preparing it for winter. After all, we will be spending pretty much the next six months indoors (if you live where I do that is!). It's time to make your home a beacon of comfort. Clear out the clutter - both physically and emotionally!

If your skies permit, gaze at the Moon tonight and be thankful for your blessings. Think of ways you can make your home more cozy, more "Hygge". 



The long Canadian winters wear me down, I'll be honest. The cold goes right through me and I seriously suffer cabin fever along with energy-sapping joint pain. Every Autumn, I try to plan ahead, think of hobbies that will keep me happy and positive so that I can make it through another cold, dark season. Last year I dove right into drawing and I am so pleased that I did! What new hobby will you try this winter?

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Autumn Equinox - Balance

Autumn Equinox Walk In The Woods :)

Hi Everyone :)

Now that the planting, gardening and harvesting season is nearly at its end, the time for sharing, connecting, resting and thought is commencing. :)

Mabon (Autumn Equinox) is here! I think I'm finally okay with letting go of summer! :)

I made an  apple pie with a design of the Moon and the Sun to symbolize Balance

Mabon symbolizes balance - the balance between light and dark, it's the Second Harvest Festival - a time to gather up all the last bits and pieces of the garden and to preserve for the long winter ahead. It's a time to give thanks, in fact, it's coined the Pagan Thanksgiving because we are just so grateful for the bounty that Nature has given us through our efforts in the garden.


In Nature-based Pagan spirituality, the Sabbats (the eight festivals of the year) are divided into Lesser Sabbats and Greater Sabbats. Mabon is a Lesser Sabbat because it represents the changing of a season. The Greater Sabbats, such as Samhain (Halloween) are high energy and powerful holidays where the season is at its peak.

Nature Offers Beautiful Decorations!

Every Sabbat has meaning, symbolism and a great connection to Nature and the Universe.

Potato, Ham and Gruyere Tart - celebrating my potato harvest!

I celebrate each holiday (Pagan and secular) with a special Tarot reading, a few rituals and charms, decorations that symbolize the season, some symbolic yoga and meditation routines, and of course a great seasonal supper! 

I found a really good Yoga Routine for Balance, and a nice relaxing Mabon Meditation. It's amazing how relaxed and grounded I feel after a little bit of yoga and meditation.

Please enjoy my Tarot Spread and Charms :)


I did my reading this morning, and what showed up very glaringly was that I need to investigate my "Shadow Self" in order to balance my life. The Shadow Self is the dark side of our personalities, of our thoughts. It's that negative aspect of the self that most times we refuse to see or admit to. It's important to uncover this shadow in order to learn from it, grow as a person and live with greater love, happiness and gratitude. A lot of the issues we have, the problems and the disappointments in our lives are caused by repressing or denying this shadow self.  I'll be working on this over the winter!...and on a personal note, Magic Love Crow my friend - you mentioned this to me a while back but I guess I wasn't ready to dive into it yet, now I am! :)

I found a great place in the middle of several tree trunks to lay down my intentions for the season!

Mabon Intention Charm

Here is a charm I came up with one day as I was walking in the woods. We all have great ideas and intentions to improve our lives and reach our goals. Here is something you can do on Mabon (or within a few days of the Sabbat).

1. Write out your intentions on a piece of paper.

2. Wrap the piece of paper in a beautiful fallen leaf with some twine - a red leaf would be much more powerful as red represents passion and fire!

3. Take a walk in the woods, or in a nice park where you know there are places you can be alone. Find yourself a beautiful tree that seems to be calling out to you and place your intentional charm under the tree and cover it with leaves. If you find a tree with a hole in it, or a spot where you can lay down your intention, that would be even more powerful.

4. As you walk away, thank the tree and Nature; and think about the actions you'll take to set your intentions and make them a reality. Remember to trust in yourself and the Universe. 

The Wish I Want To Manifest? A HOME.

Mabon Apple Wish Manifestation Charm
(Idea from "The White Witch Parlour") 

Here is another little charm that I think is a great way to send out your intention to the Universe!

Find a quiet spot at home or in your yard where you won't be distracted. Light some candles, burn some incense, play some music...do whatever gets you into a calm and spiritual mood for this charm.

You'll need an apple, a bowl of water, some salt, some cinnamon, a small knife and a small tea light candle or a taper candle.

1. Hold your apple and think about what you really want to manifest in your life and really meditate on it for a little while; make the intention clear as you focus on it.

2. Carve a hole in the top of the apple that will hold your candle. Set it aside. You may want to slice the bottom off the apple to make sure it can stand on its own.

3. Add some salt to the bowl of water. Concentrate on your intention and stir deosil (clockwise) to energize the water. (Stirring widdershins, or counter-clockwise, would be for something you want to banish from your life.)

4. Carve your apple with words or symbols..anything that represents the intention you want to manifest.

5. Place your apple in the water, insert your candle and light it. Sprinkle some cinnamon over the apple and water. Cinnamon is for prosperity.

6. Bask in the energy of the charm, imagine this intention has already been manifested and enjoy how wonderful that feels! Send your intention out to the Universe as you blow out your candle. Work towards your goal but be sure to trust yourself, your intention and the Universe...doubt and worry do not serve us ONE BIT!! :)

My Joy :)

Have a blessed day my friends! Enjoy the season and live with positivity and gratitude!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Blog Comments

THIS IS A POST I DID ON MY MAIN BLOG: Rain's Garden with regards to a new policy on Blog Comments!


Here are a few of the 66 tomatoes that are finally turning red! :) I see salsa in my future... ;)


And my very first sugar pumpkin...do you think it'll have enough time to ripen?

Blog Comments:  My friends, I'm sorry to say this, but I have to turn off the "anonymous" comment feature for my blog. I don't know what the heck happened, but I woke up the other morning to over 800 comments (no joke!!!) from "Anonymous"...everything from graphically violent attacks, to bigotry to the likes of the Nigerian Prince scam of the 1990's. I even got comments saying that the Federal Government is suing me for tax evasion lol...

And all throughout the last few days I keep getting hundreds more on various posts on my blogs.

This doesn't worry me at all, I know they are just randomly generated, but it's just annoying, so I'm going back to only allowing comments from people with Google accounts. I know that some of my followers don't have accounts with Google, but I hope you understand. I just don't have the time to moderate comments when I'm getting so many spam ones.

This also applies to my other two blogs: Rain's Thoughts and Rainy Day Cheese Making...both of which I intend to resume after Labour Day as well! :)

If you don't want to open a Gmail account, I totally get that, but if you want to contact me, you can always use the Contact Form on my sidebar! I'm also on Instagram.

Thanks for understanding! :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Synchronicity


Every morning I draw a card from one of my many Tarot or Oracle decks. I take the message seriously and think about it and try to see how it'll fit into my day; how I'll learn from it; and what I need to change if anything to improve my life and my health. This is a part of my daily "maintenance" and self-therapy that has become a very pleasant habit!

This morning I drew the Spider from my Animal Oracle deck. Lately, besides enjoying the short summer season here in the mountains, I've been ensconced in writing. I started a little crime drama type of novel back in 2006 and got about twenty-three thousand words written...but then my mental health took a dive and I lost all of my creativity. I set that novel aside and never looked at it until last week.

I re-read my book and decided I wanted to try to write again. I finished reading it last Friday and then got a little writer's block. I started to write poems instead and they came to me easily, but after a few days, those ideas dried up a little. Then this morning, a new idea came to me. I thought maybe the Oracle card was telling me to go for it!


Another wonderful habit I've taken up again is walking the dogs in the woods and up the mountain each morning. I love it! I've started a little morning ritual as I walk. I spend some time thinking about what I'm grateful for, then I spend some time praying for my loved ones and my friends, then I think about three things I want to accomplish that day. I got this idea from watching inspirational videos with Tony Robbins. Love that man! So in doing my morning ritual, sometimes I think about it, and sometimes I actually say it out loud to further project that intention out to the Universe. I love my morning walking meditations! They start my day off on a positive note every time. :)

So as I was praying this morning for a person I care about a lot, I was just thanking the Universe for letting that person see that they can come to me, that I'm an open and caring and safe spot they can rest their head on. This person is going through a very difficult time and had a tendency to keep everything locked away, but yesterday she reached out to me and I felt like I really could offer her some comfort. I had asked the Universe for days in a row to show her that she could open up and she did. 

Anyway, I was just thanking the Universe for allowing her to see that I could comfort her when I walked right through a HUGE spider web with a spider on it that crawled down my arm. I JUMPED lol...I think I yelled too. I'm not an insect fan! 

But instead of freaking out, I thought wait...I pulled the Spider card this morning. Then another thought came to my head, the Spider Totem's message is this:

"What you have carefully woven lately is now bearing fruit".

JUST as I was thanking the Universe for allowing my friend to open up to me, the Spider was appearing to me to tell me that my efforts were successful. Isn't that cool?

I don't believe too much in coincidences, to me this was synchronicity, which (generally speaking) means simultaneous events that occur in your life that are somehow related in a meaningful way.

Do you believe in synchronicity? Has this ever happened to you? I consider this a wonderful blessing and an opportunity to strengthen my beliefs. :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Dark Of The Moon


Dark Moon or New Moon? I guess depending on what your beliefs are, you may see tomorrow as the New Moon rising. I personally see the next few days as the Dark Moon phase, sometimes called the Dead Moon phase (to signify the end of the cycle and the preparation for a rebirth of the Moon cycle); I've also heard it referred to as the Balsamic Moon phase (anyone know why it's called the Balsamic Moon?).

I took these photos of the Moon on September 27th, 2015 during a Lunar Eclipse. It was wonderful!

When the Moon is completely invisible, that is the Dark Moon phase and it usually lasts from 2-3 days. I see the New Moon phase as the time when the moon shows a visible crescent. I live by the cycles of the Earth and the Universe so for me there is a big difference.

During the Dark Moon phase, I do a lot of soul searching. I look inward and reflect on the last Moon cycle and what I've learned about myself. 

I also make sure to take things very easy because I tend to get carried away at times and overdo it. These few days of the Dark Moon remind me to relax and enjoy some solitude and quiet moments, away from society and life.

The phases of the Moon really influence my day to day life.



The New Moon teaches you to start new projects and get excited about new opportunities. 

The Waxing Moon is a time for growth and following through on your plans.

The Full Moon is a great time for nurturing and taking care of your home, family and self. This is a time for women to celebrate their femininity.

The Waning ​Moon is a time of letting go of negativity and banishing toxicity from your life.

Then comes the Dark Moon where you need to just relax and reflect and get ready for the motivating power of the New Moon phase. As you look inward, it's a good time to set intentions for the coming month.


Here are some questions to ask yourself during the next few days:

1. What stands out most for you during the last month?

2. What were some of your greatest accomplishments in the last month? 

3. What were some of your greatest challenges? What can you learn from them and how can you grow from them?

4. What did you struggle with in the last month? Take a hard look and set an intention to change what isn't working for you.

5. What loose ends need to be tied up?

6. A big question I ask myself each Dark Moon phase is what have I realized? I can share this with you. I've realized I have a 50-year old body lol...my mind still thinks I'm in my early 20's! Thirty years ago I was a body builder and quite obsessed by it. Well I had the bright idea last month that I could get back into weight training, slowly mind you, but surely. My body told me differently and I had so many ouches and owies and a few kind of bad injuries that I had to deal with the last few weeks. Arnold Schwarzenegger I am NOT. I had to finally accept that my body needs a gentler approach to physical fitness and I'm working on that now!  :)

For the next few days, it's going to be raining so this is the perfect time for me to do some self-therapy and self-improvement. I have a few intentions I'm setting for the next month and a few goals as well. But mostly I'm going to spend some quiet time on the porch journaling and appreciating the quiet of the mountains before the tourist season officially begins in a week's time! And of course, with relaxation comes good food to share with Alex, tomorrow is fondue night and that's a great way to enjoy a quiet Dark Moon night! :)