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I am still a horrible person

My husbands grandmother died on Sunday (hence, radio silence), and I think tomorrow’s post is going to deal with something pagan-y that came up.

But I think it’s important that I share just how horrible I am. They placed her casket in an epoxy-sealed vault before burial to keep it from the elements. I’m more assured that in case of zombies, she will not rise from her tomb.

It’s the little things, really. Kind of like when singing “On Eagles Wings” at the Church, and I don’t think of the Abrahamic God or Jesus. Nope, I think of Gandalf.

 

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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I will come with the brights of their eyes…

My radio silence has been purposeful. A few weeks ago, I took time to have a real in-depth ritual, not just an offering, for Dionysos. I haven’t had a huge need lately, like our relationship had reached a point where contact wasn’t needed on the level it was before.

Gods come and go, so I didn’t consider this a bad thing. But I think this ritual was really needed for our god-mortal relationship. So I pushed my boundaries; I stayed up late, I drank, then cleansed myself both physically and mentally and approached my altar.

I don’t really like to talk much about what I do during ritual, because while I start off with a traditional Hellenic structure (I love the traditional structure, because it is very much like what I grew up with in the Catholic Church, and so I gravitate towards it naturally now), the content really will vary. I offer to Hestia as I light my candles and incense, pour wine for Dionysos and open with prayer.  Then dancing, as much as I can stand, enough to link my mind and body together, which ends with communion with Dionysos.

I have a hard time expressing the emotional intensity and just what happens during the moments of communion and experience, and I think that’s really the point. You have to experience it for yourself to really understand why I do it and why I follow this god.

I do however, want to share one of the concepts I got out of that ritual. One thing I really struggle with is that I’m not an outgoing person; not a drinker; not the sort of person you’d think of when you’d picture a Dionysos devotee. I’m a homebody and while utterly delightful, in truth, a little awkward. But the concept I got was to inspire within others, facilitate within others, what I cannot be myself.

Maybe that’s my work to do; prepare the way, make things ready and such so that others can experience the joy of my god. Even if they don’t believe, people like a party.

I’ve also been silent because we had a very intense scare with my mother. She was in ICU for two days after not being able to breathe and congestive heart failure, and spent a week on the general heart floor, getting tests done. They just wouldn’t let her leave, her blood pressure kept spiking. I spent the first weekend up with them, helping manage my brother and visiting mom. I’ll probably go back next weekend too.  They found a 90% blockage in her heart, in the area usually called the Widowmaker (cheerfully relayed via text message by my dad, as he was giving us updates. There is always time for trivia in my family),  and put in a stent. She’s home now, but has to make serious changes, ones that didn’t stick when she first was diagnosed with diabetes.

I hope it really hit home for my middle brother as well, as he is rapidly on the same path as my mother. We were all scared, and it really reinforced why I work out, why I watch what I eat, because in our family, weight and health are connected. I’m a firm believer in health at every size, but also know what is good for my own health.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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How about that….

I make a post saying how much I want to be a teachers wife, and my husband gets a teaching job. He’ll be working as a 5/6th grade resource teacher in a smaller middle school. It won’t count as a title 1 school for the loan payback program like we wanted, but it is a very good school. I’m so happy for him, he’s giddy and frantic right now…

So he’s happy about that, so of course his computer decides to break as well. He’ll deal while we get it fixed. If I’m not updating that much, it’s because my husband is trying to figure out how to deal with a Macbook. I’m probably going to help him get his classroom in order, my mother even wants to help (she’ll probably be better than me, to be fair, she’s crafty).

Otherwise, I had to deal with the hard things on Friday, things I hate dealing with. A coworker made some inappropriate comments to/about me that morning. I thought it was just a one-off bad, mouth goeth before the brain moment. But I was informed that he said it three times –and I knew I had to do something about it. But I’m not all that good at confrontation and it’s really not a good idea to air it out in the cube farm.

I do, however, have a great supervisor that I feel comfortable going to. But even that took gathering my courage. She did take quick action to talk to the guy, and he’s not taking it well. He’ll get over it though.

And worst of all? The joke wasn’t even funny.

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Job hunting season.

I’m really longing to be a teacher’s wife right about now. I’m longing to take a day off of work to help my husband set up his first classroom. To get the stuff out of our bedroom and into a proper space again, to support him through his first year teaching. I’m just pretty sure that it is not going to be this year.

The husband has his fifth interview of the summer set up for Friday. We’re still waiting to hear back on the one he went on last week (in a district where he has friends, did student teaching, and contacts within administration. So he’d really like this one), and he passed a screener phone interview for this next one last night. The rational part of both of us knows that for a recent graduate in this climate, five interviews isn’t bad at all. If nothing happens, he’ll sign up as a sub, and after that picks up he can leave his current horrible job.

The irrational parts know how devastated he will be if that happens. So, I keep myself assured that as the summer draws to a close, more teachers with suddenly resign and my husband wows at the interviews. Friends of ours with less interviews got hired later than this. And a lot of late hires are new teachers.

A lot of my friends and family are job hunting right now, including both sisters-in-law. Brother’s wife had an interview at a local college for their costume shop (which she would be fab for. She’s amazing) and husband’s sister has two interviews and practicals at different hair salons, and is waiting to hear a yes or no from a third. She’s very talented with hair, and she really wants to cut mine off, but I won’t let her.

I’m visualizing. If I were the witchcraft sort, I’d do the work, too. Which tells you how much I long to be a teacher’s wife.

When I mentioned that on twitter last night, it came with the addition of “like the cheesy ‘inspirational romances’ I get for free on my kindle” the response was hilarious, let me tell you. There’s an entry in this for why this pagan absolutly loves her escapist Christian Historical Romances.

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Simple Woman’s Daybook 8/7

Once again, I am doing The Simple Woman’s Daybook as a weekly devotional activity for Hestia. Let me know if you play along.

 

FOR TODAY
Outside my window…
It seems beautiful and sunny. But the daystar hurts us precious.  I wish the flowers didn’t look so ragged though.

I am thinking…
Of my plans for the day. I need to clean the masters suite, and I have a recipe that I am going to try.

I am thankful…
For a loving and supportive family. I had a mental break yesterday and because of my wonderful husband and his sister,  I was able to prevent it from becoming something more and get my daily activities done. I even made fudge!

In the kitchen…
Today I am planning to make these buffalo chicken eggrolls except with mozzarella instead of bleu cheese. No one in my house likes that kind. I was trying to teach my Sister in Law how to roast a chicken last night, and while she still doesn’t like the idea of touching meat that still looks like the animal it came from (“I prefer it in nugget form!) she did quite like the seasoning I made. And the fudge. noms.

I am wearing…
pajamas! I haven’t decided to get up yet.

I am creating…
It’s not so much creating as I need to edit the song I want to use for the Hafla.

I am going…
nowhere today.

I am wondering…
How to get everything done when my husband didn’t go to bed until 7am. Granted, it was because of blood sugar issues, but I need to do work in the suite.

I am reading…
The Light Horseman’s Daughter. I think that’s whats on my kindle right now. I’ve read through  a bunch of books on my kindle this week since I realized that text to speech is awesome.

I am hoping…
That my husband hears back on the interview he had last week. And that he gets it. It was his 4th interview since the beginning of the summer, so he’s obviously doing something right, but so far, no teaching job for the beginning of the year.

I am looking forward to…
My friend Puck coming down today.

I am hearing…
Nanny 911. Don’t judge, it’s morning.

Around the house…
In the immortal words of my twin brother, “There’s so much work to do!”

I am pondering…
This Hellenic Devotional and what to do with it.

One of my favorite things…
I just realized I still have a Lush face mask. This makes me happy.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Work, dance, cooking –I’m not that exciting.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing…

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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The Expensive (in a good way) weekend….

I am usually a miser. I don’t do big trips or lots of shopping (except for work, obviously) but this month is a rare month. It is a three paycheck month. For both my husband and myself. In honor of this, when a trip was planned to go up to the Bristol Renaissance Faire for a weekend, we said, “Oh yes!”.

To be fair, the trip could have been cheaper. Our friends went to Great America the day before, which we passed on. We’re not rollercoaster people. We all got dinner at an expensive, but delicious Brazilian steakhouse, Texas De Brazil, in the Woodfield Mall.  Go for the meat, stay for the salad bar, you won’t be disappointed. I need to make the little cheese stuffed breads again. We also went shopping while at the mall. I indulged in stores for bath products, one of my luxuries in life. Also, tea.

We stayed at my parents (most others got hotel rooms. We were saving money) and my mom made my favorite cookies and gave me the recipe. Which means I’m going to make them soon. We got up early, waited for a friend to show so we could carpool, and headed up the 2 hours to Bristol. I wore my usual Turkish garb, husband wore  his pirate stuff, and friends wore whatever they seemed to love best.

And we had a great time, despite the heat. We caught the Mud Show, Barely Balancing (an acrobatic trio, one of whom was my sister in law’s assistant for at least one show in grad school) and Dirk and Guido. I’d’ve liked to shop and listen to music more. But it was really hot, and nick is still injured, so we did different things than I’d like. We did however, find rings that he liked, that were cheap and in his size, for him to wear. He hasn’t worn a wedding band in a couple of years, and while we save for new ones to replace the one he lost, this will work. The band itself isn’t that important, but what it symbolizes. I got a shiny too. A little bracelet of pretty blue stones, lapis mostly, but others that I can’t recall at the moment.

In short, had a blast with my friends, despite spending a lot more money than I like to do. But in a way, this was my husbands and I only vacation together. We don’t go out like this a lot, and we might as well celebrate having an extra paycheck by doing something with it other than paying off more debt. And that’s a big motivator for us as well.

Now…my new shift at work started today. This 8 am start time is difficult today.

 

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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30 Days of Paganism Day 25: Priest? Clergy? One or both? Neither?

…All of the above?

I’m recently coming out of a period where I believed with holy fervor that I needed to be a priestess. And not just a household one, but a big time leader. I blame my brother, because seeing him go through the process of Ordination was inspiring. He ditched his secular life in service of his god.

…okay, not that being a manager at a truck rental place is any sort of important secular life. At least at the insurance company where I work, I can say that I am helping people recover. Priesthood has been good for the brother, even if he had to undergo empathy training. This is my family folks. This should explain everything. Very well-meaning, very dedicated, no social ability whatsoever.

But I felt I needed to do something similar. But while I wanted (and still kinda do) to be a monk as a kid, I don’t have the temperament for it now, particularly since there isn’t a broader community to do it in. I do benefit from structure, but I have a hard time getting it going on myself. This is a digression, isn’t it? See what I mean. Structure, darling girl. I barely can keep my head on. I’ve heard of one other Hellenic in Central Illinois, and while they are close, it would still mean driving, and that’s more terrifying than anything else. I get lost in straight lines.

But between my brother, and a series of people I was watching and reading on LJ/other blogs, etc, I got a little caught up. I’m mostly over that now. Other than in the way that if you are the one contacting the gods, you are a priest. Or that we are all priests, oh, you get the point. I’m not part of any local community and I do things all on my own, what’s the point of professional clergy without it? Part of my simplifying process that I am working on is releasing the things that I don’t desire, or that aren’t good for me. This desire is one of them.

Does paganism need pro clergy? If that’s what you need, go for it. It’s good to have those resources. But Hellenic Paganism is first a religion of the household, and clergy is few and far. And I’m good with that. I’ll be devoted to my gods without needing that validation, without being an uber mystic, just a small everyday mystic.

Maybe when I’m old I’ll become a monk. Because monks are still awesome.

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Why Hello There!

FreeJinger gave my blog the biggest one day hit counter ever. 73. If any of you stick around, I’ll be pleased as punch. Now I have new goal.

Let’s see, an update on my life:

  • I got a new shift at work, which is fabulous, and it starts Tuesday. We’re cutting back the department hours, which means the new people will have the same shift as well. My end time is now 5:30 instead of 7.
  • Speaking of work, I got promoted. It’s a pay grade promotion really, because they determined I was already doing the work of the next level of worker. It’s really awesome because they don’t usually promote until you’ve been there a year. I’ve been in the department 7 months.
  • Also speaking of work; we were this close to doing claims on ourselves. We spent the last hour of work hunkered in the basement of our Corporate Headquarters, hoping that a tornado didn’t hit us. I also had to convince a friend, via text, that driving to work while the sirens were going off was probably a bad idea.
  • I am far too happy about the blanket I bought for the bed. This is probably a problem showing that I should let myself decorate.
  • After the wardrobe purge has come the bookshelf purge. I’m still trying to sell off old D&D books, but we’ve packed up almost 50 books to go to goodwill.
  • We’ve had a houseguest for the past few days. Our friends car broke on the way home from California. When it broke, the nearest Ford dealership was in Joplin. For obvious reasons, he limped here instead. They are dragging out repairs and our friend is pissy about not seeing his kids in weeks.
  • Oven still doesn’t work, but at least our landlord worked on the lawn. It was looking a little abandoned.
  • Operation: CLEAN ALL THE THINGS is in full force, and I’ve kept the bedroom more or less spotless all week. Next is reshuffling books around and organizing some of the spaces. And, well, the rest of the house.
  • Working on digital clutter. This time it was my starred items in Reader. I took it from over 500 to 40. Most of those are long posts or recipes to try, so I’m working through them too.

Thinking about the next post for 30 Days of Paganism. I should just do a freewrite, because trying to structure them makes me angry and frustrated at the whole thing.

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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30 Days of Paganism: Day 20 Paganism and my relationship

I think I’m hitting the home stretch here, and if I wasn’t so bogged down at work (We are behind. Very very behind), I’d be cranking these out.

You’ve been reading these, so you get the gist of what I believe — Greek Gods, attempt at consistent practice (which right now is yoga. I know, I’m shocked too), grounded in Dionysos and Hestia. The big reveal? My husband is a big fat nothing. I think he’s technically an agnostic, but I think he is more along the lines of indifferent.

And so that causes conflict. I don’t ask him to do anything with me, unless we are visiting people. He doesn’t begrudge me space for my altar, the money I spend, the time I take, this blog, nothing. I do sometimes feel indulged rather than respected, but that’s okay.

There’s talk of a so-called “God Gene”, or genetics that predisposes you to religious belief. I think I have it, I’m pretty sure husband doesn’t. I think he is as supportive as he can be, and I wouldn’t have him any other way.

Because we have a lot that we do share: a profound love of space and exploration, of history, of people. We both find the world fascinating and awesome. And that works for me to be able to share my spirituality with him.

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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30 Days of Paganism: Day 19 Paganism and my family/friends

So, I’m not exactly a person that tells people that I’m Pagan. If it comes up, I’m honest. If it doesn’t, there’s no need. Which explains why most of my friends know that I’m pagan, if not the particulars — they read my various journals, we talk, they see my bookshelves and altars at my house.

My family, is a bit trickier. One brother certainly knows. We have the same friends group and I don’t think anyone in my family is stupid. Which means that the other older brother knows and thankfully doesn’t try to convert me. He’s the priest, so I’m thinking he’ll try to be sneakier about it. We have similar interests, ironically — classical sacred music, Classical History. In fact, he bought me Greek Religion!

My parents, though, I have no idea what they know. They’ve referred to me as an atheist, but they’ve seen my room and house. I think we have a don’t ask, don’t tell policy going on. I’ve been reluctant to say anything because of a few conversations we had when I was a teenager.

A few years after my grandmothers death, I got into a conversation with my dad about what happens after you die. He got angry at the idea of Grandma being reincarnated — “You think your grandmother came back as a bug?” I hadn’t really learned how to argue yet, particularly with angry and distraught people and just shut up and resolved not to tell my family unless they asked.

I got out of confirmation, and stopped taking Communion. And they haven’t said anything other than jokes. I almost feel bad that I haven’t said anything, but then, they haven’t asked, and it’s something I’m fairly private (internet notwithstanding). It’ll happen someday.

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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