Self reflection and a clean kitchen.

One week ago I began cleaning my kitchen. Not a typical wipe down and mop job. Oh no. A full on deep strip clean. Literally scrubbing the walls from top to bottom and within an inch of their lives. Treating them with anti mold and mildew chemicals because the owner (we rent) used poor quality primer instead of real paint and after exposing my walls to all that water and bleach I don’t want to risk problems down the road.

Weeding through pots, pans, and containers that overflow from the shelves we installed a few years ago and taking out ones that we simply have too many of, don’t use, or for containers – no matching lids.

I’m also going through the cabinets. Going to pare down the dishes, especially the cups. We don’t have space to put them all. I need to fix that. Also going through the food and disposing of things that have been there so long that they can’t be used anymore. Then I’m scrubbing those out, too.

And THEN I’ll scrub and mop the floor.

The reason for all of this? I’m not having the best time of it mental health wise, and my marriage could be in better shape (communication issues). And I just feel like I’m losing control over my life. All of my hobbies have gone to the wayside because I’m always having to take care of everyone else. On top of this my pain issues have gotten worse, causing me to be even more limited in my movement and activity level. What energy I have goes into child rearing and errands. Hell, most of the time I have just enough energy left in me to make a cup of coffee – only because it literally requires adding a pod to my machine and hitting one button – and making lunch or dinner for my son.

Hell, I hardly can keep my eyes open most days to make a note to myself to make a draft of a blog post here.

So, my kitchen cleaning has been about taking back control of something in my life that I alone decide how it’s done, when it’s done, and where it goes from there. It’s also about learning where my limits are now and which ones I can push through and which ones I can’t anymore.

Since starting the project I’ve noticed a remarkable side benefit. It has helped me to work through my emotions so that I do not fall immediately into the knee-jerk reaction scenarios. It has also helped me with my focus, and allowed me productive time to myself. When I have taken breaks while doing the hardest parts of the work I actually got a lot of writing done. Enough that I was actually surprised that I’d written most of a story without meaning to.

I plan to paint the kitchen next month with a glossy pastel green paint so that it’s easier to clean and won’t require so much elbow grease next time.

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Looks like I should probably post.

I haven’t posted anything since the 6th. And that’s a bit of a shame. Life as it does got in the way. My son had ear tubes put in last Wednesday, and the Thursday before that he had a dentist appointment. Next week I hope to get him back on his normal schedule with his therapist with so much going on this last month and a half with him I had to make a judgement call on how much I can actually handle in a week. All the other appointments we’re far more important.

In other news PayPal is being a dick about giving me my card reader so I went with Square. It will be here soon I hope. Then I can finally accept cards for payment on my readings.

So the Android app is nice.

Yesterday was a great day for me. My mom had a day off that was truly a day off. She and I also needed new phones. So we went down to MetroPCS since it was getting harder to find a TracFone that fit her needs. We got 2 phones that were under $100 for free because I changed providers and ported my number over from Safelink. All we had to pay was 1 month service, activation, and tax. What was expected to be a $300 trip became $150!

After that we went out to lunch at IHOP and had a fun time of me teaching mom how to program phone numbers into her phone and what apps are useful for her (like the one for our bank!).

We then went across the street to Kroger’s and did a bit of shopping. She knocked over a vase of fall flowers, then a pot of orchids! We had Starbucks and got a Crock-Pot with owls on it. And had a wonderful me and mom day, something we haven’t had in months.

And now I’m addicted to a game called Pocket Mortys, which is like Pokémon but is Rick and Morty themed.

And in honor of October my wallpaper is from Ash vs Evil Dead.

Sleep, sleep! My entire collection of blogs for some sleep!

Ah, it’s been quite a while hasn’t it? I’ve gone since the 9th without so much as a how do you do here. Life gets in the way, you know? That’s pretty much always the reason these days.

It’s been pretty hectic of late. Doctor visits all over the place, dealing with my son’s SSI case, dealing with his school, mom’s work schedule, my insomnia and back issues. Ugh.

Recently I’ve mainly had sleeping issues – or lack of sleep thereof. It’s the same old story – insomnia. I was going days at a time with little to no sleep (and when I say little I mean maybe 20mins cat naps every 12 hours if I was lucky). I just simply didn’t have the time to sleep because there was so much I had to do.

This week is no different – only that it is. I went two days without sleep, just to force my body to get enough sleep a few days before having to drive out to Rome, GA this morning/yesterday morning. It helped. Downside? I’m up at 3AM after falling asleep before 10PM. Can’t get back to sleep at all. And if I take something to make me go back to sleep, I won’t hear the 6AM alarm to get my son up and out the door for school.

Plus side to all of this though? In the wee hours of the morning I finally, FINALLY, get some time to myself. I get to read, write, watch my shows, relax and have a hot cuppa, fill out any paperwork I need to fill out for the latest round of doctors.

Just yesterday morning I was able to sit and watch the Game of Thrones season 7 finale (TORMUND!!!!! NO!!!!!) without having to yell at people to be quiet or leave me alone, or stop eating paper, or stop peeling the paint off the window sill, or leave the dog alone, or get up to fetch someone a snack, food, drink, make dinner, put all the DVDs back where they belong, etc. (And no, not all of that is directed at or about a certain rambunctious toddler either).

It’s a bit refreshing to get this time to myself, like this morning. I can think. I can plan out my day. I can catch up on my favorite fanficton stories where I delete an entire paragraph I just wrote here because holy crap I didn’t realize I loved the Tormund character from GoT so freaking much. I just want him and Brienne to get together and have big blond and ginger babies and the house of Tarth to just be these awesome badass warriors like the Mormonts because holy fuck Brienne needs to just be loved for who she is and Tormund totally is down for that.

And that’s where I’m going to end this post otherwise I’m going to lament the end of GoT season 7 and what may or may not be the fate of my favorite wildling.

It’s cold outside, there’s no kind of atmosphere… oh wait, this is supposed to be a blog post, isn’t it?

Well then. A lot’s happened, and this won’t be in any particular order as such simply because I don’t smegging want to put it in any sort of order.

My son went back to school last week after a summer of fighting sleep until 6AM. He’s behaving himself in school, engaging with the other children, and even riding the bus this year! He has the same teacher in the same classroom, and most of the same kids in his class – it’s the special education pre-k program. We’ll be setting up an IEP meeting this month to go over reclassification now that he has his proper diagnosis.

My local movie theatre went from being a Carmike to an AMC, and I hate it. The price hike is ridiculous, and the movies are in theatre for one week only (if we’re lucky). This sucks because by the time I’ll have money to see The Dark Tower, it’ll not be at the theatre anymore. and our car sucks so badly I can’t drive to a theatre out of town either.

As for husband, he’s finally hit the “midlife crisis” point in life. He’s 43, and finally hitting that wall. Thank goodness he already bagged himself a wife younger than him!

Mom moved back to second shift, which is both a blessing and a curse. After a summer of having a set routine and schedule based around her working the overnights, I now have to offset my laundry day every other week. And that is annoying. Though at least I’m more likely to get a date night with my husband once a month again so there’s that.

And lastly…. Britbox. No, this post isn’t sponsored or anything, but I just have to talk about this service because honestly I genuinely hate streaming services like Netflix and Hulu and such because they NEVER have the stuff I want t watch on them. And when they do, it’s always the same stuff. Why would I need to stream Sherlock when between my mother and I we own the entire series? Why stream Doctor Who when between my mother and I we have series 1-9? (Waiting on getting 10 for Christmas and my birthday).

But Britbox? Oh that’s another beast altogether. For $6.99 monthly I get access to nearly all the classic British comedy I grew up watching on PBS as a child. My mom can watch all the murder mysteries she wants until she’s blue in the face and then some without having to wait for our local library to think about considering getting a copy in. I can watch nearly the entire back catalogue of Classic Doctor Who and then watch obscure British documentaries. Low budget made for TV British movies not released in the US? They’ve got loads. Do I want to watch Eastenders or Coronation street today?

I know to most people this isn’t really all that super. But it’s so hard to get UK programs in the states without shelling out quite a bit of money on the DVDs. PBS will only show so much for so long before getting another series to syndicate.

But most of all, I adore Britbox for one simple reason. They carry Red Dwarf. They carry Red Dwarf series 1 through 11 and I hope to hell they’ll get series 12 when it airs later this year. I can’t get enough of this show, and it’s been a personal favorite (and obscure and hard to find) since I was 9 and first saw it on PBS at 3 or 4 AM every Saturday/Sunday, when I should have been in bed. Since we first got Britbox a few months ago (June I think) husband and I have been taking at least half an hour to cuddle up and watch a show together every day. We binged daily on Red Dwarf after I learned that around the same time when I was 9 years old watching it on PBS every week he was watching also on PBS where he was in Atlanta. After we’d talked about that, we had to binge together.

Anyway, that’s the best $6.99/mo I’ve ever spent in my life. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a Keeping Up Appearances marathon to get back to.

Rambling: I’ve got 2 laptops and finally figured out what to do with them.

So I have these two laptops. One of them has no usable internal storage (something I am working on dealing with) and the other is an old beast with missing keys and parts falling off. But plenty of internal storage. Both run Windows 10, but 2 different accounts (and  don’t want to deal with resetting my much hated Acer Cloudbook AGAIN and deal with uninstalling the 10 gigs of bloatware AGAIN and have to deal with Powershell code fuckery AGAIN) so I can’t exactly sync them up. But I really didn’t want to do that anyway.

So, I have these two laptops. The beast machine is my main rig. I do nearly everything on it. Except watch youtube or streaming. It’s so old now that it can hardly keep up with that and it has to buffer a long while before I can watch anything. I do all of my photo editing/artistic stuff on it, and nearly all of my writing. Again, it has much more storage wise than the Cloudbook. I also listen to my music on it. But pretty much my projects are all done on that machine. The Cloudbook is my “travel laptop”. Having a much longer battery life, and weighing roughly 1-2 pounds max, it’s ideal for when I need to go to the laundromat and need something to do. I can do some of my writing on it, via GoogleDrive and Evernote. But I can’t really do anything else but watch Youtube and stream movies.

Well, I finally figured out a good use! I’ve been trying to sort out how to efficiently do my tarot reading online. It requires I have a camera of some sort. Well, being strapped for funds as I always am (we pay bills and provide for our son just fine – comfortable even – but stretching beyond that is dicey as we have a crappy car and other things that we need to be careful of and keep extra money in reserve in case of emergencies. That kind of thing) so I can’t exactly just go buy one. My mom has one she got a few years back, but half the time we can’t find it and the other half the time it’s frustrating as hell having to go through and delete all my pictures after I transfer them to my laptops. And no, I don’t own a smartphone that actually works anymore. The one I do have can only be used while plugged in, and even then I can’t move it because it’ll shut off if the cord is moved too much. So, what do I do?

I recently discovered that my current phone, an LG prepaid flip phone has Bluetooth on it. Windows 10 also has Bluetooth compatibility… provided the device it is on also has compatibility. The beast of a laptop does not have Bluetooth… but the Cloudbook does. Essentially I’m going to be using the Cloudbook for basic blogging (like this), and business related things because I can use my flip phone to take the pics I need, transfer them to the Cloudbook via Bluetooth so that I can put them into the e-mails and such that I need to do to fill in my orders when I get them, or when I do my freebie events on Tumblr.

My clunker beast will be used solely for my projects and hobbies. This will help me manage my time better as well, and will help me dicipline myself to sticking to specific tasks I’ve set out for the day. Such as “Today, I’m only going to work on my novel.” So then I’ll be using the beast all day. Or “Today’s a casual work day!” so I’ll pull out the Cloudbook for streaming while I update my blogs, process payments, do ebay, etc.

At least, that’s the goal at any rate.

Finding My Goddess; or “The path to Hecate was littered with shitty fanfiction. And I wrote most of it.”

I was sitting on my toilet earlier and thinking, as one does when waiting for their loving spouse to locate a roll of toilet paper for those emergency “Why the hell didn’t you replace the roll after using the last of it you dipshit!” situations, when a thought occurred to me that I forgot about until a few minutes ago while browsing Twitter (no, not while on the toilet).

The gods (or God, whatever your belief) come into our lives at such strange times and we often aren’t even aware of it until years later. I’ve said before in passing that Hecate is considered my household’s patron goddess, and has been for my mother and I since before I married. Since before we came back to Georgia in 2010. I’ve also told my long, winding spiritual journey and yadda yadda yadda. That’s the “official” version, at least that’s what I call it. It’s got the main plot points, the important details, but lacks the down to earth, slice of life details and stories between the major plot points. This is one of those little, silly detail stories.

My mother’s a Christian again, but not the sort to completely ignore or rally against what she believed before. It was a natural progression for her, and it makes her happy. And I’m happy that she’s happy, too. But that’s just here for context. Before she returned to Christianity, she worshiped Hecate. And through the part of her life that she did, Hecate was what she needed most. And I am happy that the goddess welcomed her and helped her through a very troubled and dark time of her life in ways that I could not be there for her.

And while I do not consider myself a devotee and have her as my main deity – she is among my personal pantheon and does fill the role of primary goddess in it, with Death itself as the god role (which for my personal spiritual practice takes a more prevalent position in my worship. More on THAT in another post on another day). So, in my practice and worship, she’s around and pops up when she feels she needs to.

But it occurred to me earlier, and again right before making this post, that I was drawn to Her long before I knew anything about paganism beyond basic Greek and Roman mythology we learn in grade school.  Bizarrely, this particular stroll down memory lane takes a sudden and sharp turn into the world of Fanfiction. I’ve mentioned before that I write the stuff (but I do not post it to this blog). But first, a bit of context as to how this links up with the rest.

I love books and I love learning (despite what all of my teachers in the past were led to believe). I would think of a subject, and look it up in the dictionary, then thesaurus, and eventually the encyclopedia. When I had a chance to go to the library, I’d take a notebook and just do as much research from as many different sources as I could. I didn’t have to, no one made me, but I just did it. I would devote entire summers to learning about a subject as much as I possibly could. This continued from second grade all the way up until part way through college and I had a job that took most of my time away from my academic leanings.

In 1997, my family got our first computer through the Finger-Hut catalogue. Technically it was my mom’s, but we kids were allowed to use it for school and a little bit for the internet (mostly, again, for school). A family friend set it up for us, and he gave us some nifty programs for it, too. One of them was an encyclopedia program. Needless to say I was the most excited of all of us over that one. Mind you, Wikipedia would not be launched until 2001. So this program that I got for free was one of the best things that could have ever happened to me. The summer of ’98 I used that encyclopedia program to do a lot of reading. Every subject I could think of until finally, I settled on Greek and Roman mythology. At the time I already had a basic grasp on it, a little more than my peers, but only because my favorite anime or all time had been (and still is) Sailor Moon, who’s characters’ super heroine forms are named after the planets and have attacks based partly on the elements and partly on the particular gods/goddesses associated with their planet (except Saturn and Pluto. That one gets a little weird and mixed up – but the rest are pretty close to the mythical origins to an extent). It was also around this time I discovered… Fanfiction. See, I told you it would all connect together.

One of the main plot points of Sailor Moon is the love story between Princess Serenity of the Moon Kingdom and Prince Endymion of planet Earth. I had never heard the name Endymion before, so I was curious to see if like many other aspects of the show, it was based on mythology. Imagine my middle school aged surprise to learn there was more than on goddess of and/or associated with the moon. I read up about the Selene and Endymion myth, which led me to an entry about moon goddesses in general. This entry, of course, led me to Artemis and Diana (funny enough, the names of 2 of the 3 talking cats on the show). However… in a footnote among other articles and names of gods and goddesses in the “See Also:” section was Hecate. I’d already decided to go through every entry even remotely linked to Greek and Roman mythology that I could uncover, but that entry in particular caught my interest.

And later that summer, when I decided to try my hand at Fanfiction, it was with my fanmade character Sailor Dark Moon, Princess Hecate. A dark and edgy version of Sailor Moon who came from the dark side of the moon. Yes, very original, I know. Go ahead and get your giggles out now.

Take a breath. How about some water? Need a bit of air?

You good now? No?

I’ll give you another minute to compose yourself.

Okay. Let’s continue. Yes, that was a very awkward period of my life and I am insanely grateful that I never committed any of THAT fanfiction to digital format. The handwritten stories that were circulated among my friends now no longer exist, thank the gods. I burned every single last copy. The take-away from that experience though is that I devoured the information more than I had any other of the gods and goddesses in the encyclopedia at the time. And over the years, when I happened to come across information regarding Hecate, I’d read through it. I didn’t seek it out though. Just one of those “Hey, random article about this subject cites this other article about Hecate. Neat. Wonder if there’s anything in the Hecate article I don’t already know.” And so I’d click it to read it. But I never went out of my way to look for information after that summer.

Well, after that summer, I really didn’t want to go to church anymore. I wanted to branch out and explore other beliefs. But at the time, my hands were tied and I kinda had to go to church if I wanted anywhere to go out and do. It was the only way we could afford things like bowling or skating at the skating rink, etc, as part of church trips. A few years later, around early 2000, I didn’t have to go to church anymore, and this afforded me the freedom to explore other beliefs. So I read a lot. Went to the library, and checked out any book I could about all kinds of beliefs. At the time my library wasn’t even close to being as big as it is now, but it was better than nothing. It was nice. Of course, I looked up old Hecate when I explored Greek/Roman polytheism and at the time it really didn’t connect with me all that much. Still, it was an interesting read to me at the time.

A few years later in early 2003 (my 16th birthday no less) my family moved to Florida. Much of the first few weeks I try to block out of my mind. However, where we lived – we were very close to a little store within walking distance of my house called The Purple Door. And it was run by a nice Wiccan named Gretchen. It had all manner of pagan stuff, and it was here that my mom found her path, or rather, the path that was needed most at the time. We stopped in just because “Hey, there’s this place that literally has a purple door.  They’ve got neat stuff in the window. Let’s stop in and see what they do there since we have time to kill today.” and it seemed like a good idea at the time. And it really was. My mom went back, bought a couple of books. Talked with Gretchen a bit. Of all my mom’s kids I was really the only one who had an interest in her newfound spirituality because I was the only one who’d really tried to branch out and find something new for myself. And I felt she needed at least someone in the family who was supportive of her in this regard that she could talk to with no judgements. She experimented with different gods and goddesses, until at last she had settled on with Hecate. Boy was she surprised when she told me about Hecate and I went and told her even more (at least in the academic sense).

At the time I remember thinking it was pretty funny because of my silly little Sailor Moon fanfictions that were inspired by Hecate. And while she wasn’t exactly one of my personal pantheon at the time, she was still an influential deity of my spiritual life at the time because she was the one to which my mom turned in her faith and belief (alongside Hestia and other home-maker type goddesses to a lesser degree).

Ten years later, after meeting my husband and right around when we started dating (right before we “officially” started dating. He actually courted me. It was cute. This next bit is during that “courting” period which lasted about 2 weeks) I’m over at his and his mother’s house for dinner. Somehow we got on the topic of spirituality and witchcraft and Wicca in general (I must note, by this time I firmly identified as not Wiccan) and something I said must have impressed his mother quite a bit because she actually started going pretty in-depth into the topic with me, and later said it was a better conversation on the subject than she’s ever had with any of my then-almost-boyfriend’s past girlfriends. And of course, given the subject matter, Hecate’s name came up. She might have been impressed with the fact I didn’t do full on woo-woo new age sparkly glitter about the sparkly glitter version of Hecate that most of the fluffy woo-woo types go on about, and more on the realistic expectation of personal belief plus the academic perspective. At least, I like to think that’s what it might have been. I know she was surprised that I knew some stuff that typically doesn’t come up on a surface level Google search. Whatever it was, she was satisfied that I gave the goddess her proper respect and reverence, so I guess that’s a tick in a win column somewhere.

But thinking back on all of that, earlier today, it makes me want to giggle. Because again, you never know when the deities you may or may not believe in will step in, make themselves known, and then just kinda poke their head in from time to time whether or not you actually believe in them. Needless to say, by 2013 Hecate had become part of my personal pantheon as the main goddess among them, where she continues to be to this day.

But it’s just a little funny that for me, the road to Hecate started not with a dire need for something to believe in. Nor was it a deep spiritual devotion and hours upon hours of meditation. It started with a 1997 no-name computer from a mail order catalogue, with 1997 encyclopedia software, and an obsession with the anime Sailor Moon.