Friday, April 11, 2014

Bloggity blog!

I realize it's been a while since I blogged. It's one of those things that I think about doing often, but somehow I don't take the time. Now that I have speech to text software I'm hoping that it will be easier to get to. I'm planning a little housecleaning - this blog was intended to be a catchall blog, but I decided that artwork is a little too much "catch" for the "all". So I have a separate blog for my art and I will be moving posts from this blog into that.

What I want to concentrate on here are essays, possibly some poetry, rants, and general discussion of and instruction in things of a more spiritual nature. I am working on a list of entries I want to make. I've also been toying with the idea of trying my hand at some fiction. It probably won't be typical. If any of my droves of readers have topics that they would like me to cover, comment or email. You should be able to find my email link in my profile, and I will try to remember to put a link in the sidebar.

I also do email readings and consultations with the tarot, as well as other divination modalities. I am a Reiki Master/teacher, and I both teach and do healing work. If any of these things interest you, email me privately.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Heroes

From dictionary.com:


he·ro

  [heer-oh]
noun, plural he·roes; for 5 also he·ros.
1.
a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.
2.
a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal: He was a local hero when he saved the drowning child.
3.
the principal male character in a story, play, film, etc.


I don't have many heroes, never have had. Mostly, I'm sure, because few people live up to the term - to me it's not just about someone who's done something heroic (I believe you can perform acts of heroism yet not qualify for being "a hero"). I argue with the need for the word "noble" in the definition of hero, because it doesn't seem necessary to be perfect, or even anywhere near perfect to be a hero. In my mind, being a hero is about rising above your circumstances, limitations, fears, or personal pains, and creating something good where there was something bad. Saving a life, stopping a crime, walking through hell and coming out someone who inspires, leads, teaches, and makes the world better - all those are the behaviors of a hero.

My father was a hero to me because he triumphed over a particularly dark and despairing childhood, worked very hard to save his younger brother from that same childhood, left home early to work, volunteered for the Navy as soon as he was old enough (right after Pearl Harbor), and managed to return home long enough to finish and graduate from high school. After 22 years of service he again triumphed, this time over losing his eyesight and becoming disabled. Despite what he'd been through, he saved lives (literally and figuratively), inspired people, worked with kids, donated money, and worked his best to give his family the things he'd never had - security, love, happiness. Those are thingss that I consider heroic, and there are people I've met over time who manage to beat and persevere through similar and worse odds.

Another hero for me is a man named Damien Echols. He's not someone I know personally, but he's someone whose life I've followed for 20 years, since he became entangled in a judicial system that wanted someone to pay, instead of wanting justice. If you know me personally, you probably have heard all about The West Memphis Three, and the debacle of a trial in the State of Arkansas all those years ago (you can read much more about it at WM3.org or at Crime Library).

I've always been a crime watcher, but for me it's normally a somewhat distanced interest. I often have a hot-headed opinion about the guilt and/or innocence of someone, but this is the only time in my life that I've become passionately invested in the outcome of a trial during it, and for decades after. I've raised awareness as best I could over the years, written blog entries, shared information, showed people the Paradise Lost movies. Since the time that I lived in Memphis, Tennessee during the trial, I've gotten divorced, remarried, divorced, remarried (again) and had a son. I've moved from Memphis to Missouri to Chicago. I've had a weird, wonderful, amazing life... all while three men that I believed beyond certainty were innocent sat in prison - one of them, Damien Echols, on Death Row.

I received Damien's book (Life After Death) as a gift, and as I read it I find myself powerfully moved all over again. I'm horrified, heartbroken, moved, shaken by what he went through in prison. After his release in 2011, I've managed to follow a bit of his life through news and through Twitter (@damienechols). It seems that he's thriving, that his release has released a great talent and an amazing soul. I use his past story to tell people how they can persevere through so much more than they'd imagine they can bear. I hope to use his future story to tell people how much they can achieve if they try. As a mother and a would-be artist, I look to him as an example and as a hero in my own life.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Black Sabbath!

I have fallen off the Every Day in August Bandwagon (sorry Effy!) pretty badly. I will clamber back on, though.

Right now I am sitting on a blanket at First Midwest Bank Amphitheater in Tinley Park, Illinois, getting ready to see Black Sabbath in concert. It's three quarters of the original lineup, including Ozzy!! I love The Ozzfather, and I am more than excited to see him live.

The new album, 13, is fantastic, and they will be doing several songs from it as well as some oldies. They've been sticking to the same set list throughout this tour, so if that holds true, I  will get to hear one of my very very favorite Sabbath songs live - Fairies Wear Boots. Yay! So ready to see Ozzy, Geezer and Tony.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Back to school! (Day 12 - EffyWild Blogalong)

I completely neglected to blog yesterday. Yipes! I will try my best not to miss another day this month.

My summer officially ended today. My 9 year old started his week of day camp that will help transition him into all day school next week. I dropped him off at 9:00 and I'll pick him up at 4:00. I did his back to school shopping (most of it) while he was there, which was so nice! This camp is called "Camp Complete" and they try to do a good cross-section of camping activities. Tomorrow they have a big field trip to a Chicagoland kid's amusement park, and Thursday they'll be swimming. Not sure what else they'll try.

Next Monday I'll unlock the back gate in our yard and he'll walk across to school for his first day of Third Grade. We'll meet his teacher and tote his school supplies over at the open house this Wednesday evening. I love how close his little school is - I can watch him all the way to the line they gather in. In the afternoon, if weather permits, I sit in the field between our gate and the school and meditate while I wait for them to dismiss school. Then we sit there for a while and talk about the day, sometimes I bring out a snack. I love that time with him.

I'm getting ready to start my yearly "back to school routine". I have certain days I leave the house for shopping and errands, certain days I clean, and certain days that I allocate for more personal business like art and craft, and sometimes lunch/or coffee with a friend. I like having him with me, but having some time alone is healing for me. My goal this fall/winter is to get inventory built up so that I can stock my Etsy store again, and perhaps rent a shelf at a craft mart. I hope that the Universe conspires with me this year!
.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Divination! (Day Ten of Effy Wild's blogalong)


Earlier this year I started a blog about divination. When I merged all my blogs I reverted the posts to drafts, with the intent of merging them in and starting to blog about divination and such things from time to time. I will discuss various forms of divination, some that I've worked with for the greater part of my life, and some that I'm brand-new to. I'll talk about tarot, dowsing, runes, crystal gazing, and much more. I'll review tarot decks, talk about spreads, highlight cards for discussion, talk about rune meanings and spreads, and give information on other methods of divination as well.

I also plan to cover other things esoteric. I am a Reiki Master/Teacher, and I plan to devote time in this blog to talking about what Reiki is and how it's used - as well as how you can learn Reiki and become a practitioner. I will talk about crystals and their use for healing and divination, and pretty much any other topic that I find to discuss. You are also always free to suggest topics, and I will do my best to cover them.

I offer, free to everyone that's interested, Reiki energy sends. I'll have an email link in the sidebar to send me your needs. You can add a friend or family member, or ask for Reiki for yourself. I will add you to my list and send you Reiki every day. More on the methods I use to do that in a later entry!

I also offer, for a donation, tarot card readings via email. My basic reading is a three card spread (past/present/future) but if you feel you need a longer reading we can certainly work something out. A suggested donation for the basic reading is $5, but I won't turn anyone away. If you need a reading and can't afford it, that's not a problem - just use the email link to contact me and we'll work it out. All donations will be greatly appreciated.

This is a new format for me. I've been reading cards both face-to-face and via email for my whole adult life, and this is the first time I'm offering this service at large on the internet. It's an experiment, we'll see how it goes! So... here goes something wonderful (take two).



Friday, August 9, 2013

Day 9 - Photography (Efffy Wild Blogalong)

My father was a professional photographer and photography teacher in the Navy. He was crazy about photography, and I inherited some of his love of the medium. Over the years I've taken a few photos that I was proud of, out of the millions I've probably taken. Recently I was complimented on a photo I took, and it inspired me to get a few of mine out and dust them off - I have asked a few key people to look through them, I want to try to narrow down the list and get a few printed out and framed. I'm going to see if a local coffee shop might hang them up, give me some exposure and perhaps a few sales.

Meanwhile I'm making some crocheted slippers and I plan to make a few other simple crocheted items, and try to rent a shelf at a new craft mall in my hometown. Eventually I want to build up enough inventory to list at Etsy, and perhaps find a few people to work with to fill tables at some shows, and perhaps some convention dealer rooms.

I can't believe I've made it to Day Nine without skipping a day. I know I've been low on content, but hopefully that will change as the month goes one. Perhaps I'll even continue on after the blogalong is over...


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Day Eight! (Effy Wild Blogalong)

I have so much sewing to do, on top of everything else! I hope, with The Boychild headed back to school on the 19th, that I will have a better routine. When he is home he likes to hang out with me, he wants us to sit and do stuff together.  Naturally I love that, but it further hinders my normal lack of productivity. When he is gone for 6 hours a day, I will have the opportunity to create a schedule.

I am in the middle of a cute red and black skirt, and I have material set aside to make some head scarfs. I am also hoping to do some experiments with putting my own art on cloth for various projects. I hope to put one weekday aside each week for nothing but the studio, for cleaning and creating.

If you have kids, does back-to-school help you get organized? If you don't, or they are out of or not yet in all-day school, do you find that the change of seasons into fall helps you get things together? Or is another season better?




Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I've made it to Day 7!!! Will wonders never cease? (Effy Wild Blogalong)

Art has been on my mind a lot, but there's been a ton of everything on my plate that's keeping me from doing anything substantive. I have been crocheting, though, it's something easy that I can take with me, and do in front of the t.v. without a big mess or too much distraction. I found a lovely free pattern for house slippers and I've made several pairs. One for me and a purple pair for That Crystal Wolf! Now I'm working on a stripey pair to probably sell. I'm enjoying them. I also dug out the yarn to start a "corner to corner" lapghan. It's a technique that's all the rage in my Facebook crocheting group, and it looks gorgeous. I hope I'm up to the task!

Our new baby girl kitty is still in hiding, in my studio. We've tried to coax her out, but no luck - at least during the day when we're up and moving. When she's more used to the smells and the sounds I know she'll emerge and be a part of the family. We just have to be patient. Our Late Great Tuxedo boy, Zorro, hid in the basement for *months*. We genuinely thought he'd gotten trapped and died because we saw no activity at all from him. However, one day he appeared and settled in, and went on to become our son's faithful playmate. So, there is plenty of hope for our little Precious - it's only been two days, after all.

And speaking of the studio, SO. MUCH. WORK. to do in there. I'll get to work in there more as the heat dies away and fall comes on. I have plans!



Free ballet slippers pattern
Free corner-to-corner afghan pattern


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Happy Birthday, Gabriel! (Day 6 of Effy Wild's Blogalong)

Nine years ago today I was in the hospital, clutching the most incredible gift I have ever been given.






Today I'm looking at a young man who will be starting third grade in a few weeks.


I am so in love with this little creature. He's an amazing person, one I like to be with. I'm proud of how he's turning out, and I'm thankful I was given the chance to help create him.



Monday, August 5, 2013

Blog Business & a New Family Member! Day Five of the EffyWild Blogalong.

If you are new to my blogs, you may  not have noticed that a bunch of new posts showed up after Day One of the Blogalong. I did as threatened, and merged all but one of my existing blogs into this blog (and if I can find the file for my old cooking blog I will add those posts in, too). I will do some re-arranging, and there will be a few more posts that pop up after I do some editing to them. Some of the posts are old essays and stories about my life. Some are about art projects. Some that have yet to be published are about divination. I'm a multi-faceted person with lots of diverse interests and hobbies, so you never know what you're going to see here. In the next few days I will have more real content, and I hope to inspire some comments and feedback from anyone that's reading. Right now I'm just randomly doing random things, but I'd certainly write about things you want me to write about, if you'll just ask.

Today my big and exciting news is that we are getting a new cat. This will be my first girlcat in over 20 years - my late, great, Callahan, a beautiful and imposing Alpha grey tabby, refused to allow me to have girls in the house. The new girl is named Precious, she's apparently a part-Siamese, long hair, 2 year old. I'm excited to meet her, and I hope she fits in with the family. I have three toms and a Basset Hound. I know the Hound will love her, he loves everyone. The tomcats? No idea. We shall see. I am sure I will post more news and photos of the new girl soon.





Sunday, August 4, 2013

Home again - Day Four of the Blogalong!

We loaded out and hit the road after closing ceremonies and saying some last goodbyes. This is my last con until October, and I will appreciate some time off. When my Sweetheart and his band go to Texas to play WorldCon later this month, I have plans to clean my closet!

Tonight it's Chinese food and cable movies. Tomorrow the Redhead goes back to his routine, and I have a house to try to clean.

Tomorrow, with luck, there will be Real Content in this blog. I  feel like I have a lot to say! Thanks again for the push, Miss Effy!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Day Three - Effy Wild blog along!

Watching a concert featuring the amazing Seanan McGuire, backed by Amy McNally and Wild Mercy. If none of these names is on your radar, they should be. Seanan is an incredible songwriter and singer as well as a Hugo winning author, and quite a delightfully wicked girl all the way around. The rest of the bunch are just as amazing and talented, I assure you. I am lucky to get to hang out with the lot of them.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Day Two of the Effy Wild blog along!

Here I am, blogging at a maker convention, MuseCon3. I just got back from a music jam and a fabulous conversation with a dear, important old friend. That's why I love all the conventions my family goes to each year - renewing and restrengthening of the bonds that link me to so many friends. That's where the bedrock of my soul comes from... the people I love.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Happy August!

I love to blog. Well, rather, I love the idea of blogging. I also love the idea of people reading my blogs. Somehow I don't get around to doing it much, which doesn't help me build up a readership, or give me the satisfaction of having done it. That's simply not a win-win situation.

A friend of mine has been encouraging her friends to do a month daily blog-along in August... I had thought "No way!", then I thought "Oh, yeah, you should." Then as I warred between the two, I wondered "which blog?" and I realized I. Have. Too. Many. Blogs. Oh, yeah, it sounded great to have all these different blogs on different topics, but it has never worked for me. Primarily, I fear that so many blogs has left me with writer's block, thinking of "so many things to cover". Therefore I've decided that I will participate in a daily blog writing event, and in the process I will take an unprecedented step... and merge almost all my blogs together. That will leave me with this one, and my business/art blog, which it seems obvious ought not to be merged.

I ask one big thing though, as I go through this process - feedback! I don't care what you write, as long as it's pertinent to the blog. Love me, hate me, think I should do everything differently... just comment. ;-)

Now, let's get busy.