3/30/15

Letters to Loki #17 - WTF was I thinking?

Sly Fox,

I think I bit off more then I could chew this time. I thought that spring break would be no big deal and that the kids would be ok. I dared to think I could actually get some stuff done that didn't require my being in the room at all times. Oh was I wrong. There wasn't fights but there was so much screaming and whining. Every time I left the room to do something, I had a tail. Snuggle Bug always followed me when I went to use the bathroom and stood outside the door asking me what I was doing repeatedly.

We had a little excitement when the power company came out and replaced a telephone pole near our place. The kids had their noses pressed to the windows and were making excited squealing noises as they watched the equipment. It was rainy and cold, so we didn't go outside to watch. Which I think was ultimately a good thing because the boys really wanted to go talk to the guys working and see their truck up close.

Still, I think I need to lower my expectations for myself for this week. While I wanted to get another book started this week, I think that is just going to wait until the kids go back to school. I may, however, get somewhat caught up posting book reviews, if the kids let me. That requires a bit less quite and concentration. I am reading the last book in the Harry Potter series and I honestly don't get what the big deal is with it all. I know that you've also strongly recommended I read it and I'm trying to keep an open mind but I'm just not feeling anything for this.

Though, I do believe the whole kerfulffle over the death of Dumbledor had your fingerprints all over it. Seriously, the outcry over this death getting spoiled for the other readers was damn near epic and insane all at the same time. I've been of a mixed mind as to how to treat possible spoilers for my readers. I think I can discuss the content of the books with out giving away the details of the plot. But I don't believe I am going to post spoiler warnings. Those things just irritate the daylights out of me.

Ah well, that's what's on my mind today. I suspect tomorrow will be another day of my questioning my sanity if the weather is as rotten as it was today and we're still cooped up indoors.

3/20/15

Equinox, Super Moon, and a Solar Eclipse walk into a bar...

New Egg Moon (Age: 0 Days)
Sign: Aries
Weather: Cold, partly cloudy,
light breezes and snow flurries
Snow Pack: 1 in, approx.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Magically, I can feel the tides are pretty high right now. There's a lot going on celestially with the equinox, super moon, and solar eclipse happening today. I haven't been doing any magic today because I have been busy with the kids being home from school. Also, I have had the distinct feeling that I should refrain from it until after Hiatus is over. I did notice, however, that at the time of the solar eclipse, I did briefly awaken from sleep (as it was 3 am here and all was dark). I don't think, however, that was of much significance because my reason for awakening was due to my husband's snoring. (As my psych issues have improved, I have found that I sleep a bit lighter but get more rest. I don't claim to understand it.)

I was going to observe a partial fast today and made it to the middle of the day. Then I grabbed something quick from the store on my way to a parent-teacher conference and my abstaining from sugar got shot by the bottle of cola I had. I did manage to refrain from meat until dinner, so I suppose that counts as a success. I wanted to at least keep myself in some sense restrained in my observance of Hiatus and I didn't do quite as well as I had wanted. Life got in the way as it had through out the whole of Moura.

Last night, as I was falling asleep and communing with Freyr, I talked about my frustrations with keeping such things. He was bemused and told me that he was my dispensation from austerity. I was a bit flustered by this. It seems that Freyr is becoming more of a primary figure in my spiritual experiences. This is not too much of a surprise because of the relationship I am in with him. At the same time, I thought that things with Dea were going to stay very focused and front and center. When asking Freyr about this, he smiled and told me that she was still there and interested in me. My vow to her still binds me and Freyr will not contraindicate it. But he also told me that I was focusing too much on the 'form' of worship rather then the 'heart' of it.

Again, he was bemused with me as he said it. Called me his 'overly serious scholar' and told me that I am in no way to become something like an anchorite. It threw me for a bit of a loop until I realized that my tendency to cloister myself away from the world was less a spiritual act and more of an outgrowth of my social phobia. He was quick to tell me that solitude is part of my path but I needed to be in the world more. I was also told that I needed to reacquire my sense of humor or Loki was going to 'help' with that. 

I'll be honest, the little bit of playful 'malice' with Freyr's comment flustered me more and made me more apprehensive then the prospect of Loki helping me find humor. Loki's been laughing at this all day. Generally going with comments along the lines of "You're getting what you asked for. It's adorable to watch you flail. He should do this more often." and "Bit off more then you could chew, I guess you'll need to swallow." The latter was accompanied by some explicit gestures. Which rather made me flustered again and Flame Hair laughed again. I don't know why, but I forget that Loki's sense of humor does include a fair amount of lewdness. When he displays it (he was suggesting I use the phrase 'whips it out', for example), I tend to get mildly embarrassed and flustered. He jokes that I am a prude because of this and makes a point of making such comments at times where it gets a particularly strong response.

I wound up through a confluence of incidents going out to do stuff out of the house in public with out my head covered but my hair bound (in a very loose fashion by a ponytail). It felt somewhat odd. I have the feeling that my taboo is relaxing somewhat as my hair lengthens, though I am still encouraged to do so and have my hair bound up in some fashion when I go out of the house. The silence from Dea has me unsure if this is the case or my misinterpreting things.

At the time of the equinox, the boys and I were actively cleaning the house. I think this sets a tone for what the season will be like. We were working relatively well together and I wasn't overly stressed out by it. I hope this means that the season will exhibit more of this. I haven't done divination yet for the season and the upcoming liturgical year. I'm going to do that tomorrow at the beginning of the liturgical year.

3/18/15

Dreams.

Waning Worm Moon (Age: 27 days)
Sign: Pisces
Weather: cold, clear skies
Snow pack: 1-2 inches where 
it remains
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I've been having angry dreams of late. One has me battling a shadowy, superior foe. In that dream, I am grievously injured but I fight on. As the battle continues, my injuries become greater. At the end of the dream, I am so wounded that I should drop to the ground dead. I fight on, declaring in a savage growl, "I don't die."

The other dream is also one of combat. I am facing an army of draugar. I am unable to retreat. I take up a defensive position at a bottleneck on high ground. I hack and hew the bodies of my foes. At one point, I briefly consider ending my own life when I become extremely exhausted. Then, I angrily decide that I will fight until I die, taking down as many of my foes as I possibly can in the process.

I know that my dreams relate to my ptsd on one level. I have a feeling, however, that there is something on another level that gives them another meaning. I just can't puzzle it out.

Letters to Loki # 16: Running in Circles

Hey there Sly One,

Boy was last week a roller coaster ride. I am so thankful that my grandmother is doing well now. I don't know why she was having the health issues she was but the fact that she is recovering and at home now is a huge relief. I am a little frustrated with some of the things that happened to create some of the problem but I recognize that there really is nothing I can do to influence that so I am doing my best not to worry about it. I am still somewhat concerned for my mother, but I know that she has my father there to help her out. All of the stress from my maternal grandmother's health scare and from caring for my paternal grandmother (who is suffering from dementia) is wearing on my parents and I worry about them. Frustratingly, however, there really is nothing I can do to be of help. I know if there was, they'd tell me. I pray for them but sometimes it really doesn't feel like enough.

Speaking of prayer, the list of people whom I am praying for grew by a significant factor last week. It makes me disappointed that so many people are having so much trouble right now. I pray for them and I encourage some folks who I am associated with to pray for them as well, but I really would like to do something more concrete to be of help. I am, however, recognizing that there are limitations to what I can do and not pushing myself beyond my limits. I suppose I have learned some measure of moderation after all. I don't know when that happened, however. Must be part of this whole being an adult business.

The cleaning and such for Moura is almost finished. I have to admit, Freyr's admonishment to take a step back from working on my books has been helpful. It has allowed me to address the various problems that have popped up over the last few weeks with out feeling guilty that I wasn't working on a manuscript. I don't think I am going to manage to get fully caught up on my spinning by the time the Equinox hits, but I don't feel too upset about that. Again, I think this is a sign that I am making progress in not being so damn hard on myself.

I have been working on a shawl for Angrboda. I feel a little unhappy because I have made mistakes and had to rip it out to do over again. The pattern is really simple but I seem to keep flubbing things up with it. I am trying to keep a good sense of humor about it all and being less of a perfectionist with it. That, however, has been really hard. I do find myself wondering if the fact that this thing is a royal purple will suit her well. It was, however, the deepest shade of yarn that I had which is not earmarked for other projects. The rate that I am going through this ball of yarn, however, I may be forced to do the design element that initially came to mind. The ombré shades of purple to white may look good, but I kinda felt that doing the whole thing in dark purple would have worked better. I will, however, do what is necessary to get this done in a timely fashion.

I'm not sure why but I have the strongest sense that I need to finish this shawl by the end of the month. Considering that I am about a quarter of the way done, I think I will accomplish that with a little bit of time to spare. I still haven't gotten back to that embroidery project. I have hit something of a creative block with it. I just can't figure out what I am going to do next on it. I want to finish it but I am out of ideas. I have tried looking in my craft books, my embroidery handbook, and at projects others have done, but nothing captures my imagination. I suppose that is going to sit for a while longer.

This big shawl that I am knitting out of the camouflage yarn is almost finished. I have three sections to do and it will be ready to be blocked. I have no idea where I am going to block it out, though, because this thing is too big to do anywhere except in the middle of the living room. I don't have those foam blocking mats. So, I may just be giving it to the recipient unblocked. Fortunately, however, the yarn is acrylic and easy to care for. I will be soaking it in fabric softener and running it through a hot wash to soften up the yarn when I have this thing done. My hope is that it will make it a bit more even in texture and softer on the skin. If I have to, I suppose I could kill the yarn but I don't know where I'll be ironing this thing out. Again, that whole lack of workspace business.

I have been working towards doing more with Keen. I still feel really nervous about talking to unfamiliar people but I am doing my best not to avoid it. Hopefully, I will manage to be more active now that life has settled down some. These last two weeks were just too chaotic for me to really get involved with that. It makes me dread the coming spring break and summer. I don't know how I am going to manage being more active on Keen with the kids home and running around. I am sure I'll think of something, but it makes me nervous.

I suppose that's pretty much everything that is on my mind right now. I have some housework to take care of, so I'll just wrap this up with one final thought. I really deeply appreciate how you have been so supportive over the last few weeks. Reminding me not to take everything so damn seriously is probably the biggest thing I appreciate. It's a bad habit that I just can't seem to shake yet. I am sure I will in time. But, thank you again for being my friend and helping out.

3/10/15

Letters to Loki # 15: Rambling.

Dear Crazy Uncle of Thor,

I'm not sure what to write this week. It has been a hard start because my maternal grandmother is in the hospital. I'm real worried about her. I'm trying not to perseverate on it all, but it keeps creeping up. In addition to being worried about her, I'm concerned for my mother. The stress of taking care of my paternal grandmother is wearing on her and my Dad. This business with her mom being in the hospital has to be making that another ten times worse.

I have been doing as Freyr strongly encouraged (understatement but I can't think of a better way to phrase it right now) and taking a break from working on books right now. It's sort of funny because I can't stop thinking about the books I could be working on. It is a little bit maddening but I know I'll get through it. I was excited to hear that someone who was loaned a copy of my fantasy book really wants to buy at least two copies. I'm still sticking with the plan that you and Freyr came up with. The limited run of the book with the last stage of 'draft' material in it is going to be coming to a close in a little while as I fix the cosmetic points and such. I know that you guys think this will make it something of a cult collectible but I'm not sure how well that will work out. Still, I'm sticking with the plan.

I have the shopping back of stuff to donate about a quarter of the way full. I don't think this skein of white yarn is ever going to end. I'm getting bored with it and tempted to just drop it and start on the colored one. I am a bit baffled, however, as to why the cuffs are coming out with some variation in the width of them. I do everything the same, keep the same tension on the yarn, and I know that there's no alteration in the number of stitches. It's just plain weird. And it only shows up after the mittens have sat for a few minutes. I am utterly confused by this development.

The only other thing I can think to add is why on earth do you insist that Fireball whiskey goes well with french vanilla coffee? I tried it and it was horrible. Seriously, I'm never doing that again. You can keep that version all for yourself. If I want to add a little booze to my french vanilla coffee, I'll just do a splash of vanilla liqueur.

3/6/15

Devotional knitting in the near future?

Full Worm Moon (age: 15 days)
Sign: Virgo
Weather: Unseasonable cold, clear skies
Snow pack: 13 inches 
(prev. measurement was estimates)
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I have started thinking about knitting another shawl as a devotional activity. I'm almost finished with a shawl I'm currently knitting for my sister-in-law. I saw this pattern and decided I had to do it for Freya. The fact that it is named for her is a happy coincidence.


I haven't decided what colors I want to use for it. I am leaning towards the blues and knitting it out of the silk that I have been spinning. I feel a bit intimidated by this because I have never really knitted lace before. I think, however, the only way to learn is by doing.

I have gotten back on track with my spring cleaning for Moura. While I haven't busted out the vacuum cleaner, I have most of the apartment clean right now. I also have gone through my mass of papers and tidied that up. I am hoping to get that manuscript out to my beta readers by the end of the weekend. I've been too busy and nervous about it to do so before now. But, I want to at least get it off to people to read it before I push to publish it. I have been refraining from working on any more big writing projects as per Freyr's directive.

It has oddly been enforced by way of coincidences getting in the way of it all. I suppose this may be part of the reason why I needed to take this breather. He has also been strongly pushing me to take the season of Moura as a time for rest and recovery. It makes me think that spring is going to be bringing some challenges. As it is the full moon, I am going to do a little observance of it with the kids. This time, I think we're going to try doing some kind of activity. I'm just not sure what it is going to be yet.

3/3/15

Letters to Loki # 14: I hate ice.

Hello there Sly Fox,

Today has been a maddening day. I could have gotten through it easier if it wasn't for the ice at the end of the day. I wound up having the 15 min drive to pick up Beloved from work turn into a 45 minute drive. I was not pleased and I was also really uncomfortable with the other drivers. I had one crazy bastard damn near sideswipe me. I know I was solidly in my lane hugging the white line. To say that my back is still tense and knotted up is really making an understatement.

I appreciate your moral support through that drive. And the fact that you weren't making smart cracks about the other drivers, which would have been amusing under better circumstances, is something else that I really appreciated this evening. It helped me concentrate, which was really challenging with how the roads were. It made me reconsider living in western New York. I, however, have that thought go through my head about a half dozen times over the course of the winter. So, I guess that isn't exactly news.

My eldest has strep throat right now. The doctor was surprised because he never had it before now. This is literally the first time he has been on antibiotics. I'm trying not to worry about him having an allergic reaction. It is, however, something that kinda has me uneasy. I've been telling myself that if he hasn't had a reaction yet after having his first two doses, then he is most likely not going to have a problem. It feels like I'm blowing smoke up my own arse.

The strep throat thing is strangely not of a concern for me. There have been a few cases in the area of strep migrating from the throat to another region of the body and it turning into 'flesh eating microbe of doom' (if you listen to how some of my neighbors sqawk about it). The doctors office isn't playing around when it comes to strep throat right now. I think it's part of the reason why my son is on the aggressive dosage schedule that he has right now for what the doctor said was a mild case. I'm confident that the penicillin will wipe out the strep.

I am eyeballs deep in housework that needs done. Somehow, over the last three days, I have managed to have dishes overflowing the sink and the living room looking like something that would horrify my mother. I think, however, that tomorrow I may actually be able to make some headway into getting that resolved because I'll actually be home all day. I feel a little guilty that the kitchen is such a mess but I know that it will be the first thing I take care of tomorrow after I put the youngest on the bus to school.

Speaking of my youngest son, he brought some some artwork that was very nice. I don't know how he made it and I don't know how much help he had in it. At the same time, however, it came out looking like modern art. You know, the good stuff, not Jackson Pollack. I have hung it up in the back hallway with his brother's artwork. I'm probably going to run out of space for the boys' work. A part of me says I should save all their artwork as momentos for when they get older. Then I ask myself if it really is reasonable to do that on top of the scrapbooks that I've been making them. (Which I need to update with all the stuff from the last year. I was going to do that in January but somehow it and February flew by so fast that I didn't manage it.)

I am still stumped on what to make for Sigyn and Angrboda. That wild idea that I should make something is sticking but I just don't know what to do. Any suggestions would be really awesome. I know that Sigyn is associated with butterflies. I kinda think that a cross-stitched Blue Morpho might be good for her, but I'm honestly not sure. With Angrboda, I have no idea where to begin. I feel that I should get to know her but I keep stumbling over my own feet. (I seem to keep doing that. Perhaps I need dance lessons to correct this stumbling business.)

Well, I have to go. I had a few other ideas I wanted to share but it is literally past my bedtime. (This being a responsible adult business is not as awesome as I thought it was going to be as a kid, sometimes.)