Saturday, June 11, 2016

June Update: Circle, Familiars, House - HOUSE!

Yeesh.  Other than Beltane and personal updates, I didn't blog pretty much all of May.  I sincerely apologize for that.  I feel awful that I started a Patreon and then couldn't upkeep the blog for a month.  Of course, I've been pretty candid about my recent diagnosis and medication change up, so that accounts for some of it.  But life has been pretty hectic lately.  Let me start from the top.

Circle of Fountains

CF has been continuing our progress on our public ritual for Kansas City Pagan Pride Day.  Last time we met, I had each member transform our post-it outline from our first meetup into individual rituals that we cut apart and puzzle pieced together.

After that meet, I took the puzzle-pieced ritual and edited it into a concise, cohesive ritual.  

For the May planning session, the circlemates and I met at the location of KC's Pagan Pride Day: Merriam Marketplace.  We scouted out our ritual area, made edits to our ritual plan based on the location and did a quick walk-through.  Within the few days following that, I posted in our group the new version of our ritual, the roles each member will be participating in and an official items list.

We had our meetup for this month as well, but we did everything online.  This one was down to assigning purchasing and prep responsibility.  We now have just two meets left, July and August, to practice.  Then, in September, it's time to perform!

I have to state up front that I'm incredibly proud of my circle.  They've put together a fantastic public ritual and I'm so excited for them to present it!  I'll be taking a step back as the leader of the circle by introducing and concluding the ritual, but this is really theirs to perform from start to finish.  I think everyone's really looking forward to it!

Of course, this month, we have our Midsummer ritual led by Andrea.  We're skipping Novice teaching for June, but we resume that next month.  Things are going smoothly with CF, as always.  Truth be told, these guys are my solid ground when everything else is chaos.  Aside from my husband and my pets, they're the one constant in my life.

Speaking of the pets...

My Familiars

What would I do without these lovable fuzzballs?  These four have kept me company during the worst of my depression and my remediation.  Whatever time wasn't hectic in May was spent sleeping off the new medication and the listlessness, and these guys made it all the better.

Last time I updated on Zeus, I noted that he had a bit of kitty hives.  We did do the walk-in vet run, but we didn't get our usual vet that day.  The vet on staff said he had an infection because he was too overweight to groom himself back there.  While I'm aware the gluttonous cat is overweight, he gets groomed plenty back there on a daily basis...

My concerns were confirmed when the antibiotic shot they gave him did literally nothing to alleviate the situation.  After a week of no changes, we decided to try to solve it at home.  We've narrowed it down to the food.  Changing their kibble solved the miliary dermatitis pretty instantly but he was still incredibly itchy back there.  I finally made a second appointment - this time with our regular vet - and sure enough, he agreed with me that it's in no way due to his weight or a bacterial infection.  He was given a steroid shot and he seems to be doing much better, even just within 24 hours.  In fact, this morning, he was "beansing," a term we use when the cats run all over the house at full speed for no reason.  So I'd say he feels better.

Otherwise, the rest of the familiars have been doing really well.  With the basement torn up, we've been moving circle meets and rituals to other members' houses.  That means Artemis has gotten to travel quite a bit in the past couple of months.  The circle constantly states that it's just not CF without Artie, and Artie loves circle time.  The minute I say either "circle" or "ritual," he starts bouncing up and down and looking for his leash.  Best dog I've ever had, hands down.  I love this fuzzy mutt.

Hermes has been doing great as well.  For our IBD cat, I honestly can't remember the last time that he had a vomit spell.  He's been incredibly healthy for the past several months.  He's also returned to being our lovable Asscat.  He's spent all day playing with the other pets by swatting them once and then crab-scuttling.

Apollo is going through his "teenager" stage.  He's healthy, lovable when he wants to be, but largely independent as of late.  He still cuddles with me on the bed and he cuddles with the other pets of course, but I don't see much of him otherwise.  I think he spends most of his day downstairs watching the birds out of the sliding glass door.  I kind of relate it to the teenager who just wants to be left alone in the bedroom with the door shut listing to his music as loud as possible.  And that's fine.  All the cats have went through this stage, so I knew it'd eventually come.  In about six months, I'll have an adult Apollo on my hands.

Well, as adult as derpy Apollo will get, I suppose.

And for the final update...

The House

Thus far, our property management company still has yet to do anything about our basement.  It's still torn up, the wall is still warped and a musty smell settled over it in the past couple of weeks.  Per the suggestion of our attorney, we hired an inspector to test the mold levels in the basement versus the outside of the house.  And, unsurprisingly, the results showed elevated levels inside.  It's not bad - yet - and it's not black mold, but I've certainly been paying for it with allergies.  In fact, I started this entry early in the morning because I woke up with an allergy attack.  It's so frustrating.

I've been trying to decide what I want to do with this information.  Obviously, the presence of mold violates the property management company's mold clause (our township doesn't have anything about mold, but, you know, it's in the PMC's lease).  We did everything we could to prevent it, so this falls directly on them.  And, in most circumstances, I'd be stomping up to their playground and demanding to break the lease without a break lease fee or they can take it up with our attorney.

Circumstances being what they were, my husband and I decided to check into something.  I mean, this is the third time we'll have had to move in less than nine months.  We rented apartments and that failed.  We've rented houses and that has clearly failed.  Renting is not working for us.  I've been holding out because Aaron's pretty deep in student loan debt and all the moving has depleted our savings.  The idea was that, if we could get settled in one place for long enough, we could build my credit score and savings so we could finally be home owners.

In a moment of frustration, we made some phone calls.

Turns out, we can totally buy a house right now!

So the reason I have been completely MIA on blog posts is that I've been spending every ounce of my free time looking at houses, either online or in person.  I don't know how long it will take us to find one, but we have a couple houses that are on the top of our list so far and a few more to look at.  Plus, we have a bit of time to look given the current situation with the rental property.

I'm pretty darn excited!

So that sums up all the news I have now.  When I start packing everything, I'll work on a book list and some reviews.  Not this Sunday but next Sunday is both my circle's and the public Midsummer celebration.

Good things are coming.  More content is coming.  Thank you so much for being so patient with me, guys!


  1. It's so lovely to hear that things are working out for you. Keep on with that positive magick!

  2. So excited! I was worried that once again, I'd found something great and then it dies out shortly after discovering it. So glad to hear that you may soon be a homeowner. Sending positive vibes your way. :)

    1. Oh goodness, no. I plan on writing for Witchy Words for as long as I'm conscious to do so! If I'm ever absent, it's always temporary and usually for health or life. I will always come back. Thank you so, so much for your patience, Samantha! I appreciate it!

  3. I told you you guys could buy a house and make it work! I'm so glad you guys looked into it and are house shopping. You deserve it. Poor leasing companies forced us to buy sooner rather than later as well. You've put up with a lot more than we did for a longer period of time. I don't know how you did it. I wish you guys the best of luck and will be keeping you in my thoughts. If anyone deserves a break, it's you. I look forward to hearing some good news in the upcoming weeks. You know you have a strong group of blogging friends willing to help out so don't hesitate to ask. =D

    1. I didn't want to poo on my own parade in the article, but there are some stipulations and some long nights of work ahead of me to make this work. It's going to take a lot of sacrifice because we technically weren't quite ready. If we'd found a stable place for a couple years to save and build credit, we'd be in a much better position. But I don't think we're going to find a stable place without buying so, using my mom's favorite phrase, it is what it is. I'm still super excited. We just may not get the "perfect" place and we may run into some road bumps as we get settled.

      That being said, I really appreciate it. I just want to be able to come home and it truly be home - somewhere I don't have to leave until I decide to leave, not until a landlord decides to not fix things or an owner loses his job or forecloses on the house. Now I have the control. And that definitely helps.

      Thank you so much for all of your support, Willow! I always look forward to your comments!

    2. I know exactly how you feel. Last year when we decided to buy it was kind of spur of the moment. We happened to find a house close to a friend one night while going out to dinner all because our friend said his neighbor was selling and way over priced. We had no money saved, I had just gone back to school for my Master's so I was taking out MORE student loans, and my husband's credit was meh (it's still meh!). We ended up losing the house two weeks before closing and had to rush into this house, which we love btw, but it was tough. I know being self-employed complicates things considerably, but I hope that even so you guys are able to purchase with little down (3-3.5%, fingers crossed!) I know that no matter what, you guys will find a way to make it work. Nothing worth having is easy.

      And no problem! Again, do not hestitate to ask if you guys need anything. I may be hundreds of miles away, but I'm here. And I'm not the only one. Keep that head up! I'm really excited for you guys.

    3. On the bright side, we both have excellent credit - I just don't have as much history as I wanted. Our pre-approval letter for the mortgage is a fix interest well below the average and we only need to put 3% down, so I'm pretty darn excited. We're getting the best we can get considering the circumstances. Unfortunately, my income doesn't count because it's not "steady," meaning some months I make more than my husband does and some months, it's dry season. It's frustrating because, overall, I'm as much as my husband when it comes to finances. Then, add in his student loan debt and the total was less than we were hoping for. Not by much but enough.

      We actually started house hunting because I saw this beautiful remodeled Queen Anne here in the township we live in and I desperately fell in love with it. We actually started the process because it was still up after a month and we were bound and determined to buy it if we liked it. Once we went to see it, I could easily see that it wasn't going to work for us. Small rooms, my husband had to duck down the stairway to the basement twice, no area for a spiritual room, no backyard - only front yard - and only enough parking for six people on a corner lot between two busy streets, so no street parking. Plus, we noticed fire damage in the garage. Everything in the house was gorgeous, but it had too many issues.

      In retrospect, it was also a little out of our budget now that we have the pre-approval letter, but I'm still glad we went and saw it. Getting the "dream house" out of the way has opened us up to other options. I'm hoping we can make a decision here in a week or two, because I'm ready to be done with Terra Luna. The mold is ridiculous here.

      Thank you again for everything, Willow!

  4. Congratulations! My husband and I purchased our first house just last summer. July 15th will be a year of us being homeowners. It is quite exciting, but it is very scary. We were fortunate to be in a position to buy the house that we had been living in since 2012. Be very careful while looking and pretty, pretty, pretty please make sure you get a very thorough home inspection. We were aware of everything that was wrong with the house we purchased, but as it was my husband's grandmother's home (the house he was raised in), we basically didn't care. But had we not known, going in, what we would be facing, I would have had multiple strokes and heart attacks. If you really can't afford an inspection, see if a friend or family member that knows their stuff can take a look at the house you're interested in.
    But, that warning aside, it is a very exciting time. There is nothing quite like being a home owner. It feels so good. I've lived in our home for over four years now, but for the last eleven months, it's been different. When I drive up to our house, I have this amazing sense of joy, pride and contentment that I have never felt before. I am so excited to see you and your husband get to experience this too.

    1. You know, one of the reasons we chose the house we're (likely) buying, despite not having character, is that it was so structurally clean. It might not been the Victorian dream house, but it had no foundation issues. It had been gutted and completely redone. We had a fantastic inspection company come in and, aside from a few things the owners are fixing, it passed with flying colors. When it came down to it, I had to look at this purchase practically. I'd rather have something we're not constantly fixing as our first house instead of something I love the look of but can barely afford to maintain.

      I hope we have that feeling as well! I'm so looking forward to it. Congratulations on your home ownership!

  5. Greetings Marietta! I am glad to see you back in the virtual world :)
    Home buying is an intense process but worth it in the end. We ended up having to do a USDA loan since we had no savings...(all of our savings ended up going to our wedding and unexpected bills)
    The USDA loan prohibited us from getting a pool or certain homes but in the end...we love our home and I love being able to do what I want...when I want.
    If you need any advice or just want to chat, your virtual friends are here! I'm really glad to hear that things are looking up.

    1. We faced similar issues with our loan type. So many beautiful homes were off the list because they wouldn't adhere to its strict standards. That being said, I'm looking forward to having something stable for once. Thank you so much for everything!