Friday, August 11, 2017

August Personal Update: Work, Health, Camp Gaea, Drama and Circlemate Getting Divorced.

Well, I think my goofy face to the left pretty much says it all: This has Been. A. Month.  My health has been a roller coaster, life has been complicated and, if I'm being totally honest, I'm needing a vacation like you wouldn't believe.  I keep trying to schedule it in but, with impending house renovations costing I don't know how much yet, I don't feel like I can turn down any gigs right now.  So let's start from the top:


This has definitely been a busier year than I'm used to!  There are certain months I consider "busy" months - namely, April, May and September.  In between, work is steady but not unforgiving.  That is, until this year.  I haven't had any downtime.  Of course, I'm not complaining too much.  What money doesn't end up going back into the house here in the next month will be a nice nest egg we can sit on for the first time in a few years.

I've been drawing primarily at sports games, company picnics and charity events as pictured above.  At least being busy means having fun!


Our roof officially gets replaced Tuesday! It's taken so long to get everything processed.  I'm just glad we're finally moving forward.  I can't wait to show you the before and after photos!

I'm actually not all that frustrated though by the lack of progress the past month.  We've been having nonstop incredible storms.  The power was knocked out by a limb that knocked down an active line.  When they tried to restart the power, it fried our neighbor's lawn, creating so much white smoke that you couldn't see the house behind us.  At least all this damage will be erased by the repairs!


The pets have been doing well!  Nothing unusual to update here fortunately, so I'll just do a little photo dump.

Hermes.  My man.  What are you doing?

Nope. Nevermind. I don't want to know.

Artie got his groom on after lazily napping around the house nonstop.

Artie and Apollo have become nap buddies.


Some of the circle and I got together to check out the Gaea Retreat Center's main ritual grounds.  I've been asked to lead the main ritual at Gaea Goddess Gathering this year (September 14-17th in Kansas) and I didn't feel I could properly write it without knowing the area first.  So the girls and I rented a cabin and scouted it out.

First of all, the cabins were gorgeous.  This isn't camping here.  This is glamping.  Our cabin even had an altar area!  I really just expected a plain cabin with eight cots.  What I found was something very different, clearly!

The main ritual area is also incredibly gorgeous.  Seeing this gives me a much clearer vision of where I want to take my ritual for Demeter.

It's actually kind of intriguing to write a deity-centric ritual as a nontheist.  I've been inspired by lore and the sociopolitical climate of this year.  I hope it comes out as well as I anticipate.  Fortunately, one of my circlemates will have my camera to take photos!

Just today, I had to take my mom's dog to the vet.  She's out of town and my dad is not entirely functional.  He was concerned something was wrong with Buddy but it turns out...

He just really needed some love. Poor thing is nine pounds of nerves and isn't handling my mom being on vacation - or perhaps not handing my dad being the primary caretaker.  Both of their dogs are extremely attached to my mom and to me but not to my father, and he's not particularly good with handling little needy dogs. I suggested to my mom that she drop the dogs off with me the next time she goes out of town.  They're both Shih Tzus, so none of my cats will care and Artie would probably love the company.  For some reason, my mom just doesn't seem to trust me with her dogs - which is ironic considering my dad can't even take care of them for more than 48 hours on his own and I have four strong, healthy, well-behaved and intelligent fur babies.

... Okay, maybe intelligent was a bit too strong of a word...

The emergency vet made it clear that Buddy needs some basic care: A teeth cleaning, some grooming issues, daily ear clean outs.  Buddy's so frail and sensitive.  I know my mom loves her dogs, truly, but she's got to step it up a bit.  Of course, I stuck around a bit and gave Buddy (and her other dog Piglet) all the love I could muster before heading home, including some gentle cleaning of his ears.  There's not a lot else I could do.

Another notable is some strange occurrences within our local pagan community.  Select individuals have made derogatory remarks, planned speakers with a history of hate speech and been a culprit of violent speech themselves.  Somehow I keep getting myself tangled up in all of this - partially because I can't keep my mouth shut when someone's being a monster but also partially because a lot of the issues being faced his awfully close to home, such as racism and victim blaming.  I don't want to get into details for a variety of reasons but take this moment to check yourself and those around you.

And, you know, don't be a dick.



It hasn't been the best, let me tell you.  I've been utterly bottomed out the past couple of months.  I get odd days where I feel spectacular but they're far and few between the majority of days where I can't even get out of bed.  I've never had my health at such extremes - so terrible one day, so great the next and then back the following.  And there's definitely been more bad than good.  I'm sure you've noticed a severe drop in blogging.  As I announced a few days ago, I'm putting my Patreon on pause and taking a step back from blogging obligations.  That doesn't mean I won't blog.  Clearly I'm doing so now.  But something like a personal update takes considerably less effort to type up than, say, a ritual that includes photo editing and analysis.  

I literally look like a raccoon.  It looks like someone attempted to punch me in both eyes.  Why.

Along with the exhaustion, I've been dealing with a lot of pain, particularly in my eyes (thanks autoimmune scleritis) and in my joints (thanks psoriatic arthritis). In fact, in trying to carry Buddy down the stairs, I had to stop midway because my knees were utterly killing me and I was about to actually shed a tear from the pain.  I didn't cry when I sliced my knee open to the bone at 10 so I'm sure as hell not crying over inflammation and arthritis, god dammit. But it legitimately felt like knives under my kneecaps.  I'm even fighting GI issues that currently have me on a liquid diet.  One of the reasons for my weight gain is that I've been eating to replace the energy I'm not getting from sleep.  A liquid diet means I have nothing to turn to for energy right now.  If it isn't one thing, it's another.

I thought it might be my thyroid but it checked out lower than usual.  I will need to get it level before I can escalate this to my rheumatologist so there's a good chance I'll be fogged out, inflamed and generally exhausted for a few months before I can start seeking answers.  But I mean, this is far beyond autoimmune thyroid issues.  Given current political issues, I've been hesitant to get an official overarching diagnosis for fear of it causing an issue with insurance in the future but I think I'm going to have to start seeking some serious answers.  More than just "Oh, you have all these totally disconnected autoimmune issues."  Something bigger is happening.

I'm leaning harder on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis as a possible diagnosis.  It explains a lot and all of the symptoms are on target.  It's just a matter of getting there - or where ever.  I'll take anything at this point.  A diagnosis won't cure me.  I know what's happening is probably chronic like all of my other conditions.  But at least I can get some options to manage it.

Circlemate Needs Help Divorcing Abuser

So this is one I've been keeping relatively quiet about for the past several months.  One of my circlemates has been staying since with us since April or so as she attempts to divorce her emotionally abusive husband.  State is helping her get the therapy she needs but legal aid has refused to help her as there's no kids involved and it wasn't physical abuse.  We found an attorney that will do the divorce for $4000 flat rate, regardless of hours.  My attorney friends have agreed that that's an incredible deal given her situation.  At this point, we're trying to collect the funds.  The circlemates and I have pooled together $850.  We're holding a fundraiser this Sunday to try to raise more but it's going to be a long stretch to get her to $4000.  If you would like to help my circlemate hire a lawyer and get away from this guy, consider sending any spare change you might have lying around to via Paypal.  Every dollar helps us get her closer to freedom.

And that's all I've got, readers!  Until next time!

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