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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Memoir: "Firsts"

Memoir:  March 2007

3:43am...Can't sleep.  My mind is racing at 100 miles an hour and my body is dragging far, far behind it.  Why can't they keep an even pace together, I wonder.

"Firsts"...first day of school, first loves, 'first time', first baby, first horse, first divorce, first published story, first spell, first period, first car, first time the light dawns-- ah, I'm in love, first miscarriage, first promise, first friend, first dog, first cat.

First day of school-- early 1960s, a brick one-room country schoolhouse out in the middle of nowhere on the South Dakota prairie.  Wooden floors and two walls of black boards and a very young teacher who looked like she just stepped out of a Sears/Roebuck catalogue. The "library"-- a wooden bookcase with a glass front door (which I own now). Rows of wooden desks, polished and shiny and with "ink wells" on their tops! The teacher makes a robin's egg blue play-doh and watches over me as she does a history lesson with a girl who has flaxen hair and incredibly soft green eyes and a bewitching lisp.

At recess the girls go into the shelter belt behind the school and use large tumble weeds to make a "fort" in the trees. Everyone crouching down behind the schoolhouse on the north side in the wind to listen at the air duct while the teacher is having a "good talk" with one of the bad boys. A hairless, fragile, tiny baby mouse found in the school yard, pink and vulnerable and blind, it will die.

That "bad boy" with the red crew cut and the eyes so brown they're black, his anger worn like a large chip on his shoulder. The "older girls", mothering me, taking me in their lap, leading me around by the hand, reading me stories.  I'm the only one in my grade until this little boy comes-- blond and cute and sweet and shy, and I don't like him because he has infringed on my territory and he curls the pages of his reading book and he smells like sweet rolls.

The teacher sprinkles this strange yellow powder over the shiny wooden floor and then uses a dust mop to sweep it all up, and the floor is even shinier.  Fat crayons-- Ha!-- color inside the lines with fat crayons!  Who can do that?

Memoir: "I Like..."

Memoir: February 2007

I like...
the smell of the air right before a summer thunderstorm.  I like dew on the grass in May, and I like that breathless moment just before dawn and twilight. I like feather pillows, and amaretto on chocolate ice cream, and being right. I like the smell of horses and newborn babies, and I like a dog's cold wet nose and being able to make a cat purr.  I like candles, and walnuts, and beer, and movies that take me somewhere else, and romance that is impossible and makes no sense.  I like books that push me to the limitations of my intellect, and I like people who like to write.

I like my mother's soft hands, and I still like her lap-- even if I'm 49 and she tells me that my scrawny butt makes her legs fall asleep.  I like seeing the mountains in the distance and knowing that is only the tip of what's there.  I like suddenly coming upon something wild and not having it flee.  I like the smell of corn cobs burning, and bonfires, and gardens that are messy and wild and fertile with magical possibilities.  I like feeling a horse's power beneath me and it's body tremble with restrained energy, and I like it's soft muzzle and it's breath upon my face.

I like being woken up on a spring morning by bird calls.  I like the way my youngest daughter still curls up in a ball when she sleeps.  I like apples and apple trees and standing beneath them to listen to the bees buzz above my head. I like a blanket of snow that's never been stepped upon.  I like autumn leaves and gourds and the feeling that autumn is the end of something...but the beginning of something else.  I like owls, and a shiny bag of marbles, and the smell of new books, and old boots, and tea cups, and incense, and dried flowers, and the color green.

I like old sweaters, and warm feet, and the smell of sage cooking with a turkey.  I like stones and rocks and sea shells and the smell of dirt.  I like being surprised by garter snakes.  I like my strawberry patch, and rolling hills, and music that is sad and far away and takes you to a different time.  I like lavender sachets and men's rough faces and never knowing what's just around the corner.  I love the city spread out before me, and I love country roads that are lonely and endless.

And someday I want to stand on a beach and look at the ocean...so that I can like that too.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Questions & Answers

This was a question/answer thing that was being passed around on Myspace.  I decided to snatch it up, fill it out, and put it here.  (I'm not responsible for the questions, but I am 100% responsible for the answers.)

1. How tall are you barefoot?

2. Have you ever smoked heroin?
Nope, I've never even SEEN heroin.

3. Do you own a gun?

No, but my husband wants one, so I figure I can use his :)

4. Rehab?


5. Do you get nervous before "meeting the parents"?

No, I've met the worst (in-laws from Hell-- R & E) and survived.  The last one has been incredibly sweet, a soft-spoken lady named "Lois" who gave me a hug.

6. What do you think of your friends?

I love them dearly or they wouldn't be my friends; on the other hand, I've been duped enough in the friend department that I'm very suspicious of people...you have to prove yourself to me.

7. What's your favorite Christmas song?

I don't have one. We celebrate The Winter Solstice at our house.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?

Coffee-- lots.

9. Do you do push-ups?

Absolutely not!!...are you kidding!

10. Have you ever done ecstasy?

Nope, I've been IN ecstasy from time to time in my life, but I've never DONE ecstasy.

11. Are you vegetarian?

Sort of, kind of, sometimes.  I'm a "wanna-be" vegetarian.  I can only go so long, and then I have to have a Big Mac.

12. Do you like painkillers?

I don't like any unnecessary chemicals in my body.

13. What is your secret weapon to lure in the opposite sex?

If I told, it wouldn't be a secret anymore.

14. Do you own a knife?

Yes!! I love knives-- swords, athames, thrusting daggers, switchblades...yes! yes! yes!  I collect them, go figure.

15. Do you have A.D.D.?

Not that I'm aware of...what was the question again?

16. Date Of Birth?


17. Top 3 thoughts at this exact moment:

1) How am I going to finish those videos; 2) Does the dog have mange?; 3) I need more coffee.

18. Name the last 3 things you have bought?

Milk, eggs, chocolate.

19. Name five drinks you regularly drink:

Coffee, tea, flavored carbonated water, diet soda, Rockstars.

20. What time did you wake up today?

6:20'ish am

21. Current hair?

Long and curly.

22. Current worry?


23. Current hate?

Hypocrites & unnecessary stress-- unnecessary stress is the worst, hypocrites I can ignore.

24. Favorite place to be?

Old Market in Omaha

25. Least favorite place to be?

Church-- or Iowa.

26. Where would you like to go?

Salem, Mass.

27. Do you own slippers?

No, I'm barefoot most of the time.

28. What do you think you'll be in 10 yrs?


29. Do you burn or tan?

Burn!!! I have poor little white girl skin-- I glow in the dark.

30. Last thing you ate?

A bowl of cereal.

31. Would you be a pirate?

If it means that I would get to pillage and plunder.

32. Last time you had an alcoholic drink?
So long ago, I don't remember.  I'm a very *very* sporadic drinker.

33. What songs do you sing in the shower?

I don't sing.

34. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child?

The entity that haunted my grandmother's house, other people experienced it also, so it wasn't just me.

36. Last thing that made you laugh?

My handsome sweet funny husband...Joe.

37. Best bed sheets you had as a child?

I didn't notice, they were just sheets.

38. Worst injury you've ever had?

A broken neck from a horse riding accident over 25 years ago.  (top two vertebrae fractured half-way through horizontally, bottom three vertebrae out of alignment-- I am in pain a great deal of the time)

40. How many TVs do you have in your house?


41. Who is your loudest friend?

42. Who is your most silent friend?


43. Does someone have a crush on you?

I doubt it.

44. Do you wish on stars?

No, I cast spells.

45. What is your favorite book?

1) "Mists of Avalon" by Marian Zimmer Bradly; 2) a 1902 edition of Tennyson's Poems; 3)  Anne Lindbergh's diaries and letters

46. What is your favorite candy?

chocolate, chocolate, and chocolate

47. What song do/did you want played at your wedding?
We were married at Next Millennium (a new-age shop in Omaha); whatever the DVD was that Charlie had playing that day.  I don't remember what it was-- everything happened so fast, it's kind of a blur.

48. What song do you want played at your funeral?
Something new agey and mystical and magical.

49. What were you doing 12AM last night?
Working on audio tapes to my online tarot classes.

50. Do you love someone?
raven queen
*Note: this image is courtesy of Pinterest.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Memoir: Old Market

Memoir:  April 26th, 2007

I drove into the city and dropped my daughter off at college last night for student orientation, and then spent the next two hours wandering around Old Market in the cold mist and blustery wind.

I bought a blue lace agate ring at Namaste and then went to a shop called Souke and looked at the most unusual little wooden statuettes from the mid-east...couples in various sexual poses, some of the poses from the Kama Sutra, body parts and forms exaggerated and distorted and polished to a shine in the dark wood.  Fascinating. 

I bought fudge at a small candy shop that is handmade and so good it has to be sinful...chocolate/raspberry and chocolate/amaretto.  I probably ate two days worth of calories in 20 minutes.

I wandered through a dusty cluttered antique shop so full of stuff that you could hardly navigate, afraid all the while I was going to bump something with my large purse, and followed the whole time by three cats wearing silver bells who rubbed up against my legs every time I stopped to look at something.

I ended up at The Bistro and had a cup of coffee and warmed up-- I was so cold by that time.  Damn wind.  Very high ceilings and warm rust colored walls; intimate little tables for two scattered throughout the large old building; a table set up for a game of chess; men bent over their laptop computers, completely absorbed with the screen ahead of them, reaching out blindly to grasp their coffee cups from time to time.  Light classical music filtering through a sound system.  Cozy sofas and coffee tables tucked in here and there and large brown cushions across a long window seat ahead of huge windows framing the cobbled streets, and traffic, and hundred-year-old buildings, and wind blown pedestrians.

Once I was warmed up, I dreaded going back out in the cold and just made it back to the car with 8 minutes left on the meter.

Photo: The Passageway
The shop, Souke, is located in this building, along with several other shops and restaurants.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Photos, and Such

The quiet comfortable solitude of a cat reminds me of a woman.  The cat is satisfied within it's solitary little world, just as women tend to bloom and adapt to a solitary existence with more finesse and success than a lot of men. (I know, that sounds so sexist, but it's true.) 
This is Bast.  She's very old (about 13), and she has a stuffy nose or runny sinuses most of the time.  She's kept inside, warm and safe, during the winter months.  But from spring to fall, she rules the backyard with an iron fist.

Kuan Yin...a favorite Goddess at our house.  She's the Chinese "goddess of compassion".  She's an oriental version of the Virgin Mary-- and way cooler.  Since my son moved out, there's only two males in this house: 1) my husband, Joe; and 2) my cat, Salem.  Joe wanted to 'man-up' the entertainment center, get some really tough and testosterony art and sculpture.  This idea was met with a resounding "No!" from the ladies of the house...Kuan Yin stays. 
(We're all helping Joe embrace his feminine side *giggle*.)
For years I've used the kitchen table as my office.  I churned out four books at this table.  But that's all going to change this year.  Since my son John moved out, I'll be re-decorating what was the extra basement bedroom.  It will become "The Witch's Corner"-- a combination craft room (as in artsy and creative), it will become an occasional boutique, and it will become a tarot reading room.  But for now, I'm still working at the kitchen table, as you can see.
What you see in the foreground is "My Big Black Book".  It's full of years of delicious spell collecting, secret things, sentimental things-- ranging from cottonwood leaves picked up off my grandmother's grave, to four leaf clovers my sister and I picked in our front yard the summer of 1969.  If the house were burning down and I could only take one material thing with me-- it would be this book.
"Me & My Dawg"
(circa 1959-1960)
This animal was magickal. 
No wonder I believed Lassie was real.
 Over 50 years later, and animals still play an integral part in our daily lives.  This is Miss Cletus who-- through FB-- was known around the world.  When she passed away last year, we got sympathy messages from four continents.
This little hen was hand-raised in the house; had a favorite 'blanket'; loved to sit in your lap and eat popcorn during movies; had a favorite perch in the kitchen, and patrolled the grounds and gardens fearlessly-- digging up a lot of my flowers in the process.
We miss her terribly.
A few years ago I started having a yearly garage sale, and in true old "yard sale" tradition, we'd set up tables for our wares and services in the yard.  This garage sale was a bit different than the run-of-the-mill neighborhood sales, I have to admit.  I sell occult and meta-physical items online, and I give tarot readings, and I thought that it would be a good idea to combine the two, creating the "New-Age Boutique Garage Sale".  Once in a while, a couple of friends would get together and we'd combine our wares...we didn't make much money on it; but we had loads of curious people stop by to stand in awe and gape at things-- especially the voodoo poppets; and once in a while we had a Christian or two come by n' try and "save" us. We also had the occasional rare local Pagan come tip-toeing out of the broom closet just long enough to shake hands and say hello.  It was fun, it was a hoot  actually. 
I plan on doing it again this year.
(The following video was shot in June 2011)


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Choices: Don't Screw Up

We make choices and decisions every day; and most of the time, a small part of the time anyway, these choices don't affect anyone but ourselves.  So, good or bad, right or wrong, we'll be happy with these choices and go merrily skipping down the yellow brick road.  But there is a certain percentage of these choices, a very important percentage of these choices, that will affect someone else, for good or bad, right or wrong...it's these kind of choices that you are universally responsible for.  And when it's my life that is touched by someone else's choices, especially when they were not the wisest decision to make, that's when I get angry; that's when my sense of justice gets all whipped up into a white heat---

Is there no honor anymore?  Who the hell would encourage their offspring to make negative choices, to do something that could have future repercussions on not only the child but the parent or parents as well and anyone else connected to them?...someone with no moral scruples and half a brain, that's who.

As I was told by a very wise man (my step-dad):  "Always take the moral high ground, life stays simple that way."

I've not always seen eye to eye with this man in my life, but I have always respected him.  When he speaks these words, you know that he is also living them.  He's upheld this concept within his own life, and through his work-- he's a retired congressional investigator for the federal government.  He's had to testify countless times before congress on issues of vice and fraud.  Justice and honor are set at a higher level for this man; the concept of  "right and wrong" is pivotal, and decisions and choices are set to a standard that leaves no question as to the moral fiber.

My message to the individual I'm so hoping to connect with here is this:

Straighten out what you know needs fixing-- like a vaccination for a disease-- it might sting a little, but you'll be healthier for it in the future.  Stop denying that you did something wrong, especially when it's down in black and white.  If it was a parent or someone in authority who did this in your name, confront them, make them explain themselves, tell them it's time for them to stand up and accept the consequences.   Don't use adults from your past who were poor role-models to define who you are today, or why you have or haven't succeeded.  Don't let all that anger you carry from the injustices you suffered as a child prevent you from being all that you can be.