Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Goddess and The Peach

Merry Meet and Greetings Family, Friends, Followers and Lurkers!

So, this past weekend saw some of the best weather we've seen since last October. On Friday afternoon, I made a run to the Garden Center and bought some beautiful pansies, as well as some Rosemary, Sage and Oregano for my herb garden. They were predicting that the beautiful weather would only last through the weekend and that Monday,once again, promised to be rainy and cold. This is truly the Winter without end!

I worked until well after sunset on Saturday cleaning out flower beds, potting plants and getting down and dirty with the Mother. Ahhhh, the smell of fresh turned Earth, the warm sun, and the breeze blowing through my hair, it was simply blissful. As is typical for me, I bought far more flowers than I could possibly plant in one day, so on Sunday morning, I awoke with a plan. I decided that the first order of business would be cutting up some vegetables, starting a fresh batch of "magick" pea soup, then spending the remainder of the day gardening.

Whenever I prepare vegetables, I always toss the leftovers outside for the squirrels and rabbits. I like to refer to this as "a gift for a gift". As I opened the door, a cool, gusty breeze blew in and I realized it was going to be quite a bit chillier than it had been the day before. Our cat, Peachy, agreed with my prediction and immediately huddled in her spot near the heating vent next to the kitchen door. "Cold, huh Peach?, I asked as she enjoyed the warmth. She had no comment.

I poured myself a cup of coffee and began slicing vegetables. Somewhere mid-onion, I felt a cold blast of air against my skin and turned to see that the wind had blown the kitchen door open. I walked over to shut it and immediately thought of Peachy. I looked down and she wasn't there. I didn't know how long the door had been open and a cold chill crept into the back of my mind. Perhaps she'd gotten out? Naaaah, I thought as I pulled the door closed. She was probably just on her favorite chair next to the fireplace. But she wasn't. Ok, I thought, "she's probably sunning herself on the windowsill". Nope, not there either.

Finally, I decided that she must be in her favorite crawl space in the basement ceiling. The crawl space is all of a foot and a half deep by about a foot wide. There is only one way in and out of it. Whenever we can't find her, this is usually where she is. To check if she's up there, however, is no easy task. Peachy is 16 years old and at this point, hard of hearing, so calling her by her name or in the typical "pssssssspssssspssss" manner one calls their cat is pointless. We have to physically climb into the utility sink, stand on tiptoe and peer in through a maze of crisscrossing pipes to find her. But, she wasn't there either and now I could feel a sickening panic rising in the pit of my stomach!

I yelled to the kids that I thought Peachy had gotten outside and we needed to look for her. We quickly mounted a neighborhood wide search. Justin looked under every car and bush. Kyla and I walked through all the backyards adjacent to ours. Peachy is all white, not to mention unusual looking, if she had gotten out, she couldn't have gotten that far without being noticed.

After about a half hour of looking with no sign of her, I began to suspect or perhaps hope, that she hadn't gotten out at all. Kyla and I returned to the house and searched every nook and cranny, while Justin scoured the neighborhood. I climbed up three more times to look in the crawl space, bruising my knees and banging my head in the process, thinking that perhaps I missed her.

There's a woodsy dirt road behind our house known as the "right of way". Kyla and I decided we should check one more time to see if she might be there. As we walked, I began whispering an invocation. "Are you praying, Kyla asked?" "Kind of, I said. I'm invoking the Goddess....Hecate". "Oh shit, Kyla responded".

Three hours of searching later, we returned home without Peachy. I tearfully called my husband, who was on a business trip, to tell him that Peachy was gone. His first question was, "did you look in the ceiling?" "Of course, I did! Three times and she's not there", I cried into the phone. I was baffled, I said. She couldn't possibly have been out that long, but she had completely...vanished! He tried his best to reassure me of her return but I was heartbroken.

Peachy is a Devon Rex, with very little fur to speak of. I thought about the "cold wind driven rain" they were predicting and imagined her alone, outside in the dark and I was terrified for her. I felt so helpless!

In what I believed was a futile act of desperation and for no other reason than my heart's refusal to accept that I may never see my little Peachy again, I went back down to the basement to look for her. I, once again, climbed onto the laundry basket, into the utility sink, hoping against hope that if I wished hard enough, when I looked again she would be there.

Through tears, I looked between the pipes into the crawl space. I'm not going to lie. With a scream loud enough to wake the dead, I yelled "Peach!!!! What the Fuck!!!! Peachy, who had obviously been peacefully napping, spun around a let out a startled meow.

I stood there, standing in the sink, staring into the ceiling in utter disbelief!! A sense relief, followed by overwhelming confusion began to set in.

Wait!! What just happened here?! It can't be possible! Three times, count em' three times, I looked there! She was NOT there!

I was snapped back to reality by Ray, whom I had forgotten was still on the phone, saying "you found her??!!

It took me a moment to collect my thoughts enough to answer, "Yes", I said. "I mean, No."

"I mean...I think I had help". "I'll explain later".

I hung up on Ray, went upstairs to my bedroom and lit the black devotional candles on my altar in honor of Hecate.

Word to the Mother!

In Darkness, Light!


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Some Things Take Way Too Long!

Merry Meeting Family, Friends, Followers and Lurkers!

On two occasions over this past week, I've heard a song on the radio that I've loved since I was a kid. When I listened, I realized that it's lyrics held a message that has neither changed, nor have we progressed enough to see it come to pass in the last 50 years since it's release!

"We've Got To Live Together" Listen! And enjoy!!!

In Darkness, Light!


Sunday, April 12, 2009

It's Officially....

Duck Season!!!!

Merry Meet and Happy Easter, Family, Friends, Followers and Lurkers!

No, that's still not the same as "Wabbit Season" or the dreaded "Fish Season".

Every year for the past several years, a pair of Mallards have come to visit us. For a long time, they would land on our front lawn, hang around for a day or two and leave. Sometime during last Spring, we noticed that said ducks had found their way into our backyard and were taking dips in the Koi pond! Well, we thought this was just the cutest thing ever, but didn't expect it to last. Having so many dogs, we were certain, for safety reasons, the duck's visits would be brief.

Not true! Last year they spent the entire Spring and Summer in our pond! The female eventually developed enough trust in me that she would take bits of bread from my hand. The male however, never would. Instead, he would stand at a distance and watch...often quacking at her disapprovingly.

The ducks would often spend the entire day at our house either swimming or sunning themselves on the rocks. This was both a blessing and a curse because it made it quite difficult to let the dogs outside and not have them assume it was "duck season" in the truest sense of the term! It became necessary to institute "duck detail". I put a sign on my sliders that said "check for ducks!!" so that whomever let the dogs out would know to look for ducks first. If there were indeed ducks on the premises, it was that person's responsibility to go outside, rain or shine, shoo the them into the pond where they couldn't be reached, then let the dogs out. I also did my best to teach the dogs to be respectful of their personal space by yelling, "no ducks!" whenever they attempted to catch them. It was a happy, albeit at times inconvenient compromise. At sunset each evening, the ducks would fly off for parts unknown, only to return each morning. I would often wake up to ducks quacking on the roof just outside our bedroom window! It really quacked me up!

Sorry, I couldn't resist!

As fall quickly approached, I wondered what would become of my web footed friends. I suspected that they would eventually leave for a warmer climate, but if so, they didn't seem in a tremendous rush to do so.

Then one evening, I watched them leave and next morning, they were not in the pond. Being a worrier by nature, I was concerned that something had happened to them. I listened every morning for their quacks...but there were none. It saddened me.

Then one chilly November morning, I let the dogs outside, having completely forgotten the need for a "duck check." I heard a familiar, yet truly pissed off quacking, followed by a loud splash. I look out the kitchen window and there they were, swimming around the pond! I was thrilled....and relieved. When they left that evening, they would not return. I felt as if they had come back to say good-bye.

A day or two after Autumn passed away, Ray woke me from a sound sleep saying, "you need to come look outside". I couldn't imagine what could be important enough for me to look outside at 6:30 a.m, with the possible exception of the Publisher's Clearinghouse Prize Patrol with one of those big ass checks for a million dollars. I grumbled, "this better be good" as I dragged myself from under my toasty blankets. Through sleepy eyes, I peered out the window and there were our little ducky friends swimming cheerfully around the pond! I still would have loved the million bucks, but this, for me, was just as good!

This morning. as I watched the ducks swimming around the pond, I was reminded of a little song to the tune of "Three Cheers For the Red, White and Blue" that my sister used to sing to me when I was kid.

"Be kind to your web footed friends, for a duck may be somebodies mother!"

So Mote It Be!

In Darkness, Light!


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Merry Meet and Happy Sunday, Family, Friends, Followers and Lurkers!

The Reiki I'm studying is being taught by a woman who is a Shaman. She is one of the most interesting people I've ever met and in addition to teaching Traditional Usui Reiki, she also adds some of her own Shamanic training as well.

I have always been intrigued by Shamanism and so I picked up a book on Shamanic Reiki that I'm enjoying very much. It speaks a lot about Shamanic Journeying and connections made through dreams. Last night, I had the strangest dream!

I dreamt I was to pick up a friend's grandparents and bring them to Thanksgiving dinner. Now, I can't be certain, but I doubt that my friend's grandparents are still living. When I arrived at their home, I met a lovely elderly couple who were sitting side by side on their sofa. We chatted a few minutes and then they excused themselves to go into the bedroom to get ready to leave. As I stood waiting, I noticed that the house was very dusty. I could see the dust particles reflected in the sunlight coming in through the window. I didn't find this at all strange. Considering their age, I thought that dusting was probably not on the top of their list of things to do. They seemed to be taking a very long time and so I decided to see what was keeping them. Just as I was going to pass through the first archway between the rooms, I looked down and noticed that there were cobwebs that spanned from one end of the archway to the other. Then I noticed something else....the cobwebs were...unbroken. I stood there staring at them for what seemed like an eternity, trying to figure out how this could be possible. Did they confine themselves to certain rooms, I wondered? Then I noticed that the entrances to ALL the rooms had cobwebs and all were intact. I stepped carefully through the first set of cobwebs as I made my way to the room where I saw the elderly couple enter, only to find the room was empty!

I was obviously unnerved and confused, but not really frightened. As I made my way back through the house, I could hear the Rolling Stone's "Start Me Up" playing loudly from somewhere. I was enjoying the music, when I noticed my Mother was there (my mother crossed in 2001). There were other people there as well. Some whom I know and others that I didn't. I tried to explain the situation to them, but they all seemed to be preoccupied with other things such as returning a chair that was purchased as a Christmas gift, making sure "so and so" had a ride from the airport. It was just friggin' surreal, as most dreams are. Then I looked down and there was my Autumn! Again, she looked absolutely beautiful. As I picked her up, cradling her in my arms I was struck with a bolt of stunning clarity! I turned to my Mom and said, "I understand now! We're between the Worlds!"

Why I dreamt of my friend's grandparents, I haven't a clue, I've never met his grandparents. Hell, I've never met him! Still, I wrote to ask if he could provide me with a photo of his grandparents. I'm sure this will confirm his worse suspicions of my being utterly mad! That said, if I receive the photo and it even remotely resembles the people in my dream, be prepared! A major freak out on my part will follow shortly thereafter!

I believe I've at least learned one of the mysteries of the After Life! They aren't listening to harps! I'm a little surprised by Rolling Stones however. I would have guessed it would have been the Grateful Dead!

"This message is brought to you by WBTW FM! Rockin' the Other Side!"

In Darkness, Light!


Saturday, April 4, 2009

For The Love of Sushi!

Merry Meet and Happy Morning Family, Friends, Followers and Lurkers!

Well, it's officially....fish season! No, it's not like "wabbit" season or "duck" season! And it's not one of the cryptic metaphors I'm known for.

Allow me to explain. About 5 years ago, I was surveying our backyard and casually mentioned to my husband, "ya know what would look great right over there?" "Uh oh", he responded. "A Koi pond", I said. Seriously. Well, as with most of my "ya know what would look great" ideas, he thought I was mad.

Then, one lovely Spring weekend, he came home and said, "I have a surprise for you". "Uh oh", I responded, as I do with most of his "I have a surprise for you" declarations. "Go downstairs and look", he said. Well, I did and there I found an official, $99.00 "Koi Pond Kit", direct from Home Depot! I was skeptical, yet excited!

Now ya gotta know, this was supposed to be a weekend project. Shortly after opening the box however, we realized it might be a little more involved than we thought...just not as involved as it was about to become.

The project called for a trip to the Garden Center, so off we went. There we met the woman that would come to be known as "the fish lady". When we told her of our pond purchase, she kind of just gave us this sympathetic look and said, "well, if that's the way you wanna go....but your fish will all be dead by next year!" What?! Dead?! As we eventually learned, fish are not cheap! Japanese bred Koi can run you anywhere between $60 to over $300.00, depending on your level of insanity. So dead fish.....definitely not an option.

Now she explains that to build our pond correctly, we need to figure out what size pond we want, we need to buy a pond liner, we needed a filter, we needed plants, we need rock to hold down the pond liner, we needed some kind of aeration for the pond....this, all before we could actually put fish in it. Now we begin discussing the possibility of taking the pond kit back to Home Depot and just planting some nice flowers in the spot where the fish were going to be. But nooooooo....I had to go and say, "C'mon Ray...it'll be eeeasy". Well, he actually believed me and, $3,000.00, 10,000 lbs of Laurel Mountain stone and three months of sweat equity later, we finished our pond, complete with waterfall!

Was it easy? No fishin' Way! The pond is 9 x 13, three feet deep (I did most of the digging) and by the time we were done putting the last rock in place, we were psychotic! We had actually become so obsessed with putting the right rocks in the right places that we were rabidly arguing about it. On one particularly hot afternoon, I actually whipped a gardening shovel at Ray's head because he just couldn't understand why "that fucking rock did not go in that fucking place!" I missed of course, and we laugh about it now, but you can't make this stuff up!

Then we added the fish and life as we knew it was never the same! Those of you who are not "Ponders"(that's the psychiatric diagnosis for those of us who have ponds) would never suspect that Koi are more of a pain in the ass to care for than ALL of my other pets combined. They have to be fed a certain diet, not too much and not to little and this differs with the season. Their water can neither be too hot or cold. Oh, and lest I forget, you have to monitor your little fishy friends bathroom habits as well! During friggin' "Fish Season" you can often find me still in my PJ's on the deck with my little test tubes like a mad scientist testing their water! The water in the pond has to be a perfect chemical balance of Ph, ammonia and nitrites. If the fish are over-pooping or peeing, the ammonia and nitrates become too high, resulting in a "pond emergency" in which all your fish could die! Holy Shit! Pun definitely intended!

So you may be thinking, why would I torment myself? What do I like so much about fish! Well, I like the challenge, that's for sure! They are beautiful to watch, the sound of the waterfall in the pond does create a very Zen-like atmosphere and they have definitely enhanced my appreciation for sushi, but at this point, my favorite thing about them is Winter. Fishies hiberate through the Winter! You don't feed them, you don't have to monitor their bowel habits, you don't test their water....life is good! Goodnight ya little ffffffff.....fishies! See ya next Spring!

::::insert theme from "Jaws"::::

About two weeks ago, I began seeing their little fish faces at the surface of the water. I was filled with a mixture of joy and dread. Ya see, each Spring is a waiting game to see who did and didn't make it through the Winter. We've been quite lucky thus far and I am happy to report I've counted all their familiar little fish faces!

This week as I stepped out onto the deck to call the dog, I heard a familar splashing. I cautiously peered into the pond, hoping they wouldn't see me. Too late...they already heard my voice. There they all were at the edge of the pond waiting to be fed.

I swear I could actually see them....smirking!

In Darkness, Light!