Sunday, December 22, 2013

Krampus Is Only Funny When He Happens To Someone Else.


See, what I saw was this one-eyed man, dragging a dead reindeer through the snow by its antlers. And I thought, "Oh, right, so that's why the suit is red, because it's covered in blood and WAIT WHAT THE FRESH HELL".

I attribute years of Weird Shit Experiences to my ability to not flee the circle while screaming like a troop of violated Girl Scouts and turning Trothwy's pool into the Biggest Cleansing Bath Evar. I mean, ONE EYE. Ravens on his shoulders. A deer that didn't look like it had been hunted so much as savaged. I am pretty sure I know Who this is, and I do not like it. I do not like it in a car, I do not want to be Asatruar. I do not like dead deer or ham, I do not like them, "Old Squinty" You Am.

The Husband didn't fare much better. Without blogging things he might not want me to blog, I'll say that some of his ancestors got up to unpleasant hijinks, to put it mildly, and he got to see a lot of it in full Technicolor detail. While he was disturbed by this, he was also interested and pleased to have felt something profound and new, magically speaking (that's my little ray of sunshine!).

And then, just to balance things out, there was the sex. Which led to me having, at a - cough- climactic moment, a revelation. It struck me as so profound that I could not keep it to myself until a more appropriate time, and I cannot blame the Husband for being confused for a few seconds:

ME: Holy fucking shit. Damn. So that's why he comes down the chimney. 
ME: Santa. Comes down the chimney. Because it's a birth canal. I mean, why else would you come into a house balls-first into a fire?
HUSBAND: Oh. I suppose that makes sense.

Since he isn't awake yet, I don't know how he slept, but I was treated to a nightmare in which Evn and I were trying to either blow up someone's apartment or make ammonia/bleach gas in it. While I can see us lobbing chickens over fences, I cannot imagine us indulging in chemical warfare. And while it sounds funny by light of day, monitor, and the influence of coffee, it was not funny at 3am or so. There were other nightmares, but I don't remember them. I am just fine with this.

Feed dogs & cat.
Feed horse.
Come home, eat, drink coffee, blog.
Go get a tree and some lights for it.
Get groceries.
Feed horse again.
Clean Area of Puppy Devastation so as to have somewhere to put up tree.
Put hyssop soap to good use (thank you, H.). Do same with Florida Water. Salt all the things.
Put horseshoe up over door.
Talk to all of Them about how I do not need That One-Eyed Guy in my life, so could they perhaps let him know that I am already well-spoken for, plz?
Feed other pets. Rush puppy out before she can piddle indoors.
Pack for tomorrow.
Fall over while thinking how peaceful it would be to be Episcopalian.*

*This is what my brain settles on when there has been a little too much Woo. It is not meant to imply in any way that I think Episcopals are spiritually shallow or lazy or anything of that sort. I just think that they probably don't see things out of the corners of their eyes for three weeks before Halloween, get dark visions about the true meaning of Christmas, etc.

**I am sincerely hoping we do not see any Santas today. I don't think I'm ready.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Go Home, Universe, You're Drunk.

Dear Universe,

It is not funny to dangle shit I want/need in front of my nose only to make it distinctly other than what was initially advertised and/or snatch it right out from under me. Stop it. It is pissing me off.

No love,
The ocelot


Someone was supposed to take this puppy that showed up on Wednesday night, when it was supposed to be 30F as a low. Now, it's "I don't know when I can get her and maybe my cousin wants her but I don't really know."

One of the boarders at the barn was supposed to be renting a 3-bedroom, 2-bath house for $900 a month. Catch is, we have to let her and her 13-year-old daughter stay in one of the bedrooms on Saturday nights so they don't have to drive up from Galveston for Sunday morning lessons. Which makes it a two-bedroom, one-bath house that I now will not be able to not rent without Barn Owner being pissy at me and possibly shitcanning me.

Got a new job (thanks to Evn), but realized last week that I had forgotten about the stupid wage garnishment (due to the student loans my ex decided to simply not repay for months on end), and am hoping New Boss doesn't decide that I am therefore too much trouble to have as an employee.

Also, Husband had his eyeglasses flung accidentally into a fire on Thursday, and contacts (which were the only thing he could get today) are not working for him at all. )

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Witch, Diagnose Thyself.

Despite having an immune system that allowed me to have appendicitis for three days without dying, I am now sick. I blame Germy Co-Workers. Or I was blaming them until about 20 minutes ago.

See, I am lying on the couch, achy and feverish and watching "Extreme Cheapskates" and reading witchy blogs and generally pouting about missing my coven's full moon rite. Only salsa tastes good, and I am tempted to eat it directly from the jar. But I digress.

I'm reading The Crossroads Companion. Nice. I like it. There's this one post about rites to Hekate. Huh. Hekate. Interesting. I called on Her just a few days ago when it was very cold and Pregnant Neighbor's dog was outside and -


Pregnant Neighbor is now New Mother Neighbor. Her birth was pretty rough - she had a Caesarian - and was going to stay at her brother's as A. her husband works at night and B. the trailers are not heated. So her not-very-furry dog was going to be outside during one of the two nights last week when it was going to be about 32F. In all the baby-having, did they even know how cold it was supposed to get? What to do? After giving said dog a nice carboard box with polyfill fleecy stuff and an old pillow in it and finding the dog was having none of it, I came in and prayed to Hekate.

There in my kitchen, arms raised, I said, "Hekate, Great Hekate, friend of dogs, please help this dog to be warm tonight. Please let her use the box and be comfortable."

This may or may not have happened - as luck would have it, New Mother Neighbor came home to grab a few things. I ran over, told them about the weather, and then lugged my huge crate over. Neighbor Dog went in and everyone was happy. This was Wednesday.

I got sick on Thursday.

I prayed to an underworld goddess and then I got sick and could not figure out why until reading that blog post.

I am an idiot.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Final Word On Samhain 2013.

Apparently, my feeling that Samhain wasn't quite over yet was more accurate than I could have imagined. The Ex texted an hour ago to tell me that my eldest cat had passed suddenly and unexpectedly.

Goodbye, Nikolai. I'm so sorry I never got to say it in person. I have missed you every day and will until I see you again. Next time, I will never, ever let anyone take you away from me.

The rage and pain in my heart right now would terrify any sane person.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

I Don't Even Know What To Think.

At ritual last night, I asked that my witch ancestors (not blood relations who were witches, since I don't know that I have any) come to me in dreams.

What I GOT was a scary-ass nightmare where I was the victim of a serial killer who is either crippled and older or pretends to be either or both, and who put a cardboard box on my head before killing me.

Go figure.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The After-Samhain Report.

Samhain was, almost literally, a wash. The morning brought a terrifying storm that took out the power to and ripped the roof off half the barn where my horse lives (all the horses are ok, just a bit baffled). I discovered that it is harder to see trees lying across the road when there is A. heavy rain and B. no light. Luckily, both the Ocelotmobile and I managed to drive away from said tree unscathed.

Samhain evening was actually pretty nice, but only one child came for the Ritual Sacrifice. Bummer. What to do with all the chocolate that we didn't give to Pregnant Neighbor? Take it to friends tonight, of course.

There are pumpkins, sitting uncarved (due to our erratic schedules, friends suddenly dropping by last night, etc.) in the kitchen. On the one hand, it seems silly to carve them now. On the other, who says we have to make a light so the Ancestors know which house to come visit? Maybe this year, they're for attracting other things. A better job. A roof that does not spring new leaks as fast as the landlord fixes the old ones. Maybe instead of putting a candle in them, they need to be filled with...other things. The stuff of life, perhaps. The kind of things that got Ms. Dirty a great big "EEEEEEW" from the more delicately-sensibilitied in the pagan blogoverse.

If I keep this up, no-one will ever eat my kick-ass vegan pumpkin bread again.

One thing's for sure - Samhain isn't quite over yet.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Day In The Life Of The Ocelot.

Pregnant Young Neighbor has brought us Rice Krispie treats again. My Celtic tendency towards the return of hospitality demands that I feed her one of my calzones. Whenever they're done. Which may be two days from now at the rate I'm going.

I have Angel's Trumpet in my yard. Rosemary, sage, basil, and oregano are growing in a box. The witch is hidden in this odd little trailer park, her garden growing in plain sight. I wonder if I'm the only one.

And I will hand out the ritual sacrifice of chocolate and candy in just a few weeks. It's not blood and bone, not the heart and liver of the slain sacrifice, but I know what it is. I hand out sweets to the representatives of the Restless and Beloved Dead with a smile and a silent blessing, hoping everyone gets home safe for another year.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

On Not Having An Opinion.

The Husband has convinced me to spend the day slothfully rather than productively. This means surfing. Which led me to Deborah Lipp's blog, and her post, Is The Wiccan Rede Ethical? A Response.

I agreed with her unequivocally, but trotted off to see Mr. Kraig's original post just 'cause. I found the following statement and damn near threw a hissy:

"If you see a person such as a child or someone who is elderly being attacked or abused, you can't use force to stop the attacker or abuser. That would be hurting them."

I am sick of such attacks on the Rede by non-Wiccans. There. I said it. Bad, bad me, daring to assert such an idea. I am a judgmental person for feeling that Mr. Kraig is deliberately playing dumb with this idea that "Wiccan" = "Amish", and that he has no idea what he's talking about to boot. I am mean, cruel, and academic.

It's about to get worse.

Frankly, if you're not an initiate into a Mystery Tradition, how can you have an informed, rational, intelligent opinion about it? How can I say that the Santeria practice of sacrificing animals is fine by me when I don't know that it's no more cruel than Farmer Bob next door sending his chickens to the Great Chicken Beyond in order to have dinner? Do I really know that I won't be required to fellate a goat if I attend the Eleusinian Mysteries? Hell, for all I know, my tradition may require me to wear a ritual Barney suit at some point.

I don't know about other people's Mysteries, because I am not part of them - I don't even know about all of the Mysteries of my own tradition. Therefore, while I can have opinions based on what I think their Mysteries are and how ethical they are or are not, I really have no idea. Hence, the old and honorable statement, "I don't know enough about it to have an opinion."

Stretch your brain a little with the following idea: if a Mystery tradition requires its followers/adherents/initiates to keep such Mysteries secret, how do you even know that the thing you're declaring ethical/unethical even happens/exists?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Because I Am An Adult...

...I will not slink over to the abandoned trailer to the right of us and do some strange version of redneck UrbEx and have to run back here, screaming like a troop of violated Girl Scouts and flinging salt everywhere and waking the poor Husband. I will not go Disturbing Things.

I have to be up early to teach and have a full day ahead of me which does not involve poor Husband making up some explanation about how I broke my leg so that Barn Owner does not ask me why in the hell I was skulking around abandoned trailers at midnight. Which is why I'm going to go peer in the windows during the day like a normal person.

What's the big deal, you ask? There is Something there, and I just have to see what. It's big and not tame at all; there's something wild, back there. I've got to at least peek and see if I can't see what it is.

But if I never get the chance because one day it unfolds a pair of chicken feet and just walks off, I won't be surprised.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What Are You Wearing For Samhain?

After a friendship at work went terribly sour, I started thinking about masks.

See, this Co-worker I've had the falling-out with fancies herself to be this Everybody's Mama-type. You know, sensible, level-headed, and more than ready to tell you her homespun solution to whatever's going wrong. The type who sees no irony in making the statement, "Shrinks don't do any good - they just take your money", when she could obviously benefit from seeing a good one (we all hear about her dead son. Every day. A propos of anything, everything, or nothing).

Well, despite her now annoying the ever-living shit out of me, she made me start thinking. About how we see ourselves and how that happens and how we present ourselves and why. About the masks most of us wear every day.

Are you the Smart One? The one who Could Be Doing More? The Wise One? Are those straps digging into your face a little bit? Maybe you don't see out of the eyeholes as well as you used to. Maybe you'd like to be a peacock or wear a gimp mask for a bit.

Hey, I try not to judge.

This Samhain, see if your mask still fits. Maybe it's time for a new one, or none at all. Ask Them, who see all of your faces. It's supposed to be a time of year to get a little scared, isn't it?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


We forgot to ask how one might get Intarwebz in the Trailer Park of the Damned. It now looks like we'll be providing some one-toothed Spam-eating cousin-maters with Intarwebz at some point, since I can't see this as more than a year's solution.

I know. First-world problems. But we're FIVE MINUTES from a MAJOR highway. I cannot have livestock. The roads are paved. I can see neighbors. IT'S NOT THAT FRIGGING RURAL.

I am too stressed to ride. This does not happen often. It usually heralds me hiding under or on top of something and refusing to be moved.

Hence, I bring you the following Scene From A Coven:

ME: So, after the initiation, my cat pissed blood, some other bad shit happened, and I got bitten by something ON THE EYEBROW and now my face swells up every morning. So if y'all want to go ahead and give me my second degree and just get this over with, that's fine by me. I'm just saying.

THE ELDERS: (laugh)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

With Only A Week To Go...

Fundie Housemate has managed to royally piss me off.

We're in the kitchen, me, Husband, and FH. Husband asks if FH has heard from Husband's grandma on Facebook, and when FH says no, not lately, how is she, etc., the following chaos and mayhem ensues:

HUSBAND: She and I have been chatting a lot on the phone during my commute home. We were having a great theological conversation last week -
ME: (focuses on Tater Tots, wondering why in the names of the Gods Husband has opened this door)
FH: Let me tell you about my God! My God made your God. MY God blah blah blah
ME: (stabs Tater Tots with spatula in an effort not to do the same to FH)
FH: Blah blah Jeebus blee blee One Twue God blergh
HUSBAND: Well, we know you feel that way, but we don't.
FH: Blah blee etc. so forth
ME: (finally having gotten my hand to release the spatula) I AM LEAVING THIS ROOM. I HAVE BEEN INSULTED.
FH: (somewhat less stridently) Well, I didn't mean to insult anyone...


I then demanded that we watch "The Wicker Man" and texted Evn* about how I was going to look for this old Irish spell I've seen involving butter (since FH can't keep his grubby little mitts off mine, this would just be too awesomely appropriate), and how FH had better hope I don't find it before we manage to get out of here. Husband, upon a subsequent trip to the kitchen, was apologized to by FH, who, of course, still has no idea why what he said was rude as hell. I'm waiting for yet another run-in that will end with my shouting about how while SOME gods hang for nine days and bring back runes, HIS died after only a day or so and still hasn't come back, so who's the beyotch now?

Yes, I know. I am a bad, immature, mean witch and I should be the bigger person and all that. He lives in a shared house with whoever can afford to rent, is on a fixed income, and doesn't really appear to have any true friends. He has limited theological understanding of his own religion and absolutely none of any other faith. His moping every time I don't do what he wishes tells me he has problems with women, which probably explains the lack of any romantic companionship. So really, would it do any good to say, "Look, I have a pretty great life that comes from my own hard work, true, but also largely from the blessings of my Gods. What's your God doing for you, considering that what I see of your life is pretty sad?" Do I really think he'd have an epiphany, maybe deepen his spirituality, stop looking for other people or deities to save him from whatever, or even just shut his blithering piehole until next Sunday or so?

Sigh - no. No, I do not. He's basically just a large, annoying toddler and should be treated as such. I just wish his Big Divine Parent would come, get him out of the way of the grownups, and give him a time-out or something.

*It occurs to me that I should get and learn to use Twitter so that poor Evn isn't the only one who's subject to these little electronic outbursts.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Four vet trips later...

Puck is home.

He is by my left hip. My dog is on my right foot. For now, just in this moment, even if Puck the Sumo Cat cannot be made well, I have my pets and I am happy. We are ordering a pizza we cannot afford simply because my Husband firmly believes that I should not be made to cook given my rather stressful day, someone may be giving us free furniture for the new place, and tomorrow my supervisor is back and I do not have to deal with chuckleheads at work.

Happiness is so delicate. It's a cat, a dog, a Husband playing video games, being a new Initiate, and a pony I need to ride because he'll be cranky if I wait a week because we got rained out of tonight's lessons.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Week Thus Far.

PRO: Found a place to live.
CON: It is a trailer in a fairly trashy trailer park, and needs tons of work before it's ready.
PRO: Our landlord seems nice. He was late to our meeting today because his parents' house was having electrical problems. Husband offered to help, and Landlord paid him despite Husband's protests that he need not pay, that little old people should not be in a house with only half the power in Texas in the summer.

CON: Butthead Housemate moved in his girlfriend (and her two kids who I actually suspect are baby hippos, from the amount of noise made) without asking us, in direct opposition to the "everyone must approve new housemates" policy.
CON: Girlfriend - hereafter Perpetually Vacuuming Concubine - just had to do so at 9pm last night, just as I was falling asleep, and was a little bitch about what I feel was a fairly polite request that she cut that shit out as we wake at 4:30am at the latest.
PRO: While we were out, BH texts Husband that PVC has tripped a breaker and they now have no power upstairs. Said breaker is in our room. Bwa ha ha!!

PRO: I am now a first-degree Gardnerian. And that's all I'm saying about that. It was amazing last Saturday night, and the best experience I could have hoped for/imagined. Really, there's no point in me telling you specifics even if I could/would. To paraphrase Crowley, those who've been there can't explain, and those who can explain haven't been there.
CONS: None.

Friday, August 2, 2013

OK, Universe. That's Enough.

My week is not improving.

We saw a place last night, but must now wait until employment is verified and all that. And other people were calling about it while we were there. Boo. Hiss.

Husband was supposed to be meeting a friend's boss for an interview today. Said boss apparently left for the day, and friend's advice - to take Monday off for this - is less-than-stellar. Friend swears this is in the bag, that if Husband quits his current job the boss will hire him the same day, but I am a bit nervous about such things. I mean, if this boss is this flaky about even seeing Husband, how do we know he'll actually hire Husband?

Work was long and annoying.

I am now home and hoping to avoid all housemates, as I am not sure I can be trusted not to either curse the ever-living fuckpants off of someone, kick them in the 'nads, or both if they so much as look in my general direction. Hence, the following letter.

Dear Universe:

This week has sucked balls from start to finish. I am using all means at my disposal to better my situation. It would be nice if you'd help rather than keep spreading your buttcheeks and raining dookie on my head.

Thanks so much,
The ocelot.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The First Rule Of Witch Club...

"Let's pretend. You're the Department of Transportation, okay? Someone informs you that this company installs front seat mounting brackets that never pass collision tests, brake linings that fail after a thousand miles and fuel injectors that explode and burn people alive. What then?" - Tyler Durden, Fight Club

Let's pretend. You're a witch, okay? Someone informs you that despite the fact that when you moved into the shared house it was with the agreement that no other housemates would be moved in without everyone agreeing, he's moving in his girlfriend and her two kids and you have no choice in the matter, and he's gotten the crazy landlady's ok even though he can't get her on the phone for anything else, like the central air that hasn't worked since April. And he's being a complete asshole about it and bothering you while you're at work. What then?

Then you take the dryer lint he's too dumb to remove to a safe location, the poor frog your cat probably smothered to death, a sigil, your own piss, and then mix it all in a freezer bag like the Devil's own marinade and bury it under said housemate's window.

I didn't set out to become North America's answer to Graveyard Dirt. But when pushed, I shove.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Wherein The Ocelot And Her Husband Converse About The Dark Arts.

After a very bad day for the ocelot and her Husband (including tomfuckery at his job, a bad day at hers, her trying to go to a coven meeting that was not happening although Trothwy had said they weren't meeting this week because she is now incapable of remembering anything, and a flat tire that couldn't be replaced because it was seven-thirty before said tire could be tended to), the following conversation was had.

ME: Um, about "Abre Camino". Y'know, the road-opening thing. Apparently this can get kinda rough.

HIM: Hm. You put that stuff on my boots, didn't you?

ME: (somewhat defensively) You watched me do it.

HIM: Yeah. That Santeria stuff doesn't fuck around. Anything else you bought at the botanica that I might want to know about?

ME: Um...John the Conqueror root. (pompously) Traditionally Hoodoo. And Voodoo. Not Santeria.

HIM: Let's confine ourselves to one magical system at a time, shall we?

ME: Pfft. It's fine. (rationalization ensues)

HIM: Yeah, how are you going to feel if your day tomorrow is like the one I had today? It's like the Universe took its bulging cock and slapped me across the face with it and said (drops voice to a dirtily seductive tone), "Hey, look at this."

ME: I am so putting this on my blog.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Wherein The Ocelot Makes With The Magic.


Fundie Housemate has been moping around because Husband and I were fine with his "prayer meeting" in the communal living room (his personal one is almost as big, so the question of why it had to be out there in the first place remains unanswered) until he announced that there would probably be drumming. Electronic drumming. From 9 until 11pm. Y'know, the hours when people who are fortunate enough to have jobs are sleeping.

We have to get up at 5am even on Saturdays, so being kept up by a lot of noise didn't thrill us. We expressed this concern. At no time did we say he couldn't do this - just that we did not want to be kept awake or awakened by it. Out concerns were not addressed.

Two days later - Thursday - FH told me rather glumly that he wouldn't be having his "prayer meeting". So we wouldn't be disturbed after all. "Oh,", I replied, and turned to a far more satisfying conversation with my cacti. He has been more-or-less ignoring me ever since, and I have been rather content with this.

Last night, he apparently decided that being a pain in my ass was far more fun. I was minding my own business and cooking, I-Pod Shuffle firmly on collar and headphones in ears. Rob Zombie was serenading me and I was fairly relaxed. Enter FH. Who starts babbling at me, despite the aforementioned headphones. I took them out to see what was going on now.

He asks if I have an issue with him, in tones that do not indicate any desire to return to a more friendly state of affairs. This peeves me, and I say that no, I do not*, and does he have one with me? He doesn't, he insists, but it certainly seems like I have one with him, and my attempts to explain that his perception is not my problem goes unheeded. He continues making mouth noises at me. I announce that I am cooking, I have been enjoying this Shuffle thing, and that I'm going back to what I was doing, now.

This is when he Makes A Mistake. Because over Mr. Zombie, I hear, "You're the rudest person who's ever lived here" and "I've tried to be nice."


Out go the earbuds. The Death Stare gets locked on. I intone, "OK. I AM BEGINNING TO FEEL THREATENED."

Suddenly he protests, far less forcefully, that he's not making threats, he's not being threatening. Earbuds back in, and Ignore gets set to 10. Then the freaksomeness sets in, because when Husband appears a few minutes later, FH acts like there is nothing. going. on.

I explain, when FH exits, that I am seriously over this shit, and if this dude thinks he's going to throw tantrums at me every time he doesn't get his way (eating entire sticks of my butter without asking, letting his guests come in and use whatever they like, not keeping us awake, using my sugar without asking, etc.), he is in for a full-force Bringing Down The Fiery Shit Right On His Head.

But then I think, after a fitful night's sleep. What do I really want? If he leaves, there might be someone even worse. I like the yard and even The Land, and don't really want to move. I really just want him to leave me alone, to not speak to me beyond "excuse me" or "good morning/evening", to keep his guests out of my things, and to generally behave as though I don't exist. How to go about it? I need quick and dirty. This is when I recall these things called "freezer spells". Off to Rune Soup (link) I go, and take a trip to Kroger and the local botanica.

So the ocelot's To Do list looks like this:
1. Bind FH.
2. Open roads for new, improved job and new, improved housing.
3. Try to find clothes for a 6pm wedding that aren't black.
4. Try to stem the tide of laundry by actually putting the clean clothes away.

Wish me luck - and safety. This guy's obviously got problems, and I want to be left out of them.

*Yes, I know I do, indeed, have issues with him. Hypocritical and bad. But as these are issues unlikely to be resolved by anything short of me converting or him learning the basic lesson of "don't touch what isn't yours, up to and including someone's belief system", neither of which is likely, I see no point in addressing this.

**When someone says this when you're obviously trying to ignore them, it's a threat in my book. There's the implication that you're going to start being unpleasant, and when you're already being unpleasant, well, what's next? Especially when other women who have rented here have called the cops on you for being threatening, if not violent. Other Housemate discounted that incident, but I'm starting to think I should have dug a little deeper about it before moving in.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wherein The Ocelot Talks About Race And Bullying.

Totally non-magical. Or maybe it will be, by the end. You, dear readers, decide.

Trayvon Martin. This is a tragedy. I think we all know the Self-Appointed Hero who we see as a dorky rent-a-cop, but who sees himself as a Badass. This whole thing is the logical conclusion of this, at least when things go terribly, terribly wrong.

Now - let me tell you how the ocelot profiles people.

Two young white men showed up at our door last weekend. We got out the guns and kept them from view. Said young men were a friend's son and his friend. I am still grappling with the etiquette question of telling or not telling said friend that Husband and I had guns at the ready when her child came to our door. RACISM QUOTIENT: 0.

A young man of either Hispanic or Italian ancestry, by appearance, was wandering around and claimed to be "doing a random property inspection" because "the mortgage company sent me". He had no business card, no immediate supervisor to call, nada. Again with the firearms. RACISM QUOTIENT: 0. Unless you think that the ocelot hates Italians. Or Mexicans.

My boss, met outside normal work hours: BIG Black guy. Has baby. Wears athletic wear. Is roughly the size of my horse. Would he alarm me if he approached me in a dark parking lot, saying his car was dead and he had his baby with him, and could I drive them somewhere? Yes. RACISM QUOTIENT: zero. I am afraid he will break my small car by trying to get into it, not that he would harm me because he is Black. I would ask if he had smaller family members or if he'd care to push the car while said baby and I enjoy a snack, because hey, he's bigger than me, baby, and car put together so why the hell not.

Group of rowdy Black men, ages 15 - 50: alarming. RACISM QUOTIENT: zero. Any group of rowdy men of this age is a danger to self and others through sheer testosterone-based dumbness.

Group of rowdy White men, ages 15 - 50: alarming. See above.

Group of rowdy Hispanic men, ages 15 - 50: not alarming. RACISM QUOTIENT: zero. I have never actually seen this and assume that most of them are like me and the Husband: they work at physically demanding jobs and so are too damn tired to start any shit. I would probably assume the celebration of a family event/graduation/holiday I am not conversant with.

Group of rowdy Asian men, ages 15- 50: not alarming. RACISM QUOTIENT: zero. I have never actually seen this. If I did, I would act as above.

Very large, extremely muscular Black man on public transit or in parking lot: not alarming. RACISM QUOTIENT: 5. I was once saved from being gay-bashed by a bodybuilding young Black Christian man. So now I assume none of them have any interest in raping/beating/mugging me.

Young Black man trying to be all Playa at me: not alarming. I have found young Black men to be the funniest when hitting on random women, and least likely to get pissed when you express disinterest. One Playa was grooving along with his patter, caught a look at my pasty-ass legs, and shouted, "Is that your SKIN?! Good God. Do you want my coat?" RACISM QUOTIENT: 5. I now also assume that all young Black men and I are entering into an agreement by which we both understand the following and far-less entertaining conversation to be happening:
     HIM: You are attractive to me. Would you care to go out sometime, or possibly to have sex right this
     ME: No, thank you. Though you are very funny and I understand that couching your suggestion in this    
            ridiculous manner is your way of saving face should I say no and ensuring that you have in no way
            been insulting or using crass language that would cause your mother to slap you sideways.
    HIM: Thank you. I hope that should you change your mind, that our paths might cross again.
    ME: Thank you. Have a good evening.

Group of rowdy White men, ages 15 - 50, who are skinny, unwashed, and sporting what seem to be poorly-done tattoos: alarming. RACISM QUOTIENT: 10. I assume they are meth-eating crackers who will happily kill me, eat me, and rape my dog and husband. My only hope is that the Orson Wells cat I own will avenge us all.

Next topic: workplace cliques and shit.

We have a guy at work who is small. Unkempt. Smokes cheap cigarettes and therefore sometimes smells less-than-awesome. He looks, sadly, like some kind of somewhat fluffy gopher. His horrible dentition does not help this, and I readily confess that I cannot make eye contact as frequently as I'd like when speaking with him because bad teeth freak me right the hell out. Other than that, I find him agreeable to work with and have no problems with him.

No one else likes him. This is largely based on his appearance and supposed "B.O.", which I have not noticed. It is now also being drummed up as his "problems with women being in charge". I have not found this to be the case, either.

It is starting to seem like "we don't like the weird poor kid who wears Tuffskins and always smells like boiled cabbage" more than legitimate workplace complaints, and I don't like it. To Dr. Seussify things, I do not like it there at work, I do not like it when you are a jerk. I do not like this cliqueish shit, I do not like it, not a bit.

What to do?

Talk to the supervisor? Sure. Try to appeal to everyone's better nature? Done. Bake some cookies along the likes of Z Budapest's* recipe in "Goddess In The Office" to increase harmony and niceness? Maybe. Now, to find the book - I know it's here somewhere. Any suggestions, darlings? Because this guy is a Good Person, and even though they're not acting like it at the moment, so are the other people I work with, and I just want everyone to Play Nice and get along. If a few Magic Cookies help, I'm not above that.

*I know she was mean to transwomen and so is now A Bad Person and whatnot. I still think there's plenty of wheat in the chaff, so I'm not willing to boycott her or her works/ideas.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Wherein The Ocelot Accomplishes A Bunch Of Stuff.

Work done: 8 hours.

Horse fed twice.

Dinner made, if somewhat disappointing.

Laundry done: two loads, including folding.

Sigil making explained to the Husband.

A divinatory spread and personal symbols made and explained: one.

Maybe the immediate, almost spontaneous creation of the last is due to the owls I heard this morning while out with the dog. They are not barred owls. I am hoping they stick around and that I can see them, but hearing them is still good. I've missed owls.

And now, to a well-earned rest while "The Wicker Man" plays in the background.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wherein The Ocelot Realizes She Needs A Vacation.

I really need a day off. Not just a day where I only have to go to one job, but a real, genuine, honest-to-badness day without any work.

I'm hoping to accomplish two things this summer; cut back on how many days I teach (Wednesday's riders, who were truly adorable, were also a strain - 8 hours at Orange Store, then two hours with them, and then me trying to have my own lesson and not getting home until 8pm was a bit much) and get a better job. While I don't mind the Orange Store, the pay's not great, and promotions look unlikely for the foreseeable future, and other people would probably get them before I do anyway.

A weekend. A whole weekend. I remember the last camping trip the Husband and I took in March of 2012, and that, dear readers, was too long ago. I need a weekend to clear my head, ask some hard questions about what I'm doing, what I'm not doing, and what I want to be doing a few years from now. Camping - no Netflix, no online gaming, no squeaky voices calling for Ms. Ocelot about how the pony won't get caught, no team members guarding supplies like we're in the middle of a zombie siege (what good are zipties really going to do against the undead, anyway?), no long Houston commutes - would be a great time for me and the Husband to have time to talk, which is in short supply lately.

I need more time to see my horse, my husband, my pets, and Them. And I need to figure out how to do that. Y'know, before I duct-tape one of my fellow employees to a shopping cart or something.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Wren - Le Fin.

Saturday night, the Husband and I went outside to take a look at the garden. The first thing that struck me was that those fucking coyote-piss granules are not a deer repellent - they are a deer condiment.

Then I realized the wren was gone. The wren whom the ants had so obligingly found again, and started to consume. With not a track left or a single feather dropped. Just...poof.

This Land is ridiculous.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Clarification On "The Wren".

Having come back inside and suddenly turned on harsh fluorescent lighting in the bathroom (the Husband is a light-sensitive sleeper, and 4:45am comes early), it occurred to me that the previous post might need some clarification.

The sex angle is not just a random bit of titillation. See, I went out for a glass of wine and some paganly surfing when I got home, the Husband expressing two desires: one, that his fairly newly legal wife might come back in and make with the sexy when she was done with wine and surfing, and two, that he would be allowed to nap until such sexy happened.

So I came back in and was a happily obliging wife in a room dark and quiet, lit only by candles and serenaded only by the purring of the cat and the contented sighs of the dog. Those candles were honey candles, lit in front of Their cabinet, and then I slunk out in my bathrobe, covered in sex, to go deal with Death in my own weird way.

I don't know if I'm just starting to sound more like Ms. Dirty of Graveyard Dirt, but I doubt she'd find anything odd about me being out there in a bathrobe and the pair of Converse low-tops I wore to our wedding not-quite-a-week-ago, sniffing the magnolia scent in the air and the dead-wren smell so close to hand and the smell of me and Husband on my skin.

And then I came in here, lurking in the bathroom, trying to capture what I always think of as the wildness of the woods at night - a phrase that popped into my head some sixteen years ago when reading the "Song of Amergin". It was the "who knows the place where the sun rests" part; I immediately thought, "What is wilder than the woods at night?" No-one has ever given me an answer.

That, really, is where I am from and belong. Covered in horse and sweat and sex, carrying a dead bird around at odd hours so I can preserve its bones so that I can talk to it later, surprised once again at unnatural light. Don't get me wrong; I like my hot showers and Internet and being able to read after the sun goes down. But after being outside, seeing by either moon or stars, I always react to electric light like I'm unfamiliar with it. It looks odd, as I always think it must look to the animals who come up to our windows in the dark.

So there's your context; a strange yard with some weird things afoot, a witch who makes with the sex and then goes out to deal with the death, and the smell of honey candles, flickering in front of images of Them that I'm sure any of our ancestors could have and probably did make. A husband sleeping after his wife came to him like a succubus, a dog curled into a ball on a blanket in front of the altar, a black cat sprawled on the floor. And nothing wilder than the woods at night, surrounding all this on at least one side.

The Wren.

I got home tonight around four, grabbed the dog and went outside, only to find a dead wren on the patio. It's near a window, so I'm sure the poor bird took a fatal header into it, as they are sometimes wont to do.

The dog was very interested in this. He was very disappointed that I did not allow him to snack on our departed friend. The wren stayed where it was while I pondered this (a dead wren on the porch, not letting the dog eat it. Ew.).

The Husband came home, we came outside, and I showed him the poor little bird, already being eaten by ants. "We'll have to put him in the woods," he said. "Um..." I said. The Husband, knowing me rather well by this point, knew where this was going.

"You want to keep the bones, don't you." Notice there is no question mark there.

"I was thinking of sticking the wren on an anthill," I said, and we went inside to gather my things for tonight's riding lesson.

I came back. The wren was still there. I did a few things around the house, got in bed with the Husband for a bit, and then...came out here to put the wren in an opportune place next to the garden.

What really happened looks like some kind of Hogwarts math class:

If a witch (W) wants, after sex with her Husband (Sex and Death, anyone?), to don a bathrobe and head out to the dead wren (DW)with the intent of putting it on an anthill (A) without attracting attention from her housemates (H1,2), which means no flashlight (F), but also doesn't want to get bitten by the ants already consuming DW, how does she do it?

Quickly. And carefully.

W is unbitten, H1 & 2 seem none the wiser, and DW is now in the garden. I talked to it, apologizing for the windows and wishing it a nice sojourn in the Summerlands/a good next incarnation, and explaining what I'd like to do with its bones once they're clean.

So help me, if I see that single row of teethmarks in it tomorrow, I am having a ton of salt delivered to this place. Because it does occur to me that while I've seen bluebirds, woodpeckers, hawks, crows, cardinals, mockingbirds, and sparrows aplenty, I haven't seen or heard a single wren since we moved in.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Creepy Things.

Trothwy and Evn have heard all about the Scary Thing in one corner of the yard. It wasn't immediately evident until we'd been in the house a few weeks, then - WHAM. I was walking the dog at 5am or so, and suddenly got the feeling that Something was going to come out of that corner and eat us both if I didn't pick him up and high-tail it back inside.

I did no such thing, of course. I put a protective circle around us, waited for the dog to do business, and then went calmly inside. I thought whatever it was would see that A. trying to scare me wasn't fun and B. that we meant it no harm. I was wrong. The Scary persisted, though it's lessened somewhat.

Now, this is the Creepy part.

I advised the Scary Thing, after an annoying visit by Crazy Landlady last week, that I was certainly less likely to annoy it than she is, so it might consider helping me keep her off the premises as much as possible. I felt like the idea was being considered, but haven't heard a thing since.

Yesterday, I discovered that the devastation of my garden, which I had previously attributed to moles from below and deer from above, had taken a turn for the...well, creepy. Because Something knocked half of my tomatoes off the stems, and then bit them.

Big whoop, you say. Deer, you say. Ever heard of deer that leave one row of very human-looking teeth marks? Yep. One row. Like something that only has one row, either top or bottom, of about four to eight human-shaped teeth of the size you'd find on a fairly young child.


I am willing to accept any rational explanation for this. In fact, I'd prefer one. But dammnit, I am a country girl, I know what deer and bunny teeth look like, and this ain't it.

Suggestions, folks? I've sprinkled coyote piss granules and put up fencing, and am considering a nice "hex sign" on the fence. But what I'd really like to know is what, or Who, is in this damn yard.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Everything Is The Same, And Everything Is Different.

We are now married, thanks to our wonderful officiants Evn and Trothwy. Thanks, y'all :) Awesome job, and I owe you each a stole*.

Not much went as planned. The outdoor concept was nixed by the Husband, who was fretting about a 60% chance of rain. While the ceremony was outside, the noshing was inside, which, of course, meant it did not rain a drop. Frigging Texas.

One set of Husband's relatives wound up not showing at the last minute because they "had to spread dirt in the yard". This is why brides write to Miss Manners and ask if they can bill guests for, say, the tables and chairs that were then completely unnecessary. Other guests had last-minute disasters that had to be tended to and towards which I feel far more sympathetic.

When I realized the initially almost-forty-person guest list had dwindled to a much more manageable eighteen or so, I thought, "Well, at least we didn't pay per-head in a hall somewhere" and then heard a low chuckle from Somewhere and a Voice saying, "This was what you wanted, wasn't it?"

Not exactly, no. But much closer. And Husband's Mother didn't show up, which I'm sure made everything much better than it might have otherwise been. I owe Somebody for that, and I'm sure the bill will be coming any day now. I'm on the lookout. I'm also wondering if I need to unshoal the "Husband's mom doesn't do or say anything inappropriate at our wedding" sigil from the others, since that's now done and the others aren't, really.

Sigh - I'd like to stay home and think about all this, and possibly even do something about it. But alas, I scheduled a lesson for today, so contemplating my new married state and the intricacies of sigil use are going to have to wait.

Everything is the same - I have little free time, the Husband and I are interacting pretty much as we were three days ago, I go to work, I will come home and cook. Everything is different - our relationship is now easy to explain, we are legally bound, we have created something new together.

*Evn and Trothwy were considering wearing stoles as indicators of office for the wedding. Alas, the Catholics are quite proud of their products, so no stoles were bought and worn, and Evn did not show up in a Bishop's miter and robe**, which would have thrilled my blasphemous little heart no end.

**He also didn't show up wearing only body paint, shoes, and a t-shirt with "PLEASE EXCUSE MY ENORMOUS PENIS" written on it, and I am still somewhat disappointed that I didn't encourage him to do this with more seriousness.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Here Comes The Bride.

Evn, yesterday, reminded me that a wedding isn't about the two people involved so much as everyone else who's attending. Trothwy said, "It's YOUR day."

I am the Bride, and tend to lean towards Trothwy's view.

I am the Bride. Despite being recently divorced and handfasted to my Bridegroom for two years, I feel Shiny. Like this is a whole new ballgame, even though I can't imagine much changing between myself and the Husband/Bridegroom.

But there's something different. Maybe it's, as I said to him over something silly a few nights ago, that he taught me to dream again. I can dream, now, about a little barn and five or so safe schooling horses, and maybe giving lessons on the weekends at a place where I call the shots. I can dream about living somewhere else which is NOT godsdamn Costa Rica* (don't ask). I have someone, now, who genuinely appreciates every little thing I do. Someone who dug me a garden (which is being decimated my moles from below and deer from above, but I digress).

I survived a financially ruinous divorce in which I lost Land and stability and pets, and came out, as Deb said I would, feeling bulletproof. And with this official, legal marriage, I feel even newer. I mean, come on - I'm 42 and have been married, if not legally, to the man I'm marrying on Saturday for two years already. Why did buying plastic cups in pretty spring-party colors at Sam's make me feel so fluttery? Why am I starting to think that I need some sort of veil for him to lift on Saturday? Why am I thinking that a ban on sex until Saturday might be both incredibly hot and remarkably symbolic?

The things he asks of me are so few, and so simple, and really come down to two things - that I love him, and that I be myself. Really myself, not some domesticated version that's easier to handle and explain to the neighbors and doesn't inconvenience anyone.

Well, that and tuna casserole. He loves it when I make my mother's tuna casserole. And cookies. And that tater tot-poblano-roasted corn-cheese gunk. He adores that shit.

Back to me.

Maybe this whole Bride thing is because I've never done a wedding by myself before, and while his family certainly has helped, we've done a lot of the logistics. I'm wearing a dress I haven't fit into in eight years. It has cherries on it.

How symbolic, right?

All the kidding and flippancy aside, this is momentous. I will walk through the yard on Saturday to the altar where Trothwy and Evn and my little horned Bridegroom wait (if only he could wear a set of small antlers). And when everyone finally goes home, we will be alone for the first time as legal spouses, Bride and Bridegroom, as much archtypes as people. I have no idea what happens after that, but I suspect it will be wonderful and interesting and something I never even saw coming.

*I have nothing against Costa Rica. I just also have no more desire to live there than I do, say, London or Finland.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The First Beltaine.

For twenty years, Beltaine was my handfasting/wedding anniversary. This time last year, The Ex had this big trip to New Orleans planned for us (a trip we never took). Less than three months later, he decided he didn't want to be married to me at all.

My relationship with the holiday may be a bit contentious this year.

My relationship with the holidays has been a bit contentious ever since The Disaster, really. Samhain was the most anti-climactic and dull one I've ever had, with every plan for celebration/witchery falling through. Given that we share this house (and it's many, many windows) with other people who are unlikely to simply shrug at me and The Husband frolicking in the nude twixt the peppers and the cucumbers, an outdoor celebration is inadvisable for Beltaine. Also, ants. Stupid ants.

What with me having to work late on Beltaine night, and going to work early the next morning, I'm flummoxed as to what to do. Romantic dinner? Nah. Gathering dew? I don't know - is it dew at 4:45am? A surreptitious sacred shag in the neighbor's pasture? Again, ants. And possible uncomfortable conversations with the local constabulary. The last time I looked for rowan, I couldn't find any, so saining the house is also right out - especially considering that one of our housemates is probably the type of Christian to be offended, though you never can tell what can be passed off as "family customs".

At least the Cabinet for Them is done, and they'll be put in it tonight. It's an ex-spice rack, which makes me think They like "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" as much as I do.* I've painted it black for now, and will decorate it more as I get instructions on what They'd like. I suspect plant designs may be requested, or maybe even live plants, if I can figure out how and what won't hurt the pets if they eat them. I'll ask to be told, and I'm sure I'll get some kind of answer.

*Willow is getting deeper into witchcraft, and joins a "Wicca group" in college. When asked how it was, she says that it was all talk, no witchcraft, and that "every girl with a henna tattoo and a spice rack thinks she's a sister to the Dark Ones."

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Good, The Bad, And The Other Stuff.

It's been a busy week.

First, I am now divorced. Despite a minor glitch in the paperwork (which almost led to me shrieking "WHAT DID YOU DO YOU ASSHOLE" at The Ex), I am happily legally undone from The Ex. He and That Woman/Ex-Housemate were behind me and The Husband, making smootchy-face before the judge came in. Seriously? You feel the need to put on such a show when he and I are GETTING DIVORCED? Jeebus Christmas, how insecure can you get?

Second, a little chat with Something Hostile in the yard seems to have led to a truce. It didn't try to scare me this morning when I was out walking the dog, and I'm good with that.

Third, one of my favorite riding students just quit. He's five, and his dad had mentioned last weekend that he was thinking about doing other things, but I'm hoping that Barn Owner doesn't decide that it's because I suck as an instructor. HINT TO PARENTS: if your kid is ADD/ADHD/has the attention span of most five-year-olds/is emotionally overwrought due to a pending divorce, please tell their instructor's boss that they're not quitting because of their instructor. Thank you.

So I'm out in the yard with the dog, blogging and surfing. I didn't go get my Freedom Certificate (divorce decree), because it was entirely too beautiful outside and I haven't really gotten to do a damn thing I wanted to all week (except for meeting with Trothwy and Evn, which is always a super dose of "me" time). I may call some friends. I may not.

I will sit and stare at my bean plants. They are awesome, as is the rest of our garden.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Wherein The Husband Takes Up A Hobby, And Other Stuff.

The Husband is making me an athame. Like, right now, as we speak. With me helping to hold the steel while he turns it into a blade. I blessed his new forge in Brigid's name last night. When a woman who belongs to Brigid winds up with someone who wants to be a smith...well, what's more magical than that?

I have made pita bread, baba ghanouj, and felafel mix. The felafel remains uncooked. We are too busy outside, forging this thing together.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Wherein The Ocelot Ponders The Garden And The West.

The Husband and I dug up the Garden tonight. Dirt under my nails and turned earth up my nose and the desire to roll in it naked. The urge to spill seed onto the ground, to spit into the dirt, to let fluids fall onto the soil. To transfer the fertility I've been avoiding all my life to a little patch of something that might feed us.

Except this is Texas, and I got bit all to hell yesterday in the barnyard while fully dressed, so I know better than to try to have a Blessing of the Crops end in a mad dash for Benadryl. Such things can only end in ant bites and unpleasantness.

I saw a picture of Billings, Montana, today, and it made me miss the Rockies so much I almost wept. The sky was a million miles wide, out there, and it's almost enough to make me forget that even though I loved the foothills and the plains by the airport and the mountains, I hated Denver proper. And that I don't miss snow.

But I do miss all that space. The wild places where you don't hear traffic. That feeling that you could ride across the plains forever and never see another soul. The Gods were there, though strangely removed and very present all at the same time - it isn't the Northeast, or even Texas, and They sound a little different, there.

I never rode in gloves. I always had grut from the tack under my nails and my blood is literally in the dirt somewhere in Westminister, Colorado. My trainer, wiping it out of my eyes after that breaking that went so terribly wrong so suddenly, the closest I'd ever heard to panic in her voice, asking where all the blood was coming from until she found the cut at the bridge of my nose, and the young horse looking abashed not ten feet away, his head hanging and standing quiet as the grave.

Maybe I just need to go camping. Or to finally sling the saddle back on my horse and remember the days when I knew less fear, or at least how to deal with it better. I've already decided to go to my divorce hearing alone, just to show that I don't need the entourage I'm sure The Ex will bring. To quote "Pretty In Pink", that amazingly 80's film, I want to show that I haven't been broken. That I can still pitch my heels to the sky and unseat anyone. That, as Deb said in an email, I'm bulletproof now.

I dig the dirt. I ride the horses. I go on no matter what life throws at me and I pray to know The Gods better when I take my dog out every night, head thrown back and eyes on the stars. And I dream of Colorado and the wide-open spaces thirteen years gone.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Wherein The Ocelot Is Sick And Ponders Various Things.

After four days of denial, I am ready to admit it - I'm sick. I feel like crap and so did the Intelligent Thing and canceled my lesson and went back to bed. The Husband is bringing me various foods and liquids and some homeopathic remedy that tastes like sweetened ass. I am grumpy about my plans for gardening getting nuked by my stupid sinuses.

When presented with the amazing resource of a whole bunch of Elder Knowledge And Experience right there in front of me, why on earth can I never think of anything good to ask?

I must remember never to take Beltway 8 again. It is my own personal Hotel California. "Look, kids - Big Ben!"

I still want to know what Club Tranz was, especially given the Really Short Dude with the two Really Tall Possible Ladies Of The Evening not far from it, relatively speaking. Mr. Goldstar, we are SO going in for a drink next time.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


I have my dog and one of my cats with me now. The divorce papers are filed. I live in a house that, while shared, has a huge yard. There are bluebirds, mockingbirds, and cardinals everywhere. There will be a garden. There are goats in the field across the street.

My work clothes are unpacked, my saddle is here, and They are by my bedside. They are a bit more out-in-the open than They were, and They are a bit dissatisfied about that, but They are being patient about me making Them a better shrine.

They also like the tree in the front yard with the gigantic knothole in it. I have been told to leave offerings there. I have also been told that sneaking this past Crazy Jeebus Landlady is my problem, not Theirs, and that I am a very sneaky witch who ought to be able to handle this.

My dog and cat are sleeping next to me. My Husband is playing a computer game. There are bluebirds in the yard of this windswept, Grey Gardens house, and I am happy.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Moving Right Along.

I was told, when I sat with Them before bed on Imbolc, "come to Us with your hands full of leaves and honey."

What kind of leaves? I have no clue. They have said nothing further on the subject. I'm going to take a few minutes to walk around the yard today, and see if the proper leaves don't present themselves.

I've been talking to Them a lot. In my car at work while I'm on break. In the kitchen when I cook. More importantly, I've been open to just hearing Them when They suddenly have something to say. Take a few minutes ago as an example - Their altar is now nestled into a dark shelf on my bedside table. I'd thought maybe it was too dark, but They have said that They like it there. I have to duck my head in to kiss Them goodbye in the mornings or hello when I come home. Maybe that's why.

There isn't much there except two plaque-type figurines, one for Him and one for Her, a little cauldron, a candle, and my chalice. I put my wallet and phone to the front and side as I come and go. I came in this morning, and hesitated before putting my coffee down on Their shelf. And then I heard, put it there. Do not keep the things of the world separate. Keep no part of your life from Us.

OK, then.

Maybe I need to have a talk with Them today about The Divorce and how that's going, or rather how it isn't. The Ex assured me that he'd have the papers drawn up by the end of January. This has not happened. Apparently he's had issues that kept him from doing so. I'm not going to get into detail and BLARGHRAGEEXPLOSION all over the place. Suffice it to say, after wise counsel from a friend - what can you control about this situation? - I plan on Getting This Done. I didn't want it, it wasn't my idea, but by all the Gods together, I am going to move this shit forward with a will. I didn't realize just how damaging all this waiting around for The Ex to deal with this was to me until it was pointed out to me fairly bluntly. Can I control him? No. Can I control myself and solve the problem? Yes, indeedeedo, I can. It's a matter of printing some forms, filling them out, and filing them. It really is that simple.

I don't have to know why the Ex is now dragging his feet. I don't have to wait for him to stop doing so. All I have to know is what I need to do for my own sanity and happiness. Then I need to do it.

Time to hit the ground running for a few hours, then have coffee and a chat with Them.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Maith Lá Fhéile Bríde.

I sat in front of one of my altars tonight and paid my respects to Brigid. I lit candles, sipped and offered Bushmill's Honey, and just listened.

When I finally put out the candles and got up, I was amazed to find an hour had passed.

Now, a little time with Them at the other altar before bed. A good Imbolc to all, and to all a good night, though I wouldn't count on an early spring no matter what the groundhog said.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

When Life Gets In The Way, Part 9,364.

Due to working at the Big Orange Store, the walking/running thing has been put by the wayside. Though I suppose I do it as part of my jobs, since neither Big Orange Store or the barn involve sitting down. Helpful fitness tip - running through sand arenas for fours hours a week will give you glutes that can crack walnuts, even if they don't look like it.

The not-smoking thing is not working. At all. I require a more tranquil period in which to start this. And maybe some horse tranquilizers.

I am experiencing low-grade terror over the following: getting a new job, not getting a new job, being fired from the Big Orange Store for not being fast enough, getting a new place to live, not getting a new place to live that is safe and affordable, my age making me less employable, unforseeable and unfixable car troubles, and general financial ruin.

I'm trying to live in each moment. I really am. I can put everything that's chasing me when I'm at the barn or at Trothwy's, even if it doesn't seem like it. I tell myself to enjoy each good moment, because that is all anyone has. It's harder to do it. It's hard for me to let go, to worry about all the things which need to be worried about later on, and just focus on being present.

I tell myself that The Gods are present wherever I am and no matter what else is going on. That They are truly something that can never be taken away. That I just need to let myself talk to Them, and that They will answer in some way.

I am terrible at all of this. But I'm trying.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year, New Me.

With the help of the Husband, I plan to do the following:

Make time to walk/run every day.
Lose 30 - 40 pounds. My knees will thank me for this.
Not eat things I shouldn't. I miss chocolate and bread already.
Quit smoking. I hate this more than I can express.

What I plan to do by myself:
Make more time to get in touch with Them.
Get a serious daily practice going.
Work that damn horse of mine and convince him he's not just a big barn ornament, but a creature who can be ridden without having the ER on speed dial.
Ride some of the horses at the Good Barn who scare me a little.
Trust that every setback isn't a disaster heralding immanent homelessness and mayhem.

I don't expect to pull this off perfectly. But I *do* expect the most of myself. This is My Year, and I'm going to make the most of it.