Archive for September, 2013

5K walk…

Me at home before the walk.  It was ridiculously early.

Me at home before the walk. It was ridiculously early.

This past Saturday, I did something I have never done before.  I walked a 5K.  ColorVibe came to Vallejo and I decided to get off my duff and do something.  Proceeds from registration benefit local food banks, which is most excellent.  I am severely out of shape and I really don’t care.

The thing about me doing this is that I am working on making more positive life decisions towards my health.  It’s about feeling better, being more active and being around people that can lift me up instead of tearing me down at every turn.

My goal for this “run” was ninety minutes making each mile (a 5K is 3.1 miles) about 29 minutes.  My fastest mile ever was 25 minutes last winter so it’s not outside the realm of possibility for me to make that time.  Even with me setting this goal, most people were running, jogging so I knew I’d be the last one to finish.  At first the thought of finishing last really upset me but at the end I discovered that it did not.

As I walked with my 3 supporters, I would stop to stretch my back and calves out, really wishing I had not forgotten my bottle of water on the kitchen counter since the water station was placed after the halfway point.  There were several times I considered taking a short cut off the track to get to the other side but I persevered.  One of my biggest shortcomings is that I am absolutely my worst critic and that I had to stop every half mile or so tore me down inside.  Towards the end, after we had acquired some water, it was a little more frequent as I really needed to drink that water.  Dehydration was setting into my muscles and well it’s not fun.

We had past the last color station and were on the “home stretch”.  Stop, Drink, Walk. Rinse & Repeat twice on the home stretch.  A truck load of volunteers drove by hooting us on.  The “negative nelly” in my head had to be beaten down  because she decided to take their genuine encouragement to be condescending as I was finishing last.  Truth be told the “negative nelly” in my head has a big mouth and I am enjoying beating her up she’s got to stop pushing me down into my comfort zone of non-movement.  Moving is hard when you are fat.  It’s doubly hard when you have knee issues and let’s add the back issues I have and then well triply hard.  Bottom line.  I GOT UP AND MOVED.

I finished!  Covered in dyed cornstarch and still smiling...I sat in the grass and drank some water.

I finished! Covered in dyed cornstarch and still smiling…I sat in the grass and drank some water.

Not only did I move but I conquered my fears, my negative nelly and…I FINISHED THAT ‘RACE’.  Sure enough last one across the line but I DID IT.  My time?  one hundred minutes.  TEN MINUTES SLOWER.  So my miles were 32 minute miles instead of 29.  But you know what?  I DID IT.

Even beyond that?  I don’t want to stop moving.  I am going to get back into walking every weekend.  I am going to start dancing with Dance Central 3 again too.  It hurts but pain goes away.  Health is a hard fought battle.

A while ago I started tracking my steps with a fit bit.  I just swapped out the old one for a new one called a Zip.  I have a goal of 2000 steps every day.  It’s not a lot but when you work at home and have no real need to walk anywhere it can be challenging.  A lot of days I come close to it.  Some days I leave that number in the dust.  This walk…I left it so far in the dust I can’t even tell you.  I came close to 12000 steps.  My total for that day was 4.86 miles.  Even after I finished my 3.1 I did not sit around idly.  I did stuff around the house, I went to the dog park and kept moving.

Yesterday, I am not going to lie, was punishment for not stopping, well not really but it sure did feel like it. *laugh*  My legs were sore, my knees ached and my blisters were even hurting me.  I only made it 1700 steps yesterday.  Not idle but dang it was hard.  Every step was a badge of honor and pain.  I made it through and today the pain is less.  Today?  I have to clean the house up since I did not do that at all so here come my steps for today.  Still a little pained but I will make it and continue to make it.

Posted on 30 September '13 by , under Life. 1 Comment.

A return to balance…

DSCN0831Yesterday I celebrated Mabon with my Coven, The Willow Grove of the Sacred Mists.  It is always a true joy for me to celebrate with the amazing women who have joined this little group.  We are at 5 members now and 3 came yesterday.  It was a lovely little ritual and I am really enjoying putting things together for everyone.  Our Mabon ritual was beautiful and I truly feel a bond with these beautiful women.  As time marches on we will, no doubt, gain new members and go through all that entails and I can’t wait to share the beautiful aspects of life with everyone.

After our ritual was concluded we adjourned to the inside of the house for our feast.  I made potato corn chowder, Pam brought fresh made zucchini bread, fresh berries brought by Janet and Robin.  We chatted and ate together and started doing some planning for activities and crafts together.

Our gatherings are all set up to Samhain with the ability to jiggle the dates slightly.  You can tell that it is now fall here, the air has taken on a slight chill with the same temperatures at night and the days are noticeably shorter than in the summer.  All in all it’s been a great year even with the difficulties that I have encountered.  Triumph over adversity!

On the 28th I am going to do my first ever 5K and I will write about that in a little while separately, everything is so exciting this time of year and I am beside myself with the joy of the season.  After circle yesterday, Jenn came up with Jersey.  We went over to the Mare Island Preserve and walked.  I stopped a little up from the Bowser Garden (half way)…well I stopped at the Garden then rested and continued up a little.  We had dinner at our favorite little family Mexican restaurant around the corner from the house.  I got a new fitbit tracker since the case on the Ultra cracked.  I have the Zip now which will do wireless updates to the dashboard.  only problem is I lost a couple days of data off the Ultra.  Bummer.  Yesterday I did almost 6700 steps. Not my highest but pretty darned good.

I am just all over the place today with my thoughts and am going to call it for right now before I just ramble on and on. 😉

Posted on 23 September '13 by , under Circle, Community, Growth, Holidays, Life, ritual, Sacred Mists, Spirituality, Wicca. No Comments.

A bit of Kitchen Witchery ~Recipe~

Southern Style Biscuits & Sausage Gravy

When I made these, we were cabin camping with limited equipment so I served over Pillsbury Grands Biscuits.  This was one of the most filling meals I’ve made for breakfast in a long time and cannot wait to duplicate this at home this weekend for my husband.

biscuits-gravy
This is a modified recipe based on one I found on All Recipes.  The modifications, while not essential absolutely *made* the recipe in my opinion.

Ingredients:
1 roll Jimmy Dean Sage Sausage
1 roll Jimmy Dean Maple Sausage
1 Cup Buttermilk
1/2 cup lowfat milk
1/2 cup flour (*you may not use all of it or you may need a little more)
1 tbsp Butter
1 can evaporated milk
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Brown both packages of sausage in a skillet together.  Be sure the sausage is completely cooked with no pink remaining.
2. Sprinkle flour onto sausage mixture (do not drain) until sausage is well coated and appears to “soak” up the sausage drippings.
3. Slowly pour in buttermilk and milk.
4. Stir milks in until the sausage is completely covered and well mixed.
5. Mix in Evaporated Milk
6. Cook for 5-10 minutes until thoroughly cooked and thickened.  *add flour if the gravy mixture is not thick enough.

Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.

Posted on 19 September '13 by , under Kitchen Witchery, Life. No Comments.

Time in the Woods…

The setting sun at the campground in Big Sur.

The setting sun at the campground in Big Sur.

This weekend I “got away” from it all by visiting Big Sur with my good friend Leona.  As I mentioned before, I’ve not had any time to spend with her for going on 5 or 6 years now.  The reason for the long absence from spending time together had a lot to do with location.  She moved to California long before I did and work has been crazy since my move so we both kind of put our foots down and made time to get away.

It was a girls “camping” weekend.  We rented a lovely cabin at Big Sur Campground, which I highly recommend them.  The people are super amazingly nice and the location is stunning…even on a completely sold out weekend it was quiet and beautiful.

We checked in late on Friday, unpacked and started settling in as we set our altar.  This evening proved to be one of incredible magick and revelations for me.  This was the night that a God came calling and wanting to talk to me.  For anyone that

Our small altar in the cabin, half set by Leona and half by me.

Our small altar in the cabin, half set by Leona and half by me.

has known me for any stretch of time and knows of my spiritual path, you are aware that Gods never wish to speak to me or work with me so years and years ago I gave up trying.  For one to show up and want to work with me, well it took me off guard.  Because of my personality traits and many other reasons they stopped wanting to work with me a decade or so ago.  At first I was confused until I found someone who actually would talk to me long enough to tell me why.  I understood and stopped fighting it.  Well now they are back and wanting to work with me again.   At first I was taken aback but realized that I have become a little unbalanced and the balance in all things are coming to be due and need to be addressed.  All in all it was an amazing evening with unexpected channeling.

River in the campground we stayed at...a beautiful time to be in nature.

River in the campground we stayed at…a beautiful time to be in nature.

Saturday we got up late and we snacked on fruit leather before getting the day started with a trip to the river.  We walked up and down the river a little bit and in general communed with nature and the local fae.  After collecting some river water, we headed to the camp store to get more firewood and then hit the cabin for brunch.  I made homemade sausage gravy with biscuits.  It was extremely tasty and a recipe I will happily continue to use.  After food we got things out to make pouches.  We cut and began hand-sewing our pouches.  Mine was a smaller pouch for gemstones that go in my box of tarot cards and hers was a Crane Bag for her Druidry stuff. It was several hours of sacred crafting then time for our early Mabon rituals together.  She did a lovely ADF ritual and I followed with some spell work of thanks for Mabon and a seed that is to be planted now and harvested by Solstice.  Mine was different than originally planned thanks to the channeling of the  night before. 😉  Dinner was my great grandmother’s recipe for Chicken and Dumplings with lots more chatting and reading.  The fire was going in the wood burning stove and quite lovely for us.

webs in the trees

webs in the trees

We got up Sunday and puttered around, we were granted a late check-out so we did not have to rush, thankfully.  We slowly packed up then had some brunch of chili and biscuits that Leona made then continued cleaning up and packing.  Traffic out of Big Sur was a bit much but it only took two hours to get to San Carlos then 15 minutes over to Redwood City to meet Keith and Ariyana at Jenn’s, Jenn made us a yummy dinner and we sat around catching up and watching some of Bitchin’ Kitchen, which amused me.  Home late and up late today but I feel more connected, balance being addressed and my connection to both my spirit and to my friends restored.  Yes I feel pretty good.

Posted on 16 September '13 by , under Circle, Goddesses, Gods, Growth, ritual, Spirituality, Wicca. No Comments.

A time away…

at Hann's Park under a Willow tree near the stream

at Hann’s Park in Vallejo under a Willow tree near the stream

While it may not seem like a “big deal” to many it is a simple thing to get in a car and drive a couple of hours away from home to be in “the woods” and surrounded by nature.  This weekend (starting this morning) I will be doing just that.  The first stop is to pick up a dear friend and then I am off until sometime Sunday afternoon.  A weekend in Big Sur, a “glamping” experience to reconnect to myself, nature and my friend whom I’ve missed greatly.

We are  not planning on anything more than lots of delicious home-made foods, time together, some tasty beverages, a couple of rituals, some crafting…oh wait…that sounds like a lot. LOL  I don’t really know how much of our plans we will complete; however, there will be much laughter, some wonderful time outside in the woods and maybe even a bit of a walk along the river.  We are renting a cabin so this is our version of “roughing it”.  It may be difficult to determine now how much of the “stuff” we have planned will get done but regardless of that this is about the connection between sisters of spirit and nature, a chance to detox from some of the dizzy pace that life sometimes takes us on.

There will be lots of pictures taken, lots of laughter and a good time to remember always.  I am truly looking forward to this girls trip and no matter what it’s going to be amazing and possibly life altering in some ways.  I see great things coming down the path.

Posted on 13 September '13 by , under Life. No Comments.

When is it enough?

One of the things that has been on my mind lately is when is it enough?  Yes it’s a general question that could have many meanings so I want to apply those meanings in several DSC_5580ways this morning.  Just me thinking and perhaps too much at that… *laugh*

When is it enough that I give love and give love and it’s rarely seen and even more rarely acknowledged?  Again in general with no specifics in mind.  I see friends and family that are so giving and they are lucky if they ever receive any in return.  I know the act of giving is amazing in of itself and I am a big fan of giving and I know that receiving can be hard…but is it so hard to get more people to love so that everyone that is giving it so abundantly feels it as well?

You know, I do not have all the answers nor will I ever have all the answers.  I just keep finding more and more questions.

How can it be that some of the people I know with the biggest hearts and truly beautiful spirits seem to get the “short end of the stick” time and time again.  When people continually tell me that we are never given more than we can handle well I know some amazing WONDER WOMEN then because they give and give and seem to repeatedly find themselves (pardon the expression and the crudity) up shit’s creek without a paddle…hell often without a canoe.

I know they have amazing spirits and in every way they handle the situations with amazing grace and poise.  I think they deserve better.  Next time one of your friend’s seems “down on their luck” maybe go the extra mile to make them feel special.  It doesn’t always take much, a bit of email, phone call, texting, whatever.  Just let them know that you care, it could mean the difference between a great day and an ok or bad day.

Posted on 10 September '13 by , under Life. No Comments.