What's Love Got to Do With It?

Yes, Tina hit the nail on the head when she sang "What's Love Got To Do With It". According to the the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and the Bible, pretty much nothing.

After my run this morning hubby and I popped open the News Channel on the Wii and started reading the news of the day with our tea. I nearly spit my coffee out when I saw that NOM has started a four year plan to have marriage equality revoked in New York. The blog "The New Civil Rights Movement" had a post that gives the details of NOM's plan.

Their plan is basically to elect all "Pro Marriage" majorities in the House and Senate, elect "pro marriage" candidates in 2014 so they can get an amendment passed in 2015, finally passing a ballot measure in 2015.

A quote in the article I read on the Wii said "NOM wants to bring back biblical marriage".


Biblical Marriage?

Let's talk about biblical marriage. I found a relatively non-offensive site that lists all the bible verses that talk about marriage. (LINK)

In my reading there I believe the following to be true of biblical marriage.

1. You cannot have a divorce, if you do you commit adultery.
2. Your husband can sleep with the servants if you're sterile.
3. If you're raped, your rapist must pay the "Bride's price" to your family and marry you.
4. If you're not a virgin, you can't get married.
5. If your bother dies, you have to marry his wife.
6. It's better to live alone than with a wife who argues.
7. You can have several wives or one wife, it's pretty much up to the man, however a woman can only have one husband.
8. 15 foreskins is a good price for a wife.
9. You can't marry your sister, but you can marry your cousin.
10. If you're king, you can collect all the virgins of the land and put them in a court, if they gain your favor, give them cosmetics.

Nice eh?

Sounds like just what I want.... NOT!

How about this for marriage.

1. Love me
2. Respect me
3. Don't hurt me

That's all I need. I don't need biblical marriage. Hell I don't believe that anyone alive today really "WANTS" biblical marriage. The most important thing about marriage is love. You have to love each other with your very being. You have to respect that person with the same respect that you show yourself. You have to not hurt that personal, physically and emotionally. That's a marriage. That's a partnership.

In my opinion, if NOM wants to "SAVE MARRIAGE", what needs to happen is that all the civil rights that have been attached to marriage need to be changed. Those rights need to be in a legal setting where they belong. They do not belong attached to the word Marriage. Get the government OUT of marriage. However, if you plan to protect people based on a personal decision to join their households together, and share their assets, those protections need to be applied equally across the board to ALL.

Love is Love is Love

Namaste & Blessed Be


Embrace the Sparkle #7

Over the last year or so I've started to notice that I just can't remember things like I used to. I forget what I'm going to the store for, or a bit of this or that for work. Usually its something little and usually when I'm feeling a bit more manic than usual. Hubby and I had discussed if it were my treatments that was making me a little less able to remember things. I've even toyed with the idea of looking into lithium because it's known to enhance gray matter.... The only issue is that it makes you nearly catatonic. Not a place I want to be.

Today I began on a good note, things were well. I did gain a bit again on the Wii, which always annoys me. There's issues with the extended family as I've ranted about before. The job situation is still on hold for hubby and mine seems to have stabilized.

Yesterday we sold our last puppy so our business, ETKennels, is now officially closed. Lots of stuff going through my head. I then see a blog post on FB by the Bipolar Family Support Group Page that says that Bipolar disorder and memory loss are very common.
Reading through the comments I felt as though they were telling my story. I quickly ran to my favorite learning tool (Google) and search for bipolar and memory. The results were astounding. I had no idea that they were related. Granted I've really only been actively living with bipolar and not ignoring it for the last 7 years.

I was and am still afraid that one day I'll end up a shopping cart lady. Walking around the street, dirty and alone. I'm so afraid that I'll be crazy. I hate that when I do finally realize that I'm having a mania that it's only after someone points it out to me and usually that someone is hubby. He has to deal with me with all this.

I think he's up for a Sainthood soon.

So after it's over, and you're coming down, when the world slows down and you can finally see the other side of the room, reach out to that person that you have there. Tell them you love them. Tell them thank you and mean it. Reach out and embrace the sparkle.

Links on Memory Loss & Bipolar

Bipolar & Memory Loss
Can Bipolar Disorder Affect Memory Functioning?
Bipolar Disorder and Memory Loss

Namaste & Blessed Be

Where To Eat in Greenville, NC

In keeping with my weekly trips to find something special to keep me in NC. Hubby and I took the bike for a nice ride to Greenville, NC. Greenville is about an hour from us. We took the back roads to avoid a lot of traffic and it was a really nice ride. I ended up being on the back of the bike for about two hours and got a little bit of a sunburn. Next time, I MUST use sun screen.

That being said, I made my weekly stop at the Tipsy Teapot. I LOVE the Tipsy Teapot. The location is amazing. They have lovely chairs outside where you can sit under an umbrella and have a choice of hot tea by the pot or even a nice iced tea in a "here" cup and not worry about adding trash to landfills.

Our next stop was a cute little Indian restaurant, Dale's Indian Cuisine, that is just down the block from Tipsy. When I heard the name I was skeptical. Dale's? Really? So we walked in and the first thing I saw was a buffet. I thought RUN!!! I'm so glad I didn't. I found a nice dish that I really enjoyed. It's called Navarattan Korma. It was AMAZING!

The price is very reasonable at 12.00 per person however ordering off the menu has its benefits as well. An entree is 11.00 however it doesn't come with an order of Naan.

So, now I've found a wonderful Indian place and a great Tea Shop right across the street from an amazing new age store called Sojourner, which I reviewed last week.

So far Greenville is looking pretty dog gone good.

One of my blog readers recommended that I visit a place in Wilson called Truly Unique. Thanks for the note Tina, I plan to try to get out that way sometime this week.

Namaste & Blessed Be

Disappointment in the Morning

So I get finished with my morning routine of a bit of Wii Fit jogging and some yoga. I have my Jasmine rice with some hot tea and a banana. Working to keep myself clean from chemicals I go to the bathroom and get ready to brush my teeth.

I reach in the draw and pull out my trusty Tom's of Maine Toothpaste, but grab my new tube by mistake. I toss it on the counter and pull out the old one. Then I notice that my new tube says "Fluoride". I blink. Fluoride? I don't use that! In fact, I lost my mind when the last dentist I went to just put it in my mouth without even asking me.

I grab the tube and flip it over to read the back. NOW there's this warning that says "Harmful or Fatal if Swallowed". Now perhaps I'm a worry wart, but generally if it says fatal if swallowed, I'm thinking you shouldn't put it in your mouth. Just me, but I'm thinking that's a pretty good rule of thumb.

So here I sit with my new "Wicked Fresh" toothpaste, that I spent a good $4 bucks on and it's now useless to me.

Just goes to show you, READ READ READ. Just because you "trust" a label doesn't mean they're not going to change on you.

Very very disappointed in you Tom. I think I'll drop them a line. Contact Tom's here.

Namaste & Blessed Be

Posting a Boxer in Need

I'm sure everyone knows how much I love animals. I was contacted today by a rescuer friend of mine with the sad story of a Boxer named Sam. He's been in animal control, had heartworms and been shot. Now he's losing his home for a second time. If anyone out there can help Sam. Please refer to the contact information below and help us find this big guy a home.

My name is Vickie Criswell and I am the proud Mom, caregiver and best friend to a wonderful two and half to 3 year old Boxer name Sam.
He understands all of his names such as Big Boy Sam, (Mom is Proud) or Dam Sam (what did I do this time?) Sammy Baby (mom is a push over sometimes). We also have another furry love one, a Lhasa Apso named Friso, he was adopt about 11+ years ago. Back to me. I am a 67 years old, 5 ft grandmother who had admired the boxer breed for many years. I had looked many times on Pet Finder at Boxers but wasn't sure or the time was right.
I thought Frisco needed a friend so I decided to stop at our the animal shelter our Sherriff’s department ran (old SPCA) and there was Sam. I went back each week for 3 weeks before I said yes, I committed to him .As far as I know had I not taken him the shelter would have put him down. Have you ever seen the space shuttle take off. All the fire power from the rockets, seem pale compared with the impact Sammy Baby made in my life. It started like this he had a slight cough and needed to be neutered. I told the sheriffs dept I want to take him to Frisco’s vet and have them check him before neutering him. 8:45 next morning vet called I have to get him out of vet office because he may have kennel cough. (I did understand) no neutering. Sheriff deputy left said he was mine. I got dressed and ran over there I was told kennel cough and he needed medicine, big cost, he has heart worms, huge price, neutering later, cash check or charge card, out door.(slam bam thank you - funny now but the vet was good) I regained some brain power, when I realized I was sitting in my car with a BIG dog I knew nothing about, plus a bag of medicine I was suppose to put in that big mouth. Did he like to ride, had he ever rode before, did he get car sick, was he going to jump over the back and take part of my head off. What had I done? It seems so funny now, but did I tell you his adoption made a lot of fire works, in my life . Also I was worried about my Frisco if Sam did have kennel cough. What was going to happen when I got him home????? While all of this was going on in the back of my mind I remember the sheriff Deputy said if the dog was sick I could bring him back and get my money back. They would put him down for sure, I had committed and that was not an option for me. The next months at least 4 seem to be filled with just taking care of him, get him well, vet visits, medicine, a large sum of money spent that I could not afford. The truth is if I was reading about someone else I would say they were crazy as a bed bug. But we don't know our destiny. Now I will say How very much I would have missed out on. All the love, joy happiness, companionship, laughter and just plain keeping your heart warm I would have missed far out weighed anything I needed to do for him to be part of my family.

SAM and his new life.
We headed for the front door and the last huge problem for the day I hoped. Would he and Frisco get along. If he tried to bite Frisco I would take him back. Frisco is a little afraid of large dogs. (that ended) they smell each other with distance between, each went to their own corner. One of us was nearly always home and if we did leave I would shut Frisco in the bedroom for about 6 weeks. Just until I felt they would not fight each other.
My husband was not a happy camper with me and a large unknown dog. Sam is devoted to me I never question that. But I would say within hours and certainly by the next day he was my husband’s dog. A man must have owned him before. Two days and it was clear I was probably number two on his list and my husband was a happy man with Sam. I was very happy because they had bonded other than the hand. I like to walk and knew I would walk him at least 2 miles a day but with him sick that idea had to go on hold. He needed time to get to know us first. My husband started taking him on short walks. They visited a neighbor behind us. Went by there a few days later Sam snapped at the man not what you would call a bite but a little spot did bleed. My son was here holding clothes from cleaners walked to Sam pulled out his hand to pet him Sam caught the edge of his hand. Later my grown daughter was throwing the ball to him he bit her hand. I cannot imagine me keeping a dog that would bite. But somewhere I seem to have blind faith in Sam. Somewhere about this time I took Sam to the vet he was having so much stomach problems and coughing again. We did an x-ray of his throat that was fine but they found his stomach full of shots. No visible marks when he was adopted. We don't know how long they have been there. While going to the vet he has jumped up in the face of one of the people working there. He has done this a couple of times. He will growl and that growl sounds like he will eat you alive then he jumps down. The vets call him unpredictable. Something about the hand, I don't know but I do know he has not tried to bite or gone after anyone ever.
My husband started walking him just around our little block. Oh the best part my husband found if he pulled his socks a little to start he could call Sam and he would pulled my husband socks off.They both had a good time.
Sam's good Sam's bad.
I think a man had him before that whistle. Bad news I can't. If you whistle he will come running. If someone comes to your front door he doesn't know he will do a spread eagle on the door and let the people know they have been seen. Once a new mailman just laid my mail on the porch, boxer is 1 ft away. Sam is big is loud and has a big mouth people are sometimes afraid of him just because of that. If the front door bell rings he knows that sound and takes off running to the front door and not happy. If a car horn blows (even on TV he has the same reaction. All of this was taught-caused by a past owner. Something I have never dealt with before I guess you would call car aggression. I had a station wagon. when inside the car if anyone comes near it he starts growling barks and is not happy. I think that about covers his bad points if not I will come back to it. In my opinion all of these were caused by some past owner.
Note here- the pecking order in this house Frisco thinks he is first then me then Sam. But Frisco has helped teach Sam some things he can or cannot do.

Sam's good.
For me I love Frisco very much. But we three seem to have found our place in this life. I take care of Frisco and Sam takes care of me. Sam doesn't know he is 68 lbs. He follows me everywhere. He wants to sit on my lap and be where I am most of the time. There is no one else here but I have to close the bathroom door or he gets a little too close. I laid vinyl tile in my kitchen he smelled of nearly every tile until he got board. He is always around. It will take me a long time to not throw my hand back as I walk and come in contact with his mouth then have to wipe the slobber off my hand. Sam for whatever reason is very afraid of small dogs. He will run if possible but if backed in a corner he could bite out of fear. It took us a while to understand that but it has worked very good between Sam and Frisco. It has also made them act like two children. I have seen Frisco get in the middle of my couch lay there and growl at Sam who barks at me because he wants to lay on the couch it is his bed time. They can go on for over a half hr doing this.
The biting of a hand I have spent a long time teaching him the hand will not hurt him. He is a cheese alcoholic. And yes I know human food is bad for dogs. But it helped teach him about the hand. I fix mac and cheese using the lowest in salt and fat I can find. I use app. a third of the sauce on the noodles. He loves to eat that out of my hand. Not to much but he is happy guy.

Sam is an inside dog he has never made a deposit of any kind in my house. I am sure he was an inside dog before me. He does not like heat or do well in the hot sun. I have a small fenced in yard but he never wants to be out to long. Oh, he hates snow, I mean he really hates snow. When it snows he hates to go out and will wait until it is coming out his ears.

Sam did have stomach problems. He can not eat Science diet. He is on Blue Buffalo. It is expensive and I am sure something less expensive would work. But it has been a long time since he had stomach problems.

Sam did snap at people’s hands again that was a year and half ago. He has a very different view now. But can he do it again that is possible. I have failed Sam in so many ways. I feel like I have been so unfair to him and not the best parent for him. Not by choice. We were working on Sam’s taking longer walks but my husband was getting tired. Doctor said virus. He stopped and I had a small job and could not take up the slack. My husband died some months later with cancer. And then there were three.

True story Frisco always slept on my bed or under it his choice. He would not let Sam in the bedroom. I decided that was a good thing. He never came in. NOT the night he died but the night before ,my husband died, I started to bed and Sam was lying on my bed. I was so surprised started to try to move him but just to tired. Sam slept with me for many nights. Even that with Sam can be an event. First he has to get on the bed. He wants to be first before Frisco. Closeness counts. Thank goodness he goes to bed around 10:30-11:00 and doesn't sleep with me to often. Once he goes to sleep unless you have a back hoe you will not move him.

I bought a truck because of moving, 4 doors so Sam had room in the back. I let the boys work it out who rode where. Frisco does not ride well, he likes to hide. He likes the back with the option of jumping up front a few times. SO, Sam is riding in the front seat with me. Note here Sam is a great rider he can ride for 2-3 hours at the time, no problem. So if you ever see a little old lady with a big Boxer in the front seat, driving a little cherry red truck that could be us. The good news is by being in the front seat I could talk to Sam better, and take control. That means I am hungry and you will NOT Bark at the McDonald’s people. It is amazing how much I calm him down just by having him close to me. Now when I am not there he still guards the truck. This past year he has needed so much that I could not give him. About 3 months after my husband died I was told I needed some major surgery, the next week after that I was told I needed gallbladder surgery, all of which were put on hold for a while because of a tooth abscess. Now I am in the middle of selling my home of 20yrs. How I kept going I am not sure but one thing is clear Sam was a major player in keeping me going. It was the belly flop at night and the words I can't put in print I would say. The mornings when you wake up might have just laid there. Sam had other ideas.
I am sitting in my recliner now he is asleep beside me, first he sits down with his back to me, that means scratch my ears. Sam is very trainable, he understands the word no and he understands he has to stop what he is doing. Somebody was watching over me because they gave me Sam to fill some big voids in my life. I am not happy with myself but I just don't seem to have the energy level to give to Sam that he needs. He needs people around him where things are going on. He needs someone that can take the time to socialize him more than me. Its pretty much been just us this past year. People come I put him in the bedroom. He does love my 21 year old grandson. He is no problem except to excited when my daughter-granddaughter -another daughter come to see us. But overall I have done nothing toward training on these problems. I do not know how he is with children, other dogs, no small dogs, larger dogs I only have through the fence reaction, but he seems fine. No he does not like cats

My house is supposed to be sold closing 6-30 or maybe the next week. I had to move somewhere another big unwanted decision. The place I am going has no yard for Sam with many people and kids walking around. There is nowhere for Sam. I should have written this letter before now. If this sounds disconnected it probably is. It has taken me all day to write it. You just have to stop and let it out once in a while.I am not going to reread it I can't. Sam is so full of love and caring you can't help but love him. My vet said he may have a hard time without me.If you adopted from another county they may not understand English. With Sam it might take him a while to settle in just remember he has to learn your language style. I have been told he might be better to put him down. The thing I fear most is someone taking him then beating him and turning him into a mean dog or dog bait in a dog fight. I would rather put him down than see that happen. I don't know how I am going to handle this. You say your prayers pat your dog and with the feeling of being, loved go to sleep. So with tears in my eyes and such a heavy sad heart Sam needs a home, One that I am sure, they will not let him go to just anyone or best to someone that can give him a good home forever.
Sam has all shots-on -Frontline-Heartguard

I live in Wilson NC----you may call me home- 252-291-9349
email vickiecrswll@yahoo.com

Pagan Culture is Having a Giveaway!

I went over to the Pagan Culture blog today and found that they're having a Giveaway! I love giveaways. It's such a great way to get to know the folks in the blogroll you follow.

For example I've recently listed a giveaway on Mighty Tea. It's one of my favorite Tea's in the world. So folks following me now know that I'm a tea drinker. Not something that always comes up in a blog but still a little interesting tid bit just the same.

Pagan Culture's giveaway is for a Custom Spell Kit by Kat. Generally I don't go for the spell kits because I find that spells are very personal and in my experience I've always felt more connected to spells where I put together my own components. That being said, I hopped over to Readings by Kat and was really suprised by what I saw. The photos are amazing, the kits look awesome and I really really fell in love withe the prosperity kit.

So Even if I don't win, I may splurge and get myself this awesome little kit from Kat.

Namaste & Blessed Be

Wow, it's Mid Summer Already

Well, it's been an interesting first part of the year. Looking back I can see so much as happened in such a short time.

I've been able to reconnect with old friends from decades ago. I've been able to see my daughter complete her Master's Degree and live independently. I've come to terms with the negativity in my birth family and tried to accept them as they are without expectations.

I've found Reiki and have started to work on cleaning my chakras. This has been extremely challenging for me. One of my biggest challenges is relaxing. I find it so hard to just stop and be. This is of course ongoing but I'm happy to say that now at least I can stop for 3-4 minutes and "be".

I've seen the end of a business that my hubby and I love dearly. I've watched as the economy has steadily declined and we've had to shut our doors. It's bittersweet because I know that we're doing the right thing, but its not something that we wanted to do.

As the second half of this year cycles through I've started several daily activities to help move it along. I wake up each morning and do yoga on my Wii as well as running a lap with the Wii Fit. I've started taking a lunch. Yes, that seems odd but for the past six years I've worked with my company I've not taken a lunch. I sit at my desk from 7:00 am - 5:00 pm and only get up for water and potty breaks. Now, I take an hour and a half to have food, and sit in the sun. I know in the winter this won't be possible, but for now, I'm enjoying going out side and listening to the wind and feeling the sun beat down on my skin. I even have a little enclosed area, that's only open from the top so only the sun shines in for me.

I know that something positive will show itself to me soon. I know that if we keep plugging away a wonderful job will present itself to hubby and we will go where the job is. Be it here in NC or across the country. That's what we do. We survive.

Namaste & Blessed Be


Sharing a Blog

While doing some research for my second piece with the Examiner.com, I came across a wonderful blog. The blog is called "Gay Themed Picture Books for Kids". This blog is written by Patricia Sarles, MA, MLS, and offers a list of titles with reviews of books that are directed at the children of LGBT families.

The page lists each book with a cover shot and information from the publisher as well as ISBN numbers for folks to try to locate the books online or in the library.

I took a trip to the Barnes and Noble in Crabtree Valley Mall and needless to say, they had none of the books (I tried to locate the first five) available. When I asked the Information Desk, the lady there, didn't know what LGBT was so I did not get much help at this location. I ended up leaving empty handed.

I attempted to actually locate a reading center, or library group or even a book group that had titles directed to LGBT Families and found exactly zero.

I headed back home empty handed but stopped along the way to mail out a box of LGBT Books to the New LGBT Community Center in Hampton Roads. This is a newly opened center and is in need of donations.

So if you get a gift card from Amazon and don't know what to do with it, buy a Gay Themed Children s book and donate it to your local LGBT Center!

You can read my post at the examiner titled Summary Reading here. Likes there would be awesome!

For Today I will Not Worry....
Namaste & Blessed Be


I'm an Examiner!

Good Afternoon Friends... I've been accepted as an Examiner for LGBT Parenting on Examiner.com. Which is awesome! I'm so excited about it. I have posted my first article and would really love to get some feedback. Followers would be awesome as well.

You can find me here.

Thanks so much!

Namaste & Blessed Be


It's A MAN!

So over the last few days we've found out that some high profile lesbian bloggers are actually men. Gay Girl in Damascus and Lezgetreal.com have both been exposed as a hoax. Today this ran in Pink News.

First I want to talk about the comments. Every now and then when there's a news worthy event the TV trucks roll down to the area and start interviewing the general public. There are some things that generally do not belong on TV. Just as there are some things that do not belong in Comments.

Certainly meant to be funny, but sadly, very not funny. Yes Jeanna, Lesbians can blog and millions of them do it every day. Unfortunately only the men that do it make the news. At least there is a public explanation on the Gay Girl in Damascus blog, I found nothing like that on the Lezgetreal site.

Now, on to the the actual incident.

I have mixed emotions about this. On one hand I can see how someone might "think" that the best way to support the LGBT community is to have their voice heard. And they may feel that the only way to be taken seriously is to be a member of that group. I can see the logic here. However, that logic is flawed.

I'm going to take this very personally for a moment. Lesbians in general, don't need the support of other lesbians to make themselves feel heard. Again, very generally, Lesbians have a sisterhood of sorts that bond them together and give them a community support structure. What is lacking in the lesbian community is the support of straight people. Just from a numbers prospective there are more straights than gays. That's a fact. We are a minority. We need the support of the majority in order to make social change. We need all the straight men out there to stop pretending to be lesbians and pick up their pens for equality. I loath the term, but for lack of a better word, Man UP!

If you believe in something, you should be able to say it with your real voice. If you agree with something you should be able to stand up and support that position. You should be able to articulate your point and provide a story, without basically writing fiction.

This is what they did. They did a disservice to the cause they were pretending to support as well as discrediting their own name.

I decided that I would take a moment and address any straight people that might be reading today. Here goes...

Dear Straight Allies,

We love you. We want and need our straight allies. We love knowing that you support our families and want us to have the same rights that you have. I know you might want to do more for our cause and support us as much as you can. I would like to give you a few tips on how to do that.

1. VOTE - yes friends, just vote. We need to have LGBTQ Friendly leaders in office to be sure that everyone in our community is protected.
2. WRITE - Start a blog, write a letter to the government, send an email to your local paper, get the word out that you are a support. YOU, not a pen name or pseudonym.
3. Volunteer - Reach out to the LGBTQ community and find out what they need. We have elderly that need meals on wheels. We have disabled, we have children, we have all the same needs that the straight community has without the same support system in place. When our partner passes, in some places, we can't even be in the hospital room. LGBTQ Seniors cannot share rooms in nursing homes with their significant others.
4. Attend Pride functions - Every year at pride as we (LGBTQ People) walk into our pride events we are greeted with the bull horns and signs telling us we're sinners and we're going to hell. We walk into the face painting area with our kids and hear "God Hates Fags!". Why not come out and support us there.

There is so much that can be done for us, without pretending to be us. Here is a list of links that can be used to support the LGBTQ Community. This is a small list, there are lots of way to help. I welcome any questions or comments.

Thank you for your support!

A Lesbian

MEUSA - Support Marriage Equality World Wide
Support Marriage - Call to Support Marriage Equality in NY - Even if you don't live there let them know the World is watching.
PFLAG - Parents, Families and Friends of Gays and Lesbians
Twibbons - Show your support of the LGBTQ Community by adding a Twibbon to your Facebook Profile
HRC - Human Rights Campaign - HRC envisions an America where LGBT people are ensured their basic equal rights and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in their communities.
ACLU - The LGBT Project fights discrimination and moves public opinion through the courts, legislatures and public education across five issue areas: Relationships, Youth & Schools, Parenting, Gender Identity and Expression and Discrimination in Employment, Housing and other areas


I hope that some day we can look back on all this and think, how silly to hold someones civil rights from them just because they love differently.

Namaste & Blessed Be


My Journey to Greenville

So as some of you may know I live in a very VERY rural area of NC. My town of Seven Springs has about 89 people as of 2000. It is the oldest town in Wayne County and was established by my great, great, great, great, great, great, great, grandfather William Whitfield II. And yes, that is SEVEN greats!

My Family Tree - Owned by ME

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Needless to say there are no Wicca Stores, Pagan Gatherings or LGBT rallies in my town. This weekend hubby and I journeyed out to Greenville. A larger town just about an hour from us. Greenville has a nice assortment of business options as well as some nice rural areas for country-like living.

I found something else there as well. Three wonderful shops. One is called The Soujourner.

Sojourner, Greenville NC - Photo Credit - Renee Olson
With a doorway like this one, how I could I not go in. They offer everything from Cauldrons to Harry Potter costumes. I found herbs, teas and wonderful bumper stickers such as the classic one "Get a Taste of Religion, Lick a Witch".
Cauldron from Sojourner - Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Just across the street from Sojourner is a lovely tea shop called "Tipsy Teapot". They have books, brunch and TEA! I had a lovely iced passion fruit tea and sat out on the sidewalk under a brightly colored rainbow umbrella. It was amazing. The inside of the store had wonderful big fluffy chairs and books everywhere. The back area has a bar where you can order Fair Trade coffees and iced/hot teas. I was in heaven!

Tipsy Teapot, Greenville NC - Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Our next stop was The Crystal Connection. Not really a pagan store, more like rocks and crystals but still an amazing place to visit. The smell of Nag Champa lofts from the building into the parking lot.

Crystal Connection - Greenville NC - Photo Credit - Renee Olson

They have some of the most beautiful moonstone jewelry I've ever seen there. It was a wonderful experience.

Crystal Connection, Greenville NC - Photo Credit -Renee Olson

The ride home was nearly as perfect, unfortunately hubby got stung by a bee as we were riding the motorcycle back home. His arm is a bit swollen.

Over all a wonderful end, to a wonderful weekend. All three places get 5 stars!

I got up this morning and started my Wii Fit workout again. I've been soooo slacking lately, not getting up and moving around. This morning I did Super Step twice and Super Hula - 10 minutes. Plus a bit of yoga to end the morning. I was even able to do Dancer Pose. Which is awesome! I'm going to try to do this at least 4 times a week now. I've got to get back on track. It's sooooo easy to fall behind. And for those not familiar with Super Hula.... I challenge you to pick up Wii Fit Plus and have a go at it. It will tighten up those love handles in a hot minute!

Here's looking forward to a week filled with positive energy, great news and a sense of balance in my life.

Namaste & Blessed Be


It's Over!

So the wait is over. The Top 25 Blogs of Faith By Moms has come to an end over at Circle of Moms. In the top four blogs, the Pagan Community was represented by two great blogs!

With Mrs. B coming in first with

Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom

And Angela coming in fourth with

The Pagan Mom Blog

I'm extremely excited and proud of our support of this contest. All the pagan blogs came up and out of the Top 25, Pagans represented 12 of those blogs. Amazing. Well done!

Here is a list of the remaining Pagan Moms.

Witch Mom: Parenting by the Light of the Moon

Tales of a Kitchen Witch

Hearth n Home

Witchy Mama

The Teflon Cauldron/

One Witch's Wonderland

Earth Mother Musings

Pagan Presence: Stay Current with the Witching World

Something Oddly

Aoibheal's Lair

Asheville's Village Witch

The Spiritual Mother

Living a Faerie Tale

Society of Diana

Hedgewitch Inn

Realm of a Green Witch

Pagans Against Abuse

You Call Me a Witch Like it's a Bad Thing

One Witches Journey

Rising from the Ashes

The Journey of a Pagan Mommy

A great showing ladies. Thank you so much for putting yourselves out there and representing Pagans is a positive and lovely way.

Much love to you all.

Now... ON to the NEXT! (Shamelessly stolen from Jason Hawes TAPS - Ghosthunters)

Namaste & Blessed Be!


Last Day to Vote

With all the drama and controversy I'm actually happy to see the end of the Top 25 Blogs of Faith by Moms at Circle of Moms.

Many blogs have posted about this contest and I'm sure they've probably seen record voting. Mrs. B is hanging in there at the number one slot at the time of this post with 12,363 votes. Her closest competitor is tailing her by about 400 votes. It looks as though it could be a close one.

I am very happy to see our community come together and cast votes every day. I've watched as the Pagan Mom's moved from just outside the top 25 to the majority of them being within the top 25.

That says a lot of our community. There's a lot of great information on that page and I'm extremely proud to say that I'm a follower and reader of the majority of the blogs listed there.

Keep up the great work ladies!

Namaste & Blessed Be


Embrace the Sparkle #6

I spend my day working and blogging and trying to get things done. I put so much energy is finishing a project or starting a new project. Sometimes I forget to stop and look at the project and enjoy it.

I've tried Reiki, I've tried meditation, I've tried music. Nothing seems to slow or quiet my mind. It keeps spinning spinning spinning around faster and faster.

What makes it stop? Anything? Is there anything out there the slows the force that rages in my brain. My eyes pop open and I see the sparkle. I know it's coming and it's out of my control.

How do I reign it in. What can I do to pull it all back to the center?

I feel my hands start to shake as my mind tells me not to worry about it. I can do anything. I am the best I can accomplish all I need. I can indeed rule my destiny.

This sounds wonderful. The power of positive thinking right?


This is the sparkle, this is how it begins. It lures me in much like the Crystalline Entity of STNG. The beauty, the power, the sheer awesomeness of the moment, only leads to my own demise.


Close your eyes.


Just outside the darkness I can see a light. A bright light there, I can smell my candles, I can see the dancing flame through the darkness. My eyes close, shielding themselves from the intense truth that is there before me.


Now open your eyes.

I look around and see my life before me. Things that I missed before. A wonderful daughter. A loving husband. A solid job. Wonderful friends.

All this is there, just outside the sparkle. Reach for it. Hold on to it. It is the answer to your wondering.

Don't give up, don't let it get you down. Embrace the Sparkle.

Namaste & Blessed Be


Practical Magic

So what happens when you get ready to do a spell and you're missing an ingredient? What do you do? You've waited all month for the right moon phase, you've driven miles to pick up the right herbs, but still one small piece is missing. Do you give up and wait for next month?

I say no! I say really the items that we pick up and put into our spells are just reminders of what we expect the spell to do. We want to bring money, we light a green candle. We want to ignite passion, we burn a red. What do these colors do exactly for our spell? How do they make or break the spell?

(Image Credit)

Yes, lots of questions on an early Monday morning. I like to consider my magic, practical magic. No I'm not dancing around the table with Sandra Bullock singing Day-O. What I am doing is taking advantage of what gifts the Goddess has seen to deliver to me.

I've taken the acorn and added it to my magic. I've taken the fine pecan wand and used that instead of oak. I've collected the gifts of nature around me and applied that to my magic instead of hunting the world for "Eye of Nuit".

Magic is less about the physical ingredients and more about the way you use them. What good does it do to have all the right spell components and your brain is full of negativity from the day? What does that do to your spell?

(Image Credit)

We plan and place items on our altars in a certain way to prepare our mind for magic. We dress or undress as the case may be in order to bring us into a magical frame of mind. We open our minds to the Goddess and our energies are taken out of us and delivered to our desired result. WE are the MAGIC.

And consider this for a second. How is a magical ritual different from that of a Christian Prayer, or a Buddhist Chant? How does the energy I put into my altar differ from that energy healing of the Chakra?

The answer is quite frankly it's not different. It's the same. It doesn't matter if my words are directed at the Goddess or at Jesus Christ. It's the same energy, the same magic. Well, Practically.

Namaste & Blessed Be


Tweet Me!

Well I finally had time to sit down and do it. And it worked correctly... The first time....

What am I talking about?

I have a "LIKE" button on my blog now. AND a "Tweet" button. How exciting. I love coding, I love HTML, I love making "Hello World" buttons flash and blink. I also however have a tendency to blow up electronic things. Watches I wear stop working. Hard drives crash, I've gone through dozens of cell phones. For some reason electronics and I just don't get along.

However for today, Just for today I am one with my electronics.

Using a posting by IBM's Luis Benitez, I was able to get my buttons up and running. He has a great how to posted on his blog Socialize Me.

Thanks for taking the time to post this Luis. You've made me a happy witch.

Here's to looking at things getting better this week. OH and don't forget to vote for the Pagan Mom's on Circle of Mom's Top 25 Blogs of Faith by Moms

Namaste & Blessed Be


Let Me Worry About My Soul

Over the past week I've been activity participating in Top 25 Blogs by Moms of Faith at Circle of Moms. More specifically I've been voting my pants off for the Pagan Mom's that have blogs listed there. You may have heard that last week one of the Mom's dropped out because she didn't want to compete with her Sisters in Christ and she didn't want to be associated with a contest that allowed Pagans to participate along side "real" religions.

Annoying yes, but I've heard worse so my only comment there was "Yeah well whatever, and an invitation to all I know on Blogger, Twitter and Facebook to come vote". The consequence of our combined Pagan effort ousted the leader from her position and led to an email from Circle of Moms telling me that a certain blogger was being removed and was no longer allowed to compete.

Wonderful, my work is done. I merely have to vote each day.


It gets worse. Apparently there have been death threats made now. There have been comments placed that are clearly wrong no matter what deity you worship. I look at the screen today and I completely understand the statement, "Why can't we all just get along?"

There is no reason that there need be all this flaming and fighting. Sending out negative only brings negative home. These feelings of hatred and the vile anger you feel inside only add more and more negativity to the world as a whole. Look around, we don't need any more negativity. What we need is for people to stop judging everyone. Put down your book and step off your pedestal. You're not GOD.

This month is LGBT Pride Month. It's a time to celebrate diversity. It's a time to be who you are and be happy with who you are. No matter what God or Goddess you serve, you still have the ability to think through what you say. I'm sure your Mom said it... If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all.

I'm offering this olive branch to all those out there that welcome it. Stop the hate. Stop the negativity. Live for today, love for today.

Most of all, please my beloved Christian friends, let me worry about my soul I've got it all under control. You've said your piece. You're a Christian, I get that. I won't invite you to my Beltane festival if you'll stop telling me I'm going to hell.

Namaste & Blessed Be


Embrace the Sparkle #5

Learning how to identify moods and feelings is a major task for a Bipolar person. Being able to identify when you're "sparkling" and when your not will help others in your life deal with you. I've found that when I start to feel go go go or when "Everything is Everywhere" I know that I'm beginning a cycle.

There are ways to help you figure out your moods. You can keep a journal. You can blog about it. You can take a mood tracker type test, like the one they have at Moodscope. There you can track your moods by taking a test where you flip the cards around to rate your current mood.

Then you get a graph that shows you your moods over the last weeks or months.

This works well for the general person, however for a rapid cycling bipolar this may not be as useful. Rapid cyclers will go from extremely high to extremely low very quickly.

A note from WebMD: (LINK)

What Are the Risks of Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder?

The most serious risk of rapid cycling bipolar disorder is suicide. People with bipolar disorder are 10 to 20 times more likely to commit suicide than people without bipolar disorder. Tragically, 8% to 20% of people with bipolar disorder eventually lose their lives to suicide.

People with rapid cycling bipolar disorder are probably at even higher risk for suicide than those with "regular" bipolar disorder. They are hospitalized more often, and their symptoms are usually more difficult to control long term.

Treatment reduces the likelihood of serious depression and suicide. Lithium in particular, taken long term, reduces the risk.

People with bipolar disorder are also at higher risk for substance abuse. Nearly 60% of people with bipolar disorder abuse drugs or alcohol. Substance abuse is associated with more severe or poorly controlled bipolar disorder.

It's important to be sure that your friends and family are familiar with your disorder so they can help you identify times when you may need some additional support. You may need to spend some extra time taking care of yourself. Not everyone has to be on specific meds for this. You can control this and get a handle on it with a loving support system, good nutrition and meditation. Most importantly, if you feel like you there's no hope left. You're wrong. There's a lot of people out there just like you.

Embrace the Sparkle. It's what makes you special.

Namaste & Blessed Be