What Motivates Me?

Over the past few years, I've been working on changing myself. I'm working on being more positive. More proactive. More upbeat. More healthy and nicer to myself.
I'm working on getting my body in shape and being happy with who I am. I was asked a question yesterday on Facebook, "What keeps you motivated?" To be honest, I never really considered myself to be motivated. I have a tendency to get one thing set it my mind and then I obsess about it.

For example, as I started this new work out with Jillian Michaels, I first just popped in the DVD, 30 Day Shred, and then started working out. I didn't care about her background or philosophy I just wanted a work out.
And boy did I get a workout. I've been working at the gym for the past year or so doing 45 minutes on the ellipitcal and then working with the weight machines. Last month we canceled our gym membership and I started doing the Wii Fit at home. I was doing the free run for 1/2 hour and then doing yoga. In that 1/2 hour run I completed about 4.6 miles. When I first saw this 20 minute workout I thought, bah, cake! UMM WRONG! Here's a sample

So while over at my Grandma's on Sunday, one of my aunts professed, I don't like her. I watched her on The Doctors and I just don't like her. Of course this made me very interested in Jillian. If I'm going to be preaching what a great workout, now I need to know the details. I quickly learned why. Jillian has several podcasts available on iTunes. As I began to listen to each of these I found that Jillian is very pro-organic and pro-NON-GMO. Meaning she wants you to eat healthy natural whole foods with out additives and preservatives. I thought, Hey I think like that.

On one podcast she said that she was concerned about her role on The Doctors because many of them were almost giving their patients permission to be obese by saying, "It's ok" or "I know you're doing your best"; when in all actually they aren't. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that if you eat sugary foods and drink sugary soda (which is a chemical) you are going to gain weight and be unhealthy. Yet, these parents felt the need to reward their children's good behavior with Soda Pop for example. I can completely relate to this. I don't understand the theory behind giving something as a reward that's BAD for you. How is that a reward? You're putting chemicals in your body that don't belong there, causing weight gain, issues with health and obesity and then saying congrats, you've earned it! Really?
So as I listen I begin to find that there are more and more things that I have in common with Jillian than I don't have in common. Because to be honest I really thought she was an airhead and not everyone could be thin. That she had no idea about what makes people fat or what me as a fat person felt. One comment she made was, I was responsible for my own weight. Now as silly as this sounds, I believed that it was everyone else's fault I was over weight. I blamed my genetics, I blamed the food companies, I blamed economics. I blamed everyone but myself. I couldn't possibly have any blame here. I mean I went and got a gastric bypass right? I took action to lose weight.....

These are photos of me before and after the gastric bypass. I lost down to 108lbs.

Actually, that's not action, that's inaction. That's no movement. No Exercise. No fixing what was really broken. ME. Slowly, after recovering from a surgery that nearly killed me I steadily put the weight back on until I reached a weight of I know well over 300 lbs.

Where's this going you ask?
These pictures and this life now; this is my motivation. I look back at these photos and remember what it was like to not be able to move. I couldn't sit on the floor and get up without rolling my body around to lift myself up. I couldn't walk more than short distances to the car and back. I spent hours and hours on the computer gaming. I didn't do anything outside the house. I never rode the motorcycle with hubby and I never ran. EVER. In fact I used to say, The only way I'll run is if something big is chasing me. Well there is something big chasing me. It's that old me. And I never EVER want to go back. I want to be here for years and years to come. I want to be happy and healthy and be able to be with my loved ones for a very long time.

Namaste & Blessed Be!

What Makes Your State Great??

As a response to the DC 40 Prayer actions, a few of us on Facebook have created a group called "What Makes Your State Great?". We're asking everyone that is interested in protecting our freedoms and showing those that want to remove the first amendment from our great land, what we can offer in return.

We're asking our followers to come to our group, join in and tell us what you love about your state. What makes it a great place to live. The prayer vigils will be starting soon and I've posted an outline of their prayer dates as well as the office nicknames listed below.

We are not asking you to pray to a specific deity or to offer any type of offerings to anything you do not feel comfortable doing. We only ask for your positive energy and your support as we send out protection for those things that we all hold dear. Life Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

On each day of the prayer vigil we'll be posting facts about each state and asking to have you, the readers post your thoughts comments, suggestions and prayers regarding your state.

Come on over and see us on Facebook. Share this page and all pages related with everyone you know. Keep in mind this particular group is a fringe group and everyone, our Christian brothers and sisters as well, should be very concerned about what this group is looking to do.

Here's the prayer schedule posted: (To view on the DC40.net page click here, then click the shields at the bottom of the page, you can have a look at the "NEW" nicknames planned for each state)

Hawaii (50) The Aloha State10-02-11
Alaska (49)The Last Frontier 10-03-11
Arizona (48) The Grand Canyon State 10-04-11
New Mexico (47)The Land of Enchantment 10-05-11
Oklahoma (46) The Sooner State10-06-11
Utah (45)The Beehive State10-07-11
Wyoming (44)The Equality State10-08-11
Idaho (43)The Gem State 10-09-11
Washington (42)The Evergreen State10-10-11
Montana (41)The Treasure State10-11-11
South Dakota (40)The Mount Rushmore State10-12-11
North Dakota (39)The Peace Garden State10-13-11
Colorado (38)The Centennial State 10-14-11
Nebraska (37)The Corn Husker State10-15-11
Nevada (36)The Silver State10-16-11
West Virginia (35)The Mountain State10-17-11
Kansas (34)The Sunflower State10-18-11
Oregon (33)The Beaver State 10-19-11
Minnesota (32)The North Star State10-20-11
California (31)The Golden State10-21-11
Wisconsin (30)The Badger State10-22-11
Iowa (29)The Hawkeye State 10-23-11
Texas (28)The Lone Star State10-24-11
Florida (27) The Sunshine State10-25-11
Michigan (26) The Great Lakes State 10-26-11
Arkansas (25) The Natural State 10-27-11
Missouri (24)The Show Me State10-28-11
Maine (23)The Pine Tree State 10-29-11
Alabama (22)The Yellowhammer State10-30-11
Illinois (21)The Prairie State10-31-11
Mississippi (20)The Magnolia State 11-01-11
Indiana (19)The Hoosier State11-02-11
Louisiana (18)The Pelican State11-03-11
Ohio (17)The Buckeye State 11-04-11
Tennessee (16) The Volunteer State 11-05-11
Kentucky (15)The Bluegrass State –11-06-11
Vermont (14)The Green Mountain State11-07-11
Rhode Island (13)The Ocean State11-08-11
North Carolina (12)The Tarheel State 11-09-11
District of COLUMBIA (DC) 11-10-11
New York (11) The Empire State11-11-11
Virginia (10)The Old Dominion State11-12-11
New Hampshire (9)The Granite State 11-13-11
South Carolina (8)The Palmetto State 11-14-11
Maryland (7) The Old Line State 11-15-11
Massachusetts (6)The Bay State 11-16-11
Connecticut (5)The Constitution State 11-17-11
Georgia (4) The Peach State 11-18-11
New Jersey (3)The Garden State11-19-11
Pennsylvania (2)The Keystone State -11-20-11
Delaware (1) The First State 11-21-11
11-22-11: Posting of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Secular Writings of our Founding Fathers

I look forward to adding each and every one of you to the group.

Namaste & Blessed Be

Boos to our Troops?? (Warning Rant)

Generally every morning I get up switch on my Wii Fit and start my "Free Run" for those that don't have a Wii basically this is where you stuff the Wii Remote into your pocket or sports bra and jog in place. You can then switch the channels over and watch a TV show while you run. I usually pop the TV on CNN and watch Robin Mead's Morning Express.

This morning a story caught my attention. A soldier in currently serving his country presently asked a question of If elected, would they repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell? The first thing that blew my mind was the audience actually booed this man. Really? You booed him? Then Santorum actually said he would! Boggle? (link)

From Fox News Transcript

Hill: "In 2010, when I was deployed to Iraq, I had to lie about who I was, because I'm a gay soldier, and I didn't want to lose my job.

"My question is, under one of your presidencies, do you intend to circumvent the progress that's been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?"


Santorum: "Yeah, I — I would say, any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military. And the fact that they're making a point to include it as a provision within the military that we are going to recognize a group of people and give them a special privilege to — to — and removing 'don't ask/don't tell' I think tries to inject social policy into the military. And the military's job is to do one thing, and that is to defend our country.

"We need to give the military, which is all-volunteer, the ability to do so in a way that is most efficient at protecting our men and women in uniform."


"And I believe this undermines that ability."


Moderator Megyn Kelly: "So what — what — what would you do with soldiers like Stephen Hill? I mean, he's — now he's out. He's — you know, you saw his face on camera. When he first submitted this video to us, it was without his face on camera. Now he's out. So what would you do as president?"

Santorum: "I think it's — it's — it's — look, what we're doing is playing social experimentation with — with our military right now. And that's tragic.

"I would — I would just say that, going forward, we would — we would reinstitute that policy, if Rick Santorum was president, period.

"That policy would be reinstituted. And as far as people who are in — in — I would not throw them out, because that would be unfair to them because of the policy of this administration, but we would move forward in — in conformity with what was happening in the past, which was, sex is not an issue. It is — it should not be an issue. Leave it alone, keep it — keep it to yourself, whether you're a heterosexual or a homosexual."

This is just another example of how this group really doesn't care about our Troops, they don't care about equality or protecting our nation, they really only care about lining their pockets with cash and screw everyone else. I heard repeatedly comments regarding, now isn't the time to tax big business. We should be giving tax breaks to companies and help them out more. Really? How much more help do they really need? Last time I checked no one in Congress was posting on a prayer thread to try to get positive energy so their spouse could find a freaking job to help pay the mortgage. I haven't heard of a single Senator rushing down to the local food back to get a few odds and ends for dinner. Have you?

Big business does not need more tax cuts. Even Warren Buffet stated that we should end tax breaks for the super wealthy. (LINK) There are numerous articles on the web that show that the people are fed up with businesses getting tax breaks and our unemployment is through the roof.

I'm not saying Democrats have all the answers or that they are any better when it comes to these types of things. What I am saying is that at least they're not blatantly telling us as LGBT citizens that we have no right to fight for our country. We have no place in society and we should be second class citizens. Most of all, this group does not care about our families, our brothers and sisters. Or even our children.

This weekend I'll be attending LGBT Pride at the Duke Campus in Durham. I will find those folks there volunteering to register people to vote and as a registered Democrat, I plan to change my affiliation. I will register myself as non-affiliated. Hell I might even join the Green Party! I ask that those "Log Cabin Republicans" out there think long and hard about putting any of these folks in office.

I urge those of you who are not registered to vote to get out there and get registered. If we stand by and do nothing, this country will be handed back over to the Rick Perry's or the Rick Santorum's of the world and we as LGBT people will be throw back into the closet. If you're not an LGBT person, this is still your fight. Think of your friends and family. Think of those people you know that are in this category. Should they have their rights removed? Further, Do you want our freedom of religion will be stripped away while events like the DC-40 initiative are set up and Dominionism takes hold of our great country? Many of the folks on the Republican ballot are in bed with this group. I urge you to do your home work and check out information on The New Apostolic Reformation.

To find out more on fighting Dominionism head over to Hail Columbia or find us on Facebook. To check your voter status log on to CanIvote.org.

Take a moment and think about the freedoms you have now, think about the struggles our nation will face when prejudicial treatment of an individual based on their membership in a certain group or category is applied by our own GOVERNMENT. This is, my friends, simple discrimination. Don't let this happen in our country.

(stepping off soapbox)

Thanks for listening to me rant.

Namaste & Blessed Be

Back to Basics

I thought I'd make my post today about something some of us are very uncomfortable with. Periods. Yes, that's right I'm going there again. Over the last few years as many of you know I've been working to make myself healthier.

I've changed my diet, changed what other things I put in my body, like prescription medicines as well as making sure that I try to cover my body in as few chemicals as possible. I've switched from traditional deodorant to a the crystal and tried to replace my clothes, be it slowly, with clothes made from organic materials, such as organic cotton.

While looking into the idea of organic cotton, it dawned on me that perhaps my tampons were not good for me. There's a lot of myths out there about how bad they are, but there is some good information too. Snopes, a known mythbuster has this to say about tampons.

Tampons contain two potentially harmful things, Rayon for absorbency and Dioxin a chemical used for bleaching. Dioxin is a carcinogenic meaning associated with cancer and Rayon leaves fibers behind in the vagina which contributes to TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome).

After reading that I switched completely over to pads alone. I thought, Hey this has to be better for me. I mean, it's not up inside my body pushing those chemicals into my body. PLUS nothing is being flushed into our water system right? Wrong!

I found that the average woman throws away 250-300 pounds of tampons, pads and applicators in her lifetime. The majority end up in landfills. That's 15,0000 sanitary pads or tampons. The plastic applicator may not biodegrade for several hundred years and the most common form of trash on beaches are plastic tampon applicators. ~The Keeper~

With that in mind I decided to go back to basics. Yup that's right I made my own pads. With the help of a wonderful link to Tipnut.com I found several different patterns and instructions for making different types of pads. I found one I liked and the result is below.

I made them last month and finally got to try them out this month and I have to say was I completely amazed. At first I really thought that I would have a mess on my hands. Hand washing pads in the sink? Eww right? Nope, it was easy breezy. I made a total of 7 pads and thought that would at least give me an example of what I could expect. First, I used less pads. Only one per day. I know you're thinking Ummm you should change more often, but honestly I did't need to. The way the pad absorbs is completely different than the commercial pads. There was no itchiness PLUS I didn't have to add anything to the landfills. WIN WIN!

I know some of you out there might be a little skeptical, but trust me, I too was blown away by the results. And don't worry, if you're not a great seamstress, it's ok. These patterns are really easy to follow. If you don't want to sew at all, you can visit Etsy.com and find a great number of shops that offer them for sale.

So this is what mine ended up looking like. You can see the pattern and the material I used. I started with an old flannel sheet and used some scrap cotton fabric for the lining. So for a total of about 5.00 I made a set of pads that I can toss in the washer and use month after month. SCORE!

That's my latest step towards going green. Becoming more sustainable and going back to basics is what I really long to do.

I hope you folks can find this useful!

Namaste & Blessed Be

Central NC Pagan Pride Days

Less than 24 hours stand between me and my very first Pagan Pride festival. I'm extremely excited about this. I've been getting ready all week. Last night Hubby finished two my my tattoos that we've been working on. Silly but I really wanted them complete before the festival.

I have an arm band.

And a calf piece now.

The pictures are a little off because of the flash on my phone. I'll be headed to the store today to pick up a new camera. Just in time for the festival. I hope to have lots of pictures. The Greek Festival is happening at the same time so I am looking forward to.... Yes, you guessed it Falafel!!

I wrote an article about Pagan Pride Days on examiner.com. You can find the article here. For each like I get they pay me. Subscriptions are worth some money too. Just to put this in perspective however, I have been writing for them for about 4-5 months now and I've earned $6. LOL

With all this going on right now I also wanted to mention that it is getting close to the time when the DC-40/51 initiative is getting started. They have released their prayer manual and are getting set to take "siege" to Washington DC. They also have released the blood covered light over us Pagans to combat our magic.

My friend and fellow blogger Kallan Kennedy, over at The Secret Life of the American Working Witch, had an amazing response. You can find it here. This post is so amazing that there isn't anything that I can add to it. Other than. DITTO.

So as we head out for our weekend, take a moment to reflect on what is really going on here. What do they really want to gain? What should we do in response?

I'm continuing my weekly rites to protect Columbia and stopping each day to take a moment to appreciate my freedoms that I have today. Just as you appreciate your family, your friends and those precious things around you, count the first amendment among those things you hold dear, and just offer a bit of positive energy towards our goal of keeping it safe.

Namaste & Blessed Be

Butterfly Award

Today I received the Butterfly Award. This award was given to me by Sue over at La Femme Knitkita.

With this award come 12 questions. It's so fun because you get to know your fellow bloggers just a little bit better. Here we go....

Q1) Name your favorite color?
Purple is my favorite color, but I also love the color of a harvest moon

Q2) Name your favorite song?
The Best Thing about me is you, Ricky Martin. LOVE IT

Q3) Name your favorite dessert?
Pecan Pie - I don't get it often, but I love it.

Q4) What wizzes you off at the moment?
Right now my biggest issue is with states adding bigotry to the Constitution. For example, Marriage Equality. Everyone should have the right to be married to the person of their choice. As long as everyone is of age, I dont see what the big deal is.

Here's info in my OWN state. :( (LINK)

Q5) Your favorite pet?
I have several pets, but my favorite is my Turtle. Not a real turtle, but my yorkie Turtle. :)

And a more recent one just because I forgot that I had it!

Q6) Black or White?

Q7) Your biggest fear?
Losing my soulmate

Q8) Best Feature?
I think my best feature is my wit. I am pretty good at snappy come backs.

Q9) Everyday attitude?
My attitude changes everyday second of the day. I have bipolar disorder and I'm a rapid cycler, meaning I can be ready to fly one minute and just a bit later crying my eyes out. Generally I'm a pretty positive person and tend to be up more than down.

Q10) What is perfection?
Riding on the back of the motorcycle with hubby driving us around with no particular destination in mind. Just living life and being free.

Q11) Guilty Pleasure?
I've been spoiled over the last 5 years. Hubby has been able to stay at home with me. He had to give up a pretty good job to take care of me because of the bipolar thing. Now he's having to go back to work. It's scary here w/o him. I hate being alone and forgotten. I think him being here made me feel so much better, and now I have to get used to being home alone again.

Q12) When you’re upset you?
When I'm upset, I craft. I make wreaths and little brooms/besoms and things. Helps me keep that "sparkle" under control.

Here are some blogs I'd like to recognize:

The Single Mommy Blog

The Deepest Well, a Witch's Blog

The Candy Corn Chronicles

Two Dresses Studios

Pickin' Knits Pattern Co

EMKat Creations


Thanks again for the award. I hope you all get as big a kick out of this as I did.

Namaste and Blessed Be

Save the Earthlings

Last night I finally got around to sitting down and watching a documentary that a friend recommended. She's a newly found friend from the Pagan group that I joined. She makes a mean chocolate cake and is Vegan.

We've been chatting online for a few weeks now and she mentioned to me that she saw a very powerful film called "Earthlings". I found the program on Top Documentary Films.com. A note about this website. They have some really good content here. The majority of it is free to watch online. There are many powerful films available and I highly recommend it.

Now, Back to Earthlings. For the last three years, I've been a vegetarian. I've changed my purchases to buying organic when ever I can and I try my best to stay away from animal products. However, I know that I am not Vegan. I do have a passion for leather and riding a motorcycle with hubby, we use the leathers to protect us from harm when we ride. I look around my house and generally it's pretty animal friendly. Meaning, the little fur babies that live here, live very well and the objects in my home are for the most part, not made from animals.

For a long time I didn't understand why PETA stance on keeping animals as pets was so strong. I felt that it was basically ludricis to think that we should not have pets. I am a good person and I take care of my pets. Watching this program last night however they showed the actual bodies piled up from the gas chambers where unwanted "Pets" are literally dumped out of the little box cages and piled onto the concrete. It was heart wrenching. I get it now. Because a few people are not responsible enough to correctly care for their animals, their stance is that no one should have them.

The prospective of this film is that Earthlings, are everyone and everything that live on Earth. It shows how racism, sexism and speciesism are actually all very similar in the Human race. When you think about it, White Supremacy for example, is a belief that they their particular race is superior and other races, "lower races" are not worthy of the same respect as their own. Their race is the master, and all others the slaves. Now looking at sexism we can see the same type of belief structure. One group, in this case "gender" looks at it's own gender as being the master and all others the slave. We can see that Feminism was brought about just to empower females and combat misogyny. The new word that I was introduced to in this film was Specisism. The belief, that the Human Species has a greater right or is superior to any other species on the planet. I never really considered this. I mean I look around at the animals here and I think that they need to be protected. They really only need to be protected by us, FROM US.

We, as humans are the ones that are destroying them. We, as humans are the ones who are removing their habitats, poisoning the oceans and streams and polluting the air. If we didn't do this, they would not need us to save them.

I could not watch the entire show. The images were extremely graphic and I was in tears nearly immediately watching it. I switched it off and took on a new film called "Westboro Baptist Church: A Family in Crisis". I watched as the Fred Phelps' family proceeded to explain why they are superior and why everyone else was worthy of only hate and death. I watched as this group removed members of their own family and shunned them for not being "godly". I couldn't help but compare the venom they spewed as being on the same level as those that seek out to harm others based on race, gender, sexual orientation and yes, species.

I cannot say that this film has made me Vegan. I can however say that I will never look at our fellow Earthlings the same way. We are no important than the beetle bug or the butterfly. We are just a neighbor, living here on this planet and sharing this Earth with every other living being here.

Namaste & Blessed Be

Summer time Butterflies

I check up on Two Dresses Studio from time to time to see the progress of the Butterfly Collection for the Holocaust Museum project in Houston, Texas. Today the site was updated with three lovely new butterflies.

The current count stands at 330 butterflies from all around the world collected and mailed in. The deadline for the project is December 31, 2011 so you still have plenty of time if you'd like to participate. Follow this link for instructions.

The goal for the museum is to collect 1.5 million butterflies to represent all the children that were killed. You can read more about their project here.

This project really touched me and I mailed in my butterfly back in February and Trudi took a picture and posted it on her page.

I hope that my readers will take a moment, put together a butterfly and send it over to Two Dresses Studio for submission at the end of the year.

Namaste & Blessed Be