One of the things that is imperative for a happy, healthy dog and, as a result, a happy, healthy dog parent, is establishing a routine. In fact, it is probably the most important thing about a dog/human relationship in our modern times.
That is the one thing I did not have in San Diego. As a result, I had a dog who was utterly confused as to what was expected of him, and seemed hellbent on pissing in the house at every given opportunity. His habits degenerated from going out when he wished and doing his business outside, to going outside and just waiting to come back in, at which time he would then relieve himself. I had to invest in puppy pads every single month, and keep them all over the bedroom floor. It was a disgusting situation for everyone involved.
There were a number of factors as to why this was the case. First, the area in which we lived in San Diego was at the bottom of a series of canyons. With my health issues, walking in the neighbourhood was exceedingly difficult on the best of days. On top of that, with my depression out of control, I had zero motivation to step out of my room, much less the house. Matt had set up a very long leash system that allowed Toby access to the entire front yard, where he even had enough room to run to play fetch, which he did a lot of with Matt. (One thing I can say about Matt is, he is very good with animals for the most part. I don't agree with his hard-on for César Milan, but Matt has a huge heart when it comes to animals, and he and Toby were best buds for four years. I really believe there was a chance Toby would not have survived our time out there, had it not been for Matt.) If no one was out there with him, though, Toby would do nothing but sit by the door, waiting to come back inside. Matt would let him in and play with him out in the living room but, instead of letting him back out to use the bathroom before sending him back to me, he'd just put him in my room, where Toby would then relieve himself, since he hadn't been out in a while. Thanks to the humans around him, Toby developed horrible habits and appeared to delight in doing the exact opposite of what was expected of him at any given time. At some point, I just gave up and kept a puppy pad carpet on the bedroom floor, and let the unruly boys do whatever the fuck they wanted. None of it really mattered.
During the move, Toby was thrown into even more upheaval, and his behaviour got worse. Whenever critters are thrown into uncertain situations and unfamiliar environments, they do exactly what small children do - they act out. With dogs, their acting out often comes in the form of reprehensible bathroom behaviour. Toby was marking anything and everything, both outside and indoors. Nothing I did seemed to stop him, no matter how often I took him outside. When we were staying with Janice, I thought she was going to have to be committed there a couple of times, especially when Elvis - Blake's little Chihuahua - and Toby were together. Elvis wouldn't stop humping everyone, and Toby wouldn't stop marking to show his ownership of and dominance over all which he surveyed. Truly, it has been a nightmare.
The first day were were in the new pad, Toby had a couple of mishaps in the apartment. Thankfully, he chose the side of Smidgen's litter box. I cleaned it up easily, and thanked the Mighties that Toby didn't choose to soil the carpet! That very day, I started him on a schedule, taking him out every two hours the first couple of days. The landscape here at Stonesthrow is relatively level and a 100% improvement when it comes to being walkable. Plus, there's a dog park that allows Toby to freely roam as he chooses, instead of always being tethered to his crippled companion. By the time the first week was up, we had established a set schedule that works for us both. In the morning, we go out around 6:30 am, then 10:15, 2 PM, 6 PM, and sometime between 9 and 10 PM. Toby swiftly embraced the schedule, and has readily adopted it to his internal clock.
After four years of excremental horror, there have been no more bathroom incidences since we have settled into the new place. Plus, I'm getting more exercise than I have in ages, as well. The ability to move more without excessive pain, or the threat of blacking out from over-exertion in a landscape hostile to the mobility-challenged. I downloaded an exercise app the other day, because I was curious to see how much I'm walking with Toby each day. After using it these past few days, I'm pleased to report that I'm averaging between 2 and 3 miles each day. After storm season is over with, and there's not a threat of being drenched only moments after you were strolling under the sun, I intend to expand our wandering out to the main roads like Pleasantburg Drive. I don't really need to lose weight, but I do need to build back my muscle, and Toby definitely could slim down a little, after spending years being fed gobs of people food and living a sedentary lifestyle.
I am amazed that it took basically just a week to turn Toby around. His breakthroughs have also been my breakthroughs, because the increased activity has helped me manage my depression which, in turn, allowed me to stick to the new routine, and actually look forward to mine and Toby's times out of doors.
Coming back to the Southeast has been the wisest and healthiest decision I could have made for myself, Toby, and Smidgen. No regrets!
One of the things that is imperative for a happy, healthy dog and, as a result, a happy, healthy dog parent, is establishing a routine. In fact, it is probably the most important thing about a dog/human relationship in our modern times.
Thanks to my wacked-out health, there was an incident last Sunday that landed me in an extended stay hotel until yesterday morning. As documented on my Facebook, I ended up with Blake's cold a couple of weeks ago. Since 2015, I don't just get to have a simple cold and be done with it, no. I end up with secondary infections and my sleep patterns and behaviour are almost always affected. That means I sleepwalk. After the cold began to wane, I developed some sort of viral infection under my tongue. I caved and went to the doctor about that last Friday. He gave me some lidocaine for the pain and told me to ride it out for about a week, at which time, it should be getting better. But it wasn't just that. A knot - infection? lymph gland? who knows? - began growing behind my left ear. I felt generally unwell. The next thing I remember, Janice is driving me to Crossland Suites. She thought I had over-taken some of my medication and, when she couldn't find it in my stuff, was not going to be convinced otherwise. I was so sick and out of it, I was incapable of explaining what I had done with my meds, and had no way to show her that all was in order, because I'd repacked everything a couple of days prior, along with the meds I'd had moved from San Diego to here. It was an effort in poor organisation. The next day, I Uber'd to the closest CVS and had them check my temp at the minute clinic. My throat was on fire, and I felt delusional, and couldn't think straight. I had a fever of 103. I got some aspirin and juice, and went back to the hotel to die. Then I lost my voice for three days.
Fortunately, I began to recover from this nightmare on Thursday. Friday was the big day of the move, so I had to be at least marginally functional! When Friday came, my voice was back, my mouth had recovered almost completely, and my throat was only a little scratchy. I was still weak and underwhelmed, but I was present and accounted for.
It's been slow going like you wouldn't believe with the unpacking process. I don't have furniture to put things on, and I don't want to put stuff on the floor, in the event Toby decides he wants to mark something, like an asshole, so I'm having to pick and choose what I pull out for right now. Today, I wanted to smudge the apartment, and set up a little bit of sacred space in the bedroom, but I can't find my supplies and incense. I've gone through everything and can't find an inkling of Witchery anywhere. But I did find the prescriptions I'd consolidated! I called Janice to let her know and, when I see her, I'm gonna show her what I'd done and why it looked so bad, when she went to check on my medicinal intake. I also apologised for acting so wonky. I really could not help it, though!
Yesterday, I got a delivery of cheese garlic bread and a Pepsi, which I have been subsisting on for almost 24 hours. About an hour ago, I did something I had not done since 2013: I used a pot and cooked soup on a real stove. To most, I guess this is no big deal but, for me, it's truly a momentous occasion that means several things. It means that I'm more self-sufficient now that I have been in years. It means I can begin to eat properly and have more variety in my life as a crap foodie. It means that I am going to save a huge amount of money on food, because I have so much storage space, a whole damned fridge, and the ability to prepare food rather than depending on prepackaged junk food. Cooking that soup on a stove top, in my own pot, with my own spoon, means that I am free. It also means that Gordon Ramsay will have one more vegetarian pseudo-cook to rail at for existing, and daring to darken the sacred doors of a kitchen!
Of course, I could not have gotten to this mini-milestone, had it not been for the kind souls of my Tribe and our extended clan. Were I able, I would cook up a flipping cauldron of soup and share it with you all, as we party as hard as a pack of introverts could!
When Janice realised a few hours ago that I had put my feelers out for a twin/half bed, she told me that I could have hers, which is in pretty much brand new condition. She is wanting to get rid of the bed, because she has a new suit with a larger bed that's better support to her ailing back. Fine with me! I was pleased. Feelin' groovy. Paul Simon was prepared to serenade me!
Then, about an hour after that good news, I got a call from JoLee at Stonesthrow. I could tell by the tone of her voice things weren't good, before she even had the chance to say, "We've got a little issue with the apartment."
But it wasn't a bad thing at all, except for a brief delay in when I'll move in. JoLee went on to explain that the apartment would not be ready until Friday, June the 9th, three days after my initial move-in date. I told her that would be fine, it was not a really big deal, 'cos I knew Janice wouldn't mind me staying a few extra days. That's when JoLee told me that the property manager had taken off the pet deposit, as well as the monthly pet rent, for one of the furkids, to make up for any inconvenience the delay might have caused me.
But wait, there's more! Because my move-in date changed, I had to contact the power company and AT&T to change my utilities transfer and Internet installation date. It was whilst chatting with an agent at ATT.com, it was revealed that the price of $30 the first agent I'd spoken with had locked in for me had not actually been locked in, and I was designated in the system to be paying $40 a month for Internet, after paying my $99 installation fee.
But the agent told me he could correct the mistake, that my promised price was good. The problem was, the system wouldn't let him change anything about the order, so he had to cancel it. That's when things got really good. Not only did he place me a new order for the 9th of June, but he also waived the installation fee, for the inconvenience of the botched first order! I have confirmation of the new arrangements in email and chat.
Thanks to these folks wanting to ensure I wasn't upset about [not] being inconvenienced, I now have fundage for groceries in June (and stuff to cook them in and eat them on, thanks to my Tribe, you know who you are!), barring any unforeseen horror stories lurking in the shadows of chance.
In the event you're wondering whether or not you're experiencing déja vu, you're not. It was suggested to me that I should switch to the Amazon Wishlist, rather than Wal-mart, as my options would be greater and oft-times cheaper, so that is what I have done. You can click on the wee picture to the left to be taken to mah list. Thank you for your time, patience, and willingness to read this far!
Before I begin writing this, I want to make something abundantly clear: I am not actively suicidal. Suicidal Ideation is one of many joyful experiences served up by Depressive Disorder. So, let's get that straight. No need to call emergency services. I just need to purge all of this, so it doesn't go any further than unbidden flash thoughts.
After six hours of fitful sleep, my first thought when I woke up this morning was, "I'm thin enough now, I could walk to Rogers Bridge with Smidgen and Toby, and we could jump in the Middle Tyger River. That way, we'd never be a burden or worry to anyone ever again, least of all ourselves."
Off and on yesterday, as the funds just poured out for very damned little, I caught myself considering the peace oblivion would bring. I have placed strain on my family out here, and I'm being a pest to my friends and Tribe for rides and money. I've drug my two homebody furbabies all over hell and half creation to establish a relationship with my mother that never was meant to be. I can't eat properly, I'm always in pain, and honestly, I'm lonely. I feel like I've lost the ability to be (or act) normal in a social situation.
I've felt more like a throwaway than I have in months. And I know it's that damned chemical imbalance in my brain interacting with the uncertainty of my future, but being intellectually aware of what's causing it does not prevent it or alleviate it. I just have to work through it.
It truly is like having a monster living in your mind and, despite your efforts to stop it, it just continues to gnaw away at your will to keep the thing at bay. No one needs or wants a life in upheaval but, when it happens to someone like me, it can be a life-threatening situation. You become a threat to yourself. That's why so many people I know who have Depressive Disorder are hardcore about keeping certain routines. If you find a routine that brings you peace and doesn't rock your psychological boat, you're going to hold on to it with a fierce passion and, if that routine is upset, it can send you into a tailspin.
I'm in that tailspin right now, and I'm doing my best to pull up.
But I'm scared. And my feelings about losing Aunt Tudi aren't even trying to hide right under the surface. And it's gonna get worse before it gets better, because I'm going to have to bunk with Blake in the old house until I can find another place to live, which means she'll be calling me in the night. And it's that main thing that drove me to so much self-destructive behaviour before I left for California. To be back there even for one day is almost unbearable to imagine, but it's going to happen whether I want it to or not.
I feel like my solar plexus has turned into a gordian knot, and my heart is beating funny. My entire body is responding to the stress and depression, and I'm afraid I'm going to fall ill, when that's the last damned thing I need right now. I've already got a urinary tract infection that I'm trying to beat on my own, because I can't afford an urgent care right now.
What's worse is Smidgen's back leg weakness has magnified. I'm hoping it's just arthritis and the stress of travel making it worse, but she's old and I'm afraid it might be something more serious. And I can't take her to the vet. Of course, my mind instantly went there - that I'm going to watch her die because I was too sorry to take care of her. Why do I deserve to live when I can't properly make the lives of those I love have some measure of quality? If Smidgen dies, I am going to be beyond devastated, especially if I find out I could have prevented it somehow, if I had only done more or been more.
My helplessness cannot be measured. I'm doing everything within my power, including writing this, to make sure hopelessness doesn't also get to that point, because I'm not sure I'll survive it.
The following was handwritten during my trip from San Diego to Greenville-Spartanburg.
May 8, 2017, 10:40 PM PDT
I'm on the plane, bound for Greenville. It's hard to believe I've come full circle, and even harder to believe that I'm so happy to be returning to the South. The Mother Unit brought me to the airport. We did a one-armed hug to say goodbye. Kind of sad, really, but I really didn't expect much more, if anything.
She and Matt are still in the process of packing, so they probably won't leave until Wednesday. Losing Pinky took a physical toll on them, so they did very little in the moving department today. I would have been the same way, had it been Toby or Smidgen lost to the wild. I feel terrible that Pinky got outside. Matt feels he did not surve the night, considering it was cooler than normal and rained cats and dogs all night. Sorry luck, regarding the weather. I can't help but think some karma was at work here, although I'm not at all happy with a little life being lost in the process. It would have been better if Mama Bird had been the one to get out, since she might possess some rudimentary memory of her time in the wild. Even if she weren't able to survive, she would still be better off dead, considering her ungodly time in captivity, along with fact that she lost her mate not long ago.
May 9, 2017, 7:40 AM EDT
Toby, Smidgen, and I just boarded the flight going from Charlotte to Greenville. I transported the dynamic duo from the San Diego plane to the transfer flight in a wheelchair. They're getting better treatment than I am on this journey!
The sun was just rising when we landed in Charlotte. It was an incredibly cathartic experience to see a blanket of green bathed in sunlight, muted by buttermilk clouds. I haven't seen buttermilk clouds in years. Contrails? Absolutely. But no buttermilk. I could even see the mountains - MY MOUNTAINS - from the sky.
We're about to take off, scheduled to land in approximately an hour, maybe less. Cameron is meeting me at GSP, and is taking me by Wal-Mart on the way to Janice's. I have reserved a hotel room at the Quality Inn for the next couple of days in order to give Janice more time to accommodate my hopefully brief stay with her and Uncle Michael. I need to find more permanent arrangements as soon as humanly possible, but I've got to take at least a day to recuperate from the chaos of the past week; otherwise, I'm going to shut down and get nothing done at all.
I need to buy another pair of pants, some panties, and a couple of shirts. Why? Because my dumb ass packed all the clothes I have, including the ones I'd set aside to bring with me, save for the ones I'm currently wearing, and the movers won't have my stuff to me for about a week. The last thing I needed was to have to spend more money I wouldn't otherwise need to.
I rode all the way across the country with my arms tucked underneath my tee shirt. It was cold as all Sith Hell on that airplane! The woman who shared the row with me was flying out to attend a funeral and had to bring her dog with her, a Jack Russell Terrier named Sia, who she feared would go ballistic if she saw Smidgen and, especially, Toby. Thankfully, they didn't spy one another, having their vision limited tucked under the plane seats, so it was a very quiet flight. I left the seat between us empty, and told her to feel free to use it and the tray table, if she needed. We ended up using the middle tray for our beverages, which allowed for more room for our appendages. If I could afford it, I would always buy two seats, pets or no, simply for the convenience just that little bit of space provides. Alas, it would probably be cheaper just to fly First Class, if one had the money to throw around like that.
One of the last things the Mother Unit said to me before we parted ways was to point out that I would be amazed at how large the seats would seem, since I hadn't flown since my panniculectomy. She was right. I was able to sit sideways for a while, as I watched You Tube vides on the computer. Of course, I'm still not over the fact that I'm sitting here in a large women's tee shirt and size 6 jeans. What I want to know is where the rest of me ended up because, according to the laws of physics, there are 210 pounds of me floating around the observable universe in some form or another.
I can't believe that I'm almost finished with this journal. It's a fortunate thing that I thought ahead and got an extra when I could afford it, so there would be no interruptions in my handwritten journaling once this one is full. The only thing I need to do to make it ready to be written in, is to finish inking the owl cover, like I did with this journal. The colours will be different, obviously, but the finished product should be just as pretty, if not more so.
Well, this was a short flight. We are already about to land after only approximately thirty minutes in the air. It seems we spent more time on the tarmac than we did actually flying! I can't wait to see Cameron and all my Tribe and family. I just hope Cameron finds me okay, 'cos my phone is dead and I currently have no internet connection. Ye gods.
We just landed at 8:25 AM. I'm home.
One more thing before I conclude this entry. You know you're at an airport in the South, when about half the seats made available for travelers are rocking chairs. The end.
After spending almost four years in San Diego, I have returned home to the South, and am actively hunting for a home in Asheville, North Carolina, my home town. Despite my efforts to avoid this, I’m setting up this account to raise funds to help me swiftly find and pay for a place to live. I’m aiming to obtain at least $1000, hopefully within the next week, which will cover travel costs accrued from searching, and most of a security deposit for a home. I initially had enough money to make the move without incident, but my original plans fell through, and my last minute arrangements cost me $2000 that I had not expected to spend; rather, it was the nest egg I had to help me get around to find a domicile. Now that that’s gone, I have had no choice but to turn to GoFundMe and friends. So, if you can spare anything at all, it would be deeply appreciated. I promise I will be updating on how the money is used and when I am settled in my new home. To visit my campaign, you need only click on the screen cap below, or right here. Thank you in advance!
As I spend my last few hours in San Diego, I'm pondering more deeply the circumstances that have brought me to this point of return to the South, and the possible reasons for this change in my life.
Honestly, I cannot bring myself to believe that my reclamation of my faith happened because I was destined to go back to South Carolina, and North Carolina in short order. That area, barring most of Texas, is the most dangerous in America in recent history to be a Witch.
I have never been one to back away from a challenge or a frightening situation. It doesn't mean that I'm brave in any way; rather, I guess I'm determined beyond the point of self-preservation. I was never in the broom closet, and I never intend to be. But being an Out Witch brings with it the risk of discrimination, abuse (primarily verbal...for now), and even harm, in this bleak period in our history.
But that's exactly why I feel going back is my destiny. I have always known that I was ready to pay any price for my freedom as a woman and a child of the Goddess. Not just that, but I am willing to forfeit myself in order to ensure the freedom of my sisters and brothers who reside outside the circle of xtian inclusion. I am going back to try to prevent the American Taliban from eroding American laws to the point where they can wreak havoc on the lives of over 50% of American citizens.
When I learned about the Burning Times, and first heard the slogan "Never Again The Burning," it moved me like nothing else before. To suffer loss, torture, and an often excruciating death simply for being a certain gender, worshipping a different way, or holding unpopular opinions is unspeakably horrific and, to be living in an era where this could very easily happen at any time, both frightens and enflames me.
I have already signed up with some local Meet Up groups involved in the resistance, and I plan on expanding my activities once I am permanently settled somewhere. Considering my new location, despite it probably being in Asheville, I realise that I am risking my life by fighting for what I believe, but I have never felt more alive in once again embracing my Inner Activist.
Working for change, or at least the maintenance of our current freedoms, is worthy and valid wherever you do it, but doing so in an area where seeing what the threat to our way of life at work firsthand brings an urgency and validity to that work. The gravity and urgency of our plight isn't as apparent in places like San Diego, where it is of little consequence who or what you are, or how you identify yourself in this world. Even though a lot of people in San Diego say the city is conservative, compared to other areas of California, to me it's a Hippie paradise! That alone is the reason why I am eager to be publicly active back East. It should be of no consequence to anyone else how you live your life, and it is for that ideal that I will be struggling.
I cannot do that in a liberal location. For me, I need to be on the front lines, and that means working on the buckle of the Bible Belt, whether it be with others like myself, or solitarily. I believe this is why I came back to the Craft right before I learned I'd be moving. Everything has fallen into place in accordance with this path. When I first started out in Wicca, I was always socially/politically motivated, besides being spiritually moved to the ways of the Goddess. The only thing that has changed from those early days, is that I am even more resolute than before, and I have almost a quarter of a century of experience under my belt.
I'm excited for what lies ahead, even if it means distress, discomfort, or even death. My life is in service to the Goddess in all Her forms, primarily Mother Earth, who needs Her children to come to Her defence more so than ever before. I'm ready to take up arms, be it figurative or literal, to fight the growing menace and, if it is at all within my power, I will work tirelessly to guarantee that, never again, shall there be another burning.
It should be of note, too, that I found my silver Triskele pendant, still on its chain. I haven't worn it in about three years, and it's been missing since last year. After scrubbing it and cleansing it, I placed it back around my neck. If the timing of this event isn't symbolic, I have no clue what I'm talking about, and I never will.
Yesterday, as the Mother Unit was walking out of the house, Pinky took a wild hair and flew out along with her, and up into the canyon. Mama fell apart. I rushed outside and was helping her call for him, and set out to try to find him further up the canyon, walking so fast, I almost passed out! Before I headed out, though, Matt rushed out to see what the commotion was about. When the Unit told him Pinky got out, he turned and screamed at me, "WHAT DID YOU DO?" Mama was quick to inform him that I had nothing to do with it, that I came after the fact and was trying to help.
This is how I've been treated the entire time I've been here in Southern California. Everything has always been automatically my fault.
We never found Pinky...
When Matt got up this morning, I asked, and he said that the temp got so low last night, there is no way the poor bird could have survived.
Pinky was my favourite of all the birds. He was a precocious little sonofabitch and was pretty much affection in flight. It hurts me that he is gone, and I can only take comfort in thinking that his last few hours were filled with a freedom he had never before experienced and that he died as happy as he could be, given the circumstances.
Matt seems to have had his spirit stepped on by the stiletto heel of karma. I'm grieved that it manifested in such a manner that a life was forfeit, and I sincerely feel bad for him, despite his jumping to conclusions about my involvement in the situation, as usual. It was my profound hope that this chapter in all our lives would conclude without much upheaval. The last thing I wanted or expected was for some of us not to make it out alive, least of all one of the true innocents in this whole mess.
Fly free and joyfully, little man.
Stay safe, cradled in the arms of Nathor.
May it someday be we cross one another's paths again, in one form or another.
They say that home is where the heart is. If that's the case, I'm headed home no later than the 9th of May, where I shall find my heart resting in the mists of the Smoky Mountains.
At 6:30 this morning, my phone rang. It was Janice. She had heard from the lawyer, who told her that a Tracy Evans had a $14,000.00 lien on her name, and had been so since 2009. He told Janice that he'd need my social security number to compare with his records, to verify that the Tracy Evans in question was not, in fact, me. Well, I'd already read up on Ms. Evans when I did my own documents search at the Clerk of Court's website. This Tracy lives in Boiling Springs, a town I've only visited like 6 times total. Anyway, I gave her my social security number and we hung up so she could provide the info to her lawyer.
About 15 minutes later, my phone rang again, and it was Janice, again. The lawyer did his comparison dealio, confirming that my name is in the clear. She said that, if she could get Johnna to watch Uncle Michael long enough for her to dash up to Duncan, she would go ahead and transfer the money to my account.
Waves of relief washed over me in that instance! I continued to get ready and head in to the outpatient program, and it took me hardly any time at all, thanks to that bounce that suddenly showed up in my step! My fellow outpatient attendees were all super jacked at my good news, but none more so than I! By the time IOP was completed for the day, I checked my bank to find the transfer of funds was in process. Tomorrow, it should be available, so I can proceed with the items I need to purchase for the move, as well as get my plane tickets and maybe even pack up one big box of my stuff and ship it on to Janice ahead of myself and the beasties.
Needless to say, I have offered up multitudinous thanks to the Paniverse*, the Goddess, Elementals, and any other unseen critters who were in attendance at my big honkin' fundage acquisition magickal working, the first spellwork I had attempted since 2009. I deconstructed my money mojo bag, clearing any stones I'd used, and scattering the herbs, roots, and wax beneath the eucalyptus tree. I buried the bag, along with the parchment stating my intent and need, at the base of the tree. I did the same with the herbal sachet, scattering the herbs, giving thanks, and burying the bag. I feel more at peace right now than I have since before 2011. And it's not just relief at now having the money to move, no, it's a deeper peace than mere relief. It's the peace one feels when they know in the very marrow of their bones, that the path they are taking is the right one, because everything occurring whilst on that path happens at exactly the right time, or happens in spite of all improbability. It's the peace of recognising synchronicity and welcoming it into your life. The kind of peace you experience when you return home, or know you will be. That is the peace I am feeling, and it is marvelous in every way.
There is a shit tonne of stuff I need to get done, and I have little time left in which to do it. But I shall prevail! After spending two weeks barely holding myself together from stress and worry, I feel there is nothing I can't do at this time and place in my life. Of course, I'm not stupid enough to put that to the test.
I heard from Janice, who told me that it's gonna be Thursday before we hear from the lawyer about the house, so I went to talk to Mama about my options, which are bleak, thanks to yet another hypochristian.
So I suggested to Mama that maybe I could just stay with them for a month until I could properly sort the move, which I can't do because I have 38 cents in the bank right now. Besides, one way flights from Portland are several hundred dollars cheaper than ones from San Diego, so it would be a definite helps, since I'm gonna have to buy 2 seats in order to transport my fur babies.
She said, "Well, I don't care, but Matt's sister has other ideas."
"What do you mean?" I asked, thinking that there just wasn't enough room, or something like that. I'd met Matt's sister just a couple of weeks ago, and she was an extremely charming person...to my face. Silly me!
"Well, she thinks you're a demon incarnate because you're Wiccan."
The move is now set for the 8th of May instead of the 1st, which will allow me time to do what I need to. The plan now is that I'm moving my stuff up with Mama and driving up as far as Portland. Taking only my absolute necessities, I'm taking Smidge and Toby and flying out from there probably mid-May. Then Mama is gonna ship my other belongings to me piecemeal. This is the plan, if the house situation with Janice falls through.
I find it rather sad that Mama is willing to do that rather than fight for me, but I've come to expect little else. I know my place. As for Matt's sister, I'm starting to realise that assholery is not limited solely to Matt. It apparently runs in the whole goddamned family. Fuck them.
She changes everything She touches, and everything She touches, changes.
This afternoon and evening, I am burning an anointed blue candle to try to bring myself a little bit of peace of mind, as much as can be mustered. The dance of the flame, along with the muskiness of my incense, allows me to still my mind, if only for a period of time.
Friday, it will have been two weeks since Janice got a lawyer to do a title check on the Mother Unit and me. He told Janice that it would be about two weeks to get her an answer. I did my own title search under my name, the address of the property in question, and of the Unit's name. The only thing that is coming up is from when I transferred the house to the Mother Unit right before I moved out here in 2013. So, that said, I'm trying to do something that is nearly impossible for me to do, and I am doing it to challenge my faith. Why? Especially at this unspeakably crucial life change.
Here's the thing: I am Mulder and Scully, all wrapped into one psychopathic fruit loop. I want to believe, but I can never quite surrender completely to what some might call faith. I worked diligently, leading up to the Full Moon, to draw upon ideas on how not to end up homeless, on how to swallow my pride and ask for help, if worse came to worse, and to light a little flame in my corner of existence to let the universe I'm here and I need help to get somewhere else, safely, with Smidgen and Toby.
But, I'm repeating myself, I know. It's just that it's a tad terrifying to think of the alternatives if I can't get us back home...ANYWAY, what I'm getting at is, there should be no reason any liens against the house would exist, and it clearly states the deed belongs to the Mother Unit, so I am putting my money where my mouth is, and I am not setting up a GoFundMe until I know for certain whether or not I need it. I'm being mindful of my roaming thoughts, of which I have too many, and I am redirecting the thoughts from "what if...________?" to "I am grateful for this moment's peace, and the many moments of happiness I know lie before."
Let me be clear here; I'm not talking about testing the gods, or trying to bribe anything in the other realms. It's about testing myself. It's about finally admitting to myself that being a combination defeatist/impatient tackhead is a horrible thing to be, for my own wellbeing, and that I am the only one who can change this panicky chaos. So I am almost constantly, even in the background when I'm multi-tasking, chanting Reclaiming's indomitable "Kore" Chant, which states, in part, "She changes everything she touches, and everything She touches changes." When I'm at home, and not repeatedly whispering the chant in my mind, I'm singing the Native American healing lullaby, "Nah Bvey Hi-Ay" to myself. When I'm at program, in between in group session, I walk the labyrinth and either chant "Kore" or sing "Nah Bvey Hi-Ay."
In this time of change, "Kore" is the one statement about the Goddess I have ever heard, and I've treasured it for such a long time, from the beginning of my Pagan journey way back in 1988 until present time, I even decided to have it embossed on an altar I'm getting. Before my computer died and demanded replacement, and then I was told that I'm going to have to move, I took some extra money I had in March and commissioned an oak altar I had always wanted. One of the options of the creation of the piece was to have phrases or names in the font of your choice (of what they have available), inscribed into the wood. It can take five weeks or longer for it to be ready to ship, so I don't even know right now what address to give them in place of the San Diego one I provided! That is, if I have an address at all! This time in my life is the most momentous one I've experienced, even more so than the 2013 move.
The moment I returned to Her, radical changes began to happen, and continue to. And it's to this I cling right now, for change indicates that all things and situations are transformable. But I have to have faith in this, not just know it. If I can't, I am lost, no matter where I end up living, or not.
So, the room has been cleaned out, and all my boxes have been relocated in there. It's just a matter of getting my bed out of storage and starting the process of unpacking and organizing, and we'll be well on our way to seriously settling in.
I hate stuff like this, though, so it's gonna take me a while, because I'm a procrastinator about things I enjoy. Needless to say, Procrastinator is going to be my super-hero name in this endeavour.
It's just a matter of making things my own, which is gonna be a feat, 'cos I'm OCD, especially about things that aren't mine to begin with. I'm not the neatest person in the world, but I'm particular about my germs. If they're my germs, then fine. If not, then it's gonna take me a while to convert them. That's not to say Matt and the Mother Unit are germy; they just aren't my germy ~ not yet.
That makes me sound like a terrible person.
We’re right at 200 miles away from San Diego.
It’s been one hell of a trip. More fucked up than I would have hoped for, but there were some good bits, like beginning some good bonding with the Mother Unit, and the tourist-y part where we detoured to Tombstone.
And I made a new friend ~ Doug. I failed to get his Internet contact information, though. Crapola. I’ll have to ask the Unit if she could give that to me, with his permission of course. And I’ll definitely share my info with him. He’s a good guy.
The Moon is huge tonight. It’s as if she’s hovering a mere six feet above the ground, her partial body a rich orange. Being able to see heavenly bodies without trees as the usual obstacles they are in the East. (I refuse to start saying “back East.” That’s such a Western expression, and I’m still way too much of an Easterner to go there yet. Maybe in a year…and a day. HA) Don’t get me wrong; I am going to desperately miss the lush forests of the Southeast, but I’d be a fool not to appreciate the opportunity to commune with the stellar symphony the desert affords. It seems like an extremely Cadmusian pastime, considering I have him galaxy-gazing more often than not in so many written scenarios.
Like son, like mother.
After some serious hardships, dealing with Facebook not wanting to share Barry’s video file, to my initial uploading of “JUJU GRID (GO LIVE)” having a seriously skewed ratio, I finally resorted to sucking off a private Internet access port ~ yes, I kinda hacked into it ~ in order to achieve what I aimed, and finally got the video onto You Tube to Barry’s satisfaction. I told him what I’d done, and that I was probably going to prison. He found that amusing, but was glad I did it. If I end up in Virtual Prison, just rename me Anonymous, the Shriekback Agent. I’ve never done anything like that before, and I doubt I ever will again, unless I have to, and Shriekback is the only reason I’d be driven down that nefarious path again. Muahahaha!
Thanks to paisley_daze, with her brilliant idea of posting the video to Reddit, I am hoping I reached a lot more Shriek/Barry Andrews fans that I otherwise would not have. Why I never thought about Reddit earlier is one of those mysteries I may never solve. Oh wait, it’s because I’m a dink! Nevermind. And thank you again, Sweet Sophie.
Speaking of Shriekback, after I got my shower at Doug’s, I put on my last clean outfit that I’d kept out for the trip. I’d been saving it for last. I’m wearing one of the last good-fitting pairs of pants I own, so I won’t end up mooning San Diego trying to carry my booty into the new digs. And I’m also wearing the white Shriekback tee, with the multi-coloured logo on the front. It’s a small-cut large shirt that I bought on eBay aeons ago. When I got it, it was way too small for me, but I held on it with the thought of some day…some day. Well, that some day came just a handful of months ago after I lost all this weight, thanks to the grief and the ulcer. It’s now relatively loose on me.
So I’m rolling into the new town, sporting the Shriek logo on my torso. I can’t think of a more fitting way to announce my arrival, being Darth Shriek and all. I have no idea why I’ve always held some odd superstitions about clothes and what they may mean at certain times of wearing them, but there you go ~ that’s me. I intend to wear the ELO shirt that booraven22 sent me sometime in the first week of my abiding in San Diego. It’s a kind of unwritten rule that I must obey.
“Cry of the Celts” by Ronan Hardiman just came on iTunes. The last time I heard that song at night, on the road, was on Midsummer’s Eve in 1997, as I followed the Harpist out into the South Carolina wilds to stargaze after having ritual at Lord Ariel’s on Parris Mountain. It was one of the most Magickal, romantic moments in my life, and I will never forget it or stop treasuring it, even though I carry with the memory some amount of pain, because of all that happened afterward.
I don’t believe in many things in this world anymore, but I will always believe in the existence of love at first sight, because it happened to me on Bealtainne of that same year, and the Celtic night of Magick a month and half later, only confirmed for me that even someone as cynical as I was capable of experiencing something so profound and devastating as such a love.
And I will always be grateful to Lord Ariel for his match-making attempts, which were above and beyond the call of duty on his part. If I didn’t love him for anything else, and I do ~ for many things, I will always love him for that.
We just crossed over into California, and iTunes switched over to “Cult of Personality” by Living Colour. Pretty kickass! :D
After spending a day and a half under a bed at Doug’s, not eating or drinking, or going to the bathroom, Smidgen is feeling her oats here in the back seat of the truck. The night is a cat’s time, anyway, and her self-imposed exile because of her trepidation of Doug’s gigantic dogs, have left her acting like a wild woman. She’s calm right now, lying beside me just outside her travel case, looking around with giant eyes. At any moment, though, she could spazz out again and try to roam the cab, and that’s why I keep the leash on her at all times when we’re on the road. I can’t have her acting the fool and getting in Jeanne’s way of driving. That’s the last bloody thing I need, but especially Smidgen. It’s bad enough I had to wrestle her from under the bed to get her in her case – it was the first time ever that I’d ever had to be rough with her. And it’ll be the last time. And no one else will be rough with her. That would be like someone taking my infant child and punching her. Just…NOT. GONNA. HAPPEN.
I got about two hours of fitful sleep last night, and finally gave up and got up a little before 6 AM. So I was already running on empty, and now I’ve been awake for almost 24 hours puttering about on the empty tank. By the time we reach our destination, I’m going to be a zombie. Brains!
“The River Sings” by Enya is now on. The iTunes is choosing odd and compelling music to score the last leg of this journey. I haven’t listened to Enya or anything Celt-related, except for Janet Russell and Talitha MacKenzie, in ages. Do I take it as a sign? I’m not certain I’m comfortable with that route just yet, if ever. We’ll see. I know that b_bopper55 is hoping that I recapture that flame. It’s too soon to even explore that possibility, though. If I’m able to, I did bring all my tools, so I’m not ruling out such a thing. Again, we’ll see.
I just took iTunes off shuffle, ‘cos it lighted on a Peter Gabriel song, and I want to hear more than one of his at the moment. “Come Talk to Me” is currently on. Next up is “Mercy Street,” which is my favourite song by him. When I first started fashioning the bones of what would eventually become The Chalice, a lot of music by Peter Gabriel was instrumental in creating the needed atmosphere. “Mercy Street” in particular is a deeply Vampiric song for me. So many of my Vampires having the inclination to be spiritual and religious creatures can be traced right back to this song. I always thought the harmonies had a particularly eerie church choir feel to them, and I still do. There’s a live performance of this song on You Tube that starts out with the chorus of the song being sung a capella by Peter and his singers. It’s a religious experience unto itself. If I can remember to hunt for it when I have Internet access again, I’ll be sure to post it here on The Cliffs. It’s one of those performances that, once you’ve seen it, you realise your life was pretty incomplete for having not witnessed it sooner. At least, that’s how I felt.
The time is now 3:10. I’ll write more later, if given the chance.
San Diego, California
The time is now 7:30. The Mother Unit and I are spending the day at one of the local Motel 6’s in order to give Matt some extra time to clear up more space for my intrusive butt. It’s good, though, to finally be reunited with my Bald Boy Club-members. That’s a club Matt created a few years back, which is pretty much composed of anyone who owns one of his shirts. That would be four of us ~ haha. So yeah, he’s one of the roommates, and a pretty spiff dude, IMHO. Here’s pics of the new digs, one of the Mother Unit at the front door, and one of the founding member of the Bald Boy Club, resplendent in his members only tee.
( ”click )
Before we parted ways, Jeanne apologised for being an ass. I decided to be amenable about it because, really, I don't need to start new in a city with bad blood from the get-go. I'll definitely watch my fur-babies around her, but I'm not going to turn all rancid immediately. Biting back like I did Monday night seemed to put a different perspective in our relationship, so we'll see how it goes.
And so ends the week-long account of El Move, at least the journey section of it. In the next few days, I’ll be writing more about getting things rebooted in this new world. Today, though, will more than likely consist of getting some rest, getting my bearings, and making a couple of calls to settle some business in SC, like where my gas refund check from Freeman is ~ ‘cos I could really freakin’ use that money right now…
Tonight we’re staying at one of Jeanne’s friend’s house here in Arizona City. He’s being a host with the most, and is being really cool about the animals. His network connection is free here in the subdivision he lives it, but it’s spotty at best, so I expect it may end up being a very long night.
We actually didn’t travel very far, primarily because the Mother Unit wanted to take a detour and visit Tombstone, Arizona. That took up a good part of the early afternoon.
Thankfully, my camera battery has held up and allowed me to take a load of pics, which will be the body of this entry. I may write more later.
First we came upon some massive hills/mini-mountains and giant rock formations. Seeing this part of the country made the Cadmus Pariah bio chapter, ‘Sui Generis,’ as it takes place in the Arizona portion of the Mojave Desert. Here are the pics I got of them.
( lotsa imagery behind here! click with caution! )
It’s currently 98 degrees in Clint, Texas. The heat is oppressive to say the least. It’s definitely a different kind of heat than what you have in South Carolina. In SC, you’re boiling in your own juices. In West Texas, you’re baking alive, like a desert potato. I don’t know if there is such a thing as a desert potato, but there is now. I’m a desert potato.
Ironically, potatoes are really the only thing that I’m able to partially keep on my stomach, so I’m holding true to my Celtic roots, it would seem. The Pilot station from a ways back had potato wedges and raspberry tea. Both have been severely tasty. Of course, it’s not like an ice cold Slurpee in my hot hands, but beggars can’t be choosers, and I’m most definitely a beggar on this journey. Honestly, I’m only one step up from jumping a train with my fellow hobos. My only fears are trains (of course) and that I’d probably end up sharing a car with the shoo-fly-shoo hobo from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.
I already owe the Mother Unit so much money, it’s just not even funny. It was never funny, but now it’s just grim. I’ve already figured that I won’t be able to get a TV until August, if then. Right now, my phone charger is my primary concern. It seems to have stopped working completely, which means my connection to the Internet will be limited to the evenings at hotels until we make it to San Diego. I’m not sure if I can just get a charger or if I’ll have to get a new phone, but it will have to be addressed first thing come July.
I just had my first bowl of menudo. Silly me, I thought it was just a boy band. But apparently it’s also a pork stomach and hominy soup. Pretty tasty, sans the actual pork stomach. And what self-respecting boy band calls themselves Pork Stomach? Really, Menudo, WTF?
And we just passed a lawn and garden place that has for sale life-size cowboy statues and six-foot roosters. Dammit, I would really love to have a gigantic rooster in my room in San Diego. Why? Why not, dammit?
We’re heading down I-10, west toward Tucson, Arizona. I have nothing against Texas, except for the Bush family, but it’ll be nice to finally see a different state. Texas is just… too big. I can see where they have the mindset of a totally separate country, but I honestly haven’t seen enough people to be able to comprise a sovereign nation. Then again, Vatican City is a nation unto itself, so I guess Texas could be as well, even though it only has like 17 natives. Where the fuck are all the people, Texan friends? Do you hide in desert cubby holes? In oil wells? Where are you, already?!
“People Get Ready” by Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart just came on iTunes. Oh, how I dearly love this song. It was always such an inspiration to me, and became aligned with my Tarmi, though I have no idea why, or how that even happened. The video was also deeply beautiful. Even though it featured trains way more than I am comfortable with, it is still a glorious video. Why can’t music videos like this be made today? What’s wrong with videos that tell or story or have a cinematic flare to them? I don’t see why such videos are so reviled by so many. It makes no sense.
During the time I was writing this, we somehow wondered into Mexico. We’re now at a checkpoint. How the hell did this happen? I’ll have to ask the Mother Unit later. I’m just assuming that I-10 meanders into Mexico, and then meanders back into America. I’ve never been to Mexico. I feel no differently than I did twenty minutes ago. Now…if I could just figure out how to meander into Canada, and not meander back. Dream come true, right there, man!
We’re nearing Silver City, New Mexico. Sadly, I won’t get to visit Roswell, but I’ll be a lot closer to the Alien Mecca than I ever have been, so may I’ll have a chance in the future to visit. I’d love to visit there and go loiter outside Area 51 in Nevada. It’d be nice to become part of a UFO investigation group that takes trips to the points of interest, and gives the members a chance to film some actual UFOs that may be floating about up there at any given time.
The Mother Unit and Jeanne have just introduced me to the Terran glory that are dust devils. I got some photos, all to the fantastic soundtrack of The Prodigy’s Fat of the Land. Dust devils and The Prodigy go very well together!
We’re in the middle of the desert and being rained on for the first time since we set out on this journey from the East. I find this highly ironic and poetic.
We’re in Willcox, Arizona, at another Motel 6. Have some pictures!
( ”purdy” )
We’re somewhere near Abilene, Texas, I think. They turned off the radio, so I pulled out the computer and am listening to my iTunes whilst I write.
Alison Kraus just came on. I never hear her without thinking of Lewis. Even though he was from New Jersey, born and bred, he had a soft spot of Country music, and in particular Alison Kraus’s Bluegrass. I hate Country, but I do love Bluegrass. It’s the closest thing America will ever get to traditional Celtic folk music.
Texas is about as flat as my current attitude! And that’s pretty damned flat. It has an odd beauty about it, though. Everything is really freakin’ low to the ground. I wonder if that’s a result of the kinds of storms Texas is famous for. It’d be nice to encounter one of those storms. I would so pitch a fit to chase it. Hey, I like to take risks sometimes.
I know we’ve passed at least two 7-Elevens. If a third one rears its head early enough, I’m begging to make a Slurpee run. There’s just no two ways about it. Slurpee must be had!
Heh, how ironic that George Thorogood just came on. I’ve always associated him with Texas, though I don’t know why. Him and Stevie Ray Vaughn, may he rest in peace. That reminds me, I wonder if Stevie Ray’s video for ‘Cold Shot’ is on You Tube. That is one funny-ass video!
My battery for the camera just started flashing low, so I’m saving what little juice I have left for Arizona. Gotta get some desert pictures. I can’t believe I left the charger behind in SC! I had it on my mind to remember to get it, but I did I? Hell no. Now, I’m gonna have to wait until July before I can get a replacement charger, and that’s just pissy.
We’re now in Pecos, Texas, at another Motel 6. I finally got my Slurpee, a cherry one, and it was glorious! We stopped at a place where there were 7-Elevens right across the street from one another. I could have walked from one as I drank my Slurpee, and moseyed over to the other one to buy another Slurpee, ‘cos that’s pretty much what I would do, if I had had the chance.
I didn’t take too many pictures today. Here’s my paltry offering for the eve.
Here’s a picture of Smidgen, who decided that out of her case was actually more pleasant than in it. So my thigh became her fave hangout in the truck today.
( ”more )
Okay, that’s it for this post. I am making a separate, friends-only post because I have some serious ranting to do. If you’re interested, log on, and stay tuned.
We’re now in Terrell, Texas, at another Motel 6.
The Mother Unit and Jeanne just got in from lounging at the pool. You can’t leave pets unattended in the room, so I opted to stay behind. Besides, I have this squick factor that I can’t seem to overcome in regard to public swimming facilities. Plus, I can’t swim, so really why bother, right?
It didn’t turn out to be as unpleasant a day as I expected. One of the things that made it better, much better, was the Mother Unit turning on the radio. I’m hoping that’ll be the case for the remainder of the trip. If not, I do have Pandora on the phone and iTunes on the computer, so I may just shut out the world like that. Ear buds are your friends.
Ugh… I just found out that Jeanne is a biiiiiiig Firefly fan. Well, why wouldn’t she be? There’s only 15 of us on Earth who aren’t. ::rolls eyes::
Sorry, that just happened to be brought up because the Mother Unit turned the channel to Castle.
Anyway, back to the travel journal. It was all pretty much uneventful today. The beasties were very peaceful and the heat wasn’t too very oppressive. I’m actually pretty grateful that we stopped early. I could use the rest and the chance to let my Inner Borg out, here on Teh Intarwebz.
Here are some more photographs. The first two were taken in Shreveport, Louisiana. The rest are from Texas.
We are in Monroe, Louisiana, at a Motel 6. Every child in Louisiana is currently residing in, and playing around the grounds of, this hotel. Obviously, this does not set well with me.
It was a long day, to say the least, but mostly a good one. Apart from Jeanne being a bit irritable, okay a lot irritable at the end of our trip today, it was all good. They’re both engaged in eating some sort of pasta thing from Dominos. As for me, my stomach is still a tad wibbly, so I’m not really eating. If I keep this up, I will have lost ten more pounds by the time I reach California. Then I’m gonna bleach my hair blonde and be one of those skinny California girls I’ve heard about all my life. Yes… I’m joking. I’ll have blonde hair when I’m dead, yo.
So, without further ado, let’s have some photies.
( ”imagery )
So something tells me that this is going to prove to be a long day. I’m hoping I’m wrong. We’ll see.
The Mother Unit, Jeanne, and I hit the road just before 3 PM. I’m sitting in the back of the truck with Toby resting on my blown-out knee, and Smidgen chillaxin’ beside me in her travel case. The door is open so she can come and go as she pleases; she’s just more comfortable with the case right now.
I ended up packing more than I expected I would. Most of what I have are DVDs and electronics. Of course, the computer is taking up residence on my other knee. So far, I’ve been able to tap into two sources of free wi-fi. I’ll be posting what I’ve written when I come into another wi-fi spot.
That said, some of what I’m writing won’t be in synch with the time I post.
Right now, we’re in Anderson County in SC. Jeanne and the Mother Unit wanted to stop at Arby’s and grab a bite. I’m not eating. I’ve been nauseated and haven’t been able to eat anything but about a half cup of chicken & rice, courtesy of Janice. I’m nursing a frozen peach drink along with some water, so it’s all good.
I know I meant to write more about how the roles in the Vampire Relics changed over time, but I just haven’t had the time and capacity of thought to engage in such shenanigans. Maybe tonight, once we’re settled in a hotel room, I can finish that up in short order.
So here we are in Bessemer, Alabama. Toby is trying to illicit pity and a bite of the Mother Unit’s sandwich, and Smidgen is chilling out in the bathroom. We’re waiting for her to finally venture out of her case, but she seems relatively unconcerned about that at the mo. She’ll change her arrangements when she’s ready.
As for me, I’m freakin’ POOPED. I’m hoping all the packing and travelling will help me get at least a little bit of sleep. We’ll see.
I’ve got some pictures to upload, but my connection here at the hotel isn’t the best in the world, so maybe I’ll get to share them tomorrow.