Sunday Smudging’s: 11-15-2020

We’re already halfway through November?!

Let’s talk about depression and smudging my Roses.

I think this year everyone has been dealing with low grade depression even if they don’t want to admit it. I’ve dealt with depression all of my life (thanks to shit that happened when I was 2).

Yeah, I’ve experienced even those lows. However I’m still here. So I think I know a thing or two about dealing with depression.

First thing… it’s okay to have it. It doesn’t mean you’re weak. It doesn’t mean you’re broken. Scarred? Probably. (I know I am and scar flares smart like a sunvabitch.) It doesn’t mean you have to put on a brave face if you don’t want to. It means, you deal with depression. Some days are worse than others.

Second thing – its okay if you have really bad days where nothing gets done. Gods of Old New and To Be know, I deal with that still. A lot. The worst times are around the Ovarian Rebellion times. The day before it starts… yikes. Just yikes. Those are also the days when the alcohol gets desired the most strongly and in large quantities. Still working on untangling that.

Now to talk about the smudging: Every person whose adopted smudging (whether it be with sage or a combination of other pleasant herbs like rosemary and lavender) knows a good smudge is worth the time. Now, we’ve all seen those bundles of sage/dried herbs damn near everywhere.

One of the first lessons a person learns is how to blow on the dried herbs… in a manner that doesn’t cause it to explode into flames. You learn that lesson right quick too! (That does carry over to fire-making? WELL DUH!)

The second lesson is how to properly snuff out said bundle… else it just keeps going. Or you can do what I got into a habit of doing and separating the bundle down into smaller pieces, that way the bundle lasts even longer.

Here recently I re-learned the lesson of after bad depression days: Smudge. Smudge thoroughly. All that energy you throw off on bad depression days tends to stick around and build up. You owe it to yourself to clean it out. So that when another bad day happens you’re not adding to it… and also not feeding off of what was left the last time.

It’s a type of spiritual hygiene. A kind of self care that many people seem to not to hit on. It’s such a simple thing that we can do for ourselves that it’s not surprising that it gets over looked. Heck, after that good smudge treat yourself to a hot bath or long hot shower. A big cup of tea and some quiet music for a little bit afterwards.

The point is to NOT beat yourself up for the bad days. The point is to take care of yourself in a way you might have been missing.

A state of bewilderment

Dave and I have been together nine years.

At first we couldn’t be even in the same state because he had things to tie up on his end. Then we got me moved out to CA with him in a one bedroom apartment that was barely bigger than a hotel room. Then we moved to Arizona to a much bigger apartment. Then we moved into a rental house with a yard for the dogs. Now… we’re moving in a place 3.75 times the size house wise and the property is ten acres.

The job that moved us from CA to AZ decided to be assholes and DR then went onto to driving for Lyft, working 14 hours shifts. I did a lot of work with Etsy at the time and crocheted my fingers off… but under the surface was still dealing with a LOT of shit. Then DR picked up Uber and then came the move to the rental house. Uber became the primary job for awhile.

Other jobs for other PI companies came and went. Then he started his own company and I left Etsy never to look back, but kept working to promote my small time stuff on FB where I’d been getting 99% of my sales anyways.

The year that shall not be numbered…. proved even stranger. Because we’d made the decision to stay put another two years at the rental house, the increased stability lead to a lot of improvements for myself mental health wise. The increased stability let us weather that year….as it turned into one of the best financial years yet. Things improved to the point where we could finally buy as DR accepted a position as a case manager with a company he’d work at before… and was able to keep his own company going. And the company he was case manager for, doesn’t mind him working remotely….

Which lead to us being able to look anywhere in the state. Which lead to us finding this new place which is our home for probably the next 25 or 30 years. I am hoping we’re going to raised our kids there.

I had hoped for that stability that is right around the corner for years. A part of me still doesn’t believe it.

Dave and I have been having many nights of long talks in amazement over having won this kind of lottery. Conversations that delved into stories we hadn’t shared from our pasts yet. (I know folks who’ve been married 20 years and still have times like that.) Some of included the turmoil that was my teen age years. Not even my parents know how many times I tried to kill myself during those years and after explaining to the best of my recollection to Dave the other night, his comment was “I’m glad you sucked at killing yourself.”

In a lot of ways I am too. Still have a part of me that snarls whenever someone is successful in killing themselves… how dare they succeed where I wasn’t allowed to… if you don’t get that, it’s okay and I’m glad you don’t. Pray you never do.

However I keep looking at the photos of the new house and it doesn’t feel real yet. I’m looking at a quality of life improvement that even four years ago, was only a dream. I’m looking at my future homestead and a part of me keeps going “When are we gonna wake up this time?” because it feels surreal.

If feels weird knowing I can pay off friends who helped start me down this road finally in a few months after we’ve recovered from closing costs and moving costs. Even though they’re probably wondering like me when the other shoe is going to drop…

I think though at this point… I’m going to indulge myself in the knowledge that it doesn’t even exist and that Dave and I have got this. We’re ready and we’ve got this.

When your “Spidey Sense” decides to be a little b^*#h….

For those of you not used to that slang, it’s a reference to those who are a bit more sensitive (upwards to extremely sensitive) to the undercurrents and moods of the Universe. Now there are at least two instances where what I’m talking about in the title happens, so sit tight while I break these down. Might wanna grab a cuppa of something, this could get long.

The first instance is the most annoying. Your sense is tingling. It’s screaming in the back of your head and… you don’t know why. You can’t put a finger on it. All you know is your instincts are RAGING that “WARNING! WARNING! DANGER!”

So you double check things. First on your own front in your immediate area. Are all the power cords plugged in properly? Are dangerous things that need supervision turned off? etc, etc.
Then you check the area surrounding your home. All the power is on? Water is fine. Animals okay?
Then you find yourself expanding and expanding this circle of checking on things…. but you never figure out what it is exactly that is setting off this damn alarm.

First of all, take a deep slow breath. I know there’s a lot of folks dealing with this right now. It’s ramped for me too. All I can tell you is, I don’t know either.

I can advise you on ways to keep from getting out of hand. My first suggestion is take care of something small. Like putting away the dishes in the dish drainer or checking a littler box and cleaning it (even if you just cleaned). The act of taking care of something, even tiny, helps to bring your immediate surroundings into a little clearer focus.

Check the property a little bit. Maybe pick up trash alongside a road on a walk just for something to do. But look at it through eyes that are just observing. For the larger world, maybe pick a friend you’ve not talked to in a long time and drop them a text or email. Catch up with someone. It’s the act of doing something you can control that will help keep the spidey sense from going over board.

The second instance of this is related to trauma and PTSD unfortunately. I’ve had my “spidey sense” go off like a nuke before just because of a careless comment from an associate. It led to me obsessively tracking down everything I could learn. I did learn they were a jackass and a piece of shit… but that did little to assuage my trauma driven spidey sense that was demanding we investigate… EVERYONE.

I can honestly tell you that in those times, going radio silent and engaging in a processing mechanism for a couple days has been the only reliable way for me to deal with that shit. If you deal with this too, you have my heartfelt sympathies and maybe someday we can share a cuppa of something and chat.

Now this is NOT saying that your spidey sense is wrong. It’s there because our genetics and our ancestors who listened to that spidey sense and survived. Letting yourself be just a little bit more on guard is fine. HOWEVER, do not let it take control. Do not let it dominate your day or life. Part of being a witch is mastery of oneself and that includes these instincts. Yes they are important however they are NOT the only thing going on. To step out into the world in fear is to invite trouble.

Realize that this is your inner caveman wondering if it was just water they heard dripping in the back of the cave… or if it really was something else. Sometimes is a build of danger (like a massive storm that could flood the cave) but that takes calm and rational observation. There’s theories about why the first written languages came into being, among evidence collection of those learning the patterns of nature. Whether or not true, is not relevant to this discussion.

Which leads me to one of way of dealing with an over active “Spidey Sense”. Write it down. Write down the feelings it’s evoking. Write down any questions that come to mind. Some of those questions you’ll be able to immediately answer and others you probably won’t ever have answers for. I can assure you though, you’ll feel better afterwards. Sometimes you have to make a brand new map, in order to find ones way.

Midadventures in The Rental

Grab a cuppa of something. This could get long.

We moved to this property in April/May of 2017. Immediately off the bat… the house wasn’t ready to be moved into. They were finishing painting…the day we were supposed to be move in. Since then it’s be a long list of problems including:
1) Lying about the house being cable and internet ready.
2) Replacing all of the window screens (we had to ride his case about that for a few weeks).
3) Plumbing is rotted/rusted out in multiple places. It’s probably the original iron pipes that were first installed when this place (built in 1936-37) had plumbing finally installed.
4)Years of termite damage (instead of replacing the window sills, over half don’t exist basically, they just painted over it).
5) A foundation that I’d lay yarn on is fucked up.
6) Kitchen cabinets that were probably salvaged from a junkyard and improperly mounted.

And last night, the bathroom sink… which we’ve never had problems with (the vanity/sink was rebuilt from where someone smashed it) started backing up. I have always had a bad feeling about the condition of the outgoing pipes but it’s definitely intensified now. And those just the ones I can remember off the top of my head.

On the animal front, LieutenantCat has had more of her personality begin to show through. She’s still a kitten for a most part (probably turns a year old in a few months). She’s doing her best to gently gain access to all of the house (FionaCat being an unhappy cat though about this newest addition makes it a bit of a challenge.) She’s working on her confidence. She’s cautiously brave and very loving. She, like FionaCat and unlike IzzyCat, utterly loves MaggieDog. Choctaw on the other hand she could care less for, but that just might because of that dog being 45 lbs and the biggest animal currently. The impending move in a few months is going to be hard on everyone.

Speaking of the move, this year I found myself with the ability to finally focus on keeping better track of our finances. Finding myself with that kind of spell slot back was a surprise albeit a welcome one. So in tracking everything I’ve learned one lesson: Allocate more than just one page in the expenses ledger for each month. Heh. Trying to explain to folks why analog works best for me… I still haven’t managed to do that in way that shut down any arguments people try to have with me about not just using spreadsheets. Besides the loose security aspect of said digital spread sheets that is…

This past first weekend of 2021 was a very weird one personally. I found myself going through a “It’s finally over and we’re onto a new year with new opportunities and chances”. There was a large amount of relief… despite having to isolate because of Covid19 exposure…again. I was constantly disassociating all weekend and just losing myself in my games. Nothing was holding my interest past a couple of hours and nothing was appealing.

I think a part of that has been an enforcement of boundaries of topics that I’m willing to see. As we all know, masks and politics have been hot topics. The amount of venom that has been present has made such increased levels of vileness out of them, that I’ve taken to banning posts on FB via FB purity. Mental hygiene, as one associate put it, seems to have been forgotten by those who want to avoid be ostracized by their supposed peers. Many of whom don’t seem to realize that their ego driven adamancy to adhering to over reaching state and mayoral mandates, is on par with Catholic church levels of persecution and religious zealotry. (No offense to my Catholic friends, but most people are going to be most familiar with that.) Religious zealotry down to the regurgitated statement/prayer of “Masks save lives.” Although most of those nattering idiots have to keep at those three words because being bothered to actually keep up with everything and about how Dr. “AIDS IS SPREAD THROUGH EVEN CAUSUAL CONTACT Fauci has been lying out his ass to everyone is far too much of an effort at integrity.

An enforcement of the boundary of “If you’re going to interact with me in person, it’s without a mask” because I like not having my PTSD activate has been one that’s been interesting to watch idiots have conniption fits over. Watching idiots lose it when it’s pointed out that over 40% of the US population has legitimate reasons to NOT or CAN’T wear masks has been even more depressing. Such temper tantrums are done by those who are privileged (and while that word is over used by a segment of idiots, it’s the only apt word currently for this.) Privileged idiots who aren’t affected by wearing a mask. Privileged idiots whose jobs weren’t impacted by the attempts to make all jobs out of the home… except for those who have to stock your food shelves at the grocery and the people whom you demanded deliver things to your doorstep…
Privileged idiots who aren’t forced to relive violent rapes or abuse. Privileged idiots who don’t have to keep an eye on their heart rates or their breathing. Privileged idiots who could hide in their homes. Whereas for folks like myself and others… we’re fucking trapped in our homes.

This has been a part of my determination to get us moved. Despite this Arizona desert reputation, I’ve managed to develop a fair amount of confidence in myself and taking control of as much of our food sources as possible that can be attained in a non rental property. Right down to the debate currently of chickens or quails first.

Between the foundation work of the last several years to get back as much of my internal mental state as possible and the outside work of exploring means to stay organized (BULLET. JOURNAL. Much love.) the idea of owning finally thrills me. Because it takes two to three layers of “Someone’s else responsibility” out of the equation. And that is going to be a huge load off of my shoulders.

Saturday Tea 12/26/20

The talks start seriously this week.

Yes that’s right my Roses, the talks to the banks to begin our process of moving in 2021 start this coming week. We’ve been working on tying as many loose ends as we could think of this year and despite it being a rough one in some ways, we’ve done okay.

My Partner, DR did roll his eyes at my comment of “If I have to live in a wall tent on the property while we’re building THEN SO BE IT!” While this house has been as good as what it’s able to be, it’s time to move on.

In doing so it does means a shift in attitude and changes in the house. Seven rooms to pack and a lot of things to sort through. Three cats to move as well and sincerely hope that they don’t kill each other (and me) during the move, even despite getting sedatives from the vet for them. The dogs will be fine.

We’ve got a multitude of resources this go round, that we didn’t know of or have a couple years the first time we looked to buy. And that’s a nice feeling. I have to admit that I wish we had a bit more of an idea for our buying budget because some of the places that would be good for us are higher than what we’ve been limiting ourselves too. Renovating is on the table so long as it’s not anything overly serious. Replacing floors, painting, fixing pipes or electrical…. those kind of things can be done by us but some of it would be better to get contractors for.

We even have the possibility of doing a new build, but the only problem I can see with that, is whether or not we’ll be able to find reputable contractors…. that aren’t slammed with work. Even if we could get it mostly up and finished out, leaving even just painting to me (which I’d like to out for posterities sake I’m very good at) would probably be doable.

Because of this it means I’m going to be having a sale over on Jade Rose Productions of inventory that I’d rather not have to worry about moving. I’m also going to be trying to use my yarns so that moving and packing up the studio becomes much easier as well. In doing so, I’m going to be working on several of my sewing projects too. I find myself looking forward to the change in scenery.

The new place won’t have a studio for me…. yet. The plan is thoroughly clean everything when packing and then leave packed until we get one of those nice 18×20 sheds/barns you can get from all the hardware mega marts like Home Depot and Lowes and finish it out with electrical and probably a deep sink and a couple of bits and bobs apart from the house. So that I can go back to making things for everyone and NOT have to worry about allergies from pets impacting this…. or at least that’s the hope.

Plus I’m adding some things. Book binding for instance, for folks who like having sketchbooks that lay flat and maybe even possibly journal binding….. if I can find a supplier for BIG sheets of paper for big journals. I have resources for small journals but…. everyone can get small journals. Having the studio be a separate work space would lovely on the “I’m at work and this is my schedule” front because then it would let me get into a groove between working and taking care of the property.

There have been several times this month that I’ve found myself having to stop and take slow deep breaths. Not because of being sick, but because my anxiety decided to spike. A lot has changed in the last two years internally and I’m still trying to figure out how to express it.

Will I miss renting?
Uh… no. Because having a damn chain of people that are responsible for my home, chafes.

Will I miss living in the city?
Not really. I’ll miss good sushi, but I know how to make it at home. I buy almost all of my craft supplies these days online so shipping delays while annoying will be something that I’m already used to.

I’m looking forward to laying the gardens…. bigger gardens. To spending more time outside because there’s no highway roar. To being able to leave the cats outside in the catio as long as they want.

I’ve got a design or two in mind for the grilling/smoking area.

Something to look forward to working on on my own home. And that my friends…. is something to smile about.

Tuesday Tidings 12/22/2020

Normally this time of year leaves people feeling reflective.

I’d say this year… that’s definitely not the case. Far too many people have been secluded for far too long this year forcing them to either deal with introspection at a level that they’ve never experienced before or attempt to induce a comatose state of some kind either through disassociation, alcohol, etc.

Most of those people will have been irrevocably changed. Many will either come out the other side stronger or at least more aware of things they’d previously ignored.

Unfortunately, it’s also that time of year when people who’ve been holding on all year lose their fights. The deepest of winter with the longest nights has never been a very kind friend to human mental conditions. Very few ever reach a point of being able to handle the darkness completely. This year, as I’ve mentioned before, will never have clear suicide statistics for future peoples to study. That number will be permanently obfuscated because the impact must be lied about…else people will be begin to see through the charade even more.

Defiance is a matter of survival at times as is stubbornness. Those can only last so long though too. There are so many people who’ve had no contact with friends for weeks who’ve begun to believe the lie their inner critic has been whispering that “see? No one even knows you’re gone….” that would probably love to hear from someone. Though for some, it’s going to be too late.

Yes, I know what I just inferred there and you need to brace yourself. Reach out where you can but you have to remember to not over stretch yourself as well. In the end, the lesson that it’s not this well-propagandized plague that was the true threat…. it was those who’d been waiting for this kind of opportunity. Waiting and biding their time. This kind of enemy…. this kind of threat against humanity has always been there. Humans, contrary to what idiots think, do not for a lack of better phrasing “Breed True.” You can have the most amazing parents, who raise you well with love and understanding and the person can still turn out to be a monster. A power hunger greedy individual who will show the world their smile but in private mocks them.

The derision that drips from their voices and posts is one I think we’ve all heard at one point or another from someone we thought we knew.

You can also have the most bootlicking subservient spineless people for parents…. who turn out to raise individuals who genuinely help the world become a better place. The full gauntlet in between of course.

There have been many stories told of those who are afraid of something insignificant causing pain and suffering to entire groups of people. Those who were afraid to go outside because a rock might dislodge and knock them on the head. Those who would rather be slaves turning in the rest of the runaways. Those who find themselves relieved to be presented with a way to get rid of their competitor just because of their beliefs….

Sound familiar?

This holiday season is capping a year of full born lessons of the dangers of bureaucrats, of political systems that have been dumbed down into parties, of the dullards who are far too soft in the goods times that proceeded. This Holiday season, we should be mindful of our friends and family because they might need us to help them find their spare candles so to speak.

Hard times are coming for all.

Is it an old hobby or a new hobby?

So recently, with the assininity of 2020 in full swing… not a great year to be working on cutting back on drinking. At all. Though the number of backslides number on one hand…. I can only imagine the suffering and pain of very alcohol dependent individuals that decided early this year to quit. …if most of them are even still alive…

Yes I know, “That was a bit dark there Evelyn….” welcome to 2020 where even the barest hint of a trace of past unresolved traumas couldn’t be escaped or mitigated properly. They’re deliberately under reporting suicide rates that have gone up. Good luck ever getting those numbers.

Even I, in all of my progress and under the realization that my 2020 paled in comparison to my 2010, still found myself dealing with a ramped up depression. I almost feel guilty for having an almost good year this year. I almost feel guilty for the magic nuke I and hundreds of thousands of others felt asked to do. Almost.

Had I known the “all true colors will be shown” aspect was going to be as brutal as it has been, I’d have worked in some gentling magic into it. Did this magic affect the world? *shrugs* Your guess is as good as mine. I just know what I cast. If it had an affect… I and you have no way of proving it.

To say nothing of the struggle I’ve been having this year just to stay on top of my hobby/job so to speak, with my crocheting. Smudging at least once a week has become a thing to keep the studio from feeling repressive despite all the sunshine I get through that southern facing window.

Here recently I’ve learned I need to put myself on extreme guard against over doing it. I’ve had to find new ways to mitigate when the scars start to tighten and ache.

It puzzles me though as to why it is that something called “junk journaling” has peaked my interest. Think a combination of scrapbooking and long form journaling (sitting down and writing out thoughts and frustrations for a time). Maybe it’s the tearing of paper to create the various collages? The re-purposing of an old cover from a big book journal like those $10 ones you can find at walmart.

Either way, it’s about the only thing that’s been appealing to work on and free up mental constrictions so I can work on something else.

The studio needs some serious love. There are at least a dozen yarn based projects I need to finish that I started this time last year. I have at least one more present to make and send for the holiday season.

It doesn’t help all the damn doom and gloom coming from everyone going “But what if 2021 says hold my beer to 2020?!” ….. then you will have set yourself up for a shittastic year from the get go. Learn to recognize when you can’t stop the outside world from affecting you…. then go about your life just to spite it. Spite in this instance, is perfectly acceptable.

I’m adding journal/sketchbook binding to the repertoire of things one can get from Jade Rose Productions (link will open in a new tab) but that won’t be a full time thing as I’ll have that as custom work or as needed by the client so I don’t over load things with unused stock/inventory.

Maybe it’s because the junk journaling you can’t just slap stuff together. You have to slow and focus a little bit else it will be a hot mess. And I’ve seen some junk journals out there that are just that. I wish I had some answers… for everything I guess.

Two More Months

I don’t even have to clarify because I’m pretty certain all of you, know exactly what I’m talking about by referencing that. For many this year has crawled by. For myself, I feel almost guilty about it having been on almost all personal fronts, a good one.

However I have to admit to looking at 2021 with trepidation. For the simple reason… our lease here at the Phoenix house is going to up and we’ll be trying to navigate moving into a home we’ve purchased. Renting has become unsustainable for us. I need to be able to deal with things that affect the roof over my head and relying on someone else to get someone out to take care of it is…. frustrating.

I can’t have the garden at the size I want. I can’t fix the chain link fence that needs it badly.

Trying to find a rental place that won’t deny us for having two cats and two dogs…. most of those place are outside of our financial means and to pursue such would incredibly stupid.

2021 will be extremely chaotic on the personal fronts. So much I feel it necessary to apologize to my friends, family and adopted tribe if I’m short or distant. I have to focus elsewhere and if I don’t, it ends badly for me.

Things are actually potentially chaotic enough, that I’ve decided against pursuing an infertility panel. Between needing to get the Rav4 back up and running (tell you that story another time) and needing to save up for a house payment, the infertility seems frivolous and something that can wait, until after Dave (DR, those are his initials ya goobs) and I are settled into a more permanent housing situation.

Here in another month, I go back in to check some bloodwork and get my right ear dealt with. The possible barotrauma from the wreck I caused back in 2011 has been getting interesting in the last couple of years.

No, I’ve not giving up wanting to have kids… but I’ve gone this long without them… I can wait another year until things have resolved themselves or been mitigated into non-problems.

When you’ve nothing to write about…

Same leftovers, different bowl, different day.

Which is slightly amusing considering today was sort through leftovers and eat or compost them day.

Currently here in Arizona, we’ve at least two wildfires going at it. Horse Fire, near an area called Crown King at last look was just now approaching 10k acres. The problem being the terrain limits most of the fire fighting to being air assets. The smoke from it has been giving us here in the Phoenix valley lovely red sunsets though tonight it seems to have picked up more.

As I made mention to a friend the other day, at this point I’d take a wall tent on a bare 200 acres even with winter coming in. Even with having to buy fire wood for that first winter.

Pine family woods take at least 2 years to cure properly and mesquite needs just as long if not longer.

I have goods in a shop! A real shop in Payson AZ. Sweet Country Charm. It feels odd but good at the same time. I’m hopeful for it to at least be worth a monthly trip up. I love the Payson area.

Who am I kidding, I don’t think there’s a spot in AZ where I haven’t found a level of beauty.

It’s just this year has been dragging on.

I made the comment the other day “and I think everyone is tired” however several thought I was making a “It” movie reference…. completely forgetting I hate horror (and that movie is horror, stfu) and no… I was being serious. I think everyone is beginning to get tired. Too tired.

Planning on some rock recon hikes for the purpose of a rock hounding expedition.

I suppose I could post up my crocheting and knitting projects too eh?

It’s just always when you feel like you should write…. but nothing has really happened that you feel is interesting enough to share.

You Can’t Stop The Signal, Mal — According To Hoyt

Evelyn’s note: I will point out, that I couldn’t reblog this directly from her post. Odd that hmm?

As most of you guys know for many years now, Glenn Reynolds, of instapundit (where I post as the “night DJ” most nights) had done a weekly column in USA Today for years. Frankly in light of a few off-putting moves over the years, the fact they still published the boss was one of the […]

You Can’t Stop The Signal, Mal — According To Hoyt