Advocating for a friend

Hi everyone –

We can’t all be JUST pagan all the time. We’re so much more than our religions, although they may certainly drive us towards certain lifestyles. As such, although this is a blog about pagan stuff, I wanted to share my friend’s endeavor with you. My friend is a scientist who’s trying to get some crowd-funding for her research project, to finish her Ph.D, and save a rare butterfly. If you can, please give her video (below) a watch, and if you’re interested, please donate. Every little bit, even just $5, can help her help these butterflies.

Brightest Blessings,

Lynn

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Happy Imbolc 2014!

Our coven actually had to reschedule due to a storm rolling in tonight, but I’m looking forward to celebrating a few weeks from now once we can all get together again.

I hope you had a wonderful Imbolc and lit a candle for Brigid, the eternal blacksmith.  Brigid has always been a favorite of mine because she turns gender roles on their heads.  As someone who views herself as sort of… genderfluid, it’s nice to get some support from the literature.

Genderfluid, by the way, is when you feel like you move easily between the two main genders.  For me, that’s definitely the case.  Sometimes, I am all woman, but other days, I dress, feel, and act like a man.

Ah well.  Enjoy your weekend!  Throw a snowball 😉

Lynn

Clack, clack go the keys…

Well, I just came back from a week and a half long, much needed vacation.  We spent five of those ten days sleeping out under the trees, swaying half drunk in hammocks all night.  I’m exaggerating, of course.  I wasn’t really that drunk.  My boyfriend however… let’s just say he fell into a ditch.

Imagine sneaking around a state park with a bunch of your mildly inebriated friends, walking down a  gravel path late at night.  Crunch, crunch.  The flashlights are off, to avoid attracting unwanted ranger attention.  They flash on occasionally, when we are unsure of where to step.

Suddenly, a crash!  All of the flashlights turn on and wave around, trying to figure out what happened.  A moan alerts us, and all flashlights go to the BF, who has somehow managed to step into the rainwater ditch off the edge of the path.  He’s fine, and we’re all dying of laughter.  He picks bits of grass and mud out of his feet.  Picks up his sunglasses, which have been either on his forehead or over his eyes the entire night.  We move on.

This particular memory will stay with me for the rest of my life.  There’s just something about a 6’6″ man falling into a ditch that leaves you in tears of laughter.

Happy Thursday!

Lynn

Why the Boston Marathon can’t stop you

I was incredibly busy this week; and saddened, yesterday, to hear about the tragedy in Boston.  Already this morning, unfortunately, I’ve seen some divisive facebook posts from, “Traditionally, the crazy people are on the far right…” to “Why is it when there’s a major tragedy everyone jumps on board to say “my prayers are with them,” but when there are everyday tragedies that aren’t picked up by the media, no one cares?”  If that doesn’t make sense… I can’t apologize, because, well, that’s what they said.  It doesn’t make too much sense to me, either.

Part of the problem with bombings, and more generally, random acts of violence, is that we can’t make sense of it.  The majority of society can’t understand the reasoning, and so, we get scared.  Maybe this latest incident will keep you from running a marathon.  I know that every time I cross campus (I work at a University), every time I go to the mall, or the grocery store… in the back of my mind sits the question, “What if today is the day that some clinically insane person is going to decide to take my life?”

I also know that there’s nothing you can do about it.  Some call it fate, some call it destiny.  Some call it (un)luck.  But the fact remains that no one, save the people who perpetrated the act of violence, will ever have prescient knowledge about pain/hurt/death in a location.  So try not to let it worry you.

I’ve always found that my old high priest’s reasoning about death is most comforting in this time.  They’ve gone home.  They suffered, yes, but they’re home now.  And thankfully, it’s only been three people (at this point) who have made that journey home.  We get to keep the rest of them for a little while longer.

I took a bit of time to come into work today.  I cuddled with my animals,  I let myself doze.  I took a moment to grab some breakfast.  I hope you did, too.  Life is short, and you should value the time that you have.  Because, unfortunately, we never know when our time is up.

This isn’t a new phenomena, and it isn’t the end of the world.  There have been violently crazy people for centuries.  The methods may have evolved (explosives over straight mutilation, for example), but the fact remains that a small percentage of the human race is determined to cause mayhem and pain.

Don’t let this deter you from running.  Or hiking.  Or shopping.  Or cycling.  Or going out.  Or living.  When fear rules your life, the psychopaths win.

Make it the best Tuesday you can, guys.

Blessed Be.

Fox News commentators making insensitive statements about Wicca

 

I wanted to share this with you guys so that you would be informed.  I don’t have too much to say about it, except that these people went out of their way to be ignorant about our faith.  I’m not sure Fox News could even be a forum where religious tolerance and education would be well received.  I’m not sure that getting up in arms about this would be helpful.  I sort of see it as a lost cause.

I welcome Fox News commentators and anyone else who is interested in learning what Wicca is to check out the 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief.

Also, I want you to know that if you’re Wiccan and/or Pagan, it is your right and privilege to ask for your holidays off from work or school.  I have done it in the past without a problem.  I believe you can pursue legal action against your employer or University for discrimination if they deny you a reasonable request for time off.  I say “reasonable” because I don’t think it’s reasonable to request 13 esbats and 8 sabbats off from work, then spend the days at home, playing video games.  If you have a special holiday ritual you want to do, then by all means, request the day off of work.  Most of the time, you probably won’t even have to tell your employer (if you don’t want to) that it’s a religious observation.

How I stopped out of control migraines

Imagine losing a quarter of your work week to a migraine.  Let’s say you go home to try and prevent it from getting worse.  You take a nap, and you wake up feeling better.  But then you can’t sleep that night.  So you’re tired the next morning, and lo and behold, by noon?  You’ve got another migraine.

Imagine this cycle going for weeks.  Years, even.

Imagine trying crazy diet, sleep, lifestyle changes.  Saying no to concerts, and amusement parks, and conferences because you’re afraid that they’ll end in misery.

This is my life.  Or rather, was.  I’ve managed to successfully reduce migraine frequency in the last week.  I know, that’s not a very long time period, and you might walk away from this blog post before I finish, thinking that I’m crazy.  But let me ask you a question:

How long has it been since you took pain medication?

And, how long have you gone between taking medications?

The answer, for me, was two or three days to about a week.  

That’s right.  I couldn’t go a whole week without popping an Imitrex, or an Excedrin Migraine.  And I bet, if you’re a migraine sufferer like I am… neither can you.

In the beginning of February, I decided to stop.  I had been pouring over websites to find a neurologist, a different doctor, so that I could find some miracle drug that would cure my pain.  And one of the forum posts I found, someone said that they went to an EXCELLENT doctor, and that doctor made all of her patients detox from pain medication before she evaluated them and prescribed new drugs.  She would offer Magnesium I.V.’s… but that’s about it.

So I called that excellent doctor and tried to get an appointment.  According to the receptionist, they were scheduling new patients 9 months from now.  And I’d need a referral.

Being stonewalled like that made me think hard.  I couldn’t live another 9 months “out of control” like this.  I’d had new symptoms, more… mental, symptoms, recently, and they scared me.  My eyes got blurry and I couldn’t read, at one point.  Oh, and I forgot a friend’s name.  Like, I checked email, a staff directory, facebook and my phone to make sure that the face and name were the person I wanted, because the name sounded… strange, to me.

And I thought about what that “EXCELLENT” rated doctor would tell me to do, and I realized that I needed to detox.

It was not fun.  I had a Thurs-Tues migraine, varying in intensity from 2-6 (on a 1-10 pain scale).  I lost a bit of time at work — thankfully, mostly afternoons.

But since that “detox” headache… I haven’t had an outright migraine.

Symptoms, yes.  But, instead of medicating, I’ve just loaded up on water and had some downtime.

I’ve found that I have an almost everpresent dull ache.  It’s “for” different things at times — sometimes, it’s because I’m constipated or under other stomach distress.  Sometimes, it’s because I’m stressed.  Sometimes, it’s because I’ve had poor posture and I’m getting a sore neck or tension headache.

But the dull ache isn’t the end-all beginning to the migraine anymore.  When my body was addicted to pain killers… it was.  If I had a dull ache and ignored it or didn’t go home immediately… nine times out of ten it turned into a migraine.

I’m not saying that I’ll never take the drugs again.  I’m traveling next week (sorry, friends!) and I’ll probably be popping Excedrin Migraine like candy during the 12 hour a day conference I’m going to.  But, I’ll certainly try “downtime,” first.  I’ll try hydrating, or using my glasses, or stretching.

I think that, when you remove the option of drugs from the pool of treatment ideas… your migraines can become more manageable.  Mine have.

 

Brightest blessings to you guys.  As I said, I’ll be away for a week, and I’ll have minimal access to the interwebs.  So, expect a post from me in March.

Imbolc is coming, Imbolc is coming!

This post will probably have nothing to do with Imbolc… that’s just what popped into my head when I was staring at the blank page.  I logged in fearful that I hadn’t written in a week; but it turns out I wrote just a few days ago.  So yay me!

The day after my last blog post, I started adding some carbs into my diet to try and stimulate my appetite.  It worked, mostly. Couldn’t tell you what, exactly, I put in — I think some sugar based chocolate products.  But, I ate a few more carbs and life was good again.

This morning… well, afternoon, I sat down for breakfast (or at least, the breaking of my fast), to a nice meal of roasted chicken and canned green beans.  Yum!  I don’t know what made me think of the green beans, but they were delicious.

I can’t say my migraines have been… nice to me, this week.  I had a migraine, the beginnings, or the endings of one on each day of the week except Friday.  I think that Tues/Weds migraines were due to a stir fry I had from our student union.  I don’t know what was in the sauce, but I think it was the sauce.

Anyway, this blog post has been “open” for about two hours.  I went to a concert last night, then we stayed up watching TV when we got home, and got up around noon.  It was a great evening.  We went out to eat beforehand, and I managed to stay gluten free.  And not get a migraine.  Which, well, both are miracles.

Also, I got invited to celebrate Imbolc with the coven I’ve been interacting with.  I’m really, really excited about it!  Like, can’t wait.  Our celebration is next Saturday.

As a sort of “what I’ve been doing in my free time” summary, here it is:

I’ve been working hard at work — planting plants, writing grants.  I’ve been intermittently proofreading my November novel, with hopes to finish editing and get it out there by June.  I’ve also been working on a non-fiction book, tentatively called “Weight Loss And Goal Setting In Wicca.”  I’ll probably drop the “goal setting” and advertise it as a weight loss book, but honestly, it’s about goal setting.  I’ve also kept up with my “song a week” goal for the song writing competition that I’m in.  Next week’s “prompt” is “lovestruck.”

I’ll try to get a few recipes and maybe a sample chapter or idea, or reflections on the upcoming holiday, out to you this week. First, we need to go grocery shopping.  And I need to finish waking up.

Lots of love!

Lynn