Sunday, December 29, 2013

Rolling with the punches ~ Part 2

So, I said sometimes you just have to roll with the punches, right?  They're still rolling our way apparently. It's ok, and everything is under control, but there was a little moment when I wondered "how are we gonna get through it this time??".

The answer to that one, of course, is with as much grace as humanly possible, and I think we accomplished that.

NEW MEXICO 2006 RECREATIONAL VEHICLE plate (Photo credit: woody1778a)
Roommate has decided to move her boyfriend in, and for various reasons that I won't go into here, we have chosen to go ahead and bump up plans to fast-forward.  I'm going today to talk to the people we're buying the RV from about letting us get it livable and moving it up to a campsite in about a month instead of March. I think they'll agree since we'll most likely be moving it to exactly the place they used to live in it at, lol!

So, the full-time RV living is going to happen a little faster than we had planned, but that's ok.  It is what we ultimately wanted, so we're looking at it from a positive perspective.

Perspective is one of the things I'm going to be working on in the new year.  I have a tendency to be a bit of a hot-head at times.  Things hit me the way they hit me, and usually after I have time to calm down and think clearly, I'm able to work my way around it.  I need to try to learn to take time to think before I react because even though I'm a firm believer in instincts and gut-reactions, I'm mature enough to admit that my initial reaction is not always the right one.  Sometimes when you take the time to shift a problem around and look at it from all perspectives, your opinions change.

Have you ever reacted badly to a situation in the heat of the moment and later changed how you felt about it?

I'd love to hear from you!  Leave a message in the comments section below!


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Saturday, December 28, 2013

News From the Lair ~ Gearing up for the new year

I saw on Facebook this morning that there will be a New Moon on January 1, 2014.  Apparently this hasn't happened in a long time and most likely won't happen again for a while.

Of course, the Pagan community will be all a flutter over this (it's already starting), and for once, I think I may end up joining in on the excitement and planning.

I really think a clean slate is what I have needed for years.  The last few years have been particularly unpleasant, but I have managed to somehow work my way through them.  I have tried to see every situation as a learning experience, I have learned (a little better anyway) how to enjoy life's moments a little more than I once did, and not to stand around taking crap from anyone, no matter what they (or I) think I owe them.

English: New Year's Resolutions postcard
English: New Year's Resolutions postcard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
2013 did offer a few good things, but they are things I think I was preparing for 2014 with.  2013 saw Witchlet become pregnant, a thing none of us ever thought would happen due to a bad infection she had at 18 and our first grandchild is due the day after my birthday in 2014.

I became ordained this year, but I am still going to school to receive the title of Priestess before I really do much with it.  I won't receive that title in 2014, but I know this coming year will be filled with school.

I renamed, re-branded, and am in the process of reopening the business I inherited from The Puppet Master when she passed away 2 years ago and for once, I feel hopeful and optimistic about it.  The official reopening is scheduled for January 1st and now that I know about the New Moon on that day, I feel even more excited about the opening.

I have been asked over the years that I have been blogging, about New Year's Resolutions.  In truth, a lot of Pagans, including us, celebrate the New Year more on Samhain than on January 1st, but either way, I have mostly stopped making "Resolutions".

Sure, I have "wishes" for what the new year will bring, but I don't sit down and make a bunch of promises to myself about what I will and won't do in the new year.  The reason for that is multiple, but it basically boils down to the simple fact that I found that making Resolutions was rather depressing for me.  Most people make Resolutions along the lines of "I will work out 3 times a week this year" or "I will finally drop that last 10 pounds" or "I resolve to quit smoking this year".  I have found that those types of "Resolutions" often fall flat before February 1st rolls around and I end up feeling like I failed myself.

Instead, I use Samhain as a kind of banishing.  I try to resolve problems and let go of the past at my Samhain ritual, generally by burning scraps of paper with what I am banishing or releasing on them in my Samhain fire and then I feel better with ideas like "I will try to communicate with the people I care about more clearly" or "I will try to find balance in (insert area of life needing balance the most here) aspect of my life".

I know already that if I eat properly, dropping 10 pounds won't be that hard and if I get off my butt and move around, exercise will come naturally.  Chances are, if I haven't already been doing something, then the "New Year's Resolutions" isn't going to make me.

So, as I prepare to face 2014, I have a clear idea of the kinds of energies I'd like to focus on in my life and I have set in motion a few things that I hope to cultivate in my personal life.

Regardless of if you make Resolutions or not, I hope that 2014 brings you all of the best things in life and I look forward to getting to know my community a little better and seeing where the year takes us!


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Thursday, December 26, 2013

How to Clean with Food From the Food Network Kitchens!

Saw this video on You Tube tonight and thought it was definitely worth sharing!

Personally, I've used salt and ice to clean a coffee pot that had coffee burned into the bottom of it ~ old waitress tip ~ (little known fact, I spent over 20 years as a career waitress).

What tips do you have for cleaning with food?

Fae Moon

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Roll with the punches

We just never really know what may be around the next corner, and sometimes, even when we think we have things all figured out, we realize that we don't.

Our holiday visit to Tiger's brought exactly this situation.

English: Jayco slide out kitchen area
English: Jayco slide out kitchen area (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Naturally, we didn't think our family would be overjoyed about our plans to travel extensively, but what we didn't know was that Bear had already talked to his job about getting Draco hired on.  I'm still not certain why he did that in December, when we weren't planning to do anything until February-March, but he did, and what was done was done.  Tiger informed us shortly after we arrived that Bear was very upset that if Draco decided not to take the job, that it might make him look bad at work, and I can understand why.  We discussed the situation and decided to split the difference between our original plan and the new plan.

We are still buying the RV, still intending to live in it full-time, but we will be settling down close to where Bear and Tiger live and Draco will try for job welding with Bear and we will travel when Draco gets vacation time.

I'm really not as upset about this most recent change in plans as I feel I should be.

It's true, I was excited about living a more carefree life and seeing the world, but I suppose as I've gotten older, my ability to roll with the punches life sends me has improved.  It's probably a good thing, because the last few months has felt like a damn roller coaster!

Honestly, I was also looking forward to finally being closer to my sister and the rest of my family and it was a sacrifice.  One I was willing to make for Draco, but still a sacrifice.

Honestly though, he seems to be content with the idea and as long as he is happy, I will be happy as well.

So, Draco spent part of the holidays parked in front of Tiger's computer (we didn't take one with us), daydreaming about future RV upgrades, and even found us a few we both liked that were fairly reasonable.  Looks like once we get this RV set up and ready to go, we'll be saving our asses off to upgrade to something nicer, and bigger!

In other news, Christmas with family was a smashing success and we had a blast!  Even though I'm sure most, if not all, of our Christmas was bought before we decided to buy the RV, most of our gifts will be perfect for the new place!  I'm so excited to get it paid for and all set up!

Of course, it will be a little bit of an adjustment going into such a small space, but honestly, we've been traveling light for about 4 years now, so we really don't have a whole lot.  Most of our possessions seem to be in the form of craft supplies, and that's only going to get worse, lol!

Well, I think that about catches things up for now other than our roommate had her phone stolen last night at work.  Hopefully she'll come home with a replacement phone since she's gone to the police department to file a report and on to her phone company to report it stolen.


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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Finding inspiration

English: A pair of recreational vehicles for s...
English: A pair of recreational vehicles for sale by owner displayed on North Roxboro Street in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This morning, I Googled "is full time RV living for you" and in my search, a website popped up called Homestead Living - Little House Living.  I've been at this lady's site all day looking around and reading about her journey.

Somehow I knew that there was more to this whole RV living thing than simply moving in and propping up our feet.  Turns out, I was right.  Full time RV living is a lifestyle, one that full-timers seem to take pretty seriously.

I must admit, my concerns about things like storage have gone up since reading her blog.  Granted, they were RV-ing with a small child, and we won't be, but as I look around my room here at my roommate's house, I can see, now more than ever, how "stuff oriented" Draco and I have become - and how much of it is utterly useless.

I'm still reading her site, and still trying to get it straight in my mind that I will be able to do the things I wanted to do and still live this life that I have thought about for years.

There are a lot of different things to take into consideration, such as it will just be the two of us, and it sounds like we will mostly be stationary (Draco has a potential job waiting on him after we get the camper and we've found a site that seems like it will fit our needs).  Those things will make it a little easier to have that lifestyle, but we will still be looking at space as an ongoing issue.

For instance, the frugal life appeals to me in all ways except giving up eating out.  That is my one small weakness in life and I don't see that changing, but I have given thought to other ways to cut our costs, such as making a lot of other stuff homemade/handmade, canning, etc.

I know that there has to be a way to combine RV living (which honestly seems like a necessity if we are ever going to have anything to amount to anything) and having the other things in life I want.

The blog I've been reading has really inspired me to think about these things and to try to find a way to do it.  Surely there is someone out there that has had the kind of life I want and figured it out already...and if not, then I guess I might have to be the one to figure it out for the rest of the world!

Have you ever found yourself wanting a lifestyle so different from the one you have that you don't know where to begin?  How did you manage it?
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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

RV Living

I mentioned yesterday that Draco and I were looking into buying an RV.  It would seem that we may have found the one we'll end up with.  Chicklet has a best friend that found themselves in possession of one during a hard time in their lives last summer.  They have a 25 foot pull-behind camper and now that they have moved past that hard time, they have had the camper sitting in their front yard for several months gathering dust and leaves.

I messaged her yesterday (we're also Facebook friends via our connection with Chicklet) and asked her, on the off chance, if they had any intention of selling the RV.  Turns out they do, and they're only looking at getting a grand out of it.

After talking to my Aunt, who is a landlord and has owned several campers herself, she told me that even if we had to completely gut and remodel the RV to suit us, that we weren't going to find a 25 foot camper for that price anywhere else and it was her opinion that if we were going to purchase one, that we jump on that deal.  A phone call gave me a heads up on what all she knows is wrong with it (there were some things they just never used, like the stove or heating system) and pretty much sealed the deal that we will be buying it.

Last night, I got on Google and found a really nice RV park that's only about 20 minutes from where Tiger lives, which means it's about 20 minutes from the job we are hoping Draco will be getting as well.  Considering his job now is about 20 minutes from where we currently live, I'd say that's not too bad.

The site will cost us about $300/month with metered utilities, but with a camper that runs on propane for most things, and it just being the 2 of us, I don't see the power getting that bad.  Internet is $10/month and accessible from every site and there is a $50 deposit on the power, paid to the park itself.  They even have laundry facilities, although Tiger has a washer and dryer I could use, so I don't see needing that service.  They even offer a propane fill service.  You put your tank by the road, they pick it up, fill it, and bring it back to you. 

So, our bills there will actually stay around what we are paying here, but with more income to pay them, and the job won't be weather conditional.

Honestly, I'm looking forward to this in a lot of ways.  RV's have their own maintenance, but we'd be looking at that if we were buying a house or a mobile home, and honestly, I think it'll be a lot less maintenance in the long run.  I know that it'll be a lot of work in the beginning, but even if we decided later to do something else, this is something that will belong to us, that no one will ever be able to take away from us.

Witchlet, early pregnancy photo
Baby Bump 1 (Photo credit: faemoon)
I mentioned this morning that we could always hitch it up and bring it down here for the weekend if we wanted to and Draco said no.  He said that when we come down, it'll either be for the day, or whoever wants us to stay can give us somewhere to stay while we're here.  Otherwise, we'll go home.  He said that our kids are grown and living their own lives, making their own choices, that don't have anything to do with us.  That is as it should be, but he said that now that they are, it's time for us to do the same.

He's right, and I know it.  We have lived our entire relationship for our kids.  Everything we've ever done has first had to pass thorough the filter of how it was going to effect our kids.  That was as it should be at the time, but that time has passed.

The truth is, he's 40 and I'm heading closer and closer to it.  We've never really lived just for us.

I look at Witchlet and her life and there are so many things she's doing right now that I wish were different, but the truth is, she's grown now and I can't control her life or the choices she makes.  I will always love her and I will always be there for her to call me if she needs a shoulder, but she is going to have to learn to live with the choices she's making, for good or bad.

I feel like I have spent 20 years competing with my ex's family, especially his mother.  Her relationship with Witchlet is toxic, and always has been, and I've expressed my concerns to Witchlet over and over, including my concerns where Little Witchlet is concerned, but she's not hearing me.  Again, I suppose this is a lesson she's going to have to learn the hard way.

I know that for myself, I can't deal with them any longer and with the upcoming birth of Little Witchlet, and Witchlet's inability to remove them from her life, that it's going to be the same thing all over again with the baby.  I thought if I came back here that maybe I could be there for Witchlet in some way that I wasn't before and she wouldn't feel the need for them anymore, but that's not how things have gone.  No matter what I've done, or how much I've done, she still goes over there everyday.  I can't stop her and it's time I stopped trying.

I suppose every parent goes through something like this.  Even as adults, we want to protect our children, especially from the things that hurt us when we were raising them, but the truth is, Witchlet is going to make her choices and there's nothing I can do.

In other news, Spirit nearly broke my arm last night.  She has a thing for my roommate's cats and she tried to dart after them with me holding her leash and it caused my arm to hit the porch post and almost snapped it at the elbow.  I've got more use of it so far today than I thought I would, but it sore and it hurts, so I'm going to call this one a day and go.  I have 3 days worth of meditation journaling I have to do for school and life has been so busy that I even let last night's full moon get away from me.

Fae Moon
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Monday, December 16, 2013

School, Ordination and the pursuit of domestic bliss

So I found a place online called Universal Life Church.  They are non-denominational and they offer immediate online ordination.  I decided to go ahead and get ordained through them.

I also started taking classes at a different school, called The Magical Circle School, that offers a degree program.

I am undecided about what I'm going to do about my witch-school classes.  I'm still enrolled there as a basic free student, but I really like this other school.  I'm not sure what I want to do.  I don't know if I can pull off both schools at the same time or not.  I've been trying to decide.

I do know that whatever classes I take, where ever I take them, I think I'm going to be talking them some here on my blog.  MCS offers a student blog, and there will be things I'm required to journal there, but to me, that journal feels more like the notebooks I had to keep for specific classes in school where you turned in the entire notebook for a grade and that makes me feel a little more formal with it than I am here.  I think having an outlet to talk about what I'm learning will be a good thing, that will ultimately help me to grow even more in my studies.

Also, there has been major changes on the domestic front.  We seem to have inherited a dog that was left her by our roommate's boyfriend when he moved out the last time.  Her name is Spirit and she is a Catahoola Leopard Dog.  She is around a year old, but has never been trained, so we've really been working with her hard to establish ourselves as pack leaders and get her to follow basic commands.

I have to admit, she's been more of a challenge to train that what I'm used to.  She is responding to "sit" and "lay down" but that's about it for now.  The good news is, her time outside seems to have her mostly housebroken on her own and she is a very loving girl.  Her favorite thing to do is to curl up with you for snuggles and love.

Jayco 1006 Pop-up Camper Trailer
Jayco 1006 Pop-up Camper Trailer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We have also decided, due to a combination of reasons, to move closer to Tiger and Bear after taxes.  We had been thinking of trying to rent a place close to them, but today Draco mentioned something I hadn't thought about since last summer.

His boss is talking about selling  his camper again.  I'm thinking how perfect that would be!  There are a number of camp sites close to Tiger's house.  There would be no big deposits to worry about, most of the camp grounds are pet-friendly and come with all the utilities included and even though my home would be highly would still be my home and I could fix it up however I wanted!  I'm so excited about this idea again that I could bust!

I mean seriously, Draco and I can't have 2-legged kids anymore.  Witchlet was our one and only and she's 20 and pregnant with my first grandchild now and out on her own.  What do we need a huge place to have to clean for?  All the furniture usually comes with them (and is bolted to the floor lol).  All we'd have to really worry about a lot is where to put our altar and getting like maybe a TV and microwave for it.  Beyond that...they have heat and A/C in them already and we don't have a lot of stuff, so I think it'd be perfect!  Besides, we'd be on the lake pretty much all the time, which Draco and I would both love for our own reasons!

Can you say year-round vacation??

OK, that's it for me today.  I've got so much on my mind now that I don't know what to do with it all!

Fae Moon
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Saturday, December 7, 2013


Thanksgiving Dinner
Thanksgiving Dinner (Photo credit: chuckwaters83)
I see it's been a little over a month since the last time I posted here.  I figured I better get to work on changing that.

I'm still having time-management issues.  I discussed with Draco this morning how overwhelmed I often feel and he says he's going to start helping more.

I changed schools, kind of spur-of-the-moment last week.  I think I like the one I'm using now a lot better.  I'll let you know how I feel as time goes on.  I started going to the Magical Circle School and I'm actually really excited about it.  I like the way the school is put together a lot better than the other one.

I did get ordained the first part of the week as a non-denominational minister (Reverend) and I've been pretty excited about getting that part of things done.  I will still be moving through the degree program with the school I joined this week, but that is a process that will take years to complete.

I managed to pull off a Thanksgiving dinner for 12 on the spur of the moment and we have our dinner with the kids planned for the 21st, which gives me 2 weeks to pull that one together.

The holidays will be a little skimpy this year, but it's a rough year financially and I think Draco and I have developed a better game-plan for pulling them off next year.

Things have been stressful, but we're managing to maneuver our way through the holidays.

How are you surviving the holidays?

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Life Choices

So today, I saw this picture posted by KARMA: What Goes Around Comes Around and it really made me think.  I mean, doesn't it seem profoundly true in so many ways?  How many times have you thought you had it all worked out and suddenly realized that although you thought you had it all worked out, suddenly the answer didn't seem to make sense anymore?

I know I seem to have had a heaping dose of that lately myself.

In truth, I think it's just that I'm in an uncomfortable place in my life right now.  All the news I received from the hospital while I was sick, although it was information that I needed to have, it left me in a bit of a predicament.

You see, although I felt largely unfulfilled some days, I wasn't really what I would call unhappy with my life.  I had my bad habits like everyone else (smoking and drinking way too much caffeine), but I reasoned those away with how I could definitely have much worse habits ("I's not like I'm a real drug addict or anything...").

My time at the hospital told me that no matter how I tried to make my habits seem reasonable, that they were still killing me.

English: Caffeine Free Coca-Cola
English: Caffeine Free Coca-Cola (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Since leaving the hospital, I've almost completely given up caffeine, something I honestly never thought I'd do.  My life is fueled on coffee and giving it up has been hard.  I haven't completely quit, but I have been considering buying some decaf instant and seeing if I can fool myself with it the same way I have with Caffeine-free soda.

The other thing is that in replacement of all the caffeine-rich drinks I was having, I've switched over to drinking juice some.  Me, drinking juice...those that know me personally could tell you that's something they never thought they'd see.

The next thing is smoking.  For the last 2 days, I've been trying to smoke some on an e-cigarette and cut back on how many real cigarettes I'm smoking.  Draco and I have spent the morning looking over various websites and brands, comparing prices for starter kits and refills.  I'm very curious about the flavored ones.  I have found a site that carries coffee, vanilla and cherry (well, they carry more than that, but those are the ones I'm looking at).  I thought about contacting them and asking them if they'd let me do a product review, but I really don't have enough traffic here to interest anyone for something like that.

I think we finally settled on the Victory Electronic Cigarette.  The tobacco store close to our house has the starter kits for $25 and Draco and I are both considering getting one.

At first, he wasn't going to quit smoking with me, but after we talked last night, I think he's changed his mind and is looking forward to giving it a try himself.  I'm really excited about the coffee flavored one.

This week, I'm also going to some decaf coffee.  See if I can make my brain believe it's getting what it wants without the added crap that will put me on dialysis for the rest of my life.

OK, so I'm having to use some little tricks and lies on myself.  I'm sure there are those out there that say it's just as wrong as bribing a child to get it to do what you want it to do, but I say it's more along the lines of positive reinforcement...and besides, if caffeine and smoking are really so bad for me (and I believe they are), who gives a crap how I have to go about getting off of them, just so long as I do?

Have you had to detox bad habits from your life?  What did you give up and how?


Fae Moon

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Saturday, November 2, 2013


So, I haven't posted at this blog since May, right before my mom's birthday and I haven't posted over at the Wordpress blog in a week or two either.  I had thought that once again, I was done blogging.  I told myself I just don't have time to be a blogger, and really I don't, but...I still have a desire to write.  Not for the masses, but for myself.  For my husband, daughter and granddaughter.  For my Chicklet.  For the day when I'm gone and people want to feel some kind of connection to me.

See, since I've been gone from blogging, I almost died twice.  I got pneumonia about 3 weeks ago now and my right lung nearly collapsed.  Not a good thing when you have severe asthma.  They admitted me to the hospital and told me it almost killed me.  That I was literally drowning in mucus in my lung and had I waited much longer to go to the emergency room, and my lung had collapsed...well, lets just say that with asthma, that would have been very bad and I might not have had time to get to the emergency room before I stopped breathing completely.

Then, as part of the treatment for the pneumonia, they prescribed me steroids.  Apparently I had a bad reaction to them because I started having heart palpitations and my blood pressure skyrocketed a week to the day after I'd been admitted for pneumonia.  They said I nearly blew a valve in my heart and if I had done that, I could have been dead before I even hit the floor with a massive heart attack.

So, I've been thinking a lot about "when I'm gone" lately.  I've been thinking about all the times since my mom passed so unexpectedly, that I wished there was a way I could hear her voice one more time.  That I wished I could talk to her once more.

Well, blogging won't really help for hearing my voice, but in some ways, it might, because I write in my voice and my kids know it.  I write the way I talk, or at least I try to, so maybe one day when I'm gone, one of my kids or Draco will get to missing me and they'll remember..."Hey, she was a blogger...I think I'll go read some of her old posts and feel close to her again".

With that said, if one of my husband, kids (or grand kids) is reading this, and I am gone, know that I love you and that I'm doing this for you and that even now, I'm thinking of you all as I write this.

So, I will be writing.  I'm not going to set the blog to private and make them jump through a bunch of hoops with passwords and all that mess, but what I write, I'll be writing for myself, and for them.  Not for the masses.  If others want to read my words, that's awesome, but if not, that's OK too because I'm writing for them.  They are my world.  They are my everything.  They are all that has ever really mattered to me and everything I've ever done, in some way, I've done for them.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Learning To Let Go

The truth is, letting go is never easy for most people, be it a person, job, situation, habit, furbaby, or anything else. This post is not about teaching you how to let go, or even how to make it hurt less, it is simply my own realizations and experiences from a life that had seemed filled with letting go.

I think most people learn about letting go at a young age with either the passing of a family member or family pet.

The very first experience I had with it, that I remember, was my great uncle when I was 4.

He was severely diabetic and I barely remember brief periods when it wasn't obvious, even to a child, that something was wrong with him. Of course, I didn't understand what being diabetic was back then, I only knew the man I loved and called "Papa", that was like a father to me, was sick and had to go away a lot. I understand now that he was in and out of the hospital a lot, but I didn't understand that then.

His death, and learning what death was, was my first experience with having to let go.

The next time was my beloved cat, Baby. As loyal as any dog, and just as smart, she was my first dance with being a fur-mom.

Given to me as a dying runt when I was around seven, baby went on to have numerous litters of her own, making me a "child grand-ma" many times over.

When I was about eight or nine, she tried to run across the road with a bob-tailed semi coming and he never even tapped his breaks. She died in my arms in the backyard, too broken for the vet to fix her.

My cousin, friends, and I gave her a proper burial in the backyard and years later I could often still be seen sitting alone by her grave, crying quietly as I told her how very much I missed her and struggled to let go.

Death is, of course, a part of life, and since then I've seen death claim more than it's share, including furbabies, a few friends, my beloved Daddy Teddy Bear, The Puppet Master and many family members, including the cousin that was like a brother to me, that had attended Baby's funeral. We were only 30 when a motorcycle accident claimed him and I still miss him.

Death is only one form of letting go though. Death, at least, gives you no choice. Other forms of letting go are not so clean-cut, like the relationship you didn't want to end, but they did -- and then you run into them with someone new, or the family or friend you cared deeply for that had become poison and you had to walk away.

Sometimes, we have to let go when we really don't want to, knowing it's for the best for one or more of the people involved, and personally, I think the pain involved in that one ranks right up there with the pain of death.

I know when I lost Step-Dad due to circumstances I couldn't control, it hit me just as hard as losing The Puppet Master had earlier that year.

Recently, I had to let Dragonfly go. It was one of those tough-love moments every parent prays never happens to them. Deep-down, I pray it doesn't have to be permanent because I love my child, but sometimes, you just have to make a stand and make them figure out life on their own.

The pain of making that decision had been weighing on me for months and when I said it to her, the pain slammed into me like a freight train with no breaks. It laid my heart bare and left me bleeding on the inside. A pain I'm still struggling to find balance under.

During all this, two people close to my heart have laid beloved fur-babies to rest and I have done what I could to help them heal while struggling with my own pain.

Although I know time does not truly heal all wounds, I do know that time will help make the pain more bearable for all of our losses.

Meanwhile, I struggle to find my equilibrium in a world full of limbo and letting go peppered with the humor I have to find in life to save my sanity while I do what we all do, and try to learn to let go.

Blessings from The Lair,


Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Beltane is a fertility and fire festival, also known as May Day.

There are many ways, both as groups and as solitaires, to honor this holiday.

If you happen to have children you'd like to include in a ritual, this one from might be a good starting point : Hold a Family Abundance Rite for Beltane.

If, on the other hand, you're solitaires and perhaps empty-nesters, like Draco and I, you could do something more elaborate, or more simple.

Draco and I don't tend to have a lot of time to do things, so setting up elaborate rituals is almost always a frustrating experience for us, so we tend to celebrate in more mundane ways. Here's an idea of what the holiday will be like at The Lair.

Naturally, Draco has already heard that they will most likely be working late today (of course). Things like this almost always seem to happen on our holidays.

I have already showered and done a cleansing ritual for myself and have put on a very vibrantly colored shirt to honor the coming colors of spring. He will do his when he gets home.

I will spend my day cleaning and taking care of my plants. I do have seeds I'd intended to plant today, but of course, I forgot to buy pots and dirt, so that will have to wait.

In honor of financial fertility, I intend to do at least a little work on my business, Dragon's Lair Crafts.

Tonight, since we can't have a bonfire where we live, I will light candles all over the house, burn some of our favorite incense, and dinner will be eaten at the table where I have already placed some of my house-plants. Conversation well be about our hopes and dreams for our future as a couple and what things we would like to see grow between us.

I will have some small pieces of paper on hand where we can write our wishes and after dinner, we will burn them in my mini-cauldron that sits on my alter. Tomorrow, I will offer the ashes to the universe and The Fates.

Since we do live alone, all of this will be followed by some intimate time between us as we celebrate our own sex rite and the energy will be offered to the universe to help fertilize our wishes.

Afterwards, we will enjoy cake and tea (since I also forgot to buy a bottle of wine) while we ground our energies.

That's it. Tomorrow I will offer the ashes of our wishes and do some more cleaning, including a complete smudging of the house.

In Paganism, especially if you are solitary, it doesn't have to be elaborate or fancy, and you don't even need a lot of tools. You and your intention are your greatest tool!

I wish you all a very blessed Beltane from The Lair!


Monday, April 29, 2013

Sharing Grief

Last night was rough. I spent the end of my evening helping my sister-cousin, Tiger, try to wade through the over-whelming grief and anger that comes with loosing a fur-child.

Although little Noel's life was peppered with health issues that the vet could not identify, we all believed that she was trying to get better. She had not been feeling well the last few days, but that was not uncommon. Her health tended to see-saw so much that we had all come to accept it as part of her life. Not knowing what was wrong with her gave us all a false sense of hope that, one day, she might recover and live a normal life.

Even with her health issues, her passing last night seemed so sudden and unexpected to us all, but especially to Tiger.

Tiger was wracked with the grief and guilt that only a fur-mom can know and I know from my own experiences with loosing fur-kids, that there really isn't anything anyone can say or do to lessen the hold grief wraps around your heart like a vice.  All I could do was try to hold my own grief in check and be a comforting voice on the other end of a too far away phone call.

My heart ached as I listened to one of the most important people in my life try to give voice to the pain that consumed her. My Tiger, so strong, yet with the unbridled heart of a child when it comes to what she loves and values.

As an empath, feeling the emotions of others is something I struggle to avoid most days, but with Tiger, as with Draco and Witchlet, those boundaries do not exist. I have no walls to separate me from them because I refuse to allow them.

Being 2 hours away on a work night, I could not offer her the small comfort my presence may have given her. I could not reach her to hold her with my arms, so I held her the only way I could -- with my heart.

As I let her grief and pain wash over my soul, I knew I was giving her a gift only I could offer her, sharing her grief. Her pain became my pain, her heart to my heart. A bond I share with precious few. I could almost feel our souls connect over the miles that separated us.

I know that this small act on my part did not, and cannot, lessen her pain. Nothing can.

They say that time heals all wounds, but that is not true. I still ache to hold my lost fur-children. My heart is still littered with raw spots that their passings have left, like tiny paw-prints on my heart. I know that the loss of Noel will leave those tiny paw-prints on Tiger's heart as well.

While my gift last night cannot take away her pain, I hope that it at least made the darkness she wandered in a little less lonely, a little less frightening because I know the darkness that grief can cast on your soul. I know the devastation of loss.

Sometimes, there are no words we can offer to those in pain. People often try to fill the silence with empty words and platitudes. Their intentions are good, but sometimes the only thing we truly have to offer another in their moments of grief is our heart and someone to share the pain.

While Tiger made the trip to lay her fur-child to rest, I laid my head in Draco's lap and tried to release my own grief. I had gotten attached to Noel over the many weekends we've spent at their house and looked on her and her fur-sister, Raven, as my nieces. They are Tiger's children in her heart and could be no less in mine.

As I once again light candles this morning, I am grateful that our little Noel no longer feels the pain her body suffered and I hope the light from her candle will lead her safely on to The Rainbow Bridge where she will wait with Tiger's other lost fur-children until they are reunited once more.

I will also light candles for Tiger for the strength she will need in the coming days as she struggles to deal with her loss, for strength for Bear as he tries to offer what comfort he can to the woman he loves as he deals with his own loss. For Aunt Hippy and Uncle Boomhower, who rushed to her side to offer what comfort they could and for myself and Draco while we try to help in whatever ways we can.

My candles are but small dots of light in the darkness Noel's passing has left, but they are lights just the same and I believe with all my heart that Noel can see those lights and knows that we are grieving and that in our grief, she was loved.

Rest easy now, Miss Noel, your family loves you.

With love,


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What connects me

I just read this thought-provoking post (link below), that asks what connects us.

I've been answering a lot of questions about my path lately to Tiger who is very eager to understand the passion I have for my spirituality, so I thought I'd address my thoughts on this topic here.

I'm finding joy in my life in being present in the moments life gives me, both alone and with the people who matter in my life. I do have a time I consider sacred, though, when I feel particularly grounded and connected and it's this time I'd like to share with you.

In the mornings, either before Draco gets up or after I take him to work, I make a cup of coffee that I take care to be precise with. I set it aside to begin cooling as I make my way to the ancestor shrine I've recently set up where I spend a few moments with Teddy Bear's photograph. Sometimes I just admire the quiet strength that shines from his photo, other times I talk to him for a few moments. Either way, he has my undivided attention during those moments as I give myself over to the feelings of being loved and protected that he always seemed to exude. Then, I spend a few moments with the photos of my living family and in giving thanks for the love and protection they continue to offer me. Again, this task has my undivided attention as I'm reminded how blessed I truly am that these people love me so unconditionally.

From there, I move to the family altar Draco and I share where I greet the day, ask for strength and receive any guidance the gods have to offer. This is a type of light trance for me. I ask for the blessings and safe-keeping of my loved ones, guidance for the lost, understanding for the confused, balance for those who cannot seem to find it and for those I love to never again feel a moments doubt about my feelings for them. I even say a few words for our way-ward third and offer my hopes to the winds of change and the Fates that she one day finds her way home.

Once I'm done, I sit at my kitchen table and focus on that cup of coffee. The temperature, the flavor, the way it feels in my mouth, the reflexive muscles that carry the caffeine I need so much to the rest of my body, the heat of the cup as it transfers to my hands, small imperfections in the surface of the cup --everything.

In these early-morning moments, I am present and connected with myself, my life, my path, and my gods. I am connected fully to my home and the people who make my life what it is. I am connected to nature as I listen to the chatter of the birds and watch the squirrels dance across the yard while the wind gently rocks the trees. These are the moments that connect me in all the ways that matter.

What are the things that connect you?



Post inspired by:
"The Altar of Your Life"

Sunday, April 21, 2013

News from The Lair 4-21-13

We have just returned from another lovely weekend at Tiger & Bear's house where there always seems to be laughter and love, in abundance.

Friday night, we all stood around the kitchen island and got insanely wasted while we discussed everything from religion to breakfast foods after dining on the best sub I've ever had.

Saturday, Aunt Hippy & Uncle Boomhower came and helped us celebrate Draco's impending 40th birthday (tomorrow) while we chowed down on Tiger's fantastic cooking. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, gravy, Aunt H's amazing deviled eggs, cornbread (with and without cracklins), pink salad (Draco's specialty) and divine from-scratch German chocolate cake. Oh.My.Goddess!

Today was full of last-minute packing, teary eyes, long hugs and a two hour drive back to where we stay through the week after being served one of my favorite breakfast foods in the world, along with biscuits and gravy. I'm not sure what to call it, but it involves potatoes, cheese, onions and is heavenly with ranch dressing!

They say home is where your heart is, and our hearts are two hours away, so it's getting harder and harder to call this place "home".

We talked on the ride back and we both agree that we're living weekend to weekend now. Home is where they are, to us.

Draco, as I mentioned, celebrates the big 4-0 tomorrow, but most of his day will be spent at work. It's a bummer, but for us to pay our bills and still go to Tiger & Bear's on the weekends, we need full checks.

Now, we're back. I'm getting a good soak in while I write and Draco is on his X-Box. The weekly grind begins again tomorrow but our day is done today. All we want now is a little dinner, hot coffee, the comfort of each other's company while we miss our family and our games.

Hope you all had a blessed weekend and I wish you all the best as we head into another week.

Until next time, Hatchlings...



Friday, April 19, 2013

Walking Away

If there was one lesson The Puppet Master and the array of other adults in my childhood taught me, it was how to walk away.
It seems I spent my childhood feeling like a commodity, and an expendable one at that. I watched many people come and go from my life...parents, step-parents, relatives, friends; all while the
primary adults in my life seemed to be playing a game of chess with me as the pawn.
Looking back, I suppose I should be grateful. Those hard-learned lessons of childhood prepared me for a hard-scrabble life I couldn't have foreseen back then. Being on the receiving end of "the walk" so often has given me the strength and courage to walk away from abusive relationships with friends and family, as well as lovers.
Still, it doesn't mean that it was easy.
Walking away is usually very painful for me. I don't let many people into my inner world to begin with and having to remove them from my life is often like exercising a demon you've gotten on a first-name basis with.
Still, it's been necessary. I've walked away from friendships that had become toxic, a husband I loved with all the passion of youth that became abusive, and most recently, family that I loved dearly.
Deciding when to walk, and who to walk away from, usually hurts me more than it does them, which seems to be the case with my family.
I won't sugar-coat it, I think I've always known, deep-down, that it would happen one day, and part of me figured it would be when The Puppet Master passed, but who expected her to go before she was 60? Who would have imagined that a woman, always so full of life, would suddenly become ill and be gone before we could really come to terms with her illness?
I guess part of me, of all of us, had the idea that she would live forever somehow, or at least well into old-age. Even when she had her heart attack some 4 years ago now, we all said it was stress and thought she was getting better.
I knew when she died that my time with the family she left behind was limited, but I couldn't have imagined the way it would go down or how limited it really was. That some of my "family" would simply turn their backs on me, or that the man I'd called "Daddy" for nearly 30 years would suddenly say the words I never thought I'd hear. He stopped my heart and my world when he bluntly said "I'm not your Daddy. I never was." Almost a year later and my heart can still hear the words as clearly as if it was yesterday.
Of course, we always knew he wasn't my biological father. He was my 2ND step-father and I knew who my biological father was, even though he wasn't worth claiming. The point was, this was one of the two men that I'd called "Daddy" practically all my life, the other being my first step-dad.
I was never allowed to call any of my family "step" or "half" anything. I was taught that family was family.
The other shocker was my half-brother. I've loved that boy all of his life. Honestly, out of all the family I lost, I think losing him hurt the worst. Somehow I thought that he loved me, in spite of how everyone else may have felt. That he would be the one that would remain part of my life, even if just phone calls to say he was ok, but I don't even get that. There is a gaping hole I'm my heart where he should be, a wound that never seems to heal. A place reserved only for him.
I guess I wasn't the only one The Puppet Master taught the lesson of walking away to. A lesson he seems to have learned even better than me.
I've come to terms with the loss of that family, even if I still find myself occasionally picking at the scabs. They still itch from time to time. Something tells me they always will.
An old saying that I've adapted for the purposes of my own faith goes, "When the gods close a door, they open a window" and I've found that to be true. I lost that family, but in it's place, I've once again found my family from childhood. My legacy from my first step-dad. He passed when I was in my early 20's, but he left behind a family (parts of it anyway) that has welcomed me back into the fold with open arms. My sister-cousin, Tiger, her husband Bear, her mom -Aunt Hippy (she's a hippy still and I love her for it) and her husband, Uncle Boomhower (he reminds me of Boomhower when he talks).
Aunt Hippy and I spend a lot of time talking about Dad (Teddy Bear), who was her brother, and I've discovered that years after the divorce, he still spoke of me from time to time with love and affection.
After losing all my "family" with the Puppet Master's passing, it helped my battered and scaly old heart to know that he loved me long after I was taken out of his life. I never faded from the memory of the family he gave me as I have with Step-Dad and his family. That in itself is a comfort.
Tiger and her family accept Draco and I, just as we are. I don't have to hide myself from them or pretend to be anything I'm not to feel deserving of their love. They give it freely and willingly and still would even if I didn't love them back. That just makes me love them more.
With them, I am the baby, even at almost 40. They love hard, they pet me, and they spoil me, which is something I never got before from any family other than them. It's something I didn't know I needed until they gave it so abundantly.
With them, I am at peace in a way I've never been before and Draco and I have taken to spending weekends with them because we can't bear to be away from them. They are my oasis in the desert.
The separation through the week is hard on us all, it would seem, but especially so on me and Tiger. We talk for several hours a day while our men are at work and now, we play WoW and talk in Vent most nights as well. It's my life-line through the week that gets me through to the weekend.
Speaking of weekends, it's Friday. Draco had to work today, but as soon as he gets off, we're on the road to see our family. Tomorrow, Tiger and Bear are throwing him a birthday dinner and Aunt H and Uncle B are coming. I better get moving and finish getting ready!
Hope you all have a blessed weekend! Until next time...

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Rekindling the light in the face of dark truths

"At times our own lights go out and are rekindled by the spark of another. We each have reason to think in gratitude of those who relit the flame within us."

I don't know who said that, but I'm not sure I've ever heard truer words in my life.

I know I said I felt I didn't have time for blogging anymore, and really, I guess I don't, but writing is my therapy in so many ways. Writing publicly, even if no one reads it but me, is like group therapy. Strange, I know, but sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction.

Maybe it's the topics that I was trying to write about. Sharing the deep, and often dark, parts of my soul with someone is a need in me that I rarely feed. Talking about the past is often hard, but it seems to be the only thing I really want to say. Maybe writing about my spiritual life will come in time, after I've completely exercised the demons of my past.

I used to avoid it for fear that one day someone in my family would read it and be hurt. Who am I kidding though? The person that hurt me the most is gone, the rest don't seem to care and are constantly brandishing their own version of the truth, so why not? Why not find the emotional release my tormented soul needs by sharing my truth?

Here are my darkest truths, laid bare. My family, meaning those who raised me, put the funk in dysfunctional. My parents never wanted me. My mother gave up her two oldest children, the oldest to adoption -- although there are rumors, have always been rumors, that he was sold for drug money or possibly died, and the adoption story was used as a cover -- and the other (me) to family. Her reputation and self-image was more important to her than anything save her youngest child. Why the youngest was blessed with her love and devotion while it was denied to us, I'll never know. She professed her love for us often, but the feelings that should have accompanied it were never there.

I was never truly jealous of the youngest in any way but that. No matter what he did, or didn't do, it was never his fault. He was never to blame. Someone else (usually me) was always somehow at fault. I, however, was the family scape-goat. Every bad thing in our family was somehow my fault.

I've come to realize that with my mother's passing, many people have broken what seemed to be a vow of silence. The stories I began to be told after her passing at first left me stunned, not quite sure what to believe, but after hearing the same, or similar, stories coming from so many different people, it became hard not to believe them.

My step-father and the youngest sibling cling to an idealized idea of who she was while I've had no choice but to see her for who and what she really was.

I suppose if there was a "best" too be had from her, they got it, but I never did. Maybe that's why it's been so easy for me to accept this new information while they continue to deny it.

My dark truth is that my "family" has tossed me away like so much garbage. Phone calls, voicemails and text messages go unanswered except by my sister (step-sister, but she's still my baby in my heart -- and she was treated nearly as badly as I was). Some have resorted to outlandish embellishments that turn innocent things into ugly ones, others have resorted to out-right lies. Already being branded unjustly and unfairly as the "black sheep" and a trouble-maker by my mother, I suppose it's made the lies easier for some to believe. A select few have attempted to defend me, but their reputations were like-wise tarnished before my mother's passing so their cries of injustice on my behalf fall on deaf ears.

In truth, it seems that most are more eager to believe lies than any truth on my behalf.

My dark truth is that the last year of my life has been a living hell and has only recently begun to truly heal with the help of people who became my family years ago through a marriage that didn't last, but a love for a lost and lonely child that did.

These people, these wonderful people, are healing places in my heart that I feared would be raw wounds forever. They are helping me heal that lost and lonely little girl that no one loved or wanted that still lives deep in my heart.

With them, I feel a love and acceptance I searched for all my life and thought I'd never find.

If you'd asked me, even the day before Tiger contacted me, how I felt about not having family outside of Draco, Dragonfly and the handful of close friends that I considered my extended family, I would have declared, quite convincingly, that I didn't need them. Didn't need any of them! I could have made you believe me too, because I almost believed me. It would have been a lie though.

The dark truth is, I was dying on the inside, my heart calling out for someone with a claim to actual family ties to love me and want to be part of my life. For someone, anyone, to accept me, faults and all, and love me anyway. I was so lonely and lost, searching for something I thought I'd never find.

The love of these wonderful people saved me from loneliness and despair. They saved me from the depths of my dark truths and with their love, I am finally becoming strong enough to truly heal.

It is a process. A long one, most likely. I've dealt with as much of it internally as I can and my heart tells me that the final step to healing these parts of myself is to talk about it. To put it out there for whoever finds this blog to read. To "shout from the rooftops" my truth and to hell with what they think or say. To tell them all that while I will not invade their lives with my obviously unwanted presence, that I will be silent no longer. I will not continue to protect the reputations of those that never even considered mine or my feelings.

I will share my truth, my life, as I have lived it. If any are over-come with feelings of shame or reputations are tarnished, then so be it.

I will say here and now that I realize everyone has their own experiences with people. Their experiences were not mine and I will not deny my right to speak of my past to protect any of them.

Some of my life has been graphic. I'm a survivor of molestation, physical, mental and emotional abuse and brain-washing as well as rape. I will tell my truths as I have lived them, not as others saw them or retold them.

I will not apologize for offending or contradicting anyone in my family. I may have gone along with the things I was told to say for years, but I never forgot the truth of the things I have experienced.

If anyone in my "family" finds this blog and realizes my true identity and does not want their memories of people tarnished or forever changed, I suggest you read no more because some people were not who you thought they were, including me.

I will speak my truths before keeping them secrets drives me insane.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Time Warp

The last two weeks have been amazing. Tiger coming back into my life has been the breath of fresh air my life needed. We spent last Saturday with her parents and my Aunt and Uncle welcomed me back as if I'd never been gone.

They don't live where we moved here from, but going to see them still requires a 2 hour drive and usually a whole weekend away from home, so we have decided when Draco's job here runs out at the end of the year, we're relocating to where they live. We'll be close to my family and closer to our girls, Witchlet and Chicklet.

Yesterday, we finally figured out what the hold-up on our State Refund was and got that sorted out, so we should be getting that soon. I realized though, that the time for making decisions is upon me.

I had already been struggling with trying to fit everything I wanted to do in a day, and with the tax check will come internet and WoW plus the means to put some money into getting my business back up and running. I had to look at my responsibilities and desires realistically and admit to myself that if I tried to do everything I want to do, I'm going to be more overwhelmed than I already am.

That means that I had to prioritize things and decide what was going to have to either be let go or put on a back burner.

Draco, our spiritual practices, and my home has to be my main priority. I'm already struggling trying to balance weekdays here and weekends at Tiger's.

My family is time-consuming. There's almost always something going on with them and family is more important to Draco and I than anything else besides each other. We already don't see the girls often enough and I don't want the same thing to happen with Tiger and my family there. Plus, I have a little sister (Teddy Bear's bio daughter) that I don't really know and I'd really like to change that.

Right behind home and family comes Dragon's Lair Crafts because that brings me much joy as well as helps pay the bills when the business is up and running. Getting it off the ground will be very time-consuming, but very worth the effort.

Then, of course, there's WoW, which Tiger and Bear also play and we're looking forward to playing together again like we used to. It's a very social game and it'll be a way for Tiger and I to spend time together in the evenings while we're not seeing each other during the week.

The last things is my blog. While I do enjoy having one, and writing, I know that I've already been struggling. I write a lot, but finish, and publish, little. Getting the blog off the ground would be time-consuming and leave me little time for anything else. While I enjoy blogging, it was mostly a social outlet for a lonely woman with a social anxiety disorder and no family, friends, or life in the real world. As I sit here writing now, I've got a million other things in my real life that I should be doing instead including filling orders from the weekend, cleaning the house and getting ready to go do the shopping that's been put off since Friday.

I tried to blog yesterday and ended up in tears over the subject matter, which landed me in bed for a few hours trying to get myself together. I never did the shopping, we had subs for dinner and the house was a wreck. This morning, I realized I'd forgotten to make Draco's tea for work and I'd failed to bake the cake I'd promised him. I just can't let that happen.

As much as I enjoy blogging sometimes, I've got to reduce my load somewhere and the first thing to go will be this blog.

I'm not going to delete it and I won't say I'll never post anything again, but considering there's really no one reading it but me (and maybe Tiger), I see no point in keeping it a priority when I can just wrire in my journal and not have to feel guilty when I don't have time to write topic-appropriate material or visit other blogs regularly.

I've been a blogger for over 3 years now, hiding behind a computer screen because I had no life outside the walls of my home. Now, I'm determined to work on over-coming that.

I wish you all the best.

Love and light from The Dragon's Lair,

Drakina Moon

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I began a wonderful introductory post that I'd intended to be my first entry on my new blog, introducing myself and the members of the Lair, but yesterday brought me some unexpected gifts and I just had to share. I figured since this blog was about family, and what happened yesterday was very much about family, that the introduction could wait one more day.

I awoke yesterday morning when Draco's alarm went off at 5:30 am. Technically, I don't have to get up that early, but as anyone who knows me well can tell you, I'm not actually much of a morning person and if I don't get up earlier than necessary, and take a moment to get woke up before I get up, well, let's just say I've been known to walk into walls.

I live my life with my phone in my hand. Between texting, blogging, social media and occasional phone calls, I stay pretty busy. Like most of the world these days, my phone is practically an extension of my arm. So, in those idle moments as I'm waking up, I generally check my Facebook.

This morning, I woke to find a private message on the Fanpage for the blog I'm in the process of closing. It was odd on its own because it was the first such message I've ever received on a Fanpage. Curiosity took over. Many things flashed through my mind, including Trolls, since my blog and Fanpage were both Pagan in nature. I've yet to be Trolled, but figured there was a first time for everything.

I switched to my Page Manager App and pulled up the message. What I found was more surprising than Trolls.

What I found was a message from Tiger.

Let me explain.

Around the age of 2 or 3, The Puppet Master (my mom) married my first step-father, Teddy (he reminded me of a live Teddy Bear when I was a child, so I can think of nothing better, or more fitting, to call him for the sake of my family's privacy). He had no children of his own at the time, but he did have a niece that lived with his mother that he was extremely attached to.

As the story goes, PM and Teddy originally intended to get custody of us both and raise us as sisters. For the brief time they were married, weekends generally included us both (they didn't have custody of either of us at the time) and we were encouraged to see one another, not as cousins, but as sisters.

Divorce, of course, does horrible things to people, and as a result, we were torn apart.

When I agreed to marry The Ass, my 1st husband, and began planning my wedding, I was adamant that even though my current step-father would walk me down the isle, I wanted Teddy to be there.

PM quietly began searching. The person she found first was my long-lost would-have-been sister, Tiger (she has the spirit of a Tiger).

The reunion between us was pure joy and we were very close again immediately. She was there through my entire pregnancy with Witchlet and is one of her 2 god-mothers (the other being @TimberLeaves who also loves her dearly but lives so very far away).

Unfortunately, we were both very young and the stress from my divorce from The Ass tore us apart again.

Over the years, we've drifted in and out of each others lives but we were so focused on trying to recapture the past, and experienced so much interference from PM combined with the general stress people who are so much alike, yet vastly different, can go through that we couldn't seem to hold it together in spite of the fact that we love each other so much.

Honestly, I think we both had lessons to learn. We are both prone to loving with a fierceness that borders on obsession, over-protective-ness and posessive-ness. But, loving hard, and loving unconditionally, are two very different things. It's hard to love as hard as we do without conditions or expectations of the people we love (and we have high expectations of ourselves as well). I've personally learned over the years that even though I love hard, I had to let go of expecting people to fit in the little boxes I tried to cram them in and I was guilty of this with Tiger.

To truly love is to love people for who they are, not who we'd like for them to be.

Even though the "official" reasons for our separation were much different, I feel that unrealistic expectations of each other, and ourselves, played a big part in things. While we were busy expecting so much from each other and our relationship, we failed to accept, understand and respect each other for the beautiful, strong women we truly are.

For the sake of honesty and the fullest disclosure I'm willing to share here, I was also a very needy young woman. My need of the love Tiger offered me caused me to spend more time trying to please and win her approval, not seeing at the time that she could never accept me the way I needed if I wasn't willing to stand before her, heart and soul laid bare, and say "this is me. This is my life. Accept me for who I really am, not who I try to be for you, or walk away".

There is a fear in us all, I think, to let people we truly love, see us in our entirety. All of us wear masks from time to time, especially when we are young. It is the fear of laying ourselves bare for close inspection and being found lacking or undeserving of the love we need so badly that keeps us hiding behind those masks.

For me, it was also about the way PM raised me. I learned at an early age that I had been closely inspected by her and had been found undeserving of her love and affection. I spent nearly 40 years contorting myself into whatever I thought she wanted trying to gain an approval she denied me, even on her death-bed.

With her passing, I swore to myself as I stood by her hospital bed for the last time, that I would never again hide behind a mask for anyone's love or approval.

As Tiger and I talked yesterday, she began to see me, I think, for the first time. I spoke openly of my life, offering no excuses or apologies for who or what I am or for the life I've chosen. In truth, I am happy with my life, and because of that fact, there should be no shame, no hiding.

We talked most of the day. Sometimes our topics were serious, often they were not, and the entire experience, for me at least, was punctuated with many smiles and the endless laughter and bantering that has been so common in our relationship.

I realize, with much regret, that I did Tiger a disservice for years by assuming that she didn't love me enough to love the real me. In truth, where I live, how I live, etc, should not matter. What should matter is that I love her endlessly and completely and that she loves me the same way.

Tiger, I know you will eventually read this, so I offer this to you in closing. I love you, my sister. I'm sorry for the years I hid the real me from you and I promise that I will never do that again. 

I love you in your perfection, as well as your imperfection. I love you for all that you are, all you have ever been, all you ever will be. I love you without judgment, without hesitation, without reservation and without conditions. I love you for all the things you aren't and never will be but most of all, I love you for everything you are, and always have been, to me. Love...Me

Never forget that family is the most important thing in the world, gentle readers. Love those that love you back like there is no tomorrow because tomorrow is never promised.

Blessings from The Lair,