windinthemaples: A lane of red maple trees in riotous fall color. (Default)
Why I'm Here and Not There
You may wonder why my entire journal teleported over to Dreamwidth. It is a long story, I guess, that I don't know if I have the right to share with any great detail. What I can say is that two years ago, I had a terrible fight with someone I love and respect a tremendous amount. Both of us were hurt by it and our relationship has been altered by it. What I learned in an email this week, though, is that she is still greatly wounded by that phone call and the experiences that led to much that seeing me or reading about me on social media was leading her to continually relive that sense of heartbreak and betrayal and hurt. And, you know, that's about the worst thing I could hear about someone I love that much. The years on LiveJournal have knitted a complicated tapestry of friends and mutual friends that has spilled over onto all kinds of platforms--Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Facebook, Good Reads, blogs--all parts of the social glue of my long-distance friendships. I'm everywhere and connected to so many of her people, her support system, that secretly feeling this way for this long must have been pretty unbearable. And it is weird, too, because I'm left wondering who my true friends are in the midst of all this bottled bad feeling. Were they both hating and loving me all this time, too? I don't know. What I do think, though, is that the only thing I can do, beyond the apologies I've sent for the pain I've caused (intentionally or not), is to give her some space without me in it. I've deleted my LJ, my Twitter, and my Instagram presence. I've moved here to an out-of-the-way corner on Dreamwidth. I'd rather my friendship be an 'opt-in' sort of thing instead of a 'there's no nice way to unfriend Rachel and I don't want to hurt her after all the history we've had'.

It really sucks, though. I have this mental image that there was a land mine and someone's leg is shattered and hanging on with shreds of skin and muscle and ligaments. Like, there's no repairing that damned leg and it is hurting you with every step and it has been for two years. I've been that lower leg and I needed to be amputated and all this time I just didn't know.

So that's what's brought me here to Dreamwidth.
windinthemaples: A lane of red maple trees in riotous fall color. (i saw that)
Is your Friends List kind of quiet these days? Are you open to adding to it and inviting more LiveJournalers into your circle?

I know some spectacular people from LiveJournal and I'd like you to know them, too. If you're reading this and willing to welcome and explore more connections on your Friends List, please post in the comments. Do you know some great people that we don't? Direct them to this post to comment, too.

Tell us:

I am...

I like...

I journal about...

At LiveJournal, I'm looking for...

Or, create your own introduction as best suits you. We look forward to meeting you!
windinthemaples: A lane of red maple trees in riotous fall color. (bunny)
It has been a happy (and splurgey) mail week. Yesterday, my box from Amazon came with the three print books of [ profile] mermaiden's that I didn't have. I'm especially excited as I hadn't read Cage the Darlings or One Solstice Night from her Elora Bishop pen name in e-reader format, either. I read the first couple paragraphs of One Solstice Night aloud to Daniel straight out of the box--it was so charming and entertaining. I'm really looking forward to catching up on them.

I also got my box from The Fable Tribe's latest update. I'd sorta gone with the 'one of everything' mentality since there were so many new product types being debuted. I bought one of their floral crowns, which is all ivory and coral and bronzey brown and ideal for my auburn hair. I got a set of gold glitter Pixie Stars, a mini shrine, and two of the Glamourkin'd Faerie Foundlings figures. I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the packages and saw how small and dainty everything was. Etsy descriptions with measurements don't mean much to me and from the pictures, I expected the Pixie Stars to be almost Glamourkin-sized and the Foundlings, I really had no idea. The little fawn I got is tiny. A-freakin-dorably so. He and the simplicity bunny fit so beautifully on my home and family themed window altar. I had no idea how many more I actually have room for! :D I knew the mini-shrine would be small, but I didn't appreciate how small it is. It makes the detailing that much more lovable. I'm thrilled.

It is kinda like an animal rescue story. I bought everything because of how great it looked in the photos online and because I believe in the cause but now I'm here to show you the photos of the happy rescues at home, adored and animated, magicked by their surroundings and the comfort of being wanted and loved and home safe and now mine. Everything is just *so* happy!


More photos under the cut... )
windinthemaples: A lane of red maple trees in riotous fall color. (ocean heart)
On September 30th, [ profile] mermaiden and [ profile] willow_cabin had their marriage formally and legally recognized by the state of New York. I'd missed out on their first wedding with Graeme as a newborn, so it was an honor and a joy and an unexpected second-chance that I was not only able to witness this (amazingly beautiful and sparkle-riffic) ceremony but to also participate as a bridemaid. Graeme, their goddess-son was asked to be the ring bearer. Summing the experience of this past week in a post is nearly impossible!

I realized on the plane ride home that watching Jenn and Sarah marry is the happiest day of my life. At my wedding, though I was a being of lightness and joy and sheer glowing and giddy euphoria, it still couldn't match how I felt when the minister pronounced, by the power invested in him by the great state of New York, that my dear and beloved friends were legally wife and wife. My wedding was a given. When I met Daniel, that first date, I knew I would marry him. No outside obstacle could keep the two of us apart once we'd found each other in the world. There's a calm serenity and certainty in that. With Jenn and Sarah, there were no such guarantees. They grew up in a country where same-sex marriages did not exist and even today, what they were granted is possible in only six states. It feels like a miracle, Love walking in the world, and a weight whose strain I didn't appreciate is gone from my shoulders. I do not have to worry about them anymore. What my friends, my dear family, that beloved beloved pair has now cannot be levered apart from the outside. They can spend the rest of their lives dreaming what to do together instead of daring to hope they can even be together. I'm flying with joy for them. Their wait for justice and acknowledgment is over.

I have very few photos from the festivities. Some gorgeous photos have been coming out from Laura Vasilion ([ profile] twelvepetals) of Vasilion Photography who was the official photographer of the wedding. For example, she took this one!



That said, onto the details of the week, the ceremony and more photos behind the cut! )


Sarah and Jenn, I wish the two of you a long lifetime of love and shared dreams and bountiful blessings and endless possibilities together. <3 <3 <3
windinthemaples: A lane of red maple trees in riotous fall color. (pink heart birds)
As I'm sure most of you reading this know, my dear friends [ profile] mermaiden and [ profile] willow_cabin are working feverishly to raise the money necessary to put on their wedding next month. If you'd like to help them or just treat yourself to something lovely, you can buy something from one of their cottage industries: Glamourkin book-based jewelry, Garden of Antheia fabric flower adornments, or Sarah's e-book and print publications.

Also, if you're a fan of foodie perfume oils, our mutual friend [ profile] rubymulligan is selling a limited edition perfume on her Etsy shop with all profits going towards Sarah & Jenn's wedding fund. It's very nom. :)


So, in the interest of having the best shopping day ever helping these ladies out, I went on a bit of a spree solemn philanthropic mission the other day. I bought a bunch of Glamourkin pendants, some hair flowers, *and* a second bottle of the Sweetest Day perfume. My Glamourkins arrived and I'm just so in love with them! :) I bought some as gifts and some for myself--but these are mine.

I know some of you bought your own the last few weeks--I'd love to see what you got and hear what it was about that one that called to you. :)

I love this Beauty and the Beast illustration, I connect with images of redheads as heroines, and I believe, absolutely, that love is not only the oldest but the most powerful magic.

Strangely, two weeks in a row now, we've had the same reading in our Unitarian Universalist church service. It so moved me, I wrote part of it into the margins of the service program. It reads, in part, We need one another when we are in despair, in temptation, and need to be recalled to our best selves again.....All our lives we are in need, and others are in need of us. I love that image of community calling us to our best selves, of need calling us to our best selves, and so this pendant was absolutely perfect to crystallize and remember that teaching forever.
windinthemaples: A lane of red maple trees in riotous fall color. (joy fae)
This past weekend, I celebrated Beltane at Spoutwood Farm's 20th Annual Fairie Festival. It was only my second year attending, but it has ensured my ever-living loyalty. I can't imagine not attending. It was such a joy!

Here you can read about my thoughts on last year's Festival.


This year, the circle of friends attending expanded. Sarah ([ profile] mermaiden) and Jenn ([ profile] willow_cabin) were gracious enough to pick me up at the airport again and schlepp me hither and yon in their car. Joining us this year was Rhiannon ([ profile] rubymulligan) who may be a Fairie Festival convert of her own. We also got to meet up again at the Festival with [ profile] aerialmelodies, [ profile] greyeyedpixie, Ryan, Corey, and [ profile] cloverdew. And then, later in the festival, we met [ profile] shveta_thakrar and her friend [ profile] blood_of_winter. We watched [ profile] sihaya09 and [ profile] damejenn among the bellydancers throughout the weekend. It was, basically, a big LiveJournal celebration for me. :D

Photographs and more under the cut... )
windinthemaples: A lane of red maple trees in riotous fall color. (meadow fae)
My friend Rhiannon ([ profile] rubymulligan), as many of you know, is the mad genius behind The Misery/Love Co., a perfume oil shop on Etsy. She's a big fan of some of the larger perfume oil outfits in the world like BPAL and Arcana and opened her own shop a couple years ago as a hobbyist. She has a bionic nose and a perfumer's intuition for great combinations. She branches out, sometimes, but she's the dream lady to go to for scrumptious, nommy foodie perfumes. Her perfumes make people smell good enough to eat. :)

This month, she's putting in a lot of time at the shop. All of her regular priced perfumes ($12/bottle) are, for this month, Buy 2 Get 1 Free. And on October 16th, in honor of The Sweetest Day, she's unveiling a very delicious secret--an extremely limited batch of perfume that is bound to have foodies keeling over in a swoon. :D (And all for a cause very dear to my heart.) :) <3

But I've been holding out on you because I got samples of all of her Volume One perfumes this summer and I haven't reviewed them publically. So here are my thoughts, which I hope will help you if you're trying to decide what to try for yourself. :)

The Lion & the Bee
Based on a photograph of a fuzzy bumblebee resting on a sun-bright dandelion, this perfume smells like summer! On application, it radiates freshly cut grass. Within minutes, the pleasant scents of flower petals and something fresh and dewy, almost cucumber-y joins in. This is sunshine and picnic blankets and laying in the yard watching clouds drift past overhead. Absolutely lovely and gently done.

Perpetual Tourism
Another summery photo, with a cheerily painted red and white Ferris wheel circling against an unbelievably blue sky. On application, this smells bright and youthful. Tart cranberry contrasts beautifully with sugary-sweet cotton candy, along with what smells like fresh-picked berries and something calm and dusty, like pollen, to ease it all along. There are so many subtle layers, all delicious in their own way, that I can't stop huffing my skin, trying to capture all the notes there to be had. I love this one, like whoa!

The Cameo Theatre
The old-fashioned marquee of a downtown theatre is the subject of this photo-inspired perfume. It is, without any doubt or subtlety, the smell of fizzy cola and buttered movie theater popcorn. I don't think you can smell this combination without laughing--it is so spot-on--and yet strangely it works as a perfume. It triggers every memory I've ever had in a movie theater and also has its own allure with the combination of sparkling sweetness, caramel, and buttery salt. It's pretty freaking spectacular. :)

The Sweet Street
A damp leaf-strewn streetscape, only in Rhi's foodie imagination, could inspire this combination of pumpkin, cinnamon, pastry-nom. According to the description, the combination is "Pumpkin cheesecake, gingerbread, and the gently wafting scent of freshly baked cinnamon rolls". It's all there, in a warm and sweet homage to autumn bakery indulgences. There is nothing floral, musky, or serious to this fragrance--it is all baked goods, all the time. :)

When in Japan
A photo of she and a girlfriend's shoes, tumbled together on the floor in Japan, inspired this perfume. It may be one of my favorite perfumes--ever. The combination of the bright yuzu citrus notes with the clean, sharp delight of green tea and ginger and freshly sliced pear are playful and feminine and delicious all at the same time. It dries down to a complex, pleasant, close-to-the-skin scent that has evoked more experiences of, "OMG! Is that you? Are you wearing perfume? Let me smell you! Oh, you smell goooooood!". Which, you know, can be great or embarrassing, depending on who is trying to chomp on your neck at the time. :)

Have you tried any of the Volume One or Secret Garden fragrances? What did you think? :)
windinthemaples: A lane of red maple trees in riotous fall color. (witch's circle)
The weekend before my surgery, I flew to St. Louis with [ profile] mermaiden and drove from there to Diana's Grove for their July Mystery School weekend. The theme of the long weekend event was Playing for the Song. The temptingly vague registration catalog promised, "This weekend celebrates the creative spirit. To enter the innermost sanctum of your soul requires a leap of faith. Challenged to step into your own power, what will you create? Are you ready to let go of yourself and bring your sacred gifts to fruition? This weekend will be devoted to unleashing your own art… whatever form that joy may take." As a singer, the very mention of song drew me in and I was sold, completely, on whatever spiritual challenges, transformative experiences, and path-shifting surprises the ritual team had in store for me. There was that frisson of anticipatory bracing, though, wondering what I had gotten myself into and if the Universe would smile on me and my kidney stone out in the middle of nowhere for a weekend. :D The magic of the Grove is that it changes everyone it touches. My story is my experience. Though we may have gone through ritual and meals and meetings as a group, the other magic of the Grove is that everyone is having their own private transformations, confirmations, inspirations. We are all there alone, together. So this is my story of my weekend the way I heard it, experienced it, and was changed by it.... :)

Our meadow-view cabin--we had the Moon(right) side. :)

A longtime Mystery picked us up at the St. Louis airport and drove us out to the Grove. We arrived late afternoon and had a few hours to ourselves to sort out our luggage, set up our bedding in the cabin, and walk the land together. I think something like thirty people were at the Grove for the weekend, but Sarah and I were still fortunate enough to be given our own cabin that would normally have housed four more campers. It gave us full license to have long slumber-party talks about things together without feeling like we were excluding anyone else around us. And, dorm-room style, it gave us plenty of room to strew our belongings around, hang wet towels and creek-swimming clothes out to dry, and otherwise take over the little lavender den as our own little retreat from the sun. :)

Our little cabin kingdom!

Myth, Ritual, and a Call into Life )
windinthemaples: A lane of red maple trees in riotous fall color. (outdoorsy)
Mirroring our celebration of Midsummer, Sunday was a time of waning as various guests departed or prepared to depart. Laura, [ profile] atempestcyclone, had left Saturday and Lena [ profile] lenaperry, still feeling ill, left Sunday morning to drive home. The rest of us loaded into two cars and drove out to Letchworth State Park. The park styles itself as the "Grand Canyon of the East" with the Genesee River running through cliffs and over three stunning waterfalls. We'd picked up lunch foods at the grocery store on the way to the park, so we stopped at an overlook with giant stone picnic tables and had lunch before strolling along the tree-shaded trails to two of the waterfalls to take pictures and soak up some of that green, misty, summer energy. In one spot, graceful turkey vultures and a huge flock of what looked like pigeons banked and soared along the cliff faces, riding the thermals in daring, dancing ways.

After a couple hours, we loaded back up to head home. Maddie [ profile] lathriel left us there and we nervously eyed the gray skies and packed a picnic hamper to go see Much Ado About Nothing at Buffalo's outdoor Shakespeare in the Park. On arrival, sadly, the misty downfall became an out and out downpour, forcing us to make alternate plans. We drove over to Amy's, this awesome greasy diner with all-day breakfast and tons of vegan foods. Sitting in the booth, my kidney stone went from its normal dull ache to radiating pain and nausea. It was an attack so painful I thought, for sure, we'd have to go to the hospital. I was calculating my options and finding it so hard to even think through all that pain, trying to compartmentalize it so I could focus on something else. Should I try to get a flight back to Chicago and then a taxi to the hospital, where my urologist could be called for emergency surgery? Should I go to the hospital in Buffalo? What could they do? How would I get home? How would Daniel handle the extra days with Graeme when he has other work obligations? I didn't have any good ideas. (Though I did get to eat an awesome vegan B.L.T sandwich.)

After dinner, we ran through the cold downpour to our cars, getting soaked and shrieking happily in the process. I got some Motrin at the gas station, took 800mg, and just kinda hung in there on the long ride home. That Motrin did *nothing* for my pain. It was worse than labor pains, hands-down, and I was stranded so far from home. At the house, Sarah brought me a flourite egg for pain and Jenn contributed a hot water bottle for my back and finally, finally!, the pain let up enough for me to think clearly again. It eased enough for me to sleep and in the morning, thank gods, I felt better.

Karyn [ profile] belladonnastrap headed home on Sunday morning. She returned to NYC as somewhat of a combat-wounded soldier. While in town she'd a) gotten her first tattoo and b) been bitten by numerous mosquitoes. Now, we'd all been victim to bug bites, no matter how much bug spray (both natural and chemically toxic) and citronella candles we'd used. Some got bug bite bumps, some didn't, but poor Karyn really reacted to the bites. Some were big raised welts several inches across. No amount of ointment or Benadryl eased the misery of itching. Some souvenir! She was quite a trooper about it!

So Monday morning, Sarah and Jenn left with Karyn for the airport and were gone a couple hours. That left just Rhiannon and I at the house as we weren't leaving until Tuesday morning. We decided to vacuum some of pet fur up off the living room rug. We could only find a shop vac, and turning it on it had almost zero suction power. So we took it out onto the back deck and opened it up and emptied out the canister. The filter was clogged, so we dismantled that and beat the hell out of it over some unfortunate plants behind the house. Then we got back inside with it and realized how impossible a task it is to vacuum up fur from wall-to-wall carpeting with a hose attachment and no spinning brush. I don't know, taking the shop vac apart was the magic geranium moment. We beautified/fixed one thing and our attention was drawn to the next. One thing led to another and the next thing you knew, we'd carried all of the dining room furniture out onto the back deck and started vacuuming and dusting and mopping and scrubbing and spring-cleaning like maniacs. Every dish, pot, and platter that Sarah and Jenn owned was piled three feet high in the sink after our long weekend of partying, so by the time that they got home, we announced that we wanted to clean for our last day there. I think the look we got, standing in the middle of an empty room with all the furniture and stuff outside, could best be described as "deer in headlights". Sarah was like, "'re on vacation!" and we were like, "Yeah, but we don't want you to have to go back to work tomorrow with your house still upturned from the weekend!". And, miracle of miracles, we won the argument. :D

Rhiannon and Jenn tackled the daunting dish pile while Sarah and I went to Target to get a vacuum cleaner and some other supplies we needed. Then, reunited, we spent the day companionably cleaning. It was huge fun, to be honest, and we got a ton accomplished together. Later in the evening, we got to preview some future Glamourkin updates (OMG), Rhiannon made her nomlicious vegan mushroom stroganoff dish which we ate with fresh-baked rosemary bread and vegan butter and we watched that Dr. Horrible musical short that came out last year(?) and part of Sky High before hitting the hay. Tuesday morning, we packed up and rode in with J & S, who dropped us off at the airport for our flights on their way to work. :)

My weekend was absolutely wonderful. It had a lot of Solstice lessons for me. It wasn't wonderful because it unfurled unblemished and according-to-plan, but was wonderful in its perfectly imperfect blend of light and dark. The love, the joy, the companionship of community and family made everything magickal, precious, and blessed. It rained, we battled mosquitoes, there was a lot of illness going around and some truly not-ideal moments. My glorious white tutu both made me feel like a princess and trapped dozens of wayward black flies in its gauzy layers. The weekend was just, well frankly, it was life and it was perfect just the way it was.

Jenn, Karyn, Katie, Laura, Lena, Maddie, Pete, Rhiannon, Sarah-- I love you all. Thank you for sharing these memories with me. I will always be here, with my little scalding candle, if you need a light. <3 :)

Photos from Sunday's hike at Letchworth here. )
As always, I have a ton more photos on my Flickr page. :)
windinthemaples: A lane of red maple trees in riotous fall color. (joy fae)
This past weekend, I flew to New York to take part in Sarah [ profile] mermaiden and Jenn [ profile] willow_cabin's First Annual Midsummer Faerie Celebration, an outdoor costumed tea party the hostesses had been dreaming up for awhile. I can't imagine a more perfect community in which to celebrate Litha, the turning of the seasons from growing light to growing darkness.

Friday, after a day spent in a Rosemont hotel entertaining Graeme while Daniel spoke at an expert witness conference, I got all glammed up and went to the airport. I *love* flying to New York because it is the quickest flight, just an hour and a half, so travel doesn't take all day the way a lot of our destinations do. I had on some high heeled espadrilles, though, and the miles-long walk through O'Hare was less then comfy. Oh, vanity! :D I just loved knowing I wouldn't have to carry a toddler around, so it felt like I could get away with all kinds of things. :) Getting to Buffalo, I was pretty distracted. I'd arranged Rhiannon [ profile] rubymulligan's flight to arrive around mine but I couldn't remember if she was coming in a little ahead of my schedule or a little behind. Should I try to find her gate and wait there, or go out and get my bag at the baggage claim? She wasn't answering her phone and I was feeling very responsible for her. I wasn't even sure who would be picking us up! I figured I'd head out to get my luggage. And there, already waiting just outside security, lined up and grinning and waving with great excitement were Sarah and Jenn, as well as Lena [ profile] lenaperry and Karyn [ profile] belladonnastrap, the first guests who'd arrived earlier in the day. Lena even had a bakery box with two vegan cupcakes for us in her hands! Ha! In a movie, I'd have run crying down the hallway and thrown myself in their arms, but instead it was like, "Oh, hey, good to meet you/see you again. Have you heard from Rhiannon? What should we do? I'm worried about Rhiannon. I wish I'd printed out her flight information. Do you know her flight information?" while blocking the exit from security. :D In time, Rhiannon resurfaced, my luggage circled around on the claim belt, and we piled ourselves into two cars for the drive to Sarah and Jenn's house.

Friday night, Saturday's party, and tons of photos under here. )
Such a wonderful day! In future posts, I'll write about the ritual and the rest of our weekend. There is so much to cover!! In the meantime, many many many more photos from Saturday are up on my Flickr site.

PS- Oh, another little thing. During the weekend, Sarah and Jenn passed around a wooden box filled with a tumble of crystals and minerals in every color. We each picked one randomly as a divination/intention/gift of the weekend. Mine, a marbled thing I'd never seen before, was fossilized fern, which Sarah said was for remembrances. Pretty awesome. :) I know my memories of this weekend are fixed in stone.
windinthemaples: A lane of red maple trees in riotous fall color. (rhi&I)

Today is [ profile] rubymulligan's birthday. She can once again lord over me how much older and wiser she is. ;) We met several years ago, after she joined [ profile] full_moon_swaps and sent me, unsolicited, an entire new community format and graphics package. It was subtle, like buying your fashion-backwards friend an entire outfit out of charity. Ever since, she's been teaching me how the cool kids do things. :D

Happy, happy, happy birthday to my very funny, very adorable, very bestest brain-roommate. Come visit me! :D I owe you a cake and some embarrassing singing. <3
windinthemaples: A lane of red maple trees in riotous fall color. (Default)
On Saturday, [ profile] mermaiden and [ profile] willow_cabin's last day with us in Florida, we scrambled a bit to try and get everything done that we'd missed. In some ways, we failed and the boys (Graeme, Daniel and, even moreso, [ profile] radshaun) got crushed under the wheels of our getting-it-done-mobile. We needed a teleporter, frankly. And a babysitter for Graeme.

Daniel gamely tagged along with us and entertained Graeme while we visited Juno Beach for a bit of a beach fare-thee-well and toured the sea turtle rehab and release center at the Juno Beach Marinelife Center...aka "The Turtle Place". Now, let me say that the mission of the Marinelife Center is one after my own heart and getting to see their exhibit on sea turtles and walk outside to pay calls on the patients in the hospital's tanks is wonderful, but the gift shop is out-of-this-world. An entire posh little shop filled with everything sea turtle themed that has probably ever been created. Coffee tables, coffee mugs, bath mats, tub toys, jewelry, bags, books, pens, journals, candies--you name it. It is the most fun shopping in the world.

After that, we met back up with Daniel and a cranky-possibly sick-soon to be sleeping baby Graeme in the car and headed to a restaurant nearby for lunch. Graeme was asleep, Daniel and I were debating who would sit outside in the car with him and skip lunch, and in the end we decided to ignore our growling stomachs a little longer and drive about an hour south to a New Age/crystal shop that we'd visited together last year. At this point, Shaun, who'd been trailing behind in his own car like someone following vague clues on Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? gave up and bailed and Daniel looked like he wanted to bail out the driver's side door. It was a little rough, to be honest, and even moreso when our GPS drove us to the entirely wrong place.

We eventually arrived at The Crystal Garden in Boynton Beach and spent an hour (okay, probably more) shopping amongst its rooms of books, incense, jewelry, and polished crystals. I picked up some beautiful pieces of pink opal, selenite, ocean jasper, along with a couple others whose names are eluding me right now. Graeme woke up, again, in a terrible mood and he and Daniel both got antsy waiting for us in the car. It wasn't pretty.

We piled back into the car with our purchases and drove, grumpy and half-starved, to Darbster, this awesome little waterfront outdoor vegan bistro in West Palm Beach. The food was outstanding. Delicious. Incredible. Crave-worthy. So that went a long ways towards restoring our sense of center.

After a late lunch, showers, and naps at home Sarah and I drove over to the moonlit Juno Beach for a sort of combo Full Moon esbat/early Imbolc ritual. I'll figure out how to tackle my experience of that in another post, but it was perfect.

This morning (Sunday) I got up at 4:30am and drove the girls to the airport. In another hour or two, I'll be dropping Daniel off at the airport again as well. I have a bit of that empty nest syndrome. Everything is so quiet and still after all the activity and company I've had the past week. What a wonderful, wonderful week it has been. :) <3

Thank you, [ profile] mermaiden and [ profile] willow_cabin, for the love and the memories and the many, many, many, many hours spent companionably basking in the wind and water and sun of "my" ocean. :) We love you so much and miss you already. :)



Graeme's Cam:  Jenn and Sarah
(Graeme took this photo of the girls at Darbster. So sweet.)
windinthemaples: A lane of red maple trees in riotous fall color. (ocean mom)
Friday, we were lucky enough to have Daniel acting as a babysitter. We woke up early and headed out, just us girls, to the unbelievable beauty of Blowing Rocks Preserve on Jupiter Island. It is unlike any other beach I've seen in Florida with water-sculpted limestone forming ledges, caves, and living art pieces right at waters' edge. We arrived at low tide and were able to pick our way through areas that are more-often-than-not underwater. We spent hours meditating, picking our way over (and under) the rocks and taking photographs. It was fucking spectacular. The mad, crazy-beautiful goodness of the earth on display in one place.


A break for photos...lots of photos. )

We eked every second we could out of it until we had to rush back to get Graeme and allow Daniel to get back to work for the day. With Graeme in the car, I think we did some more mundane things like visit thrift stores (mostly thriftFAIL!) and shiver at Juno Beach together just after twilight. That evening, Daniel's generous babysitting continued so we were able to have dinner at Whole Foods (thank you, vegan hot bar items!) and then go to see Avatar 3D together.

I am still processing the awesomesauce that was Avatar. Everything I've read resonates with me. Yes, this changes film-making and Yes, this is a must-see, and Yes, this is a pagan-hearted movie and Yes, it does remind you powerfully of some other natives v. destructive intruders stories like Pocahontas and Fern Gully. It was all that and far more. It has the same crushingly relevant social commentary of Wall-E and made me forget, against all odds, that I had to pee for three hours. ;) What can I say?? It was heartfelt and sobering and crushing and wonderful.
windinthemaples: A lane of red maple trees in riotous fall color. (ocean mom)
On Thursday morning, we (Sarah, Jenn, Graeme, and I) packed up our beach supplies and drove to Jupiter Beach. Graeme happily dragged his t-ball set out to the sand and we played some strange toddler versions of baseball and catch with him when we weren't standing knee-deep in the surf, burying our sunburned feet in the sand, or adding to our truly monumental seashell collections.

The sea has incredible powers of healing. The hours we spent on the beach during the visit scoured all the negative thoughts, the shadowed self-images, the anxiety and darkness clear out of my soul. The sun warms bone deep, the sea air enlivens my lungs, my heart, the sand gently smooths my skin, the sound of the surf and the wind gently block out every other thought. I can't explain it. It is so immense, so unceasing, so calming--like falling into the night sky, vast and silent, wild and watching, and having its presence whittle down, by comparison, every little trouble and pain and worry until they can be shrugged off as unimportant.

After the beach, Graeme fell asleep in the car and we had the chance to drive to Jonathan Dickinson State Park. I stayed in the car (no doubt, playing more Bejeweled) with Graeme while the [ profile] mermaiden and [ profile] willow_cabin climbed Hobe Mountain lookout. (If that's a mountain, I'm a mountain goat.)

We drove further into the park, along the banks of the Loxahatchee River. Another thirty minutes or so, and Graeme woke up feeling fussy. We visited a small playground in the park and then hiked for a short toddler jaunt on the Kitching Creek Trail. He perked up a little at the numbered trail markers, claiming he was on "a number hunt" and looking for each in order.

After the park, we drove by like three thrift stores and found them *all* to be closed. (South Florida, the sidewalks roll up in time for the early bird specials at diners.)

At home, we ordered pizzas from Pizza Fusion, an organic, earth-conscious delivery place in my area that has, bless their hearts, a "Very Vegan" pizza. It was an evening of overeating and watching episodes of The Vampire Diaries in my not-subtle bid to win new fans to the show. (Did I succeed? ;D)

All-in-all, a very pleasant outdoorsy day.

Now excuse me as I get to the real point of these posts--the photos! (A zillion more can be found on my Flickr page. Though strangely I don't have many from this particular day.)


And a couple more under here! )
windinthemaples: A lane of red maple trees in riotous fall color. (ocean mom)
On Tuesday night, Graeme and I, along with [ profile] radshaun, went to collect [ profile] mermaiden and [ profile] willow_cabin from the airport to celebrate our second annual Winter in Florida vacation together. :D It was late and we'd all had long days, but that didn't stop us from staying up and talking even longer.

Wednesday morning, we woke up late and drove over to Juno Beach, Florida. It is the beach where we spent all our time last year, so it was the perfect place to soak up sunshine and ocean breezes. We spent several hours there, almost always the only people on the beach. Graeme dug holes and molded sand with his beach toys, the rest of us took photos and scanned the sands for shells and coral and those neat little surf-rocks.

After getting well and truly burned at the beach, we drove to a Jupiter new age store with an amazing jewelry collection. Graeme fell asleep in the car, so our next stop at the Jupiter Goodwill store for thrifting left Sarah and Jenn by themselves while I played Bejeweled in the car.

Daniel (newly arrived from Chicago) and Shaun met back up with us for lunch at Pollo Tropical, a Cuban fast food place with lots of beans and rice and yucca on their side item menu.

After lunch, we drove to the Jupiter Lighthouse, the oldest structure in the area (1860) and took their once-a-month sunset tour. The climb up the staircase was tiring (the climb down terrifying) but the view of the Loxahatchee River pouring out into the ocean, the sun sinking behind the horizon, the palm trees waving beachside was awe-inspiring.

More thrifting afterwards in North Palm Beach (the most expensive Goodwill I've ever seen) and then we drove home for dinner, a delivery of vegan cupcakes (from my [ profile] help_haiti winning bid), and a viewing of a Tasha Tudor documentary. (The happiest thing captured on a VHS tape--ever!)

But really--this post is all about the photos.









windinthemaples: A lane of red maple trees in riotous fall color. (outdoorsy)
Friday, our last full day in New York, we packed up and headed to Ithaca, a Boulder-esque college town at the base of one of the Finger Lakes. It is one of the most spectacularly situated towns I've ever seen, surrounded by waterfalls and picturesque forests. More importantly, though, it is now home to my dearest, much admired, thoroughly crushed upon [ profile] joe_fisher.

We got into town with a light rain falling. Daniel made some phone calls while Rhiannon and I took Graeme and all of my oversized, breakable purchases to a shipping store and then combing through a very nice crystal shop. (I got two tumbled eggs of labradorite, a bright pebble of apatite, a spar of black tourmaline, and a couple brightly sparkling herkimer diamonds.)

Daniel finished his phone calls and we went for lunch at Moosewood Restaurant, a place I've only dreamed of eating at after flipping through all their famous veggie cookbooks. It was very cozy and comfy and nommy. Every meal at the restaurant has a different small menu, every day. As we left at the end of lunch, we saw the staff seated at a table with a bottle of wine, planning out the dinner menu. The foods were all very homecooked and accessible. It was a little disappointing, because everything was something I could make at home without much fuss, but it was still tasty and fun to be somewhere so famous in the vegetarian world. I had a cup of mushroom barley soup, half of a hummus pita sandwich, a mug of Ithaca chai, and a warm and happy apple and cherry baked dessert with a crumble topping.

After lunch, we were still waiting for Joe to get done with his chores so he could join us, so we walked to the nearby Ithaca Commons, a nice pedestrian mall like Boulder's Pearl Street, and went to Autumn Leaves, a nice two-story used bookstore. Daniel and Graeme stayed behind outside Moosewood, where they played with leaves and sticks and tree planter dirt for about two hours. I found a couple great pagan books, an astrology book geared towards women, and even a couple children's picture books that work well for my pagan parenting purposes. :)

The rain had slacked off to a misty afternoon when we heard from Joe and made plans to meet in his neighborhood, a short walk to Ithaca Falls.

Joe is wonderful. He has the best energy I've ever been around, I get a contact high just being near him. He's the kind of guy who seems too good to be real and yet is. He gives the best hugs, like he's trying to pull you through his ribs and into the warmth of his core, and he is just golden. Good, funny, smart, capable, joyous, warm. He's the best. I'm worried about things like washing dishes and planning a SpiralScouts event and he's off doing superhuman feats in his daily life like building homes with his bare hands and teaching people how to convert their cars to biodiesel. He is a Renaissance man of the first order--just as polished in philosophy and carpentry as he is in baking and biology. A whirlwind of goodness and energy and accomplishment.

He, acting as our tour guide, squished into our car with us and took us to Ithaca Falls and on a longer hike to Taughannock Falls in the hush of twilight. Both were extraordinary places to see. After hiking the last, we drove to the local Greenstar Co-op for dinner before parting ways and having to drive back to Greenwood.

Photos from our trip to Ithaca. )

On Saturday, we packed up and cleaned the house and drove to a mall near the airport in Buffalo to meet Sarah and Jenn. We walked through Teavana, watched Rhiannon eat some burritos in the food court, and then took her to the airport for her flight home. I miss her already. It was such a luxury to get to spend an entire week together.

After Sarah had a meeting with her tattoo artist, we met back up (with her sister, Laura) at Amy's Place for a farewell brunch. Mmm. Their vegan French toast is the bomb. We had a great time and it was especially nice to get to spend some time with Laura while we were in New York. She's so nice and so funny, really a cool person to hang out with. It was a fabulous meal together.

We shuffled out to the parking lot, hugged and hugged and hugged some more, and then drove off into the sunset, so to speak, to our flight home and luggage hauling and back into our Chicago life.

Thank you, everyone, for the memories. New York treated us well and our friends made it that much more perfect of a vacation. :) <3

You can view more photos from our travels at My Flickr page or at Sarah and Jenn's Flickr page.
windinthemaples: A lane of red maple trees in riotous fall color. (outdoorsy)
Thursday morning, we packed up the car with snacks and our portable DVD player (the baby pacifier to end all baby pacifiers) and drove about sixty country miles to Watkins Glen, this amazing little town at the base of one of the Finger Lakes and home to lots of water falls and water-etched gorges and cliff faces. Graeme fell asleep in the carrier and we took the Gorge Trail of Watkins Glen State Park up to the top--something like 800 stone steps along the way, up about six hundred feet in elevation and gorgeous with all the waterfalls and slate trails. Most of the stairs were wet natural slate without any handrails, so it was a bit treacherous carrying Graeme up all of them. I was definitely feeling winded by the time we made our final ascent to the park entrance at the top.

Daniel offered to hike down without us, collect the car, and meet us at the parking lot at this top entrance. There was a big playground at the top shaded with oak trees, so Rhi and I played with Graeme for about an hour while we waited for his return. There was a world of busy squirrels and chipmunks running around collecting a bounty of acorns. We divided our attention between watching them and playing on the playground equipment with Graeme. Daniel got back and played with us some more, getting Graeme nice and worn out before we had to load back into the car. :)

Photos from the Gorge Trail and the Playground )
Rhiannon used her Garmin-foo and veggie intuition to find a local restaurant for us to have lunch. (Wildflower Cafe). Based on the name alone, we bet it would have veg options and, lo and behold, it did. :D (Though it seemed like Watkins Glen was pretty vegan-friendly in general, being home to Farm Sanctuary and all.)

We sat and had lunch and then shopped at a few of the cute little boutiques and antiques haunts downtown in Watkins Glen. I found, in one, a pagan horse statue. ;) It is a garish, silver knock-off of an older Breyer Western Horse, but the saddle has little pentacles and snakes. It was too goofy to pass up. ;)

Pagan horse photos. )

After lunch, Graeme conked out in the car. We drove along the lake past a ton of wineries, stopping at one so Rhiannon and Daniel could run in and sample some of the local vintages. The road curved home through farmland and forest and even past an Amish horse drawn wagon. It had been a beautiful day.
windinthemaples: A lane of red maple trees in riotous fall color. (outdoorsy)
Monday morning, we were all determined to make the most of the day since it was Sarah and Jenn's last before heading home. Daniel, babysitter extraordinaire, watched Graeme some more so that the four of us girls could go thrift shopping in town. (We'd been passing the same roadside Salvation Army nightly and were determined to get there in the light of day.) The store was, to be fair, dismal. We each found a few good treasures but really, the pickings were slim for such a large store. We are some serious thrift shoppers, together we're a force to be reckoned with, so it seemed especially disappointing to be so excited about something that turned out so anticlimactic. We found an antiques mall nearby with a Garmin search and drove over to check it out. What looked like a small storefront was old three story department store downtown cluttered and packed with all kinds of beautiful things. We split up and spent hours combing the store's collections. The prices were very reasonable but I tried to resist since so much was breakable and I didn't have much in the way of luggage space. I made it to the third floor emptyhanded until I found the most beautiful handmade round broom, a true witch's broom, hanging in a shaft of light from the windows. The birds sang, the heavens opened, the price tag said $10 and I was sold. :D I also found a weighty metal bookend, a 1920s Egypt-styled one, well distressed and gorgeous for $3. That kinda broke the seal on shopping, so to speak, because I had to ship the broom home and if I was going to ship one thing, well it got that much easier to justify shipping more. :)

All of us were triumphant with our purchases. We hauled them back to the house where I got Graeme into the tub while Sarah and Rhiannon started work on our vegan farewell feast. We had dinner together in front of the TV, the girls trying to introduce me to The Neverending Story. (They had to leave shortly after dinner and Graeme was noisily uncooperative with the plan so they did not succeed. ;) ) Dinner was a big, delicious production. We had a winter squash and veggie stew, spinach risotto, steamed broccoli, mashed potatoes, hearty slabs of bread with vegan margarine, and apple cider. There was also a no-bake chocolate peanut butter pie which we never ate and later were forced to cannibalize for parfaits. (The chocolate layer was yeck. Something wonky happened with the recipe.)

Sarah and Jenn had to pack up and drive home Monday night. Luckily, Rhiannon had been able to take the whole week off of work, so we were like peas and carrots. Happy together.

"Imagine me and you,
and you and me
no matter how you toss the dice
its meant to be
the only one for me is you
and you and me
so happy together!"

Excepting that I told her laughingly that she was mean and hurt her feelings or the time that she walked through our bedroom and saw me sleeping topless (I'm a cosleeping nursing mom, this is not unusual for me), mortifying her. Otherwise, yeah, peas and carrots. :)

Tuesday, she and I played with Graeme in the yard. We stalked honeybees, smelled flowers, sampled fruit from the backyard garden, gave the apple tree swing a try, and tried to teach Graeme things like tree climbing and apple picking and flower sniffing.

Farm Photos )

Our farewell the night before had been eased by the knowledge that we were going to drive to Buffalo Tuesday and meet Jenn and Sarah for dinner after work at Amy's Place, this great vegetarian diner. Our plans to get there early and explore Buffalo were derailed, though, when we discovered a big curving rod of metal puncturing our rental car's tire. With two air refills, a couple irritatingly unhelpful phone calls to Avis Roadside assistance, and the sheer luck of finding a mechanic willing to plug the tire for $10, we got on the road safely at last, switched the rental car out for another at the Buffalo airport, and cruised in just in time to make our dinner date.

(I ordered a vegan B.L.T--toasted wheat bread, vegan mayo, crisp lettuce, tomato, and thin slices of smoke-marinated tofu as well as a mustard and nutritional yeasty bowl of mac & "cheese" and a locally brewed cola. Daniel, Rhi, and I also got three orders of vegan french toast to heat up for breakfast the next day. Mmmm. :D)

After dinner, we caravanned to one of Sarah and Jenn's favorite thrift stores, a giant AmVets. I found some great vintage children's books, a toy measuring tape for Graeme, and a fun book on painting rocks for our SpiralScouts to play with. We, all of us, went home with a haul. :D

It was a great evening, especially fun to feel like we happened to live just a few hours from Sarah and Jenn and could do such pedestrian and joyful things as meet up for an after work meal or two.

Wednesday was rainy and Daniel had to get some work done. Rhi and I bundled the baby into the car and drove back to that fabulous antiques mall we'd been at the other day. I was already accepting that I'd have to ship things home, so I went back through (Graeme asleep in his carrier on my chest) with an eye to getting the things that I'd passed by regretfully the day before. We had another few hours of sheer pleasure eying everything in the place again, collecting a little basket of gifts for ourselves and our friends (though not, Sarah, the one you'd hoped we'd buy for you!). I found a few things like a crescent shaped offering bowl, a stained glass heart, and an autumn-themed salt and pepper set that I'd loved on first sight and a few things I'd somehow managed to overlook the first time. Once we'd had our purchases wrapped up, we took Graeme to the grocery store for lunch in their cafe and a little bit more shopping. Daniel had handwritten some directions to a local apple farm for us to visit. We finally found the unmarked dirt road it was on but the place looked not-open-to-visitors despite their many radio ads to the contrary. We didn't even stop, just stopped the car in the laser gaze of the workers in the yard, put the car into reverse, and headed home. ;) The orchard sold cider at the grocery store, so it was just as well. :)

Wednesday night, Rhiannon and I gadded around. We had food and curled up to watch episodes of So You Think You Can Dance and Glee together like the TV-loving girlfriends we are. :) It was perfect. :)
windinthemaples: A lane of red maple trees in riotous fall color. (outdoorsy)
This past week, Daniel and I rented a hilltop farmstead in Greenwood, New York and shared it with our much-beloved friends [ profile] rubymulligan, [ profile] mermaiden, and [ profile] willow_cabin. It was really a glorious week to be there--surrounded by vibrant autumn-bewitched forests, under the heady atmosphere of mist and fog and priceless blue skies. We had an entire week to tramp through the woods and down roads that saw a car (at most) a day. We drove through and visited the Finger Lakes region of New York, which is as beautiful a place as exists on earth. We had nommy vegan meals--both homemade and restauranted. We shopped and drank tea and watched satellite television and sniffed perfume and otherwise just experienced that rare treat of occupying the same space once again. :)

Saturday was our arrival day. Sarah and Jenn, who live near Buffalo, picked up Rhiannon earlier in the afternoon and headed out to the farm before dark. We, following behind by three or four hours, anxiously scanned the dark-as-dark-can-be gravel road for a sign of our house. Only two places broke up the isolation of that five mile seasonal trail--the caretaker's house and then ours another mile or so on. We have never been so happy to see pagan bumperstickers as we were that night. We'd found their car! We'd found the house! We'd survived the trip! :D

The place we stayed at was a seventy acre hay farm from the 1880s. On one side of the gravel road, a barn and outbuildings were gracefully deteriorating. On the other, on a bit of a rise, was the farmhouse surrounded by wildflowers, grapevines, and fruit trees. The house has been remodeled, a little bit, but maintained a lot of its historic charm. (And by charm, I mostly mean mice.) Both the living room and the kitchen had woodburning stoves. A comfortable mix of Amish furniture, comfy sofas, lace curtains and aged floral papers graced the rooms. In some areas, the wood floors were painted barn red with hand-designed flowers along the edges. It was comfortable like a worn-soft quilt. The black wrought iron woodstoves didn't seem out of place somehow next to the satellite television and the microwave. It was a nice balance. The downside to the house's character, its low price, and its remote location and outstandingly good views was the unexpected houseguests. Rhiannon's intended room, for some unknown reason, had a black fly infestation. They clung silently to the ceiling and cycloned noisily inside the lampshade at her bedside table. Mice scritched inside the walls at night and left tiny pepper black droppings on our kitchen counters. The place felt a little musty, moldy, something so that the air quality seemed not-good. I joked, not entirely not-serious, when we all came down with head colds and other assorted illnesses that we had the hanta virus. It was hard for me as a hostess not to focus on the bad things inherent in my choice of house, but as a vacationer, I couldn't have asked for more. We were in the middle of nowhere, rolling forested hill after hill draped in a changing autumn cloak, in a farm of our own, undisturbed, with chubby groundhogs and families of deer, chipmunks and squirrels and birds all making themselves at home in our backyard, right out the picture window.

Photos of the farm and the surrounding countryside. )

After reunion hugs, a quick house tour, and some sniffing and buying and trading of perfume oils (of which [ profile] rubymulligan is the crafter of a new line that is awesomesauce), we girls piled into Sarah and Jenn's car and drove about twenty miles to a grocery store to stock up the house a little. We were lucky to find a store that had an organics/natural foods section, so all our vegan needs were met with ease. I remember that night's major victories came in the form of local apple ciders (including one made exclusively with honeycrisps!) and a round happy bread loaded with apple slices and raisins.

Between the four of us in the car, we had two Garmins and let me tell you, in the dark, it is still a wonder we got home. After some Garmin fails and turning around and taking of sketchy abandoned dirt trails under ominous canopies of trees, glowing animal eyes staring us down, making urban legend hooked hand jokes and otherwise huddling together and saying a few "Holy shit! I don't want to die out here!"s, we did indeed find ourselves back to the comforting lights of the house.

Sunday morning dawned damp and misty on our hilltop home. Graeme was up fairly early, so he and I went out to the yard's picnic table with our breakfast. He's a nature boy at heart. The entire week he was enamored with being outside where he could run around, inspect and sort gravel, collect leaves and pinecones, and just be a boy with sticks and rocks and all those best kinds of toys.

Once everyone else was awake, Sarah and Jenn, Rhiannon and I tramped down the hill road, veering off into the woods to chase creeks and mossbeds and mushrooms. It was the most perfect spot on earth, our very own forested world. We goofed and gaped and wandered and took a ton of pictures. :) Rhiannon looked especially funny in her Lord of the Rings green sweater tunic and oversized walking staff. :D There are photos of her on my flickr pole vaulting with it. Fun stuff. :)

Breakfast with Graeme and our woodland hike photos. )

After hiking back to the farm, we had all worked up a bearlike appetite. Rhiannon ([ profile] rubymulligan) braved the kitchen, lampblacked her clothes, and whipped up the most nommy and comforting mushroom stroganoff. (Braggs + Tofutti Sour Supreme FTW). With that, a round of bread, a jug of cider and a big salad, we sat outside on the picnic table and had lunch al fresco. After Graeme's afternoon nap, we collected all our vegan cookbooks and hiked to the private pond to sit and hash out our big vegan feast plans for Monday. We piled back into Sarah's car and visited the grocery store, stocking up for serious this time before we headed back and I went to sleep early with Graeme.

It had been an awesome day on the farm. We had one left with [ profile] mermaiden and [ profile] willow_cabin before they had to drive home and get back to work. I'll continue that in my next post. :)

My companions and our picnic lunch. :) <3
windinthemaples: A lane of red maple trees in riotous fall color. (beachcouple)
* Shaun left yesterday morning. It was spectacularly great to get to spend an entire week with him under our roof. Graeme gloms onto him like white on rice. (When prompted as to what his name is, Graeme says, "Unka Hooray!". Very cute as my little toddler is now obsessed with role calls. In a group, he'll point to each person and name them, including himself. *pointing* "Mama. Daddy. Baby. Unka Hooray!". It was priceless.

We spent a lot of time doing not much. This weekend, though, we went to the Museum of Science and Industry and had a glorious, indulgent vegan meal at Green Zebra. Mmm. I even went so far as to put photos of the courses up on my Flickr.

* I just sobbed my way through 17 Again. I'm a sucker for every movie they preview in the OnDemand listings. This one wasn't creepy in the least. It was great.

* I sawed into my thumb with a serrated knife a few days ago. I was saved from worse by my thumbnail. I don't know what happened. I've never cut myself with a knife. Owwie.

* In a little over a week, I'm leaving for Graeme and I's Alaskan cruise. I'm both excited and intimidated. It is a little more ambitious than I usually care to be as a solo parent. eep!

* Graeme's had a fever overnight. He sorta collapsed at the playground yesterday afternoon, laying down on the pavement and refusing to get up. It was scary. I got about four or five hours of sleep and spent at least that much nursing him. We're having a cereal and pajamas and Sesame Street kind of morning.

* Mystery School has been much on my mind this past week. Next year, they're doing the story of Persephone. What would your story be like if it was told by your mother?, Cynthea asked. Not coincidentally, I got into my first ever fight with my father two days ago and got to hear him unleash "17 years of grievances" against me. It was an hour-long tale where I played the part of the villain in every vignette. (Though Daniel got to be co-star in some as the man with a singleminded striving for acquiring material wealth at the expense of everyone and everything else.) It was astonishingly poisoned, like something bottled up for seventeen years and festering and finally unleashed in one great hour long diatribe.

So thank you River, for passing that Grove wisdom about Demeter telling Persephone's tale along. I thought, "Oh, so this is my life story as told by my father. How fascinating. This isn't my self-perception at all." I'm taking a few days to get over the sting of it, but I feel ultimately healthy and self-secure. A long conversation with my mom about my Dad's mental illness and how that skews his perceptions and that heart-security of hearing her say she loves me and that I've been a blessing to both her and Dad, no matter what he says to me now, helped me, too. I had friends chiming in and my brother and sister-in-law calling just to say they're sorry and that they love me. I know that I've made poor choices at times but I also know that my father's assumed motivations for me aren't true or fair. It stinks, though, to have him have such obvious scorn for me and to think, on a fundamental level, that I'm selfish and evil and irresponsible and uncaring. I have a good thing going, I have a beautiful family and I'm sorry my dad doesn't see it that way.


windinthemaples: A lane of red maple trees in riotous fall color. (Default)

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