Friday, November 29, 2013

The Tori Douglas

I have been SO busy! I am happy to announce that I am a Winner of National Novel Writing Month. I took a break from everything this month to get it done, but I now have Book II of my Through the Veil series in first draft. The Gossamer Crown is now in the editing phase, after a short mental health break, of course. 

I am devoting my time to really put my work out there. When I published Hole in the Stone I just put it out there in the world and left it at that. I am have learned a lot about Kindle publishing, and hope to put that to work when I launch it's follow up book, The Gossamer Crown. I have a new site, dedicated to my writing aspirations, at The Tori Douglas, where I hope to see you guys in the future.

Between this and writing for and being active in Gaming Mommies, I doubt this blog, as much as I love it, will be getting much attention. 

I would love for you all to follow me to my new endeavors! If not, I will see you here, now and then. Brightest blessings to you all!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Plans in motion

My entire adult life has seemingly been a long line of crisis' strung together. Granted, there have been some amazingly good times hung on that line as well, but I have not once had my shit together. I would like to know what that's like. I feel like we have a plan that is a long-term solution, not an 11th hour fix that might make things worse in the long run. We are not running from a problem, as we have tried and failed to do in the past. We are not hiding. We are actually on the upswing, not in the midst of a catastrophe right now. We could probably continue on as we are right now and be back on an even keel in the next 2 months...until the next issue throws us back into the tempest. Fuck that. For real, I can't do it anymore. The next blow might be the one I don't get up from. We have to find a better way. We have to make a deep change and really live it.

All our life together, we planned and the gods laughed. The Hubs and I had a series of loooong talks, followed by a long, serious, and highly emotional conversation with my parents over the weekend. We are going to start back at zero. We are going to carve down our lives to fit into what we can afford and manage, and we are going to keep it there.

What are our resources?
 We have the Vardo. It needs some serious remodeling to be a permanent residence, like a working bathroom for instance, but it is all work that we have the tools and knowledge to do. Until then, it is structurally livable, as long as we have access to facilities.  

We have a bunch of crap. I will be spending the next few weeks ruthlessly sorting our belongings into keep. pitch, sell. There are, really, very few belongings we have that we can't live without, especially when you factor in cost to store it and the odds of us living somewhere we can use large items like our furniture, in the next several years. Better to sell it and put the funds toward the Vardo. By the weekend I hope to have the 1st of several yard sales and have the bulk of our furniture on Craigslist.

We have a cheap place to park the Vardo. My parents have a 1 acre lot, and have graciously agreed to let us park the Vardo on it. We will have sewer hook-up, electrical hook-up, and much to our kids approval, cable. We will contribute to the utilities, and I will happily cook for the whole extended family. We will be close enough to their house to use their shower, (the Vardo toilet works, and the shower might work but it leaks and we are afraid to do more water damage) and their kitchen when I need an oven. The Hubs has a new job, and the 1st week that asked if he could transfer closer to where my parents live. Even if we move before he is transferred, the company will put him up in Safford during the week, they have several drivers who live in the Sierra Vista area, but stay in Safford during the week to work.

We have a fierce desire to abandon almost everything and build a better life from the ground up. The ultimate goal is to remodel the Vardo, and then build a Tiny House. Both of these projects will be done in small bites, as we can afford it. This is the 2nd part of living within our means. We don't want a mortgage for a house we hope we can still afford down the line. We want to build as we can afford it, and have no overhead once they are complete. Once these are done and fully livable, we will find a piece of land, buy it cash, and park our Tiny Houses on it. When we can afford it. Not when we think we have the budget on paper to afford the payment. That is where we fail, time and again. We now accept this limitation in ourselves and are acting accordingly. 

On a more personal note, I seem to be in better mental health when I am in control of my living space. Even when we were squished in the Vardo, with my Dad ranting from his Alzheimer's and me having to care for him (he is fully incontinent, with a Foley Catheter and adult diapers...think of that in an RV) I was happier there. It was paid for. No one could ever evict us from the Vardo. It was mine to do with as I pleased. No matter what else was happening, that is an unbelievably comforting thought and I missed it the second we went back to renting. 

I always wanted to remodel the Vardo, and that plan completely fell away when we moved. We moved into the rental house in all good faith that it would work, we would buy it down the line and make a home and a life here. We just got sucked up in plans, again. We see what could be in the future, and ignore what we should be doing today. Scaling down and making what we have work for us will let us focus on today. What can we do today, each day, to make our life better. We are committing to no longer live a someday life. Someday we will own this. Someday we will be able to to that. I am 38, someday will never come until I decide today is that someday. 

Today is the day I will begin to sort out my life.

Today is the day I will do something to make the life I want happen.

Today I will plan, but I will also DO!

Today I will make my life better, and no longer wait for XYZ to make it better for me.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday Message 8/26/13

The Guardians at the Gate. The Bright Mother, Death

A New life, a new beginning awaits. What must you release to let this new life begin? Do not be afraid, the Mother has her hand upon you. Let it end, it has run it's course, and it's passing makes room for you to pass into this new start!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday Message 8\19\13

Letting go is not losing control. Tightly regimented life and mind are a sign of fear, not control, in this instance. Give yourself the freedom to run a little wild and learn something new about yourself from the outcome. Turn right instead of left and always remember each day of your life is a fresh page waiting to be written. Do not copy and paste, write a masterpiece.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

An open letter to the class of 1993

My 20 year High School reunion is today!
Sadly, I cannot attend. I live over 2000 miles away and finances are just now starting to perk up. I am actually more disappointed than I expected to be about not being able to attend. The Hubs and I went to my 10 year, and had a ball. 

My High School years were pretty average, I guess. I don't have a tale of trauma, drama, or, slow-clap-turns-into-thunderous-applause. It was four years of my life. 

Four good years, in which I had fabulous times and made life-long friends. I cried over boys, cried over stupid crap, cried because I was a teenage girl and that's what we do.I had shenanigans, got into some trouble, but was all-in-all a good kid. I was in too many clubs and activities. Band, Show Choir, Latin Club, Drama Club, Prom committee. I dove in to my school with a passion. I had some Honors level classes, and I enjoyed them. I was surprisingly well liked and even popular in certain circles despite being an overweight Band Geek. I had friends in, or was at least friendly with, all the various cliques, and even those few I had beef with at one time or another, the friction seemed to pass quickly and things went back to normal. 

Were those the "Best Years of My Life"? Not really, but they are collectively in the top 10. All I know is I am 2000 miles away, but when I see people from that time on Facebook, or around Elwood when I lived there or have gone back to visit, it makes me smile. I am genuinely glad I know that person and can instantly call up a nice memory of them that makes me smile. 

I hope the same happens to you, class of '93! I hope you see Kyle or Carter playing a song with their bands and get a warm memory of a school dance. I hope you see Tammy. Jennifer, Sarah, or Anne and think of  some Pep Rally. I hope you see Kreg or Amber and think of the Prom. You think of football when you see Paul. Kirk, Chad, John, or Scott. Maybe you see Bob and remember we prayed at graduation, even though we were not supposed to! Remember Kenny marching in the band half-time show in his football uniform and a big old tuba and Juan. Leta, Krystal, Ryan and David with the band at the end of the bleachers during every game playing Go! Fight! Win!? T.K., Danielle, Kristy, Chrissy, Jenny in those god-awful Crimson Suite dresses! Heidi, Aaron, Jerri Lynn, Carrie in a school play. Gary with that fab Sombrero on the Spanish Club float!

I could go on and on. I like to hope you think of something awesome when you see me around or read all the weird stuff I post of Facebook. We had good times, and they are worth remembering! Have a great reunion, Class of 1993, and raise a glass for me and all the others that are only there in spirit.

We are wild! We are free! We are the class of '93!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

No-Knead Bread is awesome!

I have been in a baking mood again lately. I made a Sourdough Starter, which I will post this weekend when it is ready to bake with. I did not want to wait for the yummy bread goodness, so I decided to try another bread recipe that I have seen around the internets. Originally posted by New York Times, the no-knead bread method has made the rounds in the blogs since 2008. Is it too late to say I'm jumping on the bandwagon? Probably, since the wagon is parked in storage by now...but I digress. 

The No-Knead method is very appealing to me for several reasons. 

1. It requires more time than actual effort, which works well for me. 
Time does all the work here, all you really have to do is remember when to mess with it. It took like 2 minutes to mix the dough, cover it with plastic wrap, and tuck it on top of the fridge. 

2. It is ridiculously cheap
And will be even cheaper when my Sourdough starter is ready to use and I won't even have to buy yeast! I estimate that there might be $.50 or less in this loaf of bread, depending on the flour you use. I happened to have bread flour around, but all-purpose is fine also.

3. It's delicious! Crusty on the outside, chewy and tender on the inside, with a deep, yeasty flavor that cannot be matched in bread with shorter proofing times. It really has that boutique bakery taste and texture.

4. It makes you look like an awesome, Hipster, Artisan baker!!!
You can totally make your friends and family think you are a master baker when you whip this loaf out for dinner or bring it as a Hostess or house warming gift. It looks rustic and awesome, smells amazing, and tastes even better. 

The Basic No-Knead Bread Recipe

3 cups flour plus more for flouring work surfaces
use what you have around. Bread flour is good, but all purpose works well. If you want to use whole wheat, mix it with white flour 1:2 ratio. The white flour "ferments" better and will develop better taste

1/4 teaspoon instant yeast

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups purified water
Only use tap water if you are certain it has no chlorine. Chlorine inhibits bacteria growth, and we are going for optimum yeast development here

a cast iron Dutch oven or other high-temp safe vessel with a lid to bake it in. This is an important step! I said above that time does most of the work, well the Dutch oven does the rest of the work. I have an awesome cast iron Dutch oven that was my Dads. It is a no-name brand, but has been seasoned by years of camping trips!

A cotton towel 

plastic cling wrap

cooling rack

Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl, then mix in water to form a "Shaggy" dough. It should not be liquid, but it should be too sticky to handle well.

Cover the bowl with cling wrap, and stick it in a spot where the room temp is consistent. I always use the top of the fridge for proofing dough. It is warm and out of the way. Now the waiting begins. Let that dough chill out for around 12-18hrs. I live in a hot climate, so I waited about 15 hrs so that I would not have the oven on at the hottest part of the day. 12 seems to be the minimum of consensus, but I did see a blog that the blogger got by with 8 hrs. Just make sure the dough has at least doubled, and looks bubbly and loose.

Scrape the dough out on a WELL floured surface. You will need to use a dough scraper or spatula. It will stick to the sides of the bowl.

 Flour the top of the dough and your hands, then gently spread the dough into a rough rectangle. 

Fold the dough on itself in thirds

Then in half
Cover loosely with the cling wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.

Lay out a clean, cotton towel and flour a spot for the dough very well. Cornmeal can also be used, and if you are super-fancy you can use a proofing basket. I tend to avoid single-job kitchen equipment, so I opt for a well-floured towel.

Once the dough has rested, tuck the seams under and put on the floured towel, then flour the top of the dough and wrap in the towel. Let the dough proof for 60-90 minutes. Again, super hot here so I waited an hour.

15 minutes before baking time, pre-heat the oven to 500 and put the Dutch oven in to pre-heat as well. When it is time, carefully remove the Dutch oven and remove lid.  It will smoke when you take the lid off, this is normal and means the pot is hot enough.Turn the dough out into the bottom of the Dutch oven, and give it a shake to let the dough settle on the bottom. The seams will be up now, and will act as "scoring" since the dough is too soft to actually score. I did not take a pic of this step, as I had a dog, 2 cats, and a child trying to "help" me and I was nervous someone was going to get burnt. Slap the lid back on and bake for 30 minutes. Then, turn oven down to 450 and remove the Dutch oven lid, bake for 15 minutes. Then remove the bread from the Dutch oven and on to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before slicing. This is the hardest part, by far, because it smell like heaven!

Just a note: There are lots of cool baking gadgets like sold HERE, but as I stated I don't like one-job equipment. I also like that this recipe is simple for the novice, home baker with amazing results. Whether you are a dedicated baking nerd with half of the items from the above shop in your kitchen, or this is your 1st loaf of bread, a little patience is all the skill you need for this bread to be in your belly!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Homestead Update 08/11/13

We are finally in a hopeful place. Our landlord has been working with us to get through yet another rough patch financially, and has mentioned us buying the property on contract when our lease is up. I feel more inclined to work on improving the land knowing it may be permanent. 

I finished one keyhole garden, but it is being attacked by ground squirrels at every turn. They dug the pea seeds right up and killed one of the pumpkins already. That and the heat killing the cucumber, which I knew was a strong possibility, are discouraging. When I can get a few extra bucks, I am going to plant bush beans, potatoes, and maybe try cukes again when the weather breaks.

We also have been working on plans for a chicken coop. We learned from past mistakes and checked the local ordinance, even though we live well out of town. We are good to go for livestock, and are hoping to have the coop done, made for nearly free with pallets, (we just need to buy hardware cloth) and populated with 8-10 hens and a rooster in the next month. The next phase will be a 2nd coop for meat birds, then a few goats.

I started the garden way late in the year, and although I did not expect much production, I am worried I will have nothing to show for those efforts this year. That's ok, the foundation is laid for future seasons. Good news, though! My Mom and Stepdad sent us home from our last visit with a bucket of peaches from their tree. I am not up to canning at the moment, so I just sliced them up and tossed them with some pectin and bagged them up to freeze.

I got about 2 quarts. We are set for peach cobbler and pie this winter! 

Beyond that I have been crafting and trying to write. Etsy and Amazon have kept us above water the past month. I hope now that The Hubs is back to work that money can go straight into improving the property and toward homesteading projects like rain barrels and getting some fruit and nut trees!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Meditation Bowl

I have been lost for a while now. Let me be clear, I have chosen to remain lost, to some extent, for a while now. Some of this has been out of my control and remains so, and has been steadily improving with the help of my doctor. Some of this has been my choice to not nurture the light in my life, and a choice to wallow in the quicksand of my dark thoughts.

I am taking a step now, to bring daily meditation and prayer back into a place of priority in my life. I used to be really good at this. I used to meditate for at least one short session a day, and prayer was second nature, like a commentary to Divine in my head.
Now, I have to remind myself to pray even once a day. Is it the worst crime of my battle with depression and anxiety that I allowed my connection to my faith and spirit be damaged, and took so long to repair it.

But, repair it I will, and I am taking a step today to re-establish my meditative practice. I am making a Meditation Bowl, and I encourage you to do the same if you wish to establish or strengthen your own meditative practice.

The Mayo Clinic has this to say about meditation:

Benefits of meditation
Meditation and emotional well-being
When you meditate, you clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress.
  • Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
  • Building skills to manage your stress
  • Increasing self-awareness
  • Focusing on the present
  • Reducing negative emotions
Meditation and illness
Meditation also might be useful if you have a medical condition, especially one that may be worsened by stress. While a growing body of scientific research supports the health benefits of meditation, some researchers believe it's not yet possible to draw conclusions about the possible benefits of meditation.
Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that benefits both your emotional well-being and your overall health. And these benefits don't end when your meditation session ends. Meditation can help carry you more calmly through your day and can even improve certain medical conditions.
The emotional benefits of meditation include:
With that in mind, some research suggests that meditation may help such conditions as:

  • Allergies
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Asthma
  • Binge eating
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Pain
  • Sleep problems
  • Substance abuse
With this in mind, and knowing how much taking the time to meditate has helped me in the past, I am taking this step to make a visual and emotional cue to both remind me to meditate, and help me get to that head space for peace and thoughtfulness.

The Meditation Bowl

  • small bowl
  • Sea Salt
  • tea light or votive candle and holder
  • tumbled stones for meditation or root chakra (amethyst, rose quartz, clear quartz, aquamarine, turquoise, black obsidian, hematite, etc.)
Cleanse the bowl and stones, then sprinkle 3 pinches of salt in the bottom of the bowl. Add the candle and stones, then place in a high traffic place in your home where it will be seen every day. Try to meditate, concentrating on the lit candle in the bowl, for as little as a few minutes a day to get into the habit of mindfulness and meditation. Let me know about your meditative practices, and check back for guided meditations! 

Gratitude Prayer 6/14/13

Divine, I call to thee.
I look upon your many faces, I call your many names.
I thank you for the blessings that fill my life, and I thank you for the failures and hardships, which have changed my course on this journey.
I thank you for the gentle days, when my faith and blessings sprouted around my feet, and I thank you for the storms which cleared a space for new growth.
As I walk the Path before me, I know that in the darkest times, you tend the ember within me, the spark which ignites my passion, the lick of flame which feeds the beacon torch.
I send up blessings, I praise your names, I live to honor you, and the ways of the Wise.
Brightest Blessings

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Hippie Homestead!

Well, my little Witchlings, the Hippie Household has moved up and out of the Vardo and into an actual house! Don't panic, the Vardo is parked in the driveway. There are two very important points to this information.
1.) I have a kitchen! 
Like a real kitchen, not just a sink and an electric skillet. It's super-cute too...look!

So excited!
2.) I have my altar almost set up!
Some of my stuff is still in storage, but the majority of it is here and bathing in Frankincense as I type this. 

The fact that the swamp cooler is still broken and we have a million fans blowing around the air from our two overworked window air conditioners means the house is pretty much covered in cleansing smoke. Double plus.
More from our new Hippie Homestead as we unpack and get settled into the house and the acre it sits on!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Watch "Clueless Andrea" on YouTube

The Monday Message 5/13/13

Singers of the Chalice (inverted)
Singers of Courage
Faeries of the Future (inverted)

Open yourself to be filled. Accept the courage and strength that the Universe is offering.  It's painful to be strong, sometimes, but do not fear it. It is more painful to follow meekly down a Path not your own. Be bold, Fortune favors the brave, after all, and you shall be well favored for your bravery. So throw your arms wide and accept the gifts given you, no matter how scarry they are in this moment.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Healing List 05/09/13

Brightest Blessings and welcome back to the Healing List.
Please send, prayers, love, and healing light to those on the list this week. To add yourself or a loved one to the list, just leave the info in the comments!

The victims and families of the Boston Marathon bombing

WhiteMoonLily and her father who is battling illness

The victims and families of the Waco, TX explosion

My Dad, who is losing his battle with Alzheimer's


Joey, Carl, and Onx

Corban and family

Jerri Lynn

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Tuesday Pin:Orange Candle

If you have been on Pinterest at all, you have seen some  version of this pin.

We eat a lot of citrus in the Vardo, and I put the peels in vinegar that I use to make cleaning products, but I still end up throwing some away.
What a great idea to use them! It's a totally natural candle (if you use olive or coconut oil) and orange has awesome Magickal properties for energy and general mood lifting. Two birds, one stone. I have been wanting to give it a try, and I could use all the positive energy I can get!

I'm not gonna lie, it took me 5 tries to get this to work. I tried it with Cuties, and then with Valevcia oranges, no luck. Then I noticed on a different pin that I was working with the wrong end of things. The 'wick' formed by the pith seemed to be thicker and better anchored at the branch end of the orange, rather than the bloom end. Once I corrected this, it worked the first try.

gather your supplies

cut the peel around the center

I used the top to hold a tea light, or you can throw it in the vinegar as I mentioned

Use a spoon to separate the flesh from the peel

I used my fingers to twist the pith together into a wick

fill to just below the top of the wick with oil and light

This could be done with any citrus. Lemon for a more cleansing energy or lime for mental power. It could also be adapted into a spell by using herbs,herb-infused oils and putting stones in the oil. One variation I plan to try is Sea Salt, Lavender, and Amber for peace and calming energy to help me quiet my mind as I  get ready for bed at night.So many possibilities! What variation do you want to try?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Healing List 4/25/13

Brightest Blessings and welcome back to the Healing List.
Please send, prayers, love, and healing light to those on the list this week. To add yourself or a loved one to the list, just leave the info in the comments!

The victims and families of the Boston Marathon bombing

WhiteMoonLily and her father who is battling illness

The victims and families of the Waco, TX explosion

My Dad, who is losing his battle with Alzheimer's

I don't wear a lot of jewelry Most days, it's just my wedding band, the silver Russian wedding ring that I bought myself at 14 and have worn on my middle right finger ever since, and my necklace

My necklace is something that has evolved over time, and I'm sure will continue to do so. It's something my Mom does, and something that has become meaningful to both of us. We each have a long, silver chain, 24-28 inches, and we fill it up with pendants. Like a charm necklace, instead of a bracelet. My Mom's is heavy with charms and pendants, and she can tell you a story about each and every one. The latest edition is a piece of Bisbee turquoise someone gave her out of the blue, which she asked me to wire wrap for her. She has little crosses, charms, and pendants in  jumbled nest, dripping with memories

Mine is not so cool, yet. I have an amethyst, tanzenite, and diamond dragonfly the Hubs got me, and a ladybug and bee for the girls. I am on the lookout for a frog charm for my stepdaughter. I have a silver pendant made from an antique spoon Mom got me at an art fair, and finally, my pentacle. I take it off at night and hang it close to the bed, and every morning when I slip it over my head, I say a prayer or blessing for my day. 

It's a simple act, but very profound to me lately. If nothing else, I started my day in a place of mindful gratitude and blessing, and I am reminded of this when I take it off at night. That's two solid moments of Magick each and every day. If nothing else, it lets me be reminded that I walk with Goddesses.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Great Hippie Road Trip!

Things have been rough around the Vardo so far this year. Things are starting to turn around, and I want to keep this trend going with a super awesome vacay! We need something to look forward to, and we need a grand adventure.

I have been thinking that the Witchlings and I should start off the summer with an adventure! My stepdaughter is coming out for the summer again, and I thought that Bug, Mojo, my dog Mal, and I could pack up the car and take a camping adventure across the country, pick up LaLa, and continue our trek back. 

I have this Route in mind so far, which will take us through Santa Rosa NM to see the Blue Hole the first day, Keystone State Park in Tulsa OK to camp the second night,then on to Terre Haute, IN to see friends the third day. We will then spend a few days with family and friends in Indiana and to pick up LaLa. 

On our way home, we plan to stop in Memphis TN, second day we will see Crater of Diamonds in Oaklahoma, then the third night somewhere in the area of Midland, TX. I am open to suggestion here, I picked Midland because of driving time, not coolness.

 I would LOVE to get input from all of you for tips and tricks for road trips with 3 kids (3, 8, and 13) and a dog, places to see, and even any neat gear or camping trips. 

I have also started a GoFundMe campaign to try to raise some funding for this trip! Donate if you can, share if you could, and if nothing else, leave me a comment to let me know if I'm nuts, or to cheer me on.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Prayers for Elwood, IN

I know there is a lot of crazy going around out country this week, but I would like to make a personal request. My sister and many good friends still live in Elwood and are reliving a nightmare that has, unfortunately, happened before.

Please pray for my hometown of Elwood, Indiana which is flooded. The area received 5+ inches of rain in 24 hrs and then the weather turned cold and windy, making rescue efforts even harder.
This shot is looking down at my old neighborhood, and the house I grew up in. My sister lives there now and had to turn off the furnace despite the cold last night when the water reached the duct work under the house.
This is the front yard,a big difference from the pic of it I posted when we lived there!

And she took a video of the back yard, here is the before from 2011

The rest of town isn't doing so hot either

So I thank you for taking a moment to give a thought to my tiny little hometown!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Healing list for 4/18/13

Brightest Blessings and welcome back to the Healing List.
Please send, prayers, love, and healing light to those on the list this week. To add yourself or a loved one to the list, just leave the info in the comments!

The victims and families of the Boston Marathon bombing

WhiteMoonLily and her father who is battling illness

The victims and families of the Waco, TX explosion

My Dad, who is losing his battle with Alzheimer's

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Pampered Chicken Salad

A little Kitchen Witchery today. I have been making an effort to get myself back on track, in every area of my life. My Path has suffered from our time in The Vardo, simply because I like to have altars everywhere, and I don't really have one here at all. So, I have been working on prayers and blessings to use and keep my mind in a spiritual place.

I was thinking of this as I made lunch today, and realized that I was not utilizing my best tool for Everyday Magick. I need to get back into Kitchen Witchery. I feed my family, and I should use that opportunity to feed our souls.

So, I took a moment and thought Magickally about how I wanted to make the dish. What do I need right now, in this moment, and how can I use this food to put that intention into the Universe?

Here is the end result. I skewed this toward loving and pampering myself and my family. I am not one for measuring, I just tend to throw things in the mix, so adjust your amounts as you see fit

1 rotisserie chicken, shredded (or about 2-3 cups of chicken) 
3 small avacado, diced (Avacado represents luxury, beauty, and love)
1 green onion, diced (onion for protection and healing)
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes (to center and bring love into your heart)
1/2-3/4 cup mayo or plain yogurt
1/4 cup mustard (for protection and to help love be fertile)
salt and pepper to taste. (The chicken I used was seasoned, so I did not add any)
Mix together (I took it a step further here and used a blue spoon, and then served it on blue dishes for peace and calm)
Let sit in the fridge for an hour to let the mixture meld, then serve.

It was super yummy, and made me feel awesome that I took the first steps back toward one of my favorite Magickal practices!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

On the hook

I'm over the crochet burn-out I was feeling, and found a great little yarn shop. I got 3 balls of this lovely Merino wool. Making an Infinity scarf. I think I am in love with it and might keep it for myself!

Friday, April 12, 2013


I am not a patient woman. I never have been. It is a virtue that I am trying to cultivate, though I sometimes feel it is a futile endeavor.

This is the reason that our current course of action is hard for me. I don't mind the tight quarters here in the Vardo on the whole. There are times it drives me nuts, but they pass. On the whole, I feel very positive and in control of our situation.

Until yesterday.

We have been working with a small, local company to repair our credit and buy a home. We have a 6 month plan at the moment. Our credit is very near where it needs to be to get a loan, and we have both a home and a few undeveloped properties on the wish list.

The home we want we looked at back in January. We actually spent about an hour and a half touring the home and property, as well as just having a lovely visit with the home owners. 

So, when we began to get our ducks in a row and were asked if there was a house we were interested in, we put that place at the top of the list. The gentlemen we are working with even went to look at it to buy it so we could rent it until we could buy it from them when we get to that step. (That is how the program works. We don't pay them anything, but sign an agreement that we will buy a home from them of our choosing at the end of the program)

All was well. Then the home owner called us. They remembered how nice we were and how much we loved the house and wanted to give us one last shot. They offered to sell it to us owner carry. They offered to work with us. One way or the other, the place feels close enough to touch.

This makes me impatient. I don't want to wait 6 months. Veruca wants it now, Daddy, NOW! It's my Hippie dream home and it is a fucking solid possibility. This makes me insane with wanting...and it also makes me scared.

I have had the rug, hell the whole floor, pulled out from under me so many times. I am terrified by the invigorating hope that is bubbling in me, in us. It's heady, and amazing,  and it makes my heart race with both anticipation and terror.

I want to be positive. I want to just think that even if this one gets away, there is an equally delicious fish waiting to be hooked, but I am fragile and my hopes have been crushed so many times they don't go together smooth anymore. 

And so now I'm trying to be patient, trying to keep hope afloat, and trying not to be afraid of possibility. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

FREE entry into National Parks!

I Stumbled across this on my FB feed this morning and got super excited! We live near some pretty awesome places here in Eastern Arizona that we have yet to visit. Where will you go?

Yosemite National Park, Photo by DanNg

Thanks, but no thanks.

I love whoever said this and want it printed out on cards to hand out!

If you know who is the owner of this quote, let me know so I can give them credit.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Update on the Allegro

We have now been living in the Allegro for a little over 2 months. I still love it more than I dislike it, but when  the weather is bad or my Dad is having a bad day as far as Dementia, it gets pretty small. Even though we are making plans to move Dad into a Memory Care facility (This is the result of MUCH convincing of me by the nursing service that I have done all I can do and it is in his and our best interest. More on that later.) in the near future, we are still crowded, but determined to see this plan through

I have begun to call it The Vardo. This is the Roma name for the Gypsy wagons the Roma used to live and travel in. Because we are looking to potentially be here for six months while we go through the process of cleaning up our credit and get a loan to buy land and/or a home, my Mom came down two weeks ago and helped me spruce things up.

If you did not see my earlier post about it, here is what it looked like before.

Have I ever mentioned that I hate paneling? Yeah, it's a deep-seated hatred. So with it's nickname of The Vardo in mind, I set my plan in motion. Both my Mom and The Hubs thought I was nuts when I showed them my paint choices. They are bright and gaudy and awesome. If I'm gonna do a thing, I'm gonna DO IT! Their doubts were assuaged by the 2nd day when what I was seeing in my head began to take shape. A modern twist on the decadently garish Gypsy style. Love it or hate it, I present The Vardo

Not much altar space, but a Mason jar terrarium and my Buddah fit in the corner.

We put up a curtain as a "door" to separate our bed and the bathroom area to give the illusion of privacy.

I added more plants since. I put up coat hooks and hung the plastic buckets by one handle
Kind of hard to see, but I covered the mauve upholstery on the seat cushions with blue twin sheets. I secured them with sheet straps, crossed over, underneath. They stay put when going up and down between table and bed. 
This wall is right at the entrance. I used stencils.

Obligatory Instagram shot. I plan to hang two more curtains, one on each side, across the front to hide the "cabin". I really hate the mauve curtains, but the front faces more or less South and they are blackout curtains. They keep out a lot of heat and blinding light from the Arizona sun. 

What you cannot see is that we organized each overhead cabinet and it was amazing how much stuff The Vardo can hold and still be relatively neat and organized. I say "relatively" because I have 2 kids and 2 dogs...something is always messy.

I still have to finish the bed/bath area, but it is such an improvement! I love it even more now. 

When we get somewhere more permanent, The Vardo will become either an actual camper for trips, or a guest house, depending on how expensive making it road worthy will be. Until then, it's our little Home Sweet Home.Gypsy Junkies Axel Caplet Boxy Long Sleeve Tee at Free People - Black (Google Affiliate Ad)Cotton Tale Gypsy 3-Pc. Wall Art Set (Google Affiliate Ad)Gypsy Junkies Mimi Tunic (Google Affiliate Ad)Gypsy Junkies Mimi Tunic (Google Affiliate Ad) 

Merry Meet, Merry Part, and Merry Meet Again...

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