Holiday Traditions ala Me.

I’m somewhat Witchy these days and a lot of my traditions really stem from my heathen/pagan/nature worshippin’ ways. The older I get, the more “me” I become, which is most interesting because sometimes I look at myself and think – Who ARE you anyway?- Its most fun to become one’s truest self.

My Yule starts with the Solstice, which takes place in the northern hemisphere on December 21, 2018 at ohhh….3:23 PM. My first order of business:

Wake and thank Chaos and Order for bringing back the light.

Watch the sun rise, from beginning to end.

Light ALL my candles and do a happy dance at 3:23 PM. I always feel so grateful for the slow and steady return of longer days. I am a fair weather person with a wonky brain, the returning light means I’ll suffer less and enjoy more.

Enjoy a special meal, something “earthy”. For me this is anything with mushrooms but it has to be healthy. I was going to make a hot mushroom salad this year but my Hubs is not keen on that so we’re having mushroom pizza, ha ha. Sometimes in life you have to compromise. We’ll have the salad another day and besides I’d really rather have something I don’t have to cook, on a Friday night after grocery shopping anyway!

I watch the sunset from beginning to end no matter where I am.

In the evening, by candlelight, I have myself a sit, and then reflect upon the dark, the light and set my intentions for the next seasons. I promptly forget then five seconds after I’m done but still…I think they swim around in there and affect positive change somehow.

My dream for this day is to have a yard big enough to have a bonfire in. One day….oh! And while we’re dreaming, I’d also love a fireplace or woodstove for a Yule log too. Next year I’m going to make a buche de noel because … cake!! AND because the buche de noel takes the place of the Yule log which was kept burning all night on Solstice’s past. It has a really cool history. 

There all sorts of Pagan traditions mixed in amongst the Christmas stuff … a little fact I take great pleasure in, especially when I hear all the nonsense about the so called war on Christmas.

Little by little Yule is coming back to life in my family. More and more people I know are celebrating it as such too. We have to do the things that have meaning to our lives. Celebrating the Holidays as they are now was slowly killing off my soul. Screw that!

How do you celebrate? Are you a cultural renegade too? What traditions do you have that are not of the norm?


Yule Do You.

Right?!

I’m playfully bonking you all on the head RIGHT NOW!

With five days until Yule, six until my family dinner and eight until Present Day I’ve been thinking about all that I have left to do.

Bake and package treats.  Finalize and prepare for FIVE meals. Complete shopping for one husband, daughter, son, daughter in law, son in law, granddaughter. Wrap presents for one husband, daughter, son, daughter in law, son in law and granddaughter. 

That’s not so bad, is it? Totally doable. In the in between time I plan to knit and read and watch movies. Oh and bonk people over the head with empty wrapping paper tubes!

I’m not usually this calm. So colour me surprised! I think I’ve finally realized that anxiety is not a very healthy motivation tool. The work still gets done. And I really don’t have to be a frantic mess to do it. 

Celebrating the season as Yule helps too. It feels honest and authentic to me. Who knew a name change would have such a positive effect? 

How are you handling the season? Are you calm and at peace, or freaking out?

Holiday Traditions- Advent

I write about candy A LOT, don’t I? Sorry, not sorry.

As a child I don’t remember having an Advent calendar. We weren’t religious and advent is a religious thing, I do believe, so that’d be why. Plus, I grew up mostly financially poor. There would have been no moola for such things.

I got them periodically for my own kids, as a cultural/countdown thing and ya know how THAT goes! Eaten all within a day or forgotten about and left to go stale. Gross by any account because the chocolates were those cheap waxy ones, yuck!

Now you can get much better quality not to mention there are countdown calendars with more then jst chocolate! A person could get beer, or make up, ties or lego. The possibilities are probably limitless.

I like to stick with chocolate:

Roger’s  Chocolates is a Canadian company and their customer service is MOST excellent. There was an issue with my locked gate and the delivery service but it wasn’t an issue for long, thanks to Betty Ann. She called me personally to solve the problem- before I was even aware that there may be a problem – and was sincere and lovely in all our encounters. Not only was Betty Ann a gem, I got the feeling the entire chain of command cared about me too. The whole experience was such a treat, especially in today’s world. 

Their products are good too but honestly, even if they were crap I’d still buy them. Just to do my part to keep places and people as delightful as Betty Ann and her team, in business. Ha Ha. ( Try their Victoria Creams! )

My new morning routine is as such:

Get Up. Take blood pressure. Drink coffee. Melt one delicious chocolate in my eager mouth. Eat breakfast.

What am I ever going to do when this is all over? Somebody please invent a reason to eat chocolate every day?

Oh wait! I’m alive.

That’s reason enough for me! 

What’s something you do unapologetically? (Who would we apologize to anyway? The whole idea of that seems so silly, doesn’t it? ) How often do you think about death? 

Family Dinner, Bullies and Pie.

For the first time in a long ass time, the Hubs and I had everyone over for dinner. Just because. As of late our family has been fractured. Disconnected. 

First there was ( and is ) my son’s drug addiction. Then there was The Great Marriage/Mental Health Fiasco of ’16. We’ve been struggling! Grasping at what was. Hurting with what is. Longing for what could be. 

But fear not! A shift has occurred, as shifts do and somehow – I’m unable to pinpoint it all exactly – our family is coming back together, once again.

Dinner went well! There was food- mac n cheese, roasted sausages, mixed vegetables- there were laughs-lots of good natured “roasting” lots of chasing the kids around, lots of jokes and silliness, there were grandkids..

and there was pie!

When I was making said pie, I was triggered by a memory of a former life. 

My very first job after having my son was in this crappy little bakery, tucked away in the back corner of a garden shop. I was a clerk. I sold treats, sliced bread, made sandwiches, washed dishes and sometimes got to bake cookies.

It would have been an alright job had it not been for one of my co-workers. A spoiled, rich asshole and son of the owners. A man prone to temper tantrums. Legit, tantrums. The kind a toddler would have.

So I’m working away up front, his mother is in the office and Dickhead is in the back doing baker things. I’ve got customers in the shop and we’re all distracted from our calm by the sound of metal clanging and things flying around , followed by the slamming of a door. What the…??? I know what’s going on but the customers don’t so they very quickly finish up and take their leave, visibly disturbed by the commotion. I don’t even remember what I said to them…probably nothing. I have no idea WHAT the problem was this time but from past experience, but I’m sure we’ll ALL hear about later.

Dickhead comes back in after a while – Shawn! His name was Shawn!- Anyway, Dickhead comes back in and the mystery of why is solved. I hear him talking to his mum about how his egg whites wont build because apparently I didn’t wash the bowl properly- grease in your meringue bowl impedes lift-  and how I’m an idiot and this and that and on and on. He’s totally raging and trashing me, saying the vilest of things. 

This is all said out loud with no regard for privacy. I can hear every word. Mommy is trying to calm him down and placate him and he eventually chills and tries to make it all again, saying nothing to me. Nobody says anything to me! Which makes the whole thing even more awkward. 

I carry on with my job, tense as fuck, not knowing what I should do in any direction. I’m not the only one who does dishes in that place! Do I say something? What should I do? Ahhhh! I hate this! I have to walk past Dickhead much later and he is still simmering with rage. So much so that, as I pass him he spits out at me ” You stupid fucking cunt!”

Whaaaaaat?! 

Now, present day Lael would have stopped whatever she was doing, gathered up her belongings and walked out the front door, never to be seen again. No question.

Past Lael wasn’t as wise. Or as brave. What did I do? I ignored him. Which I guess is a defense in itself. But then I kept on working there until I eventually quit because Dickhead started sexually harassing me.

OY!

The thing of it is, I didn’t tell anyone about that first incident. Why? I felt ashamed. Like his asshole behavior was a reflection of me. Maybe I really did do a shitty job of washing the bowl…I was paralyzed with fear and doubt and …the ickiness that comes from being around adults who have temper tantrums and treat people like garbage. Of course, even if it was my fault, is a poorly washed bowl ANY justification for being so aggressive and awful to another human? Nope! Of course not! I wish I had said something to someone, I know now I would have gained wisdom and clarity. But live and learn!

Silence is NOT golden. Silence is isolating. I’m grateful for the lesson.

I’d love to go back in time to redo THAT experience. In a way now, every time I speak up, stand up and take myself out of a toxic situations, I am! 

All this from pie 🙂 

Which was delicious! I found the recipe online, here. 

Have you ever been in a situation like that? Have you ever thought back and wondered WHY you put up with something so obviously toxic? What did you learn in hindsight?



Monday Meme

I love memes. I think they are an ingenious way to share a thought, idea , joke or inspiration in  a succinct and culturally relevant way. 

I find them helpful too. When I need inspiration, courage, validation or just a laugh all I have to do is scroll through my vast collection and, there it is. Something I’ve saved for this exact moment. 

Here are two from last week that really stuck with me :

Have any of you read anything by Brene Brown? She’s spent the past two decades studying shame, courage, vulnerability and empathy. The first meme really brings home a lot of what she writes about. I’d much rather engage with curiosity than shame. I like the reminder this meme brings me.

The second meme feels so empowering! Yeah, I might love you but I don’t have to trust or respect you. That’s entirely up to you. Its your job to be trustworthy and worthy of respect through your actions ( never words) and I decide to give or not, depending on my interpretations of your actions. And just because I love you, doesn’t mean I have to put up with the things you do that cause me to not trust you or respect you. Trust and respect are earned based on behavior, not just given as a gift alongside love. Being able to separate these things was HUGE in my personal growth and evolution as a human. 

How about you? What do these memes say to you?

Havin’ A Time.

I’m havin’ a time. And not a good time! Boooo to that!

Some shit is happening in a loved one’s life and there is nothing I can do about any of it. As a human with a pathological need to do something this is a huge challenge! Its a challenge for most people. We want to help. We want to fix. We want to soothe. We want to make it better and we want to make it all go away.

Sadly, that’s impossible so instead I’ve turned my attention toward self care until the suffering passes. I’m distracting myself with memes!

When I worked at the child care centre, I was in charge of the Facebook page. I posted relevant things to the page like a social media whiz. I was good at it and received much praise. What they don’t know is that toward the end of my days with them, I was >this< close to posting this helpful infographic about The Scorpion Pits, ha.

Dogs!

This one always makes me laugh like a loon. Its a good, solid plan!

Seems like this would work! Plus, you’d attract all sorts of other dogs just in the day to day too, which is never bad. Unless the dogs are vicious. Then that’s bad but we’re being optimistic here! No bad days and no bad dogs!

Cats on the other hand…cats are assholes. Which is precisely why we love them!

Except for maybe these guys. Yeah…for maybe like 5 seconds! I fostered a litter of kittens and had them sleeping with me in my bedroom. THAT was an experience. Have you ever had your eyeball scratched out? Not pleasant and the thing is, they don’t care. Kittens think its perfectly reasonable to attack your fucking eyelashes as you sleep. Jerks. Cute, little fluffy jerks. I’d totally do that again. Thrill of my life!

Ha! Catthew! I’m totally naming my next cat Catthew . I’ve had cats named Ned Buckle, Wallace, Miles, Larry, December, Wizard, Hyena, Orangey, Stripey, Dot, Dust Bunny, Spider and Cornelius. Catthew seems almost normal.

This one doesn’t make me laugh so much as it inspires me.  It’s got a swear and its trying to be helpful. I like.

Distraction and silliness do work! I still have chest pain but my mind isn’t racing, so that’s something. I’m going to keep at it…I really like the idea of furiously dancing 🙂 What do you do to help yourself through tough times when you feel powerless? 

The Awesome Impact Award

I’ve been given my VERY FIRST AWARD by the ever lovely Victoria at Tashnee V. Mavee. Isn’t that so nice? I thought so 🙂 Thanks so much!

The Awesome Impact Award relates to sharing an incident that impacted your life in a really positive way. This is so my jam!

The rules of this award are as follows:

  • Tag the person who nominated you. Tashnee V. Mavee!
  • Take “The Awesome Impact Award “image and add that to your post:

awesomeimpact-award1

  • Talk about an incident that impacted your life in a really positive way.

See below 🙂

  • Nominate other awesome bloggers for this award.

Stacee

Richa

Suzanne

So.

A recent conversation about trains brings to mind something that had a MOST positive affect on my life.

I grew up in the suburbs outside of Port Moody, BC amongst two other cities. The three cities, known collectively as the Tri-Cities were all stretched out between the Fraser RIver and various mountain ranges with many miles of interconnecting rail throughout. We didn’t have light rail transit back in my day and bus service cost money, was unreliable and was most definitely NOT COOL. So, we did what any asshole teenager would do, something dangerous! We hopped trains to get around.

Well, my peers did. I was a. not cool. and b. smart. Not at first. Initially I did try to hop a train. It was an impromptu event. We were all near the tracks in the process of making our way to “the bush” which was an hour walk away. The boys saw the train, grabbed the girls and started running. My boyfriend at the time ( Jim.  A decent guy from what I remember, and VERY adventures for a teen age boy 😉 ) hopped up first and I quickly followed. Now, I’m not the most graceful of humans, so when I ran-hopped I was not in time with the train and missed. Jim grabbed me by my shirt collar just in the nick of time and up I went, gasping with exertion and shock. I would have died. He saved my life.

I think its safe to say that, that was an incident that had a rather positive effect on my life. I’ve gone on to live 30 more years, all thanks to Jim.