Thursday, September 30, 2010

Health Update

I received more information on my health problems earlier this week.  Still no definite word on whether I have Lyme Disease or not, but my bloodwork revealed other interesting/distressing/useful information.  Turns out that I have Heavy Metal Poisoning (Silver, mostly) which mimics LD and may be responsible for most or all of my symptoms.  This is combined with a very low amount of certain vitamins in my blood (D and B12) which help control heavy metal absorption.

The plan now is to treat the poisoning (with medication and natural supplements designed to  help release the metals) and then, if necessary, do further LD testing.  I'm going back in mid-December to see if the treatments are working before any decisions are made on how to proceed beyond that.

The big question is:  HOW DID I GET SILVER POISONING?  Sources of silver include consuming large quantities of seafood (I don't), working in metal and chemical processing industries, photographic processes, and jewelry making (I never have), living near coal-fired power plants (not to my knowledge) or being taking colloidal silver products (haven't). 

Silver is commonly found in hair dyes (which I have used on and off for the past two decades) and so commonly contaminates hair, but shouldn't effect you otherwise.  I also wear a silver chain and pentagram on a daily basis, but there has been no evidence that wearing silver jewelry can contaminate you in any way.

Nonetheless, I have somehow been exposed to excessive silver.  I also have higher than normal levels of softer metals such as aluminum and minerals (manganese, selenium, and zirconium).  All of this may be what has been wrecking my health more and more for the past two years, and acutely for the past four months.

Maybe now I can start making some progress on fixing it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

J is for Jack-of-Hearts

(ABC Wednesday)

Okay, so my post today is actually on tarot cards, or maybe on divination.  I’m lucky I got this close!

The origins of tarot cards are murky at best—no one knows for sure from where or from whom they came.  One theory is that they developed from practicing divination with regular playing cards.  It makes as much, if not more, sense than other theories I’ve read about.

I found a couple of good websites on this topic while looking for a Craft topic that began with ‘J.’  The first was from Serena’s Tarot, and the second from  Serena's Tarot gave a good, brief overview of using playing cards for tarot readings, while gave a slightly more in-depth look.

Both sources agreed that the hearts suite in general focuses on emotions.  In particular, the Jack of Hearts represents someone close to the querent:  a childhood friend, a best friend or a close relation.

That's about all I know about the topic.  It seems to be fairly simple, but if you want to learn more, check out the the websites I mentioned.

(And stay away from the Jack of Diamonds.)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Holiday Tidings

Happy Mabon and Harvest Moon on this wonderfully appropriate, fall-like, rainy day, everyone!  Don't forget to be grateful, and may all your heart's desires be fulfilled!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mabon Preparations

I've spent the last couple of days finishing up my preparations for the Fall Equinox, or Mabon.  I've decided on altar decorations and dinner menu, on midnight rituals and daytime activities.  As you can probably guess, this is the beginning of my favorite time of the year!  :)  The days are getting shorter and cooler, the foliage is starting its fall show, and it's almost time for warm fires, soft sweaters, and mulled wine.  Almost.

The focus on Mabon falls on as many different aspects as there are Pagans, but I've decided to limit myself to my two favorites:  The Second Harvest Festival, and Balance.

Mabon is the 2nd of three harvest festivals.  The first is Lammas or Lughnasadh, which falls in the beginning of August and is a celebration of the first fruits of a traditional harvest, such as wheat.  The third and final one is Samhain, on October 31, which I'll talk about at length in the coming month.  The Autumn Equinox (known by Wiccans as Mabon since about 1970) is about being thankful for the harvest, and recognizing the need to prepare for the coming winter.  It's also about balance--night and day are equal at the equinoxes, which symbolizes balance throughout our lives.

So how does one go about celebrating the Autumn Equinox? Mainly, concentrate on the time of year.

Decorations, for altar as well as for home, should include signs of the season:  fall leaves in all their glory, gourds, acorns, corn husks, dried grasses, and so on.  The colors should also be seasonal:  russet, orange, brown, cranberry and the like.  Fill your home with scents of cinnamon, apples and baking bread.  For the menu, include local harvest items--grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts.  Also wine and grapes.  And don't forget the apple cider!

If you're going to cast spells, cast them on issues of balance or change.  As for activities, think of anything and everything you've always enjoyed doing in the fall. has some good suggestions at m/od/mabontheautumnequinox/tp/TenMabonIdehttp://paganwiccan.about.coas.htm . 
They are:
Find Some Balance
Hold a Food Drive
Pick Some Apples
Count Your Blessings
Honor the Darkness
Get Back to Nature
Tell Timeless Stories
Raise Some Energy
Celebrate Hearth and Home
Welcome the Gods of the Vine

I personally plan to take a walk in the woods, gather pinecones from my backyard, and  maybe even make a besom (a witch's broom). And some apple cider! My altar will hold small gourds, candles in seasonal colors, and a scale, and it will be covered in colorful leaves, pine cones, and other small treasures from my day outside.  My ritual will concern thankfulness and balance, and the meal afterward will consist of green beans with sherried mushrooms, roasted onions, roast meat, and red wine.  All rounded out by an apple crisp.

Welcome, Fall!

Monday, September 20, 2010

An Important "Birthday"

We passed an important milestone today here at Casa de EeeBee Life.  Kai is 20 weeks old today!

Week-birthdays aren’t usually important, but this one is.  As doggy socialization goes, the weeks of a dog’s life between 8 and 20 are the ones where you set the basic level of socialization for the puppy’s entire life.   (With the 9-12 week period being the absolutely most vital.)  Before 8 weeks, the puppy is learning things from his dam and litter.  After, it’s up to you, the owner.

It’s generally recommended that dogs meet 100 dogs and 200 people in the magick 8-20 week period, and encounter as many new and different situations as possible.  This takes way more time than you’d think, and was hard enough with Lance.  (Meeting all those people is especially difficult and exhausting when you’re an extreme introvert, as I am.)  Because Kai was taken from his litter early, we decided to double that number—our goal was 200 dogs and 400 people.  Add to that our recent financial issues and my problems with LD-related Chronic Fatigue, and you begin to see the enormity of our task.

Add to all of this the training that needs to occur during that time, and those 84 days feel like you don’t have time for anything at all but puppy-related activities.  Your entire life revolves around dog stuff.   If you’re not training at home or taking them for a walk or to the dog park, you’re on your way to puppy class or packing them in the car to drive them to something they’ve never experienced before.  You have no time for friends or hobbies or sometimes even chores. (Not that I’m one to complain about that.  LOL!) 

At which point you’re probably wondering why we go through it all.  We do it because we really do like dogs, and because we want to be able to take our dogs anywhere and everywhere with us.   And we want them to behave themselves and mind their manners no matter where that is. 

Nonetheless, I’m glad that this intense period is over.  We’ll have to keep taking them to new places, exposing them to new situations, and meeting new people and new dogs all their lives to not lose the level of socialization we’ve achieved, but it won’t be anywhere near this demanding from now on.

At least not until the next puppy.  ;>

(For Kai’s POV, head on over to Mission Accomplished (Sorta).)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Getting My Life in Order

I have a list of way too many things that I want to learn about, or do, or learn to do.  This is different from my "Things to Do This Life" list, although a few of the items (like snowboarding) are on both.  This list is about things that I want to learn more about, like animal husbandry, or that I want to incorporate into a near-daily practice, like meditation.

I had been blocked for a long while on doing any of them because of one of my many bad reactions to stress.  When I start to feel overwhelmed about the amount of things I have to do, I shut down and can't do any of them.  I couldn't decide on which part of the list to focus, or on which item I should tackle first.  I felt like I didn't have time to do them all, so I did none of them.

I finally decided I needed to approach the list as I would numerous projects at a job, since simply trying to decide which one I WANTED to do first wasn't working.  I needed to prioritize them according to importance, time constraints and so on.  I assigned them all to categories, like Spirituality and Fitness, then assigned weight to those categories.  Most of the items fit into multiple categories, but that was okay--it made it even easier to weigh them.

The item that came to the top of the list surprised me--Learning to Use a Compass.  It fit into 8 of my 11 categories! (At the bottom of the list?  Sorting pre-digital photos and old cooking magazines.)

Now that I have a clear plan for these "tasks", I feel I can get a better handle on all kinds of things I've been avoiding (from simple things like putting freshly laundered, FOLDED clothes into drawers, to bigger things like sorting my entire closet-dresser-guest closet system). 

And maybe, just maybe, stepping a tiny bit closer to that elusive balance I seek.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New Lance & Kai Blog

If you're even more interested in the dogs than what you see here, wander over to my DH's brand new blog exclusively about them!  It's called A Dog's Life in Canada, and it will be all about our two favorite canines. (With maybe the occasional guest blog by the cats, or other dogs.)

And it'll have plenty of pics of our two guys!  Especially as Kai's ears begin to stand up more and more!  LOL!

Don't worry though, I'll still post about them here--though maybe a little less than I have been.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"I" is for Initiation

I recently found a wonderful website (ABC Wednesday), and this is my first time posting in accordance with their challenge.  The letter for this week, as you might have guessed, is 'I'.  I'm going to try and keep these challenge posts on the Craft, for now.  We'll see how it goes.

You hear a lot about initiations in Pagan circles.  "You MUST be initiated."  "Initiations don't matter." "You're not really a witch unless you've been initiated."  "I initiated myself." "Self-initiation doesn't count."  Etc., etc., etc.

I myself am torn on the issue.  A part of me would love to find an established  coven where DH and I could belong.  And another part of me shies away from possible politics and power plays.  But what if there IS no such coven, or at least there isn't one yet?  Does that make what we do any less meaningful, any less valid? 

On the one hand, I don't think so.  I feel like a witch, I describe myself as a witch, I AM a witch.  On the other hand, some part of me would feel more 'real' if it was "official."  Not to mention I would enjoy the company, the feeling of fellowship, or sisterhood, that officially belonging to a group would mean.

(Are you beginning to see what I mean about being torn?)

I haven't actively looked for a local coven, but that's because we've been caught in limbo for the past two years.  I hesitate to get close to people only to move away a month or a season or even a year later.

I suppose, for now, DH and I will just continue being 'solitary' Pagans--a coven of two, if you will.  We may or may not perform self-initiations.  

I can't decide.  :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Wiggle Waggle Walkathon Success

The 21st Annual Hamilton/Burlington SPCA Wiggle Waggle Walkathon is over, and we all survived!  We walked the shorter (1 km) leg of the walk, managed not to beat Kai to death despite his misbehavior, and raised $220 for the cause!  (Thank you so much, everyone who donated!)

And the misbehavior wasn't  really Kai's fault.  We got to the location about an hour before, to wander the vendor booths and meet as many dogs and people as possible, and he got over-stimulated.  It was our mistake--we'd factored in whether the walk itself would be too much for him or not, and decided he could handle it.  But we'd forgotten about the festival surrounding the walkathon.  It just got to be too much for the "little" guy.  We finally figured that out, though, and moved away from everyone to a quiet location to let him calm down.  After that, he was okay on the walk itself, but he was very ready to go home after.  He slept HARD almost from the moment we got in the car until we got home, hardly budging the whole time, despite two stops on the way.

On a somewhat related note, I count being able to do the walk, even the short leg of it, as a personal triumph, because considering the LD and chronic fatigue, I wasn't sure I'd be able to walk even that far.  Thanks to the miracle of modern nutritional supplements, however, I had no trouble.  Although I, too, was VERY ready to go home once we'd finished the walk, and I slept for a solid two hours that afternoon.

Lance handled the whole affair with his usual grace and dignity, as did DH.  Neither of them had any problems at all, unless you count Lance's feelings of inadequacy when he met two Irish Wolfhounds that made him, at 105 lbs, look small.  :) 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Life Update

Hello, Dear Readers.

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a week.  What with getting a cold last week, Kai graduating from his final puppy class last Sunday, Labor Day, and traveling to Michigan for my LD doctor appointment, I've barely even looked at my computer.

I'm mostly over the cold now.  Considering that DH was sick at the same time, it's been fun, but we're both glad to be feeling better.  :)

Kai did well at his graduation--he got 1st prize for being the best at 'sit-stay' and tied for 'best overall'.  He is looking forward to his first Levels class (similar to Obedience Training), even though he earned his Level 1 by being able to do everything asked of him at the graduation.

We had an interesting Labor Day that included removing a bad headlight bulb from the Prius and then not being able to get the new bulb back into it.  (The nice people at the Toyota Dealership in Rochester, MI put it in for us the next day.)  We also had to drop our puppies off at the kennel, a first for both of them.  Then we had to drive 4 hours and go through an International Border Crossing to get down to Rochester.  We were really happy to get to the hotel!

The LD doctor is taking my LD seriously.  Blood was taken and sent off for extensive testing, and he gave me nutritional supplements to help with the chronic fatigue and the joint pain.  I'm going back in three weeks to discuss test results and further treatment.  I feel optimistic about getting better for the first time in months!

And, finally, I'm really hoping the supplements help the fatigue quickly, 'cause these two Pagans and two puppies are participating in the 21st Annual Wiggle Waggle WalkaThon this Sunday, to benefit the SPCA.  If you have even a few dollars to spare, please sponsor me at  .  (Even if you don't, check out the link--there's a cute pic of the puppies on it.)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Runes and Me

I've always loved tarot cards, even before I knew anything about them.  (Not that I know all that much now, mind you.)  I like the look and size and feel of them.  And, due to my suspected Rom roots, I've always been attracted to tea leaves and crystal scrying, too.

But runes?  What do the Norse Paths have to do with me?  I don't have any ancestors from the area, I don't feel any particular attraction to it, and I've never felt any affinity for their pantheon.  So how could runes possibly help me/work for me?

But I wonder now.  I had an assignment in one of my classes that had to do with runes--I and a friend/relative/spouse were each supposed to pick a rune and explain why we felt it applied to us.  I emailed my teacher and told her all the things I mentioned in the previous paragraph, and she advised I just choose one at random, since they didn't do anything for me, so I (and my DH) did.

I chose raido (R), because we’re about to embark on a symbolic journey by putting the house on the market and, hopefully, moving soon.  I thought the fact that it is associated with September/October made it even more fitting.  Don chose isaz (i) because he loves the cold and is looking forward as much as I am to its coming.  Simple, quick decisions that we thought meant little.

Then I decided to research them a bit more before I turned in the assignment.  I googled  (love that new verb) and found  (Sorry, but I hate links to pdfs, so I purposefully didn't link it.)  There, I found that the runes we chose were, as I stated in my assignment, eerily appropriate.  I found that radio not only means journey, but also "pilgrimage, change, destiny, quest, progress, life lessons."  And while isaz means ice, it "primarily represents a period of rest before activity."

All very, very fitting when we are about to attempt to sell our home and find a new one.