Friday, April 15, 2011

My Wonderful, Incredible, Magickal, Appreciation Journal

About a year ago I wrote a post about my appreciation journal.  In trying to keep my spirits up, I was looking back through the past 12 months of things I had to appreciate, and decided to revisit the topic.

I should prefaced this post by stating that I LOVE journals.  As some of you know, I love paper in almost all forms (plain notebook or printer paper doesn't do a whole lot for me, but just about anything else does).  Whether it be an individual sheet, a ream, a pad, or, most especially, a journal, I just love it!

Now that you know that about me, you'll understand my delight when I found this particular journal. I didn't want to spend a lot of money, but I wanted something relatively pleasant, thereby increasing the chances that I'd actually use it!  I headed over to the bargain books section of my local Chapters.  I didn't think my chances of finding a journal or blank book in that section were great, but I figured it was worth a try.

I didn't see anything, but of course I had to take the opportunity to browse through the section anyway.  After a few minutes, I saw a single copy of an untitled book with a pretty spine.  Pulling it out, I found it was the PERFECT blank book for my purposes. 

It's a pleasing square shape, with appealing, varied colors of green, pink, yellow lilac and blue on its plush cover.  Three small panels take up half the front cover, with a word written in each--Faith, Family, Friends, respectively.  ('Faith' gave me pause, because I tend to associate it with the Christian religion, but then I realized I, too, have faith.)  Flowers and a butterfly round out the rest of the front cover.  Inside, the pages are very pale versions of all these colors, with an inspiring quote on many of them, and a handy white bookmark ribbon to hold my place.

I fell in love with it instantly, and knew I had the book I needed in my hand.  I looked at the back, and the inside front cover, and the spine, but could find no title or price listed.  I looked for other copies, but it was the only one.  I decided it had been misplaced, and went to the gift books section, assuming I would find more copies there.  Nothing.  I took it up to the counter, explained my search, and handed it over to the sales clerk.  She could find no information about price on it, either, nor could she look it up in her computer without title or ISBN number or SOMETHING.  She called a manager over.  After hearing a shortened version of the story, the manager glanced at it, handed it to back to me, and said, "Just take it."

"Really?" I asked, not believing I understood her correctly.

"Yeah," she said.  "We can't find any information on it."

I thanked them and left the store, elated that I had found such a perfect book, and it hadn't cost me a cent!  I've thought since then that I was meant to have it, and that perhaps it appeared there just for me.


Friday, April 8, 2011

A Tarot Blog

Introducing "A Witch's Journey Through the Tarot," a blog I just started with a more witchy bent.  Don't worry, though, I don't plan on giving up on this one, or on changing it.

"Through the Tarot's" purpose is to chronicle my quest for knowledge of tarot cards from the very beginning to Tarot Grandmaster.  It'll take time, and a lot of hard work, but I'm confident I can eventually get there.  Along the way, I'll start with books I already own and eventually progress to online courses and even real-life apprenticeships.  I'll talk about my lessons, occasionally write reviews of decks or accessories, and just have fun with it.

I'd been thinking about it for a while, but I just made the inaugural post yesterday.  (I'd gotten hung up for months on a title.)  How often I post there will depend on the lessons upon which I'm working, and whether I'm at a daily part of them, or a period or reflection or some such.  It will be fairly steady, though, without all the periods of nothing-worth-writing-about-going-on that this blog experiences. 

Come check it out, and please follow if you're interested!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring at Last

Spring is busy springing here in Southern Ontario.  We’re actually getting a few days above freezing here and there, even if there is still snow on the ground about half the time.  And we’re actually starting to see more rain than snow, which is a great thing for rain lovers such as DH and me.  As for the animals, Kai, who absolutely LOVES to play in mud puddles, is thrilled, while Lance, who adores snow, is not so happy.  (I won’t mention how hard it is to keep our white-tile kitchen floor clean in this season, LOL!)  Dale and Audrey, being indoor cats, couldn’t care less either way.  :)

Another sign of spring:  Kai’s blowing his coat out, so we’re brushing out another whole dog’s worth of fur every evening.  And there’s STILL fur all over the house, and literally falling off of him in tufts!  It will pass, though.  Lance went through the same thing last year about this time, and now he’s got a beautiful, silky, adult coat.  Come June or so, Kai will also have lost the last of his wool-like puppy fur. 

And I really do like the combination of almost-warm days and still-chilly nights.

Monday, April 4, 2011


 A personal update:

DH came back from his business trip to China two weeks ago to be told that thanks to his employer going in a new direction, his position was being dissolved, and he no longer had a job.  Effective immediately.  On literally his first day back, he drove in as usual, then called me about an hour after he’d arrived to let me know he was coming back home.

 “Why?” I asked, worried that he was ill. 

“I’ve been laid off,” he answered quietly.

Now, if this has never happened in your family (and I fervently hope that it both hasn’t and never does) you can’t quite imagine the sudden terror that grips you at this sudden news.  There is a quick moment of panic—what will we do?  What about the bills?  The mortgage?  Groceries?  Aaaaaaaagh!!!!!!!!

But it has happened to both of us, both together and separately, before, so reason quickly re-asserted itself.  You make a plan to survive.  You stop spending any money at all that is not ABSOLUTELY necessary, you contact the bank and ask to skip a couple of mortgage payments, you start making a list of things you can sell if you must, you check into unemployment benefits, you thank whatever deities you hold dear that you began storing food and preparing for disaster a few weeks ago, so you have at least a small cushion of food to fall back on.  And so on.

DH started making phone calls to everyone he knows in his industry (micro-chips) on his way home that day, and has spent a lot of time since emailing more people, applying for jobs, and sending out resumes.  As I told a friend recently, I myself am simply trying to be supportive.  Together, we’ll be performing a ritual on the full moon for a new job.  (“When the moon rides at her peak, then your heart’s desire seek.”)  In the meantime, we’ll try our best to stay positive.

It’s not that hard, really.  There are a number of silver linings to his losing this job.

  • He and I will have more time together, something we’ve sorely been missing the last two and a half years.
  • He really, really hated the job.  Besides the long commute (an hour or more one-way) and the even longer hours, there were conference calls scheduled to start at 9:30 pm on some nights, and phone calls at all hours of the day and night, even on weekends, even on supposed vacation days.
  • I really, really hated the job.  We got to spend very little time together, as I mentioned above, and he was often answering phone calls or email in that little time.  Thanks to the company’s quasi-human rights violations attitude, I wound up spending Thanksgiving alone one year and Ostara alone this year—both times because of last-minute trips to Asia that couldn’t or wouldn’t  be postponed.  He was even asked to come in on Yule itself, in the middle of a three-week “vacation” last year.  And he was always depressed and/or stressed out, and always, always sleep-deprived.
  • We will no longer have to pay $500 in toll-road charges every month.
  • His embarkation on a job search gives us both motivation to start diets and an exercise program.
  • Even though we may be forced to sell the house at a loss, we will finally sell the house (if we need to move)!!!
  • The possibilities that come with a new job and a move to a new place are always interesting and exciting.
 And, finally,
I remain confident that an experienced engineer such as my DH WILL be able to find a job.  And if not, then at least with our Permanent Resident status we won’t be forced to leave Canada again.

Anyone know of a good Product Engineering position?