Saturday, October 31, 2009


Given my previous post regarding Samhain and divination, how would you interpret the following story symbolically?

I went to my ritual last night, and one of the many blessings I received came in the form of a piece of polished snowflake obsidian. The priestess of the ritual (we take turns) had provided small drawstring pouches for our stones.

When I got home, I realized that I had (quite accidentally, of course) taken home someone else's wedding rings. They were in the pouch alongside the piece of obsidian that I had chosen.

It reminds me of the fortune-telling games, where rings and keys and things like that are put inside cakes.

Any ideas?

PS...for those waiting for their readings...they'll be up after midnight or early tomorrow morning.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

and now for something completely different!

I need to banish the gloominess of my last post.

It's like riding a bicycle, no? But even if it's not, I will get there!

Anyhow, I was going to call this post "For entertainment purposes only...."

Next Saturday we celebrate Samhain (sahwenn), the pagan New Year. Here's what Wikipedia has to say about that:

Samhain (pronounced /ˈsɑːwɪn/, /ˈsaʊ.ɪn/, or /ˈsaʊn/ in English;[1] from Irish samhain [ˈsˠaunʲ], cf. Scottish Gaelic samhainn [ˈsavɯɲ], Old Irish samain [ˈsaṽɨnʲ] "summer's end", from sam "summer" and fuin "end") is a festival held at the end of the harvest season in Gaelic and Brythonic cultures. Principally a harvest festival, it also has aspects of a festival of the dead. It had its roots in ancient Celtic polytheism, and continued to be celebrated through medieval times, and is seen as contributing to the modern celebration of Halloween. Many scholars believe that it was the beginning of the Celtic year.[2][3][4]
The term "Samhain" derives from the name of a month in the ancient Celtic calendar, in particular the first three nights of this month, with the festival marking the end of the summer season and the end of the harvest. Samhain was also called the Féile Moingfhinne ie "Festival of Mongfind". According to Cormac's Glossary, Mongfind (mod.Irish spelling Mongfhionn) was a goddess the pagan Irish worshipped on Samhain. The Gaelic festival became associated with the Catholic All Souls' Day, and appears to have influenced the secular customs now connected with Halloween. Samhain is also the name of a modern festival in various currents of Neopaganism that are based on, or inspired by, Gaelic traditions.[3][4][5]

Wikipedia can give you a lot more info about Samhain...

Samhain, as the new year, is the time when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest. For that reason, it's easier to communicate with those who have passed...see, all those ghosts at Halloween are rooted in Pagan tradition! Some people leave offerings for the dead. Most years my coven will center a ritual around honoring people who have passed from this world, as well as people born this year.  We bring photos, if we can. We light candles. We speak their names.

I have so many people to honor, to call into my circle this year...more than any other year. Some of them are people I haven't even met, but who have touched my life deeply in their passing.

The pagan New Year is also an excellent time for divination. The veil is thin, and it's possible, at this time of year, to get a clearer glimpse of what may come over the next 12 months. Three years ago, I was scrying, and saw a fetus in my water bowl (scrying is done with a dark bowl or a silvered mirror by candlelight or moonlight). And I thought to myself "that's silly! I'm not getting pregnant!" And now, here I am, reborn!

So, here's my thought. I work with tarot, and I am just beginning to develop my skills. If you want me to do a three card reading for you (past, present, future/body, mind,soul/beginning, middle, end), you can leave me a comment...or email me.

You can comment anonymously if you wish.

You can ask a specific question. Or not. It's interesting to see what comes up when I don't know who someone is, and they don't have a specific question. You could be thinking "wow! She's the next Sylvia Browne (without the killer fingernails)...or you could be shaking your head at me, and wondering why I ever thought I could read tarot.

All in fun, right? And good practice for me. If you do respond, let me know if I should post your reading as a comment, or in a separate blog post. I can also email you, if you want to be private..or anonymous and private.

One good thing: at least no one will ask for their money back!  :) 


Sometimes it can hit you from unexpected corners, and force you to either surrender or fight back.

I don't know the first thing about dating. I know that stuff like dating crossed gender lines, but I never really did...

I have a terrible time being open.

Argh. Where did my happy place go?

(temporary glitch - she'll be back in an hour or two...I just have to convince myself that there's really nothing to worry about. And that lesbians really live in this city. Single ones. Over the age of 35. )

Friday, October 23, 2009

the week in brief

  • My week ended better than it started. I had an issue with a parent at work, who decided to yell at me while there were kids in the room. I was not impressed. And then I started to second-guess myself, and my career choice, and just about everything know how it goes. But my supervisor rocks! She got to the heart of the problem, and while it's not solved, at least I know that she's in my corner, and that she supports the work I do. The problem will take care of itself next week when the parent removes her child from the program...not the best way to solve things, but in this case, it's the only way.
  • It's raining and windy, and the leaves are swirling around the sidewalks, getting wet and yellow and red before they rest on the ground. I love it - I feel a sense of...longing...and I'm filled with the joy of just being at this time of year. If the rain slows down I'll be out walking in a few minutes.
  • The house sale closes on Monday, which will start a new chapter in my adventure. Financial independence, if not actual financial security. I can't wait to make my own decisions about my money and my life. It hasn't been onerous at all, but the financial intertwining keeps me tied to my ex in ways that are no longer necessary. Time to move forward.
  • A co-worker is selling me her elliptical trainer for $80.00. That solves a huge problem...because in winter I can't walk fast enough to keep my fitness level where I want it. I asked and I received.
  • So, where's the girlfriend/romantic interest I keep asking for? I really mean it this time.
  • Emily is cute and I love her, but I wish she'd stop sticking her feet underneath me when she crawls in bed with me during the night. It wakes me up. Her toes clearly need warmth.
  • Send good thoughts out to those who have lost loved ones in the past year. Samhain is next week, the pagan new year, and the time when we celebrate passages into and out of the physical world. It's also the time of year when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest, so I've been working a lot with tarot and my pendulum this week.
  • My oldest daughter has gone back to school! I'm so happy. She never finished high school, so she's upgrading and getting ready for college.
  • Where has the time gone? Summer flew by, autumn's here...and snow is just around the corner. I may complain about the cold, but I really love snow. What I really love is snuggling under the blankets while the wind blows and the snow hits the my imagination, there is always someone snuggling with me. In my reality, it's usually my daughter. I wonder if that will change anytime soon.
  • Nothing to report on the dating front. Money is required for online personals and that's a decision I can't make until next Tuesday. But I feel like it's all in place now - the house sale feels like the last piece of a complicated puzzle.
  • I had such an amazing response from my coming out post, both here and on my Facebook page. Thank you! 
  • Tomorrow is a cleaning day, during which I resolve to actually clean.
  • I'm also tutoring.
  • I think that I'm too easily distracted.
  • Have a great weekend!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

just because I can't stop reading it....


Whatever happens with us, your body
will haunt mine - tender, delicate
your lovemaking, like the half-curled frond
of the fiddlehead fern in forests
just washed by the sun. Your traveled, generous thighs
between which my whole face has come and come--
the innocence and wisdom of the place my tongue has found there-
the live, insatiate dance of your nipples in my mouth --
your touch on me, firm, protective, searching
me out, your strong tongue and slender fingers
reaching where I have been waiting years for you
in my rose-wet cave --whatever happens, this is.

Adreinne Rich

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Coming Out....a love story

I've done it. I've fallen in love.

The woman I love is a little bit quirky. She's always been beautiful but only just figured it out. She is a little shy, and has trouble taking risks (although, if you were to read her Facebook status this morning, you wouldn't know it). She's a writer, a poet and a closet songwriter. See, even though she's decided to come out as a lesbian, there are still a few things in the closet - at least while she works on her stage fright.

I've fallen in love with myself, for the very first time. And you know that thrill you get when you meet someone special. Those are the thrills I experience every waking moment. I want to share my life with someone else... now it's more than a daydream, and I no longer hopelessly worry about being alone for the rest of my life. Because I don't think I will be...and if I can cultivate this deep self-love as carefully as I raise my children, care for my pets and tend my garden, I know I will never be alone.

Loving myself has given me courage. The courage to share who I am with everyone in my life.

I am a lesbian.  Any questions?

Some people have that sense of knowing, all their lives. I didn't. I had mostly confusion. Some of this was from missing a few key socialization skills which I didn't really develop until adulthood - that's a story in itself. Some of it was based in Catholic guilt - thinking about women sexually was just plain wrong and when I had those thoughts, I just ignored them.

Did I have those thoughts? Yes. I was a summer camp counselor in high school and I developed my first crush on another counselor, a few years older than me, a beautiful long-haired butch with amazing eyes. We became best friends, even though she lived in Toronto and I lived in small-town Ontario. I spent most of my money that year on train tickets, and we would travel back and forth about once a month. And like most first loves, it came to a spectacular and devastating end about a year later, without me once being able to tell her that I cared about her, because it just wasn't okay.

My second crush was on a beautiful singer who lived in London. My third, my fourth and so on....and all the while I was dating, or not dating, or having various disasters with men. Because that's what I was supposed to do - I was supposed to like guys, and if I didn't really like sex...well...maybe I just didn't like it.

But I wanted babies. So I had them. the first, as a twenty-four year old single mother, because my ex couldn't take responsibility for himself, let alone a small child.

And I had a spectacularly horrible, brief marriage. I don't even want to talk about it because it was a huge mistake from start to finish.

And then I met my ex - we were together for ten years. We were happy, after a fashion. I cared about him. I was safe, I didn't have to think, and after four years we had a child together. I stopped doing the things I loved to do - didn't listen to music at all, stopped writing, didn't look for social connections outside of the relationship - which was sad because I didn't really like his friends any more than he liked mine.

After my youngest was born, my limited sex drive just went somewhere else. I couldn't care less. It was something I did to please my partner, and it never felt right. In discussions with him after the fact, we realized that it should have been our first clue. ( and I'll mention here that I am very lucky - we're still good friends. In fact he cooked me a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner yesterday. It's Thanksgiving weekend in Canada).

Becoming a witch was one catalyst. It exposed me to a lot of new people and ideas. I met queer women, straight women, poly women and men who helped me change the way I looked at life. I had more crushes. I ignored them - well, no I didn't. But 300 pounds is a successful barrier between yourself and the woman you're crushing on, if you want it to be. I secretly started to acknowledge that I might be bisexual, in a relationship with a man, and since I was with a man, I would never have to tell anyone.

I had weight loss surgery. I spent eight months sleeping in a recliner because of my back problems. Presumably. I like to think that my body was smarter than I was, and the back issue was my way of staying out of our bed, a bed that didn't work for me anymore. It was hard, unbending and I had to share it with someone for whom I felt no physical attraction, even though I cared about him.

And I started to dream again. Dreams about being with women, sharing telepathic secrets with them. And one day a friend of mine - a lesbian - kissed me in my dreams and said "You're really one of us. It's time to acknowledge who you are." I woke from this dream trembling and afraid, and full of incredible desire. Holy shit - I had never felt that way before.

I came out on my blog first, to my ex second. My older daughter. My younger. My sister. And then my friends. And then my parents. It's been a year, and you might be reading this while in shock, not knowing until now that I am a lesbian.

But I am. And proud of it. And loving myself for finally having the courage to live my life openly.

I decided a while ago that there would be no big family meeting. No fanfare, no fireworks. It is who I am, and while it is something to celebrate, and not something to hide from, I see it as...a step in my personal evolution. If you ask, I'll tell you. There are no barriers, except the ones that other people create, and really, that's their problem.

But attack me, and you'll see a different side of me. In any conversation where human rights and bigotry are being demonstrated, I will not be silent. Silence is a thing of my past, when I didn't know myself, I didn't love myself, and I didn't have the courage to speak.

I'm a whole new me. And I love me.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Two Years Later...

In June of 2007, I met a woman who changed my life.

This is not a coming out story. I'm saving that one for October 11th. This is a story about my lifelong struggle with weight. Chubby kid, chubby young adult, and severely obese after I turned 35. This is not a story about failure, or lack of willpower, or laziness.

Lazy people don't get college diplomas while raising strong-willed toddlers on their own. Lazy people don't work full time. Lazy people don't go back to university at the age of 35 to get a degree because they never had the chance when they were younger.

So many equate weight with laziness, failure, lack. And for many it's metabolism, genetics, and emotional dependence. People that are more than 100 pounds overweight have a lot of difficulty losing the weight, for a number of reasons. Metabolism works against them. Excercise is sweaty and uncomfortable, and you can't do enough to make a difference. Some people are able to overcome the odds and lose the weight through diet and exercise alone.

This is what I looked like when I was 40.

I am not one of those people. Diets didn't work, even if I adhered to them faithfully. Going to the gym turned me into a sweaty, breathless mess after 10 minutes. I felt horrible about myself, and I was slowly losing control of my June of 2007 it was just a few little warning signs. Slightly elevated cholesterol. High blood pressure. Knees that ached when I climbed the stairs...depression and unhappiness.
Every year I go to witch camp, and in 2007, I roomed with a wonderful woman. Actually, I've been cabin mates with her ever since. She was very open about the surgery she had, and how it changed her life.

I was skeptical. Was I going to be able to eat normal foods again? Would I regain the weight? Wasn't it dangerous? Didn't it cost a lot of money?

The answers: Yes, there are things you might not be able to tolerate after the surgery, but everyone is different. And there are things that I am supposed to stay away from....although I am not altogether faithful in that regard. Severely limited alcohol intake (supposed to be none, but sometimes I have one, and one only). No advil, tylenol or ASA. Multivitamins for life. While some people regain some weight, the procedure I had was designed to keep the weight off, as long as I maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. No, it wasn't dangerous, in so far as any surgery is a risk. And my Ontario health insurance covered the cost.

I made the decision, and not a moment too soon. I needed to get my doctor on board, and I needed proof, for OHIP, that delaying treatment would cost me my life, or permanent tissue damage. Easy, right? After all, I have a family history of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. But my numbers were too low - borderline, and so she sent me for x-rays of my knees and hips.

When I was thirteen I did a handstand and ended up with a bone chip in my right knee, which at 42 was still there and causing enough problems that I was approved surgery. See, things do happen for a reason! I applied in late June, and found out in the second week of August that the cost of the procedure would be covered. I scheduled my surgery in Michigan for late September (only three doctors performed the surgery in the US at that point, and none in Canada - and in Ontario there is a minimum five-year wait to have any kind of weight loss surgery outside of the lap band)...

And then my back started to hurt. My doctor suspected a herniated disc. I worked in an ESL preschool at the time, and we always had the month of August off. I returned to work for one day at the end of August, but I was in such incredible pain that I had to take sick leave until after the surgery. It was the worst pain of my life, and it was with me constantly from August until October, when I left for Vegas.

Yes, Vegas. The doctor who was to perform my surgery in Michigan decided not to continue with the surgeries, so I flew to Vegas with the whole family for my surgery. My ex, my then 4 year old, my 18 year old and her boyfriend.

The plane trip was excruciating. I couldn't take any pain meds for two weeks prior to surgery. But I made it, and had my surgery two days after I arrived in Las Vegas.

                                                      This was taken on surgery day.

I really didn't like Vegas. But I can't say enough about the CLOS clinc, Dr Rutledge and his staff. They were all amazing and very supportive. I went into surgery fully informed about my decision, the possible side effects and complications, and I fully expected to lose a little weight the first week...mostly water. The surgery was laproscopic, and I was in hospital for 24 hours, but I was required to stay in Las Vegas for a week following the procedure. The kids had fun. I was in pain - not from the surgery, but because of my stupid back. So I didn't do much.

The first two weeks, I ate crackers, watermelon, yogurt, V-8, and chicken broth. Before I left Vegas I'd lost ten pounds.

The third and forth week I could eat soft foods. Tuna, cottage cheese, cream cheese on my crackers, more broth and V-8 (I was supposed to drink Gatorade but I hate the stuff). Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, applesauce.

After week 4, I could start to reintroduce regular foods into my diet. But there are things I couldn't eat, and will never eat in large quantities again. Pasta, pizza, any kind of breaded chicken, things made with white flour are not a part of my diet. I can eat about two tablespoons of rice. I can eat a slice of whole wheat bread. I can't tolerate much meat, or anything that's excessively dry. I eat about half the food that I used to. Or less. I'm never hungry. And I feel full - I have to stop eating now - before the surgery, I was never full.

Here's a photo chronology:

                                    Christmas 2007. Two and a half months. 30 pounds lost.

June 2008. 95 pounds lost.

                                                    Christmas 2008. 110 pounds lost.

October 4, 2009. 130 pounds lost.

I feel completely different than I did two years ago. I walk, exercise and work with weights, and I love it. My chronic pain is gone. I've gone from a size 26-26 to a size 12-13. And I look good - I didn't do it to look better, but it's a nice side effect :)

The not-so-nice side effect that I've developed is iron-deficiency anemia. Those of you who have been following for a while know that I was diagnosed last March and needed a blood tranfusion. I've kept it under better control since, but until I get my periods under control, it will always be an issue... I'm working on that.

It's not a choice everyone would or should make. But it took weight loss, the increase in confidence and a need to confront the reasons why I was eating in the first place to get me where I am today. Out, confident, proud, happy, active.

Thank you Wilma.

Thank you Dr. Rutledge.

You both saved my life. Literally.

For more info about the type of surgery I had, go here.

Friday, October 2, 2009


is just really good right now. And the things I want are on their way to me already. I can feel it!

I was going to write more, but I have to go to bed now. I just wanted to post about my absolute joy, to make up for all the posts I wrote when I was despondent.