"The flow of creativity feels like an avalanche of joy and wonder. Being open to that possibility creates connections with everything." - Feline Dreamers

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Our wonderful old feline friend and companion, Huzzah Rastasoftafurrianpurrian, has left the Earth plane and gone on to the hunting grounds of the Summerlands. He was 18 years old, born on July 1, 1990. Huzzah died on Sunday, December 7, 2008, at home surrounded by his family. He was a playful, loving, caring cat, adored by everyone who met him. We'll miss him. We're glad he got to eat turkey for Thanksgiving and lie under the Christmas tree before he left, and that he won't have to endure another winter (his elderly joints didn't like the cold). Huzzah had a joyful effect on many people. He was a beautiful yellow tiger cat with very soft fur and a loud purr.

He got his name when he was just a tiny kitten. He was the runt of the litter, and since he couldn't get the first round of milk at mealtime, he decided to explore the house instead. He emerged from our friend's bedroom, came down the hall, and greeted the group of humans hanging out in the living room with an exuberant "mew!" Some of our friends had recently come back from a renaissance faire, and they said "he's saying Huzzah!" And so the name stuck.

Huzzah got his loud purr from his dad, who was named Tech for his penchant for climbing or sitting on the computer keyboard. His mom's name was Ramblin' Rose.

During the first part of his life, we lived in apartments near busy roads, so he was an indoor cat. He loved to play with balls of foil and rolled up juice tabs (the kind that you use to open frozen juice concentrate). He ran and leaped after them, and even fetched them back!

When he was 11, we moved to our current home in the country, back on a lane far from roads, with a big forest as well as open fields. We said it was his "retirement home," and he certainly loved having such a feline-oriented home. He loved to sleep under the lilacs in the front yard, and that's exactly where his final resting place is.

Farewell, Huzzah. We sure do love you.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Our Thanksgiving

We had a really fun Thanksgiving Day yesterday, and I'm so grateful for my wonderful family and friends! There were 15 of us around the table. We had a delicious meal with foods everyone contributed. Everything was so yummy! ElvenTiger, Mo and my Mom made the table look beautiful, with place cards, flowers and fancy folds to the napkins.

After the first round of cleaning and then dessert, several of us went outside and played touch football, and then a bit of the other kind of football (aka soccer). It was a blast! My brother said he couldn't recall the last time he and I ran around outside and played together. I think it should be a new part of our Thanksgiving tradition!

Later, people chatted, knitted, enjoyed a game of Cosmic Wimpout, and played "Madden 08" football on the computer. We had a fun and mellow evening.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Never Thought of It That Way

"You do realize that Abraham and Seth and those guys are probably outlaws?" said Dryst (age 12) this morning. I replied "What, for talking to us?" "Yeah, the very fact that more of them haven't come, proves it. It's probably like, 'don't mess with the Earth people, let them evolve by themselves!'" He's really insightful, this kid. Though somehow this observation makes me love the channeled teachers even more. Go rebel oversouls!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oh Yes Indeed!

Just do your best to keep yourself in balance. One of the first things
that causes Energy misalignment, is asking or demanding too much of yourself in terms of time and effort. In other words, you just cannot burn the candle at both ends, so that you are physically tired, and then expect yourself to have a cheerful attitude. So, the rule of thumb has to be: "I'm going to be very, very, very happy, and then do everything I have time to do after that."

- Abraham, through Esther Hicks, Los Angeles, CA, 3/6/05

Thursday, November 06, 2008

What to Eat

"Cravings are going to occur to you. So here's the rule of thumb about eating, or about investing in the stock market, or about anything else: If the impulse comes from a joyous thought that feels good, follow it. If the impulse comes from an uncomfortable thought that felt bad, don't follow it."

- Abraham, through Esther Hicks, Portland, OR, 7/13/02

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Time for Contemplation

"No matter how occupied a man may be, he must snatch at least one hour for study daily."
- The Bratzlaver

Sunday, October 12, 2008


"This is what enlightenment is all about - a deep understanding that there is no problem. Then, with no problem to solve, what will you do? Immediately you start living. You will eat, you will sleep, you will love, you will work, you will have a chit-chat, you will sing, you will dance - what else is there to do?"
- Osho

Monday, October 06, 2008

So Many Projects!

It must be fall - I'm feeling creative and inspired, and I have so many projects either underway, or in the planning phases.

I've got a few winter holiday (Christmas/Yule/Solstice/New Year's) gifts in mind already that I want to create. I can't mention them here, at the risk of spoiling the surprise.

For writing projects, the Core Belief Kit is still underway, plus I'm working on a chapter for a fiction piece I'm writing with two friends, a personal journal for my character in a role-playing game (based on Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber), and various other articles.

In the garden, we need to finish harvesting, then turn over and mulch the beds. We've got some garlic to put in, too.

With the kids, we're busily in the last couple of weeks of soccer. Plus our usual projects and interests. We got a bunch of new books at a library sale recently. The Maine Wholeschoolers (our unschool support group) will be part of a local art fair later this month.

And in about a week and a half, I'll be headed out for my yoga retreat! Wow, so much exciting stuff happening. Not to mention reading, visits with friends, yoga and more yoga, at least one drum performance for Feline Drummers, and of course the never-ending housework!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Unschooling and Record Keeping

I've been catching up on my magazine reading, and my favorite is Home Education. It's gotten me thinking about record keeping - not only for legal reasons related to our end-of-year portfolio review, but also just for our own purposes as a family.

Unschooling, in case you wonder what I'm talking about, is a form of homeschooling based on child-led learning. Rather than using a set curriculum, we explore the world via living in it, and exploring our kids' interests and inclinations (and our own, as well). While I'm thinking about it, let me post a link to a terrific article on unschooling, written by a Dad who is also a public school teacher. Long, but very worth a read, whether you're new to this concept or not. Here you go: http://thisdadstake.weebly.com/

Anyway, I've experimented with various ways of keeping track of what types of things we do and learn. Most often, at the end of the year I put together a list of things we've done, and then categorize those things loosely by the traditional school headings (math, science, literature, etc). At the end, I include a list of all the books we've read aloud to them that year. I do this for both kids, and then include a folder with some samples of their artwork and writings, and perhaps fliers and brochures from field trips. Sometimes it's a bit of a challenge to remember all of the things we've been up to. I refer back to my personal journal, but that's more focused on my own perspective and emotions on any given day, so I have to sift out what the kids might have been focusing on.

A couple of years ago, I found an online source for unschooling records, which worked pretty well. The one I've used is here: http://www.thehomeschoolmom.com/pdf/unschoolingrecordkeeper.pdf

Just this week, after trying out this form again, I found that it doesn't quite do what I want. So I've decided to go back to plain old pen and paper, and just make notes of what each kid was doing on any given day.

So it might look something like this, which was our actual day yesterday:

Thursday 9/25/08:
Tristan played World of Warcraft, and exchanged IMs with Taryn.
Bridget played Webkinz.
Bridget made two feather masks (we took pictures of them).
We all went to the chiropractor.
Played with fractions, quizzing each other in the chiropractor's waiting room. Also discussed with Tristan how to achieve his goal to attend college in 6 years, and how he can set up a plan to fulfill all the requirements for that.
We went to the farm stand for dinner ingredients.
Tristan had soccer practice.
We all watched Shrek the Third.
Read-aloud time was "High Rhulain" by Brian Jacques.
Tristan did some reading before bed, and played his bass a bit. Bridget worked on knitting before bed.

Nothing overtly schoolish, but lots of learning was happening (we're not really workbook people, at least currently). I also make note of when I take related pictures, so I can add them to our portfolio eventually. This method is flexible, and not terribly time-consuming. I'll just make a few notes at the end of each day, or during the next day, and remember to write down the read-aloud books we finish (which I've been doing for a while already). At the end of the year, my compiling of information should be a bit simpler. I think it's a good solution for our family.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

News Burnout

In the first yoga class of the term, our teacher mentioned that she'd like to keep politics out of the yoga studio. No discussion of the election in the room, or even in the lobby. Several people nodded, and someone said "thank you!" My first thought was "huh? Why would we be talking about that at yoga class?" But when I went out into the parking lot after class, I noticed a couple of cars sporting 2008 election stickers.

In a similar vein, I've had several people make comments to me that assume I'm worried about the economy, and my own survival. I'm not. I'm doing well, and will continue to do so. Why? Because I create my own experience. With Quester's new job in solar energy, we're participating in the gradual conversion from fossil fuels to sustainable energy sources. Teaching ourselves about gardening and beekeeping is certainly about being more personally sustainable. But why worry?

Don't get me wrong - I do care, I will be voting in November, I'll research the candidates, I recycle and reuse, I'm involved in my community. I just don't see the value in freaking out about change, or living in fear. I think the news media perpetuates a lot of negativity. Since leaving my job in the media several months ago, I've avoided listening to or reading much "news" (I don't even have TV). And to tell you the truth, I haven't missed much.

Maybe we don't need as much up-to-the-minute information as we've been taught to believe. Especially the "everything is in crisis" variety.

P.S. As to staying positive when you get caught up in the bad news cycle, try this:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

39 and All's Well (an update)

I turned 39 on Saturday, and had a lot of fun at my party with family and friends. We had a delicious feast, delightful chocolate cake made by Mom, drumming around the fire, and presents! Oddly, I like getting older. When I was little, I always wanted to be older, which is pretty common. But even in my 20s and beyond, I've wanted that sort of respect and wisdom that comes with being older. I like it!

Who am I, now, at this place and time? Student, teacher, yogini, writer, soccer Mom, daughter, friend, Love, unschooler, seeker, gamer, bookworm, gardener, beekeeper, dancer, drummer, artist, peacenik, vegan, Pagan, cook, housecleaner, inventor, playful child, fiery woman, cuddly kitten, strange hippie, feline dreamer and way more than that! Ha!

My yoga is treating me so well. Yesterday I went to the first class of the fall session at Wholeheart. It was so awesome to be back. For some reason, I seem to "go deeper" in class than at home. But my home practice is also going well. I'm happy and thankful! Blessed Be!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Magickal Activism

Lots of magickal activism is happening now, on all levels.

In myself, my renewed yoga practice is supporting me in cultivating health, harmony and centeredness, even when I'm outwardly busily swirling through life's daily activities. Even on days when I feel tired, or lazy, or a just little "off," I'm most often making my way to the yoga mat anyway. And it always feels great. In a couple more weeks, I'm starting a new session of yoga at my old studio, with a respected teacher. I haven't been there for a couple of years, and I'm really excited about it! Also, I'm going to be attending a 5 day yoga retreat in October.

In my community, I was honored to be one of 13 priestesses participating in an amazing, intense, powerful healing ritual for a woman who has been struggling with dis-ease in her body for quite some time. This ritual was the culmination of a lot of intense personal and coven work she's been doing. It was especially cool being in the ritual with a dear friend as my priestess-partner, and also with my young daughter, ElvenTiger. I was so proud of her! She, with some help from the family, composed a lovely multi-layered chant that was used in the ritual.

In the nation, I've been reading Starhawk's missives from the protests at the Republican National Convention, and sending energy to support her and her group. Check it out at: http://starhawk.org. I'm impressed with her non-violent magickal actions. I feel echoes of the energies I experienced at Vermont Witch Camp.

On all levels, postive change is constantly being created, and that's what I choose to focus on and encourage. So mote it be!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Renewal of Focus

...on this blog? Well, no promises, though I have been enjoying the writing I've been doing lately with BlackLion.

What I want to write about now, though, is my renewal of focus on yoga. Since I had Lyme disease last year at this time, I haven't been doing yoga regularly, and sometimes not at all. I've missed it, but up until now I haven't found the motivation to get back to it. Taking yoga classes often helps give me a boost back into doing my home practice, but when I was working, the schedule for the teachers I like didn't fit with my work schedule. Since I've been home, I hadn't yet made time for fitting classes into my un-schedule.

For the last 12 days, though, I've been doing at least a half-hour of yoga every day, and often more! The exception was the day of our Lammas Bash, when I did just a few stretches out on the lawn with my friend Steve. Being focused on yoga once again feels excellent! Even just over the last few days, my flexibility has improved greatly. It's fun and interesting to see how I'm getting my stretchiness back. Not just physically, either...it really helps with being flexible in my thinking and feeling, too.

I may still take some classes, come fall. Just for variety, and to share the experience with other yoginis and yogis. Namaste!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Summertime, and the Livin' is Easy...

Hey everyone! I've been really enjoying my new lifestyle. Yep, my goal of becoming an at-home Mom and writer (as well as gardener and beekeeper) has been achieved! I've been really busy, though...so much so that I wonder how I ever managed to fit in 40 hours of work plus commuting.

Quester is starting his new job with a solar energy company soon. He manifested just exactly the work he described. He'll be training for the first few weeks, as a subcontractor, then he'll be hired on as an employee. Very exciting!

BlackLion and I have a beautiful garden and two beehives! So far we've enjoyed spinach and lettuce from our garden. It's so delicious! And fun to harvest the stuff that you've grown. Even the weeding is fun and meditative. We've been having quite a bit of rain lately, so we haven't had to water the garden a lot. The bees are fascinating and magickal. We're using top bar hives, and so we had to transfer the bees over to that style of hive, which was quite an adventure (we're going to create a post on our shared blog about the experience, which I'll link here when it's done).

So far most of the writing I've been doing has been on the pagan vegan cookbook. It's almost done!!! It's been really fun, especially writing the catchy "blurbs" at the top of each recipe. Though perfecting my vegan chocolate cake recipe got a bit frustrating. It finally came out right, just this week. The homeschool group enjoyed devouring it on Wednesday :)

The kids are doing great. We'll be having our portfolio review in a couple of weeks, and then the whole group will be doing a big yard sale/car wash/bake sale as a fundraiser. We also have a couple of group camping trips planned. BlackLion and I will be taking the kids to GNE next month, which is a big SCA event. Both kids also start travel soccer in August (this is ElvenTiger's first year of travel soccer, though she's done the town soccer league for a few years). This morning we picked some wild strawberries out in our field.

I guess that's it for an update for now. I'll add more entries as I'm inspired. Have fun and get outside!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

including blogging

"To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else."
- Emily Dickinson

Friday, April 18, 2008

It's a Bird, It's a Plant...No, it's a Faerie!

I've felt unsettled this week. Sort of uncomfortable, emotionally and physically, without any real reason behind it. My chiropractor noticed I've got issues. "Lots of movement in the area of changing roles, huh?" "Yeah, just a bit..." I have 10 days of work left, and then I'm free! Free to unschool and write and garden and sleep in and hang out and whatever else I feel like doing. Don't get me wrong, I'm VERY excited and joyful about this change.

It's just that I'm in transition. And for an earth sign who is comfortable with routine, to a certain degree anyway, it's weird to be in limbo. I've come up with a bunch of metaphors to explain it to myself and various friends. I'm the seedling just before it breaks the surface of the soil. The cliched butterfly in the chrysalis. I'm the caged bird who, the door now open, steps out and looks around at how darn BIG the sky really is.

Then my physical aches and pains kept manifesting in a familiar area. I first felt it in my neck, but when BlackLion gave me a massage, I felt the roots of it in my shoulders. Yep, right under the shoulder blades - my faerie wings! I've grown them now, and I'm about ready to unfurl them! It's all making much more sense now.

Let's see, as I remember, the first step is to relax and let those ephemeral new wings dry in the sunshine... I'm glad the weekend is here.

By the way, Happy Birthday to my brother! Not that he would actually read my blog or anything. But I did call him today, and he was at the Red Sox game tonight in Boston. I hope he had an awesome time!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thinking About Food Again

I guess I write a lot about food in this blog (side note: I should figure out how to put my posts into categories like some bloggers do, so I can see exactly how much I focus on particular topics). This year in particular, my coven is exploring food and spirituality. One of the e-mail lists I belong to was recently having a very thought-provoking discussion about this, too.

Basically, the idea that I identify with the most is that *what we believe* about the foods we eat is as important as the food itself. Since everything is made up of energy, one of my questions as I explore being vegan, and the concept of eating raw foods, is why it matters what I eat. If everything is ultimately made of energy, so what if I’m vegan or my friend is a raw foodist or my parents eat a standard American diet? Well, it all comes down to the beliefs we each have about what we consume.

Last week, I went 10 days without eating refined sugars. My belief has been that my body feels better when I avoid sugar or moderate my intake. I felt great. I started thinking about some of the posts on the e-mail list, where people were saying that they mostly ate what is normally considered healthy food, but that they were going to indulge their occasional craving for candy or potato chips with as much joy as they did when they ate a big salad. So this week, I basically ate whatever I felt like.

I still feel great. I enjoy the freedom to enjoy sugars without guilt. I do have some issues around food still, which relate to the beliefs I have, and how my body currently resonates with various types of foods. And I admit that overall, I’m still eating what most people would consider a healthy and nutritional diet.

I guess what I’m finding is that I really resist when someone tells me that I “must” do something, or that the “objective truth” is such-and-such. I hear that a lot from raw food enthusiasts. I like to make my own decisions, and I want others to make their own decisions, too. What is right for me will look different from what is right for you. So that’s what I’m doing, continuing to mindfully explore what food and spirituality mean to me as an individual. All is well.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Honeyed Blessings

"This earth is honey for all beings, and all beings are honey for this earth. The intelligent, immortal being, the soul of the earth, and the intelligent, immortal being, the soul in the individual being -- each is honey to the other." - Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

It's Official!

I’ve done something exciting; I’m taking action to follow my dreams. After nearly 16 years at the same workplace, I'm leaving starting in May. I told them this past week. It's been a good job, the people are great, and I believe in the company (it’s a nonprofit) and its importance to the community. But it's not my calling. So it's time for a change!

How did I get to this point? I've always wanted to be a writer. Let me rephrase: I am a writer. I already have several writing projects underway - including a vegan cookbook and two non-fiction "metaphysics/self-help" books - plus I'll be able to freelance for magazines and websites. I'm also going to be taking over unschooling with the kids, which I'm looking forward to as well. Plus gardening and beekeeping - lots of fun creative stuff in the works!

I feel really good about this. I've wanted to do it for a while, but always came up with reasons why I shouldn't pursue my dreams. Here's a quote: "Actually, it's pretty simple. You have one real choice: To do your best, with what you have, from where you are. Everything else is just stalling." - "Notes From the Universe by Mike Dooley. I'm no longer stalling - I'm ready for action.

Quester's plan is to work in the "green collar" field, doing green building and solar conversion. He's still doing a bunch of research and networking, so if you know anyone in those fields (we are in Maine), please let us know. After 11 years of being the "home Dad," he's ready for a change, too. It’s a good move for all of us.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Seems Rather Obvious

If you know me, you know that I don’t try and push my dietary choices on others. Sure, I like to write about being vegan and vegetarian, but I feel that everyone should make their own decisions about what works for them. Yet, with all the attention being given to climate change right now, I just had to share this quote from the 2006 United Nations report titled “Livestock’s Long Shadow.”

“Animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalents. By comparison, all transportation emits 13.5% of the CO2.”

Why is this not being discussed, even among more progressive sources? It seems that, as a culture, we’re willing to change our transportation choices and habits, or at least think and talk about it. Given these figures, why wouldn’t we at least moderate, if not eliminate, our reliance on animal food products?

Monday, March 17, 2008

And Now...The Pictures

ElvenTiger had a pretty fun weekend. She player her best on the soccer field!

Our newest sport: lacrosse! Can you tell he's a bit excited?

That's one sacked out cat! Isn't he adorable?

OK, now read on if you'd like the verbal depiction of our weekend.

What Do Unschoolers Do?

I thought it might be time for another “weekend in the life of Starcat” post. I’m hoping some of my new pals on the three unschooling e-mail lists I’ve joined might stop by to check out this blog. And since I get so much out of reading about their lives, I thought I’d share some of mine.

Friday night we went and had dinner with my parents. The kids got to watch some TV (we choose not to have a TV at home, though we do watch DVDs on our computer). Crow enjoyed watching basketball with Grampa. My mom and I recently both bought the same digital camera, so we messed around with figuring out how to upload her photos from a recent trip, and send them to her friends (I know, if I really had my act together, this post would have photos, too!).

Saturday we did the annual “Maine Maple Syrup Weekend.” We went to a different farm this year, and enjoyed the pancakes, as well as not having to wait in line as long. The best part, though, was taking a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the woods as the snow fell! It was so pretty! The kids have been going to these events for years, and they know how the maple syrup is made. Yet they insist that we go – it’s a spring tradition, now! Though celebrating spring as more snow falls, adding to the 2-plus feet already covering the ground, is an interesting concept.

I got a lot of writing done on Saturday. LM and BlackLion and I worked on the vegan cookbook, and then BlackLion and I worked on our “core beliefs” project too. Quester and Raven took the kids to see the Spiderwick Chronicles movie. They all liked it. We haven’t read the books yet, but they are on my list. Oh, and Quester and Crow also went and got Crow his gear for his new sport – lacrosse!

On Sunday, ElvenTiger had two indoor soccer games. She played really well and had fun, though she was really tired afterwards. She’s going to keep playing two games every Sunday this session. Crow was so excited about lacrosse that he brought his gear to the sports center and practiced on his own. At one point he had a circle of little kids gathered around him as he explained what he was doing – too cute!

Sunday night we made Mexican food and played “Fact or Crap,” which is a fun game. ElvenTiger won, despite her initial concerns about needing help reading the cards. We also did some Mad Libs. I read the owl book to the kids. That’s about it. A fun and busy weekend!

Now it’s Monday, so I’m back to the day job. I’m so much looking forward to being able to have self-directed days all the time!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Doing What You Love

Like the bee, we should make our industry our amusement. - Oliver Goldsmith

On the surface, it seems pretty simple. As humans, we should occupy ourselves doing the things that we most enjoy, and those things will bring us not only joy, but the elements we need to survive and thrive: food, water, shelter, clothing, companionship, community. Most of the societies we have set up, however, lead in a different direction. In the U.S., the majority of people spend most of their days engaged in work they either mildly enjoy, tolerate, or actively dislike. Then, after “work” and on the weekends, they take the opportunity to “play,” engaging in recreation – when they are not busy taking care of their children and maintaining their home, cars, clothing and kitchens. Within this “deferred pleasure” setup, people often choose recreation that is unhealthy, either from their desire to escape the circumstances of their daily lives, or through trying to cram many experiences into their limited leisure time.

What if, instead, we choose to do work that we find pleasurable, and also to find joy in the necessary tasks of life, such as meal preparation and home maintenance? Many people are currently thinking about, exploring and creating ways to pursue their true calling in life (or callings, as they may have more than one). One aspect of this is to simplify their lifestyles, cutting down on consumerism and expenses. The internet has expanded the ability of many people to work from home and to start small businesses, as well as to network with potential employers and take online classes to learn new skills. Despite the media’s focus on lack and unemployment, there is a significant subculture of people who are “making a living” in new ways, and succeeding at it.

In my personal network of friends, family and acquaintances, there are many who are either doing the work they love, or are actively working toward it. A good friend created a full-time, work-from-home job for himself by participating in online forums, becoming an expert on a topic that deeply interests him and attracting the interest of an online business. What about you? Are you doing what you love? Are you working toward it?

Currently, as I work to manifest my own new lifestyle, I’m working toward it in tangible ways. I’m writing a lot, for the two book projects I’m a part of, and also in my blog and personal journals. BlackLion and I are creating our own online business, based on the system described in “The Four Hour Workweek.” I’m researching topics that will soon be pertinent: unschooling older kids, beekeeping, organic gardening, raw foods. And, like the bees, I’m finding not only industry and amusement but also great joy in the process.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Affirming Success

Sometimes when we’re making a big change, even one that we have created and wished for and are looking forward to, doubts arise. Our old patterns push at us, wanting us to stay in the comfortable familiar rut, prodding us about what we’ll do if we’re “not successful” on the new path. We see reflections of our old beliefs, perhaps in worries about “the economy,” or stories of how people are working hard and not being able to support themselves. We witness lack.

When we’re changing our core beliefs about something, we might get to the point where we are really seeing things in a new way, and sometimes that’s when our own resistance or fear comes up. I’ve been having those doubts arise this week. Luckily, my recent practice of mindfulness has been helping me see them for what they are. Rather than attaching more worry and fear to them, I can just let them flow through me and know that they are just thoughts and feelings of the moment, not “the way things are.”

What is it I’m afraid of, beneath those surface doubts? Mostly, I think it’s just the unknown. I know it can be done, I know I can live my dreams and enjoy an abundant life full of joy and learning and writing and travel and gardening and more. But sometimes my brain gets hung up on those financial “how will I pay for it?” thoughts. And yes, I do have to consider finances, and I’m doing so in positive and creative ways. But I’m talking about the fear-based thoughts, the ones that see from a perspective of lack and restriction. Those are the ones that can just flow on through. They are not me. I know that the universe is a place of abundance and pronoia, and that by knowing that and acting from that place, I’ll attract just exactly what I need and want.

I’m learning that it’s not greedy to pursue your dreams…it’s what we’re here for. We will each do our soul’s work on our own time, in our own way, on our own timetable. And it will look different for each person. Perhaps part of me is afraid, not of failing, but of succeeding. Here’s a quote I found on someone’s e-mail signature on a spirituality and unschooling list:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” - Marianne Williamson

I’m ready for success, I really am. And, moreover, I’m already successful! I’m a mother and a writer and a joyful person and much more. I release old fears and doubts, and step forward on this path of self-discovery and creativity. My life is becoming ever more full of beauty and wonder and joy and love. My projects are flowering beyond my dreams. So mote it be!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

What's New, Pussycat?

We’re all feeling healed up and no longer coughing and sniffling. Yay! And even though it’s a dreary day outside, it smelled like spring this morning when I left for work.

Here’s a picture of Star on Saturday, which was a big snow day around here.

In other news, Crow’s basketball team, coached by Quester, won their big playoff game and will be playing in the championship on Saturday! Crow is very excited about playing in the big gym at the high school, and getting his name announced to a crowd. We had a lot of fun at the playoff game last night; my parents and aunt came, along with BlackLion and Raven. The team played really well.

That's Crow, who's the point guard for the first team, in the picture. Sorry about the poor quality; it was dark in the gym.

ElvenTiger of course runs around with her pack of wild girls and doesn’t pay much attention to the game. She seems perfectly content to have made friends whose names she doesn’t even know. They have a blast, and if she sits with me initially, her girls come and seek her out.

I’ve recently joined a couple of unschooler e-mail lists, and am finding new friends with similar interests and approaches. I guess that’s sort of unusual, too, in that I know their names but have never met them face-to-face. Friendship comes in so many forms!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Happy Happy Joy Joy!

OK, so if this works, for the first time ever, this blog will have actual real pictures! No, not just the little one of me up in the corner that BlackLion put there. I mean acutal photographs, taken, transferred and posted by yours truly! OK, so here goes:

Here is ElvenTiger, my sweet 9-year-old, who is as excited about the new digital camera as I am:

Here is Crow, age 11, all worn out from basketball practice:

And, at long long last, here is my Mystick Quickpaw:

Isn't he sweet? Much fun and
playing with the new camera ensues... But first I've gotta get to bed, I'm still sick.

Mediocre Midwinter Update

I’ve been feeling under the weather (which, by the way, consists of snow and more snow) from an icky winter virus. My sinuses ache, and I’m tired of coughing and blowing my nose. I just want to lie down in a dark room.

The kids, who had the virus first and passed it back and forth a couple of times, are feeling better and only cough once in a while. They’re back to their regular activities now. Crow has basketball practice tonight, for Saturday’s second playoff game. He had his best friend sleep over last night, and they were having fun playing indoor basketball and computer games. ElvenTiger slept over at a friend’s house (we did a kid exchange) after yesterday’s bowling party for another pal’s birthday.

Like most everyone in northern climes, I’m decidedly sick of winter. That usually happens around this time of year, right when the viruses crop up and the air is still cold and the ground is alternately frozen and slushy. I have been enjoying reading, writing in my journal, and putting together photo albums. The photo albums are thus far the old-fashioned paper kind. But soon I’m going to purchase a digital camera, and then this blog will get modernized, with the addition of actual images! That is, once I can figure out the process of posting the photos here. I’ll be seeking help from my more computer-savvy friends.

My creative projects are going really well. I have more than enough to keep me busy, even if I stayed home from work every day (assuming I feel well, of course). That’s a good sign, since that’s exactly what I want to do! And of course, I’m always coming up with new ideas for additional projects to start.

Looking at my goals for the year, I’m doing well with all of them except for my yoga practice. I haven’t been doing any physical yoga at all lately; just haven’t been inspired. I have, however, been practicing mindfulness with a renewed focus, and that’s been wonderful. I’m not sure how to get motivated to do yoga, though. Maybe I need to take a class again.

So, overall I guess the mid-winter blahs aren’t too bad here, though I’m definitely looking forward to returning to full health.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Food for Thought (and Nourishment)

As a mostly-vegan person who is trying to add more raw and living foods to her diet, as well as bring into balance my consumption of sugars, I’ve been thinking about the various meals my family and I eat on a regular basis. We mostly eat homemade food, with some exceptions based on time constraints.

Breakfast is usually either a fruit smoothie, a banana, or nothing. Many times I’m just not hungry for the first few hours of my day. I do drink a lot of water, though.

Currently I work outside the home, and my lunches are normally a salad and some fruit, or perhaps some leftovers from a previous meal (today I had leftover split pea soup). Occasionally I go out for lunch; BlackLion and I went out yesterday to this great new vegan restaurant (The Green Elephant in Portland) and I had curry and nan.

Here is a sample week of dinners, from this past week. Not sure what we’re having tonight, so I put last Friday’s meal here instead.

Friday: veggie burritos (vegan for those of us who wanted, with cheese for the other folks)
Saturday: a traditional pasta dinner with salad and garlic bread, and cupcakes, at a friend’s house (not entirely vegan)
Sunday: vegetable curry over rice (vegan)
Monday: a pasta dinner with a lot of veggies in the sauce, some homemade bread, and homemade whoopee pies for dessert (vegan)
Tuesday: veggie burgers, a salad and some tater tots (vegan)
Wednesday: split pea soup and homemade oatmeal bread (vegan)
Thursday: salad and a sandwich to go, from Panera Breads (not vegan)

I’d say this was fairly typical, though we were pretty busy in the evenings this week, so Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday’s menus had either time constraints or other locations involved. I like variety, so I tend to be the one in the family who seeks out new recipes and encourages Quester to get creative with dinners. The kids would just happily eat the same things over and over, for the most part. It’ll be interesting to see how our diet changes and/or stays the same when I’m the primary homemaker. I do want to migrate to eating more raw foods, which will be easier in the growing season.

What about you? What do you eat on a regular basis? Are you happy with your foods or would you like to make changes? Leave comments below if you’re inspired by the topic.

In another food-related note, I got a catalog last night from a food supplier, and policies about starting a co-op (they call it a “buying club”) with them. I think it’ll work well. I hope to have it up and running in time for a March order.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Have Some Fun!

"He who does not get fun and enjoyment out of every day… needs to reorganize his life."
- George Matthew Adams

Monday, February 18, 2008

Make Joy, Not Fear

This is a big year for me. I feel I’m closer than ever before to really doing what I’m called to do. I’m overflowing with creative ideas and inspiration. I see a big fork in the road ahead, and I’m ready to take the path that’s right for me. It involves investing my energies and will in creating and learning and exploring and becoming more fully myself. This path is full of writing and magick and gardening, play and abundance. The other path is full of distractions and worries, limitations and fears and daily annoyances.

I’m not saying I’ll never worry or be afraid again. I’m choosing to work with those feelings in a new way. Using the tools I’ve learned over the years, I’m consciously allowing my emotions and reactions to flow through me, mindfully focusing on my true calling, my inner landscape, my authentic self. I repeat my mantra: go deeper. I believe I’m here for a reason, and that by following my deepest desires, I’m helping with the birth of a new way of being. Rather than being trapped in a declining culture, I’m assisting with the resurgence of love and connectedness. Rather than being a part of the problem, I choose to be a part of the solution, and I do so by following my heart. I choose the Good Reality.

“The original meaning of the word ‘apocalypse’ was ‘revelation,’ and in the esoteric spiritual traditions of the West, the apocalypse is regarded as a Great Awakening -- a marvelous resurrection. I propose that the apocalypse we're living through applies in both the degraded modern sense of the word -- the end of the world -- and in the original sense. In other words, collapse and renewal are happening side by side; calamity and blooming; rot and splendor; grievous losses and unpredictable surges of miraculous novelty. Yes, the end of the old world is proceeding apace; but it is overlapped by the birth pangs of a fresh, hot civilization that will be beautiful beyond all imagining.” - Rob Brezsny

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Snow is Always Fluffier...

I was going to call this post “The Grass is Always Greener,” but the landscape here is one of ice and snow, with green grass but a wispy memory. The question is: why is it that we always seem to want something other than what we have? In the abundance of snow, we’re aching for blooming flowers and warm breezes. Those of us with partners and families wish for a bit of free time to ourselves, while others are lonely and long for the commotion of a busy household.

What brought me to muse on this today, though, was reading several posts lately on unschooling blogs, about the overwhelming daily tasks of a purportedly “simple” life, and trying to get a disorganized day back on track. Yes, I’ve had days like that, and that’s not something I’m yearning for. But as one who is creating a self-directed life, free from the constraints of an office job, I’m a bit envious, even of the daily chaos of life with kids or the tediousness of household chores. I guess that’s part of the reason, right there – in order to have the impetus to make a change, we need to be able to see that which we want to manifest. “Hey, the grass really is greener over there! Or at least it’s in a shadier part of the pasture.”

I return to gratitude. I am thankful for my life, for all the love I’ve been blessed with, and for all the experiences I’ve had. I’m grateful for the opportunity to make changes and to continue to evolve and learn and grow. Thank you, universe, for all the snow…fluffy and otherwise.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Unschooling Wisdom

My metaphysical studies began, back in the early 1990s, with the Seth material and the books of Jane Roberts. Seth is a non-physical entity from another plane of reality, and his teachings were channeled through a writer named Jane Roberts, who also shared her own thoughts and ideas through her works of fiction and non-fiction. Whether or not you "believe" that Seth is "real," the ideas he and Jane shared are, in my experience, creative, wise and very useful in building the life you wish to live.

While Seth never used the word "unschooling," I recently found the following quotes, which to me describe the essence of learning that is self-directed and individually authentic:

"Each person can also intrinsically sense the direction in which he or she is most inclined. Inspiration will send nudges towards certain activities. It will be easier and more delightful for each person to move and grow in certain directions rather than others."

"By looking at your own life, you can quite easily discover in what areas your own abilities lie by following the shape of your own impulses and inclinations. You cannot learn about yourself by studying what is expected of you by others – but only by asking yourself what you expect of yourself, and discovering for yourself in what direction your abilities lie."

Seth through Jane Roberts. The Way Toward Health. Amber-Allen, 1997. Pages 175-176.

"I have mentioned before that play is essential for growth and development. Children learn through play-acting. They imagine themselves to be in all kinds of situations. They see themselves in dangerous predicaments, and then conjure up their own methods of escape. They try out the roles of other family members, imagine themselves rich and poor, old and young, male and female. This allows children a sense of freedom, independence, and power as they see themselves acting forcibly in all kinds of situations. To a child, play and work are often one and the same thing."

Seth through Jane Roberts. The Way Toward Health. Amber-Allen, 1997. Pages 222-223.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

For Alan Day

A beloved community member passed away from this Earth yesterday, at the dark of the moon. Alan was a loving, magickal, fey, joyful, musical and fun person. He had also been through the depths of depression and emerged from that dark Underworld with much wisdom. He touched the lives of those of us who were blessed to know him, no matter how well or how fleetingly. His eyes literally sparkled with benevolent mischief and faerie dust. He facilitated creativity, healing, and community-building all around him. His twin teenage daughters carry the light of his energy and spirit. His family, friends and acquaintances will continue to work and play in his footsteps. Thank you, Alan. I know you’re now in a place where you can freely dance and drum, create and delight, and continue learning. Enjoy your new adventures! Blessed Be.

"The best thing for being sad is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting."

- spoken by Merlyn the Magician in T. H. White's, *The Once and Future King*

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Wintry Darkness

It's the dark of the moon tonight, and supposedly a wintry mix of weather besides. Today's rain was expected to turn to snow. Our homeschool group, the Maine Wholeschoolers, was supposed to do our Midyear Review tonight. We canceled so folks wouldn't have to drive in the snow, but this next phase of the storm hasn't materialized yet.

For the review, Crow created and edited some awesome videos, using a stuffed ground squirrel as the main character and a bowl of nuts for him to purse. Our cat Mystick also plays a supporting role in one of them; too cute! ElvenTiger is going to perform a song she wrote, and also do a choreographed song and dance with a friend. We've rescheduled it, so they'll still get a chance to share their creations.

Meanwhile, we're having a quiet night at home instead. Quester made curry for dinner, and the kids and I have a batch of vegan carob chip cookies in the oven. I'm blogging, Quester is reading, Crow is playing with Star, ElvenTiger is chatting to me as I type, and the cats are lounging (of course!). I have a good book going, about Mary, Queen of Scots, and I'll probably curl up and read, while Quester reads to the kids. All in all, a mellow evening!

Winter's not so bad...

Thursday, January 31, 2008

In the Raw

I’ve been looking into the benefits of eating a diet composed (in part or in full) of raw foods. My assumption was that this meant eating a lot of salads, carrot sticks and fruit. Yes, you do eat those things, but I was surprised and pleased to find that there are tons of delicious-sounding recipes and ideas available (links below if you’re interested).

Some friends and I are planning to start by going 50 percent raw. I think that’ll be easy – smoothies for breakfast and salad for lunch, along with trying some recipes and adding those to the warm vegan foods I enjoy for dinner. Quester pointed out that we already have a food dehydrator, given to us by his sister several years ago and stashed in the closet because we had no use for it at the time. With our plans for starting a vegetable garden this year, I’m looking forward to exploring a new way of nourishing myself.

It’s as if, unbeknownst to me, when I became a vegetarian nearly 15 years ago I stepped onto a continuum of food choices that lead to better and better health. At age 38, I feel healthier than ever before, I rarely get sick (knocking on wood) and I’m finally satisfied with my weight (a big deal for most women in this culture). And I didn’t do it by depriving myself of anything; healthy foods are delicious and succulent and full of exciting flavors. What more could I ask for?

Here are some links I’ve been exploring:

The Master Cleanse & Raw Food Site: My reading about the Master Cleanse (I am on day 10 today by the way) was what got me inspired to look into raw foods recently.

The Raw Food Coach: How to get started with raw foods.

Living and Raw Foods: Great recipes.

Gone Raw: Food forum with lots of reader recipes.

The Garden Diet: The website of a cool family with testimonials and a description of their diet and lifestyle.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Enthused by a Book

I just started reading an amazing and life-changing book: The Four-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris. I’m only three chapters into it, and already it’s helping me change my view on a lot of things. As goal 2 on my list of goals for this year indicates, I’m changing “what I do for a living” this year. Yet I would recommend this book even if you’re not considering that type of change. The author’s discussion of fears and why we choose inaction are mind-blowing. If you’ve ever put off a dream because you’re afraid of failure or the unknown, the questions in this book will give you a whole new perspective.

We are so often brainwashed by the culture around us; we think we “can’t” live our dreams if we don’t have the guarantee of earning a certain amount of money. That’s why I didn’t just become a writer in the first place! That was what I always wanted to do. I was taught, and I believed, that “no one can make a living through writing.” That is so obviously false that it now seems absurd to me. We create our own existence. If you try to be a writer while clinging to the belief that it won’t work financially, you’ll create that experience. If you instead change your beliefs and outlook, anything is possible! And even if you try it and it doesn’t work out as you’d hoped, at least you have done something new, experienced new things. There are *always* options. We create our own success, and even more importantly, our own definitions of success. Check it out.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Buzzing About Bees

As part of my plan to be at home more, I want to build beehives and work with a colony or two of honeybees. My primary motive is not to share their honey and beeswax, though I will be honored to do so, but to get to know the energy and spirit of these fascinating beings.

I used to be terrified of bees, or any flying stinging insect. At Girl Scout Camp when I was fairly young, I stepped on a nest of ground bees while returning from a hike, and ended up rolling down the hill, being stung all over by angry bees. It was a sleepover camp, so I didn’t have the comfort of Mom to soothe me. Being rather shy and sensitive, I took the basic medical treatment that was offered, and suffered the emotional effects on my own. That experience combined with a close run-in with yellow-jackets earlier in life left me fleeing from bees whenever one approached the area I was in.

My friend Luke is a natural friend to bees. He taught me to overcome my fear and panic at the sight of one. He showed me how to calmly and gently tell the bee “there are flowers over there,” and point to the nearest flowering plants. I was fascinated that they almost always understood this message, reading the energy that we sent along with our words.

Several years ago, I had a series of synchronicities about bees, which included finding individual bees lying on the ground on several walks. The 5 of swords in the Motherpeace Tarot deck, which I was using at the time, has a picture of a bee, symbolizing the negativity we associate with a “sting,” “hex” or “curse.” I worked to assimilate the lessons of that card, which at the time meant learning to maintain my equanimity without feeling defeated by every small “failure.” In the process, I realized that bees could be positive messengers, bringing me the reminder to be mindful and release my expectations.

The depiction of bees and beekeepers in Starhawk’s “The Fifth Sacred Thing” has also intrigued me since I first read it. I re-read the book last year, and was again captivated by the magick shared between the bees and the priestesses. Now that I won’t be working outside the home full-time (not to mention commuting) I’ll have time to explore this ancient relationship myself.

LM, BlackLion and I took a 2-hour beekeeping seminar last week. They are going to follow up with a session of bee classes, and I plan to purchase the book and read their notes (my current work schedule means I can’t attend the classes with them). Perhaps as soon as this spring, I’ll be welcoming bees to the homestead.

Blessed Bees!

Monday, January 14, 2008

A Birthday Tribute

Today is the day to celebrate ElvenTiger (that is her chosen magickal name, not what she goes by every day). My youngest child turns 9 years old! On the day she was born, we had a Nor’Easter snowstorm – and today, just as she’d predicted, we woke up to a very similar storm! She told me that because it snowed when she was born, having a snowstorm today means good luck for her and her loved ones. Sounds wonderful to me!

ElvenTiger is a beautiful and creative and fun young woman. She has blue eyes, red-blond hair which she is growing out, and is rather petite. She is kind, sweet, funny and quick to smile. She is determined, sometimes fiercely, and knows what she likes and doesn’t like (well, she is a Capricorn, with Sagittarius moon and Gemini rising). Most of the time she is calm and even-tempered, though she can get fiery when she’s upset; usually the catalyst is her brother, Crow.

Her interests include cooking, faeries, knitting, drawing, soccer, and music. She loves to sing, dance, and make up her own lyrics. She likes being read to, mostly fantasy stories and ones with talking animals. She loves cats and jewelry. ElvenTiger has several close friends of varying ages, kids and adults. She loves to hang out with her Grammy, and is also developing a magickal connection with Raven, who is also a Capricorn and a pagan. ElvenTiger is homeschooled, and is learning reading, math and many other things at her own pace, on her own timetable.

For her birthday celebration yesterday, we went ice skating at an indoor rink with friends. ElvenTiger skated around with her two close girlfriends. They had fun despite some falling. Then we went back home and had cake and ice cream. Grammy made her an awesome snowman cake! Then she unwrapped presents; she got lots of lovely gifts. The kids ran around and played and worked off all the sugar.

Today, her actual birthday, we are having a dinner and dessert of her choice: curried vegetables and rice, and whooppee pie cake. All of it is vegan, by the way. Then she’ll pick a game or two for us to play. A nice plan for a quiet snowy evening.

I’m so thankful for my sweet daughter ElvenTiger!!!

Monday, January 07, 2008

How to Trust the Universe

“To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float." - Alan Watts

Friday, January 04, 2008

New Year, New Energy

I’ve noticed the shift of energy with the new calendar year (welcome, 2008!). It’s taking me a while to adjust to it, but now I seem to be settling into the groove.

While I don’t do “resolutions” per se, I do have some big and exciting goals that I’m focusing on this year. Here’s my list:

1. Writing! I will be a published co-author of at least two books this year. They are a vegan pagan cookbook, and “The Book of Ing.” I’ll also continue to write articles and personal journal entries, and of course websites. I’ll have more time to devote to it, thanks to:

2. Career change! Quester and I are going to trade roles this year. I’ll be the primary at-home parent, and he’ll be the primary breadwinner. I’m looking forward to unschooling with the kids, and doing my writing from home on my own schedule. BlackLion’s new schedule will allow us to have more time to write together, too.

3. Heart resonance. I’m reading a wonderful book that’s changing and inspiring my emotional life. (It’s called The HeartMath Solution, by Doc Childre and Howard Martin, and I very highly recommend it). I’m practicing the exercises, and integrating them so that I can access my heart’s wisdom all the time.

4. Healthy eating. I’m not a strict vegan, and during the holidays my standards tend to slip, as I share meals with non-vegans/non-vegetarians and indulge in sweets more often. The dairy and eggs sort of creep in there. Now I’m back to my usual vegan diet, and am cutting back on the sugars too.

5. Yoga. For some reason, 2007 wasn’t the year for me to do much yoga (after the previous two years, where I did it very regularly). I feel good when I do my yoga. So why wouldn’t I do it more? I will!