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Sunday, July 25, 2004

Witch's Weekly - More Pagan Community

July 24, 2004
More Pagan Community

What do you find most annoying about the Pagan Community?

I'd have to say that some of the people I meet seem to call themselves "Pagan" as a matter of fad. They don't really know what it means (even to themselves)... they pretty much call themselves such to follow some lemming crowd because they think it's "cool".

Are there any specific symbols that are sacred to you or that you hold close to you?

Being eclectic, there are many. However, I do utilize the pentacle frequently, as well as the symbols for Earth, Air, Water, and Fire. Though it's not a 'symbol' per se, my sacred objects tend to be my deer antler wand, sacred salt, sacred water, feathers, etc.

What's one thing that you think the Pagan Community needs?

Wow, what a great question! I'm not sure I'm qualified to make suggestions to this, but from my gut, I'd have to say we need to be recognized (all faiths) by the government and the world. We need to establish that we are a bonafide religion (whatever you may practice) and that we deserve the same rights/privaleges as the Christian religious groups. As an example: We observe our holidays, but never get paid time off for them.

Stora Dimum woes

Well, Blogger's answer to my dliemma about not having the ease and efficiency of the tag "buttons" in the posting window is that "Not all browsers are compatable". Well, duh! The problem is that I HAD those capabilities, until Blogger decided to "upgrade" and leave the "little man" drowning in the ocean! Microsoft no longer makes IE 5.5 as an upgrade, which means my Win 95 system has nowhere to go. IE 6, Mozilla, and Firefox all operate on Win 98 or better. I'm sorry, but my opinion is that Blogger should offer the old system as an alternative to those of us that can't use the newer version. Many websites offer old/new versions to access their systems... there's no good reason why Blogger can't do the same. So, with that in mind, I am still searching for other blog hosts that are more user friendly, and less "form letter" oriented. I thank the one respondant (see comments of last entry) who very kindly offered me the tag definitions. Thank you. However, it really is not about getting (or having) the tags... it's about ease of use and efficiency in being able to push a button and get the result. I've seen other blog hosts out there that still use it, and that I have no difficulties accessing.

And to think that I was going to purchase a paid account with Blogger this month.... good thing that I held off on that. Well, Blogger, you lost out, I'll spend my money elsewhere, thanks... with a host that caters to the populace as a WHOLE, rather than the elite few.

In knitting news: I'm up to about row 49 in the lace pattern of the Stora Dimum shawl from the book Folk Shawls. I love the way the pattern is coming along, but let me tell you, I've had some major brain-farts following this thing. First, I somehow FORGOT a line! I couldn't figure out why my counts were off, and why the pattern was looking funky. I had printed out the errata, and sure enough, no errors where I was working. I must have frogged back those two rows about 15 times, getting more and more frustrated each time. Until if finally dawned! I forgot to do a row of pattern. Oy, talk about being annoyed with oneself! So, that particular day, I wound up knitting forever, but only getting two rows ahead of where I was. Geesh. Second, the very next day I got another two rows ahead, and then wound up dropping a stitch. Now, I know there's a trick to picking up a dropped stitch, but the yarn I'm using, as well as my beginner-intermediate knowledge, just wouldn't allow me to use the "simple" way, so I wound up frogging it yet again back two rows. I knit it again, and sure enough, I dropped another stitch, having to frog back two rows..... AGAIN! Needless to say, I wound up putting the thing down for the next two days. Yesterday and today were MUCH better. As I said, I'm up to row 49 and still going strong. No forgotten rows, no dropped stitches, no problems. I'm so much happier! :) Now I'm off to pick up the shawl again and continue having fun!

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Suggestions needed

Well, it seems that Blogger has joined the masses in ousting those of us with a strict budget right out of the convenience and efficiency of their system(s). I joined Blogger because of the features it offered to me (for free), and because it provided a few other "perks" as well. One of them was the ease in which an HTML dunderhead, like myself, could use Blogger efficiently and with as little stress as possible. Well, it seems that Blogger has changed it's posting capabilities. Now, instead of just hitting a button to bold, italicize, or create a web link, I must type in all the tags manually. Why? Because Blogger, in its infinite lemming attitude, has decided that only those systems that use IE 5.5 or higher (or other browsers) can use the push-button system. Therefore, I no longer have buttons. Not a big deal, you may say. Ah, but for those of us on a severe budget... we cannot afford to go out and buy a new computer that operates on a Win 98 system. We cannot download the browsers that Blogger now is user-friendly to, because of overloaded memory, old computers, and old operating systems. And, we cannot even download a supplement operating system for the same reason. Also, I'm getting a little annoyed with Blogger not answering my email(s) about this concern (especially when they're asked direct questions).

So, as of now, I am searching for a more user-friendly blogging host. If anyone (and everyone) that reads this has a suggestion for a free, user-friendly, and efficient blogging host, please, please, please, leave the link in the comments section!

For now, though, I will continue using Blogger, until I find another blog host. I will definitely post a link to where ever I might end up in the future.

In knitting news: I finished the teal faroese shawl last night! It's gorgeous, and I can't help but love the color I chose. I wish I had a digital camera to show you all. The pattern I used was one of the ones from The Knitter's Best - Scarves and Shawls. The one titled "Yellow Shawl".

I've already cast on and completed up to row 22 of the Sto'ra Dimun Shawl from Folk Shawls. I'm already in love with it. I chose a beautiful wool/acrylic blend yarn in a deep green/black slightly varigated color. The varigation is so slight, that unless you look very closely, you can't really tell that it's a "blatant" varigated yarn. However, that slight difference shows up once the yarn is knitted as highlights and shadows, adding a wonderful dimension to the finished fabric.

I can't wait to start the actual lace pattern portion tomorrow, but alas, it must wait until tomorrow night, after work. Oy, being sick is no fun, but I sure enjoyed being able to knit all day long.

Friday, July 16, 2004

When you're sick, everything seems to go wonky

Well, I finally decided that I was just too sick NOT to go to the doctor. Those that don't know... I hate going to doctors and will only go when I'm desperately ill or dying. Well, I felt that way on Wednesday. In fact, I was so ill, that my boss sent me home! I've never been sent home! I can't blame him though, I wouldn't want to catch what I had, especially with children in his house. Anyway, the doctor's verdict is that I picked up whatever nasty virus is going around, but in addition (because I just HAVE to be different), I also developed a concurrent sinus infection. Wonderful.

The symptoms you should all watch out for:

Day 1-2: Feeling "oogie" (grandmother term), general malaise, and a tickle in either the throat or the lungs.
Day 2-4: Coughing that doesn't produce much, just a hacking cough, and LETHARGY (feeling tired)
Day 4ish: You actually think you start feeling better... coughing subsiding, but still feel a bit tired
Day 5: The demon hits you on the side of the head with a car. Coughing is worse than ever, fever develops, sinuses either run or solidify, and you can't get up enough energy to even get out of bed.

This seems to last about two weeks before it starts getting better (as I noticed in my parents)

I, however, went to the doctor around day 3. He put me on antibiotics for the sinus infection (and to stem off any secondary infection) and ordered me NOT to go to work until Monday. So, I'm home, miserable, but I seem to be getting a bit better. I'm disappointed because I had some really cool experiements to do this week, but my boss pointed out to me that it's nothing that can't wait until I'm back... thank the goddess.

But get this, I submitted my hours last week for having worked 33.50 hours (I didn't get the benefit of being paid on 7/5 (when the company closed for the holiday) because I'm a temp)). I get my paycheck in the mail yesterday, and instead of paying me for 33.50 hours, they'd paid me for 3.50 hours. MORONS! I have to submit a timesheet that INCLUDES the daily hours worked. You'd think that the moron that was making up the payroll would have noticed that the 3.50 hours they were paying out, didn't match the 33.50 hours marked in daily record. GEESH, talk about STUPID! So after many phone calls yesterday (don't forget the fact that I sound like I swallowed a fleet of frogs in my throat), I'm told that, yes, they did make a mistake and hopefully they can rectify it within a few days. Well, Duh!

Next, I decided that I felt better enough to pick up my knitting again. (btw, the shoulder pain subsided) So I've started in again on the teal faroese shawl. I got about 12 rows done before I realized that my count was off and I had lost about 3 stitches somewhere. Great. Wonderful. Marvelous. So, I frogged back all that work to where I had left off in the first place, found the escapees, chastised them furiously, and ordered them back on the needle. I managed to complete about 15 rows total yesterday.

I've definitely decided that I'd like to buy some Noro yarn for a shawl for myself. I'd like to do another, larger, faroese shawl in some of their wonderful colorways... I just can't decide which yarn, nor which colorway. I also have no insight as to whether or not a Noro colorway would be advisable for a lace-ish faroese shawl... I don't know if all those eyelets/yo's/etc. would detract from the yarn, or vice versa. Alas, I'm still a wee bit too sick to focus on it properly.

I've also determined that I need to get well quickly so I can get back to "working" in the pagan sense. I was doing quite well, helping friends, family, and the world in general before I got so sick. For all you energy workers out there (or those that are just interested) always remember never to work when you're wearing your "HATS" - Hungry, Angry, Tired, Sick. Regardless of what you may think, you will NOT be completely focused on the task you set yourself, and you will find that your work will show this by being either incomplete, or completely opposite of what you'd like it to be. Just realize this, focus on getting back up to speed, get well, get rest, get food, whatever, but get over it before attempting any work... it's important. If you're really concerned about something that can't be put off until you recover, and you work with totems or guides, ask them to watch over things until your better. They may not be able to enable the change/direction you're looking for, but they will be able to stem the tide so things don't get any worse in the meantime.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Being sick... well.... SUCKS

Yep, it finally happened. I caught the damn summer flu that's been creeping up around my friends and family and coworkers. Mom and Dad just spent the better part of a week trying to get over it, and just can't shake it (thought they swear they feel better). And wouldn't you know it... now I've got the damn thing. It started yesterday with a little tickle in the lungs, and has progressed today into an annoying cough that leaves one breathless. ARGUHHHH, I HATE being sick! My boss was ready to send me home today because I sounded like I was dying. It wasn't until the drive home that I started feeling that "wiped out" sensation. Tonight I've even managed to get the accompanying stuffy/sneezy nose and post-nasal drip. Great, so tomorrow I can also look forward to the sore throat. GRRRRR

In case you haven't guessed... I make one hell of a lousy patient. I have no tolerance for my being ill, and especially when it may involve having to stay home from work to recouperate. I'm hoping that it doesn't come to that... I need the money to damn much to forgo even one day of work. (brief break for yet another coughing fit)

Anyway, needless to say, I am in no mood for knitting since every time I pick up the dang thing I start another coughing fit. I also don't feel up to writing about the totems I keep seeing... deer, turkey, possumn (sp?), but I'll be sure to write about them when I'm feeling better... I promise.

In a nutshell.... I feel crappy, grouchy, and lousy... I'm just waiting for the other 4 flu-dwarves to put in their appearance soon... snotty, drippy, hoarse and fever.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Witch's Weekly - Pagan Community

July 10, 2004
Pagan Community

How did you choose the specific path you're on? (Druid, Wiccan, Sumerian)
I really think that my path chose me, or at least, was within me, lying in wait, until I was old enough to realize what it was. From the time I was a little girl of 5 or so, I've never really accepted that "structured religion" was all there was. So, of course, I asked questions (and drove our Reverend nuts). I've always known I was different, had different abilities than others around me (or at least was more in tune with them), and I've always especially been drawn to Native American culture and Animals, and I've always had the ability to work with energy, especially in healing. Imagine my surprise when Reiki became this big "cool thing to do", achieving "master" levels, and I had been doing it since I was 5 (I just didn't know what it was called). :)

What do you feel you contribute to the pagan community?
Contribution is a two-way street. I give my knowledge, my wisdom, my healing, and my strength.... I get the same in return.

How long have you been an active member of the pagan community?
This is actually a tough question. I've been "actively" utilizing my abilities since I was 5... so that make it approximately 32 years. However, for the most part I practice as a solitary, attending communal rituals occasionally with friends of like mind I've met over the years... I've only been attending those for about 10 years or so.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

What a cool quote

"I have a Feng Shui soul living in a knitter's home."

Seen at Knitknacks' blog.... how cool is that quote?! And how truer words have never been spoken!

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Normality slowly returns

Well, my brother and his family arrived home yesterday safe and sound. My folks and I already miss them, especially the little ones, but there's talk of the possibility of going down there in the fall to visit them. Of course, my visiting depends entirely on work, and whether or not I feel comfortable by then to ask for the time off.

In knitting news: I haven't yet picked up my knitting since my brother's visit. About two weeks ago I noticed a twinge in my left shoulder when I moved certain ways. It's gradually gotten worse. I can still move it, and I can still perform routine tasks and work, but for some reason there's one movement that just hurts like blazes. Imagine trying to tuck in your shirt in back. When you bring your arm around back to do it... that's when the hurting starts. I have a sneaking suspicion that I might have either pinched a nerve, or I might have an inflamed rotor cuff. I have a really bad habit when I knit or crochet. I sit crossed-legged and rest (heavily) my elbows on my thighs. I think that it's finally taking it's toll and I need to focus on being more ergonomic with my crafts. As it is, I've decided to rest the shoulder until the end of this week... so no knitting. :(

I'll keep updating during the week.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Time flies

I can't believe it's been a week since I've had a chance to update. My brother and his family (including my two little nephews) are scheduled to leave this Monday (July 5th). I have enjoyed having them here so much... I didn't realize how much I really miss having my brother around. And those two little boys! What heartbreakers they are going to be when they grow up! And just when they've finally warmed up to "Aunt Shell", they're leaving. I hope that it won't be another 5 years between visits.

We went to a nearby lake yesterday to feed the ducks, and the little boys seemed absolutely fascinated with me being able to get them to eat right out of my hand. You should have heard them squeal when the ducks came up to them! :) And last night we gave them each a jar with a lid and sent them out back to catch fireflys... talk about a comedy in the making! Two little anklebiters running around like loons trying to catch these critters! Little Connor, though, got the hang of it and started stalking the bugs... laughs all around. Eventually my brother and I went down to help them. Just like old times... my brother and I having a contest to see who could catch the most. :)

I'm hoping that we can find some fireworks displays that are local for this weekend. Unfortunately, most of them have discontinued because of lack of funding or some-such. Guess we're going to have to travel to find some, and with two little kids, that's no mean feat!

Oh-oh, just heard the pitter-patter of little feet and the crash of something breakable... time to go....