Welcome to Yesterways Order of WiseCraft

Witching my way through the world one day at a time here at Yesterways Cottage, incorporating the ways of old with modern times. Join me as I journey on a spiritual path I call "Yesterways WiseCraft Wicca." Feel free to comment and ask questions -- I'll get back to you, I promise, Witch's honor.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Slippery Slopes

There are many slippery slopes in life. When we settle on beliefs we may find that we also became blind to anything that conflicts with the beliefs we have chosen. The reason being, beliefs are what weave the intricate fabric of our lives. To unravel one thread, may cause other things to unravel as well until we find ourselves totally unraveled and deeply uncomfortable. Some of us will follow those threads to see where they lead. To see if we find new threads to patch the holes left by the pulling of the old threads. Some simply become angry that something is pushing at them and threatening to unravel the foundation they have in place. Because if you are constantly building or rebuilding the foundation, you may never get beyond the beginning.

I personally like unraveling threads. I sit and ponder so many things daily that it surely makes my husband's head spin because he is my safe haven that I bounce all thought wide and varied thoughts from. Usually he listens intently and lets me run my course. He sometimes contributes when he feels moved to do so. Our politics are similar and yet sometimes widely different. I respect him highly and hear him out. Sometimes I gain new fodder to contemplate. Sometimes I am guilty of brushing things aside and standing fast to where I started. But at least I pondered and I usually ponder deeply.

I've asked myself often why do I ponder things so deeply. Why can I not read a book or watch a movie for only the time it takes to do so and then let it go? Why is it that I talk about the book or movie for hours and days afterward, dissecting it, pondering it, twisting and turning it for meanings? I find that I won't watch superficial entertainment movies -- they always have to have some *hidden meaning* -- or perhaps I simply read into them what I choose to see. I find that I look all around me all the time contemplating everything. I will read something, make a snap decision and then find myself later pondering the decision I made. Did I look at all the sides and consider ever angle? Was the information sound? If evidence was given was it valid? Were the sources I based my decision on *good* sources or were they rumors or hype written to spin people, wind them up and move them in a desired direction.

I find that everything out there that we read, hear and see can be a slippery slope. We can back ourselves into corners being defiant and staunch believers of something, failing to hear anything else that doesn't agree with us. Or we can get so caught up in pondering and second guessing that we become wishy washy and stand for nothing and have no purpose.

The key is in *balance*. To know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em and when to walk away as the Kenny Rogers country song goes. When I am angered, I have to dig into my anger and find out *WHY* am I angered? Because only when I know the reason can I know what to do with my anger. To just jerk knee react and allow anger unchecked will most likely spur me to words and deeds that will be regrettable later. But just as anger can blind us, so too can an over abundance of happiness. Happiness can cause us to let our guards down, to lay ourselves open to wolves, to refuse truths because they would take our happiness from us.   Emotions definitely have a place in our lives -- they are the filters by which we live our lives. They are what spurs us to our decisions. But again, balance is key.

So, when I stand strongly on something, I ask myself what is motivating me to do so? Am I blinded with anger or happiness? Am I resisting change because it is unraveling some belief that I will have to forge anew? When I set off on a goal I ask myself what is my desire for myself? What place do others have in my goals? Only when I know what I want from it and what I intend to get and/or give to others can I go forward.

Perhaps I think too much. Perhaps I stand frozen in a sea of thoughts that rise until they drown me. Perhaps I should swim in that sea with bold strokes until I master it and swim for a destination certain.

Slippery slopes of the ponderous one.

Bright Blessings to all and Blessed Be!
Rayven Michaels
Wiccan Witch of the Midwest

Hobby Lobby Ruling Sets a Dangerous Precedent... #hobbylobbyruling


While some will see the Hobby Lobby win as awesome, I have to wonder about the can of worms this ultimately opens. This pretty much means a corporation of any kind can declare religious beliefs and force that upon their employees. So, Christians can force Christianity onto workers that are Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Taoists, Pagans, etc. on the flip side of that, what they don't see is that they have opened the door for other religions to do the same. How would a Christian like to be working at a plant that suddenly is sold to Muslim owners that enact Sharia law over the way they run the company?.... or to find that Christmas holidays are no longer one of the ten holidays allowed because the company owners are Pagans and honor Yule instead.... and on and on. By the precedent that Hobby Lobby just enacted that is the dangerous road paved.... hope the victors enjoy the ride.


hobby-lobby-decision

Monday, June 23, 2014

Being Upbeat and Respectful

I think it is very important to be upbeat when speaking and also respectful of others. What I mean by this is that I see a lot of things on Facebook that are spun to the negative, rather than the positive. When something appears to bash something someone else believes in, it instantly causes hackles to rise and it doesn't really show respect for other beliefs. Many people say they are tolerant of other people's beliefs -- but are they really.

When a person states their own beliefs like drawing a line in the sand and saying this isn't debatable or that this is the ONLY opinion I want to talk about is mine -- that isn't very tolerant in my humble opinion. Nor is it respectful.  To me, if a person doesn't want to hear what someone else has to say, then why should they say what they want? It is almost like a drive by opinion slam and then running off to prevent you from being able to say anything at all. To me that is rude.

People on Facebook need to remember that when you post something on your wall, it is an invitation for discourse. Otherwise it is like virtual turrets syndrome where you just blurt something out like you can't help yourself. It is also like you being an egomaniac and talking to your self and valuing only your own company and opinions.  If one is going to post on Facebook, be prepared for comments -- if you don't want comments, don't post. If you don't want to hear what friends have to say, then don't have friends. It isn't very complicated.

I do know that I sometimes feel baited when people post things that I definitely don't agree with. But then I remember, I am not their only friend. I am just one of many. Everyone doesn't believe the same things and that is a good thing. I have taken up the practice of commenting only to the positive. If I don't like something, rather than rise to the urge to post an alternative view, I just scroll on by and respect that is their belief. I have learned the hard way that many people don't want to hear discourse on their posts unless it is totally in agreement with their views. So, I respect that and accept that as being the way of it.

In a way, retreating like this sort of makes me feel like a cheap shot and a shallow *friend* because I'm not interacting with my friends as much. But in truth, I'm trying and have mostly succeeded in reducing my Facebook time. Only the past couple of days have I spent much time on Facebook. It reminded me why I left. :)

But I will always be around a little. Participating in Facebook is inevitable -- but it doesn't have to be all consuming.

Just my rambling thoughts for the night.

Bright Blessings and Blessed Be,
Rayven Michaels
Wiccan Witch of the Midwest at Yesterways Cottage

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Funny Things Kids Say....an annecdote about Mercury Retrograde

Kids can be an endless source of hilarious sayings. And don't think just because they grow up, that changes. My father had a habit of saying something hilariously similar to a word he either couldn't pronounce or couldn't remember. My grown daughter seems to have picked up that habit.

For those who believe in Mercury Retrograde -- daughter and I had a series of bizarre events occur yesterday so I told her it was Mercury Retrograde. She asked what that was and I explained it to her. We went on with the day and yet more things happened. Finally, when she thought she had locked the keys in the car hundreds of miles from home and she was frantically pawing through her purse for them near tears, she blurted out -- "This Mercury Rondingo has got to GO!" --- I laughed so hard I nearly fell out in floor in the restaurant.

So, folks, remember, when mischief is afoot, it is *Mercury Rondingo*!!!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Day 55 Count Down to Funky 55

It's finally Day 55! And here I am in my birthday suit!!! Well, not the one I was born with -- the one I bought to wear on this special day. :) We were at the Oklahoma Diamond Miss Pageant today. Granddaughter was competing in the World of Babies competition. What a wild day this was! Flying tires, midnight photo madness, early morning racing around in the dark -- oh yeah! Will get into all the juicy details after I talk about the outfit.


I am standing in the midst of mommy madness as mothers swarm their little darlings to get them ready to take the stage for the next event. In total, there were 4 events in this competition.

I'm sporting my roman sandals as usual, and a new tiered skirt and a turquoise vest that I bought from Zulilly. If you haven't heard of them, you really need to check them out. They are a clearing warehouse for name brand clothing. Lots of bargains. Boy oh boy could I really get in trouble if there were funds to back up my credit card. LOL The white blouse I have on is called a *popcorn* shirt. You can wad it up into a tiny ball and stuff it in a suitcase and it takes up very little room. You take it out, shake it out a bit and even though it looks tiny, tiny, it will spread out and cover a lot more territory than it looks like it would. So, that was the clothing I had on for this day of chaos and mixed blessings.

All the madness started early in the week as daughter realized that things she had ordered for this pageant were not going to come in on time. Either they were back ordered, delayed shipping, or the person she purchased from didn't mail when she thought it would. Also, some packages started out as Fed Ex but once they arrived in town, they switched over to postal delivery. That was nuts. So, something that arrived yesterday didn't get delivered because the carriers were already out for the day. So, the outfits she needed got here TODAY while we were gone to the pageant. Nice one. NOT!

But we managed to pull things together and come up with outfits for every category from the things that did come in and from things we purchased locally. Granddaugther got decent scores so it was nice to know our mad cap efforts paid off.

The really crazy part was getting a portfolio together. As you can imagine, babies are squirmy and hard to photograph, so daughter called in a professional. It was a friend visiting on vacation and she couldn't come until this past Wednesday but she assured daughter the photos would be ready in plenty of time for us to be able to print them in time for the pageant. Which meant we had to have them no later than 7pm on Friday to get prints before the photo department closed which was at 8pm. Through a comedy of errors that weren't so comedic, the photos didn't arrive timely! UGH! We were tanked on the portfolio! So in desperation we pulled together some photos from what we had and were prepared to make due. It was stressful and disappointing after paying to have photos done specifically for this pageant but there was no use crying over spilled milk. We just had to dust off our big girl panties and go game on.  Well, lo and behold, at 11pm the photos shot through in an email. Very exciting and yet a big DANG IT moment because what could we do with them? No place opened until 8am or 9am and wouldn't be able to have photos until 10am at the earliest. We had a two and half hour drive to our destination from daughter's house and I had a one hour drive to HER house! That meant I would be leaving my house at 4am to get to her place and then us leave her house no later than 6am to race our way to the destination. There was absolutely no way we could expect to pic up photos locally. We have no photo printer and everyone we knew that had one had already left for pageant and spending the night on location. We were the odd ducks driving up on pageant day -- mostly because the hotel was booked and we needed to save the money. Sigh....

But then a pageant friend told us that there was a Walgreens in the town we were going to and if we would push an online order to it, she knew the photo center worker and would call and give her a heads up. YES!!! Mercury Retrograde, take that!!! We were back in the saddle and riding high. Photos were ordered and we finally laid down to try to rest between midnight and 1 am. It was going to be limited sleep for me. 

Got up on time and made it to daughters. She was ready to roll. We got granddaughter in the car and off we flew. We were making record time until..... the FLYING TIRE HIT US!!! Oh my goodness, it was totally crazy. We were taking a ramp to merge into traffic on a highway we needed. Ahead of us was a pickup pulling a trailer with a tractor on it. Behind us were SUVs and a big Semi. We were all booking at high speed and that's when it happened. The truck ahead of us hit a bump and his trailer bounced and when it did, the back left tire flew off -- the trailer tipped, and the tractor got tipsy. The truck was fighting to keep his load and his tire was free wheeling down the highway and passed him up. We thought it would hit a pillar on the over pass but it cleared it and shot right out into traffic that was running 75 miles an hour. I have no idea how the miracle happened but NO ONE HIT THE TIRE! It shot through traffic as though it was perfectly timing the space between the cars. Then it hit the center median and bounced back and IT FREE WHEELED BACK THROUGH TRAFFIC AGAIN. Once again, no one hit it. I was is awe! But then with a sickening lurch of my stomach I realized what was about to happen -- we were still running down the highway and the tire had veered at such an angle that we were going to intersect with it. I expected to hit it full in the radiator and have it plow through the windshield. I started yelling for daughter to hit the breaks -- she hadn't seen it because it was in her blind spot. She thought it had jumped the center median and flew off in to the ditch on the other side of the highway. Not so -- here it was like a boomerang returning to its owner that was still fighting his truck and tractor load to a hault on the side of the highway. As daughter saw the tire was upon us, she glanced in the review mirror and said *OH GOD!* and then she hit the brakes. Thankfully, the semi and SUV behind us had seen enough to avert running us over as we braked. The tire WHACKED OUR BUMPER and then shot on past us and flopped in the ditch. I guess it was *tired* of its freedom run. (sorry for the sappy play on words but I had to do it)  We came to rest on the side of the road behind the truck, trailer/tractor.  He was shaking and white as a ghost. He came running at us and wanted to know if we were ok and did the tire hit us. We told him it did hit us but that we were checking the damage. It just popped the plastic bumper loose which should be easy to snap into place. Poor man tried to fix it but he was shaking too hard to really accomplish much. Once we were assured we were road worthy and only very minor damage, we told him we had to get moving because we had a deadline -- we were going to a pageant and had paid big fees to be there. We couldn't be late.  We assured him we were fine and told him to take care of himself, that he had his hands full with his tire and trailer problem. He seemed somewhat relieved and shocked -- I'm sure the thought he was facing a lawsuit big time. Granddaugther never so much as blinked during this whole escapade. She slept though it all. I was quite impressed with daugther's driving skills. She has always lacked confidence but she learned today that she has much better abilities than she has ever given herself credit for.

There were other mishaps throughout the day but nothing like these I've detailed. I kept telling daughter it was Mercury Retrograde and explained to her what it was. Later in the day we had a nice stress relieving belly laugh at the restaurant when she realized she left the keys in the car and I had locked all the doors. Daughter was on the verge of tears and then she reached for her door and yanked the handle and it flew open!!! She had forgotten to lock her door. Saved from a mistake by another mistake. Daughter said, this Mercury retrogarden can stop about any time. I was like, WHAT????? She repeated, you said it was Mercury retrogarden -- well it can stop any time. I've had enough. I got the giggles that grew into a loud and obnoxious laugh. She was not amused and wanted to know what was so funny. I explained between snickers and snorts that it was *Mercury Retrograde* not *retrogarden*.  She began to laugh too and nearly spun into tears. [I stand corrected -- daughter informed me she did NOT say *retrogarden* -- she said *rondingo* BUHAHAHAHA -- that is even funnier than *retrogarden* -- she cracks me up. But if I'm going to tell it, I have to tell it right, says she. So, it was *Mercury Rondingo*.]

Thankfully, the ride home was uneventful unless you count missing our exit from the turnpike that caused us to have to drive 20 extra miles out of the way. Yes, this was a very interesting birthday, indeed.

And now I am 55! And the Funky 55 Count Down is over. I hoped you enjoyed reading about my 55 day journey to age 55 as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Bright Blessings and Blessed Be!
Rayven Michaels
Wiccan Witch of the Midwest

Friday, June 20, 2014

Day 54 Count Down to Funky 55

Last day before Funky 55 Count Down ends! We ate at the Boomerang Diner today. Right behind it is the American Legion Post so I took my photo there by the sign on their building. This town is big on celebrating and supporting its Veterans. It has a large Veteran's hospital and a gorgeous park called Honor Heights Park.


The fashion today is a black *mini* dress that I'm sporting as a tunic top. I can't imagine ever wearing it as a dress because it is *at you* length. If you sneeze, bend or the wind catches it, everything the wearer has would be staring right *at you*. In some cases people might consider it a pretty sight depending on the wearer. However, I choose to keep private things private. :)



Here is a full length shot that lets you see my *capri* pants and my roman sandals.  My jewelry is a pretty glass medallion with a swirl in it and the earrings are swirls.  They are hard to see in the photo. I got the earrings on a trip to Arkansas with my Coven mates when I lived in New Orleans. We had an awesome time and got to buy lots of gorgeous crystals. We even dug for crystals. I found a few and some big rocks too.  I have been wondering where my big rocks are.... I haven't seen them since we moved. That makes me sad.... I really thought they made it. Maybe I unpacked them and put them somewhere, but where? That's the question. They will turn up eventually. Unless they never made it here. I really thought they did though. Sigh.... when you have so much junk it takes two years to figure out something is missing, you have too much junk. But we had established that fact already for me. Maybe that will be my next post series topic -- weeding out excess. GAK! That just gave me chills. To actually be confronted with getting rid of stuff.... I do really need to. Hmmmm, let me think on that. See if I can make myself do it...

See you one last time tomorrow. The post will be late though because I will be jetting out in the morning at 4am to go get daughter and granddaughter Peach and maybe grandson too. We are going to Peach's state pageant. She gets awarded the diamond necklace she won at preliminary pageant. Whoot! Whoot! It's a two hour drive and we have to be there by 8am so we going be booking down the highway. Hopefully bright eyed and bushy tailed as they say.

Bright Blessings and Blessed Be!
Rayven Michaels
Wiccan Witch of the Midwest

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Day 53 Count Down to Funky 55

Help, I'm melting! Actually this was one Witch that getting wet didn't bother. It was a beautifully cool, and rainy day. While out on our jaunt to eat today at our favorite Italian restaurant, we found another guitar. Actually, the town is full of them and we are now on keen alert for them. Funny the things you don't see right in front of you when your mind is elsewhere.



This guitar sculpture had a plaque of dedication under it but it was up in the shrubbery and I didn't want to trounce the beautiful setting just to read it. I think it was dedicated to a woman.  This is on the street corner by a very beautiful house with gorgeous manicured landscaping.  This display gives an inkling of what the grounds look like there. I made sure to stay on the sidewalk so that I didn't bruise anyone's tender feelings about trespassing in their yard. Having spent my whole life in the country without ever having to worry about foot traffic, I am a bit sensitive about being respectful of other people's yards.

Artwork on this guitar is full of Native American symbolism -- the buffalo, the tee pees and the beautiful cloud filled sky. I love these sculptures. Each one is a reflection of the owner/artist that created it or had it created on their behalf.

My outfit today is another one of the robe like dresses that I bought for ritual. I loved the colors in this one. The stitching is really beautiful. This one is a bit smaller cut I think. I know the arms are slimmer and a little binding. I'm sure part of that is because of the lack of give in the lighter colored material. 


Just a different angle and close up of the detail on this dress. As I said, I really love the stitching on it. Beautiful, beautiful. And I was so lucky to get them. A new vendor on eBay posted them for .99 cents each starting bid. I bid slightly above that and then waited. I figured there would be a flurry of bids in the eleventh hour like there always is. Nope, nada! So, much to the distress of the vendor I'm sure, I got all 4 of the dresses they had listed for just a little over $6. I felt bad for them but I gladly paid the shipping. Needless to say, the vendor didn't make that mistake again. They learned as did others, to do the 99 cent listing to capitalize on the no eBay fee or whatever the incentive eBay has to do so, and then you put shipping to be the least amount you could afford to sell the dress for PLUS the cost of shipping. So, if you need to get $20 for the dress, shipping is $23.00 or some such and the dress is listed for 99 cents. Anyway, I there were no more deals like that to be found. Not from this seller anyway and none found elsewhere by me.


This last photos is just a silly close up of hubs -- I call it the *All Seeing Eye*.  I wanted to take his photo and he wasn't feeling well so he said he wasn't very photogenic today. I insisted on taking his photo anyway and as I posed to take it, he leaned into the camera and this is what I got. We both had a good laugh. He did allow me to go ahead and snap a couple of shots but this fun spirited one was my favorite so it is the one I shared.

Two more days to Funky 55!

Bright Blessings and Blessed Be,
Rayven Michaels
Wiccan Witch of the Midwest

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Day 52 Count Down to Funky 55

Busted! I am caught having pizza! It's one of hubs favorite foods so we indulge from time to time. :)


The clothes today are rather simple -- light colored jeans and a colorful top with a sculpted tail and little bling up the front. However, the hair was my daring deed for today. I was at the Sally shop yesterday to pick up something for daughter and I spied *hair chalk*. I found that intriguing so I snagged some in neon colors. This morning I got up and put the pink, purple and blue in my hair. Not sure if I was supposed to comb it through like I did or just leave it super dark and chunky. At any rate, when I was through playing I had what you see here. Yes, I am a giant kid. And I will be going back at some point because they have the temporary wash out colors too. Oh my what fun I will have with that.

The funny thing is when I walked into Mazzio's to order, the young man behind the counter had the most marvelous hair in the same colors. He teased me and asked if I was copying him. I laughed and said not really because his hair was so much more well done than mine. We chit chatted about how he did his and discussed chalk. He says chalk is just not so much. He likes the dye. I would have taken a photo of him but I didn't want to explain that it would be on a Witch blog -- he might have been cool with that but then again maybe not. I chose not to go there. Let's just say, our heads of hair looked sort of like twin flames - only his was more vivid and waaay cooler. :)

And that's it for today. Have to hit the road. Going to see the grandkids and they are an hour away. I'm running late...

Bright Blessings and Blessed Be!
Rayven Michaels
Wiccan Witch of the Midwest

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Controling yard fleas without using poison

As I am turning to green cleaning, I am ever on the look out for something to replace dangerous chemicals. Today the challenge was ridding my yard of fleas. Each year since we have lived here, 2 years this month in fact, our little dog Rex has suffered miseries from fleas. Something he has NEVER had to deal with before. And his tender little skin reacts horribly to their bites. The first summer here, we kept him inside as much as possible, treated him with flea collars and frontline. I wasn't happy with that solution.

Last year, we tried bathing him in Dawn dishwashing liquid and while that would kill fleas that were on him, it didn't keep fleas from getting on him. What was even worse, was the fleas got a foot hold in the house and got in the carpet! So we had that battle to deal with. To kill the carpet fleas, we first tried the carpet sprinkles marketed for that purpose. We had limited success and found we had to do it repetitively which got expensive. And since everyone was fighting fleas at the same time because it was flea season, the carpet stuff was hard to get. After scouring the internet for other solutions, we bought diatomaceous earth from the local tractor supply store. That did the trick! It knocked the fleas right out. I also sprinkled the diatomaceous earth around the back yard. It seemed to work some but honestly, every time it rains and gets hot, we have a new surge of fleas to deal with. UGH! Meanwhile, poor Rexie was noshing himself bald from the fleas and even when the fleas were washed off him, and he was powdered down with diatomaceous earth, the venom in the bites still drove him mad.

Now it is flea season again and we are back where we were last year, fighting the good fight. For Rexie, we have a three fold prong of attack, we bath him in Dawn dish soap to get rid of any active fleas. Once he is dry we massage him all over with organic natural coconut oil. Research on the internet indicated is some sort of acid that fleas hate and I can tell you that during the massage, any fleas the have survived the bath or sneaked on after the bath during the drying time, are flopped out dead or scrambling to get away from the coconut oil. Rexie loves to lick my fingers while I massage him. This is the least tramatizing treatment he has ever had and it isn't dangerous to him. Anywhere that he sleeps or naps, we sprinkle diatomaceous earth in the bedding. When his coconut oil looks like it has all absorbed away from him, we sprinkle him with the diatomaceous earth. It too is not dangerous to him and in fact, if he happens to ingest it, it will help rid him of any internal parasites he might have from his outdoor bouts or from swallowing fleas.

Today, I tried something new on the yard. I used a Dawn dish soap and water solution in my little mini sprayer and soaked the yard. That supposedly kills the fleas without injurying the plants. Apparently it coats the fleas and flea larvae and causes them to suffocate. All I know is it kills them and it isn't poisonous to my dog or to my grandchildren or the environment. However,  I was sad to see that it will kill other critters also. But then, so would the poison. The idea is to get the yard flea free so that we don't have to do all this spraying and dusting etc. However, it is going to take a lot of will power and effort on our part to stay on top of it until the deed is done. Last year we used something called Bifen but it is very poisonous and I just am not comfortable with using it since we have pets and grandchildren. Plus, we have honey bees that feed off the clover in our yard and I don't want to endanger them. So, no poison this year. Had to be a different way. And so, today was the Dawn dish soap and water solution. I figure in a day or so, I will go out and follow up with the diatomaceous earth.

For Rexie's sake, nature and the environment, wish me well. We must win this war on fleas. They are hideous creatures that are terrorizing our dog and making his life miserable.

Bright Blessings and Blessed Be!
Rayven Michaels
Wiccan Witch of the Midwest

Day 51 Count Down to Funky 55

As promised, here I am with another one of our local guitar art sculptures. To be honest, I didn't even know this one was there! I saw it by accident as we were headed for a different one. I was like WOW! How did I not know this was here! I drive past this building almost everyday. But it is on the side of the building clearly visible from the side street and for a fleeting minute when driving on the main way. Today, after two years of traveling that road way, I saw it. Glad I did. This lot is beautifully landscaped. It used to be the home of our bank but it recently moved across the street into a more grand, newer custom built building. I have no idea what is happening with this building. Construction workers are going in and out so hopefully that means it will become home to something good. An office building at least. I guess we will see.



The clothes, the clothes! What about the clothes? As you can see, it is a tie dyed sun dress. It is the tiered ruffle kind. The green and black and white really called to me when I saw it. I bought it at a little shop in New Orleans called The Rainbow Shop. I was so excited when I moved here to Muskogee because our Mall had one too! Whoot! Whoot! But right after Grandson was born, they moved out and disappeared. Drats! I could have and would have spent lots of money in there. They should have stayed and give me a chance. LOL 

The little jacket I have on is a wonderfully weird piece. I can't remember where exactly that I got it other than it was on a close out rack. It is crochet and has rabbit-like fur on it. The crochet has a rosette pattern on it. It has two large crocheted buttons that fasten it closed. And there are two decorative ties that had little fur puffs on the end. The reason it was on the discount rack is because one of the fur puffs was damaged and lost some of its fur. Didn't bother me. So, now I have this great over jacket. So far, I mostly pair it with this dress because I like the looks of them together. But I do have another dress that is all solid green that I like to wear it with also. My shoes were the same roman sandals I wore yesterday. I tend to do that - get on a tangent of wearing the same pair of shoes over and over. Gives my feet a break and the shoes also. :)

Just 4 more days until Funky 55. Wow! I think I will qualify as an *official* Senior Citizen when I turn 55. Discounts, discounts, discounts. Gotta stretch that money however I can.

Bright Blessings and Blessed Be!
Rayven Michaels
Wiccan Witch of the Midwest

Monday, June 16, 2014

Day 50 Count Down to Funky 55

I'm Proud to Be an Okie from Muskogee! Yes, that Merle Haggard song was written about my town! Turns out Merle Haggard's folks were from nearby Chechotah, Oklahoma and migrated to California during the Great Depression after their barn burned. The mighty Merle was actually born in Bakersfield, California and he had a very troubled youth and did several stints in prison. After encounters with two different guys in prison that landed on death row, he turned his life around and became the music legend we know him as today. We can come from any background and climb to greatness. All it takes is motivation and determination.

I'm sure this craze has happened throughout the nation, but here in Oklahoma various towns have themed artistic sculptures scattered about town. In Tulsa about 45 miles away, they have Penguins. In southwestern Oklahoma, they have Buffaloes. Here in Muskogee, we have Guitars after the music legend Merle Haggard and his song about this town I mentioned above, "Okie From Muskogee".


Here I am posed in front of one of the Guitar sculptures which I believe is supposed to represent Merle Haggard himself. It's a Cowboy with red boots playing a guitar. Across the guitar is an American flag and on that flag is a bulldog. Being the wife of a retired Gunny, that smacks Marine Corps to me. :)

Today I have on a robe style dress which is one of several that I bought from eBay a couple of years back with the intent of wearing to public rituals. But since there are no public rituals here and they are too pretty to sit in the back of the closet or to be worn for only a few minutes for Full Moon I broke this one out for regular wear. I will show another one tomorrow and the next day.

I fell in love with the patch work effect of this one and the beautiful stitching. What can I say, I'm a fool for pretty clothes. But this was inexpensive and that makes me a double fool because I LOVE bargains. These robe dresses (abayas is what I think the ebay listing called them) are very comfy and cool despite the long sleeves. I know that seems counter intuitive to wear long sleeves in the summer time, but it keeps me from burning in the sun for one thing and for another, it knocks the chill of the over zealous air conditioning that restaurants and businesses have going on.

My choice of shoes today were my roman sandals with the decorative silver brads up the front. This pair has a zipper up the back to put them on whereas my solid black pair has velcro fasteners on the side.



In my photo, hubs cut the head off the statue. He said he was so focused on getting a good photo of me that he forgot to check if the sculpture was in full frame. Plust he was thinking of the guitar and not the cowboy holding it. So, here is hubs in front of it where you can see it a little better. He is getting all these photos of me and I wasn't getting any photos in kind. Today I changed that and had him indulge me while I snapped away.

This photo is just to share with you how easily amused I am. I always find it quite funny that the side of hubs truck acts like a fun house mirror and squishes me down in size. I love looking like I belong in the cast of Willow. I guess it is one of those things where you just have to be there.

We're headed to the finish line now. Just five more days to Funky 55!

Bright Blessings and Blessed Be!
Rayven Michaels
Wiccan Witch of the Midwest


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Day 49 Count Down to Funky 55

We went to the movies today and saw How to Train Your Dragon 2. I LOVED it and yes, I cried! No spoilers from me, so I won't tell you why. You'll just have to watch it for yourself.


Since all the movie posters were the same, I waited until we got back home to take today's photo. I am perched on my front steps next to the flower bed I have worked on. I pulled out all the grass and put down a layer of the carpet we pulled up from the living room to use as a weed barrier. Then I put down mulch and set my potted plants in it. To keep the sun from frying the roots and baking them hard, I have them sitting in red bowls that I can fill with water. This was very effective when I lived in New Orleans. I'm hopeful it will help my plants ease through the drought of July and August here in Oklahoma.

My outfit today is jeans. Jeans are kind of blah to me but they have their place in life. As a top I have on my brown tee that has angel winged sleeves -- I think maybe they are called *dolman* sleeves? It's been a while since the sewing machine and I were good friends where I knew all those terms but that will change soon. I will be making sashes for pageants. :)

Over the top, I'm wearing a brown beetle tailed sweater. I made that term up but it does a good job of describing it. Sometimes I wear the sweater belted but today I didn't. Since we were going to the movies and it's summer time, I knew it would be cold inside and a sweater would be necessary to be comfortable.

The funky element today is the necklace. It is a big chunky thing that I bought from Dillards in New Orleans. It cost more that I would ever normally spend on a piece of costume jewelry but I had a gift card from the attorney I worked for. I didn't find anything in clothes that inspired me and I didn't want perfume or make up so that put me in the jewelry. The options were awesome! This Dillards had an entire jewelry section of goods made by artisans. Some were beyond my means but definitely attention getting. I finally settled on the brown hued one with a large dangle. I have several pairs of earrings that complement it nicely but as luck would have it, I couldn't find the ones I had in mind so I wore a pair that was an old timey antique looking bead in similar colors. It worked.

This was the funky fashion for today. I would write more but I'm hungry and it's time to go to dinner so my brain is sort of one track at the moment! LOL But there's always tomorrow if you come back, and I hope you will.

Bright Blessings and Blessed Be!
Rayven Michaels
Wiccan Witch of the Midwest

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Day 48 Count Down to Funky 55

Look, it's me without my glasses on! Actually, I think I didn't have them on yesterday either. :)


This is the tiny hall way in my house that is basically a little rectangle that has doors on every side. The reason I'm standing there for this photo is because I CAN! Finally, after 2 years, the moving boxes are GONE! Well, gone from this spot anyway. I actually moved them to the laundry room. You can see them in yesterday's photo. But oddly enough, as I keep trying to groom the front of the house to make it more *liveable*, this honestly felt like a HUGE accomplishment. Now, I just have to deal with the other two around the corner. There is always something to keep me busy at my house. I truly should be busy all the time but I am a *spurt worker* -- I get a burst of energy and go wild working on something but it has to be something that matches the burst of energy. Otherwise, it ends up being a *half-done* project. Like the brown craft paper on my bathroom wall. But I AM going to finish that before the Count Down to Funky 55 is over so I can have that project completed. That way I can start an even bigger project up over my fireplace! Maybe if I apply myself hard enough, I will find the can of varnish that I bought to seal it with. I can't believe I bought it, brought it home and have never seen it again. Well, truthfully, that isn't much of a stretch to believe it. Remember that pile it system I told you we had going on and flat surface disease? I'm sure one of those two swallowed up my varnish. But it will be found.... I am determined.

I guess I should talk about the outfit. I love the colors of this maxi sun dress. When I moved to New Orleans several years ago, I bought lots of sun dresses in various materials and colors. This one is knit and a size smaller than I normally choose to buy. When I was young and rail thin, everything had to be skin tight to show off that .... nothingness I guess. LOL There were no curves, no bosoms, no anything except rail thinness. The one thing I was proud of was I had a 22 inch waist. But I only weighed 98 pounds. Eventually my body kicked in and decided to grow when I got pregnant at age 32. After all those years of being a nearly nothing barely there person, it was a big adjustment to weigh 20 pounds short of being twice your pre-pregnant weight! So, I tended to buy things big and baggy and flowy which made me look even bigger probably. But I couldn't see the bump of a rump or the fat rolls around the middle. Isn't it funny how we are like that? To suddenly hate our own body and why? Because everything around us markets to us that we should be horribly malnourished looking to be beautiful. UGH! I don't believe that for a minute. I just honestly had a hard time adjusting to being *bigger* and not letting my head scream *you're fat! you're fat! you're fat!* I'm not fat. I'm out of shape. That is the honest truth. But, I have been working on that too! I actually have a push mower -- the kind you push -- WITHOUT A MOTOR! Yep, those legs and glutes of mine are letting me know just how much they are putting out to make that lawn look nice. I actually enjoy it. I like the whirring sound the mower makes as the blade goes round. I also like the work out it gives my upper arms. I'm not a big fan of just working out for the sake of working out. I have to be *doing* something useful. Otherwise, I feel like I lost my time to busy work. That's silly I know but sometimes the old noggin' just doesn't keep up with the program.

Oh, yeah, before I forget, I wore my black lace shawl with the hot pink sequins. Yep, I had to cover up those thin straps and bare shoulders. 


That's all for today. See you tomorrow!

Bright Blessings and Blessed Be!
Rayven Michaels
Wiccan Witch of the Midwest

Friday, June 13, 2014

Day 47 Count Down to Funky 55

It's Full Moon tonight on Friday the 13th with Mercury in Retrograde! Yikes! But here I am rising to the occasion. This is my ritual robe that hubs bought me for Yule almost 4 years ago! Wow, how time flies! It is a bit big on me but that's okay, that means I have plenty of room for warm clothes under it in the winter time!


This robe came from the Pyramid Collection. It's made of a stretchy velvet like stuff. I can tell you that if you are close to a fire and little sparks land on it, it will melt a hole right through it -- I know this first hand. sigh.... But it isn't a big hole, just a tiny one but still I was so miffed that it happened the very first time I wore it. 


Here is a full length view of it. And I'm noticing that I have a few orbs floating around me! I have been experiencing activity in my home and kept telling hubs I was seeing things flitting through the room in my peripheral vision. I guess now I have photos of the little beggars. :) I like the *frogs* down the front of this robe but they do take some fumbling sometimes to get them done and undone. In the winter time with gloves on, they are very difficult to do. That's why I now own gloves with the very tips of the fingers out -- so that my hands can be warm and yet I can still function. As you can see the length of the robe is very long. If I were still growing *up* instead of *out*, that extra length might come in handy. But I'm not going to get taller and I'm not going to wear stilts so I really need to hem it up a bit for ease of walking and to keep from dragging it and fraying it on the ground.


Today or I should say tonight, I put on a different pair of my roman sandals. I like this pair a lot also although the solid black pair I usually wear is my all time favorite comfy ones. 

These photos were taken in my laundry room. Those very *red* washer and dryer was my pride and joy when I bought them. Nothing would do but that I have bright and flashy. I still love the color. However, I've learned that the most awesome factor of a front loading washer is that it allows you to stack the dryer on top of it. After that, there is really no advantage in my humble opinion. The door seal stays full of water and therefore will mold and mildew if not properly cared for. Also, it requires special soap and if you use the wrong kind, I'm told it will really gunk up and plug up the works and make the washer become useless. On the good side, it doesn't use very much water. On the bad side, it doesn't use very much water. When it comes to shoving clothes into it, less is more because if you overload it, they won't come clean. I love the color, I love the stackable feature which is a life saver her at Yesterways Cottage but I don't like the special soap issue,  or the moldy door gasket. But as expensive as they were, I will have these babies for the next 20 years if they and I last that long.

Soon it will be Day 48 and we'll have another round of funky fashion.

Bright Blessings and Blessed Be!
Rayven Michaels
Wiccan Witch of the Midwest


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Day 46 Count Down to Funky 55



Everything was black and white today. I wore my black and white maxi sun dress with a black lace jacket to cover my shoulders. If you remember, I always wear a jacket, shawl or wider sleeveless vest to cover my bare shoulders. The dress is thin so I wore one of my black skirts underneath. I wore my black roman sandals again which made the sundress a tad long.  The black skirt had a beautiful ruffle on the bottom so I had a plan. I found myself a couple of safety pins and I hitched up the sundress and pinned it at the seams on the side up high where the vest would cover it. I could have been fancy and pinned it on the inside but I figured what the heck, the vest covers it and I won't be taking the vest off, so, it's all good -- and it was. This kept me from trampling the dress and tearing it or throwing myself down. Many is the time that a quick stitch, a broach or safety pin has altered a dress for wearing. One time I ruched a plain neckline with a broach to create a sweetheart neckline. Made all the difference in the world! So many little tricks you learn as a costumer. And all of it temporary and changeable so that you don't ruin the dress or make it permanent which makes it a more versatile outfit.


The necklace I wore was an intriguing thing made from strips of stretchy cloth that when pulled rolled in on itself. They do t-shirts that way and make neat things. On this one, they put little pearls clipped onto randomly. I really liked that. It sort of kicked it up a notch. I have always thought it would be a neat way to track students and how many Moon Rituals they have attended by giving them a bead to clip onto something like this. Yes, I'm always scheming and dreaming and such.

Which reminds me, I'm planning a pageant now. It will be in September and it's going to be fun. Details on that another time.

And this was it for Day 46.

Bright Blessings and Blessed Be!
Rayven Michaels
Wiccan Witch of the Midwest.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Day 45 Count Down to Funky 55

Do you ever wonder if eating is my favorite pastime? Do I eat out all the time. Pretty much yes. When I remarried, my daughter had her double-digit birthday and become a picky eating tween. Hubs after years of being served mess hall chow in the military and having no say so about what he ate had also become a picky eater. The types of things the two of them would eat was overly fattening for me and cholesterol ladden. That left me with two choices, become a short order cook and fix us all something different, or eat out. I chose the latter and why wouldn't I? I get to sit and relax and converse with my loved one -- if we eat at home, we sit in separate rooms banging away on our computers or watching netflix eating snicky stuff that isn't good for either of us. We don't use our dining table because our household has "flat surface disease" -- if there is a flat surface, it is covered up with stuff. Makes us sound mess and I guess we are. We operate by the "pile it" system. We pile it here, and there and everywhere and while it might look disorganized to you, we can find everything perfectly....well, usually. We mostly lose things though when we try to get organized to modern conventions and look magazine pristine which we never manage. Suddenly, that something we're looking for that was in a pile for months and months is now misplaced because we cleaned and can't remember where. So, cleaning is mostly dusting and not disturbing the carefully, dare I say artfully? I'll be more honest, hapahazardly stacked piles. Ok, enough about house work, I'm depressing myself exposing my less than tidy home. Hey, we are very laid back and relaxed at Yesterways Cottage, and isn't that the way it is supposed to be in your private retreat from the world. It works for us and that's what matters.

 We're eating at our favorite barbeque place again and since I took photos here before during Count Down to Funky 55, I figured I would pick a different spot. I have a few tables I like to sit at. I guess that's a bit OCD but it is what it is. Look at all that food! I had pulled pork, ribs and fried zuccini. Let's not forget the french fries and baked beans. Hubs had his usual hot link dinner. But so far, I've talked about everything but the funky fashion I have going on. I'm wearing an African print super long tunic top with a faux vest. I guess you could wear it as a dress but I never have. I always wear either pants or a skirt with it. Today, I wore it with a black skirt. The scarf tied around my neck is actually a head piece but I have never quite gotten the hang of how to wear it that way, so there it is tied around my neck.

 Inside and out, this place has wonderful photo ops. This is toward the back of the building maybe where they smoke the meat. I'll have to find out. I love all the sign collections they have everywhere. The sign immediately behind me says "Hyde Park Milk Run". I like all the hodge podge of signs. And those bird houses are actually functional. You can see the contrast of the bright orange and black on my outfit. The African prints on it are gorgeous and I'm disappointed in myself that I didn't think to get close up photos of that part and the back too. I'll try to remember to post that in with tomorrow's post.


I guess they have had, or maybe still do, a drive through and this is their outside menu. I always eat inside because I like to sit down, rest, and chat with hubs. I loved his company and conversation from the very first moment I met him. I'm pointing at option number 7 which what I ate today but also had some pulled pork.


Walking back to the truck was when I realized the bird houses had nests in them. I had to take a photo. All these pictures give me something to discuss with my grandchildren. They will like this one for sure.


Here's a selfie of the two of us. Didn't too bad this time. I took two and we were actually in both of them! I picked the *best* one to go in this post.

And that's it for Day 45. Just think, in 10 more days, I'll be 55!!!!

Bright Blessings and Blessed Be!
Rayven Michaels
Wiccan Witch of the Midwest

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Day 44 Count Down to Funky 55

Just 11 more days to go and I will hit the big 55! Today is Day 44 to the Funky 55 Count Down.


I take my photo ops where ever I find them. Here's I'm sitting on a big rock in the flower bed in front of the mall. I didn't trample any flowers, I promise. My outfit of the day is a white lace shirt over a spaghetti strap tank. The white lace over shirt was marketed as a *swim suit cover*. Leave it to me to wear something however I please and not as marketed. I completed the outfit with denim crop pants and my black roman sandals. I'm realizing my once youthful body is not as flexible as it used to be. Perching myself on that rock was rather easy but getting up from it and out of the flower bed without falling or trampling things was a bit difficult. But I made it.

The scarf was a fun coral and white striped that just looked like it said *summer* so I had to have it. I can be quite bad about impulse purchases. I have had to curb my habits a lot since I retired. I just might have to rethink retirement and become semi-retired so I can afford myself. ;)

Bright Blessings and Blessed Be!
Rayven Michaels
Wiccan Witch of the Midwest

Monday, June 9, 2014

Day 43 Count Down to Funky 55

Sorry I'm so late in posting today. Yesterday was pageant day and I got all caught up in preparation for that. I was up nearly 24 hours, slept 3 hours and then hit the day at dead run. But every drop of it was awesome! Sadly, we didn't get a photo of me alone and I can't post photos from the pageant because of privacy issues for children. However, here is an excerpt of me and what I was wearing. I was a Sea Captain! And daughter was my First Mate and Granddaughter was our tiny little Mermaidette... :)


The hat is one I've worn before in other photos. I got it from an antique store on vacation one year. The same place I got by big Unicorn head. I will have to find a photo of the Unicorn so you can see it. The jacket I had on is one that I bought at Hot Topic. Yes, us grown ups like that store too! Under it I wore a white lace ruffled shirt. I wore by long black ruffle skirt and a brown underskirt beneath it for privacy. However, it was raining so I hitched up the sides and pinned them in place so they wouldn't drag through rain water. I got so many compliments and things were such a whirl, I never unpinned it, so I went all through the day with the sides of my skirt hitched up and my brown underskirt showing. My footwear was my ever faithful tromp sole lace up boots with zippers in the sides. I dearly love them but my feet did not after 8 hours of standing non-stop. I will definitely have to wear something kinder to my feet next time for extending standing like that.

The show was a success in every way but financially. But money isn't everything, right? We will tweak our system and come back stronger and better than every. Next pageant is Alice in Wonderland theme and I will be the Mad Hatter! Funky 55 Count Down will be over by then, but don't worry, you know me, I'll have to share photos of me anyway.

Bright Blessings and Blessed Be!
Rayven Michaels
Wiccan Witch of the Midwest

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Day 42 Count Down to Funky 55

I'm up burning the midnight oil but finally getting to a stopping point. I've been up nearly 24 hours straight and I only slept a few hours the night before. It's pageant time! The Little Miss Mermaid Pageant we have been planning for so long is finally happening tomorrow. I'm a giant ball of energy in perpetual motion. And I am literally checking my lists and checking them twice! LOL

This is the outfit I wore today as I dashed around madly about from place to place. My day started at 4:30 a.m. -- did I say that already? I had to be at daughter's house by 6:30 a.m. to sit for my grandchildren Little Rudy and Miss Peach and I live over an hour from them. They moved to a little country house that I hadn't been to yet so I had to make sure I gave myself enough time to get lost and find myself again so I wouldn't make daughter late for work. Thankfully, she gave excellent directions and I went straight to the place without any trouble. It is such a darling little country farm house with a giant yard full of mature oak trees. The yard is surrounded by pasture and forest. I was in hog heaven. It was so soothing there! And she has an old time wrap around porch on the front of the house. Loved sitting out on the porch and listening to the birds sing and watching the cattle graze.

The shirt is another one of my Halloween time purchases. It says Good Witch / Bad Witch and has check boxes as though you were going to determine which one you are. I never checked one - I figure keep people guessing. ;) I have on my long sweater blazer with the fringe, my trainers I've shown you before and some gray knee pants that are decidedly too big in the waist. I actually began the day with a gray vest with butterfly tail but somewhere in all my travels I lost it. But it is found - my Mom called and told me I left it there. I'll pick it up on the next whirlwind visit.


This was my last project of the night before heading off to bed to get at least a few winks before I hit the ground at a dead run again. Miss Peach can't compete in the Little Miss Mermaid Pageant because her GiGi and Mommy are the ones putting on the show. But when you're used to taking the stage, you gotta do something. And this is what that something is. Miss Peach is going to do a little entertainment during halftime. Her music will be the Octopus Garden song by the Beatles. I'm not much of an artist but you do what you gotta do in the name of love for your wee ones. I'm just glad Miss Peach isn't old enough to say "GiGi, that's ugly". LOL  As I sit looking at this creation, I see that the lips are definitely odd but hey, it's an octopus - plus it is my *artistic rendition* of what an octopus looks like, if it were pink and had a garden and attended pageants. So, it has a hair bow - yes that old timey purple hot water bottle looking thing on top of the head is actually supposed to be a hair bow. Didn't I say I wasn't much of an artist? Well, if I didn't say it, I should have. LOL And in case it isn't obvious, the big green things are sea weeds .... of some kind. Plankton maybe? I don't know, I'm stretching here -- I saw a cute little video someone made to the Octopus song and I used it for inspiration. Let's just say if they saw what I have done, I don't think they would see the resemblance. One last thing I notice is poor Octopus has messed up lashes on the right and her bottom lashes are completely missing. I'm too tired to deal with it tonight. Besides, the markers are packed. 

So, this is it for Day 42. Day 43 will show me in my Sea Captain get up that I'm wearing to the pageant. Argh maties, until tomorrow, good night and may the winds favor your sails.

Bright Blessings and Blessed Be!
Rayven Michaels
Wiccan Witch of the Midwest

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Day 41 Count Down to Funky 55

Hello from the Speedway Grill! You can't see them super well but all those photos in the background are race car photos from over the years. When you live in Southern United States, you have guys having affairs with their first loves -- CARS! I like going to this diner because of all the photos. It covers cars through the decades.


I think the proper description of this shirt is *tunic with cape wing sleeves*. I just love that gorgeous bold floral design. And I like the flowy feel of it. The neck is big and the fabric is sheer so I wear a little black tank shirt under it.


Here I am in the back corner hanging with the race car drivers. They don't eat much and they're pretty quiet. But they will stand all day long and let you take photos with them. (big wink) In this photo you can see that I am wearing a black skirt. I had my boots on today because it rained.


Check out the view. I like the checkered floor and the contrast of the red walls. All part of the speed way theme. They got new curtains too that are checked like the floor. Before that it was a mix match of checks and race car prints. In a way I liked the two different kinds -- but they were getting old and shabby and the new ones look sharp and crisp. Gotta change with the times.


This is the diner's sign when you first come in and some signed and autographed racing plaques. If I were more knowledgeable about racing I might could tell you who they are. I'll just say *ooo, neat!*, hang my head and move on. :)



This was more racing photos on the wall by the door. Hubs was a moving target and just when I thought he was out of frame, he darted back in. Living with cats does that to people. You find yourself square dancing around each other and trying to dart out of one another's way but instead circumventing each other's efforts. But in this instance I win - I got a picture of hubs! He rarely stands still for photos. And when he does he gets that stern Gunny look.

We actually have a Speedway aka race track here in town. On Friday and Saturday nights can I can hear the cars humming around the tracks. One of these days hubs and I will have to break down and go watch a race. I went a few times when I was younger while visiting in Iowa. It was fun. I'm sure this would be fun to. Something to add to the To Do list.

And that was today. Tomorrow I am going to go sit with my grandchildren so we'll see what the three of us can get into and up to. It's going to be fun.

Bright Blessings and Blessed Be!
Rayven Michaels
Wiccan Witch of the Midwest

Friday, June 6, 2014

Day 40 Count Down to Funky 55

Day 40 catches me at Pisano's Pizzaria! And there's more cheesin' going on than just the pizza! Look at that ridiculously big cheesy grin. LOL Husband said *smile* and this is what he got. Kind of frightening -- looks like a grimace. I have no idea what a natural smile looks like on me because they are spontaneous and never during photos. Therefore, when you throw me in front of a camera, you get what you get. And this time, this is what he got. haha


I had CRYSTALS on! Yeah! I had a set I loved and lost. I think I probably moaned and groaned about that in one of the previous Count Down posts so we won't rehash the whole deal. Just know that I accidentally threw them away. But I have others and rooted around until I found them and wore them today. 

I love the dress I have on. I guess I say that every day about every outfit I wear. What I like about this dress is that it is *elemental* -- has the colors of all four directions in it. The energy is marvelous.


As a quick aside before we continue talking about the outfit, this is the exterior of Pisano's. Kind of an art deco look. It serves buffet everyday all day long and has a salad bar. It is hubs favorite pizza place -- well one of them anyway. It has to be really awful pizza for hubs to not want it. Let's just say this place rates at least a 9 if not a full 10 in his eyes.



Back to the outfit. Because the dress is above the ankles and is thin and for my comfort requires a slip, I wore a long orange underskirt. That took care of the slip issue and gave a nice drop of color below the dress. 


Here I took the vest off so the dress could be seen without it. I don't know if I moved or if hubs shook but I got a bit of blur going on in the face. Actually, I'll tell you the secret -- I'm so fast I had zipped around the block and gotten back in place by the time the camera flashed. Did that sound convincing? I'm practicing my grandparent silly stories to tell Little Rudy and Miss Peach. Wonder if they will buy that story. We'll see. They are tiny tots so I got a lot of bluffing years to get in over them before they get wise to granny's tales. :)


Now for the back of the vest. It has a HOOD! And a neat little decorative insert in the back. Of course, when the hood hangs down, it pretty much obscures that pretty part, but oh well. I know it's there -- now you do too. 


I finished the day with some gardening. The flower beds had all filled up with grass and was a bugger bear to get out. There wasn't much dirt left once I got it pulled and there was a layer of weed cloth - so nothing grew from the bottom but all the flying grass seeds landed in the flower bed really took hold. So, using the old carpet I tore out of my living room, I boot down one heck of a week barrier. And then I put down mulch. The pots nest on top of the mulch and they are in buckets to hold water so they don't over dry with the sun bearing down on them. That also makes sure they have water as we head inevitably into the *drought season* when rains will get scarce. All the pots are planted with herbs. The ones showing growth contain mint, lavender and sage. I was really surprised that my sage sprouted and grew. I planted basil at the same time and none of it grew. It rained right after I planted everything and I'm thinking the rain flooded the seeds out. But where did they go? Or maybe the birds got them but some of those seeds were tiny tiny tiny that if a bird could see them, he deserved to have them!

That's it for today. See you tomorrow.

Bright Blessings and Blessed Be!
Rayven Michaels
Wiccan Witch of the Midwest

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Bullying -- It isn't just kids on kids

Bullying is a very sad issue in society today, and rightly so. And while the thrust of the focus is bullying of kids in schools, bullying isn't limited to just that environment. Adults play the same evil game, they just play a little differently. Adults whisper, gossip, black ball and shun. It's like a silent but deadly disease that once it is focused on you, it spreads and devours your life and does so sometimes before you even know it is happening.

I lived in a small town once. It was a beautiful place. After many years of living in the area and doing a 45 mile commute to a large town, I took a job locally in a town nearby my home. Initially, I was accepted and treated well. Then something changed. I was *different*, I wasn't *mainstream*. A few began with snickers and private email exchanges. Those got forwarded and circulated to others. Then google searches began, people looking for anything that could be found so these devious people could poke fun, have laughs, and shred holes in my life for their amusement. However, it went beyond hidden laughs and began to make people react to me - shun me. Not want to do business with me or be seen with me, or have to associate with me in any way.

The worse thing is -- it was business people, church people, school people, parents of my daughter's friends, the list grew and went on and on. I couldn't walk through my town anywhere publicly without being aware it was happening. It wears on a person. I began working out of town again, holed up in my house in the country and went to nearby towns only when I had to. I much preferred the anonymity of shopping in a town 45 miles away to shopping for convenience in my home towns. So, I shopped infrequently or through the internet. My life locked down. I had my husband and daughter and handful of awesome people as friends and that was my world. That was enough and all those supportive people are still in my life today.

What was the trigger? Was it because I was a Wiccan Witch? Yes and No. Let's start with the no part. I say no because NOT ONCE did I ever self-identify publicly as a Wiccan Witch. It was a town of only 4500 population and had nearly 100 churches to service them. It didn't seem prudent to out myself so I never did. But yes because one person decided they recognized things in me that made me a Witch so she started it. What was it that made her think so? As far as I can tell, a black dress I wore to a costume party with a spider hat. It started out as a snarky thing but escalated to certainty as the whispers spread.

I was in my 40s and this did not lessen the sting of it. But my larger concern was the safety of my teenage daughter. I didn't want her to suffer the backlash. Some of it did spill over onto her but thankfully not a lot.

All I can say people is that bullying in ALL its forms at ANY AGE is WRONG! It hurts people and it destroys their lives. I chose to leave that town -- one that I had spent 25 years of my life in but within 4 years of the start of what I am calling bullying, I didn't want to live there anymore. So I left. I ended up selling my home at a great loss just to escape. Now I live in a city with over 40,000 population. I like the anonymity here. I have the freedom to be openly me without fear of consequences -- to a point anyway. I live my nature based life, I dress how I want which you know if you've been following my Count Down to Funky 55 posts. What I don't do is wear pentacles or other symbols that would trigger people to guess that I am Witch and Wiccan. I never have and probably never will. I choose other symbols like spirals and trees to serve those needs. Call me a coward but it is instinctive now to shield myself. So, although I like to think that I walk tall in this world, fear from the past incident does cast a lingering shadow.

I champion the victims of bullying whenever I see it. I end with this plea -- Please think about your words and deeds. Before you whisper that next snarky remark about someone, poke fun at someone else's expense, pass along a rumor, etc. -- remember that you are contributing to a silent form of bullying and it is just as painful and harmful as other forms.

Bright Blessings and Blessed Be!
Rayven Michaels
Wiccan Witch of the Midwest

Day 39 Count Down to Funky 55

Today I am high in the sky at the park amphitheater. The view is stunning from there. I was a bit disappointed that the trees all budded out blocked it. I will have to go again in the fall when the trees are bare and get another photo so you can see it. Maybe I can even get a night shot -- it is breath taking for sure in the night. But I'm not sure if my camera can do that. Oh well, we will cross that bridge when the time comes.


The vest and white pants are something I bought while living in New Orleans for our Coven's visit to the grave of Marie Leveaux. And of course, I have on another of my Halloween shirt purchases. Some people have *Christmas in July* -- I have Halloween year around. :)


Here I was walking around the perimeter of the amphitheater stage to see if there was a different vantage point to see the town and let you see how high up I was. Hubs, ever the faithful camera operator was snapping away and caught me in mid-stride. 

 Here is what the stage looked like. Not sure when it was built. I figured it was a WPA or CCC project from the 1930s. Doesn't really matter, I think it is an awesome thing. I don't know if it is used anymore. However, the modern looking bleacher seats that have been anchored down onto the original concrete seating risers makes me think it has been used in more recent times. What an awesome place this would be for Full Moon Ritual! But as part of the park, it is probably closed at night. Sigh.....

 This is a view of the bleacher seats that have been anchored onto the concrete risers.



And this is the best I could do to show you the view. As you can see, the trees block quite a bit of the view. But with my trusty zoom, I was able to capture some of it.

Being outside really got me itching to be outside. So, I had to string up a rope clothesline so I could hang laundry out to dry. I put one up when I first got here two years ago but we had the fence replaced. Since I had it attached to the old fencing, it all came down when the new fence replaced it last fall. And lazy me hadn't bothered to replace it because it was winter time. Well, it isn't winter anymore and it with the rains letting up, it was time to get a new clothes line up. Three loads of laundry washed AND folded and still going strong. :) For some reason if I do laundry and use the dryer, I just let it sit, and sit, and sit and sit and the whole laundry process jams up because I don't ever get around to taking things out of the dryer. Then they get wrinkled so I run the dryer to give them a hot *touch up* -- then let them sit and sit and sit. Yeah, bad, bad, bad. But with a clothes line, I don't do that. It is wash, hang, fold, put away. Go figure. Why ask why, right?

And that is it for Day 39 Count Down to Funky 55.

Bright Blessings and Blessed Be!
Rayven Michaels
Wiccan Witch of the Midwest