Greetings Dearest of Gentle Readers,
Here in the Northern Hemisphere the Beltaine fires were bright and clear, if even a single candle on the hearth. Today is the very last day of May and Summer was arriving across this bountiful country in rain, tornadoes, wind and still some snow. The upper mountains and part of the piedmont of NC even got a spattering of snow. Here in NW Arkansas we had rain storms mixed with marble sized pellets of hail. In a moment of objective esoterica I realized that Hail is the rune symbol Hagalaz; Hagalaz is patterns and upwellings of energy and the subsequent kernel of growth through turmoil and intense personal change. (Yes this is simplified immensely.) Somehow this seems to be a perfect portend for our nation and myself. For our country, that is a simple truth of pain and agony as C-19 ravages through the world and our country state by state plus protesting becoming a necessity and an iniquity at the same time. For myself, my husband and I are getting further along at communicating and talking out ideas, whether born of weary determination with the world or creative surprise. Also, for myself, I discovered a bottle of seriously potent B vitamins and decided to try them even though they didn’t work the first time. GLORY: Slowly but surely they are working and the migraines are abating ever so begrudgingly. I have been able to go even four days in a row without a migraine! Talk about a Hagalaz situation!! Last week I started crying because I was finally able to take a midnight walk with my husband again.
Tomorrow is June and we still have the back door open and a comfortable breeze blowing through. Crickets are sounding off and by morning there should be silver snail tracks across the back porch carpet like strips of fallen tinsel. For my Birthday we went and collected the chert rocks in the creek by 28th and Walnut. While not the most stimulating pieces, the petrified pieces of shell along with the imprints of the creatures that lived so long ago all crushed and mashed together are like a small still life of long long ago. I highly recommend soaking such porous karst pieces in a solution of white vinegar and two pinches of OxyClean. Let soak for a day or two and swirl or stir the bucket often. Just remember to soak the vinegar back out with clear water for double the amount of days, stirring and swirling like before. I was feeling very confident and effusive because the water had gone down enough for me to walk on the gravel bars.
In the pictures below it is almost like a bone pile for rocks! Very exciting. My strong and stalwart husband had the big bucket that I poured my “chick” bucket into. In the last photo you can see how high the water level had been, it is difficult to remember that this town gets flash flooding and has culverts for a reason but luckily the natural stone deposits into this stream. And, yes, I was in such a positive mood I wore that outfit into public.
It has taken me two hours to figure how to get these pictures onto the blog and I am into the very early morning of 2:30AM. Out of the corner of my eye I can see flashing through the bed room window, not like car lights or lightening and I wonder if it could be eyes from some critter that is heralding the next catastrophe for the US or simply some wing dinging of a firefly being ultra bright. A part of me is voting for supernatural critters but since the window is at floor level lightening bugs are a safer bet.
We found a place to live!!! again. LOL We accidentally ran across an apartment/condominium complex that just ‘felt right’, plus it has a two car garage, South West facing windows, hard wood floors, and a wood burning fireplace. We never thought we would even like anything labeled ‘luxury living’ but it is personable and cozy and has a ginormous dog run. My fervored hope is that the allergies and mustiness stay where we are now and stay out of the new place. I am tired of packing and unpacking cardboard boxes but perhaps for a few more years we can sit nice and happy in our second story castle. Well not exactly a castle but we will have a tiny balcony and I have great hopes of actually turning the garage into a workshop instead of a storage closet for boxes of geodes and spiders.
Spiders and dust with
Dried petals and husks
Of previous hopes and desires.
Shallow pools of water
Not yet stagnant from the rain,
Reflect the sky and listless blue.
But I can not rest
For hope springs eternal
As do fools.
And onward to something less grim: Let’s talk worms. During the winter, especially in Chicago, they would freeze dry on the sidewalks and here they die by the droves on the hot pavement. Any way you look at it, dry chuckle, my dog thinks the sidewalks bloom protein snacks. We feed her, we really do; nutritious kibble, Greenies, Charlie Bear treats, and lean table scraps with the occasional lump of cheese but nooooooo; our beloved Sorcha has to hoover up every desiccated piece she can see or perhaps smell, as she eats them in the dark too. Mummified sidewalk worms have even replaced the mulberries that fall here between the old folks home and the church grounds we walk her on. My husband has never known a more food obsessed dog and he was raised with dogs and cats. If anyone ever breaks into our home she will snarl and take them down unless they have some morsel of food on themselves or, say, dead worms then she would probably help them to what little money we have. She was named by me after Tir Na Sorcha and it was apt as can be. This picture is of our beloved worm munching fur ball literally frolicking beside our Summer fire.
And as proof that I am true rock hound, love being barefoot, and will revel in almost an rock situation here are pictures from part of my haul. These are nothing compared to the haul of FOSSILS from Pipsico Falls, VA that my MAGMA club dug along the shores and beaches and cliff sides: To quote a very darling member “The blood and mud of it all” but I am doing what I can with what I got! Any teachers out there that want specimens for a class and or teaching I can get them for you. (I will forever be in the debt of one Mr Boudman who had one week of earth sciences and chemistry to teach and left me with that kernel of awe in my mind and soul.)
Here is the whole haul from my birthday romp. Not at all like my usual trunk load of goodies when I go camping but I am pleased none the less.
Each rock I picked to show the best of what they all have. Each photo is in twos, front and back, kind of. The big rock on the wooden shelf is from Edwardsville and not the same thing at all. The last five pictures are of the same huge stone that is just loaded with crinoid remains!
Something is just awe inspiring about all the ancient oceans filled with these critters and plants and the millions of thousands of years it took to finally turn the shells and imprints into rock: To just go a ways down the “crick” and pick up pieces of history and time frozen in stone. Some of the pieces were less karst more chert and I can not wait to get to our new home and cut some of the chert for cabs: to reveal the little fossilized treasures inside the stone just waiting to be fashioned and shown!!
About three weeks ago I fell when Sorcha went running after a squirrel. It was a full 10 points swan dive onto my right side, I could have have been Esther Williams if it had been a swimming pool and not cement. My great victory was keeping hold of the leash through it all, which the husband said was rather miraculous: Next time I will let go of the leash. I smell like Eau De Tiger Balm and still can’t raise my right arm over my head without an assortment or pains running down from my shoulder. The hardest part is that mentally I know my pain and other discomforts are valid but I keep feeling as though I do not deserve to complain; I know friends who are in far worse conditions and states of health. The nasty thoughts run through my head: “Suck it up!” “Your a hypochondriac.” “Oh, It can’t be that bad.”…
Being able to write down some of my frustrations and thoughts helps me to find some equilibrium, to remember the world around me and to remember I never want to lose my way again. I know there is a great power and strength out there, I have been a part of it since I was born. My husband is another part of it and I have been able to accidentally find other people who know of it, touch part of it, and or just plain jumped “straight naked” into the esoteric. Throughout history in Europe there has been documentation of religious people who could pray for hours, hear testament from angels, and gain unknown strength through meditative prayer. Then you can go look at modern times and the history books of almost any country and get these stories also. I am not some great religieuse (yep, using fancy French words) but I am trying to take the advise from a couple of very wise folks on social media and the same advice I give out: It is how you handle what is dealt you.
Very rarely do I discuss politics but when you hear Irish WoW v-loggers mention the troubles in America… well this is just not in my mind any more. Please!!! all the peaceful and hard working people trying to be positive and useful and aid others or just keep their heads above water: Keep moving forward. Hate and death has been a stamp of misery across so many places and countries, for two or more generations in America we have been spared this. I can barely handle the chaos seeping out of the very bricks, stones, and pavement of my country even though I am safe and have a loving husband. Violence and hate breeds violence and hate and, Gentle Readers, it will taint the very power I was talking about: Ever been in a building or around people that give you the screaming willies (not the British willie, you Naughty Readers) well this is what decrepit people, ignorance, and cruelty create. A beloved friend LF is on the front lines in her district taking care of people, dearest friend TE leads a group of exercise enthusiasts that have walked as a group for social justice, and a dearest young photographer ZW works tirelessly in the alternative arts. Are we all like employees of the State Department who’s blood is red, white, and blue and who work tirelessly for the safety and benefit of America; Are we like the sincere and honorable police and detectives who choose to put their lives on the line to defend us? Are we all like our dedicated military that willingly take up arms and risk the reality of PTSDs to protect and further America? No we are not: But we all must do what we can. I am forever grateful to all the people in our country and outside that openly helps us as Americans to make the American dream what it could be.
This blog is taking longer to post because I have had a relapse of migraines and simply chickened out to those voices-of-smallness saying “No one wants to read any of this repetetive drivel” and “They are just laughing at you.” So here is the next installment of Mariesha as she begins the foot work required to solve her case. (Because I have friends who are police, were police, and are/were military: This is fictional fantasy in a fantasy city with undead and interplaner characters for God’s sake!) cont…
The landlady looked to be made of cinders and steel like the city around her and was covered in a grey shawl and a grey dress and old grey boots. As soon as Mariesha and Elsbeth had entered her front sitting room and the front door was closed, the elderly lady wrinkled her face at them while cleaning her glasses, “What in the Hells are you two about?” she half barked out, putting her glasses back on. “And don’t tell me one of you wants to watch because that is the dumbest lie I’ll have ever heard from the likes of you.”
It was at times like these that Mariesha was glad to have a small silver sigil that proclaimed her an Inspector, with or without the scarlet cloak. “It’s real. Please don’t bite it,” she said as the landlady started to bring it toward her lips.
“Where then is your great big red hood?” asked an increasingly crotchety Ms. Moaning who was turning the medallion over in her fingers.
“How many do you want?” asked Mariesha in a vengefully polite tone. “Elsbeth, as my Recorder would you please take note that Ms. Moaning has personally requested at least five fully cloaked Inspectors to come and ask her questions.”
“Done Inspector Greywaves.” Elsbeth nodded sternly to the tiefling. “As we are very busy at the stations it will be one Inspector a day, Inspector Greywaves.”
“Sounds good to me,” Mariesha answered, taking the medallion out of the landlady’s hand.
It was possible for the elderly Ms. Moaning to turn even more grey at the prospect of five days of Scarlet Cloaks, her boarding girls fleeing in their corsets out back windows, and of being black balled from every safe red-light street. “Then what do you want with me? All my boarders are clean decent girls.”
“I don’t care if they are bow-legged and louse ridden. But the necromancers of these families might,” replied Mariesha while holding up a group picture of all five young men. She noted Ms. Moaning looking slightly more pale. “And I will speak to the girls they kept company that night.”
The girls hadn’t liked being woken up but she sent Elsbeth down to intimidate the land lady into making some coffee and the black brew helped win some sullen thanks. Once the girls had realized they weren’t being rousted for money or to be lectured by Elsbeth on physical morality they had relaxed even more. Mariesha was also glad that none of them decided to turn it into a tit contest, preferring some sense of professionalism. The girls were not used to wealthy or clean clients so the five were at least remembered but pretty soon even the tiefling became glad for the coffee.
Mariesha slowly let out her breath as she looked down the street an hour later. Elsbeth was calmly stoic beside her as the city clanged and rumbled around them.
“So what have we learned exactly Inspector?”
“They weren’t too far gone to do the deed and they didn’t die in the saddle,” answered Mariesha, shoving her hands in her pockets.
“Succinctly put,” replied Elsbeth after a short pause. She paused again as Mariesha began to walk along then asked, “So where do we go from here?”
Mariesha glanced up at her Recorder and half smirked at the look on her face, “Yes my dear Els it is as you feared; the not quite so glorious bar crawl.”
“I trust in your perseverance Inspector,” answered Elsbeth staunchly.
Mariesha gazed down the street and up to the roof tops then straightened her shoulders, “The answer is out there somewhere…” started the Inspector as she stepped over a gutter, “We had best get going.”
I am signing off right now to start re-editing on the current story of Mareisha and possibly try some crochet. We have taken two car loads over today to the new place and I can’t wait to get this move all done with. The pup is snoring next to me and I have high hopes of a decent horror movie tonight on the tv. Let there be rain on the parched Summer grounds and a breeze from the mountains for you.