200th post! 200 things I’m grateful for

Yeah, this post is just going to be long.  Really, really long.  Don’t feel compelled to try to read the whole thing just because I feel compelled to write it.  :0)

I’m going to use first names of friends, as I want to keep this relatively anonymous, but first initials would just get confusing.  And honestly, very few people read this blog anyways.  So if you see your name, don’t worry.  The chance of exposure is very minimal.  😀

Aside from #1 and #2, this is done in no particular order.

  1.  Bear.  Everything in my life begins and ends with Bear.  We may have problems now and again, but the truth is that there’s nobody else on the planet that ‘gets’ me the way that he does.  He always makes me laugh, and that’s what I need above all else.  He’s my soulmate, my forever Bear.  I feel so lucky, every single day, to have him in my life.
  2. Lion.  In the beginning, he was pretty much the opposite of what I wanted in my life so I kept pushing him away.  After some time, I realized that he actually wanted the same thing I did, he just didn’t know how to express it.  And I didn’t know how to express it either.  I’m glad we finally tried, because he’s become so important to me.
  3. Tweak.  She’s a high-strung, neurotic bitch with chronic weird skin conditions.  But she’s MY high-strung, neurotic bitch with skin conditions.  She made me love dogs when I didn’t really think I was a dog person.
  4. Puck.  There is no cuter dog on the planet.  His constantly worried face is goddamn adorable, as are his huge Cindy Lou Who eyes.
  5. Buster.  Yes I love you.  No I don’t want to scratch your butt.
  6. My house.  It may have a leaky roof, there may be black mold in the garage, it may not have central heating or air in most of the rooms, but at least we have a place to live.  There are a lot of people who can’t say that.  It holds us and all of our stuff.
  7. My car.  Again, it’s not ideal.  It’s 21 years old and breaks down every 5 minutes, but hey, I have a car.  It usually gets me where I need to go.  It gives me a little freedom to get out of the house now and again.
  8. My spirituality.  My attention to my spiritual life has ebbed and flowed over the years, depending on what I had going on in my life, but it’s always been there in the background for me.  I’m grateful that I can see beyond the mundane, daily BS and be struck by wonder at the world beyond what we see.  Connecting to that keeps me sane.
  9. The Internet.  I know this is a weird one, but when you stop to think that all it takes is a few keystrokes to watch a webcam in Scotland, make a new friend in Japan, share your creativity with the world, find inspiration, learn something new, experience a different perspective, it’s all a fucking miracle.
  10. Sushi.  No explanation needed.
  11. Tacos.  Ditto.
  12. Books.  My deepest, truest love.  They’ve been there for me my entire life.
  13. My phone.  It connects me in the same way as the Internet above.  I may spend a little too much time staring at the screen, but it’s where all my friends live.
  14. Stanley.  He’s a good boy.  He has a huge nose and ridiculous ears, and he makes me laugh.
  15. Horror movies.  Love them.  I’m watching Krampus as I type this.
  16. Dragon Age: Inquisition.  I usually don’t play video games, because I get a little obsessed with them and spend all my time playing.  But our roommate loaned this to me, and it helped pull me out of a huge depression.  I needed it.
  17. Writing.  I have a lot of things in my head, and sometimes they need to come out.  I’ve built a beautiful world, populated by beautiful characters, and it gives me a place to go when things are bleak.
  18. Pharmaceuticals.  I have a lot of health problems, physical and mental, and no, the power of positive thinking alone doesn’t fix things.
  19. My mom.  We butt heads sometimes, but it’s mostly because we’re so alike.  Her constant advice is her way of saying that she cares, and I try to keep that in mind.  She’s always there for me when it counts.
  20. My stepdad.  He’s magic.  He’s almost 80, and he’s in better health than most 40 year olds I know.  He the kind of guy who takes care of shit.  I admire that.
  21. My sister.  We have very different lives, and very different priorities, but we still connect.  She’s a very intuitive, aware person, and she’s a great mom and provider.  I’m proud of her.
  22. My brother in law.  He always has a story or a joke, and he’s the kind of guy who can talk about geeky things for hours.
  23. My nephew.  He’s getting to that really cool age where he’s curious about things and exploring the world.  He and I can talk about rocks and minerals for hours.  I’m not super crazy about kids, but he’s pretty cool.
  24. My hysterectomy.  I got that when I was 31, after a long fight with adenomyosis.  For 3-5 days every month, I would curl up into a ball and wish I was dead.  Now I don’t have that pain, and I don’t have a period anymore.  WIN!
  25. My hip replacement.  I also had that when I was 31, and it saved my life.  Previously, I had such severe arthritis that I would dislocate my hip 3 or 4 times/day.  The pain was unbearable, and I was in a very low place for a very long time.
  26. Facebook.  Yeah, this piggybacks on the ‘Internet’ entry, but Facebook is a different beast.  I love the fact that I get to flip through pictures, posts, and articles about archaeology, geology, astronomy, politics, poetry, womens’ empowerment, Paganism, etc.  AND I get to see what my friends are up to from day to day.
  27. Sleep.  I don’t get nearly enough of it, but for me it’s a cessation of pain, a rest from my overactive brain, and a chance to dream my weird dreams.
  28. The color green.  It’s my favorite.  The color of nature, of healing, of life and vitality.
  29. Earth.  The cold, moist North- powers of grounding, stability, abundance, the mineral kingdom, the earth sustains us.
  30. Water.  The warm, moist East (for me)- powers of deep emotion, love, ebbing and flowing, letting our feelings wash over us.
  31. Fire.  The warm, dry South- powers of passion, motivation, the flame of action and activity, fire burns away obstacles.
  32. Air.  The cool, dry West (for me)- powers of inspiration, communication, music, literature, ideas, air gives our ideas wings.
  33. Spirit.  The center, the within- powers of spirituality, connection to the universe, questioning what lies beyond, spirit suffuses everything.
  34. My ancestors.  Obviously, without them I wouldn’t be here, but it’s more than that.  There’s a deep ancestral knowledge that comes from their collective experiences and the lives they lived.  I try to tap into that whenever possible.
  35. Georgia.  There are a lot of things wrong with where I live.  The heat sucks, the bugs suck, racism is still close to the surface, our congress is largely conservative, but the South is beautiful.  There’s a quirkiness, a slow kindness, a uniqueness that’s all our own.  We also have peaches.  And pecans.  And lots of trees.
  36. Spring flowers.  They make the pollen almost seem worth it.  Especially hyacinths and Asian lilies.
  37. Incense.  It lends so much magick to ritual, or even just a normal day.  I’m a bit of an incense snob, but I love the way it elevates the atmosphere.
  38. Stones and crystals.  I’ve been a rock nerd since I was a kid.  I always walked with my eyes downwards, seeing what I could pick up from the ground.  That hasn’t changed.  Now I just do a lot of my collecting on Ebay or Phoenix & Dragon.
  39. Phoenix & Dragon.  My favorite store.  It has all the good things there.  All of them.
  40. Asheville.  I still haven’t gotten Bear up there, but I’m grateful that it just exists.  Such a fabulous hippie/artist village in the middle of the mountains.  People are genuinely happy and kind there.  Perhaps because they’re constantly surrounded by the beauty of nature.
  41. Savannah.  We had an amazing trip there last year, and it inspired a huge collection of short stories that I’ve been writing here and there.  There’s old magick stuck in between the cobblestones there, and it permeates everything.
  42. Life, the universe, and everything.  Also, nerd jokes.
  43. Board games.  I don’t play as often as I used to on account of the fibro fog making it difficult to learn rules.  But I still love being present and watching my friends play.  It’s a great way to spend time with friends.
  44. Tabletop RPGs.  Same as above, though I definitely play when there’s an RPG going.  I play in person or online, it’s all fun to me.
  45. Tarot and other forms of divination.  I know this will come as a shock, but I really love divination.  It’s a nice way to connect with that ‘something larger’, with my spirituality.  It’s a form of prayer, a form of looking beyond the mundane.
  46. Trees.  I love them.  What can I say?  There’s so much wisdom in a tree, so much calm stillness.  *****Will continue later.  We’re going to see 10 Cloverfield Lane, for which I’m grateful.  :-)*****
  47. My stepmom.  We haven’t had much time to spend together since my father passed, and I miss her a lot.  She always did her best to take care of my sister and I, and she definitely took great care of my dad, even when he was really difficult to deal with.  *****10 Cloverfield Lane was amazing!  Go see it!  :-)*****
  48. My dad.  We really didn’t see eye to eye on a lot of things, and our relationship was very off and on.  He wouldn’t even friend me on Facebook, because he didn’t want his conservative friends to know that he had a blue-haired, liberal, queer, Pagan daughter.  HOWEVER, he did have his good points.  He always encouraged me creatively, he instilled in me a deep love of good music, and he had a fabulous, dry sense of humor.  He was the most creatively talented person I’ve ever known, especially in the realm of visual arts.  Part of what made him such a great artist was the analytical approach he took.  He was very balanced in right and left brain pursuits, and also helped me love science.
  49. My stepsister.  She’s the very epitome of the term ‘fireball’.  She’s an awesome, friendly, super extrovert, and she makes me laugh.
  50. My ex.  As much as I loathe her personally, she did serve more of a purpose in my life than to just be a placeholder for 7 years.  Without her, I wouldn’t have dogs (which she talked me into), I wouldn’t have this house (which she talked me into), and I wouldn’t have gone to New Zealand (which was the death knell for our relationship).  I suppose she also provided me a good example of how I refuse to be treated now that I’m older.  I wish it hadn’t taken me 7 years to learn that particular lesson.
  51. Netflix.  Sometimes, if I’m having a bad fibro day, Netflix is about the most I can do.  I even watch the one-star horror movies.
  52. My friends.  I’m going to single out some people that I tend to see/talk to on a regular basis, or people who inspire me somehow, but if I forget anyone, know that you’re appreciated.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I have NO idea how a pair of introverted weirdos like Bear and I have made so many amazing friends.
  53. My aunt.  She’s one of the funniest, cattiest, bitchiest people I know.  She cracks me up EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.  She and my uncle travel a lot, which gives me a vision for how I would like my future with Bear to be.
  54. Damien and Nicole.  Damien is hilarious, sarcastic, and his hugs are magic.  He genuinely cares about his friends, and it shines through.  Nicole is his perfect compliment.  She’s quiet, but you can see her mind constantly working, and when she does say something, it’s either clever, kind, or hilarious.
  55. Bryan, Victoria, Kim, and Mike.  3 are siblings, one is a spouse.  Bryan, Victoria, and Kim all do amazing things.  They’re super-smart and successful, and they celebrate their successes.  Kim is going through an inspiring transition right now, and it’s really awesome to watch.  Mike has this great, quiet humor that sneaks up during the quiet lulls in conversation.  I get to feel really clever when I understand like 1 out of his 5 obscure music references.  :0)
  56. Maegan and Widge.  Widge is a great example of creativity paired with motivation.  He’s done so much that I admire, including podcasts, a website, 2 companies he’s started (that I know of), a few published books, etc.  He’s an inspiration.  And Meagan is also incredibly talented and successful in her field.  She’s brilliant at what she does, and she deserves every success.  Also, Jenna, CJ and Emily.  They’re just THE MOST FUN EVER.  I wish we got to see all of you more often.
  57. Din and Jason.  Din GETS me.  When I come up with some crazy scheme, she not only understands, but will brainstorm with me.  She’s the person I turn to when Bear is baffled by the way my brain works.  She’s brilliant and loving, and wants everyone to be their best self.  Jason is hilarious, has great stories, and he’s strong for Din.  He looks out for her, and makes sure she doesn’t get taken advantage of.  I love that.
  58. Leigh and Andrew.  We spend more time with Leigh and Andrew than anyone else.  Because we love them.  They’re just alltogether awesome.  Leigh also has fibromyalgia, and she still manages to do SO MUCH between a very stressful job, DC, and her family.  I admire her so much.  Andrew is the ultimate gaming friend.  He’s so intelligent, he can not only understand the most complicated of rules, but he can make YOU understand them as well.  He’s also an amazing cook, and just generally brilliant and interesting to talk to.
  59. Duncan.  I’ve never had much luck in relating to kids, but I’ve known Duncan since he was 12, and he’s awesome.  He’s intelligent like his dad, open to try all sorts of new things, funny, and constantly laughing.  The amount of homework he does is staggering.  He’s grown up into an admirable young man, and I’m glad to know him.
  60. Scott.  He’s sweet and loving, and though he’s constantly hitting on all of my male friends, I know he would do anything in the world for me or for Bear.  He’s sarcastic in the best way, but underneath he’s made of pure love.
  61. Rox.  She is the embodiment of connection.  She’s constantly connecting with the people around her, constantly contributing to her community, and going out in search of new experiences.  I love tagging along on her adventures via FB posts and slideshows.
  62. Brian.  I’m allergic to people spending money on me.  However, he loves horror movies, and so do we, and we’ve seen some really fabulous movies because he’s taken us.  He hates it when I say thank you, but I do it anyways, because I’m grateful.  He’s also hilarious, and makes the whole D&D group laugh.
  63. Chris.  We had a great project in mind together, and we both put energy into it, but it didn’t work out.  He’s a great idea guy, and he’s one of the hardest-working people I know.  He has a huge sense of personal responsibility, even to his own detriment.  I hope he finds his balance.
  64. Bryan.  He lives several states away, but he has this uncanny way of dropping in and texting me when I really need a nice surprise in my life.  He’s playful and sweet, loving and kind, and also drop dead sexy.
  65. New Zealand.  This was the trip that changed my life.  As I’ve mentioned, it was the beginning of the end of my relationship, but it also was incredibly meaningful and beautiful in its own right.  I got to see Tane Mahuta, the biggest tree I’ve ever seen in my life, as well as a glacier, rainforests, sheep for miles, beaches, whales, seals, kiwi birds, Maori, cows mating, and so many other good things.  Even my hideous ex couldn’t completely ruin this trip.
  66. Germany.  My sister and I went when she was 18, and I was 23.  We went about the whole thing the completely wrong way, and made some hilarious mistakes.  We had some epic arguments and wanted to leave each other at various points.  But we also got to see castles along the Rhine, stayed in a castle on the Rhine, saw magnificent cathedrals in the middle of the night when we were exhausted and staggering around the city trying to find our hotel, heard Cher a LOT, saw a weird romanesque fountain in the middle of the woods in the middle of nowhere on a train ride, nearly got into a fight at a McDonalds, were mistaken for prostitutes, drank Midori sours, used pay toilets, ate insanely good German food, ate insanely good Italian food, and learned that we were smart enough to survive on our own in another country for a week.
  67. Maine.  We went to Acadia National Park to sprinkle my ex’s mom’s ashes, but it turned out to be a really beautiful trip despite the sad circumstances.  I’ve dreamt about going back, and it’s nice to have travel goals.
  68. Scotland, England, Wales.  Travel goals, daydreams, knowing there’s something out there that I just HAVE TO SEE.  It brings me a lot of joy.
  69. The Pacific Northwest and big-ass trees.  Another travel goal.
  70. Vivien.  An awesome roommate.  She’s an introvert that understands that we’re introverts as well, and doesn’t hold it against us when we’re quietly pursuing our own activities.
  71. Dominic.  He’s very young, but has been through a lot.  He has his whole future ahead of him, and though it’s scary to face it without the person who always supported him, he’s a smart cookie and can totally make it.  We have absolute faith in him.
  72. Dia and Tony.  Dia is a constant source of inspiration.  She deals with chronic illness, but she still manages to do so much, she’s a prolific writer and manages to keep her spiritual community running and connected.  Tony is quietly kind and supportive, and he’s the kind of person that you would do well to have in your corner.
  73. The WDS family.  Everyone is so welcoming and friendly, and I’ve really enjoyed celebrating sabbats with them.  I’m feeling the draw to re-commit myself to my solitary practice these days, but every hug, smile, kind word is something I’m grateful for.  I love knowing such an amazing group of spiritual people.
  74. Linda.  She’s into a lot of the same business/entrepreneur gurus that I am.  She’s ambitious in the best possible way, wanting to align her positivity and creativity with an abundant, happy life.  If anyone can do it, she can.  Her smile is magnetic.
  75. DragonCon.  Geek Christmas.  The best weekend of the year.  It’s where all of the best people come together to geek over common interests, and where I spend the entire week locked up in the writer’s track dungeon.  I learn so much, and take away inspiration and knowledge from successful published authors.
  76. YouTube.  I can spend hours going down YouTube wormholes.  I watch videos on everything Pagan, belly dancing, makeup tutorials, writing, visual arts, travel, nature, etc.  I love that there’s just so much content out there to explore.
  77. Cheese.  Cheese is life.  Cheese is love.  The end.
  78. Apt to Miss Road.  When I was first writing my novel, I spent some time looking at a map, trying to find the perfect spot to locate the village of Willowisp.  I happened upon a road called Apt to Miss which runs alongside Murder Creek, and it all came together.  I’ve visited it several times, leaving offerings, and I’m tied to the land there.
  79. Morgan Falls Overlook Park.  This is sacred space for me, and I’ve done several rituals and meditations here, alone or in groups.  It’s a recharge for me when I need it.
  80. Art.  I love to look at art that other people make, but moreso I love to create it.  I’m particularly fond of drawing, but have participated in a lot of multimedia art projects, both solo and collaborative.  I also pick up watercolors every now and again, and remember how much I love them.
  81. Knitting.  It’s what I do when the weather starts getting cooler and my body starts hurting more.  I’ve created some beautiful garments that I’m really proud of.
  82. Podcasting.  One night, after my relationship with my ex had ended, I got the idea to record a podcast.  It started this amazing chain of events that brought me to where I am now.  I met most of my friends from podcasting, and even met my husbear when it was recommended that I ask him for some tips on editing the audio.  It helped give me back my self-esteem, and gave me a creative outlet.
  83. David and Barbara.  I met David because of that podcast.  He’s one of the most open-minded, open-hearted, loving people I’ve ever known.  When his wife passed, I worried about him, but when he met Barbara, it was obvious that he would find happiness and love again.  They’re an awesome couple, and I love seeing what sort of hijinks they get into together.
  84. Roadtrips.  Seriously, it doesn’t even have to be anywhere fancy.  I just want to be in the car, with snacks and good music, going somewhere.
  85. Old cemeteries.  I feel incredibly peaceful and grounded when exploring an old cemetery.  There’s so much history and tranquility in a good, historical cemetery.
  86. My grandfather (dad’s side).  He was an ornery old goat, but he did a lot of amazing things in his life.  He died when I was 12, but I remember how funny he was.
  87. My grandmother (dad’s side).  She was active in her church, and active as an officer’s wife in the Airforce.  She had an operatic-quality voice, and she always wore bright red lipstick and nailpolish, up until the day she died.
  88. My grandfather (mom’s side).  I was always his baby.  He gave everyone a martini.  Everyone.  He would explain that the first wasn’t ever good, but the second was delicious.  He taught me about being a gracious, affable host, and he taught me to appreciate good food and company.
  89. My grandmother (mom’s side).  She grew up in a time where a woman was expected to marry, have kids, get dinner on the table every night, and never complain.  She never seemed terribly happy in life, and I think that if she was born later, she would have made different choices.  She and I kind of understood that about each other, and I think she’s the only person who really truly understood why I don’t want kids.
  90. Big, bearded, Viking men.
  91. Wild, crazy, Pagan men.
  92. Sensitive, creative, artistic men.
  93. Sex.
  94. Having been a lesbian for 10 years.  I’ve experienced both sides of the kinsey scale, and I learned a lot.  Though I’m essentially straight now (sexuality is fluid- mine flowed), I would never trade the experiences and knowledge I gained from being gay.
  95. My great grandmother (dad’s mom’s side).  She was the first woman in Georgia to pass the Bar exam.  She also had her own photography studio and made her own furniture. From what I hear, she was a fabulous cook and a lovely woman.  She passed when I was 3.
  96. Feminism.  I have so much gratitude for the women who came before me, who fought for me to have some of the freedoms and rights that I have now.  It’s so difficult for me to imagine a world where I couldn’t do anything that I wanted, and that’s because of the work that they did.
  97. Bookstores.  I love the books there, obviously, but a bookstore provides so much more than that.  They’re a place to browse, relax, peruse, maybe have some coffee.  They’re a great place to do some writing, too.
  98. Libraries.  Similar to bookstores.  I love the quiet peace, and they give me someplace to go when I need to get out of the house but don’t have any money to go to a bookstore.
  99. Starhawk.  Her Wicca 101 books were great, and I learned a lot from them.  However, I was so incredibly inspired by her fiction, ‘The Fifth Sacred Thing’ and ‘Walking to Mercury’.  I try to capture that same feeling of Pagan community in my own writing in the hopes that reading my book will inspire someone else.
  100. Marion Zimmer Bradley.  Her Avalon books were also incredibly inspiring, and they brought my spirituality alive for me.  I’ve learned recently that she was kind of a horrible person, but if you separate the woman from the art, there’s still so much good in her works.
  101. Commas.  Holy shit, I’ve been using a lot, of, commas, in, this, post.  *****And here I will take a break as I fear I’m starting to ramble.*****
  102. My bookshelves.  I was looking for a way to create a sacred space where I could keep my Goddess/God shrines, altar, incenses, crystal grid, etc.  So Bear bought me these for Yule last year.  They’re perfect, and I have my own special, spiritual corner of our bedroom.
  103. Spotify. (And music in general).  I’ve always been in love with music, and my musical tastes vary according to the season/my mood/what I’m focused on at the time.  In the Spring, I love to listen to dub, which reminds me of New Zealand since it was playing everywhere we went.
  104. My husband is an amazing cook.  He makes insane pancakes, beef stew, deep-dish pizza, authentic Mexican food.  Pretty much everything he cooks is orgasmic.
  105. The cultural diversity where I live.  Within a half hour of my house, there are 4 international farmers markets where you can try food that you can’t read the description of.  How cool is that?  Near my home, there are large Romanian, Korean, Chinese, Armenian, Indian, Mexican, Guatemalan, Columbian, Salvadorian, Ethiopian, and various other populations.  It’s fabulous to be exposed to so many different cultures.
  106. Harry Potter.  I remember being SO absorbed in the books, and when I heard that the first movie was coming out, I couldn’t have been more excited.  We got to see the first movie the night before it was released.  The theater was testing their copies, and needed someone to sit through them to report back on any glitches in the viewing experience.  So my ex and I were all alone in a theater, and from the very first notes of the theme song, we were riveted.
  107. The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings.  I read these at least once/year as a teenager.  I’ve always loved fantasy literature, and the stories came alive in the movies.
  108. The Walking Dead.  I love shows that leave you with a WTF?? at the end of each episode.  There’s always something to be excited about on the next episode.
  109. The Gulf of Mexico.  There are so many beautiful beaches there to explore, within just a few hours drive.  I haven’t been down there in years, but it’s time to get back and connect with Mama Yemaya.
  110. Yemaya.  She came to me in a vision when I was in college.  I was at Fort Walton Beach, and I was suddenly overcome with the feeling that I was connected to the ocean, that we are ALL connected to the ocean, and that she is the mother of us all.  I saw a beautiful black woman with shells in her long hair, and had to do some research to find out who she was.  She’s been a constant in my life since.
  111. Lakshmi.  She and her sister showed up in my life after I had graduated from college, and I was trying to find a balance between the need to earn money, and the drive to be creative.  She’s the Hindu Goddess of wealth and abundance, and she represents the part of me that has always done what I had to do to make money, damn my personal preferences.
  112. Sarasvati.  Sister of Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of creativity, writing, music, and eloquence.  There’s a legend that says that Lakshmi and Sarasvati were rivals, vying for the love of Vishnu, and as such, they don’t get along.  So you can’t have the favor of both at the same time.  You can choose a life of creativity and poverty, or of abundance without creativity.  I’ve always tried to find a balance there, and never have.  But I feel the pull of both Goddesses in my life every single day.
  113. Inanna.  Inanna came to me in my mid 30s.  I’ve always loved the concept of the sacred prostitute, as it’s no secret that sex can be a healing, catalytic force when it’s used in a sacred way.  She also came to me in a vision, but in the vision, she was a golden grain Goddess, dancing over the fields as her people danced gratefully underneath her, accepting the bounty of the harvest.  I’ve never found a reference to her that confirms this aspect, but the vision was very clear.
  114. Hecate.  I found a connection with Hecate as I was writing my novel.  The main character is a devotee of Hecate, and as I was writing about their connection, I felt it stir within me as well.  When I thought about it, I realized that she’s always been there, just somewhere in the back of my mind.  In fact, I had a vision at a Pagan gathering in my early 20s where I embraced a dark Goddess, and I believe this was her first appearance in my life.
  115. Cernunnos.  Cernunnos represents everything wild, free, and untamed in life.  He is the ultimate Pagan man- virile, feral, and mesmerizing.  We all need to reconnect with our wildness now and again.
  116. My grandmother’s wedding ring.  My grandfather gave her a thin, silver ring when they first got married and they were broke.  Later, for their anniversary, he bought her a beautiful diamond ring set in white gold.  A few years before they passed, they gave the ring to me for Christmas, and it’s easily my most prized posession.  It reminds me that marriage may not always be easy, but if you commit to someone for life, and they commit to you, together you can get through those times and continue to grow your love and your happiness.
  117. Owls.  Owls are my writing totem, and they show up in my stories/novels a lot.
  118. Ravens.  Bear and I adopted the name ‘The Ravensons’ after a friend appeared on a podcast and gave Bear’s ‘origin story’, which included being raised by ravens.  When we adopted the name, raven kind of became our totem as a couple.
  119. Goats/satyrs.  This is kind of my general totem/fursona.  It’s a long story that begins with me being a Capricorn, and ends with Bear calling me ‘Goatley’.
  120. Licorice.  I love old-fashioned candy.  Peppermints, lemon drops, licorice, etc.
  121. This blog.  Sometimes I use it as a place to unload, but it really is a great place for me to express myself.  I’ve never been successful in keeping a journal long-term, but for whatever reason, I’ve been writing in this blog for several years now.  I think that’s because I can revamp/recreate it when my focus changes.  (Related: look for some cosmetic changes coming soon!)
  122. Dead Can Dance.  There has never been music, before or since DCD, that can evoke such a mystical, magical mood.  It’s great for ritual work, for trance work, or for just creating a magical atmosphere.
  123. Led Zeppelin.  There’s so much sex and fantasy, passion and mysticism in Robert Plant’s voice.  When backed up by Jimmy Page and the others- it’s sorcery.  Beautiful, beautiful sorcery.
  124. Being alive RIGHT NOW.  I’m so grateful that I have access to toilets, showers, the Internet, computers, the knowledge of the ages available at my fingertips.  How incredibly cool!  I feel that to be born too far in the past would have been restrictive and oppressive, and to be born too far into the future means that I would be dealing with the effects of overpopulation on a depleted earth.  The apocalypse is a’coming folks!
  125. I love lamp.
  126. Chips and dip.  This is kind of my go-to comfort food.  When everything falls to shit, I want some plain wavy chips and French onion dip.
  127. Cheese and crackers.  This is my go-to writing snack.
  128. Coke Zero.  My preferred caffeine delivery system.
  129. Good coffee.  My second preferred caffeine delivery system.
  130. Earl Grey latte.  My favorite drink for when I need self-care and comfort.
  131. Good beer or scotch.  I don’t drink very often at all anymore, but when I do, I want something really delicious.
  132. Homemade bread.  We got a bread machine for Yule, and we’ve used the hell out of it.  There’s something so homey and comforting about the smell of fresh-baked yeasty bread.
  133. Hand-me-down furniture.  A lot of my furniture is hand-me-down.  I’m fine with that.  Some pieces are really good (like the curio cabinet and tea cart that my great grandmother made), some are not so good (like the 90s floral, shabby chic couches in our living room that don’t go with anything else).  But we do have a place to sit and places to put our things, and that’s awesome.  Everything has a memory attached to it of who it came from.
  134. Labradorite.  One of my very favorite stones to work with.  It represents a lot of different things to different people, but to me it helps me through change.  It also stimulates necessary change to clear away the old and make way for the new.  It’s a stone of transformation.
  135. Rutilated quartz.  Another one of my favorite stones.  To me it represents focus, clarity, direction, and creativity.  The needles of rutile provide clear pathways for our thoughts.
  136. 69 left to go.  I had no idea how difficult this would be when I began.  Of course there are things I’m incredibly grateful for, but it’s tough to come up with all of them in one go.  :0)
  137. The North Georgia Pagans group on Facebook.  I’ve made a lot of friends there.
  138. Notebooks.  I love always having a notebook around for when inspiration hits and I need to get things out of my head.
  139. Good pens.  I’m kind of a snob when it comes to pens.  I just bought my first fountain pen a few months ago, and I love it!
  140. The computer I’m writing this on.  I had a year where my laptop, phone, and desktop all fell apart, and I had to slowly gather new technology bit by bit.  I bought this computer with my small inheritance from when my grandmother passed.  I wonder if she would have been happy to know that I used it for a tool that I use for writing, socializing, creating, and entertaining myself?
  141. Birkenstocks.  With all my hip/back problems, it’s nice to have a brand of shoes that help me align correctly.  They help to lessen my pain.
  142. My electric blanket.  It’s my best friend in the winter.  Keeping myself warm is the best way to keep myself out of pain.
  143. My mother called me at 2:20 today instead of 9am.  Sometimes it’s the small things.  I’ve asked her not to call me before noon SO  MANY TIMES, but she usually does anyways.  And I wake up when the phone rings, and I get pissed off, and I can’t get back to sleep.  But today, she called me after noon, and I’m grateful.
  144. Art supplies.  Sometimes the urge to express myself is immediate and overwhelming.  Having good art supplies on hand means that I can do that.  Also, perusing the Dick Blick or Cheap Joe’s websites or catalogs lets me dream about all the beautiful things I could create with paints I haven’t tried yet.
  145. My wooded back yard.  It’s relatively private and we get to see all sorts of birds on the back deck.  We even have neighborhood owls that visit at night, and I love to hear them hooting.
  146. Jeans.  My favorite clothes.  I really, REALLY hate dressing up.
  147. Friends who write.  I’ve never gotten to the place where I could share anything that I’ve written- that would take more self-confidence than I have, but it’s nice to be able to talk about the process of writing with people who understand the process.
  148. Glitter.  It makes everything better.
  149. Types of food I haven’t tried yet.  It gives me something to look forward to.  (seriously, grasping at straws now)
  150. Candles.  I have a small candle obsession.  I keep buying them and not burning them, so that my house is inundated with candles on every surface.  One of these days, I’m just going to light them all and burn them until they’re gone.
  151. Plushies.  We have quite a collection, but my favorites are my large family of owls, my red panda (Percy), my opossum (from Din), Ivy the goat, Athene the owl, and Sir Wellington of Beef (from Bryan).  Yeah, I get that it’s kind of weird to be my age and love plushies, but honestly, who cares?
  152. Local parks.  I love traveling to local parks and checking out the nature paths.  There are some really beautiful places around here, and it’s nice to go experience some nature now and again.
  153. The Smokey Mountains.  I’m kind of fortunate that where I live, I can drive for about 5 hours and be at the beach, or 3 hours and be in the mountains.  And the mountains are gorgeous.  Some of my favorite places are Asheville (as I mentioned earlier), Gatlinburg, Franklin, The Nantahala River Valley, and even Ellijay.
  154. Chattanooga.  It’s within a few hours, and it’s gorgeous up there.  We visit now and again to go to Lookout Mountain, McKay’s Bookstore, Sluggo’s Vegetarian Cafe, and then just bum around town.  It’s more relaxed and friendly than Atlanta, and the scenery is beautiful.
  155. I love Bear’s family.  They’re all fun, funny people.  Which is great, because I really couldn’t stand my ex’s family.
  156. Bear’s dad.  He’s really helped us out of some financial binds, and I’m incredibly grateful.  I’m also grateful that I got to meet his mom before she passed.  She was snarky and sarcastic like me, and I wish I’d been able to get to know her better.
  157. Husbear is TALENTED.  I get so excited when I hear his new voicework, or when I get to see him at Netherworld, or I get to see him perform.  He’s good at everything he does.
  158. Lion’s let’s play videos.  I only get to see him like once/month or so, but I love watching/listening to him play video games.  It helps me feel connected to him, like I’m present while he does something he loves.
  159. Laughter.  I’m the kind of girl who laughs at a funeral.   Literally.  As long as I can find something to laugh about, I can handle anything.
  160. Tattoos.  I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to get tattoos to commemorate important things through my life.  My skin tells a story.   I really wish I could get more, but hopefully that will come soon.
  161. Today I learned about the game of ‘HEY SHEEP!’  I’m planning a driving tour of Scotland, and that will prove handy there.
  162. My Harley Davidson hoodie.  It’s what I wear when my fibro is flared up, or I’m freezing, or I’m depressed.  It’s very cozy and comforting.
  163. The neighborhood cats.  At some point a few months ago, someone dumped a litter of kittens into our neighborhood.  It really pissed me off, because I know they don’t have their shots, and they aren’t fixed, and I can’t afford to do that for them.  They’re also mostly feral and won’t come near any of us.  But several of the neighbors leave food out, and we no longer have a rat problem at our house.  It’s kind of nice to see them now and again, and say hello.
  164. Willie Nelson.  My grandfather had a Willie Nelson 8track that we used to listen to in his car all the time.  I’ve always loved him.  There’s just something about his plucky, loose-string way of playing (I’m not a musician, I’m sure there’s a better term for it).  And his voice sends shivers up and down my spine.  He’s incredibly talented.
  165. Monty Python.  I’ve loved MP from way back, and even when I’m in the shittiest of moods, they make me laugh.
  166. My Tea Leaf Fortune Cards.  I had ordered these from Amazon, and waited and waited.  When I went back to check, I saw that they were ‘temporarily out of stock’.  I had wanted them forever.  So I looked around at a few other places, Ebay, Barnes & Noble, local metaphysical bookstores, online metaphysical bookstores, etc.  Finally I wrote the company (US Games), and found out that they had been discontinued with no plans to reprint.  So I kept checking Ebay on the off chance that I would find them again, and in February I found them on Ebay for $10 higher than the original price.  Bear bought them for me for Valentine’s Day, and I’m SO thrilled to be able to use them!
  167. Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs.  I’ve been collecting these for years.  In fact, it’s something that Bear and I bonded over when we first met.  We talked about them, and I mentioned that I had created a spreadsheet to keep track of my collection.  He thought that was weird, but eventually jumped on board, and began contributing to that spreadsheet.  It was nerd love.
  168. My ex ex.  He was awesome.  I always loved him, but one of us had to recognize that we weren’t meant to be together.  And we both went on to live separate lives and find our true loves.  He was a rockhound dork like me, he was hysterical, he loved music and cooking.  He passed away a few years ago, and when I went to see him in the hospital when he was in a coma, my name was still tattooed on his arm.
  169. 31 left to go.  I’m digging deep here folks.
  170. All the Thanksgivings I got to spend with my grandparents.  The tradition was that after dinner, we would all sit around the table and eat pumpkin pie and drink Creme de Menthe and Anisette.  Those times spent with my family, slowly getting plastered on sweet liquers, were some of the best times of my life.
  171. My dad teaching me to fly.  When I was like 11 or so, my dad started learning to fly single-engine airplanes.  After he built up his hours so that he could fly solo, he started taking my sister and I up with him.  My sister would happily fall asleep in the back, but he let me take the controls.  He also let me do hammerhead stalls, a few takeoffs, and steep banking circles.  After he passed, I found the log book he was keeping for me where he logged all my flying hours.
  172. The fleeting scent of wisteria in the Spring.  I’ve tried to make an infusion oil to capture that scent, but it’s too delicate, too ephemeral to transfer correctly.  So I have to be content with rolling my window down just after a gentle spring rain, and inhaling as I drive by wisteria vines.
  173. The Georgia Mineral Society.  I spent a lot of time in my late teenage years and early 20s going to GMS meetings and digs.  I loved it.  I got to wallow in the mud, and surface triumphantly with some mineral treasure that everyone would ohh and ahh over afterwards at whatever local dive we chose to eat at.  I really miss that.  Though now I have a healthier fear of ticks than I did then.
  174. Autumn leaves.  For years, I’ve collected them, pressing them in books.  I always think I’m going to do some sort of art project with them, but I never actually do.  So whenever I go to my bookshelves to look something up, I always find leaves in the books.
  175. Bookshelves in general.  (I mentioned my altar/shrine bookshelves earlier).  1 in the dining room, 4 in the living room, 3 in the bedroom, 3 in the office.  And that’s after I broke one that needs to be replaced.  I suppose you could also count the space under the coffee table where books are stacked with the spines facing outward so they can be read.
  176. Access to tenets of Eastern spirituality.  I’m studying the chakras more in-depth than I ever have before.  Isn’t it cool that with the Internet and the multiculturalism of where I live that I can do that?  (I do try not to be appropriative of other cultures, though.  Very important!)
  177. Friends that I haven’t mentioned.  I know that I mentioned this before, but there are a lot of people who have been important in my life, I’m grateful for that fact alone.  I couldn’t possibly list them all.
  178. Ivy.  I love ivy.  There’s something about the green, the way it climbs all over everything.  It evokes romance, mystery, magick.  A lot of my online or literary characters/personas are some variation of Ivy/Vine/Briar.  I have some growing in my backyard right now, and I LOVE IT.  I hope it takes over everything.  Pissing off the neighbors would be a bonus.
  179. Science.  I don’t think that science competes with my spirituality at all.  In fact, science is proof of how incredibly fucking amazing the world, the universe, the ocean, and everything else is.  It’s spiritual in and of itself, because once you realize how improbable it is that everything would come together into just such an arrangement so that everything works the way it should, that’s just miraculous in itself.  Some of my most spiritually connected moments have been when I was looking at a cell under a microscope, or looking at the first Hubble pictures of distant nebulae.
  180. Imbolc.  Imbolc is a very solitary holiday for me, as it is celebrated around February 1st.  That’s a very solitary, introverted time of year for me, and it’s a great time to examine myself and my life.  I also love making the traditional potato chowder that I do every Imbolc, as it connects me to Imbolcs past and present.
  181. Ostara.  Ostara is the anniversary of my first self-directed ritual.  My ex ex was gracious enough to celebrate it with me, and we dyed and drew on eggs to celebrate the return of the Spring.  Last year, my husbear and I went hiking around Apt to Miss Road, and I surprised him with naked outdoor forest sex.  It was uncomfortable, and we both ended up with ticks in intimate places.  I don’t regret it, however.  Ostara is about celebration, and by the Gods, we celebrated!
  182. Beltane.  I’m a little conflicted about including Beltane.  Beltane is the anniversary of my self-dedication to the craft and my spiritual path, but I’ve never really had a great time at Beltane.  There certainly hasn’t been any of the naked frolicking that Beltane is so famous for, and for some reason, unfortunate things always seem to happen on May 1st.  Last year, I was all set to go to a Beltane celebration with WDS, and I had even made some May Wine.  And my car broke down and I had to stay home.  I suppose I still like it because of the HOPE that I’ll have a good one some day.  *shrug*
  183. Litha.  Even with my bad luck at Beltane, Litha is probably the sabbat I connect with the least.  I love the lore, love the idea of the faerie magick abundant at this time of year, but in Georgia, June means heat and bugs.  Best to hide inside and watch a movie instead of doing anything.  I honestly don’t even have any great recipes for Litha, because Bear doesn’t like mushrooms.  So we usually do nachos or something else fun.
  184. Lughnassadh.  Even though it’s still hot, I love Lughnassadh.  It’s kind of a turning point, where you know that the oppressive Summer won’t be hanging on much longer.  Also, it’s dedicated to the harvest of grain, and its adjuncts, baking bread and brewing beer.  Those are very earthy, grounded activities that I love to take part in.
  185. Mabon.  Pagan Thanksgiving.  I love that it’s more of a fruit harvest, and I love to eat apples and grapes around now.  It’s also a great time for making cider or wine, and just generally cooking a huge feast in gratitude for the harvest and the abundance around us.
  186. Samhain.  Who doesn’t love Samhain?  It’s the MOST Pagan, the most magickal day of the year.  The air even feels different, crisper, charged with electricity.  You can feel the thinness of the veil.  I usually do some sort of divination, some sort of ritual, and make corn chowder.  Also, it’s a good time of year for candy.
  187. Yule.  Yule is such a warm, cheery, lovely holiday.  I have spent the last 2 Yules with the WDS family, and they really do it right.  Someone stays up all night to keep the Yule log burning, and there are stories, divination, music, laughter, food, just all things celebratory and social.  Then we welcome the sun in the morning, and go home to our beds to sleep the rest of the day.  I love Yule.  I also love the chance to give people gifts that I’ve specially picked out with them in mind.
  188. Scott Cunningham.  Long before I formally dedicated myself to my path (age 17, so I guess around 1992?), I would eagerly purchase and pore over Scott Cunningham’s early books.  I still have them, though they’ve mostly fallen apart from the times I loaned them to irresponsible friends.  (I don’t loan books anymore.)  His books captured my imagination, and they were the first validation of what I knew to be true- magick is real.
  189. Dan and Pauline Campanelli.  Their books ‘Wheel of the Year’ and ‘Ancient Ways’ lit the fire of spiritual inspiration in my heart.  It was the folk traditions and the suggestions on how to mark the seasons by celebrating the Wheel of the Year that made me finally decide to dedicate myself to the craft.  I’ve always been in love with the sabbats.
  190. Access to Greek mythology.  When I was in middle school, I participated in a sort of quiz show competition with my gifted class.  One of the categories was Greek mythology, and I was fascinated.  It became a deep love of mine, and ended up informing my earliest Pagan leanings.
  191. The colors of winter.  There’s something about grey and brown bark, grey skies, brown earth, that really make me happy.  I wish I could enjoy Winter a lot more, and if I didn’t fight seasonal depression and fibro flares, Winter would probably be my favorite season.  I love that the bugs go away too.
  192. RuPaul’s Drag Race.  We’re watching it right now as I type this.  I love the creativity, the color, the bravery and the audacity.  This show just makes me happy.
  193. Toilet paper.  I just took a pee break, and it occurred to me how important TP is.  We should all take a moment to appreciate it.
  194. Purple.  The color of spirituality, psychicism, mystery, and amethyst.  Love!
  195. Sacred space.  I love finding places nearby to walk into the woods and do ritual or a meditation.  I have a few places like that around here, and I love exploring to find more.  I love getting away from the land of the strip malls.
  196. Bear’s ridiculous suggestions.  Every time I’ve stalled out in this list, he’s come up with silly suggestions that have made me laugh.
  197. Reading before bed.  I’m so lucky to have access to so many books.  My reading time is my special time, it’s when I relax and decompress.  Right now I’m reading The Gormenghast Novels.  They’re amazing, but they’re taking me forever to read.
  198. Cookbooks.  I love to read them, love to get a feel for different types of food, but I never, ever follow a recipe.  I like to peruse them for inspiration and to find out how to use ingredients I’m not familiar with.
  199. Magazines.  There are so many varied types of magazines for pretty much anything you would want to learn about.  I have trouble letting them go, because I like to leaf back through for inspiration.  I have a stupidly large collection of art/Pagan/travel magazines.
  200. I’m finished!  I’m grateful that my life is so completely blessed that I was able to come up with 200 things I’m grateful for.  Granted, there were some throwaways, but for the most part, I’m an incredibly lucky bitch!

I should go back and edit all this, but instead I’m going to just apologize for any typos or grammar weirdness.  I’m tired.  Time to watch more RuPaul.  Much love, and blessed be!  <3 <3 <3





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