New Year's Resolutions and Dark Elves

The year 2010 has been a good one for me. My life has taken some twists and turns, but here I sit, poised to go forward into 2011 with a hopeful heart.

My daughters are both settled in their homes, happy and independant.

My doggy has healed from a major trauma.

My mates are busy with work and are happy.

We are all healthy.

I have much to be thankful for!

Yet as I look back on my list of priorities that I set for myself last year, Dec. 31, 2009 I see that while I have accomplished much, there were things that went tossed off like a kids' bike along the roadside.

I didn't lose those 25#. Matter of fact, I probably gained a few more....
I didn't get to my outings and adventures of visiting NYC to see St. Patrick's Cathedral nor the Cloisters....
Nor did I get a permanent awning built over the hot tub or seal the foundation under the porch....
and the Christmas CD didn't get worked on and the holiday is now over....


I DID have a fun year, with gigs, made new friends, took a belly dance class, grew out my bangs (you ladies know that this is major :), put in a big proposal for school gigs that got accepted, motivated Harry to rework the office area (no simple feat there, my friends! this will motivate him to have a better studio for my technologically advanced husband and a place to play with video and audio gear for future Merry Mischief projects :), I worked diligently on writing and organizing my previous writings, got wheels (!!) painted the porch, and finished and offered a Live CD...and we started work on a music video in a local cathedral for a Christmas song! Nursed an injured dog to health, worked hard at moving my daughter Shawna from dependance at home to an independant life of her own in residential housing, have taken a good look at myself and my wants and needs and have started projects and get togethers to accomplish them ....and (Bonus) I managed to live with two testosterone filled men and didn't kill either of them, but still consider them my best friends and partners in crime :)

My spontaneous and spiritual life has taken an interesting turn into the fantastic and direction of whimsy with my focus on life, love and fairytale, and faeries themselves. I guess Santa got me thinking about such things, being that he IS an elf/faery that most people I've tried to get back to my sweet roots of belief in the amazing, the fantastical, the mysterious joy of all things hidden.

But there are pitfalls.

When you look within, there are scary places within your memories or secrets in your closets that you'd rather not go in. You avoid them and try not to think of them.

Kind of like the Dark Elves that live under the Stairs.

I'm not talking about the Dark Elves of World of War Crack....altho, Art does imitate Life.
I'm talking of the everyday Dark Elves....the ones that follow you in the dark and you only hear their footsteps or feel their burning red eye glances, but can't put your finger on where it's coming from.

Dark Elves like dark places. Under stairs where they can reach out between the steps to grab your ankles to trip you as you go down to the basement. They like to live in unused rooms, in corners of closets, under racks and they like to hide under desks and take up residence where anything gets stagnant. They are the ones whose faces pop out at you like a Jack in the Box at the worst times. They are the ones who keep people apart from each other, from looking within, and from connecting those around them. They are the ones who whisper misgivings to your conscience, foul your memories with clouds and give bad advice to your ears in a hushed but firm inner voice.

They are there to remind us to be on our guard.

They are there to keep our feet firm on the path and to keep our bracers on....
even after we say our prayers and go to sleep. They want to use chaos and ill will to make us falter and to pull us from doing good. They busy our lives and take time away from us, and fill it with TV and time wasters so that we don't see friends or read or walk or get out into nature. They sap our energy and say things in our ears like, "You are too tired to exercise, why don't you just watch a sitcom and veg tonight?" Or "it's too cold/dark/rainy/windy to go see a friend".

There is a Yin/Yang to everything in this world. Even in worlds that we can't see.
Even though I've never seen an atom or an quark doesn't mean they don't exist.
"For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction."

And so it is with life.

Sometimes the more you are doing good in this life....the more the Dark Ones try to sway you with lost motivation, clouded direction or weak willpower. The force of a rolling snowball of good must be stopped in their eyes. Their glowing red eyes.

They have just one enemy.


So, I give to you this thought....this goodly you make your New Year's Resolutions.

Try to:
Keep being YOU.
Keep trying to offer goodness, friendship, LIGHT and happiness.
Keep HARMONY and the lilting sound of Laughter in your life.
Keep magic and wonder and Faery magic and yes, even winning the jackpot, as a REAL possibility!

Nothing stops the Darkness invading our consciousness like these things.
War, poverty, famine, ill will, hatred, fear are all friends with the Dark Elves.

Try this New Year to side with Healers, Connectors, Friendship, Creativity, Music and a Spirit of Laughter.

The Law of Attraction says, "You get what you Ask for."


"Ask and Dream BIG!" :)

Bright Wishes and Hope for you and yours this Magical New Year 2011!!

Pondering the Faery Ring at Christmas

Faery Tales are all around us. Have we not all had a visit from the Great Elf Himself last night? Did Santa come in some way down your chimney?

I have been pondering faeries, luck, magic and co-incidence for quite some time, and most especially since this ring has come to me.
This 5 petaled ring.

Two petals are purple and 3 petals are silver.
Could it be my 2 husbands and my 3 children? (one of which I lost?)
Could it be my 3 Great Loves and my 2 living children?
Could it be my 5 decades of life?
Could it be the Elements with 2 in particular calling out to me?

I have been trying to follow my intuition..... and more so, lately.

I will tell you one secret thing.
Something MAGIC happened to me.
I left out a chocolate chip cookie "special" for the faeries.
NOT on Christmas Eve.
I left it on a silver tiered cookie tray all by itself.
I broke it in half with the words, "Dear Fae Folk: I'm leaving this cookie special for YOU. I am also leaving some Egg Nog in this wee cup with the words, "Amore" on it for you. I hope you like it."
I turned on the twinkling Christmas lights and I left for the day. I forgot about it.
Later on, when I came home, I saw that the whole cookie was gone!
NOTHING left but a wee crumb or two! The Egg Nog was had hardened like custard on a cold day.
But the cookie was GONE!  
(now of course the first thing I thought of, after the whole leaping for JOY thing was done, was that a mouse may have taken it. I looked. No mouse poop on the tray or the counter. Always a tell tale sign. I mean, if I were a mouse and found a cookie...I'd shit too...but I'd also want the egg nog :)

So....I dared to ask the guys...."Did you eat the cookie on the silver tray?"
"No, what cookie?"
and "Nope, I didn't see a cookie."

Which means ....the Faeries DID take it!

I have followed my intuitions of late and invited my first husband, father of my girls to come to Christmas dinner. He magically accepted. Yesterday, was a day of note. Here were David, Wayne and Talon and my beautiful children all gathered round to be together for a holiday dinner. Opening presents, cracking jokes, sharing some Christmas cheer and a meal with a hearty, "God Bless Us Everyone!"
We ALL got along.
Just like magic.

And I thought that sometimes Faery magic isn't just silver nutmegs and glass slippers...
Sometimes it's about forgiveness and being content to share a life together.
Sometimes it's about being ODD and that it's OK anyway.
Sometimes its' all about surviving the poison apple and gettng lost in the woods of life.
Sometimes it's about coming through the haunted woods to the clearing to see Grandmother's house and shooing the wolf away from the door.

Sometimes it's just about being together, magically, sharing a simple thing, like a meal.

I look at my Faery Ring of Communication and I bless it for letting me see the magic in my own life this Christmas.

I will try to continue to see the Magic in my life...
I will try to see the wonder and enchantment in the simple things...
from a missing cookie on the counter ....
to the blessing of small handful of special people that I call FAMILY.

May much JOY and Enchantment be yours this day!

And if you can't find any....


A True Yule Faery Story :)

Don't you just love it when you get Yule surprises? I had a big one the other day.

Remember when I last wrote to you, I mentioned that I wanted to get back in touch with faeries and my spirituality and feelings of enchantment and wonder with them?

Well, here's a TRUE story:

Harry & I were working a gig at a mall type market last wandering minstrels...caroling...spreading Merriment and Mischief :) We stopped to talk to a vendor. She said she loved anything Celtic, so we played "Flower of Scotland" for her...and then she dropped a couple of Earthen/Pagan hints so we played "Witch of the Westmoreland" for her. She was beaming. Harry then mentioned (I don't know why, except that it's been on our minds...) that I've been reading a book on Faeries. She asked me the name, and when I told her quickly about my Fairytale book discussion club, a look of curiosity spread over her face.

She then asked me, directly and out of the blue: "Is it true you want to speak to faeries?"

This took me aback a bit, but I said, "Why...yes...YES I do."

It look like a loud bell had rung in her ears. She then made a sweeping gesture of taking a ring off her finger and handing it to me. "Then THIS is for YOU."

"You are giving me this ring?" I asked her in disbelief. (remember that I don't know this person, have never met her before these two songs....)

"Yes. I just bought it on eBay. I didn't think it was for me. But it is a ring for Faery Communication. It must be for you. I have only had it (she looked at her watch) not even 20 hours. It is meant for you with my blessings. I bought it from a website where a woman is selling some of her family treasures."

I didn't know what to say, but stammered a hearty "Thank You" and put it on the finger that I've been searching for a special ring for. It fit PERFECTLY.

Just then, in the aisle, a shopper walked by with a large sign of a "Fleur de Lis" and I KNEW that the faeries were at work here! It was MAGIC. (I had just the day before written my blog about the faeries!! They surely work fast!!)

She gave me her card and even though we wanted to talk more, we got pulled away as minstrels to go work the crowds some more.

I wore the ring all day. It IS unique. I got some info from her about it. Here is the info that prompted this person to buy is viewed below as well as a picture of the ring itself:

                         ~FAE COMMUNICATION~

Welcome and thank you for visiting my auction. I can't express the gratitude and affection I feel for all of my wonderful clients, for the friendships we've formed, the things we've shared and the paths we continually explore together. So many of you return again and again and I can't think of a better testament of magical authenticity than that. I've never tried to convince anyone that magic exists because either you believe or you don't but I do invite you to come in, get comfortable, and visit for a spell. Share in my family's rich heritage of magic and enjoy the tippets of wisdom and guidance passed down from generations of witches that you will find in many of my pages. I am always happy to answer questions and to help you along your own magical path, so please visit often, stay long and learn much. All are welcome.

This lovely 'Coven of Blackthorn Fairy Magic Ring' belonged to my Aunt Dariana and was cast with a powerful spell which absorbs and transforms negative energy thereby opening a portal to the Fairy World allowing it's owner to see and hear fairies as well as other magical creatures who reside on a slightly different plane. This spell was cast beneath a full moon and blessed by the Fairy Queen of Blackthorn Forest herself. This lovely ring is graced with a beautiful and unique flower design with three silver petals and two purple petals, it bears no mark inside the band but it is silver tone and is a size 8.  This ring is truly beautiful, unusual and full of magic. Dariana always said that if you want to be successful in communicating with fairies, you should take care to keep your home clean and neat as fairies dislike clutter. She always put honeyed milk and saffron cakes in a window sill for them at night and she had many plants and flowers that fairies are known to love growing in her garden which is a favorite place for fairies to visit. She wore this talisman often when talking to the fairies and I have always been enchanted by it. This ring is charged to amplify one's authentic traits and characteristics. It helps one to recognize and to feel the creativity which is within the self, providing inspiration and imagination in all situations. This amulet can be used to strengthen the memory and to instill faithfulness and loyalty with respect to love, personal affiliations and business relationships. It has been used to assist one in becoming "invisible" in circumstances where one does not wish to be noticed just as fairies are invisible to most humans. It can also be used to awaken both the psychic and the mystical qualities. It has been blessed with moon-infused waters by all thirteen members of The Coven of Blackthorn and is very special. It can be worn during spell casting to relieve stress and for emotional stability and it will bless it's owner with the rare ability to communicate with fairies and other magical creatures who will gradually appear to you with more and more strength and form. My Aunt Dariana, a beautiful Romanian Gypsy Witch who married my uncle while traveling through Europe with her family many years ago. Theirs is truly a fairytale story and one of my favorite family legends! My uncle, who was born into a wealthy and very magical family in York, saw Dariana while she was dancing at a local fair as a very young woman. As soon as their eyes met, he knew that he had to have her. There was never a question that his family would accept her since they also come from a very long line of magical people, so the two families blended and shared their magic with one another. Of course, there were other problems with society in general, but my family overcame all of them and my aunt and uncle lived a very happy life together traveling all over the world. Dariana continued her family’s traditions, developing and practicing her magick until she died several years ago at the age of 104. It is said that her magick was blessed by the Faery Queen of Blackthorn Forest herself who loved Dariana very much and trusted her above all humans. She left most of her jewelry and charged treasures to me with instructions to distribute her beautiful magical possessions all over the world without making it too easy for just anyone to obtain them. Though the opening bid will be far less than it is worth, it will not be won by someone who cannot appreciate the power of this special ring. After much consideration and thought, I think this is the best forum in which to offer it though pictures simply cannot do its beauty justice. Please check the shipping calculator before bidding. I will look forward to meeting the rightful owner of this beautiful amulet very soon. Thank you for visiting my auctions! Brightest Blessings!

Is this WILD or WHAT???

Now here's the OTHER wildness....

1) Harry & I have been trying to remove the house of some of his clutter (it is true that Faeries hate clutter)

2) As some of you know, I have often joked that if I could ask for a Super Power, I would ask for the "Power of Invisibility" and here is a ring with that as one of it's attributes!

3) The ring fits my wedding ring finger perfectly. Our wedding rings need to be re-sized after all these years, and our relationship has grown and changed into a magical thing. Harry already bought himself a magical replacement ring a couple of years back at the ren faire....but I resisted. Recently, I've been looking at rings for myself. What would it be like? Well.....
Something SHINY.
Something DIFFERENT.
Something of meaning to me...
Something that gave me Joy when I looked at it..
...oh...I don't know..".I'd know it when I see it sort of thing"...
But I haven't had ANY luck in the past 6 months of looking. All the rings were
And then this ring comes along! A ring with a history of a love at first sight (much like Harry's & mine). A ring surrounded with hearts (they are on the sides all around the edges) A ring with magic and imbued with the powers and traits I'm looking for, a ring with attributes that protect and dispel negativity around me, in me....

4) A ring that made it's way to me, not by ME buying it for myself, but from a stranger, through a process that was difficult for HER to even get it. And she handed it to me, with grace and panache and generosity. I don't know how much she bid for it. She said that she just HAD to buy it. She was wearing it at the time, and KNEW it wasn't for her. Then I came along....

(Insert Faerie laughter and delightful giggles here)

Also insert my own giggles hither. For I, indeed,  am walking on a CLOUD of merriment right now and have been since Saturday about it!!

(Note to reader: I did write this story once...but then something happened and it got LOST. I couldn't retrieve it. I was bummed. But I was really thinking I needed to write this story and tell this marvelous I "asked the Faeries if I could have permission to tell this tale of Enchantment, so that YOU too might start believing in Faeries and Magic again in your own lives. And the blog has gone smoothly. And...once it was published....the former blog appeared out of nowhere. What funny little tricksters they are. I just needed to ASK first. :)


On this most Magical of Yule Days, I wish you JOYFUL ENCHANTMENT!
I wish you the ability to catch a snowflake on your tongue!
I wish you ability (no matter your capabilities of sight)  to see the Faeries dance, in the snow, in the grass, in your garden this whole new life on.

And it IS a New Year of JOY :)

Bright Blessings to you on this Amazing Magic Winter Solstice!

Faery Stories

I have always believed in faeries. Santa, the Tooth Faery, Elves, Hobbits, Dwarves, Dryads, wind and dust devils, water sprites, salamanders (fire sprites) these are just a few that I have experienced in one way or another.

Living in the country when I was small, gave me ample opportunity to wander and spend a great deal of time by myself in the outdoors."Raise a child up in the way and when they are old, they will not depart from it."

And so it is that of late, I have missed my faery experiences.

You see, I banished them from my home a few years ago. I miss them. I will get to that story....

But in the meantime, I will recant that I have recently started a Fairy Tale and Folk Tale book discussion club. I realized in the reading of my latest acquisition "Faery Tale~ One Woman's Search for Enchantment in a Modern World" exactly what I have done.

This book, written by Signe Pike, jumped out at me when I was thumbing through my book club. I ordered it on a whim because of my new book club I am forming. When I started reading it, I was pleasantly surprised at the parallels in my life and hers, and then found it uncanny all the "co-incidences" this book was showing me.

She believed in faeries as a little girl. (Ok, don't we all?)

She thought, and still does, that there are monsters under her bed. (ahem. This is why I keep my bed on the floor. No monsters. No dangling feet over the precipice of possible annihilation is waiting for me)

She'd had a faery ring in her back yard. (Ok, don't we all? No? I have seen many...)

While she'd never been pricked or prodded by an imaginary being, my daughter Shawna was pestered by "a mean little man" (she said) for quite some time, which is another sign. (Ok, so I'm starting to feel like she's got something to say with this book)

I had an imaginary friend who would appear to me, yet when I finally told my mother his name....he never came to me again. I was very sad for my loss of such a bosom friend at such a young age.

She went to Tulum. I have been to Tulum. (ok, this is still co-incidental as far as I thought, and it was nice to see and remember some of the imagery of this sacred and magical site again. I was there 10 years ago)

She is petrified of the paranormal. So am I. After having some very frightening experiences thrust on me when I was young, I do NOT ghost hunt, use Ouija boards, do seances, or visit cemeteries. I don't want to see dead people and I do not watch any movies that feature any of these elements. My imagination and memory are too full of such things. (ok, this too, may be a common experience...still co-incidental in the kindred thing, but it's starting to feel pretty surreal, like she's talking about me. She's writing my life...)

The writer doesn't like to go to the bathroom at night, feels "presences" in the hallways and in strange or familiar settings. (ok, this is probably universal too....right? anybody with me?)

She has felt a touch and seen out of the corner of her eye a movement or a swift figure. ("muscle twitches, cataracts and shadows", says I, uneasily remembering the same...)

Then I turn the page to Chapter 3. It reads, "Finding Faeries in Upstate New York" (oh god. This really now no longer co-incidental....I'M from UPSTATE NEW YORK)

She then talks about Potters Falls, Ithaca....going to Cortland...Rochester.....fer feck's sake she even mentions "Doug's Fish Fry" all as places to note in her writings....SYRACUSE...(ok ok OK! You have got me! Uncle!!)

She goes to chat with someone, an expert on Faeries. She talks to....Coleen Shaughnessy, and describes her as looking like "Joan of Arc" with her bowl haircut. I had to laugh as a shiver went down my spine. I KNOW Coleen. I've read tarot at psychic faires where she also did readings. Have chatted with her at great lengths. I even had her husband. Mark, come to the Unitarian Universalist Church and talk about his animal medicine readings. (Ok, so are YOU now finding this all to be too much co-incidence too??? Or is it still just me here?)

Then the book goes on to talk about Dark Elves. You know. The ones that live under the stairs. (you mean the ones that used to live at mom & dad's house? Yah, I know them....<shiver>)

This all got me thinking as I am currently enjoying this kindred book.

There are all kinds of stories in my life, just like hers.
There are lots of people who have stories such as this.

There are stories about sweet faeries (Santa, the Tooth Fairy, Elves, House Elves or Brownies, Gnomes and Faery runners who help you ahead of the fact).
There are also not so nice ones (Dark Elves, some House Elves, Bogles, Goblins, Trolls, Pixies...just to name a few)

I have stories.

Maybe the emergence of my need to bring Fairy Tales & Folk Tales back into my life, is a deeper need to bring the faeries back into my life.

Yes, I banished them awhile back. I wanted to banish the harmful, tricksey ones who were tormenting us here at Squirrel Haven. I didn't mean to banish the good ones. I had no choice.

While it has been quieter for the last few years....things only go walking for short periods of time, and there is a house sprite who still lives here and helps us from time to time...

I miss the sightings.
I miss their humor.

I don't miss the pinches tho.

So I may go on a quest to bring them back into my house.....

You have to weigh the odds on these things.

I think that bats, and spiders and snakes are all good creatures. I think most faeries are also good creatures.

But I don't think I want any of the above in my house. They can be disruptive, frightening and disturbing.

I think some critters are best left outside.


I shall go outside and make my peace with them and look for them in my life.....

and I will....

in the meantime....

ponder taking down the horseshoes over the front and back door.

Merlyn's Commitment Updates Week 2

Last night, I finally made myself a be able to check off things as I accomplished them. I made it on EXCEL, which I don't use over much and don't understand all too well....but I played :)

And it was kinda fun. From the blog I wrote to you, 2 weeks ago, I developed my chart to reflect my daily, weekly, monthly, yearly progress. I printed off 3 months ahead so that I could get to it.

Now, with taking into consideration the fact that I started this on Dec. 1st  (read: Christmas :), my laptop power supply cord died rendering it useless to me in my comfy chair where I love to write (but thanks to Linda Hodge one is on it's way to me even as we speak) and also the fact that we've had a ton of snow to work with....
I feel that overall I'm doing A-OK :)

Here's the run down:

Sentence Journal: Got forgotten several times. Altho I HAVE been writing.

Walk Monty: ZERO. We have 4 feet of snow and no sidewalk. Monty plays a lot either in the snow or inside with us, so he's getting HIS exercize...but I am seriously thinking of making this goal YOGA for me, a bit every day until we get to spring...just cuz.

Sort/Organize some area (big or small): Doing well with this. Cleaned off my desk totally yesterday and got all my invoicing and sales tax and filing DONE. Am discouraged about other areas of the house...but one foot in front of the other...

Show some love to someone: This one is really pretty easy to do, what with email, and Facebook, and daily interactions on a personal level. I do love. This one is showing me that I DO.

Organize/Write on the Books: I have been able to do a wee bit every day. If only add a story or put one thing in order. I long for some time to sit and spend on this project. Maybe after Christmas there will be more time.


Haiku Monday: Going great. LOVE writing the Haikus! My only problem is...sometimes I forget it's Monday :)

Post Commitments Update: Voila!

Spa Night (Manicure/Pedicure/Deep Condition Hair/Facial/Full body Scrub & Oil);
Well, I get partial marks for this one. Love my hot baths every night. Bubbles too. The nail thing eludes me. Just don't get around to it in the evening. How'ere, I DID (to my credit) go shopping and bought some amazing and wonderful and decadent items for this program FOR MYSELF :) I bought a delicious Lemon-Mint facial (it's a lovely GREEN face and it smells so awesome:). I also bought some Lavendar bubble bath and a nice new scrubbie and some vanilla body wash. Taking a bath has been luxurious.
Last night, I made a point of really caring for myself. I washed my body like a lover would. All my chubbs and wrinkles and flaws became beautiful to me. And I realized....
I AM a babe. (I'm a fat babe.... but a babe no less :) After my luscious bath and facial in the tub, I dried off a bit and used baby oil on my entire body (sans face...that is only touched with Oil of Olay, which I've been using faithfully since I was 20). Then into jammies to let the oil baste me and marinate :) I read for 10 minutes, said my prayers... and fell asleep instantly.


Go to Chiropractor:  Check! Dec. 1st and needed it.

Started a Fairy Tale/Folk Tale Book Discussion Club: Check! Altho, it did get postponed once due to snow, and the date reduex was also hampered by the next storm...I met with Harry and freind Nick and we ate cookies and drank hot chocolate and read outloud "Hansel & Gretel" and picked the story apart like hungry birds in a dark forest :) It was really satisfying! We let Nick pick the next story (it was his reward for being the only one making it to the Storybook night..) and he picked "Little Red Riding Hood."
(an aside here is that Nick is in our family. He used to be my daughter Jesse's bf. It...ah...didn't work out. :) BUT, Nick remains. He is a dear friend, Monty's uncle, and Nick feels like my son. I think he needs us, and he seems to be enjoying this time with us. He didn't have a good experience in school. Labeled learning disabled, and not able to read or write well for a long time, I am impressed with Nick, his reading skills outloud the other night, his conceptual ideas, his depth of spirit and his intelligence. I would do this Story book Club for him and me if for no other reason :)

Make a Date with a Friend: Check! Kristen Eberhardt Izzo and I went to Skaneateles on Dec. 4th and had a wonderful day together, chatted with friends in Dickens', we went shopping and visiting and then wound up eating and drinking at the Sherwood Pub. A must do again SOON :) Love her and my time all day that day!

Creative Circle: nope. Did it in November 7 takers and it was FUN! But this month of Dec. is too fraught with things on the weekends to manage....maybe will start this up again in Feb. after our trip south.

Song- Brush up or Learn a new one: Check! Can you say "Christmas Songs?"

The rest of the things on my list have yet to come up in time.
(i.e. Massage in March, Professional Pedicure in April...)

but I will start my dreaming of my annual goals: A weekend retreat for ME has been added....along with the visit to a Sacred Place. They may go together...they may be 2 seperate things. We shall see.

But all in all....I give me a 90 or an "A" for effort and an "A+" because it feels like I am starting to really make headway!
Enjoy your day!
Do something for YOU today.
Merlyn says "It feels wonderful and you deserve to take care of YOU first."

Just remember the Mantra: "If it's going to's up to ME." 

Signing off with wishes for YOUR accomplishments of all sizes to come true too :)

A Real Life Christmas Angel Sighting

I feel like I've been in "The Christmas Carol" story and have just reaped the benefits of a wonderful mysterious and generous benefactor. A real life Christmas Angel I have seen and felt her presence.

As a minstrel who has chosen to spend my life at the whim of a Muse and enjoy the life of adventure, this also means that we are often at the whims of Mercy as well. Gigs come and gigs go. Bills still pile high and vehicles break down. You pray you don't get sick. You just want to do what the Gods have given you to be yourself, to work hard, to play music, to love others, to share, to live.
Usually sans insurance. But this is the life of a minstrel living by the seat of our pants. Ask any of us.

And people do ask us..."So what do you DO for a living?" "Don't you have a REAL job?"
They are amazed that this is what you do. They don't understand it, but are curious just the same. One rich lady told me that, "Well, if you aren't putting any money into your savings for retirement in stocks and bonds, then you are in the wrong profession, honey."
I still see her sitting at my shows though....

Some days are bliss playing in the sunshine. Days of wine and cheese or cakes and ales. Fairy tale worlds of costuming, unusual places with golden accents and flying banners.

There are other days of awful gigs, rude audiences, fights with your stage mate, car problems and playing in the rain
But no Floyd of "Dr. Teeth and Electric Mayhem" says, you "just play the gig man".

And life is good. It works if you keep at it. It's fun and happy for the most part.

Oh, to be honest,  sometimes you feel like a failure when you see your brothers and sisters with their big houses and fine cars and fancy lives. You wonder what the words, "disposable income" would feel like.
You admire and envy your family and friends their trips to Europe or places warm and tropical that they visit yearly like clockwork.

But you keep on keeping on, and you tell yourself that this too, takes integrity in the face of all odds.

Until something happens that starts affecting your life.

My sight, as some of you know, has become an issue. I've always had bad eyesight. Got my first pair of glasses in 3rd grade. Sister Mary Benevolent saw me having a hard time seeing. She told me to move my desk to where I could see the best...anywhere in the whole room.
So I pulled it up flush to the chalkboard.
"This is perfect" I said. wasn't long after that, I was taken to the eye doctor....

Since then, over the years, I've loved my glasses...have worn contacts at faire gigs. No worries. When I found out that I had cataracts in both eyes 2 years ago, I was devastated. I didn't want to be a blind old bat.Didn't have the insurance or the elusive disposable income to get them fixed.
"Why don't you just have the surgery?" someone with insurance asked me.

Ok, well, taking the arm of a handsome man or kindly friend, is always nice....but trying to see simple take out signs or order at a drivethru, not to mention, driving at night has started to suck.

I had a boon 2 years ago with the gift of some of our music fans on the last day of faire at the last show of the day. They gave me a wonderful "starter" gift of money to start the fund for eye surgery.
You see, for those of us without the gift of  fairy tale Godmother insurance, each eye will be approx. $3500. That's a lot of dough to save. To have someone cut open your eye. And rightly so. They deserve it. It's just hard to come up with, meet your bills, cover day to day surprises, holidays and still eat.
But save I have.
I am a Scottish lass after all.

I am also a Pirate.

Harry & I have been doing Pirate shows all this last summer and I managed to save $100 off the top of each library Pirate show we did. 14 altogether! So I added to my "Blind Bat Merlyn Fund" a hearty $1400 which came directly from my "Pirate Eye Patch" fund from pirate gigs :)
But I still needed to save more for it.

I did not even get into this fund to rob, when Monty, our dog, was hit by a car. I promised myself that I wouldn't touch it.
Through saving, scraping and by the grace of God good friends and fans...we have all but paid for Monty's impromtu and necessary surgery. I was going to start saving again for my eye surgery after we got the dog's bill paid off. Which may be by the end of the year. I am happy about it and thankful.

And now there's Christmas. I'm not complaining. I love my life. I love my home and my family and friends and I am writing and working diligently to keep the home fires burning.

So, I decided a couple of days ago that I would change the title of my special savings for my eye surgery, from "The Blind Bat Merlyn Fund" to "Hawkeye Merlyn Fund" in the Power of Attraction theory.
I thought, I don't want to be blind....I want to SEE.
My title for my savings should reflect this belief.

Well, yesterday I had the shock of my life.

I opened a Christmas card from a dear friend.
A sweet card with pictures of her kids was included.
There was a note which read:

"Dear Marilyn,
This is my gift to you to help you in your journey to better vision. I wish I could help you get both eyes done, but I hope this will at least have one. You have always been a true and constant friend and you will always have my love. Wives and Mothers do for everyone else. This is for YOU.
Merry Christmas!!"

There was a check for $1000. attached.

I burst into tears.

Unbelieving, and yet, so racked with appreciation for this generosity made me cry for nearly an hour. This check, with the rest that I have already saved, will meet the goal for my worst eye to be fixed.
My "Pirate Eye" is my left one and the worst of the two. It is nearly worthless.Totally occluded.

I can't thank her enough for the gift of sight that I will have when all is said and done.
Of course, my prideful nature didn't want accept this kind of outrageous generosity, the Puritan in me said, "No, it's too much. You shouldn't accept it"
But then I realized how much I love her, and that, she too, loves me, I would do it for her, if I had it, and it was given from a loving heart, from a wonderful spirit and a good friend who wants the very best for me.

I truly have been blessed by the Gods with a Angel of Christmas Present.

As art imitates life....
I find that nothing satisfies me more to say,  then the words of both Tiny Tim of "The Christmas Carol" and of the Angel Clarence in "It's a Wonderful Life."

Tiny Tim's words of his grateful heart are mine with his innocent and sincere,  "God Bless us Everyone."

And even more so,
I heartily feel the words in George Baileys' book, "The Adventure's of Tom Sawyer" written by Clarence the Angel (who just got his wings)

"No man is a failure who has friends".

For with this... and nothing else, I am rich indeed.

A Pregnant time of Waiting

This is a time of waiting.
The season of waiting.

Children are waiting for Christmas and Santa to come.

People of the Jewish faith wait for the last day of Hannukah (today) to come and the last candle to be lit.

Shoppers wait for their Christmas paycheck to come in so they can finally get out and buy the gifts they've been longing to go shop for.

Businesses wait for the big rush.

Mary waits for the birth of the baby Jesus.

Pagans wait for the birth of the baby Sun God.

We all wait for the snow to stop falling so we can finish shoveling...

Some of us wait for the snow plow driver to go by-so we can dig out the bottom of the driveway by the road- after he packs it back in.

We all wait for the new year, good things to come, Peace in the world, Good will towards men.

I wait for Harry to find time to help me finish cleaning and organizing the living room and office area.

Monty can't wait to go out and play in the snow.

Then Monty can't wait to come back in again.:)

But I don't like to wait.

I've been plugging away at my commitments I've made for myself.
Not waiting any longer for them to magically happen.
Every day, I work a wee bit on my writings, either making new ones, or trying to sort out the glut of what I've already written and get it into some semblance of order.

Funny..... I wait and put off doing the sorting, but when I finally sit down to actually do it (when was this poem/blog written? Where does it go in the list? Which book does it go in? The Pirate book? The Poems Book? The Daily Life book? The Minstrel Book?) I find that the time passes quickly and I never have enough time on it!

Then I put it away and have the damndest time trying to make myself get back to it again. Which is why I try to do a wee bit every day.

If I wait for something to happen, it's like a watched pot that never boils. It takes fecking forever!
I would rather roll up my shirt sleeves, and just do it, knowing full well, that it's gonna be a big disaster for awhile and will make more work for myself, but that the end product will be fantastic. (Or at least better than it is at the current moment.)

Last night I was reading "Staying Healthy with the Seasons" by Elson M. Haas, M.D.
It's a health food book of the change of seasons.

There I was, gone to bed early, reading, lying in bed with a back spasm (shoveling and moving couches helped inspire that) and I was reading about the Winter Season and the changes on the body that it brings.

It said that "back troubles are a common occurrance." (I agreed whole heartedly as my lower back winced in agreement).

"Ear troubles too are frequent" (Harry has been having a plugged ear for the last 3 weeks and has been treating himself and while it is better it's not healed yet. Oh the ilk of the sound man and musicians' life. A plugged ear)

Ok, so the book is making more and more sense, I thought...and turned the page.

"Moaning and Groaning are a mainstay of this weather". (just then I heard Talon coming in from work on the 2nd shift, driving home in a storm...and with a moan he opened the door downstairs..then thought about when he gets up in the morning and he walks to the bathroom like he's had major surgery during the night.... yah, this book is making a LOT of sense right now).

All seemingly caused by a Water Element Imbalance.(Chinese Medicine)

Let's face it. Water in heaps and drifts is sitting all around us now in the Northeast. We've had about 45' of snow already and it's not even "technically" winter yet! (that's 1/3 of our annual snowfall by the way)

I vowed to listen to this book a bit more.

How to fix these problems?

REST....It's sort of the hibernating bear theory.
The time is NOW for rest. Of course, we humans push ourselves beyond our sensible earthen caveman selves right now, shopping, drinking, feasting, staying up late, going out into the weather. It's really not good for us at this time of year...yet ...that's what we DO.

Movement- as in YOGA. Try to move and stretch. Now is not the time of running or brisk aerobic activity. I can barely walk down to the store as the sidewalks are not plowed. But it is a time of gentle stretching and keeping your muscles healthy and yourself limber and not stiff from the cold.

Stay WARM. By keeping yourself warm, you help eliminate a lot of joint problems and ease arthritis if it is starting or something that you suffer from.

Good nutrition. Featuring winter vegetables, less fruit (it's technically not available to the real seasonal man right now). We should be eating more fish, less meat. We should be drinking MORE WATER.
Grains, beans, whole wheat pastas should be a staple of our diet now. These are what we should be eating now for the appropriate seasonal diet.

But are we?
Fuck no.

We are in the middle of the holiday season! There is candy on everyone's desk, at the bank, handouts at the mall, there is an abundance of alcohol, sodas to mix them with, burgers on the fly, and let's not forget the parties with all the chips, dip and treats that abound.

I mean really.....
Here's a question for you.
When's the last time you had a really, good and pleasant shit?
(Constipation is another form of waiting :)

Like I said.....

This is the season of waiting.

It is a pregnant time full of ideas, thoughts, and a veritable time of patience needed

We are all like a heavy, pregnant mother, absentmindedly rubbing her swollen belly and
looking at the calendar.

So, I will charge myself....and remind you, my friends, to not be so hard on yourself at this time of year.

Take care of yourself!

While that next drink may be what you think you want, maybe a glass of water is what you really NEED.

While that goodie you have in your hand may be what your spirit is craving, it may not be what your body is craving.

Take care of yourself as if you were carrying around a newborn inside of you.
We women eat better, stay away from harsh things and pamper ourselves when we are pregnant.

But I charge that YOU are the sweet newborn.... within you.
YOU are the important one waiting to be born.
Or reborn.
Or to find a life that's worth living in some new way.
Or to express something within you that is now ready to be set free.

Be good to the wee child within YOU.

The spirit of the Gods that is within each of US.

And maybe....

just maybe....

that's what the real season is about.

So... swaddle yourself up in love, feed yourself as purely as you would a wee bairn, treat yourself to new experiences like a mother taking a child to a new place of learning.

And for God's sake.

Take a Nap.

Winter Doggy

Doggy in your winter coat
Bundled warm against the chill
You with your paws of ice and snow
And white Santa beard on your chin

Anxious to go out and play
Snuzzling, muzzle down in snow
Romping, playing, running deep
He cares not how the wind does blow

But wait! Hear the snow plow run
Dropping blades at the corner
Chickadees make their play for
What the winter has to offer

Shovel deep and shovel often
That’s what my men folk say
But I am safe and toasty
Warming the puppy in from play

Bursting in from adventures cold
He laughs as he runs inside
Prancing, dancing, shaking snow
Here to snuggle with me safe beside

Christmas lights they shine and twinkle
Baby in your manger there
Heavy laden branches full
On limbs so newly bare

Family round and family far
Hot chocolate cures what ails
But nothing in this world compares
To a warm snuggled puppy with a cold winter tail

A Committment Update

Hey Ho friends~

I've been doing quite well at some of the committments that I charged myself with last week.

But first the news:
Late Sunday eve brought a disturbing phone call from Shawna's staff at her residence. Shawna had fainted out of the blue, her blood pressure was higher than normal, and they were taking her to Emergency room. I offered to come, but they said that the weather was awful (it was) and for us to stay put at home safe. The overnight staff was there and the relief worker was taking her to just have her checked over for a safety measure. She seemed fine, but better safe than sorry.

Of course, it was harder to stay home than it would've been to go out in the snow storm, but I did stay put.
Does that make me an awful mother? Or a mother learning to trust her daughter's staff? I don't know. I chatted to both the staff and Shawna several times, and had them call me when they made a decision, one way or the other. At 3am, I fumbled for the phone on the side of our bed, and answered the call that Shawna was to be discharged. Nothing conclusive.

I just took Shawna in for a recheck today at her primary care doctor, with the same results. Nothing conclusive. We all agree that she needs more water, more exercise and less Chinese food (Shawna has a penchant for it...).

I have her home with me now for a couple of days, to rest and have some downtime.
My thought is also that she has been so busy, since she moved, and on a new medication (altho, fainting or light headedness is not a symptom) that these things may all play a part. I also thought I would see some sort of a bump in reality from her after her moving out. It may be lodging physiologically, rather than emotionally.
Who knows? We will all watch her. The doctor said that this sometimes happens to young girls...there's a name for the fainting and dizziness...and it will pass. Ok then....

Back to Committments~

I will say that I haven't written as much as I would've liked...after my last blog, I heard some "sparking" on my laptop. In seeking out the sound, I found that my power cord and power box had shit the bed. I booted down, and unplugged and have started the process to track down a matching unit. It hasn't been an "off the rack" adventure. I love to write on my laptop. I don't have to compete for my own desk this way...

The progress on our living room/office is slow and I have been trying not to bitch at Wayne for it. He assures me that he will find time to finish it soon. The scaffolding he put up to "sort" is still in place....and the pile seems the same to me. I endeavor to remind him that his desk and work area will be a thing of beauty...should we ever find them...and until then...I share my desk and computer with him for the duration...and wait for him to find time to work on it...while he is busy doing other important things. Sigh. But I still love him...and I WILL NOT back down. I am just trying to either do it myself or cut him out breaks and encourage him to help with his stuff when he can. You really can't touch a hoarder's stuff. It is a taboo. But he does see the wisdom in my ideas and works on it when he can. He will be amazed and happy with it when it's done.

Hurt myself yesterday horsing my couch and love seat around and washing walls in there..(I was channeling my mother :). I waited till he was gone on a job.... and I worked really hard to have it all done by the time that Wayne got back home. I did NOT want to have him see me in mid-point progress of two tore up rooms only to have me get bitched at for touching his things. (Hoarders are so touchy like that). How'ere, I DID manage to have it all done, cleaned up and me sitting down (now with a back spasm) and having a well deserved Rum & Coke when he came in. He didn't say much. But LATER he did say that he liked having the couch in the front room instead of the love seat. It will make it more social in there. And be able to fit all three of us when watching movies, instead of us doing a coin toss.

I have proceeded on doing something everyday on my home to make it a more loving and happy and organized place, as I promised myself.
The holiday decorations are up. Home cooked meals are a given and regular experience.
I have been pretty affectionate and am taking better care of myself.

I am proud of some of the changes, seeing my desires come to fruition, and also taking some time for myself. The holiday decorations make me happy, and driving up at night to see the porch lights on makes it really feel like a storybook house too....

Speaking of which.... my idea for the Fairy Tale book club has had several enthusiastic takers for the start up meeting...which would have been last night.... had the Snow Queen decided not to drive her sleigh to town.
We will try again next week and bake more goodies...that'll teach her. :)

Till then,
Enjoy your holiday dreams and may your wishes come true :)

Dare to Suck

Ever since I was a wee lass...I have felt different than everyone else. Oh, I know we are all different...but I really have felt different. Odd. Like a square peg in a round hole, sort of odd.

Being a country girl from a farm, then bused into town to go to Parochial school with the "townies" didn't help my feelings of uniformity with others either. Neither did getting put back into public school and being a "newbie" with the kids of my own community when I was already 12 and knew none of my local neighbors because I had been going to another school since the bus came at age 5.

Not an ugly duckling, but not beautiful either, I tried to fit in.
To no avail. I have always, and will always be different and an odd bird

In my teenage years, I will admit that drugs, sex and alcohol all helped with the acceptance thing. You could relate and experience together. But still...sometimes no one "got me" or my way of thinking.
Oh sure, there were a few busom friends who were kindred (thank the Gods for that) and I learned that I could make my way with being different.

So I started playing guitar. My mother (who also played) said I could learn on her guitar if I wanted to play. An old Gibson with strings so far away from the neck they had their own zip code. She was right handed. I am left handed. She tuned the guitar, handed me an old Mel Bay guitar book and said, "Call me if you have a problem" and went off to hang sheets on the line in the summer breeze.

I opened up the old case, carefully and gingerly lifted out the old guitar. I picked it up and held it just like the book, even though I was left handed, I held it right handed. It felt right. After all, the nuns had already taught me how to be ambidextrous by denying my left hand for so long. I learned where to place my fingers. It HURT. It was awkward. But something pushed me on. The need to have something of my OWN. Something that could be all ME.

I played and sang in my room for months and months, not coming out or bringing it out.
Too shy.
Too SCARED to be noticed...yet desiring it all the same.

One day, I braved the world and brought out the guitar and sat down in the kitchen and played a song for my mom and dad. My mother listened, sort of, and my father was all ears. I dared to suck.

Mom gave me a couple of pointers and back to my room I went.

Over the years, I've sang in my room, at parties and my teenage friends encouraged me (well, some did...others told me to shut the fuck up. But I know they were only I probably did suck around the edges.)

I played with family, friends, solo. I played when I was happy, sad, crying with tears running down my cheeks, I've played when I was bored or angry.
This is why there are Love ballads and Murder Songs.
They HELP you vent.

I've played with both of my husbands, and with friends at sessions, and friends at faire. I can't follow very well on my guitar, the looks of peoples hands on their guitar necks look like Greek to must be a musical dyslexia or something. I tend to lead and have people come along with me for a ride.
With my drum, tho, I feel I can go anywhere musically....from Celtic to Led Zepplin. I love it all.

The one thing I have learned "Dare to Suck".
Yes, it sounds awful at first. Maybe playing with someone you aren't used to, doesn't feel quite as comfortable as ones who know you well....but do it anyway.

If you walk out on stage, believing you can do it, you WILL do it.
Even if you think you will fuck it up. Even if you think you are a sham. Just do it.


Because people want to be entertained.
I realized that you don't have to be the best player in the world, or the best singer...(look at Dylan or Mick Jagger, for instance). All you have to be is ENTERTAINING.

People also love a spectacle. So if you do fuck up...wash it off, laugh it off, incorporate it and keep on keeping on.

I have a theory about some of the worlds best guitarists. Some of them aren't what you'd call handsome men. Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, Frank Zappa...I'm sure I could continue to name guys who play phenomenal but who aren't stunning models on magazine covers.

They too, I believe, sat in their teens...not getting the girls....not fitting in...not being understood.

But they had a need to BE.
A need to express.
And because they dared to suck...they turned out to be HOT.

They let people see their inner person.

And it WAS beautiful.

Pierogi Lasagna Recipe and Medicine Wise Men

It has come to my attention (by several of you) that you would like the recipe to my concotion of Potato Pierogi Lasagna!

Loosely (cuz that's how I roll..... :)


1 box of Mrs. T's Potato & Cheddar Pierogis (use 2 boxes if you want to make a bigger batch)
1 pkg fresh Italian sausage- bulk (but links would work if you cut them small)
1 fresh green pepper
1 package fresh mushrooms
1 can of sauce. I use Hunts. It's yummy and cheap. :)
1 pkg of shredded mozzerella.

Brown the sausage and drain it.
 Take a casserole dish and grease it lightly with Pam.
Put in a layer of frozen pierogis.
Layer of Sausage.
Layer of sliced green pepper
Layer of sliced mushrooms.
Layer of sauce.
Layer of cheese.

Bake at 350 for about an hour.

Yum it up. I got the "official Yummy-do" alert from both the guys on this one.

Today's business:

I felt like I ran ragged all day. Got Shawna and took her (and me) to see Dr. Quinn the Medicine Man.

He's our Chiropractor. And he is a genius. He's also a Kiniesiologist and works with reflexology.

I don't know if you've ever had an "adjustment" at a Chiropractors or not, but I am a firm believer in RELIEF.
Dr. Quinn is kewl because even though he's a big dude, he uses an instrument to give a "measured dose" of adjustment. It's kind of like a wee little jack hammer that he can manipulate in one shot to your spine, neck, feet...wherever you have issues.

My issues are ALWAYS my wrists (12 string guitar :)
My lower back and tailbone (Coccyx broken at age 11)
and now my right ankle (parades)
and sometimes I have a rib head out and my clavicle...
You lay down on a bench which can raise and lower. He uses some power massage units to loosen up your
muscles before the actual adjustments. He's chatty...uses aroma therapy oils on particularly painful areas, which does 2 goes right to the pain...and bonus is you smell like you came from an herbary the rest of the day.

After you are "back in place" he sends you across the hall to Joanne, the massage therapist, who works specifically on your "trigger points" and all the areas the Dr. just adjusted.
Can you say "HEAVEN?"


Both Shawna and I enjoyed our visit and I am vowing to try to incorporate a monthly visit to see the Medicine Man.
It's cheaper to keep you well....than to get you back to health after a sickness.
I vote wellness.

I also bought the ingredients I needed for my "spa" night ritual that I am going to start for ME.

And one more thing...

I don't have room at Squirrel Haven for a tree. Haven't for a couple of years. It's a cozy bungalow with cozy people.
But no room for a tree.
So I have punted this holiday.

I have put up all my holiday decorations by my front door, complete with a mini table top tree and the Nativity barn that my first husband Dave and I made for our girls.

With some wee Christmas lights.

I think Baby Jesus likes to look at them twinkle.

I know I do.


the Three Wise Men are there bearing gifts...
and hey!

One of them is GOLD.

It's for NYSEG.

Till I muse again~
Your Bard