Creativity Challenge Prompt

One of the things I do for the Discord server that I moderate is I’m in charge of what used to be the “Weekly Writing Prompt” challenge.   That recently expanded to include creativity of all sorts.

This week’s challenge is…

Create an additional card to add to a tarot deck you own.
(Example: A 23rd Major Arcana card or a 0 card to add to one of the Minor suits.)
Use any form of artistic expression you wish to create your response.
(Ex: drawing, painting, digital artwork, collage, scrapbooking, etc.)

Now, I need to precursor the results of this project by saying that I haven’t picked up a pen, pencil, or marker with the intent to draw anything in… it’s been at least five, maybe closer to eight years.   And I haven’t picked up a paint brush in at least ten or twelve years, maybe more.   So… I don’t think I did too bad, all things considered.

HungryThe Hungry

There was once a dragon that pissed off a wizard and as a result was transformed into a flower that resides within the wizard’s back yard.

If you find yourself visiting an old rickety house some day with a haint blue door and shutters the color of poppy flowers, check the back yard. Are there mangled and rusted metal parts half buried out there? If so, take care not to walk too close to the flowers.

And keep your shoes on!

 

#TarotTubersAtoZ (non)VR to The Hermit’s Cave

Simon over at The Hermit’s Cave on YouTube did a sort of quiz type video called #TarotTubersAtoZ the other day, and although I don’t make videos, I am a part of that community and so I decided to go ahead and do a response here.

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So here we go…

A – Age:  31 for the next few months
B – Book (Favourite): Little Brothers by Rick Hautala
C – Career you wanted to be when you were a kid and what it actually is now: As a kid, I wanted to be a librarian.  Libraries are just… so amazing. I’ve always thought so. As for now… I have an education in horticulture and botany, which I use in three of my part-time jobs (working on a farm, advisor/teaching position in a nursery/greenhouse, and working for a landscaping company in the summer).  I also work part time as an attendant at a gas station, and part time as a nail tech in a Vietnamese salon. Aside from this I also run a home business where I design and sell jewelry, sell my nature photography, and work as a tarot reader for a handful of clients on the side (the last one is done either online or at meeting places when in person… NOT in my home).
D – Dream: Stability and security.  I want to be at a point where those things are no longer in question or at risk.
E – Essential item:  Comfortable shoes.  I hate wearing shoes, so they damn well have to be comfortable.
F – Favorite RWS Deck: Bianco Nero (not a classic RWS, but a clone.)  If we’re talking just the general RWS system, then it’s a tie between the Tarot of the Hidden Realm and the Stolen Child Tarot.
G – Gold or Silver: Silver
H – Height: 5′ 10″
I – Ideal day:  Get up early and go hiking. Take a nap in the woods before coming back. Some dinking around in the garden digging in the dirt and caring for my plants.  Pizza for dinner.  Relax with Gideon.
J – Joke (funniest):  I have NO idea.  I’m not particularly good at jokes.
K – Kid(s):  None. I think they’re wonderful as long as they belong to someone else.
L – Living arrangements: I own my fourth floor condo and live within it with my twin sister, who pays me rent that goes towards the mortgage.
M – Marseille deck (favorite): Le Tarot de Marseille par Pole Ka
N – Nicknames:  Leaf, Twist, Niner
O – Oracle (favorite):  Faerie’s Oracle by Brian Froud
P – Passionate about:  nature, the rain, tarot, photography, creativity, Gideon
Q – Quote (favorite): “Creative activity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.” – Arthur Koestler
R – Relationship status: Gideon is my partner and my Dominant. We are monogamous.
S – Season (favorite):  Autumn.  I love the smells of autumn and the shift to relief from the summer heat.
T – Tarot (first and last) –  My first tarot deck was the Celtic Circle Tarot.  The most recent to enter my collection (as of writing this post, anyway) is the Oriens Tarot, which arrived on Friday.
U – Upset (what upsets you most):  Injustice. Closed-mindedness. Senseless disrespect. Willful stupidity.
V – Vlog (which are you most proud of. And which is your most popular): I don’t have a vlog.  On my blog I am oddly most proud of the kaleidoscope posts that helped us heal from that dark time in our past.  My most popular post is apparently the 75 Questions post that I did last July.
W -Weakness: Self destructive impulses.
X – X Rated (tell us something naughty you’ve done):  *clears his throat* I once stuck my dick into tub of soft serve ice cream on a dare.
Y – Yesteryear (your favorite year so far and why):  I don’t have one.  I have difficulty with my memory due to a head injury when I was younger.  What memories I have are fragmented and I depend on those around me to assist me in keeping them (as well as keeping them in chronological order).  Without having a written record of it, there’s very little I can actually state happened in any specific year.
Z -Zen (what you do to relax and stay calm):  meditate, sleep, play games on my phone, talk to Gideon, lie in the bottom of the tub with the shower running

#10UnusualThingsAboutMe (non)VR to The Hermit’s Cave

Recently, Simon over at the Hermit’s Cave on YouTube did a video about “10 Unusual Things About Me” that, just this last Saturday he revisited in his Cuppa Catchup and Cards live to expand on.   I loved this idea, although I’ve had a LOT of trouble coming up with ten.  But, I did finally make it, so I thought I’d share.

Suc

1)  My absolute favorite treat is Orange Vanilla Swirl ice cream while eating Cheetos Puffs. 

Contrary to popular belief, this has nothing to do with the color.   I just like the two flavors together.  It’s really good.

2)  I am a non-theist.

A lot of people have a hard time understanding how I can be a Pagan but also a non-theist.  Essentially, I worship the earth and the energies of the earth, focusing specifically on the energies of creation, evolution, and balance.

As for why…. I grew up in a Wiccan/Buddhist household, and was raised under those faiths, but the deity aspect always felt unnecessary to me. I don’t feel a connection to deity or even a kinship to the idea of deity. I never have, even as a child.  It just didn’t feel right. So once I left my parent’s home, I phased that aspect out of my practice in order to better fit my faith to me.

3) I can whisper, but I cannot speak.

I am mute due to injury to my trachea and larynx that happened during a home invasion.  I cannot whisper loudly, but I can whisper.  It does not carry well, and from what I understand it’s pretty inscrutable over the phone (it just sounds like a disrupted exhale), but in a quiet and intimate setting?  It works.

4) I prefer to do my divination outdoors and barefoot.

This is about balancing my energy, as I get a far better connection to the earth and its grounding energies if my feet are not encased in shoes.  It’s not necessary, but it is my preference.

5)  I am 100% certain of the existence of the Fae.

This is not a belief, but a certainty. The Fae are not tiny beautiful humanoid creatures full of love and light. If you are interested, take a look at the Faeries’ Oracle by Brian Froud and you will get a small sampling idea of the vast array of different Fae in the world.

6)  I put potato chips inside my meat sandwiches.

Plain potato chips, sour cream and onion chips, barbecue chips, Doritos (cool ranch or regular cheese), Sun Chips….. there’s a variety of different kinds I’m willing to use.  But I like them IN the sandwich so that I get the crunch and flavor when I take a bite.

7) For public safety, I cannot listen to public radio while driving.

I have synesthesia, which means that there are some wires crossed in my brain that (in my case) causes my senses to sometimes interpret sounds as (most commonly) physical sensation, and occasionally as having a flavor or scent.

When driving, I listen to pre-screened music from off of my phone that I know I will not have negative reactions to.  Public radio does not give me that ability to pre-screen the songs, which means when listening to it I run the risk of having an uncomfortable or even painful twitch or reaction to something in the music (or commercials, for that matter) that could cause me to end up having an accident.

8) Even though I am mute, I don’t speak ASL (sign language).

Honestly?  I did try to learn it at first, but it’s pretty damn useless, or at least feels that way to me.  I don’t know any deaf people, and nobody I know or run across has a clue how to speak or understand ASL.   So, because of that I haven’t bothered to learn it.

Instead, I tend to communicate through typing words into a document on my phone or  using text-to-speech apps, and I carry a small memo pad with me the majority of the time in case my phone’s battery dies.

9) I have leaves on the bottom of my feet.

I used to be a cutter, which was one of the ways I dealt with negative emotions and thoughts directed for myself.  I did not cut my arms or legs, or anything like that.  Instead I had a “cutting kit” of Xacto blades and first aid supplies, and I used these tools to cut vine and leaf designs into the bottoms of my feet, which scarred into a permanent (if incomplete) scarification.

A handful of years ago, I stopped cutting as a way to deal with emotions, and I gifted my cutting kit to you for safekeeping.  I have no doubt you still have it.  I have not done any cutting on myself since.

10) I deconstruct my food.

This is something I have always done, but I’m not sure when it started or why.  This is especially prevalent when it is food that I enjoy and want to savor.   I like to take the food apart (usually with my hands) and enjoy each element of it individually.  If it’s something I’ve had before, I will then organize which part I eat first to last depending on what I like least to the part I like most.

Dream Share – The Need For Green

I am in a barren and dry place. A city. But there’s no trees and there’s no grass or green. It’s all brown and tan and dry and dusty.

I see a tree in the distance with a tall trunk and lush leaves. It grows out of the sidewalk.

I run towards it, eager to get closer. When I get to the tree, I wrap my arms around it in joy…. only to discover that it’s a fake tree. My disgust and disappointment is a heavy weight on my soul as I pout up at the trunk.

Then, the scenery changes, and I am Keeper of the Green size (about an inch or two tall), and I am sitting in the soil of a potted plant on the windowsill in an old woman’s kitchen. I feel I am glowing in contentment and happiness.

Then I wake up.

My Morning Routine

Being that I’m away from home for the week this week, I figured today would be a nice day for some nostalgia.   Well, nostalgia concerning my normal routine, that is.   So I thought you might like a peek at my regular morning routine.

Mor02

I usually work on the farm at least six days a week, and I wake up VERY early each morning to head to the farm and get there by 5am for my shift.  I very literally pick my ass out of bed, put on  my crappy tattered farm clothes, grab my keys, a handful of protein bars, and my phone, and head out.  I don’t bother with a shower or brushing my teeth, or even combing my hair.

My shifts on the farm are usually between 4 to 7 hours in length depending on what needs done that day and if the owner needs any extra help.

Once I get home, I immediately toss my clothes in the washer and hop in the shower.  I do all of my washing, flossing, tooth-brushing, plucking (because I do not grow enough hair on my face to bother shaving), hair combing, other intimate grooming, etc in the shower.   I get out and apply lotion, then apply emollient bar to the various scarring on my body to keep them supple so they don’t crack.  Deodorant, ear cleaning, all that good stuff comes next.

I then get dressed and spend about 30 – 60 minutes on the floor doing yoga.  Once this is done, I move to my altar and do my daily devotional.

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What is a Daily Devotional?

Every morning I stand before my altar.  I take a few minutes to center and ground myself, and then I light the candle on my altar.   I touch each of the corresponding spheres on my altar as I go through this invocation in my mind (obviously, I can’t speak these aloud).

Energies of the North, Earth, and Body… I welcome you
Energies of the East, Air, and the Mind… I welcome you
Energies of the South, Fire, and the Inner Spark… I welcome you
Energies of the West, Water, and the Emotions… I welcome you

I then touch the Gaia statue and continue…

Energies of creation, evolution, and balance… I welcome you

I touch my father’s kila and the mirror of my grandmother and continue…

Beloved ancestors that wish to bestow love and wisdom… I welcome you

I light incense.   Usually this is a combination of Nag Champa and Frankincense. I then stand before my altar and take a minute to center myself again so that I am not distracted when I decide to continue.  Gratitude comes next…

Thank you for this beautiful new day and all of the opportunities it presents to me to improve myself and the world around me.

Thank you for my safe and secure home, my beautiful and loving sister, my trusted friends, my lovely Luna, and my beloved partner.   Thank you as well for the love of my mother and loving care others around me.

Please guide my feet along today’s path so that I may…. (changes from day to day)

Examples:  Enjoy the day to the fullest, have safe travels on today’s journeys, have a productive day filled with accomplishments and small pleasures, etc.

I then pick up my daily draw deck for the month and I begin to shuffle.  As I shuffle, I am requesting…

I ask that you provide me with a positive message to carry with me throughout my day and foster perspective.

I repeat this as I go through riffle shuffling then switch to a seesaw overhand shuffle until a card falls out (or jumps out).   Sometimes more than one card comes out (as you’ve seen in my daily posts).   If it is more than two cards, I will put them back and ask for an answer that involves less cards.

Once I have my card of the day before me, I will take a moment to sink into the image and really -feel- the card, then return my attention to my altar to close things out with…

Please accept my gratitude as I strive to learn from your messages and follow your guidance.  Today, and Every Day.

I then blow out the candle to close things out, and snuff out the incense.

From there, I will go to the bed and lie down with my legs up the wall.  I will settle into a piriformis stretch position, and then meditate (usually to the guided meditations provided in the Calm app on my phone).

Mor01

Once my meditation is done, I will then head out of the bedroom and feed Miss Luna, get my tea made (complete with collagen peptides added), make a couple pieces of toast with peanut butter, and get my probiotic yogurt out.  With tea, toast, and yogurt in hand, I then sit down to take my morning medications and eat.

From there, my day diverges into whatever else I have to get done or do throughout the day, any other shifts I need to work, business tasks that need completed, etc.  But, my mornings up until that point?  They’re pretty much the same every day except Saturdays.

Where My Perspectives Have Changed

So, last month on  YouTube, MIRTHandREVERENCE did a video answering a subscriber’s question about how her practices and perspectives have changed over the 40+ years she’s been on her path.    I really like this question, and decided I wanted to share my own experiences concerning the differences between how I was raised, and what I practice now.

crossroads

I think that the biggest difference is the use of deity.   In my parent’s home, we had the God and Goddess of the Pagan’s wheel of the year.  We also had Buddha, Sanshin, and Quan Yin.   My father had a shrine, my mother had an altar, and there were small statues set out in reverence to these deities throughout the house.

I never really felt comfortable worshiping deities, and once I had left my parents home soon after I turned sixteen, I stopped.  That isn’t to say that I stopped my faith, only that my faith changed.  I did not personify my faith, but rather reach beyond the faces and “deities” to the elements and the energy of creation, evolution, and balance itself.   This is where my focus lies in my devotionals, petitions, and invocations.

Along that same line is the difference in how much worship and prayer is involved as a whole.   I spend less time on my knees in front of a shrine or altar, and more time within nature, bonding and appreciating it all.  I also do a good deal of my worship standing or active within nature.

Group gatherings.  Meh.

Growing up, my parents attended many group gatherings with like-minded folks.  They had circles and they had munches.   They sought out a pagan parenting mentor (who you know as Z) to assist them in guiding my sister and I along a similar path.

Other than with my sister?  I don’t worship with others.  I have no interest in sitting in a coffee shop talking about deity and ritual.  I don’t need others energies and intentions and motivations screwing with my spellcraft.  Just… not for me, I guess.  I suppose you could say that I just don’t “play well with others” in that way.

There is much that has remained the same in the separation of those fifteen-ish years, but above are the most notable differences that have developed over time to transition my faith from that of my parents into something that works for me alone.

 

Choices… and Perspective

I may have stumbled upon one of the new perspectives that my Self Care Saturday spread from earlier this week was referring to while I was in the shower last evening.

Fish

Sometimes in my mind I gripe about the shit I don’t like… as I’m sure most people do.  You know… not the people per se, but like the soft water in this house that has a weird taste and makes it fucking impossible to rinse all the conditioner out of my hair.

And then my mind kind of wandered on to thinking about my shower at home, which has much harder water and you come out of it feeling much cleaner.  And in the middle of this thought, I had a memory of when my aunt and cousin came to visit MY home for a while and how she had complained about my water being too hard.

And that got me to thinking…

Would I rather have her (or them) visiting my home?

Or would I rather be a guest in her home?

Her home.  Hands down, 100% completely her home.  That’s the answer.  I don’t like them in my home.  I don’t like any of them in my home. I don’t like them touching my stuff, putting ass prints on my furniture in odd places, or mingling their scents into the familiar scent of my home. I don’t like their energy mucking up my space, their dirty dishes, or their constant disturbances, or the need to feed them or entertain them.  I hate it.  All of it. I really do.

If coming here now and again keeps them from coming to my house?  It’s worth the discomfort.   Absolute, completely worth every little shred of the discomfort of being here.

And that is an entirely new perspective on visiting family that I hadn’t thought of before. So there you go… there really is gold at the end of the rainbow, you just have to dig in the mud to find it.

#50QuickQuestions2019 Just for Fun (non) VR to The Hermit’s Cave

Simon over at The Hermit’s Cave created a new hashtag today, and it’s my favorite type of quizzes to do, which is random question posts.   So, I grabbed it to answer and here we go….

PineBox

The Questions

1. Have you ever changed your clothes while in a vehicle?

Yes.  I lived in my car for a while in my teens and I have done just about everything you CAN do in a car in the whole day-to-day life aspect, including eating, bathing, sex, changing clothes, sleeping, etc.

2. What do you want to do before you die?

I had trouble with this one.   One more visit to the rainforests.  It doesn’t matter how many times I go… one more.

3. Are you single?

Nope.  I belong to Gideon.  We’re going on over 11.5 years now.

4. What’s one thing you will not eat?

Live insects.  Live anything that moves, really.  I have an issue with the wiggle-in-the-mouth thing.

5. What color is your underwear?

Dark gray for today.

6. When is the last time you went out of England?

Never been to England, but out of my own country?  Last Tuesday, because I cross into Canada twice a week for work.

7. Who was your last received call?

UW Medical Center.   Most of my communication with others is through texts.  I don’t get many phone calls from people I know other than my mother.

8. Have you ever drank milk straight out of the carton?

Yes.  I don’t these days, but back when I was living alone or living in the car?  Yep.  Although… I never realized it was an actual skill until watching Becca’s responses.

9. What was your last holiday?

I’m guessing this is the UK meaning of “holiday”, which means vacation.  That would be a visit to my mother’s in the spring.  I left all of my work except my phone at home and deliberately focused on rest and restoration while I was there.

10. Can you hula hoop?

Yes, I can.

11. Have you ever crawled through a window?

Yep.  I have.  And I’m going to plead the 5th under the risk of incriminating myself.  LOL

12. Ever skinny dipped?

Yep.  In lakes, canals, and the ocean… I’ve never skinny dipped in a swimming pool tho.

13. Have you sang karaoke?

Once upon a time… yes.

14. Was today better than yesterday?

A bit busier today than yesterday, so not really?  But it’s not bad either.

15. Is anybody getting on your nerves?

Not at this moment.

16. Do you talk to yourself?

Yes.  Not that I can physically talk anymore, but my mouth still works even if my voice doesn’t.

17. Would you kiss the last person you kissed again?

That would be Gideon, and that’s a HELL yes.   If we’re talking about just a peck-on-the-cheek?  That would be my sister, and of course I would.

18. How many languages can you speak?

None of them anymore.  I’m fluent in English.  I’m semi-fluent in Korean and French.  I can mostly understand spoken Vietnamese.   I can semi-understand spoken Japanese, and spoken or written Italian and Spanish.

19. Ever waxed your eyebrows?

I have not.

20. Earrings or Necklace?

Necklace, because if I had to give up my collar I’d be really upset.

20. What’s the last gift you received?

Gideon sent me a pair of labradorite hearts to take with me on my trip.

21. Are you mad at anybody?

Not that I can think of at the moment, so I guess that’s a no.

22. Ever receive detention?

As in when in school?  Yes, a few times.  Usually for sleeping in class.

23. Ever cried listening to music?

Yes.  Absolutely.  Some music just touches me that way.

24. Do you use smiley faces on the computer a lot?

Yes.  Well, yes and no.  It depends on what I’m doing, where I’m communicating, and who I’m communicating with.

25. What are you doing tonight?

Prepping orders to ship out tomorrow and spending time with Gideon.

26. What time is it?

Nearly 2pm

27. Are you loud?

Not anymore.  LOL   No, I’ve never been a loud person.  Although I have been told that I’m very good at projecting energy, which I suppose is a kind of “loud”.

28. What are you looking forward to?

Sleeping. Samhain. January.

29. Do you watch Family Guy regularly?

Yep.  I love Stewie. He’s a little evil genius.

30. Have you ever watched a little kids show?

Yes.  Both as a kid and as an adult. Sometimes they’re just fun.

31. What does your last inbox text say?

“DEBIT – $10.84 Purchase Visa G…”

32. Zodiac sign?

Taurus sun sign, Scorpio moon sign

33. Are you wearing socks?

No.  In fact I go barefoot as often as I can.

33. Were you born during the last century?

Um…. well, I was born in 1988.  So yes?

34. What is your religion?

Buddhist Pagan.  Buddhist like an adjective, Pagan as a noun.

35. What’s something you have nightmares about?

Aside from my ex?  I sometimes have nightmares about not finishing high school, getting lost in the high school I went to, and/or losing my class schedule/locker combination/etc in school and missing classes because of it.

36. Have you ever been on a rollercoaster?

I have been on many rollercoasters.  I love rollercoasters.

37. Do you care what others think about you?

Sometimes. Strangers, not so much.

38. What do you do all the time in a car?

Listen to music and/or an audiobook.  It helps me stay awake.

39. Do you trust people easily?

No?   Maybe.  Mmmm…. No, I don’t think so.

40. Do you watch football?

I do not.  I’m not into sports.

41. Where was the last place you went shopping?

Walmart (for cat litter and to pick up prescriptions)

42. Favorite football team?

I don’t have one, cuz I don’t watch football.

43. Do you watch the Olympics?

Only the gymnastics really, and sometimes ice skating.

44. Last bar you went to?

The Pine Box (in Seattle)

45. Do you have a favorite number?

Thirteen

46. Are you multitasking right now?

Yep.  I’m answering these questions, working on making earrings for tomorrow’s orders, and watching YouTube.

47. Do you believe in love at first sight?

I do.  I think it’s extremely rare, and that people mistake infatuation for it on a regular basis…  but, yes I do.

48. Do you believe in karma?

Absolutely.  I believe in balance.  I believe the universe requires balance and rectifies imbalance.   And thus, Karma is born.

49. How is the weather today?

Very nice.  Overcast.  67 degF.  A little damp.   Perfect, really.

50. Stupidest thing you ever did with your cell phone?

I don’t do stupid shit with my cell phone.  It costs too much to replace.  That said… I have dropped it on concrete a few times.

 

Nature Does Not Hurry

So every day, I have tea in the morning.  This isn’t because I’m a big tea drinker.  All the teas I drink are herbal, because I can’t handle caffeine.  And honestly?  It’s taken me a long time to even find some that I’m fond of.

Nature

That said, I have managed, over trial and error, to find a few.  One of them is a Rosehips tea by Traditional Medicinals that I like to mix with either  chamomile tea or peach tea.   In the Traditional Medicinals tea, each tea bag comes with a little quote on the tab.

Today’s quote was from Lao Tzu.  “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

Although I get what this is saying?  I disagree with the quote in a very literal way.  The fact is that it is true, nature does not hurry.  But, everything is -not- accomplished.   This is why plants die before all the buds can open at the end of the season, and there are often still new leaves just coming into being when fall and winter come to kill off the plants and make the leaves fall.

Everything does not get done.

Everything does not survive and thrive.

This quote, or perhaps how it is used in this instance, makes it seem like you can just take your time with things and everything will fall into place.  And it’s true, everything -will- fall into place.   But if you want things to fall in the place how YOU want them to?  It’s going to take more than that.  Otherwise, like late blooms and off-season buds, those things that are important to you will die off instead of flourishing.

This is not to say you don’t need to take time to slow down and breathe, time to step away and relax.   But sometimes?  The only way anything gets done is with a PUSH to get it there.

Just my two cents.

And, because I know you’ll be wondering, I drink tea every morning because I need a hot drink to mix my collagen peptides into. It’s healthier than hot chocolate.

Where Do You Go?

In a previous post, I mentioned a type of meditation where I visit a safe place within my mind.   I thought in this post I would take some time to describe what and where this place is.

cabin

My personal inner space has not changed throughout my entire life since I first discovered this method of visualization and meditation.  That is not to say that qualities of the place haven’t changed, but the foundation is the same regardless of some of the trappings.    It is not a real place in the physical world, but rather it is a fantasy that is real only in my mind.   Within my mind, it has depth and breadth, though.  It goes through the seasons in time with the real world as well, and has been built over decades into a place that is not just a safe and secure place, but is a feast for all of the senses.

Deep in the forest, high in the mountains is a single level home made of earth and trees.

A winding road leads the way up to this part of the forest, and there is a small turn off where you pull in and park.  From there, you must hike the rest of the way in.  Grocery and package deliveries are the way most supplies come in, and at the end of the small turn off, there is a large lock box for the deliveries to be set in to keep them safe from weather and animals until I can come to pick them up.

The forest is like the rainforests of my home, thick and wet, filled with draping moss and lichen and the damp smell of decay and growth.  It is filled with lush ferns and trees of cedar, spruce, pine, and douglas fir.

Once you arrive, what you find is a cabin.  Log cabin style, it sits in a clearing in the middle of the woods. As you step out of the trees, the cabin is in a cleared spot of land, a river just beyond the house trailing away through a valley between towering peaks in the distance.

Surrounding the house is a yard  contained by a picket fence lined with a variety of herbs and plants and an arbor type of gate in the front.  There is a large tree with a swing, and in the side yard there are laundry lines for hanging clothes to dry.   On the other side of the house, nearest the river, there is a large fenced-in garden where I grow vegetables and other edibles.

At the back of the house is an attached conservatory/greenhouse much like the one in the movie Practical Magic, although that is where the resemblance with the movie ends.  Entering the house through the conservatory, there is a kitchen with gas stove and modern fridge, a large farmhouse style sink and plenty of cabinets.  Sometimes there is an island as well, other times there’s a large kitchen table instead.

It is an open floor plan, and the living room is comfortable, the interior a combination of dark wood and muted earthy colors joined with soft lines combined with hard surfaces.   Clean.  Organized.  Fragrant with seasonal scents and wood.  There is an open wood burning stonework fireplace, and large windows that look out at the river and valley in the distance.  The ceiling is high with exposed beams.

All of these things are the same, and have remained the same for many, many years.  There are things that change though, much like the alternating kitchen table and/or kitchen island.

These include whether the laundry lines at the side of the house are parallel or an “umbrella” style. Whether the tree with the swing is inside the yard, or outside of the yard.  Whether or not there is a small dock at the edge of the river. The size of the cleared land that the house sets on, as sometimes the trees of the forest are quite close, and other times they are further back.

I rarely ever see the bedroom in this house, and thus I can’t really say if much changes there, but in the kitchen sometimes the appliances change, or the equipment within the house such as the stereo, television, computers, etc will change. Whether or not there is a library or the living room is lined in books has also changed a number of times over the years. And the seasons…. the seasons always change with the seasons in reality.

These are not conscious choices, but  rather appear to happen depending on what I am needing at the time I retreat into this place. Funny enough?  My boots in this place are always the same. Not sure why I notice this, but I do.

And there you have my safe place. That place I retreat to when everything becomes too much, or I need a “time out” to just breathe. There are no photos shared in this post, because this place is purely imaginary and honestly?  I couldn’t find any photos that could do it justice.