A lengthy absence

I’ve had a bit of a lengthy absence since my last post. But if you follow this link, you’ll see why I’ve been so busy. I have much to celebrate right now, but no time to party (and little time to write) until after Thanksgiving. I will try to keep you updated as I can, but for now the majority of my content has to go towards my Tempest site. If any of you are in the Houston area, I hope you can make it out to Texas Renaissance Festival! Drop by Magickal Scents and you’ll get to meet this insane woman people call “Duch”. 😉

Another Year Comes to a Close

Tomorrow is New Years Eve. it seems time passes faster and faster with each year. I can’t believe 2013 is already coming to an end and 2014 is on our doorstep.

There is a website I visit every year to both see my year in review and to create an inspiration for the upcoming year. Wordle is a fun way to create “words of art”, or, Word Clouds, using a blog or website that uses RSS feed or using your own text. I highly recommend having some fun with it this week. 🙂

The Menopause Express 2013 Year in Review

2013 MenopauseExpress Year in Review

Mother’s Mirror

It is never easy to stand by
While your child makes mistakes…
Stumbling through life’s lessons…
We stand helplessly by, knowing this is the only way to learn.

But it is hardest when we watch
And see our own mistakes…
Our own stumbles…
We want so badly for you to listen, but you already “know”.

And we know. We remember.
We, too, were there, once…
We had to stumble and learn for ourselves.

Many times you’ll hear us wish
“If I could go back to my teenage self and say…”
Followed by sage advice we can never give, please remember,
There are times you are truly our mirror.
Your mother can’t go back in time to that teenage girl to
Impart these words of wisdom earned from life’s experience.
So she tries to make a better life
A better future
A healthier experience
For you.

Original composition
10/7/2013

The urge to write

I want to write today. I so desperately want to write today. I’ve been so busy and it’s been so long since I’ve been here. I feel as though I’m going to explode because I have so much inside of me but I don’t have time to just sit down and get it all out.

I just have this moment.

This moment, when my head is killing me and I feel like I’ve been run over. I just want to lay down and sleep because the last day of August decided to attack my sinuses.

Maybe I’ll have time tonight… :: grumbles ::

On Challenging Old Concepts and Catholic Guilt

I’m not sure if I’ve written about it over here yet, but I have this creative streak that seems to have turned into a business. I make incense and blended oils. I love what I do, and my house smells amazing!

That being said, with my line of blended oils, I’ve been known to do custom blends. These oils are used for aromatherapy or for wearing on the skin, so my requests may vary.

Yesterday I received what has to be the strangest request yet. I received a request for Holy Water.

“You have this ‘Cleansing Sage Mist’; I was wondering, can you make Holy Water?”

I was raised Catholic. I haven’t been to confession in over 30 years and I doubt the church would consider me as being Catholic now (I don’t), but the Catholic guilt never leaves you. The first thing that crossed my mind was, “Isn’t there someone a bit more qualified?” Followed by, “Won’t I go straight to Hell for making that, much less, selling it?”

Photo: "Shock" Kitty Parrish, Deviant Art
Photo: “Shock” Kitty Parrish, Deviant Art

Off to the Google I went and not only did I find a few recipes for Holy Water, I found there are different types of Holy Water. Most religions that use it follow the same basic recipe but they use a different blessing. The Catholic Church has three different types alone, for different occasions. The type we are most familiar with is the one they keep in the stoup, found as one enters the church. This is the basic recipe, made with distilled water and a bit of sea salt.

The blessing I found to be most interesting. Up until the Second Vatican Counsel (referred to as Vatican II), the church used the traditional Roman blessing to consecrate the water. This was a powerful and fascinating read. They actually performed an exorcism over the salt and the water, making it pure and “exorcising the evil” out of it. It was a lengthy ritual, of course.  Vatican II was 1959-1965. During that time they changed the blessing making it much shorter. It’s no longer an “exorcism” over the salt and water, but after reading the new version, IMO, it does seem to do its job.

I’d found the recipe and the blessing. I now had my moral dilemma. Sister Nora would sternly disapprove and would be highly disappointed. She would tell me I should not be so sacrilegious and I should go to confession immediately for even thinking of doing such a thing.

But Catholics don’t have the exclusive on Holy Water, and I’m not Catholic anymore. Besides, my label wouldn’t say, “Catholic Holy Water.” Another thing that crossed my mind; if this customer wanted Holy Water from the Catholic Church, she would have gone to a priest. In my research I confirmed they do still give that out to parishioners.

Anyone can say a prayer…

I went for it.

I went for it

 

Sister Nora, I’m sorry. When I was 7 years old, grasping the concepts of God, forgiveness, and following the right path, I asked you about people who weren’t Christian and said, “What if we’re wrong and one of them are right?” I know you probably gave me the answer you thought best at the time, but I needed something more than, “You shouldn’t be so sacrilegious.” I kept questioning as I got older and got to the point I believe all these different spiritual paths lead to the same Deity. There are just too many similarities in their beliefs to think otherwise.

So can anyone make Holy Water? Sure. Will the Catholic Church recognize it as such? No. But I believe in sanctification and I believe it is something any of us can do.

As for selling it? You know, I don’t feel right selling the water itself. I do have packaging involved so I have to put some kind of a price on it. If that means I’m going to Hell; well, at least I’ll be in good company. All my friends say they’ll be there and Mr. Magick Man says he already has the ice concession.

going to hell

Writing Challenge

What does a sunrise mean to you?

A sunrise is a moment to treasure. The city isn’t awake yet, but nature is and this is her hour.

I’m out in my garage every morning making incense. Daybreak is the coolest time of day where I live. Sunrise is my time to enjoy the quiet, sort through my thoughts and breathe. I’m always at peace by the time I’m done. Just as the sunrise signals a new day, I’m refreshed and ready to start anew as well.

What does a sunrise mean to me? Releasing the past and moving forward into a new day.

Sunrise at the Castle

Fini!

Finals are over. My last presentation was made yesterday. Grades (for me, anyway) have already been posted. I made A’s in all my classes. I worked so hard to maintain that 4.0 GPA and I succeeded. Now I can rest. I’m taking a break this summer. But I’m already planning out my downtime. I’m taking today to map out what I’d like to do on my whiteboard, just as soon as I erase everything else.

End of Semester

 

I was so stressed out this semester, especially when it came down to finals. I went into this semester as an “A Student” and I’d managed to keep it up until finals. I didn’t want to lose it. How stressed was I? After I’d finished everything and felt good about my final projects, when I was just waiting to turn everything in and make my presentations, over that weekend I had a nightmare. I dreamed I made a B in one of my classes. At least I woke up from it and recognized the dream for what it was. Instead of being panic stricken I broke out into a giggle fit. It’s good to be able to laugh at yourself.

I’ve built more relationships on campus this semester than I thought. On the last day, there were people in the lab laughing and joking with me, saying goodbye for the summer. Some of my classmates even wanted to take pictures with me. When I go back in the fall I’ll be taking night classes and I probably won’t see them. I realized I’ll miss these people more than I thought…

I'll Just Think About That Tomorrow

 

Yes, I’m taking the Scarlett O’Hara approach on that one. I’m going to enjoy my summer break and I’ll just think about that tomorrow.

Final Projects: Done

Ahead of schedule, I might add. Well, with the exception of the presentations I have to give this week. If they would have let me give those ahead of schedule I would have given them all by last Friday. Alas, I must go to class next week anyway. I make my presentations on Wednesday and Thursday, and then I will officially be done. Grades will be posted on the 17th.

The past month has been fairly stressful. It started at the beginning of April, when we were preparing for the “Design Charrette”, an annual event where students spend one day working on projects submitted by local non-profit organizations. It’s a major part of our grade, but at the same time it’s nice to help local charities who need logo designs, brochures, websites, and other assistance they wouldn’t normally get because it isn’t in their budget. It gives the students the opportunity to see what it’s like to work with a client in a “real-world” scenario under a tight deadline, and perhaps make networking connections.

Of course, this falls right on top of finals. Because of the Design Charrette, regular classes were cancelled in order to prepare for the Charrette on Friday. Students had time to work on projects they received ahead of time. Downside? No lecture time for upcoming final projects.

One would think we hit the ground running the following week, but we were behind schedule. We had presentations from projects we’d just completed. We lost two classes there. GAH!!!

Finally, the week of April 22, we get lecture time and details on our final projects – projects that are due in two weeks.

Oh The Stress
OMG!!! I’ll never make it!!

 

Tangent warning

Words of advice to all of you college students out there: One class/One professor. Never take more than one class from a professor during a single semester. I’m taking three classes this semester and they’re all taught by the same guy. When I saw this, I thought, “Hey, at least I’ll only have to adjust to one teaching style.” That may be true, but he gives all his assignments on the same day in all of his classes. Just remember, if you’re ever in this situation the curriculum won’t change just because you’re in two or more of your professor’s classes. And I don’t know about you, but those classes blur together. I go to the wrong classroom every now and then because I associate the classroom with the professor. Perhaps I’m “The Absent Minded Student.” 😉

 

Back to the subject at hand

Somehow I managed to complete these projects ahead of schedule. I’m still trying to figure that part out. I didn’t do a slapdash job. I even had time to create portfolio layouts for my professor to print.

Last night was the first night I quite literally had nothing to do. I surfed the ‘net a bit, then I just sat on the couch and watched movies. It was … odd.

 

It’s been so long since I had free time I don’t know quite what to do, but I do know it’s time to emerge from my cave.

Sun+Goddess
There is life outside of my computer room!

2013 Design Charrette

This morning I was a tightly wound spring, so what do I do? I go to Starbucks to get my quad-venti-caramel-non-fat-latte (that’s a 4 ounces of espresso in a 20 ounce cup, for those who aren’t familiar). Now, Starbucks has these re-useable cups, but they only come in a “grande” size (16 ounce). So instead of getting my usual venti, I grab my two re-useable cups and get two grande’s.

The caffeine helps keep me on an even keel.

Goddess Caffeina

 

I taste the sweet nectar of the Goddess Caffeina and I can feel her soothing arms around me. I begin to unwind as I finish my drive to the campus.

I get onsite and claim my spot at one of the Mac’s. I sign in, check my email, and I see my client will be there in about an hour. I have some time to put some final touches on page one and get started on page two before she gets here!

I quickly find out how fast an hour can fly by.

Regardless, my client is more than pleased with the ideas I’ve got and work I’ve done. We talk about a couple of tweaks here and there. I get her input on a couple of ideas and show her what I’m planning for the rest of page two. She’s eager to see the final product!

Everything went amazingly smooth! When I was finished with that project I was able to help another student design a logo.

My InDesign instructor referred to me as his “star student” today then handed me another project that had to be done in under 2 hours (from concept to final). I did it.

This doesn’t even touch the surface of everything that went on today. There were so many students working together; giving feedback to each other… it was just amazing!

I left campus with such a feeling of excitement and accomplishment! I know I started this day out as a nervous wreck, but I liken it to a bit of stage fright. Once I got into the wings and stepped out onstage, that was the best show, ever!

Image from RadioTimes with Marty Moss-Coane
Image from RadioTimes with Marty Moss-Coane

A case of the nerves this morning

I don’t have much time to write. I have to leave in about 15 minutes. Geez, I don’t even have time to run a grammar check on this. :/

Our campus holds an annual “Design Charrette”, where non-profit organizations come in and meet with the students, and we get the opportunity to design any work they need done. Some of us were lucky and were paired up with a client earlier this week. I was one of the lucky ones. 🙂

I get to meet my client today and OMG I’m just a basket of nerves!

What

I’ll update you on my client and the entire experience tonight. Meanwhile, it’s about time to go. Wish me luck!