A sense of melancholy

Magickal ScentsFestival season is finally over. Usually, by this time of year I’m just glad to see that it’s done so I can rest, but not this year. Yes, I was exhausted by the end of faire, but I felt a sense of melancholy. I finally got a taste of what it was like to run my own shop and I loved it. Magickal Scents was a huge success and I’m looking forward to doing more festivals. I’ll also return to Texas Renaissance Festival next year!

I made a closing weekend update on my website at TempestMysticProducts.com.  Follow the link to see a gallery of pictures and upcoming festival dates for 2015.

This is the first weekend I will have had at home where I get to do nothing. I’m not quite sure what to do with myself, so I find myself cleaning like a mad woman. But now that festival is over I’ll try to start writing more over here again.

Duch as Ruby Danger

Happy Holidays, everyone!!!!

Boosting the signal!!!

Yule HollyTempest Mystic Products has a limited edition scent that only comes out once a year. Yule is the scent I find customers asking about sometime in October. “Do you have Yule on the shelves yet?” “When is Yule coming back?”

I’ve had so many people ask about it this season at Texas Renaissance Festival. I have repeat customers!?!?!?! Wow!!!! :: happy dance ::

Here is the post I made on my Tempest website announcing the Yule release date. Spreading the signal, everyone!!


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”. 😉

And Thus Ends a Long Festival Season

Texas Renaissance Festival is one of my favorite gigs. It’s an eight-week run, starting the beginning of October and running every weekend through Thanksgiving weekend. Mr. Magick Man has a few shops out there and I work in one of them.

The vast array of customers who come through every weekend are too many to even begin to describe, and I doubt I could do justice. When dressed in costume, I love interacting with the patrons; especially the children. Sale or no sale, if I can make someone’s experience at renfaire that much more enjoyable, then they’ve had some fun and I’ve had some fun, too.

We always look forward to this festival because our crew is like another family to us. We laugh, we poke at each other, and we stand up for each other. Just like family, we have each other’s backs.

My Teen Boy works in our sword shop, and seems to have inherited a lot of “uncles” as a result. This year I’ve enjoyed watching him grow and interact more with the crew. I looked forward every morning to seeing him at his swordplay lessons when we were finished opening up the shops. One of our crew in particular took the Teen Boy under his wing and started working with him using the practice swords. He was a wonderful teacher, and my kid was an eager student. I’ll have to see what we can do to pursue something like this during the off-season.

Menopause Express Swordplay TRF

I’ll miss the joking comments and the silly moments from the jewelry counter. I’ll miss “Bloody Mary Sundays”. I’ll miss the view of a foggy morning from the castle balcony. Working festival is a lot of hard work and long days. I won’t miss being tired all the time and I won’t miss having my weekends occupied, but I’ll miss seeing my renfaire family.

Menopause Express Foggy Morning TRF

Festival Season

Festival season for Texas Renaissance Festival runs for eight weeks. Longer, if you take into account the work weekends in September. Mr. Magick Man works full time during the week and I take classes. As a result, this time of year we rarely have time to bring our heads above water. The little things go by the wayside. The first thing I always notice is the housework. This shows up in the first week. It’s easy to spot; we have furry children. By the 8th week, the mess has migrated into my office.

My office is in a constant state of organized disorganization. A cluttered desk is a sign of a creative mind. However, the current state of my office has surpassed that, crossed the borders of Chaos and gone into Disaster. It looks like we were hit by Hurricane Renfaire.

By the end of Renfaire, I’m gearing up for finals. Next week is my last week to work on the final projects for my graphic design classes. The InDesign project is eating up all my time. But it will all be over December 10. I’ll have time to breathe again. The first thing I’m going to do is clean this house.

You may ask why I work festival every year if a) I know house cleaning is going to go by the wayside, and b) I can’t stand it by the end of festival. The answer is simple. The crew we have is like another family, and this is the only time of year I get to see some of these people. We have a blast. I’m not on cast – we have a couple of shops at the faire. It’s hard work, but we have fun doing it. And, it seems, every year I have a new little gem from my festival experience.

One of the items we sell is a hand-bound leather journal. The paper inside is a handmade paper, cotton fiber. These were quite popular this season, but customers kept asking how the paper took the ink (whether you chose to draw or write). I happen to have a couple of these at home, one of which I haven’t used yet, so I brought one up to put on the counter. I didn’t bring up my good calligraphy pen (although it is nice to use on these journals), but I did bring one of my good art pens. The result was breathtaking! I had customers come up and draw the most amazing sketches in my book! They would sign their pieces and just chat with me! Most would then proceed to buy their own journal, but the “people watcher” side of me enjoyed seeing the vast array of customers we truly have. My favorite, and the one I will never forget, was the gentleman who came in and drew the most breathtaking mountain scene in under 10 minutes, just off the top of his head. He said he’d been drinking and he left his glasses at home, so this wasn’t his best work. I’d post it but I don’t have his permission. He said he’d come back and show me his sketchbook.

We hear “I’ll be back” quite frequently in retail. While I hoped he would return, I didn’t count on it. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw him the next weekend. I took time and sat down to look at what turned out to be three years worth of artwork. These were just random drawings. He said the paper speaks to him and he draws what comes to mind. It took him three years to fill the book. The images he drew were so beautiful they brought tears to my eyes.

Moments like these are why I love working festival. And these:

Alas, I’ve procrastinated long enough. Time to get back to work on my final projects. Good day, everyone!

On Dreams, Symbolism, and Where I’m Too Hard on Myself

Warning! Contains possible triggers if you are pregnant or have a history of difficult pregnancies.

Before I begin, let’s keep a few things in mind:

  • My blog. This is The Menopause Express. That whole “baby-thing”? Um… yeah.. I’m done now. Have been for a few years.
  • There’s a significant timeline in my dream.
    • We’re gearing up for our major festival (Texas Renaissance Festival); that opens October 6th.
    • Fall Semester ends in December

With this information, you’ll grasp the symbolism.

I dreamed I was pregnant. It was present day – I was my current age, as was my husband and my teen-boy. We were surprised. I mean, really, I did think I was done. But we were happy. Mr. Magick Man just adopted my teen-boy, now he gets another child? How awesome is that? We were just talking about the due date. The baby would be due in December, right around the holiday season. I commented the teen-boy’s b-day would be the next month. They’d be a month apart, but he’d be about 15 years older. That should be fun.

Then something really bad happened. Right around October, I miscarried. I was about 6 months pregnant. Now, I’m not sure what the procedure is in a late-trimester miscarriage, but I know they don’t do what they did in my dream… They rushed me to the E.R. This is where the dream shifted from first person to third person perspective.

They Photoshopped the baby out of me. Yes, that’s right. I saw the moving dotted line and everything. I can even tell you what tool they used. They used the Quick Selection Tool, then they hit Delete.

I woke up from this dream all weepy because all I could think about was being pregnant and having lost the child. But after my head cleared, I saw the symbolism for what it was. I miscarried right at our “busy season”, when I have so many balls in the air I need to be 3 people. My due date, of course, is end of semester. The baby represents my classes, my major, and my new path. I’m afraid of failing. I’m making all A’s right now. I don’t want to mess that up. At the same time, I don’t want to drop any other balls, either.

Really, I still think I can do everything. It’s just that Life gets in the way. :/

I made it through the first week!

One definitely has to make adjustments when getting back into the swing of a classroom routine, but it isn’t so bad. I think my major challenge is that I’m working on a Mac. You see, I cut my teeth on a PC. I know the Windows OS like the back of my hand. A Mac??? This is foreign territory to me. I find myself getting to class early just so I can hit the lab and navigate the UI. Oh well, at least I’m a quick study. Regardless of the challenge I’m facing, Photoshop is still Photoshop, regardless of the platform you’re on. Digital Imaging is my favorite class. 🙂

In addition to classes, we’re gearing up for Texas Renaissance Festival! It starts in October, but we have a new booth this year! The Mystic Armory! If you’re in the Houston, TX area (or traveling distance), I highly encourage you to come out to the festival. You’ll have loads of fun!  Just a few pics of the booth can be found here:


I’ll post more in a few weeks. Between classes and getting ready for Festival, I’m kinda’ busy now. 😉

As for our latest addition to the family? She’s just as mischievous as you’d expect a kitten to be. In fact, I’m beginning to think Missy should be short for Mischievous. I find myself calling her “Missyfus” every now and then, especially when she’s playing with things those in my office that I’d rather she not… :: rolls eyes ::  But all in all, she’s the cutest kitten ever, and has me wrapped around her paw. I mean, really…. just look…

And yes, the other cats are talking to me. However, Little Missy has a foul mouth. You should hear the way they talk to each other! :: gasp! ::

And on that note, it’s time to get ready for class. Have a great day, everyone!

A friend in need

Many of you know Sholo the Nubian (Hilton) from Texas Renaissance Festival, and other renaissance festivals. We’ve seen Sholo at the front gate, throughout the faire, and heard the warrior speak poetic words of war and of love, moving our hearts and our spirits.

Those of us who know Hilton know he’s a kind-hearted, gentle man. He has a great laugh, and this world is a better place with him in it.

Friday of last week, Hilton had a severe asthma attack that shut down his lungs, putting him in the ICU. It was a close call there for a while. The good news is he’s breathing on his own now and he’s out of ICU. He’s been moved to a regular room and, with healing energy and prayers, will hopefully be out of the hospital soon.

This has taken an incredible toll on his family’s finances. Due to health reasons, his wife, Ellen, is unable to work; so their funds are rapidly being depleted while he is in the hospital.

A PayPal account has been setup to take donations for the family, to help offset expenses. If you can, any amount donated would help Hilton and Ellen in their time of need.

Direct Link to Sholo’s Recovery Paypal Account: