Local – The UnSalted Life

There is something so utterly soothing about sitting on the front porch in the morning, listening to the lake and enjoying the breeze. Sometimes- it’s surreal. This is where I call Lakefront Livinghome now. I am lakefront living and I love it!

Making this move was a hard decision. It’s quite a ways away from family (yet I’m still reachable- It’s only an hour away) which sort of defeated the purpose of me moving back to this horrible state. I wanted to be closer so I could have help with mini Demon while I finished school and worked. I have been doing it on my own for the last 6 years, so It was time to have help.

In my mind and soul I knew that I needed to be closer to the water. It’s where I belong. I also knew I missed the beach and the south, and want to end up back on the beach in NC again one day.  What better way to compromise that moving lakeside? It’s been an amazing as I has hoped living the freshwater life could be, and while I miss the salt life, this will do for now.

This post is in response to the The Daily Post’s One Word Prompt Challenge “Local”

iPhotography · Prompts

Surprise- You Don’t Belong Here!

I walked outside yesterday, and found then NEON RED Tulips blooming! I didn’t plant them, they weren’t here last year, and did I mention they are red?! My whole garden is famous for being filled with Black (aka actual black, dark dark purple that looks black and dark dark red that looks black) perennials and plants.

Well, was, until the townhouse landscapers killed them all a couple weeks ago.

So imagine my surprise when I walked outside and saw these magnificently bright flowers! Even my hellhound was confused! Thank you previous owner or Mother Nature for this lovely surprise! (I’ll forgive you for not making them black)







This post was prompted by The Daily Posts’ Weekly Photo Challenge “Surprise“. I would love to see your take on this prompt! Ping me so I can!

iPhotography · Prompts

Density on the Horizon

It was Sunday night, I was making the trek from Ohio to Kentucky. I was 3 hours into my trip when I noticed the weather start to shift. The wind howled across the fields on either side of the highway. Needing both hands on the steering wheel as the sky got darker and darker. The density of the clouds grew. Gorgeous deep colors of blues, greys and purples.  My radio had been turned down so I could see better. (Seriously, we all do it! Don’t judge!) The white noise that was my car pacing the cars around me along with the steadily growing wind was pierced with the sound of tornado sirens. My phone weather app also began to screech- informing me I needed to seek shelter immediately.  The rain and hail had stopped a couple miles back. Everything around me seemed to calm, yet there was a tension you could cut with a knife. Just then, as I looked over to my right, I saw it. The forming of a massive funnel. The clouds swirling into formation like some kind of deadly dance.



This weeks photo reel is in response to The Daily Blog’s Photo Challenge prompt “Dense” – my apologies for the quality. Taken going nearly roughly 65 on the interstate battling 70+ mph winds while looking for a place to pull over!

iPhotography · Prompts

Starting Fresh- A splash of green

Taken with my iPhone 7 plus with no filter or editing. 

The only real color in my flower bed is the green stalks and stems of my flowers. I have spent so much time and effort seeking out the blackest possible perennials and annuals (which yes, some still technically aren’t black- they are a deep purple that looks black). As winter turns to spring and summer- I proudly boast my sea of rich shades of night. However this year, I am heart broken. As I prepare to move- I will have to bid my flowers adieu, which means there is very little point is working my butt off to keep my precious gothic garden in bloom this spring. (I am thinking I will plant a couple porch planters though! Black elephant ears and black violas and such…) So for this weeks photo topic of green, I want to smile a bit at what I will get to see bloomed one last time this year.

This iPhotography post was inspired by the The Daily Prompt’s weekly photo prompt of “It IS Easy  Being Green”

Knowledge is Power · Prompts

6 St. Patrick’s Day Truths- Truth and Religion Meet

Ahhh, Saint Patrick’s Day. A day full of beer, all things green, and Irish and pride. There is a bit more to it than that though…

Who even is Saint Patrick? 
Born Maewyn Succat somewhere in British Isles near what is now Scotland around roughly
the late 300’s AD. At the time, the British Isles were technically Roman owned, and according to his published Confessio, we can trace his lineage to Roman Citizens. So…he is definitely not Irish.

So then where does Ireland come into all of this? 

It’s said that at the age of 16, Maewyn was kidnapped by Irish Pirates and taken to 17353413_426941420985231_1520601297017639752_nIreland, where he was enslaved for 6-7 years. He learned the Irish language, which aided him when he returned roughly a decade later when he claims he was called to in a “realistic dream” which he felt was from God.

What’s with the name change?
While never a big believer in Christianity-  he wrote while enslaved, he grew closer to the Christian God and his desire to “seek the truth”.  After escaping when being told to by an Angel who came to him in a dream, he returned home to The British Isles and than made his way to France where he studied under St. Germaine of Auxerre. Pope Celestine gave him the name “Patricius” which translates to Patrick- which is the name he went forth with.

Isn’t he famous for banishing all the snakes from Ireland?
Just…no. Well… not in the literal term. Ireland has actually never had snakes. It’s believed that being surrounded by water since the end of glacial period, there has been no way for snakes to make their way there. (not to mention the temperatures at that time would havePattys been way too cold for the slithery reptiles to survive the time period). Religious scholars believe the snake story is actually in reference to St. Patrick bringing Celtic Christianity across Ireland which in turn replaced pagan ideology.

So why Celebrate? 
The origin of Saint Patricks Day came from the religious celebration of his life and the (religious) changes he brought to Ireland. It’s believed that starting in the early 18th century, Irish immigrants brought the tradition over to the America which began the association of St. Patrick and Irish culture. By mind 19th century the small feast day turned into a full-blown celebration and in 1903 was so popular it became a national holiday in Ireland! Now it’s celebrated all over the world by people both Irish and non-Irish! 

What about the Traditions? 
It’s said Saint Patrick used the shamrock to explain the holy trinity as he spread his teachings. This could be because shamrocks were of the plenty and conveniently had 3 leaves which helped with his metaphor. However, there is absolutely no mention of said shamrock in his “Confessio“.  Shamrocks were linked to Ireland long before St. Patrick though. 3 was a significant number to the lj9L8v2Irish. Celtic tradition was all things happened in threes. Also, being predominately Pagans (or known as Druids) at that time, it’s said to have been used to represent The Triple Goddess or “Mother Goddess”. They also believed in the Morrigan- made up of 3 Deities . Another import figure was Brigid, (later known as Saint Brigid when Christianity took over) the Pagan Goddess of Springtime. She was the daughter of Dagda, the “Father-God” of Ireland. She represented new birth, growth, healing and unity. It was said wherever she walked clovers would appear (shamrock literally means baby clover!).  A day of Celebration for her takes place in the beginning of February to remind the people of Ireland of hope and coming spring! Fun Fact: There are wells all over Ireland named after Brigid, as it’s said she rewards any offering to her, which is where the whole “toss a penny in a well/fountain” came from! 

Green first became a thing during the rebellion against the English Crown in 1641. The original color of the order of “Saint Patrick” or the Feast Day was a light blue. The color green became known as connection with those who supported Irish independence when those leading the rebellion carried a green flag with a harp on it, instead of the usual blue erin-go-bragh-ireland-forever-5-x-3-flag-1726-p.jpgflag (color of the Crown at the time) with a harp on it. Green showed up again against the French in 1790’s when it was worn by the Society of United Irishmen. It became the color
associated with Ireland as a whole when the waves of immigrants from Ireland wore it to show solidarity on St. Patrick’s Day for their Irish Roots- thus becoming the color of Ireland!

But..But..the beer and all the food! “Feast Day” aka the Celebration of the life of St. Patrick allowed the lifting of lent rules for the day which meant you were allowed to eat and drink as much as you want. However, drinking beer didn’t become a thing until later on. Pubs were forced to close in honor of the Holiday. (Im sure that didn’t stop the drinking though!) So food and drink as become a staple of St. Patricks day in connection to what was originally known as “Feast Day”!
So there you have it! Some history of St. Patrick’s Day that not many know or even want to admit to, since religion and tradition are both touchy topics. As a Pagan- in the sense of “spiritual” not “religious”, I know most Western celebrations and holidays start from Pagan traditions, and find it fascinating how things morph over time, especially when religion and pride are involved.

This post was once again perfectly timed with The Daily Post’s One Word Prompt- Controversy as well as a topic (along with all other “Holidays”) I have spent quite sometime studying and researching as part of my Pagan studies. 

Links to some of the information sources:
Patrick’s Own Confessio (written by him, about him) 
New World Encyclopedia- Saint Patrick


iPhotography · Prompts

My Mindful Journey 11 Stories In The Air

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“This week, head to the top to take your best shot.”

The Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio is one of the prettiest parks to spend your spring and summer mornings. The glorious sights, sounds and smells of nature work me right into a mindful self aware state of mind. You can get lost in your meditation while appreciating the ever changing glory that is the forest. Sounds so cliche, I know.

Life is once again at a massive turning point of decision making. There are so many paths I want to run down and explore in life, but I do need to sink my roots. Being in the USMC since 2007, I have lived out of foot lockers, sea bags, and these horrible metal dresser type stands that are just waiting to fall on you. It’s been a constant moving, changing, and adapting. I’m over it. Mini Demon is over it. So much comes tied to putting down roots though- a job, a place to live, new friends, new schools… it’s all so much. I feel like I am drowning in the feeling of “I have to make a decision right this very second” when in fact, I do not. I am in such a hurry to set down roots, that I am nearly jumping the gun on opportunities and options that are right under my nose- all while fearing setting down roots, because temporary is all I’ve ever known.

As someone who battles anxiety on a scale that goes from functional anxiety to holy-crap-I’m-going-to-sleep-all-day-and-ignore-the-world anxiety in the flick of a switch, this “rooting” process has me wound as tight as the cables holding up the canopy walkways. I find my days getting less and less productive, and my “need” for sleep getting more and more.

When I head into nature, especially someplace as gorgeous as the Holden Arboretum, it reminds me to pay attention to my mindfulness. To BREATHE. To take a second and just- be. Each level that I got closer to the top of the Emergent Tower , I felt lighter. I was more and more aware of what was around me and how I felt. (I mean, I was nearly dying trying to climb 11 stories straight vertical! Not to mention the stairways twist so I am trying not to get dizzy!) It’s so easy to get lost in your mind and all of the what-if’s, but I am here to tell you; there is nothing but awe and absolute in-the-moment glory when your 100+ feet in the air overlooking everything that is doing exactly what you need to be- just being.

It was in that moment, overlooking the top of my surroundings with nothing but sun and wind on my face, nothing but my heartbeat and the breeze in my ears- that I came to understand that it’s hard work to get anywhere you’re going. There are so many what-if’s, (like, what is this thing blows over..since its so tall it sways in the breeze) so much exertion and even times when you want to just stop (that was around story 8!) It’s true what they say though- nothing worth having comes easy. At the end of that insane climb I was rewarded with an expirence and view unlike any other, and the trip back down was now easy, and certain, and confident.

This Gallery was prompted by The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge “Atop

Mental Health · Prompts

Immersed in the Chronic Darkness

Anche Questo Passerá- This Too Shall Pass. 
I look down at my wrist as I sit down to type this, and take a deep breath, reminding myself of that very phrase. I knew today was inevitable. I could feel it coming. I noticed my body ached more, my heart hurt more, and all I wanted to do was sleep. It’s such a vicious cycle. Just as night turns to dawn and I can proceed with business as usual, I find myself immersed in darkness again.

So many times I have promised myself I would blog on this topic in the heart of it all. I find it so hard to do though. I’m exhausted. I’m 17327828_425455287800511_1408103884_nemotional. I’m resentful. I’m agitated. I just want to lock myself in the bathroom and stand in the shower until the water runs cold.

2016 I went in for my VA claim appointment. This just simply means you go see a doctor and walk through what your issue is, and they decide if it is service related or not. If it is, they give you a percentage based on how much it impacts your daily life etc… As I go in to go over all of my claims set to be discussed that day, I am met by the kindest little old doctor I have ever seen. After we did a thorough exam, he started asking me all kind of questions that made nearly no sense to me. After what seemed like forever (I ran 45 minutes over my hour long appointment!) I walked away with a brand new diagnosis, and a forever changed life. Trauma caused Fibromyalgia. I would forever be a spoonie.

My pain has moments where it is barely tolerable, and popping 3 or 4 Tylenol 800’s does nothing me. I wake up after 12 hours of sleep being so tired I can’t keep my eyes open. I find that the slightest hiccup in my day causes me to break down into tears, and amplifies chemical imbalance which in turns effects the depression and anxiety I normally have in complete control. My migraines soar. My patience runs thin with everything from the dog needing out for the 8th time that hour just to be let back in so she can go back out, to my son saying “Mom” before every.single.sentence. I have no energy to go to the gym or do yoga or cook dinner. I don’t have the focus to help Mini Demon i-cant-adult_1024x1024with his homework, or finish a single blog post. If I don’t make checklists, things for work fall through the cracks. The issue? I still have to do all those things. I’m a working single mother. I have a job, a son, a house and dog. I can’t just explain to Mini Demon that I am a worthless lump that day because my body hates me. I can’t let his homework go undone. I can’t not give him the attention he needs or fulfill his most basic needs.  I can’t not let the dog out. I absolutely cannot drop the ball on aspect of work, because lives of others are involved. Did I mention I’m launching my own non-profit? Yeah. Throw that onto the list of crap that can’t get put on the back burner. My usually impeccable house ends up with dishes in the sink and muddy paw prints by the back door. I don’t yell about shoes being strewn all over the front entry. Mini Demon gets a lunchable in his lunch bag instead of some cute and creative Pinterest worthy arrangement of nourishment. I drag myself to yoga, because the worst thing for a Spoonie is to stop exercising and taking care of yourself.

This invisible chronic illness has cost me friends, relationships and opportunities. It brings out the ugliest side I have. The side that stirs my demons awake and tells them it’s time to play.

I know I have to give and take in order to keep functioning, but by day 3 of a flair up I am
where I am mentally at this very moment. I am mad that I am not able to effortlessly and seamlessly multitask. I’m resentful that I don’t get to be like everyone else. I am upset that at 28,  I may actually be as broken as my military retirement makes me feel. I feel like Chronica failure of a mother because patience are thin and energy is low- I’m not the unreasonably fake Pinterest and Blog mom’s who never miss a beat or get sick. Most of all- I feel so absolutely helpless. The girl who is “always busy”, always has so much going on and drifts through it all effortlessly can barely get herself out of bed. On day 3 I am completely immersed in the chronic darkness- ignoring that once again the dawn will come and I will carry on and be just fine. I sit here in a non-productive daze. Feeling so many emotions and none all at the same time. My depression telling me I am worthless. I’m too much to deal with. I’ll never be as good as those who are healthy. I’m a horrible mom. I’m a bad employee. I’ll never achieve my dreams because I’m broken. I’ll never get the life I long for. I ache from head to toe. I want to remove my soul from this broken container and find a new one.

I know that I will not stay immersed in the darkness forever, but while I’m stuck here, I need to remember (like the point of my blog as a whole!)  this is MY  darkness and it makes me who I am. It proves to everyone around me and myself that I am a warrior. It shows my son to never stop, to never not get back up. It allows me to reach out to those who may be in the same boat, and let them know they aren’t alone. I may be immersed in the darkness, but I need to learn to Carpe Noctem instead of resenting it.

Today’s post is based on the word prompt “Immerse” by The Daily Post and couldn’t have come at a better time