Monday, January 30, 2012

Pagan Blog Project Update

Due to my hectic schedule last week I did not post on Friday, January 27th for the Pagan Blog Project. I will be back on schedule this week so look for my post on Friday, February 3rd. The letter of the week is C and this week I will be posting about Candle Magic.

Pieces of Fate Turns 2 and I Won a Mug!

You know the year is starting off right when you win cool stuff. I have been blessed again. This past week Susan from Pieces of Fate sent me an email letting me know that I won the Mug and Tea from her Yule party! How cool is that!

As you can see above, Pieces of Fate is turning 2!! ! Susan has a fantastic blog full of interesting posts. She is creative, funny and just a great blogger. To celebrate this momentous event she is giving away a lot of amazing things so be sure to visit Pieces of Fate and wish her a Happy 2nd Blog Birthday!

I want to say THANK YOU to Pieces of Fate and Susan for such a fun gift and for a great blog.

Thank you!!


Birthday Present for a Friend

This week my co-worker is celebrating her birthday. She is one of the reasons I love my job! Since we share a love for all things weird, wonderful and well, Zombie, I made her this insulated lunchbox for her big day. The designs are from - my most favorite machine embroidery design site.

I can't wait until Wednesday when I give it to her. Maybe I will fill it with a zombie survival kit...hmmmmm


GOYB Week 4 Update

Changing my work schedule to 4 ten hour days has taken a bit of getting used to. Last week was so hectic that I barely turned the computer on at home. I had a couple of  late presentations, an early presentation and two dinners out - yikes! This week I will be able to get a better feel for this new schedule. I think I am going to like it.

This week has been pretty darn great on the fitness front. After a disastrous week last week, I weighed in on Saturday and found that I lost what I gained the previous week-yippee! The best news was that I took my measurements this weekend.

It has been a month since I started the weight training class and the results for month 1 are in - I lost 4 pounds and a total of 7 inches!! Yeah baby, that's right - 7 inches. I had hoped for more of a loss on the scale but I haven't been totally following Weight Watchers and weight training does slow down weight loss for a while. Either way, I am happy with the lost inches!

This month I also stopped drinking caffeine. This has helped my drink lots more water during my day.

Last weeks challenge was to ponder the excuses we make when we decide to not let our health be a priority and post 2 lists, one for why I am not exercising and one for why I am not eating a healthy diet. My lists were not too bad, right now I am doing pretty good on both fronts though I am planning to add some cardio to my week so we'll see what excuses I come up with then.

Here is the picture I have posted over my computer and next to my treadmill. This is to remind me of those 7 inches and how the hard work is starting to pay off!

I am happy with my overall diet. I get plenty of water, lots of fruits and veggies and have incorporated more seafood and less red meat. Because of the weight training I have upped my protein intake to make sure my muscles are fed properly but I am sticking to lean meats, low fat cheeses and fish.

The next GOYB challenge is to track weight and waist measurement everyday for the month. I like this idea, it will definitely give me an idea of how my weight fluctuates over the course of the month.

Have a great week!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Took a Few Days Off

Lately I have been burning the candle at both ends so I've had to take a couple of days off from the world wide web. I'll be back to blogging again tomorrow :)


Monday, January 23, 2012

GOYB Week Three Update

Week 3 Update

This week I was sick, had two parties to attend, I was sick and well.. you get the idea.  What does all of my whining mean. Fortunately, I only missed one workout and am only up .6 - not too bad.

I did have a major achievement this week, I did not drink a single Diet Coke, not one! That is pretty huge for me. I wanted one the first couple of days but by the end of the week I didn't even miss it. Of course I was cranky and being sick made it worse but I persevered (and fortunately my friends and family have forgiven me my crankiness) and I am proud to say that I went the entire week without caffeine. The bonus of this is that I drank lots and lots of water!

This weeks challenge was to think of ways to stay on task. I am following Weight Watchers so I have their App on my phone, I track my food and activity daily. That helps a lot! If I don't track it I tend to forget. I also have a couple of pictures posted on the wall above my desk of things that inspire me. Clothes I like, things I like to do - for instance a picture of a kayaker on a lake, I love my kayak! I also have a graph that I am filling out monthly that shows my weight loss as well as inches lost. Because weight training can mess with the number on the scale I'm tracking my measurements. I took them on Jan 1st and will be taking them again on Feb 1st. I hope I see a difference!

So those are some of the things I do to stay on track.

I am looking forward to a good week!

Friday, January 20, 2012

B is for Broom Closet - Pagan Blog Project

For those of you not familiar with the Pagan Blog Project check it out at This amazing project being hosted by Rowen Pendragon of One Witch's Way is pretty interesting. I have read fantastic posts by a multitude of people on many different aspects of Wicca, Witchcraft, Pagan and Magickal traditions.
When thinking about my post for this week’s Pagan Blog Project I was thinking of writing about my Besom or maybe about the Egyptian Goddess Bast, and then I got to thinking about something that I feel affects many people who follow a Pagan/Witch/Wiccan/Magical path…the Broom Closet!
We all know Magickal, Witchy, Pagan and Wiccan people who are able to practice and enjoy their beliefs out in the open. People who just ARE who they are and for whatever reason non-pagans accept them. For the longest time I just wanted to know how they did that! I’ve been a practicing witch for a long time. A solitary, eclectic and firmly entrenched in the broom closet practicing witch. That is until lately.
 I don’t know if it is because of the amazing friends I have, the support of my family or just the fact that I am older and less likely to care what others feel about my beliefs, but lately I am opening the broom closet door and letting others, including some non-pagans, get small glimpses of my witchy side. Just a bit for now but slowly I am getting more comfortable with letting some of the non-pagans in my life see who I am.
The necessity of the broom closet makes me angry sometimes. I still have a young son who will be starting high school next year and while he knows my beliefs and fully supports me, I fear that others would harass and torment him if they knew, so I keep my faith mostly hidden and have explained to him why I prefer not to discuss my beliefs publically. Is that fair? Is that right? The answer to both of those questions is no. No one should feel that they have to hide their spiritual beliefs because someone may harass their family but that is sadly the truth of our current culture.  Once my son is out of high school I won’t worry about it as much. I just can’t take the chance with my son.
 So, with that said, while I am slowly opening the broom closet door and becoming more active with my local Pagan community, I will remain within the broom closet for a bit longer, the door slightly ajar, slowly letting the non magickal people around me adjust ;0)
To those of you who are out of the closet, my pointy hat is off to you and to those of you who, like me, are not ready to open that door all the way just yet,  I salute you as well, for continuing to practice what you believe in, even though it is difficult to do so in secret.
Blessings my friends

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Yippee, The Owl/Jol Gourd has arrived!

Yesterday I went to the Post Office for a package and found that the Owl/Jol Gourd that I won in a contest hosted by EHAG Emporium and created by Howling Moon Designs had arrived. Oh My Gosh! These little guys are so cute! In fact, they are even cuter in person than they are in the picture!

I want to say thank you to both EHAG Emporium and Howling Moon Designs for brightening my day! Check out the links above to see more beautiful art!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

GOYB Fitness Challenge Update

I  had an emotional week. Lots of things for me to think about in my life but overall it was pretty good. Health wise I did very well. I am down to 1 diet soda a day and beginning Monday I will be saying goodbye to Diet Coke. Tears may be shed but I need to eliminate those chemicals from my diet.

I went to my weight training class on Tuesday and then again today. My work schedule is changing from 5 days a week to 4 -10 hour days, which I love, but I had to adjust my workout days to accommodate the later hours.

This week I was down 3.6 pounds - which made me very happy. I know that my weight loss will slow down and may even stop due to the weight training but as long as my clothes start to fit better I'll be OK with that.

On the weight training front, today I actually tripled my weights. Beginning a weight training program involves some experimentation in what you actually lift, weight wise, so I started out with small, baby weights. On Tuesday I will be adding more weight to my barbel since I am still not struggling too much. I guess if I can finish all of the sets I am not using enough weight - yikes!

Diet wise I did fairly well. I increased the amount of protein I am eating due to the weight training class, I drank LOTS of water everyday and also had plenty of fruits and veggies.

After 2 weeks I already feel better, my clothes are starting to fit better and my attitude is more upbeat, even with the emotional challenges that I had to face this week. So, that is good.

The mini challenge this week was to think about health and health issues that affect me, my fitness and my quality of life.

I am fortunate that my health is generally good. When I am heavier than I am right now my knees and back start to hurt. I joke that I know my maximum weight limit and based on whether or not my knees and back hurt I can tell if I have reached it. This week I am finally below that limit!

My knees are an issue for me. I am not able to do high impact exercise because my knees grew wrong, at least that is what the doctors told me when I was 17 and they wanted to operate after I got whacked in the knee by a field hockey stick. When I was young I was a runner and I played field hockey and surgery would have put me on the bench for the year. I wasn't a star player but I loved it so I vetoed that surgery. The knees only bother me if I do long term high impact stuff otherwise they do fine. As I lose weight I will experiment with a higher impact workout and see if it has been weight issues as an adult or if I just need to stick to low impact. Either way works for me.

Mentally, I am a stress eater so that is one of my main heath issues. When things upset me or I have emotional issues that I have to deal with then I am all about the chocolate. So, this week I was particularly proud that I only indulged my chocolate stress craving once. My plan of attack for this issue is to just be aware of it and have healthy chocolate snacks in the house.

Have a healthy, happy week!

BB my friends


Friday, January 13, 2012

A is for Art - Pagan Blog Project Post

Venus of Willendorf

One of the things I have always found fascinating with so many religious organizations is that there are some serious pieces of art associated with them. Michael Angelo’s painting in the Sistine chapel, Notre Dame Cathedral and Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper immediately come to mind when I think of religious art.
Art has always been tied to religious expression and within the Pagan/Wiccan/Witch community artistic expression is in almost everything we do.  Our Alters are works of art that we are constantly changing throughout the course of the year.  We look at the colors, textures and shapes of the world around us and make them a part of our everyday spiritual practice. A spell is a finely crafted work of art. Colors, scents, phase of the moon etc., are all a part of that process and once you fine tune it, tweak it and test it, you end up something that is not only functional but a meaningful feast for the senses (Also Known As - Art)  
Some of the earliest forms of art are attributed the worship of the Goddess. Stone carvings, jewelry, petroglyphs, all created for the love of the Divine. 
I have more to say and I will get to that and add some more pictures later.
BB my friends

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Reading Challenge Update


Finished my first book of the year and am almost done with the second. These are re-reads for me. Nora Roberts books two and three of The Sign of Seven Trilogy. I finished The Hollow last week and will finish  The Pagan Stone tomorrow. There is something about these books that I just love. They are an easy read, great characters, good storyline and Pagans are not depicted as evil. Not bad for mainstream romance.I enjoy most books written by Nora Roberts, her stories just pull me in.

Next up will be the following:

Fairy Tale Rituals by Kenny Klein. I got this while on a business trip because it intrigued me. I am fascinated by Fairy Tale lore and this book looks interesting. I'll let you know what I think once I am done.

In addition I'll be reading The Elements of Ritual by Deborah Lipp. I have read bits and pieces of this book so now I intend to read it cover to cover.

These posts are for both the 2012 Pagan Reading Challenge (see my original post here) and the Witchy Books Reading Challenge 2012 (see my original post here). I'll be updating my original posts for these challenges with  running list of books.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pagan Blog Project 2012

I just joined the Pagan Blog Project being hosted all year by Rowan Pendragon over at One Witch's Way.  I have always loved to write and having an active blog has been a great tool for me. This year long Blog Project is for bloggers to spend one day each week focusing specifically on Paganism. Wicca, Witchcraft... I LOVE it!

I am a week behind but I'll catch up. This year long project should be fun as well as educational! 

I hope you'll join me!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Get Off Your Broom 2012 Challenge: Week 1 Results

This week was full of successes for me.
I started a fitness class. See the post here to read about my first weight training class – OUCH!
I lost 2.4 pounds which surprised me because my legs are really sore and I figured I would be retaining lots of water while they healed.
I drank LOTS of water, every day.
I followed the Weight Watchers plan.
I got new clothes to work out in, I figure since I am going to be working out with other people, I should be dressed in something that doesn’t look like I use it to wash the car.
Over all it was a very successful week. Because of some after weight training pain I did not start the Yoga class that I wanted to start but once my legs get accustomed to working out I will add that into my schedule. Until then I will be walking on my treadmill and stretching.
The mini challenges this week were to:
1)       take a before picture – done- I will share it later, I want to wait until I have an in-progress picture and put them side by side – I think that will motivate me more.
2)      Take my measurements – I will post these later as well. I have official measurements from my weight trainer at the gym and every 6 weeks I’ll be getting them done again by her, so in 6 weeks I’ll post my first measurement updates.
3)      Make a plan. You can view my first post here for my plan.
I am pretty happy with how this week went.
One of the things my Weight Watchers leader talked about this week was to sit down and figure out why you want to lose weight. Once you write down an answer to that questions then ask yourself – “what will that do for me?”  answer that question, then ask again  “What will that do for me?” and continue that way until you get to the base of why you are doing this. Once you know why losing weight is important to you, you can think of that reason when things get tough and it will help you be inspired to continue on.
For me – If at all possible, I don’t want to be dependent on medications when I am elderly. Exercising, eating right, and losing weight will give me an edge on that front.  I want to be as strong and healthy as I can be for as long as possible, so that I can live my life on my terms. I want to enjoy my life, my family, feel good in my skin and be happy with how I look (yeah, I know, a little bit of vanity there but that is how I feel) I am OK with getting older (I’ll be 46 in April), I am even OK with the signs of aging that I am starting to see but I want to be the best person I can be regardless of my age.
Next week I am cutting my Diet Coke down to 1 per day (currently 2), then the following week I am done with it. I am already preparing for the day. I have found that if I make raspberry or peppermint tea and have those throughout the day I do not crave soda. I like water but I prefer to drink something with more flavor!
Have a great week!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Oh my...Will My Legs EVER Stop Hurting?

Thursday was my first actual session with my weight training class. I can honestly say I have never, ever,seriously ever, worked that hard before - when I was younger I ran 5 miles every morning AND I played the right wing position on my High School field hockey team and I have never worked as hard as I did on Thursday. I did squats and lunges and chest flys and more squats and more lunges and... ouch! My legs still hurt. I look like I am 105 when I am walking slowly up or down the stairs and my kids are already sick of me whining about it. Though my youngest son, he is 14, did give me a hug today. He told me I looked like I needed one - so sweet!

When I left the gym on Thursday, my first thought was to convince myself that I had to go back on Tuesday. Here is the conversation I was having with myself in the car on the way home:

Me  (AKA Pollyanna): Ok, it's only an hour workout, I only had to take a break 2 times and I didn't throw up. That's pretty good for a first time.

Me 2: You don't know those people, no one will miss you. We'll go to the gym around the corner from the house. It will be fine.

Pollyanna: No, seriously, if we stick to it we will look smokin' hot by this summer! I have 5 days to recover before we go again. By the end of January we'll be seeing results!

Me 2: You are going to hate them all in the morning.

Pollyanna: Maybe, but the pain will be worth it.

Me 2: We're going back aren't we?


Happily, while I am in serious pain from muscles that have not worked that hard - ever - I have not yet cursed the name of my friend who talked me into going or that of my instructor.

I have been hobbling around, going up and down the stairs as often as possible and taking lots of warm baths to sooth those aching muscles. Today is better than yesterday and tomorrow will be better than today.  I just hope I can do a lunge by Tuesday!!

On the plus side I went out and got a new work out shirt to wear on Tuesday - thus reaffirming my commitment to getting my body into shape. Hot Pink baby! I really am tired of reaching for black all the time. It is time to get that color back into my wardrobe.

I couldn't start the Yoga today because I would have been sobbing every time I moved! I will be walking on the treadmill tomorrow to try and loosen my legs up so they are ready for another grueling workout come Tuesday.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Lifestyle Change - Weight Training – the First Class

If you have ever read Nora Roberts The Signs of Seven trilogy, you may be familiar with the first book’s heroine Quinn.  She eats healthy and works out, not because she wants to but because she has to or she’ll forever be dieting. I love that attitude. She looks longingly at French fries then eats an apple, all the while repeating “lifestyle change”.  
This is a lifestyle change and while I may have a treat or two I am going to make sure that the bulk of what I eat is great tasting and healthy fuel for me. I want to be healthy and fit and if I can help it, I do not want to be dependent on medications when I get older! I know that eating right, exercising and reducing stress will help me live a better, happier and more productive life.
So today was my first day of the weight training class. We met our instructor -who I really like. She told us she would probably get on our nerves because she will be making sure we use proper form and do the exercises correctly, she isn’t going to be nice and let us be slackers. Does that bother me, not yet, give me a couple of weeks and she may get on my nerves but I am OK with that because she will also help me get the results that I want.
She took our measurements, did our body fat analysis using a computerized caliper (ouch – no it didn’t hurt, at least not until I saw my results) and she discussed with each of us what we wanted to get out of the class. Overall I was impressed with the instructor, the facility and the class size. The cool thing is that since I was referred to the weight lifting class by a friend I am able to take the beginner Yoga class this Saturday for free to see if I like it. Yeah, I love it when things like that happen.
I want to take a couple of Yoga classes before I use the DVD’s I own. I’ve done them before but seriously, having never studied Yoga, I have no clue if my form is even close to being correct so I want to work with an instructor for a while.
I feel good, even though my jeans are still a bit tight right now, I am already starting to feel the results of eating a healthy diet again. I normally eat lots of fruits and veggies, drink lots of water and avoid junk and fast food, the past 6 weeks it seemed like I ate mostly fast food and junk and I felt it. My back and knees hurt, I felt tired and just all around icky.  I know how that happens, I think I need to keep saying it so I don't forget how goodI feel when I eat right!
I have official measurements now and in 6 weeks I’ll see how I did after incorporating both Weight Watchers and a weight training program.  I have great expectations. We’ll see how I feel on Friday morning after my first workout with the weights!
Have a great week! I’ll check in with you on Sunday!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Get off your Broom: A New Year's Witchy Fitness Challenge Kick Off

Happy New Year! I don't know about you  but I was a total slacker the last 6weeks of 2011 and it shows. I finished out 2011 with a gain of 5 pounds...ouch! I am motivated as well as ready to succeed in getting healthy and fit in 2012.

There are three mini challenges for this week. I  have already taken my measurements and a before picture which I'll post once I have a progress picture that I like - baby steps, anyway that takes care of the first two mini challenges, for the third I need to make a plan so here is mine:

I am committing to not only go to my Weight Watcher's meetings I am going to actually follow the plan! I am a huge fan of Weight Watchers because they are not a fad diet, heck, they aren't really a diet they are more of a lifestyle change and baby my lifestyle needs to change! So I'll be making sure I eat my veggies, take my vitamin, drink lots of water and really follow the health eating style that Weight Watchers suggests.

Additionally, a coworker and I signed up to do a weight training class 2 days a week with a former Miss Nevada Body Building champion. My co-worker has been working with this lady for 6 months and loves her, I start on Tuesday! In addition to the weight training I will be alternating between cardio on my treadmill and a flexibility workout with a Yoga DVD at least 3 days per week for a total of 5 days of formal movement per week. I'll also be taking the dogs for walks a few days per week as weather permits.

So that is my plan. I hope you will join me and my fellow Get Off Your Broom challenge members as we get healthy and fit in 2012!

Happy New Year!

Happy 2012


I hope you had a memorable and prosperous 2011 and that the upcoming year is even better! As I have been pondering the new year one word has been uppermost in my mind - Transformation. 2012 is going to be a transformative year. I can feel it!

While thinking about the upcoming year and what my thoughts might mean I found that 2012 is the Year of the Dragon. The Dragon is a symbol of success and happiness so that falls in line with the images and thoughts that I have had regarding the new year.

My New Year's Wish for you...

May your life be better this year than it was the last,
May the joy you send out be received with open arms and
May your love be returned to you ten fold,
May your trials be few and your successes many
May you know that you are loved and
May love find you, always.

Keep your heart open and if necessary your mouth closed,
Know that you will always have a friend right here
With a sympathetic ear and a strong shoulder, should you need either
These are my wishes for you, my friend

Blessings to you and yours on this lovely New Year's first day!