A Few Favorite Photos From My Birthday Trip

My husband and I had a great time on my birthday trip, although I am exhausted and extremely sore now! It will probably take at least a week for me to recuperate physically, but it was worth it! Here are a few of my favorite photos from the trip:

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Rainy days are still beautiful in Kentucky.
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Just a girl walking along an autumn road…
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A reminder that even while we are on vacation, social issues abound. House the Homeless.
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Two aging sweethearts lol.
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Watching the leaves fall into the river.
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Dance as if no one is watching.
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This speaks to my Irish soul.
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Art and nature combine.

 

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Photo Art from the Children’s Hospital

Yesterday I went to the local children’s hospital to see their genetic specialist for Ehlers Danlos testing. While there, I got bored and took a couple photos of a set of sculptures I liked:

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My favorite is the feet one. I love odd angles and close ups of objects, because it shows details most people don’t notice. I did add a bit of a filter to the first picture to make the colors stand out more from the darker aspects.

As for the visit with the geneticist, it went fine. They did a mouth swab to test my DNA, so no pain involved. The geneticist is pretty sure I have hEDS (hypermobile Ehlers Danlos) since I meet all the criteria, although he wanted to rule out other kinds like vascular and classical EDS, hence the test. I just hope it isn’t vascular, as the average lifespan of someone with vascular EDS is only 48.

 

Thanksgiving Mini Vacation

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving if you happen to celebrate it. I had a really good day. My husband and I went over to Indiana to have dinner with my mom and her husband. We decided to go over there a day early to break up the drive, and to go to Marion, Indiana to see their holiday Walkway of Lights. It was cold, but we still got out and walked around the park a little bit to enjoy the lights and gardens:

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I threw in a penny and made a wish on the fountain pictured above. I certainly hope it comes true!

I had a lot of fun and am glad I went, but now I am EXHAUSTED.

Weird Outsider Art Sculpture Photo

When I see weird things, especially weird artistic stuff that fits into the category of folk or outsider art, I like to take pictures of them! This past weekend, my husband and I visited a little curiosities shop in downtown Fairborn, Ohio called The Secret Chamber House of Oddities and Artwork. They had this cool looking creature guarding their door, so I just had to get a photo of it:

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I hope to return to that shop and maybe take some pics of some of the other cool stuff they had (like some awesome creepy dolls). I find stuff like this so inspiring for my own artistic style. The weirder – the better!!!

Poetry: Sleeping Poetic Genius

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Sleeping Poetic Genius
By: Maranda Russell

I wrote a poem
in my sleep last night.
The words, colors, and images
now blur in my mind.
I try to pin them down,
only to have them
wiggle away
like a puppy
desperate to escape
a confining embrace.

The poem was grand,
of this I am sure.
A masterpiece of language,
now shriveled and dried up
like an unlucky worm
laying dead
after a rainstorm.

Artemis, the Greek Goddess Who Kicks Butt

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Although I am an agnostic when it comes to the actual physical existence of any kind of God or divine power, I am drawn to pagan spirituality. I love their connection to the earth, seasons, and the cycles of nature. I also happen to love mythology, whether it be classic Greek/Roman, Egyptian, Native American, Eastern, Celtic, Norse, or whatever else there happens to be. I’m not sure if I could believe in the Gods/Goddesses of these belief systems as actual living beings, but I can certainly believe in the archetypes and types of universal energy they represent and the various facets of humanity they project.

Greek mythology is my favorite pantheon and has several Gods/Goddesses I adore. Hades will always be a favorite, as the cool ruler of the underworld. His wife Persephone is right up there as well. Athena is brilliant, and Hecate is dark and mysterious – two things I adore! But my favorite Goddess has to be Artemis (Diana in Roman mythology).

I always loved how Artemis was tough and tomboyish. She determined from her youth that she didn’t need no man! She could take care of herself and find happiness with her nymph friends and beloved animals. The other day I came across a bit of knowledge on GoddessGift.com I didn’t know about Artemis though, which made me love her even more:

“Artemis’ mother, Leto, gave birth to Artemis after a short and painless labor. But then Leto’s labor continued, with her contractions growing weak and painful. Moved to compassion, the infant goddess Artemis, born only a few minutes earlier, became her mother’s midwife and delivered her twin brother Apollo. You could say that, of all the Greek goddesses, the goddess Artemis was literally born to serve as a nurturer and protector!

The Greek goddess Artemis was frequently called upon to nurture her needy and somewhat ineffectual mother. All too often she felt compelled to come to her rescue even though Artemis received little from her mother in return. As a result of her having caused her mother no pain in childbirth, and her successful role as midwife in her brother’s birth, Artemis naturally became the patron saint of childbirth, the protector of children, and the goddess who especially heard the appeals of women.

The goddess Artemis was always responsive to the needs of the vulnerable and the suffering. She was quick to defend the powerless from unjust treatment at the hands of the Olympian patriarchy; it is not surprising that in current times Artemis is seen as the “feminist” goddess.”

What a kick ass Goddess! Right after she was born she helped deliver her baby brother Apollo? And like me, she had an ineffectual (probably narcissistic) mother that she had to take care of all her life? I can totally relate to having to come to a parent’s rescue time and time again, when you get little in return. And being a feminist in a time of overt patriarchy (especially with a philanderer like Zeus for a father)? Artemis, you rock!

 

Gratitude and Positivity Only!

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Aren’t these “namaste/praying” skeleton and black cat figurines I found at Michael’s cute? They had an entire line of both skeletons and black cats doing various yoga poses and I had to pick up a couple of them. I picked these two because I love how this pose represents gratitude and a peaceful heart. Some people might think the skeleton one is kind of creepy (which makes sense considering these were part of a Halloween display), but I think there is something beautiful about the simplicity of a human skeleton doing yoga.

I used these figures on my altar the other night while I was doing a gratitude ritual. I decided to do an impromptu meditation/prayer session, focusing ONLY on feeling and expressing gratitude and thankfulness for anything I could think of which makes my life (or the world in general) better. I specifically chose to NOT ask for anything, request divine help, or focus on any problems or pains I am currently wrestling with. ONLY GRATITUDE. ONLY POSITIVITY.

So, how did it go? Well, it definitely improved my frame of mind and sense of well-being that night. No, it didn’t cure the deep depression I have been fighting with, and it didn’t open the floodgates to riches or worldly success (at least not yet!), but it did make me feel good at the time, and it is something I would recommend to anyone (including myself) who tends to become weighed down with negativity and pessimism.