As I went over the feed for this month, I noticed the photo challenge is garnering a nice amount of attention. 😊 Possibly more than the inspirational things I normally share on a semi-regular basis. 🤔 I’ve also noticed that, each time I’m able to write, the statistics go up even further. Mind you, I’m doing all of this from my phone. Not too shabby. I am grateful to my readers and happy to report an increase in readership. All things taken into consideration, it’s pretty fantastic. 😘
I’m going to expand the photo challenge for another month, perhaps two. After going through my photo albums, I realized I have so many beautiful photos I’ve never shared. I didn’t think anyone would care, really. They’re absolutely stunning in color, but there’s something about black and white that allows you to see a different layer of beauty.
Editing them and then saving them into black and white is a little time consuming, but it’s worth it. Can you believe this started as a seven day challenge presented to me about two years ago? Expanding it, if one is able to do so, and has the photos, is far more interesting. Especially since part of the challenge is in not disclosing the locations, yet many are obvious, like Yankee Stadium or the Empire State Building. There are iconic locations in many of the photos, and in others, you’d be hard pressed to pinpoint exactly where the photo was taken. Part of me was tempted to post the black and white AND color versions, because there’s so much beauty to be seen in the differences, but I think I’ll keep things as they are, for now. I might eventually disclose the locations of each photo. I haven’t decided yet.
I’ve been having a difficult time sleeping. I have had a migraine for almost eleven days straight (after an extremely successful run of treatment, this feels like an enormous setback. Even better, the abortive I fought for isn’t helping. I am going to see if my doctor can get the brand approved since the generic is a little too different for me.), and it’s taking a toll on me. I’m researching a new medication (to me) and trying to decide if it’s an acceptable choice. I am hoping to enter the final phase of a clinical trial for PTSD medication, as well. I’ll know more at some point. I may or may not be permitted to mention the logistics if the drug isn’t already on the market. But hey, it’s worth a shot. I’m willing to try something if it can help me move forward, though I expect nothing.
My brother is scheduled for heart surgery next week. 😔 They claim he’ll go home the same day (Healthcare in America. 😒😠), but I have my concerns and suspicions. Obviously, I am praying for good results. 🙏 Otherwise, someone will be on the news next weekend. 😒 I’m probably voted “Most likely to kill a doctor” on a list somewhere. Most of them are smart enough to run in the opposite direction. 🤷
I am trying to wrap my head around everything that’s been going on in my life and things that have directly affected my loved ones. There’s been sudden loss of life, which left my best friend & I in tears, comforting each other from thousands of miles away. In constant truth, G-d Bless her. I don’t know what I’d do without her or her supportive words. When you have a friendship which started out so long ago, it occasionally feels like “just yesterday”. The shared memories and history, the laughter, the tears, and so much more, are a bond of truth. You can wave goodbye to the flakes and fakes of the world when you have solid relationships with others; the kind that always grow and age like the finest of wines. The kind you’re constantly grateful for, because 2-3 times a day, you thank G-d for blessing you with a handful of solid friends. G-d didn’t see fit to give me biological sisters, but he placed some extraordinary people in my life, and it bears repeating; I’m constantly grateful. Keep in mind, friendship is 50/50. Sometimes it’s 70/30 when one of you is going through a crisis, and that’s okay because your bond ensures that the center will hold.
Things are changing in positive ways. It helps distract one from the minor, negativity I’ve rid myself of. Eventually I WILL talk about it, but for now, I just want to focus on me. Not in a selfish or egotistical manner. Mostly in a head and heart kind of way, which I think is important.
And so, for the month of June, I’m done. I’m ready to move forward, keep growing, stay focused, and keep myself in a position to accept that I’m not a one trick pony. I do more than write; I create. I utilize that creativity and I’m SO glad I started filming and getting myself prepared for another phase. There’s a lot up the road. I am excited for it all.
Talk to you in July.
© 2019 by Lisa Marino and Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Happy Summer Solstice! 🌞 I hope you ALL enjoy your summer (and for everyone else, I hope Winter is kind to you.). I’ll be hibernating and visible only with SPF 50, or higher, like a proper vamp. 😉 Photo 📷 is from last summer in Yakutia. 😊
It’s no secret; I HATE summer. Unbearable heat, humidity, endless days of sun; they simply weren’t meant for someone like me. Fall is my favorite season (Two guesses why.), but Winter is a close second. That is why I am relieved to say goodbye to August and hello to the cooler temperatures ahead.
This year has been HELL. On some levels, I’ve made great strides and on other levels, I feel stuck, trapped, and genuinely unhappy. I look forward to new people, new achievements, new goals, new forms of happiness, new successes, and pretty much all things NEW. And while that means delving into my past and ridding myself of a lot of negativity, I am all right with that. I am all right with the hard labor that will involve, so long as it opens up a new, fresh chapter that can be lighter, fresher, and ultimately, happier. I don’t always like change when it’s forced upon me, as my recent changes have been, but I look forward to making lemon drop martinis out of the lemons I’ve been handed. If I look at it any differently, it will only continue to traumatize and harm me, so I am doing my best to place a positive spin on it, because to go in reverse is not how you move on to better things.
A lot of people in life settle. I’ve heard way too many people say they married someone “because they asked”, not “because I genuinely love him/her”, but “because they asked”. That’s not reason enough for me, or I would have been married in junior high school! Yes, that’s when the majority of my marriage proposals began, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
I may not believe in marriage at the moment, but I don’t ever want to settle for things I’m not happy with, or settle for someone who I don’t fully believe in. That’s like going to your favorite restaurant and ordering something off the menu that’s passable, but something you know won’t make you happy in terms of choice. Just thinking about it makes it sour in my mind. I won’t settle in any aspect of my life. Perhaps it’s why I am so challenging and difficult. I know who I am and what I’m capable of, and when people try to box me into their thought process or desire for me to be their vision of who I should be, I’m always going to rail against it. I don’t have to be perfect for anyone, I just have to be able to live with myself.
This month has taught me who is truly important in my life. As usual, the numbers diminish a little, and that’s okay. As people show you their true colors, you’re able to see everything and everyone a lot more clearly. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It may upset you or piss you off initially, but ultimately, assholes and idiots, on occasion, help you make big choices. Life is a labyrinth of learning. Knowledge is power, and I feel like people forget that sometimes.
I move into September focused on my health, on my brother’s health and helping him as much as humanly possible (I am in the process of setting the fundraiser up. A detailed post will accompany it for those who didn’t read my previous post about feeling like this was the right thing to do for him. If I wasn’t deeply concerned, I’d never do something like this, but I am.), and on trashing the old, keeping as many good memories as possible, and learning that not everything needs to be held on to forever.
We come into this world naked and crying. We leave this world alone, even if we are surrounded by loved ones. None of our worldly possessions can go with us, though I’ve seen many people try. So, take stock of your life and don’t forget to look after loved ones to the best of your ability. Sometimes it’s a struggle, but it would be far worse if you had to live with regrets for the things you did not do when you had the chance to be present.
If I didn’t have loved ones and responsibilities, I’d have checked out a long time ago. I will never lie about that, because it’s always in the back of my mind, but today, I am trying to focus on being rinsed clean of all the bullshit and drama.
Here’s to a new month! Goodbye, August. I am happy to see you go. Wishing you all blessings, good health, and happiness for the month ahead. 🙂
copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Tonight is the Full Corn Moon named because this is a time for corn harvests. The August Full Moon is also known as the Sturgeon Moon because this was the time when wild sturgeon and salmon would be abundant in rivers and streams. At this time, our emotions will be heightened, our senses will be sharp, things that were hidden or in the shadows can now be seen.
If you have been feeling stuck in a situation or feel that everything has been standing still lately, get ready, because this Full Moon will be bringing with it a wind of change. The whole of earth is going through a massive transition. Summer is fading and Autumn is coming in, leaves are starting to change color and falling from trees. Plants and flowers are dying and seeding the earth for next Spring. But at the same time, crops in fields are flourishing with the harvest, fruit is now at its most ripe. We will feel this energy of transformation, and we should use it to help transform and shape ourselves into what we want to be.
The Full Moon is in the sign of Aquarius. The time is potent to follow our hearts and to create new pathways. We have shed our skin, now is the time to emerge and start turning the visions we have of ourselves into something real. There will be some deep, emotional changes happening now; don’t fight them. Let them come to the surface. We must move with the changes, allow what wants to come forth, and trust our inner knowing and guidance.
Your enthusiasm, idealism, and creativity will be at an all time high. You will be bursting with new ideas and energy. You could have sudden insights into the future and where you are going. Dreams will be wild and vivid and could even be prophetic. You can move from a breakdown to a breakthrough now. You are experiencing a transformation in consciousness, big changes are coming.
Sometimes your growth can feel weird and strange when you are no longer connecting to your past. But truly, the old way of living no longer works for you. You are experiencing new aspects of yourself and life. You are giving birth to the new you, and giving birth is painful. This is real work. This is real growth. There is so much to celebrate right now. Realize that to live out new, promising visions there’s a need to restructure and grow. A new vision of the future will be illuminated, it is up to you what you do with it.
Most of all tonight’s Full Moon will be about healing. Let the winds of the Aquarius air sign blow away your negative thoughts and feelings and take you on a journey of discovery. Let go of the past and welcome in the future. This is the harvest and it is time to start reaping what we have sown, your hard work will start paying off. Take the gifts life offers you and make the most of them.
Have a Blessed Full Moon & may the Goddess watch over you.
Written & photo credits go to Wicca Teachings
Edited by Lisa Marino
There is something about summer that causes terrible insomnia for me. It’s not just the blistering heat & humidity of the days (and many nights). Even on cooler nights, I find myself completely and utterly unable to sleep. It’s awful, especially when I’m yawning at 7:30 PM thinking “I can’t wait to be in bed before 9:30.” I typically have to be in the midst of an excruciating migraine, Fibro flare, on allergy meds, or take a hefty dose of Melatonin to be in bed early these days. And let me tell you something; I’m not the least bit entertained by it.
Normally when I cannot sleep, I read or watch something I’ve seen a million times. Eventually I get bored/sleepy and it’s lights out. Sometimes I listen to music and that will help, but other times it makes my brain even more responsive, and that’s not helpful at all. I have tried re-reading some of my favorite books and every time I do, the next thing I know it’s 5:30 a.m. and I’ve got at least one cat crying to be fed or both of them wreaking some kind of havoc that annoys me and lulls me into the belief that if I feed them, they will calm down. Generally, they just walk away from the food and go back for it later on, but much meowing or pawing of the Mommy occurs before the “calming down” process. It irritates the hell out of me. I am NOT a morning person. Hell, I’m not even a day person!
Thursday morning I sat here unable to sleep. Kitten was 100% OUT next to me. She’d been sleeping soundly for about four hours or so while I’d done everything I could think of to put myself to bed. I eventually got about 2 1/2 hours of sleep, but after that, I was a prisoner to the day. I was so sleep-deprived that when I went outside around 3:30 to water the plants and herbs, I kept visualizing myself being found there at some point, ravaged by the neighbor’s dogs. It wasn’t just the heat and the sun’s intensity, it was that delirious state you often reach when you’re so sleep-deprived, you’d kill for 12 hours of solid, uninterrupted rest. Lack of proper rest screws with your body over time. I can’t remember the last time I truly slept well.
Last night, severely determined, I took a dose of Melatonin and was in bed by 9:15. The downside? I was up by 3:30. Not what I had in mind, AT ALL. 😦 Despite suffering pain-wise, I’d prefer not to need a nap by 10;30 in the morning. I’d also prefer to avoid additional encounters where I cannot account for 2-4 hours of my day.
For the next week, the forecast is 80’s and 90’s. Only one day is slated for rain and thunderstorms. Heat and humidity make me viciously cranky and unpleasant. It makes me feel even more like a prisoner than I already do. 😦 I cannot enjoy “the great outdoors” when the heat index dictates that I need to drink a gallon or two of water, especially when I feel like it’s so hot I cannot breathe, or when the heat affects my eyes and makes my contact lenses cloudy and/or gooey. My allergies are awful. Even just typing these words makes me feel like a kvetchy bitch, but I’d rather be honest than pretend. Extreme temperatures are NOT my friend. Insect bites and sunburns are not a badge of honor that you’ve enjoyed the summer. I NEVER enjoy the summer, and I’d like to avoid all things involving damage to the skin.
There are no good suggestions for “things to do” when it’s this hot. Sure, you can walk the mall for no reason whatsoever, you can go to the movies, you can mindlessly walk around the book store, you can hit up a museum, but all of those things require energy I don’t always have. My patience is nil and my ability to make small talk is nonexistent. I don’t want to talk about anything serious either, because I am up to my ears in serious and do not care for or want any additional drama. I’m doing my best, my best is never good enough, and that’s the way the cookie crumbles, apparently. At this point, I’d rather discuss absolute nonsense, and that’s sad, because I am NOT a nonsensical conversationalist.
On one level, I could take the opportunity to hibernate and watch the Olympics, but let’s face it; that’s not going to happen. I will watch what I can of the opening ceremony (I already have it set to record on my DVR. I do not plan on watching it live.), some gymnastics, and the closing ceremony. The problem with watching gymnastics is that, as a former gymnast, I do gymnastics in my sleep. I remember every routine I’ve ever done and my brain works in mysterious ways. I’ve been lucky to retain nearly my flexibility, but NO, stretching does not minimize the pain of Fibromyalgia and things like yoga annoy the shit out of me. I am a physical kind of person, so if I’m going to workout, I need to be punching things or doing something that brings about results. I do pay an immense price for punching things; it kills my arms, back, and muscles I didn’t even know I have or utilize, but it makes me feel better mentally. I have many creative outlets, but so few mental outlets. Clearly, it’s time to search for something new.
The whole library debacle is ongoing. After sending a formal complaint to the Director, the only results I’ve seen was the removal of $50+ in late fees they slapped on to my account because no one ever picked up the 14 items that were sitting here, half of which had been delivered five days after being checked out. I was so annoyed that I didn’t have time to read any of the books (I started one and got about 100 or so pages in, but I really wanted to be able to finish it.) and I still haven’t listened to any of the music I burned. I do hope the issue is resolved soon. On the plus side, I am caught up on The Good Wife after discovering six seasons of it are available on Streampix as part of my cable package. I was able to watch season four, which is apparently when I started watching in the first place. That was precisely what I thought originally, so now I’m over it. I can barely watch an hour of TV most days. I am so focused on getting work done and acquiring more work that it’s easy for my DVR to fill up and for me to miss things for months on end. At one point, I hadn’t turned it the TV on in a few months. It’s new, so it had calculated the energy/electricity saved and how many hours it had been since I’d last had it on. I had one of those moments where I thought “Wow! You have NO life whatsoever.” Of course, I tend to think that daily, but realizing that my new flat screen is basically collecting dust pissed me off. It was a gift, a “sense of normalcy to help me transition” after my move, but nothing is normal, I am not “transitioned”, and I have little time to enjoy the things I normally love. 😦 My life feels like it is dictated to me, as opposed to my choice. That doesn’t make me feel good about myself and I suspect it’s not supposed to.
And so, another day begins. Sun, heat, prepping for an interview for next week, being ignored by Cat (Kitten has already had breakfast and is sleeping peacefully beside me. She talks in her sleep. LOL.), and a zillion thoughts facing through my head. I’d like to go through the next few days without an interrogation, stress, deepening depression, or thoughts of walking in front of moving vehicles. I can’t afford to deal with broken bones (physically) and I really cannot handle dealing with anyone giving me the third, fourth, or tenth degree. I’ve bitten my tongue for far too long. One more push will likely send me over the edge and it won’t be pretty. However, it’ll feel damn good not to hold back the force of my personality any longer. I am only an opponent when someone forces me to be one. I make no promises if you continually push my buttons. In this, I think many of us are the same. We don’t actively go looking for the craziness that comes our way, but we won’t back down if you get in our face, either.
Wishing you all an easy Friday and a wonderful weekend to come! 🙂
copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Tonight is the Full Strawberry Moon. It is called that because of the abundance of strawberries around this time of year. If you have a lover or a love interest give them roses, as this Moon is also known as the Rose or the Love Moon. It is the perfect time to patch up relationships, get married, or find a new love. The June Moon is also known as the Honey Moon because it has a slight amber tint to it and it is also a time when bees are at their most active. This is where we get the term ‘Honeymoon’ from.
Tonight the Full Moon falls on the Summer Solstice. This is a very rare event and will probably only happen once in a lifetime. The Sun is at its strongest point today and combined with the energy from the Full Moon will make this a potent time filled with strong energy that can propel us in a new and exciting direction.
The Full Moon is in the sign of Sagittarius, which is the sign of truth. Things that were in the dark will start to come to light, new truths will be revealed. We can look at our lives with more clarity now that the veil will is lifted. We must also look within ourselves and find our own inner truths. You may experience some restless nights and wild and vivid dreams.
Don’t be scared to dream and want for more on this Full Moon. Sagittarius is brave and bold and will give us a boost of courage and ambition. You may feel unstoppable and have renewed energy. Use this energy to make plans for the future. Be daring and move out of your comfort zone a little, try new things. Only by doing this can we learn and grow.
This Full Moon will have our emotions on high alert, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. We may be feeling a little fragile at the moment, so be kind and gentle with yourself, don’t be too self-critical, try to stay positive, and think about all the good in your life rather than the bad. There may be emotional desire to pack up and go off on an adventure or to visit places that bring up sweet memories. It gives us an opportunity to grow in so many ways and have an epic summer.
The earth is full of energy and life now, use these energies to inspire you, be creative and go out into nature for long walks. See the beauty all around you and embrace all life has to offer. Let the Sagittarius fires cleanse, heal, and energize you.
You are getting a huge blast of positive energy from the Cosmos. Solstices are power days. This is one of the most powerful days of the year. You can feel the shift in your being. The light of the heavens is pouring down on you. Use the light of this Full Moon to find your way home.
Have a blessed Solstice and Full Moon & may the Goddess watch over you.
Written & photo credit goes to Wicca Teachings.
Edited by Lisa Marino.