Tag Archives: family fun

No tan lines.

After yesterday’s BS I need a pallet cleanser post. Monday was a day off and I needed nature.

We did a minimum of chores early in the morning. Then Nathan and I, with our two toddlers, left for the day.

Nathan is about halfway done cleaning gutters and our yard and patio were far enough along that we deserved the break. Our teenager also deserved a break from watching the two toddlers the whole time Nathan and I were working on big projects.

So she stayed home with the dog and the rest of us went to fulfill my desire for a specific nature retreat. I was in massive withdrawal of what used to be our favorite place to camp.

Our clothing-optional pagan-camp had closed for most of 2020 because of Covid. Being an outdoors retreat most all events are held during fair weather months, and that was when covid shutdowns happened here. Late last fall they had reopened with major adjustments to occupancy limits and functionality.

If we make the assumption that the rules, created by the powers that be, were all good choices, then what our camp did to meet those demands was appropriate (some events drew thousands of people). However, having gone Monday, it sort of broke my heart. Our beautiful nature retreat was in desperate need of major maintenance because all the festivals that would have funded those projects last year didn’t happen.

The shower house foundation was separating significantly, partly because one of the shower lines had leaked enough to necessitate removing the wall panel behind it and it had not been fully repaired yet, so excess water had flowed into what was once a tiny crack. Now between lengthy spring rains and the plumbing problem, it was now about a two inch gap the entire length of the building. The sinks and showers have not been returned to normal either. Covid spacing was slightly wider than normal spacing so they took a few fixtures out, and they are still stacked in one of the covidized toilet stalls.

So then we went down to what was the beach. The dock was still parked on ‘the beach’ with paddle boats needing some serious TLC. The beach itself was more of a sandy lawn, having been mowed, but not treated for weeds and grass and not having had any sand dropped in several years. The lake itself was full of algae, which festival goers in previous years had taken turns pulling out to keep it thinned down. It was a sad moment acknowledging we were not going to be able to swim or boat on this day.

I was determined to enjoy some of the day though. So we walked around, cooled off in showers, walked some more, and then went up the giant 4 story+ main staircase to the ridge.

The ridge is where main event activities are held. There are two large fire circles, and open field space about the size of 2 or 3 football fields. The biggest festivals held on the ridge can accommodate 50 to 60 vendors quite easily. I showed my kids why it is called the ridge. If you look end to end it is roughly flat, but as you look the short directions it slopes downwards towards tree lines which are the start of major drops. My kids thought that was neat.

At the backside of the ridge is a massive pavilion that hosts musical and theatrical entertainment during festivals. The pavilion has provided seating for about 300 people, but campers often supply their own chairs and so the pavilion has fairly easily accommodated 1500 people for a performance. My kids enjoyed running around the pavilion, climbing up on the stage, and playing in the gravel floor.

Then I took them to see Flora’s Garden. It was very overgrown to the point of impassable. It had not been tended since the end of 2019 I’m sure. I pointed to some of my favorite places from a distance, the one bench at center was one, and the swing at the back was another. My kids opted to climb the trees that separate the vendor space from the pavilion and main fire ring.

Nathan took a stroll through Pixie Sticks and Drum Styx to the first field area to take good cloud pictures. There are several hiking trails that we did not accomplish with our two toddlers on Monday.

We were only the second family to be out at camp on that day so we nearly had the whole area to ourselves. I took a bit of an opportunity to sunbathe naked, and Nathan eventually took his shirt off, still embarrassed by his dialysis port. It caused a whole discussion with my kids as to why it was okay at camp but not okay in our yard. We had to explain to them that or neighbors are very good people but not used to rules allowing for nudity, so it would offend them to see people naked outside. We also added that people who come to camp have allowed themselves a slightly different view and nudity is acknowledged as our Gods’ given skin and natural when weather permits.

I only wish my children had gotten the learning experience of festival. It is when you are seeing people of every age, in a variety of levels of dressed and undressed, and no one cares. It simply is. We are allowed to be our own authentic selves no matter what that means. Camp has never had the pressure of you must get naked to be there. It is truly clothing optional and free from any pressure. It also helps one to feel better about their own body because you realize that there is always someone that is worse off, or different, and sometimes it’s a bit scary and sometimes it’s really beautiful to see the differences. It just helps with acceptance of all bodies and all people being who they are. It is a beautiful experience. I wish that for everyone, because I have benefitted so much from that learning experience.

Anyway, my brief soiree of nudity for some sun did help start that learning moment with my kids, and a line free tan, but more our day was much needed connection with mother earth. We all left camp hot and tired, but more grounded and centered than we’ve been in ages.

I’m only going to share pictures where I am clothed for obvious reasons- the internet is unkind and never gives anything back. Plus pictures do not do full justice to the learning lessons that camp provides in shifting paradigms.

May you have a good time in nature anywhere and anyway you find it. May your soul be cleansed and grounded by Mother Gaea. May you know that we are all beautiful people in our Gods’ given skin doing our best to navigate this thing called life. May you have a deeper understanding of your world and find ways to see your own beauty. May you have ample time to enjoy your days and find goodness in this world. May you understand paradigms and find ways to exist as authentically as possible as much of your time as possible. May Mother Gaea guide and support you in all ways possible each day. Above all may you know that the divine loves and supports you in all that you do.

Om Shanti

Burried Hatchets

FYI, anyone that actually reads this- kudos to you!!!

About 2.5 months ago I was solicited to purchase my domain with the China extension. I refused because I have yet to make anything off of this blog, and have such low readership that what I already pay for domain and hosting is hardly worth it. I couldn’t justify the cost of adding another extension. Even though they tried to convince me, I still refused because even though I am an American, I’m far from rich. The cost benefit scale was rediculously out of balance for me as an individual.

Anyway, since then, even if you Google or otherwise search my name or the blog itself it now falls fairly low on search results. Under my name, it falls even lower than images from a flicker account that is older than our teenager. Not only have I lost many of my regular readers, but I’m not even getting the sparatic views from all over the world. My blog has literally gone silent as far as any stats are concerned, which means I’m not even clearing any algorithms. So of my posts, approximately the last 40 have been largely unread by anyone, that takes you back to the New Year.

I point this out because it feels vendictive to me. I already fell so low on algorithms that there would have been literally thousands, if not millions, of blogs with much higher value, and thus much more likely to buy additional extensions. I myself have read many blogs with 10 times my readership and followers. So it boggled my mind as to why anyone would bother with mine. I have done nothing to anyone, and do my best to hide names and personal information about anyone I write about. The only identities I even slightly compromise are my own family, and even when I’m frustrated or upset I do my best to vent from a ‘harm none’ standpoint. So, with the low value scale for someone fishing to make money, and my low readership, and my efforts to be authentic yet still protect others, I’m simply dumbfounded. Perhaps it is someone with nothing better to do in their lives except crazy making for random strangers, and some stupid keyword was how I became their target. I don’t know.

I’m not in IT, do not have the skills to fix it, and really don’t have the resources to pay someone else to do so. Nathan has said he is going to try, and I’m going to reach out to WordPress to see if they are able to fix it.

Until then I suspect I will continue to write to no-one. It’s okay, it’s like when my blog was brand new 6 years ago, I just keep reminding myself that this blog is for me to write about what I want or need to. It is my space to express myself as best as I can. It is my safe space, and if I have no readers, then it is even safer.

If you did somehow actually manage to come across this post and read my blog, it would be nice to know I’m still showing up somewhere. I don’t need the validation, but sometimes it does give a little feel good boost, and I’m appreciative of all feel good boosts- regardless of the source.


Anyway, I really wanted to share my birthday fun with Nathan. The super crappy weather of my birthday week had caused it to be rescheduled, so we ended up going this afternoon.

We went to a place called “Bury the Hatchet” in Overland Park, Kansas. It was good fun, throwing hatchets at giant wooden targets. After a bit of basic instructions, and some practice, we played a round of “Black Jack” (goal to make 21 points) and two rounds of what they called “Area 51” (goal to count backwards from 51 to zero). It was a relatively inexpensive but really fun date outing. I had a blast and Nathan did too.

We knew that using hatchets can be physically taxing from our days cutting wood for heating our home. Yet, even when throwing them for fun it was really quite a bit of a workout. A great new way to exercise. I told Nathan it kinda makes me want to build a target in our backyard- we already have one hatchet and plenty of scrap lumber, I’d only need to buy a second hatchet and they’re about $20. Sounds like a good time to me. We’d just have to make certain that kids couldn’t find or reach hatchets when not in use. Hmmm….. 🤪😆

Here’s the pictures:


May you bury the hatchet in all ways, especially forgiving others when they’ve hurt you or messed with your blog. May you find fun outings to distract you from frustrations and boost your spirits. May you enjoy physical activity of all kinds. May you have plenty of physical activity. May you find that you enjoy life mostly, even and especially when you are writing for yourself. May you have fun adventures with loved ones. And above all, may you know that God loves and supports you no matter what.

Om Shanti

Yule Merriment

I just wanted to share our Yule Celebrations (Solstice/longest night). Being pagan from Christian families, we celebrate both holidays.

We don’t buy presents twice over, and in fact I collect them all year long as I have a few dollars to spare here and there. However, we do split them into more than one night of gift opening for kids enjoyment, and also to draw out the suspense and excitement.

Because of my mom’s creativity growing up, and her thrifty skills, I’ve gotten very creative making a few dollars look like an abundant spread. Plus, I learned long ago that dollar store bags and tissue paper make gifts look much larger.

It all adds to the view and feeling of a prosperous holiday season, which in turn gets kids very happy and excited (and a little naggy).

Finally, we always save a few gifts and the stockings, so that Santa can visit us too. This year a client suggested we use the ash from our fireplace to make boot tracks where Santa would drop the gifts and enjoy a cookie. I loved the idea so much we’re totally doing it, and I’ve made several fires to make sure we’d have plenty of ash. It’ll be a mess to clean up later but totally worth it.

I just watched “Polar Express” with my two littles and I think it’s just what we needed to spark some more magic in our home and family. Playing Santa for my kiddos will stir their magical creativity for sure.

Nathan and Anya even made gluten free vegan cookies for Santa. Shortbread and peanut butter carob chip cookies- yum! Ian and Katie helped with the peanut butter cookies. Now he’s working on gluten free pumpkin doughnuts. Double yum!

Anyways, I’ll put pictures in a clump below.

May you have a magical holiday season and enjoy abundant gift giving. May your children appreciate all their gifts no matter how much resources it took to compile. May you know you always have enough and that your gifting choices are perfectly chosen. May you feel confident in your holiday preparations. And above all, may the Magic of this season fill your hearts and inspire great things in all those you love and care for. May we all feel our connection to the divine goodness this holiday season. May you know you are loved and cared for.

Om Shanti

Early Decorating for Joy

I decided to be an early bird. This year needs a little more cheer and light, and a week before I normally decorate is nothing. I might even leave them up until my birthday next February, we’ll see if I get sick of them before that. For now the extra pretties are very welcome.

This morning started with pancakes and dog loves. Even though Zen is a fairly large dog, he loves giving me hugs, and I don’t mind except when his paw catches a boob wrong. He loves me a lot, and I find him quite adorable.

Then once I got dressed decorating commenced. I got very sentimental and teary eyed when I realized this is the first holiday season I’ve been able to decorate my own home (not a rental house or apartment). It made up for the holiday seasons that we had nothing, and not even an good home.

Anya fluffed and lighted our cheap artificial tree. We’ve talked about having a fresh tree, but I am tapped out cash wise at the moment so that’s how we ended up with the one we did. As we were pulling decorations out of storage we discovered some damaged and broken, and some burnt out lights, but fortunately we had enough to do a good job decorating.

We all took turns putting ornaments on the tree, and I hung lights as many places as we could. We left two strings for outside and a tiny string for our wreath outside. Nathan will hang those sometime in the next few days. I got really emotional after doing the sliding door because it was so pretty.

Afterwards I spent some quality time with littles and kitties. It was a good day and my home feels like a home for holiday celebrating.

May you have fun decorating for holiday cheer. May you have plenty of quality time with your family. May beauty bring you joy and warm your heart. May you house feel like home. May you love your life and find reasons to celebrate. May you celebrate with joy and peace regardless of whether your home welcomes 2 or 20 or more. May you have everything you need and much that you want. May you know that God loves and supports you.

Om Shanti