Open Air Affair

Yesterday, while enjoying the view of the yard from my griffin chair near my front door, an urge took root. It began slowly, gently, enticing me with a soft hand. I smiled coyly. “Surely not”, my reply. Yet, the call to my primal instincts persisted.

Across the yard, things began to take a more urgent approach. “C’mon, you know you want this…you need this. It’s been too long and I know you can’t resist. Won’t resist.” I avert my gaze until I focus on several Chickadees darting back and forth to the feeder. “Nice try”, my seducer taunted. I felt a blush cast a crimson shadow upon my face.

Why am I so easy, so shameless? Has experience and life taught me that the taste of regret is punishingly sour and has a way of permeating of all your senses until you can’t savor anything else?  I am willing to acknowledge and accept consequences for my actions, this is the way of the Witch. No devil to blame and no savior to rescue me with flimsy excuses that have to do with the fall of man and the whore with an apple. Oh, please. It all comes down to free will and choice. Some choices are unwise, but wrong? I never look at things that way, trusting that all things have a purpose. Why blame the woman, or even the snake when the man is the one who made the choice to allow himself to be enticed?

So, here too am I. In the garden, alone, with the call of the wild reaching a feverish pitch. I bolt from my chair and stroll across the yard, soon my steps are falling faster, harder. I reach out and touch. It’s cool and a bit rough beneath the softness of my hand. It feels nice and not unexpected. Then, as my senses join with those of my beloved, I feel the beating of a generous heart.

It has been too long. Soon my arms lock in a rapturous embrace. Are the neighbors watching? I am long past noticing or caring. I feel the closeness of yet another lover near by. I depart from the sheltering arms of my current paramour and find wicked pleasure in those arms as well. I am a hussy.

Suddenly, the voice of South Park’s  Cartman echoes in my ears. Or, am I reading the thoughts of my husband who is grilling steaks and has been observing the whole time? “It’s just a bunch of tree hugging hippie crap!”

No, just a Witch who knows that connecting with life is not limited to that which wears a suit of human skin. It’s in all of life, not only in that which has been categorized as worthy or superior by those who feel qualified to make those distinctions.

I embrace Stevie again. The corkscrew willow, named for the solitary spiral dance performed by Stevie Nicks as she sings. Another hug for Evelyn Crabtree, whose blossoms are getting ready for her big performance when she will appear in a glorious cloud of intoxicatingly sweet white flowers. Yes, I feel the them in their infancy. It’s what happens when you open the doors of your mind and spirit and proclaim your readiness to receive. Never take this lightly or with out full acceptance of what will follow, for you cannot go back to unknowing, unfeeling.

What do my neighbors think? Probably not much beyond paying little attention to the eccentric among them. In Madison there is an appreciation for the diverse and the free thinkers. It’s a source of pride and lends an aura of sophistication that transcends the urge to stare, point, or even find the unusual to be unusual at all.

Apparently, I have reached the point of being acceptably ‘weird’. I like that. Keeping up appearances or resorting to mimicry to ‘fit in’ is degrading and uses up energy that shouldn’t be wasted on being anything but authentic.   No matter, I will carry on this love affair with trees, with rocks, with animals, with all of life, in the open, as long as I live.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Back And Still In Black

The inevitable questions and comments come, as they do every year at this time. Ah yes, Halloween. The time when people assume that I decorate my home with all manner of supposed spooky things, dress up as someone other than myself, put children in bubbling cauldrons and party with vampires and werewolves or some such nonsense.
Feeling the same way as I did almost 25 years ago, when I received my calling to practice the Craft, I choose to be open as opposed to deny and hide in the ‘broom closet’. I decided that it wasn’t possible to educate people from in there. So, here I am, still ‘out there’ and educating.

Things have changed over the years. Most for the better, considering how easy it is to find information about things that a person might be curious about and actually find the truth that is out there. However, there are still the misinformed, the superstitious, and those who prefer to believe lies instead of becoming knowledgeable, lest they violate some edict that came via a ‘man of the cloth’.

People who do ask the questions as to my celebrating ‘Halloween’ are usually surprised. I explain that I celebrate Samhain, the last of the three harvest holidays that Witches observe. For me, it’s more about the seasonal dark times that began at the Summer Solstice than it is about scary things, unless you find squash to be terrifying. My husband does, but he will point out a nice pumpkin when he sees one. The quest for a current crop apple continues and I scent Enchanted with cinnamon and clove and relish the icy pinch of Autumn’s fingers upon my cheek that gives me an excuse to flip the switch for an instant perfect flame and embers in the fireplace.

It also might raise an eyebrow or two to find that I consider the images of Witches that are so commonplace, to be very offensive. Green skinned, hooked nosed, toothless ‘hags’ abound and no one even imagines that real practitioners of Witchcraft might have a problem with it. Would a catholic be upset by someone dressed as a priest with an alter boy in tow? A little Hitler going door to door for candy? A KKK member carrying a noose as a prop?

Witchcraft is a Nature based spiritual path, first and foremost. The reality has nothing in common with the world of vampires, zombies and werewolves. Have fun with the fantasy if you want, but please, know the difference.

The Magick that I practice involves the focus and directing of energy. I don’t expect to light a candle with my finger or ‘make’ people do my bidding. I have been asked to put curses on ex-significant others, but that’s not my thing either. People cast spells all the time without conscious intention. Saying the words, “I wish”, “I hope” “I want”…all with an outcome in mind, are in essence, spells. Lighting a candle in church for someone, prayer circles, and the traditional making a ‘wish’ on falling stars or before showering a birthday cake, candles ablaze, with droplets of spittle in an effort to blow them out… I know you’re thinking “why did she have to go there”…did I mention, I’m psychic too.

When I see the image of that Halloween ‘witch’, all in fun, I see the victims of the trials who were tortured and murdered because someone’s admittedly jealous and vengeful deity told them to do it. Women, broken and battered until their skin was bruised and had a green appearance. Noses busted, swollen and twisted. Teeth knocked out, hair ripped from bleeding scalps, their clothes torn to shreds. Witches? No, many were widows who’s land went to the church in the event of their deaths. Practitioners of midwifery and folk medicine that worked, therefore they were suspect of having evil powers.

I can’t help but weep for those times and the victims of prefabricated crimes and yet, I am grateful that I can write this, openly and honestly. Free to meet with others of like mind in broad day light, attend Pagan events, browse for hours in metaphysical shops and answer questions like yours without fear. I wear my pentacle with pride and reverence, as you do your cross or star of David.

After the trick or treaters stop coming, the porch light is turned off, and I have saved the last KitKat bar for myself, I go to my circle in my yard. I celebrate the lives of family and friends who have crossed over, for the veil is believed to be thin on Samhain and their familiar voices may be heard.  An empty place is set at the table for them in remembrance of times when meals were shared. Called a ‘silent supper’ the meal is eaten, void of conversation to honor them, and is savored as much as the memories.

As with many things, fantasy is exciting and fun, but temporary. Don’t be afraid to explore the reality that is lasting, deep and sacred. The voice you may hear in the darkness is nothing to fear. It comes from within and will speak words of knowledge and wisdom. Listen intently and welcome it often.

Blessed Samhain, everyone.

At Last, A Winter’s Day

How wonderfully Magickal!!! Gone is the Autumn landscape that covered the land with an unseasonably tattered quilt for January. Made from cast off patches of fabric that had been carelessly strewn on Summer’s remnant table where the faded greens of persistent lawns mingled with bolts of the mottled tans of dried, spent, stems and flowers. Leaves, well past their vivid shades of glory all lay about like bronze appliques, stitched with a random, carefree hand.

Beneath the streetlight, a steady falling snow glistens on its mission to cover everything with a brand new cloak of white.  The trees receive a heavy toss of flocking, covering their black silhouettes so that they no longer stand out like the underdressed girls at the party.  Before the plows arrive and shovels meet pavement, there is nothing to define the  selvages.  The light of day will make alterations and ribbons of road and sidewalk will weave their way through the neighborhood, breaking up the continuous flow of glittering white puffs of tulle with loosely tied dark belts.

This was my wish, wasn’t it? A well woven spell, cast last weekend as I gazed out the window at the sturdy wardrobe of Fall that Mother Nature was hesitant to cast aside. A waxing Moon, and all Her power to attract, most often results in manifested desires by the time the Full Moon rises. And so, before the Wolf Moon of January hits Her stride, it has come.

The wind gusts with a zealous protest, causing the gentle earthbound tendrils to swirl ferociously. When it all settles and the landscape surrenders, some people, wrapped in their thick woolen cocoons, will cringe at the sight of it. Others will abandon their hearth fires with glee, not to return until the desire for warmth and dry clothes entices them back inside. The children who are not Nature deficient and deprived will put down their electronic gadgets and will pick up their sleds and snowboards. Receiving the minimum daily requirement of fresh air and Nature, they will have the health and wellbeing and a clear, open mind that only a dose of both can deliver. Those not so wise and fortunate will continue to take refuge in their rank, stagnant burrows and lag behind mentally and emotionally, void of creativity.

My cross-country skis have been prepared for months with a still serviceable coat of wax, eager to provide just the right amount of glide, poles and boots at the ready. There will be Bird feeders to fill and walkways to clear. Today’s dinner menu boasts a prime rib roast that my husband will prepare and watch over, ensuring that it will be perfect. I’m in charge of side dishes, and when a flavorful a jus is not created, I am known around here as, “The Gravy Queen”. An expected phone call from the dearest of friends is on the docket for this afternoon, and there is also a pile of books due back at the library tomorrow that will have me utilizing the speed reading skills I acquired in high school.

This will be a day well spent, made even more glorious by the snowy view out my window, seen with a Cat or two curled up nose to tail in my lap. Consider this post the entry in my gratitude journal, to include those whose eyes will read these words, and whose minds will bring them close to me as we share in this experience. Thank you and Bright Blessings.

Madison Cereal Killer

My husband, a well known Madison pantry archeologist rang in the New Year by discovering and excavating a 1998 box of Cap’n Crunch …with Extra Crunch Berries, from the unexplored part of the cupboard over the microwave.  “Eureka”, he exclaimed, or was it “Holy shit”, when he dug into the cupboard and found the out dated treasure. He got even more excited when he saw that it was purchased from a store in a town that we have not lived in for almost 16 years. He could have simply allowed it to ‘live’ another day, but wanted to mark this auspicious occasion, January 1st, 2015, by bringing its shelf-life to an official close. “It’s time”, he announced as he held up the box before a cheering crowd…(of Cats).

Carefully, he pried the box open, which added to the excitement, confirming that he is indeed the first to make the find. Why stop there, he concluded, and made his way to the refrigerator and resurrected a box of outdated heavy cream. He had been carefully monitoring the box of cream, sniffing it every day past the October expiration date stamped on the carton, deciding that, “it’s fine” and putting it back. He filled a bowl with the still crunchy Cap’n Crunch…with Extra Crunch Berries, and said how rare it is to find. “They only feature the Extra Crunch Berries once in a while”, he noted.  The pantry archeologist explained that he enjoys living on the edge as he added a bit of the ancient, but “still fine” cream to the bowl. He declared, “it makes this fat free crap more like whole milk”, as he put back the half gallon of skimmed milk whose expiration date is still well into the future.

Having completed his landmark consumption of an ancient food source, he is resting comfortably on the sofa and reading, ” The Death of  WCW”.  I will continue to monitor him for signs of side effects throughout the afternoon and evening. We intuitively stocked up on Alka-Seltzer, Tums and 2 bottles of magnesium citrate in preparation for holiday feasting, but all of these remedies will prove themselves to be invaluable should things get critical. Worst case scenario, we make an unscheduled trip to the UW emergency room in the middle of the night where I will be forced to explain the circumstances under which we paid them a visit. They might even remember him from the night of the kidney stone, when upon entering the building, the desk nurse asked, “how can we help you?” and he announced, “I have to vomit”.  If we do have to make the trip, if it’s the same nurse, she will most likely dispense with the pleasantries and simply point to the restroom.

We’re almost 2 hours post consumption and there are no visible signs of distress as he is still reading comfortably and has no idea that I am adding him to the annals of history by making this account available for all posterity.  He is a brave man who makes no apologies for his pantry archaeologies. Goddess bless him…Goddess bless Cap’n Crunch…with extra Crunch Berries.

Bear In Mind

Thoughts of pushing my cross-country skis through sparkling, freshly fallen snow are ingrained in my mind, but this is the only place they have resided. How was I to know that Mother Nature had other plans?

Past Winters found me housebound for the same reason. Uncooperative weather. Have I been brainwashed by those old movies that featured visions of ‘the white stuff’ twinkling as it fell from above?  My inner holiday child frolicking joyfully on a mindless course that went from lobbing orbs of the ‘stuff’ at cranial targets one minute and lacing up my skates to glide on frozen water the next?

It’s been unseasonably above zero before yesterday and whatever snow fell to the ground is long gone and is revealing lawns in various mottled shades of green and Camel, assuming that Camels only come in tan. Leaves are scattered in the yards of those of us who put our mulching mowers to task and shun the multiple rakings it takes to be void of them entirely. Yet, we’ll rejoice again when we see evidence of new ones adorning the trees when Ostara arrives. Except maybe for Dick. Dick enjoys his retirement…I guess. When our daughter and son-in-law were here for the holidays, she marveled as Dick crawled around his lawn on all fours with an empty plastic gallon ice cream bucket, handpicking any rogue leaves from his otherwise pristine field of green. She was mesmerized, while my husband and I have witnessed this on so many occasions it barely warrants a peek out the window. Interesting neighbors are fun. At least I list that as one of the reasons that we are living in an urban neighborhood instead of where I long to be most days…look on any map for ‘the middle of nowhere’ and that’s where I’d like to call ‘home’.

One of the reasons that I’d like this location is due to my love affair with privacy. The days I am out in the garden, in my own little world, only to discover pairs of eyes screwed into me as I dig and plant, in that world that is now populated by others, makes me have to make a decision. Do I carry on as if I don’t know they’re scrutinizing what I’m doing, perhaps with a critical view or do I get all self-conscious? Do they know I’ve lost my trowel for the fifth time as I try to look as if I’m just planning my borders instead of looking for it? Did they see me reach too far and fall face first into a hosta? Does my ass look big(ger) in these pants?

The other reason I’d like to live in a more rural, translated ‘removed’, area is my love of wild things. And, yes, I adore the trappings of mundane life and can strip the numbers off a credit card in a leisurely afternoon, but I am a Witch. One of Mother’s children. Her other forms of life are ‘family’ and I love to be near them.

My posts regarding the variety of these siblings will give any new reader some insight as to how much my life revolves around them. My yard is home to any of them who grace me with their presence and I’m grateful for them all. There is no distain for the Worms that I save when I dig into their habitat and carefully place them out of harms way or the Birds that rank as ‘undesirable’ by avid Birders. Like, I’m going to put up signs, “No Grackles Allowed”. Come on… my dad used to shake his fists at them…and they laughed hysterically, flew away and came back to the feeders when he wasn’t looking.

Am I being selfish if I’d like to hear Coyotes howl at night…and join them? I hear they have them on the west side and just want to shoot them. Barbarians. If they don’t want their Pugapoo to be threatened, get off the sofa and accompany the beloved pedigreed pooch outside when it does its business instead of just letting it out and forgetting it’s out there.

Give me a home where the Buffalo…well maybe not Buffalo…but the Deer and the Antelope would be lovely. Wolves would be nice. We do have Rabbits in the yard, but the Opossums, Skunks, Raccoons, and Woodchucks stay in the more wooded areas…note to self…plant more trees. There had been a Bear sited at the Arboretum, but I think they relocated him. Judging by the way it feels outside now, I would think a Polar Bear would not be unaccustomed to paying a visit.

As soon as we get some snow, operation ‘Ski Pole’ is back on. Maybe if I complete my task of tracking down some new wax it will entice Mother Nature to let it fall. A khaki hued hydrangea is nodding at me outside the window… mocking me really…

Ah, a Crow flew over. There is life out there and it’s not frozen solid. On that note, I will place something alluring in the feeder and wait for her to land. Maybe Dick has lost his ability to draw me to the window, but a Crow will get me every time.

Genius In A Jar

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In all of life, there is what has become standardized or otherwise known as ‘the norm’. There seems to be an accepted way to behave, to live and to think. Clusters of beings who seem to adhere to these behaviors and patterns that are familiar and shared among them tend to gravitate toward each other and form societies. It is frequently referred to as ‘hive mentality’ when these behavior patterns are born of the same set of beliefs. Once a belief becomes ones own personal truth, unless the believer can be convinced that another way or concept is better, rarely does one deviate from this.

Then there are those individuals who seem to question everything, not for the sake of being contrary, but rather to find something that makes sense to them. Being that I was born with this tendency, I fully understand it and often find difficulty in comprehending the attractiveness of being any other way. Oddly enough, us renegades and rogues, also tend to gravitate toward each other and form a sort of silent alliance. Unbound by unnecessary introductions or explanations, we just ‘know’. Our numbers are small because there are fewer of us and we often attempt to hide it to avoid ducking stones as we are driven from the villages that we occupy. So, we carefully observe and imitate, making an effort to be accepted by the majority as to not appear to be as anti-social as we feel.

But, sometimes the need to be true to our own truth compels us to quit trying to fit in. We learn to make peace with our uniqueness, strut proudly through the gates and leave the village behind. We meet other sojourners along the path, and even if we have a lot in common, we don’t feel the need to construct our own villages comprised solely of us ‘idiots’. We have come to enjoy the pleasure of our own company,  entertained by our own minds that run rampant to explore the infinite expanse of our vivid imaginations. With no one to judge beliefs we choose not to share, we bask in the joy of our own sense of freedom. Dear reader, if you too understand not just these words, but also the beauty of individuality and the mysteries we discover when left to our own unfettered devices, you will enjoy getting to know Albert.

Birds flock, Wildebeests herd, Wolves pack, and the Deer and the Antelope play. We look skyward as honking ‘V’ strands of Geese migrate and marvel at schools of Fish who seem to flow as one entity. Throughout all of Nature each species has its own standards, behaviors and beliefs that have become accepted as ‘the law’. However, just as with humans, there exists among all of Nature’s children, the ‘outlaws’.

Our deck is small, but serves its purpose. Connected to the open concept kitchen and dining area by a sliding glass door, it overlooks the back yard. In the Summer, my herbs grow in baskets attached to the rails and there is room for two chairs, a small table and about six pots of various sizes where I grow peppers, a bush pickle, and scallions.  In the course of my culinary exploits, I can harvest exactly what I need right outside my door. Heading into Samhain, when things die back and go dormant, I put a small tray of seeds out there and a suet basket. Of course, the Cats enjoy being entertained by the Birds who come for a meal, but the Squirrels really intrigue them. As you may have read and recall from previous posts, I tend to name my garden guests. For some reason, all the Squirrels answer to the name, Samwise, after the loyal and true friend of Frodo from the works of English author J. R. R. Tolkien.

They do what Squirrels do. They eat liberally of the food I offer them, burry it in the yard and in my pots, perform anti-gravity stunts in the trees, and look adorable. They play, ensure their survival by whatever means necessary and at times, feud within families and with neighbors. They reproduce and teach accepted behaviors to their young…just like us. And yes, at times, discover that they have given birth to the weird kid.

When they come to the deck, they notice the Cats watching them intently, and even though they know that they are safe, they keep their distance from the glass door. However, one day I noticed a baby Squirrel out there, nose to nose with my Kitten, Mac. To them, the glass served as a barrier that prevented them from doing what they wanted to do, which was get to know each other. Staring into each other’s eyes, they’d notice all of the things that made them different, but also, what they shared. “You have fur, I have fur, but why are your ears so much bigger.” ” Never mind my ears, look how huge your tail is, dude.” They seemed to have no idea that they were supposed to be enemies or most likely, just didn’t care.

Watching them interact became a source of enjoyment and wonder. One tiny paw would reach out and press against the glass and soon another would respond in like manner. There would be rolling and playful behavior, and most likely, a bit of frustration over having to endure this inability to touch and smell and even taste. “Why do you taste like fish?” “I eat fish, and obviously you eat seeds and dirt.”

With the onset of colder days, he came to the deck less frequently. I didn’t think much of it, assuming that he had gone off to join his family, if they had not disowned him for being a Cat lover. There were preparations to be made, and this little guy was about to discover his first Winter.

Then, one day I noticed something as I enjoyed my daily connection with Nature from my front stoop. I have a Squirrel feeder that my brother made for me that consists of a wooden frame that supports a large, empty, glass pickle jar.  It’s suspended from a low branch of my flowering crab tree, enabling me to reach it and keep it filled with sunflower seeds, peanuts and corn. There are two holes on each side of the frame that allow access into it and then the Squirrel can move down into the jar to get the food. The food stays safe and dry and so does the Squirrel.

In addition to empty sunflower seed hulls that were now spread over the entire bottom of the jar, there was also a wall of leaves that covered the sides and top, making it no longer possible to see inside the jar. Slowly and quietly, I approached, until I was right up to the feeder. Between the spaces of  bronze Autumn leaves, I saw tufts of gray fur. This is the fourteenth Winter we will be in this house and never has this been done before.

Dry and warm, with access to food and water from the nearby heated pond, this little guy is totally sheltered. Out of reach from predators, he can survey his surroundings through the glass before he ventures forth to eat, drink, or get some exercise. Glass, that he has learned, serves as a barrier.

This is the work of a genius. He is a free-thinker who has followed his heart and listened to his inner voice and has, thereby, found comfort and joy in his own little world. Perhaps, ensuring his survival by doing his own thing, being apart from those who do the predictable and time honored. And, even though the traits of  Samwise are virtuous, brave and honorable, this particular Squirrel seems to have more in common with the most famous genius of all, Albert Einstein.

My attention went to the swaying of branches in the corkscrew willow yesterday, as the familiar little Squirrel jumped into the crab tree, crawled into his jar and adjusted the leaves around him. I drew in close and bent toward the jar, “Good for you, Albert”, I said. “There is a difference between being alone and being lonely and when you follow the beat of your own drum, it will inspire you to create your own dance”. He stirred slightly and a tiny paw stretched out and pressed against the glass. “By the way” I told him, “Mac says, hello”.

Look Ma, I’m Cleansing

Is there anybody on the planet who has not heard of the ‘Master Cleanse’? Is there anybody on the planet who has not tried it? Is there anybody that has tried it and not found it to be the life altering experience that it promises to be? If so, will somebody stop me.

For readers who are not in the United States, we have a holiday that is centered around a sacrificial turkey. The fact that it is customary for the turkey to be ‘stuffed’ should give you some indication as to the prime directive of this event which is known as, “Thanks Giving”. It always takes place on the last Thursday of November, when we gather around a huge table laden with more food than most people are expected to eat in a week, much less, a day. This also serves to kick off the Winter holiday season in the form of ‘Black Friday’ when people don riot helmets, and go shopping for once in a lifetime ridiculous bargains, but that would be a whole other post. Needless to say, there is nothing that would entice me to join them.

This year my husband and I didn’t host the feast, but my brother and his lovely wife did. We were joined by their two daughters and my mother. The company was wonderful, the mood joyous and the food was exquisite. The great part is, we had no leftovers to contend with like you do when you host the party. My sister-in-law tried to send us home with some, but we managed to escape with only a bag of dinner rolls. That way, we are not tempted to extend the feast until the leftovers run out, thus pack on a few more pounds of fat, which is needful to keep you warm in the cold days ahead should you find yourself stranded on a glacier.

Since my husband and I have four days off as the perk of the whole thing, we find ourselves with more meals to prepare and share. This is a departure from our having separate meals, due to conflicting schedules, Monday through Friday, with the weekend being the only two days a week that we make ‘linner’ a joint effort. ‘Linner’ is the only main meal that we consume together. I get up at my usual time, around 3 AM and have breakfast in the vicinity of 5 ish. He gets up when the day is half over, like ‘normal’ people….you know, when it’s light out. This means that his breakfast takes place when I’m ready for lunch. However, I usually bypass that and we combine lunch and dinner around 3 in the afternoon. This is when we exercise our culinary muscles and have fun making something adventurous and luscious.

However, with the extended weekend that included Friday, we also extended the feasting. This had me wide awake at 2 AM this morning, still full from last night’s chicken alfredo and garlic bread. If I mention that I also enjoyed ‘cocktail hour’, before dinner, which consisted of two saucer sized martini glasses full of ‘salad’…an array of pickled things and olives marinated in about 5 ounces of dry vermouth and gin, will you think me to be deserving of a belly ache? What’s a drink without a ‘noche’ so a plate of crackers, sausage, cheese and a tablespoon or three of caviar filled that requirement. Thank goodness my generous husband shared his box of donuts with me for dessert or I’d have gone to bed hungry.

Is it any wonder I felt the need to ‘lighten up’? I had read about the ‘Master Cleanse’ but didn’t really have the desire to actually give it a go. It consists of consuming nothing but a concoction of water, fresh lemon juice, real maple syrup and a dash of cayenne pepper. Served hot or cold, you are supposed to drink this throughout the day in lieu of food. It is recommended that you do this for 10 days.  There is  also something called  a ‘salt flush’ that is supposed to blow out your colon of ‘toxic waste’. Considering that this mixture of sea salt and water is also used to induce vomiting, I am not going to test its effectiveness.

So, I’m 12 hours into this and I’ve had two mugs of hot ‘lemonade’. I’m not hungry in spite of making the fried chicken wings that my husband requested for his ‘linner’. Apparently, I have the fortitude of a ‘grand’ master cleanser because I love chicken wings and would have dug in faster than you can say, “ranch dressing”. The only other thing more difficult to abstain from would be the half mile long sushi bar at my favorite Asian buffet.

Considering that tomorrow is a work day and my job requires me to be able to think clearly, I will be doing this only until  Tuesday evening. Besides, stealing food from coworkers is a  crime. If I am not sufficiently ‘detoxed’ in three days I will just have to remain a biohazard. My main objective is to break the cycle of holiday over indulgence and jump start a return to healthy eating. I’m starting to feel a  bit self-righteous over having made it this far without postponing this until I complete my bucket list or find some other excuse like,”I’ll  wait until  after New Year’s Day when my system will be really toxic”.

Time for another dose of ‘lemonade’ and a heapin’ helpin’ of determination.