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Riding Metro Mobility in the early morning rain.  The only way to get us to an appointment without me lifting the chair!

Riding Metro Mobility in the early morning rain. The only way to get us to an appointment without me lifting the chair!

It has been a busy week, which is kind of nice.  We’ve had medical appointments, adventures, and a day in the park.  I’d say it’s been ups and downs, but actually it’s been mostly ups.  Sure the challenges have been there.  I’m still not putting the wheelchair into the car so logistics are complicated.  But all the potential roadblocks were addressed and things continue to move forward.

The needles are painful, but it's fun to tease Orion about his "wrinkle-free" legs.

The needles are painful, but it’s fun to tease Orion about his “wrinkle-free” legs.

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It really was a week of medical.  All of my standard appointments, plus Orion got his quarterly botox shots (to help with the spastic tone in his legs) and I had another CT following up my ER visit a few weeks ago.  That’s what I thought this blog was going to be about at the beginning of last week.  Then I started having fun.

 

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Girls night out!  We were the "guests".  The friend with the tickets took the photo.

Girls night out! We were the “guests”. The friend with the tickets took the photo.

A friend got tickets to a concert by the Cactus Blossoms and invited me and another friend to join her.  Girls night out and fun country music, why not?  We had a grand time.  Even the opening act was delightful.   Andru Bemis proved to be an impressive musician and entertainer.  I didn’t get up and dance, but by the end of the concert I was on my feet rocking to the music.  Nice to be able to do that again!

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Minnehaha Falls

Minnehaha Falls

The day in the park was for Pagan Pride.  Our community has been doing a Pride event for a long time.  In the past few years Pride has presented itself in a very public way at Minnehaha Falls Park.  It’s nice to be out under the oak trees, but it’s also nice to have some visibility in the larger community.

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When Pagan Pride first started it was indoors at a closed school.  Now it's out doors and very public.  Times have changed.

When Pagan Pride first started it was indoors at a closed school. Now it’s out doors and very public. Times have changed.

There are vendors, public rituals, music and dance performances and a lot of chatting with old friends.  Members of the Reclaiming community set up a labyrinth and other groups have booths promoting festivals and local events.  It’s a large community so there’s always something going on.

A beautiful day to be in the park

A beautiful day to be in the park

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It was a beautiful day to be outside.  In fact it was a beautiful weekend, cool but warm in the sunshine.  I even got to have dinner out Sunday with another group of friends.  A side order of humus should keep me in lunches for a few more days.  “Small portions”  has taken on a whole new meaning, but I’m feeling good and really enjoying being out and about.

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Paganicon

Orion 'watching the coffee pot' and taking a break from welcoming folks to the suite.

Orion ‘watching the coffee pot’ and taking a break from welcoming folks to the suite.

Orion and I spent the weekend in a hotel room.   We were there as volunteers to keep things tidy, put out food, answer questions and talk to folks.  Actually we didn’t even stay at the hotel, just spend long hours hosting the hospitality suite  – the actual con suite -for Paganicon.

Our local Pagan Pride event has been going on for years in the Twin Cities (Paganistan) area.  They’ve held events that were like weekend psychic fairs or community meet and greets.  They’ve had Big rituals and small workshops.

A couple of years ago it became clear that Pagan Pride needed to serve two purposes.  First to be “out loud and proud” in the larger community.  That’s kind of tough when your event is holed up in an odd community building off the beaten path.  The second purpose was to provide an opportunity for those who’ve been long time members of the community to network and expand their own knowledge base.  To become an event that went beyond 101.

In 2009 Pagan Pride started doing a fall event with vendors, music and public rituals in an outdoor setting.  Pride at Minnehaha Falls is an event that the general public can see and participate (or not) along with the existing and exploring Pagan community.  It’s a great idea and a pleasant historical venue.  The “meeting place of waters” is appropriate for expanding awareness and acceptance.0315132223a

In 2010 Pagan Pride held its first Paganicon.  A hotel based convention loosely modeled on Pantheacon.  This is still a small convention but it has good buzz.  I haven’t gone in years past because of scheduling and money issues but I’ve certainly heard about it from the community at large.  The convention/fair model seems like an excellent expansion of Pagan Pride for this community.

I don’t know if I would have made it to the convention this year either.  Money is tight since I came back from California.  Orion is not too keen on sitting through the workshops I’m interested in, and he’s not quite independent enough to manage a convention on his own.  We come as a pair most of the time and for a weekend long event I certainly couldn’t afford to get away.  At the last minute the Pagan Pride committee discovered their regular “Suite Goddess” was swamped at work and were scrambling for someone to take her place.  It sounded like the perfect solution to my predicament so I signed us up.

"Push for Cheese"   What could go wrong?

“Push for Cheese” What could go wrong?

Someone asked me how I managed to deal with “missing” all the workshops and stuff.  Essentially ‘why would you do so much work when you don’t even get to go to the convention?’   My feeling was pretty much that the convention came to us.  Sometime during the weekend almost everyone attending made their way through the hospitality suite for a cup of coffee, or a snack or to sit for a minute and chat.

It’s not like we were all alone.  The roving volunteer crew – the “Flying Monkey Squad” – were available if we needed help lifting heavy things (like coffee urns).  Often they sat “on call” in our suite knowing that when they were needed this was where people would look.  If nothing else they swung by to get those fabulous capes to wear during their shift.

Two particularly gorgeous "Flying Monkeys"

Two particularly gorgeous “Flying Monkeys”

There were several times during the weekend when we were “standing room only.”  People would come in crowds talking about the workshop they’d just attended.  Or they’d sit for a minute before the vendor room or the ball opened up.  I did manage to stick my head into the vendor room (and immediately left lest I be tempted.)  I also got to wander through the art exhibition which was a new and delightful addition to this year’s convention.

Yet another opportunity for me to explore community and my relationship to it.  Again I got to meet new people and visit with old friends.  It was nice to have an opportunity to be of service to something I support and still reap the benefits of the social support of community.  I’m pretty sure Orion had a great time too.  Win/Win.

Batteries

Just a little “puffy” around the eyes.

The weather has been delightful, sunny and not too hot.  The winds have been breezy and busily tossing all the dust and other allergens into the air.  I have been popping pills and dropping eye drops in my eyes.  I look like I have pink eye without the eye drops.  The dark circles make me look like I haven’t slept in weeks.  It’s really just the fall allergies.

I don’t feel bad.  I just don’t feel good.  It’s like my batteries are running low.  Nothing is moving quite as quickly as I would like.  I can’t work up the level of enthusiasm for a project that is required to actually get to it.  I find myself losing hours sipping on tea and scratching at my face.  My reading is even slow, given the condition of my eyes I suppose that’s not surprising.

Not that I haven’t been busy!  I did a podcast (one of these day’s I’ll figure out how to put links into this blog) for the Priestess Show.  The topic was disabilities and the show is archived at paganstonight.com.  I’ll be on again later this month as we will continue to discuss the topic.

old dead batteries

Orion and I spent all afternoon Saturday in Minnehaha Park visiting our friends at Pagan Pride.  I’d be writing about that, but it’s not just my batteries that are low.  I forgot to pack an extra set for the camera.  It’s extremely frustrating when I go out specifically to take pictures for a blog I’m writing in my head only to find the camera doesn’t work.  You’d think I’d learn to check.

Afterwards we decided to go out to eat at the restaurant where Karina (my daughter) is working as a waitress.  It was really nice to see her and the food was good.  Fat Lorenzo’s is an Italian restaurant.  All kinds of cheese and pasta.  I even had a beer.  Of course their speciality is the gelato.  You’d think that I might pay attention to food that could aggravate my allergies when they act up?  Why, that would be like actually checking the batteries in my camera.  It never seems to occur to me when it matters.

 

 

 

Orion and the Gelato cooler at Fat Lorenzo’s

Some of the things I do when my batteries are low:

reading (although when it’s the eyes that itch that’s a little tough)

Sipping hot tea (The Republic of Tea makes a green tea honey & ginseng that’s particularly nurturing)

Making myself GET OUT even if it’s just to get groceries (of course a day in the park could be considered excessive)

Taking a long bath (The library doesn’t appreciate it when their books join me in the tub)

Meditation (Distinct from going back to bed, which I also do occasionally but I find mediation to be more productive)

Cooking something I REALLY want (I’ve been thinking about crab bisque, but there’s that darn dairy again)

What do you do when your batteries run low?

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