Tuesday, September 20, 2011


...mostly the mid-life type I think. I've made several MAJOR changes and/or decisions that just have to be the forties finally weighing on my mind. Or maybe it's simply the hormones talking. :D Whatever the cause or outcome, I have only myself to blame (or thank?). I've taken on more responsibility at work, opted to take three classes instead of two, and managed to isolate myself from pretty much all but one or two friends. This will either totally backfire or light a fire under my ass to at least make something positive come of all the changes. So far it's been wallowing, feeling sorry for myself, or shutting out the whole world. Up next? Maybe just finding positive things on which to focus.


For a very long time now I've talked about all the big plans I have for my site and my store. And I've yet to show any real progress. I'm great with the big ideas and grand schemes; not so much on the follow through. Also, there is that flaw in my genetic make-up, the ability to focus on one thing at a time until it is complete. Of course life outside of the business hasn't exactly been kind either.

I haven't given up on my dream, not even a little. I just know I need to be more realistic. And to depend solely on myself for now to accomplish my goals. Luna's Gathering is about to come full circle and become what I wanted it to be from day one; a store for Pagan greeting cards. I want to give the community a line of cards that, as I've told a few non-Pagan friends, are like the typical Hallmark cards but for the Pagan holidays and sentiments. Simple, clean illustrations and wonderful words to express our feelings instead of the usual fantasy art. Don't get me wrong though. I like the cards with the beautiful and detailed artwork. That's not quite my style (well, won't be once I've developed mine). And I know I could never compete with that. I'll find my niche and we can all offer something unique and magickal.

I've recently acquired several tools that will assist and a possible avenue for selling locally to test my marketability. It also gives me a deadline. This may be the motivator I need to finally reach for that long sought after dream.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Top priorities

Got a visit from family this weekend that I don't get to see very often. Here's who will always be most important and always make me smile! :D

Critics (not all in my head)

Life's been quite the roller coaster lately. Short trips up followed by steep drops. How are the drops always so much longer than the trip up? I really hate roller coasters. I prefer the occasional adrenaline rush without scary heights and my stomach at my toes. On the positive side, I recently got promoted and vacation starts on Tuesday. Well, technically Monday but I have jury duty that day. I will be hoping to not get chosen for a jury. I'm making adjustments to my website that should make it unique and all mine. And just last week I helped a friend prep a novel for her indie publishing company, Three Ravens Books. Next month, classes start again. I'm looking forward to moving ever closer to a completed degree. The drops are personal issues not meant for public airing, but they make me ponder what I'm willing to accept as my fault and what I need to let go of as detrimental to my sanity.

To further the ponderings, I'm trying my hand at a couple of self-help books, to search within for solutions instead of looking for ways to escape my problems. One is "The Fresh Start Promise" by Edwige Gilbert. The other is the classic "Taming Your Gremlins" by Rick Carson. They both seem to be about changing thought processes. Gilbert uses meditations and visualizations to help the reader focus on calm, encouraging thoughts to feel anything is possible. From what I can tell so far with Carson's book (just checked out today) is the importance is awareness, recognizing and embracing your own gifts. Hopefully, between the two of them, I can quiet my inner critics and learn to know the difference between constructive criticism and emotional manipulation. As long as I am willing to let the negatives drag me down, I will never see myself any other way.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Universe has a singular wit

UPDATE: The Universe has not lost its sense of humor. :( I picked my car up today from the mechanic. They couldn't find anything wrong with the car, any cause for it to refuse to start. They did service my air conditioner and charge the freon, to the tune of $190. The car drove fine to work and home. Here's where the joke returns. I rolled the window down to open the security gate and it won't roll back up again. This same thing happened shortly before the car died. Oh, and the mechanic was kind enough to let me know about the other $400 of work the car needs. I wonder if it's worth spending that much money on a car with over 200k miles on it. Anyone have a spare car lying around? :D

Not sure whether it is the Universe, Karma, or some other cosmic force but no one else enjoys the joke. My life since the last post is the punch line to the joke on me. I know better than to tempt fate. Which is exactly what I did in saying that my life was going alright.

About a week after throwing caution to the wind my carelessness cost me my car. I put the key in my ignition, turn the key, and...nothing. Not even a click to tell me it is trying to start. It did after a couple attempts set off the awful noise that only emits when the battery is dying. Even that stops after a minute when all power is gone. For the first couple of days after that I was able to get a ride to and from work. Then days off in a row. Unfortunately, my schedule recently hasn't matched up with people I can ask. This meant a few days walking in temps above 100 degrees. I've taken the car to be diagnosed (still haven't heard back) and do hope I'll have it back very soon. Even with an anemic air conditioner, it's still preferable to walking. A friend jumped the battery to give it enough juice to save money on a tow. Funny thing is once I got it to the mechanic, went in to tell him what was wrong, and let him check the car it started just fine. He said the battery sounded strong, stronger than it would if the battery were truly drained. This scares me because I have no clue what could cause the battery to act like it had no juice. I'm crossing my fingers it's something simple or at least cheap.

Now I know this isn't quite as scary as what I could be going through, but the treks to work in the middle of the high heat of the day are tiring. To quote a cheesy movie (that I love), "I love my car. I MISS my car!" Hey, at least I'm close enough to work to avoid the bus.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Trying to streamline

For a long while now, the goal was to update the shop with handy shopping cart software. The problem always came down to figuring out the PHP and creating a database on the web hosting server. Now the server that hosts our site has added shopping cart installation right into the hosting package. The cart is installed and soon adding products and making the store professional will be a snap. This is perfect as there will also be lots of new items coming to The Apothecary; spell kits, handmade jewelry, as well as the basic supplies. Change has been slow. With the new resources, they should come more steadily.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mixed Feelings

Many times over the last several months (maybe even years) I've felt very lucky and at the same time a bit guilty. I watch friends struggle with so many different things that I've never had to experience. While I know I'm not exactly living the high life, I wonder what I do that spares me the pain and suffering, the heartache and despair. I have a job that covers the bills and an occasional fun thing. I'm pretty healthy (mentally and physically) up to this point and if I get sick, my job has good insurance. The few times things get rough I know I have friends and family I can turn to for support. I'm even getting my crappy credit under control. Well, all but the pesky student loans. Those will be with me forever. ;) I feel like the people I know who have it SO rough deserve what I have so much more than me. They take hit after hit and get back up only to take yet another hit. And I am powerless to do more than be a shoulder on which to cry. The one good thing that comes of it is I don't take for granted how lucky I am. I know I could have it much worse.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Double Squee Week!

As promised, something not angry or sad to post here. :) For those who don't know, a "squee" is a a squeal of delight over something joyous and usually extremely nerdarific. Twice this week I came across something that caused a squee or three. In the newest issue of Entertainment Weekly, there was an ad for the new Blu-Ray version of the Extended Edition of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, the best films EVER. In that same magazine, they featured a sneak peek at the first of two films for "The Hobbit" due out Dec 2012. These two bits of joy made my day so much better, so worth dealing with a Friday in retail. Thank you so much Entertainment Weekly and Peter Jackson. :D

The other half of the double squee came from the genealogical part of my inner nerd (okay not so much inner). I got an e-mail about a free trial at a site I'd seen before but didn't really know if it would be any use. I figured a week for free would give me an idea how helpful it would be in my search for long lost ancestors. The site, called Footnote, has an extensive library of old city directories, scanned in and indexed to be searched. In some of those directories I found listings for my great-great grandfather, Hector Terni born in Austria. I knew he lived in New Orleans and then Missouri. What I didn't know was that once he got to St. Louis he started his own wholesale fruit company. The company is listed in the St. Louis directory for at least ten years. How very cool is that? Not only did he start his own company called the Hector Terni Fruit Company, but his sons and his wife all worked to make it successful. Looks like the source might be worth a small investment on my part for further searches.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ankle deep in shit

Ok, that might be a slight exaggeration. Today was a particularly fun day at work. Part of our duties include cleaning the public restrooms. Each employee is assigned a week and has to clean them three times in their week. The rotation means we usually only have to do it two or three times a year, but I'll be damned if the customers don't make those two weeks a living hell.

As you've probably gathered, this week it's my turn. Throughout the process of cleaning both the men's and the women's rooms I must've asked myself a dozen times, "What the hell is wrong with you people!?!" It was NOT good. Particularly in the men's room. Someone left a gift not only all over the toilet but on the floor and apparently through the store; another employee found evidence at the front of the store while the restrooms are at the back. This was not a child (or a very large child) because it was a LOT of shit. The scariest part is the whole mess sat long enough for it to dry and require serious scrubbing. How many men, how many GROWN ASS men, saw that mess and ignored it? Granted I don't expect anyone but the adult who left it there to clean it up (that brings up another whole conversation on personal responsibility, or the lack thereof). At least tell someone about it before it become a permanent fixture.

It is days like this that should explain to those who have never worked retail just why the clerks can be a bit curt, condescending, or outright angry. You leave that kind of mess? You clean it up. That used to be common sense. So many children (yes I know not all children) are not taught to respect others or to take responsibility for their own actions anymore. Discipline is considered bad for self-esteem so self-importance and the blame game are all they know. These kids become adults who think it is perfectly normal to leave such a disgusting mess for others to clean up. It is "what we get paid to do" right?

The Nine Levels of Hell or Working Retail

The title of this blog pretty much describes how I feel on a daily basis, like a Hellhound grabbed me by the foot and shook with all its might. It was also inspired by a show I once loved (read obsessed over). I haven't blogged in quite some time. This is mainly because my other blog carries the name of my company and most of what I'll blog about is not appropriate, much less professional, for that blog. So, now I've moved my personal self here to describe the particular level of hell I visited each day and generally get things out of my system. Oh, and the occasional fun thing as well. :)

So as Dante's gate to hell says, "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here." Ok, not really, but almost.

Update (Jan 2015): It's impossible for me to maintain more than one blog so everything is back here on Luna's Gathering, personal or professional it's all me. :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Time lost and starting yet again

Times have changed, as have priorities. Demon Hunters Quarterly was a nice idea, one that others have done much better. And the passion for the inspiration has waned. The site is no more. The main focus MUST be Luna's Gathering and the Apothecary. Too many lesser priorities put LG off track for too long. The main site has been streamlined yet again. The newest change should allow for regular updates. The Apothecary won't be a sub-domain anymore. It's also slowly moving to the new LG. With help from a friend, one I thought I'd lost, we've come up with a way to make LG a bit different, to offer something other Pagan sites don't have. The only way to stand out is to be unique. The basic supplies may come down, making way for spell kits designed to be effective without being expensive, which is still in line with the plan for the company, magick on the cheap. Updates will show up here and on the FB and Twitter accounts. More news coming soon!