Raven's Green

Monday, 31 December 2012


It's been a good year, 2012, and I'm happy with most of what happened (or didn't).
I don't want to stress about resolutions - I want to state intentions, areas of focus, places where I want to grow.

I'm digging deeper into my spirituality - I'm going to brew and grow and study more.
I'm going to treat my body better and move it more.
I'm going to respect my creativity and let it out more often.

I'm always learning and growing.  I want to open all the doors and windows and embrace all the opportunities of 2013.

Friday, 24 August 2012


I've been struggling a bit the last couple of months.  Time for some changes but change is hard.

I read a quote by Martin Luther King Jr.  that I want to share.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.
Hate multiplies hate,
violence multiplies violence,
and toughness multiplies toughness
in a descending spiral of destruction....
The chain reaction of evil --
hate begetting hate,
wars producing more wars --
must be broken,
or we shall be plunged
into the dark abyss of annihilation.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Strength To Love, 1963

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The meditation as we enter the Perseis Moon cycle is:
We believe that the fundamental purpose in life is to allow ourselves to experience emotional and spiritual growth.
We're in the midst of the new moon right now.  I wrote this in response to a question from my Goddess group. 

"We believe that the fundamental purpose in life is to allow ourselves to experience emotional and spiritual growth."

I'm a social worker, working for the City of Toronto's social services division - or in other words, a welfare worker for one of Canada's biggest cities.

My job is very, very left brained - paperwork, rules and policies.  The clients have many, many needs, some I can help with and some I can't.  There are days that I feel compassion fatigue and just want to cry.  There are days that good things happen for clients and I hold onto those moments.

In terms of my own emotional and spiritual growth, this job has challenged me to tap into my spiritual core to always approach people with hope and compassion without spilling all my energy out.  I've learned to tap into the infinite to energize myself and my clients. 

My partner and I have a 13 year old daughter, who came to us when she was 3.  I love being a mom, with all the opportunities for growth and change that it involves.  Tiana sees the world with such a fresh perspective that she makes me see things I've missed or dismissed.

When I sit in meditation during the dark and new moon I'm always looking for the areas of my life where I need to let go and where I need to be open to new energies and experience. 
I try, as best I can, to see the lessons and challenges that the Goddess offers in all my interactions with people. 

Sunday, 3 June 2012

to everything there is a season

I spent part of the weekend cleaning out the den.  I have stuff spread out all over the house that I really want in the den but it's been so full of stuff that I haven't been able to move.  So....... I dug through all my books on paganism, wicca, poetry, social work, LGBTQI issues, etc and all the bits and pieces I've collected over the years and GOT RID OF STUFF!  That definitely needs to be in capital letters since it's really hard for me to declutter and move things on.  I know I should but..... I was an army brat and things just disappeared  when we moved.  I blamed the movers but I think it was my Mom's way of getting rid of things without my pack rat drama. :)  Though, it feels good to look at the past (in the form of books) and realise that I have grown and learned and moved on.

Social work school was hard - all those papers, all that reading, all that (@#$*&#) group work.  I read some of my papers and was really impressed with how well I integrated information and got it back out in readable form.   I kept most of my textbooks because you never know when I'll have to reference narrative therapy theory..... :)

I haven't publicised this blog yet.  I'm not sure how/what/where I want to publish my posts.  There are so many blogs but ...... maybe I should add my blog tag to my comments on other blogs.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

grow where you're planted

I'm trying to remember this and really grow.

I've adopted a plant that was abandoned on a filing cabinet near my desk.  It's a sign that I'm here and present and taking root.

There are no guarantees that I'll have a job at the end of June, or with all the changes coming at the end of 2013 or 2014.  I'm looking for a new job and gathering all the experience I can from this place. 

I'm painting and making art again.  I'm making tags and an envelope journal.  I 'm reading and listening to music and remembering who I was and who I am and who I will be.

I must admit that I still feel some resentment about the union and the strike vote and the general disarray of this place but...... it's not disarray that I want to own so the only option is to live and be happy and move forward.

I made a piece of art from an IKEA print I found in the garbage here and some pages from a discarded Avon catalogue.  I love it.  It's so me in this place where I can't always feel like me.

Monday, 28 May 2012

hot time, summer in the city

It's May 28th and according to CP24.com the temperature is 33C, feeling like 38C with the humidex, which is just about 101F........ ugh......

Menopause is harder some days than other.  Feelings of rage, not just anger, or upset, or frustration but blinding red rage, just blindside me on a regular basis.
I'm reading Christiane Northrup's book and it is helping.  Being aware of what the hell is going on does help.  So far I haven't killed anyone or damaged a relationship irrevocably.

Friday, 18 May 2012

A Friday state of mind

Work was definitely more work than usual today..... Some days I breeze through feeling competent and in control; today is just felt tired and drained.  Three days in the employment centre will do that to me.

Dizzy like crazy this afternoon.  I drove home feeling all wonky.  That's subsided a bit but I still feel weird.

Monday, 14 May 2012

My Father on Mother's Day

My Dad's birthday is May 9th.  He died on July 21, 2002 just 2 months after meeting my daughter for the first time.

My Dad's birthday often fell on Mother's Day or near Mother's Day and I remember lots of times where we had two cakes that weekend - one for Dad and another for Mom.

I realise, sometimes, that my Dad never saw my daughter's first bike riding video; he didn't get a chance to see her sing a solo in the Christmas concert, he never told me I was a good parent or that he was proud of my family.  I feel him with me sometimes; I hear his voice in my head telling me I'm his little girl.  Sometimes that's enough.  But not today.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Singing in the Rain

It's raining.  I don't mind the rain, as long as I don't have to drive very far in it.

Staying positive is something I work on every day.  I know my propensity for doom and gloom, dooooom and gloooooooom..... There are things I need to take seriously but I've decided that that doesn't mean being mean, cranky, unhappy.  Life is too short to unhappy.

The co-worker I'm switching with is extremely unhappy with the situation.  I almost agreed to keep my employable team so she could keep her youth team.  But..... I didn't create this situation.  Management wants changes and they chose to switch us.  I'm nervous about learning all the components of youth employment but I know I can do it.  A challenge is a good thing.

I'm still working on making time for art and journalling.  I've been using tarot cards as a prompt each day but I'm not very consistent with it. 

One step at a time......

Friday, 4 May 2012


So some of the changes I knew were coming have arrived.

I'm moving to a new team at work - doing the same job but with a different client group.  Even a couple of months ago, I think I would have been frustrated with the constant changes here, but now, I'm calm, just going with the flow.  Fussing and stressing only hurts me, so somehow, I have to find a way to go on and stay positive.

Maybe watching Darcy fall apart is helping me focus and stay positive.  It's definitely a healthier attitude.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


I visited my family this weekend...... it's always weird to go back home, where I went to high school.  I didn't fit in, at all.  Too weird, too fat, too smart, too.... me....

I remember being the odd one out in my family.  My Mom loved my younger brother, and my older brother was my Dad's favourite, though I was a total Daddy's girl and I knew he loved me.  I could almost always talk to him.  

I have a good relationship with my Mom now.  We weathered a lot of stuff and seem to understand each other a bit better now.  I know she thinks I'm a good Mom, even if she thinks my daughter is a bit spoiled.

It's weird to be the one that succeeded, the one that made it out alive.  It's weird because I always thought that my brothers were doing okay when I was struggling even though they were struggling in their own ways.

My older brother used to be a bit of a pain in the ass in the 80s when I needed a helping hand.  He made me seem like a burden.  He's surprised I don't hold it over his head now that he needs my help.

He acknowledged the other day that he did make me feel bad for needing help.  He acknowledged that he's lucky to have me help and to do it without any baggage.

I feel the burden of success with my family... not resentment exactly but..... something.

down time

Spent the last week sleeping because of a cold/chest infection/ear infection/sinus infection. Antibiotics are working so I'm back to work and my old self.

Did a tarot reading the other day that is telling me I'm right about needing to make some changes.
I am sad because of things I can't change, so I need to figure out what makes sense for me in terms of work/education.  I had the idea of going to law school dance through my head but I think that would be harder than I'm prepared for.  I'm also considering an extern program to learn new therapy/counselling models.  That's definitely a good fit for me and would allow me to apply for different kinds of jobs.

Change is always hard for me, but sometimes it's very necessary.

Friday, 20 April 2012

a question

When you love what you do but not where you do it, what's the answer? 

I know, but...... change is hard......

I work as a employment resource worker/career counsellor and I love what I do.  Adult education is one of my "things" so I love what I do.  The sticking point is working where I work.  This unhelpful, unproductive, reactive kind of place just sucks the life out of me everyday.

I'm working on my resume as I work with clients.  I need a new challenge.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

favourite songs

Since I'm 50, I've been thinking about favourite lists and whether I should come up with my top 50s.

I think I'll give it a shot.   So here are my 50 favourite songs.  Well that was my intention but it was hard to narrow some down so here's my 50 (or there abouts) favourite songs.  I realised finishing this list, that these are the songs I like to sing in the car.  Maybe there needs to be another list for songs I like to listen to. :)

1 blue monday, Bizarre Love Triangle - New Order
2 Imagine - John Lennon
3 What's Goin' On - Marvin Gaye
4 Brickhouse - Commodores
5 Everyday is like Halloween - Ministry
6 Don't Go - Yaz
7 Jupiter, Bringer of Jollity/Mars, Bringer of War (from The Planets) - Holst
8 Mirror in the Bathroom - English Beat
9 Heroes, Modern love, anything really - david bowie
10 Hallelujah and Suzanne - Leonard Cohen
11 Light My Fire - The Doors (or just about anything, really)
12  Constant Craving - k d lang
13 Sledgehammer, Book of Love and In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel
14 There Goes a Tenner and Cloud Busting - Kate Bush
15 I Walk the Line (or just about anything by Johnny Cash)
16 Boil the Breakfast Early - The Chieftains (or any really)
17 The message - grandmaster flash & the furious five
18 Love Removal Machine - The Cult
19  Burning Down the House and Once in a Lifetime - Talking Heads and Once In a Lifetime - Clannad
20 Anarchy in the U.K - The Sex Pistols
21One Step Beyond/Night Boat to Cairo - Madness
22 Whip It - Devo
23 Mexican Radio - Wall of Voodoo
24 Scatterlings of Africa - Johnny Clegg and Savuka
25 Genius of Love - Tom Tom Club
26 Blister in the Sun - Violent Femmes
27 One - Metallica
28 Baba O'Reilly - The Who
29 Planet Rock - Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force
30 Cryin' - Roy Orbison (and the version with kd lang)
31 Everyday I Write the Book - Elvis Costello
32 Just Like Honey - Jesus & Mary Chain
33 So. Central Rain and It's the End of the World as We Know It - R.E.M.
34 Superstition by Stevie Wonder and Karma Superstition by Alicia Keys
35 Here Comes the Rain Again - Eurythmics
36 Under the Milky Way - The Church
37 Save it for Later - English Beat
38 Ant Music - Adam Ant
39  Danny Boy - just about any version
40 Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream) - Icicle Works
41 The Promise - When in Rome
42 Bella Legosi's Dead - Bauhaus
43 Indigo Eyes - Peter Murphy
44 Love will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division
45 The Art of Parties and Visions of China - Japan
46 Moon Dance, Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison
47 Lips Like Sugar - Echo & the Bunnymen
48 Sweet Jane - Cowboy Junkies
49 I Fall to Pieces - Patsy Cline
50 Sweet Jane - Velvet Underground

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Springing forward

I drift in and out of creativity.  I spent many, many hours in my 20s writing poetry and making art, jewellery, customising my clothes.  In my 30s, happily partnered, I worked full weeks and tried to write.  In my 40s, we adopted, my Dad died, I went back to university and sometimes I worked in my art journal.  To be fair, there was a period in my late 30s when I discovered online communities and art journalled quite a bit.  But by 40, I had run out of steam and it seemed, creativity.

I'm 50 now, and it's time - time to rediscover my creativity, time to give myself permission to be who I think I am, time to make/take the time to be creative. 

I have an idea for a children's book, a novel, a shoe company, paintings, so many projects.  But right now, they're just ideas, with no physical forms, not even notes.......

It's time for me to stop sitting mindless in front of the TV.  It's time for there to be a purpose to the journal and art supplies I carry around.  It's time for me. 

Friday, 13 April 2012


A friend was writing about her grandfather and some of her memories of him today.  I smiled thinking about my own grandfathers and their different personalities.  One of my grandpa's was a very quiet man, who lived through some awful things and liked to whittle and take drives around the countryside.  The other had a huge personality and a brouge that I can still hear calling me "wee lassie".   He made his fortune purely on blue eyes and way with words. 

I'm about the same age my grandfathers were when I was born..... that's a weird thought.

One set of grandparents (paternal) emigrated to Canada seperately and one set (maternal) were first generation Canadians.  Both their sets of parents emigrated from Scotland in the late 1800's. 
They were all very thrifty and set good examples for us on living frugally and well. 

I wish I had more pictures of them.  None of my grandparents liked having their pictures "made".  I guess it was a long process and none of them had the time or money for things that weren't necessities.

I have fond memories of my grandmothers' kitchens - warm smells, well loved dishes and cookie jars and a wonderful canister for crackers; glass cheese covers, worn cast iron frying pans, and constantly boiling kettles, too.

My grandparents' houses had huge gardens.  I think I love sun-warmed raspberries, fresh peas and red currants more because they remind me of wonderful, buzzing summer afternoons.

I think I need to do some gardening this weekend.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

daily brew

I like my morning coffee.  I really, really do.   I only brew once but it's 2 big cups worth of coffee.  I drink one at home and put the other in a thermos to bring to work. 

I'm slowly realising that all this bloat and tummy upset might be IBS or gluten sensitivity (I'm pretty sure I don't have celiac disease because I'm not losing weight that rapidly).  And both those things mean I should probably cut back on coffee.  :(  very sad face.

Changes, how I avoid you......

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

new decade, new perspective

So.... I'm 50, officially.
I celebrated my birthday in Quebec City with my sweetie and our daughter.  It was a great weekend of being spoiled and having fun.  I took pictures and wrote in my journal and enjoyed myself.

I'm getting unstuck, slowly but surely.  I like writing in my paper journal and I'm using that space to work on some  new thoughts and feelings.  This year is the start of something new for me - being in the moment and trying to use all those techniques I've been reading about.  Stay present, positive, energised.

Ready, set, GO!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

waiting, waiting, waiting

I have to talk to someone official at work today and she's not ready for me yet so I'm waiting......

In case I haven't mentioned, I'm not such a fan of waiting.  Sometimes it's okay, if I'm early for an appointment say and I have some time to read my book, but usually, I'd rather do just about anything else.

I'm reading a book on menopause and I know that at least in part, my edginess about this appointment is from a fundamental rearranging of my priorities.  My patience for endless bureaucracy is much, much shorter than when I first graduated from social work school.

Things have changed at work recently - new contract the City bullied our union into accepting.  The stuckness of some of my co-workers is more evident and my lack of patience is going to get me into trouble.

I don't feel valued here, not by management or my co-workers anyway.  I know I'm appreciated by clients because they tell me they appreciate me.  I think I need to do what I do here, just for another agency.

I had hoped that at some point in my career, I'd be a respected expert on something, valued for my information and experience.  It's not going as planned.

I'm good at what I do, I know I am, but.......

I've always felt second best at work, even before I got my degrees.  I worked as a secretary for a long time and never really felt valued for my skills.  I went to university to get a social work degree so I'd be a professional, someone with a purpose and skills.  I like working with clients and I'm good at it, but here, in this environment, I feel like I'm treading water - working really hard and not getting anywhere.

Decisions need to get made before my mouth makes them for me......

Monday, 2 April 2012


I woke up this morning thinking that something's changed.  I'm looking for signs to see what it might be.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

grey and rainy

It is spring, after all.

I'm reading a book on menopause (I'm close to that milestone birthday).    I'm amazed to read that all this stuff that's going through my brain is actually part of a process of redefinition.  I didn't do all the "normal", average things that some women do - didn't marry a man, didn't give birth - so it took me longer to realise that I'm being given an opportunity to redefine myself and move into the second act of my life with revised dreams.

It's good to know that all the turmoil and self doubt is for a purpose.

Saturday, 31 March 2012


I'm just a week away from my milestone birthday.

I never really thought I'd get here.  Even when I settled down with my partner and started looking after my health, I was sure this birthday would not happen.  So..... it's strange to think about what comes next when I never really prepared for what's here.

Friday, 30 March 2012


I'm in Toronto, or there abouts, and we've just said good-bye to the winter that never was.
Last week we had summer-like temperatures and I had the windows open.  I don't usually get to that for more than a few minutes until May.  Last week I opened the windows when I got home from work and closed them when I left again the next morning.

I'm trying to embrace my environment, observe the world around me.  I must admit that I feel like I've missed something this year.  I usually watch the tiny, hopeful shoots of my bleeding heart, bravely poke their heads out about this time of year.  I looked today and there's six inches of leaf proudly standing up.  It's weird.

I promised myself that I'd observe the world more than ever this year, to truly be present as I pass this milestone.  I feel like I've already fallen behind and I haven't even started.

Time to pull out the camera.

Thursday, 29 March 2012


Simple, simple, simple.  I must remind myself to keep things simple.  I have a very active mind and sometimes things spill out of my mouth that just complicate situations and relationships.

I overshare, I know that, I can't seem to help it.  I'm a social worker so digging through things appeals to me and I tend to use situations from my own experience to help clients frame their issues and look for solutions.  Sometimes, though, I hurt people or frustrate them by sharing my opinions so freely. 

This is a milestone year for me and I want to be mindful of how I move around in the world and how I affect my world and it affects me. 

I don't want to commit to blogging every day; goals like that just make me feel bad when I can't keep them.
I will commit to writing as often as I can, to be mindful and to map my journey.

Let's open the door and get going. :)