To the People I Never Stopped Caring About


You were lied to.

I know that you’ve seen the news the last week. Maybe you really were so brainwashed that you believed what he said about me. Maybe you saw me falling apart online and thought that it proved what he said.

I know that you were hurt by what happened. It was not my desire to hurt you. It was my desire to save my mental and physical life. I’m sorry I wasn’t there to protect you. You had many people around you who should have protected you. If they hadn’t been there for you, I would have fought in court to take you away with me.

You were a little child when you intervened in his abuse of me. I’ll never forget that. YOU took control of the situation at eight, or was it nine? You confronted him and told him that he had better go apologize to me because you didn’t want me to leave.

It was not on you to hold us together. The worst thing was that you and I had finally worked out our issues and started standing together against him.

What happened those three months after I left, I have an idea.

But now you see that abusive men don’t have to win. I’ve been speaking out for seven years. You spoke out when you were a kid. I’m not asking you to speak out again. I’ll speak out. I’m asking you to think back and remember.

me ny libraryny library lion


November 2017


Since we’ve let part of our property go wild, it’s gotten gloriously witchy. There’s an otherworld vibe in that small area of untended space. I have my “witch rock,” a small boulder that’s sinking into the ground, a dead dogwood covered in fungi, and a sprawling forsythia that is home to dozens of tiny birds year-round.

This is what I want. Keep your unnatural green lawns free of clover, dandelion, and bees, and keep your chemicals away from me.

I took a few pictures this afternoon:

2017 nov autumn sm2017 nov tree mush sm2017 nov tree hole sm2017 nov mums sm2017 nov sham flwr sm

The World We’ve Created


We made it on our own.

Over two dozen people, including the pastor’s young teen daughter, were murdered by a domestic terrorist in church Sunday morning. Other parishioners were shot, including a five-year-old boy, and a two-year-old girl.

Another man with a gun–or two men, the details are still confused–chased the terrorist down and “stopped” him.

People started talking about gun control. Other people started talking about their sacred “hobby” of collecting guns and hunting and target shooting.

A photo started to circulate of a trophy hunter, a person with more money than sense or morals, with a dead snow leopard draped around his shoulders.

I work remotely and avoid “regular” people as much as possible because I don’t understand their world. My vampire characters in my series make more sense and have a greater system of morality than the majority of the people out there.

I was going to give up freelancing and return to the outside work world . . . retail, secretarial work, temp work because tis the season, although it feels like nothing, really, just warm and chilly days and nights, leaves falling, crows calling, an owl that has settled in somewhere nearby and hunts at night.

The owl hunts because it has to. A lot of people where I live rely on hunting for food. They’re not the guy with the dead snow leopard hanging around his unworthy shoulders. They are concerned about their guns, I’m sure, but believing in gun control doesn’t make one anti-gun. I’m not anti-gun. I’m anti AR-15s in the hands of men with grudges, violent men who’ve lost their easy targets of rage, their wives or girlfriends.

I don’t like to think that shooting is a relaxing hobby and accepted in American society. It seems like emptying a lot of rage instead of doing anything productive. “There is more skill in photographing an animal than using a rifle.” –  This Twitter user is 100% correct. Why is using an object meant to kill now a way to “work out” one’s frustrations? Take up martial arts. Take up boxing. Take it out on a heavy bag. Get freaking counseling.

People mock me for collecting dolls. It’s not a “grown-up” hobby. Dear Goddess, let me never have a grown-up hobby. People mock my religion as not a “real” religion while “real” religious leaders say . . . bring guns to church.

What we know about the terrorist who murdered at least 26 people in church yesterday morning is that he was young, had been married, had at least one child, assaulted his wife and child, and was dishonorably discharged from the Air Force, court-martialed for his abuse of his family.

Another angry young white man who, as so many women said on Twitter, went from domestic violence to mass murder.

I ultimately left my abusive ex-husband because of the gun in the bedroom.

I have no desire to be out in the world that breeds all those mindsets, and that world doesn’t want me. I see growing hostility and suppressed anger when I go beyond my little town to a town with department stores. I don’t carry a gun, I don’t advertise my politics. But I don’t get out of the way of aggressive men or women. I confront them. I don’t like it. I don’t like having a trip to the grocery store turn into an argument with a pushy person in line who has a red face and clenched fists.

I’ll just be at home, taking care of my mother and cats, writing, and building my doll collection. And voting. One thing I can do to fight back against those people with clenched fists and guns is vote.

I’m a contented stereotype in the world I’ve created. That world outside is devolving. I don’t want to be in it as it dies.

When a teacher changes course


Solitary Wiccans/Pagans often come to depend on people who present themselves as teachers because we don’t have the support system of a coven. When that teacher’s path changes, we can feel as if the earth has shifted under our feet. It’s comparable to a Christian pastor announcing that she no longer believes in a key element of Christian theology and will no longer follow what she has preached for a decade.

Two months ago, I wrote about Doreen Virtue’s conversion to Christianity. We should have seen it coming, I suppose, as she increasingly focused on Mary and Mary Magdalene, the Templars, the quest for the Holy Grail, and the well at Glastonbury. I was fascinated by those things for years. That’s how I discovered Doreen and bought two of her decks. I do believe that Doreen’s Goddess Guidance Oracle helped me connect with Rhiannon when I realized that a Christian form of paganism was not for me. Then she went to angel decks. I had absolutely no interest in them. What bothered me about her conversion to Christianity was her decision to alter her previous work to remove deities that she now considers “dark.” That’s wrong. Are her old, original decks now worthless? Not at all. If you’ve been using one or more and they work for you, I say keep using them. You may miss her teachings using those cards, but if you still feel connected to the cards, that’s good. They’re still a tool for you and one hard lesson of Wicca/Paganism is that everything created and named by human beings is fluid. I question my witchy world daily. That’s the point. I picked this path because I didn’t want dogma.

I’ve recently been reading books by a prolific academic author and teacher. Just when I felt I was beginning to understand what I needed to understand about The Morrigan, like not saying I wanted to “work with” Her, this teacher underwent a profound spiritual experience, and her devotion to some deities, including Macha, has changed. At first I was shaken. Then I remembered that I was drawn to The Morrigan, Goddess of War, Queen of Phantoms, and possibly the most confusing Celtic goddess of all, when I “should have” connected with Brigid, goddess of hearth, poetry, healing, and many other things close to my heart. Why did I physically reach past Her for a statue of The Morrigan? I only had a superficial knowledge of Her. I just felt a connection. That connection isn’t broken by this very knowledgeable teacher’s change of path. Her previous writings aren’t to be dismissed. Our teachers are learning, too, examining their beliefs every day, as we should.

A teacher can’t determine what path is right for you or which deity or deities you should follow or call on . . . only you can know that, and you have to learn two things: how to read the signs that a deity is calling on you, and how to trust yourself.

Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button?


It’s nice to buy a handmade doll dress and find that it has buttons or snaps instead of that scratchy plastic stuff whose name cannot be spoken and everyone hates anyway.

This post isn’t about doll clothes. It’s about using buttons to make and repair doll accessories, specifically Tonner dolls, but you could use buttons in many ways for dolls of all sizes.

I’ve done one project and one repair using buttons from the button jar my aunt filled and I received after her death. I have three Tonner dolls: Urban Legend Lizette, Fanciful Miette, and ESPecially Prudence. I bought each doll nude, and only Miette came with a stand. Miette also has her blue hair ribbon. I think that the hat on the dressed doll is a bit silly, but I did want her to have a hat. I can crochet, but I have almost no sewing experience beyond sewing on a button.

Then it occurred to me: a button hat! I dug a large white button with two holes out of the jar. I had a couple of mini flower bouquets (who doesn’t?) and one was blue, so I pulled off a rose. Something was still missing. I turned the button jar around and around and spotted some small white star-shaped buttons. It was easy to sew the flower to the base button, then sew on the stars. I have a couple of long straight pins with oval-shaped white heads that I found in my grandmother’s sewing machine. I pushed one through a hole in the base button and into the stiff hair under Miette’s blue ribbon.

miette button hat

It’s not so frou-frou, like the swan head hat in the doll’s original outfit, but I think it looks a little like those silly hats the English royals wear to Events. My hat is easy to remove without disturbing Miette’s hair. I stuck it to my fancy pincushion when I changed her outfit.

What can you repair with a button? A wineglass.

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Prudence dropped her wineglass. It hit the hardwood floor and the stem cracked. I have a great clear industrial adhesive that usually fixes anything, but I could not get it to set and hold the stem and base. I pulled the base off, filed the stem attached to the glass and the small piece of stem attached to the base smooth, then tried again. It still wouldn’t set. I was determined to fix it and decided that the base was a wash and had adhesive all over it anyway. Then I thought again of buttons.

I found a nearly opaque button with a depression in the middle. The stem fit perfectly.


Above is Miette (in her Halloween frock) holding the undamaged and the repaired glass. Because the repaired glass now has a thicker stem, the Ellowyne body type can’t hold it in one hand. Now I tape the glasses into their hands. Live and learn.

And because you’re probably curious by now, here is the button jar, and Lizette showing off her new dress and kitten:

justine button jar 2

Grandmother Needs a Heart Transplant


Pamela Mills is the center of a loving family. She’s a mom, sister, and grandmother, and she needs a heart transplant. All transplant recipients have to take anti-rejection medications. Hers will cost $5000 for the year after her transplant. She’s alive right now because she’s on an IV drip with a drug that helps her heart work. You can read this and more on her daughter’s GoFundMe page. The family is over halfway to their goal! You can donate as little as five dollars and share this post, and you’ll be helping.

I believe in GoFundMe because it allowed me to raise the money to pay our mortgage when we were in a financial crisis. I identify with Pamela and her daughter because it’s just me and my mom right now. This lady has family who need her, and she needs your help to get a new heart. Please help her if you can. If you’re financially unable to contribute, just sharing this post or the link to her GoFundMe can make all the difference in the world.



Simply Stunning Oracle Deck


Do you love oracle decks bursting with color and life? Do you like a deck with simple but beautifully painted symbols? You can help Sapphire Moonbeam bring her deck to life with a donation or a pre-order.

Self-publishing is more expensive than you’d think, especially when it’s something like an oracle deck that includes a guidebook and lots of art. You can take a look at some of Sapphire Moonbeam’s amazing art below:


Sapphire Moonbeam spent five years on the paintings that make up this oracle deck. This is a work of love.

I was immediately drawn to the strong color and powerful art. If you prefer oracle decks without people, this could be perfect for you. The artist needs your help to put this deck out into the world. Please read her Kickstarter page and consider pre-ordering a deck. If you can’t afford that right now, a donation will be a big help, and so will sharing this link with others. This meticulous five-year project needs your support so that its beauty and wisdom can be available to everyone.

This Kickstarter ends on November 11. Plan to pre-order or donate soon.