Saturday, July 31, 2010

Oh, I'm A Petri Dish, And I'm OK...

Well, I'm not really sure about the “I'm OK” bit, but the first half is true.

I had my surgery last Friday, with my trusty pseudo-sister, Claude, by my side. First, the intake nurse wanted to know if I was also a nurse.
I said no.
Next, the anesthesiologist spoke to me and discussed my medical history. Then he turned and said, “Can I ask you a question?”
Here it comes.
“Are you in the medical profession?”
I said no. I really wanted to say that, in prior lives, I was a Civil War nurse, and a Druid, but why scare the “normals” with the happy juices and the knives?

Into the OR we went, where my left foot became the “Frankenfoot” of my nightmares. My surgeon even took a picture for me.
By Monday I received a phone call from my doctor. The labs were in and I had e-coli contamination. I had to go on Ciprofloxacin.
“E-coli? I didn't rub hamburger on my foot, so how'd THAT happen?”
“It's everywhere in the environment, and your ulcer was open and wet for 5 months.”

You put your left foot in, you put your left foot out...
When I made my follow-up visit this past Thursday, news got even worse. I now had a smelly foot, and more labs. THREE different bacterias had roosted in my tootsie. Off to the Infectious Disease doctor I went last night.
Again, we ran the script....what happened, what are you taking, allergic medical history...
“Diabetes, on both sides.”
“Any Cancer?”
“I had uterine cancer almost 5 years ago. But that's not a genetic factor. I had the markers..diabetes, no children, overweight...”
“Can I ask you a question?”
Here it comes..
“Are you a nurse or something?”
“What DO you do?”
I explained I was a Commercial Lines underwriter and an author.
He asked me the subject of the books, so I told him.
“yes, Sir.”
“Wow. Good thing I fit you into the schedule tonight.”
My guess is, he is no longer focused on my potential medical background. There are bigger fish to fry.

As to my foot, I feared I was in for an IV and 2 weeks of vancomycin. Instead, we are treating the little buggers to a cocktail of Cipro and amoxicillin. Not only should it wipe clean the petri dish that is my ulcer, but also save the graft and protect me against the fifth plague of Egypt, should Jehovah decide to get peckish with America and try the 10 plague routine again.

The way things have been going, nothing would shock me.
I have another doctor visit on Monday.
Fingers are crossed.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Generation Gap - Watch Your Step

Quite a while ago, I had a friend who was an actress. Her Deva sense of self entitlement suited her career to a tee. Yet, in her 35th year, she decided to search her soul, and various groups, to find the one spiritual path that agreed with her own concepts. Eventually, she found the Jehovah's Witnesses. (Actually, they found her).
She read the Watchtowers, spoke to church teachers, embraced their particular view of Christianity – then dropped them cold.
“Why?” I asked.
“They expected me to go door to door. I have a schedule. I'm busy. Their level of commitment doesn't fit my lifestyle.”

Imagine my surprise when, decades later, this same sentiment was expressed to me by some of my own “Witchlets”. It's an unfortunate by-product of a generation raised on instant gratification. If it can't be Googled, Twittered, or reconstituted in a microwave in under 5 minutes, it doesn't suite their “lifestyle”.
Oh for the old days, when you grabbed your cape and crow, and poured over tomes of ancient wisdom!

The problem is, “The Divine” (however one defines it) is not a respecter of our cluttered calendars. I speak only for my own family Path, but Spirituality can not be ordered on-line. (“This package contains Wisdom! Insight! Psychic Perception! Tranquility! And Magical Abilities! Just add Chalice Well water!”). As we rush around, attending to our personal wants and needs, we keep the Old Ones on hold, listening to the muzak of the spheres, until we can fit them in. This tendency towards “catch as catch can” devotion alters radically, however, as soon as an ambulance siren sounds in our driveway. Suddenly, the Gods become our BFFs, a focus of promises and prayers.

I am not advocating a life spent on one's knees, or conducting elaborate rituals every evening when the kids go to bed. I actually do believe that everyday responsibilities – like household chores and attending to children's needs – can be done in a sacred manner. Working with the earth – tending a garden and feeling the connectedness with the divine energies in the soil – can be a spiritual observance, if done with focus and deliberateness. Cleaning out the refrigerator is a sacred act if we purposely focus of making it a symbol of inner cleansing – and retain that focus throughout the process. It can NOT be claimed as a holy rite, after the fact, when all you did was exclaim “Eewh!” and “What the hell's in this Tupperware?”

I recently offered an elevation to a student who has denigrated the idea of “ritual” within her Wiccan practice. She was perfectly content to have me perform the rite alone, while she “tuned in” to it wherever she found herself (grocery store, poolside etc.). It was the ultimate example of “phoning it in”. Some things just shouldn't be multi-tasked.

Non-committed Wicca is not Wicca.
“Back seat” spirituality is just bad juju.
Better hope that the Old Ones don't take a clue from us and develop a new idea of their own: Instant Karma.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

One Foot In The Grave?

Next Friday, in the early hours of the morning, I am having surgery to suture a human skin graft over my open foot ulcer. I have been trying to heal this thing for 5 months. I've kept it clean and infection free – it never got worse, but it never closed. This procedure, then, is a last straw attempt before more invasive (and dangerous) surgery takes pace.'s caused me to wonder...

Although I could never tolerate being a trance medium or channeler (Hey, go get your own larynx!) I do have psychic/mediumistic skills. I have assisted local authorities, helped solve one murder, and frequently was yelled at by my dead mother. So now, a human skin graft is being added to my left ankle. Humm...
“Where is this patch coming from?” I asked my doctor.
“Right here in Jersey.”
“No, I mean the source of the skin.”
“Oh..a donor.”
“As in, 'take my skin, I won't be needing it' kind of donor?”
So here I am, a woman who has conversations with dead people, a psychic and sensitive, getting a piece of some deceased person grafted onto my foot. This is a new experience for me. I've had some of my own stuff taken out, but nobody else's anything added on, not even a blood transfusion. What fresh, paranormal hell could I be walking into now? (yes, I see the irony in that last statement. Duh.)

Well, there could be the mild, obvious phenomena, like flashes of memory, dreams involving folks I don't know but who feel familiar. Yet, there are other possible dimensions. Given infinity, there is a chance my left appendage could turn into (what my daughter calls) “zombie foot”.
If this graft “takes” and thrives, is it not like resurrecting a piece of the deceased? If blood cell tissue merges with my own circulatory system, is this not re-animation of “dead” tissue? Could my poor, wounded terminus become “Frankenfoot”? (Or, worse yet, Frankenfuter? Will I wake up one morning with my toe nails painted red, and a black corset bandage hugging my ankle?)

I mean – so many things are possible. What if the donor had an unsavory life and molested children. Would I find my left foot rubbing up and down the legs of my young niece and nephews, under the tables at restaurants? ( Bringing a duel meaning to the word “ped”ophile”)
What if the donor was artistic? Will I awake one morning to find my toes gripping a brush, painting window scenes and flower pots all over my new sheets?
What if he was a psychic himself? Will my leg become the new antenna for “radio free dead guy”? After all, some people get dental work and pick up radio broadcasts on their fillings. Who's to say that this graft won't become the skin head of a virtual message timpani for the dead – organic voice phenomena ? ( Picture Kat, pulling her foot to her ear and saying “I'm sorry, I missed that”.)

Talk to the hand? Huh. Not in my world.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

And here we go...

I have never done anything like this before...a Blog, that is. Oh, I have a series of journals reaching back 40 years, almost to the day, but reflection on public display? Not really my thing.
...But my "thing" is changing.
My astrologer says that's to be expected. I went today looking for an update on my health (major issues have loomed over my head for the past 3 years), and on various partnerships, both private and professional.
The good news: something is no longer transit my something else and Neptune has veered off my bumper, after 10 years or more. The bad news: here comes Pluto! Oh, hooray! Something is trine my uncle's station wagon on my mother's side, and even though the worse is over, here comes the chaser.
I am no longer on the dirt road. I am on a paved road with lots of "speed humps". (Why does New Jersey call them "humps" anyway?)
My foot surgery on July 21st will be fine. I will live a long, long life...hooked up to machines... unless I follow every direction my doctor gives me. Humm. I have 4 doctors and no two agree on anything, but I think I know what he means. I am a diabetic in semi-denial. After years of oral medication I have just been put on insulin.
OK - break time over. Everybody on their heads!
So yes, the stars are giving me a message: down with the hash brown; up with the lettuce. The stars are also saying that I am just starting a period of honing down my environment, and clearing out that which holds me back or no longer works for me. (Is that why I can't find the stuffed pony I had since I was four?)
Even though I am a Wiccan Elder, I will be getting more deeply involved not only in my own magical workings but also other aspects of the Occult - like speaking to the dead. (He must know I work in insurance. Asking my co-workers anything IS like speaking to the dead.)
Finally, a romantic relationship will be developing for me in the next year or two. I looked at him as though an ectoplasmic head was growing from his right shoulder. Me? at 56? A round, aging, gimpy grandma? Yes, he says it's true. The other head said nothing.
As to my writing career, I am taking off sans the old partner and teaming with another student. I had a brilliant idea for a book of spell crafting, with an approach that no one has though of before. I'll handle the writing, and my partner ( with my help) will focus on the creative end, developing the actual spell and crafted item.
As to my newly published book, I'm told to go promote it and it will really take off.
OK then! Go buy "Things Your Elders Never Told You" available through both and Barnes &
As to future Blogs, I hope to get better. My spelling never will, which is why books have editors. My apologies in advance.