Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Happy birthday, Bill.

Today would've been my stepfather William "Bill" Thayer's 84th birthday. He passed away many years ago. I had two stepfathers, but Bill was the only one who counted. The first one was nothing short of evil.

Anyway, I wanted to post this in remembrance of Bill. I wish you could see Jon and Britt now that they're grown up. Love and miss you!

The Nocturnal Editor

You may or may not have noticed, but I have renamed the Abraxas Writing & Editing Services FB page to The Nocturnal Editor. If you haven't dropped by and 'liked' my page, please do! If you need writing or editing services, PM me or e-mail ~Bev The Nocturnal Editor

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Life gets in the way

Lyn and Nate had planned to move back to Colorado Springs and were in the process of getting everything set to do so. That's when Lyn died on August 8, 2016.

Both Paul and I want to remember and honor Lyn's memory, but we can't leave town and drive four hours, total, to go to La Veta for only an hour or two this coming Saturday for her memorial. I feel awful about it. We were trying to go, and had actually canceled out on being volunteers for Colorado Springs Comic Con, but life is such that things just aren't going to work out.

I have a full work queue this weekend (which I am GRATEFUL for) and we can't drive the RV all those miles until we get our fuel pump and brakes fixed. People have offered us rides, but we can't do that because they want us to ride down on Friday, spend the night, and stay on Saturday for the memorial, then drive back here. With the dogs, we can't be gone that long. Britt can't have them in her apartment, and she can't leave her dogs and stay in our RV for all that time.

To find an alternative to honor Lyn's memory, I talked with her daughter, Angie, and the plan is to have a small, casual get-together at Britt's apartment sometime over the next week or so where we can all come together, remember Lyn, light candles and incense, and share stories and memories of her. I'm sure Lyn would be happy with that.

No matter what we plan here, all I know is that she will never be forgotten and I am grateful for her influence in my life. She left far too soon, but she will always be remembered fondly.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Ten things we've learned while living, working, and traveling in an RV full time

Lamia at Pike National Forest 

Nine years ago I wanted to get a recreational vehicle and travel more often. On December 19, 2015, two days after my 51st birthday and facing a move-out date in January once the house sold to a buyer, Paul and I decided we didn't want to go back to living in a house or apartment that required a huge chunk of money to pay for, plus all the hassles that came with it. So Paul and I took the step of getting rid of about 90% of our possessions, storing the other 10% in a storage unit, purchasing an RV on January 22, 2016, and embarking on a full-time mobile lifestyle. 

All either of us needs to do work is an Internet connection, so we could live and work from anywhere we chose. And when we wanted to travel, either near or far, we'd have that ability as well. We would live this lifestyle for as long as we wanted, and one thing was for certain: it would be an adventure that most people thought about, but never got around to actually doing. We wanted to actually DO it. 

We had all of 30 feet in our 1987 Ford Mallard Class-C motorhome, so paring down to the essentials was necessary. We also brought along our four dogs (Cosmo, Loki, Panda, and Freya) and our elderly cat who has an attitude, Isis. Our pets are like children to us—except they have fur, which my two adult children do not. Throw in our must-have items, like clothes, cooking supplies, dishes, food, bedding, our computers, books, and personal essentials, and there's not much else you can take with you. 

Here are ten things I've learned since February 2016 when we began living, working, and traveling in our RV, Lamia, full-time: 

1. No matter how much you think you've pared down for living in an RV, you'll find out there will be two or more passes you'll have to go through AGAIN in order to truly pare down your possessions to a manageable level. 

2. One of the worst smells in the world is a full black tank! 

3. The second-most worst smell in the world is a full gray tank. 

4. So far, Verizon Wireless has the best signal reach for Internet usage—even when you're at the top of a mountain out in the middle of nowhere. 

5. You're so used to city noise that, once you're out and away from people in the woods, the silence will almost deafen you. But you'll get used to it. 

6. The John Steinbeck method of washing clothes while traveling actually DOES work. Try it! 

7. Your stress levels go down to nearly zero when you're dry camping (boondocking) and away from society and noisy humans. 

8. All food tastes better when it's cooked over a campfire. Especially s'mores! 

9. You can do most cooking with a microwave, crock-pot, grill, and rice cooker/steamer. I have yet to use our gas oven or stove. 

10. If you're weird about your privacy, don't go on the road with people you don't like or aren't comfortable around. You will have 30 feet of space—if you're lucky—or maybe more if you can afford to own a Class A). Thankfully, I like and am comfortable around my husband! 

There are more than ten items overall, and I'm sure the list will expand in the coming months, but for now these are the ones foremost on my mind ;-).

Friday, August 19, 2016

[Genealogy] Clusters of maternal ancestors in Virginia and West Virginia

Up to 5 generations on the maternal side, the vast majority of my direct ancestors lived in Virginia and West Virginia. I was born about 25 miles from the West Virginia border, in fact. Out of this cluster, most of them lived in Pocahontas County, West Virginia.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Colorado Springs Comic Con!

We still have to take another step and attend an on-site meeting, but Paul & I both have initially been accepted as volunteers for Colorado Springs Comic Con.

I'm not going to get excited. Really and truly I'm not.

Okay, I fibbed. I AM excited about it!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Over a decade later, he's still got me.

And now, ten years later, he STILL has me. This is a look back at my burgeoning relationship with Paul, back when we were boyfriend/girlfriend. This entry from the past makes me smile, just as I thought it would when I wrote it a decade ago ;-). 

Paul and I will celebrate our original anniversary on November 5th of this year. We met 11 years ago and were married 8 years ago as of the 17th of this month. 

He's got me.

Mar. 19th, 2006 at 4:59 AM

Yes, this is a mush-filled entry again...but I figure this is my journal and, dammit, if I'm happy about something in my life when there's so much to be stressed over the rest of the time, then I'm going to give the positive stuff equal time.

My partner paulzuzu bowls me over more and more as time goes on. Often there are moments so intense between us that I think I'm going to forget to breathe. Like tonight when, after watching movies, I let loose with some pent-up fears and emotion, and tears began to fall. He knows just what to say and when to say it. He holds me close, showers me with kisses and helps dry my tears with his reassurances.

He loves me. Me...just how I am. No pretenses, no contingencies. He is present and available in my life, and he is supportive beyond words. Last week I didn't see him until Friday because I was under pressure to finish up some tasks and I needed solitude and concentration (this happens on occasion when I'm in the midst of a heavy-duty writing project.) Whereas other men (and I've dated them and been through it) would gripe and moan or put a guilt trip on me that I didn't love them or I was choosing writing over them, Paul understood completely and quietly supported me through the whole week with phone calls and e-mails every now and then. By Friday we were mad to be in each other's arms again and it was difficult to keep our hands and lips off of one another -- not merely from sheer lust (although lust did make its presence known!), but from the need to wash away the ache of longing for one's companion and mate when one has had to endure an unwelcome, but necessary, absence. Next week, I shall be gone to visit my mom and in-laws in Oklahoma and, once again, we will be separated for nearly a week. *heavy sigh* Being so far away from him fills me with fear and loathing.

Night before last we once again talked about how easy and preferable it would be to elope and get married -- just the two of us -- and then have an official handfasting ceremony later with family and friends. Several life considerations prevent us from marrying right now, but as soon as those situations are taken care of, the next day I'm ready to hop in the car, drive to an undisclosed destination and tie the knot with him.

Tonight he took my face in his hands, gazed intently into my eyes (which melted me to the core) and said words to me that no man has EVER said to me like that before. Caressing my face in his hands and staring at me with deep intensity, he made sure I heard every single word he said. No man's ever been that direct or intense like that and said THOSE words (which I shall keep private for now). Before I left after 4 a.m., we kissed and he once again held my face in his hands and gazed deeply into my eyes, his blond hair falling down around his face and shoulders, causing my insides to shiver. He called me his "beautiful bride," and I nearly cried. I'm not that yet, but I will be. Legally, I'm not; emotionally, I already feel that way.

He's got me; I mean, really got me. I didn't plan to fall for him like this. When did it happen and why didn't I fully realize it? This whole thing fills me with joy and fear at the same time. My heart is vulnerable and my soul is open and exposed. He reassures me...tells me he's not going anywhere. "Please don't," I whisper. "I cannot bear to hurt anymore...I've been hurt enough," I've told him in so many words and through so many tears. In the past, I've put so much into relationships that never came to full fruition or that turned abusive and cruel. There are deep scars that have scabbed over and I cannot bear to have them ripped open again. You know what I mean, though -- most, if not all of us, have these deep scars from long-term or intense relationships. He reassures me he won't hurt me. I believe him more than anything I've believed in a long time. I trust him -- implicitly. He is accepting, patient, understanding and gentle.

He loves me:

* Even though I'm not (and never have been) a tiny blonde Barbie-doll type
* Even when I'm being silly and unreasonable
* On bad hair days (which there are a lot of!) and without make-up...he swears he prefers me without make-up, which I find VERY hard to believe
* When I'm ranting and bouncing off the walls...he's the one who calms me down and helps me see things more objectively
* On days when I feel like I'm no more than a pile of feces and I can't do anything right (these days occur often)
* When I'm in my grouchy, prickly, smart-mouthy, sarcastic moods. That, my friends, takes sheer tolerance

The rest of the list could be endless...with all the crap that has come and gone lately in my life -- from friend and family illnesses to deadlines to endless to-do tasks to everyday irritations and expectations -- all I know is that I have two beautiful, wonderful children whom I adore and I also have a man who loves me wholly and without reservation or restraint. He is not afraid to give himself open up and take that chance on love. Likewise, I am truly, madly, deeply in love with him on a level that surprises even me. We speak of traveling together, of working on creative projects together, of growing old together.

Upon arriving home, I called him to let him know I made it home safely. One day there will be no need for a phone call. One day I'll already be home -- with him. One day we will hold hands, bind ourselves together with words and cords, and pledge to spend the rest of our lives together, he as my husband and I as his wife. I cannot wait for that day. In fact, I wish that day was tomorrow. But alas, that tomorrow will come soon enough. For now, I am already bound to him, heart and soul, as he is to me.

With so much hate, strife and discord in the world, today I will use my journal to celebrate love. A love that is real and that doesn't taunt me like promised whispers on the wind, but one I can reach out and touch with my bare hands.

Tis a beautiful and rare thing indeed. In the midst of stress and sadness, this brilliant spark lives. I want to remember this time -- put a permanent record of it in my journal so years later I can look back on this entry and smile as I squeeze my husband's hand and bask in the memory of how our love was born.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Hi, everyone. I talked to Nate today, who was Lyn's fiance. If any of you would like to send sympathy cards in the wake of Lyn's sudden passing, here is the mailing address (*please note that the name of the town in the graphic is incorrect. The town is spelled 'La Veta.'):

Nathan Juhala
PO Box 943
La Veta, CO 81055

Thank you for all your kind thoughts and wishes for Lyn's family during this time of grief. There is no info on a service at this time, but when and if that is made public, I will post here.

Monday, August 8, 2016

[Deaths] Journey well, my beloved friend. You will be missed.

Our good friend Lyn Goodnight passed away unexpectedly this morning. She had gone to the doctor on Friday because she had severe stomach pains. Her blood pressure got really high and they admitted her to the hospital. Turns out she had a stomach blockage, which caused a rupture. She had internal bleeding and died.

Lyn and Nate were the ones who had us come out to Falcon, CO, and stay for a while in our RV earlier this year. I've known Lyn 15 years...I'm in shock.

Paul and I are still trying to process this news and I am devastated -- especially concerned about her fiance, Nate, and her kids, who are in their 20s, and her granddaughter, who is only 4 years old. 󾌣

Lyn was more than a garden-variety friend to me. She was also my mentor and a lifesaver for me and the kids when my first husband, Gary, passed away unexpectedly in May 2001. Lyn was also my first High Priestess (HPS) and we were both in the same coven many years ago. I'd known her for 15 years.

This just doesn't seem real...I'm so sad. What a loss.

Here is what I posted on her Facebook wall:

"Words cannot properly convey how your passing has affected me and Paul. We are still in shock and disbelief. You have returned to the stars, my friend, and you left many behind who love you and whose lives were enriched by your presence. Thank you for everything you did for me, Paul, and the kids in the time we knew you. Thanks for everything you taught me, both mundane and otherwise, since I met you 15 years ago. Your mentorship and wise council had a large impact on my life. Rest in peace, Lyn/Butterflye."

Friday, August 5, 2016

A closer pic of my great grandparents, Wilson Washington Dilley and Lucy Anetta (Ray) Dilley, who was Tuckahoe Cherokee. She is smiling in this photo, but he seems more serious.

The family historian/genealogist, Norma Gray Ellis, used to live with them when she was a little girl. She said back in the day, it was hush-hush about my great grandmother's ancestry because people looked down on anyone who was Native American. Then again, there are plenty of people to this day who still make hurtful remarks. It's a shame, isn't it?

Meet my great grandparents!

Last night I put a crow feather into my hair. Forgot to take it out while I slept and it was still in my hair when I woke up. My hair was all mussed and I mentioned how I forgot to take it out of my hair last night. Tara said, "You look Indian!"

What she said made me smile, because my great grandmother on my birth mother's side, Lucy Anetta Ray, was Tuckahoe Cherokee (as confirmed by Norma Gray Ellis, the family historian/genealogist).

The vast majority of my DNA is Northern European, but at least someone sees the Tuckahoe Cherokee shining through, even if it's a little bit. :-)

Below is a pic of my great grandmother and grandfather. You can definitely see the Cherokee/Native American in my great grandmother's facial structure (high cheekbones)—and her neck looks long, too! Their daughter, Mary Dilley, was my grandmother (my birth mother's mom).