So, it would seem that I’m a cat whisperer. For some reason, they find me. Or I find them. Historically, I have cat allergies. How in the hell I have nine indoor cats is beyond me. But I digress.

Today is the story of Otis.

He began his life with another name, and another owner. The story I’ve been told is that his first owner decided that she couldn’t afford three cats, so she chose two and let them outside. I have no idea if this is true, but I used to watch them run to the house when they heard the tires crunch on the gravel, only to have doors closed in their faces. This broke my heart.

They were “adopted” by neighbours who fed them, but no attempt was made to bring them inside and give them love. I give them total kudos for feeding them and keeping them alive.

One day, one of the cats appeared on my deck, with a full chest covered in blood. I could not catch him, and I cried myself to sleep that night, because I couldn’t help this beautiful boy. A week passed, and it turned out some good Samaritan managed to catch him and have him fixed up. I would still love to know who that was. I would like to hug them.

I could go on, and ramble for hours, but the short story is that the neighbours who “adopted” them moved. They were able to catch one cat to bring to their new home as a barn cat, but they were unable to catch he-who-would-become-Otis. In fact, he clawed one of them so badly that he had to go to hospital. He ran into other people’s houses, freaked out, and threw himself off second floor balconies. This was not a lovey cat. They still tried to catch him, and I was accused of stealing him.

In the meantime, this cat had decided that I might be a nice person/victim/sucker and I ended up befriending the beast. I did so for another person, but he imprinted himself on me so much that it wasn’t right for him to leave. Outside the house, he followed me everywhere, allowed belly rubs, and didn’t want to leave my side.

Fast forward to 2021, and this wee boy (he’s huge, I call him my pitbull kitty) follows me around the house, sleeps on my chest, snores louder than a human, and washes my forehead for fun. He is my shadow, my confidant, my best friend, and my melty love-bucket.

Did I steal him? Maybe. But in my honest opinion… barn cat versus sleeping in fluffy beds, cuddling, and snoring like there’s no care in the world… you be the judge.


I went to an awards ceremony…

Louboutins, leather pants, prom dresses, little black dresses, skin tight pantsuits, so many sequins, mermaid suit with red pushup bra, thigh-high boots, bathroom selfies, drunk Santa security guards, yay for bow ties, 80s ball gowns, peroxide blonde, boyfriend jacket no boyfriend, I can’t hear a fucking thing, five-inch heels, sashaying, shiny green dress, shiny gold dress, shiny blue dress, shiny red dress, shiny silver dress, leopard print jumpsuit, animal print everything, I don’t need to see your underpants miss, faux-hawks, orange suits, rope belts, captain hats, Popeye pipe, spray tans, yay for ripped jeans and a blazer, zipper pants, why are you sitting on the floor, why is that beat pulsing non-stop, so many pantsuits!, a spaghetti strap dress should not be worn over a sweater, that blouse is not a dress, just because it’s a fancy hotel does not make bathroom selfies classy, what the fuck have you done to your hair, shiny mermaid, backless blouses, why is your dress a tube top, yay for converse, honey you are not Pink, apparently there’s something about Mary, no I won’t wear my teeth to the awards, apparently if you sit on the floor beside the VIP entrance they’ll let you in, my that’s a lovely chest tattoo miss, why is you boyfriend – who looks like Squiggy – chugging two beers for you fancy photo op, all the “VIP’s” are putting their empty glasses on our table – WTF – put it on the floor fucker, I think I’ll just rest my beer can in my cleavage. I need to go home. I need my cats.

A new year, a new start.

I have been very bad at blogging lately, but I’ve had a rather bad go at things. I’ve been attacked at work to the point of quitting to save my sanity, I’ve rescued yet another cat (yes, that’s eight now) and I’ve finally come to grips with reality. I’m doing a job that I’ve always dreaded, but I’m really trying to find positives in the daily grind.

Most importantly, however, I’m finally embracing all my oddities and cultivating them. My “eccentricities” have often been my downfall. I no longer care what other people think. I always thought that I’d been doing that already, but now… the gloves are off. I’m not hiding anything anymore. I’m going to be me, no matter who I meet.

I AM the Witch of South Mountain. I am here! Today is my day! I raise a glass to all who read this. Drink up witches. Today we ride!


Over the last year, a lot of changes have occurred. I didn’t even blog, because I didn’t know what to write. I wrote a short story that I toyed with turning into a novel. I’ve not done much with either one. I finally got a job, doing something I never, ever, thought I’d do… let alone enjoy. It’s not quite enough to pay the mortgage, but it’s more than I’ve had in the last four years. At least it’s there. It’s real. It’s reliable.

I accepted more of myself and embraced my weirdness. I bought my dream car. Her name is Lucille, and she’s a hearse. I expanded my skeleton family. They are a perfect little family, despite the missing limbs and the fact that they are dead.

Some bad relationships turned good, some good relationships turned bad. I tried to tune out the toxic influences. Sometimes I succeeded, sometimes not. I met some awesome new people in my job, and found a new family member that had been long lost.

I relied very heavily on my cats to keep my sane. I spent the better part of the last year doubting myself. Questioning myself. Disliking myself. They kept me grounded. They kept me here.

I’ve started to write a bit more again. I’m even going to be published, since I helped my saner half write a short story. I’m immersing myself in the beauty of the world though photography. I am hoping to carve again this year.

So far, 2018 is stirring up a lot of memories… especially from one of my worst years ever (2013). It’s not going to be an easy year, but I’ll get through it. One way or another. I’ll return here too, and vent to whomever reads this. If no one does, that’s okay too. At least I will have spoken.

What the…

Have you ever had one of those days when you wake up on a bus that is packed full of young, well-dressed party-goers, and you’re in nothing but a fluffy bathrobe with a towel tied around your head? And it’s night time? And it’s New Year’s Eve? I was, two nights ago. Or at least I dreamed it. It was terrifying, because everyone was trying to peek under my bathrobe to see how fat I was. And then a man got on and handed everyone a piece of paper. It was a terrorist attack, and only half of the people on the bus would survive, based on what was written on the paper handed them. Mine said simply, “Die.”

I managed to flee the bus before it was set on fire, only to find myself in a mall. It’s one that I have been to many times, but never physically. I’m not sure it even exists. But I recognized it, nonetheless. I had to get to the other side of the mall, which (unlike other visits here) was also at the base of a very fancy hotel that was right on the ocean. I kept stopping to try to take pictures of the sunset from the scenic lookout rooms that were located at regular intervals. Every time I got to the far end of the mall, I was forced to exit and ended up right back where I entered it in the first place, with the bus still burning in the background. It was quite infuriating. At least on second entry I was clothed, although I can’t for the life of me figure out why I was wearing heels…

I must have walked the length of that friggin’ mall eight times.* Each time, I was still trying to take pictures, but every time I tried, a tsunami-worthy wave kept sweeping closer and closer, blocking the beautiful colours of the sunset. No one was concerned about the wave, however, so I kept going. The final time I walked it’s length, it was 11:30 and I had to find friends, or I’d be alone to start the year. I found the restaurant where everyone was, but it was being transformed into a fancy theatrical performance and I didn’t have a ticket. I exited the mall, one last time, and I ended up ringing in the new year, alone, wandering a dusty, dirt road (nowhere near an ocean) in daylight (even though it was midnight) looking for a patio.

And then it got strange…

*For the record, I hate malls. This part was equally as disturbing as the terrorist threat.

Today, I met my hero.

It has been a long time since I’ve blogged. I think the main reason is that I have felt like I haven’t had anything to say. Today, that changed. Today, I met my hero.

It’s not the first time we’ve met, but today… today we really talked to each other, and she became my hero. She doesn’t know this, but she will. We didn’t talk about ALL THE THINGS, but we talked about enough things.

I’ve been through some pretty shitty things in my life. She has “been there, done that” with almost all of mine, and then some (times 100,000). But she’s not arrogant about it. She’s just awesome. I have always had a habit of letting the bad things get to me, and bring me down. I let them control me. She’s had so many things try to tear her down, and she still gets up, smiles, and says “bring it on motherfucker!”. This is what I want to be.

I’m not going to let this woman slip away from my life. She’s too awesome for words. She’s inspirational. She makes me want to be a better me. I am going to try to learn from the things she shares and suggests, and try to make myself better, stronger, a little bit at a time.

I apologize, in advance, to my family and friends. In the last few years, with the unemployment and negative shit that has bombarded me from all sides, I lost myself. But today… things have changed.

The Witch is back.

I’m exhausted before I even start.

What day is today? Friday. Hopefully I’ll hear something today. Please don’t let it be another rejection. What time is it? Oh, I’ve got time, the cats are still cuddly and they are warm. It’s not like I have to *be* anywhere today anyway. I hate winter. Shit, I should get my bloodwork done. And I need wine. And kitty litter. Oh hell, I have to go to the bank. I didn’t deposit that money and the mortgage payment went through, so I’m in overdraft. That’s okay. I’ll deposit it today and I’ll be back in black. But there won’t be enough for my insurance next week. I need to sell some stuff. What can I sell? Oh, I just heard a ping. Maybe it’s an email about the job. Nope, just a rejection for a job I applied to months ago. I wasn’t expecting that one to go in my favour anyway. They never hire externally. Oh no. I still haven’t written to my aunt. What should I say? It’s been so long. “Dear Aunt Joanne, I’m so sorry I haven’t written to you in so long. I’ve been pretty down about unemployment lately and haven’t been doing much of anything but sleeping. I often lie in bed and compose letters to you, but by the time I’ve finally hauled myself out of bed, I’ve gotten distracted and then forget to actually do it….” What was that noise? Oh, just one of the cats. I haven’t fed the birds in two days. I need to fix that. I think the crows will like the freezer burnt chicken fingers. What time is it now? Is that all? I’m hungry, but I’m warm and comfy so I’m not moving. I wish Geoff was here. I could sell that four piece tea set. I haven’t written a blog post since before Christmas. I wonder why no one wanted that really warm coat I tried to sell last year. I guess I can try that one again. I sure am glad I don’t have to lick myself clean every day. I want spring to come. I miss sitting on the deck with my book, watching the birds. Why does my brain do all this? Maybe I can borrow money from my business to pay the insurance. Shit, I need to pick up a prescription too, who knows how much that will cost. Is it snowing? Crap. I hate winter. Ohhh, Pinot is being so cute. He really is my cuddle-bunny. Shit, I hope I don’t miss garbage day. I missed recycling. Again. But there was no way in hell I was going out in -35 celcius to put it out. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. Tomorrow is Saturday. And it’s supposed to be freakishly cold. I may not leave the house. I don’t really have to. Hamlet is snoring. I wonder what I’m going to have for dinner tonight. What’s that noise? Just the neighbours, listening to music again… it’s amazing I can hear it with all the windows closed. I haven’t practiced my bagpipes this week. I sure hope I’ll be good enough for the wedding in September. I don’t want to let them down. I wonder if I’ll have my wedding this year? Probably not. I can’t believe the behaviour of some people. I never took those bags to the charity shop. Then again, I’ve not driven past it. Yes, I did, but I was tired. Right. Shocking. If I were to go into Winchester today, maybe I’ll get a fancy coffee from Timmies. Oh, I need to fill the car too. I need to sell stuff. I need a job. Why won’t anyone hire me? Oh, wait. I thought I was done my Valentine’s Day gift, but I’m not. I’m only half done. That’s okay, I can do that tonight. I’m hungry. I can wait. Another ping! Just crap, still no news. The longer I go without hearing, the more negative I know I’m going to be. This is going to be a stressful weekend. I’ll be obsessing the whole time. I hope I don’t pass out at band practice. I wonder why that drummer didn’t show up again. I’m so glad that YinYang is peeing normally again. That is worth the cost of the expensive cat food. I have an urge for steak. That was a weird dream. I don’t think the river will ever flood like that in real life, but I really don’t understand why there was a reindeer in my backyard. I wish I could get on the trampoline. That might be a nice stress relief. Bloody thing would crack in this cold. Is there anything interesting on tv tonight? No, it’s Friday. I’ve got my book. I should clean the living room. I will when I get up. I don’t want to go all the way into Winchester today. But I should. There’s that music again. I wish Geoff was here. I’ve got to bring my computer into the shop soon. It’s a pain the ass not having a proper shift key. That’ll cost money, so it can wait. I love the sound of Ophelia’s purr. I hope my mum’s ankle starts healing soon. Why are people honking and yelling out front? I don’t want to know. What time is it now? Oh. I wish I were a cat. I wonder if anyone noticed that I left a skeleton on a stick, and a skel-amingo on the front porch over Christmas. I didn’t want to leave the skel-amingo out, but he’ll have to stay now. How many cats with me now? Aw. I love them. “Dear Aunt Donna, I’m so sorry I haven’t written in so long…” Another ping! Why do these people keep sending me emails wanting me to donate my carvings. For the love of everything sacred, I want to sell the bloody things, not give them away. Why can’t I turn my brain off? I wish I could, even for five minutes. I could sell that picture. No, wait. The glass broke… Oh, I could sell the wolf one. The other one was popular. I’m not selling any of my coffins or skeletons. This is their home. Skates! I’m never going to use them again, not after 4 sprained ankles. Funny that my doctor was creeped out by how bendy my ankles are. She’s not the first one to be freaked out by that. Crap, I’m supposed to buy an ankle brace too. That can wait. Kijiji or Facebook? I’ll sell stuff on both. Sooo furry, hello my YinYing. What am I going to make for dinner for Geoff on Saturday? I have no idea… It will be too cold to BBQ. I want this job so much. I’m afraid of hoping too much. I’m so tired. I guess I’d better get up and start my day…

Weirder, and weirder, and weirder still…

So the dream thing is pretty much taking on a life of its own…

Two nights ago, I had a dream about visiting a shrine to a religion that was far more akin to a cult than anything. It was a fabulous location, with about 500 steps leading up to the main shrine. It was called The Church of the Holy Shrine, and tours were available on every other hour. I arrived at the church by providence, since the directions to the place were completely inaccurate, as were the Google maps. Luckily, I recognized its magnificence. (Keep in mind, I am an athiestic/nature-pagany type person…) We all got out and stood in a very long line to take the tour. After hours, we got in and sat down to a very impressionistic video, followed by an invitation to attend a catered lunch.

I was with my parents, my fiance, and my closest friend. The nice thing was, we were able to take pictures together (on the edge of a precipice) in a very picturesque location. We looked fabulous.

At the lunch, people milled about, drinking wine (thank goodness for that) as we awaited the culinary celebration. Alas, there were more people than tables and anarchy ensued. [This is interesting, since the night before, I had dreamed of a sit down dinner at a fancy club with my parents, at which I was not allowed to sit with them. Instead, I was seated at a small coffee table with a yoga ball to sit on. I had one hell of a time to not roll under the table, and I never got any bloody food. But I digress….] Needless to say, no one ate.

Shortly thereafter, the person in charge of the religion/cult announced that the main event was about to start. We were to witness the most spectacular event in the history of religion. We were all on vessel very much like a ship, and we were violently tossed about as if we were in rough seas. As it turned out, we had been attached by a large crane, unseen by us as we were forced upon it. By the time someone stopped it, most of us had been thrown off. We were witness to the ship taking “sail” down the steps. It resembled a cardboard tank. Very odd…

When the “tank” rolled to the bottom of the steps, it hit water and exploded on impact. Most of the spectators didn’t survive. I did.

Fast forward to last night’s dream… I don’t remember a lot of the beginning. My consciousness starts at being trapped on the top of a hill that is akin to a painted desert hilltop. It’s dirt, only about 30 feet from the main land, and I’m in a car. It’s all quite hopeless, since it’s too far to jump, so, I have no choice but to force myself to slide down.

I think that’s the worst part of  dream. I have no control. I can’t help where I fall, and where I land. Eventually, I do land. At the end of my own garden (which isn’t actually my garden). My legs won’t work and I have to haul myself (inch by inch) up an impossible hill.

Once I get there, I am on a familiar street (in dreams, but not reality) and I meet up with my mother. We decide to head home (?!?) and head down main street. It’s a busy street, with which I’m familiar (but never been in on real life – although I feel I know it intimately). I am barefoot, and stepping on every piece of glass and stone. My mum and I stop at a store to get shoes. None are to be had and so and I’m ushered out in the swampland. I can only travel though that for so long before I’m forced out into the streets again. This time, the sidewalks are paved with jagged stone and shards of glass. I am still barefoot, but have a mile yet to walk.

So there you have the latest weirdness. It’s getting weirder and weirder as time goes on.

Does anyone have any insight? Please share, if you do.

Now I’m afraid to drive.

I would imagine that because my life hasn’t changed (what with the constant instability of unemployment) my dreams are still freakishly odd. Here’s what I remember from last night.

There was a whole whack of weird stuff as I walked through my town. None of it is in my town, but I’ve seen it before in dreams… I’ve been to this town many times, the shops are the same, I’ve never been there, but I know it’s my town. But, I digress. The most vivid part was when I was driving into it. I got to the stop sign where the gas station/corner store is (even though it’s not a four-way stop in real life) and my car stalled at the intersection. Acquaintances that I’ve not seen in a long time arrived on the scene in tiny metal stroller/metal wheeled things (kind of like sitting in the bottom part of a tea caddy…) on their way to visit another friend at the house at that very corner. I joined them, hoping my car would start soon. What ensued was a bunch of annoying girly gossip, which I hate with a passion, and I had to leave. As I got into my car, a little old man started bashing his own car into my rear bumper, trying to get me to move through the intersection. Alas, it still wouldn’t start. I shrugged and waved, to which he hit the gas and plowed me into the ditch.

Once I extricated myself, I crossed the street to the gas station/corner store (which now has a garage, unlike real life) and found someone who would pull me out. He offered to do so and tow me home (about 1 kilometer) for $75. I was horrified and responded that all I wanted was to get to the garage. He quoted me $15 instead. It ended up costing me $45 to be towed about 50 feet. Bastard.

At the same time, a co-op garden was being ploughed under by some fiendish human, and giant zucchinis were being hurtled across the street. They were hurtling across the street like giant, green, oblong cannon balls. People were running around like mad, picking up the flying vegetables. I was quite disappointed, being more of a cucumber kind of girl.

While I was waiting for my car, I went to work (right next door – how convenient!) in a place I’ve been before in my dreams, but again, never in real life. It was the same creepy scenario of trying to clean out an abandoned, decrepit, musty old diner/shop/restaurant/house. As happens every time, I’ve forgotten the alarm code and panicking about what to do when I’m done. I go through the same rooms, doing the same thing, enter the same creepy living space that is set up to look like it’s lived in but no one does, deal with the same kittens that I’m convinced are trying to lure my own cats out into the rat-infested attic (which makes no sense, since my cats aren’t there, even though they are…), and go down into the same basement trying to find one particular thing – although I never know what it is. This time, however, the dream differs. This time, while in the basement, I met a ghost. A soldier from the First World War. He was lovely, and helped me back up the stairs when they crumbled and I became trapped. Although I did feel guilty stepping on a grand piano.

Intermingled through all of these dreams I was with people trying to find a seat at various restaurants and we were placed in the strangest places, I was driving roads I’ve travelled hundreds of times (but again, not in real life – despite the fact that they were sooo familiar), I was walking through a school campus that I knew like the back of my hand (which I’ve never been to), and playing bagpipes (at least THAT is realistic!) with a band I’ve never played with before.

In the end, when the tire was pulled off my car in order to remove it from the ditch (apparently that was essential!?!), half a tree was found lodged in the middle of the engine. No idea where that came from. I guess that’s why it stalled.

In real life, my check engine light has been on for a month. Even though I’m 99% sure it’s something that’s not a big deal, I’m kind of afraid to drive now.

I’m never moving again.

The subconscious is a pretty weird thing. After a sleepless night, I fell into a very bizarre sleeping-in (one perk, I suppose, of unemployment) dream-fest.

The beginning of it is a bit hazy, but it involved attending some sort of event, at which I was dependent on a ride home. No one showed up, so I fell asleep (not sure where) and woke up at 1:30 in the morning to find my ride raking garbage out of her car. She still wouldn’t take me home because she was participating in a skipping race, with another person, down Merivale Road. Both of these people I knew back in high school, but have not seen them for any significant amount of time since then. So that was weird.

Once the race was over, it dawned on me that I was supposed to move that day. The friend had a tiny car but an odd trailer that unfolded into quite the storage wardrobe on wheels. I called my parents and told them I’d start with her help but we couldn’t fit the big stuff in. We had to run up and down round hotel staircases to get to my stuff on the third floor. I took great pleasure in the fact that we were moving, that the woman below me disliked me intensely. I knew she would be annoyed by the noise. That woman, incidentally, popped up through every aspect of my dreams, insulting me, harassing me, and repeating “But I bought you a Christmas present last year”. I know her in real life, and I can assure you, she did not.

Most of my stuff, however, was in a warehouse on big, shiny, silver shelves like you see in stores. There were many people to help me move, all people I have encountered in my life, but it made no sense that they were there. The warehouse was also part of a store. My stuff was mixed in with what they were selling, and some of it still had to be packed. It was very annoying, and I couldn’t keep customers from trying to buy my stuff before I could pack it. I guess this is why you should always pack well before moving day.

While attempting to do all of that, and organize my helpers, I got an urgent message that I was needed back at my house (which was no longer in a hotel) because things had turned nasty. When I got there, it was mostly underground, because I lived in some sort of pit dwelling. The biggest problem, it would seem, was the bathroom. Pretty much everything in it had rotted and there was a family of rather angry black and white foxes living there. Once I crawled along the entrance way, on my belly, I entered the room to confirm their reports. The foxes weren’t exactly friendly, but they didn’t attack. I didn’t salvage much. Things weren’t much better in the bedroom. Every time I picked something up, there were puddles of black swamp underneath, and they burst occasionally into low flames. It wasn’t a Princess Bride Fire Swamp kinda thing, just a lot of ooze that would flare up when broken things were tossed in.

What was salvaged from my strange, wild animal and swamp infested home, was eventually dragged to a dilapidated barn for packing. Every time I tried to grab a box, my aunt would yell “that one is for garbage!” and I’d have to put it back.

Throughout all of this, I kept having to run back and forth between the hotel and the place I was moving to. I’m still not sure where the pit was, or where it was that I was actually moving to… But I was running on foot. Well, actually, hand and foot. I was pretty quick too, despite it being rather awkward running on all fours. Once, while crossing an intersection, I came across a bunch of kids who used to live on the floor below me in an old house. They all yelled out “Oh my god, it’s YOU!”, to which I replied “See, you never knew just who lived upstairs, did you?”. They all stood, wide-eyed with their mouths hanging open, shaking their heads, as I flew by.

I never did see the place I was moving to.

As far as I know, I never actually moved.