alee_grrl: Burning coals of a fire.  Text: Let us walk together and find healing beyond the flames. (firewalk)
One of my friends is going through a devastating loss right now and she has been sharing updates via Facebook to keep her wider support network in the know. She is grieving the loss of her boyfriend to a mountain climbing accident and while I cannot be out west to support her and wrap her in hugs, I have certainly done my best to support her virtually with words and jedi hugs. In one post I told her how much I admired her, and how amazed I was by her strength, and also gave her kudos for rocking the self-care (including letting herself be emotional and grieving). What she said in response floored me and made me all kinds of misty eyed.

I learn this from you. I've been meaning to write to you and tell you that I"m so thankful you came into my life and made me into a better emotional being by your example. I love you


I honestly cannot think of higher praise than that. It is incredibly hard for me to accept such compliments as I do not really feel that I am all that special. I am posting it here largely so that on bad days I have an easily found reminder that I have made a difference in this world.
alee_grrl: Oracle in bat t-shirt at computer (oracle)
So my friends have returned home now after a week working as medical relief in a Jersey City shelter. Ceredwyn posted several great blog entries on her family's blog, Scaling the Peak.

Additionally one of our local newspapers has published a lovely, long article on their volunteer work. If you are curious about the how the money they raised was spent and how things went for them, I would recommend reading both the article and the blog posts. She has some very insightful words on disaster and its effects on people in her Night Shift blog post.

Plus the article includes a lovely picture of Ceredwyn with her adorable dog.

Also if you have any interest in how a modern homestead might work, one that combines the interconnected lifestyle of the 21st century with the old farmstead and basic low technology life of the 19th century, then I recommend checking out the rest of Scaling the Peak, which is maintained by both Ceredwyn and her husband, Bryan.
alee_grrl: Oracle in bat t-shirt at computer (oracle)
Ceredwyn, [personal profile] paganaidd, has posted a few more posts on her blogspot journal. The shelter that she and Tanya are working at is one of the ones that accepts animals. So one post in on the benefits of animal therapy. She also posted a wonderfully introspective piece on working the night shift at the shelter.

For those who are interested in helping, they are still collecting donations via microgiving and paypal (Ceredwyn [at] gmail [dot] com). It is their hope to do another goods drop to the Occupy Sandy volunteers, who have so far been the best at distributing supplies, before they leave.
alee_grrl: A kitty peeking out from between a stack of books and a cup of coffee. (Default)
[personal profile] paganaidd posted an update on her blog.

They made it safely to Jersey City and have checked in with the Red Cross there. There were able to get to their assigned shelter before travel bans were put into place due to the incoming winter storm. They were able to take a care full of goods with them. They left the goods at one of the Occupy Sandy drop points as they seem to be the most effective at distributing goods. Check out the post for more detail and photos. :)
alee_grrl: text only icon.  text reads: Insert fangirl squee here. (squee)
So my dear friend and fabulous writer, [personal profile] paganaidd is now on dreamwidth. Not only does she write some interesting stuff on paganism and animism, but she also writes fabulous fanfic. She's going to be re-posting her long, well-researched and well-plotted Harry Potter AU Digging for the Bones as well as meta posts containing longer author's notes and head-canon for the story. It is a dark, angsty story but it is one that I feel more accurately examines the darker elements of Harry Potter (child abuse, PTSD, etc). She's an EMT and has a lot of social work experience. So this story and her Memories series, which deals with the future of the Harry Potter characters, are well grounded and handled trauma and related issues realistically rather than glossy over them. Memories has pretty much become my personal canon in regard to the epilogue. :)

She's written in other fandoms as well and all of her stuff is great. A full list of her stories can be found here. If you like long, plotty, well-written stories check them out, and maybe subscribe to her journal. :)
alee_grrl: Burning coals of a fire.  Text: Let us walk together and find healing beyond the flames. (firewalk)
Thank you, thank you, thank you! We have raised $1000 for Heather and we still have a day left on our microfunding. I can not thank those who've signal boosted and donated enough. I really can't. Especially the kind soul who anonymously donated $780.00. I am practically in tears I'm so happy. So thank you again to all who signal boosted and donated. You rock!

::hugs and thanks and good energy::

Edited to add: If you are still interested in ways you can help Heather, please check out her Amazon wishlist and this post.
alee_grrl: Burning coals of a fire.  Text: Let us walk together and find healing beyond the flames. (healing)
There are two days left in our microfundraiser. So far we have raised 22% of our goal. Huge thank yous and loads of hugs go out to everyone who has donated or signal boosted. I cannot express how much it is appreciated.

Heather is doing a bit better. Her upstairs neighbors who were killing her with their pot and meth smoke have been evicted. So she is able to sleep in her apartment again for now. We are still trying to find her a better living space though as she should not have to worry about how to control her neighbors and be in constant fear of similar behaviors.

Answers to some questions that have not been asked, but that may be floating around out there. )

Signal boosting is still appreciated! Thanks so much everyone!
alee_grrl: Burning coals of a fire.  Text: Let us walk together and find healing beyond the flames. (firewalk)
So yesterday I posted about a microfundraiser that my friend paganaidd and I are doing. We are trying to raise $1000 in 7 days, which may seem kind of ridiculous. But the situation is critical. Heather is disabled, so her only income in her disability check. She cannot stay in her apartment anymore do to her Multiple Chemical Sensitivities caused by long term carbon monoxide poisoning. Her doctor has essentially told her that she would be better off homeless, in northeastern Vermont in fall (which would feel like winter to some of my southern friends--tonight's low is supposed to be 40 degrees Fahrenheit) than to stay in her apartment, which is killing her. We are trying to raise money to get her into safe and healthy housing. Essentially we are looking to pay the security deposit and first month's rent) because there is no way she can save up enough from her disability checks to cover those. Rent is astronomically expensive in Vermont considering its rural nature. I pay more for a studio here than I would for an apartment of equal size in Spokane, WA. Her family is not helpful at this point. So we are doing our best to help where we can.

Heather is a friend and someone that paganaidd and I know in real life. We've been wracking our brains trying to figure out how to help her. Heather cannot come to live with either of us do to the fact that neither of us live in a situation that would be safe to someone with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (the slightest hint of fragrance or chemicals can make Heather violently ill, to the point of passing out). This is what we are trying to get Heather into.

Several of my friends have stepped up and offered donations as incentives, which is amazingly awesome. Unfortunately we (paganaidd and I) are having difficulty adding those incentives to the microfunding site. Since we have such a short turnaround on this, I would like to thank you all very much for your kind offers and request that instead you simply boost the signal where you can. Boosting the signal can help just as much as cool incentives.

If you can spare a dollar, please consider it. Donations can be made here. If you can't spare anything, but are willing to boost the signal that would be amazingly appreciated. I apologize for spamming my dwircle/flist, and thank you for your time and patience.
alee_grrl: Burning coals of a fire.  Text: Let us walk together and find healing beyond the flames. (healing)
My friend paganaidd and I are doing a microfunding drive to help our friend Heather find safe housing.

Heather is a gifted teacher, writer, artist and all around brilliant woman who has had her whole world taken from her by carbon monoxide poisoning. As I write this she is facing homelessness due to the resultant multiple chemical sensitivity--she literally cannot stay in her apartment anymore. The chemicals are so toxic to her that her doctor has told her that she would be better off living in a tent rather than continue to live around people who smoke.

Heather's only income is her disability check. Couch surfing is not something she can safely do with her sensitivities. Mold, formaldehyde off gassing and smoke are her biggest enemies, followed closely by cleaning chemicals, air fresheners and "Fragrance".

She needs a home. In the short term, a building that doesn't allow smoking, preferably an older building that isn't off gassing chemicals. Read more... )
alee_grrl: pitbull and kitten cuddle on couch (pitbull and kitten)
So in addition to the disturbing news I discuss in the previous post, I am dealing with the latest Herxheimer reaction from the increase in my antibiotics. The increase is a necessary evil in the treatment of Lyme, but it is not fun. So I'm generally feeling fairly miserable.

Knowing that I am not feeling well and probably shouldn't be by myself this weekend two of my very dear friends have offered to come fetch me (since I am not really safe or capable of driving right now) and bring me up to spend the weekend with them. I can cuddle with their animals and spend time just hanging out and get some TLC.

While part of me feels like I haven't spent enough time at home lately, the rest of me is relieved to not be spending the weekend on my lonesome. I'm happy that I can go spend time with my friends, since I don't usually have a lot of free weekends to go up during the school year (they live about an hour and a half from me).

Thank the gods for good friends. They provide a light in the dark.

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