Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Whither And How (All That I Go To Find Is My Lost Self)

In rare form and on occasion, I will receive a rather harsh message on our jovial outlets (social media). One such occasion occurred a few days heretofore on Instagram, where I received the most odious and presumptuous unkind judgement about my accent, my beloved husband and my lifestyle. At the risk of my happiness and unquestionable rejection, I read the news with a resolve to soothe myself as I being who I am; quite the optimist and took no offence to the laid remarks.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

I Love

February is the month of love as well as my birth month, so might I indulge you with a list of "I Love."

Saturday, February 12, 2022

A Cupid's Tea (Victorian Mermaid Paper Dolls And St. Valentine's Day Cards)

Hello darling merfriends,

The weekend before St. Valentine's Day is called Cupid's Tea. It's the day the Victorians set aside to make handcrafted cards.
Oh, the joys of Love's own day. As delightful as St. Valentine's Day is, the cleverest store-bought cards can not match the splendour of a handcrafted paper confection. In a bid to preserve this dying custom, Mrs Carter of Stillwater is here to model the tune of that Victorian and assist in creating a happy home circle memory. Let us fashion some homemade cards from paper, glue and loads of imagination. Mrs Carter has decidedly gone off-piste and plans to make a mermaid victorian paper doll as well as happy-hearted cards. 

First, let us assemble the materials. Quality paper -lace doilies are a must heart-shaped round and square in white, ivory, red, pink and gilt.

Mrs Carter has also provided you dear hearts with late nineteenth-century illustrations so popular on victorian Valentine's. For victorian verses, poetry books are an incredible inspiration. So, once you've completed your Valentine's, making them lavish and sentimental as you might possibly imagine, it's time to post them.

Once they have been sent off with the raven carriers at long last, It's time for a delicious and rewarding late afternoon tea party. 

Mrs Carter has worked as cupid's assistant, and she's prepared tasty heart-shaped biscuits, homemade clotted cream (both biscuit and cream are Queen Elizabeth's II receipt) and homemade strawberry preserves from her potager garden. 

(The episodes for making the cards, paper dolls, biscuits, preserving strawberries with wax seals, and the making of clotted cream are exclusives on Mrs Carter's Patreon subscription, The Curious Mind of Raquel Carter, published Monday, February 14th, 2022.)

Most affably yours til my next swim, Raquelxxx    

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

England, Have Thou Forsaken Me!

For some, there may be a longing to leave but then, once gone, the urge to return sincerely plagues the heart. One can spend their whole lives in a place where the everyday nuances seem to fade, and the monotony accustomed that is more of a revelling notion than to another cat down the road. The grey, rainy days when your feet hit the slated floor, and there's a deep cold beneath the earth. The sound of the solid wood century-old door shuts, and there's strength in the old latch. It's reliable, stalwart and catches just so slightly perfect. You've grown accustomed to the sound; it's predictably comforting. I feel safe and enveloped inside with the low ceilings and lime plastered walls—quite the opposite of claustrophobic; it's the feeling of being swaddled by my mother. A hearted home does that, you know. The days are perpetually damp, and ordinary walks consist of simply ignoring the short wet days, almost always forgoing a brolly. It's an everyday occurrence to use tea as a pick me up, sharing of life, pastime, celebration, an elixir to calm a troubled heart, or for no other reason than because it's what the English do; it's second nature.

Beyond the rambling stoned cottages, in between the dispersed thatched rooves, the deep hillside beckons where the lanes are lined deep with cowslip above the downs, and the fields are dotted with sheep as far as the eye can see. I never take for granted the quarried dry stoned walls and the dear souls that arduously worked to build so many, and they go on far more than a country mile. I know just where the aperture is that I tucked a wish in, the chipped off stone a metre ways down the lane and the hole along the trail for the critters to pass through to other pastures. The English are strict, petty and have no appreciation for the finer points of bad behaviour, but oh so kind and thoughtful.
The clicks of my heel on the old cobblestone street tell me all is well. But, can I hear the echoes that hold my spirit? England, like myself, is full of contradictions and subtle understatements. I'm parallel to the perfectly landscaped gardens with hedge mazes designed to enclose, protect and flatter while also deceiving me of a bygone era.
Do I miss the cosy pub gardens, the folks with half-smiles and shoppes that have kept the same names as long as I can remember? Or will I return where the tradition of my same fish and chips on the menu has been altered, the smells in the air are no longer as they were? Has the American in me poured over and filled my England gaps? Perhaps my return has been consciously delayed for fear my England is no more as I remember. I am just a moment in time. Has my England gone on without me, or was I never there? Was it all a dream: my heart, my England?

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Dare To Bare With Your Tail Fanned (I'm Not The Only Mermaid In The Sea)

Me and Anita at the Red Mule Pub.
Good morning dear merfriends, 

May I put in a word for trying to remain friends and share my debate on women (mermaid) friendships? Yesterday was February second, also known for the Victorians as Candlemas. I'll share more about that tomorrow, but for now, I wanted to expand on the friendship post I wrote about here. I also wish to bring you up to date on that experience.

I wouldn't be a very promising teacher if I didn't share with you my verity. It's nice to experience the beauty in life and all of the lovely moments of female friendship; still, I also feel entitled to put up a severe discourse as I think women's intimacy in speaking deeply about friendship is not terribly common. Many ladies feel uncomfortable being placed in an attitude of in-depth conversations. Life isn't perfectly curated, and there will be moments life can throw us into the undercurrents, and we must navigate those waters when this occurs. I think being transparent and genuine with you creates a bond between us. I have learned that when I feel a shaking of the ground I stand on, experiencing something first-hand, I might not always come straight out with it, not because I'm fearful of being held up in ridicule or the showing of my vulnerable side, but because I've grown. I realised that if there is instability if I speak too hastily, I cannot teach accurately as my emotions will get the better of me, and that creates misunderstanding. Like all of us, I'm human, and I've grown to understand more clearly how our sensory apparatus works. 

Okay, let's jump in the box, back to the friendly conversation. 

When I wrote the post (Allow Me To Gush) about my friend T, I thought all was well with us two; well, on my side, at any rate. However, through a series of events, I soon learned that T was continuing to harbour unkind feelings towards me, and I knew not where from which they were stemming. I have no inkling what T was or is experiencing in her world, and this is where the waters become muddled. Not only with T but with lady friends, in general. When a person is struggling, we, as kind folks, begin to create assumptions about others based on our beliefs instead of talking them through. Now they could absolutely be the furthest from the truth, but assumptions are created and must demonstrate themselves on the external. I am responsible for my part and come what may, I will always take responsibility for my actions. I met T before my self-concept beliefs changed about friendships, so what our friendship initially represented changed from my end. Thus as a universal law, invariably, the friendship (just as any relationship) would dissolve. Allow me to impart an example on this score as If I'm speaking to my Christian friends. In the word, it says of those "equally yoked", which means that those who are not of equal energies will not by vivacity alone be able to coincide for long unless there is an equalling in the vibration of one or the other.

One must acclimate to co-exist with the other. As I began to develop new assumptions and a more positive self-concept, no longer believing my olde storey about friendships, T still had those same beliefs herself. However, I saw my reality and perspective in a new way.

I wouldn't be able to reside for long as her friend. Not because neither of us is "better" than the other, but because two opposite energies cannot align for extended intervals as energies are based on an individual's state. Our world is managed by vibrational energy. Have you ever watched animals in the wild? They, by nature, work off of vibration at all times. Have you ever wondered why they do certain things? Animals in nature (and all animals to the degree they've not been domesticated) are in complete alignment; they do not have resistance like humans. In physics, energy is a property of matter and can be transferred between objects and converted in form. It cannot be created or destroyed. Everything in the universe is made up of matter and energy. (I know, I know, it sounds soooo scientific, that's because it is dear friends.) One cannot deny it; it's likened to gravity. You know it's there, but how often do we ponder our make-up as humans in the same way as anything else in our big blue marble. I can answer that for most, not much at all. So many like to separate science into a category all its own; however, when you really begin analysing it more thoroughly, the resonance of internal knowing fills one's heart with an understanding. 

If we can come to a place, talk things through, and accurately feel what's suitable for us as friends, we will bring true unity. This notion of peace is what inspires me daily. I have such a love for ladies and those who are my friends. I want us all to be friends, and It's my truth that we have more aspects alike than differences if we can communicate and possess the solid concept of self-love.

I wrote the friendship post about T, and she once again refollowed me back on Instagram. However, I didn't communicate with her at that time, asking why she unfollowed me to begin with, which is what I should have done. Instead, I made light of it. Now mind you, this sounds trite, but I'm from the mindset that this is a beautiful way of seeing how we can become accountable and bring forth discussions on the mental welfare of women and girls. The avenue is from Instagram, and this is a beautiful discussion to be had.

I do not look at social media (Instagram) from the standpoint that it's terrible and we should run away from our feelings, although this is a form of rejection and fear when one blocks and unfollows. These types of actions on Instagram are always a deep-rooted self-concept belief. Instagram is beautiful in that way; it brings forth a narrative that has long been ignored, which is the lack of self-love for many folks. For far too long, the world has done this, which perpetuates division, not healing. The world looks at things from the external standpoint (as in all the problems are out there), outside of self. I see things from an internal perspective. When one person loves themselves with absolute clarity, the single power in one human being has more power than millions of people who are not aligned.

I was the peacemaker in childhood, just as my mother was in her family dynamic. So instead of holding everyone accountable for their actions, I would minimalise and take responsibility for myself and everyone involved, which creates a co- pendency and a saviour mentality. From my female role models, this originated for me that women were considered beneath men, not beside them. Another striking acknowledgement is that I am the oldest child, so I took on that role as the fixer, especially when my father was having an alcoholic meltdown. It wasn't a happy time, and I felt responsible for creating a safe environment for my younger siblings. Isn't it amazing how we as children learn to adapt to even the most uncomfortable state of affairs? (A side note, now my dad and I have an excellent relationship. He has been sober for nearly 40 years, and there has been immense healing. Smile. An encouraging notion on that score is that all things are possible, and no circumstance cannot be changed. Circumstances do not matter. )

I must say, we are unique human beings. I am astonished at the strength of beautiful children and human beings as a whole.

Where was I in the friendship conversation? 

Oh yes, back to T and I. 

There was no open conversation about T and her contribution to what she was doing in the friendship. It's never a one-way street. I attracted her, and she subconsciously attracted me. If we were to have met in the middle, we could have made a go of it overall, but T just fled and ducked out, which has been rather unfortunate. I do not accept responsibility for her role, which can be difficult at times because we have a tendency to want to blame others for the goings-on in our own life. I've happily moved on, and I realise that T will have to make amends with her heart at some point, but I was not meant to be that person for her, even though I learned quite a bit from the experience, so I am forever appreciative. I talked with my dear friend Anita yesterday at the pub, and we both agreed that a good chat over tea and so often the walls of misunderstanding crumble. After a deep conversation with a friend, one might come to realise that anything can change in an instant. I am the God of my reality, so if I wanted to manifest that friendship back with T, I have the power to do so. May you be mindful that everything is salvageable, and nothing remains permanent. Folks come into our lives sometimes as seasonal friends, and that's a lovely thought. I've realised not everyone I meet has to become my friend forever and for eternity. I take responsibility for all of my past friendships, and I send them peace and happiness. 

I have changed and improved my self-concept by listening to my new beliefs at night. In the past, If a friendship went bust, I would obsess about it. I would notice every little thing if they blocked me on social media, etcetera, and so forth, but now I never do that, and I feel proud of myself in that aspect. I've recently attracted so many women into my life, and our petticoat society is proliferating; it's quite extraordinary! The ladies showing up are also similar to me in that they are eager to grow and expand within their lives and want to teach their children how to become their best versions. It's so beautiful to see these gorgeous souls showing up. I am your reflection, and you're mine. Isn't it beautiful how universal law works like that? If we want to see what we are feeling and thinking, we simply look to our reality and what presents itself is what we are externalising. An accurate report card indeed. 

I hope for this post to bring you rich delights and a more thorough understanding of me as a person, as well as a reflective moment of the beauty that resides within you. 

Most affably yours til my next swim, Raquelxxx

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

February's Fair Maids

Good morning dear friends,

Rabbit Rabbit! February, my birth month and the month of love.

I had such a lovely day yesterday. My (soon to be) sister in law came to visit Scarlette Rose Cottage. It was my first visit; we had an entire pot of earl grey tea and filled our gills with biscuits. It's so lovely to have friends. I especially love and relate to Annie because she's a Pisces like me. I'm among mermaidens, my landlocked kind. Smile. I'm sure you understand I am invariably thinking about incorporating mermaids into my brand at every turn. Have I never actually told you outright why I named the little cottage Scarlette Rose? Sometimes I'm not sure what I write, as I'm always yapping at the jaw about something or nother and can't remember from one moment to the next what I've written and what I thought I wrote. Ya, know, because I self talk all day and think I've had conversations with folks when in fact, no, it was all in my waterlogged head. This landlocked life is a new sensation—wink wink. The point is, (mercy lawd, get to it dear sweet Raquel) Scarlette Rose is what I named the little storage building at my folks. I've been slowly turning it into an 1850's Victorian cottage after the mermaid character in my storybook, The Tale of Merrymaid Scarlette Rose. If you recall, when Jeffrey Shawn and i moved in temporarily with my folks, Sawyer had just died. In a bid to help me heal and have something to keep me distracted, my dad allowed me to create something lovely from his storage building. He called it his Elvis room and It hadn't been used in years.

I jotted down several storybook ideas into my diary about adoption.  

Yesterday, I was thinking about what to write about because I have so many blog titles in my draft folder, but sometimes I write an entire post and then don't feel like posting any of them when it comes down to it. Then I thought, well, I'm just going to keep this blog as random as can be. It's just how my noggin works, and it's kept me alive all this time, so why change it. So one day, I'll write about how my grandmother's cornbread got the name "dog bread", which will be in the back of Sawyers book The Tale of Sawyer Lamb and the next day I might talk about mindset work. I have no idea what I'm going to post from day to day. I don't like to plan because I think I should be myself, and that means I want my blog to make as little sense as humanly possible. Hehe... I don't get out much, can you tell?

I think I've realised I must be myself. Will I still use flowery, lovely words, yes? Will I then switch it up dramatically? Also yes. I love where my life is today. I will never stop speaking with a British accent, but I'm also southern to the core, so I just might as well accept it. I figured out one-day last week that if I just keep writing and writing eventually, something will catch on. I'm an optimistic fool that way.

Last night I tried to give The Gilded Age another go, and no, just no. The shame of it all. I have no words. Well, actually, I have a lot of words for it, but let's leave it for another day because I'm still reeling.

I heard The New York Times title it "Dime Store Downton", and I agree. But, let's move on before I cry.

I didn't sketch yesterday because I have been stuck on a particular page and how I wanted it to look, so I tend to swim away until I can come back to it and see the vision with clear eyes. It's been a little distressing because I am on a short deadline. I've done it to myself. I want to hit the mark but not at the cost of making my work rubbish. Pray for me.

Today I'm going to meet a sweet new friend at the pub. She recently moved to my hometown, and I'm very excited. I think shell love being a part of Stillwater, The Petticoat Philosophy. Oh, how exciting; let's see if I can keep from screwing this friendship up. Hehe... no, but seriously I know I've found new beliefs about friendship, so I think we will be forever friends. The End.

I love you, and I'll see you tomorrow.

Most affably yours til my next swim, Raquelxxx

Connecting The Dots

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