2nd Annual Building Our Community Through Interfaith Harmony


I’ve been asked to speak at the 2nd Annual Building Our Community through Interfaith Harmony, an #Interfaith event, this Sunday in Irvine. I will be appearing as a representative of Covenant of the Goddess Orange County Local Council and as a member of the #Pagan community.

The topic will be “Justice, Peace & Faith”.

This event is a pre-Parliament event for the next Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions (CPWR) gathering on Oct 15-19, 2015 in Salt Lake City, UT.

It is an open event, so if you’re local, please consider attending the event.

Originally posted on Covenant of the Goddess, Orange County Local Council:

Sunday, September 21, 2014 is the 2nd Annual Building Our Community Through Interfaith Harmony, an evening of compassionate prayers and songs. The focus of the evening’s discussion is “Justice, Peace & Faith” though interfaith reflections on humanity in an effort to bring these communities together. This event is a pre-Parliament event for the next Parliament of the World’s Religions gathering on October 15-19, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

One of the speakers, Yvonne Conway, is the newly elected First Officer of the Orange County Local Council for Covenant of the Goddess.

This event is co-sponsored by Newport-Mesa-Irvine Interfaith Council & Orange County Interfaith Network.

Building Our Community Interfaith 21Sept2014

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Mabon and the Autumnial Equinox

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Originally posted on Covenant of the Goddess, Orange County Local Council:

According to the old Celtic Calendar, Mabon was the second harvest following Lughnasa. It is a harvest festival and a time to honor the trees. All around us we can see signs of autumn as the trees begin to change color, which is another way of reminding use of their importance and magickal significance. Some examples include the Rowan, Birch and Hazel trees.

Rowan is a tree of protection;  its branches and twigs can be made into amulets of protection and when planted outside cottage doors and farm buildings, protects both family and flock from lightening and harmful magick. It is also associated with Faery-magick. Depending on your part of the country, you may see Birch trees that are sacred to the Goddess and used as Yule Logs. The nuts of the Hazel tree are associated with wisdom and particularly with occult and ancient wisdom. Amulets of hazel nuts strung…

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15 Years on the Erie Canal

Low Bridge sheet music

Sometimes I get the oddest song randomly get stuck in my head. Often the only way for me to remove such an earworm is to play the song, maybe even a couple of times, and then my brain releases it. However, if I have a very specific song stuck in my head I usually want to hear that exact rendition of it to get it out. Sometimes that isn’t always possible and in such cases I’m left feeling sad and disappointed, and the earworm is still in my brain torturing me.

Today is just such a situation. I can’t locate the song, easily, anywhere.  The unfortunate fact is this song is already old and not commonly found. Worse yet, the version in my head is from a children’s album I had as a wee one. Fortunately, I still have the album. Unfortunately, we do not currently have a turntable hooked up. I used to play that album continuously as a child and it included some peculiar songs, such as this one.

When I first looked up the song I was terribly disappointed at what I found on YouTube. Then I found this version, and while not really the version I wanted, still a decent version and thus I share it with you.

This song was originally written in 1905 by Thomas S. Allen. It’s written about an era when barges were pulled by mules. As a child I don’t think I fully understood that. I mean to me, back then, a barge was a large vessel and one mule pulling it wouldn’t have made sense. Remember, I was only about 5 years old at the time.

So as these barges were being pulled down the Erie canal they would come across these low bridges. Again, I didn’t understand why the bridges were so low, only that people needed to get down for fear of getting brained by a bridge. I guess sometimes there would be passengers on the barges and they would stand up top, but if they came to a low bridge everyone would have to duck or lie down to safely travel under them, as would the person on the mule. My thought… get off the damn mule! I mean, it’s already got a heavy enough load with a barge full of product and people, it certainly didn’t need the added burden of one more person, use your own legs for gosh sakes!

Anyway, here’s the song, or at least a good rendition of it…

Help from the Cat


When using the downstairs restroom, Finnegan kitty often runs in as I’m closing the door. Apparently, he feels I am incapable of doing this sort of thing alone.

He’s a bit OCD and has a routine he repeats every time he joins me. He runs in just as I’m sliding the door closed, leaps up to the top of the tank, makes a big stretch with his front paws up along the corner of the wall next to the toilet with his back paws still on the tank, then he comes back with all four paws on the tank while rubbing his head on the corner of the tank and looking up at me. It’s silly and cute and he’s done this for over 4 years now. Afterwards, he usually rolls around on the floor by my feet terrorizing whatever bit of fluff is trapped in the corner under the cabinets.

It’s completely routine and I’m so used to it that it seems odd if he doesn’t do it.

But today something changed… he jumped up on the tank as usual, did his big stretch, but I think he must’ve miscalculated his footing, I’m not entirely sure as I was busy at the time. It seemed he slipped and ell a bit. He was struggling to get his front half back onto the tank. The space between the toilet and wall is narrow and he was having some difficulty gaining his footing. I didn’t really notice until the toilet flushed.

I have to admit, the manual flush toilet flushing is mildly disconcerting when you’re not expecting it.

After I rescued him from certain headache he thanked me by “killing” a dangerous bug (read: spot of dirt) on the baseboard to prove what a great hunter he is. I feel much safer now.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Nole and Yvonne Conway 1971

Today would’ve been my mother’s 77th birthday.

My mother, Nole, was an amazing and strong individual with a lot of heart, and drive. She was an awesome cook, an incredibly talented artist and crafter, had a goofy sense of humour, and was very generous to those she cared about. She survived the annihilation of her village in the Philippines by the Japanese in WWII, as well as a sexist, patriarchal, and sometimes abusive life in PI.

She came to America to wed my father in 1961 in Alabama, when it was still illegal to have an interracial marriage, but they were married by a judge and then later in a Catholic church. My mother became a US citizen and then eventually helped bring her parents and siblings to the states in the 1970s. She went to college to become a cosmetologist and worked the last 13 years of her life at a salon in JC Penny’s. The money she made was often sent back home to help her deceased brother’s children go to school.

She was diagnosed with cancer the first time in 1972, shortly after her brother passed away. She was diagnosed with cancer again in 1974 and survived both instances. In 1987 she was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. She fought hard and survived for 4 years, but she passed away on June 13, 1991.

My mom was an incredible person. I love her and miss her so very much every single day.