new thread http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1323876/the-august-pagan-parents-party#post_16582306
I've been trying to post in this thread for a few days and it keeps eating my posts... one last try! LOL
Diapers- I'm counting on duct tape. Heck, duct tape is nearly a sacrament in the SCA (and I found some with flames on it at the dollar store) so it'll even be a fashion statement.
Busted machines- our hot water heater died and, thanks to DH, was reborn! Huzzah for the hot water! Then my sewing machine died (there was smoke) but given we don't have the hundred dollars a replacement would cost, I grabbed some screwdrivers and, safe in the belief that I couldn't make it any WORSE, I managed to get it back up and running. It doesn't run /well/ but it runs. Enough for me to finish the garb. And then our diaper sprayer died. Ok, ok, so that isn't really a machine, but I'm counting it as one to fill out the three. And it was certainly annoying. I used a coupon and store discount to get a new one yesterday.
Religion- Two things:
Celtic Christianity- I don't know the group you've found so I can't say one way or the other, but there is a Celtic Rite/Celtic Church that is really not that different from the Roman Catholic variety. The Roman Rite and the Celtic Rite gradually seperated over a few centuries (over small things like how a preist should cut his hair, to bigger things like the date of Easter and the forgiveness of sin). These days "formal" Celtic rite communities are few and far between, so some groups have gone with a more "house church" approach (small group doing the rituals on their own to the extent possible). But if it's a Celtic Rite community then it's not a matter of blending Christian with Fey/Goddess but more a blending of Christian with folk traditions. Check out a book like Power of Raven Wisdom of Serpent (an EXCELLENT book for anyone interested in the blend of religions, especially as they affect the lives of women, in the British Isles).
Some Celtic Christian groups are less interested in the historical "Celtic Rite"... leaning more towards the pre-Christian beliefs and/or folk traditions of the region. These groups do tend to have a more specific nature/goddess/gender equality vibe going. Some stick pretty close to the traditional Celtic Christian service while others are more "new age" in their use of what most of us would consider Pagan themes. John and Caitlin Matthews have several books that show up in these communities a lot (the Celtic Devotional for one)
~~Both books are discussed in the Pagan Resource Thread~~~
Spirituality vs Religion- I think this is the heart of the discussion up thread. Pagans (and many modern Americans of whatever faith) tend to lean towards Spirituality... meaning that your personal connection to the Divine is the most important. If you feel ok with something, and feel that the Divine has blessed that action, then it is ok and blessed for you to do. The other end of the spectrum however is Religion (note the capital). Religion is a set of rules and doctrines that are required to participate in a specific group. It doesn't matter if a specific rule or doctrine seems "wrong" to you as an individual, it's sort of a "My House, My Rules" sort of thing... if you don't like a rule then you can either keep quiet and just do it despite your dislike or you can find a different "house" where the rules suit you better. But it is totally within the rights of the Religion to set their own rules and expect people who wish to participate in their community to follow those rules. It's a huge debate (and a fun one at academic conferences, especially once the drinks are served!) but really that's what it boils down to... Religions get to say "these are our rules, take them or leave them". A person might feel drawn toa Native American path, but while that path may be good and right and fullfilling and amazing for that person... they can't honestly say they "ARE" members of a specific Native American religious group without the consent of that group.
On the subject of communion within Christian communities... that's a biggie. Groups have rules and doctrines governing not just WHO can receive, but also HOW communion is received. Can you stand, or do you have to kneel? Can you tough it with your hands or must it be placed in your mouth? Can you chew or must you swallow whole? Can you have just the wine or just the host or must it be both? Is it given by hand or by spoon? (random note- the RC church discourages alcoholics and celiacs from the preisthood because there are rules about the minimum alcohol content of the wine and the gluten content of the host that cannot be bent).
Not to single out Christianity though. In Pagan groups you might hear discussion of "personal gnosis"... where an individual member of the group has been granted an insight or blessing. A Spiritual moment. But because it is a "personal gnosis", it doesn't apply to the group and often the group will ask that individual to practice in line with the group when they are with the group, leaving the specifics of the PG to their private practice until such time as the Divine makes that revelation to the group as a whole.
There's actually a Bible story that applies... a new Christain asks their leader if it is ok to eat food that has been offered to idols. The leader explains that if a person does not feel that eating this food is a sin, then there is no sin for that person. But that if a person feels that eating such food would be a sin, then it is a sin for that person. However, the leader then continues to say that EVEN THOUGH eating the food may not be a sin for a specific individual, no individuals should eat the food that has been offered to idols because it IS a sin for some to do so, and to eat would tempt those people into sin. It's kind of the standard story pulled out when someone in a Christian group says "well, it feels ok with me and my personal connection to the Divine"... it may be ok "for you" but it's not ok for "the group". Spirituality vs Religion. It's a toughie!
New Paltz- My Dh grew up there! Well, bouncing between Highland and New Paltz, but right there. It's a wonderful and very progressive/open little town. It's a nice blend of collge town, farming community, and nature junkie destination (the climbing rocks, no pun intended LOL). And it's a pretty quick trip to the city and up to Albany so you can get your big city stuff too.
Maia- what are the comps in your area? Has your agent given you a good sense for not only how much comps are going for, but how long they've been on the market? You could check something like Zillow too... There was just an article in our local paper about how people are not willing to "settle" these days... it's SUCH a buyers market (with new forclosures and stuff being added all the time) that people feel like they don't have to compromise on anything. And that design shows/magazines have set the bar really high in terms of what people "think they want". One agent was saying that it used to be people would make an offer on a house that had 7 of their top ten wants but now her clients want 9.5 of those top ten or they wont even make an offer. :( I'm still keeping the house selling candle alight though!