Monday, December 19, 2011

Secrets of the Past: Mother's Diary Walkthrough

Walkthrough Secrets of the Past: A Mothers Diary December 19, 2011

Feel free to re-post this when and where necessary, but the original must be attributed to Nightshade. Thank you!

This walkthrough is based on posts made by rowdygirl on November 3rd, 2011 and jewelsk9 on November 4, 2011 in the BigFishGames Secrets of the Past: Mother's Diary forum ( as well as my own fumbling gameplay.

This walkthrough does not address how to solve individual puzzles.

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Get the KEY out of the book on the desk. Use this key to unlock the box on the bed. Grab the medallion from the box. A cut scene plays.

Exit the cabin, go through gate at the right. Push the lion statue off of the pedestal. In the fragments, you will find a locked box. (You will have to leave it there and return with some sort of lockpick later.) Click on the top of the pedestal. Note the 5 lion tiles. Note the tempting branch to the left. Note the path down to the lake.

Play the HOS. ("Glasses" actually refers to goggles. A "kettlebell" is a round weight, like a lead ball with a handle."Glove" here refers to a gauntlet.) SCISSORS are added to your inventory.Once the cut scene here plays, go over the bridge to the gate. Note that it is currently locked. Grab the bucket.

Use your newfound scissors on the ivy to the left of the gate. Click on the exposed lion images to add them to your notebook. Return to the pedestal with the lion tiles. Arrange them according to the images you found on the wall beneath the ivy (consult your notebook). Arranging the tiles correctly opens the gate. (Note the paintbrush in the right pillar with the image of Henry VIII and the unbelievably thick glass which protects it.)

Pass through the gate - note the tap which lacks a handle on the left of the path leading to the door and the oddly-shaped lock on the front door (must mean *something*... hmm...). Head to your left. In this area, there is a pedestal in need of a statue and a hair pin in the roots of the tree nearby. At the gazebo, play the HOS. ("Lotto" here refers to lotto balls). An AXE is added to your inventory.

Go down three (3) times until you are in the area by the "Lake" sign (One can only assume this lake is actually named "Lake"). Use the handy-dandy axe on the branch to the left. Grab the BRANCH. With it, head down to Lake (left at the sign). Use the branch to retrieve the lily in the lake and grab the SIGNET RING from inside it. Play the HOS. (Note that the "diving suit" must have been submergedfor a very long time, because all you'll actually retrieve is an *antique* diving *helmet*.) The SICKLE is added to your inventory.

Go forward three times. Play the HOS. (The "slip-on shoe" is also known as a "flip-flip". "Bow" is an archery bow.) You will receive a STATUE. Take it to the gazebo and place it on its lonely pedestal. A flagstone in the walkway will move, revealing a puzzle. Use the signet ring to activate it. Once this puzzle is complete, you will have earned a PIGEON medallion! Take this grand prize to the front door of the mansion and place it in position. Enter the mansion. Check the settee to the right of the stairs and note the filthy, filthy mirror and the dancer on the right newel post.

Head right. You are now in the Music Room. Play the HOS. (In this one, "bow" refers to a ribbon.) You will receive the VASE FRAGMENT (this, along with a LILY you will get later, needs to go on a plaque back by Lake.) Note the puzzle on the piano (which is a "note puzzle" :) and the candle-less sconce on the back wall. Work the puzzle on the small table to the right. For this, you receive JEWELS.

Go upstairs. Destroy that pesky vase. (Ah! wanton destruction!) Pick through the fragments to have a picture added to your notebook. Behind the boards on the floor to the left, you will find the HANDLE. Note that all three doors
are locked in interesting ways; each of which you currently lack a portion.

So, head back out of the mansion. Once outside, head right. Note the locked gate and the patch of loose soil. Grab the SWORD. Use the sickle on the grass to the left of the gate. Score the MATCHES. Head back to Lake. Play the HOS. ("Steering wheel" is more like an airplane yoke. As for "casket", think more like "urn with a lid".) You gain the FORK.

Return to the gazebo and use the FORK to retrieve the HAIRPIN. Play the HOS while you're there. ("Fan" is like a propeller or a fan *blade*. "Glasses" again is more like "goggles".) The PALETTE is added to your inventory. Oh, how it makes us long for the paintbrush snug behind its impervious glass... *sigh*)

Return to the area with the "Lake" sign. Use the HAIRPIN on the tin in the statue fragments. The tin contains a picture of a color-coded rose. Head back to the mansion.

In the foyer, play the HOS. You get the CLOTH. At the settee to the right of the stairs, place the jewels to activate the puzzle. Place jewels according to the picture saved in your notebook. Snag the PUZZLE PIECES.

Click down to head outside the mansion. Along the wall on the left side of the pathway gate, place the tap on the pipe, fill the bucket and wet the cloth. You now have the WET CLOTH. Play the HOS. A musical NOTE is added to your inventory.

Return to entryway. Clean the mirror with the wet cloth and note the clue.

Head upstairs. You now have the puzzle pieces to activate the puzzle on the first door. Do so. Inside the bedroom, note the puzzle on the nightstand. Take a closer look at the large painting on the wall. The clue to the piano puzzle is on this painting. None the painting-in-progress that looks suspiciously like the drawing you found. Oh... for a paintbrush... Note the fallen bricks in the fireplace. Play the HOS. ("Bow" again means archery bow. "Binoculars" is closer to opera glasses. "Glass" is a goblet.) You get the LILY.

Go back downstairs to the music room. At the piano, place the note to activate the puzzle. Place the notes according to their colors as indicated in the notebook. Retrieve the OFFICIAL STAMP. Play the HOS. ("Shovel" is actually closer to a dustpan. The "kettlebell" in this HOS looks more like an old-timey lead weight than the ball-
with-a-handle seen previously.) You gain the KNIFE.

Return to the first bedroom upstairs. Assemble the bricks in the fireplace and place the official stamp on the coat of arms. The clue to the ballet dancer puzzle is added to the notebook. Head back downstairs and arrange the ballet dancer according the image you just found. Grab the SCROLL that is revealed within the base. Play the HOS. CLOCK'S HAND is added to your inventory.

Return to Lake. (Down three (3) times and left once (1).) Place the vase fragment and the lily on the plaque on the far bank. Grab this new set of PUZZLE PIECES. Play the HOS. (The "drill" is a hand drill.) Earn the CANDLE.

Return to the mansion and head to the music room. Place the candle in the sconce on the far wall and light it withthe matches. Another clue will be revealed and added to the notebook.

Now, take your new embroidery puzzle pieces upstairs and activate the puzzle on the second door. Inside the nursery, use the knife on the chair to the right. Grab the SPRING. Examine the music box near the windows and note that it is missing three pieces (one of which you just happen to have). Note the clock hanging on the wall that has no hands. Play the HOS and add the OWL to your inventory.

Go the the third (3rd) door in the hallway. Place the scroll to activate the feather puzzle. Switch all the feathers, so that those that started out on the right end up on the left and vice versa.

Enter the study. Notice the empty frame on the far wall. Grab the second (2nd) CLOCK'S HAND from the mirror frame. Note the three (3) empty circles on the sideboard against the right wall. Play the HOS. Gain the CIRCLE.

Return to the nursery (the 2nd door in the hall). Place the hands on the clock and set the time according to the clue. Grab the music box DRUM. Head to the bedroom (1st door). Place the circle in the nightstand to activate the puzzle. Arrange the colored circles as shown and grab the DIAMOND.

Head to the gate out front (click down 4 times) - intent on gettin' you a paintbrush! Use the diamond on the glass (Take that!) and grab the BRUSH. Return with it to the bedroom upstairs, add the palette and the brush then paint the portrait according to the pencil-drawing clue. Grab this PICTURE. Watch the cut scene. Play the HOS. ("Hammer" means "gavel".) Gain the HAMMER.

Return to the study (3rd door). Put the portrait into the empty frame. Retrieve the HANDLE. Head back to the nursery. Place the spring, handle and drum into the music box. The photo is added to the notebook. Play the HOS. ("Pyramid" is a child's stacking toy.) You are given the SCALES.

Return to the study and place the hammer, owl and scales on the table to the right. It doesn't matter what order you add them in, it will put them where it wants them and then you can arrange them according to the clue. Find the 12 differences. Cut scene reveals astonishing information! Play the HOS ("Vase" is a pitcher. "Saw" is a hacksaw.) and claim the SAW.

Leave the mansion and head right. Use the saw on the gate's lock. Head on through here. Note the statues that should be holding something. Note the window that's too high to climb through and the, obviously, locked door. Play the HOS. ("Dustpan" is a spade.) You receive the DUSTPAN. Return to the gate and use the "dustpan" on the loose soil there. The HAWK EMBLEM is added to your inventory.

Head back through the gate and go left. Note the door that is, again, locked and the soil with metal "shining through" which requires a magnet. Play the HOS. ("Jug" is a vase.) You get the LIGHTER.

At the door, place the hawk emblem to activate the lamp puzzle. Smack that smug vase to the floor! (What is it with you and vases? You see one and you just have to destroy it! What have they ever done to you?) SCREWDRIVER is added to your inventory. Note the elk that's missing an antler and the lantern with no light source.

Head upstairs. Note the boarded-up door, the three doors and the truck that are puzzle-locked. Grab the OILCAN from the floor. Play the HOS. ("Lily" is a fleur de lis. "Horn" is an animal horn.) You receive the SPEAR for your efforts. Head back out to the front of the mansion, to the two statues. Give the one on the right the spear and the sword to the one on the left. A hidden set of stairs will open. Grab the MAGNIGYING GLASS. Play the HOS. You gain the MAGNET.

Head back over to the fountain and use the magnet on the shiny bit of metal there. Grab the PUZZLE PIECES. Play the HOS. ("Balloon" is a helium tank for filling up toy balloons.) The WEIGHT is added to your inventory.

Head back inside to the upstairs hallway. Play the HOS ("Bow" is again an archery bow. "Glass" is goblet. "Car" is toy VW bus) and gain the SPHERE.

Go to the locked door on the right. Add the puzzle pieces and work the puzzle. Inside the room, note the secretary with the rune puzzle, the grandfather clock with the missing weights and the cherub on top of the hutch. Play the HOS. You get an ANTLER.

Downstairs in the entryway, place the antler on the elk. Grab the BOW. Play the HOS. The ROPE is added to the inventory. You now have a way to get into the locked room, through the open window over the side door. Head outside and go right. Throw the rope through the window and go in. Note small wall shelf with the combination lock. Note the carved plaque on the small desk against the wall to the right. Pull back the carpet and note the floorboard that needs to be pried up. Play the HOS. ("Fan" is a lace lady's fan. "Cone" is a pinecone. "Lantern" is a flashlight.) Receive the CANDLEWICK.

Return to the entryway. Add the wick to the lantern. Use the oilcan and the lighter. The clue is added to the notebook.

Return to the artist's studio, up the rope. Go to the combo lock and enter the numbers. Grab the PLAYING CARD. Cut scene plays. Play the HOS ("vase" is a jug.) and receive the WEIGHT.

Head back outside and go left. Enter the mansion again. In the entryway, play the HOS. Receive a BOOK. Head upstairs and into the study on the right, beyond the boarded-up artist's studio. Add the weights to the grandfather clock. Balance them and receive the CRYSTALS. Head across the hall to the second (2nd) door on the left, place the crystals on the door to trigger the puzzle.

Head into the office. Grab the PLATE from the floor. Note the locked bookcase. Use the magnifying glass on the inscription on the tapestry. This clue is added to the notebook. At the suit of armor, use the oilcan on the bolts and then the screwdriver. Grab the HEART. Play the HOS. ("Flask" is more like a canteen.) Earn the SILVER ROSE.

Return to the hallway. Click on the chest and enter the numeric code. Grab the JIMMY. Return to the artist's studio (exit the mansion and head right, up through the window via the rope) and use the jimmy on the loose floorboard. Another clue is added to the notebook. Place the plate into the slot on the small desk. Grab the STENCIL.

Return to the upstairs hallway and go into the study (2nd door on the right). Lay the stencil over the rune tiles on the top of the secretary. Press the tiles as indicated. Play the matching game and you get the TREE.

Now head back out into the hall and go into the office (2nd door on left). Use the playing card to unlock the bookcase. Place the book into the empty slot and arrange the books according to the clue. You are given an APPLE. A cut scene plays. Grab the note from the book. Play the HOS. You get the ARROW.

Return to the study. Give the bow and arrow to the angel on the staircase. A small hiding place opens. Grab the SNAKE. Play the HOS. You get the GOLDEN ROSE.

Head back out into the hall and place all four medallions on the remaining door. Enter the bedroom and place the sphere in the depression in the tabletop. A wall panel opens above the bed. Place the golden and silver roses on the box. The box opens, the final cut scene plays and the mystery is revealed!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My apologies

I want to extend my apologies for bugging out of both the Witchy Fitness Challenge and the The 2011 Countdown to Hallowe'en. I realize I had made commitments, but the fact is that life is complicated and I needed to prioritize. Unfortunately, these items did not make it to the top of my list. I did not, however, forget about them and hoped that I would be able to return to them "in time" (as in "before it was too late"). But, that was not to be. It hurts and it's hard but they were things that needed to be let go so that other things could be attended to.

In spite of that, I have not forgotten my thoughts and writings on honoring my body. And while I have not been following the Witchy Fitness Challenge, I have not let its goals lapse. See, I wanted to jump right into the challenge - only to realize that some things needed to be in place before I could do so. I couldn't work on reshaping my body according to my thoughts until I had some basic health practices in place. These included a way of eating that is better for my body, as well as getting some basic health issues under control. I have still been pursuing fitness (and fitness as opposed to weight loss).

Now that those items are better in hand, along with the other topsy-turvy things we call bankruptcy, the approaching holidays (including a birthday), leaving old jobs and settling into new ones, shifting financial situations, family interactions, raising a toddler - or, more simply - "Life", I am better able to focus on integrating the physical activity side of this fitness thing into my life.

Again, my apologies to those I feel I left hanging, especially to those of you who might feel the same. I am still here, still steaming along and fitness is still one of my goals. I will be sharing my progress as I go along, I'm sure. Feel free to stick around for that - or my other various and sordid musings. Also, please feel free to drop comments on your own progress in the Witchy Fitness Challenge and congratulations to those of you who are nearing your goals!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

10/01/2011 - Witchy Fitness Challenge - Honoring My Body

OK, wow. I originally signed up because, well, you can read that post here. Right up until I re-visited the Domestic Pagan's Week One Mini-Challenges, I've sort of only been kicking around the concept. An IRL friend even offered to hook up so we can work on it together and part of me started to panic. Part of me is still panicking. This week's mini-challenges include creating a plan. A plan.

See, the "plan" is where I always lose my way. I'm not good at making plans. I tend to lay everything down as strictly as possible, with no flexibility and since life is not like that my "plans" always get thrown off quite early and I have to gear myself up to get into it again. In order to not completely derail my goals, I usually try to keep a vague idea in my head of what I'm working toward. But, that really isn't going to work for any kind of fitness, now is it? And now I'm accountable to more than just myself and that plays right into my fear of failure and my fear of success and my fear of being out there and looked at and ridiculed and my fear of standing out and being noticed and my fear that there's nothing special about me and the fear that no one will notice me and my fear that I just blend in and can never stand out. The fact that the original thought behind all this was to take care of myself, to provide something for me - to care for me, to honor this physical body that I am in, can so easily get lost in layers of fear.

This body that is wonderful enough to have conceived, nurtured and borne two glorious daughters. Obviously my body is not a hideous thing - it was my daughters' entire world for the start of each of their physical lives; it was perfect enough a world to create two complete, beautiful, perfectly healthy new humans. That deserves to be honored. My second daughter was born when I was 38 years old and I weighed approximately 365 lbs at her birth. I did as the doctors suggested (gain about 15 lbs) and only gained 16 lbs. Rhea was perfectly healthy at 8 lbs and with the extra weight of the placenta and amnion, I had to have actually lost body weight to only total a 16 lb weight gain. I asked my body to do incredible things in a condition it should not have been in to have to do them. But it did them, it did everything I asked and it did it beautifully. How much more could it be capable of with a little love, a little care and tenderness and all the things I've never given it?

I've never given it those things because I was too busy flogging it with hatred - hatred for not being what it was "supposed" to be. For betraying me. (For more on that thought, please see Geneen Roth's Breaking Free from Emotional Eating and Feeding the Hungry Heart (or any of her books, really).

Is breaking out of this ambivalence toward my physicality something I can achieve? I've come to a truce with my body and it was hard-fought and -won. I don't want to rock the boat. I can marvel at my body, be impressed with the things it has accomplished and can accomplish, even occasionally be proud of its abilities. However, none of this translates to anything like love. I do not love it. In fact, I've tried hard not to think about it; for a very long time, thinking about it was incredibly painful. This is evident in the almost 400 lbs I am carrying around. So, I've nurtured this ambivalence and come to a sort of comfortable stand-off. But I know it deserves more. And that means thinking about it. A lot.

If you have read my other post on the Witchy Fitness Challenge, you've seen that I understand that change is supposed to hurt, to be incredibly uncomfortable :) So, I can start this entire process by knowing that I'm going to have the horrible, uncomfortable flailing feeling that I have when I (feel like I) don't know what I'm doing. This won't make it hurt any less, but it helps ease the pain, knowing that nothing's wrong with me just because I hurt.

With that in mind, I now take up the mantle of trying to learn to love my body. I step out of the dark cave, blinking, into the bright light of the sun. At this point, I'm not sure where I'm headed. I have a vague destination. I have signposts to point the way. I have companions on the trip. Every thing else is up to me. It's time to fill in my own blanks.

Knowing that I don't love my body, how can I motivate myself to care for it? Well, usually I hate the phrase "Fake it 'til you make it". I'm 40 damn years old, I'm tired of faking it. I want to "be". I want to do what it is in me to do with no lies, no pretense. But, in this case I truly must act as if I loved my body in order to treat it like I do, all in the hope that one day, I will.

My mini-challenges this week (notice how I've owned it already? "My" mini-challenges :) include taking my measurements. I've done that before. It's like getting splashed in the face with cold water. You knew the situation was bad, but not its actual, *ahem*, dimensions. So, I can do that. I will have that done by the end of Tuesday October 4th, as well as my "before" pic. I can have my husband take it. My weight will have to wait until I can take it again. I'm a big girl and there are not many scales that read it accurately, so I have to wait until I can get to one. I will post that when I have it.

And now I've come to... THE PLAN. I'm going to create some sort of calendar and sketch in some general things, able to be filled in as I go, along with my overall goal - which I must put succinctly. Oh! I get it! It's a spell! And in spellcasting - one casts for the essence of one's desire, not it's shape. And one must state their desire as accurately and succinctly as possible. I will have that by next Saturday, October 8th.

Now, I'm off to post my link at The Domestic Pagan's site and to probably wax verbose about what I'm doing for the Hallowe'en Countdown.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The 2011 Countdown to Hallowe'en

And... I'm back! Much sooner this time. This is another little something I'm getting involved in - this year's countdown to Hallowe'en sponsored by The Whimsical Cottage. I have some ramblings brewing on why I chose to participate. But, since this is just a quick post for now; I will get into more details when I post about what I'm doing for the countdown.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Get Off Your Broom: A Witchy Fitness Challenge

It seems I have been absent from my blog longer than I had intended - well, that's not exactly accurate - I had no plans for my blog, except to, um, blog occasionally. It just seems that my blogging is far more occasional than I had foreseen. Basically, I hadn't realized that it's been over a year since I last ranted my deepest, darkest, innermost pain.

Which is also not what I'm going to do today. Well that is, again, not exactly accurate. I am in pain. I have been in pain for a very long time and as I've gotten older, that pain has started to become physical.

Like many, I began eating my pain, and hiding. Hiding is not conducive to long walks in the countryside, or short jaunts to the mini-mart. Hiding, let us say, is not conducive. So when one is hiding from "the beast under your bed, in your closet, in your head", one finds oneself locked in the house with the refrigerator like a giant medicine chest. And all the food in the refrigerator just wants to be set free. What is one conscientious householder to do? I set it free.

And in so doing, I trapped myself. I have become someone I never anticipated, never foresaw. I make decisions I used to not make and I am still not sure how I got from there to here. I used to take walks, long, long, really long aimless walks, just to get out and move, see things, for entertainment. And then something happened. Even now, after so many years and so much self-examination, I still don't know what it was, but something happened. I stopped walking; I don't take walks any more and for a long time, I even forgot that it was something I used to willingly do.

How did I get from an enthusiastic walker to someone who believed she had always disliked walking? Well, damned if I know. Not for lack of trying. I've tried to rip this thing apart over and over, with no luck for twenty years. I hope that knowing the cause is not the solution - or else I'm doomed. I'm hoping I don't have to know why I changed, or what changed or why I started making the decision to sit instead of to walk. I do know that trying to make the old decision, to get up and walk is harder than I ever imagined. What changed, changed profoundly and leaves me lugging around a huge weight, one I cannot seem to see past. But, as I often do when I find myself butting my literal head against a metaphorical wall, I eventually wake up and realize that the Universe is speaking to me.

Finally getting the message that my approach was not the right one, I tried to look at the situation differently. Now this is incredibly hard, but as Einstein said, "we cannot solve problems at the same level at which we created them". So, I'm trying to see my problem from a different angle, any angle that I have not viewed it from before. So, I disconnect myself from it, it's sort of like choosing to look down on it, rather that around at it - the difference between seeing the city from Lookout Mountain or from a crosswalk downtown. Well, let's just say I knew the downtown view as if I had built it, but from Lookout Moutain, the problem was very different. Larger, maybe, but also simpler.

So, I started kicking around the idea of just changing - that quick, that simple. That amazingly difficult. It became not about trying to alter my deepest self, or anything rooted in Jungian darkness, but just deciding to do things differently, to literally make different decisions. And the hardest thing about that is learning to think in unfamiliar ways; in order to make different decisions one has to realize that a decision can be made and re-made at any moment.

It's thinking about things that have been on autopilot for decades and, let me tell you, it hurts. First - realizing where one has been on autopilot. One has to learn to see where those opportunities for new choices emerge. The truth is that decisions are always being made but we tend to fall into a habit of making the same ones. We have our small pool of choices and, given similar situations, we pick the same ones, over and over. It becomes so automatic, we no longer realize we're choosing. We're on autopilot. We can cruise there until our dying day.

So, the painful bit has become taking off the autopilot and looking at everything with the freshest eyes possible. Is there a decision (any decision) to be made at this moment? What do I usually choose? Is that choice still right and proper? Would I like to make another? What other options are available? Which one is best? Which ones haven't I tried before? Even if one decides to do what one has always done, one is now more deeply involved in the process. One is being mindful and one is in pain. This is because thinking new thoughts is difficult. Realizing that new thoughts can be thought is a revelation. Trying to figure out what those new thoughts could possibly be can make it feel as if sanity is slipping away.

Second - one is going to feel incredibly uncomfortable. Nothing will be smooth or easy and one will feel awkward and out-of-sorts. This is as it should be. One is learning to think in new ways, see with new eyes. Birth is painful.

What does any of this have to do with a fitness challenge? I'm glad you asked. See, I have chosen to make new decisions about my body and my activity level. My decisions involve whether to watch some TV or go for a walk. To sit or jump on my mini-tramp. To put in a movie or a belly dance DVD. And if I put in the belly dance DVD, will I attempt it or just watch it? Left to my own devices I make, well I won't say the wrong decisions, but I do make decisions I no longer wish to make. I need to remain conscious of the choices I have decided to make and I need some help to continually make them. So, I'm joining The Domestic Witch in getting off my broom.

I will make better decisions, healthier decisions and, in so doing, show my toddler more of the world than our living room and let her experience more of the wonderful things that a body can do. After all, we chose physical incarnation for a reason and (better late than never) I've chosen to choose to honor my physicality.

Dear Reader, in case you missed it, here's an opportunity for you to make a new choice.