Monday, October 17, 2011

Mental cobweb clean out!

Gee haven’t I been the blogger bummer lately lol…I figured I should at least get something down here if only to get the rambles out of my head. Things have been very low key lately and that’s just the way I like them.
Last weekend, we did a little impromptu visiting of relatives in the cemetery and also wandered around picking things up for random strangers….setting toppled flowers right, fixing a few flags that were blown asunder and scraping the dirt off one flat stone so the man’s name could be seen again.  Sometimes people consider cemeteries to be spooky places, but they can be peaceful as well as interestingly informative if you take the time to look around at the more historical monuments and stones.
Following a “horrible” doctor appointment with what I now realize is an absolutely crazy GYN doctor…I’m attempting to take steps to lose a little weight. Her reasoning for all of my girl problems are because I’m heavy, well as being too heavy to have my tubes tied (WTF??)…Luckily I work with doctors and nurses who all have reassured me that something is “off” with the above mentioned doctor, which makes me feel better…as did the ultrasound that she begrudgingly let me have that showed a fibroid.  So….now begins an attempt to get healthier and lose a little weight, partially to prove to myself that she was wrong (this would be the wrong reason LOL) and partially to just feel better about myself (the right reason). Now at least when I decide to visit another doctor, maybe they won’t have the heavy card to play anymore. I guess this is just an example of how some doctors and some people just don’t click with each other, and how important it is to really have someone you feel comfortable with.
Well, now that I’ve digressed completely on the point of weight loss, let’s move on…I have whipped up myself a little mojo bag to help me on this journey; amazonite and moonstone in with lemon balm leaves in a red bag. I wrote up an appropriate verse to chant and put it all together under the full moon during my ritual. I thought I could use a little extra magic boost in my efforts…something to focus on when I need to not have that second bowl of pasta or ice cream, etc. At the very least, I guess I could chew on it when I get desperate! LOL 
In happier news, I have my Halloween altar all set up on the porch and it’s looking quite cute…I feel even better about it this weekend because I really did a huge purging out there and my adorable little sitting area is back and looking nice and clean, instead of crowded and piled up with crap and too many pieces of furniture.  A clean anything always makes my view on life a happy one! We’ve also got our outdoor decorations and lights up…mostly for our own personal amusement, since we live in the middle of nowhere and no one comes to our house to trick or treat anyway. Halloween is my daughter’s favorite holiday…so I’m taking this as a positive sign that maybe I’ll make a witch out of her yet…no pressure, just hoping.
My calendula oil is coming along nicely….there is definitely a change in the color of the oil, so the petals are giving off their oils quite well.  I’m getting excited to make something with it…lip balm, cuticle cream, hand salve…oh boy! 
My latest Goddess research has led me to Bast, the Egyptian cat Goddess. I find it both interesting and amusing that these ladies always make me take a round-about way to find them. Between various red herrings and odd connections, it’s like a live action Scooby Doo mystery of the Goddesses and honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A breath of fresh air...and Arizona!

"A while back, at the entrance of a gym, there was a picture of a very thin and beautiful woman. The caption was "This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?"

The story goes, a woman (of clothing size unknown) answered the following way:

"Dear people, whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, seals, curious humans), they are sexually active and raise their children with great tenderness.
They entertain like crazy with dolphins and eat lots of prawns. They swim all day and travel to fantastic places like Patagonia, the Barents Sea or the coral reefs of Polynesia.
They sing incredibly well and sometimes even are on CDs. They are impressive and dearly loved animals, which everyone defend and admires.

Mermaids do not exist.

But if they existed, they would line up to see a psychologist because of a problem of split personality: woman or fish?
They would have no sex life and could not bear children.
Yes, they would be lovely, but lonely and sad.
And, who wants a girl that smells like fish by his side?

Without a doubt, I'd rather be a whale.

At a time when the media tells us that only thin is beautiful, I prefer to eat ice cream with my kids, to have dinner with my husband, to eat and drink and have fun with my friends.

We women, we gain weight because we accumulate so much wisdom and knowledge that there isn't enough space in our heads, and it spreads all over our bodies.
We are not fat, we are greatly cultivated.
Every time I see my curves in the mirror, I tell myself: "How amazing am I ?! "
Well wasn’t that refreshing??? I received this in an email this morning and I haven’t a clue who actually wrote it…but I figured it was worth the share.  I think we lose tract, especially in America, of what is actually beautiful and sexy...for women or men.  I for one don’t think the plastic stereotype is especially attractive and it’s unfortunate that in this day and age there are young girls who are trying to live up to this stereotype and society seems to be pandering into this delusion. My heart goes out to all the girls who just won’t be able to fit this standard due to genetics and will suffer some form of mental anguish because of it. I also revere the young girls who are able to accept themselves as they are and are able to realize that it’s not what you look like, it’s how you act and what’s in your heart and mind that matters most.
On a lighter, but just as serious note – Today is Arizona’s day…The Grand Canyon State! Home to one of the seven wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon, of course, as well as many Native American tribes in our country.  The powers that want to be would quite happily be willing to destroy these wonderful cultures as well as their historical artifacts because they say the Native Americans are different, and therefore, considered bad by their standards. Pshaw says I! It would seem to me that a culture so deeply rooted in the honor and care of Mother Earth should be honored and not attempted to be forced into extinction.  I’ve wanted to visit the Grand Canyon since I watched the Brady Bunch go down into it while riding on donkeys…and hopefully someday I will get to do that…it’s on the bucket list LOL So tonight, Arizona, I pray for you!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Tuesday dabble round-up...

Just a quick note on some recent dabbles…I finally deemed my garlic and apple cider vinegar tincture to be done….and I was completely weirded out by it, so I ended up tossing it LOL  Have you ever got the feeling that something was just bad…you look at it from this way and that way and you smell it and poke it and it just gives you the heebee jeebees?  Yeah, that’s how I felt about this stuff…ah well, lesson learned.  Maybe I should have kept it in the fridge, or maybe I should have actually preserved it like one does with jellies…maybe I should just stick to bath products, potions not meant for drinking and edible things that have already been tested by others…like tea! I will be putting my tincture bottles to good use by keeping plain old apple cider vinegar in them in the fridge to use as a daily tonic on its own…mixed with water of course.
On a more exciting note – the calendulas are done blooming and the petals are dried.  Last night I mixed them with oil…about 8 oz of petals with 1 cup of sunflower oil, ½ cup of sweet almond oil and ½ cup of apricot kernel oil and now they sit in my window slowing infusing themselves with the wonderful essence of the calendula flowers. Such a fantastic plant, with so many good uses…I’m planning on using the oil in a balm as well as keeping a little bit in its oil form as well.  I have some fantastic glass vials with corks…from some cone incense I got a while ago…and they’re just screaming to have something put in them.
I’ve also decided to keep my peppermint plant inside for the winter instead of getting it into the ground before a frost…and darned if the thing hasn’t been growing better since it came in. The same thing with the four lavenders as well…they are still small and wee, as my daughter says so on the bakers rack they went as well….between those two and the rose scented geranium that has become ginormous in the past few weeks…I have one corner of my house that smalls happy and herby all the time. It’s nice to have a place to go when I’m stressed out and just squash my face in the leaves and breathe deeply.
I still desperately need to get the elderberry, hyssop and Artemisia into the ground…if it would stop raining and be sunny long enough for me to feel like going outside, that would be awesome!  I discovered that I have another type of Artemisia growing in my yard…who knew.  This I was very excited about…I seem to be drawn to this plant for some reason.  Admittedly it might have to do with our discovery of legalized absinthe over the past year, but that was before I discovered these plants in my locale.  My next Goddess to research will be Artemis…I’ve come to learn that when Goddess clues are thrown at me in strange ways, I need to investigate them more because they have something important to say to me.
Lastly…Alaska, today I honor you….The Last Frontier, The Land of the Midnight Sun…you’re beautiful and I hope to visit you one day! On behalf of most of America, I would like to apologise for "that woman" who has brought you so much attention over the past 3 years...we too would like her to shuffle quietly off into the sunset.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hail Columbia!

Lord and Lady, please watch over our country during these troubled and confusing times.
Preserve our freedom of speech and religion while protecting us from harm and persecution.
Keep evil and strife far from us all and help us all to strive to remember the values our country was founded on.
Let there be liberty and justice for all and harm to none!
Hail to thee Columbia – may your light shine upon our country always!

I wrote this prayer in response to the whole DC40 debacle that’s going on.  I have a candle dedicated to Columbia and will be holding a nightly ritual to send my energy to help our country. I love my country, and I like it the way it is…to me, separation of church and state is a wonderful thing.
I love my little state as well…I don’t want it to be renamed. The Ocean State is a great name, if someone feels that it needs to be renamed The Miracle State, then maybe they need to actually come here look at our ocean and our shore line and realize that its already a miracle in its own right because of those very aspects.
Roger Williams founded Rhode Island on the basis of freedom of religion.  I recently took the time to look up the Rhode Island Charter which was written in 1663 and found it quite inspiring…
That our royall will and pleasure is, that noe person within the say colonye, at any tyme hereafter, shall bee any wise molested, punished, disquieted, or called in question, for any differences in opinione in matters of religion, and doe not actually disturb the civill peace of our sayd colony; but that all and everye person and persons may, from tyme to tyme, and at all tymes hereafter, freelye and fullye have and enjoye his and theire owne judgments and consciences, in matters of religious concernments,
(Quote take from http://www.auok.org/rhode_island_charter.htm - Feel free to read the whole thing)
Best I stop here for now, I’m planning on doing more about Rhode Island the day before the DC40 invade us…and my dander is up for the moment LOL I might get carried away.  As for right now...Hawaii, I'm praying for you tonight...Goddess bless!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Blog parties and pendulums and tarot cards...oh my!

First off I want to give a huge thanks to Frosted Petunias for holding the Practical Magic Blog Party of 2011, and to all the people who visited my blog during it.  This is truly one of my favorite movies and honestly, I don’t always fit in…anywhere LOL  it was nice to be involved in something that so many other people truly love and appreciate as much as I do.  It was great to see everyone’s ideas on their blogs and all the different takes on things, and I also found some new blogs to read in the process…which is always very cool. I’m still working my way through the entire list..it’s taking me much longer than I planned! Sometime before Halloween, I might finally be finished LOL I hope it happens again next year, since I already have a couple of things knocking around in my brain for it!
In other news, I’ve decided to start working with the pendulum I have. A friend gave it to me a while ago, and I just kinda hung it in the kitchen because it was pretty and nice to look at and I didn’t have a clue what to do with it.  Then I had some strife with a friend, nothing horrendous but sometimes when people are harming themselves, it also tapers down to you….and a very nice lady I met on a message board gave me some information on cord cutting, for severing the “bad” attachment that someone has with you, while being able to keep the “good”. Well in said “recipe” is the mention of using a pendulum….so I figured I now had an opportunity to get to know my pendulum a little better…ironically, the same friend who gave it to me was the one who is having the problems. 
Anywho, I started a little online research (as my funds for a book of any sort are a bit low right now) and I discovered that not all pendulums act the same way…some places said for sure, yes is left to right, no is up and down and maybe is in a circle…and other places say test it out for yourself, bond with your pendulum and see what it tells you….well, of course I’m always up for a good experiment so I began to play.  Lo and behold…and really, I’m not hugely surprised at this…my pendulum has different answers than what some people would say are standard.  Maybe is up and down, no is left and right…and yes just kinda hangs straight down not moving at all.  At this point, I’ve moved on to asking questions I know the answers to, just to keep testing it out. It’s kinda blowing my mind to tell ya the truth lol….I wish I had started working with it sooner.
I’ve also decided to start practicing with my tarot cards a bit more. My work computer now takes soooooooo long to boot itself up in the morning that I actually have time to shuffle and do a 3 card reading complete with interpretation before I can even log in. I figure that’s a better use of my time, than say…doing other work, right?  I have to give huge props to anyone who can remember what all the cards mean and how to interpret them for another person.  I use a book to sort through my answers and once I see what’s going on, I can relate it back to whatever situation I’m being given information on.  And I really enjoy just doing it for myself…I barely know what’s going on in my own head, let alone picking stuff from someone else’s brain and the cards to give them information.
They say you learn something new every day and I have to tell ya, I’m glad I’m old enough now to learn about what I want rather than what I was told in school LOL Pendulums and tarot are much more fun than civics and calculus…although I will admit history has gotten much more interesting now that I’m older.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mabon 2011

The other night I had a fantastic end of summer "celebration" with my daughter...I even managed to take a few pictures to celebrate.  We have the privilege to live close to an abandoned amusement park...very cool in its own right, and even better that I had actually spent many a pleasant summer day there when I was a kid.  My daughter recently got into checking out abandoned amusement parks online...so i thought bringing her to Rocky Point would be a very cool adventure.  Not that we had to break in or anything, they've recently reopened a small section of the park complete with walking path that takes you on a fantastic stroll by the shore line. 


We wandered around and looked at old things, took pictures of what was left to compare with pictures from its heyday online and we collected rocks and seashells while we stuck our toes in the water and "frolicked" on the beach. It was a little sad to see what had become of the midway and the giant dinner hall and it seemed an appropriate symbolic good bye to summer, as it's now time to say good bye to the carefree days and long nights of summer. 


Later we drove to the light house and pretended we were being sneaky as we walked up the giant gates with the stop signs and homeland security signs to get a better look, and then ended our night sitting on a bench eating dough boys and cheese fries over looking the bay.  We both agreed that our summer now felt complete and our sense of well being was uplifted after spending that time together.  It's a wonderful memory that we'll both cherish.

Tonight I have a small ritual planned and then we'll bury our protective witch bottle at the end of the driveway...it seems it has finally stopped bubbling! Our feast was last Sunday, and in retrospect it was definitely a good idea since my husband has worked every night this week, and is working both tonight and tomorrow night...so our last meal as a whole family was a good one.  Tonight's meal will be somewhat suspect, as are most of them when its just the girls home alone...i always feel a little bad cooking a whole meal when the husband isn't there with us.

I feel like the whole week has been filled with little symbolisms...most of the plants have been brought inside, since the frost threatens here and there....not so much now, of course, its muggy and gross right now...but last week it was almost there! I've been doing fall cleaning and washing the thick blankets for our beds and the warmer jackets...I think one of the reasons I do like fall so much is the sense of getting ready to "winter in" makes me appreciate my home and what I have so much more. To think that there are people who aren't as  fortunate as I to have a place to winter in is a little heart breaking.  This is just one of the many things that I am thankful for, all which will be mentioned in my ritual tonight.  Its funny how many things you can come up with when you sit down and make a thankful list for yourself.

Practical Magic Blog Party 2011 - Welcome!

Oh Practical Magic….how I love thee!  Whether book or movie, one of the best stories that I have ever had the pleasure of encountering! I saw the movie first and was completely and totally moved by it. 
I felt the love Sally and Gillian had for each other, and wished I had more of it with my sister….my heart soared when Sally and Michael were brought together and I grieved with her when she lost him. I knew how Gillian felt when she found herself in love with a bad man and understood Sally’s confusion when she met the man her own magic had called to her. I still want a greenhouse like the aunts had and a little room to keep my magical supplies and goodies in, though sadly I will never have either on such a grand scale, nor will my gardens be so productive and pretty.
At my wedding, my bridesmaids and flower girl walked down the aisle to Alan Silvestri’s “Practical Magic” and the last dance at the end of the night was to Stevie Nick’s “Crystal”. After 9 years of marriage, I sometimes still hear in the back of my head Faith Hill’s “This Kiss” when my husband kisses me.
Although there were numerous memorable lines in the movie, one that always stuck out to me is Sally’s memory of Michael and the mint oatmeal shaving cream…”We were going to open a botanical shop. Where Mike would get all the ingredients and I'd make the stuff. He really loved my mint-oatmeal shaving cream. He couldn't stop eating it”.
It’s a good memory…some people think that “making memories” is about going places and doing things, and taking pictures so you can look back and say “look at all we did”…but my idea of a good memory is just something that happens every day. Maybe because it’s something that happens over and over or maybe it’s just something that happened in the midst of regular old good day that made it special.  Either way, it’s special…and these are the moments that I look out for the most in my own life.
In honor of the movie and in the hopes that we can understand why Michael kept eating the shaving cream….I give you….mint oatmeal cookies! This recipe is adapted from an uncredited recipe at  the http://www.cooks.com/ website.
INGREDIENTS: ½ cup of butter, softened, 1 cup granulated white sugar, 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla, 3 cups old fashioned oats, 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt, i pkg of Andes chocolate mints.
Mix together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then blend in eggs and vanilla.  Add in remaining ingredients except the mints and mix well. Shape the dough into two 12 inch logs and wrap in wax paper.  Freeze for several hours or overnight.
For an extra bit of *practical magic*, remember to focus your energy and intent for love, luck and prosperity into these goodies as you mix them together
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut each roll into ¼ inch slices and bake on ungreased cookie sheet or parchment paper (I recommend the paper) for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned.  Immediately place ½ of an Andes mint on each cookie and spread to cover the whole cookie as it melts. Cool on wire racks. The number of cookies you yield varies on now thick you cut them. 
Feel free to give the cookies a little extra enchantment before serving them as well….I know in my house, a little extra anything is always welcome! Here’s what I came up with…
Oats, mint and chocolate, together in this tasty treat
Bring to my family vibrations of love, luck and prosperity.
Make us happy and make us complete
As we spend time together in our family retreat.
With cookies in hand, it’s time for fun
With harm to none, this spell is done.

Well…I’m off with my plateful of cookies to the family room to watch the movie, have a glass of wine and do a little blog-hopping!  Thanks for stopping by!  Bright blessings to all!  

Monday, September 19, 2011

Summer reflections...

Summer’s almost gone and I’m a little sad….as much as I like fall, it also signals another year older for my daughter. She started 8th grade this year and I think it was kind of a bummer of a summer for her a little bit.  We weren’t able to do much that would be considered exciting this year…my husband having been laid off for 8 months and things being tight. 
At the beginning of the summer, just when school finished, we took a trip to Salem, MA, for a weekend and in true pre-teen fashion, she bitched the entire time we were there and we were all miserable, and then lamented because she complained the whole time and didn’t appreciate it like she should have.  Sigh…but I’ve had numerous reports from other parents that this seems to happen a lot, with all of them.
It was also rough for her the rest of the time a little too….she spends her days with my mother, who has reached that point in her early 60s where she is just losing it and can make everyone around her bonkers and frustrated on a regular basis…combine that with a know it all pre-teen and it’s a recipe for disaster. The ride home each night was very draining, having to listen to all the things that went wrong in her day. Of course, she also learned to shoot pool, drive a gator tractor and was able to spend her days lounging by the pool…but she’s not of the age where these things count just yet.
Most of our summer nights were spent watching the reruns of Little House on the Prairie…not exciting by any means but I had hoped that some of the little life lessons they taught would rub off on her, and they might have…at least she enjoyed watching it and we were able to spend time together as a family. I also think it was hard for her to hear about all the other fun things her friends were doing…one friend seemed to go away every other weekend.
And to top it off, we never made it to the beach….this I’m sad about.  But I’m hoping to rectify it this week, before summer “officially” ends.  If she will let me…sometimes her anxiety doesn’t let me do things I’d like to do, because the thought of anything out of the ordinary sends her into a spiral that is easier to just void than try to push through. I’m going to try to take a ride down to the ocean the last night of summer.  My husband is working the evening shift, and we’ll be able to say good bye to the season.  I’m hoping she’ll understand the symbolism of my last ditch effort to get her to the beach…even if it’s not  exactly how she wanted it to be.
On a more positive note, we created ourselves a witch bottle this weekend and will be burying it (hopefully) this weekend…something strange did happen to it though and I have to see how that’s going to pan out. It was sitting on the counter, and when I looked at it the next day, the metal top (Ball canning jar) was dented up…when I took off the cover…it was bubbling LOL and I have no idea why….so it now sits on my porch in a cup, and I’m patiently waiting for it to stop bubbling…I assume it will eventually.  I am glad I hadn’t gotten around to sealing it up with wax just yet.  I guess this is just another example of how hearth and home witchery really can be exciting…you never know what you’re going to make explode in the kitchen! 
This week I need to get off my butt and plan out my Mabon ritual, decide what I’m making for dinner that night and pick up a bottle of celebratory mead. We had a mini-celebratory meal last night…I baked the good bread, cooked a chicken with the fixings and had some Octoberfest beer. I figured better to do it now while we’re all together, since I didn’t know just yet if my husband would be home Friday night. It’s a season of many feasts, I think anyway…so we might as well start early and make them most of it!
I’m taking part in the Practical  Magic Blog Party this weekend as well….I haven’t a clue if what I did is what’s expected, but I think it will be ok….I get to play the clueless novice blogger card if it’s not that great LOL Unfortunately, I can’t make midnight margaritas…heartburn and I’ve started to realize these days that tequila shortens my temper to such a short string that it’s just safer for everyone if I just avoid it all together.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wednesday week review.....

So many goofy things to talk about...where oh where to begin LOL…Since the husband has started working again, I get to have more time with daughter alone.  Friday night we got to have a “date” and went to the Dollar Tree to get some things for fall decorating…loose leaves, pumpkins, gourds, fall flowers, a leaf garland, a scare crow that I realized this morning is among the missing and the best tea light holders ever! They’re reddish brown glass and shaped like oak leaves!  These went on my kitchen window altar and I changed the tarot card to Justice, added a gnome and a piece of amethyst. 
We ended up going to the Chinese restaurant for dinner and also hit up Michael’s crafts, where I bought the cutest witch stamp for a buck, as well as a little cow for the kitchen altar as well.  This is for Isis, and it stands next to my wee small pig for Hestia. Don’t know why, but the farm animal aspect seemed right for me LOL
Daughter redecorated the seasonal altar on the sun porch as well…we put out the new altar cloth, added a small basket of leaves and gourds, added another gnome and amethyst, put out a glass vase with grapes on it to hold the mini sunflowers, changed the tarot cards that go on there…and she decided to hang my antlers on the wall instead of leaving them resting on the top of the chest…and I have to say, it works…I added a maroon sash to them, wrapped around the points and the effect is quite striking. I really do love how she gets into the seasonal decorating with me…she might not choose being a pagan as her religion but it’s nice to know that she at least gets it a little. 
After all that, we moved on to the last but not least decorating inside…I have a wreath I hang in the kitchen and we switch out the flowers and other things appropriately….the summer flowers and little frogs have been packed away and the leaves, mums and grapes now adorn it, quite festive!  For the table, I made the best score….in my own house.  A reminder to those who hoard and stash away things…check your closets frequently, you never know what’s in there!  I found a pitcher with fall leaves on it, and a faux wood serving dish with leaves and grapes on it…courtesy of things nana had and I saved, and forgot about it.  Whew! That officially ends the fall decorating until the Halloween season starts!  Saw some great signs at Michael’s I want…but I’ll save those details for later on. 
Posted on the Something Oddly blog last week was an entry regarding pennies.  I showed my daughter and she decided that we should make ankle bracelets with them as well….so I ended up with 3 pennies from 1977 and she has 5 of them dated 1968, 1978, 1988, 1998 and 2008.  Husband drilled, she strung them up and I made up an enchantment for them and now we have our lucky pennies around our ankles…they are actually really cute.
Daughter started school yesterday and I sent her off with a little mojo bag in her pocketbook….9 rose scented geranium leaves, a tigers eye and an apache tear. She also wears a rose quartz and clear quartz pendants on chain…with all that I think, metaphysically speaking, she’s ready to take on anything LOL
Tonight is my 9th wedding anniversary and I’ll be home alone…sigh….poor me! LOL  But after being out of work for 8 months, and getting a chance for extra hours at the new job, I told the husband he should take the chance do work and we’d do something another night.  Of course, I’m kicking myself now for that decision, but it is what it is.  Was thinking I’d pull some cards tonight with the daughter just for fun and see what we end up with…I don’t usually do this very often, but for some reason I really want to tonight.  When the universe speaks, we need to listen….and listen, and pull cards I shall.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

After the storm...

Well Irene did a number on us, but thankfully we got away pretty good compared to lots of places. So many other states got hit so very hard, and I feel just awful about them. We’re on day 4 with no power…and don’t tell my family , but I’m kind of having fun living in the dark….considering my work has power, as well as my father and step mother, we’re much better off than a lot of people.  We’ve been able to shower and get fed by them for the last few days, and I can charge all the electronic devices while at work.  We run on propane at the house, so we still can cook, but no showers or flushing…unless we dump buckets of water in the toilet tank and get “things” to slide down via gravity LOL Given that we didn’t have the money at the time to stock up on food, we managed to not lose anything in the freezer besides some waffles that my daughter said tasted funny anyway.  Whew! But that’s another thing I’ll be keeping in mind as any more storms get closer.
My poor city boy, Warcraft addicted husband is having problems coping with this…he’s also out of work….we came home the other day to find him doing puzzles at the kitchen table. Daughter has been coming to work with me, and is getting very bored sitting behind me in the world’s smallest office all day. My mother and her husband decided to hole up at the local casino, having enough wampum points for 2 free nights…unfortunately they are on the list as not getting power back until the 4th of September.
I also think the bit of tea-light magic I did throughout the storm really helped out.  We had very few downed branches in the yard, just one tree lost its top but it stayed hanging, waiting to be pulled down by us and be hauled off, and one branch that fell on the fence, but we were able to roll it off to the woods and straighten the fence before the dog even noticed he could have escaped.  When it was all over with, I also made sure I lit a candle of thanks also…considering the amount of trees that surround us, the Goddess was definitely listening to me this weekend.
One of the things that is making me angry is the outpouring of hatred towards the electric company in this neck of the woods…why can’t they get it on faster, etc etc….I do think it’s an east coast thing, we’re miserable and cynical (some of us anyway) and we always want something done yesterday and tend to whine and moan and blame the government when we’re effected by anything.  Good grief, I can’t imagine if these people had to go through something of a Katrina like crisis…strange though, they are managing to get themselves on the news paper website to complain about their lack of power.  These men and women of the electric company, as well as the tree trimmers, etc…really are out there working hard, handling large trees that could crush them, or wires that could electrocute them, and they’re doing it to help us out.  Sending them positive energy and good vibes for a safe time with things.  Next times, those complainers should be more prepared.
Speaking of prepared…anyone else hear that Tropical Storm Katia is on the way next? LOL!  This weekend I’ll be making a trip to the Dollar Tree to get some fall decorations for my altar and house…I’ll also need some more tea lights!  I’m definitely going to get the D batteries ahead of time (that particular lantern only crapped out last night) and another case of water before we need it…just in case. 
At least Mabon season is approaching…I could always use another power outage to start seasonal crafting LOL

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Come on Irene!

I'm a weather nut..I love it, I obsess over it...it keeps me amused.  I come by it naturally, my mother has the same problem and so did her father...he practically floated away during the big one of 1938 up here.  So we'll be spending the next few days hunkering down and locking up everything that isn't nailed down in the yard..just in case. 

There will be a garden gnome rescue mission..they shall be evacuated to reside on the sun porch to ride things out.  Candles are ever present in my house and I'm taking the opportunity to work a little tea lite magic and made up a weather protection spell in the hope of any damage that we might get stays minimal. 

Should things go really bad, there are bottles filled with water so we can flush and I still have the old fashioned hurricane oil lanterns that my grandmother had, complete with bottles of oil and extra wicks...the best thing about moving into a grandmother's house is that there is always something you don't know you're going to need, sitting on a shelf somewhere waiting for you to need it LOL

I'm also starting to gear up for Mabon.  I'll be putting out my new fall altar cloth soon. I trimmed up the edges with crimping shears (left by Nana of course) and am starting to make lists of what I want and need for decorating.  Amethyst stones and gnomes are two of the things that will go out on the big and little altars and eventually I'll hit the dollar store for mini gourds and pumpkins, leaves and flowers for my seasonal wreath. I still have to decide which tarot card "speaks" to me for this holiday...I'm sure it will come eventually.  I love fall and I'm really psyched that the season is almost upon us!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Oh..just a bunch of stuff....

I’m having one of those times where I’m getting really tired of the people I know…they’re become a handful and I’m about ready to climb back in the hermitage to avoid all contact with the outside world.  Anyone else feel that way?  My husband calls himself antisocial and from time to time I give him crap about it, but I’m really starting to think he’s got a point.  The outside world is just full of crazy people who seem to think they can do no wrong. How does this happen? Were these people raised by wolves, or just by assholes that didn’t bother to teach them how to function like normal people?  I’m trying to be a good person and have been doing a lot of thinking and talking to the Goddess about this and I’m still not sure what to do.  I’m sure the answer will come eventually, or should I be forced to confront things before I’m ready, I think I can handle it the right way. For now, I’ve bombed my house with sage and did a lot of cleansing, mental, physical, spiritual and my sanctuary is back to normal, thank the Gods…as for the rest, time will tell I guess. 
In other, better news, daughter and I went to our first Pagan Pride Day this weekend…it was very neat.  There were so many things, and people, to look at. We were kind of on sensory over load, so we didn’t stay for any of the lectures and unfortunately didn’t get to hear any music either…I think we just hit it at the wrong time. But the people were awesome and I bought the coolest wall plaque, a large concrete pentacle with a goddess symbol in the center…its now hung over my seasonal altar on the porch and looks like it was made specifically for that spot.
The plaque was made by a guy named Gargoyle Pete of Cornerstone Creations of Sturbridge MA…check here for more info on his Ebay store etc etc.  http://www.psdirectory.com/stores/sculptures/corner-stone-creations.com  Everything he made was reasonably priced and absolutely awesome…I also picked up some silver and gold candles for God and Goddess representation on the altar, which was convenient because the last ones I had were almost burned down.
This weekend my daughter also turned 13...feeling a little old now, but knowing I’m not. I guess it’s hard for everyone to see their babies get older. There are no longer any toys to buy and the birthdays are more low key now instead of bunches of screaming kids running around tossing cake and ripping open goody bags.  It’s weird and nice at the same time….she’s been self limiting birthday activities for a few years now, but this was by far the most relaxed type of day. It was nice for everyone…hopefully this is a sign of a turning point, where the everlasting terrible 2’s have finally ended (LOL no really, I was starting to worry) and the very cool little person I always knew was in there will finally come out to play.
Yesterday we went for a long hike through the woods with the fat dog…3 miles and I’m pretty sure at one point he swore at me, but it was nice to be out in nature...we somehow had avoided this most of the summer, and I haven’t a clue why.  Too hot maybe…or too lazy…or too much Little House on the Prairie LOL Regardless, we picked up pine cones, looked for lady slippers, found a covered bridge we didn’t know was there and checked out fallen trees…a great day that ended with a feast and a good night sleep. Now, if only all days could be that good!  J 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Titleless Tuesday....

I’m getting tired of all the rain this week…..allllll day yesterday, its coming back this afternoon and then Friday, Saturday and Sunday….argh! I’m sure the plants are loving it and maybe even my grass will grow some more, but its daughter’s birthday this weekend and I’d really like to do something outside with her.  I guess we’ll see what we see when it happens.  As of right now, I’ve just planning on indoor things…Harry Potter 7 at the Imax, a ghost tour at one of the Newport mansions…aaaand, well after that I got nothing LOL  If I’m feeling really feisty, we could go into Boston to the science museum….who knows! 
Saturday is Pagan Pride Day at the war memorial park….I’d love to check that out…but not in the pouring rain and lightening.  Apparently its rained on them for the past few years, which also coincides with my daughter saying most of her birthdays have been rained out the past few years as well….poor  kid….poor Pagans too!
In other news, I’m really trying to motivate myself to sewing up the altar clothes that I bought last weekend.  I seem to be having a huge bout of laziness and can’t get my mental act together…we’ll chalk it up to mercury in retrograde and maybe I’ll just sit on things until that passes. 
I have managed to get myself together and light a candle for Isis on Friday, spent some time at my Hecate altar on Saturday and then spent the full moon feasting and dancing with rowdy relatives at my uncle’s wedding where I came home with a bruised foot from jitterbugging with my adorable oaf of a favorite cousin and a cherished memory of him to file away. Sometimes the Goddess she works in mysterious and amusing ways LOL
I’ve also been working on a daily prayer to say during the whole DC40 debacle that’s coming up. I’m a little weirded out by the whole thing as are many people, so this is my own way of doing something about it….a solitary, quiet something but a something none the less.  I’m awfully tempted to head over to the state house on my lunch break on the day they’re going to be here just to see what, if anything is going on there, but a part of me just wants to stay under a rock LOL So I’ll just put my energy to good use and hope it helps deflect and diffuse whatever it is they will be putting out. I just hope everyone behaves and nothing bad comes out of this. 
I asked a “real” catholic what their take on it is, and they know nothing about it…which I actually think is fantastic. Her son, a former political aid, is at seminary school in Rome, so she’s my connection to information of all things (normal) christian and political…and has reassured me (for now anyway) that these shenanigans won’t fly and the political realm will more than likely not be jumping on this bandwagon.  Whew!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Well its wednesday....

Wednesday...hump day....and the week is almost over....I love long weekends because the next week goes by so fast.  We have a wedding this weekend, so that makes things exciting.  But what I'm really looking forward to is the darn sourdough starting finally maturing. I started it last Thursday and it's kinda like a pet...you have to "feed" the sucker every 12 hours, which was fun at first and now I'm just tired of it.  But I believe its worked properly and I should be able to store it in the fridge very soon...then its just a feeding when you use it and or every few weeks when you're not using it.  I'm hoping to use is this Sunday...I think the recipe i have makes two loafs, so I'll start freezing the extras I make. I'm hoping to get a winter stock pile going of both bread and meat.  I decided to get a membership to the local wholesale club and go bananas on bulk meat products.  I'm hoping this will temporarily appease my strange need to be ready in case the government collapses and the world falls to shit for a while LOL

The other night I also started my garlic and apple cider vinegar health tincture...my little squeeze top bottles are on their way in the mail.  With all the different properties that both things have...blood pressure, cholesterol, antibacterial and antibiotic as well as a host of other things, I'm hoping to keep myself a little extra healthy during this cold and flu season.  My cousin the health nut has agreed to try it with me. I added in a little magical enchantment to it as well, emphasizing the protective qualities too...every little bit helps!

The calendulas are coming along quite nicely, every other day it seems I get about 5 blossoms to clip.  Right now I have almost half a pint jar filled with the petals.  I'm getting really anxious to do something with them! Last week I placed an order with Mountain Rose Herbs, getting tins, jars and oils...I think I'll be infusing sunflower oil with the calendula petals. Its supposed to be "deeply nourishing and conditioning for the skin" and also easily absorbed, and I'm a big fan of anything easily absorbable LOL Hopefully I'll be patient and survive the wait for all the flowers to finish blooming!

Tonight I need to go out and trim the mints...I had been hoping to get enough of them to infuse another oil, but I'm not sure that's going to happen...I'm just winging it for now and I'll see what happens. I swear I'm the only person who can kill mint! It may just end up going in some potpourri for the winter..I really love mixing lavender and mint together, it smells good and really gives the house a happy vibe.  During those long winter months, we need all the happy vibes we can get!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Before they wake up....

I'm up...and alllll alone!  Today is my pretend Sunday morning...we're the only state left who has VJ off and right now, i think that is just fantastic! Its been a great long weekend....yesterday the child and I went on a few missions...stopped at my mothers and picked up a baker's rack and if I'm lucky the husband will put it together for me today.  This is where my plants will live for the winter...theres more room than just the little TV stand that's there now.  Then off to the dollar tree where I snagged some more plain tea lites (16 for a buck) and made the awesome discovery that they no longer sell tubes of 10 incense cones, and have replaced them with boxes of 40 cones! I also scored some lavender floor cleaner, which I used to completely douche out my basement yesterday afternoon. 

We're prone to collecting mold from the humidity and we're also slobs...so sometimes things get away from us lol...moving on, we ended up at a fabric mill and I got fabric for three new altar cloths for the seasonal altar I decorate....a pattern in some nice fall colors for September and November, some really cool spider webs for October and a green with red and white holly kinda things for December. Now, I just have to sew the edges and make em pretty. 

For a bit of humor, I got to watch my father and step mother eye the altar as they picked up and dropped off the child on Saturday...nothing said, just the looks...which is par for the course with them.  They were told a long time ago about my thoughts on religion and being a pagan, but I think they just thought it was a phase...ah well, what are you going to do.  Now my mother on the other hand, the flowers on the altar came from her yard...shes very cool and spiritual in her own way, without a specific path.

But I digress....the child went with my parents shopping for the day on Saturday, which is a huge thing as recently shes been trying to climb back into my womb lol and the husband and I got to have a little lunch date at a very nice restaurant we had a gift certificate for. That was really nice...sometimes we have to practice at remembering how to be grown ups out in public and hold conversations with each other.  I assume lots of parents go through that...and especially so since neither one of us are very chatty to begin with lol
I finally got to mow the front yard and trimmed a hedge while i was out there too....today, maybe, I'd like to weed the back herb garden a little bit...I'm sure the demon weeds are creeping back in there. 

Saturday we also hit up the local farmers market and discovered a neighbor selling plants there...I've walked to her house and bought stuff she had on the side of the road before...so it was nice to put a face to the plants.  She gave me a peppermint plant because the one I got last year didn't really come back, which was awesome...and I ended up buying an artemesia and some Egyptian walking onions...which I may try to grow now because they are kinda cool looking.

Well that's my weekend babbled wrap up....I think we'll be ending up going swimming somewhere today since its only 9 am and already seems hotter than the back side of satan's balls! LOL

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New books and some really low tech pictures!

I got new books yesterday....how exciting! Scott Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Wicca in the Kitchen, The Pagan Book of Days by Nigel Pennick and The Encyclopedia of Magickal Ingredients by Lexa Rosean.  The kitchen books I had been wanting for a while now...so much easier to have all kitchen information in one convenient spot to reference quickly.  I had just recently learned about the Pagan Book of Days and decided to check it out...as they say, theres always a reason to party....so its nice to have a reference of reason to party pagan style LOL  No really, I think it will be good to know more about what goes on on what days, and it will help me research into more events that I wasnt aware of before now.  Nothing beats a reason to learn more, right?

I took a few cell phone pictures of some Lammas stuff Monday night...and now I will share them, mostly so I can see how this whole picture attachment option works on the blog...bear with me! LOL
Oh look...here's some bread. I attempted to carve a pentacle on the top of it before I cooked it, but the effect was slightly lack luster....but the intent was there...that's what matters. It  was absolutely awesome and the three of us killed all but four pieces of it during dinner lol

Ah...well it seems my computer only wants me to put one picture in this blog....y'all will have to wait for the blueberry slump picture, my seasonal altar and the Indian in full ceremonial regalia.  

All in all, it was a great night, a great dinner and the little ritual I held in honor of the season was quite nice.  I always love how my bedroom smells like sage when I'm done too...it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to smell it, like a magical/spiritual hangover to go to sleep too! Here's hoping that everyone had a nice Lammas!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Happy Lammas!

I kind of feel like I started celebrating Lammas starting Friday night....quite accidentally! I had planned on hitting up the farmers market Saturday to pick up whatever looked good and use it in a feast at some point this weekend.  Then Friday night, my husband decided to make meatballs and yells from across the house....did you plant parsley??  Why, yes...yes I did...and that turned into, let me pick some oregano and basil for those meatballs as well...I was just tickled pink to have herbs I grew myself used in something he was making.  And they were fantastic!

Saturday we did get to the farmer's market....getting fresh corn, a cucumber, garlic, blueberries and a sun flower.  I try to keep a small bit of seasonal decoration on my kitchen table, so that's where the sun flower went...it looks quite happy there.  Luckily I had a vase big enough to keep it from falling over!  We spent the rest of the day at the Northern Narragansett Indian powwow, which was very interesting!  It was nice to zone out and hear the drums and chanting.  We also felt very spiritually cleansed since they had sage burning all day long and it was wafting over the whole field.  I ended up buying some from one of the Indians...I'm looking forward to burning it in the house. We had quite the feast again for dinner when we got home, the fresh corn, red potatoes and a "good" steak with some summer ale.

Last night I set bread dough to rise...the fantastic brain bread that takes 18 hours or so to rise...for dinner tonight, along with cucumbers in vinegar, fresh summer squash from my mothers garden...and hot dogs probably, unless the husband thinks to take the chicken out of the freezer!  I'm also going to make a blueberry slump...warm blueberries in their own sauce over biscuits/dumpling type things and topped with whipped cream for dessert...mmmm! Later on, I'll do a quiet candle ritual to honor the season and reflect on the past season, and my daughter and I will make new corn dollies with the husks left from the corn the previous night. They will sit on the shelf of random pagany paraphernalia in my kitchen and watch over us until the spring.
A Happy Lammas to all...may all your harvests be plentiful!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A few Lammas thoughts...

Last night I found myself walking around the back yard contemplating this first of our three harvest holidays.  I'm not exactly harvesting anything myself...just my calendulas (which are doing just fine!) but I started to notice all the plants that are currently fading out there. The tiger lilies are all gone now, and the columbine is looking very sad...the spider wort was cut down last week because it was falling over and the flowers stopped blooming. The pink clover is dying off now too and everything else is starting to look a little squirrely. I guess its a good example of how this is the time when the God makes his sacrifice and the Earth begins its process of dying.

I'm planning on going to the local farmers market this weekend..they just started it last weekend in the hopes of picking up some freshly harvested goodies for my little feast. I also want to make my husband's favorite bread, which we all seem to refer to as "brain bread" now...because it really does look like a brain lol

There is also an old home days fair this weekend as well as a local Indian pow wow...I'd like to try to hit up both of those too.  I find it interesting both things are this weekend...I read somewhere recently that there are a lot of county fairs that coincide with this first harvest holiday, because back in the day the harvest was indeed celebrated by everyone.  I wonder if the people attending realize this...especially those who will be attending the open air church service Sunday morning..teehee! 

While I was checking for more information on the pow wow, I noticed there is another Indian event planned for the weekend following Mabon as well.  I want to look into more about Native American heritage and holidays and see if more of their holidays coincide with ours. I actually hope they do...it would further validate my own personal view of things....while our beliefs may not be the same, we're all children of the same universe and should be able to get along despite our differences. Fluffy bunny thoughts...maybe...but definitely better than Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog thoughts :-)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A weeks worth of saturdays....

I guess I now know that vacations are meant for going somewhere...mostly lol  I took my first full week off since the 2008 summer Olympics last week and I don't feel like I did much.  I guess its good that my hands were rested and hopefully won't start to ache again for a while.  I feel a little cheated in that I had some horrible heart burn one day, a little heat exhaustion another day and 2 or 3 days of heat so bad you couldn't do much outside an air conditioned room or a pool...especially since those were the days that i actually had stuff planned because it was close to when i got paid again.  oh well...i shouldn't complain.  There are people out there with no jobs to take vacation from..let alone actually get paid for it. 

There was much cooking and some gardening and definitely a lot of relaxing.  We went to a really neat farm to see a lavender labyrinth, which i think would have been absolutely fantastic had all the lavender not just been harvested...oops! But their ice cream was quite tasty! I also won the twist contest at the concert in the town square...yes, i twisted in the center of town, in broad daylight...priceless I'm sure, from the fly on the wall point of view.  We also got to see the daughter and her friends get up and imitate chuck berry on small inflatable guitars.  Apparently she was also the only one who had ever seen Back to the Future, because she was the only one who "got it" and flopped down on to her knees for a guitar solo when the singer told them all to go crazy. 

We also watched an excessive amount of Little House on the Prairie...this seems to be a trend lately actually and I have to say, it seems to be influencing me in weird ways.  I want more of a sense of community like that, i want to be able to exist on stuff in my own town and learn to farm...so when the economy tanks and none of us can afford gas to leave town, we wont starve lol I'm on the hunt to buy a pig...not a live one, a butchered one.  I have a friend on the scout for me...theres a pig farm the next town over.  If i can delude myself into think that the piggy i got was a happy porker until they butchered him, then i can also feel good about the fact that I'm screwing "the man" and all his plastic and Styrofoam trappings of grocery store meat. Too bad the local egg people don't get on board to and start offering fresh chickens...I'd totally pick one up a whole one on the way home once a week!

I'm mentally gearing up for a small Lammas feast...of course i haven't got much past thinking about changing various altar decorations and some bread right now. I love spending the week or two before a holiday reading up and getting ready...and then spending the weeks after it enjoying the season and thinking about what it means to me.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A very insignificant thursday...

I got nothing LOL  its a boring day, work has been a little wacky, not bad wacky where i want to run away and cry but just wacky enough to make me be very glad that its almost over.  One day left before vacation starts and I'm so excited! It's the first full week that I've taken off since the 2008 summer Olympics...so I'm really getting antsy.  Not much planned since I'm completely broke until payday next Friday but there will be fresh baked bread and desserts galore while i play happy homemaker for the week.  There's plenty in the house and yard to occupy me, so I'm not really concerned about it being a home type vacation.  Plus my husband might actually be home at the same time as i am, provided the Gods don't have a sense of humor and find him a job this week....after being off for 6 months. but we'll take it if it comes...we go with the flow of things well. 
Tonight i need to remember to put the geranium leaves in my wooden bowl to help them dry out.  they've sat on a screen on the sun porch for a while now but for some reason once everything goes in the wooden bowl, the process finishes quicker.  plus when they're in there i can walk past them and run my fingers through them, throwing in a little energy here and there to charge them up so they're ready to work with.  A friend gave me some really nice little glass jars today, and I think these leaves will end up in one of those once they're done....i also have instructions to fill a jar with foot cream for her when i make a new batch lol

I've already decided tonight may be a "vodka" kinda night. Last night was a "mead" night...a nice after work slow kinda buzz that just makes you mellow and happy...alas, i am out of mead. I'm attempting to save a bottle of wine i have for tomorrow night...vacation celebration and its my birthday...shh don't tell lol  So vodka it is...with lemonade.  A summery kinda drink...especially if you need the previous 8 hours to just melt away as fast as possible LOL

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Rocks and garden surprises

Since cleansing my rocks and crystals in the sun last Saturday, I switched up the ones that I have been sleeping with and the effects have been really good.  Angelite, howlite and Botswana agate this time around and the sleep has been fantastic, the dreams not so weird and if it wasn’t for the dog taking up so much room in the bed, I probably would be having the best sleep ever.
Angelite brings inner peace, tranquility, calm and focus.  It regenerates and rejuvenates the body and soul and brings back inner and outer peace. 
Howlite is calming and aids sleep by calming an overactive mind, eases insomnia, works with dreams and dream retention, stress relief and releases muscle tension.
Botswana agate is comforting and helps you deal with little stressors of life’s daily changes, helps deal with emotional issues as well as being a stone of sensuality.
Lately I feel like I'm climbing into a big bed of squashy happy at night LOL
I'm a huge believer in the healing powers of crystals, especially for emotional issues.  I think I'm a bit empathic, and I seem to pick up a lot of oogie boogie from people around me and I’ve been working very hard to protect myself from all the extra lingering crap. I product enough of my own ick, I don’t need any extra, thank you very much LOL
In random garden news, I had a bit of a surprise last night…what I thought was peppermint is really spearmint, and vice versa.  I couldn’t tell ya how I managed to mix up the smells in the first place…but as of right now, unless the peppermint really starts growing more, I’ll be reassessing my goals for making products out of it! Spearmint does have similar properties to peppermint, just a bit weaker. It may eventually all end up in the same mix for a tea, or potpourri this winter. Time will tell I guess!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dragonflies...and other various wildlife

Last night I went out to the garden to water my plants and save them from over heating...once i was done, i took a few minutes to sit in front of my little altar out there. After sitting there, i realized, gee, i should put some new flowers on it.  Side note: i do wonder if the various deities we honor have a bit of a sense of humor while watching us as we get use to them in the beginning...i personally think i would be a great source of entertainment lol  So up i jump to the tiger lilies to snag a few, and lo and behold, there's a big old dragonfly sitting on one of them looking at me.  It was very cool, with a light turquoise face and what looked like a light lavender colored tail. We stood and looked at each other for what seemed like a really long time and silly me then tried to get it to climb onto the flower i was holding lol Not appreciated by Mr. Dragonfly, me thinks! He took off, but only went a few feet away to perch on the top of a lavender bud.

This prompted me to go look up the meanings of dragonflies...to sum up: maturity and depth of character, power and poise, defeat of self created illusions, to focus on living in the moment and the opening of ones eyes.  Well then....if that's not a sign of being on the proper path in what I'm working towards in my life, then i don't know what is! I'm glad i took the time to sit and look at him. 

I've been taking time to watch the bumble bees lately too...normally we just get wasps and hornets but I've been trying to plant more flowering things this year and it's paid off.  They poke around in the petunias until they find one they like and then wiggle their little butts and dive in head first to do their jobs.  Its quite amusing. Equally amusing and even more so is when the husband and daughter jump up and run screaming across the yard if a bee of any type gets within 10 feet of them. 

I also believe I've had some nocturnal visitors to the section of garden not fenced in...as something that is quite tall has eaten a bunch of tiger lilies behind my garage.  We're assuming deer because the flowers were all higher than waist high.  I'm excited that they chose to visit, but i wish they wouldn't eat my flowers lol

Scooter has been keeping himself occupied while I'm playing in the garden by trying to sniff out the chipmunks who have taken up residence in my stone wall.  I actually had a moment last night where i was sure he was going to dislodge something, end up getting his nose squashed and we'd have to have a rescue mission to save him. He is quite the sight though, face jammed in up to his ears snuffling around.  I think the chipmunks screw with him a little by running back and forth behind the rocks so he has to keep readjusting his position to find the smell.  I'm not sure what he'd do if he actually caught one.  He'd probably just try to sit on it.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A weekend of witchy maintenance...

What a weekend....after raining, and raining and raining Friday night, Saturday burst forth with excessive sunshine and happy feelings which of course made me perky as all hell despite a bit of over-indulgence Friday night.  Sometimes when  you're having fun with friends and getting in a good quality visit, you just have to stay up until there is no beer left LOL

Saturday morning was spent doing the most random of projects. I froze the rose water i made last weekend in 1/2 cup servings so it will stay fresh for my next batch of lotion making, the daily calendulas were picked and i gave the rose scented geranium a much needed hair cut.  Now i have the extra leaves drying on the screen so they can be used in sachets eventually. They smell so good! I emptied and washed jars, rearranged the product closet and got things ready for the next round of garden fertilizing. I also put all my crystals (except the fluorite) outside to charge up in the sun.

Then...oh then....the child had a birthday party and the husband was out building a bridge at my mothers...and I had TIME ALONE! in my house for the first time, I think, since I had the flu back in 2009.  It was wonderful! I was in pagan nerd heaven, sitting at the table on the deck surrounded by research books, papers, notebooks, rocks and paints. I was finally able to take the time to go through all my Hecate material and put together my ideas for a garden altar dedicated to her. I even took a picture....
I am completely amused with using our beagle statue to stand guard over it. His name is Francois. One of Hecate's animals is the hound, so I thought it was be appropriate. I feel like he's standing there waiting to bay at the moon and the night sky.  Shortly after I put this together, the real hound, Scooter, walked himself right through the center of the altar and presented himself for petting while standing over it.  Whether this could be construed as a blessing or just a typical beagle being nosy and wanting his ears scratched, I'll never know.  I'd like to think of it as a little of both.  I like having a place to sit and commune with my garden now, and also a place to leave an offering. I picked flowers to leave on my other two small altars in the house as well.

All this has also inspired me to finally get to a few tasks out there that i have been putting off. In an effort to "kill a little time" Sunday morning, i ended up going through the herb garden roughing up all the soil, pulling the weeds and generally just making it look better and happy and then i finally added the composted manure around all the herbs to give them a little boost. And then i reseeded half of the backyard with grass  seed all over and the last of the clover seed in the larger bare spots. Grass doesn't grow all that well in my yard...too many acidic trees. But with all the rain this year, a grass growing miracle seems to have happened. So i figured I'd throw down more and see how it goes. Toes and fingers crossed that something will come out of it!
Sunday night found me digging out an old journal, from back when i was 19 or 20 and first started getting into paganism. It was amusing to see what my frame of mind was back then, and also to see how my views have changed now that I'm approaching 34. I ended up keeping what i thought was the pertinent information in there, various lists i had wrote, rune meanings, colors etc and have turned it into a garden journal. I've started writing out all the plants that i am currently growing and their properties and correspondences, both magical and mundane. My intent is to keep better track of what is going on in my yard, in the hopes of finding better ways to grow things, what works, what doesn't, etc.
All in all, it was a weekend to be thankful for...and I'm hoping to continue the good vibes through the whole week, especially since this week leads into vacation week!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Grief and remembrance...and the thoughts they inspire

Four years ago today my 17 year old cousin was killed in a horrible car accident.  Needless to say it really threw me for a loop in many ways.  Not only the loss of his presence in the family but the way it made me feel as a parent.  Since then I've looked at things relating to my family and my daughter in an entirely different way.  And I've also lost a couple of friends along the way because of it.  Its funny how when you turn your focus more internally that it can upset other people...people who should be old enough to get that I'd rather take care of my kid and my family instead of sitting around and listening to all their problems and saying oh poor you, especially when most of their problems they've brought on themselves....or that I'd rather stay home instead of pawning my kid off on someone else so i can go out and get drunk with them in a bar, drinking over priced beer and then have to drive home afterward.
The really amazing thing is how much better you can feel after a friendship loss such as that...the proverbial weight lifted from the shoulders or the soul. It's the life suckers that drag us all down, the people who you hang out with and then need to take a nap afterwards. It also makes you appreciate the other people in your life who lift you up and make you feel happy to be around them; the satisfaction of cooking a good meal for your family and then settling in for a night of TV watching in the basement or the relaxing comfort of spending a Saturday afternoon on a friend's deck (which come to thing of it, I'm long overdue on this one LOL). I guess i understand better now how loss can lead to gain, and how everything has a balance.
Today I also have to attend a wake for a friends long time partner.  At the age of 70-something, its not as a shock as the death of a young person, but anything that causes people to hurt is never good. Its days like today that should remind us to hug our babies a little tighter, kiss our spouses a little longer and make sure we appreciate every moment we're given with someone special all that much more.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Post-Wednesday Rambling....

Last night Layla and i went to the concert in ye old village green in town and saw Fishing with Finnegan, an Irish/Celtic band made up of 4 local siblings and they were fantastic! Drinking songs and sea shanties galore and a good time was had by all.  We got to watch very small children get up and step dance until they literally fell over...they were freaking adorable! I'm going to have to look up their schedule and see when they are playing local again. I may have finally found a band that I'm willing to leave the house for! LOL

Later at home, I pulled out my Ellen Dugan garden books (and when I say things like that, I sometimes feel like Mrs. Weasley talking about her Gilderoy Lockhart books!!) to get some inspiration regarding vegetation deities and garden guardians.  Lo and behold, she mentions Hecate, the dark goddess, crone to Persephone's maiden and Demeter's mother. While she's always scared me a little, I've always found myself slightly fascinated and drawn to her...but not wanting to do more than observe from afar. So as I fell asleep, I asked for a sign and I believe I got it. 

Thunder, lightening, rain coming down like the hammers of hell...it was dark, it was scary, it was beautiful and wonderful and exhilarating..it scared the dog and made my heart race with terror and excitement. I worried about my small plants on the deck railings, it was coming down so hard and i thought for sure I'd find them all on the ground laying like dead soldiers.....but no! The little buggers were upright and perky, even the tall elderberry in the very small pot, which usually falls over if you look at it the wrong way. The whole world looked more green and perky this morning after taking that beating last night...which I guess goes to show that even dark and scary can be a thing of beauty, especially if out of it comes something wonderful.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Some people lose their marbles.....

And I apparently lose magic rocks! I realized this morning that the rocks I normally carry with me were among the missing.  I have a variety of them that I change up periodically, depending on how I feel and what my needs are.  Lately, I've been wearing a citrine, which can be used to dissipate negativity and promote optimism and raise self esteem, and a snowflake obsidian, for reducing tension and absorbing and transforming negative energy into positive energy. I carry them in my bra...because if you're not nursing or having marital relations, "the girls" make a perfect place to hide things lol Depending on the bra, I've also been know to stick an inhaler or even the fob thing for my car locks in there too. Luckily, I'm 99% sure where they are....on the floor of my mother's spare bedroom. In my haste to change into my swim suit yesterday, I believe they may have went flying. I'm hoping if I ask the Gods very nicely, they will help me find them later.  Let this be a lesson to us all...respect your rocks! I truly am feeling slightly out of sorts without them!
After a major crash nap last night, I did manage to get out into the garden and do a little work.  I harvested my first calendulas...3 to set to dry and 1 left to pay respects to my household Deity.  I also harvested oregano and parsley to freeze for cooking later on, as well as gave the thyme a nice hair cut to keep things from getting too wild.  The thyme is being frozen also, so it will be "fresh" this fall when I am planning to use it to infuse honey and make some cough syrup. Whether there will be whiskey added as well is still yet to be seen. 
I'm thinking today's random research project may be to look into some types of vegetative deities or garden guardians. I tend to be wary of working with anyone new until I am sure I know what I'm getting into...and it also seems improper to be asking a household guardian to also look after my property as well. I feel I'm better off paying tribute to many, than to overwork one. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Long weekend dabbling

This weekend I figured out how to make lotion!  Ok, well I read how to make it and then tried it, so "figured out" is a bit of a misleading term. But I do have to say, its freaking awesome! It should have been peppermint and lavender foot lotion, but some strange things occurred. 
I've been reusing glass containers that I've acquired, and I was under the impression that glass didn't hold a scent from its prior usage.  I now believe I am wrong in this assessment! One jar previously held garlic and the other dried oregano...so you can imagine the subtle undertones of Italian cooking that now flavors my peppermint and lavender lotion.  I could wear it to North Providence and drive all the little old Italian men crazy!
It was fun to watch it congeal itself in my blender, swirling until it choked and then spewed forth the rich creamy goodness.  I was so proud! I have enough of it to keep me well hydrated through the summer, preventing any dry foot faux pas from occurring when I wear my new flip flops. This also gives me time to perfect the recipe and get some brandy-new containers to put it in that don't have the funk in them so I can share it with my product testers.
In other news, the calendulas are blooming!  Oh I'm so excited! I almost feel bad that I will have to rip their little heads off as soon as they bloom so they can start drying.  They're cuter than I expected and I believe there will be a variety of colors...yellows, golds and oranges, such appropriate summer colors to represent the sun. I think the first one I harvest will end up on my summer altar as an offering in thanks for what will hopefully be a good harvest. I really can't wait to see my pretty glass jar with the carved leaves on it filled up with the petals once they're dried!  I also want to figure out of to collect their weird worm like seeds to save them for next years planting as well.  Waste not, want not as they say....all aspects of our little plant friends are valuable!

Friday, July 1, 2011

So close to the weekend!

I woke up this morning and found a copy of the Jimi Hendrix CD Axis:Bold as Love waiting for me in my pocket book.  The husband must have been busy last night.  It was definitely the perfect CD to listen to driving into work at 6:30 am this morning.  Managed to make it to work for 6:45, so I can get out early and get a jump on the long weekend.  This has been the longest week ever! I feel like I haven't seen my house in ages, although I've slept there every night.  Too much running around and visiting makes one long to just sit and "be" on the back deck.
Fourth of July is fast approaching, and speaking of Jimi Hendrix, I think this will be another year without my wildest dream being fulfilled! Since we moved into the white trash palace 6 years ago, I've wanted the husband to get up at the ass crack of dawn and play the national anthem like Jimi from the back deck.  Its the perfect opportunity to harass the neighbors and (probably) not get in trouble for it.  Can you imagine that phone call to the cops?  excuse me, its fourth of July and the people next door are playing the national anthem too loud.....can you make them stop?  Lol  it would almost be worth getting in trouble for...almost.
I'm still waiting for the darn calendulas to bloom...I think they're busting my chops now.  I feel like that's all I think about and talk about.  Do you have stress....I don't care, my flowers haven't bloomed yet Lol I'm just way to excited for all the stuff I'm going to do with them to focus on much anything else. I guess that's a good thing, since I could have so many other horrible things to focus on instead.  I can see the yellow parts between the green of the clenched buds, they better burst soon or else I will be fit to be tied!
I do have to get out in the garden again and rearrange other plants too.  I don't know why I thought columbines grew really tall.  The poor things are hidden behind the last of the peonies...I'll be finding them a new home in front of the peonies and will stick the last of the hollyhocks behind them.  If everything comes back next year, I think it will look very cool. 
I really am enjoying the garden this year, more so than the other years. I wonder a little if its because I spent the last year focusing more on nature and how it makes me feel and really becoming more in touch with the flow of things as the wheel of the year turns.  All in all, its been a very satisfying experience and I can't wait for it to continue.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wednesday nite in the park...

Layla wanted to meet her friends in town last night at the big church to watch the RI State Wind Ensemble.  I have to say it was  pretty good time and it was fun to sit and talk with other moms.  Im not use to doing that, being as I'm usually the weird one out but I'm starting to slowly infiltrate into the realm lol Its an odd feeling of acceptance now that they actually greet me with recognition and a little bit excitement instead of a side long glance of "oh look, the tattooed one just showed up". Its nice to know that sometimes the mainstream people can look past the wild side and see that I'm normal underneath...as normal as I can get anyway.  I think I'm going to look up the schedule for the rest of the summer and see what else is playing...at the very least, its something to do to get Layla to see her friends for a little bit over the summer since she's not always into hanging out with people.
I have my fingers crossed that the calendulas are going to bloom today, some of them anyway...i swear i saw some yellow peeking out between the tightly clenched leaves of the largest buds. For now I'm crediting my "special" fertilizer as the thing that made them explode in the past two weeks.
My baby lavenders also seem to have exploded.  Too bad they're not going to make flowers this year.  Next year should be good though, I'll have 6 plants all together, 2 of them definitely producing this year, but not much. I'll be going to the Fort Hill Farms in Thompson, CT, possibly next weekend, to pick my own for the year.  I think it will be just back to bath products with it though, as I believe my family will revolt if I cook anything else containing lavender. 
I also realized last night its time to say good bye to the lavender syrup, because there is something growing on the top of it in the fridge. It served me well with my lemonade and vodka!
Looking forward to this 4th of July weekend, a long weekend and a child free Saturday night and my husband birthday.  I finally decided to give him exactly what he wants...absolutely nothing lol Poor guy, I always throw him a party that he doesn't want so now he gets good beer, good beef and peace and quiet. Its nice that such simple things can keep him happy.