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 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 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 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 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 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 was dark, it was scary, it was beautiful and wonderful and 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 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.