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.