Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Winding down

I can't believe that this month...this year, is almost over. It feels like what was left of the year stepped onto the bullet train right after Samhain and hasn't looked back since.

As a family we celebrated Yule along with our traditional X-mas. Yule was more meaningful for me on a spiritual level, just as  X-mas was fun and light hearted. We all took the day to completely relax and just enjoy the day. Watching DVD curled up on the couch with my husband was such a treat. My daughter got the new iPod touch, so she spent most of the day downloading her songs and applications. Now I will finally get my regular iPod back! (Hers quit on her a couple of months again and she has been listening to mine. You KNOW she was desperate if she was listening to my music!!!)
Even the kitties got in on the action.

                                         Lady checking out her new toy.

                                         Alley helping with the unwrapping.

                       Lady deciding that Santa picked out a pretty good toy this year!

                                         Lady after abit to much catnip!!!!

I have read and seen pictures of others who got caught in that terrible blizzard. I am glad to hear that you all stayed safe and warm. Thanks to all of you who shared your pictures. I have lived in that for 17 plus years and I am still amazed at Mother Nature.

Blessings to all of you. If you celebrate this weekend may it be safe and fun one.     

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Our 1st Yule

 I wanted to share a few pictures of our very first Yule. Due to our weather we did not get the opportunity to view the lunar eclipse. The clouds and fog persisted through most of the day but by the late afternoon the new sun was able to shine warm and brightly.

I spent most of the day putting together our special meal and making the Yule log cake.

When the new sun broke through the clouds, I went outside to enjoy the warmth. While outside I filled my bird feeders and wrapped the strings of popcorn I had made around the tree trunk.

 I had also made a sting with fresh cranberry's that I put around our oak tree.

The meal was a hugh success!!
And I was able to bid a goodnight to our new sun that evening.  =]

Everyone was so full that even one of our cats had to hit the hay early!!

Hope everyone's Yule was all that they had desired.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cookies and Zombie Apocalypse

Yes. You read that right. I can truly say that we are not the "Norman Rockwell" or "Hallmark" picture of the holidays!!!

My daughter and I took all day Sunday to make holiday cookies. By the time we got done, all the counters where full of sprinkles and crushed candy canes. Settling down at the kitchen table we set about putting them into gift bags and labeling tags to go with them.
So here we are, spread out all over the table when the neighbor gal comes over. She promptly sits down with us and starts to help. With holiday music playing in the background the girls start talking about favorite movies and TV shows. Of course the Twilight movies are a major topic (go Team Jacob!!) Then they start onto zombies. Not just movies and shows, but what they would do WHEN the zombie apocalypse happens. They have a mental list of who is in charge of getting food (lots of Twinkies because they last forever I am told), who's in charge of securing transportation.  (Which I was enlisted for that job, with specifications of the largest motor home available at the time. I was also told it may be the apocalypse but there is no need  not to go in style!!) My husband and the neighbors dad where put in charge of fire power and all that it might include.
They sat there the entire time we put together these cookie bags together and planned out in detail what needed to be done. I remember as a kid baking cookies for the holidays with my mom, but never did zombies play a part!

I have to tell ya it was one of the funnest and funniest evening spent!!  Here's to a new holiday tradition!
Cookies and the Zombie Apocalypse. Maybe next year it will be Cookies and ........????

Friday, December 17, 2010

Crunch time!

I think I have lost an entire week this month. I had too!! Next week is Yule and X-mas and I am sooo not ready! Somewhere between making cookies, putting together care packages for family, getting holiday cards out and crafting for Yule, I feel like a week as run past me without looking back.

But for the most part it has been a good month. I have been reading and making notes from all of your wonderful blogs on your Yule traditions. I have a list of recipes and special Yule cheer that I am sure I will not be able to get to this year. (which is a good thing. I would rather have too much info than not enough!)

 My husband took me to my first ballet, The Nutcracker. It was preformed by our local ballet company and was a delight to see so many talented young people. We hope to continue this for years to come now that we are settled in a place we can truly call home.

My daughter and I sat down the other day and made our menu and grocery list for Yule and X-mas. I was surprised at how excited she is to be celebrating Yule. We have talked about the different things that I have learned (from your various blogs and the books that I have read) and my feelings on them. She seems very drawn to my or should I say my renewed spiritual path. I have told her that all my books are open to her anytime she wants to look through or read them. I am still amazed and grateful at how open she is.

So this is crunch time for us in our house. I am still dozens of cookies away from being able to stop. Like many of you, we are giving homemade gifts to friends, family, and co-workers. This weekend will be the big cookie baking push!! Next week will bring our first Yule celebration, complete with giving The Gift of Life. (my daughter and I donate our blood all through the year and I made sure to hold off last month so that I could give on Yule as part of our celebration) Then we will wrap our outdoor tree's with the homemade, wildlife friendly garland, then sit down to a special meal. We are also planning on greeting the winter solstice and the eclipse that night.
Wow...when I see it in writing, I realize just how busy the next handful of days will be!!!

To all of you who are done and ready to celebrate....congrats!! Sit back and relax. For the rest of you who are like me....keep on truck'in!! We will make it Yule/x-mas yet and it will be just fine!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lunar Eclipse

While surfing for info on the Winter Solstice and Full Moon on Dec.21st I came across an addition to this special evening. A Total Lunar Eclipse. Fascinated I dug some more and came across this web site with tons of facts,

If you are anything like me, I went straight to the part where it shows a) can I see it from where I live, and b) what TIME can I see if??

As it turns out all of North America has a chance to see along with part of Europe and the Pacific too.
For us that live in the Central Standard Time Zone the eclipse will start at 12:33am. Will be at Mid-Eclipse (which means it will be completely eclipsed) at 2:17am and then be back to normal by 4:01am.

Now 2 am in the morning is pretty darn early!! But I am thinking that since this is the Winter Solstice, Full Moon AND a Total Lunar Eclipse.......... I am pretty sure I can drag my weary butt out of bed to get a look at one of nature's marvels!! Who knows..maybe I can even get a picture of it too!

Now lets hope that it is not cloudy that night/morning!!! 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Yule Tree

Rummaging through the garage my daughter and I managed to pull all our decoration boxes out. It was sunny and very warm that day so it seemed abit odd to us setting up the tree. We brought the box with all he tree ornaments upstairs and into the house. This once a year tradition for us always makes me feel just like a kid again. I put on our favorite holiday tunes and my daughter pours each a glass of egg nog. (This year she got to partake in the addition of an adult beverage mixed up in the egg nog too! )
Going through the box we took out each of the ornaments we where going to use on the tree and set on the table. As the music played and the lights twinkled on the tree my daughter kept saying 'I remember this one when I was a kid". Or "I remember when I made this one for you!" She was just as excited as I was.

My tree over the years has changed many times. From the large 7ft one we use to put up, to the now 4 ft one I have used for many years now. I went from real tress to artificial, mainly due to the house hold pets that kept getting into the water and such. For he last few years I have been using silk poinsettia flowers instead of round glass bulbs. A large lighted bow/ribbon graces the top of my tree now. But the one thing that stays constant is the memories that hang on the yule tree it's self.

The only thing that I have gone out of my way to collect is the flower fairies that Hallmark puts out every year. This year's addition was a flower fairy called Blue Bell. I took that to be a wonderful sign. I live in Texas now (moved here in Jan.) and the state flower is a Blue Bell!!.

I have ornaments that the kids made for me. I have some that friends have given me too. Some that have been passed down to me from my mother and some that my father gave me. Every one of them reminds me of a loved one. When I turn my Yule Tree lights on each night, it makes me feel warm with the memory of those who can not be here to share this season with me but are always close to my heart.

There will be cards added to the tree that family has sent with money in it. Then as the  month goes on other things will get added. Each one of us making it abit more specail for this season.  =] 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

1st Tropical Thanksgiving

This year we celebrated our first Thanksgiving on the coast. What a change from last year. Living in the Midwest for over 12 years (or anywhere for that matter) you can get used to a certain kind of weather/climate for those all important holidays. For us last year it was snow, ice, cold, and alot more ice! This year it was sunny..warm..breezy and...WARM!!  (shorts and tank tops just seemed abit odd for this time of year....but I'll take it!) I still did the turkey(breast) and all the fixing's. We ate till we all felt stuffed and crashed out on the couch for a nap and movie. All and all....a successful Thanksgiving.

Getting excited about Yule. This too will be my first Yule (celebrating as a Pagan) and Christmas here on the coast. Various committees have already decorated the island. House's seem to be springing up all over with lights on palm trees, railings and walkways. I will be taking some pics soon to share. We will be getting our Yule tree up and decorated on Thursday, then the outside lights on Saturday. ( I hope) In our small community they are having a "Tropical X-mas parade" on Sat. night with fireworks afterward. Looking forward to checking it out.
I will not miss the cold, ice and snow this season. I sure have had my fill. But with all honestly I am sure that if I  give it a few years I might.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Being Thankful

I have read many blogs this week about Thanksgiving and what people are most thankful for. It has been a joy to read each one of them. I think that sometimes we all get wrapped up in the drama of everyday life that we forget to appreciate the little things. It is nice to see so many of you stop and take moment to do just that.
As for myself? I could write pages of what I am thankful for. So I will keep it short and sweet. =]
I am thankful for:
My health -- so that I can continue to do all those things that I use to take for granted
My husband -- for without him in my life, I would not be the person I am today and will be tomorrow
My children -- to know that they are truly a gift given into my care. To teach and guide them to be the best person they can be.
My family -- for they have never once given up on me...when at times I have felt like giving up on myself
My four legged kids -- for their unconditional love...always

There is so much more I am grateful for that words alone can not express the emotions I feel. (well that and I am not a writer!! lol)

On abit of a lighter note. I started cooking already for our meal tomorrow. Cranberry sauce is made and cooling on the counter. The turkey breast is in the oven cooking as I blog. I must admit I am very squeamish when it comes to handling fowl. Chicken, turkey...anything that still has it's skin on, and lets not even mention the legs and wings. Icky!! I have no idea where this came from. I didn't use to be like this. It never use to bother me. But now?? ~major body shudders!!~
I persevered though today. Armed with disposable gloves, I took my whole turkey breast and prepared it for the oven. I had found a recipe that used different herbs along with butter and olive oil. You mixed them all together and RUBBED it into the turkey. Not only did I have to handle the turkey, (rinse out, cut off extra skin, etc) but I had to massage the darn thing!!  There was alot of gritting my teeth and holding my breath (don't ask..I have no idea why I do that either!!) but I got it done and into the roasting bag and pan. I don't know how y'all do a WHOLE turkey! Tomorrow will be homemade pies and bread. All the sides to go with the turkey too. (Yea!!)

To this Thanksgiving be a blessed one for you and yours.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Yesterday was the very first time that I did a smudging. On my trip to the all natural store last week I also picked up smudge sticks. I waited till Monday to do this so that I would have the house to myself and could concentrate on what I was doing. Using a feather my daughter gave me I waved the smoke in every direction, paying close attention to windows and doors. The smoke it's self did not have adverse affects on my breathing so I was able to do the whole house without interruption. 
The negative energy that had been building up has been released and oh what a difference it has made. I have noticed it in both my daughter and  husband too. They are both much more relaxed and centered. I don't think they realize it, but I definitely see it.
 I know that this will certainly be on item I will be using to keep our home centered.

I have also been trying out the different herbal brew recipes that Mrs.B had posted on her blog. (Thanks Mrs.B!!!!!) They have been wonderful!! They fill the house with an all natural aroma that leaves the house feeling.........well..feeling blessed. I look forward to putting together a few of my own combinations soon.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Getting Started

Finally found a natural food store about an hour from our home. It was so worth the trip. (well..ok. I had to bribe my daughter with a trip to the mall after we where done but still well worth the time)
I was able to get all of my baking spices for the coming holidays and started on my collection of other herbs. I was amazed by all the different bulk herbs that they carried. How had I never noticed them before? I felt so empowered in a way as I picked the one's I wanted and scooped them into the small bags. Knowing what they are used for, and how I can use them has opened a whole new world to me.
Looks like I will be adding books on herbs to my Yule/Christmas list this year!

Happy Veteran's Day

To all of those who have paid the ultimate price, may your souls rest in peace!

To all of those who have served and continue to serve, whether it be retired, active, reserve, or guard, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Crazy Cat Lady

I walked across the street to the docks today to eat my apple and enjoy the late afternoon sun. It is still getting into the 70's here but that temp is only reached in the afternoon for a few short hours. I have been trying to take advantage of any spare time I have to soak up the last of the remaining heat before winter sets in.
When I reached the farthest dock (which is the one I set on so that my view of the channel flowing into the bay is unobstructed) I noticed that the water level was very low. I was able to sit with my legs dangling and my feet not touching the water. As anyone who as ever had their legs dangle freely off pretty much any surface, the natural thing to do is to start swinging them back and forth. So there I sat, eating my apple, soaking up the sun, and swinging my legs. Done with my apple and not content to just swing my legs, I scooted my bottom to the edge of the dock till my feet touched the water. NOW I was happy. Swinging my legs back and forth, IN the water and splashing. (How old am I..??? ) I just couldn't resist!! Out of the corner of my eye I catch movement. Stopping to inspect, I see floating towards the surface several jellyfish.
I have spent most of the hot summer months here, swimming or paddling around in the bay. I have run into (literally) several different kinds of jellyfish. Some that have stung me, some that have handled, and some that have intrigued me to almost falling in fully clothed! As Monday would have it...these where the one's that intrigued me.
Taking the necessary precautions (taking cell phone out of my pocket and sun glasses off my head) I laid on my stomach on the dock to get a closer look. Yep. These guys where the Comb Jellyfish. The late afternoon sunlight bounced off their bodies making the 8 rows of cilia pulse creating a luminous glow.  I saw some that where the size of my palm all the way down to the tip of my thumb.
Now picture this. I am a forty something women lying on my stomach, with my head hanging over the side of the dock. I am scooting forward, backward and side to side just to watch these jellyfish move about. Of course that is still not enough for me. Just like any kid I know, I have to TOUCH them! What a site I must have made. Hanging over the side, with my hands sticking in the water "fishing" around.
I held several in my palm, not taking them out of the water. Above all my child like curiosity, I respect nature and do my best to not leave my footprint upon it. Only after realizing that the time was late, did I pick up my things and head back to the house. At which time i noticed that my neighbor and her daughter where stopped in their car trying to get my attention. Taking my iPod out of my ears I heard the daughter ask me what I was looking for. Smiling sheepishly, I said the first thing that came to mind. "Playing with the jellyfish".
With that, she looked at me like I have two heads, said "OK" and off they went.
After my daughter got home from work, I had to fess up to my afternoon adventure, neighbor and all. See, my daughter works with the neighbor gal, and is friends with her daughter. I KNEW that was getting back to her!  My daughter just looked at me and sighed. (she is pretty much use to me) Laughing she gave me a hug and said "mom" with an attempted adult look, while trying to hide her amusement.
I told her "Hey..! At least you wont have to worry that I will end up the Crazy Cat Lady at the end of the block when I get old!!"

Here is a couple of picture's so you can get an idea of what they look like.

The bigger ones I found had more of a brown on the outside of them like this one below

Abit more info on these amazing creatures.
"Ctenophores are free-floating creatures and inhabit almost all the marine waters of the world. Except for one particular species which is parasitic in nature, all comb jellies are carnivorous by nature. Their primary diet usually consists of microscopic plankton and zooplankton. But, comb jellies are also known to consume some young fish, larvae of other animals like crabs, clams and oysters, copepods, worms, small crustaceans and even some species of the Cnidaria phylum"

Monday, November 1, 2010


This weekend was a full one for us just like many of you. Friday night was spent at my daughter's annual work Halloween/pumpkin carving contest. Everyone one brings a dish and their own carving utensils and her work supplies the pumpkin. When they are finished, they are taken to work the next day and displayed for all the customers to vote on. My daughter and I came up with the idea of a werewolf pumpkin. But she wanted it to have a "fun" face so when we where done he looked more like a.....ummm....bat.clown??
That whole "spook" factor went right out the window!!! Yes...yes that is red licorice we used for it's hair. Notice the lime for the nose, and lets not forget those big bat...I mean werewolf ears!!  That pumpkin was quite a site. We found out today that our pumpkin WON the contest!! I see some celebrating in our future. (Yeaaaaaa)
Saturday rolled around and it was my husbands birthday. After he got off work my daughter and I took him out to one of our favorite local resturants then a movie afterward. We went and saw RED. If you get a chance go see it. It was a great movie. Action/comedy with all the great actors! It will diffently make our "to get" DVD list this holiday.
Sunday arrived and I was full of anticipation. I have been planning for my first Samhain for a couple of months now. Saturday night I put the finishing touches on the cloth gift bags I made for my husband and daughter. I put them on my alter (with the pendant for my husband and the focus beads for my daughter in them) along with the sleep protection bags I had made right before the full moon.
Durning the day I took the mini pumpkins I was using for a fall decoration and carved them to make tea light candle holders. I am thrilled at the way they turned out. (but I got to tell ya...after carving the four we had at home, then the one for the contest and now these little one's....I am kinda pumpkin'ed out)
I cooked a homemade dinner and set some aside for any traveling spirits. When it got dark, we went around and put lighted candles in the windows and I lit my mini pumpkin tea light holders. My husband went out in the backyard and started our fire pit. Just a small one mind you. (It only got down to the 70's last night, so a big one was not needed) As a family we sat around the fire and wrote on pieces of paper the things each one of us wants to let go. We took turns putting them in the fire and watching them burn. I read a Halloween poem I found on the internet on a Samhain site. Then I handed out the bags I had prepared earlier.
It was a great feeling to be starting a new tradition for us. I came away from that fire last night with a new appreciation for the season. and a renewed since of self.
I hope all of you had a fullfilling and safe Samhain!
Blessings to you and yours

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Getting ready

I have been doing my best to get everyone into the spirit Halloween. Since I have started in earnest down my Craft pathway, I have been slowly combining our taught (from our parents) traditions with the "new" ones. My efforts have been received with much love and support I am happy to say.
So with that in mind, we set out to carve up our pumpkins. It seems just abit odd since the last time I carved one, I was living in the Midwest and the "frost on the pumpkins" was just not a saying! This time however, we where all in shorts and tank tops. Sitting in the shade under the oak tree, enjoying the breeze off the bay as we cut, gutted, and carved our way through the pumpkins. What fun! I went through four pumpkins "guts" and saved all the seeds so I can dry them and feed them to the birds. My daughter thought I had lost my mind. (and by the way....that is alot of pumpkins seeds!!! )
We set them up on the front deck so they can glow out over the balcony and greet the evening island walkers as they stroll by.
I am also getting ready of Samhain. The house is decorated with a combination of witchy/Halloween and fall items. We have a tub full of dried out wood that we will be using for our Samhain evening fire. I have also made some sleep protection bags (that are sitting on my alter right now) to be handed out that night too.
I have been working on what I want to change/improve for this coming year. I will also be putting some of my old "baggage" to rest too.
Even though I do not have the traditional change in seasons as I did in the Midwest, I can still feel the change all around me. The wind is caring a coolness that I have not felt in months. The water in the bay is down to 80 degrees now. (I know..if it isn't bathtub warm I don't want to swim in it!! ) Even the wild life around me has changed.
I welcome this time of year. The end of a season, the beginning of anew.
May this change see all of you blessed.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I was going thru some of my pics that we have taken since moving here to our new home state in January. I found a couple that give you an idea of what our view is every day.
We live on an island that sits between two bays. The bays are the only thing that stand between us and the Gulf of Mexico. For that reason alone we stay warmer in the winter than the rest of the state. Which is a blessing for me who loves the heat and is dog tired of the cold!
I know that my blood has thinned out so to speak and I will be right with the rest of the people turning on the heater when the temps get down into the 50's at night. (kinds sounds ridiculous right now as one who has lived in the Midwest for so long)
This picture is taken from our front porch. The view is amazing and everyday I look out the window and thank the Goddess and God for this opportunity.

This pic is one of many that we have taken of the sunsets. Every night the sunset is different and just as beautiful. There wasn't a cloud to be found that day. It made for a colorful evening sky.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Up Close

This weekend seems to rip past. Here it is already Tuesday!!
The best part of this weekend was my up close and personal encounter with Mother Nature as it where.  My husband and I where finally done for the day and where sitting out in the backyard enjoying what was left of the afternoon. I had a few days prior put out a couple of bird feeders to attract the migrating birds that have started to move through our area.
The feeders where busy with lots of activity and we where enjoying the sights and sounds when all of a sudden the birds started to act jittery.
We watched as a Grackle (a medium sized black bird with bright yellow eyes) flew up into the tree that the other smaller birds had abruptly left. Suddenly the Grackle starts squawking and he launches himself from the tree and he is flying straight for me. Now mind you I am sitting under the porch next to the patio table.
From the corner of my eye I see the underneath (white with bands of brown)of another really large bird hot on his tail!  I grab my head and DUCK!! In the time it took for me to see the other bird and grab my head, I realized that the second bird was a HAWK diving in for the Grackle. When the Grackle flew past my head I felt his tail brush my head and heard him screaming through covered patio to the front yard.
When I raised my head to look around and took my hands off my head I realized that the Grackle also pooed on my head on his way by!! LOLOLOL. Talk about have the poop scared out of ya!
Man. Talk about getting up close and personal!
The hawk that was after the Grackle was a Broad Winged Hawk. They are one of the many birds that migrate through our area at this time. They are an amazing hawk to watch on the wing. Even more impressive in action.

Note:  As a side note...I have been following Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom like many of you do. I have really enjoyed her blog and the 31 days of Halloween! Today she had listed a site on her blog.. I'm Not Hannah. I am mentioning here because..1) I wanted another entry to try and win what the giveaway is today at her site..lolol and 2) I wanted to thank all of those who have given of their time and energy so that those of us, like myself, can enjoy reading and seeing all of you. No matter the winning, it is just great getting to visit so many people who have so much in common!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


This will be the first Fall I have spent in the last 18 years not in the Midwest. I will not miss the ice, the snow shoveling, the delays and the endless...very cold weather!
I will however miss the turning of the seasons. The trees as their leaves turn all the beautiful colors before they drop. The big piles of them in people's yards as they try pick them up before the snow flys.
I live on the coast in the south now. Don't get me wrong. It is beautiful here!! (will have to post some pics soon) I enjoy the moist heat and "wasting" a summer day away swimming and floating in the bay is not bad either!
The weather here too has turned Fall like. The temps are now in the 80's with 60's for the evening. The humidity is around 50% now with a slight coolness in the breeze. Beautiful...just beautiful.

The house is decorated with all the Fall colors. Even have a few of our Halloween things out of boxes and placed about the house too.
This Fall I will have to listen much for closely for the all the changes that where "in my face" in the Midwest!!
But with wanting to be closer to the Goddess and God...that's not such a bad thing either!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Weekend Surfing

I have had a chance this weekend to visit and read several Witch/Pagan sites. It has been wonderful to read and "see" so many of your different personalities coming through.  I have been trying to customize my site alittle bit at a time while getting idea's as I visit yours. One of these days I will figure out just how to put up a really fun background like the rest of you!! lolol

I plan this week to get back to my "studies" as it where. I am reading everything I can get my hands on and most importantly taking time to find out what feels right for me. Being a Solitary Witch has fit just perfect into my life right now. Everything I am reading from books, websites and blogs has been a tremendous help. I am able to pick and choose what will work for me.
Reading about how others preform ritual and how they celebrate the holidays gives me idea's on how I can implement them into my way of life. Thank you so much for sharing you knowledge..especially with those of us who are new to this path..and for me, who is dedicated to spending whats left of my life's journey walking it.
Hope you all had a relaxing weekend and a blessed week to come

Friday, October 1, 2010

New to this Blogging!!

I know i am abit behind the times when it comes to this blogging. I have only become interested in this as a way to share and learn more about about the spiritual path that I have embarked on.
I have always been drawn to (what I have now come to know as ) the Pagan/or earth based religion.
It just 'feels" right. I am excited to learn all I can and continue to grow with each new day.
I will be doing alot of visiting to many of your sites and would respectably ask for as much help and suggestions that you may be willing to depart to me.  =]
Blessing be to you all