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 everyone...my 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