Monthly Archives: February 2011

Ostara Recipes…………

Merry Meet friends.  Hope you are having a good week so far.  After warm Spring-like weather, the rains came in! It rained ALL day on Monday…dark and gloomy and wet!  Then it turned cold, the rain  turned to sleet and ice and then  to snow.  Luckily the snow wasnt’ heavy and went away quickly. However,  winter is most definitely back but it is still February after all.  Here in Ohio winter lingers long indeed.  LOL.  So I’m sitting by my fire again tonight, candles lit, incense burning, and I’m crocheting a shawl for a friend and relaxing after a busy day.

Ostara is coming before we know it so my thoughts are turning towards the celebration.  I thought I’d post some recipes here….both for magick and for your dinner table.  First, I have a recipe for an Ostara oil blend and an Ostara loose incense blend.

Ostara Oil

 1 drop Almond

   1 drop Patchouli

   1 drop Elder

     1 drop Lavender

     1 drop Violet

Ostara Loose Incense Recipe

2 parts frankincense

2 parts sandalwood

1 part lemongrass

1 part patchouli

1 part lavender

Both of these magickal scents smell so great..you’ll love them!

Now for your dinner table…if you read my previous post about Ostara correspondences, you’ll see that these recipes are perfect for the day or the week of this beautiful Sabbat.  Eggs of course are a must!  Here is a couple of my own recipes I think you’ll like.  “Deviled Eggs” are always on our holiday table and mine get rave reviews and a “must bring” so here is the recipe..kind of.  I am one of those people who just throw things together until it tastes right..but I’ll get as close as I can.

Autumn’s Ostara Eggs

12 large eggs

1/2 cup Miracle Whip

1 1/2 tablespoons yellow mustard

1/2 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt

pepper to taste

Paprika to garnish if you like

*Now this is really just a guess….you may need to add more Miracle Whip or more sugar or salt..you want it kind of creamy and kind of sweet 🙂

 Place eggs in a saucepan with COLD water to cover plus 1 inch. On medium-high heat, bring the eggs to a low boil. Turn off heat and cover.  Let stand for 20 minutes.  Then drain off hot water and immerse in ice cold water to cool.  This cold water method makes perfect boiled eggs.  Also, a little hint.  You want your eggs to be a few days old.  The newer the egg, the harder it is to remove the peel.  

 Halve the eggs lengthwise. Remove the yolks, place them in a small bowl, and mash them with a fork. Add all ingredients except paprika.  Mix well. Now to make really pretty eggs, I use a frosting bag with a tip to put the yolk mixture into the whites.  Or you can cut a little hole in the corner of a plastic bag and pipe in the mixture that way.  Very pretty and neat.  Sprinkle with paprika if desired.  Makes 24 appetizers.

Another egg recipe I make often is my overnight breakfast casserole.  It is easy and yummy and so nice to not have to work so hard in the morning when you get up.  Just pop it in the oven and enjoy your coffee 🙂

Autumn’s Overnight Breakfast Strata

1 lb ground sausage, browned & drained

6 slices of day old bread, cubed

3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

2 cups milk

6 eggs

½ tsp salt

Pepper to taste.

Place ½ of the bread cubes in a greased 13” x 9” baking dish.  Top with ½ cheese.  Then all the sausage, then the rest of the bread and top with remaining cheese.

Blend the rest of the ingredients well.  Pour over casserole.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, Bake uncovered at 350* for 1 hour or until top is brown and bubbly.

*I serve this with a fresh fruit salad and warm muffins and the Applewood Julep…YUMMY!!

Ok..as I said here…this goes great with an Applewood Julep.  The Applewood Restaurant in Sevierville, TN is a favorite restaurant of ours for down home cookin.  When  you go there, you get a glass of this delcious refreshing juice with apple fritters and apple butter!  Divine!!  You will need to make a double batch of this juice..guarenteed!

Applewood Julep

1 quart unsweetened apple juice

1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice

1 cup orange juice

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

Fresh mint sprigs

Combine ingredients..Serve chilled.  Garnish with mint.  Great over ice as well.

Sweet breads was on the list of foods that correspond to Ostara.  There is nothing more traditional for this time of year then Honey Cakes and Hot Cross Buns.  The Hot Cross Buns are started out in your bread machine..easy peasy and the Honey Cakes are easy and sweet as well!

Hot Cross Buns for Bread Machine

Ingredients

2 eggs plus enough water to equal 1 1/3 cups

½ cup butter

4 cups bread flour

¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 ½ teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1 ½ teaspoons bread machine or quick active dry yeast

½ cup raisins

½ cup golden raisins

1 egg

2 tablespoons cold water

White Icing (below)

Measure carefully, placing all ingredients except raisins, the 1 egg, the cold water and the white icing in bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer.  Add raisins at the raisin/nut signal.

Select Dough/Manual cycle.  Do not use delay cycles.

Remove dough from pan, using lightly floured hands. Cover and let rest 10 minutes on lightly floured surface.

Grease cookie sheet or 2 round pans, 9 x 1 ½ inches.  Divide dough in half. Divide each half into 8 equal pieces.  Shape each piece into a smooth ball.  Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet or 1 inch apart in pans.  Snip a cross shape in top of each ball, using scissors.  Cover and let rise in warm place about 40 minutes or until double.

Heat oven to 375*.  Beat egg and cold water slightly; brush on buns.  Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from cookie sheet to rack.  Cool slightly.  Make a cross on bun with White Icing.

White Icing

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon milk or water

½ teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients until smooth and spreadable

Honey Cake

1 cup honey

1 cup applesauce

3 eggs

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon clove

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup strong brewed decaffeinated coffee (can be made from instant)

  In a large bowl, mix together the first 3 ingredients.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, spices and baking soda.  Add the flour mixture to the wet stuff, alternating with the coffee; beat well.

Pour into a greased 9″x13″ pan (or, alternatively, three 8″ square pans).

 Bake at 325*F for 60-90 minutes* for the large pan, 60 minutes for the three smaller pans

*Just watch for it to be spongy and golden brown.

 Ok…now Ostara is all about Spring and longer days and our thoughts turn to our gardens and fresh fruit and vegetables.  This salad is exactly what you need to serve.  It has all the good stuff!  Use the berries that are in season for the best flavor.

Bountiful Garden Salad with Raspberry Vinagarette

6 cups spinach, torn                                                       

1 lb romaine lettuce, torn                                            

1 stalk celery, chopped                                                 

1 tomato, chopped                                                        

½ cucumber chopped                                                   

1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

½ orange, peeled and sectioned

¾ cup blackberries, raspberries and/or blueberries

¼ cup strawberries, hulled and sliced

¼ cup chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted

Garnish: croutons

Place all of the ingredients except croutons into a large salad bowl and toss to mix.  Drizzle with Raspberry Dressing; garnish with croutons. Serves 6-8

Raspberry Dressing

¾ cup to 1 cup raspberries, crushed

1 cup oil

¼ cup raspberry vinegar

1 TB sugar

2 TB lemon juice

Salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients except salt and pepper; whish well.  Add salt and pepper to taste

I’m going to stop there for now.  I have a friend who is passing on a lamb recipe and I have a delcious parmesan whitefish recipe I want to share, and a great strawberry cake recipe!  You will then have all you need to have give your family and friends a lovely Spring meal on Ostara.  Have your family over for a delicious brunch while you color eggs and have an egg hunt with the kids.  It’ll hardly be any work at all as you can make the juice and the breakfast casserole the day before.  To really celebrate the day, after breakfast, go for a walk on a nature trail.  Collect stones and look for flowers starting to bloom and see what birds you can identify and see if the trees are budding yet?  After the family is gone, enjoy a glass of wine and pull out your seed and garden catalogs and magazines.  Dream of being outdoors feeling the warmth of the Sun, the blue skies, the taste of fresh veggies and herbs from your garden.  Ostara is the promise of Spring…so Enjoy!

Love and Blessings, Autumn

*Sources- Applewood restaurant, Gooseberry Patch cookbooks, and my own recipe box.  None of the pictures are mine..one thing I’ve learned from having a blog…take pictures of my food, beverages etc!!  For future blogs 🙂

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Filed under Family, Garden, Holiday, Loose incense recipe, Oil Blend Recipe, Ostara, Recipe from my Kitchen, Spring

Countdown to Ostara……..

Merry Meet everyone!  I hope you all had a LOVE-ly Valentine’s Day.  Mine was very nice..hubby spoiled me and I spoiled everybody else!  I am having Spring fever big time for some reason.  I normally love Winter..as I’ve written here before…but something about this year has put me in the mood for Spring earlier then I usually am.  It might be that we are having some balmy weather right now for Ohio.  We have hit 50* today and 60* then next two days.  It rained this morning a bit, melting all that dirty snow, and the Sun just came out.  I actually just put my rosemary tree and my new gerbera daisy plant outside to enjoy the sun a bit….it’s warm enough to do so.  I also am seeing all the seed packages and pots and garden tools coming out at the local garden centers and I have already been looking to see what I want to plant this year.  So Spring is coming..hold on to that thought!

Along with Spring, comes the next Sabbat on the Wheel of the Year….Ostara.  Ostara is also the Spring Equinox…when Night and Day are again balanced  and the Earth swells with new life.  In ancient times, people celebrated the arrival of spring, and the Goddess Eostar, or Eostre, whose symbols were the egg and the hare, both representations of the Great Mother. “Ostara is a festival of fertility and resurrection, the union of sun and soil, a time of planting, mothering, and tending to young children and animals.  At the Spring Equinox, the God and the Goddess are now equals, and they dance together across the Earth.  Wherever they step, flowers appear and bloom beneath their feet, and sorrow turns to delight as the world is reborn.” *

This is the time of re-birth.  Animals are bearing their young, shoots are growing up from the ground, grass is greening, trees are sprouting leaves and our hearts feel lighter with more daylight and warm breezes and the smell of the rich earth as  Mother Earth wakes up.  Ostara is a wonderful time of year and celebrations are light and centered around the outdoors.  The Correspondences of Ostara are:

*Element/Gender-Air/Male

*Threshold-Dawn

*Symbolism-Greening, sprouting, balance of light and dark, The God comes of age, union of the Lord and Lady, fertility, birthing, beginning,

*Symbols/Tools/Decorations-Colored eggs, baskets, rabbits, lamb, shamrock, butterfly, cocoons, sprouting plants, violets, lily, spring flowers, new clothes.

*Herbs-Daffodil, jonquils, woodruff, violet, iris, narcissus, peony, acorns, tansy, cinquefoil, crocus,  dogwood, irish moss, ginger, honeysuckle, jasmine, rose, strawberry.

*Incense/Oils-Jamine, rose, strawberry, african violet, sage lavender, ginger, magnolia, broom.

*Colors-Gold, light green, grass green, robin’s egg blue, lemon yellow, pale pink, anything pastel.

*Crystals/Stones-Red jasper, rose quartz, moonstone, amethyst, aquamarine, bloodstone

*Customs/Activities-Planting seeds or starting a Magickal herb garden, taking a long walk in  nature, coloring eggs, bird watching, egg hunts,  starting new projects, wearing green or pastels

*Foods-Leafy green vegetables, pumpkin, sunflower and pine nuts, dairy,  fish, hot crossed buns, sweet breads, hard boiled eggs, honey cakes, seasonal fruits.

*Gods-Green Man, Youthful Gods, Warrior Gods, Dagda, Cernunnos,  Pan, Adonis

*Goddesses-Eostre, Ostara, Maiden, Isis, Astarte, Ishtar, Minerva, Youthful Goddesses,  Faerie Queen, Lady of the Lake, the Green Goddess

*Spellworking/Rituals-Spellcrafting, invention, new growth, new projects, seed blessing, herb  garden, herb blessings

An ancient Ostara custom was to dye eggs red, the color of life-force and regenerations. Make “oracle eggs.”  Draw magickal symbols on hard-boiled eggs with paraffin or white crayon.  These can include astrological signs, runes, and symbological signs such as the pentacle, or a moon or a sun.  Fun to do with a grandchild 🙂  You can  celebrate Ostara with fresh spring flowers, bouquets of freesia, daffodils, lilac, and tulips, and herbs such as clover, lemongrass, and mint.  Collect rainwater  and steep it  overnight in the light of a full Moon.  Use it for your holy water or water your houseplants with it.  Play favorite childhood games.  Blow bubbles, play hopscotch and jacks, and jump rope.  Bring out your inner child and let her play.   Bless the seeds for your garden, and envision health, happiness, and prosperity growing for you in the warmth of the Sun.

I will be posting Ostara recipes, rituals, pics of my altar etc in the coming days.  A book  I highly recommend you read is written by Edain McCoy…its a plethora of information about Ostara..I really enjoyed it.

So my friends, Spring and Ostara are coming.  Soon the days will be longer, the rains will come, and Mother Earth will wake up and start spreading growth and warmth all around us.  We have almost made it thru another Winter!  Think about shopping for some new lighter clothes, get out your seed catalogs, go buy a bouquet of tulips, take a walk, gaze at the Moon…Watch Spring unfold before your eyes.  That is what I’ll be doing…right along with you!

I come, I come! ye have called me long, I come o’er the mountain with light and song: Ye may trace my step o’er the wakening earth, By the winds which tell of the violet’s birth, By the primrose-stars in the shadowy grass, By the green leaves, opening as I pass.
Mrs. Felicia D. Hemans

Blessings and Love, Autumn

*References…..Simple Wicca by Michelle Morgan and my own BOS.  All pics on this post are from the internet.

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Filed under Books I'm reading, Garden, Goddess, Herbs, Mother Earth, Nature, Ostara, Quote, Spring

Happy Valentine’s Day…………

Merry Meet friends and Happy Valentine’s Day!  I hope that you all have had a lovely weekend!  I know I did…lovely and busy.  One of the things I did this weekend was to do a bit of Valentine’s Day shopping for my family…just small gifts..tokens of my love.  Breakfast out this morning with hubby and daughter Sara was nice as well.  Hubby was sweet and brought me a box of chocolate’s from my favorite local choclatier and a beautiful Gerbera Daisy plant..dark purple.  So sweet. 

“Love doesn’t make the world go round,
Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.”
– Elizabeth Browning

Valentine’s Day is all about love tokens….be it flowers, candy, cards, dinner out..and if you’re really lucky..jewelry! LOL The History of Valentine’s Day is a little sketchy but most seem to agree that it’s named after a Christian martyr..a Roman priest named Valentine.  Claudius II, Roman Emperor in the third century, outlawed marriage for his soldiers.  He believed that marriage and children made them weaker as soldiers.  Valentine disagreed with this and secretly continued to marry young lovers.  When Claudius discovered this, he jailed Valentine.  Now the story is that Valentine fell in love with his jailers daughter who came to visit him.  Claudius eventually ordered Valentine’s execution.  Before he was, he asked for pen and paper to  write her a letter….signing it..From your Valentine.  How romantic.  The date that Valentine was executed?  Yes, Feb 14.  But it wasn’t until Geoffrey Chaucer, an English  poet and author, in the Middle ages, that romance was added to the day. 

For Pagans in ancient Rome,  February was the official beginning of spring and was considered a time for purification. Feb. 14 was a day to honor Juno, the goddess of Women and marriage. The next day, Feb. 15, was  Lupercalia, a festival honoring the birth of Romulus and Remus, the twin founders of the city. As Lupercalia evolved and time went on, it became a festival honoring fertility and the coming of spring. To begin the festival,  all the available women of the city would have their name put in an urn. The bachelors would chose a name out of the urn and be paired for the year with the name selected. This act was later outlawed by the clergy and deemed un-Christian. So to put a positive perspective over a bad tradition in 498 A.D. Pope Gelasius officially declared Feb. 14 St. Valentine’s Day

In the 18th century, Valentine cards first appeared according to Victorian Treasury.  Needless to say, printing companies saw this as profitable, and the Valentine card took off.  Now those of a romantic nature will most likely give roses with their card and candy.  Many may not give a thought to what color roses they give their beloved.  But in the language of flowers, the color is very significant.  Here is a list of some colors and their meanings:

Lavender — Enchantment and Uniqueness
Orange — Fascination
Pink (Dark) — Thankfulness, Friendship and Admiration
Red — Love, Respect and Courage
Peach — Modesty, Gratitude, Admiration and Sympathy
Pink (Pale) — Grace, Joy and Happiness
Deep Red — Beauty and Passion
White — Innocence, Purity, Secrecy, Silence, Reverence, Humility and (according to some sources) True Love
Yellow — Joy, Friendship, Jealousy, Hope and Freedom
Black — Farewell
Red/White — Unity or Engagement
Yellow/Orange — Passionate Thoughts
Peach — Modesty, Gratitude, Admiration and Sympathy
Pink (Pale) — Grace, Joy and Happiness
Yellow/Red — Congratulations
Rosebud — Beauty, Youth and a Heart Innocent of Love
Red Rosebud — Purity and Loveliness
White Rosebud — Girlhood
One Dozen Red Roses — “I Love You”
Single Red Rose in Full Bloom — “I Love You”
Tea Roses — “I’ll Remember Always”

Now while men are often the giver of the roses, women, like me, go to the kitchen and bake up something…something that looks fantastic and shows that time and effort and love was put into the mix.  For me, Red Velvet Cake is probably the perfect cake to make for Valentine’s Day.  Now I am a huge fan of Food Network and Paula Deen…and this recipe is hers…and perfect!  Give it a try..your significant other and your whole family will love it!  Oh and this recipe is for cupcakes…but you could make it into a two layer cake.

Paula Deen’s Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • Chopped pecans and fresh raspberries or strawberries, for garnish

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

Garnish with chopped pecans, fresh raspberry or strawberry, or sprinkles.

Now this recipe is the RIGHT way to make REAL red velvet cake….the southern way! 🙂

Now I know many of you are single or unattached and Valentine’s Day may not have as much significance to you right now.  But I say that if you have a child in your life, or a grandparent, or a lovely neighbor or friend…Valentine’s Day can still be a beautiful day.  Show your token of love to them.  Also, you can make the day about You!  Treat yourself to a box of candy, a bouquet of flowers, a pedicure or a bottle of wine.  Love yourself..because after all, loving ourselves first is what makes it possible for us to give our love to others.  Ultimately, Valentine’s Day is about Love!  So Have a beautiful Valentine’s day my friends and may you have the love of family, friends, furbabies, and your Goddess/God on this day and everyday. 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Family, Flowers, History, Holiday, Quote, Recipe from my Kitchen

More Cleaning and a Sweet Treat………

Merry Meet friends!  Hope that you are all having a great week.  It is bitterly  cold here in Ohio..negative temps this morning and negative wind chill factor!  BRRRRR!  The good news is that the Sun came out today and that warmed up everything despite the cold 🙂  I was able also to see the quarter Moon last night and She was beautiful!  The sky was black as ink…twinkling stars…and the Moon was bright and misty, a beautiful sight.  Despite the cold I had to have a visit…I threw a blanket around me and went out and visited with Her..it was magickal indeed.  Even if it was for a short time 🙂 

So today I was home and had some time to get back to some of my Spring Cleaning..which is almost done.  I have enjoyed doing that so much.  I did my kitchen buffet, a tv stand, under my bathroom sink, and my bedside stand.  Here’s some before and afters….:)

Buffet before…..

And after………..

Bathroom sink before……………

Bathroom Sink After……..

I won’t bore you with the other pics, this is enough. LOL!   But I post the pics to inspire..as I was inspired by my daughters blog and her work! 🙂  I only have my linen closet left to do….that will be for another day when I have more time.  I really want to paint it…a gorgeous blue..just for fun! To open the door and see something besided white walls, so I may not post before and afters until I have time to paint it!  There is a couple of drawers in my dresser that need a bit of attention, but really, the most of it is done.  Yay!  The house just feels so much better and when I open a door or a drawer I just can’t  help but smile out how they look.  Go for it if you haven’t already…the work is worth it!

So Valentine’s Day is coming up and I thought I’d share a recipe with you.  This recipe is actually on my Gooseberry Patch calendar for February’s page.  I am making these this weekend, I think, so I thought that you might like to make them too.

Raspberry Swirled Brownies

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

16-oz can chocolate syrup

4 eggs, beaten

1 and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3-oz pkg. cream cheese, softened

2/3 cup raspberry preserves

1 cup unsweetened raspberries

Garnish:  whipped cream, fresh raspberries

In a bowl, mix butter and sugar until smooth. Add chocolate syrup and eggs; mix well.  Add flour; mix well. Beat in cream cheese and preserves until smooth; gently fold raspberries into the batter.  Spread in a greased 15″ x 10″ jelly-roll pan.

Bake at 350* for 30-35 minutes.  Cut into squares.  Garnish with whipped cream and raspberries if desired.  Makes 2-1/2 dozen.

Sounds delicious doesnt’ it!  Can’t wait to make them!

So Valentine’s Day is such a fun holiday.  Yes, I know its a romantic holiday..made for lovers and spouses.  Flowers, candy, romantic dinners.  That all sounds lovely indeed.  But for me and my family, well it is all about fun with the kids!  Making construction paper valentines, heart shaped cookies with icing and red sugar sprinkles, heart shaped pancakes or PB&J sandwiches.  Cutting out paper heart chains to hang in their rooms.  Stuffed red teddy bears, chocolate marshmallow heart candy.  It just doesn’t get any more fun then that.  Remember the excitement of trading valentine cards…the little cheap cartoon ones..making your “mailbox”.  It was a big day for sure.  Keep this in mind with your children or grandchildren…it’s something you never outgrow!  I did it with my kids and now I get to enjoy it with my little Lily.  I love sending her cards and stickers in the mail..she loves getting mail!  Every holiday can be made special with just a little bit of effort. Put a little magick into all you day and the day will be special for your loved ones..you will have made a memory!

When I think of love …

I think of roses and red hearts …

quiet walks …

and very soft, tranquil music …

I envision an eagle taking flight on a crisp fall morn …

the first snowflake in the winter …

and the sound of the first robin in the spring …

I envision a glorious sunrise …

a spectacular rainbow …

and stars brightly shining on a summer night …

But most of all, I envision you …

your eyes radiating warmth, joy and vibrance …

and the tender feelings in my heart

from your friendly smile.

Author Unknown

 

Much love and light to you all, Autumn

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Filed under Cleaning & Organizing, Family, Photography, Poem, Recipe from my Kitchen

A Book review and signs of Spring……….

Merry Meet friends.  It has been quite  a week ..weather wise around here.  On Imbolc Eve, we got a huge ice storm…lots of heavy ice, slippery roads, trees cracking and breaking from the weight of the ice, and power outages.  Yes, we had a power outage..the lights went out about 11:30pm that night.  We lit candles, brought in a kerosene ceramic heater to warm the lower floor rooms and hoped for the best.  By the next morning..power outage looked like it was going to last for awhile.  We ended up heading over to my daughters for the day and stayed warm and had a lovely visit with my daughters and granddaughter.  Lights came back on at about 5pm and life got back to normal.  It was Imbolc…my ritual ended up being very simple as I was so tired from lack of sleep LOL…but I threw open the doors and invited in Brighid and it was a Blessed Imbolc after all.  I hope yours was too!

A couple of months ago..a facebook friend of mine..Tracy Jeffery..from Australia…posted a link that caught my eye.  I went to look at it, and discovered that she had written a children’s pagan book…called “Kite Magic….A Tribute to the Element Air”.  I looked at it, thought that I would order it for my granddaughter and then, you know, I kind of forgot about it.  A couple of weeks ago, she posted a comment here on my blog and mentioned the book and that she would love for me to review it here.  So I promptly contacted her, ordered the book and I received it, read it and loved it.  So Tracy, thank you for your delightful book and I can’t wait til the other element books are written.

Kite Magic is about a little girl named Alana, 4 years old, who receives a rainbow kite for her birthday.  Her Nanna takes her to the beach to fly her kite. (Now I am called Nana by my precious Lily so I loved that right off ! )  Nanna wears a shawl and a sunflower hat (which I love!).  But despite Alana’s best efforts, she can not get the kite to fly….there isn’t enough wind.  She is taunted by 3 boys because of it.  Alana becomes sad and discouraged..her rainbow kite just wont’ fly.  Now her Nanna..a wise crone…tells Alana that she can make it windy by calling on air.  Alana does just that..with her Nanna’s help ( a beautiful charm here too).  Their magick blends together and spirals upward and Air answers in a delightful way.  The descriptive words of the magick wrought were delightful to me and I think any child would be entranced as well.  Those boys who taunt her…well they get a bit of Karma as well in a very funny way!  I thought this book was charming..filled with magick and vivid images.  I also loved the illustrations by Danielle Rawnsley-Galistan..bright colors and attention getting for a child.  I can’t wait until the next books come out.  I highly recommend the book..pagan books for children are pretty hard to come by.  For this book visit www.paganchild.com.au

I have been looking for signs of Spring..to no avail around here.  We have had one of the snowiest winters I can remember.  Not so much in huge amounts, but in constant amounts..keeping the ground white all winter long.  Today, more snow.  But recently, I have had visitors to our koi pond in our yard and just had to snap a few pictures.  Signs of Spring?  I still think so…but they are around here all winter long now…but seeing them makes me smile.

Lovely birds don’t you agree..I love the grumpy look on the one looking right at me! LOL

Then this morning..more visitors…7 deer walked across our yard…it was so magickal.  I feel such an affinity with them.  I see them as so magickal and majestic…my heart soars when I can be that close to them!  Here’s a  picture  I caught before they went up in the woods.

Sorry for the misty pics but well, it was a misty morning! 🙂  I have heard many of my facebook friends talking about signs of Spring around their homes..so I know that Spring is coming soon.  To feel the Sun warming the Earth, to see shoots peeking up thru the brown earth, morning bird song, the smell of the grass greening….I can’t wait for those days.  I know you all look forward to those days as well.  Spring is Hope Eternal!

Blessings of Love and Light, Autumn

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Filed under Books I'm reading, Granddaughter, Imbolc, Mother Earth, Photography, Spring