Category Archives: Granddaughter

The Wheel Turns to Beltane 2013……..

thCA8K56D9Merry Meet my friends! Spring has Finally spring here in Ohio!  Though there has been fluctuations…40* one day, 80* the next! …..Spring none-the-less has bloomed.  Spring flowers, flowering bushes and trees are all blooming.  Birdsong in the mornings and I love seeing them at the feeders again…cardinals, finches, sparrows, even woodpeckers!  Squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits are scampering around, kids are playing outside again and adults are working in their yards and gardens.

I had a birthday a few days ago…my 55th! (gasp!!)  🙂  For my birthday present, my hubby built me a raised bed for my veggies and herbs and he put up a clothesline! Something I have missed having in my yard for 16 years!  I finally live in a house with a yard that is sunny enough to have one! You have no idea how excited I am about this LOL…it’s a big deal!  To me, there is nothing like the fresh, clean scent of clothes that have hung outside in the Sun and breeze 🙂  A clothesline brings back wonderful memories for me.  In my mind’s eye, I see my grandmother in her housedress and apron, happily pinning up her linens and clothes while I tag along, with the pins, putting my nose in each and every piece to breathe in the great scent!

My granddaughter, who is 4, was here when I hung out my first load of linens and clothes.  I was overjoyed as she immediately wanted to know what I was doing and why.  As soon as I hung up the bright pink sheets, she did what all kids do..she ran thru the damp sheets, laughing and putting her nose right in them..just like her mommy, my daughter, did when she was a little girl 🙂  I believe more happy memories are being made with that clothesline 🙂

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Beltane is coming up fast! May 1!  Beltane….marking the coming of longer, warmer days, gardens in bloom, faeries scampering thru the flowers and Mother Earth becoming full and in bloom!  Maypoles are erected and danced around, May baskets are happily filled with bright flowers and left on doors, and love and lust is rising in the hearts and souls of young and old alike.  Beltane is a happy, energetic, fun Sabbat!

Here at my house, we will have an outdoor fire and a great meal full of fresh veggies and fruits…a nice light meal.  I’ll start planting my pots of herbs, planting crystals and blessings along with the them.  I’ll ask the Faeries to assist me in success in growing them big, full and magickally!  An offering will be made to Mother Earth and the Fae….honey, bread and wine…to show how grateful I am for their presence in my Life and in my gardens.  I’ll do a ritual under the waning Moon to celebrate the Sabbat as well.

If you’re interested in Beltane correspondences, recipes, ritual, altars etc…just type Beltane into the search engine over to the right here on this page.  There is 3-4 years of info here!  I’m sure you’ll find some things you’ll like 🙂

For Beltane I recommend you spend some time outside, whatever else you do!  Take a walk, plant a tree or flowers, sit by a tree and listen to the breeze thru the young, tender leaves. Make up a May basket and surprise a friend or neighbor with I.  Visit a garden center or a botanical garden or a park. Plan a romantic night with your special someone..and remember! You are a special someone too…so do something for yourself!  One of my favorite things to do for Beltane is to collect some dew overnight…just set out a shallow bowl..and wash my face in it in the morning!  It is said to bring youth and beauty and Goddess knows at 55yo I could use the help 🙂  Try it….it really works!

The  fair maid who, the first of May
  Goes to the fields at break of day
  And washes in dew from the hawthorn tree
  Will ever after handsome be.”
  –  Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme 

May you have the most blessed Beltane! May you feel Love, Joy and youthful exuberance!  Dance..Sing….Be Merry!!

thCA0U7M6S

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

 

 

 

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Filed under Beltane, Faeries, Family, Flowers, Gardens, Goddess, Granddaughter, Herbs, Mother Earth, Nature, Our Yard, Quote, Seasons, Spring

Season of Yule 2011 Begins…….

Merry Meet friends!  I would imagine many of you..like me..are very busy this weekend.  Thanksgiving is just a few days away and I’m in the midst of planning the meal, cleaning house,  grocery shopping, cooking and baking….all while having the first flu bug I’ve had in 5 years! But I love this time of year so I’m plugging along  🙂 Thanksgiving is just a simple traditional meal with my family and extended family.  Easy and laid back and I give Thanks for the blessings in my life.  This year, it also happens to be my granddaugther, Lily’s 3rd birthday, so we’ll be celebrating that as well!  Happy Birthday Lily darlin!!

 

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth,

for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:

 it is the time for home.”

 ~Edith Sitwell

 I love Winter and after a beautiful Autumn, I’m ready for it to be here.  I love everything about this time of year.  The hustle and bustle of busy stores and restaurants.  The music piped in the stores and thru the radio and blaring in my home.  I love the first snowfall and anticipate it coming every year.  Sweaters, coats, scarves and mitten…so colorful and cheerful to see.  The shops all decked out in lights and greens and trees! It’s cooking and baking goodies to give as gifts and to stock the cookie jar.   Making plans with family and friends for Yule parties or  lunches out or seeing a movie together.   Shopping for gifts I know my loved ones want or need and doing my best to make it a beautiful time of year for those I love the most. I feel alot of joy this time of year!

The Winter Solstice though, to me,  is a whole different thing.  Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year,  is about quiet, peace, introspection.  It’s time with family.  It’s a nice dinner with lots of candlelight throughout the house.  It’s about lighting the Yule log and watching it burn.  I spend time contemplating the last year and what I’d like to change in my life in the next year. It’s spiced wine under the Moon and if I’m lucky it’s softly snowing. It’s spending time at my altar in solitude.  My altar will be bright with candlelight and greens and I’ll welcome the coming of the Sun God because though there is still a long winter ahead of us, we know the warmth of the Sun will return.  Yule, the Winter Solstice….is pure magick!

Picture this….The first snows have fallen and cover the earth. The nights are dark, the air is cold and sharp, trees are bare, smoke is pouring out of chimneys, the windows in our homes spill light from our warm, candlelit rooms onto the cold, snowy ground outside.  Our  homes are decorated with twinkling lights and fragrant greens and candles everywhere. A tree covered in glass globes and beloved ornaments stands in the corner. Perhaps cider or wine is warming on the stove. You may be sitting in your easy chair, soft wooly socks on your feet, a blanket thrown over you, a fire burning in your fireplace, a good book on your lap. soft music playing or a favorite christmas movie playing. It’s the Winter Solstice Night. *sigh*  🙂

Yule Correspondences

*Element– Earth

*Threshold– Dawn

*Symbolism– Rebirth of the Sun, The longest night of the year, TheWinter Solstice, introspection,  death of the Holly King (Winter), reign of the Oak King (summer), night of the greatest lunar imbalance, death & rebirth of the Sun God, shortest day of the year.

*Symbols/Tools/Decorations– Yule log, evergreen boughs and wreaths, holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, bayberry candles, lights, gifts, candles, clove studded fruit, wassail, Christmas cactus.

*Herbs– Bayberry, blessed thistle, evergreen, frankincense, holly, laurel ,mistletoe, oak, pine, sage, cedar, moss, bay, ginger, juniper, myrrh, pinecones, rosemary, chamomile, cinnamon.

*Incense/Oils– Pine, cedar, bayberry, cinnamon, ginger, rosemary, frankincense, myrrh, nutmeg, wintergreen, hollyberry

*Colors– Red, green, gold, white, silver,

*Stones/Crystals– Rubies, bloodstones, garnets, emeralds, diamonds, cat’s eye

*Customs/Activities– Caroling, burning the Yule log, decorating the Yule tree, exchanging presents, kissing under the mistletoe, feasting, wassailing, burning candles, ringing bells, honoring Father Yule, family and friend bonding, generosity.

*Foods– Nuts, apples, caraway cakes soaked with cider, pears, ginger tea, roasted turkey, fruitcake, cookies, eggnog, mulled wine, pork dishes.

*Gods– Apollo, Ra, Odin, Lugh, the Oak King, The Green Man, Jesus,

*Goddesses– Brighid, Isis, Demeter, Gaia, Diana, The Great Mother, Mary

*Spellworking/Rituals– Peace, harmony, love, happiness, personal renewal, meditation, honoring family and friends, Festival of light.

The above correspondences will be a help to you for decorating your home, setting up your altar, and for ideas on how to celebrate Yule.  I was raised celebrating Christmas and raised my children the same way…though it was secular..not religious for us.  It was about Santa, presents, family fun…. christmas cards, movies, music. It was secrets, and wrapping, and sneaking peeks, The Night Before Christmas, Rudolf and Frosty. It was shopping, and caroling (yes, caroling), cookie baking, laying under the lit tree in the dark, looking at the beauty of the lights and shiny ornaments.  It was time with grandparents, cousins, aunts & uncles.   To this day we celebrate Christmas with our extended family.  But celebrating Yule, in this house, has enriched our lives with so much more. It is truly a beautiful, magickal time and I really look forward to it.  So as you are curled up in your jammies in your favorite chair, perhaps internet shopping or making lists or watching a holiday movie….start thinking about how you can honor this Sabbat..in a different way then the typical “Christmas” day you may have celebrated as a child. If you have always celebrated Yule..I truly envy you for being raised in such a wonderful magickal way! I wish I had been.

My family likes to do a one! gift exchange that night…something witchy for our cupboard…to make the night even more fun!  Smudge sticks, incense, crystal or stones, essential oils, dried herbs and even a piece of jewelry are favorites to give and receive 🙂  We also like to think of the birds and critters who are holing up for Winter…put out nuts, fruits, birdseed…keep a water supply for them.  We love to do up an outdoor tree with bird seed “ornaments” and cereal “garlands” and watch all the activity it brings 🙂 We make a Yule log centerpiece for our altars.  A piece of white birch, 3 holes drilled to hold a red, green and gold candle, then decorated with holly, greens, star tinsil, berries, ribbon..whatever you like.  Mine is always on my altar throughout the Season. Other ways to celebrate….. Burn bayberry candles for prosperity, or write wishes on bay leaves and throw them into the fire. Bake cookies or bread using cinnamon, a traditional spice representing the Sun. Make a wreath to symbolize the Wheel of the Year, and decorate it with pinecones to represent the God and fruit to represent the Goddess. Spray pinecones with “snow” or glitter, attach a red or green or gold ribbon and hang it on your tree.  Don’t forget the mistletoe, holly and ivy…traditional greens for the Solstice.  Lots and lots of candles are a must!  Burn your dried herbs from your garden in your fireplace to scent the room.  Anyway you can bring nature into your home..do it 🙂 

This is a Winter Sunrise from my porch last Winter!

There is one other thing I love to do for the solstice, on the morning after the longest night of the year, I like to either stay up or get up and watch the sunrise and toast the returning Sun King with spiced cider or a good hot cup of coffee! Welcome Him back and enjoy the feel of the cold morning Air! 

I’ll be back soon with recipes, altar pics and any thoughts I feel like writing about 🙂  During this busy time, take the time to BREATHE!  Don’t get overwhelmed so much that you don’t enjoy this holiday season yourself.  Take care of yourself first so you can care for your loved ones.  Enlist help when needed and always remember to connect with Mother Earth..She will give you energy renewed everytime. Oh and I’ll be back in a few days with a Thanksgiving greeting too! 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

Sources- My BOS, one pic is mine..the rest from the internet, my words 🙂

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Filed under Correspondence, Family, God, Goddess, Granddaughter, Holiday, Mother Earth, Photography, Seasons, Sunrise/Sunset, Winter, Yule/Winter Solstice/Chrismas

Thankful Thursdays………

 Merry Meet friends. What a week I have had…and one that I am most thankful for. First I want to express my sorrow for all the victims of the tornados that have ripped through Joplin, MO, Oklahoma, and various other towns. So many lives lost and homes and businesses destroyed. Truly a very sad time. I pray for everyone affected by the devastation and loss of loved ones.  Blessed Be…….

One of the things I am thankful for this week is that my family and friends here in our area are all ok after we had some bad storms come through both on Monday evening and again on Wednesday evening. There were tornado touchdowns in more then one place, huge hail that caused a lot of damage, high winds and heavy rain. We escaped basically unscathed and for that I am most grateful. I have a healthy respect for what our Mother Earth can do..she is all powerful and her storms were mighty.  Again, I am just most grateful that at least in my area, everyone is all right.

The thing I am most grateful for this week..is during those tornados and storms on Monday evening..my grandson, Charlie Matthew was being born! He came in crying to the world at 9 lbs 1 oz..21 inches long…and gorgeous! A big beautiful boy! He has dark hair and dark eyes right now but not sure that it’ll remain that way. He looks sooo much like his big sister Lily that is it uncanny. My daughter was amazing all day as well. She was so calm and happy and handled it all like a mother goddess. I was so proud of her. Our whole family is thrilled with our new little guy and I am most grateful that both him and my daughter are healthy and that all went perfectly. I am one happy Nana! Oh, and he has barely cried since. He is so calm, quiet, peaceful and adorable! Such a good baby. 🙂  We have been most blessed by him and I am so lucky to be able to watch him grow, to help guide him as a grandparent, to love him….just as I did my own girls and my darling granddaughter who came just 2 years before him.  I really love being a Nana..it brings me great joy!

Charlie and me!

“What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies.”                 ~Rudolph Giuliani

 

 I am thankful for our friends including all of our facebook family who were so supportive and excited right along with us. You all made our journey even more fun and more meaningful….you all showed much love and it’s something my daughters and I especially are very grateful for. We felt your love, your prayers, your positive energy you sent to Kate and baby (and myself) along the way. It was wonderful! Thank you so much!

I am thankful for:

-Being with my daughter as she gave birth

-For the staff at the hospital who were so great.

-For family and friends who brought in good food for all of us at the hospital

-For my sister and hubby and our home care nurses who took care of Sara and our house while I was busy helping Kate and Matt.

-For diet root beer which I missed for 3 days LOL

-For coffee in the morning

-For the weather being cool enough to open windows today

-For a nice holiday weekend coming up..weather looks great

-For finding some new summer shirts that I like

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow!”    –Melanie Beattie

Finding things to be grateful for is again, part of my path as a pagan and a witch. I feel that finding things everyday to be thankful for makes my life more complete, happier and makes me feel content with what I have…and not worried about what I don’t have. Right now…I have a most wonderful life and no complaints. I hope that you all can say that you have that too. Don’t get me wrong..there are some problems too..even big ones. But I always feel the good outweighs the bad…the glass is half full so to speak. I am most blessed in many ways. What is blessing your life today?

Love and Light, Autumn

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Filed under Daughters, Family, Granddaughter, Grandson, Mother Earth, Photography, Quote, Thank You!, Thankful Thursdays

Thankful Thursday…….

Merry Meet everyone!  Hope you all are enjoying your Spring so far and that you had a wonderful Beltane celebration. I know I did….Spring, so far has been mostly rainy!  But today we had a gorgeous sunny day!  I am feeling more energetic just seeing it. 

I have seen many bloggers doing the thankful Thursday blogs…so today that is what I am doing.  I do try very hard to live a grateful life…to be appreciative of the small things and the big things that happen in my life.  I start out my day thanking the Goddess for the day..and end thankful for what the day gave me.  It is thru gratefulness that we truly appreciate what is given..if we don’t notice something enough to be thankful for it..then we don’t notice it at all.

First off….I’m grateful for my cats Harley and Jasper.  My cats are the sweetest souls and they calm me and make me very happy.  My cat Harley had to have an emergency surgery last week….which ended up not being necessary. 😦  Due to a kidney problem, it was possible that she wouldnt’ have survived it..but she did and after hiding away for 4 days….the last two she seems more like herself again, moving better and is back on my lap purring and getting her love.  Jasper was worried about her and it was so sweet seeing it…I love my cats!

I am also grateful for the gift of a Sunny day after so many rainy days.  I am appreciative though of what the rain wrought.  Everything is so green and lush and blooming.  It smells wonderful out and seeing Mother Earth back in full swing is just awesome!  After a long winter, I feel more energized and can’t wait to get my gardens planted and be outside more!  My porch is calling me too 🙂

I am grateful for my morning routine of coffee and my facebook friends.  I have THE BEST facebook friends!  I have made some real friendships that I know will last…and you all know who you are 🙂  They make me laugh, cry, think, give of myself, and help me to become a better person.  They also keep me excited and happy in my path.  and they make me proud to be a witch!  I love you guys!

I am grateful for the occasional drives I take with my daughter Kate and my granddaughter Lily. While Lily sleeps….Kate and I have time to be just the two of us.  To really talk and connect and spend time together.  I love that we have those precious hours.

Quick things I’m so thankful for….

-the smell of a Jasmine candle

-a new bar of deliciously scented soap

-a good glass of wine

-A Snickers ice cream bar

-Dogwoods Blooming

-new footie socks

-breakfast out

-my daughter Sara’s smile

-the smell of fresh cut grass

-Adele’s New CD (it’s awesome!)

-kitchin witchin using herbs and oils and great smelling stuff

-Lilacs!

-Frogs singing at night when the windows are open

Lastly for today, I am most grateful for being a Nana.  I had nothing but pure joy being a mom and raising my daughters.  Watching them grow into the beautiful young women they have become has been remarkable to me and I’m beyond proud of them and love them so much.  Now I have the added joy of being a grandparent and it is so much fun!  I think because I’m older and Nana, not mom, I can just sit back and watch my Lily grow and learn and develop her own personality.  I find her remarkable, smart, silly and full of life and joy and adorable.  In less then 3 weeks my joy will be doubled..when baby Charlie Matthew gets here..a grandson!  Life as Nana is truly good 🙂  I am blessed.

Take time in your day to be thankful…I have kept a journal for about 15 years and I always try to write a few things I’m grateful for when I do.  No matter how bad the day is…trust me..something good happened too…did you notice it?  At the end of the day, it’s the small things in life that matter the most.  What are you thankful for? 

“As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily.  The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world”.  ~Terri Guillemets

 

Blessed Be, Autumn

Sources..Me!  Some pics are mine and some are from the internet…..

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Filed under Daughters, Family, Granddaughter, My cats, My Favorite Things, Photography, Quote, Spring, Thank You!, Thankful Thursdays

Devastation and Regeneration…….

Hello my friends.  I write this with a heavy heart.  Today has been a terrible day in Japan and other places in the world affected by the 8.9 earthquake and resulting aftershocks and tsunamis. I know that you all join me in sending love, comfort and healing to the victims of this terrible tragedy.  Mother Earth is shifting and the effect is very dramatic and devastating.  There are earthquakes so often and they always seem to be  worse “someplace else”,  but we are all here on Earth together and the tragedy does indeed and should affect us All.   Many are saying that Mother Earth is angry and wreaking havoc…well that may or may not be true.  I prefer to think that She is not doing anything to hurt us or to punish us. That does not sound like the beautiful, loving Goddess I know.  I DO believe however that She has a right to be angry with us.  We have done Her great harm as a people.  Our treatment of Her has not been good for Her or the creatures,  plantlife, sealife, air we breathe, water we drink….we have done serious damage to this Earth we love so much.  Pagans feel the pain She is going thru as we have such an affinity for our Mother and want to take care of Her, Heal Her, treat Her better!  As my heart goes out to the victims of this day..my heart also goes out to our Mother Earth.  May this be a reminder to take care of Her the best we can. 

“How I do love the earth. I feel it thrill under my feet. I feel somehow as if it were conscious of my love, as if something passed into my dancing blood from it.”

                                                                                               James Russell Lowell

It is almost Spring and every witches heart is turning to thoughts of her garden….the flowers, herbs, and veggies that we will tenderly plant, and watch grow, and harvest and use in mundane and magickal ways.  Digging in the dirt, feeling it in my hands and under my feet, the rich smell, is one way to connect with the Earth Mother.  There is no way you won’t appreciate what She gives to us after planting a garden.  With that in mind, I planted my herb seeds today…to try to connect to the Earth while this terrible day unfolded.  I had shopped for my pots, soil, markers and seeds last week and the time is right to plant here in Ohio..and the Sun came out and melted the night’s snow away..put me in the mood for sure.

As you can see..I’m all set to get started.  The pots are peat pots that you can plant right in the ground or outdoor pots when your seeds are ready.  They just become part of the soil.  I bought herbs like rosemary, thyme, sage, basil, lavender, chamomile, dill, organo, cilantro/coriander, parsley, catnip…hum..just realized I didnt’ get mint yet.  I also got soapwort flowers…haven’t grown them from seeds before but thought I’d try.  The first thing you do is fill each pot with good soil to start seeds.  Mine is organic which I find necessary in my book 🙂 

As I fill the pots, I visualize the dirt as rich in nutrients and see my herbs growing big and strong because of it. As I filled mine..I got a visitor…my little Harley..who is always by my side..came to help. 🙂

After filling, I water down the pots and soil til the pots are damp.  Then comes the fun part.  I love to see the seeds, what they look like, do they have a scent? 

 I just poke my finger in the pot, drop in the seeds, press down the dirt and place a marker with the name of the herb in the pot.  Once done, give them a good watering again.  That’s it..all done.  Now place in a sunny window..water frequently and watch them grow for the next 6 weeks.  Transfer to patio pots or the ground once you get past all chance of frost. 

All done..easy peasy?   Nah….I’m a witch..there is another step.  I have to bless my seeds.  Spell them to grow as magickal and strong as they can be….for use in future spells, teas, medicinal remedies, loose incense recipes, cooking…I want them to be full strength!  I like this seed blessing for its simplicity……I found it on Llewellyn’s spell a day but changed up the words a bit to suit me. 

Seed Blessing Ritual

Spread your seed packets on your altar or kitchen table. Burn a green candle dressed with vetivert. Spend some time visualizing the beautiful garden you’ll have this year. Hold your hands over the seeds and say:

Blessed Gaia, mother of us all,

Make these plants grow strong and tall.

Herbs and Flowers sweet and bright,

 
Blessed by the Sun and pale moonlight

 I’ll tend them well as they grow

So magick will abound and flow

By my will and with harm to none

By fire and oil, this spell is done.

 Then you will go ahead and plant as I’ve described above.  I have been perusing my herbal books and buying new herbal books and am working with a friend on learning more about herbalism..even taking an online class.  I have made some herbal remedies here and there but I intend to do so much more in the future.  This is another way that I can get closer to the Earth…to plant, grow, harvest, dry, and make herbals is a great way to honor Her.  Living off the land so to speak. 

I wish you all well with your gardens this year….put all the magick you can muster up into your work and you will be blessed with an abundant garden filled with sweet smelling herbs, colorful flowers and warm from the Sun veggies.  Feel blessed in your hard work and know that you are connecting with the Divine Mother. 

“He who would have beautiful roses in his garden

must first have beautiful roses in his heart”

                          Samuel Reynolds Hole

Blessings of Love and Light, Autumn

 

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Filed under Discussion, Flowers, Garden, Granddaughter, Herbs, Mother Earth, My cats, Nature, Photography, Quote, Ritual, Spells, Spring

More Ostara Recipes……..

Merry Meet!  Hope you all are having a great weekend so far!  It has rained here for 2 solid days!  I have been able to stay inside and out of the weather.  Hanging by the warm fire, crocheting, reading, house puttering.  I had the pleasure of watching my little granddaughter Lily last night while her Mommy and Daddy attended a special family event out of town.  Lily and I had alot of fun.  We read books, built castles and towers out of blocks, watched Care Bears and Cat in the Hat, and I listened to her talk non-stop and marvel at how brilliant she is! 🙂  I’m really not kidding..she is so smart, and adorable and I just love her!  Tonight my family all went to dinner at our favorite pizza place and celebrated my husband’s birthday which is tomorrow.  That was worth going out in the rain for!  Tomorrow I am going to buy my seeds, organic pots and soil so I can start my herbs to growing.  I’m also going to the craft and fabric shop to hunt for an Ostara cloth for my altar and maybe I’ll find some items worthy of my altar as well.  So fun looking! 🙂

I promised to write more recipes as soon as I got one I was looking for from a facebook friend.  I received it this morning so here it is along with a couple of others

Irish Stew …..from Nancy-ann Sorrell (thanks Nancy-ann Hugs!)

4 to 6 servings

1 1/2 lbs Lamb, cut into cubes

3/4 cup sliced onion

 2 sliced carrots 

2.5 Lbs potatoes … sliced or cubed

Put in bottom of a heavy pan a layer of potatoes , a layer of meat , and a few slices of onion …repeat twice , ending with potatoes on top …season each layer with salt and pepper … add to the pot … 1 bay leaf … pour over the layers : 2 cups boiling stock or water … and two tbs.  finely chopped parsley …

Bring to the boil… cover …. simmer gently for 2.5 hours or until meat is tender … Shake pot from time to time to keep potatoes from sticking to the bottom … when done moisture should have been absorbed by the potatoes.

You can also bake in a moderate oven…just watch it closely.
Nice served with fresh green beans / or frozen peas and squash .  Sounds delcious Nancy-ann..can’t wait to try it!

Fish is a perfect food to serve for Ostara to go with all those fresh fruits and veggies.  This is a favorite!

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

*Feeds 2-3 double if necessary

3 -4 tilapia fillets, depending on size

1/4 cup breadcrumbs or 1/4 cup crushed Ritz cracker

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon italian seasoning

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon lemon juice

salt

pepper

garlic powder

olive oil

 Thaw and wash tilapia fillets if frozen. Pat dry on paper towels. 
 Combine crumbs, parmesan, italian seasoning and garlic powder on a plate, mixing well.  On a different plate, pour 1 tbsp lemon juice.

 Working 1 at a time, place a fillet on the plate in the lemon juice, sprinkle with desired amount of kosher salt (be careful about how much salt is in your parmesan, crumbs, and other seasonings), black pepper, and garlic powder. Turn the fillet over in the lemon juice and sprinkle seasoning on the other side.

Dredge fillet in the parmesan mixture patting it all over to coat.

 Place in an oiled baking dish, repeat with remaining fillets.

Sprinkle a little lemon juice over fillets and drizzle or spray them lightly with olive oil.  Bake at 425ºF for about 20 minutes or until they easily flake with a fork and edges are browning (you can sprinkle some more parmesan on top if desired).

This is so good with crusty bread and a salad.  Add a baked potato if you’d like! 🙂 

and now for dessert!

Strawberry Refrigerator Cake

1 Strawberry Cake Box Mix

2 (10oz) pkgs sweetened frozen sliced strawberries, thawed

1 pkg vanilla instant pudding and pie mix

1 cup milk

2 cups whipped topping

Fresh strawberries for garnish.

Preheat oven to 350*  Grease and flour 13″ x 9″ baking dish.  Prepare cake as directed, bake and cool.  After it is cool, poke holes in the cake using the handle of a wooden spoon about 1″ apart.

Puree thawed strawberries and their juice in a blender.  Pour evenly over top of the cake allowing the mixture to soak into the holes.

Prepare pudding mix following pkg directions using just 1 cup of milk.  Fold whipped topping into the pudding.  Spread over the cake.  Garnish with fresh strawberries.  Refrigerate at least 4 hours before eating and keep refrigerated until gone.

This cake is really good!  It is very refreshing and light..you will love it!!  I’ll tell you a secret too.  If you want to really simplify it..after putting the strawberries in the holes, just put whipped topping on the cake!  Simple and easy and still delicious!

I have given you enough recipes now to choose something delicious to make for your family for Ostara!  All easy, wonderful recipes.  Set a pretty table. Use pastel colors with white dishes or pastel dishes with a nice white tablecloth.  Make a centerpiece of a basket filled with eggs and bright colored “grass”.  Or fill a vase with daffodils or tulips.  Something I love to do is to put a thin clear glass vase inside of a larger clear glass vase.  Then fill the space between the vases with jelly beans!  Put flowers and water in the inside vase.  It is so cute and will draw rave reviews!

Next time I write about Ostara, I will be posting a ritual and pics and ideas for Ostara altars!  Blessings of Love and Light until then.  Oh, I am most grateful to those of you who not only come and read my blog, but who leave me lovely comments and come back again 🙂 

Blessed Be, Autumn 

 

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Filed under Family, Flowers, Granddaughter, Holiday, Recipe from my Kitchen, Spring

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

Feeding the birds in winter……

Merry Meet my friends and Blessed Full Frost Moon!  The Moon is gorgeous tonight here..huge and yellow in the sky..just a few clouds floating lazily across Her.  I have been very busy the last few days.  I have a busy week as I’m sure many of you do too.  Thanksgiving is at my house this year and my granddaughter’s 2nd birthday party is here on sunday!  I managed to get my home cleaned and decorated for Yule/Christmas the last couple of days.  Today the grocery shopping got done..Wed.  I’ll be cooking all day and getting ready! 🙂 

In the midst of all this busyness, I got a call from my daughter Kate asking me to come for a visit..of course I went..I never turn down a chance to see her and my darling little Lily.  After visiting a bit, we decided to do a project  that Lily would enjoy.  We decided to feed the birds!  This is a great fun project ..even for the little ones…because its fun and easy.  The idea is to make “ornaments” for an outdoor tree.  I have listed some ideas below and the how-tos on how to make these natural bird feeders.  Lily had such a great time and stuck with it for quite some time.  We then went out and decorated a tree in their yard.  We made a memory for all of us! 🙂

I have always loved birds…I just love watching them and we have had feeders and a bird bath for as long as I can remember.  My particular favorite, cardinals. who mate for life by the way, give my soul a lift when I see them at the feeder or sitting on a branch singing or you catch that bright red on a snowy winter day.  We get alot of birds here in Ohio in the winter.  Those beautiful cardinals, blue jays, finches, sparrows, titmice, doves, woodpeckers and other birds I’m not sure of the names of 🙂  We live near a wetlands and get alot of different species.  We have  had a heron land in our yard many times to visit our pond.    We keep our feeders filled and try to keep our bird bath clean and filled with water that isn’t frozen.   We have a koi pond with a waterfall and at any time during the winter, we will see birds bathing and drinking at the waterfall.  We have alot of trees for shelter also.

Some other ways to feed the birds..especially if you’re on a budget is to get creative.  Yes, bird feeders are nice but there are fun ways to feed them and to have fun while you’re doing it! 🙂

Bagel or Pinecone Treat  Take some regular bagels and slice them in half. Spread the cut side with either peanut butter or honey. Sprinkle the bagels with birdseed that you can purchase at nurseries or any place that sells pet supplies. To hang the bagels on your tree, thread a short length of cording through the center of the hole in the bagel and knot the ends to make a loop. Hang the treat on various branches of the tree for the birds to feed on. If you wanted you could also use yarn to hang the treat on the tree, so that in the spring the birds can re-use the yarn in their nests. Jute or hemp is good too for hanging.  You can do this with a large pine cone as well.

Cereal Garland
 String some dry cereal such as Cheerios on the string.  I also like to use apple jacks or fruit loops.   When hanging the cereal garland on the tree, group several strands together so it’s easier for the birds to eat. Drape the garland all over the tree as you would with your Christmas tree.

Corn on the Cob Treats
Wrap some wire around the top of a corn cob, leaving a loop for hanging.  Hang the corn cob on the branches of the tree by the wire loop.  The squirrels and chipmunks will love this too!

Apple Treats
Cut a short length of wire and fold it in half. Wrap the loose ends of the wire around the apple stem, leaving a loop to hang the apple with. Hang the apples from the tree branches with the wire loop.  Birds love fruit and berries.  Try to have trees that will bear fruit and berries in your yard.

Some other natural ways of feeding and sheltering  birds…grow flowers that have seed heads such as sunflowers…leave the seed heads on the flowers instead of cutting down the flowers. Throw  your left over or stale bread, muffins, nuts, berries right on the ground.  Keep a water source.  Use a live christmas tree…after christmas..put it in your yard to help shelter birds.  Hang bird houses.  Plant trees.  The birds will come to your yard if you make it “homey” for them! 🙂  Oh yes, you will want to have a camera and a pair of binoculars available as well.

                            “Watching birds has become part of my daily meditation affirming my connection to the earth body.”….Carol P. Christ

I think this quote is so true.  Watching birds..the beauty of nature…will help you to feel the connection to our Mother Earth.  And caring for her creatures….that connects Mother Earth  to us! 🙂  So feed the birds this winter, take time to watch them while you’re having your morning cup, listen to their song, and appreciate the beauty that is right there for you to enjoy.

Blessed Be, Autumn

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Filed under Family, Full Moons, Granddaughter, Mother Earth, Nature, Winter

Giving Thanks…..

Merry Meet my friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful Samhain..I know I did.  It was a gorgeous weekend weather wise for us..cool and crisp and sunny!  Just perfect.  We spent Beggar’s night at my daughters so we could pass out candy for them while my little granddaughter went out trick or treating with her mommy and daddy.  She is almost 2 and only made it to 6 houses before she had enough and wanted to go home!  She wanted to be with me and her grandfather and Auntie!  We had great pizza and ate candy and visited…it was a nice night.  Samhain night was just for me at my altar..quietly honoring my loved ones and ancestors and yes, my pets, who have passed on.  It was a beautiful experience and I believe that some of them came for a visit.  On Nov 1 night, I shared a beautiful formal circle celebration ritual with my sisters in spirit…it was magickal also.  While I was outside doing my ritual…two gorgeous Does decided to walk across our yard..not far from me…stopped and checked me out and then walked on their way!  It was so amazing as I have always felt that Deer are one of my totem animals.  I find them so mystical and I think it was a message from my ancestors!  For me, a perfect Samhain..and I hope yours was too.

Now, its November and it is the month of Thanksgiving.  For this month, via my facebook page and here on my blog, I will be talking about thankfulness and gratitude and random acts of kindess.  As a Witch, and a daughter of the Goddess,  I believe that Love is why we are here…what the world is all about..What Goddess and God, however you see them…want for us.  I found this quote and I thought I needed to post it here….

“It is literally true, as the thankless say, that they have nothing to be thankful for.  He who sits by the fire, thankless for the fire, is just as if he had no fire.  Nothing is possessed save in appreciation, of which thankfulness is the indispensable ingredient.  But a thankful heart hath a continual feast.”                  ~W.J. Cameron

I totally believe this quote to be true.  If we live without gratitude…then we have nothing…because we don’t notice it, don’t appreciate it, take it for granted.  If we aren’t grateful for what we have…then it might as well not be there!!

 I learned of the book “Simple Abundance” by Sarah Ban Breathnach about 16-17 years ago on a tv show.  I was struck by the idea of finding something to be thankful for every day.  I bought the book, read it, and it really did change my life.  I started a journal right then and to this day, I keep a journal and write in it; sometimes everyday, sometimes once-twice a month.  In these journals (I have about 20 now), every day that I write in it, I write what I am grateful for on that given day.  Sometimes, it’s hard to find something…but with practice, I learned that it got easier and easier.  Finding gratitude in the small things has changed my life for the better.  I am happier with what I have and who I am.

What are you grateful for today?  It could be big stuff…like the birth of a child, buying a house, money coming your way, a marriage.  But most days..it could be that it wasn’t raining, that the baby slept thru the night, that you didn’t burn dinner, that your mother was in a good mood, or that your husband helped you clean up dishes after dinner.  But even those mundane everyday things, noticing them and appreciating them makes your life better!  Soon you will notice, the sun shining in the window onto your breakfast table, the pretty pitcher that was your grandmothers that you serve your OJ in, the smell of your kids fresh from their bath, the feel of your cat curled up next to you,..I could go on and on.  But you get my point.  Everyday make a point to NOTICE something to be thankful for.  Maybe you would be inspired to keep a notebook or a journal and jot them down…soon that list will grow and grow.  Something bad happen to you or you had a bad day?  Find the silver lining…it’s there I promise.  I have been thru alot of sad and terrible things in my life and yet, I have found the silver lining in almost every situation.  This wasn’t always the case I promise you..I’m not Mary Sunshine…but finding a way to find grace in every day…made my life lovely.

Today, I will thank each of you who come to visit my blog.  I appreciate you and am thankful for you.  I have a lot of readers but not alot of subscribers.  Sign up to follow me..I’d love to have more of you as subscribers.  It just means you’ll get an email when I write a new post.  Thank you so much for those who leave comments too.  I am also grateful today for being an American and having the right to vote!  I voted..did you?

Until my next post, thank you and Blessed Be, Autumn

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Filed under Books I'm reading, Family, Granddaughter, Quote, Ritual, Samhain, Thank You!

A Full Moon, herbs and Lily…….

Merry Meet friends….I hope you are all staying cool in the hot muggy weather…feels like August instead of June!  We have had alot of rain and storms but it’s  a good thing as our grass remains green and lush, the gardens are well watered, the birds and critters have plenty of water…and it cools things down a bit after the rain.

I had a wonderful Full Moon on saturday..Strong Sun Moon…She was big, bright, and beautiful!  Yellowish orange until She rose higher in the sky.  Fate would have it that we didn’t have storms that night and I was able to attend to Her and see Her very well!  I always recharge my jewelry, crystals, ritual tools etc when I can see Her moonlight and it can fall on my witchy stuff! 🙂  I also made up a fresh batch of Blessed Water and did a personal ritual.  The best part though is just sitting and drawing in Her energy..to feel the power coming into me, grounding me, filling me with magick, calm, peace.  There is nothing like it.

I also spent some time today harvesting some of my herbs.  Some I will dry and some I have put in a jar of fresh water to use fresh, namely cilantro for salsa and chives for numerous reasons!  My cats will be very happy when the catnip is dried and ready and I will be very happy when my dill, basil, mint, marjoram, rosemary, and lemon balm is ready…both for cooking and for my witchy needs!

I am also busy working on an online class I signed up for thru Ellen Dugan called “The Harvest Sabbats.”  The harvest sabbats are Lammas or Lughnassad which is Aug 1, Mabon which is in September, and Samhain which of course is Oct. 31.  These are my favorite sabbats of the year because they are all about fall..which as you can tell by my name..is  my favorite time of year!  Ellen Dugan is amazing and this class is based on her book “The Autumn Equinox”…which I’ve already read and highly recommend.  Her books are so great!!

My grandaughter Lily loves to help me in my garden too…She is so adorable, loves to be outside..a real nature girl!! 

Now tell me that isn’t just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen!  LOL…I love being a Nana and I love my little nature girl!

I wish you all a lovely summer, with ladybugs and dragonflies, with flowers and their perfume, with warm starry nights and time with your loved ones to have fun in the sun!

Blessed Be, Autumn

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Filed under Full Moons, Garden, Granddaughter, Herbs