Category Archives: My cats

Blessed Mabon 2014…………

 

“Smoke hangs like haze over harvested fields,
The gold of stubble, the brown of turned earth
And you walk under the red light of fall
The scent of fallen apples, the dust of threshed grain
The sharp, gentle chill of fall.
Here as we move into the shadows of autumn
The night that brings the morning of spring
Come to us, Lord of Harvest
Teach us to be thankful for the gifts you bring us …”
–  Autumn Equinox Ritual

 

Merry Meet my friends!  Autumn has arrived here in Ohio!  Even though Mabon isn’t until the 23rd, Autumn is here none the less. I for one, couldn’t be more Happy about it! My favorite time of year!!  Already I feel like a heavy load has been lifted.  The heat and humidity of Summer makes me feel heavy, weighed down, and tired.  I am energized as the cool days and even cooler nights are upon us.  We have had our first (and second and third) fires in the fireplace!  There is nothing more cozy to me than a fire on an Autumn evening.

 

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My oven has been busy with baking. My crockpot is on the counter permanently, garden beds are cleaned up of flowers that are spent and I’m about to harvest a huge amount of herbs..most of them for the last time this year.  Summer couch covers are washed and put away, warm blankets have been brought out, the chimney and furnace have been inspected and cleaned, a cord of wood has been ordered, and Winter clothes are in the closets and Summer clothes put away for next year.  Autumn cleaning is near finished.

We are seeing some color in the leaves already as I showed you on my last posting.  Some trees have lost their leaves completely, but there is LOTS of color still to come.  Bees still abound in my gardens. Birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and other ground animals are gathering frantically.  This morning I had a huge amount of activity at my bird and squirrel feeders.  I had a couple dozen mourning doves, a pair of cardinals, 3, yes 3! male blue jays, a Flicker woodpecker and multiple finches, sparrows and other small birds.  Our white squirrel Luna, other gray squirrels and several chipmunks were also scurrying and gathering! It was wonderful to watch.  I still have my hummingbird feeder up for migrating hummers, but we haven’t seen one for a few days now. If you don’t already, please think about feeding these animals and birds…to help them through the long hard Winter we are being promised again this year.  You will get so much pleasure out of it!

 

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My Mabon altar is set up and plans are made for my Circle/Tribe to meet on Sunday evening here.  There will be an outdoor fire, weather permitting, desserts, spiced cider and good company!  Several of us are also attending our local Pagan festival on Saturday which we are looking forward to.  For several of us, it’s our first time to go!  I am usually on vacation this time of year so haven’t been able to attend.  I can’t wait!

 

Yesterday, I was flipping through a Taste of the South magazine and came across a recipe that sounded so yummy I thought I’d share it here with you.  It sounds soooo spicy and good for Fall!  The picture is theirs as well.

 

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Orange-Cardamom Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt

1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder

2 1⁄2 cups sugar

1 1⁄2 cups whole milk

1 cup vegetable oil

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons orange zest

1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1⁄4 teaspoon ground cardamom

Orange Glaze (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 2 (8×4-inch) loaf pans with nonstick baking spray with flour. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
In another medium bowl, beat sugar, milk, oil, eggs, zest, vanilla, and cardamom at medium speed with an electric mixer until well combined. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until smooth.
Divide batter evenly between prepared pans.
Bake 30 minutes. Loosely cover with aluminum foil, and bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, approximately 30 minutes more.
Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
Drizzle with Orange Glaze.

 

Orange Glaze
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest
1⁄3 cup fresh orange juice
In a medium bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar and orange zest and juice until smooth.
I will be making this recipe this week.  It sounds yummy!  I think my Circle ladies will like it! 🙂  I hope you try it too!
I am most anxious for the next couple months of Autumn weather and the first snows of Winter.  There is just something about this time of year to me.  I call it nesting…coming indoors.  Warmth of fire, smell of woodsmoke and candles, something simmering on the stove or baking in the oven, warm beverages, perhaps crochet or a book on my lap (and a cat or two of course) are all just so cozy to me.  I turn more inward, I am a bit less busy, more time for introspection, journaling, writing, reading etc.  Having said that, this is also my favorite time of year to go for a walk, to spend time walking on crisp, bright colored leaves in my warm jacket and gloves, seeing Mother Earth in all her glory….well it’s just a NEED!  I know many of you have the same need!  To grab every minute we can of the beauty that is our Mother.
I’m wishing you all a very Joyful and Blessed Mabon!  To you and yours!  May you find the balance in your life as Mabon, the Equinox, brings balance of day and night.  Prepare yourself for the dark months of the Year.  Blessed Be!
Blessing and Love, Autumn
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Filed under Autumn, Flowers, Gardens, Herbs, Holiday, Mabon, Mother Earth, My cats, My Favorite Things, My Writing, Nature, Photography, Poem, Recipe from my Kitchen, Ritual, Seasons, Spice, Winter

Blessed Ostara 2014………….

Merry Meet my friends! The first day of Spring has finally arrived! Here…it’s not that warm..in the 40’s… but the Sun is shining, a soft breeze is blowing, birds are singing and I am seeing some Spring bulbs poking out of the ground and trees budding if I look real, real close 🙂

I started out the day greeting the Sun as He rose while having a cup of coffee. I lit a candle in gratitude for the turning of the Wheel and the return of the Sun. I re-filled bird feeders and put out some dried corn for the squirrels once I got dressed. Once I did that, I headed out to the florist (NO tulips or daffodils yet anywhere!) and purchased a mixed flower bouquet. Then I went to the garden center and got 6 herb seed packets and a couple of starter trays.

 

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Now I have started my herbs from seeds for many years, at my old home where I had a perfect place to do it. Here at this house…while I have sunny East facing windows, I can’t put pots of dirt and seeds there with 2 kitties who will have fun with that! LOL. So I’m going to attempt to grow a few in my kitchen window on the sill. I planted 4 each of lavender, sage, basil, parsley, thyme and rosemary. We shall see what happens but it made me happy on this Spring Equinox day to do it. I set crystals on my window sill too and did a seed blessing as I planted them. (for my seed blessing..be sure to type Ostara into the search box on the right).

My altar has been ready for a week or so now, so I added the pretty flowers and I’m ready to go. I have smudged the house and cracked a few windows as well. I’m doing small things to celebrate the day, all day long, and tonight I will do a Welcome Spring ritual at my altar.

 

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Now I am hearing that we will have lovely warm weather tomorrow but probably some rain… then temps will drop back into Winter weather and we have SNOW forecasted for Tuesday! 🙂 Now this is just typical for where I live here in Ohio…give it a day and it will change again. I’m not going to let it spoil my Spring though and don’t you let it either. As a Witch, we can feel the quickening of our Mother Earth. She is awakening most definitely and it won’t be long before we will be merrily working in our gardens and complaining about the heat LOL.

I hope you and your loved ones have a very Blessed Ostara. May Joy, Love, Peace, Abundance and Light be yours today and always!

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Altars, Flowers, Gardens, God, Goddess, Herbs, Mother Earth, My cats, Nature, Ostara, Seasons, Spring, Winter

Thankful Thursday 2/16/2012…….

Merry Afternoon my friends.  I’ve ended up having a quiet stay- at- home day today due to my daughter Sara not feeling well.  It’s a rainy, gloomy day and fairly warm..in the 40’s.  I spent the morning putting on a big crockpot of vegetable soup and set out some yeast rolls to thaw.  I spent a little time on doing and filing my taxes (done!) and a bit of paperwork.  Now I’m just listening to pretty music on my Pandora radio, relaxing ….and decided to write a blog Post. 

I changed the theme of my blog…the picture of the gorgeous cardinal is my own photography.  Captured him one  day when we had a bit of snow to show him off to his brightest red!  I adore cardinals..have always been drawn to them. I make sure we put out black oil sunflower seeds for them..it really draws them to the feeder. I’m always astounded at their beauty and happy to see them.  How appropriate that our little schoolhouse feeder is red as well.  Made for a beautiful picture 🙂 

Today..I’m doing a Thankful Thursday…I haven’t done one in a while..and I’m feeling quite full of gratitude on this quiet, rainy afternoon.

 

–I’m so thankful for you all….my readers.  I now have over 214 followers and over 41,000 hits on my blog.  I also had my biggest week of hits ever..the week of Imbolc.  Thank you so so much for having an interest in what I write.  It gives me some motivation to keep doing it. I appreciate it much!

–I’m grateful that all of my family who were sick the last couple weeks with the stomach virus…are all much better and on the mend, including myself.  Unfortunately, I think my daughter Sara may have a touch of it now. We are waiting and watching and taking good care of her.

–I’m grateful for a rainy day.  There is something about a rainy day that brings quiet to my house…slows things down a bit…and of course it will help bring Spring soon to Mother Earth!

–I’m grateful for the smell of delicious veggie soup brewing away and knowing my hubby and brother will enjoy it when they get home from work.

–I’m grateful for the kitties on my lap while I’m trying to type this LOL!  They make it a bit difficult to type 🙂    I love them so much…they help me feel loved and contented.

 

–I’m grateful for beautiful celtic music ….music soothes my soul…or winds me up..whichever I need 🙂

–For Words with Friends…..LOL  Just sayin 🙂 

–For the fun of a new recipe book to peruse on a rainy day.  Can’t wait to try out the recipes. Oh…it’s a Gooseberry Patch cookbook, called Fresh from the Farmstand.  It’s all recipes for using fruits and vegetables!  Will be wonderful for the summer!

–For a hot cup of coffee on a sleepy, rainy afternoon!

–The smell of patchouli incense burning beside me.

–Peppermint foot lotion

–My hubby’s gift of an eco watch to me for Valentine’s Day..and that he thought of his daughters and grandkids too.  He is a sweet guy 🙂

–That my brother who has lived with us for 6 months due to moving here from PA and looking for a job..found at least a part time job til something better for him comes along.  He is happier working.

–For my family…always…who bring me joy every day.  My daughters, grandchildren, son-in-law, husband..they are my world.

–For my magickal family…who everyday show me what the love of true friendship is….they are ALWAYS there for me and I’m always there for them.  You all know who you are!!!  I love you!

–For the time to work on my Book of Shadows this month.  I decided to use binders..which was the perfect thing for me and it’s coming along fabulously!  I’ve loved working on it!

–For Masterpiece Theatre…Downton Abbey…I have thoroughly enjoyed this mini series.  If you haven’t watched it..check it out.  I’m sure PBS runs it often.  Sometimes I wonder if I lived during that time..it feels so familiar to me. 

 

–I am also most grateful for my path…My Moonlit, Goddess loving, Witchy path.  I am so content in every way with my spiritual life.  I’m so Blessed the Goddess lead me to Her.  I have Joy in abundance!!

I’m a very lucky person.  My life isn’t easy always….but it’s a good one.  Full of love, beauty, joy, friendship, &  family.  Anything that comes along that’s not those things…we just work to make them so.  Life is too short not to appreciate the little things…they are, after all, what makes Life so precious.  I’m most Blessed. 

What are you thankful for today?  I hope you have more things then you can count!  Blessings my friends!

 Love, Autumn

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Filed under Family, Goddess, Music, My cats, My Favorite Things, My Writing, 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

The Olympics…..

 

Last night I watched the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics!  Wow!  What a great show the Canadians put on.  The whole Nature theme was right up my alley!  The aboriginals were beautiful in their ceremonial finery.  When they made the Circle and then it widened and turned to the ocean with swimming graceful whales and fish it was so amazing.  My very favorite part was Kd Lang singing “Hallelujiah”  ….it was so smooth and effortless and beautifully melodic it really brought tears to my eyes.  As did seeing our proud young athletes walk into the venue.  My heart went out to the Georgian team too..you could see the pain on their faces from losing their young teamate.  Such a loss but the show went on as it should.  I look forward to being glued to the tv for the next 2 weeks so as not to miss one moment of the games…my DVR will be heartily used!

My poor little Kitty, Harley, has an injury to her left front paw and leg.  I took her to the Vet yesterday..luckily it is just soft tissue injury, nothing broken.  She is on anti-inflammatory meds for 10 days to help her heal.  She is staying quiet and laying on my lap alot (which I love!) and will be ok soon.  I hate when an animal hurts..its not like you can explain to them why and they can’t tell you whats wrong.  Poor baby.  The vet said she may have been stepped on, or jumped off of something wrong, or playing with my other cat, Jasper could have caused it..who knows.  I just know I’m glad she’s ok.  As I am a Witch, I of course did a spell..a healing candle spell..to help her on her way.  I believe fully that a burning candle, anointed with magickal oil and with my hopeful intention placed into it will aid her in healing.  It’s Magick after all!

We ended up with 14 inches of snow over a week and now we are hearing that we may get another 2-4 by tuesday!  Mother Nature is putting on her own show this winter to rival the Olympics!  Go Apollo!!  Sorry, he’s racing now and i love him!!!  OMG!  He almost got 4th…but two Koreans fell and he got the silver..JC the other american got bronze …whoo hoo!  Stunning race!  Ok..back to the snow, while I love winter and love snow, I have to say enough already!  Bring on the spring!  However, I will say too that I love watching the cardinals at the birdfeeder and resting in the snowy trees.  The Goddess blesses me whenever I glimpse it.

I bought yarn today to start a baby blanket in a soft lilac purple and I’m going to put a yellow ruffled edge on it.  That will give me something to do while its snowing.  I’m going to crochet this one instead of knit..its faster and easier and I haven’t crocheted in a long time so it will be a nice change for me.  I love making soft lovely baby items and my grandaughter is definitely partial to knitted blankets over any other!

I am getting very excited about our Book of Shadows arriving any day now..I hope!  I’ve been working on pages for it and will spend some time tomorrow doing more I’m sure.  It will be a blessed day when my sister, daughters and I can all sit down with our glue sticks and spells and information pages and start putting our books together..I can’t wait!! 

Wishing everyone a very Happy Valentines Day and my wishes for you are that you are loved by many!

Blessed Be, Autumn

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Filed under Crochet/Knit, My cats, Nature, Winter