Category Archives: Summer

The Wheel Turns to Late Summer…….

Whilst August yet wears her golden crown,
    Ripening fields lush- bright with promise;
Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing
    Her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn.”
           –  Michelle L. Thieme, August’s Crown 

Merry Meet my friends!  I am long in writing a post here and have no excuse other then a busy Summer, home improvements, family in from California for 2 weeks, and my own lack of thinking what I could write about. 🙂  I appreciate so much the messages I’ve received wondering if I’m ok…it means a lot to know that you missed me here. All is well!!

It’s Saturn day, a quiet one here at my house. My daughter Sara isn’t feeling well so we are being lazy and resting today.  Here in Ohio, as I know many of you have experienced also, we have had a fairly mild Summer and in the last couple of weeks, we’ve had a taste of early Autumn, it’s been quite cool and gorgeous!   I have LOVED it!  As you know of course, Autumn is my favorite time of year, but I have no complaints about this wonderful Summer we’ve had.  My gardens have loved this weather, my grandkids thrive playing outside when it’s not so hot, and I too, have loved hanging clothes on the line, working in my garden or reading on the patio.  It’s been wonderful!

I hope that you all had a wonderful Lughnasadh.  I did, though my Circle wasn’t able to meet. My fault, I had the flu 😦  I did make bread and berry flavored water and we had a simple dinner that included tomatoes and cucumbers from my own garden. It was a beautiful night.  I have not yet harvested my herbs or the last of my garden as some of them are still growing strong. Some are finished for the season though and I’ll clean them up this weekend.

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While I’m talking about Lughnasadh, I’d like to let you all know about a great book.  Witchy Magick by Australian Witches Lucy Cavendish and Serene Conneeley.  I LOVE this book for more reasons then one (which I’ll get to in a minute). This is a very complete book that I think EVERY Witch should own and read.  It starts out with interviews with about 20 of our prolific Witches who are authors, heads of covens, healers, herbalists, young and old alike.  Interviews on what being a Witch means to them.  Then it goes into lots of Witchy info, from the history of witchcraft, myth busting, the how to’s, rites and rituals, and a great amount of info, recipes etc on the Sabbats.  It’s really a wonderful book!  I again highly recommend it!  Oh, and if you happen to get to the recipe section….on Lughnasadh…pages 364 and 365…you may recognize …me!!  Yes!  I am in this book…a bit about me and a couple of my favorite bread recipes for Lughnasadh! I’m not bragging please understand, but I was most honored to be asked if I could be included in the book.  Thank you Serene and Lucy!!  Let me know readers what you think of the book, because I KNOW you are going to want to get it and dive into it! 🙂

The end of Summer is almost always a joyful thing for me as I thrive in the cooler air of Autumn and I always look forward to Winter as well.  This year, I have a vacation to look forward to in mid September.  A much needed trip for my husband and I…yes, just the two of us! A rare thing!  I could use some time on the beach, for my inner Sea Witch to come out and relish in the beauty, sounds and scents of  Mother Ocean.  I’m excited about it and so is my husband.  We are celebrating 34 years married, tomorrow actually, so it will be a grand anniversary present to each other 🙂

seista key beach 2

By the time we get home, Mabon and Autumn will be arriving.  It will be time to get the chimney cleaned, order our cord of wood, clean out the garden beds, pull out the Fall decorations and hit the garden centers and pumpkin farms for pumpkins and mums and such.  *sigh*..that will be grand!

In the meantime, I’ll try to get back into writing here more.  I plan on doing a LOT of baking and cooking in the next few weeks…I’m involved in a very cool project, where I am the kitchen Witch, sharing my recipes.  I’ll tell you about that in my next post, and share a recipe or two for the upcoming Autumn season!

Until next time, enjoy the last of Summer….don’t wish away these last days, these  lazy, hazy, crazy last days of Summer.  Go barefoot lots, enjoy fresh veggies from your gardens or the Farmer’s market,  put your feet in a body of water, lay under the Moon and Stars on a hammock or blanket, invite friends over for a end-of-Summer cook-out, read a book in the shade or just sit on your patio and listen to the birds, crickets and cicadas.  Make the MOST of it for it will be gone soon!

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Many Blessings and Love

Autumn

*Pictures from the internet.

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Filed under Autumn, Books, Books I'm reading, Family, Flowers, Gardens, Grandchildren, Lammas/Lughnassadh, Mabon, My Writing, Nature, Ocean or beach, Our Yard, Poem, Quote, Seasons, Summer

Blue Moon Blessings………

 

Merry Meet everyone and Blessed Blue Moon!  This is just a quick post as I have been very busy with lots of things!  Seems everyone I know is really busy right now.  The Wheel is turning, Summer is winding down and Autumn looms ahead (Thank Goddess!).   My family and I have been busy preparing to put our house on the market and to get ready for vacation to Florida.  Verbena Lane Botanicals has been busy enough too.  The best part…that while I’m busy…I feel great too..a real blessing!

So tomorrow at 9:58 am it is officially the Full Blue Moon.   There won’t be another Blue Moon until July 31, 2015!  So I encourage you to make the most of the amazing energy and power found on this special Full Moon!  The Blue Moon is a great time for for setting high goals and intentions.  Use this power on the big stuff…health, prosperity, love and happiness,  protection and healing for others.   I’m sure most of us have a goal in mind that this Moon’s energy would help us bring to fruition.  It’s a great night for ritual, ceremony and spell casting!!

A couple things I’ll be doing.  I like to write down my goals on scraps of parchment paper…people I’d like to send healing to (including myself),  my wishes for prosperity and happiness for my loved ones, protection for those who are in harms way etc.  I write them down.   Under the Moon, I light my cauldron and burn my wishes..sending them off in Fire and Air into the moonlit night.  You can also bury them in Earth or float them away on Water..whichever you choose.

Something else I’ll be doing tonight…I’m taking a crystal..a blue one…a lapis.   I’m going to consecrate it under the Blue Moon…cleanse it and charge it with the power and energy.  Fill it with all the intentions and goals I’m setting for myself.  Then I’ll carry it with me.  Keep it close..keeping the power imbued in it close, until my goals are realized to my satisfaction.  You can also do this with a special talisman or piece of jewelry…whatever you like.  It’s a great way to remind myself that I must work towards those goals..I must MAKE them come true…with the help of the Goddess of course 🙂

Whatever you do..be it a simple thing of just basking in the energy..or a full circle ceremony…I hope you have a Blessed night and that She shines all Her love and energy on You!!

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Autumn, Blue Moon, Family, Full Moons, Goddess, Ritual, Seasons, Spells, Summer

Blessed Lughnasadh (and some recipes) 2012………

Merry Meet everyone!   Blessed Lughnasadh/Lammas to you and Blessed Full Corn Moon!   What a night we will have huh! 🙂  I always love when there is a Full Moon on a Sabbat…the magick is palpable!  It makes everything we do to enjoy this wonderful Harvest festival..even better!

I have been a busy Witch today.  My plans completely changed today when my day at home turned into a fun day with my daughters and grandkids.  We had a lovely lunch and talked and played with the kids.  After she left..my hubby, who is on his last day of a small vacation…had an early dinner and ran a couple of errands.   Once home, I harvested my herbs…which I’m very pleased with!  I have had to baby these herbs along this year because of our extreme heat and extreme dryness.  I watered and watered and almost gave up..but with the help of a bit of rain last week..and more watering..I have some herbs hanging happily in my kitchen and scenting the whole house with the most wonderful smells :))   Here’s a picture!

I spent some time this evening putting out my Witch’s protection bottles, some wards around my property, smudged the house and am now writing here to you all 🙂   In a while, I’ll be outside, celebrating the Sabbat and the Full Moon with a simple ritual and just bask in Her amazing energy and light!

I found a couple more recipes I thought you all might like…I am anxious to try them myself as they use fresh herbs and wonderful late Summer produce!

Lemon Balm Bread

3/4 cup milk

1 cup plus 2 tbs fresh lemon balm

1 tb fresh lemon thyme

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

zest of one lemon

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 – 2 tbs lemon juice

Combine milk, one cup lemon balm and thyme in a saucepan; gently bruise herbs to release the oils.  Bring to a boil then remove from heat; cover and let cool.  Strain and reserve liquid, discard herbs.  Cream butter and sugar; beat in eggs one at a time.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Add flour mixture to butter mixture, a small amount at a time, alternating with reserved milk.  Chop remaining 2 tbs of lemon balm and add to batter; blend in lemon zest.

Pour batter in a greased and floured loaf pan.  Bake at 325* for 45 mins or until wooden toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then continue cooling on wire rack.

Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice, mix until smooth and pour over cooled bread.

Basil and Tomato Soup

1 large onion, chopped

2 tbs oil

2-3 tomatoes, chopped

1 1/2 lbs squash, chopped

3 cups chicken broth

1 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup fresh basil, minced

Garnish:  fresh basil

Saute onion in oil over medium heat until tender.  add tomatoes and continue to cook until they become soft, about 5 mins.  Stir in squash and chicken broth; bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 15 mins or until squash is fork tender.  Spoon mixture into a blender or food processor and puree with buttermilk until mixture is smooth.  Sprinkle in basil and stir.  Serve and garnish.

Fajitas and Grilled Vegetables

1 lb boneless sirloin

3/4 cup salsa

2 tbs olive oil

2 tbs lime juice

2 tbs tequila

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 large red pepper, halved

1 large yellow pepper, halved

4 red onion slices

1 small zucchini, cut lengthwise

1 small yellow squash, cut lengthwise

8   7-in flour tortillas, heated

1 cup mexican-blend shredded cheese

Place meat in a large plastic bag.  Add salsa, oil, lime juice, tequila and garlic.  Close bag securely; turn to combine all ingredients and to coat the meat.  Add vegetables and coat.  Marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours.  Remove meat and vegetables from marinade. Reserve marinade.

Grill beef and vegetables 4-5 inches from heat for about 5 mins per side or until beef is medium rare.  Remove to carving board; slice beef and peppers into thin strips, squash into slices and separate onion into rings.

To serve, divide beef and vegetables among tortillas.  Heat remaining marinade to a boil and drizzle over beef and vegetables.  Sprinkle with cheese; roll and serve with marinade on the side.

*Add sour cream if you’d like!

and of course something light and sweet :))

Lemonade Pie

6 oz can frozen lemonade

14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

2 drops yellow food coloring

8 oz whipped topping

9 inch graham cracker pie crust

Mix together lemonade and milk.  If desired, add food coloring for a lovely lemony color.  Fold in whipped topping, and pour into crust.

Refrigerate a few hours or overnight.

“Whilst August yet wears her golden crown,
    Ripening fields lush- bright with promise;
Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing 

Her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn.”
–  Michelle L. Thieme


Well, I am off to enjoy my bread and my family and then some  time outside.  I wish all of you a very Blessed Lughnasadh/Lammas and a very Blessed Full Moon.  May you have a life filled with Joy and Abundance…always!

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Family, Full Moons, Gardens, Goddess, Grandchildren, Herbs, Lammas/Lughnassadh, Photography, Quote, Recipe from my Kitchen, Seasons, Summer

The Wheel Turns to Lughnasadh 2012………..

Merry Meet friends.  Hot, Humid and Dry.  Pretty well sums up the end of June and all of July here in Ohio..as I know many of you are experiencing the same thing where you live.  Those who know me, know I’m not a fan of Summer…and this oppressive weather makes that even more true. lol.   I’ve heard so many talking about it being the hottest, driest Summer they can remember for a while..and I thought the same thing.  Until I went back and read my Lugnasadh post from last year at right about this same time.   What was I talking about?   How hot and dry it was!   Just goes to show how quickly we forget from year to year.  So I will wait this out, try to find something good about it..and keep sweating and lagging along til it cools off. 🙂  We are expecting some rain tomorrow..that will go a long way to making things better!

I have really struggled to keep my flowers and herbs alive this year.  Despite watering constantly, they are not all lush and green like usual.  Water from a hose just is not the same as a good fresh rain.  Our grass….pretty well looks dead…but with a good soaking I’m sure it will come back.   I feel so badly for the farmers and their crops and the poor animals who must be struggling to find water.  I have put out big bins of water..keeping them filled…and I’ve seen everything from birds to groundhogs and possums to deer drinking from it.  Seeing deer drinking from it…amazing!  Made me feel good to see it….like I am doing a good thing 🙂

I can’t believe it’s the middle of July already.  Lughnasadh is not far off..August 1….and tonight is the New Moon as well.  I will be doing a small ritual ..for new beginnings on my new project.  Well kind of new.   I have started an online business…something I’ve wanted to do for 2 years now…and something has kept me from doing it for that long…my own hesitations..and my recent illness..but I have finally got the show on the road.  Verbena Lane Botanicals is my herbal products business.  I make bath, beauty and healing products.  Right now we have a facebook page and we are selling from it  (we being my daughter Kate and I).  She is very busy being a mom of 2 little ones, studying medical billing and coding, and being pregnant with baby #3 :))) Yes, I’m going to have another grandchild in January..I’m thrilled!  Anyway I digress LOL.   So I have taken over the business pretty much for now.  I’m listing new products each week and orders are coming in nicely and keeping me busy.  An etsy shop will be our next step as well.   Check it out if you’d like 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/VerbenaLane

I’ve received some wonderful messages asking how I’m doing.  I’m happy to say that just in the last couple weeks, I am feeling much much better.  My energy level is returning, my headaches are better,  and I continue to improve some of the cognitive problems I was having.  I feel sharper mentally.  I still get tired and am still remembering what I told all of you…to put myself first more often..to take care of myself…to rest when I need to etc.  I thank you all again for your prayers and well wishes.

Back to Lugnasadh.  There is not much more I can say about this first Harvest Sabbat that I haven’t said in previous posts from the last 3 years.  It is one of my favorite Sabbats simply because it is the first Harvest one!  Harvest..what a wonderful word. It implys the end of the Summer. Coming soon, my favorite Season of Autumn.  Harvest..meaning farm stands will be full of produce, grown by Mother Earth with the help of hardworking farmers and gardeners.  Harvest….time to cut my herbs, dry them, and enjoy my own harvested work.  Harvest..reminds me of my grandmother, canning and preserving all the bounty from her own gardens, with me by her side, doing what I could and watching her, learning.  Harvest..animals gathering, nesting, hustling.

 

Lugnasadh for me is baking homemade, grain-filled breads.  It’s making herb infused oils and vinegars so I can enjoy my herbs all Winter long.  It’s enjoying the last hot, hazy days of Summer…family cook-outs, family vacation, tending gardens and herbs, making some jams to go with that great homemade bread, time outdoors, porch sitting,  and starting to think about cooler days. I love to pull out my Autumn cookbooks…start perusing recipes I want to try this year..putting me in the mood for Fall and good hot meals…and lets not forget mid August brings back football!!   (Go Bengals!)

I hope that all of you have some plans made for Lugnasadh.   I usually light candles all over the house in the evening, enjoy a glass of wine and dream of bright colored leaves falling from trees, pumpkins, mums, woodsmoke and fires, good foods made with apples,  sweaters and crisp air.  Lugnasadh reminds us that the season will be changing soon 🙂

I will come back soon and post a couple of recipes from those cookbooks I was talking about.  In the meantime, I hope you have a Blessed New Moon!

“Whilst August yet wears her golden crown,
Ripening fields lush- bright with promise;
Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing
Her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn.”
–  Michelle L. Thieme,

Love and Blessings, Autumn

*Pics of bread, oils and jams are my own. 🙂  *ok..for some reason the oils and jam picture won’t post…I’ll try again tomorrow 🙂

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Filed under Autumn, Family, Flowers, Gardens, Herbs, Lammas/Lughnassadh, Mother Earth, Nature, New Moons, Photography, Quote, Summer

Happy 4th of July 2012……….

Merry Meet friends!  Thought I’d write a quick blog post before I head off for an evening celebration of our Independence Day with my family.   The Heat….well…we are something like 8 days straight of near or at 100* temps with at least another 4-5 days expected of it.  We had a huge windstorm come thru here and many other nearby states on friday evening, that caused lots of damage and lots of power outages….including a short power outage here at our house….others were not so lucky 😦  Some have been out for 5 days now.  In this heat, that has to be just miserable and my heart goes out to all of you who have that situation.

We got a small amount of rain that night but otherwise we are dry, dry, dry!!  Our grass is brown and dead..trees have leaves turning brown and dying off, and it’s all I can do to keep up on the watering, trying to keep my herbs and flowers alive!  We could have a week straight of rain and it wouldn’t be enough! I’ve been seen performing a rain dance under the Full Moon recently LOL.  I’m pretty sure a lot of my witchy friends are doing the same thing.  🙂

So today is the 4th of July…I will say this..the Summer is flying by fast..and I say ..Bring on Autumn weather!!   I’m more then ready!  But back to the 4th….I was thinking about today…about the meaning of it.  I know that it is about America’s freedom, our Independence, pride in country  etc.   A good friend of mine pointed out this morning on her facebook page (Thanks Deb 🙂  that not ALL  Americans have freedom.  I agree with her…there are still those who can’t marry who they love because they happen to be the same sex,  those who suffer contempt due to their choice of religion, those living in poverty, animal abuse, racism, elitism, etc etc…. and none of that is good…and needs to be fixed!  Remember…it just takes one person, then another, and another and so on to help fix these things.  Having said that..I am still very grateful that I was born here in America and have a good life here.

Now, for me though…the 4th of July is also about family traditions.  The day is a day to celebrate family as well…a day for cook-outs, water fun, feasting and gathering, watching fireworks together…that feeling of togetherness and pride in family in country.  The family…no matter who it consists of…is what holidays are all about. Being together, enjoying a day off work, a day off from the daily grind…..and just enjoying a simple meal, talking, playing..and of course the OOHHss and AAHHs…of watching the fireworks!  Don’t forget the kids catching fireflies, popsicles and running thru the sprinkler…that is a must!  Make it a fun day…make it a tradition…I have great memories of the 4th growing up with my family..then of raising my daughters and our traditons..and now watching my daughter and her hubby carrying that tradition on to their kids.  It’s magickal!

So today..I hope that you are all with your families..having fun…and making a memory.

Happy 4th to all my friends and family!  Have a wonderful day!

Autumn

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Filed under 4th of July, Family, Grandchildren, Holiday, Summer

Blessed Summer Solstice 2012……

 

Merry Meet my friends.  It’s here..the Summer Solstice.   I got up early to greet the Sun God as He rose on this, the longest day of the year.  I welcomed him with great joy and a grateful heart and was reminded that no matter what we go thru….The Sun and the Moon always Rise…and Set..and keep the Wheel and Mother Earth turning on and on.   I wish you all a very Happy Solstice..whichever one you celebrate today…Winter or Summer….May you and yours have a Blessed one!

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”

~F. Scott Fitzgerald

Love and Light, Autumn

PS…this picture was taken from my own front porch this morning 🙂

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Filed under God, Holiday, Litha/Summer Solstice, Mother Earth, Nature, Photography, Quote, Summer, Sunrise/Sunset

Summer Solstice Recipes 2012…..

Hello everyone!  Hope this posting finds you all either enjoying heading towards Summer or heading towards Winter!  🙂  Here in Ohio we are obviously heading for Summer but it is always so much fun to see my “southern hemisphere” friends talking about cold, blustery winter days by the fire.  It is a reminder to me always about the turning of the Wheel and Mother Earth.

We have had both a very HOT June and a very cool June so far.  I have enjoyed the cooler days as those who know me or read my blog know I’m not big on hot weather.  But I do love Summer.  Though I’m still recovering from my illness, I have done some planting of herbs and flowers, watering, a bit of weeding and taking as much time with my feet on Mother Earth as possible.  The nights have been amazing!  We had a long spell of no rain..so the skies have been full of stars and a beautiful waxing, Full and now waning Moon.  She has been low in the sky, orange, then bright and huge!  I have basked in her healing energy, sent out healing and protection to others, and tried to come to terms with things that have happened in my life in recent weeks.  With the Goddess’s help..I have done just that.  I am grateful for all the good things in my life, the people who I love and who love me back, and to follow a Path that helps me to ground and keep myself positive and joyful.

We had a good, long rain today..much needed!  Our grass, flowers, herbs and critters that share our spaces with us enjoyed it very much.  I watched robins bathing in our koi ponds, the frogs are croaking happily, birds singing, and chipmunks scurrying this evening.  As I type this, the Sun has set into twilight and I’m waiting for the lightning bugs to put on their magickal show.  It is a bit sticky and humid tonight but I’ll be on the porch anyway in a bit to watch them 🙂

Sooo…for me and my family, Summer is about family get togethers, good food, being outside, and relaxing and playing!   Cooking is all about cold sides with hot grilled goodies.  I’ve been perusing cookbooks, cooking magazines and my own recipe box, looking for a few more recipes to celebrate the Solstice. I even pulled out my grandma’s recipe box this week.  I love seeing her old, yellowed, handwritten recipe cards.  It makes me feel close to her again as I learned so much at her side about cooking and gardening.  So I’ve put together a few recipes that speak Summer to me that I thought you would enjoy too.  Remember to take advantage of farmer’s markets, produce stands,  your local grocer, and your own garden for fresh veggies, fruits and herbs to make everything just a little bit better 🙂

 

 

Watermelon Fruit Salad

1/4 cup Agave nectar

1/4 cup water

4 cups cubed, seedless watermelon

1 cup sliced strawberries

1 cup cubed pineapple

1 cup diced kiwi

1 cup mango

1 cup fresh raspberries

1 lime, juiced

Garnish:  fresh mint

In a large bowl, combine agave nectar and 1/4 cup water. Blend well.  Add all the rest of the ingredients.  Toss gently.  Refrigerate.

 

 

Pineapple-Honey Chicken Kabobs

*this is a favorite recipe of mine I made up years ago after having them at Fridays restaurant..who doesn’t serve them anymore..so light and good!  Now I have no measurements..sorry..I just throw these together.

Kabob sticks  …2-3 for each person if adults

chicken breast cut into 2 inch pieces

pineapple cut into 2 inch pieces

green and/or red peppers cut into pieces

skewer the chicken, pineapple and peppers onto the sticks.

Marinate in a mixture of pineapple juice, honey and soy sauce.  Sorry, no measurements and it doesn’t matter. It will turn out great!  You want enough juice to cover the kabobs…put in about 1/2 cup honey and 1/2 cup soy ..that might do it 🙂  Place the kabobs in a dish big enough to hold the kabobs covered in the marinade.  Let marinade about 4 hours or more.

Grill the kabobs on med. heat until chicken is well cooked.  Serve with honey as a dip or peanut sauce which is my favorite dip for these yummy kabobs!  Really good with a cole slaw and oven fried potatoes! Or with this salad recipe below….

 

 

Bok Choy Salad 

1 large head Romaine lettuce, chopped

1 large Bok Choy, ends cut off, chopped

2 pkgs crumbled ramen noodles

Mix together in a large salad bowl.

In a pan, brown…. 1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup sliced almonds

2 TB butter

Add to salad greens and noodles.

Top with 2 cans of drained mandarin oranges

Dressing:

1/2 cup oil

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 TB soy sauce

Toss dressing in salad just before serving!

*This would also be good with fresh sliced strawberries!

 

 

 

Red Potato Salad

3 pounds red new potatoes

4 large hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

2 Tb minced red onion

1/3 cup white vinegar

3 Tb sweet pickle relish

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 cup canola oil

In a large saucepan, place potatoes.  Cover with water 2 inches above potatoes.  Bring to a boil; cook until tender, 15-20 mins.  Drain and let potatoescool.  (peel if you’d like).  Coarsely chop.

In a large bowl, combine potatoes, eggs, celery, parsley, and onion.  In a small bowl, combine vinegar, pickle relish, salt and pepper; slowly whisk in oil.  Drizzle over potato mixture; toss well.  Cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

 

 

Chocolate Chess Pie

*I happen to think chocolate is good all year round :))

1/2 (14.1 oz) pkg refrigerated piecrust

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1 (5oz) can evaporated milk

1/4 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled

3 Tb unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup whipped cream

Preheat oven to 375*.  Unroll piecrust, and fit into a shallow 9-inch pie plate; flute edges as desired.

In a medium bowl, combine sugar and eggs; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended.  Add milk, butter, cocoa, and vanilla, beating until smooth.  Pour into prepared pie pan.

Bake until a knife inserted near the edge comes out clean, 30-35 minutes.  Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour.  Top with whipped cream.

 

 

Slush

*This recipe comes from my hubby’s Aunt Betty.  It is a delicious cold grown up slushy :)) I make this up in a big bowl and keep it in the freezer all summer long.  So good on the porch on hot nights!

2 6-oz cans frozen orange juice, thawed

2 6-oz cans frozen lemonade, thawed

9 cups water

3 cups rum, gin or vodka ..not all 3..just 3 cups of one of them LOL

1 Tb instant tea

1 3/4 cups sugar

Mix all ingredients and freeze.

To serve, fill glass half full with slush.  Add a clear soda like 7-up, Sprite or Sierra Mist.

 

Summer is a time for fresh corn on the cob with herbed butter, sliced tomatoes with mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and italian dressing, grilled peaches and pineapple on vanilla ice cream, juicy burgers and sticky baked beans.  Potato and pasta salads, strawberry shortcakes, homemade ice creams, fresh watermelon or canteloupes and lots of water, lemonade and iced tea!  Oh and did I mention my favorite?  BLT sandwiches with fresh, home grown lettuce and ripe, juicy tomatoes and crusty bread..yummy!!!

Make Summer fun..try new recipes…use your herbs to brighten up the taste of your old stand-by recipes. Make fresh juice popsicles for the kids or make ice cream with the old fashioned crank ice cream makers.  I have so many wonderful memories of my family doing that.  Have a picnic, a cook-out or a romantic, under-the-Moon dinner outdoors.  Put candles in mason jars,  cut flowers from your garden and place them in a vase on the table, play some Jimmy Buffet or ocean sounds music and just enjoy the view of a Summer night sky.   Summer is just 3 short months..enjoy every moment of it!  My favorite thing to do to honor the Sun God, is to be up as the Sun rises and have a glass of fresh juice or a cup of coffee and just be grateful for the turning of the wheel, the God and Goddess, and all the blessings in my Life.   Blessed Summer Solstice to you all.

Then followed that beautiful season… Summer…. Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light;

 and the landscape Lay as if new; created in all the freshness of childhood.

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

*To look for more recipes from the last 2 years of blog posts or any other info for the Solstice, just do a word search on the gadget to the right.  Type in Litha, or Summer Solstice or MidSummer and see what shows up 🙂

*Sources..all pics are from the internet…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Family, Gardens, God, Goddess, Litha/Summer Solstice, Quote, Seasons, Summer, Sunrise/Sunset

The Wheel turns to Summer Solstice 2012….

Merry Meet friends.  I hope that your Spring has been as beautiful as mine and that all is well with all of you.  I haven’t written for a while…my health issues have caused a bit of a problem with coming up with what to write and even the desire to write..but I was in the mood so here I am 🙂   Spring came quite early here in Ohio, probably for you too.  It was such a mild Winter most everywhere and it warmed up fast.  It’s been just beautiful here…though we are now having quite hot temperatures, hitting 90’s the next several days already.  Because of the warm Winter and even warmer Spring, gardening and outdoor activities got under way much earlier then usual and it’s been wonderful! 

My herbs from last year happily sprang back up and are huge and ready to be harvested already!  Many of my flowers are already in  full bloom and everything is green and lush.  Lawns needed to be cut early, mulching done, garden centers hopping busy, and Mother Earth is in full bloom in May!  I have noticed that birds are singing louder and happier..(I know..it could be my imagination but I don’t think so!) , critters are scurrying and playing.   We have a koi pond and the frogs are so abundant and so noisy it’s amazing!  There are a lot of new baby fish this year too. 

Porch time started early…and the bugs…well…the bad thing about a mild Winter is the bugs are multiplied.  June bugs, lady bugs, crickets, spiders, wasps, bees, mosquitos…yep…they are everywhere!  I haven’t seen any lightning bugs yet but I’m sure they’ll be along any day 🙂  LOL maybe thats why the birds are so happy? 🙂   I can’t wait for the farmers markets and produce stands to open around us…it won’t be long now.  I have the biggest craving for grilled corn on the cob, big, ripe and red tomatoes and some ice cold watermelon!

The Summer Solstice…I can’t believe how fast it’s coming up.  Just those words bring back so many memories of carefree Summer days not only when I was a child but when my girls were little too.  Now I get to watch my grandchildren play in the dirt, collect bugs, swim, run in the sprinkler, get sticky with watermelon and need baths more then once a day LOL.   The cycle continues and the lazy, hazy days of Summer always bring back some nostalgia for me.  Though I’m not a fan of really hot days these days..crone that I am…I still love the whole idea that Summer is a time for families, outdoor activities, cookouts and 4th of July parades.   Riding bikes, picnics, swimming in lakes, oceans and pools, being tan and active and soooo tired at the end of the day.  It’s reading in hammocks and lawn chairs or blankets under a tree in the shade.  It’s fishing, and hiking and gardening.  Ice tea on the porch and lemonade stands….have you seen a lemonade stand lately?  I think they are making a come back!  I often think that Summer is for the young…but as I get older, I find my own appreciation of it as well, in a different way.  It’s time to feel young again..to join the kids running thru sprinklers, cranking the ice cream maker, playing frisbee or floating on a raft.  Ah..Summer..it’s such a great time of year. 

 

Some fond memories I have as a child was drive-in movies…remember those?   There are just a couple left near where I live and I think it’s sad that they’ve gone away.  When I was quite young…my dad worked a 2nd job at a drive-in movie theatre on the weekends…well..apparantly, that allowed our family of 4 kids and my mom to get to come see movies most weekends.  I can remember mom and dad loading us up..in our jammies of all things LOL  but we all were under the age of 8-10 with me being the oldest.  We would make up a big bag of popcorn..cheaper to bring our own…a jug of Kool-aid, toys and books etc.  We would get here early so my dad could report to work and we’d get a good spot to park.  Right by the play-yard and the concession stand.  We’d get out a play til the movie started.  The rules were…we were allowed to watch the first movie..had to lay down for the 2nd movie. LOL  Apparantly the first movie was kid friendly, the 2nd one was not.  That’s why I would take a book and a flashlight 🙂  We often thru blankets out in front of the car and laid on them to watch the movie.  I remember seeing Disney movies mostly.  My dad would come sit with us between movies a bit…bring us some candy sometimes.   It’s a good memory I have from a childhood that wasn’t always so great.  I took my girls to a few drive-in movies when they were little as they were still around then.   I wonder if my grandkids will even know what they are?  

As a Witch, the Summer Solstice..or Litha..is the time of year I put out new protection bottles, place new protection around my home, give offerings to the Fae and Goddess,  harvest my herbs as they grow, and keep myself grounded to Mother Earth..my feet in her dirt and grass and sand, my face to the Sun, my back leaning against a tree, my hands weeding or planting or watering, and my heart connects to the starry skies, the Moon, the warm Summer winds or the warm refreshing rain.  It’s a beautiful time of year. 

As I am still recovering..I think I appreciate even more the Seasons of the year then I always have.  I have always done my best to make the most of every day, to find magick everyday, to be sure my loved ones know they are loved by me everyday.  Now…I find it even more important to be sure I enjoy the moments..not let my mind be spinning constantly with what is coming next or what needs to be done tomorrow.  Summer is a slow-down and stop and smell the roses season…that is what I intend to do this Summer!  and oh yes..I intend to play….like a child….everyday!  I know many of you do that too! 

“There shall be eternal Summer in the grateful heart.”

 ~Celia Thaxter

I am perusing recipes for Litha for my next post.  Be sure to check out the last two years of posts for the Summer Solstice too..recipes, altars, pics etc.  Just type it in the Search gadget.  I want to thank so many of you again for all the healing, prayers and well wishes sent my way.  I will always remember and be grateful for it.  Thank you.

Blessings and Love, Autumn

Sources…some pics are internet, some are mine….

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Filed under Faeries, Family, Flowers, Gardens, Goddess, Grandchildren, Herbs, Litha/Summer Solstice, Mother Earth, Movies, My Favorite Things, Nature, Photography, Quote, Seasons, Summer

The Wheel turns to Beltane 2012…….

It is Beltane! The Earth softens under the caress of the sun and all the world is new. We emerge from the darkness of a long, difficult winter; our eyes drink in rolling green hills budding branches and tender shoots. We breathe deeply the fresh fragrance of radiant blossoms. Merriment calls!”

Selena Fox, Circle Sanctuary

 

Merry Meet my friends.  Hope that you are having Spring weather, that your world is blooming and greening and warming like mine is.  However the last 2 days it has felt more like Winter then Spring..sunny days but frosty cold mornings!  The frost did a bit of damage to some of my herbs and budding trees and bushes..but they will recover just fine I’m sure.  I love seeing the birds, chipmunks, squirrels enjoying the weather as well as the frogs and fish in our pond.  My sister got some great pics of the frogs sunning themselves on rocks next to our pond.  I love frogs!

 

 

 

As you who read my last post know, I had brain surgery and was quite ill and in the hospital for like 11 days.  I am taking baby steps towards healing.  My last catscan showed some improvement and no new bleeds.  However, I have pretty severe headaches still, shakiness and dizziness, and alot of fatigue to deal with.  I’m told to expect that for awhile.  Another side effect, a bit of trouble focusing…which is causing me trouble with my writing, reading, even watching tv and playing words with friends LOL.   Because of that..I have had a hard time writing here on my blog and posts may be a little more sporadic for a little while.  Please bear with me while I heal….and my muse comes back 🙂 

 

We are coming up fast on Beltane…one of my favorite Sabbats because of the sheer Joy of it.   It is a fire festival, a welcome to the return of the Sun…..we celebrate longer days, warmer days…the greening of Mother Earth.  Witches are out in their gardens…tenderly planting, watering, weeding, designing and enjoying the feel of the warm earth, the Sun on our backs, the scent of the flowers and herbs and our bare feet in the green grass and rich brown dirt.   Meals are taken outdoors on patios and balconies.   We want to eat lighter and healthier, take walks, be more active.  Personally, one of my favorite things about the warm weather..is having my morning coffee on my front porch while I watch the Sunrise…and in the evening, again on the porch with a glass of wine and watch the Moonrise.  Even if you live in the city, in an apartment or condo…you can have pots of herbs and flowers to tend, to touch, to care for.  We dress lighter and in brighter colors, don our garden hats or gypsy scarves (especially for me this year with my shorn head LOL).  We want to be around water too..a pond, a pool, a lake, an ocean…even a kiddie pool is fun if thats all thats available!  I know I will have a blast with my grandbabies with their kiddie pool this Summer 🙂  

 

 

 Beltane!……  It’s about joy, love and lust, yes that kind of lust but also Lust for Life!  After making it thru the long, cold, dark Winter…we are again free to be outdoors, to enjoy nature, warmth, Sun and longer days.  Dance around a fire, feast, frolic with the faeries as they are very much part of Beltane.  Erect a maypole and invite your family and friends over to wind the ribbons and dance around it.  Set up a fairy garden and don’t forget to leave them an offering of a shiny crystal or stone or some honey and bread….. ask them to aid you in your garden.Rejoice with the God and Goddess in their Great Rite….laugh, be happy!! 

 

 

Another thing I really want to do this year…is to make up some May Day baskets for my friends and family…I love this idea of using a canning jar or even just a tin can…fill it with beautiful flowers and leave it as a surprise on the door….what a lovely gift! 

For me…this year especially…Beltane will be a most  joyous occasion..simply for the fact that I am still here…with my family and loved ones. I am so grateful for that.    I must say..Summer is not my favorite time of year….I love it until it gets too hot.  I don’t like being hot LOL!  However,  early Summer is just a beautiful time of year with it’s warm days and cool, comfortable nights.  I intend to enjoy every minute of it…and Beltane is a great way to start off a beautiful Summer Season!  

 

Be like a flower and turn your face to the sun.”
– Kahlil Gibran

 

I’d like to thank you all again so much for all the love, concern, comments, cards and gifts,  healing, lit candles and friendship sent my way while I’ve been sick.  I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for it….from my heart to yours..thank you so so much!  

Blessings and Love, Autumn   

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Filed under Beltane, Faeries, Family, Flowers, Garden, Goddess, Grandchildren, Mother Earth, Nature, Photography, Quote, Spring, Summer

Thanks so much!…….

Merry Meet my friends!  The heat continues here in Ohio…probably the hottest summer I can remember in a long time.  However, we have one more day of it then more seasonable weather comes in FINALLY!  We will be right around 80 for a few days with very low humidity..that makes me one happy happy witch! 🙂 Maybe we can actually go outside and do something fun LOL!  I will be happy just to sit on my porch in the cooler morning with a cup of coffee..or to go on a picnic or to a park. My grandkids might even be able to be outside, to swim, to play on the swing set.  How wonderful!

 

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”

 ~Thornton Wilder

 

I am writing to THANK YOU all so so much for following my blog, for reading it, for giving me feedback and commenting,  and for sharing the link on your facebook walls.  I now have 110 followers and almost 21,000 hits!  I am most grateful for your friendship as well for those I feel I’ve gotten to know.  I never dreamed that my blog would be read by anybody at all.  I really just did it for myself, so I’m very pleased and feel in my own mind that it has been worth my time and effort…for others as well  as myself.  Thank you again so much. 

Having said that, I was thinking about Gratitude as I was looking up some quotes and pics to post here. I have talked about it here before.  I am a true believer that living a life in Gratitude gives us a happier, better life.  The benefits to our lives is enormous when we feel thankful for the Blessings in our life.  It is up to each of us to decide what the Blessings are!  Some people only feel thankful for the BIG things..you know…like our loved ones being safe and healthy, that the tornado missed us, that the house didnt’ catch on fire, that we weren’t killed in the shooting that happened somewhere else, that it’s not our dog laying dead at the side of the road.  Those things are so easy to be thankful for aren’t they?  I think though, it’s being grateful for the small, everyday things that helps us to live with a grateful heart.  Be thankful for the waitress who smiles at you and gets her job done well, be thankful for seeing a deer at the side of the road, be thankful for someone holding the door for you or for the cool breeze that cools you when you’re hot.  Keep a list in a journal or beside your favorite chair…think back over your day….what did you see, do, feel that made you feel happy and thankful today???  Write it down…you will find yourself looking for things to be thankful for.  Remember, the opposite of Gratitude, is Ingratitude!  Nobody wants to be un-grateful.  Taking things for granted is a bad way to live.  Especially for a witch or a pagan who wants to live a life of joy.

 

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words,

 but to live by them.”

– John F. Kennedy

 

Now, to take my own advice.  I have done a lot of griping here lately about the HOT steamy weather.  It has made me grumpy, lazy, tired and I just want the days to pass until we have cooler weather.  When I think about this, I feel pretty bad about it actually.  I have so much going on to be happy about and I’m letting the WEATHER color my day black???  That really is ridiculous when I think about it.  Yes, I want the Hot weather to go..but I should be grateful for each day no matter what!  I have a lovely family I’m blessed to have in my life, daughters who bring me great joy every day.  The sweetest, most adorable grandchildren, a loving son-in-law,  a husband who is hard working and cares for his family, an extended family who is there when needed always.  I have my path, a beautiful home I love, two magickal cats who give unconditional love.  I have food and clothes and books and things I love to do, buy, see.  I am blessed beyond measure.  I should thank the Goddess that I have air conditioning in this heat and quit griping about the heat!   I have friends out there who are not as blessed as me and I know it. I should never take for granted the things I have that other’s do not!

I think of what is going on in the world too.  The economy and so many out of work. The war and the deaths of 20 American Navy Seals. 😦  Riots in London, mothers who kill their children, the cost of living, politicians who can’t work together.  The news everyday seems so depressing and sad and can make me feel helpless and distraught about what’s going on in the world. Makes me want to quit watching the news completely!  But if you have a grateful heart, you can still find the good things in your life and be happy with what you have..the Blessings. 

Now I’m using the weather as a simple illustration of what I’m talking about.  Think about the words that come out of your mouth and creep into your mind.  Are they positive and thankful or are they negative and un-grateful.  Which would make you feel better?  🙂  This is not an easy thing….trust me! I struggle with it too ..as you can see by my sample.  But it’s worthwhile to focus on it and work on finding the things in your life that fill you with Gratitude.  Even if it’s just one thing…it’s a start!

Thank you again for being a reader and a friend.  My heart is grateful for it 🙂

 

“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

Much love and light, Autumn

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Filed under Quote, Summer, Thank You!