Tag Archives: Herbs

I’m back…..And The Wheel turns to Mabon 2017…

Merry Meet my friends!¬† I’m back. ūüôā¬† I’ve been very neglectful of writing in my blog due to multwelcome septemberiple reasons.¬† None of which are important enough to talk about.¬† I think ultimately, I just lost interest.¬† I’ve been through a lot in the last year….health issues for my daughter and I, busy being a homekeeper, mom, grandmother.¬† You all know how you have to set priorities and my blog became much less of a priority.¬† But recently, the writing bug has bit me again so here I am.

As you all know, this time of year is my very favorite!¬† My energy, mentally and physically start increasing so much!¬† I thrive in the cooler weather, the change in the path of the Moon and Sun, in harvesting my herbs, in my kitchen, at my altar etc etc.¬† I’ve been doing my Fall cleaning…..purging, organizing, deep cleaning.¬† I’ve been perusing my Autumn recipes and cookbooks.¬† Pulling out warm throws and pillows, washing up sweaters, coats, flannel sheets…..getting ready for those cozy, cold, colorful days of Autumn.

First off, I must introduce you to a new family member….at least part time. lol.¬† My sister adopted a darling Maltese pup back in March.¬† However, she works out of town during the week.¬† So Yuki (Japanese for snow) has become my part time pup.¬† He’s a busy boy, adorable and we’ve become quite attached.¬† And, he keeps me busy too ūüôā

21106898_1525897890786948_2072445991037710569_n

One of the things that was going on with me is that I had another ankle surgery at the end of July. I was in a wheelchair for a few weeks, then crutches, and now a brace and I’m able to walk, though I’m uncomfortable still and it’ll take 3-6 months to be completely healed.¬† Because of this, my herb bed was very much neglected..the herbs left to their own natural growth as I couldn’t really get to them.¬† Yesterday, I finally went out there expecting to find lots of dead and overgrown herbs.¬† But to my great delight, I got a wonderful harvest this year.¬† They are now hanging, smelling delicious, in my kitchen. I’m so happy it worked out!

herb harvest 2017

I also had the great joy of going to my beautiful, magickal Smoky Mountains with my entire family last week.¬† A great way to end the Summer and welcome in Fall.¬† It was fabulous being with my hubby, daughters, son-in-law and grandkids and two dear friends there together.¬† We feasted, visited an animal rescue petting farm, went up the mountains for some fabulous time there and picture taking, and relaxing at the cabin where I was able to read, crochet, and rest my ankle.¬† It was a great time.¬† Here are some of the pictures I captured of the beauty of the mountains.¬† Those who know me and have read my blog for a while, know how much these mountains hole my heart ‚̧

 

Now that I’m home again, we’re experiencing Fall weather.¬† Days in the 60’s and low 70’s, and nights in the 50’s.¬† The Full Moon was brilliant, casting such a glow and so much energy.¬† We’ve had fires already, enjoying our new gas logs.¬† Burning wood was just getting too expensive and hard work stacking wood etc.¬† And frankly, I like the idea of saving trees!¬† The process of cutting back our garden beds is started too..flowers spent and dead, or overgrown and no longer pretty and vibrant.¬† There are leaves turning, Fall clothes, mums, pumpkins, and decorations in all the garden centers, craft stores and shops.¬† My mind turns to baking and cooking good hot meals..done with grilling and cold salads etc. The scent of spices, apples, pumpkins, nuts, breads etc are kicking in at my house lol.

My coven has added a new member and still gathering for Sabbats.¬† I’m still a ghost hunter and looking forward to another hunt soon.¬† I shared some recipes for a surprise this October I’ll talk about soon.¬† And I’m preparing for Mabon as are all my witchy friends and sisters.¬† I’ll be back soon with some recipes for Mabon, and some ideas on how I celebrate it.

I’m in the process too of putting out new wards and protections, burying witch bottles, setting up my Mabon altar and working on my BOS.¬† I have to say too…I’m lighting candles day and night and sending out protection with all I’ve got for those of you in the line of harm from fires, floods and hurricanes.¬† Our poor Mother Earth is being ravaged right now and yes, climate change is real!!¬† Many of my witchy friends are talking about feeling edgy, jittery, nervous and unsettled.¬† Many feeling something is coming..maybe something dark and bad.¬† I’m feeling this too.¬† With the chaos in the world right now, both politically, in the division of the people, nature releasing chaos etc…..I hope that those who pray are doing that.¬† I send out my own prayers of safety and love to those in need.¬† It’s all we can do but ride the ride and do our best not to add to it in a negative way.¬† Keep being kind to others, caring for others and for our Mother Earth.¬† I’m speaking to the choir here because I now that you all feel as I do.¬† Whatever is coming….we have support for each other.

In the meantime, thank you for those who let me know you missed my writing.  And thank you to my loyal readers who have continued to visit here.  I appreciate it and will vow to get back to my writings.  May Goddess bless you and keep you safe and give you comfort in the tumultuous days.

 

 
“Spring scarce had greener fields to show than these
Of mid September; through the still warm noon
The rivulets ripple forth a gladder tune
Than ever in the summer; from the trees
Dusk-green, and murmuring inward melodies,
No leaf drops yet; only our evenings swoon
In pallid skies more suddenly, and the moon
Finds motionless white mists out on the leas.”
–¬† Edward Dowden, In September

 

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

*Pictures are my own.

 

 

Advertisements

26 Comments

Filed under Autumn, Autumn Equinox, coven, Family, Full Moons, Gardens, Goddess, Herbs, Holiday, Mabon, Mother Earth, My Favorite Things, My Writing, Nature, Pagan, Photography, Protection, Quote, Sabbat, Seasons, Smoky Mountains, Something New, Spice, Thank You!, Uncategorized, Witch, Woods

Blessed Samhain 2016….and recipes!

“I see the turning of a leaf dancing in the autumn sun,

and brilliant shades of crimson glowing when a day is done

-Hazelmarie Mattie Elliott-

A-BLessed-Samhain-To-You

Merry Morning and Blessed Samhain my friends! ¬†The glorious day is finally here! The Witch’s favorite Sabbat! ¬†Our New Year! ¬†Here in Ohio it’s a cool, blue sky, sunny day. ¬†We’ve had some overly warm days here lately…too warm in the upper 70’s for my taste, but today it feels like Fall again. ¬†The skies are inky black as we’re in our New Moon which adds magick to our new year and new beginnings! ¬†Winds are brisk and leaves are falling fast, chipmunks and squirrels gather food for the winter, birds are busy at the feeders, pumpkins are grinning from porches ¬†and children ready their costumes for trick or treat! ¬†The veil thins and there is a mystical feel to the Air! Autumn is in full glory!

My coven gathered Saturday night. ¬†We had soups, breads and desserts. As it was warm, we spent time outside. ¬†A few of our sisters didn’t make it this year and the rest of us were more quiet and subdued. Perhaps the thinning veil making us not feel up to par, tired and moody I think. ¬†Speaking for myself, that was the case. ¬†How does the thinning veil affect you? ¬†I’ve had times of high energy, and times of melancholy and low energy too. ¬†Today, I feel great!

I’m harvesting the last of my herbs today. Then tonight is our Beggar’s Night. ¬†This year we’ll be home passing out candy as we spent time with my grandkids yesterday. ¬†Keeping dinner simple with soup and sandwiches. ¬†I’m also burying new witch’s protection bottles, making an offering to Mother Earth and tonight a fire and spending time with my ancestors. I am a journaler and I’ve been journaling my thoughts and wishes for a wonderful new year to come. ¬†I look back on this last year with fondness and feelings of how blessed I am. and forward with the same. ¬†What will you be pleased about in your past year

and what changes will you make in this next year to improve on it?  These are the things I think about today.

I promised some recipes and better late than never.  So here a few new ones!

cider

Samhain Spiced Cider

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon whole allspice

1 teaspoon whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 pinch ground nutmeg

1 large orange, quartered with peel

2 quarts apple cider

*use a gallon of cider and double the rest!

Place in a dutch oven on the stove on low heat or a slow cooker on low all day! So yummy!  I made this for my coven saturday night and they loved it!

pumpkin soup

Butternut Squash Soup

1 Tb butter

1 Tb olive oil

3/4 cup chopped onion

3/4 cup chopped carrot

2 garlic cloves, minced

4-5 cups cubed, peeled butternut squash

4 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 tsp dried sage

3/4 tsp salt

pepper to taste

a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

In a large saucepan, heat butter and oil over medium heat.  Add onion and carrot; cook and stir until tender.  Add garlic and cook one minute longer.

Stir in squash, stock, sage, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, simmer, covered 20 minutes or until squash is tender.  Remove from heat; cool slightly.

Process in a blender until smooth.  Serves 6

Apple Caramel Cheesecake Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup cold butter, cubed

2 pkgs (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup plus 2 Tb sugar, divided

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs, slightly beaten

3 medium tart apples, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Streusel topping

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup quick cooking oats

1/3 cup cold butter, cubed

1/3 cup hot caramel ice cream topping

Preheat oven to 350*. ¬†In a small bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. ¬†Press into a well-greased 13×9 inch baking pan. ¬†Bake 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Spread over baked crust.

In a small bowl, toss apples with cinnamon, nutmeg and remaining sugar; spoon over cream cheese layer.  In another bowl, mis streusel topping until crumbly.  Sprinkle over apple layer.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until filling is set.  Drizzle with caramel topping; cool in pan on a wire rack for 1 hour.  Refrigerate for 2 hours at least.  Cut into bars and serve.

Yummy…I love Autumn baking especially. ¬†Don’t you?

I want to wish you all a very Blessed Samhain.  May your ancestors smile upon you and impart words of wisdom, joy and a sense of peacefulness to you in the coming year.  Goddess Bless you all!

“Between the heavens and the earth
The way now opens to bring forth
The Hosts of those who went on before;
Hail! We see them now come through the Open Door.

Now the veils of worlds are thin;
To move out you must move in.
Let the Balefires now be made,
Mine the spark within them laid.

Move beyond the fiery screen,
Between the seen and the unseen;
Shed your anger and your fear,
Live anew in a new year!”
– Lore of the Door

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

3 Comments

Filed under All Hallow's Eve, Autumn, Bits of Magick, Books, coven, Friends, Gardens, Halloween, Happy Mother's Day, Holiday, Mother Earth, My Favorite Things, My Writing, Nature, New Moons, New Year, Ocean or beach, Pagan, Protection, Quote, quotes, Recipe from my Kitchen, recipes, Ritual, Sabbat, Samhain, Seasons, sisters, Summer, Uncategorized, Witch

The Wheel Turns to Samhain 2016…..

A brooding calm in all the air,
A dreamy quiet everywhere…
A golden glow to light the day
That fades in purple mists away‚ÄĒ
This soothing calm, this presence bright,
October’s sweet and mellow light.
~Phebe A. Holder, “A Song of October,”

samhain12

Merry Meet my friends! ¬†How is your Autumn going so far? ¬†Autumn weather has finally arrived here in Ohio in the last week or so, and it’s been re-vitalizing, beautiful and wonderful! ¬†As you all know….my favorite time of year and I seem to just wake up!

I apologize again for a longer -than- usual absence. ¬†My life is really busy these days and I’ve had to prioritize what I can get done. ¬†As much as I love to write, and I do write in my journals etc, I just had to put my blog aside…again. ¬†Between my in-laws moving here, losing my only day nurse that helps me with my daughter, a trip to Sleepy Hollow (which was fabulous and I’ll write about that trip here in a day or two) plus preparing the house for Autumn/Winter, and the usual every day stuff like family, time with my grandkids etc etc. ¬†Please know, I know you ALL are just as busy….but I’m explaining why I’m not writing here as much.

Having said that all, Samhain is coming fast and I wanted to be here with you all to show my enjoyment of this most special Sabbat time of year! ¬†As our summer seemed to linger longer than usual this year, I’m busily jarring dried herbs from earlier in the year, and making room for the last harvest of herbs to hang and dry. ¬†My herbs are still thriving and huge so my last harvest will be abundant! ¬†Hubby and I have been busy cleaning up the garden beds, cutting back, protecting, and preparing the beds for next Spring. Also, things in the house, like washing rugs, curtains, windows, having furnace inspected, fireplace cleaned and a cord of wood ordered so we are ready for the dark months! ¬†Despite all the work, I so love this time of year and take the time for walks, Moon basking, apple and pumpkin baking, and a little shopping for new jackets, and sweaters etc. ¬†I’ve also been busy crocheting scarves and blankets which I find incredibly Zen. ¬†What are you doing to prepare for the dark time of the year?

14650451_1200531576656916_671879679626344292_n

 

14570462_1200548979988509_9121772177044493907_n

 

The veil is thinning and all Witches can feel it. ¬†My mind often goes to my loved ones who have passed onto the other side of the veil. ¬†I can’t bake without thinking of my grandmother, hear a song on the radio that reminds me of a good friend, or visit the cemetaries, adrift in falling leaves to feel close to those who are still with us in mind and spirit. Witches prepare their altars to honor their ancestors and loved ones during this most magickal season. ¬†But we also look back on the last year, as Samhain is our new year after all. ¬†What worked for us, what didn’t, what we keep and what we throw away/let go. ¬†We make plans for our New Year, knowing that we have the dark time of the year coming, when we may be a little less busy, have more time to reflect by fires, read, organize, dream, learn, and decide what we may do to improve constantly on our lives, our minds, our bodies and spirits.

My coven will gather on the 29th for soups, breads, desserts and a fire. ¬†A ritual to honor the New Year and our ancestors. ¬†It’s a wonderful time of wearing our witchiest garb, and while fun, we are also very dedicated to the night…the time…the veil…..the looking forward and backward…helping each other if needed. ¬†We all celebrate solitarily as well….but our combined energies make it an amazing night!

I’m a true believer in constantly learning and expanding my knowledge base. ¬†So I’ve begun to think about what books I’d like to read over the Winter. ¬†What are some of your favorite witchy books, or learning books you’ve read lately? ¬†I’d love some suggestions! ¬†I have some books on tarot, crystals, reiki, certain goddesses etc I’ll be reading…along with good fiction of course! ¬†Any suggestions most appreciated as I’m always looking for something I don’t know about ūüôā

October is crisp days and cool nights,

a time to curl up around the dancing flames

and sink into a good book.

~John Sinor (1930‚Äď1996), in San Diego Union-Tribune

I’m off to enjoy a bit of time outside today…perhaps starting to harvest those herbs, or just taking a walk. ¬†I’ll be back in the next day or two with a post about that trip to Sleepy Hollow and as always, some wonderful recipes for Samhain. ¬†Also, a bit of news I should be ready to talk about in the next week. ¬†In the meantime, It’s Autumn!! ¬† That wonderful blue sky, sunny days and crisp nights, woodsmoke and falling leaves, sweaters and scarves, pumpkins and apples, witches and black cats, all things spooky and wonderful, Time of year!! ¬†Autumn passes so fast…enjoy every beautiful moment!!

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

 

 

 

11 Comments

Filed under All Hallow's Eve, Altars, Autumn, Books, Cleaning & Organizing, coven, Crochet/Knit, Discussion, Friends, Gardens, Goddess, Halloween, Happy New Year, Herbs, Holiday, Mother Earth, My Favorite Things, My Writing, Nature, New Year, Pagan, Photography, Quote, quotes, Ritual, Sabbat, Samhain, Seasons, Winter, Witch

The Wheel Turns to Lughnasadh 2016……

 

IMG_5855Merry Meet my friends. ¬†I know…you are probably thinking..where have you been? ¬†I know I know! ¬†I’ve been very neglectful of my blog and I’m sorry. ¬†I could tell you everything that has been going on in my life…..but frankly, there’s so much going on in the World these days..it would just sound like petty reasons. I have missed writing but at the same time I tossed around the idea of not writing here for a while. ¬†I guess I accomplished that…a needed break. ¬†But I’m back I think and look forward to writing here again. ¬†I thank you for your patience..if you have indeed been wondering ūüôā

I HAVE been busy …as many of you have been, I know. ¬†My gardens are keeping me happily busy….planting, mulching, weeding, watering, thinning, deadheading etc etc. ….but I find that a lovely chore ūüôā ¬†My in-laws have moved from California to be near us, as my FIL is developing dementia and my MIL requires more help. ¬†This has been a challenge I won’t go into, but we are managing to the best of our ability. ¬†I’ve been still recovering from two surgeries in February that rocked my world too. ¬†Suffice to say that I don’t think I’m going to get back all the way to where I was, but I’m doing as good as it gets lol. ¬†Nothing serious, just irritation stuff. ¬†I have a lot of irons in the fire, and that is why, mainly, that I haven’t written. ¬†It was just an iron I let go for a while.

Let’s see, I haven’t written since Ostara. ¬†Wow. ¬†So I missed Beltane and Midsummer postings but to my delight, I see that many have still come to read my posts and snatch up some of my recipes etc. ¬†I’m glad! ¬†There is some great info there in the last 6-7 years. ¬†I plan to continue sharing recipes as those seem to be my most popular posts.

Now, we are moving quickly toward Lughnasadh or Lammas on August 1st. I so love this Sabbat as it’s that first sign that my favorite season, Autumn, is coming fast! ¬†The first Harvest festival! It’s been so hot here lately with way more high temps coming yet, that it especially makes me long for cool, crisp days and knowing they are coming soon makes me happy! ¬†I have already been perusing recipes..mostly recipes for breads, fresh veggies, canning, and uses for my herbs in oils and vinegars.

Many of us are harvesting yummy produce from our own garden beds. ¬†Red tomatoes, green peppers, peas, beans, zucchini, squash, melons etc etc. ¬†Also, I don’t know about you, but I’ve harvested some of my herbs more than once already! ¬†Big bundles of lemon balm, fever few, catnip, oregano, mint, parsley, sage etc are hanging and scenting my kitchen in a lovely way. ¬†My coven sisters have benefitted a bundle or two as well ūüôā ¬†For those who don’t have big gardens of veggies, like me, a farmer’s market is the perfect place to stock up! ¬†They are abundant around your town I’m sure and farm stands dot the corners as well. ¬†Be sure to indulge yourself this time of year.

I have already made a couple of new recipes I’d like to share. ¬†One is for a simple yummy bread that I’m now calling biscuit bread! ¬†The other, a delicious cheese-filled mushroom appetizer, however, it would make a lovely light lunch too. ¬†I think you’ll like them!

 

13669101_1131904923519582_7075612805239868403_n

Butter Crust Beer Bread

2 cups self-rising flour

3 Tbs sugar

12 oz regular beer (not light)

1/4 cup butter, melted

 

Preheat oven to 350* In a bowl, mix flour, sugar and beer until well blended and a sticky dough forms, about one minute. ¬†Spoon dough into a greased 8″x 5″ loaf pan. Bake at 350* for 30 minutes. ¬†Remove from oven; pour melted butter over the top. Return to oven and bake 30 minutes more, until lightly golden. Cool bread in pan before removing.

 

IMG_6091

Cheesy Mushroom Caps

8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened

1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese (the good stuff, not shaker)

1/4 cup whipping cream

1/2 tsp garlic salt

24 large mushrooms, stems removed and cleaned (I used baby portabello)

1/2 cup butter, melted.

Preheat oven to 350*  In a bowl, combine cheeses, whipping cream and garlic salt; blend well.  Fill mushroom caps with mixture.  Dip bottom of mushrooms in melted butter and place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 350* for 15 minutes.

*The cheese mixture would fill more than 24 of the baby portabellos.  If you use a larger mushroom, it may fill less than 24.

Enjoy!!

I have put together for the most part my Lughnasadh altar. ¬†The harvest altars are always my favorite to do. ¬†I love the warm colors of browns, golds, rusts, reds, and oranges. ¬†This is my altar this year. ūüôā

 

IMG_6093 copy

 

Lughnasadh or Lammas is all about the last days of Summer, the coming of Autumn, the first harvests, the days shortening, and a reminder for us to appreciate the warmth of the Sun, while it may be too hot some days to be out under that same Sun. ¬†Our ancestors had more to do and worry about…putting “up” food for the winter, praying that Mother Earth, the Goddesses and Gods smiled on their crops and brought abundant enough food for them to survive the long, cold Winter. A good crop and storing said crops was hard work and meant life or death! ¬†For us, putting “up” food perhaps reminds us of our grandmothers or mothers who fantastically canned tomatoes, sauces, veggies, jams/jellies, pickles etc and filled their pantry with colorful jars all in a row. ¬†I sure have memories of my grandmother, in her ever constant apron, doing just that…with grandchildren underfoot trying to help and learn. ¬†To this day, I still like to do some canning…..even if it’s just apple butter or strawberry jam. ¬†It’s lovely sitting on the shelf, to pull out in the middle of a cold Winter day , and slather onto a piece of homemade, hot bread. ¬†Sigh..so good.

Don’t forget to use your fresh herbs to make lovely flavored oils and vinegars. ¬†Baking bread is a big part of Lammas/Lughnasadh as well. ¬†Watch the sunrise or set, sit under a tree and watch the Sun dapple through the trees. ¬†Garden and feel the warmth on your back. ¬†Have a picnic with your family. ¬†Take a walk and enjoy the brilliant flowers in full glory. Heck…even play Pokemon Go if you want…just be sure that you’re walking to catch those little monsters and enjoying being outdoors. ¬†There will come a time when you’ll be indoors watching it snow and you’ll be glad you enjoyed that warm Sun!

Blessed Lughnasadh my friends. ¬†May the Sun warm you. Oh and Blessed Full Moon too! ¬†May She shine on you also. Also, if I may say a word, in this very angry, sad world we seem to be living in right now…..open your heart to others, spread love, be kind…don’t judge. ¬†Be part of the cure, not the problem. ¬†We are all just here to live our lives, in our way, with respect and love for others. ¬†Blessed Be.

“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-

 

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

 

 

 

21 Comments

Filed under Altars, Autumn, Family, Flowers, Full Moons, Gardens, God, Goddess, Herbs, Holiday, Lammas/Lughnassadh, Midsummer, Mother Earth, My Favorite Things, My Writing, Nature, Ostara, Pagan, Photography, Quote, Recipe from my Kitchen, recipes, Sabbat, Seasons, Summer, Sun, Sunrise/Sunset, Uncategorized, Witch

The Wheel Turns to Ostara 2016……..

IMG_0857Merry Meet my friends! ¬†I have been terribly re-miss on writing here in my blog and I’ll tell you why shortly. ¬†It’s a cloudy day, and warmish, hitting 60* right now. ¬†Earlier the Sun was out and there was a gorgeous crescent Moon last night to enjoy and draw energy from ūüôā ¬†Rain is coming in later..which we DON’T need! ¬†Our backyard is flooded! ¬†But there are signs of Spring everywhere in our yard. ¬†From the animal and bird activities, to the greening of the grass, and the shoots popping up out of the ground from lots of our flowers and herbs! I love it!

First of all, I want to say thank you so much for being a reader and a friend of this blog. ¬†I just celebrated my 6th year writing here. I started out thinking it would be a way for me to keep a journal of sorts. ¬†But it evolved into something more over time. ¬†I have had over 207,000 views and nearly 780 followers. ¬†It’s amazing to me that anything I have to say is of interest to people. ¬†And yet, it seems some are interested and I really appreciate it ūüôā ¬†I keep it mostly because I enjoy writing, and I enjoy sharing, and I enjoy learning too. ¬†So thank you very much! ¬†I hope my readers continue to enjoy what I write.

Secondly, I have had a rough few weeks. ¬†I had surgery on Feb 1 as I believe I talked about a bit in my previous posts. ¬†That surgery was a nightmare. ¬†It did not go well. ¬†Something I won’t go into was done in a way that a nerve was damaged. ¬†I was in extreme pain..I mean truly excruiciating with no relief except when I laid perfectly still. ¬†Long story short, a week later I was in the OR again having that fixed. ¬†The excruciating pain was relieved mostly, but the pain of two surgeries is just now starting to alleviate. ¬†I’m told to expect another month or so to feel normal again. ¬†I am glad that the original health issue is fixed…but it’s been a heck of a recovery. ¬†Funny..I told myself while I was laid up, I’d be reading, writing, and working on a couple projects. But I found it was hard to focus on all of those things. ¬†Thus, the lack of writing here in my blog. ¬†But I’m reading and journaling and yes, now writing here too now. ¬†Thank you for your patience!

imagesCARWHKV2

There is much going on! Ostara is next Sunday! ¬†I’m blessed that a dear Witch sister is coming to stay with me for a few days. ¬†Deb has been a friend for years now but she lives in SC and we have only met face to face once..and that was way to brief of a time and quite some time ago. ¬†We talk on the phone all the time and I look forward to having her within hugging range for a change. ūüôā ¬†My coven will gather for Ostara Sunday morning and she will be here for that as well. Everyone is looking forward to meeting their long- distance sister! We will do a ritual, have brunch and a fire. It will be magickal and filled with love! ¬†Breakfast casserole, muffins and pastries, fruit salad, coffee and juices are on the menu. ¬†Yum!

For Ostara, we often meet in the morning as I love greeting the Sun with a toast. ¬†After all, Ostara is the return of Spring, the return of longer days, of warmth, and green and flowers and leafed out trees. ¬†Mother Earth awakens! Now, I live in Ohio….and we’ve been pretty warm and Spring-like lately. But snow could come back anytime yet lol. ¬†Yesterday, I took a stroll around the yard and discovered lots of my plants and herbs blooming green shoots! ¬†It’s early for sure, but wonderful! ¬†One thing I did do while laid up, was flip thru garden catalogs and magazines, and I have lots of plans to add to our flower beds. We’ll be adding new plants, thinning some, moving some etc. ¬†We’ll be planting new trees, flowering bushes and new flowers to fill new beds. ¬†I so can’t wait! ¬†Right now, all I can do is look. ¬†I’m not healed up enough yet to clean up the beds etc….but I got my hands dirty a bit yesterday and it made me smile. ¬†There is nothing more grounding than digging in the dirt ūüôā

12524325_1049518861758189_472521187969119925_n

 

 

12806111_1049518958424846_9084144446345856190_n

 

 

12814489_1049518915091517_4705305574395098697_n

 

My Spring cleaning was delayed due to the surgeries, but I had worked very hard on serious purging and organizing beforehand. ¬†I’ve started back up again the last day or two. ¬†I’m down to one cupboard, one closet and a couple kitchen cupboards to go thru yet. ¬†It feels so great to do this. ¬†Purging unwanted, unneeded, and unused items is very freeing ūüôā ¬†It won’t be long and my clothesline will be up again, and clothes, linens and so on will be flapping in the sun and wind! I love that!

I’m going to go ahead and post a couple of recipes for Ostara, since it’s here so fast! ¬†I’m going to be very busy this next week getting ready for our gathering and for my dear company coming, so I’m not sure I’ll be back to write until after. ¬†Foods for Ostara are:¬†Leafy green vegetables, ¬†sunflower and pine nuts, dairy, ¬†fish, hot crossed buns, sweet breads, hard boiled eggs or eggs fixed any way, ¬†honey¬†cakes, and seasonal fruits. ¬†Here’s a couple recipes that should fit right in there!

 

IMG_9915

 

Rich and Moist Honey Cake

 

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1‚ĀĄ2 teaspoons baking powder
1‚ĀĄ4 teaspoon salt
1‚ĀĄ2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon orange zest
3‚ĀĄ4 cup butter
3‚ĀĄ4 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1‚ĀĄ4 cup milk
1 cup chopped walnuts

Honey Sauce
1 cup white sugar
1 cup honey
3‚ĀĄ4 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350*  Grease and flour a 9 inch square pan. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and orange zest. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated. Stir in the walnuts.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.  Cut cake then Pour honey syrup over the cake.
For the Honey Syrup: In a saucepan, combine honey, 1 cup sugar and water. Bring to a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.

3526107701_810eba114f_z

 

Bacon Spinach Quiche

4 eggs
2 cups milk
1-1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, cooked and drained
1 unbaked pastry shell (9 inches)

Preheat oven to 400*

In a large bowl, beat eggs; whisk in milk, 1 cup cheese, onion, bacon, salt, mustard and paprika. Add spinach.

Pour into pie shell.

Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake at 400¬į for 40 minutes

Yield: 6 servings.

 

There you go…something sweet and something savory ūüôā ¬†Enjoy!

 

I want to wish you all a very happy Ostara….happy Spring…..and have a great week! ¬†Oh, Happy Irish Day as well this week! ¬†It’s a fun week for seeing green…whether it be in your garden beds, or your Irish showing! ¬†Slainte!!

 

Oh, Spring is surely coming,
Her couriers fill the air;
Each morn are new arrivals,
Each night her ways prepare;
I scent her fragrant garments,
Her foot is on the stair.
~John Burroughs, “A March Glee”

 

Love and Blessings

Autumn

 

 

 

 

 

16 Comments

Filed under Cleaning & Organizing, Correspondence, coven, Family, Flowers, Friends, Gardens, Goddess, Gratitude, Happy Irish Day, Herbs, Holiday, Mother Earth, Nature, Ostara, Our Yard, Pagan, Photography, Poem, Recipe from my Kitchen, recipes, Ritual, Sabbat, Seasons, sisters, Spring, Sun, Thank You!, Uncategorized, Winter, Witch

Winter Love……..

Winter is the slow-down
Winter is the search for self
Winter gives the silence you need to listen
Winter goes gray so you can see your own colors…
~Terri Guillemets

 

Merry Meet my friends! How is your New Year going so far? ¬†Is it Winter where you are? ¬†Winter was very slow arriving here in Ohio! ¬†We had crazy warm weather, to the point that plants were re-blooming, grass was green and birds and squirrels were very content to enjoy an extended warm season for gathering. ¬†We had only seen one day of snow flurries in late December…I mean come on!! ¬†ūüôā ¬†However, finally Winter had arrived with snow and frigid cold and blowing winds and I’m a very happy Witch! ¬†We haven’t had a huge amount of snow, but we did have some accumulation that looked like this:

8779_1016771978366211_1151163939206603136_n

 

12510490_1015252108518198_5541030753558240228_n

Then we warmed up, got rain and washed it all away. ¬†Today, the cold came back and it flurried very prettily. ¬†I love Sundays as many of you who know me, know. ¬†But add snow flurries, the need for a fire in the fireplace, no need to go anywhere, a project to do, something simmering on the stove….and it’s really a Perfect day!!

I’ve been very busy doing my Imbolc cleaning which also involves major purging of unwanted and unneeded items. ¬†It feels so good to see all that “stuff” going out of the house! ¬†I take one room at at a time. ¬†Empty drawers, cupboards, cabinets, closets etc and really sort through. ¬†I find myself getting more brutal about what needs to go ¬†as I go along too.

When we moved to this home three years ago, we came from a much bigger house that held a lot more “stuff”. ¬†We got rid of so much stuff then ….out of necessity of not enough space since we had downscaled. ¬†But after 3 years, as I’m looking through things, I realize there are things I haven’t touched in the 3 years we’ve lived here. ¬†So…out they go!

It’ll take me a while. I’m maybe half way done. ¬†I may not be done by Imbolc but that’s just fine. ¬†I’m actually, unfortunately, having surgery the day before Imbolc so that will slow me down a bit. ¬†I was hoping to be done before my surgery, but I don’t think that will happen. ¬†We shall see ūüôā ¬†By the way, I’m fine…just something that needs to be fixed and will take the usual 6 weeks to completely heal, but I’m fine ūüôā

So far this Winter, along with Imbolc cleaning, I have read a LOT! ¬†Especially since the holidays were over. I adore getting lost in a book, and I am so happy to have the time to do it to my heart’s content. It looks a lot like this:

10346652_1010571255652950_6954976133290383276_n

 

I have also been working on some BOS pages, journaling, working on my herbal course a bit, spending more time with my grandkids who are homeschooled and more available, and really just nesting. I am about to dive into my Witch cupboard to give it a thorough cleaning, cleansing, and re-arranging. ¬†I have bought some gorgeous, new oil bottles and herb jars and I’m anxious to get them set up inside my cabinet..to replace the mish mash of stuff that’s there now ūüôā ¬†I can’t wait to start blending oils for each pretty bottle! ¬†I have a list of what I’m making from simple rosemary oil to Sabbat blends to my favorite altar oil. ¬†I so love doing that! ¬†Planning on starting tomorrow! ¬†I’m also going to make some salt blends as well.

Right now, for Winter, the dark time, I’ve got my altar set up to honor my beloved Goddess, Hekate. ¬†I find myself drawn to it several times a day and that is a good thing. ¬†I’ll keep it up until I’m ready to set up my Imbolc altar, which won’t be too long now.

 

947385_1010993288944080_501753042168676160_n

 

Winter…I know so many who find it to be their least favorite season. ¬†But other than Autumn, I find it to be especially beautiful. ¬†I love hearing the wind blowing. ¬†There is great magick there, in the Air that is either cold, still and quiet, or blowing and frigid. ¬†On quiet nights, I love to stand outside seeing the inky black skies with bright stars, see my breath on the Air, smell the woodsmoke from the chimneys in my neighborhood, see the lights shining in the windows, feel the quiet of the ground beneath my feet. ¬†The silence is often palpable…and beautiful. ¬†I know that Mother Earth is resting, renewing, preparing to awake in the Spring and bring Life back to this wonderful Earth we call Home.

I especially love the trees in Winter.  There is something so mystical about a tree, bare of foliage, standing dark and stark against white snow and dark skies.  Or blue skies for that matter. Either still and quiet, or standing strong against blustery winds and snow. The shadows they cast long over the snow, always catch my eye.  You can feel that they too, are resting, waiting.

In my garden beds, there are still plants that had re-bloomed in our late warm days, and now stand snow covered, withering, but leaving the promise of returning bigger and stronger in the Spring.  Some of the tall ones provide shelter for birds and ground animals which I love.  There is beauty there as well.

Some of my favorite things about Winter? ¬†Fires, woodsmoke, fuzzy socks, a stack of books, coffee or tea or cocoa, colorful scarves and mittens, sleds and ice skates, hot meals in the oven or on the stove, bread baking, soup simmering, hot rum toddies, flannel sheets, piles of blankets, wind blowing, snow falling, candles burning, more time to rest, Moon rises, Sun sets, squirrels gathering, birds feeding, and so so much more. ¬†If you love Winter, you know everything I’m talking about. ¬†If you don’t love Winter, well, I bet you love a lot of the things I’ve talked about. ¬†So maybe Winter isn’t so bad? ¬†But don’t fret, as you know, Spring will indeed come. ¬†And look what has come to my mailbox:

FullSizeRender

 

LOL…I so love my seed catalogs! ¬†And yes, I’m already planting my herbs and flowers in my head. ¬†How about you?

I’ll be back soon with a post for Imbolc and some recipes ūüôā ¬†For now, be safe out there, remember to take in the beauty of the season, find something you love to do, and slow down and enjoy!!

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

 

*All the pictures in this post are my own.

 

 

5 Comments

Filed under Altars, Autumn, Books, Books I'm reading, Cleaning & Organizing, Family, Gardens, Goddess, Herbs, Imbolc, Magick, Mother Earth, My Favorite Things, My Writing, Nature, New Year, Our Yard, Pagan, Photography, Quote, Sabbat, Seasons, Spring, Uncategorized, Winter, Witch

The Wheel Turns to the Winter Solstice/Yule 2015…..

 

 

To celebrate the Sun, the Land, the Ancient Ones, the great Circle of Nature.
To welcome in the Winter and the New Year.
To bring forth renewal, peace, and joy.

-Selena Fox “Saturnalia”¬†

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMerry Meet my friends! ¬†It’s a Monday evening, quiet in the house at the moment after a busy day. ¬†It rained today and we have been un-seasonably warm here in Ohio. ¬†Too warm for my tastes actually lol, but we will start cooling down in the next few days!

The Solstice is coming fast…just a week away! ¬†Yule, or the Winter Solstice is all about the return of the Sun. ¬†It will be the longest night, and then we celebrate the rotation and the days lengthening as we eventually get to Spring again. ¬†Having said that, here in Ohio and many other places on this wonderful, good Earth, we have a long Winter ahead of us yet! ¬†I have been preparing for it for some time now. ¬†From putting away the garden tools, and getting the garden beds cleaned up and mulched, to pulling out warm blanket throws, making elderberry syrup and of course, shopping for Yule and Christmas gifts and all the things associated with the holidays!

 

12347660_999226080120801_138695232283829682_n

My elderberry syrup brewing

 

I also have planned for projects to do over the dark time of Winter. And my list gets longer lol. ¬†Books I want to read, house projects to do, projects associated with my Craft such as getting my herbalist class going, working on my BOS, and some witchy crafts too. ¬†I often feel that Autumn is too, too short of a season, it goes by so fast I think because it’s my favorite. ¬†Winter, to me, often is a very long season…which I think is a good thing! ¬†I have already found myself staying indoors more, except on these really warm days we’re experiencing right now! ¬†As I said before, it’s nesting…..loving my home and being in it!

For my Solstice celebrations, I most definitely clean the house well, make sure I have lots of candles and firewood, stock up the pantry for cooking and baking, and do as much ahead of time as I can. ¬†For me, and for many I know, the Solstice is not so much about families and friends gathering, not about gift giving, not about a huge feast and loud, noisy parties. ¬†It’s more about a simple meal, quiet introspection, offerings to our Gods and Mother Earth, ¬†and dwelling in the darknesss, in a content and joyful way. ¬†It’s about quiet meditation, reflecting on the year ahead and what we wish to leave behind. ¬†I often will get up early to toast the Sun as he/she rises. ¬†I say he to cover those who think of the Sun as the Male God rising again, and I say she for those who think of her as Sister Sun. ¬†You can fill it in as you wish ūüôā Whether you toast with a mimosa, ¬†a cup of coffee or a glass of water, the ritual holds meaning. ¬†It’s representative of the days starting to lengthen and we know there is hope that after Winter we will have Spring. ¬†My coven has decided to meet on January 3. To allow everyone time with their families at this busy time of year. ¬†We all look forward to it very much. ¬†It’s a feast of desserts, coffee, hot chocolate and our fun gift exchange..all around a fire. ¬†Perfect!

IMG_3073 [27272]

My Yule Altar 2015

My Solstice/Yule altar is always one of my favorites I do each year. ¬†I set it up early in December and have enjoyed using it each day. ¬†I have a new Goddess statue..Elen of the Ways which I’m in love with. ¬†I’ll be talking more about her in another blog soon. ¬†Not the statue, but Elen herself. ¬†ūüôā ¬†I love my real deer antler, my YULE log my hubby drilled holes in for me, and of course all the red and green crystals, candles, and my elemental representatives. I’ve had the beautiful deer for years now and it brings me joy every time I see it. ¬†The vase is filled with Rosemary…a gift from the garden of one of my coven sisters. ¬†Her Rosemary was still going strong with all the warm weather we’ve been having and she made sure I had some. ¬†It smells so good! ¬†I’ll be adding more greens on top of my Yule log and some cakes and ale the night of the Solstice.

For crafty things I like to do this time of year.  Feed the birds with peanut butter covered bagles dipped in bird seed.  String cereal like a garland.  Gather bits of yarn, fur, dryer fuzz and put everything out for the birds..they will love it!  Make orange pomanders. Make beautiful oil blends and use them to anoint candles, your altar, yourself.  Gather some dried herbs and make herbed salts, oils and vinegars for gifts.  Bake bread and take a loaf to a neighbor.  Gather the grandkids or kids and make lots of cookies.  Even better, make dog biscuits and share them with all the dogs in your life.

Don’t forget to donate! ¬†Clean out your closets and cupboards and take them to Goodwill or a homeless shelter or a battered woman’s shelter. ¬†Donate dog and cat food to your local shelter..better yet, take home a pet that needs a home! ¬†Give to Toys for Tots, Books for kids, the Red Cross, Salvation Army, adopt a family, send a military shoe box, and/or volunteer at a soup kitchen or food pantry. ¬†You’ll be all the better for it! Give, give, give to be truly grateful with what you have!

12004974_959987560711320_128866761805272396_n

My hearth fires burning

I love to burn candles all over the house, and to keep off of all electronics! ¬†I’ll often journal, read, scry in the fire…Oh..there MUST be a fire in the hearth of course! That goes without saying ūüôā ¬†Soup and bread are often my preferred meal (my family loves that too) and we just have a quiet peaceful night. ¬†Stepping outside to make my offerings, absorb the energy from Earth and Grandmother Moon as well. ¬†And to listen…listen to the quiet of Winter…it’s so peaceful. Keep in mind that our Mother Earth is also resting, rejuvenating, and readying for when Spring blooms again. ¬†Then, a good night’s sleep and I’ll be ready to hop back into the much more chaotic holiday of Christmas that comes a few days later!

Ritual for any Sabbat doesn’t have to be organized or methodical. ¬†When I first started blogging, I often shared actual rituals that I had found online or in books. ¬†Now, I just tell you what I do. ¬†What I do at my altar..well, that’s between me and my Goddess as they say. ¬†The words I use, the tools I use, the feelings I emote and the goals I’m trying to manifest are my own. ¬†I have many friends who are new to the Craft, or maybe aren’t so new, but get bogged down in worrying about rhyming words, what color the stones should be, or where the candles should go on the altar. ¬†I say…..it’s YOUR Path….do what feels right to you. Period. ¬†Your intentions and your inner Magick and your relationship with your God/Goddess is all that matters. ¬†You’ll be heard!

I’ll be back in a day or two with a few recipes I thought I’d share. I’d like to remind you that you can search for Yule or Winter Solstice in the search box on the right ———> for more posts like the correspondences, recipes, poems and quotes etc. ¬†I see many of you are finding them already. ¬†ūüôā ¬†In the meantime, have a wonderful week!

Love and Blessings, Autumn

 

 

 

15 Comments

Filed under Altars, Christmas, coven, Family, Friends, God, Goddess, Gratitude, Herbs, Holiday, Magick, Mother Earth, My Favorite Things, My Writing, Nature, Pagan, Photography, Quote, Ritual, Sabbat, Seasons, Sun, Sunrise/Sunset, Uncategorized, Winter, Witch, Yule, Yule/Winter Solstice/Chrismas