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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 🙂  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 🙂  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!

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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. 🙂  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 🙂

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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 🙂  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!

 

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Rich and Moist Honey Cake

 

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon orange zest
3⁄4 cup butter
3⁄4 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1⁄4 cup milk
1 cup chopped walnuts

Honey Sauce
1 cup white sugar
1 cup honey
3⁄4 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.

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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° for 40 minutes

Yield: 6 servings.

 

There you go…something sweet and something savory 🙂  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

 

 

 

 

 

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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

Merry Christmas to all……

christmas-candle-douglas-pulsipherMerry Meet my friends!  In the midst of baking and celebrating, I thought I’d do a quick post. I have a simmering potpourri on the stove imparting amazing scent throughout my home. I have bacon appetizers just out of the oven (also adding amazing scent!), no bake cookies are done and I’m about to make my Scottish Shortbread cookies as well. We have had neighbors stopping by with small gifts for us and we gave them their gifts from us and visited a bit. My mom sent over her famous cranberry meatballs for us and my brother to enjoy for dinner tomorrow night.  There have been phone calls and texts to dear friends this morning and it’s been a wonderful day so far.

As I wrote the other day, our Eve and day of Christmas are actually quite quiet and relaxed.  Our extended family won’t gather until Saturday, and my other daughter and her family will be here on Sunday for our day of feasting, visiting and gift exchanging. I am rather enjoying the leisure of this couple of days.  After the baking is done, we’ll be reading, watching movies, and relaxing tonight. My brother will be here tomorrow and overnight, and there will be more of the same then. It’s quite lovely! Add a fire (despite the warmth outside) and lit candles and soft music and it’s a perfect Winter evening.

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As I write, my daughter Sara and I are listening to “A Christmas Carol” on Audible, narrated by Tim Curry.  It’s very well done and I recommend it!  The Sun is shining and it’s nearly 60*!!  Way too warm for this time of year in Ohio!  My hubby is actually painting the trim work outside around our new front door we got a week or so ago lol.  The back door is cracked open, we’ve filled the bird feeders and we hear them singing as they happily feed. While I love Winter and snow and such, I’m doing my best to enjoy this extended warmth as it will be gone soon I’m sure 🙂

For those of you who celebrate Christmas..whether it be a secular, family, Santa day, or you celebrate the birth of Jesus, or you celebrate the Solstice or something else….I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Holiday, Blessed Yule, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza and all the other ways you can celebrate this Yuletide Season.  Remember, we are one human race, no matter our differences, with much more in common than not! As Tiny Tim says  “Gods Bless us every one”!  And in the case of my Pagan/Witch friends..Goddess Bless you all!

And don’t forget…it’s a rare Full Christmas Moon! Be sure to take in Her energy!  I’m happy I’ll be able to see Her!

 “There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,’ returned the nephew. ‘Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round—apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that—as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”
-Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Love and Blessings, Autumn

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Filed under Books, Christmas, Holiday, Pagan, Quote, Seasons, Uncategorized, Winter, Witch, Yule/Winter Solstice/Chrismas

The Wheel Turns to Samhain 2015……

“Suddenly the day was gone,
night came out from under each tree and spread.”
― Ray Bradbury  “The Halloween Tree”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMerry Meet my friends!  It’s been a bit too long since I’ve posted anything here on my blog.  As you all know, Autumn is my favorite time of year and I’ve been very much enjoying all the pleasures of this beautiful, magickal season!  We’ve had temps anywhere between cold, frosty mornings to unseasonably warm afternoons..like today! We went from 32* a couple mornings ago, to 74* today! It’s typical here for Ohio though lol.  I love it either way.  We are at peak color or close to it and it’s a brilliant year for color.  The skies have been clear, with star-filled, Moonlit nights that I love so much!   Crisp, autumn days with leaves crunching underfoot and falling in colorful waves upon the ground, pumpkins grinning from porches, and you gotta love sweaters and scarfs coming out again! I’m in my element that is for sure!.  I’m energized and content!

I hope that you all are enjoying the lovely season too!  Whether you are coming into spring in the southern hemisphere or the fall here.  I also hope that you have been reading and enjoying Samhain’s Sirens this month!  You will find amazing bloggers, music, information, pictures, recipes, crafts, give-aways and so much more!  My recipes are there on most days, so if you’re looking for wonderful Samhain recipes, you need only look there.  The link is on the right side of my post over there —–>  You’ll love it!

The veil is thinning as all witches and pagans know.  Our ancestors and loved ones wait to connect with us, to share with us, to impart knowledge and love to us.  We have only to listen.  I have many friends who have lost loved ones recently, as I have, and I know they look forward to feeling them close again.  Even our beloved pets.  It’s what Samhain is all about for me.  That connection to our family, friends, ancestors, and guides.  There are many forms of divination of which to use to this gain….but I find a quiet flame and quieting my mind, opening myself to them, is all it takes.  What is your best way?  Scrying? Tarot? Meditation? ….There are many.  I’ll be setting up my altar with many tools for that purpose, but being quiet and listening is the main thing for success, I have found.  I hope that you are so blessed with a visit from those you seek the most….and maybe you’ll discover someone else who is trying to reach you too!  Be open to all possibilities!

Samhain is also the Witch’s New Year!  We wind down a year of Sabbat celebrations, of Moon phases from new to full to dark. We have gone from cold, long nights to hot, long days.  We’ve had meteor showers, eclipses, Blood Moons, Supermoons and all the magick that we bring to our lives each and every day.  The New Year is a time to celebrate our past year, let go of those things unwanted..both physically and mentally, and look forward to planning our next year.  It’s a time for looking back and looking forward.  I find myself getting ready to nest in.  Even with the upcoming holidays, it’s knowing the dark season is upon us. Being by hearth and fire during long, dark, cold nights can be cozy, introspective, productive and filled with comfort and joy.  Even if you don’t have a fireplace, fill your home with the warmth of candlelight, bake and cook things that scent your home with goodness, have warm blankets and cozy jammies you love, a stack of books by your chair, a project or two you’d like to get done, and maybe something new to learn too.  Your winter will be wonderful.  I always look at it as a time to work on myself, my home and a time to increase my knowledge on something I want to learn!

Yesterday, my daughters and grandkids and I did something together that was so simple and so fun. We made homemade applesauce.  A really, yummy, cinnamon-y applesauce.  The kids got involved by learning how to use an apple slicer, stirring in brown sugar, measuring out cinnamon etc. They loved it as did my daughters and I.  It so brought to mind for me doing that very thing with my grandmother when I was a child. And while I don’t remember making applesauce with my girls when they were young, we certainly did a LOT of baking and cooking together.  Seeing my daughter teaching her children what she learned from me…well…it’s a special thing.  I can’t wait to tell my grandma, when I hear from her through the veil on Samhain night, all about it!  ❤

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I thought you might enjoy trying the recipe too since apples are abundant right now…. so here you go!  This is not the canning type of recipe.  This is for immediate use. Jarred up, it should last a while in your fridge.

 Cinnamon Applesauce

6 pounds of apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 8 slices (use your favorite kind..we used cortlands)

1 cup apple juice or apple cider

3 Tbs lemon juice

1/2 cup packed brown sugar. (we added 2 Tbs more)

2 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes.

Use a masher to mash down any chunks.  If you like it super thin, run it through a blender or food processor (we liked the texture without doing that)

Store in covered jar or plastic container.

So easy and you will love it!  Would be great in recipes calling for applesauce as well!

I am in the process of working on getting my altar set up.  I got my Mabon altar taken down, cleansed and cleaned my table and it’s ready to set up.  Samhain is my very favorite altar to do..well, I think it is. I love most of them. I’ll post a picture here as soon as it’s done.  I’ll also be back in a few days with more recipes as my recipe posts are my most popular 🙂

My coven of wonderful sisters will be gathering on the 30th.  Samhain night is Beggar’s Night here…so we have chosen the night before so we could be with our families for Trick or Treat with our kids and grandkids.  We will have a feast, a hearth fire, a ritual for our loved ones who have crossed the veil, and we will be in full Witch regalia which is so so fun!  I so love celebrating Samhain with them.  That includes those sisters I hold dear that live in other states….they know who they are ❤

Samhain is a magickal time. To me, the most wonderful time of the year.  (now that song is going through your head right? LOL!)  However you celebrate it, whether quietly or with full All Hallow’s Eve celebrations…enjoy it!!  I’ll be back soon!

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

*All pictures are my own.

 

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Filed under Altars, Autumn, coven, Daughters, Family, Friends, Grandchildren, Holiday, New Year, Pagan, Photography, Quote, Recipe from my Kitchen, Sabbat, Winter, Witch

A Moment to Spare…………

dsc_0773Merry Meet my friends and Blessed Memorial Day.  I am writing this because I actually have some time to do so today 🙂  We didn’t have any plans per se for today except to mulch the garden beds and relax..perhaps visit the cemetaries.  But it’s pouring rain, windy and actually a little chilly, so we are relaxing and unwinding.  Things have been crazy busy here with getting our home ready for Summer, planting garden beds, making new garden beds, getting patio furniture cleaned and put out etc etc.  I also had a very sad death in my family that has kept me busy with family and the inevitable drama that came with it.  I lost a beloved Uncle in a terrible train/truck collision and a few members of extended family have acted up terribly.  Anyway, I’ve been trying to be there for my mom (he was her brother) and dad..it’s been emotional and sad but we have pulled together to support each other and that’s a good thing.

In the process of losing someone I loved, I have contemplated on how short life is, how fleeting it is, and how fast something terrible can happen that takes our life away.  I have always known this but a death brings it home even more. Ever since I was a young mother, I have done my best to appreciate the simple things, the little moments that bring Joy, laughter, comfort, peace, and reflection in my Life.  I tried to teach my girls the same thing and I believe they do too. We are teaching my grandkids the same thing!  Life isn’t about the big things..it’s about the small daily parts of our lives.

I see so many people who are so busy that it seems they fly through life without pause.  I could never do that.  Even on my busiest day, I have to stop and listen, be quiet, feel, reflect, watch, hear, see, smell and taste.  We live in a time where people have their attention on their phones, tv’s, and computers. Kids are super busy involved in everything under the Sun …good parents thinking they are giving their kids every opportunity to excel in something…but they have very little time for just being a kid….using their imagination, connecting with nature, being still.  I’m not judging, just saying I see this so much in this day and time.

I hear people say “when I get a moment to spare, I’m going to……..????? ”   And in my mind, there are so many moments to spare if we are more aware of the time we waste!  I’m guilty of this too, don’t get me wrong…we all are!  Some days I don’t waste a moment, other days I fill my day with wasteful moments of watching too much tv, on my computer too long or just flying from one thing to the next without any thought of the moments that I’m not taking to “notice” something! As I get older, I can look back and feel I did about 60% well in not wasting time, but now I do much better than that. I can’t function if I don’t!

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A few things I like to do when I have a moment to spare:

-walk barefoot outside

-light a candle and watch the flame

-read a bit (that is NEVER a waste of time in my opinion)

-literally smell the roses

-write in my gratitude journal

-call a friend

-eat a piece of chocolate..really savor it slowly

-water, weed or deadhead flowers in my garden beds..I find any connection with Mother Gaia soothing

-listen for the birds, watch a butterfly in flight, watch the setting sun or the rising Moon

-have a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, a piece of good bread and just sit and be while you do it

-pet your furbaby..give them total attention

-write a letter or card

-Listen to a favorite song…either quietly or up dancing like crazy!

-soak your feet in good soapy water

-take a 10 minute snooze

-hug your kids, your hubby, your friend, your grandkids

-take a walk…..feel the wind, see the trees, hear the birds

-clean out a drawer…yes, this is a bit of work, but only takes a moment and it’s so satisfying when it’s organized!

-Play..take a moment to really play….one of my new favs…adult coloring books!

-practice your passion..whether it’s art, music, crafting, needlework, taking a course ….find the time to do it….the satisfaction you’ll feel is so worth it

-Do something kind for someone…it just takes a moment.  A call, holding the door for someone, smiling at your waitress or cashier, buying a cup of coffee or lunch for the person in line behind you, saying thank you, complimenting someone….it will make your day and their’s too!

Life is a succession of moments,

to live each one is to succeed.

-Corita Kent

Well…you get the picture. The point is…..Life flies by and you never know when you’ll take your last breath and move onto your next journey.  Appreciate the small moments…take time for them…share them.  Your life will be richer for it. I have to add that as a Witch and Pagan….I find that my fellow sisters and brothers of the Craft are very good at this too.  It is just a natural part of our daily life!   And just another word of advice.  No matter how old you are….have a will. Also, let your family members know..in writing!!….what you would like done for you when you pass.  So there are no arguments amongst your loved ones. Your wishes will be well documented. If you want someone to have something of yours..write it down..and be sure someone has it that will implement things when you’re gone.  It makes things much much easier for your family and keeps drama at bay.  A lesson hard learned my friends.  I know I’m putting everything in writing!!!

So now, I hope that you had a moment to spare to read this….and you take many moments to spare throughout your day…every day!  Many Blessings to you!  With today being Memorial Day….Please remember the Fallen..the Brave ones who made everything possible for us…..so that we can spare those precious moments to live beautiful lives that they didn’t get to.  Prayers for all who have lost their much loved soldiers.  Blessed Be!

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Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Bits of Magick, Daughters, Discussion, Family, Flowers, Friends, Garden, Gratitude, Holiday, Mother Earth, Summer

Summertime!……………….

10357532_740761952633883_8781510162816551980_nMerry Meet my friends!  It’s a gorgeous Saturn day here in Ohio! We’ve had a few beautiful days of cooler weather….50’s at night and 70’s during the day.  This whole Summer has been fairly mild.  Sure, we’ve had a few days that hit 90* or near it, but we’ve had good breezes and enough rain and though Summer isn’t my favorite Season, I’ve enjoyed it.

I hope that you all had a wonderful Litha/Summer Solstice.  I know I did.  I was busy that day as we were leaving for the Smoky Mountains the next day, but I harvested my first harvest of herbs, worked in the gardens a bit, and had a simple Summer feast.  I made offerings to the Fae, and welcomed the Sun on the longest day of the year! It was a beautiful Sabbat.

 

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The next morning, my hubby, daughter Sara and our friend Shawna, left for the Smoky Mountains.  My daughter Kate, her hubby and my 3 grandbabies left at the same time as we were all vacationing together.  I booked a couple of wonderful cabins at our favorite resort area.  The weather was HOT, the traffic was terrible, and it rained every day….but it was a wonderful trip!! LOL.  Anytime I can be with my family, in the mountains that call to my Soul…..I’m a happy Witch!.  Ah the mountains.  They call to me and I never tire of seeing them, of being in them, and seeing how Mother changes the mountains with Her Seasons.   We even had the pleasure of seeing a momma bear and her very small cub learning to climb a tree 🙂  We ate well, spent some time by the pool and relaxed in our cabins while it was raining when it did.  We made some memories for the kids 🙂

 

“Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.”

~Sam Keen

Now, Summer!  Everything here is still green and lush.  Gardens are blooming at full bloom, birds sing and critters scamper, the 4th of July was celebrated yesterday. Fireflies, butterflies, and bees are busy.  I have so many fond memories of Summer when I was a kid.  The adage….lazy, hazy, crazy days of Summer..was true then.  I spent a lot of time playing with my friends in the neighborhood.  Kickball games, tether ball, riding our bikes or roller skating, going on hikes in the woods near our homes, fishing at Old River (not allowed but we did it anyway).  We only went home to eat or use the bathroom.  In the evening, the parents would come out to their porches, talk together and keep an eye on us….and we got a holler when it was time to come home…or we came home at dusk like good children. There were day trips to visit parks, fairs, drive-in movies, picnics etc.  Summer was truly a wonderful, memorable time.

Every Summer I spent a week with my grandma and grandpa who had 10 acres of apple trees, gardens, hammocks and endless fun.  I loved helping my grandmother snap beans and shell peas. I helped her bring in good things from her gardens, washed them, canned them, sliced them…whatever help I could be. I give my grandmother full credit for my love of gardening and cooking.  I learned at her side.   There was time spent on hammocks with library books that she made sure I had an abundance of… by taking me to the library herself.  There were 7 course meals..even for breakfast..mostly things from her garden. Early to bed and early to rise at her house.  I still can conjure up in my mind, the amazing scents coming from her kitchen early in the morning, windows open to let in any breeze that came, mourning doves cooing and my sense of contentment when I was there at her home. I eagerly jumped out of bed to be with her…usually standing in her kitchen in housedress and apron, stirring something amazing on the stove 🙂  It was pure magick!

 

I did my best to make those amazing kind of memories for my own daughters, and now I have the extreme pleasure of trying to do the same things for my own grandkids.  I want them to have those memories of the lazy days of Summer.  To know that Life can slow down in the Summer.  Kids these days seem to constantly need to be doing something…they enroll in every sport, go to camps, take lessons, need trips to malls and movies, play dates, etc etc.   There isn’t anything wrong with that..don’t get me wrong…but I think kids need to know how to entertain themselves, to slow down and be lazy, use their imagination…just BE!  Get your kids close to Mother Earth…let them dig in the dirt..gardening or making mud pies.  Lay blankets out on the ground and watch clouds drift by, or count stars at night under the Moon.  Take them to the library and encourage their reading over the Summer. Plan simple picnics, outdoor day trips and if you have a drive-in theater near you! Go!  Sprinklers, jars for fireflies or bugs, popsicles and s’mores, long walks in the woods, fishing….find things to do that don’t cost anything….teach them to find the simple pleasures of Summer. They’ll thank you for it later!

 

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the blue sky, is by no means waste of time.”

~John Lubbock, “Recreation,” The Use of Life, 1894

 

I hope that you all have an amazing July!  August 1 is Lughnassadh already!! The first Harvest Sabbat.  The Wheel is turning fast! Make the most of every day of Summer!! Oh and for a couple of delicious adult Summertime drinks, be sure to read the Sunday Stew tomorrow for my recipes using mint from your garden.  Just click on the Cauldron link on the right here tomorrow morning 🙂  Can I just say yummy!!  Cool and refreshing drinks! I’ll be back soon to talk about Lughnassadh!  Have a great weekend!  Now I’m going to go hang clothes out on the line like my grandma did 🙂

Love and Blessings, Autumn

*Pics are my own!

 

 

 

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Filed under 4th of July, Autumn, Books, Daughters, Faeries, Family, Friends, Garden, Goddess, Grandchildren, Herbs, Holiday, Lammas/Lughnassadh, Mother Earth, My Writing, Nature, Photography, Quote, Seasons, Smoky Mountains, Summer

Happy 2013!!……..

We will open the book. Its pages are blank.

We are going to put words on them ourselves.

The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.

~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Happy New Year my friends…ready or not 2013 is here! 🙂 I have been so busy moving and setting up my new home, healing from a broken leg and of course doing all the things we ALL do for the holidays..I also didn’t get to send you all a Happy Christmas! I hope that you DID have a good holiday, that you were surrounded in Joy and Love, and that Santa was good to you!

A good Christmas was had here..though it was hectic and very different because of the move. My extended family, my siblings and parents, always come to my house for the holidays. This year, they took pity on me and my situation and decided for each family to celebrate on their own. Whew! It took a big load of work off my shoulders! Christmas this year was just my husband, my daughters, son-in-law and grandchildren and we had a lovely time. A simple meal, exchanging gifts, a fire in the fireplace and fun! It was perfect and so much less stressful. It was a good thing!

New Year’s Eve also was quiet. Just the three of us here at home relaxing. We puttered in the house..hanging new lighting and pictures. Hubby and I did a bit of shopping for breakfast bar stools and had lunch out. We watched the “Rockin Eve” shows on tv and just relaxed. At midnight it was hugs all around and off to bed!!

I for one am ready for a New Year..new beginnings…new possibilities! 2012 was a rough year at our house. Not that there weren’t many Blessings but there were challenges too..big ones. Like Health! I’m not one for setting resolutions….too easy to break them LOL. But I do set some goals for the next year. Things like taking care of myself better..being healthier. Keeping Life simpler, taking walks in our new neighborhood, eating right and doing the things I love to do more and things I don’t like to do…well, do them less! Things I love to do like time with family, reading, crocheting, journaling, finally completing that herbal course I signed up for, as always connecting with Goddess and Earth and my Path, planning my new gardens in my new yard, making time to be with my friends, etc etc….lovely things to do and focus on! That is my goal! Enjoy more and stress less! And oh yes, our family can’t wait for our new baby boy to come into the world any day now! THAT is a true Blessing indeed! A 3rd grandchild! ❤

Do you set goals or resolutions? My advice..make it simple and just one or two things. It’s easier to stick to it…and easier to accomplish. I talked about this before here on my blog. I read a book years ago…Change One Thing. It was life changing for me. What is that ONE Thing you would change? Maybe it’s to get up earlier and have quiet time to yourself, maybe it’s to go to bed earlier for more sleep? How about taking that class you’ve always wanted to take…or to start a new craft project? Organize your desk or closet? De-junk the house? Walk more, eat less? Read that classic you’ve always wanted to read or get a new job cause you despise your current job. The possibilities are endless and it’s just one thing 🙂 Try it!! I’d love to hear from you…what you might want to do different and how it works out for you!

I hope 2013 brings good things to all of us. I truly believe we are on the cusp of a world-wide awakening. A call for a change in humanity..in how we all look at our world and each other. Compassion, Kindness, Caring, Love, Positivity, Help, Acceptance…these are what Life is really about. A higher awareness of what the Universe, God, Goddess, Buddha, Spirit..however you view the Divine…wants for us. We can be a Light to others.. leaders in the movement to a world that was meant to be! I plan on working on that most of all. Being a Light..Being Love.

Many Blessings to you and yours for a most wonderful 2013…Make it a good year!!

 

A happy New Year!

Grant that I May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I’ve played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year.
~Edgar Guest

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Love and Blessings, Autumn

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Filed under Family, God, Goddess, Holiday, My Writing, New Year, Quote, Seasons, Winter

The Wheel Turns to Samhain 2012………

Merry Meet friends.   Autumn is in full-blown, beautiful color here in Ohio!  We’ve had a lovely Fall so far.  Cool and Sunny and breezy with crisp nights.  It’s been many days of sweater weather and nights of fires in the fireplaces or outdoor firepits.  I was afraid with the very hot and dry Summer we had..that the leaves would just turn brown and fall off the trees but that is not the case at all.  The color is brilliant!  My Sugar Maple trees should give you a hint of the beauty here 🙂

A lot of my Witchy friends are talking about feeling blue, lost, unsettled.  That something is “coming or happening”.  I too feel this way at times right now.  The veil is thinning, the ancestors are moving closer to be with us for Samhain night, the most magickal energy is building and spreading.  All we can do is hold on to our brooms, wands, staffs and pointy hats and ride it out!  Ground and Center as much as possible.  Smudge your home, meditate, burn incense and candles.  Talk to each other…support is good.  I for one think it will be a most amazing night..full of magick and positivity!

I’ll be back soon with something pretty cool 🙂   Also Samhain recipes and some other things.   Have a wonderful weekend…ground and center when you need to…  The Dark of the Moon and the New Moon are upon us..use it to your advantage!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Samhain….A Peace Blessing

 by Lady Abigail

 

Witches dance the circle round,

In magickal places we shall be found.

 

Within this blessed and sacred night,

Spells are cast in burning fire light.

 

Under the radiant moon so pale,

We welcome those from within the veil.

 

Thy mysteries we call to embark,

No fear have we of what hides in the dark.

 

We summon every Witch to heed this call,

That we shall come together one and all.

 

Let us stand proudly hand in hand,

Blending our energies across the land.

 

To invoke as one this Samhain spell,

At the ringing of Witching hour bell.

 

In unity we call unto this spells rite,

Peace for all lands come to our sight.

 

So this the summon, in our Witches plea,

Peace for all, So mote it shall be.

Love and Blessings, Autumn

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Filed under Autumn, Holiday, New Moons, Photography, Poem, Samhain, Seasons

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

Ostara Recipes 2012………

Merry Meet everyone!  As I’m sitting by the fire on a cold Saturn day, my heart is heavy for the victims of the storms yesterday that swept thru the Midwest…in some cases completely wiping out small towns, like in Henrysville and Marysville, Indiana..not that far from me.  Loss of life, homes, towns…very sad to see.  May Goddess bless everyone affected by them.  Blessed Be. 

Today was actually a beautiful day here.  It’s cold, but the Sun was shining and it still looked like a Spring day! The feeders and pond is busy with birds and believe it or not, we have frogs sunning on the rocks on our pond as well already! But we are expecting snow by tomorrow evening into monday morning.  LOL …that’s Ohio weather for you!    I have been working a few days on gathering recipes for what I’d like to make for Ostara,  and thought you all would like to see them too.  I have already posted my personal Ostara recipes in my posts here the last 2 years…..so for this post……I perused my cookbooks and came up with a few I thought sounded delicious.   I look forward to making them myself!   

So here goes……  We often have a brunch for Ostara or Easter instead of lunch or dinner.  It’s such a nice change of pace from the big ham dinners we’ve always had in the past.  So keeping that in mind….I found a few wonderful brunchy meal ideas 🙂

Orange Apricot Juice

 1 (12 ounce) can apricot nectar, chilled

1 1/2 cups orange juice, chilled

2 tablespoons lemon juice

In a pitcher, combine apricot nectar, orange juice, and lemon juice. Serve chilled

*I would triple this at least!!  

 

Gingered Kiwi Fruit

 3 TB sugar

3 TB water

2 T crystallized ginger, minced

¼ tsp vanilla extract

4 kiwi fuit, peeled and sliced

2 oranges, peeled and sliced

 In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine sugar, water and ginger.  Bring to a boil.  Stirring constantly, boil until mixture reaches a light syrup consistency, about 3 mins.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Cool slightly.  In a dessert dish, gently stir fruit slices and ginger syrup until well mixed.  Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours.  Serves 4

*Again would probably double or triple this! 🙂 

 

Fresh Asparagus Omelet

 1 TB butter

1 TB olive oil

8 stalks asparagus, cut into ½ inch pieces

¼ onion, chopped

6 eggs, beaten

¼ cup milk

Salt and pepper to taste

½ cup shredded swiss cheese

In a non-stick skillet, heat butter and oil over medium heat.  Add asparagus and onion; cook for 5 mins, or until tender.  In a bowl, combine eggs, milk, salt and pepper.  Beat egg mixture with a fork just until bubbles begin to appear; pour over asparagus mixture.  Cook until eggs set on top; lift edges with a spatula to allow uncooked eggs to run under cooked eggs.  When eggs are set, top with cheese.  Cut into wedges.  Serves 2 – 4.

*Why not go a step further and just set up an omelet bar.  Just have lots of fixings and make them to order!  What a fun thing to do!  However, I love Spring asparagus and think this recipe sounds fantastic!

Honey Sunflower Bread

*Makes 2 loaves

 2 cups water

1 cup rolled oats

½ cup honey

1 TB butter

2 tsps salt

1 cup roasted sunflower kernels

1 (1/4oz) package active dry yeast

½ cup warm water

2 ½ cups whole-wheat flour

2 cups white flour

Bring the water to a boil and and stir in the oats.  Set aside for 1 hour.  Spray two 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pans with vegetable oil spray. 

Add the honey, butter, salt and sunflower seeds to oat mixture and stir well.

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and allow to stand for 5 minutes.  Stir the yeast mixture into the oat mixture.  Blend in both flours, stirring until the dough pulls cleanly away from the sides of the bowl.  Form the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl, turning to coat.  Cover loosely with plastic  wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.  Punch down the dough.  Knead until smooth and elastic.  Divide into two loaves and place in the prepared pans.  Cover and let rise again until doubled in size. 

Preheat the oven to 350*.  Bake until golden brown, about 45-50 mins.  It if appears that breat is browning too quickly, cover with foil the last 10-15 mins of baking time.  Remove bread from pans and cool on a wire rack. 

*I think this would make delicious french toast too 🙂 

 

Fruit and Spinach Salad

 1 pound fresh spinach, torn

4 cups strawberries, sliced

1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained   (I would use Clementine fresh oranges here!) 

1 star fruit, sliced

GINGER SALAD DRESSING:

1/3 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive or canola oil

2 tablespoons sugar

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

Arrange spinach and fruit on salad plates. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the dressing ingredients; shake well. Drizzle over salads; serve immediately.

 

 

 

Dilly Egg Salad

 8 eggs

2 TB mayo

2 TB Dijon mustard

1 tsp dill weed

½ tsp paprika

1/3 cup red onion, minced

Salt and pepper to taste.

 Place eggs in a large saucepan, cover in cold water and bring to a boil.  Boil for 10-12 mins, remove from heat.  Run eggs under cold water until cool.  Peel and Chop.

Place eggs and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; mix well.  Serve on pumpernickel bread or on a bed of lettuce.  Makes 4 servings. 

*I would use MORE mayo and dijon 🙂

Maple Glazed Salmon

1/4 cup maple syrup  (even better if you use the REAL maple syrup 🙂

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 pound salmon

In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, garlic salt, and pepper.

Place salmon in a shallow glass baking dish, and coat with the maple syrup mixture. Cover the dish, and marinate salmon in the refrigerator 30 minutes, turning once.

Preheat oven to 400*  Place the baking dish in the preheated oven, and bake salmon uncovered 20 minutes, or until easily flaked with a fork.

 

Carrot Pecan Wild Rice

1 1/2 cups wild rice
2 carrots sliced  into 1/2-inch rounds
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup pecans
The zest and juice from 1 orange
1/4 cup chopped parsley
4 tablespoons  melted butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Add wild rice to a sauce pot with about 4 1/2 cups of water, and cover.  Bring the rice to a boil and then simmer for about 40 minutes according to the package directions.

While the rice is cooking, slice carrots into 1/2-inch rounds and then simmer for about 5 to 7 minutes until they are tender.  In a large bowl combine raisins, pecans, the zest and juice from an orange, chopped parsley, melted butter and salt and pepper, to taste.  To the large bowl combine the wild rice and carrots. Mix.  Makes 8 servings.

 

 

Coconut Carrot Cake

*I adore carrot cake….and this is a spicy moist one..delish!!

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon allspice

4 eggs

2 cups white sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups vegetable oil

2 cups grated carrots

1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained

1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat a 10x15x2 inch baking dish or 10 inch Bundt pan with cooking spray.  In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.

 In a separate larger bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar and vanilla by hand. Stir in the oil; the mixture should resemble pudding. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients, then fold in the carrots, pineapple coconut, walnuts and raisins. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and spread evenly.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a small knife inserted into the cake comes out clean.

 

Ostara Lemon Cake

 1 box lemon cake mix

1 (3.4oz) package instant lemon pudding mix

4 eggs

¾ cup oil

¾ cup water

Glaze:

1 TB water

2 TBs melted butter

1/3 cup lemon juice

2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350*.  Grease a 9 x13 baking pan.  Prepare the cake mix using the pudding mix, eggs, oil and water.  Bake in the prepared pan for 35-45 mins, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, prepare the glaze, mixing together all the ingredients until smooth.  Pour the glaze over the warm cake and serve.  Makes 10-12 servings

*I think this simple and lemony yellow cake would just look lovely on your Ostara table!!

Please let me know if you try any of these..I always love hearing when someone tries and likes (or not) them 🙂  I’ll do the same.  Sure wishing I had the fixins for that carrot cake right now!  🙂   Remember, its the start of Spring…fresh light foods are so much better then heavy, saucy, salty foods.  You’ll feel so much better after having  healthier foods..and then of course..you can have some decadent dessert!! LOL. 

I have a surprise I’ll be talking about soon…some of you who know me….know about it already.  It’s something I’m very excited about and have been wanting to do for a long time.  With my daughter’s help..we are about to take off on this new endeavor!  In the meantime, I wish you all a wonderful weekend and week to come.  Make it wonderful!

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Easter, Holiday, Ostara, Recipe from my Kitchen, Spring

Merry Christmas, Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays!……..

Merry Meet friends!  I am in the middle of enjoying a quiet Christmas Eve at home. My hubby Jim, daughter Sara, and brother Chris enjoyed a less busy day today.  Football, holiday movies, an all day fire in the fireplace.  My sister came by for a while.  Tonight we enjoyed a variety of appetizers for a simple dinner.  It is cold outside, an ink black starry sky as it is the New Moon,  and it’s been just awonderful day in every way.  Tomorrow, it will still be just us…. until the evening when all the rest of the family will be here for Christmas dinner.  During the day there will be music playing, fire going, cooking, and fine tuning the house for company.  Our gift giving day isn’t until monday morning for my family so we still have to wait for that (to accomodate my daughter Kate’s family and all the functions they are expected at…we pick a different day altogether!)  I love that things are under control and I can really enjoy these days and evenings.  My cup runneth over with peace and joy this night 🙂 

As a simple way to give all of YOU a gift…I’m going to repost my favorite post I’ve done for Christmas in the past.  It still pertains to today very much!  Merry Christmas to you all dear friends!  and to your loved ones!! 

 

 

Today I watched “A Christmas Carol”…my all time favorite book and movie…all versions..ever! Today happened to be the musical version..which I happen to think is excellent. Has Kelsey Grammar as Scrooge and many wonderful British and American stars.   My favorite version..for the record..is probably George C. Scott…he was a most excellent Scrooge! Or maybe Patrick Stewart…or maybe even the Muppets and Michael Caine 🙂  I love all the versions..even the bad ones…because I adore the story so much!!

 “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. Oh, tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone!”

……..Scrooge…Charles Dickens

 I am sure many of you will recognize this quote. I am a huge lover of Charles Dickens and I think he writes beautifully and from the heart and his words are still ringing true all these years later. He was indeed teaching a lesson in this Novella. What is the lesson? I would imagine most people would say the same thing…”goodwill towards men”. I see it as more than that.

My understanding is that Dickens was appalled at the poverty he saw around him, and that the middle and upper class were doing nothing to help them at all. His Scrooge talks about the work houses and the programs set up by the government to aid the impoverished…but it was nowhere near enough. He wrote this book to open the eyes of those who were not “seeing” what needed to be done. For people to open their hearts and their wallets to help the less fortunate and it would make them happier and more blessed in their own life.

As a pagan witch, I believe that God/Goddess, the Universe, the Creator, whatever you believe in… put us here to learn lessons..with the ultimate goal being LOVE. Our goal in life should be to discover that..LOVE. And to love means to care for our “fellow man”. To me, “goodwill towards Men” means just that. We should love our family and friends as I’m sure we do. But we should also love those we don’t know, help those who need it, love and care for Mother Earth and the creatures who inhabit Her… No judgement, no greed, no setting standards for others in our own minds, equality for all, acceptance of all religions, courtesy, kindness….Love.

To me, Dickens hit the nail on the head so to speak…he saw a vision of how the world should be. More of us could learn from Scrooge’s Christmas Eve night. Scrooge was not an evil man..he was afraid. His father did time in debtors prison..causing him to have to slave in a work house at 11 years old. He never wanted to do that again..but he lost track of his self, his soul..so focused was he on never being poor.  Hoarding his money, working long hours, never enjoying the money he had; even for himself. He didn’t have a relationship with anyone except his business partner, Marley. He lived a very “poor” life in every way…because of his fear. Until he learned what dying a lonely old man would truly be like..did he become a truly rich man.

 There are many positive wonderful characters in this book..I love so many of them.  Old Fizziwig, who gave a huge party, sparing no expense, to show his gratitude to his employees. There is the clerk, Bob Cratchit, so lowly in Scrooge’s eyes, but greatly loved by his large poverty stricken family, especially Tiny Tim. Then there is Fred, Scrooge’s endearing nephew. He was the epitome of a good man who’s life was abundant in family, friends, love , joy, and blessings. He showed love at every turn. All he wanted from Uncle Scrooge was for him to come to Christmas Day dinner. He came every year and requested it every year. He never gave up on him. and when Scrooge had his life altered…he welcomed him with open arms..holding no grudge for all the years of rejection. Though he was not a rich man…he was rich in every other way. I don’t know about you..but I want to be like Fred….I want to be rich in friends. I want to be rich in experiences. I want to be rich in appreciation for the blessings that come to my life. At the end of my days, I want to know that there will be people who will mourn my passing for all the right reasons..that I LOVED! This is the lesson that Scrooge learned..luckily while he could have some time to truly appreciate it.

The version I talked about above..the musical…has a song in it that is the main theme song thruout the movie.  I have looked up the lyrics because I love the song so much..it brings tears to my eyes everytime I hear it.

 

God Bless Us Everyone

 

Let the Stars in the sky

remind of us Man’s compassion.

Let us love til we die

and God Bless us everyone.

In your heart there’s a light

As bright as a Star in heaven

Let it shine thru the night and

God Bless Us Everyone.

Till each child is fed

Till all men are free

Till the world becomes a family…….

Star by Star in the sky

and kindness by human kindness.

Let me love til I die and…

God Bless us everyone! 

 

Look into your own Past, Present, and even into your Future. Have you done well by others? Can you do better? I think I can ALWAYS do better.  Something to strive for everyday.   A Christmas Carol will always mean a lot to me…and I will try to keep Christmas in my heart all year long. and as Tiny Tim says……God or Goddess!  Bless Us Every One!!

 

 Blessed Be and Merry Christmas!   Autumn

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Filed under Books I'm reading, Discussion, Family, God, Goddess, Holiday, Movies, Music, My Writing, New Moons, Poem, Seasons, Winter, Yule/Winter Solstice/Chrismas