Tag Archives: Joy

The Wheel Turns to the Winter Solstice 2016……

 

Chill December brings the sleet, Blazing fire, and Christmas treat.

Sara Coleridge

 

Merry Meetcandlehands_1500 dear friends!  It’s Sun day evening.  I’m in my jammies by a roaring fire with some coffee and Bailey’s next to me, some soft holiday music playing, and I felt the muse come over me …… so here I am writing in my blog 🙂

Winter is here!  I would swear that I heard the actual “click” of that old Wheel turning into place.  We had such a warm, long Autumn season and it was really lovely.  But Winter is here in all her glory!  It’s flurried snow a few times now but still no real accumulation.  But it’s very cold, brisk, breezy, dark…all the things I love about this time of Year.  My boots, sweaters, hats, coats and gloves are getting good use.  Jammies go on as soon as it’s dark..and yes…that’s quite early lol.  Candles are burning late into the nights and the woodsmoke hovers over the yard scenting my outdoor Moon-viewing jaunts so wonderfully!  Something is almost always stewing on the stove or slow-cooker.  Warm drinks are at hand always and I have to say that my Yule shopping and preparations are nearly done…..except for wrapping of course.  I did my Yule cards as well and they’ll go out in the next day or two.  Do you still do cards?  I know so many don’t anymore.  I get why, it’s a job, not that cheap, and many don’t reciprocate or send out at all.  But for me, there’s something about doing them that just feels right.

I do want to say a word before going on about my beloved Smoky Mountains.  You all who read here or know me, know how much those mountains mean to me.  They are my heart and soul…my home away from home….and watching the horrific fires tearing through them just broke my heart.  The loss of of nature, human and animal lives and the loss of homes and businesses was just so overwhelming. I couldn’t stop crying.  Too many lost loved ones.  I’m just going to say that the damage could have been even worse as bad as it was already.  I am heartened to see that many acres were not burnt and I know that Mother Earth heals Herself and the mountains will recover.  Please think of donating to Dolly Parton’s My People Fund, or to the Friends of the Smoky Mountains.  and Pray and light candles for those who lost so much.  Thank you…..

Yule or Winter Solstice is coming fast and I relish it arriving.  While the holidays are all about the hustle and bustle, Yule is a quiet time for me.  And I always relish it and usually really need it!  In recent years, my holiday shopping has been scaled down and I focus on a few quality things for each person in my family.  But I DO have three wonderful grandchildren and have so much fun buying for them.  But we do our best to focus on being together and appreciating those Hygge moments.  Hygge….a Danish concept of coziness, joy, family, food and a complete sense of comfort and wellbeing.  That is what my Yule is all about!  It’s searching inward for that sense of joy and peace and comfort in the midst of what can be chaotic..Christmas.  It’s looking back on your year and deciding what is kept or thrown out.  Of what can be made better, or what can be cut out, what can be better done, and what didn’t get done at all that should have!  It’s connecting with Mother Earth, Goddess and/or God.  Of being still and listening.  Very Hygge.

 

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If you aren’t familiar with the word Hygge. (pronounced Hoo gah) ..you should look it up and read about it.  I did for a very good reason, as I had never seen or heard the word before!  I recently had my DNA done and discovered to my great surprise that I’m very Scandinavian!  I truly had no idea!  40% Scandinavian at that!  The 39% British/Scottish/Irish I knew about and the 21% Southern Europe was a little surprising , but I really had NO IDEA I had so much Scandanavian blood in me.  Who knew…I’m  a Viking! lol.  So of course, being me, I now have lots to learn.  I have immediately ordered books from History, Lifestyle, Cooking and even Christmas books.  While researching books I came across the word Hygge, looked it up and thought “well now, THAT explains my need to nest, be cozy, keep my home warm and pleasant and comfortable.”  Apparantly it’s in my DNA! 🙂  I’ll talk more about this in future posts I’m sure.  For now,  Back to Yule…..

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I love to walk in the Winter.  Bundling up against the cold, putting on my winter boots and mittens and off I go.  Wish I could get more walks in but again, we make our choices and one of mine is to make time to do this more often!  I love the bare, stark trees, the sounds of the birds and watching the ground critters digging for and burying food away for the Winter.  I like to collect things along the way…..bits of greenery, pine cones, feathers, rocks etc etc.  I have a big wooden bowl that holds my treasures when I get back home.  Then coming home to a warm home, warm blankets, warm fire and warm drink…well it’s just Bliss!

This is how I’ll spend my Winter Solstice night.  Quiet, peaceful, contemplative and cozy.  I’ll relish the longest night of the Year….and I’ll look forward to the return of the Sun and knowing the days will lengthen again.  But not yet…we have lots of Winter to go…and for that I’m grateful!!

I’ll be back soon with recipes and more. I suggest you enjoy the holidays..all parts of it you may celebrate.  Keep it simple, happy, peaceful.  It doesn’t have to be materialistic, chaotic, or even dare we say…awful!  LOL.  Make good choices, change things up, re-evaluate what traditions you love and discard those you don’t.  And I will say, I know many families face challenges this time of year…. especially THIS year.  The presidential election has been especially polarizing.  I have seen friends and families torn apart by their differences.  If this is the case..make the decision that you will embrace the differences and love them anyway OR keep your distance this year until things calm down.  Perhaps a rule…no talk of politics when you’re together ?  🙂  Whatever works for you to stay positive and joyful is OKAY!

Have a fabulous week and remember to take time for yourself!

“Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man
the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!”
–  Charles Dickens 

 

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Bits of Magick, Christmas, Goddess, Hygge, Mother Earth, My Favorite Things, My Writing, quotes, Smoky Mountains, Uncategorized, Winter, Yule/Winter Solstice/Chrismas

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

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

Blessed Yule 2012…….

484259_565118623505289_1384182387_nMerry Meet friends!  I’m taking a quick stop from all the busyness of moving and preparations for Yule and Christmas to write a quick post.  It’s been a very strange Yuletide season for me this year.  With my broken leg hindering..well everything!..I am trying to do, our move, and the very warm, gloomy weather we’ve been having, it just hasn’t felt like Yule time to me.  However, we are semi settled in our new home (which we love!), the weather is getting colder and we may see our first snowflakes on Thursday, and well..I have to get busy shopping for food and gifts cause I’ve run out of time to put it off! LOL.

I have been enjoying holiday shows on tv and holiday music too.  I’ve done most of my gift shopping online this year but I’m heading out  tomorrow for some stocking stuffers, gift cards and a few more gifts. Then I’m going to get lots of gift bags cause I don’t have much time to wrap!  Again..a strange year this year 🙂

I am mostly looking forward to Yule night.  It’ll be a quiet night for me..I’m going to be sure to make it so.  A solitary ritual with simple candle and greenery…some meditation and focusing on the longest night, spending time with Goddess and meditating on what I would like for the next year to bring.  Though it’s been a rough year for me I am more Blessed then not and have much to be thankful for.  I just know 2013 is going to be a good year for my family…especially with my new grandson who will make an appearance in mid January!

I am going to post a favorite Yule poem.  I’ve posted it before but I love it so much I’m posting it again.  It says ..for me..what Yule is all about.  I hope you enjoy it.

 

“So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive, And when the new
year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,

As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, fest, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!!”
–   Susan Cooper, The Shortest Da

I wish all of you a very Joyous and Magickal Yule.  May the Goddess and God Bless you and yours and bring you great Love, Peace and Happiness.

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Many Blessings,  Autumn

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Filed under Family, God, Goddess, Holiday, Poem, Seasons, Uncategorized, Winter, Yule/Winter Solstice/Chrismas