Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve!!

Happy New Year's Eve, everyone!

I'm not going to really post anything today, I got a whole bunches of materials yesterday so I'm going to be busy making stuff for the coming of the Etsy store!

I probably won't post anything tomorrow for once, either.

If my fingers don't fall off from making so much stuff, I'll post something good on January 2nd.

Promise!

Goddess Bless,

Stacy

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Crazy Year: My Year in Review

Well. 2010 has quite possibly been one of the craziest years of my life. We bought our home this year, and lost an income (mine) when my maternity leave ran out. We lost Sean's car due to a bad transmission. We've found out we have a lot of health issues, and started living a lot healthier as the result. In the last couple of months, I've lost 20 lbs. Sean hasn't lost any weight, but he has lost fat. His pants fit a little bit better now.









 Brianna went from small and cute...
























...To big and loud. 












Still cute, though. She has started to crawl this year, and is almost walking. She can say a few words, and gives the best baby kisses. She is showing an interest in reading, and can usually figure out the difference between a circle and a square. She pretends to eat soup out of her play kitchen pot. Much to my dismay, Sean was trying to teach her to sword-fight the other day. There are a lot of reasons I was really glad to have a girl...one of them was the lack of sword-fighting.

This year marks a decade that I've been practicing Wicca. Hard to believe it's been so long. I started the blog this year, and again want to say a Thank You to all my readers.

What does the new year hold?

Well, a giveaway on here for one thing. If we ever start getting mail again, it's been about a week and a half since we've gotten anything other than fliers. I'm waiting for packages!!! I'm also going to be opening up my Etsy store, and am currently making product for that. I'm going to re-do the colors on the blog, I've seriously had enough of this gray. I know, I've said this before.

All in all, I've had a great, if busy, year. Hopefully all of you have had the same!

Goddess Bless,

S.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year's around the World

Looks insane, doesn't it?
I can hear you thinking it. Another New Year's post? Don't worry, I'm going to run out of material one of these days. I remember when I was a teenager, staying up with my parents to watch the New Year's festivities on TV. Times Square dropping the ball, different concerts from around Canada. I remember one year, I must have been somewhere between 8 and 11. My cousins had come out from the city to celebrate New Years with us. My parents set the clocks so that we thought we were staying up late with the grown ups, but we really went to bed at 8pm. When I found out some years later I was a little ticked off, but now I plan on doing that with Brianna. I now fully realize what dealing with a grump child is like.

Traditions around the world can be incredibly different. Everyone knows about Chinese New Year, celebrated between January 21 and February 20. We've all seen on TV the colourful celebrations, meant to bring luck, health, wealth and happiness until next year. The firecrackers set off are meant to scare evil spirits away. When feasting, if the New Year is the year of any particular animal, they will not eat that meat during the feast.

Australian New Year is a day for outdoor activities, camping and picnics. During the countdown, bells are rung to “ring in” the New Year. In Korea, they celebrate the Lunar New Year, called Sol-nal. They wear new clothes, to symbolize a fresh start. Younger generations bow and wish health to older generations, and in return are given gifts or newly minted coins. In Scotland, the first person to get up New Year's morning had to bring spiced ale to those still in bed. Traditional gifts given are symbols of life: Bread, Salt, or Coal for stoves. I don't think we really need to delve into Celtic New Year, we all know about Samhain.

In Germany, it's common to leave a small amount of every food eaten on New Years on a plate in the pantry, to be sure it will be full in the coming year. An old Sicilian tradition states that those who eat Lasagna noodles on New Year's will be lucky, but to eat any other noodle brings bad luck. In Norway, rice pudding is served with a whole almond hidden in one bowl. The person who finds the almond is guaranteed good luck in the coming year.

Our family doesn't really have any traditions we follow. We just spend time together and eat lots of food! What does your household do?

Goddess Bless,

S.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The God of New Year's Resolutions

Is everybody thinking about their New Year's resolutions already?  I'm not.  What would normally be my New Year's resolutions have become serious life changes for me this year, what with my health being what it is.  Everyone has a resolution to lose weight, I've already lost 20 lbs in the last few months.  Hopefully I'll continue to lose weight, but I think that more aerobics and brown rice are going to help that more than a half-baked "promise" to myself.

Many Wiccans and Pagans don't celebrate calendar New Year, because we follow the Wheel of the Year.  I think we need to reconsider this.  Yes, I follow the Wheel of the Year too.  It makes more sense to me to follow a solar calendar.  You have to consider, though, that the secular 12 month calendar was originally a pagan calendar as well.   

Janus, the Two Faced God
In the 150's BC, Janus was placed at the beginning of the Julian Calendar, so called for it's "modern" creator. Julius Ceaser in 46 BC made the calendar longer, calling it the Julian Calendar, to make it reflect the seasons more accurately.  He kept Janus at the beginning, as January, because of who Janus is.  Janus is the two faced God, one head looking to the past and one to the future.  For this reason, he was placed at the beginning of the calendar, looking back at the previous year and forward to the next.  He is the God of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings, endings and time.  So if we as Pagans wonder if there is a God of New Year's resolutions, this would be him.

So often we look at the secular calendar and don't realize where it comes from.  Yes, there was a Pope that changed it around, hence the term Gregorian Calendar (Pope Gregory XIII) but most of the names are still those of Roman Gods and Emperors.

January for Janus, The Two Faced God.  February for Februa, the feast of purification.  March for Mars (in Latin, that's Martius).  April comes from a word meaning second, since it was at one time the second month of the year.  May was named for the Earth Goddess, Maia.  June was named for Juno, the patron Goddess of Rome and Queen of the Gods.  July, of course, named for Julius Caesar.  August was named after Augustus Caesar.  September means seventh month, October means eighth, November means ninth, and December means tenth, which makes sense when you think about the names.  If you look at it, out of 12 months, 7 are named for Important Romans or Roman Gods and Goddesses.  Not a bad count if you ask me.

So is the secular calendar really as secular as we think?  I bet not.  Especially not when we consider the days of the week.  Monday/Moon's Day.  Tuesday/Tyr's Day.  Wednesday/Odin's Day.  Thursday/Thor's Day.  Friday/Freyja's Day.  Saturday/Saturn's Day.  Sunday/Sun's Day.

All in all, I think the rest of the world is more Pagan than they think

Goddess Bless,

S.

Monday, December 27, 2010

New Year's Release

As we come up on the calendar New Years, we look back on the past year.  It's at this time of year that a lot of people get depressed, or feel down.  So many people can only look at the negative things, instead of the positive things.  Whether you celebrate New Years on January 1st or on October 31st, this is a transitioning point in the year.  No matter when you celebrate, chances are your business goes by the calendar year.  Most business do.  January 1st brings in the new for most of the western world.  Given that we get all worked up for it, why not do something to mark it?

A little too negative.
I've always felt that one should go into the new year with a being freed of negativity.  This year is going to be good for it because of the waning moon.

Release Negativity Spell


Items:  Regular altar and ritual supplies, a white candle, purifying incense of your choice, your cauldron or a metal bowl, a white tea light candle, paper or parchment and a pen or pencil.

After you cast your circle, sit in front of your white candle and light it.  Visualize all the negativity in your life in all it's forms.  It could be financial trouble, trouble with certain people in your life, with your job, even personal feelings toward yourself or others that aren't good for you, it could be anything.  Imagine the flame purifying your life and burning your troubles away.  Set the tea light candle in the bottom of your cauldron or bowl and light it.  Take your paper and pen and write a list of all the negative things you have in your life.  When you are done, place the paper in the bowl, lighting it on fire and say:

"As this list burns, so does the negative influences in my life.  As it is no more, so are the negative parts of my life.  I am free.  As I will, so mote it be." 

Light the incense and imagine your negative influences rising away from you with the smoke.  The spell is done when your psychic self feels as light as the smoke.



Hopefully this helps those us getting rid of the negativity in our lives.  It's actually a nice thing to do several times a year.  I'm sure everyone has noticed how the negativity we feel directly effects the things we try to do and experience in life.  This would be a great spell to do before setting out on a big endeavor, like going after a promotion, or a big business deal.  It is also helpful when you just want a little more peace in your life.

A great thing to do after this spell is some Yoga.  There is a great sitting pose that anyone can do, and it helps release negativity as well!   Here is the link.

Hope everyone has a great week leading up to the New Year!

Goddess Bless,

S.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The end of the Winter Holiday Season

Yes, this is the time of year when we all wind down.  We are coming up on calendar New Years.  Yule, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa have passed.  What did everyone out there do with their celebrations?

As usual, my parents bought enough gifts to fill a small car.  I got some new storage containers, some Ziploc ones and some Rubbermaid ones.  I got a great calender and day book, a writing folder and mittens.  My parents gave Sean and I some gift cards to go out for dinner and a movie.  Sean got a shirt, some books, a gift card for chapters, and some socks.

Brianna got the big haul, of course.  She got a shape sorting toy, a whole bunch clothes, and some pajamas.  My brother got her one of those push along popper toys.  The big thing was the Laugh and Learn Kitchen, though.  It's super cute, and it has a lot of different songs it sings.  Brianna is a sucker for dancing.  The really big deal with this though, was what Brianna did with it.  You see on the far right of the picture, the soup pot and spoon?  Well, Brianna picked up the soup pot and the spoon, dipped the spoon in, then put it to her mouth and said "mmm!".  It was awesome!  This is the first time she has ever used her imagination like that, at least as far as we know.  It was so great!  It was her first pretend play.  And she didn't do it just once, she did it repeatedly!  So it wasn't just a fluke.  It was so great.

We had a huge turkey dinner, and pumpkin pie with the works.  Christmas eve we had a ham dinner.  So just in the last 5 days we've had two huge ham dinners and then the turkey dinner.  It's been insane.  I almost want a salad.  Almost.

Being that we are coming up on the new year, I am going to be posting a New Year's spell for releasing negativity.  It's something that can be done on Samhain or on calendar New Years.  It's really the intent that counts, with this kind of spell.  Not the day.  So that will be coming this week.  Also this week, we will start looking forward to Imbolc.  

I hope everyone had a great Christmas if you celebrated, or just a great day if you didn't!

Goddess Bless,

S.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy non-demnominational Holiday!

Ummm...I mean...Merry Christmas, all you non-pagans out there!

We are at my parent's house celebrating today, so this is it!

Also, a link for your enjoyment:

A Politically Correct Santa


Goddess Bless,

S.

 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Do you celebrate Christmas?

I've made no effort to hide the face that I practice Wicca.  I love the path I'm on, and wouldn't change it for the world.  Having just gotten over my giant food hangover from Yule, I can vouch for the fact that the whole family looks forward to Sabbats.  I can't wait to make jalapeño cornmeal muffins for Imbolc.  I've been eyeing that recipe for quite some time now.

Today, Brianna and I are going to cuddle on the floor, have shortbread and milk, and watch a  Charlie Brown Christmas.  Why?  It's my Christmas tradition!  Tonight, we are going to my parents house to spend the night.  Why?  So we can be there Christmas morning of course!

My parents are awesome.  They both believe in a higher power of some sort, but they are fairly secular.  Not only do they not make a huge deal of it, however, they actively encourage my own path.  They came and celebrated with us for Yule this year.  My dad even wanted to participate in our ritual!

I also think that this is a great way to separate the commercialism of Christmas from the spiritualism of Yule.  Not to say that Christmas isn't spiritual for some people, I'm sure it is.  The common theme of Christmas is gifts, though.  Our plan is to have special gifts on Yule, things that mean something.  Like Sean's Thor's Hammer necklace, my Spiral Necklace.  This year, the only thing that "means" anything to Brianna is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, so we ran with it.  Then on Christmas, we can go and celebrate with my parents.  She can get all the "cool toys" when she is older over there.  If we want to buy her something more than meaningful things, we will give these to her on Christmas Day at my parent's house.  The hope is that she will be able to distinguish between two similar holidays.

So we do celebrate Christmas.  And why not? I'll even listen to my mom's silly carols for that day.  Tolerance and understanding are edicts of both faiths, and we can all use a little more of them.

Goddess Bless,

S.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A big THANK YOU

This blog has really taken off in the past month.  I've met some people on discussion boards who don't have more than 5 followers after a year of writing, and I'm not entirely sure what I've done that they haven't.  I'm still sort of dumbfounded that people want to read what I have to say.  Sean says I'm silly, but there you are.  So I just want to say thank you to all of the lovely people who have followed/read my blog, and those who will in the future.  Also, a huge thank you to all my followers on Twitter.  I will be having a giveaway in the new year, so keep an eye out for that!  You guys are awesome. 

Over the last week (time runs together for me, we all know this.  I may be wrong.) I was invited to meet an amazing group of people.  After chatting to them even for just this short time, I have to say I've never felt so supported in my path and in my life than I do now. So I just want to give a big Thank You to all of them...You know who you are.  I know that at least some of you read my blog.

That is pretty much all I have to say for today.  Just a huge thank you!

Goddess Bless, everyone!

S.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The day after Yule

 Did everyone get to see the eclipse?  We got to see part of it, but it was so cold.  It was -23 with the windchill that night, it was freezing.  My friend, however is crazy and stayed out to take pictures.  Here is a link to her blog.  I've mentioned her before, she runs SC Photography.  Well, she caught some great photos of the eclipse and put them in sequence.  I think it looks pretty good! Check it out here.  Just click on the picture to make it bigger.

We had a great day, with far too much food.  I have a food hangover.  There was there the meal itself, with Ham, potatoes, pickled onions, fruit salad, and buns.  Then there were the treats, shortbread cookies, chocolate chip cookies, my coconut Yule log, peanut brittle, and butterscotch confetti.  Then there was dessert, dutch babies and my Vanilla pudding pumpkin cream cheese pie.  I still feel like exploding, but the little voice in the back of my head is telling me to go get a bunch of shortbread to eat for breakfast...we shall see. 

Isn't it pretty?
Sean loved his Thor's Hammer necklace I got for him.  He put it on right away and hasn't taken it off!  He put his Superman shirt on right away too.  Sean got me a beautiful necklace, I was so surprised he remembered it!  I had looked at it in a store MONTHS ago.  Isn't it gorgeous?  Spirals have special meaning for me, which is why this piece caught my eye.  It's painted on a piece of shell, and inlaid with abalone shell.  It's so gorgeous. 

Sean also got me Twilight: Eclipse (insert squeal here) on Blu-ray.  I'm such a freak for Twilight.  Love the books and the movies. 

Brianna loved her Mickey Mouse clubhouse DVD and book, and her Winnie the Pooh book.  Of course, she didn't care about the clothes, because, well, she's a toddler.  Her favorite gift was the Alphabet blocks though.









She played with it for ages before she got bored.  First thing this morning she started playing with it again too! 


Here she is with all of her gifts.  Her little leggings, a book hiding underneath them.  Here Micky Mouse DVD and Winnie the Pooh book, and her blocks.  This is the only picture she stayed still for, she started throwing blocks everywhere after this! 

My parents came over to celebrate with us, we ate and played Wii all evening.  A very modern Yule, but a good one nonetheless! 

I hope everyone else had a great Yule as well! 

Goddess Bless,

S.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

'Twas the day before Yule

Since it is the day before Yule, I'm not going to make a big long post today.  Sean is unfortunately working the late shift, he won't be home until about 8:30 tonight.  I thought I would post a couple of links, and some other random stuff.  I don't feel like working too hard today!

In my Homemade Yule - Part Three post, I mention a recipe for Vanilla Pudding Pumpkin Pie.  Here is the link to the recipe which was my inspiration, on Recipes Wikia.  I'm only tweaking the recipe a little bit, and I'm definitely adding the cream cheese!  This Yule and Christmas season is Sean's Last Hurrah before settling into this low fat, can't-eat-anything-he-wants diet.  I'm trying to convince him that eating healthy doesn't have to be gross like it was in the 90's, but so far to no avail.

I also wanted to post my Yule Log recipe!  Not a cookie, not a jelly roll style cake.

It's a ridiculously easy recipe.

1 cup coconut
½ cup peanut butter
1 Tbsp corn syrup

Mix all ingredients together.  Roll into a log.  Roll in some extra coconut.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Slice thin to serve.

Can it get any easier?!  Seriously.  You make this now, and it will be ready in a couple of hours.  It needs to firm up a bit.  My brother loved this stuff the last year I made it.  It tastes amazing, ambrosial almost!  

I'm still debating on advertising, for those who remember that post.  I'm also thinking of starting an Etsy site.  The advertising I would be doing would be along the lines of that at The Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom site.  Nothing crazy like the Ad-sense.  It works for some people, I'm sure.  I don't want that kind of thing on my site, though.  Let me know what you think of my ideas! 

Also, some of you may have noticed that the links to other blogs further down the page are gone.  Well, they aren't actually gone.  They've moved to a separate blog roll page, hopefully still easy enough to find!  If anyone finds a dead link on my site, please tell me.  Also, I have in the past month realized that my Contact form was broken, it is now fixed as well.

Well, I think that's all I'm going to say for the day.  I'm off to make pie.  Also, some more peanut brittle, because we ate a lot of it.  I do seem to remember promising to share the peanut brittle recipe, so here it is!  Peanut Brittle in the microwave.  Easy as anything you've ever tried, not easy to find a recipe that actually works though.  This one does.  

Hope everyone has a great day!  Take it easy, and catch a nap if you're planning on watching the eclipse tonight!!

Goddess Bless,

S.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Family Pictures!

We got our family pictures back from my friend Steph last night.  She is a great photographer.  She usually doesn't do family pictures, she prefers to do wedding, engagement and couple pictures.  We are special though!  Here is the link to her Facebook page, SC Photography.  If you know anyone in Red Deer and you like the pictures, be sure to recommend!

That said, Brianna was a bundle of cuteness that day.


She kept eating the wooden blocks!  It makes me really glad that we got some for her for Yule, she loved them so much.


We didn't look too bad either, though.



Yep.  We are a great looking family.


That last one is my favorite picture.  Brianna is all, "Just get this over with.  Let me chew on some blocks, people."

Hope everyone enjoyed!!!  Off to make some more Yule treats!!!

Goddess Bless,

S.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Homemade Yule - Part Four

Today, it's all about crafting with kids.  Or for kids.  Whichever.  I was inspired today by a post from The Wicked Stitchery, about the importance of crafting.  She has a fabulous Etsy store, too.  Check it out here.

What kind of kind of crafts can we make with our kids for Yule?  The list is pretty much endless.  When I was little, I always made garlands out of construction paper.  You know, the kind where you cut strips and tape them into loops around other loops?  These are a great starting point, especially for younger children.  Just cut the strips out beforehand and let them go wild with the tape.

Toilet paper roll Advent Calender
I also love the idea of making your own advent calender.  Brianna is still a little young, but we will be doing this in the coming years.  Given the current health trends in the country, I suggest something other than chocolate!  Buy those little clothes pins, you can get them from scrap-booking stores or craft stores.  Take some note paper, or blank cards.  Write the number of days on the outside of the card, depending on if you are doing for Yule or Christmas, etc.  On the inside, write a Yule activity that your kids can do or your family can do together.  Decorating their rooms, making cookies, making peanut butter pine cones for birds,  watch a holiday movie, make sugar snow, make maple syrup candy!  Whatever you can come up with, that you and your kids would like.  Fold the papers or cards together so the number is showing and use the clothespin to pin it to a string, and it's ready to use!  Another great idea is making an advent calender out of toilet paper tubes...who doesn't have those laying around everywhere?  Here is the link to that project from Woman's Day.

Another great idea would be to let the kids make cards to give their friends!  If you are someone (like me, *ahem*) who saves every Yule and Christmas card, this is a great thing.  Just cut the images out of the old cards, and let your children mix and match them to make their own!  You can buy blank note cards from any craft store.  I like these ones from Paper Direct.

Make a Graham Cracker house.  Just like a gingerbread house, only with less ingredients going to waste because no one eats them anyway.  You can buy royal icing from the bakery department of your grocery store starting the first week of December, in most places.  Then just head to the candy aisle and stock up!!  There is no wrong way to do this.  For easy clean-up, news papers should be spread in all directions for several feet under the crafting area.  I remember how messy I was when I made these, years ago.

For a family craft, I love this Yule Log idea from Pagandad.com.  The use of a hot glue gun is great.  Most Yule Log crafts you see want you to use a drill. 

I hope that I've been able to give you some new ideas.  Doing the same thing year after year can get a little boring.

Here are the links to my previous Homemade Yule posts!

A Homemade Yule - Part One
A Homemade Yule - Part Two
A Homemade Yule - Part Three

Goddess Bless,

S.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Very Politically Correct Holiday!

I turned on Facebook yesterday evening, and saw that a friend of mine from back home had updated her status.  She doesn't do it very often, so I always check it.  She was my best friend, back in the far off world of Junior High.  This is what her status was:

"We can't say Merry Christmas anymore, now we have to say Happy Holidays.  We can't call it a Christmas Tree, it's now called a Holiday Tree because it might offend someone.  If you don't like our Canadian customs and it offends you so much then LEAVE!!.  They are called customs and we have our traditions!!"

It goes on asking people to re-post it if they agree.  I was struck by the absolute stupidity of this whole thing.

We don't say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas just so we won't offend anyone.  We say it because there are so many religions and spiritual paths that celebrate a holiday around the Solstice that it is just easier to say Happy Holidays.  We want to include everyone in the joy of celebration, even if they don't celebrate the same thing we do.  We want everyone to feel included, because that is a pretty dominant theme of Winter Solstice Holidays.  I don't get offended when people tell me Merry Christmas.  That's just what most Christians say.  I just tell them Happy Yule back, because that's what I say.  Although I have to admit, I do love seeing the shocked look on most of their faces.  That's the immature teenager in me though, I try to quell that whenever possible.

The second piece, about the Christmas Tree and the Holiday Tree.  Is it so hard to change word because more than one culture uses a tree as a symbol of everlasting life in the middle of winter when everything should be dead?  No.  Again, it's not about the worry of offending everyone.  It's about including cultures and religions other than your own.  It's about looking beyond yourself, to a culture that maybe you've never experienced, but that does similar things to your own.  It's about a feeling of togetherness that people experience around the Solstice, not about words.  I don't care if people call it a Christmas Tree, a Yule Tree, or Pōhutukawa tree.  It's the symbol that matters, and what we feel about it.  For those who are curious, the Pōhutukawa tree is from New Zealand.

As for the rest of it, who ever is a Canadian citizen has a right to define Canadian traditions.  Unless, me being a 3rd generation Canadian isn't good enough for you.  "Canadian" traditions include Greek, Spanish, Filipino, German, Ukrainian, Scottish, Irish, and Welsh traditions, among others.  Who is to say whose is valid and whose is not?

Certainly not some stupidity over Facebook.  Although, it was great inspiration.

Goddess Bless,

S.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A General Health Update.

Most of you who read me on a regular basis will know about the health issues we are going through lately.  With my hormonal stupidity and now Sean's hypoglycemia, we thought that would be it.  Our family doctor called us and asked Sean in for an results appointment.  Apparently Sean's cholesterol, well, sucks.  His bad cholesterol is too high and his good cholesterol is about half of what a normal person has.  The doctor said that if Sean keeps doing things the way he is now, he'll have a heart attack by the time he is 50.  He is 37 now, for the curious out there.

He got this huge list of foods to limit and avoid.  He grudgingly went out and bought skim milk for his coffee.  Everything on the avoid list has suddenly become Sean's favorites.  As an example, Sean enjoys olives.  It's not like we really keep them in the house even, but he gets them on his sub when we go to Subway.  We get olives for Yule and Christmas.  All of a sudden he is grumbling about how he can't have olives whenever he wants!  Umm, you ate them all of 6 times a year anyway.

He also has to start losing weight.  We already knew that I had to, and we recently got  Wii and a Wii Fit from a friend who didn't use them anymore.  So I started using that, and he went along with it for the other games and the bowling and such.  When I would try to get him to use Wii Fit he'd tell me that he figured that part was more for me, he didn't NEED to lose weight.  So then he grudgingly had to create a Wii Fit profile.  It told him he was 49.  I thought it was hilarious, but he didn't!

Sean even jokingly asked me, "Isn't there some sort of spell we could find that would help my cholesterol?!" I said, "Yep, it's called exercise."

He was not amused. 

So for now we are still watching what we eat and using butter flavored spray on everything.  I ordered some new seasoning off a website today, I'll tell you all about it when I start using it!!  We are both doing Wii Fit for at least half an hour a day.  Sean is even considering doing Weight Watchers with me!  He has to go back for more tests in 6 months to make sure everything is going okay.  He is feeling pretty lousy about everything, but it's only been a couple of days.  He'll feel better soon.

In the meantime, we are just dying from sore muscles.  Wii Baseball is hard!!!

Goddess Bless,

S.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Personal Broom Closet

After reading this post at Strategic Sorcery, I was reminded of what an Aussie e-friend of mine said on Facebook recently.  It was during that Facebook game where you would send someone a number in their inbox, and then they would put that number in their status and say what they really thought of you, so no one else would know who they were talking about.  About me, she said that she loved how open and honest I am about my beliefs and said she hoped that she could be like that someday too.

My first thought?  "Really?  I'm open?!" I guess I am, although it never really occurred to me until she said it.  We all normally face a few crazies when we come out of the broom closet.  Of course, I came out of the broom closet it was in bible belt Manitoba.  I started studying Wicca when I was 13.  Strangely enough, it was my Dad who made me aware of it.  He used to casually study religion and faith paths, so it really isn't strange if you know him.  He had found a page on metaphysical things and at the very bottom there was a link to website about Wicca.  The website has since shut down, but I used it for years.  I "officially" started practicing when I was 15, I thought I should do more than the year and a day of study since I was so young.  I use a self-initiation I found online, because that was the only resource I had.  After I told my parents, they responded with a "Yeah, we knew this was coming."  I have great parents.

Not everyone is so open minded, though. I never really bothered hiding it, and high school being what it is in a bible town I lost quite a few "friends" over it.  One that still sticks out in my mind was a girl that I had been best friends with since grade 1.  A few days after I told her, she came up to me and said, "I can't be friends with you anymore.  It hurts my soul to be around you and I have to pray to get it to go away." And she promptly walked off.  I swear I stood there for 5 minutes afterward, I was so dumbfounded.  More recently, a girl I was friends with in school asked me on Facebook what "this Yule thing" was, I'd had in my status about decorating my Yule tree.  I explained to her, and she right away asked for my address so she could send me a Christmas Card.  She said she wanted to put some Christ back in my Christmas.

I was pretty offended by the first instance, for one because of I was a teenager and for two because it seems to me that most of us get offended by that sort of thing when we first start on the path.  As for the second instance, I just thanked her and asked for her address so I could send her a Yule card.  I appreciate that she cares about me enough to try and save my soul in her eyes.  I've never had to hide it from a workplace, either.  Granted, I've never really had a career, so I've never been to worried about it.  Most of the people I've worked with become my friends.

I've never really thought of myself as open with my faith.  I just was.  I think we all put too much emphasis on this broom closet.  Why is the first question we ask each other, "do other people know?".  Even if it is the human condition, we shouldn't have to be scared to be ourselves.  Our children deserve better role models than that.  Of course, that said, some people would just have heart attacks if they knew.  Those people are just better off not knowing.  Hopefully, we can all make the proper judgment in our lives as to who those people are.  Everyone has their own reasons.  What are yours?


Goddess Bless,

S.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Getting your child excited for Rituals

YAY for inspiration!  If you read my post from yesterday, you can tell I was having some issues.  I've posted about a lot of spiritual things lately, and when the time came for me to write I completely drew a blank.  So I improvised.  Later, I was baking yet more cookies, because we are giving them away as gifts this year.  It's a cheap year, I think I've said this before.  Regardless, as I was baking cookies I was thinking about the Yule Ritual and Brianna and Cookies, and everything just clicked.

Cakes and Ale = Cookies and Juice = Toddler/Child Participation in Rituals?

I have no clue why this never came up before.  I mean, how many kids love cookies and juice?  All of them.  How many kids will do just about anything to be able to have cookies and juice?  Most of them.  Children that young aren't really interested in spiritual things yet, and I wouldn't force Brianna to contribute if she didn't want to.  If she wants to participate in order to have juice and cookies at the end, why not?  It gets her used to participating in the ritual and used to doing rituals with the family.  I mean, Christians bribe their kids with after-church McDonald's, why can't I do the pagan equivalent?  If you don't know anyone who does this, try going to a McDonald's in bible belt Manitoba at noon on a Sunday.  Even if you can find parking, you won't find a table.  Mennonites have HUGE families.  I don't think there is anything wrong with using little tricks to get a child interested, at least until the age where they are starting to make those choices for themselves.

So, here is my recipe for Whatever Cookies, these are what I was making when the thought came upon me.  They are so named because you add a cup of whatever to them, chocolate chips, nuts, coconut, etc.  They can be whatever kind of cookie you want!

Whatever Cookies

½ Cup butter, softened.  (Or brick margarine)
½ Cup packed brown sugar
¼ Cup white sugar
1 egg
1 ½ tsp vanilla
1 ¼ Cup flour
½ tsp baking soda
1 Cup of Whatever

Preheat oven to 375°.  In a large bowl, cream the butter using an electric mixer on low.  Add the sugars and cream together.  Add egg and vanilla and mix, still on low.  In a medium bowl, stir together flour and baking soda.  Add half at a time to wet mixture, beating just to combine.  Fold in whatever.  I used chocolate chips this time, but they are yummy with just about everything.  Drop by teaspoonfuls on to greased baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until golden.  I personally find 8 minutes is long enough for me.  Makes 36 teaspoon size cookies, they are crisp instead of soft.  This recipe makes awesome monster cookies with M&Ms, but it makes considerable less, numerically. Aren't I great at stating the obvious?

Hope you all have a great day, and have fun planning Yule!!!

Goddess Bless,

S.

Monday, December 13, 2010

I have.....LE WRITERS BLOCK

Yeah.  I know.

So I'm just going to randomly blather.  This might even be an ample time for all you wonderful people out there to get to know me (and my quirks) better!

First off, I'm 23 years old.  I know, I seem really young to be married and having a family and all that stuff.  To put it into context, I grew up in a town where slightly more (okay, a lot more) than a few people I went to high school with were married and popping out babies before graduation.  In fact, when I talked a few of them a couple years after I had moved out of province, they asked why I wasn't married yet and thought something was seriously wrong with me.  I was like, 19.  No lies.

Also, Sean is 37.  Yeah, we are 14 years apart.  Crazy, isn't it?  Yet, somehow it works.


I'm an absolute book nerd.  When I was in school I was really adventuresome with what I would read, but now I'm kind of bad at reading new things.  I used to read a lot of Anne Rice, but then my horizons expanded beyond gothica.  I still love Anne Rice's writing, it reads like poetry to me.  Sucks me in.  I'm like 2 books shy of having all the books she's ever written, even the crazy erotic ones she wrote under different names.  I also read the "People Of" series by the Gears.  There are at the moment like 13 books in this series, it's all about North American pre-history.  The Gears are a couple who both happen to be Archeologists, and all of the books are apparently based off of actual archeological digs.  To someone who seriously wanted to be a Paleontologist once upon a time, it's awesome.  They have some amazing spiritual ideas in their books, and strangely a lot of my ideas about Wicca and Paganism come from the spiritual stuff in their first book.  Isn't it strange what an effect fiction can have on us?   


I listen to a strange and varied variety of music.  I love oldies and jazz and swing, heavy metal and hard rock and even symphonies, classical and the occasional opera.  Hippie music and techno, punk rock and heck, even the occasional country song.  I have Rob Zombie and HIM on the same CD as Dean Martin and Bobby Darin.  I personally think no CD is really complete unless "Beyond the Sea" is on it.  I can't really stand rap, though.  Rap is about the only thing I don't/won't listen to.

I've never really been much of a drinker.  Or rather, when I do drink it isn't that much and usually at home.  I think I can count the times I've gotten "drunk" on one hand.  I don't really see the point to drinking until you throw up.  I love me a glass of wine or a ceaser every now and then, but I've never been the type to go party until I can't remember anything every weekend.  Thankfully, Sean isn't like that either.  We are really boring, in real life.  We sit at home and watch TV or read or play video games.  We chase Brianna around the house, cause she has the most awesome squeal ever when she is being chased.  We keep Brianna from eating garbage.  We keep her from chewing on my pots and pans.  Yeah, that's pretty much it.

I love to cook.  If you haven't gotten that idea yet from the few cooking posts on this blog, well, I love to cook.  Cooking, baking, whatever.  I like creating my own recipes.  I have that thing where I can just randomly add spices to food and it tastes awesome.  I have a talent for it.  At least everyone I cook for tells me so.  Also, the fact that Sean has put on some 60 lbs since we moved in together.  He was super skinny before, so it's okay though.

Alright!  Now that everyone knows me a little better, my work here is done!!  Just kidding.  Seriously though, I'm not sure what else to tell you.  If anyone wants to know something just send me a message!  Hope you all found this interesting, at the very least, and sorry again for the writers block!

Goddess Bless,

S.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sacred Space

Given our close proximity to Yule, I thought I would touch on Sacred Space, Ritual Space, whatever you wish to call it.  How many people are able to have a special room, set aside completely for doing Ritual or Spell work?  My e-friend Tru has a beautiful ritual space, painted a light baby blue and full of bookshelves and cupboards with assorted goblets and candles.  It's a gorgeous room.  Me?  We have an end table we pull out to use as an Altar table, and we keep our Altar supplies in boxes in the front of the bedroom close for easy access.  Hey, our home is slightly more than 900 sq ft.  2 bedrooms.  I have a jar of consecrated water sitting on my counter, and all our craft books are piled on the dining room table.  We only have 3 bookshelves, and one of them is being used to hold all our DVD s/VHS/Video Games.  We have enough books to open our own library, most of them are still in boxes.  We just don't have the room.  It sucks to have to look through 5 boxes to find out which one has the book you want to read in.  You know which one it was in?  The last one we looked in.  Yeah.  Figure that out.

Okay.  Back on topic.  Yes, we keep our Altar supplies in boxes.  We each have our own box, because we each used to have our own Altar.  We are eventually going to combine everything into a family Altar one day, but that will happen once we get a permanent Altar table. I know a lot of people don't have the space required for a whole room to be set aside for Ritual use.  Before we had Brianna, we set up our Altars in a corner of our main room, and just pulled them out for rituals.  What with an almost walking baby on our hands, that is kind of out of the question now.  We do our rituals in our living room, usually.  We follow the basic rules of Sacred Space, even if we can't use the room as Sacred Space all the time.

The two most important things in my view are cleaning the room and cleansing the room.  As long as these are met, I think that this is the only thing that you really need to have for a space to be Sacred Space.  They are equally important, if a space is cleaned in the physical world it makes it much easier to clean it in the spiritual world.  That, and if you are seeing little bits of dirt in your carpet in can be pretty distracting from your Ritual.

What does everyone else do for Sacred Space?  Are we the only ones to keep our Ritual supplies in boxes?!  Especially with Yule coming up, I think we should all pay a little more attention to our Ritual Space.  Before each Sabbat, I like to do a blessing in our Sacred Space.  The one I like is based off of a blessing for a house or property. 

Blessing for a Sacred Space

Items Needed - White Candle, protection or blessing incense, consecrated water, consecrated salt

Light the candle and the incense.  Sprinkle some of the water and salt around your sacred space.  Say, "Goddess and God, spirits of the North, South, East and West, bless this space.  Allow only good intentions and watch over those who enter here.  As I will so mote it be."
Sit in front of the candle and incense and visualize your space being blessed and filling with sacred light.

On the topic of Rituals, I found a really interesting article at Live Wicca.  It's by a man named Mike Nichols, and it really makes you think about why we use the directions and elements we do.  Here is the link.

Hope you all found this interesting!  Everyone have a great day!

Goddess Bless,

S.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Baking Day!

That is all.  Hopefully, I'm going to finish all of my Yule baking today.  Hence, I don't have much to post.  Hope everyone has a great day!!!!!

Goddess Bless,

S.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Homemade Yule - Part Three

For this Homemade Yule post, I'm focusing on food.  Mostly because I love food.  Also, I'm planning our Yule Feast.  I've been realizing over the the past few years just how many people buy everything for their holiday feast.  I think the only thing most people still make from scratch is their turkey or ham.  No one makes their own buns anymore.  They buy a pie for 5.99$ at the store.  Boxes of bulk shortbread.  Isn't part of the point of putting on this wonderful feast for everyone that you made it for them yourself?!  Cooking and baking is a lost art!  Hardly anyone does anything from scratch anymore.  Alright, I'm done.  That was my soapbox for the day.  On we go!  First, I would like to direct attention to the blog The Wicked Stitchery.  She has a wonderful Etsy store, with some beautiful pagan products.  That's usually what she posts about.  However, in response to some people on Twitter (me!  ME!) asking for a recipe she mentioned, she posted a recipe for Cheesy Garlic Bread.  From scratch, like with yeast.  Just they way I like to make my bread!  I haven't tried it yet, as I'm a little preoccupied with Yule baking of my own (Cookies are important.) but it is at the top of my list. 

Dutch Babies Photo by SC Photography, Red Deer.
This year for Yule, we are trying to plan things that Brianna will eat as well.  We have an Apple Pear Salad on the menu, as well as pickled onion.  My crazy baby loves all things sour, apparently.  She ate two whole pickles the first time she had any.  I am making Ham with a mustard/brown sugar crust.  Mini Dutch Babies, as pictured to the right.  Don't they look great?  Also, Vanilla Pudding Pumpkin Pie, with graham cracker crust.  I haven't quite figured out the pie yet, I'm sort of making it up.  Most of the recipes will be at the end of the post.

Almost everyone bakes cookies or bars or squares at this time of year.  What are your staples?  The things you make every single year, that it just wouldn't be Yule without?  For us, it's shortbread and butterscotch confetti.  This year, I'll also be making peanut brittle.  We just discovered the recipe this year, and it's so easy and fabulous.  I will be posting the recipe for it, but not today.  It's going to take me a while to be able to part with it.  Before Yule, though!  I've still got a little while.  I used to make Neapolitan Squares every year, from the Company's Coming 150 Delicious Squares cookbook pg.83, I believe.  Isn't that sad how I remember that?  It's a delightful square with a graham cracker crust, coconut and condensed milk filling, and an amazing icing.  However, with me doing the Weight Watchers thing and Sean's tentative diagnosis of hypoglycemia, we are trying to cut down on how many crazy sugary things we make.

Alright, here we go with the recipes. 

Apple Pear Salad

2 Cups diced Apple
2 Cups diced Pear
2 Cups halved grapes
2 tsp lemon juice

Dressing:

1/4 cup light Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Plain or Greek Yogurt
2 - 4 Tbsp honey (to taste)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Mix fruit together, sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning and toss.  In a separate bowl, mix dressing ingredients together, and blend well.  Pour over fruit and toss lightly to coat.  Refrigerate to blend flavors, 1-2 hours before serving.

Pickled Onions
This recipe is from Food.com, user Kittencalskitchen.  Link!  I've changed it a little bit to my preference, though.  Directions are the same as the original. 


2 red onions, sliced in half then cut into about 1/4-inch slices
3 teaspoons Sea salt
1 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup normal white vinegar
5 -6 tablespoons sugar
black pepper ( about 1 teaspoon)

Separate the rings and place into a large bowl. Sprinkle with Kosher salt; toss to coat with salt, then let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse the onions under cold water and drain very well. Place the rings between paper towels and pat dry, then place in a bowl. In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, sugar and black pepper; pour over the rings in the bowl; toss to coat well. Place in the fridge for 2 hours before serving.


Mini Dutch Babies
This recipe is the same one as on the Chubby Vegetarian, with a different execution.  The original recipe was my inspiration! If you have never read this site, you have to.  It's fabulous.

2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch nutmeg (I used way more, because I am in love with nutmeg.  I used like a tsp.)
2 tablespoons butter (I only used one, I didn't really need need so much.)

According to the Chubby Vegetarian, you preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place a 10-12 inch frying pan into the oven with the butter. Once the butter melts, pour the batter into the pan and return it to the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

What I did?  I preheated the oven to 425.  I put little bits of butter in the bottom of muffin cups, let that melt.  Mixed up the batter, poured enough in the muffin cups to cover the bottom.  and baked for 10-12 minutes,  the full 15 minutes for the smaller ones would have burned them.  I then added some sliced strawberries and a dusting of powdered sugar.  YUM!  So good.  I ate, like, 9 of the 12.  They were amazing.  
As I said, I don't have a recipe yet for the pie.  Did you know that in my house, we generally refer to pie as "bob"?  Do you want to know why we do such a ridiculous, nonsensical thing?  Because Sean hates pie.  Anything called pie.  Do you know what he hates about pie?  The pastry.  Yet, even when it has a graham cracker crust, if it is called pie he won't eat it.  So we call it bob.  Ridiculous?  Yes.  Does it work?  Yes, strangely enough.  
Remember, there is also my recipe for Yule Shortbread, and I will get around to posting my Peanut Brittle recipe sometime before Yule yet.  Hope you all have a great day!  Happy cooking!

Goddess Bless, 

S.

Updated to Add:  Here are the links the other Homemade Yule posts...A Homemade Yule - Part One and A Homemade Yule - Part Two.  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Yule Traditions

What do we normally do for Yule?  The answer for each of us will differ greatly, all Wiccans and Pagans having their own ideas for celebrating each Sabbat.  There are some things we do generally agree upon as being "part of Yule", though.     

Wassail

Wassail comes from the Middle English Waes Haeil, translated to be "good health" or "be healthy".  Wassailing in medieval tradition was meant to insure a good harvest for the next year.  On Wikipedia is part of a traditional Wassailing carol,

"Wassail, Wassail, all over the town,
Wassailing from Time Travel Britain
Our toast it is white and our ale it is brown;
Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree;
With the Wassailing bowl, we'll drink to thee."

The link to the full carol can be found on the Wikipedia page.

Some people will tell you that a REAL recipe for Wassail has eggs in it.  I disagree.  Originally, it was a mulled cider drink.  As the years went on they started adding eggs as an extra symbol of fertility, seeing as this was a drink to ensure a good harvest.  So actually, a real Wassail recipe has no eggs.  I'm planning on using this recipe here, from about.com

  • 2 qts. apple cider
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 orange (unpeeled)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp. whole cloves
  • brandy (optional)

Preparation:

Combine cider, sugar, ginger and orange in slow cooker. Tie cinnamon and cloves in a small cheesecloth bag; add to crockpot. Cover and cook on LOW 2 to 4 hours. The entire house will smell great! Remove the bag of spices. In a mug put a shot of brandy, then fill with hot mix from cooker.
Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Yule Log

Another thing that we can all agree on is the use of a Yule Log, even if we decide to do it differently.  If you can do a great huge log in a fireplace, great!  Not all of us are so lucky though.  I love this idea from Jen at Live Wicca, she made her own and it is gorgeous!  She is also wonderful enough to have put a mini-tutorial on her post.  Check it out here!

Given that we don't have any power tools, and no real access to logs, my solution is what it always is.  Baking.  I found this great idea for shortbread, with a little more flour than normal, rolled into cylinders and cut into mini Yule log cookies, eventually being dipped in chocolate and rolled in nuts.  I mean, come on.  Shortbread and chocolate and nuts?  What can go wrong?

Traditionally, the Yule Log was a symbol of prosperity and protection, an amulet if you will.  Whatever was left at the end of the burning would be kept all year, and in fact protected the family all year.  The next Yule the fire for the Yule Log was lit with the leftover piece from the last year.

Candles

Especially for those of us who don't have a fireplace, candles play an important part in Yule Celebrations.  This is similar to the Yule Log, the fire from which certainly symbolized the return of the Sun.  In times past it was easier to light a Yule Log, especially when the candle supply had to last until next butchering.  These days it is easier for us to do the opposite.  I like to use a red candle, to further symbolize flame and the Sun.  When I have them, I also use gold, yellow or orange colored candles. 

I also use scented candles at Yule.  I don't know anyone who is actually liable to have live holly in their house, and we use a fake Yule Tree.  So I love using a pine scented candle.  I also find that burning both an apple crisp scented candle and a cinnamon scented candle can really make the house smell like Yule!  Or at least, a simmering Wassail!

I also like the idea of gifting candles for Yule.  What greater way to symbolize the return of light than to share it with people you care about?


I hope everyone has found this interesting, if you have any thoughts about Yule traditions or wish to share yours, feel free to leave a comment!!

Goddess Bless,

S.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Yule Gifts

Sean is busy plugging away on his video game so this is my chance to post his Yule present to show you all!  And no, I did not buy him a lighter.  We used to smoke, and still have them all around the house.  That is to show scale.


Isn't it beautiful?!  Sean follows Thor, (religiously!  HA! Sorry.) and has since the day he realized he was truly on the path.  He is into anything Norse, really, but Thor is who he is forging a relationship with.  Get it?  Forging?  Because of the Hammer?  Okay, really, it's not intentional.  I have no idea what is wrong with me today.

I got Sean's Thor's Hammer off of eBay, a great store called Qt's Cool Stuff.  Here is the link, if you are interested!  It's an awesome store.  They have a lot of really neat stuff.  Or, I guess, cool stuff.

I also got Sean a Superman shirt, and a book based off of the Elder Scrolls IV Video game we play.  Umm, have I ever mentioned we are all nerds over here?  Yeah. 

For Brianna, we got a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DVD,  a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse book, those cute leggings I mentioned in my weekend off post, and a pull along box of wooden Alphabet blocks.  It's pretty perfect, because she is really starting to get this talking thing down pat.  Sean hasn't been wearing his bandage lately, and she has been pointing at her head and at Sean and saying "owie".  It's so cute, she wants to know what happend to Daddy.   

For everyone else I generally got used things, and I'm doing baking of course.  I can't tell you what I got my dad, because I know he reads my Blog.  (Hi Dad!)  For my mom we are giving her a coin separator of ours that she said she liked, and also some muffins.  She likes muffins.  I'm making some Cornmeal Muffins, maybe some Banana muffins, and I'm debating making some Coffee Cake muffins.  We bought my brother a Starcraft II Calender.  I'm giving a lot of my friends Peanut Brittle, Banana Bread and cookies.  It's a pretty frugal year.  I'm fine with that though, I think it means more when you have to put effort into it.  Now if I could just convince Sean of that...

What is everyone else gifting this Yule?  Let me know!  I could always use some ideas for next year!

Goddess Bless,

S.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Healing Magick

At some point in our lives, all of us need to heal from something.  Currently, with Sean and his gash in his head, this is something that has come up a tad more frequently than normal.  Not all of us have the skill to be healers, and I'm blessed to have a small bit of talent in the area.  Enough that we don't have to go to the doctor for everything, anyway.  Stitches to the head were a bit beyond me though!

Whether or not you have the skill, there are some things that we can all do to help the healing process move a bit faster.  Some of them are just common sense, but we all know how uncommon common sense seems to be these days!

Healing Rune Necklace from the Witches Way

  • I've always considered Green, Blue and White to be healing colors.  Wearing those colors can only help, we all know how important color vibrations can be.  Any "loud" colors should be avoided.
  • Sleep.  
  • Drink Tea.  Any healing blend will do, one you make or buy yourself.  I like Lavender and Mint, or a simple Chamomile will do.  Relaxation and sleep are some of the best ways to heal.
  • Wear or keep a healing rune with you.  If you don't have one to wear and you don't have one in your rune set, you can do this simple ritual:  Light a healing candle.  Light the end of a natural wood or bamboo stick (I use chopsticks.) and draw a healing rune with the resulting charcoal.
  • You can also make it a habit of tracing a healing rune on the part of your body that needs healing, usually twice a day.  I use consecrated water, but you can just do it in the air or with a stick of incense.  Whatever feels right. 
  • Sleep.  As much as you can.

Small Quartz Crystals from Dragonmoon.ca
  • Wear a healing crystal, or keep one on you. I like clear Quartz, Bloodstone, and Turquoise.  
  • Eat Garlic.  Garlic can reduce your chances of getting a cold, lowers bad cholesterol.  Garlic is a natural anti-biotic, anti-inflammatory, and  anti-viral herb.  There is nothing that Garlic can't do.
  • If you are having chills, drink a teaspoon of vinegar.  It warms you up.  
  • Three words.  Lemons, limes, oranges.  
  • Do a healing spell.  I'm not going to add one in, because they can be found all over the web and you should really write one yourself anyway.  It would work better.
  • Sleep.  Did I mention this already?  Sleep is one of the most important things you can do for healing.  Any kind of healing.  It's hard work. 

 Hopefully this helps.  It's a big deal in our house right now.  Anyone who has been following know what I'm going trough medically.  When Sean was at the doctor's today, they told him they think he has hypoglycemia.  So Sean is going in for a huge round of blood work after a 12 hour fast later this week.  We have a really great doctor, he would rather do things naturally when at all possible.

Hope you all have a great day!

Goddess Bless,

S.

Monday, December 6, 2010

My weekend off!

It was great.  First, it was the first weekend of Sean's vacation.  Second, I got to go shopping.  For crafts.  What more do you need?!

On Saturday I went to the Holiday Craft sale in our town with one of my best friends.  I spent 60 bucks.  Ridiculous, isn't it?  In my defense some of it was stuff I was going to buy anyway, like spice mix and red pepper jelly.  There were some fabulous cheese curds that I just had to buy, I hadn't had fresh cheese curds in about a decade!  I also bought some super cute leggings for Brianna for Yule.  Here is the link, if you care to look!  I bought "G" and "O".  G, with the little bird was just cute, and O with the squirrel was just meant to be.  Squirrels are Sean's animal, so Brianna has a bunch of squirrel stuff.  Mine is a spider.  Does Brianna have any spider stuff?  No.  This is where you would see me rolling my eyes and sticking my tongue out at Sean.  I also bought a beautiful bright green Pashmina for ritual wear.  Saturday night, we did the Toxic "Friend" spell.  It went very well, and I definitely feel a weight lifted.  This was Sean's first time casting the circle (almost) by himself, he usually just tells me to do it!  It was really nice to have him participate like that. 

Sunday, the same friend I went to the Craft Sale with and her husband came over for lunch.  She brought her amazing super dill potato salad.  They stayed until about 5 pm, it was so nice to have them visit.  We really don't do it enough.  All of us are rather hermit-like.  Then we went to go see the first half of the new Harry Potter, it was really good and effects were amazing.  As always though, I was ticked off at what they left out.  It's ridiculous how mad I get about it!  Everything should be just like the book!  Okay, I'm done there.

This coming week is going to be really busy, so forgive me if I miss a day of posting!  This afternoon I have an Ultrasound appointment, just to confirm my doctor's diagnosis.  Hopefully that will go well.  Tuesday Sean has a doctor's appointment to figure out what is wrong with him, he is just, off.  We aren't really sure how to describe it even.  Also, the doctor wants to check his stitches and he will probably have to get blood work.  Wednesday we are going to the above mentioned friends house for a photo shoot (she is a photographer) for our family portrait this year and for dinner.  I'm going to show her how to make homemade mayonnaise, and we are probably going to do some Yule baking as well.  Thursday I think Sean and I are going out for dinner.  Friday might be my only empty day...maybe. 

So that's my week.  I'm defiantly going to make a serious attempt at my next homemade Yule post, and I want to do another Yule-y post.  Not quite sure yet.  Probably something about food.  I like food.

I would really appreciate it if you lovely readers would send us some good energy, just for the crazy doctors things.  I hope everyone had a great weekend, and that wherever you are, the weather has been warmer than it has been here!

Goddess Bless,

S.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Yule Present Fiasco and a Hospital Trip

Why don't we call it an incident.  Yes...An incident.  What kind of incident, you ask?  One that starts with going to get new tires for the car and buying Yule presents, and ends with a trip to the hospital.

I'll warn everyone ahead of time, if you have a weak stomach, you may not want to look at any of the pictures in this post.

Some of you will already know about this, like Jen at Live Wicca who I talked to about this over Twitter.  Some people have even seen pictures already.  Pictures?  Yes.  I didn't take them during the crisis though, just after all of the craziness had begun to mellow.

Okay.  Here we go.  Sean had gone out to get a couple new tires for the car, just front wheel drive tires because that's all we really have the money for right now.  I told him to buy any Yule presents he wanted to buy while he was out.  So he gets home, around 10:30 am, and brings in his coffee, takes off his jacket, etc.  Then he tells me not to look, he has to go out and bring in some presents.  So his smart idea was to duck as he passed the window in case I was peaking.

I wasn't peaking.

He stood up, moving forward, into the old, jagged-like metal corner of our air conditioner.  I warn you, the following picture is nasty.  N A S T Y.



Are you ready for it?







Yep.  That is a chunk of Sean's head.  On (or in?) our air conditioner.

So I hear him swearing through the window (it was closed) and see him bending forward as he opens the door.  Now, Sean is clumsy.  He bangs his head on things, trips, drops things, the works.  So I was just expecting a goose egg or something.  I mean, I've banged my head on the air conditioner too.  Apparently not like this however.  Sean's head was pouring blood.  I've never seen blood pour before, even though it's a common expression.  This?  This was you take a pitcher of water, one of the ones with the lids, turn it to the spot where ice cubes can't fall out, and pour.  Just replace the water with blood, and the pitcher with Sean's head.



The blood actually does all the way to the carpet in the very top of the picture.  This was after Sean had started putting pressure on it.  Just so you know, there was a lot more blood than it looks like.  Seriously, it looks like a couple teaspoons dripped, but this was at least a cup of blood.  You can see the smears at the bottom where the door had been opened and closed.  Through all this he is still carrying my Yule present.  I'm freaking out and telling him to go to the bathroom, put a towel on it and he is freaking out that I've seen my Yule present.

Seriously.  Because that's really what I'm paying attention to right now.

So I tell him to run down the hall and toss it into Brianna's room on the way to the bathroom.  He does.  After he bleeds in the sink and I get a couple towels and some ice on his gash, he goes back to Brianna's room to hide my present.  Through all this, I've called my Dad to come get Sean and take him to the hospital, luckily my Dad was working at home yesterday.  It would have been so bad to try and get Brianna all in her parka and stuff while Sean was bleeding and try to keep her still in the hospital.

Also, it took me 40 minutes to wash the blood off of the floor, it was dried on by the time I got there.  Brianna was corralled in her car toy the whole time, so I wasn't worried about her eating any.  Isn't just saying that disgusting?

Anyhow...



This was my door handle.  There was more on the door jam, and the screen door, and the carpet.  The sink.  I threw out some towels.  Now, I'm not complaining.  I'm just glad Sean is okay.  I just haven't really comprehended the scope of what happened.

Here is a picture of Sean's head.  He got a bunch of stitches, in the picture you can see the gash runs from the tip of my finger to my second knuckle.  It was big.


So here is Sean, looking like a Vietnam war vet.



Brianna wanted to look just like Daddy!!

Isn't she adorable?


She left that thing on for the better part of an hour.  It was so cute.  I only took about a million pictures.  Sean went to work today, and (yes, I know.  He really did go to work, it's ridiculous.) everyone keeps asking him what happened, his boss is making fun of him, and he is getting really annoyed.  It's his last day before 2 weeks of holidays though.  So he is suffering through it.  He is feeling better, except for a headache because he isn't allowed to take pain medication.  Head injury, and all that.

In other personal news, I sent the letter to my "friend" from my previous post, and I've removed him as a friend on Facebook.  I'm very much doubting that he will notice anything until he gets the letter, so the fallout won't be for a few days at least.  I'm very sad, but not because I'm not friends with him anymore, or that it came to this.  I'm sad because I don't feel sad about it.  I guess that's how I know it's time, though. 

So I'm taking the weekend off.  One of my friends invited me to a craft show for tomorrow, of course I couldn't turn down a craft show.  I'm also going to be doing the Toxic Friend spell in the post mentioned above, and just trying to recharge from the craziness of the week.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Goddess Bless,

S.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Random Thursday Numbah 3

Earlier this week, a Christian columnist claimed that they've "Won the war on Christmas".  Article here.  Essentially, this person, Gary McCullough has said that

"Christians have already won the culture war by using their principles to “co-opt” rituals and holidays in America and abroad.

“We take them over, we make them our own and we mock their pagan roots,” insisted McCullough."

The article is more about Atheist practices than pagan, and while I don't agree with the American Atheist group putting up billboards against Christmas, I think that the Atheist group has actually won.  If Christian groups are this upset by it, then they've lost.

More to the point, I think it is terrible that this season is being forced to the focal point of a rights war.  It doesn't matter if you celebrate Yule, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Rohatsu,or Inti RaymiThe celebrations are all about the same thing.  Rebirth.  Kindness to others, etc.  We all know it.  Why can't we practice it?

That is the only newsy thing I'm including today.  This week went by so incredibly fast, I didn't get a chance to do my 3rd homemade Yule post, let alone find links for Random Thursday. 

I'm thinking of doing several things, the first being having a giveaway of some sort once I reach a certain number of followers.  What do you guys think I should include in a giveaway?  I'm also thinking of redoing the site, well not really re doing it but changing the colors at least.  I'm falling out of love with this gray.  I tried to put a poll on the other day but you couldn't see it because the text was the same color as the background!  So I'm thinking of changing it.  

Also, I'm debating putting some ads on the site.  Gasp!  I know.  What kind of sacrilege would that be?  However, I am a stay at home mom and while Sean makes a decent amount of money, we have a lot of debt.  It would be nice to earn something on the side.  Don't worry, though.  I'm not going to do that yet.  Also, I'll ask first.  Nicely.  I promise.
  
Today is December 2nd, and while I very much doubt he reads my blog, I would like to wish Capt. Paul Watson a very happy birthday!  It looks like there will actually be whales around for Brianna and her children to see because of him.  


I don't really have much else for today, Sean has the day off and went to town to do some Yule shopping and get new tires for the car.  You can just see the money flying away.  


I hope everyone has a great day!  Remember, there are only 18 days until Yule! 


Goddess Bless,


S.