Friday, December 30, 2011

Nails are Better than Screws!
It's true!  My new bulletin board would not go in with the screws.  Or maybe it's the wall's fault.  Well, it's up now and a constant reminder of what I need to get done.  My New Year's Resolutions are on there... I have 14 of them.  So whenever I leave my room they will be there.  Always watching.


I will also be putting up a nice big sign with the word 'CALM' on there.  That is the word Lady Winter told me in my winter meditation.  If you go to Jamie Ridler Studios blog on my blog list it should still be on the first page.  It's a guided mediation and it really helped me.  It even gave me an idea for a necklace design!


Finally, I figured I would leave you all with this last little tidbit.
 I got that from a list about the phases of the moon.  Most of you know this already, I'm sure.  Why do I think this is relevant?  If you go by the zodiac, May 20- June 20 is a month.  The first new moon is right on May 20th and the second?  June 19th.  My birthday.  I am so totally geeked you have no idea.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Yule Magic Blog Party

So it's finally arrived.  Well... technically the solstice is tomorrow, which is when I'll be celebrating it.  I'm wishing all of you an abundant season, as that is what this time of year is good for.  I'm definitely going to be doing some magic to help get things growing, in terms of finances and relationships.  Just remember: how you think affects how you live.  Instead of reminding yourself of what you don't have, try to look on the positive side.  This helps abundance grow.


The gift I give to all of you is that of serenity.  This time of year can be stressful, what with gifts and family.  So when you feel like you can't take it, take a step back and relax.  Remember that this is the time of giving and receiving, so it's okay to ask for some help or take some time for you. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Ugh
I have been in such a funk the past few days.  On the magical side of things, I'm trying to find a god (as in masculine) to work with on a more permanent basis.  I have a few I like, but none of them are really resonating with me.  I think that has to do with the lack of father figure gods out there.  Mother goddesses are in abundance, but gods who really embody the father?  Not that I've seen.  They don't even have to be father gods first and foremost.  I've always been drawn to triple goddesses, so gods with many facets in their duties/personalities are welcome.


On the more personal side, this house has been crazy.  Arguments and all that loveliness.  I really don't want to be around people that much and all I want to do is sleep.  Although I have been making surprising progress on my schoolwork and story.  But alas my emotions are all over the place.


If anyone has any suggestions, or just a kind word, I would appreciate what you have to say.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

 The Witches' Yuletide Ball
Today is the day!  If you want to see who else has a party post, click on the banner over there ->.



My tradition is fairly new.  This will be my third Yule as a practicing witch and my goal is to figure out what I want my traditions to be.  My family celebrates Christmas, even though none of us are exactly Christian.  So I will be including the traditions from that here.  





 Our tree is already up.  Generally speaking we usually do the decorating the day after Thanksgiving but lately this has not been the case.  We decorated the tree on December first this year, much to Twinny's displeasure.  Of course another tradition of ours seems to be that the tree looks a mess once it's fully decorated, since we have so many varied ornaments.

So onto plans this year.  I have some pine needles and juniper berries that I will incorporate into an incense of some kind.  Seeing as we have a gas fireplace, I can't have a real yule log.  I could make a log into a centerpiece and put candles in it, but I think I'll try that next year.  This year I want to make a yule log dessert!  I need to go out and buy the proper pan and some of the ingredients, but I'm hoping it will be fun to make and good to eat.  If it is I'll post a picture and the recipe here.  Another thing I want to do is donate some of the things I have that I don't need.  I have a bag full of stuffed animals that have't come out for awhile.  Someone else could be playing with them and enjoying them.  I also have various toys and games that my family and I don't use, so those should go too.  Given that this is the time where a whole bunch of toys are donated, I want to see if I can convince my parents to donate anything else that would be more for adults like unneeded cookware.  I've seen our kitchen and I know we can spare something. 


Now for a recipe!  My family has always made a whole bunch of treats for Christmas so I'm going to share one with you.

Corn flake Wreath Treats
1/2 cup butter
30 large marshmallows
1 tsp vanilla extract
Enough green food coloring to make the color you want
4 cups cornflakes

~OPTIONAL~
cinnamon red hot candies
Twizzlers pull and peel licorice

So this is just like making rice crispy treats with a few differences.  Melt the butter in a large pot over low heat.  Add the marshmallows and stir until melted.  Remove from heat.  Add the vanilla and food coloring and stir until fully mixed.  I don't put a precise amount of food coloring since some people like their wreaths light green and others like it to look piney green.  If that is the case you may need to add a drop or five of blue.

Stir in the cornflakes until combined.  Quickly drop the desired amounts onto wax paper for shaping.  Coat your hands in cooking spray, butter or warm water to keep them from sticking.  Form the mixture into an 'O' shape.  Now you can decorate them with the candies and/or the licorice.  I've used Twizzlers pull and peel, pulled the strands apart and tied them into little bows.  Let cool for 20-30 minutes then enjoy!

Also remember to cook/bake with intent!  For most sweets I try to bake happiness into them, as sugar is good for that.  

You can make these with rice crispies, but the ratio of cereal to marshmallows is different.  The cornflakes are better in my opinion anyway.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oh look!  Progress!
So today I went to the Secretary of State (or DMV) to get my T.I.P.  That's Temporary Instructor's Permit.  I had to stand in line, take a number and wait.  Once my number was called I stood in line again then submitted my paperwork and took a test.  Not fun.  When I finished the test I had to stand in line again and then had the test graded.  I was so worried the whole time that I would fail something.  The eye exam, not having the right papers or the test itself.  But I did fine and passed it.  So I can now legally drive with a licensed driver in the front seat.  


My name is Kristina, I'm twenty years old and I just now obtained my learner's permit.-_-;;

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Witch or Wiccan: Which are you?
Aine talks about witchcraft, Wicca and the differences thereof in her experienced opinion on the most recent Witch's Circle.  That is one of the troubles with this form of Paganism... it varies depending on who you ask.  That very fact is one reason I chose this path, but it does make one or the other difficult to pinpoint exactly what either is.  But I will give my opinions in the form of answering the questions she list on the post, to be found here.

Are you a witch or Wiccan?
I consider myself a witch.  Most of the books I physically own are on Wicca, yes.  But some of the information contained therein is exactly why I don't think I'm Wiccan.  I don't believe in some of the same traditions that any of the major groups of Wiccans follow.


Do you belong to a group/coven or are you solitary?
I'm solitary, although I do practice some magic with Twinny (as seen on Samhain.)


Do you abide by the Rede or any other Rule in your practice?
I think the Rede is a bit too optimistic for any living thing to truly abide by.  It's a nice thought to be sure.  But if I get a job, I'm harming those who didn't get it and they might need it more than I do.  I believe in not trying to harm people intentionally.  I do eat meat, so animals will be killed for my consumption, but that is nature.  I do try to buy things that are humanely treated though.  I believe in doing one's best to try and better the world, and I don't consider it my place to punish people who aren't under my authority (should I have children/employees.)


Does your belief system include a deity/deities?
Sort of.  It's been an ongoing process of mine to find a God/Gods that resonate with who I am.  I'm speaking of the masculine specifically here.  There are many Goddesses I identify with, which makes it hard to choose one to be my patron.  But at the same time, it's difficult for me to work with an abstract idea that is 'the feminine' or 'the masculine'.  I do like to work with a God and Goddess that would be helpful to my specific magical needs at the time.  Like using Athena for wisdom and Hestia for home issues.  I don't worship these deities.  I respect them and see them in myself and others.  They are a part of what makes up everything, just as I am.  I just ask for their help and guidance once in a while and thank them for it after.


Does your path include magical practice?
Yes.  Orange candles with rosemary oil help me write!


How do you celebrate the Sabbats?
I'm too new at this for there to be a tradition per se.  I've been trying to attune myself to nature and celebrate what it has to offer at that given time.  I've noticed that actual rituals that are listed in the books I have don't work well for me.  I feel really uncomfortable doing them.  I'm more of a 'let's go out and do something to celebrate, not sit at an altar and pray.'  I don't tend to do magic that way either.  I'll ask for assistance and say a short blessing.  That's about it.


"All Wiccans are Witches, but not all Witches are Wiccans."  Do you agree?
I suppose it depends on what the person wants to be called.  I'm sure there are Wiccans who don't want to be called witches, but that do magic.  But if doing magic makes you a witch... then they would technically be one.  I do agree that not all witches are Wiccans.  A lot of them aren't.


Do you believe that Witchcraft is a religion?
It can be.  It can be a huge spiritual journey or a simple matter of doing spells.  Some people are okay with being a "Christian Witch" which I think is a Christian doing magic.  So for that person, Witchcraft isn't a religion.  But for some people (like me) it is a spiritual connection with nature, the divine feminine and the divine masculine.  

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 15 - 15 Days of Thankfulness - 3 Things in My Life Now
Today is the last day of this wonderful project.  I think it's only right to end with the here and now, so nicely planned Cordelia!  Three things I am thankful for that are in my life currently.


1. My ability
This is a kind of abstract idea, but I'll try to explain as well as I can.  I mean my ability to cook, make jewelry, make people laugh or speak my mind.  I mean my ability to walk, see, hear, and think without aid or pain.  I mean being able to read and do math (sort of).  


2. My Home
It has it's flaws.  The faucets in the bathroom leak and the windows are drafty, but it's home.  It's a roof over my head and a bed to sleep in.  A kitchen to cook in and a bathroom to... well, you know.  This is more than a lot of people can say they have.  I wish I were rich so that I could give people places to stay like I have, so they could be prosperous enough to be annoyed at the faults.


 3. My Family
Maurice
October
I mean all of them.  Our dog Roxy, my kitty October, and Ada's cat Maurice.  My Momo and Ada (aka my mom and step dad).  Both of my sisters and my oldest sister's fiance.  I may get mad at them or think I know better at times, but I love them all in my way.  I couldn't ask for a better family.


Roxy
Now that the 15 days are over I'll try to live everyday in kind.  I want to be thankful for what I have and not take things for granted.  I wish to remember on those days that my life seems to suck, that there are so many others less fortunate.  And with that I want to wish you all a:




Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 14 - 15 Days of Thankfulness - 3 Things That Make Me Laugh
Laughter is the best medicine... sometimes.  But today I will list three things that make me laugh in which I am thankful for.


1.Kimmy/Twinny
Probably the person who does this the most.  We share a ridiculous sense of humor.  We'll laugh about things only we know about or things that are childish.  Or puns.  Twinny loves puns.  To a disturbing degree.  It scares me sometimes.


2.My Momo
My nickname for my mom.  She has a weird sense of humor.  It's either funny or it leaves you scratching your head.  Sometimes the things she says after she's tried to make a joke are even funnier than the joke itself.  She's such a silly person.


3. Smart Comedy
I don't mean the typical rom-com of today.  I like comedy that isn't judgmental, that anyone can get a good laugh from.  Be it about history or differences or making fun of one's self.  If it leaves you pondering philosophical questions, even better.


    
Day 13 - 15 Days of Thankfulness - My Spiritual Path
Three things about my spiritual path that I am thankful for.


1.Magic
Having the tools at my disposal to perform magic is a marvelous thing.  Even if it's only the knowledge of the right day in which to plant seeds, so that they may grow healthy and strong.  Having a belief system that incorporates things I've always known existed is a great weight off of my shoulders and it allows me to grow.


2. Flexibility
The path of a witch is one you can customize to your own personal beliefs and goals.  You can choose a God and/or Goddess who suits your personality or who you wish to emulate.  There are so many different tools that you can use... or not use!  You can celebrate the Sabbats or feast days or not do rituals at all!  


3. Being a Steward of the Earth
This is really something everyone should do, from any religion or culture.  The earth is our mother and home.  We need to care for her and protect her from harm so that we mat live harmoniously.  Learning about Wicca and then forming my own opinions has given me many ideas of how to change the way I live so that I may make as little negative impact on the earth as possible.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 12 - 15 Days of Thankfulness - 3 Things in Nature
Today we have to come up with three things in nature that we are thankful for.  I'm sure this is hard for most people.  Especially if you consider there are four natural elements.  There are so many specific things in nature for each element as well.  But I'm doing this the whole way, so here goes.



 1. Mushrooms
And no, I don't mean the psychedelic kind!
Around where I live there are so many different varieties of mushrooms that grow in different yards.  I love how one class of plant can have so many variations.  I really like the flat ones and the really big ones.  Mushrooms always make me think of the Seelie faeries, as they start really popping up in late summer/autumn.



2. Trees
Who doesn't like trees?  They give us shade and lumber.  They put on the greatest show every autumn.  A part I think is underrated is the bark.  It's rough on most trees, but on birch trees it's thin as paper.  I remember putting mud on a tree that had lost part of it's outer layer of bark because we didn't want it getting cold during the winter.
3. Clouds
I've always been fascinated with clouds.  I loved learning about the different types and what they meant.  I liked looking for shapes in the sky, maybe a dragon would be hiding in a cloud.  I really like how the light of the sun or moon play against the different layers of clouds.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 11 - 15 Days of Thankfulness - 3 Friends
This time I have to talk about three friends I am thankful for.  This isn't too hard, as I've always been one for small friend groups.  Note: I would be Pooh in this picture.

1. Cheza
Cheza isn't her real name, but it's a nickname she picked up in Jr. High that has stuck all these years.  Cheza is a friend I've had since 5th grade and we've never really fought terribly.  She's the crazy, out there one who's the life of the party.  She could be a mafia don with how many people she is friends with.  It's because of her that I made the friends I did in 5th grade.  My next friend was scared to approach me.  I can be a bit standoffish.  She is the Tigger of the group.

2. Janelle
Janelle is another friend I made in 5th grade.  She was afraid to approach me, but luckily Cheza is an extreme extrovert and did it for her.  She's the one who has all the events, does all of the traveling.  She used to host all of the sleepovers, but she's usually out of the country when not in college these days.  I worry about her burning herself out, but I suppose her energy level is different from mine.  She would be Piglet.

3. Kimmy
You all know her as twinny.  We weren't really close when we were really young.  But nowadays we're the twins who aren't twins.  We get along really well and balance each other out. I cook, she does the dishes.  I'm serious and a pessimist, she's light-hearted and an optimist.  We usually like the same things; books, movies, etc.  When we were little, I always had to play the guy when we played pretend.  I did not like that.  She would be a strange Tigger/Eeyore hybrid.  
Day 10 - 15 Days of Thankfulness - 3 Teachers
I'm playing a bit of catch up on this, so this is from the day before yesterday.  The prompt is three teachers you are thankful you had.


1.Miss. Mansfield
My memory is being rude to me.  The last name doesn't seem right, but I checked and it is.  She was my 4th grade teacher.  She was always really nice.  Whenever someone was absent or had missing work, she would let you stay in for recess and do any work you hadn't turned in yet.  That was really helpful for me, who got sick a lot.


2. Mr. Buckley  
Mr. Buckley was my 6th grade homeroom teacher.  All of my teachers that year were nice to me when the kid weren't.  But Mr. Buckley went out of his way to talk to me when some girls were particularly nasty.  He also came up with great project for us to do.  And we had these slips we got for good behavior that went toward a raffle we had every so often.  Sometimes the prize would be a painting his father did.  We actually got to watch him in action once and I learned some really cool painting tricks.


3. Mr. Paul
Mr. Paul was my math teacher in 7th grade.  That was the first year I got really sick and was out most of the year.  That eventually resulted in my being home schooled.  I was out for a long time, but Mr. Paul didn't get on my case or pressure me like some of the other teachers or faculty did.  When I went in for my final he made sure I was comfortable enough to take it.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 9 - 15 Days of Thankfulness - Upcoming Events


What are three upcoming events that I look forward to and am thankful for?


1. My Oldest Sister's Wedding
This is really important.  Not only am I to be a bridesmaid, but I am going to make her jewelry and am being escorted by the groom's brother, who I have to make sure behaves. Young people... *shakes head*  Anywho... it'll be next September and I hope it will be fun.  Although my sister wants me to have a date by then.  Fun times.


2. Starting a Business with Twinny
It'll be a craft based business, with her painting and me making jewelry.  It will probably start out on Etsy and work it's way into craft shows and the like.  I just hope I don't get too overzealous with the business end of things.  I've already started looking at jewelry business info and we haven't even started yet.


3. Starting College
Hopefully I'll be doing this next fall but we'll see.  I want to become a chef and the school I'd like to go to has a pretty hard to get into program.  But I think I can do it.  The money isn't there yet, so I'd like to get a job sometime soon.  Just so I'm not drowning in debt by the time I graduate.  Hopefully I can work and go to school so any loans can be payed off relatively quickly.
44 Days of Witchery


A favorite goddess- Sekhmet
Egyptian goddess of war and destruction, but also a multitude of other things such as medicine.  She is known as the eye of Ra.  Sekhmet is tied to Bastet, both being cat-like goddesses but not related, as well as Hathor, the cow goddess.  In some mythologies it is said that Hathor and Sekhmet are one being, Hathor being of life and love and Sekhmet being of death and destruction.


Their is a story that says once humans tried to overthrow the gods.  Ra heard this and sent Sekhmet to cease this rebellion.  Sekhmet descended onto the humans and slaughtered them, drinking their blood as she went.  She relished the taste of blood so much the gods feared Sekhmet's wrath would leave no humans left.  Ra had beer mixed with plants and blood so it would become red and tempt Sekhmet.  When Sekhmet came upon it, she drank it all and became intoxicated.  Her rage was soothed and peace returned to the land.


I like the goddess Sekhmet in the same way I am drawn to goddesses like Kali-Ma and Artemis.  Stories of these fierce women prove a very important point.  Women can be just as angry and battle-savvy as men.  Too many people associate the feminine with docile or weak.  Sekhmet proves this not to be the case.
Day 8 - 15 Days of Thankfulness - 3 Things in My Home


Today's question is what three things in your home are you thankful for.  I take things to be inanimate objects, not the other two nouns.  As I've already mentioned my computer and my clock...


1. The Stove
Thank you stove for doing your job.  Your burners may cook a bit unevenly and not simmer well, but you do your best.  You don't even get mad when I drop tater tots into your oven.  You just let me know with the slight burning smell.  Thank you for helping me cook for my family and not give them food poisoning.
                                                         2. Books
Not just one item, I know.  But they all deserve recognition.  Can't think of a word?  To the dictionary!  The power is out, you say?!  Whatever shall we do?  READ A BOOK!  Allow the physical presence of words on a page to grace you with it's wisdom.  Even if it is fiction.



3. My Dry Sink
Also known as the place where Kristina keeps most of her pagan stuff/drying herbs.  The poor thing is a mess of disorganization right now, but I intend to change that shortly.  Without it my four (yes I said FOUR) mortars and pestles would have no official home.  My massive store of candles would be sitting in a bag somewhere.  And the gong... where would the gong go?!

Alright.  I think I'll stop with my attempts of funny melodrama.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 7 - 15 Days of Thankfulness - 3 Inspirational Songs


Today's question is what three inspirational songs are you thankful for.  I have an extremely eclectic taste in music.  From hip-hop to Gothic rock, techno to classical.  I like a little bit of everything.  So the three songs I picked, while inspirational to me, are quite varied in style.


1. Lionheart by Amberian Dawn 
This song is about one of my favorite Egyptian goddesses, Sekhmet.  She is the lioness-headed goddess of war.  I have always been drawn to lions, as well as certain goddesses that portray qualities that aren't typical of "the feminine".

2. Isle of Inisfree by Celtic Woman
Most of the songs sang by this wonderful group are beautiful, but this one is one of my favorites.  Orla has such a great voice and is so talented on the harp.  This song speaks to the country girl in me that yearns for simplicity.  

3. The Reason by Hoobastank
I like this song for two reasons.  One, the lyrics.  Loving someone enough to try and better yourself for their sake is a beautiful thing.  Two, the music.  There are so many harmonies you can sing to this song.  I always like singing it with my sister when it comes on the radio or a CD we have.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 6 - 15 Days of Thankfulness - 3 Things You Can See


Today's question is what are three things you can see right now that you are thankful for.


 1. My Faith
I have a dry sink to my immediate right that holds a majority of my pagan things.  Most of my books (save one my mother has yet to return), my cauldron, my candles etc.  Paganism has enriched my life so much it's impossible not to be thankful for it.
 2. My Connection (a.k.a. my computer)
Without this lovely piece of technology, I would not be typing to you right now.  I never would have reconnected with an old friend from New York, nor would I speak to my friends nearly as often.  So many people get caught up in having the newest, shiniest thing on the market.  I'm just happy to have internet service and a computer to access it.
3. My New Clock
Yay for material things?  I;m by no means materialistic, but my almost brother-in-law bought me this about a week ago and I just couldn't leave it unrecognized.  It's a clock... in the shape of a tea kettle.  And it's vintage.  I apologize if this makes my sound like I'm bragging.  I just REALLY like this clock.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 5 - 15 Days of Thankfulness - 3 Animals


Cordelia asks what three animals, past or present, are you thankful for.  I have had many animals in my life, so this is difficult.
  1. October
October is my first kitty.  He's been with us for several years now and I hope he will be with us for several more.  He is a bit antisocial... meaning he is a typical cat that will only be petted when he wants.  October is not really a lap cat, but he will sleep at the foot of my bed some nights.


  2. Samantha
Ah Sammy, how I miss you.  This wonderful cat proved that female cats aren't always standoffish.  She was the sweetest cat you would ever meet.  Sammy was the epitome of lap cat and would always accept pets from whoever came by.  Both she and Webster were with us during the big move from New York to Michigan.  Unfortunately she got really sick and had to be put down.  She will be missed.

 3. Webster
Webster was an interesting cat.  You wouldn't know how he would act from one day to the next.  Once he escaped from our apartment and was missing for about a week.  Luckily some ladies saw him and remembered the fliers we had posted throughout the neighborhood.  When we got him back his fur was all matted, so thus began the yearly summer grooming session.  Also, when we first got October as a kitten, he mistook Webster for a female and tried to nurse.  Webster never quite got along with him after that.  Webster passed about six months after Sammy.  He stopped eating and was depressed, so he too had to be put down.  We miss him as well.


We do have other pets though.  There is Roxy, a doberman/German shepherd mix who we took in for a friend.  She has now become a part of the family.  There is also Maurice, a kitten Ada saved from the prison he works in.  He's become quite a roly-poly fellow... we think he likes it here. 

Day 4 - 15 Days of Thankfulness - Childhood


Today's question is what are three things from childhood you are thankful for. 


1) Being so close to my mom and sisters.  We've always hung out together.  My mom even found a preschool for me to go to that was right down the road from the college she went to get her nursing degree.  She would sometimes come and eat lunch with me.  My sister said I was too little to play with them at first, but that quickly changed.  There was one time we had a three way grass fight using dead rodents as territory markers.  (Ah, to live in the country with outdoor cats.)


2) My parent's divorce.  It was not fun at the time.  Or even shortly thereafter.  But old wounds have finally shown some semblance of healing and all five of us are better people for it. My mom and my dad have both remarried wonderful people and have grown into stable individuals.


3) Moving to Michigan.  The job market is atrocious and the economy sucks, but I'm glad we moved here.  New York held bad memories for all of us and I think we would have floundered there.  Here I've found purpose and friends that have lasted almost a decade.  Considering the fact that I'm only 20, that's pretty substantial.
Day 3 - 15 Days of Thankfulness - 3 Relatives or People From the Past

I'm not terribly close to my extended family, with a few exceptions.  I already talked a bit about some of them, so I will choose others.

Aunt Nancy-I've always liked her.  Sure, sometimes the things we ate at her house were a bit strange.  She's always been that cool aunt who knows what her opinions are but isn't one to throw them in your face.  I'm not sure to this day what she does or did as a career.  I think it had to do with publishing.  When my parents just had their divorce she was a stabilizing factor for me.

Mr. Rose-The principal from the first elementary school I went to, from kindergarten through half of third grade.  He was married to my kindergarten teacher.  I remember each fall he would bring out his apple press and each class would make apple cider together.  I've never fully enjoyed apple cider from the store ever since.  He was always really nice to any of the kids.  For your birthday you could go eat with him for lunch, though I never got to as my birthday is in June T^T.  

Samantha-My first real friend in 6th grade.  I had a hard time that year with people being really mean to me, but Sam was always really nice even though her best friend didn't like me.  I usually sat by myself that year but she would come sit by me and include me.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Thankfulness
Today will be a double post as I missed the first day.  Cordelia of Cordelia's Cauldron has started a 15 days of Thankfulness.  You can find the first post here.
November 10 - Day 1 - An author, artist and musician you are thankful for.

An author I am (as well as many other pagans)thankful for is Scott Cunningham.  Not only was he a great Wiccan author, but he had many books on the basic magical properties of herbs, oils, incenses and even food.  His books were written in such a way that is comforting and explains things so anyone can understand.  I'm certain I speak for many in the pagan community when I say I am saddened that I never got to actually meet this great teacher.
Bewitching by Jessica Galbreth
An artist I am thankful for is Jessica Galbreth.  She is in my opinion one of the great fantasy artists in modern times.  I am in awe of artists in general, as I can't draw to save my life, but I've always loved fantasy.  And faeries!  Jessica Galbreth has created a great collection of art that I always find beautiful.  She has faeries, dragons, zodiac figures, and goddesses.  I even have a figurine representation of one of her works.

Finally, a musician I am thankful for is George Michael.  He first started in Wham a few years before my time, but thanks to my mom I practically grew up on 80's music.  That and she love George's music all through my childhood and to this day.  I love his music because it bring my family together.  My mom, sisters and I can sing most of his songs by heart.  I love the wide range of emotion he shows from song to song.  Some are great for dancing and other more subdued or sorrowful.  So I hope you take a listen to the above video and enjoy the pop-y loveliness.
November 11 - Day 2 - 3 veterans you know that you are thankful for.
Three veterans I am thankful for are my biological father, my paternal grandfather and my maternal great-grandmother.

Now I don't know a lot about the actual military careers of my family.  They're the type not to talk about it.  My father was in the navy before I was born.  Without him I wouldn't be here, nor would I be the person I am.  We recently reconciled after several years of a strained relationship.  I feel much better for it. 

I'm not sure what division of the military my grandfather was in, but he did fight in the Korean War.  Unfortunately his health hasn't been doing well as of late.  I hope to be able to go see him before he gets too bad.  He's the silent type, but he always said goodbye with a big hug and a smile.

My great-grandmother passed several years ago.  She was in the navy when she was young and it certainly showed.  She was always a stern individual, but I loved her nonetheless.  My mom likes to say that I am a lot like her (I'm a serious person myself) and that we would have gotten along quite well.  She practically raised my mom, so I have a lot to be grateful to her for.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

44 Days of Witchery

Picture of nature (water element)












A picture of the Oswegatchie River in Hailesboro, New York.  This was taken by Twinny in the back of my grandparents' property.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Pumpkin Pie: Now with Real Pumpkin!

It's recipe time ladies and gentlemen.  This is the same recipe that I used for the pie pictured in my last post.  First, getting the pumpkin.  I suggest using 1-2 pie pumpkins.  They're the smaller pumpkins that are about 6 inches tall.  They will usually have a sign or sticker indicating the type of pumpkin.

First you have to cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp.  Use a serrated knife, it will make the cutting easier.  Then use a microwave-safe container with a lid (or a microwave safe bowl with a plate covering the pumpkin... that's what I did) and put the pumpkin in the microwave for about 20 minutes.  The pumpkin will separate from the rind at the edges and will be easy to mash.  Then using an electric mixer, puree the pumpkin until it is smooth.  I suggest only doing one pumpkin at a time to see just how much more pumpkin puree you will need (if you need any at all) to make up the 3 cups.

Pumpkin pie filling
3 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 12 ounce cans evaporated milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground clove
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt

Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend until thoroughly mixed.  The batter will be soupy.  This recipe makes enough for at least two pies.

Pie crust recipe
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup margarine
4-5 Tbsp cold water

Combine flour and salt.  Using a pastry blender (or two forks), cut in margarine until the mixture is flaky and crumbles.  Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time and toss until dough is moistened.  Roll out dough on a floured surface until it is about 12 inches in diameter.  Transfer dough and press into a pie pan so there are no bubbles or tears.  

Pour batter into pie pan with crust.  Leave about 1/4 of an inch between the top of the batter and the edge of the pan.  Cover edges of crust with aluminum foil to prevent scorching.  

Bake for 15 minutes at 425 F, then lower oven temperature to 350 F and bake for remaining  45-60 minutes.  Take the foil off when there are 15 minutes remaining.  Pie is finished when a knife comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the pie.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Surreal Experience


Today was an interesting day.  I found myself with 5 hours... to myself.  All alone in the house.  Which is a rarity in my family.  There are six people living here.  Momo and Ada (my mom and step-father), my oldest sister and her fiance, Twinny and myself.  


My parents were on vacation this last week, but came home late today.  My two sisters and my sister's fiance went to a party.  Thus the alone time.  So what did I choose to do in those few hours of solitude?  


Cooking and cleaning.


First I made dinner for myself.  It was delicious, but weird only cooking for one when I'm used to cooking for six.  I had to use a little pan for my chicken and a saucepan for the mashed potatoes.  A saucepan!  The little pot you cook a can of soup in!  And I still ended up making too much mashed potatoes.


After eating I did what any responsible person would do.  The dishes.  It really wasn't so bad.  I could do them the way I wanted and listen to whatever music I chose.  Once I finished the dishes, I really got down to business.


I've been wanting to make pumpkin pie from scratch for awhile now.  I mean cook the pumpkin and puree it yourself from scratch.  So that's what I did.  My oldest sister cut the first pumpkin for me and I had pureed that already.  But I needed a bit more.  Luckily we had another pie pumpkin.  


I tried to cut it the conventional way, by hacking into it.  That wasn't working as fast as I wanted it to.  I had to find a better way.  So being the logical person I am, I got out a flat head screwdriver and a meat tenderizer and proceeded to use them like a hammer and chisel to break the thing open.  And you know something?  It worked marvelously.


I also made the crust from scratch.  As an aspiring chef I feel I should make as much food from their base ingredients.  It was annoying to try and make the dough the size I wanted and it kept sticking to the rolling pin.  But I beat the dough into submission and eventually got a lovely pie crust out of the deal.


My parents came home shortly thereafter.  Both of them said my pie looked tasty.




Once my siblings came home it was actually eaten.  Apparently my first pumpkin pie was a success.


And I don't even like pumpkin pie.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


44 Days of Witchery
Witchy tools: athame.


The athame is a knife used in ritual.  Unlike the boline, the athame isn't typically used for cutting physical things.  Usually the athame is used for cutting a circle and other symbolic gestures.  Although some people do forgo the boline and use a sharpened athame for both ritual use and to cut herbs for magical purposes.  


The athame is also used as a symbol for the God, the masculine, with the chalice or cauldron representing the Goddess, the feminine.


Alright.  There's the short synopsis of the use of an athame.  I'm sure there is more but I just put down how I use mine.  Now for a description of my personal athame.


My athame is just like the one pictured.  My Ada(step-father) bought me my athame two Christmases ago along with a whole boatload of pagan items.  I do have an athame and a boline, so I only use my athame for creating and cutting my circle.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Movement: It's good for you!


So I'm going to try and take part in Jamie Ridler's movement practice this month.  To learn about it, click here.

I think the key to my success is not trying to over do things.  I'm off to a good start today.  We went to the mall and walked around a store or two for about an hour.  I might try turning on some music while I cook (something I don't usually do) and maybe dance around a bit between stirring or checking something in the oven.  I can't go too crazy though considering how self conscious I am about my dancing skills.  I might even look through the dvds in the house.  Maybe my mom has a good one I haven't tried.  Wish me luck!
Happy Belated Samhain/Halloween


Our Samhain celebration was low key this year.  No great lengthy ritual.  We didn't even get started until kids started trick-or-treating.  It was just me and Twinny this year for the most part.  First we went on a walk with our capes on.  If you own a cape or cloak you should do this, it's ridiculously fun.  Then we brewed some divination tea to help get the psychic energy flowing.  Then I lit an ancestral fire in my cauldron using sage infused rubbing alcohol. 


 After we ate dinner she and I made banishing bread to get rid of a bad habit.  You make a little person out of bread and infuse it with the intent to be rid of something as you make it.  We made ours for procrastination.  Poor Twinny isn't a big cooking person, so I kept ordering her around.  Apparently my Mother aspect was showing (even though I'm not a mom).  Sorry I was bossy Twinny!    


As the bread baked we used our many divination tools.  Twinny has two sets of oracle cards and some Chinese fortune sticks.  I have tarot cards, runes and the I Ching.  No tea leaves for me.  But our fortunes all seemed to tell us that we are in for a trying year.  I do believe in changing your fate, so I will do my best to be productive and move forward in this new year.


Once the bread was done we first showed it to my oldest sister and her fiance.  Mine turned out fine but Twinny's was a bit... wonky.  Endearing really.  Then we set forth on the task of burning them.  In my cauldron.  In hindsight this probably wasn't the brightest of ideas.  My bread man was almost fully black but not fully burned, so I stepped on him and threw him into the yard.  Twinny decided to tear hers into pieces to make it burn faster.  It didn't work very well.  


After disposing of our procrastination's remains we went inside and watched a Star Trek movie and I made apple crisp.  All in all it was a good day and a good sabbat.


Our cats Webster and Samantha, who passed away recently.