Friday, July 30, 2010

Blessed Lammas - Feasting on The First Fruits

This weekend many will celebrate the first harvest of Lammas. It is a time when the miracle of the seed taking on life and coming to fruition and giving forth its gift is celebrated by many. Although I was not lucky enough to cultivate my own garden this year, I hope that my intended efforts for later this fall to prepare for one next year will come to pass. There is  great joy in digging in the earth and feeling the soil fall between your fingers. To move it aside and place a tiny seed under the earth’s blanket and later see it emerge, reaching towards the sun and life. Later as time passes, and the seed gains strength and size it flowers and eventually develops its fruit to give forth as a gift for allowing it the cycle of life. Possibly it is a gift to have the love of gardening. If that be so then I am glad and quite thankful that this gift has been bestowed to me.

This Lammas I intend to make me a simple meal as I will spend it alone. I intend to spend the day at the farmers market relishing the fresh fruits and vegetables that seem to be everywhere at this time. My menu for later of course will be as fresh and from the garden as I can make it A Barley and fresh mushroom soup to start off with as I truly love fresh mushrooms. Of course I will have to prepare some fresh bread as bread is prevelant on Lammas . I have not decided if I will make a herbed flat bread or a simple corn bread. Whichever I decide to do, I am sure it will be tasty.

My main course will be a collection of grilled squash, corn, sweet potatoes and peaches. I intend to make it a meatless meal enjoying the many treats that this time of year and the many fresh gardens have to offer.

I wish you and yours a very blessed Lammas and hope that your harvest in whatever form is fruitful and bountiful. Blessings.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Thought To Ponder - Times Have Changed

Agnes Waterhouse was accused of having had a spotted cat familiar named Sathan.
She was hanged for it in 1566.
How many of us could be accused of the same today, for simply owning a cat?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Nice Surprise

Recently I received a wonderful surprise from Crystal Rainbow over at Sparkle and Shine.  The rules are as follows:
  • Thank the one who sent it your way
  • Sum up your blogging motivation, philosophy, and experience using 5 words
  • Pass it on to 5 others who blogs who you feel have real substance.
Easy enough.  so here goes.
  • A big thank you to Crystal Rainbow.  Her site always seems to cheer me.  I have to say that I love her color selection.  But then I am a bit partial to purple.  blessings to a dear soul.
  • Five words makes it a bit difficult...But lets give this a go.  Searching, Sharing, Growing, Opportunities, and Blessing.  I feel my journey is one of continual searching and my blog has become an extension of that.  Through sharing, I have grown in so many ways and the so many wonderful opportunities have come my way.  Which all in turn has given me tremendous blessings. 
  • Now for the fun part.  Passing it on to others.  This is also a difficult part as there have been so many who I feel have great substance to what they share with many of us.  So remember if you are not mentioned it does not mean that your words have not lifted me in some way....

Monday, July 26, 2010

Celtic Tree Lore - The Astrology of Holly

ften known as the Ruler, those born under the sign of Holly are those born between July 8th and August 4th. Such people can be found easily taking on roles of leadership and power. Challenges are often sought out and welcomed by one born under the sign of Holly. Skill and tact are helpful in accomplishing such challenges yet it is a Holly’s vigilance that is their strongest point. If a setback is encountered, efforts are simply redoubled until the goal is accomplished. Defeat is not something that is even considered. It is these qualities that draw others to the Holly sign and their leadership skills.

Those born under the Holly sign are often competitive and ambitious even if the setting is somewhat subdued. Such behavior can at times be mistaken for arrogance yet actually it is just a sign of confidence in their abilities. Those who take the time to get to know them will experience generosity, kindness, and affection.

Often those born at this time are highly intelligent which help them to easily get through things which others may find difficult. The only downfall to this is that because things seem to come to one so easily, they may have a tendency to not put much effort into their attempts. Which in turn can lead to an unhealthy and/or lazy lifestyle, less than what is truly capable.

Holly signs balance best with Ash and Elder signs

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Welcomed Visit

The last couple weeks have been anything but normal for me. I have had little time to do the things that I normally do each day such as tend tediously to my garden so that it is free of pests and any weeds that may attempt to creep in, or be as diligent in blogging as I normally am.

However the time has been well spent. My grandkids paid me a visit last week and I have to say I loved every minute of it. I will admit that the 700 mile trip each way (to and from) their home has left me not wanting to climb into a car anytime soon. Yet sometimes we do things in order to obtain things we really want.

Although the drive is close to 11 hours each way, it always seems to go by quickly. I love the scenery. The short stretch in Tennessee where we exit the interstate and drive until we reach their home is one of my favorite areas. From the very first time I traveled this road I felt a kin to it. I must have experienced it in a past life or something because it is so much like home to me. No matter how many times I experience this stretch of land it never seems to become old to me. It is the trees that speak to me more than ever. The majestic pine line the road towering straight up to the sky. An array of weeping willows, holly, and various types of oak and elm are also everywhere. The fragrance of some flower can be found always. Whether it is a constant smell of honeysuckle or the spring daffodils which seem to grow wild everywhere, it is a calming beautiful piece of Mother Earth.

We had received ample rain previous to the kids arrival and also a good downpour the first day they were here. This kept us inside yet that was fine. We made meringues and brownies and watched “Alice In Wonderland”. It was a wonderful relaxing first day back and much welcomed after the long drive.
Throughout the week, we worked in the yard as the rains had made it a necessity. My little grandson was a true helper. He was always ready to lend a hand outside with weeding, mowing, or anything that was asked of him. Although the mosquitoes sure seemed to like him and we had to be sure and spray him down with off before he ventured outside for too long or he would be eaten alive. I hope he keeps that trait as when he is a bit older I may want to hire him for the summer.

My granddaughter on the other had preferred to stay inside away from the extreme humidity. I can not say that I blame her that much. It was terrible last week with the returning heat and the rains before. I did manage to get her out once yet only because she realized that her brother was getting paid for his efforts. After a short time even the extra incentive did not make a difference. She was safe and cool inside.

My favorite time by far with my grandkids was each evening when I would put them to bed. After tucking them in and reading a story, I would sit on the bed and talk with them for a bit. We would talk about all sorts of things. Many times my grandson would fall asleep during this time as he was always going full steam 24/7 and once he stopped it did not take long for him to nod off. Yet my granddaughter and I would continue. She is 7 and the questions are endless in her little mind. It was a precious time indeed, for both of us.

I hated to see them go home and of course wished they could have stayed longer. Yet I cherish the time that we did have together and know that it is quality not quantity that truly matters. They will be back up in October for my son’s wedding and I found out the other day that this is also my granddaughters fall break from school so they will have a bit longer visit. Considering the distance between us, we have been truly blessed with the opportunities to see each other several times each year since they have moved.

There has been nothing that has blessed me more in my life than the opportunity to be a grandmother, or GG as they like to call me. It is the best gift I could have ever been given.


A Thought To Ponder - Leo

A cat is a lion
In a Jungle of small bushes
- Indian Proberb -

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

And the Winners Are........

I am sure you are all curious as to who the winners are for First Anniversary Giveaway.  Well rest assured that by the end of this post all will be revealed.  First let me apologize for the tardiness in getting the info to you.  I know I promised that they would be announced on Monday, July 19th.  However, last week I had the wonderful pleasure of having my grandkids down with me for the week.  Needless to say I did not get much done in the way of blog writing. 

I did manage to post a short note in regards to the drawing.  Also I had my Monday and Thursday posts, yet they are done ahead of time and were already scheduled.  I have to say that the break was enjoyed tremendously.  I am sure that much of it had to do with the fact that I had two of my favorite little people with me to fill the hours with fun and laughter.  The week definately went by much too fast.  Although there were times that I was reminded of the many years that have passed for me.  I word it in that manner because I refuse to admit that I am getting old.

I did have helpers in the drawing of the names of the winners.  Two pairs of little hands were eager to help me.  They loved the suspense of it all.  My grandson helped me to fold each name carefully and place them in a big stainless mixing bowl.  My granddaughter of course read the names as they were folded and some she truly fell in love with.  If it had been up to her, I think everyone would have been drawn.  Yet alas their were to be three goodie boxes given to three lucky winners.  So lets get on with unveiling who the three lucky ones are.

The first name drawn and winner of the goodie box representing Mind is Onreeone over at "One Day at A Time" .  I popped over to her blog and read her latest post and knew right then that just as I has thought this goodie box would go to exactly who was needing it most.  So Onreeone, send me a quick email and give me all your mailing info so I can ship your prize your way...

The second name drawn and winner of the goodie box representing Body is Audrey over at "The Magic, Miracles, and Joy of an Artist" A box full of my favorite edible goodies awaits you, along with a few other surprises.  Send me a quick email with all your mailing info and I will get it right out to you.

The third name drawn and winner of the goodie box representing Soul is Ponderosa Pagan.  Ok I know the name says Ponderosa Pine, but just chalk it up to the seniality that is ever so slowing creeping its way into my mind, or better still the seniality that is already there.... I love how it seemed so fitting that this goodie box went to her.  As soon as I receive your mailing info, I will get your gift to you.

Now since I can not say no to my grandkids, I have three other names that they drew.  Lets just say these are honorable mention names and will receive a surprise in the mail.  They are as follows: 

Number One:  Marie over at Art of My Heart

Number Two:  Avie at Hearthwitch Cottage

Number Three:  Alaska Wolf Song at Heartsong 

Of course I will need you all to send me your mailing info so that I will know where to send it.  Lastly let me say that I truly do wish that I could send a little surprise to all of you as it has been all of you and more who has made this last year much of what it has been for me.  I look forward to the next coming year and getting to know many of you even more and also meeting even more new friends.  This concludes our announcement ceremony.  I hope to return to my regular schedule of posting this week and definately no later than next week.... Love all of you... blessings.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Celtic Tree Lore - The Uses of Holly

edicinally the Holly can be used to fight fevers and also to ward off jaundice. This being so it is more a preventative than a cure. The berries as mentioned earlier are poisonous so they are not used in any medicinal manner.

Holly berries can however be used for deviation to predict the winter weather to come. It the Holly bore berries profusely, a hard winter was said to be in store. The reason for this was that the multitudes of berries were provided by Mother Nature as a means to provide for the birds and other animals who sought them out as food. A small number of berries meant that the weather would be mild enough for the wildlife to find food elsewhere.

Holly is one of the nine sacred woods for a sabbat fire in which it represents justice. The power or attributes it gives are courage, death, divinity, guidance, healing, intelligence, luck, protection, rebirth, and unity. It is often used in any work which attracts good luck, dream work (especially divination through dreams), and protection spells.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Thought To Ponder - Grandkids

Our grandchildren accept us for ourselves,
without rebuke or effort to change us,
as no one in our entire lives has ever done,
 not our parents, siblings, spouses, friends - and hardly ever our own grown children. ~Ruth Goode

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Just A Friendly Reminder - 1st Anniversary Giveaway

Just a reminder that I will announce the winners in my First Anniversary Giveaway this Monday, July 19th.  If you have not already signed up, please take a moment and head over to the post which gives all the details.  I am excited already with all the entries I have received and can not wait to choose the recipients. 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Celtic Tree Lore - The Holly King

hen most trees have shed their green coats of summer for a more drab coat of brown, the Holly is still green with color and brightly ornamented with bright scarlet berries. The Holly berry are said to represent blood and the life it gives each of us.

Holly was thought at one time to be as powerful as the mighty oak. Holly was often referred to as the Holly King. While the year was divided into months and seasons it is also split into 2 halves; the light half or warmer months and the dark half or colder months. Holly is the guardian of the waning of each year or the dark half. This time begins just after the summer solstice when we start to head toward shorter days until after Yule when we once again head toward light and longer days.

This representation can be seen in other things. A couple examples are the Christian church and placing the birthdays of John the Baptist during summer solstice or dark side and Jesus during winter solstice or light side. The story of Oak and Holly can also be found in the Arthurian legend in the story of Gawain (oak) and the Green Knight (Holly).

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thoughts To Ponder - Equality

People are pretty much alike.
 It's only that our differences are more susceptible to definition than our similarities. ~Linda Ellerbee

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New Button

I have been cleaning up my blog a bit and decided that I would evolve my first button sort of in honor of my first giveaway.  I have also wanted for some time to use a photograph of my own.  This is a photo I took back in April of this year when the full moon was just coming up and peeking through the trees down near my fairy garden.  Please feel free to grab the info over to the left of my page and post it to your site if you are so inclined.  Any passing on is greatly appreciated.  Looks like the comment issue may have cleared itself up.  Guess there are always some sort of issues when it comes to technology. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Disappearing Comments

I wanted to drop a quick note to all you out in blogland and let you know that it appears that blogger is dropping comments even when they have been approved for posting.  I am not exactly sure how long it has been happening or when exactly it will be remedied.  Just wanted to let any of you who who had left a comment on my site to be assured that they are not posted due to this mishap.

If you have left a comment in regards to my up and coming First Anniversary Giveaway rest assured that I do have the emails that notified me of the comments and will see that each and everyone is included in the draw.  If you want though feel free to drop by and attempt to leave a new comment.  Sorry for the inconvienence.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Celtic Tree Lore - The Holly

he Celtic Tree month of Holly begins July 8th and continues through August 4th. As a small bush or shrub the Holly is a slow growing. Even in its full size it seldom gets above 50 feet in height. Its characteristic of being an evergreen lends it a deep rich green color with bright colored red berries. The berries while are quite favored by birds and animals are poisonous to humans.

The wood of the Holly is hard and close grained. When first cut the wood is slightly greenish in color yet will soon become perfectly white. Because the wood has the ability to be buffed to a high polish, it is often used as an imitation for ivory or stained and used as an imitation for ebony. It often is used in the making of fancy walking sticks.

The leaves of the Holly have leather like texture and are thick and glossy. They are also edged with prickles which alternately point upwards and downwards around the perimeter of each leaf. The leaves have no taste or odor and often stay attached to the trees for several years before falling off. Even when they finally fall to the ground, it takes a long time before they eventually decay.

The Holly bears its flowers which are pale pink on the outside and white on the inside, during the month of May. The female flowers have a liquid which is released which smells similar to honey. Bees and other insects are quite attracted to this smell and help to pollinate as needed. Later the flower will produce the red berries which the Holly is known for. In most cases if a Holly produces a good crop of berries one year, it will rest the next year before producing again.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Fourth of July - Remember Why We Celebrate

How often we fail to realize
 our good fortune in living in a country where happiness is more than a lack of tragedy. ~Paul Sweeney

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Long Weekend -

The weekend is here and most people are off involved in family gatherings and such. It is the weekend of the fourth of July. It is a time when we as Americans celebrate our countries birthday. I myself have always loved the fact that it is the time of the year when there are plenty of fireworks. For the past week I have enjoyed my evenings on the back porch watching the shows nightly.

I remember summers growing up. My mother was not too keen on fireworks. In a situation where boys will be boys, my brother accidently lit some firecrackers near my sister and she was burned. It was nothing serious mind you, yet mom being mom felt that we should not have anything to do with such things from that point on. Needless to say I made my way to friends homes frequently at this time of year so that I would still have the fun that this time of summer brought.

Today is not different. Fortunately Vincent feels much the same as me and each year on the 5th of July we visit the local firework stands for their 50% off sale the day after and stock up on what we feel we may need throughout the year. You will always find a stash of fireworks in our garage for any special occasion we may have. Living in the country has a lot of perks and shooting fireworks off at any time is one of them.

The rain which we have received the last couple days will help tremendously with keeping the threat of fires down. Although I have a feeling it may put a damper on a few of the shows which are scheduled for this evening. Winston has gotten his first taste of fireworks this year. Not sure what to think of them really. The booms that are heard each evening as the homes encircling ours ignite their treasures keeps him on his toes. Although he will have to learn, to be part of this family he will have to acquire a love for the activity.

It will be a quiet 4th of July here this year. No summer parties at our home, no fireworks in the back yard. Winston and I will spend it together and hope that Vincent will make it home. We had thought that we would be able to go to Vegas and meet up with my middle son and his fiancée and her family yet Vincent’s job was longer than expected and those plans were squelched. Although I will say it is odd spending holidays like the 4th in different places. I spent a 4th in San Francisco one year and the fact that I had to wear a heavy jacket down by the bay while I watched fireworks was just wrong.

The grandchildren will be here next weekend and of course we will shoot a few off then. Kylie fell right into the tradition at a young age and was helping Vincent light the big ones when she was just a little over 3. We have learned of the precautions that need to be taken when such activities are executed. Safety is something that we do not take lightly and we would never allow anything which is not safe to be done.

I wish all of you a safe and happy 4th of July weekend. Here is hoping that it is filled with fun friends and family. And above all in whatever you do, be safe. blessings

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thought to Ponder - Freedom

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom,
 must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.
 ~Thomas Paine