Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mother Nature's Little Harrier

One of my favorite things is sitting on my back porch and watching the hummingbirds dart to and fro. It seems that they become a bit more active at this time of year and their acrobatics become even more daring and entertaining. Perhaps it is because they seem to be in competition for the feeders. Although there is always plenty to go around they appear to not wish to share. I have tried placing numerous feeders throughout the yard yet they seem to like it better when there are but a few.

I placed one on the east side of my porch when we first moved here. The first year we had so many hummingbirds it was unbelievable. Yet because it hung almost directly over the grill I thought that maybe I should move it. The first year if I was grilling there was one hummingbird that would come up beside me and give me a good chirping, as if to tell me what in the world did I think I was doing. Yet when I moved it, they did not seem to like any of the places I tried to relocate them to. Thus each year I end up putting a feeder in the same place and despite the occasional heat from the grill they still seem to flock to this feeder above all the rest.

Yet today I sit here on my back porch, notebook on my lap and enjoy their tactical flying maneuvers around my head in a means to keep possession of the coveted feeder. Winston does not exactly know what to think of them. I will admit that the first time one buzzed me that it scared the tar out of me. If one is not familiar with the experience they would swear that a giant bee just buzzed past them. And I think I can safely say that most are probably like me and such an event gives a startle likened to a crazed jump in the air followed by a shrill shriek.

I have sense gotten used to their ways and do not give the neighbors a show to get their daily giggles from. Yet Winston seems to not quite understand them. He is not like Sweetie who occasionally positions herself beneath the feeder to just to enjoy their presence. She seems to enjoy them buzzing about her head and they in turn do not seem to have much worry that she is a cat.

As I watch this marvel of creation I cannot help but be baffled at their abilities. During the day their heart beat can race as fast as 1500 beats a minute yet as evening sets and they settle for the night it slows to a mere 50 beats a minute. They have the ability to fly upside down, backwards, sideways and of course straight forward. They dart in and out with such ease and such quickness at times reaching a speed of 30 mph. Such a small bird, weighing close to that of a ping pong ball with a size of only a few inches, yet they manage to travel great distances during their migration. This is a great example to me of the intricacies of nature. Something so simply yet so specific. But then I have always been easily pleased.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Celtic Tree Lore - The Month of the Vine

hursday, September 2nd marks the beginning of the Celtic tree month of Vine which runs through September 29th. The Vine welcomes the completion of the harvest and the coming of the end of the Celtic year.

It is said that Tuatha De Danann were the ones who first brought vine with them to Ireland. Although it is not necessarily considered a tree any plant with woody stems were considered a tree by the Celts. Although most associated the vine with that of grapes, it can also refer to brambles/blackberry vines. Wine was and still is produced from blackberries as well as the grape.

At one time, picking and or eating blackberries on or after October 10 was not allowed. This was due to a belief that they were poisonous because the devil had spit upon them. This belief came about prior to the calendar change in 1752. At this time October 10th was known as St. Michael’s Day. It was St. Michael who was said to have thrown the devil out of heaven and into a blackberry thicket.

The name of the vine comes from the latin word “viere” meaning to twist. This name describes how the vine grows. The vine grows in a spiral, which of course is the symbol of the Mother Goddess. The Vine is also one of the sacred woods for a sabbat fire and represents joy.

Vines are long living and have been important to man since the beginning of civilization. The same is true with the fruit of the vine. Fossilized leaves, seeds, and stems of the grapevine have been found throughout the northern hemisphere. Some are believed to be 40 million years old. In France there are still living vines which are said to be over 400 years old today.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Funnys Plus A Friendly Reminder

I saw this the other day and laughed my head off.  Our puppy Winston is not quite 7 months and he is feeling his oats.  Another way of saying it... his "favorite friend" currently is his big pillow.  Well you know what I mean... Anyway this cartoon reminded me of him and so I thought I would share.  We are debating as to whether or not to have him clipped.  Personally I would rather not do it, yet I am not sure if someday that may be him slinking out of the neighborhood adult dog store.  Hopefully he will grow out of it...

Another thing I wanted to remind all of you, if you haven't already signed up for my current giveaway Eat Pray and Love the winner will be chosen this Wednesday, September 1st.  Be sure and head on over via the link above and drop a quick comment to have your name thrown into the hopper.  I have had so much fun with this giveaway; yet I am not sure if there has ever been one that I haven't enjoyed.  I am looking forward to personalizing the goodie box to whomever is chosen to receive the gift. You can rest assured chocolate is involved. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Procrastination and Chocolate

Another glorious week of life has passed us by and I cannot help but ask myself what I have accomplished. Strangely it went past rather quickly. That is probably because it was such an enjoyable week. Not necessarily that anything special happened; in fact I spent it mostly alone. Yet the weather was quite perfect and I was able to get outdoors more than I have in some time. That always seems to lift my spirits. Even the Mercury Retrograde that everyone seems to be talking about, although I can feel it, is not affecting me in a terrible way.

It is not as if I have sat on my butt all week and absolutely done nothing. The normal chores and errands have been completed. I have my Celtic Tree Lore posts completed for the next two months. I did some deep fall cleaning. I worked outdoors of course and spent some extra time tending my flowers and gardens. I have started working on Christmas gifts. Yet still I ask myself what I have accomplished. For some time I have wanted to start seriously working on my writing yet it seems that I always find some excuse or reason not to give it the time that I really want to give it. There really is no excuse that is adequate enough although I can always find one that I deem suitable to stop me.

This morning I ran across a quote by Robert Kennedy which somewhat kicked me in the butt as if trying to tell me exactly what I need to hear. “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” It is not necessarily that I want a top ten bestseller book, although don’t get me wrong if the fate landed in my lap I would not turn my nose up at it. I just want to be able to say that I put my best foot forward and that I gave it my best attempt. Procrastination is my monster that lurks in the shadows and whispers those bad things to me that keeps me from doing the things I need to do… That and possibly a bit of senility as it seems I chase rabbits a bit more now than I ever used to. Yet even that I think could be called an excuse that I use for the dragging of my feet.

In the coming weeks and possibly longer I have promised myself to stop making excuses and to work on those things that I have kept back on the shelf telling myself that I will tend to them when I have adequate time. Really what is adequate time? Any woman knows that if we were to wait for the perfect moment to work on anything that we see as slightly selfish that it would never get done. Or at least not be given the same amount of time or importance that we give so many other things in our lives. It is not that the keeping of the household, the children, the husband, the job, and all the other things that we put before ourselves are not important. They all hold their special place in our hearts and for some no matter what we decide there are a few of those distractions that we will not budge.

Yet I do think it is important that a woman tends to herself; that she takes those special moments to treat herself and do things that she enjoys and loves. Some of us are able to do this a bit more than others. Our children have grown and are no longer at home. We have time in the day that is spent alone and we can steal those precious moments we so desire. Although I am very much in that situation; I still find myself putting myself at the bottom of the list. Which we all know means, that many times it is the one item that there just was not enough time for in the day. I will be honest and say that I do manage to have so much more “me” time than before and I do sympathize with mothers of young children at home. I know if I still here in that situation I would give my prime time to them. It is a woman’s nature to do such a thing.

In the long run though to give a little of the nurturing, that woman do so well, to oneself will benefit them greatly. It took me a while before I understood that statement. Yet when I realized that it was impossible to give anyone or anything my best if I was not giving my best to myself first, my life changed. As you can see I still regress back at times, yet like I have said before that is a woman’s way, we love to tend to others.

I guess what I am saying is I am going to have a little me time. I am going to give a bit more to the things that I enjoy and want to excel in and also jump off a few cliffs. I mean that figuratively of course. Take a few moments (or longer if you can ) this weekend and ponder on what it is you want out of yourself and then ask yourself what are you doing to achieve it. Eat a little chocolate while you think about it... Why? Because any woman knows that a little piece of chocolate can make any woman feel better. Blessings

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Thought To Ponder - Diligence

The Wild Sunflower

At early dawn, like soldiers in their places,
Rank upon rank the golden sunflowers stand;
Gazing toward the east with eager faces,
Waiting, until their god shall touch the land
To life and glory, longingly they wait,
Those voiceless watchers at the morning's gate.

Dawn's portals tremble silently apart;
Far to the east, across the dewy plain,
A glory kindles that in every heart
Finds answering warmth and kindles there again;
And rapture beams in every radiant face
Now softly glowing with supernal grace.

And all day long that silent worship lasts,
And as their god moves grandly down the west,
And every stem a lengthening shadow casts
Toward the east, ah, they love him best,
And watch till every lingering ray is gone,
Then slowly turn to greet another dawn.
~By Albert Bigelow Paine~

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wordy Wednesday - Things on My Mind

Last weekend my son in law left for his third tour of duty. The last two years he has gone to Iraq, yet this year he will be heading to Afghanistan. I can not tell you how proud I am of this young man. He has been a wonderful husband to my daughter. He welcomed my grand kids into his life like they were his own and last February he adopted them and became their daddy also by name. In April my third grandchild was born and he proved once again just what a wonderful husband and daddy he was. Now he serving his country once again. I ask that you all keep him as well as his family in your thoughts and prayers .

In other news… Yesterday several vigils all over the world were held simultaneously in regards to kids who have to deal with bullies. I do not know if you have had this issue in your area, yet only a few months back, here in Oklahoma, an 11 year old boy committed suicide due to bullies. What could pressure an 11 year old boy to do such a thing? And then you come to the punishment of the bullies who caused the eventual incident. I have always had a bit of an issue with simply locking up young kids when they go astray. Mind you I am all for punishment for ones actions yet also I think that at an young age sometimes such experience has the chance of simply ingraining the behavior further into them.

I remember when my kids went to school and they had the “safe word” at school. I remember overhearing the principal tell a child, “if he bothers you all you have to do is say the safe word and he has to stop.” I wanted to laugh in that woman’s face. Mainly because just earlier in the parking lot, the boy she was talking about was acting out and she kept shouting the “safe word” at him and expected him to stop and come inside. Of course he did no such thing. I had to laugh.

As aged as it sounds, when I was in school if anyone done such a thing, they would get their butt paddled but good. Yea I know that spanking is no longer allowed in schools but I do not remember having any of the issues that we see in today’s schools back then. My heart goes out to those who have to endure the verbal and physical abuse from those who simply get their jollies from hurting someone, knowing that while they are at school they will not have to answer for their crimes.

My last words for today are about animal cruelty. A couple days ago a woman found 2 young puppies in a dumpster outside her place of work. They had been tossed there by an older woman and man and left to die. They lay in the sweltering heat we had (104 with a heat index of 110) until the woman found them. One of them was able to be nursed back to health yet the other was too far gone. They were riddled with worms and fleas on top of the fact that they were being literally cooked in the heat. Why I wonder do people have animals if they do not intend on taking care of them. Although I hate the number of animals that are put to sleep in shelters it is a much more humane death then what was being done to these puppies.

Another story I was told a couple days ago was from a woman who rescues horses who have been mistreated. She has recently adopted a horse that is not that pretty to look at yet it is not her fault. It was not fed properly and grew malnourished to the point that it could no longer stand. When it was too weak to stand, a cross was carved into its forehead and it was tied to the back of a tractor and drug causing cuts and bruising all over its body. Miraculously this horse survived and this woman took it into her care. She named it promise because she told me that as she nursed it all she could say to it was I promise you will always be safe here. I promise this will never happen to you again. I promise … I promise.

Why is it that people feel the need to be “tough” to things that are so much smaller than them? Whether it is bullies who pick on other kids or others who choose to abuse animals. Is it the powers they feel when they complete such acts, or do they even really think about it.

Although I know that there are laws against such behavior I wonder if the punishment really does fit the crime. It is lessened because it is an animal and not a human. Should it be? In my opinion no. Such action towards any living being, animal or human is wrong.

I chose to use photos of my own animals for this post as when I went to obtain actual photos of abused animals, the photos were so intense I could barely look at them myself.  Their content was far to graphic.  Although I knew that their reality would easily get my point across the pain that they caused me as I looked at the few I did see, was something that I did not wish to share.

In closing I would like to leave you with this thought. “Who we are might be predetermined, but the path we follow is always of our own choosing. We should never allow our fears or the expectations of others to set the frontiers of our destiny. Our destiny cannot be changed but it can be challenged. Every man is born as many men, yet he dies as a single one.”

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cooler Weather.. A Full Moon.. What More Could You Ask For

I woke up this morning to cloudy skies and a light rain outdoors.  Even at 7 am the bedroom was still dark and beckoned me to stay under the covers a bit longer.  Yet Winston would have nothing of it.  He was ready to go outdoors and greet yet another day. 

Yet when I opened the back door and felt the rush of cool air come in at me, I was glad for his persistance.  The cold front that the weathermen had been promising was actually here.  A brisk breeze blew outdoors and a light rain fell.  It was a wonderful start to another day.  Across the yard I caught sight of a young squirrel hanging around the bird feeders, obviously out for a morning snack.  This is something that I have not seen for some time.  Humingbirds raced here and there in their usual morning routine of keep away from the several feeders throughout the yard. The young frogs also were out in abundance and hopped making their way back to the pond.

I was glad that I managed to catch a glimpse of the glorious moon last night, as I doubt that the clouds will give me the same opportunity this evening when she is suppose to be full and in all her glory.  She was beautiful as usual.  As I have said before I sense Autumn in the air.  Although the tempertures hit a whopping 104 yesterday with the heat index close to 110 still I feel it coming.  And this makes me smile.

I feel myself much like nature preparing for the time to come.  I know that it is still warm outdoors yet my heart yearns to go to my kitchen and cook.  It is a time of shifting.  The harvest has come and nature begins its ritual to prepare.  Growth slows and the focus is now on storing for the winter.  Animals begin their feasting as a means to fatten up for the colder weather when food will not be as abundant.  I love this time of year.  The beauty of the colors it brings, the smells that will soon surround us, cutting and drying of herbs and seeds.  It is a tranquil time.

If by chance you have a clear sky, venture out this evening and enjoy the moon as she makes her walk across the evening sky.  Close your eyes and take a deep breath and feel all that is around you.  The seasons are changing right before our eyes, ears, and nose.  If you are still enough you will experience what I mean.  blessings

Monday, August 23, 2010

Celtic Tree Lore - Astrology of the Hazel

he Hazel represents those born between August 5th and September 1. They are given the nickname of the Knower. If you are born under the energy of the Hazel tree, organization and efficiency are part of your make up most likely. Much like the Holly sign, the Hazel sign is naturally gifted academically and excel in the classroom.

Hazels’ are well informed on subjects they care about. This sometimes makes them appear like a know-it-all to others. Yet they are genuinely smart and usually know the right course of actions because of their impressive knowledge base.

Hazel’s have an eye for detail and like things to be “just so”. This need for order and control can lead to compulsive behavior. A Hazel has a knack for numbers, science, and things that utilize your analytical skills. Hazels like rules although they usually make them rather than play by them.

Those born under the sign of Hazel are best paired with those born under the Hawthorn and Rowan sign.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Autumn in the Air

Another week has passed and most of us look eagerly towards the weekend.  Free time to do what we enjoy most, at least for most of us that is.  I am amazed that it is already mid to late August and September is not far in coming.  The feeling of autumn is definitely in the air.  It is not only me who feels this way as it seems that everyone is somehow hinting of their intuition or craving for the season.

We have not yet be lucky enough to get any of the cooler weather or any much needed moisture, yet I am keeping my fingers crossed as well as ears open for any good weather spells that may help such a thing to happen any faster.  The days are slowly shortening.  It is not something that is drastically obvious yet it is noticeable.  I read a post over at Moontides this morning and Mary spoke of how the evenings were more quiet as people were not out as late as before.  A sure sign of fall and the shorter days.  A bit of a peace in the evening. 

Although I love the busy work of summer and all it brings, I enjoy also the slowness of fall.  The unwinding of the day and what seems a bit more of an evening to relax.  I know that as the time draws closer and the weather cools more that there will surely be some remorse for the absence of the thrills  that summer brings.  Yet still fall has always been my favorite time of year so I myself am looking forward to the crisp mornings, and the turning of the colors.  I look forward to cradling my hot cup of coffee in my hands as I enjoy the mornings and evenings on my back porch.  I look forward to the many beautiful flowers that show themselves during this time of year and also for the second blooms that will come to some of my spring flowers that slowed and at times stopped due to the over abundance of heat this summer. 

The activity of the wildlife as well as the birds is also something that I love at this time.  All seem to be  preparing for the colder times ahead and are storing what they may need for such a time.  The hummingbirds are definitely more active preparing for their long journey south.  The squirrels are always more plentiful at this time and I seem to have to fill my feeders twice as much.  I have already put up a couple extra feeders as well as started to purchase my seed so that I will be ready. 

I noticed this morning as I was watering some of the areas of my yard where flowers and wildlife like to escape from the heat, that my mum which I planted last fall is covered with blooms.  I am excited as can be as I have never had a transplanted mum bloom.  I am so looking forward to when it finally opens.  Wishing all of you a wonderful weekend.  Hopefully your weather is just right and enjoy nothing but good times.  blessings

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Thought To Ponder - Ignorance

An image of suspected witches being hanged in England.
 published in 1665

I know that when I usually post a thought to ponder it is just that, a simple thought.  Yet today my topic needed more than a mere quote and picture to go along with it. 
318 years ago today, John Willard and Reverend George Burroughs were put to death during the Salem Witch Trials.  I have always been amazed at the number of people who were chosen to die via execution simply because they may have been different or there were those who were too ignorant to know better.
In researching to find an approximate number of those put to death for this crime, I found many varying numbers.  I found numbers as low as 35,000 to as high as 9 million.  Considering that the witch hunts took place between the 14th and 18th centuries I would myself consider the number to be a high one. Even the number of 60,000 which I found and was to have been researched and found to be the most accurate seems somewhat low to me.  We are talking about a period of over 400 years during a time when man was not capable of understanding many things therefore anything that was unexplainable was considered evil.
 Let me stress also that there would be those who would argue that the witch hunts started well before the 14th century and continue still today.  Lets not be fooled so easily, ignorance plagues us still.  There are still those today  who pay the price although it may not necessarily be death for what man fears.

To read more of my findings check out my article over at Ewitch

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wordy Wednesdays

Unfortunately the weather man was wrong once again. Although we did receive somewhat of a cool front over the weekend, the much anticipated moisture that was to have come with it did not show. As in most cases it visited all our surrounding neighbors except for us. Still I feel a bit of autumn in the air. I have been watching the birds as well as the trees and other vegetation and I feel like fall will make itself known not long from now.

As in years before the bug to start preparing for fall and the winter ahead is a strong feeling inside me. I have seeded many of my flowers that bloomed so well for me over the summer as well as some of my herbs as well. Once again I will plant some in the fall and the rest in the coming spring of next year. Many of my flowers which I planted in hanging baskets or pots on the porch were chosen with the intention of planting them in the yard before the year was out to enjoy them next year. This is also another task that I have to work on as I would like to give them some extra time to adjust to their move. I am also preparing my yearly flower bulb order for the new flowers I will add to my yard when October and November comes. I have started to decide on the Christmas crafts I will make for friends and family. I have even bought my first pumpkin. Yes I know that may be a bit early yet an occasional glance at it assures me of the appending arrival of fall and the time of the year I love best.

I am seriously considering preparing me a nice little plot for a garden next year. After my weekly visits to the Farmer’s markets and the prices of some of the things, I figure that I could do it much more economically myself. It would also give me an opportunity to share with those around me. The wonderful flavors of the summer should never be missed simply because one cannot afford the prices of fresh veggies. When I purchased my peaches in Tennessee I was able to get 2 full boxes for a mere $40.00. When I arrived home and wanted to purchase a few more here in Oklahoma they were close to $1.00 a piece. Simply ridiculous. I love to buy local yet when I can make a good excuse to go and visit my grand kids and also get a good buy, I call that a fantastic deal.

I had so much fun with my anniversary giveaway that I decided to do another one for the remainder of the month of August. Be sure and check out my Eat Pray and Love giveaway. I am looking forward to personalizing the goodie box for whoever wins. I already picked a couple tidbits up today while in town to toss into the box. I have way too much fun with these giveaways and constantly have ideas tossing around in my head. I have met so many wonderful people via them.

I also realized that I have not been out and about with my camera much this summer. Usually by this time of year I would have showered my posts with photos of my garden and such. Yet the heat has kept me in more than I would like and I have not been the shutter bug that I usually am. I did manage to shoot a couple photos of my pet dragon fly who visits me each evening as well as a big garden spider that spun a beautiful web near the pond. After reading a book on the attributes of spiders I am doing my best to allow them to flourish at least outdoors. The one thing I wish they would help me with though is my grasshopper issue… They have brought havoc to much of my garden.

Yet as anyone who has ever had a garden knows…. They are continuously a work in progress and there is always something more to do. In saying that, I had best take advantage of the cooler time and spend some time with my little piece of nature. Happy hump day to all of you. Blessings

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Just Call Me Grandma

I am sure that many if not all of you know the delight I get from my grand kids.  It is a feeling that is difficult to describe and put into the right words and feel as if you have been able to convey all that you wanted too.  They have helped me to understand so many facets about life and relationships.  I am quite thankful for all the lessons learned.

I also enjoy how each one has their own special place in your heart and  their personality seems to give you its own unique relationship.  There is no one who makes me feel more like a grandma then my grandson, Brexton. It is funny, as they all call me GG yet he seems to make me want to call myself grandma.

From day one he has been a little lover and one who could melt your heart in an instance with his smile and charm.  Shortly after he was born, his mom and sister moved in with us and they were part of our household for almost three years.  Being able to be a part of his life from birth until then is a gift I will never take for granted.  It was complete bliss.

He is as most little boys are... all male.  From an extremely young age he was always one of those little kids that loved the silky material.  When he was only months old and his momma took him to the mall with her, he had his first visit to a Victoria Secrets store.  Because of his size of course he was in a stroller.  You have to love how stores put things down at kids eye levels, especially in a store where there is simply nothing there for a small child.  Of course this wasn't the case for him. He was in heaven with all that silky material everyewhere.  He kept pulling pairs of silky panties out of the lower bins and of course momma kept taking them away and putting them back. 

On return to her car when all her shopping was done, as she unbuckled Brexton to place him back into his car seat, what did she find tucked neatly underneath him but a pair of silk undies.  What a momento for years later when he fooling around with all his friends.  He's a stud alright.  He's been that way from day one.

Yet the one thing I see in him is also a sweet compassion for all those around him.  He has a gentle nature and seems to sense when others may not feel well, whether physically or emotionally. He is quick to come up and give you one of his special big hugs and tell you that he loves you. 

He turns four the first September and it is hard to believe that he is getting that old.  I miss seeing him everyday and being part of his active child life yet I have been blessed to still get to see him often despite the distance that is now between us.  And still he can still make me smile like no other.  I have always enjoyed the fact that my grandkids call me GG.  Not even sure how or why they do so.  Yet he is one that if he ever wants to call me grandma, I will gladly let him do so. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Celtic Tree Lore - Uses of the Hazel Tree

here are only a few medicinal used for the Hazel. The main virtue of the tree being Wisdom. The nuts at one time was worn as a talisman for a healthy life which was thought to be gained from the wisdom of the Hazel. Some think it has the power to cure fevers, diarrhea, and excessive or heavy menstrual flow. Though many think these to be only wives tales.

If by chance one has the luck to find a double hazelnut, it is thought that it can carried as a charm to prevent toothache. An equal armed cross made of Hazel laid on a snake bite is said to draw the poison out.

When it comes to magical uses, Hazel is best associated with divination. One of the best methods known is that of the use of a dowsing rod made from Hazel. Typically a dowsing rod has two forks off its main stem making it shaped like the letter Y. the two forks are then gripped and the fore fingers along the forks, so that the tail end of the pod points down toward the ground to begin searching. It is said that a good dowsing rod of Hazel “squeal like a pig” when held under water. The art of dowsing is still used to this day to locate water, oil, and other minerals.

The Hazel nut is also associated with fortune telling. In Scotland, on Halloween, an old custom of love divination is still practiced. Two hazelnuts are given the names of lovers and placed on burning embers. If they burn quietly and remained side by side, the lovers were considered faithful, but if the nuts crack, split, or roll apart, they are considered to be ill matched and one of them possibly unfaithful.

In the making of wands, one crafted of Hazel wood is used specifically for bringing forth magical inspiration. They can also be used to divine suitable places to work magic. To create a Hazel wand, find a tree that has yet to bare fruit, and at sunrise on a Wednesday the day ruled by mercury, cut a branch with a single stroke. The Hazel is considered to be most powerful during the early spring while its sap is still rising, and in Autumn when its sap and energy is fully contained within ready for its harvest of nuts.

The nuts of the Hazel were commonly used to bring luck by stringing them together and hanging them in the house. When eaten the hazelnuts are said to increase fertility or if eaten before divination to increase inspiration.

Lastly supple twigs of Hazel were woven together into crowns and called “wishing caps” which when worn and if one wished very hard would make the wish come true. Sailors would wear them during storms as a means of protection. Twigs of Hazel can also be placed on the window ledge to protect a home from lightning.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Eat Pray and Love - Something to Ponder

I will be honest and say that I am not one that reads as much as I probably should. Although my taste for the written word has grown in my later years, I always seems to fall asleep (or want to) if I try and curl up with a good book. There has been a few that once I opened the cover I was unable to put it down and carried with me everywhere until I finally finished the last word. I love a book that grabs me in such a way.

A book that is a good example of this was “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert. I loved this book from the moment I picked it up. It was probably because I could relate to it in so many ways… I understood the frustration she had in the beginning of the book when she struggled with the possibility and eventual divorce from her husband. Her desire to travel to “find herself” also appealed to me.

Not only did she decide she would travel, she traveled to three of my favorite places as well as made it her quest to explore three areas of her life that she felt strongly about; food, her spiritual side, and love. I know that they have made the book into a movie which has recently come out. I have mixed feelings as to whether I wish to go and see it or not. One reason is because movies never seem to truly do a book justice and end up leaving you disappointed. I think this is mainly because when one reads a book they bring with them their own imagination. This in turn creates a fantasy land in one’s head of what they envision the story to look like, smell like and taste like. It is impossible for any movie to fit this interpretation of so many that would go and see it, therefore there will always be those who are not satisfied with the manner it was told in.

I loved the whole concept of “Eat Pray Love”. It got me to thinking about what I would consider my eat, pray, and love . Then as if we were on the same wavelength, I was clicking channels and landed on Oprah. She had Julia Roberts and Elizabeth Gilbert on her show and they were discussing the movie and were talking about that very thing. I guess great minds do think alike. Ha!!

What is my Eat… what is my Pray… and what is my love…. I would have to say that finding what my “Eat” is could be quite difficult. I have always been one who loves to eat. The main reason it thrills me so (and believe me it can thrill me) is that I love the intense flavors that one can find. I will try anything at least one time because I have learned that you never judge anything simply by its looks. (Especially food) Yet to choose a favorite in the vast selection is close to impossible. Last night it was the pepper crusted rare Ahi Tuna I had….. It was heavenly… yet a few days ago it was the homemade vanilla sugar that I simply ate by dipping my finger into the jar over and over. I am not sure where I would go to explore this side of me as I have found wonderful food in so many places… Yet I guess Italy would not be a bad place to start… Rich tasty homemade mamma food in so many places…. Beautiful country side and extremely good looking men… How could one go wrong with all that to choose from?

My Pray is an easy one…. It would have to be the peaceful serenity of nature. I find such tranquility in my yard and communing with everything that is not manmade. The simple sounds, smells and sights are more precious than anything that can be bought or made. When I feel myself overwhelmed in any sense of the word and I know that I need some time to relax and escape to my sanctuary, I head for the loving arms of Mother Nature. She is always there with her gentle ways no matter the season, no matter the time. In the quiet stillness of morning before all else awakens she stirs. In the heat of a noon day when the sun is high and the day is in full swing. In the slowing down of the afternoon and early eve when it seems that she begins to gather things in for the day. And lastly, during the night, when the stars and moon illuminate the world and a different side of her is shown. She never ceases to amaze me with her ability to bring me to that place where I need to be. To see that answer that I may be trying so hard to find and don’t until I stop and sit with her in silence for a while. My sanctuary, my church, my pray…. Is definitely, communing with the earth and sky.

My love… another easy answer. I love my Vincent and quite honestly he is probably the love of my life. Of course he can drive me nuts, yet over time I have learned that seldom can two be together nonstop 24/7 and not. Yet he accepts me for me and does not in any way attempt to change me. That is what I love most. No matter how silly, corny, or far out there I may be, he listens and makes me feel as if I am as sane as him; which may not necessarily be that sane. Also my grandkids, they likewise take me for who and what I am and love me all the more. They share with me their wide open minds and we ponder the mysteries of the universe together at times… They help me to keep the fact fresh in my mind that there is always something new in the world and that to notice the little things is what keeps us young. My children also have brought much love into my life. From the time they themselves were wee ones until now when they have grown and moved on with their own lives and values. There have been struggles and I am sure there will be more yet we have slowly learned to be accepting and understand that besides being family we are also people. They have taught me to listen more, and also that I do not always have to be the momma… Sometimes I am just another person across the table.

So in closing I ask you, what is your Eat Pray and Love. Something to think about and quite honestly it can really brings some sides of you out that you may not have thought of before. If you have not read the book “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert and especially if you are female I urge you to do so.

I think if the book had not been such a favorite of mine I would not be so indifferent about seeing it, yet here I am. So when it all comes down to it I more than likely will not go and see the movie. Yet who knows… never say never.

Eat Pray And Love - The Giveaway

I guess that I was looking for a good reason to start another giveaway. After writing the previous post, I could think of nothing more than to do just that. Everyone has an Eat, Pray and Love. Personally I think it is a great idea to examine this concept to the fullest. Now not all of us have the capability of zooming off for a year out of our lives to research this yet there are little things that we can do every day to do just that.

This giveaway is designed to help a bit with that adventure. The winner will receive a copy of Elizabeth Gilberts book “Eat Pray and Love” among other goodies to help them explore this further. Now for the fun part:

To enter all one has to do is leave a comment stating what your Eat Pray and Love is. Be precise as this will have a lot to do with the goodies that will eventually be in the winner’s goodie box.

Adding the giveaway button and/or blogging about the giveaway will also give you the possibility of a couple more chances to win. If you do, please remember to leave an extra comment and also a link to the post. Lastly please if your email is not accessible per your profile, please leave it within your comments. My last giveaway, I had a chosen winner that I was not able to contact due to this and had to draw a new one.

The winner will be chosen on September 1st. Look forward to hearing all your great answers…

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Thought To Ponder - Silver Linings

My trials have taught me to look for the good in all things
 As I know it is always there despite how deep the sadness or how painful the wound....
It is that silver lining that is the remedy to help one mend from the hurt they receive.
- Me -

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesday Mumblings.....

I rose early this morning, to Winston urging me to come and let him out. It can be a bit of a pain sometimes having a morning dog. Sometimes I think he enjoys the early mornings as much as I do. Yet after dealing with a sinus headache last night and taking ample sinus medication to alleviate it, I was not too keen to rise at my normal time. None the less, I answered his call and we ventured outdoors before the sun rose and enjoyed the sunrise together.

Although I thought that I was too tired and wished to stay in bed a bit longer, upon my return into the house, I commenced to make coffee, bake a batch of peach tarts and also some vanilla meringues. I started the wash and enjoyed a nice cup of coffee in the silence of my house. I guess Winston knew what he was doing when he woke me before the crack of dawn.

Our days have been terribly hot here in Oklahoma and it has been difficult to do any form of constructive work outdoors. My gardens are begging for the coolness of fall to come. I am hoping the sliver of hope that our weatherman is giving us for some form of relief to this heat wave will come to pass. There have been small showers here and there yet they seem to all dance around us never coming near enough to give us any of their relief. We will see what comes to pass as the week progresses and the weekend draws near.

I think I am feeling the callings of the coming fall and winter. A bit early I know yet I find myself longing for quiet cooler days and the reflective time that this time of the year seems to bring to us. It has been an extremely eventful summer and it seems that everyone has been going at full force. Soon the autumn will come and as we gather and prepare to draw ourselves indoors for the colder time of the year I welcome the slowness it will bring

Monday, August 9, 2010

Celtic Tree Lore - Legends of the Hazel

azel is known for its attributes of wisdom as well as the inspiration of creativity it gives. Such creativity can be seen in the tree itself because of its unusual branches that grow in curious shapes, such s the corkscrew hazel.

Its association with the heart chakra comes from the legend that the hazel stood at the heart of the faery realm. When a hazel is found growing with an apple and hawthorn tree it is said that these three mark the boundary of a magical place.

In mythology the Hazel is attributed to the god Mercury. Mercury was the messenger of the gods and also the god of commerce, cleverness, travel and thievery. He is often depicted with a staff or wand of Hazel and wearing a broad rimmed traveling hat and sandals. A Hermes (the greek version of Mercury) when he was only a few hours old he escaped from his cradle and went in search of adventure. Later feeling hugrey, he stole two oxen from Apollo and hid them in a cave where he killed them and ate them. When Apollo discovered what had happened, Hermes played to him on a lyre which he had made by stretching cords across a tortoise shell.

Apollo was so charmed by his music that he allowed him to go unpunished. In gratitude Hermes gave the lyre to Apollo. Apollo in return gave Hermes a magical Caduceus made of Hazel. It was said to bestow wisdom, wealth, and prosperity on its owner by turning everything it touched into gold.