Saturday, January 30, 2010

Surveying the Aftermath - The Beauty of Destruction

I finally ventured outdoors today to tend to the birds as well as to see the gifts that old man winter left me.  As I walked across the yard, it sounded as if I were walking across an icy lake that had been covered with snow.  The layer of ice we received at the beginning of our storm cracked beneath my feet as I made way through the ample layer of snow we received.  There was such a beautiful silence.  I could not help but love the sights and sounds around me.  I know that mother nature comes at times with such fury and leaves in her wake distruction, yet still there is such beauty in it also. 

The sun did not come out today as we had hoped it would, maybe tomorrow.  There was some melting yet it is very little.  I tended the birds with more food and some talk as I always do when I feed them.  The downy woodpeckers were glad to see me and the fresh suet cakes.  As well were the cardinals.  Their brillant red was such a beautiful contrast against the white of the snow and the crystal of the ice.   

I will light a candle tonight in preperation of Imbolc as well as full moon.  The cold moon they call it and rightly so.  It is living up to its name this year that is for sure.  I briefly saw it through the clouds last eve and its brillance shown across the snow on the ground.  Its light made the night look as day with the help of the snows reflective powers.... I love the nights after snow for that very reason.. Coupled with a full moon it is that much more brillant.   As the day winds down to the night, the sun in finally deciding to peek itself out briefly before slipping back under the western horizon.  Maybe I will see the moon this evening after all.  One can always hope. 

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Morning After

Well the first half of the storm is over.... We received about 1/2 to 1 ince of ice throughout the day yesterday.  We have been blessed to not have lost power for any long amount of time yet.  This is truly a blessing, as there are thousands all around us who have lost theirs.  The lights flickered a bit last night and was off for maybe 30 minutes yet came back on.  Mind you we could still lose it as it is not suppose to warm up past freezing until Sunday and the wind is picking up. 

When I woke this morning I was eager to see if any damage was done to any of the trees.  It appears that the willows are taking minor damage.  I guess the pruning we have done helped tremendously.  We did lose a large branch off of a small redbud in our front yard.  I am not sure if we will be able to save the whole tree as the branch that broke was a large part of the tree.  As I went outdoors this morning to survey the area, I cold hear the creaking of the trees under the weight of the ice.... A few snaps could also be heard.  This really is still too early to know how much damage we will have.  I am only hoping for minimal. 

I love how mother earth cleanses herself in such manners.  Much like the order of the land with the strongest surviving.  We usually think of such an example when we think of animals yet it pertains to the natural world also.  The clearing of the trees we had done earlier helped the others remaining to become stronger.  This is evident in the manner in which they are handling this ice storm.  I know that there will be loss again yet I also understand the need for it.  I do not question her  reason.  She knows what she does.  It is amazing how such death can be so beautiful.  Although I am eager for the sun to come out in the coming days so that it can melt and ease the burden that is being carried, I am also eager for the view.  There is nothing that is more brillant and beautiful then the warmth and life of sunshine against the icy cold of winter ice. 

In truth it is making Imbolc that more special and symbolic to all it is.  The turning of the wheel... the passing of the coldness of winter into the warmth of spring and the return of the sun.            
Pale winter sun lingers, lengthing each day
On twig and branch new buds begin to swell
Songbirds give voice, each striving to excel
Seed senses change in its deep bed of cold clay
Earth goddess weaves her magic to propel
Reborn cycle of her womb along its way.

Life returns in every tree's slow thought
In pond and stream the dance begins again
Spring flowers show their purpose to proclaim
A new season comes; winters reign is short
And darkness no longer exercises any claim
Green growth dispels grey moods it brought.
Imbolc by Ian R. Thorpe

Thursday, January 28, 2010

And So It Begins

I awoke early this morning to the sound of rain falling.  Earlier the night before the weather men assured us that it would be a dry morning and that the majority of the storm to come would not be here until noon today... As usual they were wrong.  It was barely light outside yet as I glanced out the back door the porch appeared to be only wet.  As I made the morning coffee I could hear the rain continue.  The picture to the left is  only the beginning of what I know is to come as the day continues.  Even since I took the picture the ice has accumulated more.   Already there are reports of loss of power.  The rain is to continue throughout the day, not turning to sleet or snow until after dark.  For any of you who have encountered an ice storm, you know what this means.... There is a very good possibility for significant ice accumulation.  It will be a true miracle if we don't lose our power.  It is just a question of when it will happen and how long it will remain out.  Last storm like this it was a total of 4 days.  However this was nothing compared to others who were without power for close to 2 weeks.  Yet enough about this..... We will deal with it as it comes and with whatever it decides to give to us.  As we all know there is no stopping Mother Nature when she wants to do something. 

In some ways I am sort of eager for the cold and ice.  Strange isn't it.  I say this because I know that next week is Imbolc, the turning point of winter.  A day of welcoming the sun back and saying goodbye to the cold clutches of winter.  Although I know that winter can still take hold even after February 2nd, especially here in Oklahoma, I can not help but feel that it is symbolic of the beginning of the end.  One last hurrah...

Yesterday was a beautiful spring like day.  Temperatures in the mid 60s, fluffy white clouds with hues of grey and the brillant blue sky.  It was a day that you could not help but be outdoors doing something just so that you could enjoy it.  What a contrast from the weather we have today.  Cold blusterly winds, freezing rain, ice coating everything and anything that it lands on.  I told Vincent, it was likened to the day before giving birth.... You have all this energy and feel wonderful, then labor begins and hard stuff begins.... It was a blessing however, as it allowed so many, including ourselves to prepare for what was to come.

It seemed as if everything was active yesterday.
The birds yesterday played throughout the yard and trees yesterday as if themselves enjoying the warmth, knowing that today would not be as nice. Even the honey bees were out yesterday trying to eat from my bird feeders.  I knew that the weather to come would be bad as they were busily trying to eat anything they could to prepare.


Today  the birds  huddled around the bird feeders at first light,  scurrying to eat all they could before the frozen ice covered their access to their nourishment.   I always keep an bucket of seed in the house at times like these.  I am sure to toss some out occasionally across the back porch so that they will have something when the weather is inclement.  The wind blows them sliding across the wood as they try to eat the seeds that land near them.  They often huddled on the south side of the porch just under the window to where I write.  I am sure they will be there again today as the weather continues.


Although there is sorrow in the weather to come as I know that there will be trees that will suffer because of the weight of the ice they will bear.  I also know that it is  a time of cleansing.  When last our willows endured such a storm, I was heartbroken at the devastation they encountered.  From tall standing stately trees, that swayed so softly in the breeze, they were reduced to heavy laden trees whose arms now hung to the ground.  Some could not take the strain and gave in to the pain.  Others remained strong and as the ice melted rose once more to their stature.... This event however enabled us to take the weaker parts from the trees which in turn made them stronger.  I know that we will more than likely still lose some this time also, yet I am hopeful that they will not be as burdened as before.


As before I stated that there are others that this storm will effect, as this runs from New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee and beyond... Some will get rain, some snow, others ice... To all of you, stay warm yet above all stay safe... blessings

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Preparing For What Is To Come

Well they have been telling us about it since last Friday.  Warning us that it was going to be a big one and that we had best be ready for a few rough days.  Monday came and the weathermen still urged us to prepare. Now they say that by this time tomorrow we will be under a full blown winter ice storm.  It appears that the brunt of it will pass directly over the top of us.  Something I am not too excited about.  They are predicting anywhere from 1/4 inch to 1 inch thick ice.  Plus the lovely wind is to be blowing at 20 to 30 mph so that will not help matters much.  Not sure if many of you have ever experienced an ice storm.  They are not that much fun.  The worse part is that you usually lose electricity.  Sometimes for weeks. 

The last worse ice storm here was 2 years ago in 2007.  We were without electricity for 4 days.  I can not complain too much with that time as there were many that was without it for much longer.  Yet what hurt me the most was the damage that it done to all the trees.  The weight of the ice is just too much for them to bear. Our willows were brave souls.  They had alot of give to them so they bent without breaking more than most trees, yet still the weight of the ice was too much in some cases.  It was at this time that much of our willows were harvested and pruned back somewhat.  I remember when I went outdoors on this morning.  The wind was blowing very little yet  even still it moved the trees slightly.  The sound they made was like moaning.  You truly could hear their pain and their sadness at what had happened.  Yet for some reason Mother Earth felt it necessary. 

This storm is suppose to be just as bad if not worse.  We have risen early to prepare for it as best we could.  The last storm and loss of electricity encouraged us to purchase a generator.  Vincent being the boy scout that he is of course got one that will run the entire house.  We will be able to stay at home with is a good thing.  We are off this morning to purchase the last few supplies; extra gas for the generator, water, and a few other things.  Hopefully the shelves will not be barren.  Some folks tend to go a bit crazy at times like this, yet it is better to be prepared.  Oklahoma has seen their share of ice storms and we know exactly what they can do.  I am sure there are a few more of you that will be effected by this coming storm... Linda in New Mexico, Steve in Missouri.... Karen in Arkansas... I wish you all well also and hopefully it will not be too bad.... There is also snow so that is not as bad.  I am hoping for at least a little snow as I am still waiting for my quiet still snow this year.... Not sure if I am going to get it. 


Deep In The Lyon's Den - This Weeks Featured Blog

I know that there are a few of you who have found this little jewel yet I still wanted to highlight it this week as my featured blog.  Many of you know her from The Wandering Hearth .  Recently she began a new project Lyons Tarot Den.  If you like indepth writings and reviews on anything Tarot, this is your place to be.  It is a wee babe in blogland with its first post being written on January 9th 2010, yet it is authored by a well seasoned writer.  One of the things I love most about Lyon is that she is not afraid to write anything yet she has a wonderful manner of being frank yet compassionate.  This generally refers to her initial blog The Wandering Hearth, yet it appears that her new blog is going to be quite the same.

When visiting Lyons Tarot Den you cannot only read of reviews on various tarot decks, there is also the option to have a reading done by Lyon herself.  I myself have not done this yet, although I have to admit I am quite curious and usually my curiousity wins out.... I urge you to go and  visit this newly developed site and sit a spell and ponder over all there is.  Lyon has a wonderful way of digging deep into the matter and finding little trinkets that are at times overlooked.  Enjoy the reading.... I know I do

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Really You Shouldn't Have


 Antics of a Tameran Witch nominated me for her Kreative Blogger Award.  Thank you so much.  So here goes......

Seven Rules:
-  Thank the Person giving the Award - A big thank you to Kat... I     simply love your blog and appreciate you thinking of me.
-  Copy the Award to your blog - There it is to the left
-  Place a Link to their blog -  Well it is at the top, yet (Link) here it is again
-  Name 7 things people do not know about you.  See below
-  Nominate 7 other bloggers See below
- Place a link to these bloggers. See Below
- Leave a comment on their blog letting them know.... ditto again

Seven Unknown facts about me...... um this could be interesting.....
 -   I can not stand june bugs.  Nothing has the ability to cause me to make a fool out of myself like a june bug.... I am not afraid of bugs in general in fact I sort of like them... except for june bugs.... Do not like the way they can latch onto you with their legs.
I  love the smell of burnt chicken feathers.... I know it is sort of gross.. blame my grandma for it.... I helped her alot when I was little kill chickens then pluck and clean them.  Burning the small feathers off was one of the things I helped with. 
-  I wake up every early morning at either 3:21 or 4:30 am without fail.  Not sure why yet if I check my clock when I do wake up one of those times will always be present.
-  I still have my sisters phone number on my cell even though she passed over 5 years ago.  I just can not bring myself to delete it. 
-  I have a fetish for 6 point tecates with salt and lime. 
-  I  love to watch crop dusters.  I will intentionally stop my car on a country road to sit and watch while a crop duster flys.... I have even been known to follow them...
-  I love to work animals hides.  Tanning that is, the old way.... Scraping and such... My favorites are beaver hides. 

Now for the seven nominations.  I like so many others have said love everyones blogs and find it really hard to nominate just 7... Fortunately I have seen several already out there and know they are going to get a chance to do this also... Yet I wanted to throw a couple in there that I havent seen yet.


There are so many others yet this will get the ball started.  Thanks again Kat

Monday, January 25, 2010

Drawn..........

I am drawn to all that resembles the coming spring.  Drawn to the Rowan for its resemblance of Imbolc and the quickening it represents.  Drawn to the brightness of the birds as they begin to don their more vivid colors in preperation for the courtship that is soon to begin.  Drawn to the urge to cleanse and begin a new.  Drawn to plant and see the small green sprouts slowly shoot our of the soft rich earth which hold them.  I am drawn out of myself.  As if in side a cocoon or warm winter cave, I long to emerge out into the bright sunlight and once again create. 

Yesterday I began my planting indoors.  I planted herbs of Basil, Rosemary, Chamomile and Lavender.  I planted a multitude of flowers from columbine,  forget me nots, cupids darts and many others.... Likewise I have started my much needed spring cleaning and as stated earlier, I am eager to complete it by the end of this week.  Not only will it allow me to do my house cleansing at Imbolc it will also get it out of the way and allow me more time to do other things when the weather does turn warmer and remain that way.

As for the creativity side of it all.  I am to receive my netbook this week.  Words can not even begin to explain the excitement inside of me in regards to this.  I have patiently been waiting for it since I ordered it earlier this month.  It is a late Christmas presant from my sweetie, Vincent.  I have been holding off on much of my writing until it arrives, as this is going to be its main purpose.  I can hardly wait to recieve it. I think I can safely say I am busting at the seams with words to put down.

Like so many others I have also decided to attempt a little organization on my part especially in regards to my blog.  If I truly give the time I am wanting to my writing I am definately going to have to do some organizing.  I have started a weekly post on Monday's which will be a brief detail of the current Tree Month.  It has always been an area which I am quite fond of and seeing that much of my life these days seems to be centered around the wonderful tree, I thought it only right.  Possibly somewhat of an omen you might say.  At the moment it is quite basic yet as time continues who knows the posts may grow into more detail.  Likewise I will continue to focus on a new blog each week.  Introducing you and yours to little treasures I find in blogland.  This post as always will appear each Wednesday.  It has become a very special part of my week and has truly brought me many blessings as well as new friends. 

Who knows I may try a few other things out yet I am not too keen on making it to organized or set in its tracks as I think that that can make it become somewhat boring or predictable and I do not want to become either of those things.  I like the interaction that off the cuff entries can bring between blogger and comments.  And that is something that can not always be achieved via a planned or scheduled blog post.  For some time though I have wanted to somewhat get a bit more of myself into Mother Moon.  In regards to my spiritual path.  It has beem emerging at a quickening pace and I very much would like to at least share some of the ride with some of the people whom I feel have helped to get me here.  You know who you are.. and if you even have a bit of  a wonderment if you are one of them... then you probably are.... what would a girl do without you....

So off I go... to continue my tasks for this Monday morning.  I wish you a warm and cheery Monday morning.. Yes I know there are some of you who do not like to smile on Monday mornings, yet I still wish you a good one... Get you a big cup of coffee... take a couple good sips in silence, ponder on all the things that are good..... and I bet you will at lest have a bit of a smile... enjoy.... many blessings to you all.

The Tree Month Of Rowan

anuary 21st, was the beginning of the Tree Month of Rowan.  Associated with the dragon, the Rowan tree is a symbol of protection and defense.  Examples of this :  Garlands of Rowan fashioned around the necks of livestock as well as their stalls  as well as Rowan trees intentionally planted in churchyards to protect and watch over the spirits of the dead.  It is said that the Rowan has the ability to open communications with the spirt realm which is key to its great energy.  It is thought that early runes were first fashioned from the Rowan tree.  Leaves and berries from the trees are common additives to divination incense.    The Rowan is associated with Imbolc which marks the quickening of the year.  A perfect time to facilitate a quickening of personal power and resources. 

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday - Nothing Like A Lazy Afternoon


The last few days have been almost spring like with the warmer tempertures in the 50s and 60s and the sun shining all the time... The rains that have fallen the last few days have brought the dark cloudy skys that are quite like the skies  of early March and April.  Puffy grey clouds, distant rumbles of thunder, and then sudden downpours of rain.  I noticed like so many others that my daffodils and hyacinths are peeking out of the ground throughout my yard.  Such signs make me even more eager for the coming months ahead.  Change is slowing coming. 

For me this is a time of cleansing, change and creation.  It is much like pulling down the drapes from large windows through out the home of myself as a means to once again allow the sun to shine through my windows.  Opening the windows and allowing the fresh breeze to blow through me filling me with its energy of what is to come. 

Today, I start the seedlings that will eventually become the addition to my flower and herb garden.  Also on my plate is a continuous of my spring cleaning.  I am eager to get this completed as then I  will start the cleansing of my household.  Something that if all goes well will start next weekend.  Although the weather has been warmer, I still need to tend the birds outdoors.  I can tell that Spring is close at hand as they are more active then ever.  You can already see the mating courtships beginning.  The pairs of ducks frequent our pond in the early morning and something before night.  The cardinal males do their strut to impress.    It seems as if all of nature is eager for mother earth to once again wake. 

Of course also there are the football games.. Although I am not sure that I will sit and watch them for their entire time slot.  I am sure I will take a seat now and then to enjoy some game food and drink with Vincent.  Mexican tacos and queso are on the menu today.  For those of you who do not know what that is... Diced up beef sauteed with onions and choice spices... spooned into a corn tortilla with plenty of cilantro and lime juice... Yummy...

All in all it looks to be a full day.  Hoping your Sunday is relaxing and enjoyable... See you tomorrow. 

Friday, January 22, 2010

Big Favor - Help The Gingerbread Baby Have A Grand Adventrue



Anyone who has been reading my blog for any amount of time, knows that my grandkids are the world to me.... and since they moved last year about this time, I have had my share of adjustments.  Well this evening as Vincent  and I were on our way home and we stopped and picked the mail up from the mail box, I received a wonderful letter from my granddaughter, Kylie, and her school. 

In the letter was the above picture.  This is the Gingerbread baby.  She (yes it is a girl) is much like the Gingerbread Man, who travels around only to be eaten in the end.  Fortunately this sweet thing does not get eaten yet she does like to have a good time.  She was sent to me by Kylie and her class to visit.  At the end of her adventrures, which can not be too long as I need to send her back quickly, she is to be returned to their school along with letters, pictures, postcards, etc of all the things she did while she was away. 

Now here is where the favor comes in.... Any of you who would be willing to help out just send me an email talking about the adventure that the Gingerbread Baby had while she came by to see you.  I figure if I do it via email I can get the response back quickly.    Any pictures you wish to send as attachments would be greatly appreciated.  I will put all of them together the first of next week and shoot them off to Kylie and her class. 

I want to thank any of you who help out ahead of time as I am sure they will simply love it... Use your imagination on the stories as well as any pictures of any attractions that may be near out. Thanks again for the help.... My email address is 11raelin11@gmail.com  

I look forward to hearing from as many of you as possible.... especially the ones of you who are outside the United States....

The Warmth of Love Giveaway

Yes just as I promised my next giveaway is starting today and will run through February 14th - Valentines Day.  In the beginning my plans were to center the giveaway around "love"... yet as we all know it is difficult if not impossible for me to not allow my thoughts or plans to grow.  I wanted to somehow also incorporate Imbolc within my giveaway as we will celebrate it in just a little over 10 days.  Also as you all know I have been itching for the arrival of spring or at least its subtle pressence since Yule so.... well you all know I don't need to explain it "again".  So on with the explanation what all the things within my bounty. 

The first item is a wonderful numbered print from Illustrated Ink.  I have grown to love her work and when I seen this in her Esty Shop I had to get it.  Of course I have one for myself yet wanted to also share it with all of you. (well at least one of you).  It portrays love in a beautiful sense.  As the artist explains; it represents that love never dies even after death. 
Next is a perfect little flowering pot to start some growth inside.  Along with some seeds of herbs and assorted flowers.  Honestly you may feel that this is just too cute to plant in and decide to use it for something else.  You can not see them yet tucked down into the pot is a nice ample supply of some of the best chocolates I know of.  I can assure you that you will love these.  These are the kind that you simply take one (if you can only eat one) and enjoy each bite.  The white chocolate center is simply wonderful. 

Of course if one is going to be planting they need to have a trusted Priapic wand.  I have fashioned this one of a wonderful piece of Apple wood that I have had for some time.  Atop it sits  a small acorn from my little oak.  I will say that the wand is not finished yet I wanted to have it in the picture . 

Lastly is a small sachet I made, filled with herbs and scents of Imbolc, Myrrh, Violet, and others.  As we all know this giveaway could still grow a bit more before it is all said and done yet this is the general idea of it all.  Now for the guidelines:  They are simple as always yet I though this time I would put a bit of a twist in them.  Just for the fun of it.  See below.

To enter into the giveaway you will need to be a follower of Mother Moons Message.  When leaving your comment to enter, please  tell of your favorite thing about this time of year. 

If any of you would like extra chances to win you can do so in the following ways:
 - Post about the give away on your site.  If you choose to do this, please come back and leave a comment stating you have done so along with the link to the post. 
-  Post the button with a link on your website for the duration of the giveaway.  If you choose to do this, please be sure and post a comment stating you have done so.
-  Each of the extra credit  chances  will give you 2 extra entries.  Yet be aware you will only have to place one comment for each.  I am planning on being organized again and writing up the entries as I get them.  So I will be sure and put an extra entry in for you. 

The Winner will be choosen the morning of February 14th.  Yea I know this is a Sunday yet I wanted to do it on Valentines Day... good luck to all of you. 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thursday Rambles...... And A Little More


I feel as if it has been forever since I wrote anything with any meat in it.  Mind you I do not mean to make little of the post I have done recently on the Relief efforts and needs of those in Haiti or the announcement of the winner of my giveaway.  I just long to write something that dives down into the thick of things and pulls out some really precious pieces. 

I have for some time now been longing for spring.  In a strange sense this is my first year to truly fully express and observe my true beliefs.  Although I have had them for the majority if not all of my life, I have not always given myself 100% to them or to the recognition of them and what they truly mean.  Fear possibly is what kept  me from doing so in most cases, yet I feel that this is not a very valid excuse so I will just say that my journey has finally brought me to this point.  It seems since I have started this blog it was if I opened the windows and front door of myself and allowed all to be seen and to also welcome all that may want to come visit.  It has been a true enlightening experience and I am amazed at times at the speed that some lessons are learned and at times the feeling that they were always there just hidden deep inside of me until I was ready to bring them forth.

As the new year started last November at the the eve of Samhain, I could feel the stir in me.  More than I have ever felt in past times.  It was a tremendous urge of excitement as to what was to come in the times to follow.  The quietness and self reflection which it brought shortly after somewhat startled me as I saw things that I thought I had already dealt with yet realized that they were still areas of my life that needed discipline as well as more training.  Although honestly can we ever know enough.  I am happy that I have always been eager to learn any thing that may be there to soak in.  I feel it only broadens ones mind and clarity of the things that surrounds them.  It was never said that one needs to agree with all they hear, yet a different perspective can sometimes help you to see your perspective in a much clearer light.

As January moves on and Imbolc is short behind, I can feel the urge growing inside me still.  The waxing moon is out in all its beauty.  With its constant growth each night on its way to showing its full face, I can feel the energy.  I too feel like I am growing.    Preperation for the coming seasonal change is beginning.  Seeds, peat pots, and soil have been purchased for the planting of the herbs and flowers that I will plant this spring; a task I will take on this weekend.  I have read many posts today where some are lucky enough to even have the tops of their daffodils peeking through the ground eager also to come out and welcome the warmer weather.

Yet I know that patience is still something that is needed.  It is not a time to rush what is slowly evolving in all of us this time of year.  It is a time to allow it to envelope us slowly, so that it can fully penetrate us and fill each crack and crevice of our being.  It is a time for us to open ourselves up to all that is about to unfold for each of us.  It is a time for us to listen to the still quiet words that are spoken to us and to learn from the lessons that we are being taught.  This  will then prepare us for Imbolc as well as for Beltane and on. 

I thank all of you for your gifts of wisdom thru your words as I beleive that each of us has a purpose here in blogland if only for one individual to be moved.  I thank you also for the simple support and encouragement and yes love that I feel from many of you each day, not only in your posts yet also in the comments that are left behind after a visit.  I want you all to know that my door truly is always open to any of you. 

I am not sure if this was actually a meatier post... just some words and feelings that I had on my heart that I needed to let out and share.  Blessings to all

Am I Blue.... And The Winner Is.......



I have always loved to give... Not really sure why it thrills me so... Sometimes I even think I can become annoying with the manner in which I give.... My daughter tells me I spoil my grandkids way too much yet I feel like I have scaled way back since they have moved away from me... I grew up in a home where there was very little.  Maybe that is what it is... whatever the case.... it is time to announce the winner of our January True Blue Giveaway... Something I have really enjoyed doing this time.... Being color specific on a giveaway can be very challenging yet it can also be loads of fun.. As I am always up for a good challenge.  I will probably more than likely do a similiar themed giveaway again....


Yet you are not hear to listen to me go on about my ideas and such.  You want to know who the lucky winner is.  I started to do this via a random number generator and thought no... that is just way to impersonal.  I had so many sign up that I somewhat dreaded writing all the entries out.  I was not as prepared as last time when I wrote the names out as they entered.  Yet I gave in and did just that..... I  used one of my extra additions to the box to help out with the selection of the winner. And now for the moment you have all been waiting for..... drumroll please......


I made this little sachet bag to add to the bounty and thought it would be perfect to use for the drawing.  As you can see the winner is Anastasia from Deep Inside My Broom Closet.  Just shoot me an email Anastasia at 11raelin11@gmail.com so I can get your shipping info.  I have the package all together so if I get the info from you quickly I can have this baby in the mail today.  Congrats on the win and I truly hope you enjoy all the goodies.

I will be posting the info on my next giveaway tomorrow.  I can assure you all that you will want to at least take a peek at this as well as enter to win... It will center around Imbolc and Valentines... A treat for all and of course I can promise there will be chocolate... as I have found some that I simply have to put in the box already... Until then have a wonderful Thursday.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hearts for Haiti - Featured Blog


A multitude of options are available to any and all who may want to in some way contribute to the relief efforts of Haiti.  I truly believe that there is something for everyone and that no matter what your circumstance you can find something that will fit you and your situation so that you can give in some manner.  It gives a good feeling that so many are so willing to give to this effort as it is one that is monumental. 

Yesterday I ran across this site and thought I would post it as my featured blog for the week.  It is not neccessarily a blog yet it shows the ability to help quite nicely.  Esty has created a specific site Hearts For Haiti where any of their patrons can contribute an item for sale.  All proceeds (after esty fees) will go to the relief fund for Doctors Without Borders.  I have went to the site often and it is amazing how it continues to grow.  Not only with contributions of items to sale yet also with the amount that has already been sold.    Thus far when I last checked which was this morning they had already collected $6963.00.  Not bad... Not bad at all

I know that in my post yesterday there were remarks of how helpless people felt.  As if they felt like there was nothing that they could do.  It can look overwhelming yet the magic has already started.  Millions and Millions of $ have already been donated (although it will take Millions and Millions more).  People have stepped in and given of their time and energy to help in a physical sense.  There will be other needs that arise as time passes also.  This can make one feel as if there is so little that can be done, yet still I look back to the simple drive from Red Cross.  The Cell Phone Text of Haiti to 90999 donating a mere $10 raised over 22 million dollars in less than a week.  That is a nice dent in the bucket if you ask me.  Every penny truly does count.  So I encourage you to drop by this site and see whats going on....

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Overwhelming




Tragedy is something that occurs on a daily basis. Devastation and death is truly an everyday occurrence. However in most cases we never hear about the things that occur or if we do they are but fleeting blimps on the nightly news. It takes a catastrophe of great magnitude to hold our attention for a long period of time and truly make us see the pain and loss that occurs. This last week on January 12th we witnessed such an act in the earthquake that hit Haiti. I have purposely kept myself from watching too much of the coverage as it is simply too overwhelming. Small doses are all I can seem to process as the stories are graphic and brutal reality.


The other evening I watched as a doctor from Canada spoke of the medical facilities they possessed. Literally they had none; A mere three bottles of alcohol, a hack saw, and a couple bottles of rum and vodka that had been given to him by someone. In the background the hack saw was being used to amputate the leg from a small child. I wondered as I listened if that child was even given any form of pain relief before the "operation" occurred. Even now the sheer brutal reality of the situation overwhelms me.

I know that so many have come to the aid of Haiti and rightfully so. Yet the degree of need is so great that it will continue to be there for some time. Battered already from several tropical storms in past years, this final blow was just that a final blow. Homeless people cover any open area available. The dead are piled high and at time moved with front end loaders and put into a dump truck to be taken to a mass grave so that the smell can be subdued somewhat. The basic act of survival can be seen in the panic of looting and fighting for whatever food or fresh water can be found.

I daresay that we and most others outside of Haiti can’t even begin to understand completely the degree of this event. We may try and yet I do believe that effort is futile. The fear of not knowing if other family members are alive; a child, a mother, a father. The pain of inflicted medical issues that have gone unattended for days; many just waiting to die. The hunger and thirst for food and water as there is none and has not been since the earthquake occurred. My heart especially goes out to the children. Earlier today in reading about Haiti, I learned that before the earthquake 48% of the population of Haiti was below the age of 18 before the earthquake occurred. This fact means that the majority of this devastation has occurred to mere children. There has been a rush of attempts to adopt children who have been orphaned yet only those that were in the process have been continued. There is a fear that this event could cause an increase in possible child trafficking and so any new adoptions are being slow to start up.

Although I know that this post sounds somewhat of a rant, it truly is more of a cry. I understand that no one can go into this and fix everything at least not overnight. There were already issues to be dealt with in Haiti even before the earthquake occurred. Those issues are still there and are even more compounded now. Yet it truly is a time when we as people need to rally together and truly help the cause. Lay down our differences, whether due to race, politics, financial status, religious beliefs and so on and help our fellow man, woman and child.


One of the easiest ways is the Red Cross Cell Phone Text Drive. A simple text of the word Haiti from ones cell phone to 90999 immediately donates $10.00 to the Red Cross Haiti relief fund. This drive has already donated a total of $22 million dollars, which is roughly one fifth of the $112 million that has been received from the Red Cross so far. It is truly the simplest form of donating there is. The amount is minimal yet the amount collected thus far shows just how fast it can add up.


There are numerous organizations to donate to. One can easily feel confused when looking at them all. Yet there are a few that I would like to speak of as I feel they are worthwhile and offer something that is specifically needed at this time in Haiti. The first one is Doctors Without Borders. This organization has been in Haiti prior to the earthquake in response to medical needs and is there now as well. The medical needs are astounding at this time and any assistance that can be given in this manner is well appreciated.



The next organization I would like to mention is Unicef. With the multitude of children who are now homeless or orphaned it seems only fitting that their need be looked after. This is a worldwide organization that has been around for many years and has done some exceptional work in regards to the rights and needs of the child.

These are only three of the several organizations that are out there yet there are some definite reasons I choose these three. There is no middle man or at least very minimal here. The money is given and already it is closer to where it can start working immediately. I urge you to please consider contributing to any or all of these as well as the others that are not listed. The need is great…. And we can do so much with so little. Blessings to all

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lazy Sunday Afternoon


The sun is trying desparately to come out yet I do believe it is going to have a hard time of it today... The wonderful warmer weather our weatherman promised for the weekend was a figment of his imagination I believe.  Since Friday it has been foggy and wet... Finally today the fog gave way and the sun is occasionally peeking his face out as if to tease.  Needless to say we did not venture on our harley ride as intended.  Yet have enjoyed out time indoors watching the playoffs.   Rooting for the Colts and the Vikings to go to the Superbowl...

Although I have been unable to spend as much time outdoors this weekend as wanted I have gotten much done inside.  Make a nice batch of ginger cookies and also a batch of toasted pecans... The pecans are going to be the death of me if I don't stop making them.  It is a recipe for Cinnamon Toasted Pecans that is just too easy.  And when they first come out of the oven and are nice and warm... Lets just say it is hard to eat just one or even just a few.  Caught up on house cleaning as well as laundry which I know I will be thankful for as the week comes tomorrow.  When and if that sun does decide to finally come out I want to be able to have ample time to go and enjoy it. 

I have also started to purchase my seeds and potting cups.  I am bound and determined to attempt to start many of my plants this spring in hopes of saving money as well as making my dollar stretch...We will see just how good that venture turns out.  Right now I only have my herb seeds yet plan on getting at least some of my flower seeds this coming week.  I also have all the seeds I collected from last summer to attempt to cultivate.  We will see just how much of a green thumb I have. 

I have also been gathering my plans for Imbolc.  I am trying desparately to find some corn husk as I really do want to make some corn dollies yet have not found any yet.  I will keep looking.  My menu has been planned and I am eager to cook it.  It seems that I continue to gain excitement daily as spring draws closer. 

Speaking of Spring, it has always been a special time for me... Not my favorite season just a special time.  A time of new beginnings and new awareness.  This year is no different.  I credit much of my awakening to this blog and the interaction with others of like thought.  It has helped tremendously with confidence and also a boldness to continue and grow in my leadings.  I go on and on sometimes over the same thing or so it seems yet it is only because it is such a blessing to me.  I have learned that patience is such a fine thing and a virtue that is truly an asset.  I am not always eager to learn of it yet am always glad when the lesson is over and the knowlege has been betowed to me.  Why do I speak of patience, mainly because it is because of patience that I have finally found the road that I travel. 

So much I hear others speak of a desire to know, a frustration of feeling they are on the wrong path, saying the wrong words in their spells, or not living their lives exactly as it should be when it comes to their beliefs.  I smile as I remember such days and still have them on occasion.  Ok  maybe  often, yet I also know that if one truly seeks with an eager heart and true focus that they will be led in the right direction. 

Ok, now as I read over this all... I can not help but wonder how in the world I got from the Colts and the Vikings in the Super Bowl to trusting your heart in your walk to enlightenment.  Ah.... a woman's mind... how it does wander..... Well to go full circle... the game is still on and I need to go and check the score... Until tomorrow.... Enjoy the rest of your Sunday. 

Saturday, January 16, 2010

It Just Keeps Growing - True Blue Giveaway



Thought maybe I should give you all an idea of what I have tossed into January's giveaway thus far.  All I can say is thank goodness that the deadline is next week.  I wanted to get the package ready so that I could ship it out next Thursday on the 21st when I will pick the winner via a random number draw.  There are a couple things that are not in the picture... yet that will just have to be a surprise. 

One is that I think I am obsessed with food.  I had to be careful or whoever received this package was going to get a food basket.  So the only edibles you will receive are an ample supply of Bliss white and milk chocolate with almonds.  There are alot of candies with blue wrappers.  Yes that is a blue Tootsie Pop you see there in the background.  Also a Cracked glass candle holder with pearl white candle.  And a blue vase to hold all those wonderful chocolates.


Next is a book that is somewhat like chicken soup for the pagan soul.  I ordered this book by mistake some time back and received 4 of them.  I decided to keep one for myself and give the others as gifts.  This is my last one and I could not be more happy than to give it now.  It is a wonderful book filled with recipes, spells and wonderful thought provoking stories.  It has become a mainstay for me and I pick mine up often.  Also, a journal to enter all your thoughts, dreams or what not.  You can see the corner here in the photo yet a better perspective can be see in the first photo. 


Next a DVD of the Corpse Bride.  I am a lover of anything Johnny Depp is part of and well the package is blue.  So it fit very well in with my mindset and with the theme of the True Blue Giveaway.


Of course because of all the remarks I have gotten on the photo I used I decided to send a print of it along with its very one "blue" frame.  There are still a couple items that are not in the photo yet I think I will just let that be a surprise for whomever is chosen next week.  If you haven't already entered the January - True Blue - Giveaway just click any of the links throughout the post.  All the rules and such are there .  Drawing will be held on Thursday, January 21st.  Also a heads up for the next giveaway.... Somewhat of a Valentine Imbolc theme.. if that is possible..... You will not want to miss it.... Details will posted Friday January 23rd. 

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.....

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Restless Soul


Goodness what a winter this has been.  Colder than normal tempertures, snow out the whazoo....and all the issues that come along with such things.  I know that it is a time of quiet reflection of oneself and all that is around them.  A time to ponder on the things that have occurred in past and what may occur in times ahead.  Many it seems have drawn back into themselves in this time sorting out the things that weigh on their mind.  A bit of a quiet lull has fallen over blog land.  It is not surprising in that the last few months were so full of activity that at times I thought it was too much. One would think I would relish the quiet solitude that seems to be the norm the last week or two. 
Yet as I have greeted the greatly missed sunshine the last few days and the feel of a warm breeze I could not help but get a bit of an urging deep inside of me.  Maybe it is the stirring before spring, although that may just be an excuse because I long so for its arrival.  Yet I can feel the restlessness inside of me.  I long for more time outdoors.  To feel the sun on me, to hear the songs of the birds as they play with one another.  I long to piddle in my garden, clearing the fall and winter debri and making way for the new arrival of the flowers that will bloom soon.  My visions of my secret fairy space are eager to emerge into reality. 


As the the New Moon settles in today I understand more what I am feeling.  The corner was turned as Yule and we began our journey back towards the sun.  Slowly we have been making our way.  Imbolc lies as our next destination.  A time when we  begin to see the signs emerge more vividly thus also the strengthening of the feeling that comes with such progress.  Just as the soft flowers of winter begin to emerge, as the slow warming melts the coldness of winter from us, so also we feel the warmth come back into ourselves. 


The winter is still with us and will be for some time.  Coldness still could come and once again wrap us in its icy cloak.  Yet the wheel still turns and we know it is but a matter of time before the days become longer, the birthing of the spring animals will begin, and  the first signs of life will emerge once more to cover the earth.  The restlessness I feel is many things from the new moon, to the fact that Mercury is no longer in retrograde.  Yet the strongest pull I sense is that of an eagerness to bloom.  I know that it is not time yet.  The seed was planted as it should be and must run its coarse yet still I want it to shoot from the ground which is my being and become what it is meant to be.  I have always been a bit of an impatient one, especially when it is something that excites me.... And I know better than to ask for patience as I will most likely be taught it.  Something which is usually not a necessary plesant thing.

So I wait... quietly and yes patiently.  I wait as each day grows by a minute or two.  As  the sun comes to greet us just a tad earlier and leaves just a tad later each day.  As the earth thaws from the hold of winter's grasp and once again becomes soft and ready for life.  As I myself slowly sprout... all in good time I tell myself... all in good time

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Team Coco



Now I have been a fan of Conan O'Brien for many many years.  Yes I admit his sense of humor is somewhat skewed yet that is probably what makes me love him most.  I was overjoyed to hear that he was moving to the Tonight show as I was not too good at staying up until almost midnight to be a loyal Monday thru Friday viewer.... I have completely enjoyed the last 7 months of his hosting.  It has brought a wonderful freshness to the Tonight Show.  Yes I know that his fan base is smaller than "Mr Chin" yet they are so much more alive.  Possibly that is because he is (was) taking the show into a more modern sense.  He has showed this in every sense of the word. One of the most noticeable manners has been the musical guest that he has had since he began his stint.  Bands such as 30 Seconds to Mars, TheNewNo2, and Vampire Weekend just to name a few have graced his stage. 

I applaud Conan's openess in regards to all of what is going on.  Truly uprooting yourself and moving clear across the country, and not just yourself and your family yet all the others you brought with you in regards to the show can not be an easy thing to adjust to.  It is time for "Mr Chin" to realize the fact that he has had his run and it is time for him to bow out gracefully.  Unfortunately I truly doubt he will avoid being the "victim" he is and do that.  What a spoiled brat.  Yet I will refrain from going any further on my feelings in regards to him as it may allow me to say some things that we all already know. 

I remember as a child occasionally watching Johnny Carson.  I likewise loved his quirky ways which at times seems somewhat skewed.  I feel if he were alive today to see what was occurring he would also have to also say "Im with Coco". 

And Away We Go


Tempertures are warming up around here... It was a warm 54 yesterday and they are even predicting 60s for Sunday.  With the cabin fever that was experienced the last few weeks with all the freezing temperatures and snow, that could only mean one thing.... Taking the Harley out.  I have to admit that Vincent is a bit more weatherized then I.  He does not mind a good brisk ride in 40 degree weather.  You may say that would not be too bad, yet when you figure in the windchill it can be down right cold.  And seeing that I am not an Alaskan snow bunny I do not like that much... However, 60 degree weather is not too bad if you are dressed warm, especially if the wind is light which it is suppose to be on Sunday.

I am and always will be the "bitch" on the back.  Have no desire to have a bike of my own.  I enjoy plugging my earphones in and turning my ipod to some good music and just enjoying myself.  The feel of the wind, the smells of nature, it is all a wonderful experience to me.  Hard to explain really but if you ride (front or back) you know exactly what I am talking about. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Featured This Week : A Male's Perspective


It was never my intent some time back, when I posted my first entry encouraging others to visit a specific blog site as I felt that it had some material that could be interesting to others, that I would enjoy or continue the process as I have.  It truly was just a one time thing for me at first.  Yet then others came along and I wanted to let others know about them.  Now it seems that I feel led each week to focus on a specific blog or person.  I truly do not  try  and figure out who I will write about or simply go down a list.  I do not choose out of the fact that it is one who has just started and needs followers, yet sometimes it works out that way.  Sometimes I truly think on Monday that I know who I will write about, yet as Wednesday rolls around, that idea has changed all together and it ends up being someone entirely different. 


This week I would like to point you in the direction of The Bogamans Blog.  I fell on this site simply by chance.  When Oklahoma was having the blizzard of 2009 last month I had posted some photos of all the snow and the craziness of it all.  Steve, having earlier memories of Oklahoma sent me an email commenting.  Of course when I saw he had a blog I checked it out.  I am not sure if it is the fact that he has ties to Oklahoma, he has Celtic heritage and interest, he post adorable nostalgic photos , he occationally throws in a great recipe, he has a variety of tatoos, or that he rides a bike that continues to keep my interest.  Yet I have found his site to be interesting, down to earth and from the heart. 


He speaks of his journey with an open heart and blunt honesty.  He is a lover of nature.  That is evident not in his claims yet in the manner in which he speaks and the references he makes to things that inspire and uplift him.  In blog land you do not see many men who exhibit themselves in a manner that could be considered revealing.  This is a man's way.  Yet The Bogamans Blog seems to toe this line nicely. 

So the next time you are out looking for a males perspective or just want some good reading, I suggest that you head over and check it out.  You may be wondering what Bogaman means... It is the Old World Celtic word for Bowman or Archer.  Yea he's a hunter too.