Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wanna Play A Game?

Guess What I did last week?

I will give you a hint.... three in fact.

Did You Guess?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Celtic Tree Lore - The Alder

The Song of the Alder Fairy
by Cicely Mary Barker

By the lake on river side
Where the Alders dwell,
In the Autumn may be spied
Baby catkins, cones beside -
Old and new as well
Seasons come and seasons go
That's the tale they tell.

After Autumn, Winter's cold
Leads us to the Spring;
And, before the leaves unfold,
On the Alder you'll behold
Crimson catkins swing!
They are making ready now
That's the song I sing.

Alder is a charm to be used against not so good fairies.
Water sprites are said to protect Alder trees;
So think twice before doing any harm to one.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Que Sera Sera

A while back I talked to you about the fact that this was my 50th year of life. I went on and on about how I was going to make the best of this year and do the things I wanted most. I spoke of the vigor I had, not only for life but also in energy and such.

I am wondering today where all that vigor has gone... I know I am getting older and I guess in some ways I have not or maybe do not want to actually face some facts.

I can no longer run the 50 yard dash as fast as I used to.

I bruise now when they take my blood at the doctors;
plus it is harder to find the vein to even take it in the first place.

I can no longer stay out to all hours of the night, drink myself into a stupor and get up and go to work the next day.

Weight is becoming my enemy. When I young I had the pleasure of being able to eat anything and everything I wanted with little recourse. I am well aware of where it is now.... My sizes tell me quite loudly. And losing it is not as easy as it once was.

Where I once tolerated my big melons when I was young even though they were cumbersome and often in the way, I have grown to dislike them intensely and want to trade them in for a smaller pair.

One would think that I had quite the negative attitude with all these statements. I will admit that there are times when I would not mind simply going to sleep and waking up when this was all over. Despite what some may think I am not always little sally sunshine. I will also admit that I do not like getting old or at least some of the things that it brings with it. But such is life and really it doesn't matter what I like or don't like.... it is what it is...

Yet I will admit that aging has also given me some awakenings that I was too blind to see when I was younger.

I don't need to run the 50 yard dash in record time. I never really was a track star anyway.

Although I bruise when I give blood, I do not have to do it often as I rarely go to the doctor unless it is for my allergies or to refill a prescription that has expired.

I never was one for staying out all night and getting snockered. A leisurely glass of wine on my back porch is really all I need. Unless of course it is a Muse concert. Then I seem to find the energy somewhere down deep and I could stay up dancing all night long.

I do not have to worry about my weight as much as when I was young. I caught the man I have wanted all these years and he loves me just like I am. And anyway if I finally do go through with saying farewell to the sisters that have been with me since Jr. High (way too early for big boobs, especially back then) the number that comes up on the scale will definately decrease. I know this why? Because a couple years back when I had the biopsy on my right breast, it was just a little piece and I could tell the difference.
When I turned 40 I remember talking to a woman about all the changes that seemed to be occurring to me after my 40th birthday. She only chuckled and said...
You think 40 is bad... wait til you turn 50.

Que Sera... Sera...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Birthing of Spring

The Naked Earth is Warm with Spring
With green grass and bursting trees
Leans to the sun's kiss glorying,
and quivers in the sunny breeze
Julian Grenfell

Monday, March 21, 2011

Musical Mondays - Earth Song

Devastation is everywhere these days it seems. From the recent earthquakes in Chile and New Zealand to the floods of Australia. And of course still fresh in our minds and hearts, the triple whammy in Japan. An 8.9 quake which really you might as well call a 9 which in turn triggered the tremendous tsunami, which in turn caused the potential for a catastrophic meltdown at the nuclear plant.  (touch any of the links above to go to Global Giving)

It seems to be a constant occurrence these days. Is Mother Nature attempting to gain our attention? I wonder sometimes. Man has lived on this wonderful planet for many years and in the course of that time how good have we been to that which we call our home.

The other night as I was flipping channels in an attempt to find something "worth" watching, I fell upon the series "Ax Men" As I watched one of the men explain how all the "good" trees were no longer available for harvesting so they had to go up to remote areas in British Columbia to gather their prey. No they did not call it prey yet that is how I felt it to be. These areas could only be accessed via river transport and required the men to stay isolated for months. I watched as magnificent trees who had graced their stance for hundreds of years were taken down.

Granted I do know that wood is somewhat essential for some things yet I also know that so much of it is wasted. I see building built only at a not so later date to be torn down to make way for another. I receive tons and tons of "junk" mail daily only to toss it in the trash. I do not know about any of you but it seems that we are telephone book poor in my area. On a yearly basis we receive at least 6 to 7 phone books. The excess can be found stacked high in the lobby of the post office as well as weathering away in the many driveways which many are dropped off in.

Each time I see such sights I can only think of the trees who have to give of themselves so that we can have too much excess. One phone book is fine with me and if I do not know a number, 411 always works just as well. As for the junk mail (catalogues, advertisements, and just plain nothing mail) keep it. I am ashamed of the number of catalogues that grace my doorstep. Although I enjoy browsing through them I would gladly do without so that a tree might live a bit longer.

Then there is the concern about the ground water. I do not know if many of you take notice to this topic, yet it is a serious issue. I truly believe it is more serious than many realize. Water... simple water which is pure and clean and absent of deterrents is not as readily available as some may think. Man's desire to dig into the earth so that he might have more oil and/or gas than another has caused much of the water supply to become tainted. Then there is the run off that comes from the many factories that are built alongside our beautiful lakes and streams.

The nuclear issue at hand in Japan is a wonderful example of this. Sea water flushed inside in an attempt to cool the nuclear reactors, only to be swept back out to sea. I am not a nuclear scientist, yet I would think that some form of radiation would accompany that sea water when it did return. What will such contaminants do to the abundant water life and vegetation that is to be ultimately supported by this said water. We can see some of this impact from last year's oil spill in the Gulf as well as the many others that have occurred over the past years.

And to think I have only covered water and trees. I know that it is man's venture to keep striving towards perfection and a better life and/or a better gadget. Yet when will the cost of such a venture be taken into consideration. When will we take the time to look at what is happening to the simple things that surround us because of the bigger things that are happening.

I am planting a garden this year in a hope of having my own vegetables that I know will not be sprayed with pesticides as well as injected with hormones and what not. Yet what about the particles that float on the wind and eventually settle somewhere. What about the contaminated ground water that I will water my garden with. Yes I have a better chance of having a cleaner crop yet will it be 100% safe? Unfortunately, no!! The days of such a way of life are gone.

It is my fear that in time this world that we call home will not be able to sustain the abuse that man keeps inflicting upon it. It is my fear that man will look past the little things that when looked upon individually are not much yet when piled upon one another is a mountain of destruction.
It is time that we take the time to do what is right. The earth is crying. I only wonder if there are enough of us who can still hear her.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Behold the Super Moon

Be sure and take a look at the moon tonight
as she shines forth in all her fullness.
Tonight we are privileged to a rare occasion.
A Supermoon!
The moon will pass the earth at a distance of 365.600 kilometers
The is the closest it has been to earth in 19 years.
Making her even that more lovely.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Remember Those In Need

This last week, life for most of us has continued as usual. We are awaiting the coming of spring and preparing our summer gardens. Many of us have been vacationing due to spring break. We are enjoying time with friends and family.

Yet on the other side of the world life is not so normal. Throughout the week I have watched coverage of the continuing disaster in Japan. The earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear threat is beyond anything that most of us have ever or will ever have to endure. Yet still these quiet stoic people do just that.

Tears just seem to not do any justice for the fate which has fallen onto the population of Japan. I watched today as Americans and others left the country to escape the threat of what may come. Yet just moments later I watched as older native people were set up in camps as they are unable to travel. I watched as the little children were scanned for nuclear activity. I wondered what about them. What about those who are not able to run or fly out of harm's way?

I hold them in my prayers and thoughts. Knowing that ahead of them is a road that few could travel. In my travels on Esty I found a wonderful artist Naokosstop.  She is from Japan and is living in New York. I purchased some art from her last year as I simply love the simplicity of her work. I came across her site the other day and found that one of her pictures she is donating 50% of the cost to the Red Cross. I usually do not publicize such things yet the picture entitled "Thinking of Home" seems so fitting.

I have also included other sites that revolve around the relief effort for Japan. Once again our world is faced with a need that is far greater than those who are effected can satisfy. If only with a thought and a prayer or the lighting of a candle: remember those who are hurting.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

An Irish Blessing to you

May the Sun shine all day long
May everything go right and nothing wrong
May those you love bring love back to you
And may all the wishes you wish come true.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spring Update

Sweet Williams and Sage
After a bit of a cool spell over the weekend, I am fast preparing for the coming week and the upper 70 and 80 degree temperatures that are promised up via the local weathermen. Although they can be a bit off at times (this weekend for one) I am hoping that this forecast is spot on. 
Spring is definitely in the air everywhere you look. The forsythia is blooming in all its glory although my bushes are still nothing like the beauties they will someday become. I finally spied my first daffodil bud as well as the many tulips that are starting to come up. Soon the yard will be in full bloom and color will absolutely be everywhere.
We purchased our rototiller over the weekend and already I have plowed up the bottom for the flower seeds I intend to spread. I do not expect much color this year but in the years to follow it will be gorgeous.. A variety of bachelor buttons as well as shasta daisies and marigolds are my intentions. 
My next feat is to till up the ground for my intended garden. I have purchased a few seeds and will purchase my tomato and pepper plants on my return from my visit to the grandkids. I can hardly wait to get my hands into the dirt and play.

My first Swap is also fast approaching. I had a wonderful turnout of participants and can hardly wait to divide everyone up and commence with the goodie giving. I think I may have to make a quarterly event of this as it is quite fun. 
If you still want to get involved it will be open until tomorrow. Just click on the link in the upper right corner of my blog and leave a comment or shoot me an email with your mailing info. We would love to have you join in on the fun.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Musical Mondays - Happy Pie Day

I have never been much of a cake person, unless of course you are talking about a traditional birthday cake with yummy butter cream frosting. Of course my favorite is a tres leche cake which I honestly believe I could eat until I was swelled up like a tick and would literally pop if someone touched me.

A wonderful friend of mine once had one made for my birthday and it completely blew me away. It was by far the biggest cake I had ever seen. When she presented it to me it actually brought tears to my eyes. First because I grew up in a home where birthdays and such were seldom celebrated and second when I took my first bite I actually thought I had went to cake heaven.

But cake is not what I wish to discuss today. Today it is all about Pie. I honesty will say that I am much more a pie person than a cake person. I cannot resist the wonderful taste of fresh homemade pastry crust out of the oven. When I was young I worked in a small restaurant that was known for its homemade pies. I often would help the cook prepare them on Saturdays and remember vividly how any leftover pie crust would be rolled out and carefully cut into smaller pieces and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar for treats. The only thing that made it better was the occasional leftover coconut cream filling that you could spread over the top and enjoy.

Speaking of coconut cream, this is by far my favorite kind of pie. Homemade of course. Warm cooked coconut pudding filled with lots of coconut. A meringue that is at least 3 inches high, then sprinkled with more coconut on top and browned just right. Makes my mouth water just to write about it. Of course there are so many other kinds of pie that are just as good.

I remember my grandma's fresh apple pie. She was always one of those women who believed in a nice thick pie, not a thin meager one. A trait she passed on to me as well. Plenty of fruit and/or filling was always present in any pie she prepared. Her apple pie was always served warm with a little milk poured over it. Once again yummy.

Yet it was her Lemon pie that moved me more than any. It was a treat that often she would make just for me. She knew how much as a child I loved it. Just the right tartness and plenty of meringue. There are still times when I feel her presence and the faint smell of Lemon pie is in the air. It always makes me smile.

I could go on talking about pie all day as there are not any flavors I can think of right off that do not make me smile and wish for a piece. Whether it be custard, peach, cherry, or rhubarb, it is all a wonderful thing. So happy Pie day.

Ok I will admit it is not actually pie day but pi day. Pi as some of you may know is the ratio of circumference to the diameter of a circle. Yet with my love of math (which lacks in all areas) I had to place some positive spin on things. Thus I figure if I placed it with pie which I love to eat and music which I love to listen to... it had to spruce it up somewhat.... So sit down with a nice cup of coffee or tea if you prefer and enjoy the musical interpretation of pi (or pie as I like to think of it). If a slice of pie is readily available enjoy it also.

Note to ponder: March 14th is also Albert Einstein's birthday.. How fitting don't you think. A man with a mind above all of us... So I lift my cup and fork to you as well Albert. Happy birthday... enjoy your day along the string of time that I am so sure you exist on.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I Have Been Grilled

A while back a dear friend of mine Linda from Olde Baggs and Stuffed Shirts, nominated me for a wonderful opportunity. She knows how much I love the blessing of being a grandma. It is one if not the most rewarding adventure I have been on. So she graciously nominated me to become a Grilled Grandma. Head on over to Grandma's Briefs and enjoy. As usual I am bragging about how much I love being a GG as well as the wonderful little ones who have made me so.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Musical Mondays - Love Hurts

Love Hurts
But sometimes it's a good hurt
and I feel like I'm alive

Most of us do not associate something that does not necessarily feel good with something that makes us feel alive. Yet how many of us have had a moment when because we loved so much we hurt, because we cared so much we endured when at other times we may not.

I am a hopeless romantic and have always like to think that deep down in 99.9 % of all people there is some good. Because of this view there have been many times when I have had my feelings hurt and have learned lessons that if I had been a bit more guarded I may not have had to learn at such a cost. Yet still I am not sure if I would go back and change my ways.

There was a time in this world when we could think such ways for the most part and did not have to worry about whether or not someone would take advantage of one with such a gullible heart. Maybe it was how I grew up in a small rural Oklahoma town. Everyone knew everyone and although there were things about this that drove me nuts, it had good qualities also. People spoke to each other when they passed. If someone fell on hard times, others helped them out and gave them support and encouragement. People waved at one another even when they did not know each other. It was simple hospitality and manners.

Such things still happen today yet it is obvious that it is not as prevalent as in the past. Yes it is a sign of the times, something that when I was younger I swore I would not harp on as I grew older. "When I was young one, this is how things were." Yet here I am doing just that.

Love Sings
When it transcends the bad things
Have a heart and try me
Cause without love I won't survive.

Yet when one finds themselves giving expecting nothing in return sometimes the reward can be a blessing ten fold. Yes it is hard these days to step out on that edge, to trust enough to take a chance that it will not necessarily blow up in your face. We want to believe that most of the time we can act upon our desires to do good and that it will not be taken advantage of. Yet each day we see evidence that there are so many occurrences in the world where some have done so and paid the price.

I have had many an experience where I took the step of faith and wished that I had not done so. Yet I have also had some where I was blessed by the outcome. Although I have to say that the ways of old I think are a thing of the past and more than likely things will get worse before they get better, I still do not find that a good reason to harden my heart. If we all succumb to that mindset then the world very well will only become a worse place to live in.

Yet if occasionally we seize an opportunity to help someone who is in need, we comfort someone who is hurting or alone, or we simply sit and listen without judgment; we may be amazed at the blessing we receive in return. Not only from the experience alone yet also from the gift coming back to us in return. Karma is a real thing

Listening to the radio over the weekend, an old favorite came on. "Love Hurts" by Incubus. It reminded me that love is not always that wonderful magical sweet and sappy thing. Sometimes it does hurt but sometimes that hurt is a good thing. And when it is good it can be wonderful. Enjoy the week ahead and take the time to stop and be there for someone. The blessing will come back to you.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Celtic Tree Lore – The Ash

The Ash is often called the tree of enchantment and magic. What a perfect tree to represent this time of year. February 18th thru March 17th is the time of the Ash. It is a time of rebirth and renewal. It is the time before spring when the crocus and daffodils are starting to peek out of the earth. It is a time when the Bradford pear trees as well as the dogwood are covered in a coat of white flowers. It is a time when the animals begin their mating dance bringing forth little ones in the near future. It is a time of newness.

The Ash also shares this time with the Astrology sign of Pisces. Both are considered water signs. Being water signs, the trait of emotions come into play often. Both are not fond of criticism and often do not handle it well.

The Ash is often referred to by the phrase, "by oak, ash, and thorn". The Druids believed that the great oak represented the male energy, the Hawthorn (or thorn), the feminine energy, and the ash balanced the two. When one found the three trees growing closely together, this area was a special place. It was thought that the faery could be seen as well if one  communicated with them in such locations.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Spring Swap

One of the many blessings that I have received while in blogland is the abundance of new people I have met and gotten to know. In many of these cases I have had the joy of receiving some of the wonderful creations that so many have.

I have always been amazed at the wonderful things that others are able to do. Some are so unique it boggles my mind. It seems that each creation has a little piece of the person inside of it. No matter how simple or how grand each one is so special.

I have also had the pleasure of participating in some wonderful swaps. I enjoy a swap so much more than a giveaway as it allows everyone to partake of the joy of a surprise in the mail. No one needs to be left out and everyone is happy.

So this month instead of a giveaway I would like to attempt to organize a swap. Please be patient with me as this will be my first one. Below are the details . Come join us and share a little of your creative magic.

* Sign up for the swap by leaving a comment and/or emailing me that you wish to participate. Be sure that if you do just leave a comment that I will be able to contact you when I send out partners later in the month.

* Sign up for the Swap will begin today and run through March 16th (two weeks)

* On March 17th (St Patty's Day) I will pair up partners and send out the information to all those involved.

* Now for the good stuff: What will we swap!! Seeing that Spring is so close at hand and the newness of life is everywhere, plus the first day of spring is March 21, it is only fitting that this be our theme.
    * One item given - small or large  (can give more if you like)
    * Hand made if at all possible
    * Representive of Spring, Rebirth, Renewal, and New Life
    * Posted no later than Friday, March 18th

I am looking forward to the fun. If there are any questions feel free to email me.

I Have Been Bit by the Creative Bug

I have been in a bit of a crafty mood as of late. I think it all started with the workings with my willow twigs. They somewhat inspired me. Although the crafts that came forth from them were not necessarily spectacular, they had meaning to me and it was good to put the leftover twigs to some kind of use. I still have a basket full of the left over twigs and more still scatter the ground. I think the remaining twigs will go towards the building of my fairy village I have wanted to create for some time now.

Each day I walk my yard and the area under the tree house is quickly awakening to spring. The sweet Williams are pushing their head outs, reaching towards the sunlight as well as the lily bulbs that I planted last fall. They are cluttered with an abundance of dried leaves and such that have fallen and blown through the earlier fall and winter months. I think the weather is warm enough now that I can clear the debris out and allow the plants to spread abit.

I have gathered stones along with my sticks for the area. I think when all is said and done the fae will enjoy their renovations. I noticed that the primrose has sprouted as well as the foxglove. I also purchased three new rose bushes to plant and I have been thinking if there is any way I could plant one of them near this location. I am not sure if they will receive enough sunlight; yet the color and aroma is something I am sure the fae would enjoy.

I have also convinced Vincent to let me plant a small plot for vegetables and some additional herbs. Of course this means we will need to purchase a rototiller so that I can start working the ground. Goodness but I have sympathy for those in years before when such things were not available. I am also excited about the new piece of equipment as it will also allow me to till the perimeter of the bottom yard and plant the bachelor buttons I have been wanting to plant for some time now. It would be just my luck to get this place just the way I like it and then move…

Another craft I have been toying with is the making of sachets and/or charms. I have sent a couple of these out to friends and am still playing around with different ideas. I have missed sewing with my machine. I still have many projects that I need to work on.

I do not know where all this creativeness is coming from or really what I will do with it all. Even my runes have been calling me again and I am eager to work with creating some new sets. Quite possibly it is the coming of spring and the newness that it always seems to bring. This last winter was definitely one of hibernation for me. I became quiet and drawn into myself and it seemed that the creative juices stopped for a bit…

Yet finally that seems to be something that is slowly changing. So many of you have given me new ideas and suggestions as to what I could do.. I thank you all for that. Inspiration is the only word that best sums it up. And then of course there is always my craft of cooking and my kitchen. The area I seem to feel most at home with and my ability seems to flow most freely. I have been trying new recipes and ideas and I am hoping to be sharing many of them with you in the coming months as they all involve fresh items, from vegetables to fruit and herbs.

I am hoping that this is not merely a phase that I am going through but something of a new area for me as it has been nice to keep myself busy. What kind of things have you been working on as of late? Are there new crafts that you have created? Have you started your summer garden? Maybe it has not become quite warm enough and you are just browsing through those wonderful seed catalogs that grace our mail this time of year. Whatever it is I wish you joy with your new creations.