Monthly Archives: November 2011

Thankful for what really matters to me

I guess first I should warn you that this post, even more then normal is going to be rambly. The other day I was doing laundry (I do 1-2 loads a day) and the dryer died. I have already been having issues with my washer and now here I had a load of wet landry in the dryer not drying, and a load in the washer ready to dry. We didn’t have sun that day so I couldn’t hang it out, but I could load it up and take it to my moms as I was going over to do a little cooking anyway. Hubby and I talked about it and he found some great deals on washer and dryer sets for black Friday. We talked about it and we decided to forgo Holiday gifts for each other and get the washer and dryer. He then told my best friend that he got me a washer and dryer set for the holidays and she threaten to throw something at him. Ha ha ha ha love her. The truth of the matter is that he and I don’t need any gifts. We have everything we need and most of what we want. It won’t make the holiday any less meaningful for me because what I really want (to be around those I love) I will have.

Which brings me to yesterday. I was sitting around laughing and talking with my family, an uncle from out of state, my brother and sis in law down from the city and my grandma and grandpa up from down south. The majority of the food for today has already been cooked. our meal for last night was ready and we could just sit and enjoy each others company. It was really beautiful. In years past I was still cooking and feeling rushed like I wouldn’t get it all done. Here I was sitting and having fun and I thought I would share a few thoughts with you about it.

For us Thanksgiving is our big holiday. Bigger then yule/xmas. We have people come in from out of town and we have a lot of traditions surrounding the day. From the food to the activities there are a lot of expectations. In fact I joke that my husband decided to marry me at a thanksgiving when I made him a caramel apple pie cheesecake. Many folks arive on Wednesday so we need to feed a big crowd for dinner. Tday is full of food, football and just hanging out. After dinner we play scatagories. The real point of this game for our family is to be able to argue your point and convince enough people to let them use what ever off the wall answer you came up with. Friday we head up to the tree farm and cut down our tree. Then we spend the rest of weekend decorating it. taking time to eat and go to the movies. In years past I have spent 5 days at least cooking. Last year I sent an email to everyone after the weekend and asked them what their favorite food was and what they liked as far as activities and what they didn’t. so this year I cute back the amount of dished I am making and will make separate dinners for Friday and Saturday instead of just leftovers for ever. Which brings me back to yesterday. instead of feeling like I needed to cook more I was able to sit and relax and enjoy the fun. Today I only a little cooking to do but mostly it is done. So I will be able to watch football and be with my family.

For me it is perfect. It wont look like a magazine but it is filled with love. Which brings me back to my washer dryer/ gift thought. Today I will have 3 people sitting around the table that very likely could not of been here; aneurysm, cancer and heart attack. The fact that they are still here and we are able to share food and time together, to make new memories is all I want. so many of the little things that I used to spend time worrying about or stressing over I just don’t care about anymore and it is a great sense of peace.

I hope you and yours have a wonderful and peaceful, fun filled day!

 

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100th post with updated pages

promises fulfilled. I promised an update on the 100th post and here it is. I had hoped to have some more stuff added and finished but alas life is life and so this is where I am. Progress not perfection 😉 here are my pages as they are now, in order. Hope you enjoy. If you have questions about any of the pages just leave a comment. image

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Categories: Book Of Shadows | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

cold and flu season

This morning before dawns light I woke up with little. We are both a little under the weather. we came into the living room and bundled her up on the couch in front of the fire to keep her nice and tosty. I started some tea for me and turned on my “stove top humidifier.” I checked on her and then then went to the bathroom to gargle. these are just a few of the ways I take care of my family in cold and flu season. As Moms and Witches we all have a few things in our medicine cabinets both literally and figuratively. I would like to share mine with you today

lets start with obligatory leagal verbiage. I am not a doctor. As you know from the last several months in my family I certainly am happy to have modern medicine as an option.  I also have a lot of faith in traditional or “alternative” medicine. I use both in my life and if you are very sick of course go see a doctor. You can even ask your doctor what home remedies she or he knows about and uses. If your pregnant make sure the Teas or herbs you are using are safe for you. check with your Doctor or Midwife if you have concerns.

That said lets talk about what I keep on hand to keep my family feeling well. First and foremost stay warm and eat good food. Healthy food is a must for keeping your body healthy. Healthy food can also be different for different people. You need to know what makes your body feel good and happy and what makes it have to work harder to deal with. A few examples; whole wheat is a great option for a lot of people, however I have a gluten intolerance and it would make me sick. Dairy is another example. For many people organic yogurt is a wonderful healthy snack for other dairy is not something they process well. If you eat meat Chicken soup a wonderful choice. If you don’t eat meet try a veggie soup and make sure in both cases it has loads of onion and garlic.I  If your having tummy troubles add rice to your soup. We also love Hot and Sour soup.  No and I mean NO sugar. If you start to get sick often times you start craving sugar. This is to cold talking. Sugar can often supress your immune system.  If you have any mucus cut all Dairy out. It will help dry you up.

for a headache: peppermint tea and a hot shower.

For a sore throat: a spoonful of honey( Honey should be actual honey and local). gargle with warm water sea salt and cayenne pepper. hot tea, hot lemonade.

Runny nose or stuffed nose: netie pot! they are wonderful use a saline solution to clean out your nasal passages. Most health food stores have netie pots and depending on the size it will tell you how much salt to add to warm water.

for a cough: spoonful of honey. Thinly slice a red onion and layer it with brown sugar in a bowl. put in fridge over night. In the morning pour off the liquid and use as a cough syrup.

upset tummy: mint or peppermint tea. or if you have fresh mint you can chew on some of it. If it is stomach flu or food poising a shot of apple cider vinegar will do the trick. It needs to be followed by some probiotics though because it will kill all bugs good and bad flora in the stomach

respiratory: a humidifier is great for that. If you don’t have one take a glass pot and boil water on the stove. I keep my small burner on medium and put different herbs and spices in the water. I like eucalyptus a lot. Right now I have orange peels in there just for the smell.

general ickyness: 1 teaspoon of four thieves vinegar twice a day in water or followed with water. spicy food, a hot bath. as hot as you can stand it. it will sweat the badness out. If you are pregnant no hot bath. I also made four thieves oil and I will often pour some on my hands and rub in. keeps the hands lovely and soft and is anti-bacterial and anti-viral. I use it kind of as a preventive.

of course sleep, rest and water are key to flushing out what ever bug you have and for keeping your body strong and healthy to fight it off.  when you are healthy I strongly recommend that you do an elimination diet. I used the one from savingdinner.com its called the 28 day break free plan. It is very helpful to know what your body doesn’t like. Even if you choose to still eat those foods in your normal life you can know to give them up when you feel a cold coming on.  I hope this is helpful and I hope you stay happy and healthy all year long.

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mom is back in the hospital

I took her to the ER yesterday evening and they ended up admitting her. She was having amnesia not that she didn’t know who she was or who I was just short term things like the last few months. She is much improved this morning with a battery of tests being preformed and no answers. I have a few random thoughts on the matter.

One is that she had her brain surgery in July on the Full moon and today is Novembers Full Moon and she is in the hospital again. I am to tired and brain muddled myself at the moment to figure out if this means anything but I feel like it does and I just don’t know it.

Also I am so so so very thankful I was with her when it came on. It was sudden onset and I am so happy she lives near buy and we were at her house. I am thankful that I talk to her 10 times a day so that I know what she was doing yesterday so when she started telling me she didn’t do it, I knew something was wrong. I am thankful for my husband who told me to take her to the ER and came to take Little home so I could stay with Mom and tell all the different nurses and doctors what happened and make my mother feel more secure. I am thankful for my dad who cracks jokes in the ER to make my mom laugh. For my whole family near and far, blood and not, who were all “right there” when they were needed. What a truly blessed life to be surrounded by so much love.

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more then thankful

As I was out and about on my adventures today I got to talking with an old family friend about gratitude and being thankful. I shared about out thankful tree and she shared a wonderful idea that she had heard someone speak about. She said that people often list the things they are thankful for, feel happy and leave it at that. This speaker suggested paying that gratitude forward. Being more then thankful.

I think this is a lovely idea. How you do it is still make your list of what you are thankful for and then a list of how you could share that with others. For example are you thankful you have enough food to eat? Pay that forward with donating time or energy or money or food to a local food bank. Make a meal to share with someone that needs it. Thankful that you have time to cook? Make a meal and bring it to a new mom, or sick friend or home bound folks. Thankful for your garden? Help school kids learn about gardening or reclaim an abandon lot for a community garden. You get the idea. I just love this idea.

I think these things can be little or big and time consuming or not. I think they can be integrated with normal daily life. I also think that we can make a big deal out of them. As you add to your thankful tree, keep that in mind for next months arts and craft project! Can’t wait to share it with you all.

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developing curriculum

Hey all I am working on putting together some new curriculum and would love feed back. What do you feel is often left out of teachings?

 

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how to pray pagan style

let us start with the tidbits of life. While I did not get to write to you all yesterday I did get to work on my book some more. Wooo Whooo! This marks my 95th post here and so I can say that if you have enjoyed my previous posts with pictures from my book you will not want to miss my 100th post 🙂

What I really want to talk about today is the daily practice of prayer. To live a spiritual life, no matter what path your own, should really include daily prayer. It keeps you talking to the divine and listening for them. There are a lot of prayers out there and I have shared some of mine with you as well. I will share more when I get to that section of the book but basicily I find that times that work best for me are in the morning, while preparing a meal, before eating a meal and before bed. These tend to be more of the mesmerized type that I say day in and day out. There is the other kind. The in the moment appeal for help or expression of gratitude. It is my firm belief that if you are having a rotten day; you should take a moment to express gratitude as often as possible. Maybe every hour on the hour? or at every red light? or every time you checked your phone? Can you imagine how grateful you would feel if you said a thank you for something every time you looked at your phone? after a day or two of this I can promise your mood will be lifted.

The other type of prayer, the appeal for help in some way is something to consider as well. While it is important to be thankful we still do need the guidance of our Goddess and God. Sometimes our heart has been broken or a member of our family is ill, or we feel the need for more success or prosperity. There are many aspects on how to ask for what you want. A few to keep in mind is that what ever you are asking for yourself, you are abiding by the law harm none. You do not mess with others free will. You ask for something that is correct and for the good of all. You ask for a loving partner that will treat you in a manner you wish to be brought into your life, not that so n so comes back to you. You ask that people be healed in a way that is correct and for the good of all. Even with good intentions you may not have all the information and it is best to leave it up to the divine to know the fix.

Another aspect is the order of prayer. of course what ever suits you and works for you works, but I like this one. Express gratitude, ask for something for the world, something for someone else and then something for you. Again in this way you can see yourself in the greater web of life and how you are related to your world around. It also keeps gratitude in the forefront of your mind.

Side note: I wrote (almost entirely yesterday) but then got upsetting news and had to stop and take my own advice and actively focus on being grateful, it took a few hours but I did pull myself out of my funk and back to my peaceful joy filled life.

Categories: back to basics, daily life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Picture of our thankful tree

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Categories: back to basics, daily life, Kids | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Thankful Tree

Happy second day of November. In our world I am in full effect planning and looking forward to thanksgiving. One of my favorite holidays. I love the season, the weather, friends and family gathered and of course I love the food. Its kind of my holiday to carry out and so I have developed a plan/ routine over the years that really works for me so there is no stress either. In our house we take the whole month to focus on appreciation and thankfulness. Gets us all focused on the right things and I am hopping it will help raise kids (and us adults) into more appreciative human beings. People who can be thankful for what we have not bitter that we don’t have what someone else has or worse yet think we are entitled to everything. ug I detest that attitude.

So on November second we put up our thankful tree. It is just a little bit of construction paper taped to the door. We take brown and make a little trunk. When Little gets up from her nap we will be tracing out her hand on yellow, red and orange sheets. I will then cut them out making the leaves for our tree. Every day we write something we are thankful for and start putting the leaves up on the tree. I find this to be a fun and easy to do project.  We also do something similar on the actual day of Thanksgiving itself. But we have guests cut out leaves and hang them from the large altar tree. You may wish to collect some fall leaves and write on them. If you do choose to do it I would love to see pictures!

have fun, enjoy and count your blessings

 

Categories: daily life, Kids | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Happy new year

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I miss my writing time. I’m told that my new laptop charger will be here tomorrow which means I will once again be able to type with all fingers, and not just thumbs. I can’t wait.
Really I cant, which is why today I will once again brave the thumb typing.

I hope all of you had a great night last night. We stayed in with popcorn and hot apple cider. We were going to go to a fall festival with trunker treating, but Little was not interested. She was equeally uninterested in her costume and so we had a cozy night at home.
I did a small ritual around midnight. Just me in the dark. It was quite moving and powerful to me and so I am pleased with it. I of course thanked the Goddess and God for their blessings and abundance through out this last year. I then did a remeberance for those who have past recently and in the last year. Including those lost in natural disasters around the world and in war zones. And that was it. I choose to not do any divination. I simply want to be thankful. Tonight I will take the beans and rice I left on our altar for our ancestors and scatter it.

Which brings us to today. Happy new year! What spiritual goals have you set for the new year? Perhaps a garden, or working a particular skill? My goal is to finish me book this year. I am also working on continuing the permaculture in my back yard. That is it. If I start thinking of to many things I will get distracted and nothing will get done. Always loved the saying “keep it simple sweetie.”
So what are your goals?
Bright blessings, Poppy

Categories: back to basics, daily life | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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