Merry Meet and Merry Part, and Merry Meet again

Friday, December 31, 2010

The Eve

Please have a safe and sane New Year's Eve. Celebrate, enjoy, be happy.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Winter Camping in the Adirondacks

My son Nicarus went winter camping with his best friend. They spent two nights in the Adirondack woods of New York. The first night the temperature was 8 degrees F with winds blowing against their little tent.

They built a fire gathering the fuel from fallen logs and branches, thanking the trees for their gift. It was the only light for miles around. The stillness, the quiet must have been almost deafening.

Nicarus ready for a day of hiking
They walked across a narrow wooden bridge over a frozen pond, leading to a path through pines and birches, oak and other dense forest growth.

The path opened up into a view of a frozen expanse of lake surrounded by the forest, with mountains in the distance. One can imagine how beautiful in the other seasons this spot is, summer green, autumn glory. In winter it seems stark, gray, lonely.  A silent place, frozen in time, but with an austere beauty that lends itself to  deep thoughts and philosophical stirrings.

A tree adapts and grows around a massive, ancient boulder
I love and revere nature with all my heart and soul. It is an integral part of my religion. I am proud of my son and his friend for their intrepid undertaking of three days and two nights in a harsh, cold environment. Where they met with an unforgiving landscape of snow and ice and came through unscathed and inspired to meet other challenges. And looking forward to doing this again.

I, on the other hand, would never even think once about camping in the cold icy wilderness. I will find my inspiration from the comfort of a cozy chair, by the fireplace, with a hot cup of tea. In this case, there is absolutely nothing wrong with living vicariously!!  Thank you Nick, for inspiring me!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

No Camera

My son took my camera with him. He has gone winter camping in the Adirondack mountains. In a tent, in the snow and single digit temps. I do hope for beautiful photos, but also...eeek, camping in the cold and snow. Not my idea of fun, but then I am not 22.

So here's a photo of my sweet Sheltie, Gwennie

Seed catalogs have been arriving in the mail. So in my mind, as I peruse, I have probably spent over a thousand dollars. And I will need about 15 acres to plant everything I would like. Which I don't have. Still fun to dream, and I do love to day dream about vast fields of flowers and vegetables, trees and shrubs.

The Yule Tree is beginning to drop needles. It has been in the house since the Thanksgiving weekend. Unfortunately, it seems to have stopped taking up water. Even though we drilled holes in the trunk before placing it in the stand. But it is time to say farewell to the holidays. I am going to ask my husband to stick the the tree in the snow by the birdfeeders, to give them someplace to hide from the hawk. We will recycle it in the spring.

And here's a photo of Lexie, our big girl.

Peace to All.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I feel like I have been lost in a Christmas snow globe for the last week. The regular day to day routine has been completely skewed. But that's okay, because, thankfully, this only happens once a year, and it is good to shake up the routine. 

New Year's Eve is charging at us at a high rate of speed. It is amazing to think that 2011 is actually here. Do you make resolutions?  I make "suggestions" to myself. And of course LISTS. Love to make lists. Definitely going to be about simplifying and bringing more order into my little nest.  I still have to work on the Dreaded Craft Corner, which I talked about back in November. That is Number 1 on the Agenda! 

Time also, to get back into the Magickal Realm...more spellwork, improving the way I keep my Book of Shadows, and finding ways to increase my connection to the Gods and Goddesses.  There is a lot to do and no time like the present to get started. I am inspired and ready to have at it. Looking forward to a New Year of great discoveries!! Glad I have you all to share it with!!!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Merry Countdown (very loosely based on the 12 Days of Christmas, sort of)

Beautiful from a dear friend

Merry Christmas Eve!!! Here is a little fun thing I put together..a kind of a Christmas card to everyone.  Hope you enjoy!!!

12 Things For Christmas

12Chocolate Kisses
11 Rosehips (more or less) for decorating
10 Festive postage stamps 
9 lovely Christmas cards
8 Things for baking
7 mugs for cocoa
6 sticks of myrrh incense
5 favorite CDs
4 jolly Santas
3 clementine oranges
2 gingerbread people
and only one Lindt truffle left

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Gift Basket

A beautifully wrapped gift basket arrived on Tuesday. From The Traveler at Lost in Astral Space blog. I had won her giveaway.

As I unwrapped it, the most delightful aroma wafted out and swirled around me. Included was an adorable homemade card, signed by The Traveler and her family.  The basket was full of the most creative homemade gifts: Sunshine in a Jar Lemon Butter, Sweet as Honey Apple Butter (can't wait to try this!), reusable tea bags and home mixed teas, Lemon Sugar Face Scrub, hand dipped rose petal soap, and a list of the ingredients in everything, and instructions for use.  What a great gift, and I would like to formally thank the Traveler and her wonderfully talented family for this terrific basket!! A perfect Yule gift. Blessings to them!!

Take a look at these icicles hanging off the roof, outside my bedroom window. I feel like the Ice Queen!

A day of baking for me today. And listening to all my favorite music of the season.

Enjoy your day, too!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Yule Fire, December 21, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Blessed Yule!!

The house is dark and silent. Outside the snow lies deep, cold, icicles dripping from the eaves. A match flickers and touches the Log. A tiny flame begins, gathering strength as it finds the fuel...the boughs of evergreen, bits of berries and holly, twigs. And then there is a sudden burst of light. Fire! Light!! A cheer rises as the flames begin their crackling dance. Light the candles!! Play the beautiful music..the songs that stir up joy.

And so the Solstice is upon us. It can not get any darker now. There will be more light...just barely noticeable at first. But it will grow stronger every day.

The Blessings of light and warmth are upon us. Finally. Celebrate and Plan. Prepare for the Turning of the Wheel and what will come. Blessed Yule is here!!

Celebrate the return of Light

Monday, December 20, 2010

....and a good time was had by all

Our family weekend Yule gathering was simple, enjoyable and peaceful. We ate, we laughed, we shared, and a good time was had by all.  It actually did not snow over the weekend so no worries about the kids driving down the NY State Thruway in bad weather.

Here are a few pictures.  Short post today, gotta go get in line at the post office...errggh!!  And of course it is snowing again....double errggh!!!

Yule Gifts under the Tree

A festive dinner table

Cauldron from my daughter and her fiance

Box with Celtic cross for storing the leftover bit of this year's Yule log

A beautiful shawl

daughter raethan and her beloved

"Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey,
and enjoy every idle hour. "
-   John Boswell

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Guess What?

The Traveler over at the blog  Lost in Astral Space had a giveaway. Guess who won? Yep, little ole Robin Larkspur. It is a beautiful basket of homemade goodies such as teas, soaps, and an intriguing sleeping potion. Her kids helped her, and I am very much looking forward to receiving this wonderful gift. I will of course share photos when it arrives.

A quick note here: I actually did bake some cookies yesterday (with a lot more baking today and tomorrow) and wanted to share a photo of these delightful little butter-nut balls that we only make in December. I seldom get a chance to actually get the cookies into a festive container, as many hands sneak in as the cookies are cooling!

Stolen cookies
More photos on Monday.

Friday, December 17, 2010

An Early Yule Celebration

My daughter and her fiance are arriving tonight from the East of us, and my son is arriving tonight from the West of us. We are celebrating Yule this weekend, with a Yule Log ritual, a tasty ham dinner, some gifts, and beautiful music. I love sharing my Wiccan traditions with the family, and they are open and loving as well. On Tuesday Dec 21st, I will hold a special Yule ritual on my own. Daughter and fiance will return home, and then celebrate Christmas with his family. Son will stay on during his winter break from college, and we will do a small Christmas observance. It is all special and good, and if it would stop snowing for a day or two, all the better!

I plan on taking lots of photos and hope to have some to share on Monday.Wishing everyone a happy weekend, I know most are pretty busy.

Blessings, Robin.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Just a Thought

It seems to me that if those that complain so loudly about a sales clerk wishing them the "generic" Happy Holidays, instead of  the specific Merry Christmas could put down their plastic cards and wallets for a minute and give some real thought to the reason for the season: peace on Earth good will towards Man. Because it sounds to me that Spending is the reason for the season.

I think about the thousands upon thousands in the US who have lost their jobs and their homes, the elderly barely getting by and who are alone, the people grieving for the loved ones they have lost and dreading Christmas without them. I think about 100,000 troops in harms way in Afghanistan, the suffering of millions around the globe due to the earthquakes, floodings, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. How paltry the anger at the use of a phrase seems.

A good thought would be if people could put less emphasis on spending, acquiring, overdoing at the holidays and think about serving others, volunteering time or money, being kind, offering a helping hand or a genuine smile, perhaps the real reason for the season would be realized.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's Already Tuesday??!

Yikes, time is getting away from me. Especially since I spent a good part of yesterday reading the new Dean Koontz paperback, Breathless. It is an amazing suspense book, and I loved it! So now I am scurrying around today getting on with Yule projects. Of course it is snowing like the Dickens outside. (Now where did that expression come from, I wonder...when something is doing something "like the Dickens"?)

So very short today...but long in good wishes to everyone!

One of my favorite ornaments on our Yule Tree

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday Medley

The snowpack is melting after a relatively mild Sunday, though we are preparing for another storm headed our way. The deck and porch are clear, the bird feeders are full, baking supplies are laid in, and the Yule tree light situation has been sorted out!  Good, positive energy is flowing through the house!

I am excited that there will be a Full Moon on Yule! That is a double bonus for us Wiccans. We love the Full Moon, a time to honor the Goddess and work magick. To have a Full Moon occur on a major Sabbat, such as the Winter Solstice....well, that just gives me goosebumps!! This is one of the reasons that make me love being Wiccan: that Nature is always ready to give you a boost, to give new energy, to acknowledge the connection we have with Nature, Earth, and the Universe! There is never a dull moment. Always something wonderful to celebrate, every single day!

Our Yule Tree, not quite finished
I have enjoyed reading the blogs I follow over the last week..everyone is sharing their Yule preparations, recipes, crafts, beautiful photos! It is a real pleasure being part of this Blog Community. I appreciate every single one I read! And I am amazed at the fact that I now have 39 followers! How cool is that! I am planning a giveaway soon, so keep an eye out for that.

Have a wonderful day, and blessings to you!

Brew me a cup for a winter's night.
For the wind howls loud and the furies fight;
Spice it with love and stir it with care,
And I'll toast our bright eyes,
my sweetheart fair.
~Minna Thomas Antrim

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Careful--Little Alberta Might Spruce All over the Yard!

What a chuckle I have been having! It is all in good fun! A couple of days ago I posted about my snowy surroundings and wrote about the dwarf alberta spruce in my front yard. This was read by someone who was very tired, and English is not his first language. So he thought that I was talking about a little person, named Alberta, "sprucing"...possible English slang for running around.  It later occurred to him that I was talking about little trees, and from there hilarity evolved.

is a favorite of mine. Christer's photographs of his home in Sweden are awesome, and he writes with a sense of humor, and describes his world in a way that makes you want to go visit. His dogs and cats are adorable. You should really check it out. I wish I could read and write in more than one language.

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Not Stressed, but Not Exactly Relaxed! Yule Tree! The tiny colored rice lights will not stay lit! The white lights that I placed deep inside the tree are lit,and glowing nicely. These colored lights just wink out. Which means I can not decorate the tree until this light problem is worked out. Grr.

So I want to write my Yule cards. I already secured the postage stamps. I have my address list. Now I can not find the Cards! Grr.

Okay. Breathe. I have said I am not going to get stressed about the holidays. Of course four and a half feet of snow has not exactly made running errands easy. Shopping list is a little behind. Grr...but breathe.

Might I interest you in some delicious holiday cookies? Sorry, havent baked any yet! Too busy messing with lights and looking for Yule cards.

Okay. Focus. Center. Breathe. Cup of tea. Some nice incense. Peace and love. Pretty, pretty snow. grr.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Snow musings

97 hours of snowfall. We received over 4 feet of snow. And today, a beautiful blue sky and sunshine. Get out the sunglasses!!! 

Snow covered

Now I can think about something else besides how much it is snowing!!  

But of course all my thoughts are of snow! And how beautiful it all looks. Our dwarf alberta spruces in front of the house look like little gnomes guarding our home.  In the backyard the honeysuckle vine, all twisted and curved, is painted with snow.  The various evergreen trees hold snow puffs on all their branches. The garden beds are buried and holding in their warmth, giving rest to all the underground life.  The birdhouses and feeders all have high domed hats on, icicles forming like stalactites hang down, reflecting the short bit of sunshine we had this morning.  The sparrows huddle together in the rafters of our covered porch, twittering about the weather. The snow has fallen whisper soft, like a brush against the cheek, asking Mother Nature to help it decorate our little town for the holidays.

And now the sun is gone, the sky is gray and eager to continue with its onslaught. The snow is falling heavier than ever. I think it is time to add another log onto the steadily burning wood stove fire. 

Snowmen fall from heaven... unassembled.  ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, December 8, 2010



see yesterday's post (12/7/10).

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It Won't Stop Snowing!

It has been snowing here since Sunday...from the kitchen window, you can see icicles and a portion of the snowy fence.

the back porch..look at the bird feeders!

The front porch
The front steps
Intrepid husband snow-blowing the driveway
I won't be going anywhere in a hurry! It is supposed to snow all day today, as well.  It looks like we have well over 2 feet of snow and probably getting close to 3 feet before it is done! This is lake-effect snow due to our proximity to Lake Ontario. Cold air hits warmer water, creating heavy snowfall. Our average snow accumulation here is usually 112 inches by March. I think we are well on our way!!

I guess this would be a good opportunity to get all those things around the house done. 

Hot chocolate is now being served.

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Few Snow Photos

Gwennie loves the snow

Over a foot of snow and still snowing. Hot chocolate, anyone?