Merry Meet and Merry Part, and Merry Meet again

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Poetry in Motion and Last Day to Enter Summer Giveaway

 (the following was written in response to winning "Alice", a figurine, in a giveaway from Linda in New Mexico's blog) 

Alice Escapes
(A badly rhyming poem, but true nevertheless)

There once was a young girl named Alice
Who came to live in a palace
Her ticket said “Dallas”
But quite without malice
The bus dropped her off….in Albuquerque!

Her eyes grew wide
Once she came inside
“It’s Casa du Cuckoo!” she cried.

There was a bedbug of plaid
A tea party gone mad
Well, maybe it won’t be so bad.

The Olde Bagg returned from her roamin’
“Oh, Alice“, she says, “Welcome ho-em!”
“Our food is quite good and the kids are quite grand”
“Shall I write it all down in a po-em?”

“That’s okay,” Alice replied in a hurry.
“I think it’s time to scurry“.
“Don’t leave in a flurry
I’m about to make curry.”

And the Olde Bagg and Kids started dancing…..with turtles!

Things were getting a bit quirky
“I must be leaving Albuquerque!”
She caught a passing turkey
Who walked a tad jerky (oh, you know turkeys can’t fly).

Somehow through magick mostly
She traveled through the postly
Like a bird that was a-bobbin’
She’s come to live with Robin.

Forever and evermore

 Thank you to Linda in New Mexico Olde Bagg and Stuft Shirt blog
A great giveaway she hosted!!

Today is the last day to enter my Summer Giveaway! Closing the entries at 7:00 pm eastern daylight savings time. Hurry! (click here to read about the Giveaway)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday--Guest Photographer

Curious Sparrow by Chris Strait, family friend and wedding photographer

(click for a better look)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wedding Garden Update

Thriving. The colors are gorgeous. Now if I can just keep them happy for 6 more weeks.

This photo really doesn't do the colors justice. The various shades of purples are quite vivid, and the contrasting dusty miller's silver is delightful.

Aspargus Fern
 These three pots of Asparagus Fern are lush. The pots will have purple ribbons tied around them for the wedding and placed here and there at the reception.

The Wedding Garden, phase 2
 This long raised bed is planted with larkspur, bachelor buttons and zinnias. You can see a bare spot in the middle which I am puzzled about. Nothing came up. The solar frog is watching over the garden, day and night.
These flowers will be used in bouquets or in tiny vases for the reception.

 Two pots of rosemary, fragrant and sweet (sitting in between planters of lettuce and spinach). I plan on using the rosemary for the boutonnieres for the Groom and his groomsmen. Have not decided whether to use the rosemary in the corsages yet.

Elephant Ear, Lone Survivor
 Harking back to the infamous squirrel rampage, here is the one elephant ear that survived. It just opened up yesterday and if all goes well will become a large tropical plant. This is a non-wedding plant. I like to plant elephant ears every summer.

Summer Giveaway

If you haven't entered my Summer Giveaway, please do!! Five winners. Last day to enter, June 30th. Winners announced on July 1st. Just be a follower. Read all about here

The cauldron is bubbling and full of Giveaway entries. I stir it daily.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Short and Sweet

Congratulations to the State of New York for becoming the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage. Maybe more states will soon follow suit. Loving couples have the right to marry and to receive all the benefits of a legally recognized union. Marriage is a right, not a privilege for a select group. I am very happy for all the people who can now enjoy a happily married life.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Sampler

Don't laugh, but I am going to sing the praises of Gel Pens!! Daughter Raethan here for the weekend to press me into service addressing wedding invitations. We spent a few hours Saturday at the dining table, writing addresses and watching the Travel channel. No cramped hands though. We used these lovely purple gel pens that glide beautifully across the envelope without needing pressure or a firm grip. The pens turned a possible tedious and painful task into a pleasure.

Rewarding ourselves for our completed task, we three (Raethan and her dad and I) went to the movies last night and saw a very entertaining film called "Super 8". Well done, well acted, great effects, suspenseful, great "jump in your seat" moments. Highly recommended by this family.

Grilled sirloin steaks for dinner last night, with enough left over for beef-fried rice tonight. A favorite of ours. Just thought I would throw that in to make you hungry!!

Blogger is being naughty to me again, this time about loading photos. I have received a message in the dreaded red font color when I try to upload a photo. Apparently I have used up all my space? Suggestions, dear friends?

Don't forget to enter my Summer Giveaway. Last day to enter is June 30th. Winners announced July 1st. Five winners. Just be a follower and comment. You can read about the Giveaway on my June 24th post.

Have a wonderful Sunday!! Off to stir my cauldron. 

Bright Blessings!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Summer Giveaway!!

The words Summer Giveaway sound kinda nice. Actually it's a Summer Anniversary Giveaway. Almost one year ago, August 1, 2010 I launched this blog.  I decided to celebrate a little early due to the fact I am Mother of the Bride, and August is going to be ka-razeeee!!! The wedding is August 13th. I do not think I will be in any condition to host a know, pre-wedding hyper-mode, LOL!!

I have been having a lot of fun writing the blog, and visiting other super blogs. My lovely followers are the best!! You are the Best!

Five winners this time. No significance to that number, just that I have five great books to giveaway. All you  have to do is be a follower, and leave a comment. If you have a preference to which book you would like, if you are selected a winner, just put that in the comment. Easy. Open to all my followers, international included. If you win and live in Canada, I will hold on carefully to your prize until the postal strike is over.

This is an eclectic assortment of books. Here they are in no particular order:

Book Number 1: 

Ellen Dugan writes in a light, witty style about all things magickal. She is a Wiccan author and I own a good number of her books. The title explains it all. If you are new to the Craft or new to using herbs or just interested in finding out about Herb Magic, this will be an excellent resource for you.

Book Number 2:
Silver Ravenwolf is a popular Wiccan author who "shares her personal notebooks, tracing her own spiritual path of enlightenment" in this book. Discussions of magickal work on both basic and complex levels, an extensive herbal section, rituals and spell work are included along with her story of living life as a witch.

Book Number 3:

This organic gardening book from Yankee Magazine describes "1,001 ingenious ways" to use common household items to control weeds, beat pests, cook compost, solve problems, and make tricky jobs easy. This book is an excellent resource for anyone interested in organic gardening.

Book Number 4:

This beautiful book from Better Homes and Gardens is a guide to developing and designing comfortable outdoor retreats. It has gorgeous photos and helpful ideas that will make your summer retreat beautiful. Garden Rooms is a great read.

Book Number 5:

And now for something completely different! If you are a crafter/sewer, this adorable book is all about handmade holiday/winter decorations. Now is the time to be crafting for the Season...Yule, Christmas, Winter. It is loaded with excellent ideas, instructions and it is all about Felt.

So that's the Giveaway. Which of these books would you like? I will select winners in one week, on July 1st.

Summer Giveaway

Blessings from Robin!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Odds and Ends

Squirrel defense--not for the faint of heart. They are wily little creatures; smart, inventive, tenacious, comical. I am thinking of placing screening over the pots of my container garden, held down by rocks. I expect to see tiny bulldozers at work in a few days, driven by helmeted squirrels with names like Hunk and Mac.  Harm none is the code I live by. I am normally a gentle, loving witch. These little guys will have to work a little harder to steal my garden booty. No rest for the Wiccan.


Any opinions on the new J.K. Rowling Pottermore website? Just read a little about it this morning. It is a place for fans to read more about all the characters, new material, get assigned to a house in Hogwarts, receive a free wand and a lot more. Serious fans will love it. I enjoyed all the books and the movies, but I am not tempted by this. I would have liked a new series from Rowling; such an excellent writer.

The Syracuse newspaper, The Post Standard, for the last couple of months, has been running a daily column written by various religious and spiritual leaders in our area. This column has featured writers of Islamic, Hindu, Catholic, Jewish, Native American faiths. The aim is to expose and introduce other views besides the daily Christian column written by the Reverend Billy Graham, a column that is nationally syndicated. This week's writer is Mary Hudson, the pagan chaplain at Syracuse University. It runs from June 19th through June 23rd. She writes about the Summer Solstice and how to put the energy of the Sun to work in our lives. Here is the link to June 19th's column and you can link from there to read the successive articles. Mary Hudson.  I think you will enjoy seeing a pagan writer featured in the newspaper, and her words are stirring. She is a friend of mine, and is also going to be the Officiant at my daughter's wedding.

Tomorrow is Friday. Hey, I will be announcing my giveaway on Friday. Tomorrow! Be sure to tune in.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Of course, you know, This Means War!

My container garden is doing splendidly. The wedding garden is growing nicely; the cherry tomatoes, lettuces, herbs, all thriving. But wait! Oh ye Gods!!

Pot ## 1:Where are the plants?

Pot ##2: What the heck?

 Pot #1 was planted with two bulbs of elephant ears.  Nothing is growing, and the bulbs are gone. Pot #2, A bulb from Pot #1 lies on top and has been gnawed on. To the left of the bulb lying on top is a partially dug up bulb. 4 bulbs planted, 2 missing in action. Culprit? Hmmmmm.....moving along to our next example:

A pot of rosemary, dug up, chewed up, dead

The photos don't really fully show the devastation, but something wicked this way has come. The parsley was sprouting so beautifully too.

Several other pots have been routed around in, fortunately not any of the wedding garden containers. I am a nature nut, you know. I love the wild things. But we all know who is responsible for this.

(squirrel image)

Let the battle begin.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Blessed Litha!

Whether you call it Litha, Midsummer, Summer Solstice, today is a special day for pagans. Beautiful long evenings to enjoy. How beautiful the summer days: the trees are in their full glory, flowers and gardens are growing, bursting into bloom, vegetables are thriving, birds are singing long and loud as they raise their families. Humans are feeling lighter, happier, stronger as the Sun shines down, beaming its golden radiance into all the dark corners.  How glorious our Earth!! Celebrate. Sing. Laugh. Play. Delight in as much of nature's beauty as you can. Blessed Litha to you and those you love!

image credit

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Medley--Comments Update and a Secret

Thanks to all for comments and emails regarding the Blogger Commenting issue. I believe the problem some were having with my blog comment form is resolved, thanks to Jessie. She sent me an email with a suggestion that I change the settings in the "comment" section, by allowing users to select from a drop-down choice.  Anyhow, there are now at least 4 people who are able to comment now; one follower is still having a problem. If you have tried to leave comments on my blog and are unable to, I am not sure there is anything else I am able to do. This is a Blogger problem, and their "Help" support is not very helpful.

I must sing praises for the absolutely stupendous weather we had over the weekend. Low humidity, blue skies, gentle breezes, warm....just beautiful. Almost makes you want to cry!!! Loved it.

Looking forward to a great week, Litha tomorrow, husband returning from a too-long business trip, garden tending, birdwatching, wedding tasks, new books to read. Oh. Reminds me. Whispers of  a giveaway here at Wiccan Writes. Shhhhhh. It's still a secret.

Gwennie says hi from the porch

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Looking for Gargoyles (in all the wrong places?)

Ever since I read Rue's post about gargoyles on her Rue and Hyssop blog here I have become somewhat obsessed in wanting to find my own Protector. I think a witch needs a gargoyle just as much as a broom or a cauldron. Though our property is protected by witchcraft already, what's the harm of adding a bit more. Browsing the web you must know there are at least 2 gazillions sites. The one I'll show you today has a wide variety (to see the website click on this: gargoyles for sale)

Some of these are quite dangerous-looking, others are whimsical, funny, ugly, tacky and downright gross. Peruse these examples and see which one(s) you would like hunched on your doorstep.

Bad mood or leg cramps?

Good grief, this guy is much too lazy to be of any use

This face reminds me of someone, maybe a British rock singer?

Would you pick this one?

This satyr type is not too bad, except he looks like he is answering nature's call

Grin or grimace?
Gargoyle humor

Friday, June 17, 2011


Over the last few weeks, there has been a problem with leaving "Comments"  around the blog-o-sphere. I have experienced it on several blogs. And I do know of a few people having that problem when they visit my blog. This problem is fickle, though. It comes and go. I just read a post on a blog that says to "please change your settings" so comments can be left. My settings have not changed since I started this blog, and frankly, I don't know what settings to change to solve this problem, or if that IS the problem. I have checked the blogger "Help" section and have seen nothing about this. If there is someone reading this who is aware of this problem, and knows of a solution to the inability to leave "Comments", please advise. (Oh, and if you are unable to leave a comment....please email me!!)

So, off to drink coffee, watch the backyard birds, read a bit (Book 2 of George R.R. Martin's series "A Song of Ice and Fire") and then the usual Friday tasks. And, oh ye Gods, it is almost Litha!!!! (midsummer/summer solstice).

Have a super weekend.

Here is a photo of our Lexie-Girl, after a round of "Throw the Bear, Fetch the Bear"....worn out.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Bit of Wisdom

As a solitary practitioner of Wicca, I am confronted with many traditions created by others over time. I use the word "confronted" because all this information can be daunting, conflicting or unsettling. Confusion in deciding how one will walk their Path can lead to a lack of understanding of the nature of Wicca. Being unsure is a keystone to the lack of a strong foundation for the Workings and Rituals one attempts. In the end, doubt and lack of confidence can lead to misery and the loss of commitment.

In my own Path, I did struggle at first, years ago, to make sense of everything I was learning; to put things into their "proper" place, as far as structure of ritual, magickal traditions, correspondences, etc are concerned. I cannot speak for everyone, but I do know there were times of stumbling and fear of failing. Fear of not doing things right, of messing up, of forgetting, ignoring or not understanding what the heck it was I was doing.  Time and practice, of course, brings things into perspective. Talking with others and thinning out the books that don't quite work or don't make sense and above all, counting on the God and the Goddess for guidance.

A case in point: Full Moon names. Each month there is a beautiful full moon and an esbat (observance) to go with it. If you do an internet search for full moon names, you will come across dozens based on tradtions, heritage, race, and other factors. Some months these names made sense, some other months, not so much. What's a witch to do?

A few months ago, I was reading Aine O'Brien's blog
Aine has a wonderful way of putting things into perspective as she explores her own path and its evolution. She is a source of good information and sparks discussion about many subjects. She suggested naming the full moons ourselves using as a basis aspects that are important to our own lives. A simple statement that opened my eyes to the possibilities, not only in naming the Full Moons, but for many other parts of the Craft. I thank Aine very much for this bit of wisdom.

This morning I have been reading a little book I found in a used book store. It is called The Elements of Natural Magic by Marian Green (published by Element Books Limited, Longmead, Shaftesbury, Dorset UK, copyright 1989 by Marian Green). Here is an excerpt that captures exactly what I have been looking for:

from the chapter "Seasons Cycles and Feasts" page 105:

"There are lots of old country calendars which give quaint names to each lunar month, but you can easily select your own based on the weather, the occurrences of wild flowers, the return or departure of migrating birds or animals or even family birthdays or anniversaries. Anything in magic which you "make up", design or are inspired to use--be it a festival, an instrument or a magical robe--will be a much more potent thing than one that someone else created.  It should always be your Will which dictates what should be used and when. Only by allowing yourself to make decisions--and to be wrong occasionally--is your knowledge and confidence going to expand. Being wrong, making mistakes and tripping over are great teaching processes and should not be feared.  After all the man who never made any mistakes never made anything at all."

I am placing this quote in my Book of Shadows and encourage you to at least give this a really good read and take it to heart. Your Will, your Path, your Wicca (or other pagan path). Imagine the possibilities!

Blessings from Robin to you and yours!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Love Child

Back in March of this year, I had a post entitled "Lovey Dovey" here with this photo:

Yesterday I was working in the garden and discovered the sweetest baby. I was able to sneak in the house, grab my camera and snapped a photo.

He or she was hard to see at first; very well camouflaged with all its dots and streaks. After I took the photo, she hid under the blueberry bush for a while. Later, her parents returned to the garden and cooed softly for her in that low pitch. The baby responded with its own tiny coo and they reunited. So sweet. You never know what you will see in your own back yard!!

(As always, click on the photo for a closer look).

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Wedding Garden--Update

The bride has chosen three beautiful colors for her wedding: sage green, dark lilac and silver. The ceremony will take place under tall trees in front of a 150 year old Irish castle in the Mohawk Valley countryside. The first phase of the wedding garden is complete. Flower seeds of larkspur, bachelor buttons and zinnias were planted over three weeks ago, and are growing well, despite weather "oddments".....extreme heat, turning to cool, rainy days.

(please ignore weeds!)
For the ceremony, two large planters have been planted with angelonia, dusty miller, lobelia, ageratum and petunias. The planters are sage green resin that convey the feeling of stone. To make these planters easier to transport to the wedding, I filled about two-thirds of the planters with styrofoam, then covered that with landscape fabric. The potting soil placed on top of that.

These plantings should fill in very nicely. I love how the dusty miller's silvery foliage looks with the greens and purples of the flowers.

Also, I have planted up two silver tubs to use as "aisle markers". I will talk with Raethan about adding something to them for height.

 These very nice conical wrought-iron hanging planters will be hung from shepherd hooks around the area where the ceremony will take place. Not the greatest photo here, but I will post better photos when I get them completed and on their shepherd hooks in the backyard. There are four of these planters.

 Another wrought-iron planter, this basket was a gift from my brother a couple of years ago, and really fits the wedding theme. We will find a nice spot for it at the wedding. Behind the basket planter are three pots of asparagus sperenghi (spelling?), an airy, frothy plant that will be tucked in here and there.

Farmer Bunny MacGregor oversees the plantings

When I am planting, I am saying little spells to bless the growing, and for the wedding and bride and groom. Actually, I tend to hum and sing these spells, which make for a pleasant Working.

Soon, I will be posting the centerpieces I am making for the reception. Two words: Silk Hydrangeas.
The clock is ticking, two months from today!!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Stop Blogging and Play with Me

Lexie-Girl and her Bear
Happy Weekend!

Friday, June 10, 2011

One more Johnny Depp photo

Captain Jack Sparrow
Couldn't resist. Blog hopping today I found this image through the blog    and she found it at the blog:  who had  found it at:
Kind of a roundabout way, but worth it in the end!!!
Oh, please please click the image for a much better and wonderful view.

This is the first time I have posted twice in one day, but I simply could not wait to share this with all my great Darling-Depp-Devotees!!!

Popping, Peeking and Sneaking

Last night the heat and humidity exited the area leaving us with a cool night, soft breezes and a beautiful sunny morning. One thing the weather did accomplish for us this week is some growth in the garden. Seeds are popping up, roses are blooming and everything else appears to be thriving. (as always, click on the photos below for closer views)

Pink climbing roses bursting into bloom
Tiny nasturtiums popping up

We have been watching the sparrow families tending to their young. Four pairs have all built nests in our birdhouses and it is getting noisy with the demanding voices of the babies. Sadly, the starlings and grackles stole some of the young; undaunted the parents started new families.

Peeking out
Father on guard
And yes, there is the usual sneaky visitor. Can you see him in the photo below?

Stealthy invader

Plans for the weekend: a visit to a lavender farm, trip to the movies to see "Super 8", more planting, and enjoying a quick visit from daughter Raethan and her fiance. Sending out wishes for a great weekend for all.