Merry Meet and Merry Part, and Merry Meet again

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday--Hummingbird!

(Borrowed camera, learning the settings, sorry for the blur)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Garden Visitors and New Acquisitions

Sharp-Shinned Hawk sitting on our tomato cage
Thanks to my brother, I am borrowing his camera for awhile, until I can get a new camera. He took this photo yesterday of  a hawk surveying our garden for lunch. We have quite a community of birds who live in or visit our backyard. Fortunately for our bird friends, they escaped his menu this time. Unfortunately, shortly after this photo was taken, the hawk dove into the garden and found a vole. That vole has eaten all our squash plant roots, and has been dining on ripening tomatoes. Karma in action.
(as always, clicking on the photo will make them larger)
Speedy the Chipmunk
I captured this photo of the cutest little guy. He runs along the horizontal boards of our fence from his hidey hole down to the safflower feeder. Filling his pouches to their maximum capacity, he high tails it back down the boards. He makes many trips a day to the feeder, sometimes getting dive-bombed by the sparrows who claim the feeder for their own. Our backyard is much more interesting than television, and no commercials!

I am desperately trying to get photos of the hummingbirds; this is quite a challenge. The little hummers won't be around much longer as they will be migrating soon. They love the zinnias from the Wedding Garden.
Witch's Broom Closet, from Octoberfarm
The other day I mentioned I had received an Ebay purchase in the mail. Here is a photo of the framed "Witch's Broom Closet" from jaz's vast collection. jaz has the great blog Octoberfarm, and her son has set up an Ebay shop to sell some of the collection that jaz is thinning out.

Copper cookware
Brass library lamp
I had a lucky couple of days in yardsale purchases. The copper cookware was $5.00! For the whole set! The library lamp is brass, old and beautiful. I have always wanted one of these lamps. It too, was only 5 bucks!! I also scored two small tables, one of them from Ethan Allen. These two were each five dollars. I am a bit tickled!!

That's my report for today. Hope all is well with everyone. Take care and enjoy your day!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Flying Lessons Part III

Note: this is Part III of a three-part read Part I click here   to read Part II click here

I suppose because of their grief, no one noticed my failed spirit. They assumed my sad, pale face was the result of my own grief for my beloved aunt. I missed her terribly, but I knew in my heart, if she were here, she would never understand my fear.  I wondered if she would try to tease me out of it, or tell me how disappointed in me she felt. These cruel thoughts made my fear and self-loathing even worse. The certainty of my impending death became a solid, embedded reality.

A sudden sound of applause along with cheering and whistles brought me back to reality with a start. The head instructor had finished his speech and now, it seemed the time was at hand. I was still looking around for an escape, even while my father was pulling me to follow the crowd.

My eyes found a face. The smiling, pleasant face of a young child, a little girl perhaps five or six years old. Her hair was long and brown, with ribbons tied all around. She walked over to me and looked up with big bluish-gray eyes.

“You’re afraid.” she said. A statement, not a question.  The crowd of students, instructors and family members were moving slowly but surely towards the inevitable area of departure.

I said nothing in response, just looked at her briefly, then away. The girl reached her hand out to me, touching my sleeve.  “Wait, I have something for you.” She moved closer. “Hold your hand out.”

Not in the mood for games, I ignored her and tried to move away. My father glanced at me and said, “Are you coming? You will miss your turn.”

“Take this now, you must!” the child insisted. She took hold of my hand and dropped something into my palm.

I looked at the object, at first without recognition, and then in disbelief. “Where did you get this, where?” I demanded.

“A lady, over there,” she gestured vaguely towards some trees. “She told me to tell you this will make you strong and brave.”

I closed my fist around this impossible thing and felt my spirit lift. Opening my hand slowly, I looked again and surely and truly it was a tiny clay dragon. The same one I had made for my aunt, the same one she always carried with her. “Strong and brave,” I repeated.

“What did you say?” my father asked. “Of course, you are strong and brave, never a doubt. You will fly away with the best of them.” He hugged me to him and said, “Go on now, it is your turn. You can do this!”

Turning back to the little girl, I saw that she was gone, nowhere to be seen.  I felt goosebumps rising on my arms, then gave a little shiver. “Thank you, auntie,” I whispered to the wind. Suddenly and blessedly I felt new, happy, strong, the fear had lifted. I felt wonderful, alive and confident. The thought of the horrible accident that took my aunt from me could no longer hold me frozen in time. We will never know why or how this deadly event occurred. My parents said repeatedly that it was no one’s fault, that life takes twists and turns we can’t understand. I knew I could do this. I tucked the little dragon into my pocket and thought to myself, “it’s you and me, auntie, up there now.”

I jogged down the little hill, said a big hello to my instructor and flying partner, and together we climbed up onto the back of the huge black and silver dragon that was roaring, waiting to carry us up into the sky, into the clouds and into the world of flying.

The End

Copyright August 2011 by Robin Larkspur. This is an original work of fiction. Reproduction of this work is strictly prohibited.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Wiccan Writes--Flying Lessons, Part II

 (this is Part II of a three-part read Part I click here)

Flying Lessons Part II

My first memory was of flying. My father held me above his head as I threw out my arms and pretended to fly. He laughed as he turned in circles and I thought I was really flying. So young. So naïve.

Our entire family are flyers. We knew from the time we could understand language that we would grow up to fly. It is an honorable profession. And I always wanted to be like everyone else in the family. When I began my training, it was exciting. Friends were envious. I would return home everyday after hours of classes and happily chatter about the day’s lessons.

Then, one day, one terrible day, the unthinkable happened. An event which had occurred rarely and not for many years. An accident. And death. No one could explain how it happened, why it happened. It was a fiery, terrible thing. A boy I knew slightly had died. That was sad and wrong. But the worst for me was my aunt. My dear, funny, sweet aunt. She loved flying with a passion and would rather be flying than anything else in the world. My mother’s sister, beautiful and strong, was like a sister to me. We were just a few years apart in age and I had spent most of my childhood following her wherever she went, wanting to be with her. She was good and kind to me, sweet, loving and always patient. We would talk for hours, she would sing to me, brush my hair, play with me endlessly. We used to make tiny clay animals and gifted each other with rabbits, cats, dragons, unicorns. Her favorite one was the dragon I had made for her. She kept it in her pocket whenever she flew. “It will help me to be brave and strong,” she told me.

 She had kissed me on the forehead just hours before the accident, and said, “Soon, it will be you and me up there!” She laughed and dashed away, her hair flying around her, waving farewell. Later, hours after her death, as I lay in bed, having cried long and hard, the fear began to creep around me like a black, clinging cloud and I realized I would never be able to fly.

The fear grew every day, the worst of it at night, in nightmares filled with fire and screams, falling and dying. Despite my sleepless nights, I could not bring myself to voice this fear to my family. They were grieving for my aunt, but life goes on, work goes on and my mother would be ashamed of me if I spoke the truth. Shame is a dreadful thing when you are part of a family whose pride and heritage define you.

End Part II

Part III--tomorrow!!

Copyright August 2011 by Robin Larkspur.  This is a work of fiction. Reproduction of this work is strictly prohibited.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Wiccan Writes--Flying Lessons, A Short Story in Three Parts

Flying Lessons Part I

Morning fog hugged the trees, the hills and swirled around our feet.  Father said not to worry, as the sun would send it all away soon. My stomach was jumbly; perhaps the hot confection I had just drunk from my favorite cup was going to be a problem. But there were bushes all along the path we walked. Father would kindly turn his head away to look at the sky, if I suddenly dashed into the greenery.

I held my father’s hand tightly as we made our way up, up the winding path. Bits of rocks and twigs tumbled and rolled as I kicked at the rough ground. Father’s hand squeezed mine every now and then. “Don’t worry, all will be well,” he said, smiling. “You have learned everything you need to know.”

I truly wished he would stop saying that. For three days past, that is all I have heard. Yes, yes, I know!  My dreams in the tiny hours of the night were hideous. I woke with startlement, wanting to cry. But every day I learned and drilled and practiced.  Read the lessons. Listened to the lessons.  I knew everything I was supposed to know.

The sun did begin to chase the fog away. I was disheartened,  as we continued to trudge, higher and higher. Hoping the whole thing would be put off because the fog was too thick for flying. I could hear the murmur of voices coming from above. We were getting closer. Not much longer now.

We ducked under the ribbons that had been tied to the trees across the path. Bright colors, the streamers danced in the wind to give us all a cheerful welcome. Most of the students had arrived before us. Some were laughing and talking loudly. Some were silent, with the same look on their faces that I knew was on my face. Dread. Fear. Nerves.

“Father!” I whimpered. “I can’t.”

“Of course you can. You will be perfectly fine. It is safe, you know that.” He guided me closer to the group of instructors. There were sounds coming from beyond the top of the hill. Not visible from where we stood, the hill sloped down, hidden by large boulders and scruffy pine trees. The sounds I was dreading and did not want to hear.
The sun was shining brilliantly now. The last wisps of fog disappeared into the warm yellow light. I had not thrown up, but my stomach still felt uncertain.

“A beautiful morning for flying, eh?” called the head instructor loudly and most decidedly too cheerfully.  “Let’s gather round, now. Everyone now.”

Some of us hurried to obey, some of us shuffled, dragging our feet. We formed a somewhat organized half-circle, growing silent. The instructor clapped his hands, grinning in a way that was meant to be friendly. I remembered too clearly how he looked at students when he was not happy with our training.

With a booming voice, he began to outline the morning program. Everyone would have their turn, with an appointed instructor. Our first flight would be relatively short. As I half-listened to his speech, the sounds grew louder beyond the trees. My heart flew up to my throat and I began to look wildly around, to find a way to escape. To run, get away. The sound became a roaring in my ears and I knew, without a doubt, this was the day I would die.

End Part I

Part II--tomorrow!

Copyright by Robin Larkspur August 2011 This is a work of fiction. Reproduction of this work is not permitted.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Book and Broom

A visit to my favorite bookstore was in order yesterday. I think you may know what book I purchased.

Now I can read to my heart's content!! The book weighs about 50 pounds. But I will deal with that much better than the audio book. While at the bookstore, I ordered a coffee and (gasp!) a slice of cheesecake. The server asked; "Would you like a drizzle of caramel or mocha on your cheesecake?" For Pete's sake! Can't they leave well enough alone?!? The cheesecake is perfect on its own, does not need embellishment and certainly the calories are enough without adding more. Riled me up! My answer:   "Mocha, please!"

Delivered to my doorstep yesterday was a purchase I made on Ebay. The delightful jaz over at the blog Octoberfarm has decided to go through her massive witch and Halloween collection. Her son, The Blog Tech is placing many wonderful items for sale at his Ebay shop. I scored a terrific framed drawing called "Witch's Broom Closet". Please visit jaz's blog, and click on the "Feed Me" box on her sidebar to view his shop. Click on this link to visit the blog Octoberfarm
My camera is not operating so I am unable to take a photo of my treasure. Trust me, it's great.

Gotta run....a yard sale is calling my name. Supposed to be a bunch of goodies there!!  Have a super day!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Word or Two for Wednesday

Great responses yesterday to my "Mother Earth" post. So many wonderful ideas and testaments about revering our planet. Of course I realize, and you must to, that we are "preaching to the choir" as the old saying goes. For everyone of us who is doing our part to care for our Home, how many thousands do little and less, who care nothing at all, who never notice a sunrise or  who shamelessly go about their lives without a clue about the truly important and precious needs of this world?

This morning the newspaper said that over 12 million people felt the East Coast shake and rattle yesterday. I never felt a thing. I was gliding on my porch swing at the time, watching three hummingbirds in my garden. We lived for 10 years in Southern California and felt a lot of quakes, both small and large. I don't feel like I missed out on anything! Thankfully, it seems there was no damage or injuries in this event.

Here is an item for you: Our State Fair starts tomorrow and the big snack to be offered is a deep-fried, bacon wrapped Snickers candy bar. Also, deep-fried butter. My arteries are hardening just reading about it!! And, no I will not be sampling these fine American morsels.

All for today; it's gonna be beautiful outside. The sunrise was spectacular this morning and the air smells sweet. Glorious! Hugs and blessings from Robin.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What Have You Done for Our Mother Lately?

Recycle, of course. No littering, obviously. Adopted a shelter pet. Donated canned goods to a food bank. Prayed for peace. Grew an organic garden. Shopped for locally grown food at a farmer's market. Believed in climate change/global warming. Worried about endangered wildlife and habitats. Wrote a letter to a politician or the newspaper to voice an opinion. Appreciated a sunset. Planted a tree. Conserved natural resources................................................

This is a tiny list. There is so much we can do for our planet, this home of ours, this beautiful Mother Earth.  Talk about it. Walk the talk. Show by example. Get the word out....Our Mother needs us.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Medley--Reading, Writing and Rosemary

Thunderation! Quite a stormy day here yesterday. Three or four storms moved through, with pouring rain, booming thunder. It is nice to get a break from watering the garden and container plantings, but it did keep me inside, and as always, scares the heck out of my sheltie dog, Gwennie. Poor little thing either hides in the downstairs bathroom or sticks to me like glue.

Speaking of the garden, I am in process of drying rosemary for both magickal and culinary purposes. Soon I will be drying parsley, sage, thyme, chamomile and a couple of other herbs. I have all those wonderful little jars to fill and it truly is a satisfying process. Growing from seed, tending, harvesting and drying. This is the first year I have added growing herbs to my magickal path. Love it! Definitely planting more next year.

Here's a little secret: I am writing a story to post on the blog. I used to write short stories way back when, and recently started up again. We will see how it turns out; I will let you know.

Audio Book Progress: A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin. I have not listened to the book since about 4 days before Raethan's wedding. At that time, I had made it to disc 11, with 27 discs to go. Regretfully I don't think I am going to finish the cds. I can not take the reader I am sorry I just can not do it no offense to the man really but OMG his voice drives me insane I hate the way he makes the female characters all sound like ancient women even the young girls and some of the male characters sound like a bad rendition of Blackbeard the pirate and really I am longing to actually read the book so I am just going to go buy the book even though we paid for the audio version perhaps I can sell that on ebay or amazon.  WHEW! Glad I got that out. Sorry,  Kallan, we will have to wait a bit longer for our Dragon discussion.

Well, then, sending out Monday greetings and wishing everyone a great, good week.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Savor August

"Whilst August yet wears her golden crown,
    Ripening fields lush- bright with promise;
Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing
    Her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn."


 -  Michelle L. Thieme, August's Crown 

image credit 

Savor these last days of August; summer may be nearing its close, but many beautiful memories are still to be made.
Blessings from Robin.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Short and Scary

Here's a scary thought:  Here in Central New York, we are less than six weeks away from our first frost date!

Oh my stars, people in Manila have something scary coming their way: Paris Hilton is opening a shoe store there. There's a joke here, but I'm at a loss.

Short movie review: We watched "Red Riding Hood" two nights ago. It is supposedly a scary movie based on the old Grimms' fairy tale. Julie Christie and Gary Oldman are in it. Aren't they supposed to be great actors?  At any rate, I found it tedious, ridiculous and, in a word, bad.  I wish the Wolf had eaten the entire cast!

If you have cats, love cats or just enjoy hilarious cat videos, here is one for you involving a tiny kitten, a tennis ball and perfectly orchestrated music. You will love it!  kitten vs scary object

Have a a super Friday, and a lovely weekend! Blessings from Robin.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Now What?

For months and months......and months, my mind has been filled with all things wedding. Plans, ideas, details, worries, deadlines, shopping, garden tending.....and etc. The wedding has come and gone. What a dream-filled day with such sweet beauty and love. Fabulous and happy. Truly a magnificent life experience. Really, words cannot convey the emotions I feel.

And now, my brain is empty!  There is a relief to not having all these lists to fulfill. I am sure my daughter feels the same way. I cannot imagine being a wedding planner. Whew, what a job that would be!! The last couple of days I haven't really known what to do with myself, though....just puttering around the house and garden. What 's next?

Here's something: In the mail yesterday, I received the dreaded Jury Summons! Onondaga County has planned my first week of September for me. Wasn't that nice of them?

Coming in September: the Autumn Equinox. This is the sabbat of Mabon, also known as Second Harvest. Who does not love a Harvest Celebration? There will be dozens of harvest festivals all over the place. Here in the northern part of country, the leaves will begin turning and that crisp autumn scent will be filling the air.

If Mabon comes, can Samhain (Halloween) be too far behind?

The next ten weeks will offer much and more for witchy people. Very much looking forward to it. Lots to share with my wonderful blog followers. Plenty to do. 

Confession? I am just a tiny bit sad. The wedding is over and my daughter is a wife now. That tiny little girl from way back when is now a married woman. I think I need a little time to adjust.

A daughter is the happy memories of the past, the joyful moments of the present, and the hope and promise of the future.  ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Castle Wedding--Part 2

Firstly, apologies for the quality of the photos in Part 1. My camera is not well and some photos suffer from the Gray Line disease. Most frustrating. But there will be photos from the professional photographer that I will be able to show soon. Hopefully a brand new and better camera is in my near future!

Kim of the blog A Wiccan Life, asked a question in her comment as to whether the wedding ceremony was a true handfasting since we had a pagan officiant. Mary Hudson, the pagan chaplain at Syracuse University, worked with the wedding couple to create a ceremony that blended elements of a pagan handfasting with those from a traditional mainstream ceremony. The handfasting part did include the tying of 6 ribbons around the couples hands, binding them. Each ribbon represented a commitment, each to the other. Mary explained that this old Celtic tradition is the source of the expression, "tying the knot".

Now, onto some more photos!

Just minutes before the walk down the aisle
First Dance (Dancing to a song by Blackmore's Knight)
The wedding couple at their table
Father Daughter Dance (dancing to "I'll Remember")
Parents of the Bride
Planter from the Wedding Garden
Hanging Cone from the Wedding Garden
At breakfast the next day, happy couple displaying their wedding bands

Monday, August 15, 2011

Wedding Bliss--Castle Wedding, Part 1

Beautiful, enchanting, lovely, moving. From beginning to end. All the hard work, planning, and a bit of anxiety paid off. From the first harp string, to the vows, the champagne toast, the incredible dinner, dancing, cutting the cake, throwing the bouquet, launching 30 chinese lanterns lit with tiny candles into the night sky with a full moon gazing down. Everything was stupendous and wonderful. I really cannot convey my feelings. I will let photos do the telling. I didn't really take a lot of photos as I was so busy experiencing the moment. Some of these photos were taken by family members. Thank you for all your wonderful comments before the wedding. My daughter is a married woman now!!!! Her husband is a wonderful son-in-law. Life is good!!
(Click on photos for a better view.)
The car is loaded with wedding flowers
gift table

flowers from the wedding garden dressing up the mantle
Reception hall being prepared

Bride and Groom table..plants and flowers from home
godmother and nicarus folding napkins

sign painted by my husband
the groom awaits his bride (officiant Mary Hudson stands with him)

The beautiful bridesmaids and flower girl

Beautiful moment..the bride and her father
most beautiful moment
Visit me tomorrow for Part 2 of the Castle Wedding.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tomorrow is The Wedding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hi All you all!!! Thanks for so many wonderful and supportive comments. I love you, every single one!

I found SHOES!!! Hurray. They are lovely and sweet.
As of today's weather report, tomorrow is supposed to be 82 with sunshine, some clouds. That's good news for an outdoor ceremony.

Tonight we go to the Castle for the wedding rehearsal and buffet dinner. We will be delivering a bunch of stuff that we have made for the reception. Napkin rings, favors, centerpieces, place cards, greeting card box, throwaway bouquet, flower girl basket and other sundries. When we go back tomorrow for the wedding, we will be taking the Wedding Garden flowers and vases, the four planters, boston fern and asparagus fern and the bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages. We will be staying overnight following the wedding, and heading home Sunday afternoon with glad hearts and beautiful memories. I can't wait to post photos of the wedding and our beautiful bride and her handsome, adorable groom. I thank you all for keeping us in your thoughts as we celebrate such a happy, glorious time.

As always, clicking on photos will give a closer view.
Greeting card box

beribboned cake servers

flower girl basket (she's 2 years old!)

candles for the bride and groom table

Painting some decorative signs
Hugs and blessings from Robin!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Three Days Away

So, yesterday the sump pump in the basement malfunctioned and there was a flood. It was raining like crazy most of the day. We have guests arriving beginning today. A wedding in three days. Don't worry, be happy, as the song goes.

The center pieces for the reception are done, waiting to be packed up. (sorry for the poor photo).

I still need to get shoes for the wedding. My friend, Dee loaned me a beautiful necklace and an evening purse.

I think Raethan has things under control. She still had a list of "to-do's", but handling it well. I am not sure how the groom is. Maybe a little nervous by this point.

We have a good supply of tissue, so we are ready!!

Except I need shoes!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday Medley--A Castle and a Dragon

Our visit Saturday to Beardslee Castle was short but successful. Spending time with the Bride is always sweet. The final countdown is on...Five days till the big day.

Bride and Father of the Bride at the Castle door
Sunday's event was a nice drive to Oswego, near Lake Ontario. A new shop was celebrating its grand opening and we had to be there. My friend Mary Hudson, who I have spoken of before on the blog, has opened the doors of her shop, The Fey Dragon. It is Oswego's first and only metaphysical shop. Mary is the Pagan Chaplain at Syracuse University, and is also the Officiant at my daughter Raethan's wedding! The shop has been beautifully restored with hardwood floors, glorious antique cases, shelves and displays. Brimming with candles, books, incense, witch globes, drums, jewelry, wands, artwork and so much more. There is also a separate room for reiki and tarot readings. The vibes inside the shop were humming with good, positive, loving energy. The Fey Dragon is bound to be the center of many magickal and spiritual events. Wishing much success to Mary.

Mary Hudson standing in her shop, Fey Dragon

Drumming circle celebrates Fey Dragon's opening
Today begins a hectic week, and my to-do list is long. I appreciate everyone's wonderful comments of support and love while we prepare for this wedding. My mantra this week is: Focus, Center, Breathe.

Okay, here I go.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Away to the Castle

We are taking a quick trip to the Castle today. Beardslee Castle where our daughter Raethan is getting married to her Prince Charming. We will meet her first for breakfast, and then onto the Castle to take care of the mundane business of weddings or as I like to call it: "paying the piper".
It will be wonderful to spend a little time alone with Raethan before all the happy chaos of next weekend's wedding. Yep next weekend.

Beardslee website

Click on the link above if you would like to visit the Castle's website. It is the most romantic setting for a fairytale wedding.

Wishing everyone a happy Saturday.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fashionable Friday

This is the outfit I am wearing to my daughter's wedding. What do you all think?

Image credit

Too much?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Wedding Garden--Nine Days Until The Day

These are the stones we are using to fill the ivy bowls for the centerpieces. A lavender mix of colors, bright, shiny, glowing. Raethan put sage green ribbon and cream-colored lace around the rims. Filling the bowls today with stones and silk hydrangeas in shades of blues and lavenders.

The planters are brimming with colors. Silver dusty miller is trying to outdo the purple petunias, and the variegated green and white ivy is trailing perfectly. The angelonia wants to be the main character. In the wedding garden, the hummingbirds and butterflies are visiting regularly throughout the day, humming and fluttering around the pinks, reds, purples of the zinnias. The bachelor buttons are profusely blue, pink, white, dark red. Everything is holding its breath as the day approaches. We had a glorious rain yesterday, steady, not tumultous. You could almost hear the flowers sipping and lapping up the raindrops.
(as always, clicking on photos will give a larger view)

close up of angelonia
proliferation of zinnias, with tomatoes in background

Bachelor buttons were pushed down by the rain--they will pop back up today

The lone survivor of the squirrel raid, elephant ear is doing okay
I think we are okay for the next couple of days--kind of like being in the eye of the hurricane where all is calm. By Monday or Tuesday, well, that will be a different story!! Excited, happy, jittery, last-minute panic, of course. But on the day....oh what a day that will be!