Merry Meet and Merry Part, and Merry Meet again

Monday, April 30, 2012

Blessed Beltane

A sunny day, a garden soon to burst, new green leaves on beloved trees. Wild birds singing and dancing in the sky. A scent of growing things. Longer light and star-filled nights. The night time chorus of frogs and hidden insects. Warm breezes caress and puffy white clouds create designs for deciphering. Beltane is here and life just got a lot more vivid.

Beltane Blessings!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Beautiful Beltane, Almost Here

Only one word can describe this Sunday morning. Beautiful! Sunny! Sparkling frost. Even though it is rather cold, the sun pouring in through the kitchen window is beautiful. Despite another night of hard frost, the morning is full of wonderful energy. The robins start singing about 4:00 am, followed by the sparrows, house finches and a cardinal or two.  Soon the whole morning chorus urges you to rise from that bed and come look at the morning.

Depending on your tradition, if you are pagan, Beltane occurs on April 30th or May 1st. I observe Beltane on April 30th, hopefully with an outdoor fire ritual. Beltane is a remarkable sabbat for me as it truly marks the beginning of a new and glorious season (even if my northern region wants to hang on to frosty mornings a bit longer). Beltane is a time to be giddy! Yes! Celebrate the season. Sing, dance, laugh, make merry! Have fun with this fire festival. And, like Samhain in October, Beltane is a time when the veil "between the worlds" is thin. What does that mean? Magick is afoot, the Fae might be near, even in your very own garden. All manner of mystery and the Unseen are about.

May 1st, May Day continues the Beltane celebration. The Maypole, flower garlands and crowns, all manner of good food. May Baskets. Beltane is about flowers, the return of light and nature's growing season. A time once again to either continue with plans and goals begun at Ostara (the spring equinox) or to begin planning now for how you will spend your summer time. It is a fabulous time of year and each day is a chance to praise and honor the God and the Goddess as we nurture our gardens and plants. In a Spiritual sense we our nurturing our own growth through the Season by learning, studying and putting these skills into Action. What will your goals be for the Light time of the year.

The Wheel turns once again and all should be glad.

If you are looking for a book to read more about Beltane, here is one in particular, though there are many to be found (as always, read Scott Cunningham!). This book is called Beltane, Springtime Rituals, Lore and Celebration by Raven Grimassi  and is packed with information about old customs and traditions, fairy and flower lore, spells, recipes, rituals and arts and crafts. It is a wonderful book to have on your Wiccan or Pagan bookshelf.

image source

Friday, April 27, 2012

Arbor Day 2012

It's Arbor Day! Plant a tree (or two). Or donate a tree to a park, school or other public place. Read all about Arbor Day HERE and learn how you can get Free Trees!!

If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees.  ~Hal Borland

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Swan Update

The perpetrator of the destruction of swan eggs in Manlius, NY has turned himself in. At 23 years old, he has a record of misdemeanors, including alcohol-related crimes. He faces a sentence of up to a year in prison, and possible other sanctions. In 1994, a person was convicted of decapitating a swan at the same pond. Not only did he receive jail time, he was also sentenced to serving 100 hours of community service shoveling manure at the zoo.
$9,000 in reward money was raised for information leading to the arrest and conviction of this latest crime against the swans. Since the perpetrator turned himself in a decision has not been made about the reward . A video surveillance system is being set up this week, services and equipment donated. Also, a 24-hour volunteer citizen watch will be in place, if and when the swans, Manny and Faye have another family on the way.
If there are new eggs, I hope no announcement is made. Let the swans tend their nest in peace, solitude and anonymity.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday--Black Phantom Petunia

Black Phantom Petunia, some solid, some with greenish-yellow stripes (from my garden 2010)
click on photo to see better detail

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

On a Cold, Rainy Day

Thinking about seed packets and little pots of bedding plants. Imagining morning glories climbing up a trellis and zinnias in that riot of color we love. Remembering the sights, sounds and smells of summer in its glory. Soon the seeds will be planted and growing, bees will be zipping around the garden, hummers will be sipping at colorful blooms and the memory of cold, drizzly gray days will be far away.

Sending out thoughts of summery seasonal joys! Not much longer now.

Last summer's petunias

Monday, April 23, 2012

Swan Song

Today's front page story in the Syracuse Post-Standard is abysmally shocking and depressing for a everyone, but especially for a Wiccan. After yesterday's Earth Day celebration, to read this news this morning made me want to cry and then rant and rave. To read the story here is the link to Swan story
Two beautiful swans named Manny and Faye, in the town of Manlius, near Syracuse, have been tending to a nest of 8 eggs in their little swan pond. This swan pond is a lovely spot, and much-beloved by the townsfolk, and by many others in the area.
Some person or persons, during the night, destroyed all the eggs. Broken shells were found up and down the street. The swan parents are now in a period of mourning. The callous, heartless, senseless act by these reprobates is very painful. There are many good people in the world who care so much for the planet and all upon it. This carnage is a visible representation of the other people who occupy space on earth who continue to cause the blight, the pollution, litter, and general lack of even the slightest concern for our Mother.
According to a spokesman for the town of Manlius, there is still time for this lovely pair of swans to re-nest. Efforts are being taken this week to construct a floating nest area on the pond itself for the parents to safely hatch their eggs.

We can hope for a happy ending to this sad story.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day 2012

image source

Saturday, April 21, 2012


An abrupt switch to the new Blogger this morning. I don't take well to change. Hopefully this will be painless. A chilly start to the day, with dreary skies and drizzly rain. Doesn't help the mood Blogger just laid on me. Well, I am forging ahead.

Today will be an indoor kind of day, tidying up, confronting laundry and reading. Possibly a baking of a cake. A small fire in the woodstove to take away the chill. Burning the new candle. And thinking about Beltane next week. That is a very cheerful thought!

And here's a cheerful face of someone who wants to show off her new toy.  Have a superb weekend.

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Potpourri of Random Miscellany

Thanks for all the great comments on my "home improvement" post yesterday. Much appreciated, makes me smile! One note: the photo of the veggie garden was taken in July of 2008 when all the improvements were just finished. My brother was responsible for the amazing look of the garden, with all the work he did. I helped, and did the design, plant choices and planting, but he did all the heavy duty stuff. Every year the garden is a bit different. Last year, for those who were following me then,  you will remember we planted The Wedding Garden, for my daughter's wedding flowers. It was quite a success. (If you feel like looking, there are photos from the wedding garden and the wedding in my July and August 2011 archives, in the sidebar.)
Car loaded with all the flowers we grew for the wedding (Aug, 2011)

Boy, that's sad about Dick Clark's passing. I know there are a few of my followers who, like me, remember watching American Bandstand on Saturdays. We used to make fun of some of the kids and their dancing. And that seemed to be the gauge for rating a song: Could you dance to it? Dick Clark was an iconic American figure; a member of a by-gone era.

I received my gift from Kim's giveaway over at the blog, The Wiccan Life  It's a beautiful double wicked candle, a lovely shade of blue, with a fragrance called, appropriately, Spring Rain, from Blue Mountain candles. It arrived safely, and not only did I receive a lovely gift, I had about 10 minutes of fun popping the bubble wrap that kept the candle safe. Thanks a bunch, Kim. You are the best!

Okay, confession time. My list of blogs that I follow has been increasing over the last month or so, as I add blogs of a purrticular nature. Cats. I have become obsessed with cat blogs. I am smitten with kittens. I treat felinity  like divinity. I kowtow to the meow-meow! It's true. The reason, mainly, is that we don't have a cat in the house now. Ever since our MacKenzie-cat passed away in August 2010, we have been without cat companionship, and I am really really missing this presence. Unfortunately, I don't think we can get another cat (or two) because of our dog, Gwennie. She hated MacKenzie with a passion. For some odd reason she blamed him for the telephone ringing. Everytime the phone rang she would bark and chase him. Or when the doorbell rang. He usually jumped up high, or scooted down through his catdoor to the basement. MacKenzie was with us before we rescued Gwennie, so he was already established as a resident. Bringing new cats or kittens in, especially as she is an older dog now, doesn't seem like a good idea. I would hate for them to be terrorized by the barking and chasing everytime the phone rings. Sigh, and sigh again. So I read the cat blogs. You can see them on my blog list. Wonderful blogs.
From 2006, Gwennie on the left, Lexie on the right, MacKenzie on top (calm because the phone is not ringing)

That is enough rambling for one blog post. Have a super Friday!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Our Version of "This Old House"

Seven years ago this month, my husband and I bought our first house. After years of living in Navy housing  or renting, we realized our dream of owning our own home. In 2008, we began a renovation of our house to create a home that we are really proud of. This house is a 4-level split ranch, with wood burning fireplace in the living room, a wood burning stove in the downstairs family room, 3 bedrooms, 1 bath upstairs, one bath downstairs, a covered porch off the back, plus a deck, and also a front porch. It is on a corner lot, so the front yard is rather big. We did a lot of painting and other renovations on the inside, and still have things to do in that area. We are really happy with the way the exterior looks, and hope you enjoy this little look back at our Home Improvement. Hard to believe it has been seven years!

Faded green siding...see where the icky brown shutters used to be: that's the original color of the siding

Bye bye ugly siding (well it was over 30 years old)

Two car garage: Now it is a garage door, and a mudroom entry

The "Chimney Garden" side of the house. We also had them install new & better insulation

Brand new windows

The back of the house, new sliding doors, too.

Here's a view of the new siding by the Chimney Garden

A view of the front, with the new dark gray shutters

Beautiful new cedar fencing (look how nice the veggie garden looks too)

Spring, 2012, still looking nice...see our Dwarf Alberta Spruce trees and the Japanese Weeping Cherry

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday--Isn't It Loverly?

Crabapple buds about to burst--our first spring with this tree

Adorable wild violets--self seeded--these remind me of my mom

Clusters of Sedum "Autumn Joy" (never mind the photog's shadow)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Looking at my sun-filled rooms inside, and glowing, sunny garden spaces outside. Light surrounds the home and heart, prodding my slow-poke self to get going, get doing. Inspiring sunlight everywhere. No need to hurry. There's enough sunshine to go around.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Wiccan Cooks--Just Like OctoberFarm (sorta kinda)

There is a wonderful, witchy lady in the blog-o-sphere who is beloved by all her followers. Joyce of the blog,
OctoberFarm blog  is a fabulous cook and baker, crafter, decorator, artist, gardener, collector, and so much more. Her Chow, Teddy is a superstar in her own right. If you have never visited this blog, do yourself a favor and have a look. Her sidebar is loaded with links to many many recipes, with photos and preparation hints.

That being said, Joyce injured her hand rather seriously and has been unable to blog much lately as she recovers. Many of us are going into withdrawal, not getting our daily dose of Joyce's posts.  In her honor, last night as I was preparing dinner, I thought, "do an OctoberFarm post". 

So here is my version of Mezzo Penne with Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce. Put your aprons on now!

Okay, so Joyce prepares everything from scratch, often times using her own home-grown herbs and veggies. She bakes her breads and rolls from scratch. Using an endless variety of interesting seasonings, flavorings, spices, and all kinds of ingredients you have never heard of, Joyce turns out the most delicious looking entrees, sides and desserts. She also cooks and bakes in mass quantities, but usually will give the recipe for those of us who cook for less than 100!

So in your pan, brown up some ground beef, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. Add your beautifully roasted tomatoes, with garlic, lightly crushed. (um.....I used Contadina's). Stir this around, sprinkling with garlic powder, some basil, some oregano, whatever flavorings you enjoy with your Italian sauces. Now add some lovely pureed tomatoes that will blend in beautifully. (

Chop up some mushrooms and onions, and add them to your bubbling meat sauce.  Things should be smelling really good now.....yum!   Simmer Simmer Simmer.

While your meat sauce is simmering, bubbling and aromatically inducing joyful hunger pangs, thaw out some of those wonderful, from scratch, home made rolls ( got mine at Wegmans supermarket)

I enjoy using Barilla pastas, and this one is the Mezza Penne, or little penne, just perfect for a meal on Thursday night.
(Don't tell Joyce, but hiding behind the pasta box, is Kraft Parmesan cheese, the kind you shake out. I did add some of that to my sauce, instead of grating a big block of real parmesan. Though the people at Kraft will tell you theirs is real cheese too. I didn't want her to know that I use that stuff....shhhhh!)

Anyhooo, so now you have sliced and buttered these rolls, added garlic to one half, because the other half must remain plain for those of us (ahem) who do not care for garlic bread all that much. Place them in the oven to get nice and crispy and lovely.

Boil the penne for approximately 9 minutes (sorry, forgot to take a photo, but it looked like boiling water, with pasta in it, and steam all flying up all over)

Voila!! Here is the presentation. The meat sauce was mixed into the drained penne, stirred all around. Grate some cheddar and parmesan (this is real parmesan here, by the way). Add a couple of hot buttered rolls, and bob's your uncle!   Enjoy!

Disclaimer:  Joyce prepares, explains and photographs a million times better than my little homage to her. Please do visit her and leave her some well wishes for a very speedy recovery!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Seek, Observe, Revere

Enjoying my favorite chair last evening, when the house was quiet, the dogs were snoozing and just the ticking of the clock to accompany the gliding of my rocker. As sometimes happens, I slip into a short meditative state, after thinking about the day and wondering about things in general.

Questions lately, swirling around me. About my Path, about our life, about the coming summer. How shall I proceed?

Suddenly, three words came to me, as clear as a bell, repeated three times. Seek. Observe. Revere.

Profound and important to me. These three words truly point to how I should be living. Seeking answers, seeking Nature, Seeking Deity. Observing Nature, always. Observe signs, observe interactions. Revere Nature, in all the glory that surrounds us. Revere Life and Love. Revere Deity.

Seek. Observe. Revere. Simple words. But, oh, so meaningful, rich and filled with all the answers.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Monday Medley--Tuesday Edition

Oh, how I love Mother Nature!!! And oh, how I dislike her pollen. It is everywhere, it is a sneeze a minute!! Love the flowering trees, aren't they a beautiful testament to Spring? But pollen producers, every one! (excuse me while I blow my nose and clear my throat)

Update on The Legend of Eli Monpress by Rachel Aaron. I talked about this book in a post last week. It is a three-volume compilation book, and I have finished the first volume and am well into the second volume. Please obtain this book and read it. It has been a real pleasure reading this nicely-written fantasy. Although I will say that the first book started a bit slowly, gathering together plot lines, characters and narrative. But just read on, and the pace increases, and soon it becomes so engaging, lively, exciting. This is a world where Spirit exists in all things, both animate and inanimate, which is a belief that Wiccans hold dearly. Having conversations with the spirits of water, stones, trees, dirt, fire and interacting with these spirits is a delight. I am loving this book.

On the list of things to do this week: (1) Preparing for a Giveaway here at Wiccan Writes. Stay tuned! (2) Also, the ever-ongoing spring cleaning (do I do windows? we will see.). (3) Taking a ride out to Fey Dragon, my favorite metaphysical shop in Oswego NY. My friend Mary has laid in a bunch of new items, and is hosting Raven Grimassi and his wife this month for a couple of seminars. Raven Grimassi is a notable Wiccan author and I am excited at the prospect of meeting him. Fey Dragon is where we go for our monthly Drum Circle.

The rest of April is shaping up to be busy: Earth Day, Arbor Day, Beltane. (Let's not speak of Tax Day). My mind is racing with ideas, which is a good thing! I am finally waking up with the Spring. Tough winter and many changes in the daily attitude and lots to do!!!

Hugs and blessings from Robin.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Weeping Willows Laughed

(April is National Poetry Month)
T’was a westerly breeze
Or maybe not;
Perhaps a wind from the south.
The weather vane spun round and round
My words torn from my mouth.
Weeping willows laughed and danced
As thunder gave a growl.
My spell sent off as rabbits hid
Along with fox and bear and owl.
The moon will rise and set again
Then in the morning, sun.
With Nature’s help
And Spirit’s too
United, the spell was done.

This poem is an original work by Robin Larkspur, April 2012. Copyright laws are in place.

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Friday in April

Quite the Friday today, isn't it?

Passover begins at sunset. A blessed observance wished for Jewish friends.

Good Friday for Christians. Happy Easter.

A full moon which pagans will celebrate.

A beautiful spring day, a frosty spring night.

Peaceful gatherings for all.

So mote it be.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I Have a Daydream

Tractor Supply (website here) is a chain of farm supply stores. They offer horse and other farm animal supplies, wild bird feeders and food, cat and dog supplies, all kinds of equipment and repair parts, wood stoves, fencing, seed...etc.

Tractor Supply offers plans to build this Gypsy Hen Caravan Coop

Their current circular showcased an advertisement for baby chicks and chicken coops. The chicks were $2.29 each! They also had assorted ducks for $4.49 each.  I am thinking, wow, I could just run up the street to Tractor Supply and buy some chicks and ducks, just like that. Not that I would. Living in an urban environment would not be appropriate for livestock; I think also a special permit would be needed. And what exactly would I do with a duck? (no, I would not raise it for dinner!!)

Thinking about chicks and ducks reminded me of a daydream I have every now and then. Since I was about 8 or 9, I have dreamed of living on a farm. Of course I realize the reality of farm life would not be the same as my daydream. I don't think I could handle a working farm life.

My daydream is about having a nice old house on just a few acres. There would be lots of wooded areas, a large pond with a big old weeping willow growing near it.  There would be ducks in the pond. And chickens (for eggs), a small kitchen garden with herbs and tomatoes, perhaps a larger veggie garden for growing good stuff to freeze for over winter. No cows or pigs, though. Maybe a goat or two. Definitely lots of room for dogs to run.

The privacy would be wonderful for outdoor rituals; regular sacred fires in a big bonfire pit. And of course a field for a maze, or perhaps a labyrinth. Lots of fresh air, perennials growing, beautiful night skies.

A peaceful life on a bit of land, with animals and gardens. Family and friends. Woods to wander in, connecting with the trees and perhaps the Fae. A natural environment where the sense of divinity is so real and true. What more could a Wiccan want? That's my daydream. I enjoy visiting there every so often!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spring Babies!

Besides the bursting forth of blooming things, the spring season also brings with it the arrival of bunches of babies! Some of the blogs I follow have been showcasing these little stars of Nature's delightful "party"--Spring! Take a look at these cuties. If they don't bring a smile, then you are still stuck in the cold dark of winter. Cheer up and embrace the Light!

Baby Lambs:  (including a white and black spotted one) lambs

Baby Goat:   Kid 
(be sure to check out the previous posts here to see the very day the baby was born)

Kittens: adorable
(I am truly smitten with kittens on this blog, can't get enough)

This is just a tiny taste of what is happening out there in the Spring world. Soon there will be lots of babies in my own backyard. We have birdhouses which are teeming with activity, as sparrow parents build their nests and await the hatching of little noisy babies. Also for the past few years, a pair of robins have built a nest in the same place on our porch. Last year we had baby mourning doves as well.

The rites of spring...what a joy.