Merry Meet and Merry Part, and Merry Meet again

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Secret Partly Revealed

Tomorrow's the big day! It involves two Wiccans, a road trip and a Cracker Barrel. What can the Universe be thinking!!??!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wordless Wednesday--Can You Spot the Hummer?

Hummingbird in the Honeysuckle
(definitely click on photo for a closer look)

Use creative eye: does this leaf formation look like a hummer?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Raethan Saves the Day

Followed this advice over the weekend: "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." So I did. Until my hubby puts the air conditioners back into the windows, I will not be turning that stove on.

We did barbecue though. Outside.

Raethan saves the day!! My darling daughter and her lovable husband were here for part of the weekend. She is a geek! I am not be insulting, she calls herself that. Raethan develops software and is very comfortable around technology. Unlike her adorable mother. She takes after her father (also adorable). Anyhoo, she sat down with my laptop and figured out the problem I have been having for the last month. The on-again, off-again internet connections. And it is now FIXED! Yes! A MacAfee security update selected "Net-Guard" somewhere; Raethan went in and unselected this option. And now all is well. She reads Forums to find out what others are saying about similar problems.
I should be able to post comments now. Frustrating to write out a comment, click publish and discover that one is no longer connected to the internet. That happened alot. So if you think I have not been visiting your blogs, I am sure I was there at some point, then disappeared into the foggy areas of limbo.
Thank you, Raethan for the fix!!!!

Coming up this Friday: An exciting event. Not going to say anymore for now. (tee-hee)

Enjoy your Tuesday.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Rosemary for Remembrance

Into tonight's fire, in the backyard, rosemary. It is dried and fragrant, harvested from last year's garden.  As the rosemary burns, we will remember and honor those who have gone before. The ones who gave their lives in all the wars, those wars that have come and gone and still rage today. Home of the free, because of the brave.  Memorial Day.

There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray you, love,
-William Shakespeare (Hamlet, Act 4, Scene 5)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday and a 3-day Weekend

Off to the grocery store early this morning; it is going to be hot hot hot and who wants to be shopping on a hot afternoon? well, not me. The store is filled to the brim with all the accoutrement for Memorial Day weekend. Bar-b-Que stuff galore, watermelons, colorful paper goods, citronella candles and the ubiquitous red, white and blue floral arrangements. The so-called unofficial start to summer.

Daughter Raethan and her hubby will be arriving tonight for the weekend. I hear the sounds of board games, clinking glasses and riotous chatter already.  Maybe some help in the garden.

Have a very safe weekend, especially if you are on the road traveling.

Here's a question that I saw somewhere?  Do vegetarians eat animal crackersSomething to discuss on the drive to the big backyard barbeque!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Sparrow Tale

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, but that is a different tale.(*) Actually it was feeding time. (be sure to click on photos for a good look)

Here is little Junior, head protruding from the right side of this two-family home. Mouth wide open and squeakily chirping up a storm.  "FEED ME!"  Sitting on a perch in the lower right of this photo is Mama. She is studiously ignoring the plaintive mewling of her offspring.

Observing from a safe distance are two older ladies. They are not-too-discretely discussing their shock at the behavior of Mama. "I would never let my baby holler like that!" says the lady on the left. The lady on the right agrees. "Well, I never!! A terrible mother! She should be ashamed."

Ah! Who do we have here? It's Papa. Resting for just a moment, as Mama (extreme left) carries on a non-stop critique of her husband's poor work ethic. "That child has been squawking for at least 5 minutes. Where have you been? Off with Fred and Charlie? Staring at those young chicks that fledged last week? You should be ashamed of yourself. Get back to work and feed our baby!"

"Yes, dear," Papa says meekly. "Okay, Junior, open wide." Papa sighs, as his wife flies off to meet the girls for bunco.

"Chow down, kid," Papa says. "NomNomNomNom," Junior chirps. The ladies on the fence ruffle their feathers and shake their heads in unison.  "The poor man," one says.

And so ends this tale.

(*) A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Medley--Merry May Monday

Happy Victoria Day to all those Canadian friends and relatives "up there". Hope you are enjoying the three-day weekend, and getting the cobwebs out of all your caravans!

Hurray for us! First fire of the season in our backyard fire pit. It was serene and beautiful and even better, no mosquitos! We burned sage and sweetgrass, honored Hecate and star-gazed. My husband had grilled burgers for dinner and then prepared the fire. Thanks, honey!

Sad news over the weekend. Two icons of the music world gone. Donna Summer and now, Robin Gibb. Did you dance to their music back in the day?

Summer seems to be well on its way. What a weekend of warm temps, sunny skies and panting dogs! Keep those water bowls full.  (you notice how dogs smell funny after being outside sometimes? and by funny I mean stinky.)

On that note, bye for now!!!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Lupine Tale

The lupines in my garden are very special to me. In 2005, I gathered seeds from these lupines from my mother's property in Quebec, where she had a little house (called "Chalet Bosquet", or house in the woods). My mom was born and grew up in Quebec, and her family still has property in a little French-Canadian town north of Quebec City. Almost 40 years ago, my mom threw a handful of lupine seeds around the side of her house, and left them alone. All these years later, the lupines have profusely and joyfully taken over a large part of the land around her place. It is a wonderful sight in late spring when the many-colored lupines stand tall, blooming and beaming at everyone. It looks like a fairy village.

So, I gathered some seeds in the autumn when my husband and I were up there, placed them in an envelope and stuck them in the glove compartment of our van. We made the trip back home. Life went on. Four years later, my son now owned the van. He was away at college, and one day he was looking through the glove compartment and found the envelope with the lupine seeds.

Nick brought them home to me and I was so thrilled. Having forgotten about these seeds (and feeling a little badly about forgetting) I immediately made plans to pot them up and see if they would sprout. After spending four years in the van through hot weather and freezing weather, it was anybody's guess if these seeds were still viable.

About ten days after potting them, little sprouts starting popping up. Soon there were taller plantlings. When they were stronger, my brother and I planted these amazing little wonders into our garden. I saved two pots of lupine plants to take down to Virginia to my mom who was living with my oldest brother. He planted them in the garden by his front entrance. When I presented these pots to my mom and brother, I told the story of where they came from. My mother was so happy and touched, and amazed that the lupine seeds had survived. They thrived there, and my mom so enjoyed seeing them whenever she left the house.

Now that my mom is gone, the blooming of these lupines is even more special. There were lots of different colors of lupines; red, pink, yellow, purply-blue and white. The purply-blue ones were my mom's favorite. The only lupines blooming now are the purply-blue ones. You know what? I don't think that is a coincidence.

I took these two photos yesterday. They are beautiful and flourishing. (click on the photos for a closer look)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Scott Cunningham, book and video

The foundation of my Wiccan path was laid by reading many books. The most profound of these books, for me, are written by Scott Cunningham. I believe I have most of the books he wrote, some of which I have read so many times that they are dog-eared and worn. The words are as fresh today as when I began reading them years ago. Scott Cunningham wrote in a simple but passionate style, bringing alive the world of herbal magick, as well as other aspects of Wicca.

My son Nicarus gifted me with Cunningham's Book of Shadows recently. This is a recently published book. The book was not completed before the author's death in 1993. The publisher has done a wonderful job of bringing this book to us. As I read through the first few pages, I found myself becoming rather emotional, eyes welling up. Hard to explain. Cunningham's words move me.

Yesterday my son and I sat down together to watch a video. Another purchase by my son. It was produced in 1986 and as far as I know the only video Scott Cunningham made. A rather low-budget, low-tech production filmed in San Diego. The quality is not the best and Scott seems at times uncomfortable, a little out of his element. But he soldiers on. What I found exceptional about this video was watching Scott talk about magickal herbalism, seeing him harvest herbs, crush herbs and make blends for  incense, charms and oils. It was truly a pleasure, informative and amazing. We chuckled a few times as Scott stumbled over a few words here and there, made attempts at humor and looked at the camera through very large glasses. I think the intention of this video was to try to show how simple but sacred gathering herbs, learning about their properties and using herbs in magick can be. Scott's knowledge was well-rounded and researched meticulously. He wanted to show that magick is not a complicated undertaking. With intention and energy, using common tools, magick happens naturally.

The bottom line: practice magick. If you can, grow your own herbs, work with them, feel their energies; Scott shows you how do that in this video. The more you do it, the more confident you will become, the more you will learn and the stronger your passion for this Path will become.

Watching this video was a little surreal. Seeing Scott Cunningham talking about magick was so wonderfully amazing. Having only read his words, to see him speaking about all these magickal things was an interesting, moving experience for me.  A little funny due to its age and low-key production, but still a joy and privilege to view. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in herbal magick, and definitely for those who have read and love Scott Cunningham.

Bright Blessings. Robin.

Cunningham's Book of Shadows; The Path of an American Traditionalist by Scott Cunningham. copyright 2009 by Scott Cunningham. published by Llewellyn Publications, 2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, Minnesota 55125-2989 (

Scott Cunningham's Herb Magic (video), copyright 1989, 2010, Llewellyn Worldwide.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ackk! Off-On-Off

Quickly I type. My laptop is having trouble. Dropping off line for five minutes or 20 minutes or all night. The two other laptops in the house stay stubbornly on-line, so it is not our internet connection. My poor laptop, is this the beginning of the end? How dreadful to be cutoff right in the middle of an interesting blog post or reading an email, or worst of all, in the middle of a fab game!!

The lupines in my garden are blooming, the irises are getting ready to bloom. I purchsed a lot of seed packets at the garden store. Ready to roll.  Hopefully I will have photos soon, if I can get back online. Fingers crossed.

My brother's surgery went well yesterday. Hopefully we will know more in a week or so.

Hmm, I have been on here for a few minutes.....uh-oh, I feel like I am about to fall off-li

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Family, Swans and Addictions

Finally, a sunny day with seasonable temperatures. A super day to get out in the garden. Boy, do we need to get out in the garden. Weeds are spectacular!! We could win an award for these weeds!!

Here's a few random bits of odds and ends:

Family Updates: My husband is doing great these days after recovering from his sudden and severe illness. He has been back to work for about a month now and does not appear to be suffering any after-affects.
My brother continues to deal with his many health issues. He will be having another surgery this coming Monday for a kidney-related problem. We just need to take things one day at a time.

Swan Update: It appears that Manny and Faye, the Manlius, NY swans I talked about Here are expecting a new family. Faye has started laying eggs and the security cameras have been set up. Also a large group of volunteer citizens will be keeping an around-the-clock watch on the nest. I personally think it was a mistake for the newspaper to report, not only that more swan eggs have been seen, but the location of the nest was revealed. Hopefully, though with the video surveillance and the volunteer watchers there will not be a repeat of the senseless destruction of eggs that occurred previously. I will keep you posted.

Reading: Over the last three weeks I have been reading a lot of gardening books, magickal books and several fiction novels. Perhaps I have been reading a bit too much, instead of working on the aforementioned weedy garden. I am never without two or three books in progress, though, and the gardening books are essential for my skillful dealings with the task required. (!!)

A few of the books I have read recently
A confession: I have an addiction, and truly there is no cure. I am a magazine fanatic. Love the glossy things. Every month, I furtively make my way to my favorite book store to satisfy the need. I can't explain it or deny it. Mostly gardening mags, country-style decorating mags, flea market and antiques and collectible mags. There is no stopping me.

The latest examples of my addiction
Current family addiction: Speaking of addictions: My son brought home a game a few days ago and it has become legendary in a very short time. It's an electronic game and has caused us so much hilarity and family fun. Catchphrase is it's name. The game gives you a common phrase or name and the object is to get your partner to guess this phrase. You can say pretty much anything you like, sentences or descriptions. Hand gestures are fine. The game has an electronic beeping that gets faster as time runs out. You should not be the person holding the device when the timer goes off, sort of like the kid's game "Hot Potato". You pass the game back and forth. What a riot! We laugh so hard at some of things people say to get their partner to guess the phrase. Huge recommendation from me if you are looking for a fun game!!! and furious guessing game
That's all the updates for now. Have a splendid weekend! Bright Blessings.  Robin.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Beltane Moon Giveaway WINNER

Beltane Full Moon
The above photo was taken on the night of the Super Moon, April 30th. Naturally, I used the wrong setting. Really nice shot of my neighborhood streetlights. But that is the Moon, where all that brightness is. See it?

Anyway. I am here to announce the winner of my Beltane Moon Giveaway!!!

The table is all set. The Giveaway gifts on the left. In the center, the names are all ready to be folded and popped into my cauldron. I can really feel the excitement building!!

With my wand, I stir and twirl and whirl around all the names of the lovely people who entered the drawing. Then I close my eyes, and think good thoughts about everyone, and draw a name!

Oh my stars! It is Danni!! Danni is the winner of my Giveaway. Three cheers for Danni, everyone clap and hug all around!!! Danni has a wonderful blog, which you can see here:  The Whimsical Cottage

Thank you everyone for all your wonderful comments, and for participating in my Giveaway. This is my fifth giveaway, and I really enjoyed it. There will be another giveaway in a couple of months, give or take! With LOTS of winners! Can you stand it!!??? LOL!!

Bright Blessings!    Robin.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wordless Wednesday--Backyard Housing

Fairy Housing
Sparrow Housing

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Giveaway Deadline Extended

Because I had a special post yesterday, I am extending the deadline to enter my Giveaway. So the new deadline is Thursday, May 10th. I will announce the winner on Friday May 11th. Okie doke?

Beltane Moon Giveaway. Read about the details HERE

Monday, May 7, 2012

Wiccan? Witch? Magaly and Robin Discuss

A few weeks back, Magaly Guerrero, the wonderfully "sexy, dark and bloody" writer at the Pagan Culture blog, and I exchanged an email discussion regarding a commenter on Magaly's blog who was wondering about the difference between being a Witch and being Wiccan....are they one in the same or is Wicca removed from Witchcraft? This discussion between us led to Magaly coming up with a scheme for us to collaborate on a post addressing this question. She suggested we each make a list of 13 things (a Witch's dozen) that describe our Path. We exchanged our lists and are both posting them on our blogs today, along with a compare/contrast summary.  Here is the link to Magaly's blog with her post: Pagan Culture Blog
What do you think? Are Witches and Wiccans the same thing, totally different or a bit of both? 

I now present our Lists, beginning with Magaly:

When a new friend said to me, “I didn’t know you were Wiccan.” I responded that I was not. She gave me a puzzled look and added, “But you just said you were a Witch.”

I smiled, asked her to sit by me, and started a conversation that ended with, “Witch, Wiccan—tomato, potato.” The middle was filled with something that resembled the following list:
1. I am a Witch.
2. I revere Nature and all her creatures.
3. Magic is wild energy that can be twisted and changed.
4. To me, deities are different aspects of Nature.
5. Magic is as benevolent or evil as its intent and outcome.
6. Good invites better and bad summons destruction.
7. Spells are prayers with a flare that makes flesh dance and soul sing.
8. My pentacle is fire, water, earth, air, and spirit dancing together in the circle of life.
9. Darkness is as beautiful, powerful and necessary as light.
10. In my life, sex is physical and spiritual magic.
11. Evil is manmade and man-fed.
12. Spirituality is the garb of the soul.
13. Words have power.

My friend was quiet for a while, and then asked, “What do Wiccans believe?”

It was my turn to stay quiet for a while. I explained that I could tell her what I thought Wiccans believed, but that wouldn’t be true. But a couple of weeks later, I asked my dear friend Robin, from Wiccan Writes, for some help. Here is her answer:

(and this is my list below)

I am happy to have been asked by Magaly to collaborate on this post. I am a solitary practitioner of Wicca. This list reflects my personal path. Other Wiccans may have different views. I consider myself Wiccan and Witch; for me they are one in the same.

1. Honor both God and Goddess.
2. Adherence to the Wiccan Rede: (to paraphrase) Spellwork, rituals and other activities must Harm None; therefore do what you believe in.
3. Three-Fold Law of Return:  Good begets good (three times over) and Bad begets bad (three times over).
4. In rituals/spell work, I use Witch’s tools: wand, besom (broom), cauldron, stones, candles, herbs, incense, altar and more.
5. The Moon and the Sun are symbolic as they represent Goddess and God, respectively.
6. Phases of the Moon are vital to my Path.
7. Celebrating the turning of the Wheel of the Year and 8 respective sabbats (holidays) .
8. Natural magick (directing  Nature‘s energies to effect a change).
9. The Unseen World. There are energies and spirits that may not exist on the human level, but may still be seen, accessed and interacted with by the use of meditation, divination and other methods.
10. Stewardship of our planet and the higher love felt for Mother Earth is a guiding force in my practice.
11. The pentagram is a sacred symbol, the points representing the Four Elements necessary for life and magick: Earth, Air, Fire,Water with the fifth point  representing Spirit.
12. Positive and negative energies influence every aspect of life. I walk on the so-called right hand path, the Light path focusing on positive Work. I do not practice Magick centering around revenge, hatred, violence or manipulation.
13. Wicca is an evolving pagan religion, just as Nature evolves, neither is static; there is always something new to explore even as one keeps Old Ways alive.

And so you can see, in many ways our Lists are very similar. Magaly has such a flare, a rhythm that sets her List a'dancing and a'fire!  We both revere Nature, treasuring all things on this Planet. She embraces Darkness in a way that I don't, not that Darkness is equated with evil, by any means. I prefer to stay mostly in the Light (though I will admit to Dark Moon workings, and a familiarity with the goddess Hecate).  As Magaly says, "Potato, tomato".  Each in our own way celebrate the energies that exist, acknowledge Intent as the key to working magick. We are Witches. My Wiccan Ways enhance my Path, just as Magaly's magical lifestyle enhances hers.  This is my humble opinion.
Magaly is such a dynamic person, her writing reflects her fiery soul and she seizes life by the horns and hangs on! I am thrilled and honored that she wished to collaborate with me!
Be sure to visit Magaly's blog to read what she has to say on this subject. (The link is above)!!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Finally, The Giveaway!!

For weeks now, I have been threatening you all with a Giveaway!! And now it is here. A beautiful Full Moon tonight (called many names: Beltane Moon, Willow Moon, Flower Moon, Seed Moon) makes me want to celebrate with a Giveaway.. This May moon will be 14% brighter! (how do they calculate these things, anyway?). This would be a spectacular time to charge all your magickal tools, stones, jewelry..whatever you wish. I like to charge water for ritual use during a Full Moon. Just place your items outside where they will receive the full glow of the Moon.

Back to the is a photo:

Just click on the photo to see a better view.

Earth, Air, Fire & Water by my favorite Wiccan author, Scott Cunningham. An amazing and useful book for learning how to incorporate these four elements into spellwork and rituals. Scott was a gentle, down-to-earth person who wrote very personally and personably. His concern for his readers made his books genuine, accurate and unique.

Godiva Chocolate. Need I say more?

A butterfly book mark.

When is a book not a book? When it is a beautifully disguised storage box. You can put all kinds of trinkets into this neat box-that-looks-like-a-book.

A candle that smells like summery gardens: Lavender and Chamomile scented. And a folder of blank note cards and envelopes with beautiful summer flowers on the front of each card.. Let's bring the art of letter writing back into use. Don't you just love to get a handwritten note? Well, to get on, write one!!!

Here's a sweet little figurine of a robin. Just so you can have a reminder of someone who thinks the world of you.

There might be a few other things that wind up in the box. Who knows?

Simple simple simple.   Be a follower. Leave a comment that you would like to be entered into the Beltane Moon Giveaway! That is it!! Open to everyone, including international followers. I will announce the winner on Wednesday, May 9th. I will need a way to contact you, either email or blog. (i do not tweet or FB or any of that). 
The winner must respond with their snail mail address within three days, or I will need to draw another winner.

Happy Beltane Moon, Flower Moon, Seed Moon, Willow Moon, Super Moon!!!!!!

Friday, May 4, 2012


Thanks to my husband's quick thinking, these tulips survived the killing frosts. He covered them with a bucket.

Of course, you can see that the weeds that weren't covered managed to survive as well. A little humor from Mother Nature.

Our sweet crabapple tree thriving

Yesterday our area was inundated with small butterflies. Everywhere you looked they were fluttering and flittering by the hundreds. Little black and orange shapes, smaller but similar to monarchs. Apparently it was part of the migration of the Admiral butterfly. Thousands and thousands passed through. I tried to snap a photo or two, but they were just too quick. Nature's speed demons.

I did get this somewhat blurry photo of a ladybug in our rowan tree. This magickal tree is about to burst into bloom. I haven't quite figured out the macro settings on Elphie, my little camera. Nature provides the subjects for super photos.

In this photo, amongst the growing iris, is a swath of lily-of-the-valley. If you look closely at the ones in front you can see they have been neatly cropped. Chomped on by rabbits. Nature's pruning team.

I like this combination of colors. The blue of the muscari (grape hyacinth) with a lovely yellow; an unknown name weed. Nature provides color sense.

Just a few photos from my yard that illustrates the gifts from Nature, with the final photo providing a message from Mother Nature herself...Forget-Me-Not.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Witchy Cat Wreath

In the mail, a large white box. In the box, a bunch of white paper. Under the paper (no bubblewrap, sadly!) the most charming wreath. From dear Kim at

Click on the photo for a better view
I have hung the wreath on my fireplace. It looks perfect there. I love how Kim wove the pentagram with brown ribbon. The little wood shapes are cats in various seasons and poses. Purrrrfect!  Also, if you look closely you can see two of my brooms, a braid of sweet grass and on the right the sweet bow and button heart that Oma Linda from OldBaggs and Stuft Shirt blog sent me a few months ago. I have received wonderful gifts from my dear blog friends. These gifts definitely add good energy to my home.

Thanks, Kim and also the dear Midnight (a very sweet black kitty) for this lovely blog giveaway!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May First

A rainy Beltane. No worries, though. There is time enough for bonfires and swinging on the porch. I am just happy to turn the calendar page to this merry month.

We have had several hard frosts in the last week. Putting a bucket over tulips hopefully has saved the late spring bloomers from certain death. Central New York has many apple farmers, and they have been putting in long hours with smudge pots and big fans hoping to save their apple blossoms from the nefarious freezing temperatures. Fingers crossed for them!

image source

Since it was cloudy drizzly afternoon yesterday, I went to my Wiccan bookshelf and leafed through several books reading or re-reading Beltane passages. It is interesting to read things I had forgotten, or to look over some favorite paragraphs. An hour or so of refreshing my memory is time well-spent (and believe me, my memory needs quite a bit of refreshing these days!!)

I also opened my new Witches Almanac, Spring 2012 thru Spring 2013. (
It contains "...pictorial and explicit delineations of the magical phases of the Moon," as well as astrological information, articles on topics ranging from Moon gardening, seances, folklore, tarot, weather and so much more that would interest witches and anyone interested in natural or metaphysical subjects. It's a handy reference and I look forward to using it this year. The Witches Almanac is published in Providence, Rhode Island and Judika Illes is the Copy Editor. (this almanac is not to be confused with the Llewellyn almanac, though I like the Llewellyn one too. Just wanted to use a different almanac this year)

Time to run and get some tasks done. Have a Happy May Day, and blessed be!!