Merry Meet and Merry Part, and Merry Meet again

Friday, June 29, 2012

Berries, Beetles, Books and (something) BIG

Hot today, but not as bad, I am sure as Colorado. I have been thinking about the people and forests there and in the other states that are burning. So hoping they will get rain and relief sooner than soon.

Walked into the grocery store this morning and all I could smell was strawberries. They must have had a million quarts of the things everywhere. We have been making strawberry daiquiris with fresh strawberries. Tastes so good on the porch in the evening. I don't suppose you can ever get tired of these red gems.

Well, the Japanese beetles have landed. I hate these things with a passion. You never know what they are going to destroy, though they usually wreck havoc with our weeping cherry. One year they ruined the green beans we were growing in the garden, also all the zinnias and the hibiscus. Usually roses are their target, too. But my faithful sparrows in the back garden are making heroic attempts to rid us of the beasties. I don't use chemicals, but I do know there is an organic spray soap-type product that may work.

Staying in the house this afternoon, so books and magazines are on the agenda. I have a bunch of books to tell you about, too; next week.

Got something big happening here on Sunday. Real big! Come visit my blog and you will see.

Have a great Friday.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fluffy Foursome!

Here is a very short video provided by, the Post-Standard newspaper's online site. 32 seconds of baby swan fluffiness. Four females hatched over the last couple of days, and are now enjoying Pop Star status. Adorableness at its best!

Manlius NY Baby Swans (sorry about the short commercial in the beginning)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Love and Discontent in the Garden of Blogging

On any given day in the Blog-o-Sphere one can find witty posts, beautiful photographs, thoughtful commentary, hilarious graphics and videos, charming gardens and homes, things that inspire, good cooking--in other words, many marvelous wonders.  On this same day, though, one may encounter distasteful subjects, questionable facts, insulting satire, blog bashing and trolling, rude comments, racist remarks--in other words, many unpleasant experiences.

Obviously, one steers clear of those blogs that offend or distress (or in some cases bore). Sometimes though these blogs come to you by way of comments left or from seeing a blog on another's  blog list. I enjoy blog hopping and will look at blog lists and click and roam. Finding a new enjoyable blog is satisfying. Stumbling into a blog that is full of disharmony and muck is not. If someone I don't know leaves a comment on my blog, I like to click on their name and see what their blog is all about. Sometimes this is successful, other times not so much. I think most of us bloggers do this sort of thing; that's part of what blogging is about, meeting new people and reading interesting stuff.

Sometimes, there are brouhahas. A favorite blogger comes under attack. These things happen. Loyal followers gather around and stand up for their friend. Occasionally it gets way out of hand.  Or there is a controversial post that garners strong reactions, both positive and negative. How much one involves oneself in these events is a personal choice.

Rules of etiquette are often ignored in the blog world. This runs the gamut from name calling and petty squabbling to more serious offenses such as plagiarism and stalking. Just as in the "real world", there are all types of people in blogging and you will run into a wide variety.

I am saying all of this as I have recently come across several instances of what I think of as negative blogging. Some are intentional, some are not. It makes one leery of straying too far from the familiar fold. Unfortunately, there have been a couple of incidents in my regular "stomping grounds" as well. You can ditch and run, or roll up your sleeves and participate. There are consequences though. Integrity can be lost, as well as the trust that has been built up between bloggers. It is up to each individual blogger to make the choice. Hopefully it will be a worthy decision. Choose your battles wisely.

On the flip side though, love is strong and flowing in bloggerville. Friends and strangers both answer the clarion call for help. Yesterday, a blogging friend made a plea for prayers and healing and many answered. It's a beautiful thing.

Blogging is a satisfying adventure. There are negatives, but there are many positives, too.  You get back what you put into it. Just like in the real world.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Please Help this Baby

Just moments ago I read a blog post which has affected me deeply and profoundly. Our dear friend Danni of The Whimsical Cottage blog is on her way on a 12-hour drive to be with her sister and the little daughter who is terribly and suddenly ill in ICU. Please read about her here

However you pray or petition for help, please do so now. This little girl needs all our love and support. Danni is a dear friend and this situation is unbearable.

More Good News

Remember a few weeks ago I told you about the destruction of 8 swan eggs? You can read about that here
The good news is that Manny and Faye, the two Manlius NY swans, have hatched three eggs and the other three are expected to hatch today or tomorrow. Three fluffy gray babies have been spotted sitting on their mother's back. A happy ending after all. Nature will always find its way.

Now that the arduous episode of our doggie, Lexie has reached its happy ending it is time to focus on summery things. I have barely been tending my containers and various little gardens; except for watering. Elphie (camera) and I will be strolling around snapping some shots and giving all the plants some love and attention.

I always have a list of projects around the house. One of these days I am going to check everything off that list. Sometimes it is procrastination that does me in. Too many good books to read, you know, or running to doctor appointments, etc. Organizing time is a bit like herding cats for me.  Some tasks are better left for a rainy day, anyway. Summer is definitely here and rainy days are hard to come by.

There's a bunch of strawberries in the fridge waiting for my attention. I think homemade shortcake is in order.

All for now, see ya soon.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Fantastic News!

Our Lexie-Girl is FINE!! The pathology showed NO CANCER!!!! We are so relieved and happy and blessed!!!

Thank you for all your candles, prayers, good wishes and positive vibes!!

It's a wonderful day!!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Furry Friday

Beautifully cool morning, a relief after the horrid heat! All is not peaceful, though. We are under attack by squirrels and grackles who are wrecking havoc on the birdfeeders. This has caused our Gwennie, the Sheltie, to spend her morning racing around the yard, barking and chasing the squirrels along the fence. Her devotion to the property is quite intense.

Lexie is feeling much better, eating normally and resting. We are hoping that today, surely, we will get the results from her cultures.

Here is a video I would like to share with you. The link was sent to me by a dear friend. It is absolutely one of the funniest things you will see; it's a little over 4 minutes. Be sure to have your volume up so you can hear the voices. You will enjoy this, I promise.

Today is a furry Friday at Wiccan Writes. Squirrels, grackles, dogs and all the crazy animals on this video. Have a wonderfully furry day!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hot enough?

Thanks so much for the many loving comments about our Lexie!  We brought her home from the vet hospital last evening. Moving just a little slower, she is doing well. Goes back in 10 days to have stitches removed. Still waiting on the results of the cultures. Lexie enjoyed a good sleep on the sofa last night, as well as lots of cuddles and hugs from the family. Such a good girl.

Belated Solstice Greetings.  It certainly was a hot and humid Litha!  The high heat continues so we are taking shelter in the air conditioning. Busy watering in the early early morning and keeping the bird baths full.

Short and sweet today. Take care and stay cool.

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Lexie Update

Our Lexie thought we were the meanest people on earth. She was not allowed food or drink after 6:00 pm last night. And, worse, no doggy biscuit this morning. Dogs can be very melodramatic. Hardening our hearts is not easy when those big sad eyes are pleading.

Anyway, her surgery this morning went well. It took longer than our vet expected as he found a suspicious mass. He did get out all the infection and that should make things a lot better for her. Now we have to wait for the results of the culture to know if we move into an issue we don't want to deal with.

Right now it is very positive thoughts we are thinking, and that's all there is to it.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Our Lexie-Girl

My husband and I took our sweetie, Lexie-Girl to the vet this morning. She has not been feeling well this past week, and we noticed swelling in her "lady parts". Turns out she has a pretty serious infection, and will require surgery on Monday. She received a big shot of antibiotics today. Needless to say this is upsetting, but our wonderful vet said he anticipated no problems at all, she should fully recover.And hopefully all the blood work will turn out fine, as well.  It is always such a worry when our furry family members get sick.

Lexie turns 11 years old in 10 days. She is our big, galumpy, heart-of-gold, tail-of-lashing-death baby dog! Send out a little doggy-healing energy towards this adorable sweetheart.   Thanks!!!


Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Round-Up

Yesterday, our next-door neighbor had several trees chopped down, as well as some heavy trimming of their big old maple tree. This impacts us in a couple of ways. First, we lost privacy for our backyard.  This is a typical 1970s-designed neighborhood, so the houses are fairly close together. When we go out on our deck we feel like we are now "on display". It will take some getting used to. I do understand the trimming of the maple tree, as it is large and some of the branches were growing close to their house. The other trees that came down, I don't understand. Their house, their property, their choice, of course. Still, a shame. Especially since those particular trees were homes and protection for wild birds.  It is hard to see trees come down.

My son came home last night to tell us about a minor mystery he solved. He had seen a large spotlight sweeping the skies over our area on his way home from work; he gets home from work about midnight. Curious as to where this spotlight was coming from, he took off in pursuit of the answer. Turns out, this spotlight is on the roof of the local MacDonald's about two miles away. Apparently, the home of the Golden Arches is trying to attract late-night customers. People looking for the source of the spotlight will supposedly be lured into their "restaurant" to purchase yummy and nourishing fast food.  My son is not a fan and was able to resist the call of the spotlight. Does this not seem like a strange marketing tool? Reminds me of the story in H.G. Welles "Time Machine", where the evil Morlocks send a hypnotizing signal to the peaceful Eloi to lure them to their deaths.
scene from 1960 movie "The Time Machine" (Eloi being drawn to certain death)

In other news, have you heard that a member of the Flying Wallendas, those notorious acrobats and high-wire walkers, is planning on walking across Niagara Falls tonight? It is being telecast live on ABC tv.  This man, Nik Wallenda says it will cost almost 1.3 million dollars for the event, including the expense of the heavy wire and its installation, permits, police for crowd control, rescue personnel and of course the ubiquitous Port-a-Potties. I, for one, will not be watching. Was it his father, or grandfather, who fell to his death in a similar stunt? Not sure this is my kind of entertainment. Hope he makes it across safe and sound.

Well that's my Friday Round-Up. Sorry, no film at 11. Have a super Friday.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Signs of Summer Solstice

Litha, the Wiccan sabbat celebrating the summer solstice, arrives next week.

Obviously the warmer temperatures, fireflies at night, trees in full green regalia and kids running through sprinklers are some of the signs of the season.

Here are a few more:

Strawberries are in season here in Central New York. "U-Pick" Strawberry signs are popping up all over.

Oh, boy! Farmers Markets are opening all around! Every week something new is on display.

That screaming you hear is likely due to the fact that the school bell has rung for the last time this year.

And now the kiddies are heading off to enjoy swimming, canoeing, poison ivy and hiking.

Also the smell of barbeques being fired up all over the neighborhood, after-dinner runs to the ice cream shop or perhaps the scintillating sounds of the blender whipping up strawberry daiquiris to sip on the deck.

Savoring summer is a joyful occupation.

And for Wiccans, it is a time to celebrate the full and glorious return of Light, the flourishing of all Nature and the opportunity to honor the Goddess and the God in their aspects of full health and vivid life.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


A good soaking rain today for which I say "Thanks". Such hot weather again over the last few days and the trees, shrubs, gardens are drooping a bit. Humans and dogs drooping too. Can you say "Ice cream, please"?

Last night, as the weather changed, a beautiful glide on our porch swing. A buoyant breeze passed through the garden. Sighing in relief, we swung and watched the fireflies bouncing in the wind, enjoyed the ker-roaking of frogs from a nearby pond and were blessedly free of mosquitos, thanks to the breezy-ness.

Simple pleasures provided by Nature are often the most profound.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Hotness, and I don't mean the weather

A certain Swedish blogger I know (Hi Christer)  is going to shake his head and groan when I write this. BUT, today is Johnny Depp's birthday and I can't let it pass, nor should I, right Stacy? For all you Depp Darlings out there, our dreamy fella turns 49 today. I would so enjoy presenting him with a birthday cake, wouldn't you?

Just got the new Eli Monpress book. This is the book I talked about last month, written by Rachel Aaron. A wonderful author with imagination and skill. The latest book about the irrepressible Eli is called The Spirit War. I have read about 50 pages and it looks to be as great as the other books in this series. Give it a try, seriously.

Speaking of books, a good one for those interested in the celebration of a wonderful Wiccan sabbat is called Midsummer, by Anna Franklin. This lovely book explains all about the Summer Solstice, (Litha is the Wiccan name for this sabbat) including traditional events, food, customs, rituals, folk lore, crafts, correspondences. A ton of info. I enjoy reading these type of books a few weeks before a sabbat to refresh my memory and to get charged up for my own observance.

All for today. Have a wonderful Saturday.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday Afternoon

So I have spent the morning running errands, driving here, there and everywhere. I find I don't like shopping much these days. Unless it is books or garden stuff, or the metaphysical shop. It is hot in the car, people can be rude in parking lots, and there is just too much junk in the stores. Junk!!

Anyway, sorry about the grumpy start to this post.

It is Friday, we will be grilling this weekend, finishing up garden tasks and maybe a movie!  Everyone is invited over to my back porch, okay? 

Have a super weekend.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Time to Get Dirty

Yes, a little behind in the planting department. But correcting that is a priority over the next several days, despite dismal weather forecasts.

Here are some plants waiting to be popped into containers. Petunias, angelonia, dusty miller, diamond frost and a new plant I don't remember the name.

Look at these sad, empty containers waiting for their summer finery. Soon, my darling pots, soon!

Shocking state of my garden. Weeds doing splendidly, thank you. Though the sage is in bloom (the blue flowers you see here), and the creeping thyme is creeping nicely over the edge. I have seeds to sow, after weeds are pulled.

We planted this clematis two seasons ago. This is the first year it has bloomed, and it is spectacular. This photo does not do the flowers justice. (click for a closer look).

Here is another clematis, "Roguchi", that I absolutely love. The bell-shaped blooms are a major draw for the hummingbirds and bumblebees. This clematis has bloomed and thrived from the very beginning (3 seasons ago). And there is Lexie in the background (the tail of lashing death in full view)

I hope I will have lots of wonderful garden photos over the next few weeks. Magickal herb plantings are on my mind, too.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday Medley--Robin wins an E-Book!

Does it drive you nuts that I am always changing my blog backgrounds? I like to have a seasonal kind of look. And sometimes there are special occasions. So I go to the blogger template area and browse their offerings. I am not techno-creative, you know, so I can't make my own stuff, or headers or buttons and all those neat, but totally confusing-to-me additions.

Anyway, guess what? I won an e-book!! Totally unexpected. It was all part of Magaly Guerrero's blog event. She is that terrific witchy writer, you know. Her blog is here: Pagan Culture  She has just released her latest story "AlmaMia Cienfuegos" and had 13 days of celebration. Visiting different blogs each day. Fun for all. The day Magaly visited Stacy's blog Magic Love Crow I left a comment there, and that's how I won my own e-book copy of Magaly's wonderful story. You should go visit Magaly's blog to find out all about her book and other writings.  Big thanks and hugs to Magaly and to Stacy too!

Now you know I don't have an e-reader, eek! Fortunately though my son Nicarus was home when I received Magaly's email with my gift from He clicked through all the "stuff" and downloaded a PC e-reader function for my laptop. I didn't even know you could do that! (See, I know nothing, Jon Snow!) (oh, the Jon Snow thing is a reference to "Game of Thrones" in case you haven't read the book). Am I rambling? Yes, but never mind!!

Let's all of us have a really great week. Safe, sound, happy & healthy! Blessings & hugs from Robin.

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Merry Meet

A rainy, coolish day. But a little rain won't keep a Wiccan and her family, driving from Pennsylvania, getting together with a Wiccan in New York. Kim, also known as Lady Caer Morganna from her blog  along with her husband and his parents, are headed north to Ontario, Canada to partake of a cruise. In order to get from Pennsylvania to Ontario it is necessary to pass through New York, specifically, Syracuse NY. And who lives in the Syracuse area? Me.

So a few emails and phone calls later, a bit of geographic confusion on both our parts, we settled on a meeting place. The anticipation definitely built up over the few days before our rendez-vous. How great to meet someone in person that you have known close to two years! Between reading each other's blogs, commenting, emails, etc, a friendship grows. You all know how that goes, right?

Robin  (sitting) and Kim

Trying to lean out of the glare from the windows behind
A memorable time with giggles and chatter, chuckling and smiles. Great company! Kim's husband is very sweet and his parents are adorable! A true pleasure to meet them and enjoy a meal together.

Kim and I had gifts for each other. The photo below is of the beautiful presents Kim gave me.

Beautiful gifts from Pennsylvania Dutch country. I will treasure always.
Here is Kim looking at the journal I gave her.(a tiny bit of her hubby there too)
Our get-together was too short, of course; short, but sweet.  A heart-warming meeting of kindred spirits, Wiccan sisters, true friends. I am certain we will meet again.

Kim waving farewell
And off they go on their great adventure in Ontario. In spite of the weather, a beautiful day.

Merry Meet and Merry Part, and Merry Meet Again!!