Merry Meet and Merry Part, and Merry Meet again

Friday, February 27, 2015

Normal is on the Way

Here we are, the last Friday in February. What a crazy month for weather here. March better behave itself and begin a fast trek to Spring. I'm just sayin'.

My husband has begun his trip back to complete physical normalcy. He had Phase 1 this week of preliminary testing to prepare for what we hope is the last surgery. He has been dealing with an ileostomy for many months now, and after a few more tests the surgeon will be scheduling the "reconnect" (of his small intestine). And then, he will be done with this over-two-year tribulation. Thankfully and at long last!!

Thoughts are turning to the blooms of Spring. Looking for color! The landscape is bleak and harsh right now. Those blackish snow banks everywhere. Won't it be wonderful when bulbs burst into full flower!!

My tulips from a couple of springs ago
My reading marathon continues. My son keeps busy shoveling and clearing the cars of snow. Hubby is working daily and we all enjoy the woodstove and the fireplace. The cats love the warmth, but our dog Gwennie gets scared by the popping and sparking of the fire. I guess it is too much like fireworks on Independence Day, poor little thing!

Keep safe and cozy.  Robin.

Friday, February 20, 2015


Greetings from the Arctic Circle, New York annex!

It is almost becoming ridiculous how much snow we have. And the sub-zero temps. That is all we can talk about.

Our kitchen window
Occasionally, for 30 seconds or so, there is a little tiny spot in the sky where the sun wants to peek out. But if you blink, you will miss it.

Snow is almost past our deck railing
Surprisingly, only minor symptoms of cabin fever because there is a lot to keep occupied with inside. (watching snowplows go by, and the son out there with shovel and snowblower are mildly interesting).

I made a library run a few days ago before this latest snowfall. I adore reading.

Visiting the Blog-o-Sphere is also a pleasant activity.

And streaming British tv shows on Netflix.

Baking and cooking, playing with kittens and thinking about summer gardens.

If you are snowed in, how do you keep from going stir crazy?

I watch the springs, the summers, the autumns;
And when comes the winter snow monotonous,
I shut all the doors and shutters
To build in the night my fairy palace.
~Charles Baudelaire, "Paysage," compiled from multiple translations

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Time to change out my lucky animal. The Chinese New Year is here, and no, I am not Chinese, but I enjoy celebrating. I have put my Horse out to pasture and replaced it on the mantle with a Sheep.

She's wearing a sweater (wool, of course) because it's below zero

Although I have seen in other places that it is the Year of the Goat. I guess around our house we will use Sheep; I don't have a goat.

Another foot of snow fell overnight. I think it is the Year of the Abominable SnowMan!

Have a great Thursday!!    Robin

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Oh, It's Pancake Day

Pancakes, hot cakes, flapjacks, griddle cakes, crepes whatever you want to call them, today is the official day to eat them. It's Mardi Gras. A tradition in my family for many a long while is to eat pancakes for dinner on Mardi Gras.

En francais, Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday of course.

How about a stack of these babies:

If one were following the traditional religious reason for eating pancakes on Fat Tuesday, one would stuff as many carbo-laden pancakes as possible into one's mouth in preparation for fasting on Ash Wednesday.

But who needs a reason? Everyday could be pancake day as far as I am concerned.

So get in the race and get those flapjacks flapping, those frying pans griddlin' and whip up a batch of delicious pancakes (guilt-free I assure you). You don't mess with tradition.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Merry Monday

Pixie has a good viewing spot for watching the birds at the feeder, and the squirrels that sneak and lurk.

Monday has dawned sunny. Blindingly bright. Reflecting off the mounds and peaks of snow. The arctic temperatures remain way below zero. Despite the cold, I can hear the sparrows that live in the eaves of our covered porch chattering happily away. Amazing how they can survive.

But Nature has a way to help wild things survive. Here's a prime example:

I would like to wish daughter raethan and her sweet hubby Happy Housewarming as they have moved to a lovely new place in Connecticut. Good luck with the unpacking too.  Hopefully this didn't happen:

Enjoy Monday (is that possible?).   Robin

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Snowed In

Woosh!! We have a lot more snow, and we are under a wind chill warning. It is expected to feel like minus 40 degrees F through Monday. Frostbite can occur within 15 minutes.

Our deck
View from my kitchen window

The wood stove is keeping us toasty and we have plenty of hot cocoa.

Yesterday before the weather deteriorated I scurried to the grocery store. As soon as you enter the store, you are bombarded by mega displays of Valentine, candy, balloons and random heart-shaped items. I did actually, purchase the heart-shaped strawberry shortcake and 6 chocolate dipped strawberries.  Very delicious.  But I drew the line at this heart-shaped item:

Valentine Meat!

Hey everybody, stay safe and warm and enjoy your Sunday!!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

For Those Who Do and For Those Who Don't

Happy Valentine's Day, Wiccan Wreaders!

If you are opposed to Valentine's Day
here's a random picture

Happy Saturday!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Oh, Lucky Day!

13 is a lucky number!! Nothing to be scared of. Witches love the number 13. There is power in that number. So enjoy the day.

As if Nature wanted to celebrate the day, at 8:00 a.m. this morning the thermometer read minus 13. Yes, -13 degrees F.  The icicles have icicles.

I don't think I will be venturing out today. Okay, call me a wuss. I readily admit to a dislike of breathing arctic air; searing my sinuses and freezing my eyes. All the schools here are closed because of the cold. Wind chill factors are way down there.

Stay warm and don't run out of hot cocoa.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


May I just take a moment to say "Happy Birthday" to President Abraham Lincoln; we always made silhouettes in grade school of both Mr. Lincoln (Feb 12th) and President George Washington (Feb 22nd) to honor them (I guess); and let us not forget the ubiquitous penny and quarter that bear their likenesses (though I admit I hate pennies).

Happy Birthday,  Honest Abe

Enjoy your Thursday.  Must fly.   Robin

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Feeling My Oats

Today is a wonderfully sunny day. It is tremendous to see blue sky and sunshine. It's cold, but that is alright with the sun shining.

Having been perked up by the elusive rays of the sun, I decided it would be a great time to make some cookies for afternoon tea.

And oatmeal cookies sprang to mind.  I have a great recipe from my mom.

I think it is time to re-copy this recipe. Unfortunately a good many of my recipe cards look like this. I tend to be a messy baker. A lot of my recipe cards are over 30 years old, and are looking a little worse for the wear.  Sounds like a good project for the next Antarctic blast of air and weather.

When I mix up a batch of "whatever", I always stir "deosil" (jo-zil) otherwise known as clockwise. I do this while thinking positive thoughts, thinking of love and light and pleasant things, of healing. It is so automatic after all these years. I definitely have a Witchy kitchen. During a waning Moon, I will stir "widdershins" (counterclockwise) and thinking about removing negativity, sending away bad thoughts, sending away illness, or whatever bad stuff might be hanging around.

Oatmeal cookies remind me of winter days when I was growing up. Fresh batches appeared regularly on the kitchen counter at home. These days, I think about my daughter who loves, loves, loves oatmeal cookies. Hi raethan!! Sorry you can't be here to eat these yummy cookies.

Ooops there goes the timer for another batch in the oven!!!   Eat something delicious today!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Natural Snow Sculptures

The last few days of snow have created interesting sculptures in the back yard.

And a view out of the front window shows some dangerous looking icicles.

Our two-family birdhouse looks like a Swiss chalet

Good job, Nick!
A break in the snowfall for a couple of days and then more, more & more.

How are you faring this winter?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Easy as Pie

I have told you all before about my love-hate relationship with pies. I love to eat them, but have always had a devil of a time making a pie crust. I've watched videos, cut out instructional tips from magazines, had many a pep talk from friends and family. Just this past Yule I made crusts for two pies. One was okay, the other sort of so-so. It is a sad fact that I am unable to conquer the pastry; flakiness is the "crust" of the matter.

Bemoaning this problem one day a couple of weeks ago to my son, we discussed alternatives. Ready-made pie crusts are so convenient, but they don't taste like Mayberry's Aunt Bee's pies. I make a lot of delicious and successful other baked goods, so nicarus told me just focus on what I do well and don't worry about pies. But I do worry about pies.

Apple crisp is the family's favorite dessert. I use my mom's recipe and it is always wonderful. We got to talking about graham cracker crusts, which are so simple to make. And yet are they perfect for all types of pie? Nick suddenly came up with the suggestion to try making an Apple Crisp Pie, using a graham cracker crust. Hmmm.

Yesterday, I cast off the fear of pies, and made a pie with splendid results!

Crushing the cinnamon graham crackers, melting butter and stirring in some sugar.  Pressing this mixture into a pie plate. Hassle free.

Peeling and slicing apples, making the apple crisp topping and baking. Easy-peasy.

We enjoyed a pie and I didn't have an anxiety attack!!

Easy as pie!!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Dreaming on a Saturday

Each fairy breath of summer, as it blows with loveliness, inspires the blushing rose. ~Author Unknown

Friday, February 6, 2015

Bird, Books and Bertie

Drat. I was trying to get a really cute photo to post here this morning, but my subjects were most uncooperative. I was watching my canary, Ringo take a bath, who was in turn being watched by Pyewacket.  This is a daily occurrence, but unfortunately, everytime I came close enough to get a good shot, Pye would run away, or Ringo would stop bathing. Of course, Pye running away is not unusual in this situation because we frown on him standing up and grabbing at the cage. (and I may have been known to spritz him with a water sprayer).

Anyway, so I stayed at my living room table, hoping for a fair photo. I don't know if you will be able to get a closer view by clicking on the photo.

A snowy weekend ahead of us. We already have quite a bit of snow on the ground, so I most likely will head out to the library today to replenish my reading material. Just read a collection of P.G. Wodehouse. Absolutely hilarious. English author who wrote in the early '30s about a rich young man, Bertie Wooster and his amazing gentleman's gentleman, Jeeves. A lifestyle that is unrecognizable today (and maybe even back then) but the conundrums and mixups Bertie gets into and that Jeeves gets him out of, make for many chuckles. If you need a few pleasant hours of fun, read some Wodehouse!

Besides streaming Netflix and watching You Tube, not much else going on. I think there may be some household tasks to perform; maybe I will get to that too.  Or not.

Happy Friday.   Robin

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Moon Light

Last night, cooking dinner, I was feeling cranky. Sometimes I just get so tired of cooking dinners night after night. Kind of get in a humdrum rut of meals. So I put a pot of potatoes onto boil, and banged the frying pan to brown some ham steaks and stomped around in general.

And then......I caught a glimpse out my kitchen window. It was very dark and there She was. A glorious Full Moon, close and large, just rising. Right outside my window. It was eye-opening. I watched that glowing, bright white orb, the Moon of Many Names. Snow Moon, Quickening Moon, Hunger Moon, Wolf Moon, just to name a few. (Each month's Full Moon has its own qualities and significance, and depending on tradition, background or culture, can be called many different names.)

For me it was Transforming Moon. My grumpy mood fell away, my spirit was lifted and I continued my tasks in a cheerful way. I reminded myself of the beauty and wonder of the Universe, of how each moment is a gift, to live in gladness of the moment and to be thankful and inspired by what the Full Moon represents: the  Light, Love, and Guidance and Protection of the Goddess in all Her many ways.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Blessed Imbolc

The earth stirs the tiniest bit. A spark pops into being and thus begins the first idea that Spring will be coming to life before we can say "Rabbit, Rabbit"! This is Imbolc. In a wintry place it is impossible to see much in the way of signs of Spring. The later sunsets are the most apparent sign. Longer days, a second at a time.

Imbolc offers the opportunity to welcome our own stirrings: from quiet nights and short days, to begin thinking about the warmer times ahead of us; not just the physical realm, but the spiritual awakenings as well. Does a spark burn a bit in yourself now?

Well, I have been in hibernation for the last couple of weeks. Partly because of the frigidity of the northern clime I live in, and partly because the family, myself included, have been ailing with head colds. Mutually miserable.

Today we have managed to receive a little over two feet of snow. Buried the durn groundhogs!

My snow castle

Husband and son enjoyed the Super Bowl last night. I enjoyed the half-time show. I made good football game food. We weren't really rooting for either team, but because I live closer to New England than Seattle, I am glad the Patriots won.

Time to continue with my wintry duties: reading in front of the fire, cuddled up with kittens and an old dog.
Back soon.

Last night's fire