Archive for the ‘fun times’ Category

I do consider Samhain to be the beginning of my spiritual year, but I also cannot deny the status quo in regards to modern society.  Generations have looked to the point between December and January as the threshold to a new year and the continual existence of all. I can’t deny the power associated with such a movement, even if I don’t always observe it with much excitement.  Last year I spent it quietly with my husband.  We relaxed.  This year, I’ll likely spend it helping my sister move and then celebrating with some of my tribe.

Another thing I want to do is clean my home as best as I can.  Many people believe that what you do at the end of the old year will follow you into the new year, and that we should strive to surround ourselves with the qualities we want to fill our lives with.  I want my apartment to be cleaner and I want to take more time making it thus.  I spent some time today cleaning and organizing the kitchen.  There is still work to be done but it’s slowly getting better and more user-friendly.

I also find myself looking forward to the green half of the year.  With the Winter Solstice pretty much over (I plan to take my decorations down on the 6th.  There’s an old Irish belief that it’s unlucky to do so before or after.), I find myself excited for Beltaine.  I feel a bit bad about that since I don’t feel as giddy over the next high day, Imbolc, which is sacred to my blessed Lady Brighid, but to me that’s more of a quiet holiday for counting one’s blessings.  The Spring Equinox has never been that festive to me either.  Beltaine, though, is another story completely.  The ground will finally be completely or in the process of thawing.  The leaves will be blossoming and the robins will assuredly be back by then.  It is when my grove erects a May Pole and we dance about it to provoke the Earth Mother into fecundity.  It is a flirtatious and celebratory time!  I find myself excitedly looking through seed catalogs and humming Jonathan Coulton’s “First of May”…

This time of year is also when I find myself a new calendar.  This year I am going to use  The Artisans Guild of Ár nDraíocht Féin 2011 Calendar.  It supports the guild I belong to and features the work of several amazing Pagan artists – including a couple of my dolls!

Read Full Post »

Hello dear readers! I went away for a few days to visit some of the tribe and travel to the Sterling Renaissance Festival. Hubby and I go every year and always enjoy it immensely. As usual, Weretoad and I dressed up.  It was pirate weekend, but we dressed as …  wealthy merchants?  Lesser nobles?  I dunno.  We wore nice outfits, how about that?  I wore the outfit my mum gave me.  It looked like this but in hunter green.  My husband wore his wedding outfit which looked somewhat like this but with hunter green accents rather than silver and Celtic knot embroidery.  I made us each pouches which I will display at a later date.

I purchased many lovely things.  I always save some money to indulge myself at the Renaissance Festival. I look forward to being more financially secure (if such a thing will be possible in the future) and buying a whole wardrobe or large pieces of home decor one day*.  Even when I cannot afford the luxuries, the numerous talented artisans annually inspire my imagination and encourage me to keep practicing.   

Anyway, I bought a miniature clay bowl for my traveling altar, two bottles of ink (one of green pigment and the other called “wine”), some echinacea root, witch hazel bark, coltsfoot, and rosemary incense.  My husband bought me a rose and an amazing sculpture to hang on our walls (Photo at left.  The sculpture was made by the talented Jason Bakutis).  It’s supposed to be Bast but I don’t get the Egyptian vibe from it.  When I saw it, I fell in love with it as a catsidhe or my personality incarnate**.  Art is all about interpretation, no?  Now I just need to figure out where to hang this beauty…  

We didn’t see as many shows this time, which leads me to believe that we need to go twice next year.  There is just too much to see and do in one day.  I did, however, have an amazing discussion with the Earthcraftyr herbalist and self-proclaimed “ditch witch.”  We talked about trance, flying ointments, different plants,  and connecting with nature.  I was so grateful that she took some time to share her wisdom with me.  I would love to take a class from her in the future.  

* “I wanna be a billionaire so freaking bad…”

**  All the same, I used to be devoted to Bast in my eclectic Wiccan days.  She helped me through some rough times and started me on the road to being a strong woman.  I’ll always be grateful to her for that.  We grew apart eventually; I guess she had taught me all I needed and I was sent promptly to the Gods of Ireland.  

( For My LJ Friends: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ )

Read Full Post »

My vacation is nearly at an end.  We decided to busy ourselves today, get out, and explore a bit more.  Many people I know have taken advantage of their free time to enjoy Myrtle Beach or the like.  Lacking the funds (or, in my husband’s case, the time), we’ve stayed in the state, making the most of it.

Today we visited Clayton, NY.  What a lovely village!  The view of the bay was impressive.   It was a cold, rainy, and windy day so we weren’t exactly comfortable so near the Thousand Islands.  How marvelous visiting will be on the warmer days!  We stopped at the Thousand Islands Art Center, home of the Handweaving Museum.  They had a lovely exhibit of pieces made by local women.  Hubby was equally entranced and we discussed taking a weaving class together sometime.  We spoke with one of the curators who took our information and promised to send us a catalog of summer classes.  I’m very interested in the natural dying class she told me about!  Truly, the whole Center excites me!   I already feel like my understanding of the fiber arts will increase tenfold thanks to my proximity to these classes!  They even have a center totally devoted to pottery and are willing to rent kilns!  This means I can dapple with porcelain in the future!

After that we went to the Lyric Cafe where we enjoyed vegan chai lattes and quesadillas.  My husband, who has not given up dairy entirely, had cheese with his.  The staff were very accommodating to me.  I basically did not have a quesadilla – I had grilled veggies wrapped in a spinach tortilla.  It was absolutely delicious all the same!  I can’t wait to take classes at the Art Center and follow it up with dinner at the cafe! Apparently there is live entertainment on Friday and Saturday evenings.

We headed back to Watertown and decided to visit the Thompson Park Zoo.  It was our first time there and we were not disappointed.  Many people have lamented the absence of more “exotic” specimens, but hubby and I delighted at seeing so many local or semi-local nature spirits – including fishers and wolverines!  My husband was absolutely enamored with them.  To be true, so was I!  I’ve never seen them in person so it was a real treat to think that they are related to our beloved ferrets! I also loved seeing my spirit guide, the Lynx.  I feel compelled to sponsor them in the near future.  It feels right.  We also saw an albino snapping turtle, various examples of venomous NY snakes, black bears, wolves, mountain lions, bald eagles, snowy owls, ravens, and, some of our favorite buggers, otters!  There were many more as well.  I can’t wait to go there again, hopefully with visiting friends and family!

Following that we ran some errands in Watertown.  We’ve started to prepare for Wellspring.  Gander Mountain was having a sale on camping equipment.  We bought a cooler, a waterproof tarp to put under our tent, a tent repair kit, biodegradable shampoo and soap, eco-friendly insect repellant, and a waterproof bag to carry extra blankets in.  (I’ve heard Wellspring can get pretty chilly at night!)

We’re going to spend the end of the evening with some neighbors.  They’ve tried inviting us over in the past but we’ve always been down in Utica.  Today the cards are in our favor and we can actually get to know them.  I hope we don’t come across as too weird…  Brighid, Goddess of the bards, grant me eloquence and the knowledge to hold my tongue when needed tonight!  Dagda, Good God, give me humor and acceptance of my self and others!  Now… to wake my husband from his nap…

Read Full Post »