Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Poppies For Young Men...

"In Flanders' fields the poppies blow..."

One autumn I optimistically amended my flower beds with blood meal...LOTS of blood meal...hoping the nitrogen content would boost my spring plantings.
Boy did it!
Not only did my usual plants thrive, but poppies--dozens of poppies--sprang up EVERYWHERE.
I hadn't planted poppies in years, yet suddenly it seemed that every dormant seed in my soil had decided to wake up.  The blood meal was key.

Then I had a sobering thought...
"In Flanders' fields the poppies blow..."

Like many kids, I had to memorize John McCrae's poem "In Flanders Fields."  I liked the poem, it was an easy 'A,' but I never made the connection between poppies and death in war until my garden exploded with poppies as a result of my blood meal feeding.

Now, when I treat my flower beds with blood meal, I do so in honor of the brave men and women who have served my country.  And each spring I am reminded to be grateful.

Thank you.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Rocking the Early Post Halloween Sales

OK, reason # 653 of 'Why I Love Halloween?'  Two words:
The Sales.

I wasn't even looking for Halloween stuff at this point--it's a week before Halloween for Goddess' sake!  I usually hit the sales day before or day of.  But while on a quest (unfulfilled) for the perfect pair of canvas sneakers (cuz, you know, I NEEDS me some more canvas sneakers), I stumbled into Williams Sonoma where all Halloween merchandise was on clearance.  Never one to say no to a deal I snagged me some excellent Halloween booty.  Score!

$3.99--What?!!  I'll totally use these all year...

$4.99 for this bad boy--I may have to gut a pumpkin early just to play.  
Any accessory for the power drill is OK by me...

$.99?!!!  I should have stocked up for Yule presents! 

Better still...crazy pumpkins were on sale for $1.99 each at my local Target.  I filled my cart and took a picture of the display just in case they wanted to fight me on it.  No mistake though.  I should have gotten more...

Friday, October 24, 2014

Crap I Can Get My Kids To Eat If I Call It Halloween Food

I'm not gonna lie to you--my kids are not particularly picky eaters.  So long as the food is brown and probably fried, they'll eat it no problem.  They're good like that.  This is yet another reason why I LOVE Halloween, and you know, around here, Halloween lasts from mid September until the candy runs out (like, late September).

Anyhoo, back when the kids were more gullible younger, I started making special "Halloween" themed foods.  I was amazed by what I could get away with serving them.  There's no WAY they would have eaten anything even remotely healthy without threat of no TV, yet here they were asking for more!

Here are a few of the dishes that have made the cut so far:

Witch fingers--These are green beans lightly sautéed in a little olive oil and then sprinkled with kosher
salt.  I know it's so rude and I hate the green old-lady stereotype, being neither green nor old-ladyish myself.  But if it gets a vegetable or two down my sweet offsprings' gullets, I will deal.  For a bonus, if you toss some sesame seeds on it you can call them maggots.

Witch hair--(Seriously?  I really need to come up with better Halloween archetypes to name my food for)--VERY finely shredded purple cabbage (you'll totally have to get a cheap V-slicer for this one, just be sure not to slice off the tips of your fingers), again lightly sauteed in a little oil and salted to taste.  If you add a tinytinytiny bit of apple cider vinegar to it the color will be brighter.

Peas are obviously monster boogers.  So is edamame.  Honestly, the grosser the name, the more likely my creepy babies are to eat it.

Black lentils, or any lentils for that matter--eye of newt.  HA!  No witch in that food!  I usually serve this in the form of Wicked Chili.

These are just a few of our favorites.  When I'm being realistic I'll work a couple of these dishes into the kids' normal chicken-tender laden meal (except the chicken tenders are mummy scabs, of course).  So, in case you were wondering, here's tonight's menu:

Mummy Scabs
Scary pasta (Halloween themed pasta I picked up at the grocery--it's got bat and spider shapes.  I should really stock up on this stuff now)
with creamy pus (white cheese sauce of course--straight out of the Velveeta packet)
and monster boogers.
I'll probably add a side of witch hair just to make the plate colorful.
I'm totally grossing myself out just writing about this right now.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


(Warning--this one's about a 9 on the "ew" scale.  Seriously.)

So I opened the front door this morning to find a couple of piles of what I thought was nasty cat vomit on my welcome mat.  Turns out they were a couple of piles of inside-out rodent.  I'm not sure which is worse, but the welcome mat is never gonna be the same.  Seems the sweet, cuddly little 'integrated-pest-management-system' which is my cat left me a present.  Bless him.

Aaanyway, as usual, I was the one who got stuck de-ewing the front porch and as I'm trying to pick up random rat organs with my grocery bag-wrapped hand I was reminded of the ancient (and kinda gross) practice of haruspicy (also called extispicy), and I couldn't help but wonder what an ancient Etruscan haruspex would have gotten out of my sweet kitty's morning offering.  Ooh, and on a new moon too!  Hmmm....

Personally I suspect it was a death threat.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pagan Geeking Out Here

Oh.  My.  Goddess!!!
I LOVE it when a celestial event happens at a time and place that is ever so convenient to me!
This morning's full lunar eclipse was the perfect storm of awesome--

Awake anyway?  Check
Clear skies?  Check
Cool October morning?  Check
Coffee in hand?  Check and check

Aaand, just as I'm sitting there, considering which incense I want to burn to honor this magical moment and creeping out the poor jogger who runs by my house every morning, I hear an eerie trilling sound.  Then another.  A pair of freaking OWLS were hanging out in my neighbors' trees providing the soundtrack to my pagan moment.  No. Way!  OWLS!!  October, full moon, lunar eclipse and owls! Throw in my cat nagging me for breakfast and it was almost cliché it was so Halloweenie.  My heart was swelling with a love for all things pagan (or maybe that third cup of coffee) and I HAD to share this with my family.

Of course, the fam was less than pleased...
Me (around 5:30 a.m.):  Get up!!!  Lunar eclipse!  Quickquickquickhurry!!!
Them:  uuuuuuunnnnnggggghhhhhhh....

Still, all in all a successful esbat.  Now I'm going back to bed.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Bored Witchcraft

While totally trapped in the house by weather and sick offspring, with no motivation to do anything practical--like clean or cook or, you know, bathe, I thought to myself  "This.  This is why magic should never be easy."

Seriously.  If spells were easy, I'd go all Samantha Stevens on EVERYTHING.  Dishes dirty?  Nose wiggle.  Grape juice (ha!) stain on my shirt?  Nose wiggle.  Spouse bringing the boss home for an impromptu twelve course dinner and spot check on my home?  Big, fat nose wiggle.

I'd abuse the heck outa that nose wiggle power.  How fun would that be?  Of course, then there's that whole balance in the universe thing, and all that nose wiggling would eventually have a price.  You never see Samantha's mom Endora sacrificing a rooster or goat or anything, but I have to wonder where all that power would have come from...?

What's that you say?  Bewitched was just a popular TV series from 1964 to 1972 and not real?  Bite your tongue I say!  I've based my entire life on this show (not really).  Granted, my sons Tabitha and Darwood kind of wish I hadn't (especially Tabitha--we call him Tab for short), but you know...positive roll models and all...

But I still can't wiggle my nose for crap.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

OPK (Other Pagans' Kids)

I had an interesting experience this weekend--

A niece was staying over and I thought "Finally!  Another female in the house--I can watch a chick flick!" and by 'chick flick' I mean, of course, "Practical Magic" which I NEVER get to watch because it's girly and witchy and doesn't have any aliens or super heroes or men without shirts with flexy muscles (that last part's just me--the men-folk in this house really don't care about flexy muscles).

Aaanyway, girl-person and I were happily plugged into my girly/witchy movie with a tub of popcorn and a big, fat glass of wine (for me, not her--she got cream soda) and almost immediately the questions started.  "Why are they doing that?"  "What's a solstice?"  "Why can't she just go into the circle?"

I was amazed.  So many of the witchy references in the movie are things I take for granted, and what with the magic of the Internet, I find that I just ASSUME that everybody just knows about full moon esbats and solstices and casting circles and stuff.  Seriously...she thought my Tarot deck was a card game (which, I guess technically it could be...) and how could she not know the importance of a good circle casting?

I had always assumed, if I had daughters, I would subtly raise them in the Craft the way I was, and give them "the talk" when they were old enough.  My sons have never expressed any interest, other than playing with my crystals and running around the house with incense sticks like little pyromaniac ribbon dancers.  But how do you explain your personal dogma to someone else's child?

Being the discreet witch that I am (and since one can never be sure just how liberal a kid's parents REALLY are) I very delicately explained what I could.  I found that psychology came into the explanations far more often than magic.  Jungian archetypes are quite handy that way, you know.  Historical and etymological references came up a lot, until the poor girl's eyes glazed over with boredom.  Frankly I think she wished we had picked "Captain America" for our movienight.  In hindsight it saddened me to hear myself break down my own personal belief system into such dry terms.  But what do you do?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Sister Moon

Hella-crappy night last night.

I woke from a "chase-me" nightmare to the sound of dogs wining to go outside.  2:00 a.m. and freezing and my sweet canines want to romp in the moonlight.  Grumpily, I don layers and blankets and escort the sweet creatures into the yard to find whatever it was that called to them.

As I stood there, freezing my tootsies off and imagining a world without dogs, I looked around.  The moon nearly full was so bright I could have read a book by her light.  All around, moonlight reflected off of the frost on the ground and the water flowing by.  A pair of owls called out in the distance.

Suddenly, I became less pissed-off that my dogs were up at 2:00 a.m. and more grateful that I was experiencing this moment.

Have a magickal day.