Oct 30, 2009

Upon Each Samhain

I miss you most upon each Samhain
When the boundary turns to sheer
I wait until the veil is parted
At the ending of the year.
Sweet spirit, as you walk among us
At the tolling of this eve
I see your face beyond the sunset
And hear your voice upon the breeze.

In the glowing of the candle,
From the shadow on the wall
I watch for you in every movement
And hear your footsteps in the hall.
Can you sit and spend the evening
As the portal opens wide?
Ancestral dead, I bid you welcome,
Most recent dead, I pray, abide.

When you come I sense your presence
I put my hand out in the air
A moment, then, we stand united
Palm to palm while waiting there.
I miss you most upon each Samhain
When the boundary turns to sheer
We share these hours until the dawning
Then bid farewell until next year.

David O. Norris "Upon Each Samhain"

Oct 27, 2009

The Sweet and the Bittersweet

Today, I'm feeling better (mostly) so I decided to make a showing at work for a few hours before running back home at lunch. I oh-so-mindfully ate my lunch hunched over the kitchen sink while simultaneously mixing up a batch of my famous sugar cookies. Okay, they aren't my famous cookies - they are from the old Betty Crocker cookbook. But I make them several times a year and pass them off as my own. No, I don't feel guilty.

Here is the easy-peasy recipe:

2/3 cup salted butter (this takes out one step - I don't add salt!)
3/4 cup white sugar (no, these aren't good for you.)
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups flour
4 tsp milk

*Cut first 2 ingredients together with a pastry cutter. Add egg and using a hand mixer, beat until fluffy. Add vanilla, baking powder and flour, 1 cup at a time. Add milk when needed to moisten dough. Separate into two balls, refridgerate for an hour, roll, cut, and bake at 350 for 10-12 min (depending on how dark you like them.)

So easy!

In other exciting news - I received my Jack Splat figurine from The Whimsical Cottage - click picture below (which was borrowed from her) to check out her wonderful blog! He is perfectly charming and is now sitting on my altar, guarding a large quartz crystal. Thanks so much D!

Some sad news - Ted Andrews, the author responsible for Animal Speak, has passed. I am a fan of this book, although I know he wrote more. This book is the reason my interest was stirred in Shamanism and the symbolism of animals as messengers and guides.

Now I'm running off to pick up my neices from school and to do a dress rehearsal for Halloween. I can't wait to see them in their costumes!
Blessings to all!

Oct 26, 2009

On Colds and Candy...

I officially have a cold. Yuck.

Turns out, all that self-care was needed...but didn't actually prevent me from succumbing to the random virus that grabbed me. At any rate, I'm staging a rather agressive attack with Vitamin C and D, Manuka honey, Zinc lozenges, tea, Elderberry syrup, salt water for gargling and my neti pot, and plenty of sleep. Oh, plus a mustard poultice and a rub of eucalyptus for the congestion. Whew! It's a full-time job just keeping on top of the treatments - but I'm feeling better than yesterday, so something has to be working...

Although I was feeling rough, I did make a short stop at Walmart yesterday. The only good thing about a cold is that I don't feel like eating chocolate. For now...

Today, I am taking advantage of my day off to get going on my Halloween goody bags for my neices and my friends kids. I always make them special bags each year. When they were smaller I made these crackers that Martha suggested.

They went over like gangbusters, but that was when the kids were smaller. Now, the goody bags are much larger!

So, in between naps and tea, I'll be organizing the ridiculous amount of candy and Halloween trinkets I have into piles for the little goblins that are going to show up on October 31st.

Oct 24, 2009

Taking A Time Out Today

We've had brief moments of sunshine this week. A little here, and a little there. Punctuated by entire days of low cloud and rain. Our glorious Indian Summer faded into a lovely Fall, which then immediately turned to a November-ish gloom.

I'm hiding inside today, getting little done. It's a reading day - one I've wanted for a while now. Nothing to do (although I did sort through my freezer and tossed the unrecognizables) and nowhere to be. A nice change after such a hectic week!

I've fallen rather flat on the Halloween activities these past few days (not for lack of trying!) My non-work time has been used for more 'self-care' than celebration. Which, honestly, is what I'm needing right now.

I gave my Reiki teacher a session on Wednesday, which made me feel really good as well. (The great thing about Reiki is that you receive some nice energy yourself when you are working on someone!) On Thursday, I took a few hours off work and hit the bookstore for some un-necessary shopping (the best kind.) I came home with a book on Reiki and one on Chakras. Yesterday I had an hour-long massage with my therapist which was amazing. I think I left my body at one point...

I've also managed to do a bit of yoga and a meditation each morning, which has made a world of difference on how I feel going into my day. Pulling a Tarot card each day has also been on the 'to do' list, and I've had some interesting cards!

The only 'lack' right now, is some fresh air. I find with the cooling of the season, I'm more drawn inward, but it does lend itself to a bit of hermit-ism in my case. I could easily not leave the house until Spring if left to my own devices.

But I'll work on that tomorrow...

Oct 5, 2009

Welcome "Haunted Blog Tour" Patrons!

It's a pleasure to meet you! My name is Rue - welcome to Rue and Hyssop!

I'm a rather ecclectic Pagan, with all sorts of leanings here and there. But I do enjoy some of the finer things in witchy life, like my herb and veggie gardens, my cats, celebrating the seasons, my small circle of "elemental" sisters (you know who you are) and the joy of reading all the wonderful blogs out there (Pagan and otherwise) in the 'blog-verse.'

These are my 'kids' (left to right) Dexter and Daisy. They are brother and sister, rescued from a barn on a farm, where their mother had abandoned them.

I also spend quite a bit of time with my wonderful neices, one of whom is a little witch-in-training.

You'll find posts here about wine and vodka, farmers markets and gardens, moons and Sabbats, and whatever else is on my wandering mind! I do hope you enjoy yourself - feel free to stay and put your feet up.

Special thanks to Mrs. B for leading the tour!

Hoping you all have a wonderful month of October, and a fabulously fun and spooky Halloween/Samhain!



Oct 4, 2009

Farmers Market Saturdays

This is the famers market in the next town that I attend. It runs from May to October and spans two blocks of Main Street that is closed off to traffic, so we can wander the booths full of beautiful fruits and veggies! There are also bakeries, artisans, musicians, and performers. And, it's a great time to pop into those Main Street stores I've always wanted to check out!

I've never seen an artichoke flower before. Now I want to plant them, just so I can have some of these on my table next Autumn!

Heirloom tomatoes in a rainbow of colors - yum!

We stumbled upon this motley crew of Morris dancers. They call themselves the "Black Sheep." (Sorry about the photo quality. It was freezing yesterday, and I was being a lazy photographer - preferring to try to keep my hands warm than take a great picture.)
Although I hauled home quite a bit from the market yesterday - it didn't stop me from going shopping today for more Halloween decorations and treats. I found a fab skull and a black cat candy dish (which I will not fill....yet.)
Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Oct 1, 2009

Dexter Ponders The Pumpkin...

Dexter isn't sure what to do with all my Halloween decorations (except grab them, rip them up, and eat them.) The only thing he seems to stay away from is the pumpkins. Perhaps I should just fill my house with gourds and I'll be sure to still have decorations when Halloween arrives!

My project today is to get the rest of my decorations up (really, really high) before Dex finds the box and destroys what's left!

Happy October 1st!