Dec 30, 2009

Success - It's Not Just A Little Word!


Anastasia, from Deep Inside My Broom Closet, posted something today that inspired me. She picked up an idea from Ali Edwards called "One Little Word" where you choose a single word to focus on over the course of the coming year.

My word is "Success."

I feel like 2009's word was "Growth" and I am very happy with where this year's journey led me. But I have always had a love/hate relationship with success. I think the word has always weighed me down. I felt like, to be successful I had to be what everyone else wanted. I had to be society's version of what success looked like.

Now I realize that I can make my own success, and what it looks like to me - in my home, business, love life, and other places - may not be the same as how it looks to everyone else. And that's okay.

There have been a few bumps in the business planning with my sister in law about the store we are buying and I've been becoming increasingly dissappointed. But I am starting to realize that our visions of success may be different. We either have to find a way to make those visions co-operate, or we may have to find our individual successes in different places. Time will tell.

I think that meditating on this word, and what it means to me, will be a great way to grow in 2010!

I wish you all so much Happiness and Success for the coming year!

Dec 27, 2009

Cleaning Out the Old


One of the things I like about the days between Christmas and the New Year, is the urge I get to re-organize. (Yes, I'm a Virgo.)

There's nothing that makes me feel better than to go through my place, tidy up and find space for my Christmas gifts, which often leads to completely re-organizing closets, cupboards and arrangements.

I'm not a happy pre-Christmas cleaner. Some people use Yule as a good time to sweep out the old, and make room for the new, but I just can't do it. With all the Yule and Christmas planning, it's all I can do to make sure the house is swept and dusted, and the bathroom cleaned. I don't have time for a cleaning ritual, or a full-home re-organization.

But after Christmas, as the dust settles - literally - I find the time and the inclination to be able to look at things in my home and the clarity of mind to make decisions. Do I really need all these wine bottle openers? Are these items just dust collectors, or do I appreciate them? How can I make better use of this space?

This year, as I move into my new place this week, I am looking forward to the ultimate in re-organization. Although moving is a pain and a hassle, I am glad that I didn't end up trying to set up house before Christmas. Now I can take advantage of the energy I have this time of the year, and channel it into furnishing my new home.

I am planning a blessing ritual for my new living space, and setting up my home altar immediately. Unpacking will be my organization for this year.

I also enjoy things like adding essential oils to my bucket of hot water for cleaning. Lavender for peace, Clove for mental stimulation (not in the bedroom!) and Lemon to lift spirits. Singing a little song or chant while I sweep to get rid of the stale energy and lighten up the atmosphere in the home is fun too.

There are so many things you can do to get ready your home ready for the new year's energy. Linked to the above photos from Martha's site, are eco-friendly cleaning tips and organizational ideas, respectively. And, of course, using your magical know-how to add a little something special to your work always helps!





Dec 23, 2009

Wrapping It Up

I've finally finished wrapping gifts...well...almost.

I've also had to slap myself a few times. I actually believe that I am "over" the commercialism of the Holidays, but the truth is, I felt guilty several times today that I didn't buy more for my neices/parents/sibling & wife/friends/garbage man. Sad, but true. Luckily, a few cuffs to my own head, and I seem to be snapping out of it.

My best friend and I are exchanging baking. She loves my Amish bread and Gingersnap cookies. I love her Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies and her Toffee Shortbread. This is the gift I'm most looking forward to. The real question is, why can't I do this with everyone? Exchange something homemade, or a service. Even my massage therapist offered to trade me today for some Reiki.

I would really like to do something about this for next year. Perhaps I'll send out cards just after Halloween, and let everyone know that I'm not buying gifts. That I would happily offer a Reiki session or cater a lunch, or bring baking.

Of course, next year I'll be the owner of a shop, and everyone will expect that I have no excuse not to buy presents. Well....at least I can buy them at cost!

Wishing you all a stress-free Christmas. I hope you have an abundance of good cheer!




PS - You may have noticed, I'm rather fond of these bunny comics. I do post the link on each one, just in case you want to check out Shoebox and their clever website.

Dec 21, 2009

A Mist-Shrouded Yule


The mist settled in today. The snow has melted, and the light rain has been falling for two days now. The Valley is full of grey, like a teacup filled to the brim. It seems appropriate though, with the shortest day having arrived, that the sun wasn't admitted at all and the light of day was fairly short-lived.

It reminded me of the description Dickens gives of London on Christmas eve, in A Christmas Carol.

"The city clocks had only just gone three, but it was quite dark already, - it had not been light all day - and candles were flaring in the windows of neighbouring offices, like ruddy smears upon the palpable brown air. The fog came pouring in at every chink and keyhole, and was so dense without, that, although the court was of the narrowest, the houses opposite were merely phantoms."

I have no doubt, that if I had a keyhole in my door, the mist would have been pouring in here too.

Still, I have perservered today, even going for a walk this morning and watching the horses in the field by the river jumping around as though they knew the Sun was coming again.

I would like to stay up all night, with candles lit, waiting for the light. But I haven't been sleeping well and need the rest. So I'm off to do my Yule ritual, and then onward to bed, with a few pages of Dickens for good measure.

Thank you all for your well-wishes regarding the store. I am very excited, although there is so much to do. First, I must make it past Christmas. I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't sent my cards out yet - perhaps tomorrow, and haven't wrapped a thing. A bit more shopping tomorrow and I may finally be done. I swear I will be more organized next year (which I'm sure is the same thing I said last year.)

Blessings of love, health, prosperity, and much joy to you all on this Yule night!



Dec 18, 2009

New Beginnings


I've survived the last few days of snow and ice, and am now watching as the rain turns the lovely snow into lakes of water along the roadways and yards. I'm hoping we get a spot more snow for Yule and Christmas, but I'm not doing a snow dance or making any wishes. Those things tend to backfire, and produce much more of the white stuff than we need!

On an exciting note, I am in the process of buying a small metaphysical shop (not the above shop - I just enjoyed their pic, and attached the link if you are curious.) The shop that I am purchasing, is the little store where I buy most of my supplies (candles, smudge, books, meditation cds, crystals, etc.) The two ladies that own it want more time to do their own projects and don't have much energy to invest in it. My sister in law (a groovy Buddhist and Tarot reader extraordinare) asked if I wanted a partner, and now we are shooting for February 1st as a takeover day. I am SO thrilled about this new project!

I will definitely do a nice giveaway when I'm an official store owner!

There is still so much to be done with family coming for Christmas, trying to get my painting finished in my new home, then moving, and buying the store. Not to mention, keeping my sanity during the next few months. Luckily, I have wonderful blogs to read that make me smile, and take me out of my own head for a while! Do forgive me if I'm a little late posting comments on your blogs - I'm in a rather constant state of "catch-up" right now.

Looking forward to Yule this Sunday/Monday and to hearing how you are all going to celebrate. I've got some baking to do, and a Reiki share on Sunday, with a ritual planned for that night.

Blessings upon blessings to all of you, and a very happy Yule!






Dec 15, 2009

Be Careful What You Ask For (Or: Where The Hell Is My Snow Shovel?)


For the record, I didn't actually ask for snow. I was merely feeling a little blue with the cold, cold weather and the grey skies. And, perhaps...while helping to put up my parents tree last night, I might have whistfully sighed that "it didn't really feel like the Holidays" to me....

Bugger.

A foot of snow later....

Unfortunately my neighbour called to say that although the highway was clear, the roads in the next town aren't great. I have to go in this afternoon for a meeting and to get my new tires tightened. There may be a long line, because there are always those people who insist on waiting for the first big dump of snow to get proper tires on - so I'll be sure to bring a book.

At any rate, there is no hiding from it. Off I go. I do hope everyone else that was hit by this weather - which from the look of the cloud cover on the weather map on tv, may be the entire northern hemisphere - is safe and warm and getting out and about with little trouble.


I have a feeling this is going to be a Grande Peppermint Mocha day.


Cheers!

Dec 12, 2009

Holiday Fun


Sloan over at Whisper Woods was ever so sweet, and passed this game of holiday fun on to me, that was originally created by Heather. I know it’s made it’s rounds, and I’ve enjoyed reading what everyone has to say about their holidays and traditions.

Here are the rules:

- Copy and paste the questions to your blog.
- Then Tag 5 or more of your favourite blogs and leave them a comment telling them they have been tagged.
- When you post your blog, please spread some Holiday Cheer, and leave a link back to Heather's Blog as well as the one who tagged you.

Here are the questions:

1. Have you started your Christmas shopping?
Just a little...I am really behind!

2. Tell me about one of your special traditions.
My parents, brother and his family, and as many friends as want to join us, go up into the hills for a campfire to roast hotdogs and marshmellows, and go sledding.

3. Are you a Black Friday Shopper?
Afraid so. But I have to drive 3 hours South (I live in Canada) to get to the city with all the sales. It's a yearly tradition for my best friend and I.

4. When do you put up your Tree?
I'm helping my parents put theirs up tomorrow. I'm moving, so no tree for me.

5. Do you Travel at Christmas or Stay home?
Travel to my parents - only 10 minutes away!

6. What is your funniest Christmas memory?
Probably the year my Uncle and Cousin (2 tough cops) put on a play that required them to act like women.

7. What is your favorite Christmas Movie of All time?
Too many to count. The original Grinch. Christmas Vacation. The Muppets Christmas Carol.

8. Do you do your own Christmas Baking, what’s your favorite treat?
I bake ginger cookies and something called "Amish Bread" which is something the Amish would never make, because it's far too rich and sweet!

9. Fake or Real Tree?
Real tree. Recycled to the fire dept. with a donation to their equipment fund. The trees get mulched and the city buys the mulch for it's gardens.

10. What day (as a mom) does the actual panic set in to get it all done?
I'm not a mom (yet) but I was in panic mode a week ago. Now I'm just numb.

11. Are you still wrapping presents on Christmas Eve?
Usually - yes.

12. What is your favorite family fun time at Christmas?
Watching my neices open their presents.

13. What Christmas craft do you like the best?
Throwing the cinnamon stick in the cup of rum and eggnog. What? That's not a craft?

14. Christmas music. Yes or No, and if yes What is your favorite song?
Yes. A toss up between "River" and "Baby, It's Cold Outside."

15. When do you plan to finish all your shopping?
Ugh - this year....on Christmas Eve.

I am tagging:

Jen at Chasing Domestic Bliss

Kikibird at Why Bother?

Jessica at the Magical Mundane

Tori at Tori’s Path

Hippie Witch

Dec 9, 2009

It's Beginning To Look Alot Like Yule



We had a bit of snow today - just a skiff - and it was lovely. I had a rather productive day....or rather....I did very little work and yet still feel like I made some headway. Which is nice, considering that somedays I work like a dog, and feel as though I've done nothing.

I picked up a few more gifts for no one in particular. These are sometimes my favourite because I find really neat things that may go to someone for a present...but may just be left over on the gift shelf after Christmas - which means I get to keep it!

I've also been reading "Yule" by Dorothy Morrison. It's a sweet little book that runs through the gamut of how Yule is celebrated all over the world, a spot of history, fun facts and superstitions, charms and little spells, recipes, decorations and crafts.

Did you know that it was believed that animals could talk on Christmas eve? And to ensure good health, you should eat an apple at midnight.

And to bless a toy for your kittens:

"Goddess Bast of feline friends,
Your powers to this treat, please lend
I ask you now to bless this toy
And fill it full of kitty joy."

Giggle - I think I'll use this on whatever fun things I get for Daisy and Dex!


Also on the agenda today was working on my meditation exercise for lesson 2 in my online course with C.P. Unfortunately, I didn't sleep well last night so there was a lot of head bobbing and not too much meditating!

I'm still wondering how I will get everything done in time for Yule and then Christmas, along with a move and working on a new business venture. I just need to work on one thing at a time...

I hope all your holiday plans are going smoothly and you are able to take some time to give yourself a break too!







Dec 4, 2009

In A One Horse Open Sleigh

I have been on many hay rides. Carts piled with hay, pulled by tractors or trucks or horses. But never a sleigh ride. I've never known what it was like to actually glide over the snow, with the jingle of harness bells floating on the frosty air.

I used to think this was just a dream. Imagine my surprise to come across this site, which lists places to get a Christmas/Yule tree and enjoy sleigh rides anywhere in the USA or Canada! And, there are a few places in the Valley here that offer rides!

Check out the link and see if your State/Province is on the list and there is a place near you for some Winter fun!



Dec 3, 2009

Marley Was Dead, To Begin With.

"Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that."

So begins my yearly tradition of reading Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. I never seem to grow tired of this story (or trying to read it aloud in a poor excuse for an English accent.) Every year I read a page or two each day in December, trying to stretch it out so that I finally finish "...God bless us, every one!" on Christmas eve.

There is a town, not far from here, where the theme is old English, and there is a town crier. They often decorate and have Victorian-type Christmas displays. I like to visit at least once each season. I don't think I'd have survived the Victorian ages (too much drama, too little health care) but I can appreciate our modern view of it's charms.

If you are looking for something to read this season, do try this little treasure. It never ceases to put a smile on my face!

Dec 1, 2009

Wish You Had All Been There!

Pictures of our resort Ocean Maya.

The view from my favourite palm tree:


A massage area on the beach (they had a spa too.)

Xelha means "mixed water" - the ocean meets freshwater here.



Palm trees and coconuts everywhere!

We went to Xcaret to see a show about the Mayans and Mexican people.



It was held in a large arena. Sorry the picture isn't better.
If you ever are in the area, this is a must see!

It was a wonderful vacation!