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Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Art of the Holiday Tree



From All of Us here in the Urban WildWoods,
May Your Holiday Season Be Filled With the Love and Laughter of Friends and Family and 
May Your Future See a Multitude of Wealth and Prosperity Come To Roost in Your Boughs.







The last tree is made from reclaimed green plastic soda bottles.






Monday, December 19, 2011

Cat Tales ~ A Peeper



Mommy's had a Peeper at her bedroom window lately.




Sunday, December 18, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pinecone Link

Here is the link to the pattern for the crocheted pine-cones which I used as decorations on my Holiday tree. Click here!
They are super simple to make. Different yarn or hook sizes will give you different size pine cones. And it's fun to mix up the colors. I'd love to see what you create!


Grandma's a Grinch!


Yes. I have to admit that I have been a bit of a Grinch lately. 


I wasn't going to decorate or do any sort of celebrating of the Season. It's been so hard to get into the spirit of anything when the paychecks are stretched thin and the future looks bleak. It's been an extremely rough year, filled with more than its share of bad news. While the future does appear to be a bit brighter for Hubby and I, my Daughter and her kids are still facing a long road ahead and my Sister is now among the ranks of the unemployed (please send some positive energy her way for a job to show up soon ~ Thank you!)

I find this time of year a bit gloomy anyway. I blame the gloom on too many unhappy memories from years past, the encroaching darkness as the Solstice approaches, and the commercialism that becomes worse with each passing year. But my Boys reminded me that the Season isn't about store-bought items, but about Love. And Family. 

So, out came the boxes and bags and up went the tree and an assortment of other festive items. And the house is now looking a bit more like the Holidays.




I decorated the tree in pine-cones that I had crocheted a few years back and snowflakes and icicles that I made from clear beads. Very child and pet friendly. So no worries about the Grands or Critters breaking any of my antique glass ornaments.


This weekend I shall begin my Holiday baking and I am making plans to celebrate Solstice with my Daughter and her kids. 
And once more Light shall return.

Please remember those who are not as fortunate this Season. And yes, it is okay to not be happy and "full of good cheer" at this time of year.
Debra of the blog, She Who Seeks, has written a very good post about a Blue Christmas. Click here!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Witch's Circle ~ The Science of Magick

Not that long ago, many of today's commonplace things/occurrences were considered to be manifestations of Magick.
But as Man's understanding of the workings of the Universe grew and expanded, Man's perspective changed. And who is not to say that one day, what we now deem as 'Magick" will be explaned away in scientific terms.

Here's my scientific take on Magick - Magickal workings in basic terms is the manipulation of Energy. What if that Energy is constantly in motion or vibrates. Different things - humans, herbs, crystals - will vibrate at different speeds or frequencies. The vibrations of certain 'things' mesh together better than other things, forming a more powerful vibration - much like music. A whole symphony can have much more impact than one instrument playing the same song.

Witches are able to utilize these vibrations to their advantage during a spell. They are able to combine items that vibrate 'in symphony', adding their own vibrations to the mix, to send forth their intent out to the Universe. The more items vibrating together, the stronger the spell.

*** This is just my take on things...strictly supposition...but should this theory be proven, then I think it should be named The Candy Corn Theorem. ***


And don't forget to stop by and see Aine of The Deepest Well for further discussions in The Witch's Circle.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cat Tales ~ Entertainment

FINALLY!

Mommy installed Our Kitty-TV!


There's been a lot of action chicks flicks on the Kitty-TV lately.
We's been enjoying the shows!


Purz and Catnip Dreams ... Gomez

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Witch's Circle ~ Spells, Spirits, & Sage

I am continuing with my perspectives on Witches, Witchcraft and other Magickal inclinations. These ramblings have been prompted by Aine of The Deepest Well with her discussions in The Witch's Circle. Be sure to pay her a visit! She is a very gracious hostess and makes the best tea!

Spells ~ Where would we Witches be without them? Whether we use candles or cords or concoctions, Spells (or Castings as I prefer to call them) are an everyday part of Life for a Witch. The Spell may be as simple as finding a parking spot at the shopping center or finding a lost object (personally I request the help of the Fae for this one!), or a bit more complicated for a positive outcome to a tough situation. And yes, even a Spell or two for protection of a loved one. But no matter what the Spell may be for or what items may be used, there will always be one thing in common - the Witch's Will. Without that the Spell will hold no power. It would only be so many words. Because it is in the Witch's own conviction for wanting what is being ask for (in the Spell), where the true Power lays. The aid of candles, herbs, oils, etc. add to or enhance the Witch's Power (I plan on expounding on this aspect next week in another post).
When I was starting out and finding my way down the Path, I would use Spells that I had found in various books. But as I progressed and grew in my knowledge, I began writing my own Spells. And it wasn't until quite recently that I began to write the Spells in rhyme - Thanks to one of my Granddaughters. The timing of a Spell can be critical for its success but in a pinch (or out of necessity) a Spell can be cast at any time. And with anything. My Ancestors didn't necessarily have a lot of fancy things to use when they did their Castings.


Spirits ~ Many Witches enlist the assistance of Ancestors in their Magickal works. These Ancestors may be Gods, Goddesses, Angels, Deceased Relatives, or Guiding Spirits. Personally, I work with the Spirits of Nature - Earth, Plants and Weather mainly. Sometimes Animal Spirits. But always a Cat Spirit or two (Gomez wouldn't have it any other way!) I pay my respects to these Spirits by giving back - spending time in the Garden, tending to the needs of the Trees and Bushes, helping make the area in which I reside a nicer place. 


Sage ~ I'm actually referring to Herbs. (I just had to use the word Sage because it sounded better in the Post title.) Most Witches work with Herbs. Whether it is in Spellwork or creating a concoction for healing or even in cooking. My love affair with Herbs and Herbal Concoctions began when I was little and helped my Mother in her Herb Gardens. I always seem to have something hanging from the ceiling drying. Most of the time it's Gomez's Catnip!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Witch's Circle ~ Which Witch Are You?


The question often arises, what is the difference between Witches and Wiccans.

I am no authority on either but I can write from what I, myself, have read and experienced. I found Wicca to be a highly organized religion and that ceremonial group observances/worship are part of the practice. Gods and/or Goddesses are worshiped and celebrated in Wicca as are the various Sabbats and the Wheel of the Year. Magickal practices (spells) may or may not necessarily be a part of a Wiccans daily life. Many aspects of Wicca appear to be based on an older mythos like Witchcraft.

Witchcraft is a way of life. It is the act of incorporating Magick into the mundane and ordinary of every day. Witches may work with Gods/Goddesses or other Dieties/Spirits in their Magickal practices but they are not worshiped. Often, Witchcraft knowledge is passed along among family members. And that knowledge will be peculiar to the region of the world from whence the family originated. Witches will observe the Changing of the Seasons, the phases of the Moon, and utilize these aspects in their Magickal workings.

The main difference is the 'rule' that Wiccans abide by, The Wiccan Rede. In its simpler version it states, "An it harm none, do what ye will". Wiccans also believe in the threefold law, whatever is sent out will return to the sender threefold. And while I do believe in Karma (a person's actions will eventually catch up with them), I will perform a binding spell.

So, in a nutshell, a Wiccan may be a Witch and a Witch may be Wiccan but being Wiccan does not make one a Witch and being a Witch does not make one Wiccan.

Differences in any religion or belief system are minuscule in the Grander Scheme of things, in my opinion. What matters is who you are and what you do. Not what you believe or how you worship.

Please check out Aine of The Deepest Well for more insights and links into the debate about Witches and Wiccans.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cat Tales ~ Tales of the Outside

FINALLY! Mommy has turned on the computer in the computer room! Me usually spends the days in there (sleeping on a warm snuggy blanket that Daddy set up for Me on his desk) when those sticky, noisy Little People are in the house. If Mommy had left her computer on, then Me could've been blogging!  {{sigh}}  Oh well!


On to the adventure Me wants to tell you about...Tales of the Outside.
Mommy and Daddy sat us 'Kittens" down many weeks ago and told us that this new place wasn't like the WildWoods of Arkansas and We Kittens would have to like being 'housecats'! Our outdoor adventures had come to a screeching halt - at least until Daddy could finish the wood fence around the backyard.
Well, Me batted Mes big blue eyes at Mommy and cried and cried and finally she gave in (she always caves in to Mes demands  desires) and she let Me outside in the backyard. Of course, Mommy was around - 'just so Me wouldn't get scared', she said.


Me had fun exploring. So many new smells and noises. Bird smells, Skirrel smells, (Mommy has feeders up) and strange Doggy smells. Since I was so well behaved in the backyard (but then, Me is always well behaved!), Mommy decided to try letting some of the other Kittens outside.

Mommy let Fantum out, but Fantum is ascared of the Doggies who live in the yard behind Us. And Fantum will only stay outside as long as those Doggies don't woof.
Sylvester smelling tree under birdfeeder

Then Mommy let Sylvester out. And Sylvester is trying hard to be just like Me so he behaved himself and just watched the feeders after he smelled around.

Finally Mommy let Valentino out. But Valentino tries too hard to be Mr. Macho and Mommy found him in the neighbors yard (Mommy muttered the whole time she carried him home about how she couldn't figure out how he got out of the wire fence that is around the yard now). So now Valentino is grounded for "An Eternity!" - to quote Mommy.  {{chuckle}}  Valentino got in trouble!  {{chuckle}}  And Valentino can only peer out the door and dream about the outside.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Spirit of a House

Our Transition House is nothing special. It was built in the early 1960's - one of many brick 'cookie cutter' homes in a suburb of Denver, called Northglenn. I'll share my discoveries of the area as I explore more. I am anxious to visit more of the many parks that are within the Northglenn city limits as well as see if there are any deep, dark secrets to be discovered in the history of the town of Northglenn.


But back to The House. Most of what I have learned about my house and the neighborhood has come from my next door neighbor. She has lived in the home next to mine for about 18 years. It seems that in those 18 years, our house has had a new occupant (either owner or rental tenant) about every 2 years. Some of the occupants appeared to have loved The House and made loving, well planned renovations while to others The House was just an object. Oh yes, and one of the former tenants expired in the backyard.

*** I would love to hear your thoughts on why so many families have lived hear in the past two decades. ***

While Transition House is small, it does have a 'homey' feel to it. And I know that my 'Little Fae Friends' have made the journey with us and made friends with the Fae who already lived here. Whenever we're in the basement family room, we can hear their scampering on the main floor above us. And the Cats have quite the fascination with sounds only they seem to be able to hear which come from the attic. The Dogs and the Cats have settled in to their new surroundings, perhaps better than we Humans have.


The Yard has enormous potential - but anything is a vast improvement over what (or lack there of) is here. And while I miss having a stately old tree in close proximity, the Cherry tree, the Apple tree, and another unidentified fruit tree bless me with memories of my childhood when I had a magickal Apple Tree to lay under on hot summer afternoons. I hope my grands can make some magickal memories with these trees.

Like a stray animal happy to finally have found a home, Transition House appears happy to have finally found someone to nurture it and help it grow to its full potential.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Witch's Circle ~ An Intro


Yesterday I wrote about a blogging friend, Aine at The Deepest Well, and how she has started some discussions on Witches and Magick. Many fellow Bloggers have used these topics as blog prompts for posts of their own. And now I am (finally) writing my own post about my journey.

I am a Witch. I have always been a Witch, though it took many, many years for me to realize it. I did not grow up with organized religion being a part of the household. (Though my Mother did send me to summer Bible School.) Gods of any sort were just something I read about in books but I wouldn't have considered myself an Atheist. I did believe that there was a Greater Being. My beliefs in deities, spirits, and the like were (and still are) greatly influenced by the Native Americans of the American Southwest where I grew up. I devoured any and all books I could find about Native American religions.
I spent a lot of time outside while growing up. I learned about plants and herbs while helping my Mother in her various gardens. I was happiest when I was able to commune with Nature. The Spirits of the Trees, Flowers, and a plethora of other plants thrived under my Mother's hand and I am fortunate to have inherited her abilities.
I was in my late 20s when I ran across a book on Magic. This led me to books on Wicca. But Wicca did not resonate with me - it was too organized, too elaborate.  I felt most comfortable in a solitary practice close to Nature. I would be considered a Green Witch, but not of the Wiccan persuasion. The Great Outdoors is my temple. I observe the changing of the Moon along with the changing of the seasons where I reside rather than set Sabbats on the calendar. I believe that every living thing has a spirit which can aid in spellwork. The Elements and the various forms of Weather can also give their assistance. I utilize spells on a regular basis. I try to incorporate herbs, colors, candles, minerals or crystals in my spellwork. And yes, I will perform binding spells when necessary. I will not intentionally cause anyone harm, but I will protect those who are near and dear to me.
Since the weeks leading up to Yule and the Return of Light are typically a time of introspection, I feel that this is a good time to use Aine's posts as blog prompts and write of my own experiences and beliefs. I hope you'll stay tuned......


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

~ The Witch's Circle ~


Aine at The Deepest Well is a dear blogging friend and I enjoy reading her posts. She has started some ongoing discussions about Witches and Magick ~ these posts are all labeled The Witch's Circle. She has discussed a variety of things - from Commitment to Candle Magic to how Science may play a role in Magic. These discussions are friendly and enlightening. Stop by her blog if you get the chance......
And she is currently hosting a giveaway for the book The New Death and Others by James Hutchings. Click here!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Life As You Know It....

Will never be the same. If someone had told me this back in May, I never would have believed them. At least not entirely. I knew things in my Life were transitioning - Hubby & I moving back to Colorado and Hubby getting a new job - but I had no idea as to the extent of those transitions!

At the end of May, my Son-in-law was arrested and taken back to Colorado to stand trial. This left my Daughter, 4 month's pregnant at the time, to cope with her Husband's arrest along with relocating herself and their 3 small children to Colorado. Fortunately,  enough Family members came forward to help her with the move. And Thanks to the generosity of her older Brother - my Oldest Son - and his Wife, my Daughter and her kids have a safe, warm place to live (Daughter and kids moved in with Oldest Son and his kids). To quote my son, "Ah Mom, That's what Family does for each other. Helps each other out in time of need."

Life hasn't always been easy for the combined two housholds - 3 adults and 6 children in a small house. But they have managed.  And I know that they will all be a closer-knit family because of this 'togetherness' - eventually. And Life has been an adjustment for Hubby and me (and all the critters!) as well. We went from having a huge house all to ourselves to a small house filled with small children - especially right after Baby Liam was born when the Clanlets (3 grandchildren), Mom (Daughter) and Baby Liam temporarily moved into Transition House (the name I have given our home here in Denver) so I could help with the care of the Clanlets.  Liam is now a month old and Daughter and the Clanlets have moved back to Older Brother's place.


But wait! There's more..... I am now Hubby-less for most of the week, only seeing Hubby on the weekends. Hubby came back to Colorado in July hoping to get a job in the computer field, only to find out that the jobs he was qualified for did not pay all that much. So he went back to seeking employment in the auto-body industry. He found a job quickly, but it was not to last. Hubby didn't agree with some of the  "work practices" of his employer, so he left. He searched for over a month, constantly perusing the help wanted ads. Finally, a job appeared on the horizon, thanks to my Oldest Son (who is also in the auto-body industry). The only catch was, the job wasn't in the greater Denver metro area - it was in a small-ish mountain town located in the heart of Ski Country (approx. 1 1/2 hrs away). Hubby took the job. The company Hubby now works for is a great company and he enjoys the people he works with. He is provided a small bachelor pad over one of the shops to stay in during the week. So now Hubby leaves on Monday morning and I don't see him again until Friday night (unless we Skype...).


My, how Life can change in the blink of an eye.....

I am writing of these changes today because they have impacted me (and others) in many ways. And I plan on blogging about some of these impacts in the coming posts. And yes, the Sunday Art feature on this blog will continue, beginning December 4th!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Every Day



Thanksgiving Every Day

The table is brimming with good things to eat;
We're surrounded by family and friends; what a treat.
The feelings that fill us today can't be beat;
It's Thanksgiving Day, and it all feels complete.

But other days, sometimes, things don't seem so fine;
Those days are not polished and don't seem to shine.
It's then in our minds, we forget all the good,
And think of the things we would get, if we could.

On days when our thinking causes us dread,
If we could remember, it's all in our head,
And not let our minds take our gratitude away,
Then we'd make every day like Thanksgiving Day.

by Karl Fuchs

From Our House to Yours,
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Recognitions

Life has been a bit complicated, stressful, and hectic of late and I am long overdue in saying THANK YOU and recognizing some wonderfully generous folks.


First, I would like to THANK Angelwick and Punky of New York City Dreaming for the most adorable Pumpkin Suncatcher!!! Their thoughtfulness and generosity certainly brightened my Halloween!



And next I would like to THANK Rue of Rue and Hyssop for the book Spirit of the Witch by Raven Grimassi. I won this book in a giveaway she hosted. I'm looking forward to delving into this book.




So, if you are out and about in the blogosphere, do stop by and tell these lovely folks "HI".  Their blogs are fun and interesting. And a new friend you just might make!



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Rules for Being Human

1. You will receive a Body. You may like it or you may hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.

2. You will learn Lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called Life. Each day in this school, you will have the opportunity to learn Lessons - you may like the Lesson or think them irrelevant and stupid.

3. There are no Mistakes, only Lessons. There is a process of trial and error; experimentation. The 'failed' experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately 'works'.

4. A Lesson is repeated until it is Learned. A Lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it.When you have learned it, you can go on to the next Lesson.

5. Learning Lessons does not end. There is no part of Life that does not contain its Lessons. If you are alive, there are Lessons to be learned.

6. 'There' is no better than 'Here'. When your 'There' has become a 'Here', you will simply obtain another 'There' that will again look better than 'Here'.

7. Others are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself.

8. What you make of your Life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. what you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.

9. Your Answers lie inside you. The Answer's to Life's questions lie inside you. All you need do is look, listen, and trust.

10. You will forget all this.

11.You can remember it whenever you want.


Author Unknown

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Hiatus

My time is not my own anymore....my daughter, Jennifer, and her three kids have temporarily moved in with us while Jen recuperates from having little Liam. In addition to being chief cook and bottle washer, I am now also chauffeur, activity director and referee. I shall return when I can.


Monday, October 31, 2011

Cat Tales ~ Happy Halloween



Happy Halloween!



Purz and Catnip Dreams ... Gomez

Sunday, October 30, 2011