Summertime

I always say that I love each season as it comes, and I do! They’re all my favourite when I’m enjoying them. And right now, I’m in love with Summer.

2016-07-11 19.00.jpg

There’s been lots of barbequing, watering and weeding in the gardens, riding on the trail, and just generally enjoying being outside in the warmth and the green. Flowers have been blooming, lavender, a second round for the fuschias, hibiscus, and now the portulaca has begun to flower its many different coloured blooms. The strawberry plants are sending out shoots for new strawberry babies (which I think is telling me I need to plan a strawberry bed).

It’s so easy and peaceful outside right now. Sure, it may get a little overly-hot now and then, but that’s what a shaded deck and cold iced tea (or beer) is for!

I know I’ve mentioned my favourite place in the world, Kincardine, before, and we finally got out there yesterday to enjoy the beach. That place calls to me, and once it’s possible, I know we’ll be moving there. There’s nowhere else I’d really rather live. London was good, very tree-dense for an Ontarian city! There are plenty of different kinds of food to be had too. Vancouver was gorgeous, feeling like a small town with how many trees there are, and space between houses. The enormous, fantastic-smelling cedars, and the mountains, they are something I really do miss (not to mention the people <3). Moncton, I could really care less about. I was born and raised for a while there, but meh. I never found it appealing, to be honest. I could totally live in Nova Scotia or PEI, but not New Brunswick so much, unless on the coast.

But Kincardine. My love. I told my husband-man that I’m married to Kincardine. That when we move there, it’ll have as much priority as him, lol. In a sense, I’m probably not wrong about it though. It’s a place I actually want to go out into town and walk around. I feel safe there, and people are incredibly friendly (a woman yesterday sung happy birthday to my mom because she heard my dad say so at the DQ counter; I asked mom if they had known the woman when we lived there… nope!).
What I think also helps is that the town celebrates it’s Scottish heritage, which translates often to the old importance of hospitality. I find that’s something that isn’t really emphasised in North American places where there is not any sort of specific culture (even a North American culture). Plus I’m in love with all the Celtic culture that’s celebrated there. There’s a Celtic festival every summer, Highland dancers, Celtic musicians, and Scottish Games. And a bag-pipe band every Saturday in the summer.

The husband-man also asked if perhaps I was a selkie from around Kincardine. I said there may be different kinds of unseelie creatures there, from long before the Scots came to occupy that bit of land… but I wouldn’t put it out of mind that perhaps a selkie or few had come over and made their home there.

I don’t think I’m kidding when I say I’m in love with Kincardine.

2016-07-11 19.012016-07-11 19.02

But besides all that being in love with a place, enjoying the summer with my gardens and trails around here has been good. I collected my first garden haul with my niece, so we’ve got snap peas, yellow wax beans, raspberries, three kinds of basil, rosemary, oregano, sage, and thyme. The herbs will be drying, later harvests of basil will be made into pesto, and the rosemary thyme and sage into a healing salve with some plantain. But this little batch will be dried for spicing food.

2016-07-11 16.03

So as for the shop, there has been frustration with Canada Post and the Postal Workers’ Union being wishy washy about whether or not they’re going to have a service disruption. Looks like they won’t let that come to pass, so that’s good!
I have some tea ideas to be working on, and reworking some older recipes that need a quick update to my current tea making system. AAAAAAND… a very SEKRIT PROJECT! This is unlike what I’ve done before, and I am so excited about it, I. CANNOT. EVEN. ๐Ÿ˜€

And so, dear gentle reader, I hope you are enjoying your season, whether it’s summer or winter, and I offer many blessings of the wilds and waters.

Mia
โค

June Is Here!

 

2016-05-27 15.55

Fuschia

 

And so is June’s Forest Witch Newsletter! You can sign up through the link if you’re not already on the list. It’s at the least a once monthly email, though sometimes you’ll get smaller emails concerning special things like last month’s early announcement of my Hogwarts House Tea Blends.

Besides that… it appears I’ve disappeared from this blog for 23 days! Holy moly! Now, I do have that little image on the right column that says I’m blogging without obligation, but it sure has been a while for the time of year when I’m most eager to communicate!

Well, it’s been super busy! Each week has had many tasks and projects to do, lots of it concerning the gardens here, my new raised veggie and herb bed for example (though it cost a bit to set up, I’m trying to work smarter, not harder, especially since now I’m running a small business!).

The husband-man and I bought our first car last week, which meant nearly the whole week was full of car things, discussion, phone calls, scanning documents… But in the end, I think we’re both really happy with our new, adorable vehicle!
Now… if only it were electric, and batteries were better! But I think we’ll see that in the near future ๐Ÿ™‚

 

2016-05-27 15.4

Hibiscus & Ivy

 

I have a feeling it is finally going to slow down a bit, but I’ve definitely come to realize that my birth month is one of the two busiest months of the year for me (the other being December). And that’s fine by me since I love the start of gardening season, and being outside, and sitting on patios, bonfires, sunshine, flowers, bees, birds, and good company.

There’s a few more odds and ends to be done for the garden anyhow, but not a whole lot more of the labour and time-intensive things. Although later this summer, I plan on building a greenhouse, and perhaps a cold-frame contraption for my new raised bed. We shall see what I can accomplish with my resources and know-how. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

2016-05-27 15.57

Strawberry

 

And as for teas, oh, I have some big plans, BIG PLANS I SAY!! Actually, if you sign up for the newsletter, you’ll know what those plans are! But I am quite excited about them. The process is a little lengthier, but I’m hoping to finish the project within the next week or two!

Oh, summertime, you are one of my favourite times. Though to be fair, I love all the seasons when they come. I’m excited for many trail rides, drives to the beach, the beach itself, lots of gardening and harvesting and canning/cooking! I have plans for what I hope will be a goodly sized crop of raspberries this year, two jams, a regular and a seedless for my mama. Oh, it all just fills me up with an indescribable joy!

I hope you are enjoying this time of year as much as I am!

Mia
โค

 

Welcoming in the May

Well, hello there, dear gentle reader!
You may have noticed it is quiet here in terms of anything spiritual, and that’s mostly because it’s been quite busy! Spring is always a season of getting shit done, and shit has most definitely been getting done around here!

I’ve been fixing up the bathroom here, and let me tell you, these arms are not meant for doing ceiling work! ๐Ÿ˜› And perhaps that’s a reason I should be working them out, lol.

Then I’ve been filling out many orders and working on recipes that need to be reblended or slightly tweaked. Then there’s the SECRET project that I was wanting to get out last week, but other things keep taking up my time. However, I’m still super excited about it, and hope it will roll out within the next two weeks.

Spiritually, things have been quiet, but looking back, there’s always a bit of a lull this time of year, and I think a lot of it has to do with said busy-ness! I am going to be getting out to the gardens, so that will give me that meditative time, therefore I will have some quiet time for the spring and summer to sit with my Gods. ๐Ÿ™‚

And as for the gardens, I’m done with in-ground. The weeds are just the flipping worst, and I never want to do it again… ok, now that that drama is done… I’ve decided to make a couple smaller raised beds. No huge garden anymore since I never want to grow potatoes again (Colorado Potato Beetles are the worst! Go back to Colorado!!). I want to grow things that are expensive to buy in the store.
I’ve already begun buying berry bushes, currently there are raspberries, blackberries, white and red currants, and a goosberryย bush. I did have blueberry bushes, but unfortunately I live with mow-happy weirdos (no offense, family, I love you), and they were mown over. So blueberries are on the list again this year.

And then in the garden proper, the husband-man wants tomatoes for paste making, I want some for salsas, and then a million kinds of basil, more herbs, zucchini, Swiss chard, carrots, beets, onions, pumpkins, butternut squash, and a few other things I’m likely forgetting.
And since that garden will be smaller, I can have more flowers and be able/have the energy to take care of them elsewhere.
ALSO…. MULCH!

Anywho… that was just a bit of an update on where I am right now… and I wanted to add that the May newsletter went out yesterday! You can find it here, and please do subscribe if you are so inclined! You will receive a lovely little coupon in the first email too! For the most part, I do a once-a-month email, but when I have secret projects, or sales, there will be other smaller letters to let you know first by email! โค

 

Mia
โค

Let’s Catch Up

So if any of you have been with me on this blog for some time, you’ll know that spring is quite a momentous time for me. Things get planned, plans become actions, and generally there is much happening for me. This runs into the summer, and hopefully this year it will run well into fall (especially concerning my garden and processing my harvest).

Well, along with plans of how I’m going to be spending my time (either in the garden or crafting things for Yule, yes I start early, as well as beginning to write music again), my spiritual life has taken an interesting turn. Thor has popped in as the Gods I regularly work with have stepped back. I’m not too sad about it, though I do miss Them, however Thor has proven quite helpful, if not direct. He’s pretty funny, and the snark ensues at times, though He’s pretty gentle when needed.

It seems I’ve just got some things to undo, some weird thinking about how I interact with my regular People. And the main point… THE MAIN REASON is that I need to be DOING. That’s all He keeps hammering (hehe) into my head. Just do things, make things, do magic, write music, go work in your garden, do, do, do!

I asked Him why He decided to help me out:
“Because I like you, kid.”

In terms of the thinky things, He’s actually quite perfect for this in a few different ways. You see, no matter that at least one of my People has been around for a few years, I still have this weird way of thinking that things must be super serious, and even with Odinn, that’s usually not always the case. There have certainly been moments, however, the general feel with Him, Frija, and Baldr is that of my loved ones, family, good friends. Even when one of Them would crack a joke, I would laugh a bit, but still try to impose a more serious face on Them.

With Thor, I don’t know that it’s because He’s very accessible to people, that He’s got a pretty friendly reputation, partnered with the fact that so many are quite aware of Him now (though that’s more Marvel Thor than Who He really is). I couldn’t possibly pin it down to one particular psychological reason to be honest.
This all ties into the doing He’s been emphasizing. We had a chat when I stayed outside under my umbrella the other day during a very light thunderstorm, and He let me know that I’ve honoured Him more wholly, and just more, whenever the thunder and rains have come. I know that I have honoured Odinn when the howling winds begin stirring in the autumn, or when a strong breeze moves through me while I’m in the garden. Or Baldr when I’m standing in the Sun, letting the warmth permeate my body. Or Frija when I marvel at the beauty of the green things growing around me.ย  I know sometimes I’m not going to feel that kind of wonderous energy that really kicks up any of my interactions with Them, and that’s OK.ย 
But what this has made me realize is that I can’t possibly schedule in something that’s so tied to my heart. Hmmm… I believe I’ve talked about this before… Yet, I need to seek out those things that help me connect to Them more easily, more whole-heartedly.

All of this is allowing me to be more in the moment. When I feel moved, I get up and light my candles and pray to Them, thanking Them for whatever inspirations have come when thinking on Them, or just letting Them know something reminded me of Them.
It’s odd business trying to have relationships with Those you cannot touch or have Their physical presence around. in this way, it makes the relationship that much harder, really having to remember that They are there, or that you should probably hang out with Them, cuz, you know, it’s been like a week, and would you really go that long without talking with those who are incredibly important to you who are corporeal? Likely not.

So here I am. Doing. Being in the moment. My relationships with Them are very important to me, so why am I making it out to be more serious business (especially the business part) than They actually have shown They want? Yes, there are things that They want me to do, want me to learn, and those things are business, but once I know my tasks, the rest of o/Our time together is quite relaxed. And to be honest, all They’ve indicated is for me to be a witch (lots of doing), and to be with Them, journeying as often as I can. Yes, certainly I need some time after certain travels that require some unraveling, but otherwise, apparently They like me, and that’s just as well, because I happen to quite like Them ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Birthday to Me!

Well, ok, I’m a little early with that (my birthday is on the 7th). However, I’ve given myself an early birthday present….

MAKING MEAD!!!

Oh, how I have missed it so much! Making mead and beer is one my most favouritest things ever, and it has been much too long since I’ve watched yeast babies consume all the sugar they can. Well, here is a post all about my lovely mead making evening last night!

All the ingredients lain out on the counter

All the ingredients lain out on the counter

Mmm, delicious honey.

Mmm, delicious honey.

A cup of strong, black tea for tannin.

A cup of strong, black tea for tannin.

2015-05-05 21.09.52

The smell of honey and blueberries is divine.

The smell of honey and blueberries is divine.

Look at that beautiful, yeasty foam! In you go, yeast babies!

Look at that beautiful, yeasty foam! In you go, yeast babies!

Now eat till your heart's content, yeast. Or... perhaps until your death. :P

Now eat till your heart’s content, yeast. Or… perhaps until your death. ๐Ÿ˜›

So that was my wonderful evening! A blueberry mead in the works, and plans to get Grolsch bottles for beer making as I received a beer kit that must be made! It’s patio season, after all! And I’d much rather drink something that isn’t water, thank you very much! We’ll be bottling the mead in Grolsch bottles as well, but no need to get them now as I figure the mead may not be drinkable for perhaps around six months, perhaps a little less.

The last batches I made used a lot more honey so they were pretty drinkable at around 3 months, this one has a bit less honey so I’m expecting a longer wait. Which I have absolutely no problem with because I can already imagine the deliciousness! I realize too that those first meads could have aged a little longer and would have likely been even better, but when it’s the first batch…. you just have no patience at all!

This was definitely a very happy birthday present to myself, and what’s even better is there is a small wine/beer making place about a 10-15 minute walk away from me (5 if I’m riding my bike). It’s a very small store, and mostly for those who would like to have wine brewed there, but there were enough supplies that it’s all good. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind ordering things for me either. Very exciting!

 

In other news, the garden is coming along, although now I can only do things in the evening since apparently I am newly allergic to a few chemicals in sunscreen. I have some natural stuff with much fewer ingredients, and without the skin-irritating chems, on the way, so I’m hoping it will arrive if not by this Friday, then next Monday. Fingers are crossed! I can’t stand being inside and unable to be out in the garden when there is work to be done!

Despite this, I’ve been getting my potatoes in ground, and I found a Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) hanging out in the garden from last year, along with parsley, the rhubarb, and my chives. The raspberries are doing very well along the side of the garage as well, lots of baby canes coming up. Yes, there will be a raspberry mead! Wee!! So many exciting things. Now, just to keep myself motivated, although the first year of a new garden is always a year of seeing what works and what doesnt, and boy, did I find that out last year!

 

Alright, lovelies! Enjoy this beautiful day, sun or rain, or even snow if it should come to pass.

โค

Owie – A Sacrifice To My Garden?

So I was weeding around my raspberries and blueberries today (I’m so excited because I have a ton of baby raspberry canes coming up!), and for some reason, as I was using my hand rake, my eyes decided not to see this big white rock (probably slightly smaller than the size of my head, though oblong), and as I went in at some weeds, I hit my middle finger… twice!

image

If you look at my middle finger (I know, the picture doesn’t really tell much of what it really looks like in real life), you’ll notice my middle joint and just above it is blueish (much more so in real life). Also, it’s quite puffy compared to my other joints. Funny thing, that finger has been hurting for no reason the past few days… ??

Also, I like the picture I took of my poor finger, looks like I’m trying to reach through the glass to the squishy green below ๐Ÿ™‚

So perhaps now you’d like to know about how things are going in the garden?
Quite swell! I had dug up and turned over the soil of one of the ginormous beds (you know, I think I may take a screen cap of my garden plan so you can get what’s going on…

image

Oh look, there it is ๐Ÿ™‚ I know, I know, I took a photo with my phone of the tablet screen, my tablet’s keyboard doesn’t have a print screen key. And I’m lazy.

It’s pretty big! You’ll notice down in the left hand corner of the left bed is empty space, that’s where my other herbs are going since the program (smartgarden) didn’t have some of my herbs. I wanted to dig out the whole thing by hand so I could take out all the weeds. Well, I got to the end of one of the two plots, and the dense grass was too much. I don’t seem to have as much digging energy as I did last year. So what we’re doing is having someone come in with their gas tiller to do the rest of the first plot, and all of the second plot.

I figure since I know better this year how things are going to grow in the garden (I’ve set up the plan by hand so that bigger plants can shade small plants that need less sunlight, and companion planting as well), along with more precautionary measures and different ways of growing some plants (vertical gourds). I will be protecting my brassicas this year, which sadly got eaten by the dreaded cabbage whitefly, and I’m not 100% sure yet how I’m going to do my potatoes, other than they’re not going to be directly in ground. I’m thinking of making makeshift raised beds with chicken wire and hay around the edges to keep the soil in. Potato towers seem not to be as magically wonderful as they appear on Pinterest. So raised potato beds will help with rotting and hopefully with yields.

I feel good about this year’s gardening adventures, after having a season of learning how the vegs work on this piece of land. I am likely getting a dehydrator next month for my birthday, so that will come in handy for drying herbs as well as vegetables and berries (I want veggie chips, and get a bushel of apples for apple chips in the fall, as well as all the kinds of fruits and veggie chips you can think of!). That way we’ll have less to keep in the deep freezer (we’re getting a second one, as we’ll be buying half a cow and a whole pig come autumn).

I’m hoping for good berry crops for some homegrown, homemade jam, so I’ll be building a cage around the berries so the birds can’t get at them. Lots to do this year! Lots indeed!

Along with all the gardening, I’ll be starting my Yule gifts soon as I will be doing cross-stitch things, which, takes like forever.
On top of that, planning for something special next summer (details likely to come in the future, though likely way closer to the date).

And, trying to put my tarot reading shop out there more, I believe there may be some tangible items likely to be put in at some point. Not exactly sure when, though I’ll keep you updated.

So how is your spring going? Making lots of plans and beginning to implement them for the coming harvest? Or gearing up for winter rest if you’re in the Southern hemisphere?

Back in the Garden

Finally!

Now, I currently don’t have a proper working phone to go take pictures of what I am doing at the moment, but I hope to get my new phone within a week or two! Also, I am not bringing my good camera out, I just know I will drop it and break it.

But in the garden! It was lovely. I spent over 3 hours digging. I am getting rid of all the little paths between the two sets of beds, and having just two very large beds with a central path in between. I was worried I was going to have to actually dig out the paths like I did last year, however I had gotten one of those hand tillers (with twisty spikes on the end that are also quite good at twisting weeds out), and it seems like that is sufficient (and much quicker) to dig out the grassed paths!

I was pretty impressed that the ground wasn’t soggier than it is, but I can’t say I’m unhappy about it ๐Ÿ™‚
You may also be wondering why I’d be so happy about digging. About back hurting work (and I don’t have the nicest of backs to be sure). I also suspect those who enjoy gardening get it though.

I think it’s something hardwired in us as it wasn’t that long ago that most people were still growing their own food, unless they lived in cities or were rich. It’s only been the tiniest blip of human history that we haven’t been farming. And at this time of year, when we finally get to sink our tools in the thawed earth, there’s so much promise, excitement and hope for what is to come.

As I dug, I said a prayer to Freyja and Freyr. I suspect I’ll be doing a rite at some point soon before seeds are sown, as well as a blessing over the new seeds that were purchased this year and last fall along with the rest of last years’ seeds.

Now that I now better what kind of problems I will be facing this year, I also have things planned to keep the garden better nourished and protected. Things such as netting for the brassicas (which were hastily eaten last year by cabbage white butterflies), netting to protect my peas from wee bunnies, and a vigilant eye as well as a spraybottle full of garlic and cayenne to keep the Colorado potato beetles at bay, and some better placement of tender lettuces and spinach so that they don’t turn bitter.
I’m also planning on lining the beds (which will cost less now that I will have just two big beds, and not twelve beds with an enormous amount of perimeter) to keep out the grass. Plus weeding. I gave up a bit last year, and that’s fine since I had to see what gardening on this lot of land is like. I have been planning the beds in a way that utilizes companion planting, so I’m hoping no other pests than the white butterfly and potato beetles will show up this year.
The potatoes will also be going into potato towers, so we shall see how that works out as well, as last year, some of the in ground potatoes rotted. If you’re curious, I’m planning on making the towers from chicken wire and hay, pulling leaves out between the wires so they have lots of sun access as the plants grow upwards.

The gourds will also be grown up structures, I’m going to have a think about it, but I’m already leaning to tomato towers for them, as even the pumpkins aren’t overly large (I have two different kinds of smaller pumpkin seeds). And hopefully my eggplants will make a show this year as well.  My rhubarb is staying in its spot, and I will have to dig up and put some plant food down for my berries.
Speaking of plant food, this is the year to build a little compost area out back. I really hate throwing out all the lovely food scraps knowing it could have helped make a lovely food source for the garden, so hopefully the pallet gods will be nice to me this year and provide me with what I need to have a nice big pile. If not, I am going to look into what else is available.

There’s lots of things planned for the garden, and lots of things planned for how I’m going to process and preserve all the food (also buying a dehydrator this year for my herbs mainly, and then to make fruit chips, veggie chips, all good dried things). It’s funny, last harvest time, I was thinking about this spring, and now that spring is here, I’m thinking about the coming harvest.

I’m a busy, busy bee with growing and my new shop, The Forest Witch (tarot readings, yo!). I hope you are all enjoying the lovely spring. Well, so long as you’re somewhere that spring has actually come. If you are in the southern hemisphere, happy autumn harvests!!

TPE – Earth

The word โ€œearthโ€ has multiple meanings. What does it mean to you? How do you use its definitions to support your work?

What does earth mean to me? Oh man, lots of things, as most things do. They all kind of intertwine with each other, though some seem more mundane than others.
Physically, earth is the earth, it is our planet, it is the ground we walk upon each day, and provides all we need to be protected, safe, and nourished. We are of the earth, and the earth is us (I often think of that scene in the Lion King where Mufasa is telling Simba that they eat the antelope, and when they die, they become the grass that the antelope eat).

I also view all living creatures as well as those things we don’t view as living as cells of a large organism, working together, or not so much, in order to keep surviving. I think now that we’ve come to the 20th century, and have a plethora of ways in which we survive much more easily (re: vaccines), we really should be seeking to work in better harmony with our lands more than ever. We have so many more people on this planet than we did 100 years ago, hell, in 1804 there were only a billion people on the entire planet. It’s only been 200+ years, and we now have over 7 billion. We really need to start farming in ways that will truly be sustainable, not just for the crops, but for the land those crops are grown upon. If the land is completely stripped of nutrients, erroded, etc., we’ll keep losing land for crops for ourselves, and keep harming the land for anything else to live on as well for a long time afterwards.

Another part is obviously finding better ways to fuel our transportation. If we throw our climate too much out of whack, it’s not the soil we’ll have to be worrying about, it’s how fucked up we’re going to make our weather and storms. You can plant all the crops you like, but if it’s too cold, too hot, or lots of nasty hail storms come by, we’re not going to be eating. A lot of earth work for me obviously ties in to tending the earth, tending our home, creating a planet that will sustain many, many generations of our descendants, and unfortunately, capitalism only thinks about how much money can be made now, screw the consequences.

There’s also the elemental aspect of earth, that of being a foundation, of grounding, of being the place you return to. Earth is strong, it is nourishing, it will support you. It is where you plant the seeds you’d like to germinate, and where you bury the things that are dead.

Alright, so how does this support my work as it were? If you haven’t read my blog before, I like to garden (I missed it very much when we lived out West where all I could have was a potted garden). I also love to go on bike rides out on my favourite path. I often clean up jerks’ garbage on the trail (it seems there is always more garbage on the trail when I bring along an offering for the wights of the trail, and I have no qualms if it wants me to help clean up as well as leaving the offerings). The gardening for me holds a lot of magick, it’s where I can work with the land wights around me, the wights of all the vegetables I grow, and really instill nourishment and love into the food I feed my family, as well as put love back into the earth. I also have lots of flowers, many of which have been chosen to entice the bees, my effort to bring balance to the ecosystem of my yard, and in turn the area around us.
I suppose there’s a lot earth in the work I do, which isn’t surprising, being a Taurus and all.

I do a lot of grounding as well, calling my flailing self back to center to see with more clarity the situations at hand. Since I probably ground myself a few times a day, oftentimes without acknowledging that’s what I’ve done, I’ve built up its effectiveness, which has been especially helpful when depression rears its head. It’s not that the earth energies get rid of the depression, it just allows me to be restful in it. It allows me to stop the flail, like I said, and then just look at the depression from farther away. I often just remind myself of the bigger picture of my life, that things are actually pretty great, that I’m just feeling like this right now because my brain gets a little messed up every now and again. Just rest. Just be with this.
I feel that’s a big part of what the earth in me deals with, it’s always the place I return to, the resting grounds, which eventually turn into the ground I jump off from again.

And to pull it all together, why would the energy of the earth want to work with me if I mistreat it? If I keep doing things that harm it, all the plants and creatures, how could I possibly even consider calling on the earth in my magickal and spiritual work? This is why I do what I can, though it may seem small in the scheme of things, to tend the piece of land I can with respect and love. This is not the only reason, but a very good one in working with anyone. You don’t go in someone’s house and trash the place, then expect them to be happy about helping you out when you need it. In fact, I’m pretty sure they’d seek some sort of vengence.
As I said, this is not the only reason, but something that is important for our own survival, as well as a reflection of my reverence of nature, because am I not myself part of nature, recycled bits of earth?

The Pagan Experience Looking Forward

Thanks to a few of the bloggers I read, I am now going to participate in The Pagan Experience, as a step up from the Pagan Blog Project. Now I don’t mean that in a negative light, it just feels like PBP is more for those starting out, the prompts emphasize the history, tools, etc. of Paganism and Witchcraft. While I like to go back every once in a while and give a thought as to why we use what we use, the power in tools of the tangible and intangible sort, I feel like it’s no longer the time for me to continue “starting out”. Also, most of the PBP posts that I’ve written in the past year and a half, perhaps more, have been more personal, less of that initial Learn. All. The. Things.
I’m still learning of course, but it’s much less about the books now, and more about the actual practice, the interactions that I have. Learning things by rote helps a bit, but can you remember all the things you had to memorize when you were in grade school? Probably not. What stays in mind are the experiences, things connected to emotions, and spirituality is abundant in the emotional department.

Alright, so to get to the point of this first Pagan Experience blog post, resolutions! I don’t really do them. I generally have things that I am always working towards anyhow, so I’ll share what the coming year will have in store for me.

1. Write. I need to finish the novel I began writing for NaNo. I’m still excited about the story, but I need to take some time to plan out what’s going to happen in each chapter till the end of the book.
I am also going to write short stories of erotica to publish on a fairly regular basis. I enjoy writing it as much as I love reading it, and sometimes, you just gotta write your own stuff to see what you want to see. I’ve already got a neat world I’m working in, and I’m excited to see where it goes as well. I think with this first story, there will be more, a bigger story that will be put out in instalments. It’s also going to be a way for me to sharpen my story writing skills so that the big stories I have to tell will be done so in a much cleaner way.

2. Redo my garden this year, cutting down some of the things that didn’t seem to work well, and what we didn’t tend to eat very much of. It will also be a year of knowing what will need to be better taken care of on this particular plot, now that I’ve gone through a growing season with it. And this year, I absolutely must remember to get my sister to bring some horse poop in the fall! (The poop is the most important goal, of course!)
I will also be making a bigger effort for herbs, both culinary and medicinal. Of course, it can all be used magickally, but you already knew that, right? Also, herbs and flowers in the garden keep pests away, so there’s also that.

3. Eat well, move more. Nothing specific. I’m not going to say I want to lose such and such amount of weight. I just want to take care of my body, which is something that’s already on my mind every day anyway.

4. Spiritually, I’d like to allow myself to just do things when I feel moved to. Not to just sit there thinking that there’s going to be too much involved. We do things when inspired because we are deeply moved to do it, ritual and celebration helps us to mark important things in our lives, and I need to do this more. I’m not saying I’m going to do ALL. THE. RITUALS. I am not a ritual kind of person. Only once in a while. No, if I feel like I need to bake something for an offering, or do a specific spell, or say a prayer in a more formal and marked way, I will do it.

5. Sing more. I’ve been moved more and more lately to sing. Not as intensely as I have pursued it before, but music is calling. I often think of writing, but my best tunes come out in the shower and I forget when I’m done. Yes, I realize I should just bring my phone in and record. Welp, there’s a thought ๐Ÿ˜› Thank you, writing this post for making me think of that!

I think these are the basic things I am seeking to do this year. Nothing too crazy, just things that I feel are attainable, as I already endeavour to do them anyway.

PBP – New Garden Images

This is an update on the garden… things are growing! “Well, duh,” you might say, and you would be right in saying so.
I gathered a small harvest of the Swiss Chard on Wednesday for dinner, my mom and I loooooove the stuff, I think we’ll need a bigger patch of it next year. I would have liked the lot of it on my plate, alas, there was me, my mama, and the Man to feed, so none more for me. It tasted divine, I’ll have you know. I’m ever grateful for the food these plants provide me and my family.

2014-07-02 18

 

This is a look at the whole veggie garden. It doesn’t seem like it’s doing overly much from the picture, or even when you look at it from afar, I think it’s because what’s in the beds are for the most part green, and the grass in between is as well. I’m hoping to line each bed at the end of harvest season and even a few of the far ones out for next year. I’m not sure yet if I’m leaving the paths in between as grass, or if I will be vinegar-ing the grass and putting perhaps wood mulch? If you have any good suggestions, I’m willing to lend an ear! We’ll be getting some horse and cow manure from my sister’s farm in the fall, and I hope that will help the sandy beds retain more water.

2014-07-02 201

This is the big, leafy rhubarb. It’s been doing really well getting settled in its new home. We had a goodly amount of rain on Monday as a storm rolled through, and this among many other plants just decided to get ginormous overnight. I can’t wait til I can make some custard and rhubarb pies, and rhubarb strawberry pies… yum!

 

2014-07-02 202

These are the zucchinis, there was supposed to be 5, but only 3 came up so I reseeded the other two on Tuesday night. I’m hoping this will allow for a longer zucchini season, as long as they germinate and grow.

2014-07-02 203

Lovely, frothy carrot greens. They got quite big the day after I thinned them out. Unfortunately I only read after the fact that you can eat the greens. They smelled terrific, and I think would do very well in a salad.
2014-07-02 204

Mmm, beets. I thinned these out in the same sitting as the carrots, but these I already knew I could eat. YUUUUM! There were quite a few young plants that I pulled up, leading me to think about sowing fewer seeds (especially for plants which the greens cannot be eaten). Yet, even the carrots and beets, I may sow fewer and just eat the greens when I harvest the roots. We shall see.2014-07-02 205 This is the beautiful Rainbow Lights Swiss Chard growing away. I love it when you can begin some harvesting, it’s a slow process, a few things here and there, and then the trickle of food becomes stronger, heavier, fills up your baskets quicker, until you have a glut of things at the height of harvest season. Aaaah…. I love me the processes of nature and life.2014-07-02 206 The salad patch. I have four different lettuces, although the two red salads I sowed don’t seem to be particularly prolific. Ah well, always next year!2014-07-02 207

I cannot wait till these onions are all done so I can cook em all up and eat the greens. I may freeze the greens. If I like these kind of onions, I will let one or two go to seed for next year (seed collecting is definitely part of my gardening plan).2014-07-02 208 Where are you, oh cauliflower head? Please hurry up so I can drizzle cheesy sauce on you.2014-07-02 209

Pumpkins! I’m very excited for these as I want to roast some seeds, and make some pies and breads and soups. Oh, how I love Thee, Pumpkin!2014-07-02 2010 My beans have finally started climbing up their poles! The day after that heavy rain, this is what I saw. It’s an amazing feeling watching the things you care for, tend, and love growing so well and happily. They hear my songs all the while I water.2014-07-02 2011

I cannot tell you how excited I am for my basil patch turning into pesto. CAN. NOT. TELL. YOU. I have sweet, Genovese, and cinnamon.ย 2014-07-02 2012 The Canada day petunias doing ever so well hanging on either side of the front door to our house. I always found they had an interesting smell, sweet, yet something deeper, and darker to them.ย 2014-07-02 2013 Potato flowers! They’re so pretty, and you can’t tell at all that they are related to the tomatoes and bittersweet nightshade in the following photos at all, can you? Oh, the solanaceaes!2014-07-03 08 I have always loved touching and smelling tomato plants. I was adjusting them on Wednesday night, as they are growing like crazy, and my hands continued to smell like fresh tomatoes all the night long. Well, until I had to wash my hands.ย 2014-07-03 081

I helped this bittersweet nightshade (which now has a gagillion berries all over the place) earlier this spring (when I couldn’t tell what it was), by pruning it and situating it more sturdily onto the wheel it has claimed as a trellis. I’m glad I did. I love the sweet little flowers, and when the berries turn red, they look like little jewels dripping off the stems.
2014-07-02 21