Zodiac Tea Sale!

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So since I want to create more space to begin the Yuletide stockpile of tea, I decided to throw a (very rare) sale on my Zodiac teas! There are between 10-20 bags of each sign, depending on the sign, and they’re all 20% off! You can take a gander here.

Next month, I’ll be making some big orders of ingredients and begin making the teas that sell like hotcakes during the holidays (I’ll give you one guess as to which ones those may be!). It will ease me into the busy season, but also ease the work when it gets really hectic in November & December. I can already tell my future self is going to be very happy that I began making lots of teas early!

In other news, it’s been a busy summer! Lots of visiting people, lots of fun adventures canoeing and tubing on the river nearby. Of course I’ve gone out to the lake a few times, though the water cooled down after a rain last week, I was sad that I couldn’t really swim in it! Oh well, it will level out and I would like to bring myself to the beach if not every week, then every other week. I love Kincardine so, and I loooove lake Huron just as much. I feel so very much like myself in the water ❤

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 😀

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

June Is Here!

 

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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 🙂

 

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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. 🙂

 

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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

 

I’m Back

So I returned from my trip to see my grandparents on Saturday night. Was pretty tired! Things went well for the most part. It’s interesting how you realize more and more who people really are as you get older.

Since my return, I’ve been making tea like a mad woman to fill out the orders I received whilst away. Accidentally made a whole bunch of a tea I didn’t need to make for a large order, oh well! Lol.

I also need to make a goodly sized order for ingredients at the beginning of next month, which I’m happy to do, I love getting mail, even though it’s tea that’s going to be made for you, dear gentle readers! I got an order this week for some new flavour oils and some droppers (I really should have got those to begin with for the oils! They are a life saver!), and am dreaming up some delicious summertime teas… I’ve got a lot of ideas floating around, guys!

So now that orders are filled out and ready for shipping, there’s a commission or two to work on, and a small collection of teas I’m super excited about (no hints!!!! It’s a surprise!! :D)

Anywho, enough about me? How have you been?

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.

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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.

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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!

 

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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.

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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.
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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. 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. 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. 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.
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Pagan Blog Project – N is for Nothing but the Images of Summer

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A Fantastic Look At The Power Of Beltaine and Sex

Flower of Life – Georgia O’Keeffe

This is a post from Galina Krasskova’s blog, Gangleri’s Grove… All I can say is YEEEEEEESSSSSS!!!

Women especially are penalized for enjoying their sexuality. Then, what to me seems even worse, I see people who are never touched. I’m not talking sex, i’m talking simple physical contact. I see people every day who haven’t been hugged in a decade. I see people who are starving physically and emotionally for basic human contact. There have been scientific studies done proving that if infants are denied human affection–skin to skin affection–they can die. Why should it be any different for adults? Even if they don’t die in body, they can wither away inside in their hearts and minds and spirits. Moreover,  I see people who have never touched themselves and now I am talking sex and I think it a moral crime to fill someone with guilt and shame for the pleasure their own body can give them. We should love our bodies. We have to live here after all. Let’s take some pleasure in that…in our own bodies and those of our partners’ too.

Read the rest here.

Let’s put the sacred back in sex in all its forms!

Sumer Is Icumin In

This weekend has been absolutely gorgeous. Our internet went down on Saturday, which I don’t mind so much except that I was planning on calling family, and it interrupts my work (which requires me to send and receive files). So I am currently writing this post on my man’s phone, which for some silly reason is making me have to press shift to make every letter the proper case, lol. I think that this break is a good thing, I spend entirely too much time in front of a screen, albeit, mostly from working. 

Back to the beautiful weather… Amazing, warm, sunny, in bloom, smelling like delicious flowers, cut grass, childhood, and impending summer. The young God is growing ever stronger, the maiden becoming more enticing as Beltaine drawing nearer. I’m feeling excitement growing as the summer becomes more apparent. 

I hope your days are filling with anticipation and excitement… unless you’re south of the equator, preparing for the feast for the Great Dead, or preparing for air conditioning if the warm part of the year is when your body and mind tends towards rest.

My Summer Musings

Aaah, it seems as though the summer is going too fast! Mostly because there hasn’t been an incredible amount of summery weather until a few weeks ago here 😦 Also, I have been dreading going back to school in the fall! Yes, yes, I will continue to do it, lol, however, I know I will burn out, and I definitely don’t want to experience that again! But, we are living in a stress free apartment (it’s been very quiet in so far as lots of communication between us and the landlords, which is fine by me, no drama!), so I know that there won’t be a stressful home factor this year, thank the Gods! And perhaps the break in December will actually be a restful one this year, enough so that I can get through second semester! I’ve been talking and thinking about how to better handle everything, and well, it sounds trite, but I just gotta take it one day at a time. Then I get to worry about auditions in second semester for the next school I’m going to go to to finish my bachelor’s. Le sigh. It never ends! Lol. Also, I’ve been going back and forth not knowing if I should get the bachelor’s because mostly, you need that to teach, which I never, and I mean NEVER want to do. But I’ve also been undecided as to what I want to do with music. I think I’ve come to a pretty solid conclusion that fits how I want my life to be (in so far as family/house/time to myself): I’m going to be an opera chorister, stationed in one city.
Now, there’s a bit of (and by a bit, I mean a whole lot of, lol) snobbery when it comes to opera. If you aren’t a prima or primo of whichever voice type you are, and have a crazy career, you are a soloist “failure”. This is so ridiculous and needs to be changed, I tell ya! Not everyone is cut out to sacrifice basically everything to be a world-renowned opera star. Those people generally live sad lives, usually never marrying or having children. That’s just not the life I want. I want a house, a big garden, kids, doggies and kitties. Yep, I want domestic bliss. Could you imagine an opera without its chorus? Those huge, amazing scenes that get your heart pumping as the music swells with all the voices joining in emotion? It’s like raising energy in ritual! It’s just amazing. Plus, I’ll be working with the same people, which, once you’ve been in any sort of stage production, you know that they all become extended family.

"Carmen" by Georges Bizet. Performed by the Royal Opera Chorus and Orchestra.

Anywho… lol. Other things that have been on my mind or happening… I’ve been doing a lot of witchy reading (which I gotta do now, cuz during the school year, I have absolutely no want to read!). Currently on Margot Adler’s “Drawing Down the Moon”. It’s been good. Read a few 101 type books, however, I couldn’t read the last one all the way through as it was aimed for someone who’s probably only just found the Craft. I think I can move on from that now, lol. It’s been good to finally read these, although I have a feeling to get into the deeper books, I shall have to purchase them off Amazon as my library most likely won’t have books that specific.

Annnnd… mead. Oh, mead!! I think I’ve figured out what we’re going to do in retirement, lol. I’m going to have a meadery. The man can grow hops and make beer, and I will bee keep and make mead. The bottles are doing very well, the yeasties are very active. I went out today to a wine making supply shop and picked up some carboys, caps, airlocks, tubing and a brush for cleaning the carboys. I sanitized two of the caps and airlocks to place them on the water jugs I have my mead in now, and both jugs are having bubbles about every eight seconds. It’s so exciting making it, darned frustrating with the waiting (I know, it’s only been a week!! Lol), but I am quite excited! Before placing the caps on, I took a good sniff of each mead, and holy man! You can smell that alcohol! And behind that is the smell of ambrosia 🙂 Going to make another two bottles this weekend: a pumpkin mead!!!! And probably a fruit mead.

And lastly (I hope, lol), I have been spending more and more time outside during the day in the sun… it has been wonderful! I have my lovely umbrella however, lol, as I am a very, very pale person, and burn quite easily. My arms are now tanned, even though you’d never know unless I showed you how white my tummy is! We’ve been going on walks (albeit, usually to go get something, which is ok, cuz that means we’re walking for about a half hour at the very least), we should go on more with the pup though, but the man has been quite tired lately, as noted by all the angry yelling at his silly Mortal Kombat game :S
But, I’ve been bad with eating too much lately. Sigh. I’m trying to reign it in, I promise, lol. I really, really, really need to find somewhere that sells salad spinners so that I can have one and eat salads for lunch and have them with dinner. I miss salads, and I refuse to dry the salad with tea towels cuz our animals’ hairs are everywhere!

Ok, this is the last thing, I promise! I’ve also started saying a mental prayer at night before going to sleep, saying thanks for all my blessings They bestow upon me and my loved ones. It feels good, intuitive, not something I have to worry about making more elaborate than it should be. I think I’ve always known, but I believe I’m one of those whose practice is more spontaneous, and things will be less about what long ritual I’ve got written down, and more about the emotion of the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I like beautifully written ritual, very much, in fact. But when I want to do something, I never grab my books… I just… do it, in my own moment’s thoughts, words and actions.

Alright, my lovelies… that’s a huge post for one night, lol.

 

Beltane

Beltane Reunion - Emily Balivet

Beltane Reunion – Emily Balivet

Blessed greetings to one and all! I thought I would write up some thoughts and history on Beltane here, as this will be a blog for me to present my findings of research and practice, and personal discoveries. So Beltane! And here we go “a-maying!” 🙂 Beltane Belenos (amongst many different spellings) is a generic Celtic god of the Sun and simultaneously of the crops. Belenos literally means “Fire of the Gods”. Balefires were lit in honor of the sun and it’s return, people would usher their herds between fires to purify and ensure fertility before loosing them out to pastures for the summer season. The fires are quite restorative, in energy and symbolically. Symbolically, they were lit and danced around to usher in the sun and summer, bringing the Belenos/The Oak King/The Horned God/The Green Man to his full power and virility in this light part of the year. May poles are erected with flowers and long ribbons for the people to dance around and create beautiful patterns as they move around the pole. The May pole is obviously a phallus placed within the earth symbolizing the union between god and goddess, the land and the sun. People would traditionally make love in fields where crops were to transfer a sort of sympathetic magic to the land, enforcing its fertility, ensuring a bountiful harvest the entire month of May. Beltane does not necessarily need to be celebrated by making love, or focusing on sexual energies, although that part is quite fun 😉 No, Beltane can be celebrated alone, by loving oneself and finding unity within; by walking in the park and witnessing the change of the land, the fertility and growth in plants trees and animals around; by ushering in new ideas, big changes, and cleaning out one’s mind and body for new things to grow and bear fruit.