Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Epiphanies Design - Works of Art

Recently, I have made some new friends that live close to me. As few months have passed and I knew she was an artist, but I did not realize how talented she was until yesterday when I was at her home.

She works with both watercolors and oils. Many of the pieces of art in her home were created by her own hand. Her water colors are so delicate I can only think of comparing them to great artists of the past.

If you are looking for artwork by a Pagan, you should really check out her work. Click on the title of this blog and it will take you to her website.

Here is one of her samples.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Convocation 2010

Greetings All,

Today I received an email confirming the two workshops I will be presenting at Convocation 2010.
It is with great honor that I am presenting once again. This is my third year in doing so! Once again, the Magical Mad Hatter Tea Party is on so do not forget to bring your own tea cup this year (and yes a tea cup, not a coffee mug) because we will be doing tea leaf readings this year folks! The other workshop I will be presenting is called the "Pampered Pagan Pantry". Stick around and you will find out more about what that one is all about. It is alot of fun and can get a bit messy. LOL

Those that know me, realize that this is my favorite time of year. It is a chance to share my knowledge with others and also a unique opportunity to learn from others as well. Last year, I enjoyed many different classes, but more particularly was one on Pagan Homesteading by Raven Kalendra. He was extremely charasmatic and able to keep my attention on the subject at hand during his workshop. For the past year I have been focusing on what I could do as far as Pagan Homesteading.....I mean, I don't exactly live on a farm, or even in a country setting for that matter. Living in the city does make more difficult for one to "homestead". Taking some of the information he taught me, and a desire for becoming a better "housewife" and SAHM (Stay at Home Mom), I have been working on a different selection of living the Wheel to it's fullest.

With the fast winter approaching and threat of snow this coming week, I will soon be in full hibernation mode and making my plans for the next coming spring. Being indoors does make me do one thing, it makes me take stock of my life and "clean house" both figuratively and spiritually.

I am very thankful for the things that have happened to me this year. As I have embraced my newest path in life, many doors keep opening up for me. I am grateful to the Goddess and God for all they do to bless me.

I hope everyone that can will experience Convocation once in their lifetime. For anyone that wants to be apart of the larger Michigan Pagan Community, this event is the up most fun one can have during the freezing temperature weather of Michigan during the month of February. If funds are tight, they do welcome volunteers. By volunteering you can be refunded the entire registration fee should you be willing to work the number of hours required for refunds. If you decide to do it, try to get into the Registration booth, or Hospitality Suite, you will meet many people and possibly make new friends.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Raspberry Vodka

Greetings Everyone!

With continuing on the Home Crafted Holidays started by Domestic Witch, here is my fourth project!

It's Raspberry Vodka. A few years ago, I tasted it for the first time at someone's home. I fell in love with it. Now it is used as my main staple for Cakes and Ale in my personal rituals.

There are many variations on how to make Raspberry Vodka, here is a basic recipe for you. I hope you enjoy it. Also this recipe is for adults only!

Now the recipe I am sharing is from Earthbound Farm. Their recipe is a bit different from my own (cause I use secret ingridients, LOL) but still as good. Also their's is refridgerated during the process, where mine is conducted at room temperature.

Raspberry Vodka
Serves about 750 ml

Making flavored vodkas is simple, and it's far more economical than purchasing fancy brands. For the best flavor, use fresh, ripe berries and let the fruit macerate in the vodka for the entire week the recipe recommends.

Keep flavored vodkas in the refrigerator or freezer; they're at their best icy cold.

3 cups fresh raspberries, picked over

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

2 star anise pods

1 strip of lemon peel (yellow part only), 1/2 inch wide x 1-1/2 inches long

750 ml good-quality vodka

Mash the raspberries roughly with a fork to break them up. Place the berries in a clean, one-quart glass jar and add the remaining ingredients, stirring to blend. (Save the empty vodka bottle unless you have a decorative decanter for the final product).

Cover and refrigerate the mixture for one week. If you don't have a glass container large enough, you can divide the mixture into 2 smaller jars.

After allowing the berries and spices to macerate in the vodka for one week, strain the mixture through a fine sieve, discarding the seeds and spices. Pour the raspberry vodka back into the original bottle or into another vessel. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Recently, I was cleaning out one of our entertainment centers trying to put together all of my fitness videos, dvds, etc in preparations of my journey (once again) to losing weight. I came across one of my favorite dvds that I purchased a few years back.

When I first started these exercises, I lost about 20 lbs. Thorn's able to provide mental stimulation during the exercises. I am looking forward to working with this dvd again. Its the only Pagan Exercise instruction I am currently aware of. If you are interested, you should check it out on her website where its available for purchase.

So here is to losing weight, getting fit, and transforming from Venus of Wilendorf to Aphrodite! (For me anyways, I know Venus is beautiful, but I need to lose weight for health reasons most of all! Having cardiac arrest/scare during my second pregnancy was pretty scary.)

Blessed Be!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Weight Loss Spell

I am reposting this from another forum I belong to and posted this.

The topic of discussion was about weight loss. With the holidays here and stress, some people might appreciate this mantra to get them thru the situation of stressful eating.

Here is something I wrote a long time ago. I had not thought about it for some time since I have been having children. LOL

It's time for me to also lose some weight, 100 lbs matter of fact! I am sure I will be blogging about it in the future.

Anyways, here is my spell/affirmation/prayer. I use a piece of cord and then wear the cord the entire time I am trying to change my bad habits and live healthier.

I hope you enjoy it.
Weight Loss Spell
By Crystal

By the count of one, this spell's begun
By the count of two, there are pounds to lose
By the count of three, I'll eat no more than I need
By the count of four, no more soda, its water galore
By the count of five, this spell's alive
By the count of six, cravings nixed
By the count of seven, no more chocolate heaven
By the count of eight, I'll pretend I just ate
By the count of nine, In a year's time I'll be looking fine!


Ok, so I am not great with the rhyming...but the first time I did this (along with eating healthy and exercise) I did lose weight. I have about 100 lbs to lose so I think I will be working with leather cord this time around. Just remember the more you put into it and commit to it, the better results you will achieve. Right now I will personally have to combat my coca-cola and sweet tea (lots of sugar), as well as boredom eating to become sucessful this time around.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Applesauce Ornaments

Greetings Once Again to all the followers from Domestic Witch's Blog! Thank you for stopping in to see what is brewing at the Cauldron!

Today's craft is home-made Applesauce Ornaments!

Here are a few of my favorite recipes:

Recipe #1

1/2 cup cinnamon
1/2 cup store bought applesauce (homemade sauce will likely be too watery) Or, any equal portions of both ingredients depending on the quantity you desire.

Stir together cinnamon and applesauce with a spoon until the dough becomes stiff, then use your hands to create a ball of dough.

Place the ball of dough on a sheet of waxed paper, flatten slightly with your fingers.

Place a second sheet of waxed paper over the top of the dough and roll out dough to about 1/8 inch thick.

Use cookie cutters or your own template shapes.

Air dry creations on a waxed paper-covered cookie sheet or a cooling rack for at least 24 hours until they are completely hard.

Recipe #2
Mix 1 cup cinnamon and 1 cup applesauce with 1 Tablespoon of white glue. You want a consistency that can be rolled with a rolling pin but not quite as sticky or it will stick to your counter! Sprinkle counter with cinnamon and roll out dough and cut with cookie cutters. Cut a hole in shape with the straw so you will be able to hang them. Let dry about 24 hours. They shrink as they dry. Cut lengths of gold thread, make loops and hang. they will keep their scent for a few years. Refresh scent with cinnamon fragrance oil.

Recipe #3
1 cup cinnamon
1 tbsp. ground cloves
1 tbsp. nutmeg
1 tbsp. allspice
1 tbsp ginger
3/4 c. applesauce

In medium bowl, combine cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger & nutmeg. Add applesauce, stir to combine.
Work mixture with hands 2 to 3 minutes or until dough is smooth and ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut dough with cookie cutters. Using straw or pencil, make small hole in top of ornament. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 150 degrees for 1 hour. Remove from the cookie sheet and bake on the oven racks for another hour and a half.

Use these ornaments to decorate gifts, hang on tree, etc.

Creative tips:
For extra "sparkle," mix in decorative glitter.

Make your own shapes by trimming the dough with a table knife following around patterns you've cut from cereal box cardboard.

After cutting out shapes, use a drinking straw to create holes for jewelry or ornaments.

Use toothpicks to make smaller holes for threading. Leave in dough until dry and remove.

For a wall hanging, thread a colored ribbon through the shape.

For a brooch, decorate with fabric paint and glue a metal clasp pin to the back (available at craft stores).

Decorate creations with acrylic paint or fabric.

The creations can be used as decorations on a gift box or bag.
Important note: Adult supervision and participation is required for this activity.

Every year I read certain books to my son Lancer. This year, his younger brother Shaun will be joining in on the fun with the story. I read them books from writers of their heritage (I'm Cajun full through!) So to connect with my family, every year Lancer has received a Cajun story book. His favorite is Cajun Gingerbread Boy by Berthe Amoss.

If you have a child in your life, you can also make Gingerbread Playdough:

Gingerbread Playdough


1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Lots of cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg (The spices should turn the mixture brown like gingerbread, but you can also add red and green food coloring to develop a brown color.)

Mix the dry ingredients. Play with the spices until you get the scent and color you want. Mix the water and oil together first THEN add to the dry ingredients and stir.

Cook the mixture over medium heat for two or three minutes, stirring constantly until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and clump together.

Take the dough out of the pan and knead it until smooth.

Store in closed container.

I hope you enjoy these ideas and many thanks for visiting the Cauldron!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Peppermint Tea Mix

I am so sorry for the delay in posting....ended up traveling to the inlaws for Thanksgiving.

During the holiday season, one can become a bit stressed with all the things that need to be done. One of the ways I like to cope with stress is to sit down with a good cup of tea. With it being the Yuletide season, one of my favorite flavors I like to drink is Peppermint. The other is Ginger. Today we will be combining the two. These two herbs are best known for their soothing properties when it comes to upset stomachs.

When making your own tea (or using from bulk loose leaves), normally its best to use one teaspoon per cup of water. Since we will be combining these two herbs, it will differ a bit.

Ingredients for each 8fl oz (aka 1 cup) of Tea:

1 1/2 inches of fresh ginger root, sliced
2 tbsp fresh peppermint leaves


Boil cold, fresh water. Place Ginger Root and Peppermint leaves in the water once it has reached a boil. Remove from heat. Let the tea steep for 3 - 4 minutes and strain.

If you are giving this specific tea as a gift, it will need to be prepared as close to the time you will be presenting it to someone because of the fresh ginger root. For packaging, you could take a small basket, tea cup, etc and place the ingridents needed in a loose cheesecloth and put the dried peppermint leaves in with a piece of ginger root (so that they can slice the ginger root you are supplying them along with the dried leaves later when they are ready to enjoy the cup of tea on their own).

If you choose not to use the cheesecloth to package, you might want to include a "tea spoon" as well. Here are a few ideas on what spoons are available that costs less than $5:

Peppermint Leaves on Foodista

Monday, November 23, 2009

Home Crafted Holidays - Vanilla Extract

I am participating in Domestic Witch's Home Crafted Holidays to help give ideas for home-made gifts to give during Yule.

My day is actually this coming Wednesday, but to make sure I was able to post it online with all the Turkey Day stress and last minute "To-Do's", I am posting it a few days early.

What you need - Phase 1

1 or two Vanilla Beans
1 pint of your favorite vodka
1 jar with lid

I like to slit the vanilla bean right down the middle. Then I cut it into smaller pieces. Place the cut up bean into a large jar with a tight fitting lid.

Then pour the vodka over the beans. Put the cap on and shake it gently for a few minutes.

Place the jar in a cool, dry, dark place. I use my kitchen cabinet as you can see in the photo. Shake the jar daily for two weeks minimum. I have gone as long as six weeks.

Phase 2
Cheese cloth or coffee filter
Some kind of funnel
Something to strain the liquid into or the final bottle for presentation.

After the time you have decided to let your tincture set, you will need to strain it. I usually strain it two times to make sure the liquid is clear.

After straining, place it in a decorative bottle if you are giving it out as a gift.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pregnant Priestess

A couple of friends and I were talking about my pregnancy the other day. We spoke about the things I did with my first pregnancy and then what I did differently with my second. One of those friends suggested that I put my thoughts down to paper to help others that may be thinking what the heck can I do?

So here goes:

1. Have a henna party.

Have your friends decorate your belly and send good wishes to your child thru their artwork.

2. Nursery blessing.
A friend of mine blessed my nursery for the first child with a specific ritual involving the four elements. She smudged the room with sage and lavender for the gift of fire (since you really don't want a burning candle in a small child's room, at least I don't). She blessed it with the gift air using feathers that she also gave to me in a frame to place in my child's room. The gift of earth was an aloe plant that will sat in the windowsill, and the gift of water by a new baby bathtub.

Maybe some of your friends that want to purchase items for you could come up with a similar ritual?
Now for my second child, I have asked my eldest child if it was ok to use many of the items that he received as a baby that he no longer uses...such as the bathtub. By asking his permission to use his old crib, his old bathtub, blankets, etc I am involving him in the process of providing for his younger sibling and making him feel very special as the "big brother" at the same time. He also went as far to put alot of books into a box that he wants to read to his baby brother once he learns how to read himself. I thought that was just precious.

3. Family Artwork.
One thing that I did was that with the birth of my first son, my husband and I drew our hands out on paper. His was first since it was the largest, then mine, and then at the hospital we had the nurses do the handprint of our first born. We plan on doing it again, this time with our eldest son's handprint drawn out just like mommy and daddy's.

Now for other ideas to give a Pregnant Priestess:

I know of one gift package that includes Susun's Book. It was given to me when I pregnant with my first child five years ago.
My kit came from Red Moon Herbs. The lady that runs it, apprenticed with Susun. Here is their link.

Other things I received were herbs in bulk to make infusions from a local herb farm near me.

Cloth pads for my cycle after delivery and also circular pads (cloth as well to be reused) for nursing pads.

Pending your financial status, I even had a few girlfriends make home made "gift certificates" they can include:
One girlfriend made me a few small home made gift certificates for things like:

(1) - Good for One Hour baby free shower/bath time on me
(2) - Good for One home made Lasgana from the family's cookbook
(3) - Good for One "Overnighter" to take care of baby while you sleep
(4) - Good for One home spa pedicure and foot massage (cause a preg woman's feet blow up, LOL)
(5) - Good for One afternoon nap of two hours

Massages, home made cooking (casseroles), running errrands such as grocery shopping, and cleaning her home a time or two during the first few weeks after pregnancy can be a huge help and reduce the amount of stress the new mom may experience. So that might be something one could look into if it interests you and you are able to provide the time.

I also know of a lady that makes breastfeeding necklaces. Email me offlist if you would like her info. I don't want this email to sound like a solicitation.

Those are just a few ideas of what you can do for your favorite Pregnant Priestess. I hope one helps or inspires you.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Moving towards Winter

This past week has been a tough one with the loss of our family's familiar "Trouble". I am still looking for him at night waiting for him to jump upon the bed and do his nightly circle perimeter check around the room before settling down to bed for the night.

Today the sky was gloomy all day. It almost looked like it was going to snow already at one point. Luckily, I still have a few more weeks before the snow hits the ground. It is a fact that Winter is almost upon us. I am currently trying to re-organize my home by cleaning and decluttering. Right now "Hurricane Crystal" has hit it hard. It does not even look like I have been cleaning. I have been going thru our storage and boxes upon boxes are scattered throughout the house. I am placing things in boxes to keep, garage sale, and donate. Then I have a large kitchen bag of things to toss as well that I can not do the above or recycle them.

Tomorrow, the Michigan Magical Moms will have their weekly playdate. So I have to make sure that Lancer's current prized possessions are out of reach of the younger children. Last week his lego robot was accidently broken and he was in tears when he got home. It was nothing to fix it, but for the fact that some pieces were missing and I had to go thru his entire room to find the key pieces to hold Mr. Roboto together. He was quite happy when Moma fixed his Boo-boo's. LOL

I really like the other moms in the group and hope to get to know them better and develop stronger friendships. It was a small world when one of the ladies actually knew and is friends with one of my old neighbors. Go figure, another Pagan friendly family was just a few houses down, and I never got the chance to know them. That is how the world has changed in the past few decades. When I was growing up, my family knew everyone down the street (and neighborhood) that we lived in. Now someone that I lived three houses down from for over five years, we barely knew each other at all. I am trying to know my neighbors, some I like and some I don't care for too much (aka Frat House with late night parties) but think as time passes by they are becoming more mature in their nature (not to mention they are tired of fixing mailboxes from their friends mishaps down our street.

In the next few weeks I will be participating in Domestic Witch's "Home Crafted Holidays". I will actually be featured on four different occassions! So make sure to check out her blog as well as mine!

The summer clothes are being washed and then stored in their appropriate totes for the long winter ahead of us. Out come the winter gear and being washed as well. I finally took out my down comforter and changed the curtains on the windows to the thicker panels to keep the cold out and the warmth inside.

Soon it will be soups and gumbo on my brain! I even found a reasonable supplier to ship roux to me because I am too lazy to make my own. LOL Oh good eating is upon us!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Farwell to my Familiar

Yesterday after months of sickness, my husband and I decided to have our cat Trouble put to sleep. The Vet still does not know what was making him throw up so much and why he could not digest any food he ate. Past few months he lost alot of weight and was sick several times a day.

May he return to the great mother and return to us reborn.

I love you my dear sweet and mischievous feline friend!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Samhain & Name that Year

The Coven and I will be celebrating Samhain this weekend. Half of us have children that still like to trick or treat. With my young ones, its just the beginning of understanding what the season means (Candy to Lancer!!!)

This weekend, my coven sister Dawn will be staying with me for a short amount of time. Almost a week. She lives far away from us now, so whenever she's in town, we do what we can. I invited her to come stay with me and she accepted! I am very excited to have her come stay with me and spend lots of quality time together.

The rest of the coven will be coming down on Saturday, when we will have our Samhain circle. We gots lots of things planned and will be making most of the day and night of it together.

I am almost finished my goals for the next turn of the wheel.
I don't think I have posted what my Name that Year will be.

My year will be: The Year of the "Housewife". With being laid off over a year ago and unable to find a job within the same paygrade to be able to afford reliable childcare, I will be fully embracing being a stay at home mom. I will be converting my home from top to bottom, "Fall Cleaning" if you will. Organizations and decluttering upon the top of my priorities as well as making the house more suitable for a family of four now. We have made some changes for the better and I can pursue other avenues as well within my home since we have finished much of the construction now. Onto the cleaning, cleansing, and staging!

Happy Samhain to you!


Monday, October 5, 2009

Celebrating Samhain

Greetings Everyone!

As promised here are a few photos of my Ancestral Altar. It's one of the many things I am doing this month to connect with the season.

KOTH has a very detailed list of things that we can do to celebrate this Sabbat. I will be sharing a few of them here as well.

So far this month, I have began to create my Ancestral Altar. I am also continuing the research of my family tree and that of my husband's. I am actually more sucessful with his side of the family as a chance encounter at the cemetary has led to information dating all the way back to the Mayflower! Many thanks again to the Decker family that was generous to share their research with me.

One of the things I will be trying to master is gravestone rubbings. It seems that the cemetary that my hubby's grandparents are buried in is the original family farm dating back a number of generations. Every person in that cemetary with the same last name is his kin. So I have gotten a huge jumpstart on the family history.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Gearing Up for Samhain

It's Oct 1st! Yippie, Samhain is almost upon us. Its my "busy" time of year. I have started putting together my Ancestral Altar, and hope to have a photo up soon. Every year during this time, I am preparing our home for the upcoming winter. My posts may become sporatic. I am still adjusting to becoming a stay at home mom mentally. LOL

One of the things I have started is a Food Price Book. After only a few weeks, I am already seeing a trend of the sales from the two grocery stores I use the most. This will help me pay the least amount of money for the products I use the most. One of my goals for the next year is to save us as much money as possible. I will let you know how it goes.

I have gotten a few requests for my yearly Samhain Supper Menu. I am currently planning it. This year it will be different as it will not be Gumbo as I have made in the years past. The "Cajun Cauldron" will be brewing up something new this year. I am hoping to surprise everyone. I have had a lot more cooking time since I have been off. Also with Uncle Jack's recent visit, he let me in on a few of his secrets to making great salad dressings and marinades. One of the things I have been trying to do is get us to eat less red meat with the exception of venison.

Well that is all for now. I got to go catch a few zzzz's.

I hope everyone has a sensational Samhain!!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Name that Year

I have been inspired by another blogger called "Magical Mommy". Recently, she posted something about naming the year. It's inspired me to do the same. If I did it correctly, you should be able to access her website thru this one. I am still learning on how to use blogger and its bells and whistles. You see, I am not computer savy at all.

So in the next few weeks, I will be posting about what my Year will be titled. I think this is a great tool to do every single Samhain, so I will most likely post it after Samhain.

You should check out her website, she has some really cool stuff there!


Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I hope everyone had a magical Mabon!

With my personal tradition, every year my family goes throughout the house and we do a major "Fall Cleaning" and take major stock of what is in our lives both physically and mentally.

Room by room we started this past weekend first going thru clothing to be dontated to good will. Some items will be sold on ebay (like maternity clothing with the tags still on). Our cleaning process will continue throughout this entire month all the way up to Samhain. I like to get the house ready for winter. Gid rid of what we do not need and then make room for what is going to come into our lives this next turn of the wheel.

I also wanted to share something that I have also been working on as well. There is a free magazine that we here in Michigan can get at our local grocery store. It is called Natural Awakenings. Inside the September issue there is an article about the Seven Avenues of Self Discovery. This article really hit home with me, especially about what I already do during Mabon. Its about taking stock of what is important to us. The seven steps are:

Making Lists
Draw a Picture
Take a Field Trip
Clear Out clutter
Ask Questions
Embrace Opportunities

If you are able to get this magazine, I strongly suggest that you read it. I liked it alot and gave me a few different aspects of how to look at my life.

The leaves are starting to change and already has began to fall to the ground. Samhain is upon us. The Wheel is getting ready to turn once again into a new year. What are your goals for this next turn of the wheel?

For me, its to get my home in order. Next spring we hope to sell and move to a larger home that will better suit our every growing family. We also want to move to a better school district. Next, I would love to continue with my writings. I have been asked to write articles for a new magazine that is starting out here in Michigan. Maybe it will turn into a paying gig. Finally, being the best I can be for my family and coven. I want to take the time and appreciate each and every one of them. They are the most important people in my life. I do not want them to forget about it!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Checking In

Well, Shaun is here now. He's six weeks old now. Just starting to hold his head up on his own and also coo. My how time flies when you are having fun! I have not blogged for some time here.

Lammas has come and gone. Mabon is ahead of us. This past Sabbat, the Coven and I welcomed a new sister into our family. Her name is Emerald. She's a wonderful lady with a quick wit and love of herbs as I do. She also can put up with my dry sense of humor (cause I don't have much of one, and when I do, its a bit weird. LOL)

"Hunter" and I are taking stock of items we have in our household. What we want to keep, what to sale, what to donate, etc. With this spruce of "Fall cleaning" I have started to redo many of my altars in our home. I will have to take down my wheat pentacle that I made for Lammas, somehow my familiar Trouble is able to reach it and has decided to try to eat it, and then get sick from it. So down it needs to come or find a "higher" home on the wall for it.

Today the family and I are going Rocket Blasting. Its a hobby that my hubby has had since he was a young man, and is now sharing it with our five year old. Along with the archery lessons. I like seeing father and son play and do the things that "Hunter" did when he was a child. He's teaching our son the things he loves including the game of chess and soccer.

So much is going on in my life right now, its almost a tailspin. I am almost done with my lesson/workshop proposals for Convocation, I just hope I am lucky once again to be approved to teach next year. I am excited that my friend from PSG, Nora Cedarwind Young will be presenting next year! All my nagging along with a few others has finally paid off! With Nora coming, I am sure that it influenced Selena Fox to venture out this way as well. So I am very excited about that as well! But with my luck, my presentations will be the same time as theirs and I will not be able to attend their classes which is usually what happens to me when presenters I like come. I have missed Dorothy Morrison's classes for the past time she attended. That is the only downside to presenting at Convo.

Anyways, here is me and the new boy, enjoy!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Almost There

Well, I have less than three weeks until the baby is here. I am learning alot about Patience! I so want to see and hold my new child that I need to take a moment and step back to enjoy these remaining few weeks of being a family of three before becoming a family of four!

Everything is almost in place! Just a few odds and ends before finishing the family's altar and the baby's altar in his room. Last night "Hunter" and I sweeped the baby's room together and opened the windows for a breeze of fresh air since for the past 5 years this room has been a storage room. The atmosphere in the room changed signifigantly! It is now the baby's room fully! The crib, changing table, cloth diapers, pail, toys, swing, dresser, etc are all up and ready for the arrival of their new owner (Shaun). The room has been cleansed, smudged and blessed by items given to me by friends and family. All that is missing is him!

Only a little more time to go, so much time has already passed since his conception, these next few weeks should be a breeze right? LOL Patience, Patience, Patience!

I just wanted to say thank you to all those that have written me with kind words and blessings for my family, they are greatly appreicated! Many thanks to my coven sisters in Women of the Willow for being there for me! Many thanks to my family of Keepers of the Hearth for always standing by me. And many thanks to the Scathach and my mentor/teacher Kerr for protective and healing energies for Shaun's delivery for the two of us!

I am sure that I will have "baby brain" for a few weeks longer. Once I get into a schedule of having two children, hopefully I can resume studies for KOTH and continue my own from the Scathach to resume my magical life as a mother of two beautiful boys!

Once again thank you! And if I do not speak/blog in the meantime, please have a wonderful Litha!


Friday, May 29, 2009

Getting Ready

Well, the countdown is almost at hand for the arrival of my second son, Shaun. Not posting his middle name incase his grandmother "Me-maw" is reading this....its still a surprise to her. And for the record, its NOT Patrick! LOL (well seriously, its not, she would flinch everytime we recommended it cause her name is Pat).

One of the last things we need to get is the crib. It's not that we are procrastinating, we thought long and hard about purchasing one. We decided against it. Instead we are getting one recycled to us by my sister in law. So we will have one that has been in the family instead. Recently I visited a local Salvation Army and found sheets, matress protectors, and the cutest blue jean bumper.

Monday I go see a lady about a resuable diaper pail liner for my cloth diapers. I am still very nervous about using them for the first time but really want to give it ago. It would save us so much money and not to mention waste in our landfields by using them. I also have been in contact with my local La Leche League and will be attending their meetings shortly so that I can give a serious try at breast feeding this time around as well. With my first son, everytime he was hungry, someone (not me) was sticking a bottle in his mouth. So he did not want me most of the time.

Everything's been cleaned and sterlized that I currently have. My sister Autumn will be attendance for his birth and I am very excited about spending two weeks with her. I miss her. Mom was not able to come down due to her new job being a Nanny (and traveling one getting paid big bucks, you go mom!) but has promised me that she will come up for Yule with the entire family. I am so looking forward to that.

Otherwise, just trying to focus on making my house a home for our new arrival (not to mention those currently here)and also preparing for the Stanley Cup.....GO WINGS!!!!!

Hope all is well with you and your family! Beltane has passed and Litha is close at hand. If I do not blog due to baby preparations and arrivals, I would like to wish all the Dads out there, Happy Father's Day!!!!

Blessed Be,

Friday, May 8, 2009

After the Gathering - Ronora Lodge

Well Ravenswood and I are definitely back from the Girlfriend's Gathering that was held at the Ronora Logde and Retreat Center (

I think its safe to say we both had a wonderful time at the event. We have even discussed going back every year and have it as one of the staples we do each year as a coven if we can get the other girls to attend. We also are currently researching and contenplating the facility to be a host site for the Annual KOTH event that Autumn, Ravenswood, and I have been discussing as well. Its very beautiful on the back of the property. The lake view is purely magical and there is an energetic vortex that was felt by all its vistors that weekend we spoke too.

We arrived a bit later than expected on Friday due to traffic, and arrived during the end of dinner. We were greeted by our friend Heidi who told us about the event. (Thanks again Heidi!) After dinner, we had our opening circle performed by Susan with an Native American flare that we enjoyed. Majority of the weekend was influenced by Native American paths, which we also experienced a few firsts. Due to my pregnancy, I was delighted to see a sweat lodge, but knew I would have to stay away due to my current condition. Maybe next time.

After the Opening Circle, there was a drumming circle that took place until wee hours of the night. There were some fantastic sisters that could carry a beat. My baby was kicking in my belly to the beat as well....he also enjoyed it.

After drum circle, we were told to claim our space for the slumber party to settle in for the evening. I was pleased that everyone let me have first choice being the only pregnant moma there! I was treated as a princess and got lots of good belly rubs and back rubs the entire weekend! Thanks ladies!

Saturday we woke up to "Aunt Steve's" gentle voice leading the early bird's morning Yoga class. After the class, and while everyone was still showering or trying to wake up from the late night drumming, we were greeted by the Ronora's staff of brilliant culinary artists (the ladies that cooked for us all weekend). Mind you, when I first did my research about Ronora and seen their focus on "Raw Foods" I being the carnivore that I am, was quite hesitant. I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted with the best bowl of oatmeal in the entire world! I don't even really like oatmeal. This was not the cheap instant package kind, this was the oats from Mother Earth herself! Also accompanied by turkey sausage, variety of fruits, hard boiled eggs, scrambled tofu with peppers, breads, and the best hot herbal tea I have ever had! The only ingredients I could get out of the chef, was the use of whole cranberries and cinnamon sticks. Breakfast was beautiful and it was not their normal full menu either, they gave us their "light" menu!

We did many things on Saturday, we crafted prayer flags based on the idea of the Tibetian Prayer Flags. Heidi even had one premade for Silent Raffle that I even won, but will not say what it was cause it will be a gift for my sister. She will love it!
Ravenswood drew a beautiful Goddess one which I have hinted several times (and will again here, hey that would be a cool birthday gift for someone you love ya know?! LOL) Mine on the other hand, being non blessed with the talent of drawing was a stick figure house and my family for a happy home. The coming of Shaun (due July 4th) having a safe delivery and also our search for our next dream home.

Back to the gathering, I did something that I never thought I would do, I experienced Accupunture for the very first time. I am terrified of needles, but the lady that was doing it was very gentle and I did not feel a thing. It was supposed to be accompanied by a meditation but Shaun decided that it was going to be his aerobics session instead.

Later that afternoon, Ravenswood and I also experienced the Native American Peace Pipe Ceremony with Susan and Tony. (For the record, I did not inhale, being pregnant.) We gave thanks to our ancestors and it was a beautiful ceremony and I was honored to be given the chance to participate in it.

We walked down to the lake also that day where we seen many geese, swan, and ducks. Also seen a crane or two as well. Lots of wildlife in that area.

That night was another bountiful dinner. If anyone left hungry, it was their own dang fault! LOL There was more food there than one can imagine! Really there was a ton of food!!! Everyone ate up my dish that I brought, I must give kudos to my gal pal Helen for introducing it to me. Who would of thought that a group of women would go nuts over spinach, olive oil, and cheese! LOL

After dinner there was a Shamanic Journey held at the Ranch House. Later in the evening was a Bonfire!... We were blessed with the presence of one of the ladies that lives at Ronora's who is an experienced Poi Dancer. She was fantastic! I was also gifted a foot soak bath by Susan. That was heavenly!

Sunday, once again we were greeted by the gentle voice of "Aunt Steve". Then breakfast afterwards. With the impending storm approaching us that day everyone was in a hurry to clean up the place and have our final farewell and closing circle.

On the ride home, we spoke about the wonderful time we had at the event and our hopes of attending next year! I do have photos but have to locate my camera, my dh currently has it. Once I get him to download the photos I will post them to the KOTH website.

So if you are looking at a place for a group to have a gathering (Pagan or not) please check out Ronora's! They have many different lodging facilites and plans to accomodate groups both large and small! Ronora Lodge and Retreat Center is the place you want to go!

Blessed Be!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Gathering this Weekend

Just wanted to give a heads up to KOTH and Scathach that I will be gone starting today (Friday 4-17-09) until sometime late Sunday.

Ravenswood and I are attending a Girlfriend Gathering Spiritual Slumber Party this weekend and will be in the woods somewhere with about 25 other ladies! Sorry boys, its a girl only event! I did not make the rules.

I am sure we will not have computer access, so I did not want anyone to think that I was ignoring them.

Other than that, I will have lots to do upon my return. Catch up work for both KOTH and Scathach. Staging our house for possible sale as well and start preparing the nursery for our newest son's arrival in July. Writing, reading, and so much more.

Have a magical weekend to all!

Blessed Be,

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Convocation 2009

Greetings All,

One of my favorite times of the year has now come and gone. Convocation has passed. Another wonderful year with many fantastic classes as they have produced in the past. My personal highlights were meeting Jacki Smith of Coventry Creations and Motor City Hoo Doo along with attending classes presented by Raven Calendra.

On Thursday, I started out the event by doing a little bit of self decoration with the help off my Coven sister Ravenswood. We along with my sister a Mhendi Workshop by Helen P. She was a wealth of information and gave me a tip or two about Mhendi that I did not know. To this day, my artwork is still visible and I can't wait to adorne my belly during my 8th or 9th month of pregnancy. After the class, we grabbed a bite to eat and then headed down for some drumming with Dr. Bombae. The drumming circles that happen at Convo are simply magical and the largest I have ever seen at any event I have attended.

We woke up and prepared ourselves for a long day of workshops and shopping. We started with Hoo Doo 101 with Jacki Smith. Jacki has such a wonderful and vibrant personality that makes waking up early worth doing! The room was packed full of people both new and experienced in Hoo Doo. She kept my attention as I continiously wrote notes throughout her workshop.

Next we attended a workshop by M. Macha Nightmare. It was very informational and a continuous addition to Autumn and my Interfaith Training which we started with Selena Fox last summer at PSG. We were able to meet many people during that workshop and I was able to learn about a new and exciting method that will be taught by my friend Soulara of the Ravenmyst Tradition. So I have signed up with Soulara to learn more about her new opportunity that she is providing to the community for HP and HPS. I forgo the 2pm classes needing to take a rest due to my lack of energy these days being pregnant. So I with a few others enjoyed a lunch and went back to our room to relax and prepare for the next round of classes.

4pm classes come around. We were prepared to attend a class by BriarFox on Alchemy. While waiting for the class to start, I struck up a short conversation with a lady from Llewellyn. It was the first time I have seen a representative from Llewellyn at Convocation. She gave me her business card along with another sheet of paper with their submission requirements and asked me to send her a sample of my work. My original plan was to submit my work completed in its entire form. Maybe I am brave enough to submit it after I think about it some more. Due to a family emergency, BriarFox had to leave Convocation, so the workshop never took place. We hope everything is ok with their family and have them in our thoughts.

Friday night dinner break with dinner with members of Keepers of the Hearth. We had four hearths together under one roof at Red Robins and it felt good with us all together. Autumn and I presented our ladies to an amulet of the ankh that symbolized the four elements which is also a symbol of KOTH. After eating way too much food, it was back to the hotel.

At 8pm we were able to witness Ravenswood "ride" in the Besom Brigade with M. Macha Nightmare. She was cute with her emerald green besom! I have pictures too! After that we were wowed by a performance of Dana Piper plus a few others demonstrating Dancing with Weapons. I have always been interested in Poi and may pursue it after the birth of my second child.

At 10pm it was a combination of Karaoke with DJ TommyToony and then getting our beat back on with drumming to spiritual ecstasy with Dana P. He is by far one of my favorite drum leaders and always look forward to drumming at Convocation. The beat was so intense, I think the baby was even moving to the beat!

Midnight! For once, I finally stayed wake to attend Mateyo Empie's Cone of Power. It was a great experience, especially witnessing Ravenswood in action as she is one of Mateyo's students as well as Mateyo's assistant. There was a light that came on in her and shown the whole entire event. It was also nice to be once again joined with Soulara as we stood next to one another during the ritual.

Once again, I was glad to wake up early and be greeted by a workshop by Jacki Smith. All I can say about her, is that she is definitely worth waking up early for! If you ever have a chance to attend one of her workshops, do yourself a favor and GO TO IT! This one was on Candle Magic. Once again I learned a few tips that I had not seen or heard before, especially when it came to honoring Ancestral Altars!!! I look forward to visiting her physical store in the future as she is pretty close to me geographically.

I forgo the 11:30 classes since I needed to prepare for the afternoon of teaching myself. I went and had lunch in the hotel's restaurant. Their French dip was actually pretty good. After lunch, I went upstairs and began going over my notes for my two workshops which were once again back to back (I like it that way, especially since I am in the same room).

Once again I had a better turnout than expected for the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. I even had some "repeat" attendees. That made me feel pretty good. I think the overall class went well and was actually requested to do next year's tea party (if I am approved for a third year in a row) to provide Tea Cup Readings as part of the lecture. So if anyone has any "formal" tea sets they are not using and want to get rid of (for free if possible), please contact me! If I get the attendance like this year 20-30 cups will be my goal to obtain by next February. Some people remembered to bring their own cups this year which was a great help in the effort of keeping Convocation green this year as we strive to do every year! Thank you!

My second class was Mooncycle Magic: Embracing the Darkside of Moontime. Its my women's only class and an extension of the topic I taught last year. The second chapter of the story if you will. Once again the attendance shocking pleased me. Autumn assured me that she liked this one better than last years. My nervousness seems to be going away as a presenter and will keep striving to become better. The class went well and once again a few different ladies stopped me to ask where they could purchase my book. (I am working on it ladies! Please be patient). So instead I am offerring my workshops notes again to those that attended. I am pleased about the response I am having with this topic and continue to research and develop more!

5:30 The Tempest Smith Foundation Raffle
Those that know me, this is my primary choice for the organization I donate every year too. All year long I save my change and put it into a large wicker basket. A week before Con I go to the bank and cash it in. Due to being laid off last August, my contribution was not as much as I have done in the past, but still fairly large for someone with no income. Lady Dame of the Eagle Coven was the MC of the auction and did a fabulous job of keeping things moving with the largest amount of items donated to date! Thank you Lady Dame for keeping things running smoothly and using your beautiful voice to announce the winning numbers. I was lucky enough to be blessed by the Goddess once again (THANK YOU!!!). I won the entry donated by Heidi Sutton of one of her beautiful boxes, many poppets and dream catcher with an extremly large doll that Autumn fell in love with so I did my best to win it for her (Love you sis!) and also a charming puppet of a wizard that my brother in law would fancy (love you too D!) Joy Joy was also blessed being a "Convo Virgin" winning the one item she talked about the most, a cast iron cauldron set of salt and pepper shakers, they were so cute!!! Cat won a beautiful altar table, and I think Helen won as well, but can not remember what at the present time. So all members of KOTH were once again blessed by the Goddess. It was an emotional year with the loss of Denessa last summer. She was honored by a moment of silence and then all of us screaming her name as Lady Dame pointed out, Denessa Quiet? yeah right! LOL so that is when we all yelled afterwords.

Saturday night.....Once again my pregnancy taking over my body, I was extremely tired. So Autumn and I opted for dinner at Charlie's Crab Shack due to the snow storm and not wanted to leave the hotel for dinner. We had a fabulous meal and retired to our room. Luckily we were greeted by our sisters of Rhea Lur and went visit them for awhile in their room as they gussied up for the Masquerade ball. I was even treated to a massage by Joy which was fabulous! Thank you so much! Back to our room and due to the location of our room, we were able to witness and hear the Peruvian Fire Ceremony Ritual outside. Ravenswood arranged for one last year for my birthday and it is definitely a magical experience. I was just not prepared to go outside in all the snow, and opted to remain indoors. It was an early night to bed to prepare for tomorrow's departure.

We attended the Pagan Homesteading Workshop by Raven Kalendra. He is a great speaker and keeps your interest in the conversation like no other. I hope the MEC brings him back for future events. I plan on purchasing his cd for Pagan Homesteading as well. I loved his topics of explaining the wheel of the year with the historical ways of harvesting food. It has peaked my interest and both Autumn and I want to learn much more!

After his workshop, we hurriedly packed the car and ran out of time to make it to the last class we wanted to attend, so we opted to go out for lunch since we (Autumn and I) were both famished and did not want to eat once more at the hotel. So we headed back to my home and had lunch with my husband and son.

I really enjoyed Convocation, as I always have in the past. I look forward to next year's event and attending it with my children for the first time. Yep I am going to be brave and go with the boys! The next year I will be focusing on children's classes and running ideas by friend and fellow Convo Mommy Julie. So later in the year I will talk more about my children's classes. Right now Autumn and I are developing and idea for the children in KOTH and if it works out, maybe it will turn into next year's proposal for consideration to the MEC for Convo 2010.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Good Things in my Life

Happy Imbolc Everyone!

As the days will start to become brighter and warmer, good things have been happening to me in my life. I am thankful to the Lord and Lady for all the wonderful things they have blessed me with.

I have been published in one of my favorite magazines twice now and will continue to submit articles as I am inspired to write them. With any continued luck and elbow grease, may they turn into the production of the book that I have been working on as well. To date, there is still not hard copy of what I am writing about on the market that I can find anywhere.

My husband and I have found out that we are expecting our second child! It was great news that today the doctor called back with the chromosome tests I under gone during the past few months and can happily report that everything is A-OK with our unborn child and the percentages of the child being born with any kind of defect or illness is greatly in our favor of nothing short of a healthy child! It is such a great relief for that wonderful news!

My Coven and I got together for a wonderful Imbolc Celebration this past weekend. A few people were unable to make it but we thought of them often and also rededicated ourselves to our craft and to one another as coven sisters. We are in plans of scheduling the remainder of the Esbats and Sabbats for the rest of the year to be able to spend more time with one another and quit our "last minute planning".

Things in KOTH are going quite well. Today I checked our stats and we are very close to hiting the 10,000 mark of visitors. Incredible numbers! Far beyond what any of us thought we could receive. Less than 700 visits are among the members for the past few years! We have one sister in a play and we are so proud of her! YOU GO IBIS! We love you girl!

Convocation is almost here. I am going to be presenting again this year and one of those is a repeat of a workshop I did last year! I was surprised to be teaching it again. I received the feedback from last year's comment cards and they were all extremely positive! That was a very nice surprise as well.
I will be presenting a new workshop this year and look forward to what the response will be for that one as well.

I have been traveling alot since Samhain, so its time to buckle down. Need to refresh and prepare myself for Convocation. After Convo its time to buckle down and get back to my Scathach training with my mentor Kerr Cuhulain as well as get back to posting lessons for KOTH as well.

In the next few weeks, Autumn will be flying up to visit as well as attend Convocation with me. We are trying to plan a KOTH dinner while she is here for all the members here in Michigan.

The economy in Michigan is still very slow going. I am still unemployed and looking for work. Its not getting me down. I have a wonderful husband that supports me and together we have a plan. While I look for work, my goals are to save us as much money as possible. One of the things I have had to give up is the ability to buy everything organic. As much as I love Whole Foods, I have to stay away from them for a while until our finances improve. With that, I returned to an "old friend" Aldi's. I was very surprised that they do offer some (not all, but some) organic choices. I filled my cart to the brim and then some. I almost needed to call a friend because I did not know how I would transport all my purchases home. Luckily I was able to do so. I spent just over $200 and came out with over 50 planned meals to feed three people plus have left overs for lunch the following day. That would be $200 divided by 50 = $4.00 per meal. Take that $4 a meal and now divide it by 3 people and its roughly $1.33 per person for each meal. Not bad I think! I look forward to living a frugal life.

Goddess Bless you All!
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