Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Seems like forever...

Seems like forever since I have written anything, here or anywhere else. That's what happens, I guess, when I get stuck with 4 days in a row of work, closing the store. I get stuff DONE in the morning then it's time to go to work and when I come home after a night on my feet I am dead. All I want to do is take decongestant (I have been having nighttime congestion that kept me awake most of the first night of the 4-day work session and that set it all off on the wrong foot, mainly the TIRED one.

Next night I downed a kids decongestant, tylenol for my aching body and a short drink and slept great. But that doesn't make up for lost sleep.

Also the first night or so, I happened into the master bath (you know the one... on the west end of the trailer, facing the prevailing winds...) during a major wind storm and noticed the inside panes of the windows around the tub (a set of three tall and thin, non-opening windows set up like a bay window) literally flexing and bowing as the wind pounded outside and the breezes whistled around me inside. Finally, a light bulb went off in my brain and I guessed that at least a large part of why that room always feels so darn cold was (TA DA!!) the wind blowing in from outside around those windows (and the others as well... but they are less easy to fix... and as I found out later, blowing in through the not-really-sealed joints in the pre-papered wallboard as well.) On one of my 4 workdays I didn't have to be in until 4, so I made a flying trip into the city to get more caulking and a replacement for my caulk gun (which, of course, went missing exactly when I needed it... after it had been kicking around for months, being used for a little bit here and there). That night when I came home I put caulk around the window frames (outside, where they join to the wall) as well as around the glass where it meets the frame. I use the term "meets" loosely, as most of these joints had a good 3/16 inch gap to fill! I did not do anything like a "good" job, but since the whole room is slated to be redone, I am nt worried.

Actually the entire house needs to be re-sheetrocked, have new "real" windows, and likely more insulation. Eventually...

But for now, I have filled the worst of the leaks and am looking at some touch-up likely in the near future and it does seem less like going on an arctic expedition when I go in to feed the kitties or -- Gods help me, get up in the middle of the night, crawling out from in a warm bed, under a blanket of kitties -- to pee. BRRRR!

And then today, my first day off in a bit, I had to get going early to accompany K to what was supposed to have been a counseling appt 45 min away -- but turned out to be mixed signals. Not fun when you close the store the night before... but the rest of the day was a bit more productive as we finally managed to make the trek to Remy's in Dexter (a discount/odd lots type store that we had heard of, but not yet visited.) I had been told they had good prices on snowshoes and have been needing a MODERN pair (as the free ones I got a bit ago are great to look at but have been repaired -- I suspect not too well -- and I was worried about using them at my current weight. We found the store -- it is much nicer, cleaner and better organized than the other local institution of that type, but the prices were not quite as low as we had been lead to believe. Nevertheless I got the shoes and K found diabetic socks for a VERY good price, so it was a good trip.

The rest of the day was mostly spent getting us set up to finally be fully and completely almost legal Mainers. That is to say, now that K finally got his drivers license here, he was ready to get the vehicles insured and licensed and inspected in Maine. Which we have done... sort of. Yes we have insurance. And yes, we have plates BUT the gals in the town office suggested that if we made our registration effective Friday, they could give us renewals in 2010, which is what we opted to do. So for tomorrow, when I go to work, the car will be in an odd grey area. Not that I am worried at all... It still has its NC plates but were I to get stopped, I would have to show ME insurance... And there is a new place here in town that does inspections but they are new and just certified and don't have their stickers yet, so that will need to wait for next week.

Not that that is all a big issue for the truck -- which will now be sporting FARM plates -- as it won't be going anywhere until the driveway is clear enough of ice for me to get to the tire store. After I get it started...

Also picked up to holiday packages from my kids... this is photo year it seems.. as I got a neat framed montage of grandkid photos from my youngest and this from my eldest. You can be sure it will be hung just as it is... a most creative solution... and a new frame will be found for the photo when it arrives.

We got an inch or so of snow today and likely a bit more tomorrow. I will most likely break in the new snowshoes taking the kitty litter scrapings to the back field to scatter them on Thursday, which I DO have off.

My new years eve plans are pretty much as they always are -- make sure the house is clean (I'll just have to sweep and mop and do whatever dishes) and go to bed. After working in a store that sells wine, beer and the hard stuff until 9 on the eve, I doubt I'll be fit for much else.

Am thinking about Enchiladas for dinner on Thurs, changing the calendars and maybe starting to assemble a rack I have designed to hold my (interior) hex paints.

Despite the downturn in the economy and various other frustrations and traumas along the way 2008 has proven to have been a pretty good year. I'll have to look back and stuff I wrote this time last year, but looking back at the moment highlights include:
  • getting laid off, which was a good thing because then
  • I got unemployment which made it possible to
  • move to Maine earlier than I thought and even though the first one ... and the second one... ad nauseum... petered out we
  • bought a home on
  • a few rural acres and
  • I found work (several times) (several ways) and
  • the hex business is growing and
  • the design business refuses to die
  • about 2 acres are tilled and some berries planted and
  • plans are in the works for more planting and
  • I have an official farm truck
  • the space in which the sacred grove will be planted has been found and agreed to by the Gods (just today... a crow... another story)
  • the Gods continue to lead me on the Volva path
  • K is getting decent health care and
  • I am excited to see what the next turn of the wheel will bring.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Turning a corner

I am feeling like I am turning a corner and things are much more as they should be... compared to how I was feeling a few days ago.

Yeah I am still "behind" in work and projects... but something has changed though I am not quite sure what. Perhaps, though, it has to do with having -- finally -- got the mistletoe that I used to make protection charms this time of year and having got some deployed yesterday afternoon to the four corners of our land and the entrance to it.

The tale of the mistletoe is a strange one.. I have been using it since I lived in TX many years ago and found some -- the first "real" mistletoe I had ever met -- growing in the poor excuse for a back yard at the apartment I shared with friends. I was able to buy it when living in the NC mountains -- the real stuff not the kind you find at the checkout counter at the discount stores for Christmas -- and found it growing on trees on the NC coast (though high up and I ended up buying or trading for it most years.) I had hoped to get some sprigs from my most reliable supplier when I was down there the first of the month, but we did not connect.

So, when I got back home I got on the 'net, did a search and ordered... only to have it come as dried shreddings in well-stuffed plastic bags. GRRR... shoulda read better, I guess, but it never occurred to me anyone would use it dried! Anyway that went back before Christmas and I am hoping for a refund, as the package was only barely opened and the contents (bags) not even touched.

But that left me mistletoe-less... so back on the net I went and found a source that would ship what I wanted, second day or overnight... so I ordered (second day, which was high enough shipping! LOL) and it arrived Christmas eve and I was able to make my charms yesterday (thankfully I do observe Yule as a "tide" rather than a day, which allows for the flexability to deal with these sorts of "oh s##t" moments!) and take the ones to the perimeter, Working as I went.. .in more ways than one.

You see, I did not manage to connect with a good pair of waterproof, high traction boots for slogging though the winter during our shopping before Christmas. And I am out of spray waterproofing for the Ugg-clones that I have so both pair had got wet and were not yet dry... but deploying the charms was something I HAD to do, so I borrowed K's SIZE 13 boots and off I went. Boots were great... feet stayed warm and dry and they are the sort I am looking for ... but walking as bigfoot is a challenge even on open ground. I was glad I had my "nordic walking poles" (aka ski poles skimmed from a "free" pile along the roadside during the summer) to help me balance and give me something to push against to clamber through the knee-deep drifts which still exist despite the rain, wind and higher temps.

I still must hang the charms for the doors, inside, today.
and clean/organize the office
complete cleaning of the living room (organizing is done)
work on the hanging-fire projects
begin plotting and planning the garden (including learning about row covers, seed-starting times for here, checking with the building inspector about permits for greenhouses and/or greenhouse additions to house or garage) but I have ordered catalogues from Johnnys and from Fedco . Even though I will likely order from both online, I like to have the physical catalogues in front of me, so I can sit at my leisure, away from the computer, to plot, plan and compare... I will also look at Burpee as they have a few things that I want to try and have not seen anywhere else. And I don't feel totally left out, as I did get the Jung catalog this week.

But despite the fact that there is almost as much to do as there was a couple of days ago, I FEEL different about it now, kinda like I have passed through the worst of the darkness and am once again working with the slowly gathering light.

Blessings to all.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The view out the back door about 3:30 this afternoon... I used fill flash and that allowed it to show some of the falling snow!

Can't tell it's falling in this shot, which was the first one I took. We are predicted for up to 18" overnight and blizzard/white out conditions.

I don't have to be at work until 4 tomorrow afternoon, we have been out to breakfast this morning and stopped by the store, so we are well supplied. Here in Maine it's not "bread and milk" but "milk and Allen's (coffee brandy)" that gets the pre-storm run. We already had Allen's on the shelf (it makes a killer version of a Brandy Alexander!) but in a nod to my hurricane party tradition of beer and chocolate, I got a six-pack of hard cider and yes chocolate. Also some veggies and stuff like tea that we really did need. LOL

I am thoroughly enjoying this and am glad it started a couple of hours early (prediction was for start at 3) so I had some time during the day to enjoy watching the snowfall.

Words of Wisdom December 21

Enjoy the gift of loving connections with those around you.

The word of the day is joy.


Wishing you all wonderful Yule blessings and a prosperous and abundant turn of the wheel.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Nor'easter coming!

We didn't get much snow to speak of yesterday or overnight, but I am reading that a nor'easter is supposed to be bringing more as a Yule present tomorrow night. I hope so. Love the white stuff!!

I do have to work Monday, but the last storm day I worked was crazy-busy and that is good. Everyone was in a good humor because we WERE open, and could make them hot sandwiches and pizza when their electric was out. Most folks here have some sort of back up heat, if they use electric for their heating or have an oil furnace with a fan that doesn't run when the power is off... but many still have electric stoves/ovens instead of propane. At the store, our grill is electric but even if the electric goes off we can still make pizza and stuff like that as the oven is gas.

I was expecting Christmas off (they are closed) but expected to work Wed evening... instead I get three days in a row the end of the week. Not my favorite.. makes my legs and feet hurt.. but we will cope. I had intended to offer to work Christmas Eve in trade for someone who has little ones, but the way the schedule is set up, it just won't work.

I got the emergency order of hex signs done and K took them to the PO yesterday afternoon, a day ahead of schedule, so hopefully we made one very happy customer. And he was able to get his license done yesterday morning as well. While he was gone doing that -- and getting my glasses repaired -- his doc's office called to say that they had faxed the appropriate signed paper to the capital so hopefully his permanent one will come in the mail in a couple of weeks. We like the doc, and her assistant is excellent.. just the front desk receptionist who needs to have an attitude adjustment.

The day is dawning overcast, grey and white. The dog has been out and I need to check the chili, as I left the crock pot open and on high overnight, hoping it would cook down a bit (didn't mean to leave it overnight!, just for a bit...) and with the Gods blessings it will be a good day.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Trying to get into the spirit


We have snow. It covers the fields and as of yesterday still lay on the branches, both green and brown.

The cards and gifts are all sent. The locally grown, organic turkey that I helped harvest some time back is thawing in the fridge and several packs of locally grown cranberries are quietly awaiting their fate from the depths of the deep freeze.

The tree has been up for weeks, happily lit and decorated and is plugged in each night to greet me when I drive up fro work.

And I am very much looking forward to tomorrow at 4, when I get off for the weekend. Yule eve... I think I'll try to complete the Words of Wisdom book that has got put on the back burner and then try to spend the day not doing much. But likely won't be able to , as I have not had the chance to do my pre-Yule organizing and the place is a disaster, with packing materials all about, and recycleables needing taking to the center. Sigh... well remembering that it is a TIDE and and not a day... I expect I will do some organizing and haul recycles -- maybe even on the weekend, if not on Monday and I will hope beyond hope that the local dump will be open on Wend morning before Christmas as I likely can't get that stuff carried off Saturday after work. Maybe I can get K to take it when he gets back from posting the hex signs Sat. AM... the dump is only open W, R and Sat and while we only have to go every few months, it is time.. and I don't want to get caught in the after-Christmas chaos.

I am still miffed at having "lost" the entirety of a "day off" yesterday, with only one of my necessary errands having been attended to. Yea, it WAS a K-go-to-Doctor day, though this time his appt was not at 8 but mid-morning. That allowed at least a bit of mental time in the morning. He has been putting off -- for at least 3 months if not longer, since we got here in March -- getting his drivers license, etc. here in Maine. One reason or another... yeah it is a pain in the arse, what with him being diabetic and and all.. but still. GRRRR.. Anyway, he finally decided to do it, downloaded ever possible form from the state website and took them to the doc for completion. Unfortunately she was under the assumption that only ONE needed to be done and that was the one for the placard so when we finally got to the DMV, he did not have the one he needed for his license. THEN it turned out that NC had suspended it but the folks here couldn't tell why... so after going back to the Doctors office (another hour+ of driving, to give them the second form, which will maybe be completed when the doc is next in, on TUES and maybe not... I have got to complain about the lack of customer service skills shown (repeatedly) by the receptionist!!)) and then returning from there to call NC, it seems that apparently they had sent out a "justify your keeping your license" form as they do periodically for diabetics and it was not forwarded, so they figured he was being uncooperative. At least when they learned the story via the phone, they rescinded the revocation and he should be able to at least BEGIN the procedure today. And remember to dog the docs office to fax the damn paper to the state on Tues...

But because of these follies we didn't get my bifocals taken by an optical shop to have the earpieces reattached (short version of long story, I was getting a loose screw and asked K to repair as I often do. Seems this pair is spring-loaded and he couldn't, but now both ear pieces are OFF the specs... ) OR get K's meds at Sams (insulin is high priority, and others will be needed soon... Nor did I get to stop at the grocer for some additional peppers for the Chili I was going to put in the drock pot... so I am crossing my fingers that he can get at least some of this done and get back by 12:30 so I can go to work.

Artie the truck is on strike, likely due to the cold and old battery and just plain being old, period... but even if I could get him started I likely couldn't get out the drive as I didn't get the tires replaced and they need it, with this snowfall.

Well, enough whining... time to get a bite of breakfast, maybe start baking bread so I will have some for stuffing for the fowl and see about that chili with what peppers are at hand. I know I have a few sweet dices in the freezer and some small red ones dry in the cupboard.

Hey, at least it is WHITE out!! Woo Hoo!! and they say perhaps another inch tonight.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Holiday musings

A while back, my eldest made an interesting post on her private blog about Christmas and Yule and the holidays in general. She was talking about how she was tired of taking flak for "keeping secular christmas" and her annoyance with professed Christians who see no problem with keeping a secular Samhain (Halloween) but don't like the shoe on the other foot... and about how her personal spiritual beliefs -- and the keeping of Yule -- are very, very private.

I have been kinda thinking about that all as I have been struggling -- not sure why -- to get what I think of as the "outgoing" part of my holiday preparations completed.. that is the cards, gifts...stuff that I send or give out. Now, as I remember my daughter characterizing the secular holidays, she included "overspending" in there somewhere, but the commercial aspects have always been relatively minimal for me. Oh, I do buy stuff... citron and nuts, flour and sugar, eggs and milk for the holiday baking and over the course of the year, lots of stuff ot make things with, but the "having to buy for" has always been a minor part for me. And this year I have not got into the baking at all, not sure why... but I did do many more cards than I had expected and they have now all been sent and the gifts to my kids and grands are on their way and I feel ... finally .. calm and relieved. I feel like I can start on the most important part, for my... that which happens here, around the hearth and at home.

A lot of this is internal stuff of course, in keeping with the nature of the season of darkness and inward-turning, of looking back, taking note, planning for the coming seasons.

I have a lot of picking up and organizing to do, some cleaning, some writing. There are projects still incomplete and others not yet started, but they will be done in this season of contemplation.

And maybe the snow will fall tomorrow (after the winds melted the last bit) and it will once again begin to feel right as well.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


This getting old sucks. I was so stiff and sore yesterday at work that I could barely move, and when work entails standing for 8 hours, making pizza like there is no tomorrow and then climbing, reaching, lifting and pulling to get products onto the cooler shelves (beer is HEAVY in the quantities they seem to drink it here! LOL) it is truly, well, WORK.

However I do enjoy working in the store, and especially so yesterday. Many parts of the local communities were out of power for protracted periods, the schools were closed and the roads treacherous (especially mid-day when I had to go to work). We only lost power at the store for a bit, and even then could continue to make pizza, as that oven is propane-powered. But it was really obvious how much of a service a small local store is to the community, as we were very busy all day with folks coming in for milk and bread (yes, the usual storm fare, LOL) but also lunch stuff, take-out meals (for many without power, their option for a hot meal) and gas or kerosene for generators and auxiliary heaters. And though the stores were open in Bangor (about 20 minutes away to the closest one, on a good roads day) I think most folk opted to stay closer to home.

But that meant that I was so beat by the time I got home, that I did not have the energy to do a moon ritual last night. I did greet the bright, full moon as I laid down to sleep (the clouds had passed and the moonlight was very bright on the white and icy landscape) and again this morning, as she was setting as I let the dog out for her pit stop. But I will do a bit more this morning, after I change the altar over to a more wintry setting.

I still have cards to complete and mail and the gifts must be wrapped and posted as well, but I with my work schedule having got messed up from my trip, that will happen first of the week. I close again tonight and (thankfully) though I work daytime hours on Sunday, don't have to start until 9. Then I do not work until Wednesday, which should give me enough time to get the stuff wrapped and sent and the chaos cleaned up a bit.

I am most happy at having got the Craft room -- FINALLY -- mostly under control. Though I had been using it pretty much from the time we moved in, I had not really made much progress on putting stuff away. There is still organizing to be done, but at least now there is more than just a narrow path from one end of the already narrow room to the other, and space on my work table there to, well, work. And with the little heater I have set up in there now (My Buddy propane heater, hooked up to a grill tank) I can be as warm and comfy as need be. Yes, the addition has a heater vent, but like the bedroom and master bath, only warm (not hot) air flows out. What is now the Craft room used to be the bedroom for the previous owner's young daughter and I cannot imagine little Rosa spending much time playing in her room this time of year!

I am enjoying the "first year in a new place" cycle, learning a lot, getting a feel for the cycles, making plans for changes and upgrades starting next year. One thing I have set in my mind... Samhain will be the "put the outside to bed" deadline. We did not get all the mowing quite done this year (some of the lawn went un-tended, as did the front "fenceline".) There again, that can be an ongoing project for the year as well, instead of playing catch up and not even being able to start until the cooler temps of fall, on account of K's over heating. And along with getting the Yule stuff out, I need to make sure I am on seed catalog mailing lists, as I have not yet got a single one!

Friday, December 12, 2008


What a different season this winter is trying to be from the one we entered last year March 1.

We have had, now, several snowfalls, but none have stayed yet. Instead they get washed away by the rain, or at least they have in the past. Today, the rain is freezing and falling as sleet on top of the snow... there have been some cancellations, I hear and much talk about being careful on the roads. I am thankful that my work is only 3 miles away, knowing that we will be open no matter what. I was told that even when the power goes out after dark, we stay open as the grill runs on propane and the staff is expected to cook by flashlight. The other employees found that strange, but it makes sense to me, as we can supply those for whom electricity is their cooking fuel.

I have been hard at work getting cards made and ready to go; the first batch is almost complete and ready to send and hopefully this morning I will get the second batch ready to complete. This is a pretty drawn out process, as I am first using a carved potato to stamp an abstract snow-covered tree and while the paint is still fresh, adding clear glitter. Once I get the trees stamped on them all, I go back with a brush and add add a glittery white "swoosh" (no resemblance to the logo mark of the sneaker company) under the tree. The final touch on the front of the card is to drag out my stiff brush to add a little Elmers glue loosely around the top of the tree to affix glitter with a golden tone as a glow or aurora behind the tree.

Since all this is being done on a dark blue card, the insides are printed on white paper (at least here I get to use the computer!) just a bit smaller than the card, and once the two parts are properly folded, I use a darning needle and glittery cord sewn through and tied along the spine to hold them together.

They are numbered, signed and dated on the back in a metallic ink and stuffed into envelopes. I was originally not able to get as many envelopes as cards when I bought my first stock at Staples some months ago, and my card list has grown as well, so I am making additional cards -- and envelopes as needed -- from dark blue construction paper.

On another note, it is strange sitting here being able to look out the top part of the window at the sky but not see through the bottom to look at the ground and the horses next door. The entire world seems to be covered with ice -- the sleet and freezing rain that was predicted -- and it seems to have blown from all directions. When I went to take a photo out the back door (north facing) the door was covered in a layer of ice and I now have a damp spot on my nightclothes where the door knob rested as I held the door open with my rear while taking the shot. The office windows face to the east and the screens are totally encrusted as well.

We have had several power hits this morning; the UPS beep now and then, keeping the computers running, and the lights have dimmed. I have laid up a bit of water in pots in case the power goes out and we loose the pump for a spell.

Monday, December 8, 2008


I've come home. Come from home as well, as the lesson learned from this recent away mission is "Home is where they hold you in their hearts."

Doesn't matter if you have roots there, or a hat rack, or anything else at all...

I've not always been much of a "people person" and most of the places I have lived, even for a protracted period, there were few if any people-ties to the the place. Most often there had been one or maybe two with whom I connected for a time but then moved on, as did I. Usually it was the PLACE that spoke to me, as it was Down East NC where I first got there.

But then I met the folks, in a place where "they say" the folks don't much take to newcomers... those "from off" as they say. But over and over I heard it said that I was the kind of "dingbatter" (another local term for those from elsewhere) they needed more of. Honestly I appreciated the compliment, as I try to appreciate the uniqueness of each place I have lived, refrain from the "where I come from..." comments and from trying to make that place just like everywhere else. But I didn't realize the depth or .. not sure what the word is I want... of the connection to the people until this weekend, when I was "welcomed home" with open arms and more heartfelt hugs that I have had in a long time.

It felt a little strange, as I don't normally go back to places I have lived. Only once have I been back to the town where I was born and raised for 16 years, and that was about 5 yrs ago... but driving down east, visiting folks and doing business almost felt like I had never left. My hands still knew every bend in the road that winds through the marshes from North River to Davis Shore and off to Harksers Island. My role as the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center paparazza seems to be as expected at the event as the Sweet Puppies (sweetened hush puppies dredged in powdered sugar) and scallop fritters and the "rack of the eye" skiff that the local fellows build each year over the course of the festival, to be auctioned off as a Museum fundraiser.

And yet, I am glad to be back, for my roots are here. I put myself to sleep each night doing a walk around the perimeter of Hearthfire Hill in my mind -- North and East and South and West. And I discovered that while I loved BEING there, I totally detest GETTING there. I no longer enjoy long road trips and flying has lost its appeal as well. Perhaps being on small commuter planes was part of it and perhaps the level to which air travel has sunk contributed. I know I am jolly sick and tired of schlepping my laptop and carpet bag up and down stairs and across the tarmac -- and too darn OLD for all those stairs and heavy stuff to boot. I don't sleep well when I am away and didn't manage to eat right either nor did I drink sufficient water.

But I am home -- where my roots are home -- again and there is snow on the ground, a tree in the living room, lights to go up outside tomorrow if the wind will cooperate and numerous projects awaiting my attention. But tonight a soaking bath, and my own bed are calling.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It's going around

A couple of my kids have done this... so here's my version

Where is your phone? most likely on K's desk, or on the nearby chair (it's got a cord, and is powered by Vonage...)

Your hair color? grey, blonde and ??

Your mother? deceased

Your father? ditto

Your favorite thing? that's a hard one, but I would have to say my home (especially the land!)

Your dream last night? I did have one, but don't remember much about it now. I was doing something...

Your dream/goal? to turn my 4 acres into something productive... where the land helps pay for itself by making food and making stuff I can make things with.

Your hobby? I think my kids may have gotten "the hobby of having hobbies" from me... I do so many things...

Room you're in? hotel in Morehead City NC

Your fear? losing my home

Where do you want to be in six years? in corinth, ME digging in the earth.

Where were you last night? Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center, Harkers Island NC at their preview event for Waterfowl Weekend.

One of your wish list items? an orchard

What you're not? tired

The last thing you did? took photos of the Museum events

Your TV? not plugged in. K got a bigger one, so he can see it better and it isn't even on much.

Your pets? 9 cats, a dog and a fish that came with the house that is half dead from the cold

Your computer? which one?

Your mood? melancholy

Missing someone? yes. K and the critters.

Your car? is a truck and it is sitting outside the garage as it's side is still storing STUFF

Something you're not wearing? bra

Your summer? was wonderful! there were constant breezes and we never even thought about installing the AC

Love someone? yep

Your favorite color? blue

When was the last time you laughed? today

Last time you cried? today

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


One of my daughters posted tree pix on her blog and asked the rest of us to do the same, so -- since I finally got the last of the garland on tonight (had to buy more...) here it is, with and without flash. This is a "natural" tree, not grown at a christmas tree farm but rather harvested from my friend, Robin's farm. For me, a Yule tree is not a decorating statement, as in decor, but rather a ritual form... a spell, if you will, that strengthens connections with positive parts or the past and reaches forth into the future, as the wheel turns through the bottom side of the year, with thanks for blessings received and hoped/worked for into the future.

An interesting side note: all of the guys I have been privileged to know -- every single one of them -- has had some kind of "issues" with this holiday season, and it has mostly gone on around them, regardless. K is no exception (this being one of the few ways in which he resembles, in my mind, a "typical guy.) Over the past few years he has commented on how different the holidays are with me, in that I don't pressure/insist that he help and then berate him for having done it all wrong! No, instead I have allowed him to assist as he feels like, and as we work together, have never found anything he did "wrong." I am not sure there is a "wrong" when it comes to holiday decor, for that matter! He just said that he feels like he should, in the future, help with the tree, but was unsure if he would "know how." I referred him to my belief, above, re: holiday decorating and assured him there is no wrong way to decorate a tree and that I look forward to his helping spin the web next year.

That being said, I want to share close ups of some of the ornaments on the tree, with their importance to me.

This is one of several Santa-stars made by the kids at church when they were youngsters. There are two of these angels, from about the same period, the older kids work.
From 1991... dirt poor, not with the family, just beginning my Pagan walk, the magic of the season called me nevertheless. I was living in a tiny cabin in the woods so finding a tree was no problem. Decorations had to be made though for money was more than tight. On one trip to town, on a wet and snowy day, I spotted a large sheet of heavy green foil laying in the street. Pulled over, grabbed it, and turned the undamaged parts into these spirals, for the turning of the wheel of the year. Several still remain and hang on the tree every year.

The egg, above, is another example of decorations from that period. There were food stamps but not much money. Blown eggs make nice ornaments and an entire carton, some with airbrush designs, still survive.

The original tree of this period was unlighted as I was living beyond the power lines, could not afford battery powered lights and was unwilling to risk candles.

Like I said, there were food stamps... and for a few bucks, an assortment of nuts, painted in metalic colors and hung from embroidery floss with Elmers glue were pressed into service representing abundance. Here is a Brazil nut (one of the few good uses for one, in my opinion! Here is a hazel nut hanging next to one of the first "boughten" ornaments I acquired when I was living in Spokane, WA, working and going to school. There was a little $$ to spare and for a couple of years, the "celestial" motif was popular -- a boon to the tree-decorating Pagan! I collected an assortment of sun, moon and star decorations of which this transparent plastic sun was one.
An image of abundance, and of the Lady as well... several bunches of grapes hang on the tree. Another sun, a tiny, lightweight puffy one that is easy to hang on the wild harvested trees I prefer.

Before I moved to town, I made tiny crescent moons out of bits of aluminum foil, and the tinsel garland on the was made from several continuous thin strips cut from bags of Lays Salt& Vinegar potato chips. The inner side of the bag is silver and the printed outside lost all coherance when no more than 3/8" wide.

Celebrating the return of the sun calls for a solar tree topper. I am not sure what this "sun disk" was supposed to have been, but it came from JoAnn Fabrics during the same period as all the other celestial ornaments. A bit of duct tape makes sure it stays at the top of the tree.
A moon from the "celestial period."
When I moved to the coast of NC, where commercial fishing was one of the main occupations, I learned to enjoy a slew of new fishes and commorated my new knowledge by making ornaments from brown paper cutouts, painted with acrylic, glued and stuffed with bits of batting and sprinkled with appropriate color glitter for the scales. I made a set for several friends and kept one. This is a spot. This fishing trawler from 2002 Waterfowl Weekend at the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum reminds me of that period, the local industry, some very good friends and clients and a wonderful old salt, James Allen Rose who produces these ornaments for the Museum each year.

The wise old owl is the ornament K selected on our trip to the craft store today. When you pull the acorn on the strung below him, he flaps his wings! He's pretty heavy, so hangs back in the tree on a stout branch.
One of two Moravian Stars. K loves this form and I happened to find the two of them on sale this year!
Another new one for this year, Dragonfly, one of the creatures I work with, symbolizing change. And so we finally come to the end. I hope you have enjoyed this guided tour of our Yule tree!