Daily Life, House, Paganism, Review

Samhain Eve

There is something about this time of year. It gets into my blood, into my bones. I feel super unsettled, like I’ve had too many coffees. It’s deeper than coffee though – I feel it in my chest. I am more prone to anxiety, to excitement. I feel like I’m nesting, but in preparation for the coming cold and snow rather than a wee babe.

I’ve been driven by madness, it seems, to declutter like mad. I tore through our main floor yesterday. I stuffed and sorted diapers, listing those that I didn’t love. I did dishes, sorted through papers, I cleaned out corners and organized toys. I scrubbed and vacuumed. Over the weekend, I tackled our outdoors. Not so much the gardens, but I moved all the outdoor play stuff into the backyard. I cleared the deck of crap. The UFYH people would have been proud. Clearly my instincts were right – I woke this morning to a light blanket of snow covering everything outside. Halloween usually marks the first snow here, so I had a feeling it would be coming soon.

The snow was already gone when I went to take a picture.
The snow was already gone when I went to take a picture.

I’m still not sure what we’re doing to celebrate tomorrow. I’m going to take the little man to the local mall for some costume fun, and then I’ll probably take him to a couple houses for some treats. I was thinking about doing some “ancestral food” for dinner (Right now the plan is for latkes and perhaps steak. The latkes celebrate my mom, and the steak is for Pat’s dad). We’ve done some decorating and some craft projects. It’s going to be so fun when he’s older to really get into it!

photo 4 photo 3

We’ll leave some milk and honey outside and I think I’ll do my annual tarot reading. Every year I try to do one big reading for myself to get a feel for the upcoming year. I think this year I’m going to focus on the wisdom and lessons of the past.

On that note, I’d like to offer 5 readings for my followers. Comment on this post, be sure to include your email address. I’ll get back to you and confirm what it is you’d like to know. Be as specific or as vague as you’d like.  I’ll email you your reading once I’ve done it.

Going in a completely different direction, I found a super cute nail polish that is perfect for Halloween.

photo 1

Meet Revlon Elusive #736. I just happened to come across it on sale at Shoppers when I was picking up some late night groceries the other day and couldn’t resist. It’s a matte black with flecks of beautiful teal glitter. It dries super fast. The coverage is fantastic. I’m only wearing one coat in the picture. I could use another one, but…

notime

 

On that note, this momma has to get going. I’m working on some top secret Christmas/Yule crafts. SHHHH! Details to come later, I promise! Don’t forget to comment if you want a reading. <3 If you are comfortable with me posting the results, let me know! I’ll do a post if people are cool with it.

Baby, Recipe

Black magik

This time of year always makes me nostalgic. As we are forced indoors by the cold, I think back to Halloween over the years. I used to go to a local club every year with my friends to celebrate at the Annual Witches Gathering party.

It’s a hard thing to explain. I’ve had other friends join me and try never really got why I went there every year. The line ups were awful, service was bad and the music was terribly outdated (and not in a good way). There was a certain appeal of being with my people and attending out of a sense of ritual. They have since changed venues, but I haven’t gone since my Mom passed.

Me at the Gathering, 2009.
Me at the Gathering, 2009.

Before going out, we used to stop by a little cafe downtown called Oh So Good. Oh So Good used to have this amazing coffee on the menu called Black Magik. It was served in a bowl style mug and was DELICIOUS. The cafe has since moved and lost its appeal, as well as the Black Magik on the menu.

Tonight is the night of the Witches Gathering. I’m not going, but I decided to make myself a cup of Black Magik as best as I could.

OSG’s Black Magik

My not-so-black magik
My not-so-black magik

What you need:

  • Strong black coffee (I used my Keurig, but whatever tickles your fancy is what works best)
  • Two scoops of chocolate icecream
  • Sweetener of choice (I used maple syrup)
  • Milk/Cream/whatever if you need it

It’s pretty straight forward. Brew your coffee however you like it. It’s best if it’s a heavier strong coffee. Add two scoops of chocolate icecream and stir. If it’s not sweet or light enough for you, add your sweetener and milk/cream/whatever. I only had vanilla icecream on hand, so that’s what went into mine. Garnish with a tiny bit of Cinnamon and Nutmeg.

What ever you’re up to tonight, I hope you’re having a lovely time. We are relaxing and setting Liam up in his big boy room. It’s his first night out of our room. Wish us luck!

Liam's Room <3
Liam’s Room <3
Crafting, Depression, family

Mending

It’s funny how the world really does work in a system of checks and balances. Hours after making my last post, L started puking. About a day later, I fell ill. The following day, Pat did. We all had a nasty stomach flu and we’re still on the mend. I have to say, every time one of us gets sick, even with something minor like a cold or a flu, I think about those people in my life who are or have been single parents, or who care for children with disabilities or long term illness. I am humbled.

There were points over the last few days where I sat and cried because I didn’t want to change another sick diaper, or because I couldn’t hold my baby and vomit at the same time. I had back up. My husband works for a company that values families, and allowed him to be home with us. When Pat was sick too, I was able to call on family and friends to drop off a care package. It only took days for us all to get better, and there I was, crying and moaning about how hard it was. Of course, it didn’t help that I had been off of my medication for the duration of my stomach bug.

Sick sleepy cuddles
Sick sleepy cuddles

I never felt that it was fair to play the “This is hard, but other people have it harder” game, but some times I need to remind myself that others have survived and I will too. Little man is now resting, and I am thankful that I still breastfeed, and was able to provide him with the best nutrition I could while he couldn’t keep anything else down. I am thankful for frozen french fries because they don’t upset my stomach and for Zoloft for making me mentally stable again.

I am in the process of the great “Post Illness Clean” ritual that I seem to fall into after every big sick that floats around. My house smells like fresh laundry and vinegar, I love it! I wish I knew more about illness, though. How long does it live on surfaces? Is vinegar the best to disinfect the non-porous surfaces? Will I put my friends at risk of falling ill if they come over in the next bit?

I’m thinking about joining a KAL that is being hosted by a local mom and baby knitting group. It’s a shawlette, which I would totally wear, but isn’t my normal project. I worry I won’t be able to keep up (I’m already quite a bit behind). It’s for this shawl:

HoldenShawlette2_medium

I may even have the perfect yarn for it already that I had grabbed last year when I was planning on making myself a couple of these:

Sallah_Cowl_1_medium2I suppose I could make one of each. It’s nice to feel the itch to knit again! I always take incredible comfort from the act of knitting. There’s something powerful in creating items of clothing or accessories out of yarn over a long duration. There is so much energy and intent that goes into it. It’s healing and beautiful to me.

And with that, I’m off to go spend some of my baby free time knitting, before little man wakes up from his nap.

Daily Life

Giving Thanks

Sorry I’ve been so quiet lately. Life has been so very busy lately and I’ve been out living it.

Wagon ride, out at the orchard
Wagon ride, out at the orchard

Autumn is in full swing here in Ottawa. We have had some incredibly beautiful weather, which has facilitated a lot of outdoor time for little man and I. Weekends have been spent in the yard, at local farms, orchards and parks. I think we all feel a little bit desperate to make the most of the nice weather before the cold comes. photo

We had a lovely Canadian thanksgiving this past weekend. On Saturday we joined Liam’s Nanny and Grammy for dinner, followed by a trip to the pumpkin patch, a visit with DH’s cousin on Sunday and our own dinner at home (my first time roasting anything and it turned out great!) with my BIL. Monday was the great big family dinner at my SILs. The kiddos played, the men played guitars and sang, and the ladies caught up on life events. It was perfect.

I’ve been loving bringing small touches of the outdoors in for autumn. This is our dining room table right now. I love it!

Orchard apples, patch pumpkins, pretty flowers.
Orchard apples, patch pumpkins, pretty flowers.

I am so thankful for all of the incredible blessings of my life. I have such a beautiful, brilliant son who teaches me something new every day. I have a best friend who is my husband, who has my back no matter what. My sister, the other half of my heart, is thriving and making me so proud. I have some of the most incredible people as my closest friends, and my family is supporting one another and becoming a part of my son’s life. We have a roof over our head, a full kitchen and the time and ability to create art and share our experiences. I am happy.

Thank you, friends, for being a part of making my life as sweet as it is.

Baby, family

Nature Table

Something that I really love about the Waldorf school of thought is that of bringing nature indoors and celebrating the season. I kept seeing these beautifully simple Nature Tables on pinterest and knew that I wanted one for our home. The idea is pretty straight forward: Keep those treasures that your little one picks up. Create a little space to honour the season and nature. It reminded me of my wiccan altar of my early teenage years. I was (and am) charmed!

Our little nature table, in our basement family room
Our little nature table, in our basement family room

Luck was with me as I found a neighbour of mine was getting rid of a handmade wooden table that was the perfect height and size. I snagged it off the curb and brought it home right away. For this season, Liam has picked up an acorn, two pine cones and a few pebbles. I keep these in a small wooden bowl that had been my mother’s. I also added some leaves that we made together – Liam finger painted with seasonal colours, I then found some pictures of local trees and their leaves and went to work cutting them out. On the wall, I added another one of our collaborations. I had drawn a bare tree in marker, and then Liam finger painted the foliage. I love it!

Autumn Tree
Autumn Tree
Local leaves
Local leaves

Liam loves being able to bring these small things home and I really enjoy talking to him about them.

Baby, family

Picking up where I left off

I posted a while ago about having a crisis of faith. I imagine, considering everything that we’ve been through as a family over the last few years, that it was a perfectly normal reaction. I’ve had some time to heal, and I’m feeling a bit more open again. Not to say that I have found a religion or anything, it’s more that I feel connected again.

It’s well timed, really. I’ve recently started reading about Waldorf education and while it doesn’t completely fit our family, there are elements that are so right. I love the idea of celebrating the seasons, rituals, rhythms, simplifying, and making what you can rather than buying – it all makes sense. I will say that the low-tech life part doesn’t work for us so much. We live with screens on all the time, and we’re happy with that. We are cutting down, but I am a blogger and my husband is in IT. It’s something we are passionate about.

Source: http://passengersonalittlespaceship.blogspot.ca/2011/02/imbolc.html
Source: http://passengersonalittlespaceship.blogspot.ca/2011/02/imbolc.html

Anyway, due to illness in the house, we missed the Autumn Equinox. I was disappointed, but came across a waldorf festival, Michaelmas, was on the 29th. It seems like a lot of the festivals are Catholic based (which is fascinating to me, I love the idea of feast days, saints days, etc…). My husband’s family is Catholic so I like the idea of sharing the culture and the religion with Liam. We spent the weekend picking apples (and finding the “stars” in apples), spending time with family, cleaning the home, and enjoying each others company. I set up Liam’s nature table (another waldorf idea I’ll get to in another post) and cleansing the space.

I can’t even remember the last time I cleansed the house. I used to do it every season. I missed the smell of sage so much. It was like coming home. My sister in law had also given me some blessed salt from church, so I used that as well.

I feel fantastic today. I needed to find my rhythm again. I needed to re-establish my connection with the world. Fall is normally such a tough time of year for me, emotionally. It’s nice to have a festival to remind me of what tools I have to face those tough times.