Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Wanted to give a little toot that I've decided to reformat Growing Naturally a bit.

I've been thinking it over for a few weeks, and I've decided now is a good time to pronounce connection with others.

Scoot on over to see what I'm talking about, if you're a member or interested.

Monday, December 29, 2008


So since I wrote the other day on the discord that has often drifted through our home lately (tumultuous erraticism is how I think of it), it's been quiet.

Not forcefully quiet, just... easy.

Maybe much of the stress has been spawned by the pressures of the holidays. Though I wasn't feeling frenzied by it all, really. Maybe it's because we've been cooped up - it's so damned cold, usually. Maybe it's because Little Son is trying on lots of "let's make me (him) laugh" hats, and I never get the jokes. (No one around here gets my jokes, either, so we're even with that one.)

Most likely I feel relief because I've just stepped out of it.

After realizing that I need to provide him space to Just Be -and by "space", I mean without confines of what I deem as acceptable or appropriate (ie that which doesn't bother or annoy me)- it's been quiet.
I don't suppose that one has much to do with the other, other than I'm not hyper-vigilant about noticing every little thing, nor am I looking for reasons to be annoyed.
What I mean is - I don't see how just flipping it over in my head has led to his quiet and peace, but perhaps he's already feeling less "bound", both by spending time independently outside on the snow hill, and by my non-judgments of his emotions.

I've been reading Naomi's book, almost wrapped up the first hundred pages. (I've read most it before, but it's been a while.)
The very first page or two was about negating emotions, and while I have been attempting to validate, my own emotional stability has been so precarious that I can see what I've actually been doing is negating - attempting to have him come over to my side - to see things from my perspective - that Things Aren't So Bad.
Such a dolt am I.
Swaying with a big smile instead of "Dude. That sucks."
In my defense, it's because there's been so much of this sucks! ("stupid wall! " "stupid socks!" "stupid floor for tripping me!") that I just couldn't handle another drop. But of course eventually I came to a place of "well, this obviously isn't working...." and was able to let myself crash hard enough into the wall that it dazed me well enough that I was able to reason with a blank slate. :)

I don't imagine that it's over - there's a long road ahead. Now's a good time to start, as I'm a day or two over pmsing, so.....

I'm not quite in that blissful, peaceful, "aaaaaah" state that is so lovely, (Lord I miss that feeling!)
but there's a quiet satisfaction. Something about let's get this house cleaned, some yummy oils burning in the bowls, envision cleansing and purefication as we go (maybe burn a dressed candle or two), stop for plenty of cuddles and conversations, and see where it takes us.

So that's my plan.
On to it, then. :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

from the Still

I think that sometimes it's way too easy to take ourselves too seriously.
Today I thought of that post I wrote not too long ago that contained the story Rule #6.
Remember? 'Don't take yourself so goddamn seriously.'

It's easy to consider personal evolution and spiritual matters as Very Serious Business.
When we are searching and seeking, it seems that God (or The All, Allah, Krishna, whatever) requires the path or connection to be somber, quiet, and reverent.
I'm not sure why that is.
But I think it's horse shit.

Why do we so often have this idea that an attachment to God (and by attachment, I mean finding that place within us that is expansive, creating, BIG, powerful, and connected with All That Is) at best is a deep, meditative, detached, nothingness - as in prayer, or listening to somber tales of "The Spirit" -in its various religious forms-, or miracles?

God isn't experienced best by getting into a deep Nothingness or detachment, She/He/It is experienced best by feeling Good. Feeling God.
By laughter, and Joy, and jubilance.
By happiness and dancing and merry-making and sharing.

I leave you with words from my Beloved Friend, Hafiz.

Spill the Oil Lamp

Spill the oil lamp!
Set this dry, boring place on fire!

If you have ever
Made wanton love with God,

Then you have ignited the brilliant Light inside
That every person needs.

Spill the oil!


Saturday, December 27, 2008

shining light upon Discord

It seems that many things are wacky?.. going awry?.... off?..... discordant! right now.
There's been lots of disharmony with Trev, I'm edgy, I shout just because I can and want to instead of coming from a place of authenticity and peace.
Re-acting instead of Creating.
No good.

I guess I'll start with sharing the problem highlighted by Trev - I'm hoping to come to a definitive place of understanding.
He's an emotional little boy. Period. He comes by it honest - both of his parents are, as well.
In his ...uh, vigor.... he often has melt-downs. Like when he puts on pants over his shoes. Or when he tries to put his shoes on and can't get them on. Or socks. Or like yesterday when he went to the hill next to our house to slide down, he became terribly upset because there's lots of new snow and it wasn't icy anymore, and the slide needed to be "built", if you see what I mean.
In our house we hear lots of wails -sung by him- of "Ooooh, this is The Worst Day, ever!" Sometimes (often!) several times a day.
Now, for a Mama that believes with everything she is in making sure her children are happy, and providing a magical childhood (life base) for said children, these sentiments (shouted and wailed, mind you) are rather discomforting at best, and nerve-grating at worst.

Of course it has peaked right now, as I've paid particular attention to it over the last few months.
I'm wise enough to know that my focusing on it is of course pronouncing it, and that my own outbursts are most certainly contributing to the disharmony.

Yesterday I looked at Eric, and voiced my being at a complete loss.
I know what needs to happen -- he needs to be empowered to handle his emotions.
It occurred to me yesterday (when I could finally calm down enough to break it down even a tiny bit) that I am probably encouraging him to think they're HUGE, because my reaction to his outbursts is rather explosive, as I've gotten to the breaking point myself.
What I mean is - since I'm thinking and feeling "Oh God, HereWeGoAgain, what-am-I-gonna-do? Run! Hide!" I'm encouraging him to feel that his emotions are Too Big to handle, and they'll break him.
Which is of course the direct opposite of what I want him to feel and think.
Ya with me?

Unfortunately, I have these same emotions (though I don't usually freak over my shoes), and was not given any tools or wisdom in How To Deal With Them.
So I'm flailing a bit. Er, a lot.

The good news is that I own a copy of Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves, and also Every Day Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting. Thanks Jon and Naomi.

Practicing Mindfulness, especially in a Buddhist way, teaches us that the best way to take care of an emotion is to simply Be with it. To experience it, accept it, and to just let it Be.
When I think of such things being in my Store Consciousness, or simply accept it for What It Is, and not as something I've done to myself because I lack skills or wisdom or a mature, rational mind, I can see my emotions without judgment or shame, and they lose their tremendous power.

So in this I come to the first hint of the answer.
Just let it be.
And as already concluded, I need to stop running from it. I need to be centered enough in those moments that I can come from peace, steadfastness, and wisdom in such moments, instead of running from them.
The next part of it is recognizing that it's temporary.
This was a discovery just yesterday. While I was seething and reeling and flailing about trying to figure out what to do (in a permanent sense) I noticed a few minutes later that he was calm, and peaceful, and happily playing again.
Which took its edge off - as I was able to see that it was not The End Of The World for me, either. A biggy, that. It lost some of its potency in that moment. The whole situation lost some of its power.
So I can suppose from this that I also need to recognize that I not only need to let my own emotions Just Be -and in doing so I am taking care of them- but that I need to allow his emotions to Just Be. Thereby taking better care of him.
I don't freak over his outbursts, I show him that feelings are not the end of the world, and I show him that I can handle his.
Seems right.

I mean, what else is there? I've been trying it different ways for thirty-s0mething years, and I can liken it to trying to get a mountain stream to channel up the mountain, as there is a village up there whom is in need of the water. I can curse it and plow it and scream at it all I want, but the damned river isn't going to travel up. That goes against its very nature.
No more than I can try to get rid of my emotions.

The best and healthiest thing to do is to let them lie, and to center myself in such a way that I don't find them to be overwhelming or shameful.

In this then, is one of the places where I found the need to get Into the Still.

Friday, December 26, 2008

thoughts for the new year

How happy I am (I do love those serendipitous and synchronistic happenings, you know) that the other day I visited Pam at Idyllic Moments, and she was writing her thoughts about her word for this year's Resolution Revolution.
I'm so glad she reminded me to slow down enough to start thinking on it.
As I was leaving her a comment, I wrote ".....It needs to be something that gets to the heart of all matters for me - like Mindfulness. Or maybe even more fundamental, like Breathe. :) Sounds silly, but true. I'm pondering, still. Ah,.... Still. I might be onto something with that one."

I've known since then that it's my word.

I haven't gathered my thoughts enough yet to be able to write on it as succinctly as I'd like, but it's starting to come together in my head, so soon.

In the meantime, I am happy, and pondering - peacefully, joyfully, and calmly- Into the Still.
Blessings to You.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

a pretty

You may freely ooh and aah over my beautiful new scarf.Thanks, Aub. Love you.

two days

Let's see.
How's that list coming?

I finished up all the lotions and potions. :)!

I'm abandoning the second set of fairy wings for Right This Minute. We'll do that together later. I have the skirt done. She'll have some glorious things to spend the first few days in, she'll not miss them, I think.

I put the sticks on the Horseys, and little friend has been given hers.

The treats are done.
There are chocolate balls, chocolate cashew clusters, cream cheese peppermints, fudge, rice crispy treats, sugar cookies, pralines, and... that's it, I think.

The volcano and pond I think we'll do together in a few days (after the holidays). And the fort blocks.

Need to figure out how I'm presenting my sister with her botanical ornaments.

Need to make a few things for Grandma and Grammy. (sans sewing - I jammed the pointed end of a damned needle under my fingernail yesterday - iiieeeee! and my finger is mighty sore. I was trying to put the stray needle into the side of the thread. whoof. )

That's it!

We're at liberty to clean and create today.
How divine!

Monday, December 22, 2008


Well, I suppose the beauty of celebrating and stretching things out over a few days instead of just one is that you get to add a few more days to The Day, hmmm? And a few more days to get things done.

While yesterday saw much merry-making and Holiday Spirit, it also saw a couple of last-minute trips to the store, and standing in the kitchen over pots with bubbling brews being made.

I'll tell you about that later, after I pass out the gifts to my two Loveys that check in on me here.

I think we have a celebration with friends tonight - so that means I have much to do in preparation for that.

If you have a good recipe for some of that Warping Time Dust stuff that The Chief uses, I could surely use it today.
Leave a note in the comments, and I'll be sure to send you the remainder of what I don't use to you in Thanks.


Sunday, December 21, 2008


We'll begin our official Merry-Making today.

All the usual stuff -


making cookies and candies

lighting a fire

making our wrapped packages pretty with ribbons, fancifuls, and bows

singing jingly songs

opening a present or two

and hopefully delivering goodies to Loved Ones.

Hope your day is full with what you love best!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Visions of SugarPlums

I'd love to share this with you -- it's a story that is so close to my heart.
As it warmly wraps so many of my thoughts and feelings. Hopefully these are the things I'll be able to convey to my children - and hopefully they, like myself, will always believe in Santa Claus.
I got it here, my favorite wiccan/pagan info site. I don't 'spect many will want to travel to such a far-away place, so I'm bringing it here to you.

Don't be immediately put off by the verbiage - it isn't a pagan story, necessarily.

Visions of Sugar Plums
by Margaret Morrison

Five minutes before the Winter Solstice circle was scheduled to begin, my mother called. Since I'm the only one in our coven who doesn't run on Pagan Standard Time, I took the call. Half the people hadn't arrived, and those who had wouldn't settle down to business for at least twenty minutes.

"Merry Christmas, Frannie."

"Hi, Mom. I don't do Christmas."

"Maybe not--but I do, so I'll say it." she told me in her sassy voice, kind of sweet and vinegary at the same time. "If I can respect your freedom of religion, you can respect my freedom of speech."

I grinned and rolled my eyes. "And the score is Mom - one, Fran - nothing. But I love you, anyway."

People were bustling around in the next room, setting up the altar, decking the halls with what I considered excessive amounts of holly and ivy, and singing something like, "O Solstice Tree."

"It sounds like party." Mom said.

"We're doing Winter Solstice tonight."

"Oh. That's sort of like your version of Christmas, right?"

I wanted to snap back that Christmas was the Christian version of Solstice, but I held back.

"We celebrate the return of the sun. It's a lot quieter than Christmas. No shopping sprees, no pine needles and tinsel on the floor, and it doesn't wipe me out. I remember how you had always worked yourself to a frazzle by December 26."

"Oh honey, I loved doing all that stuff. I wouldn't trade those memories for all the spare time in the world. I wish you and Jack would loosen up a little for the baby's sake. When you were little, you enjoyed Easter bunnies and trick-or-treating and Christmas things. Since you've gotten into this Wicca religion, you sound a lot like Aunt Betty the year she was a Jehovah's Witness."

I laughed nervously. "Yeah. How is Aunt Betty?"

"Fine. She's into the Celestine Prophecy now, and she seems quite happy. Y'know," she went on, "Aunt Betty always said the Jehovah's Witnesses said those holiday things were pagan. So I don't see why you've given them up."

"Uh, they've been commercialized and polluted beyond recognition. We're into very simple, quiet celebrations."

"Well," she said dubiously, "as long as you're happy."

Sometimes long distance is better than being there, 'cause your mother can't give you the look that makes you agree with everything she says. Jack rescued me by interrupting.

"Hi, Ma." he called to the phone as he waved a beribboned sprig of mistletoe over my head. Then he kissed me, one of those quick noisy ones. I frowned at him.

"Druidic tradition, Fran. Swear to Goddess."

"Of course it is. Did the Druids use plastic berries?"

"Always. We'll be needing you in about five minutes."

"Okay. Gotta go, Mom. Love you."

We had a nice, serene kind of Solstice Circle. No jingling bells or filked-out Christmas Carols. Soon after the last coven member left, Jack was ready to pack it in.

"The baby's nestled all snug in her bed," he said with a yawn, "I think I'll go settle in for a long winter's nap."

I heaved a martyred sigh. He grinned unrepentantly, kissed me, called me a grinch, and went to bed. I stayed up and puttered around the house, trying to unwind. I sifted through the day's mail, ditched the flyers urging us to purchase all the Seasonal Joy we could afford or charge. I opened the card from his parents. Another sermonette: a manger scene and a bible verse, with a handwritten note expressing his mother's fervent hope that God's love and Christmas spirit would fill our hearts in this blessed season. She means well, really. I amused myself by picking out every pagan element I could find in the card. When the mail had been sorted, I got up and started turning our ritual room back into a living room.

As if the greeting card had carried a virus, I found myself humming Christmas carols. I turned on the classic rock station, but they were playing that Lennon-Ono Christmas song. I switched stations. The weatherman assured me that there was only a twenty percent chance of snow. Then, by Loki, the deejay let Bruce Springsteen insult my ears crooning, "yah better watch out, yah better not pout." I tried the Oldies station. Elvis lives, and he does Christmas songs. Okay, fine. We'll do classical--no, we won't. They're playing Handel's Messiah. Maybe the community radio station would have something secular humanist. "Ahora, escucharemos a Jose Feliciano canta `Feliz
Navidad'." I was getting annoyed. The radio doesn't usually get this saturated with holiday mush until the twenty-fourth. "This is too weird." I said to the radio, "Cut that crap out." The country station had some Kenny Rogers Christmas tune, the first rock station had gone from John and Yoko's Christmas song to Simon and Garfunkel's "Silent Night," and the other rock station still had Springsteen reliving his childhood.

"--I'm tellin' you why. SANTA Claus is comin' to town!" he bellowed.

I was about to pick out a nice secular CD when there was a knock at the door.

Now, it could have been a coven member who'd forgotten something. It could have been someone with car trouble. It could have been any number of things, but it certainly couldn't have been a stout guy in a red suit--snowy beard, rosy cheeks, and all--backed by eight reindeer and a sleigh. I blinked, wondered crazily where Rudolph was, and blinked again. There were nine reindeer.

Our twenty-percent chance of snow had frosted the dead grass and was continuing to float down in fat flakes.

"Hi, Frannie." he said warmly, "I've missed you."

"I'm stone cold sober, and you don't exist."

He looked at me with a mixture of sorrow and compassion and sighed heavily. "That's why I miss you, Frannie. Can I come in? We need to talk."

I couldn't quite bring myself to slam the door on this vision, hallucination, or whatever. So I let him in, because that made more sense then letting all the cold air in while I argued with someone who wasn't there. As he stepped in, a thought crossed my mind about various entities needing an invitation to get in houses. He flashed me a smile that would melt the polar caps.

"Don't you miss Christmas, Frannie?"

"No." I said flatly, "Apparently you don't see me when I'm sleeping and waking these days. I haven't been Christian for years."

"Oh, now don't let that stop you. We both know this holiday's older than that. Yule trees and Saturnalia and here-comes-the-sun, doodoodendoodoo."

I raised an eyebrow at the Beatles reference, then gave him my standard sermonette on the appropriation and adulteration that made Christmas no longer a Pagan holiday. I had done my homework. I listed centuries, I named names--St. Nicholas among them. "In the twentieth century version," I assured him, "Christmas is two parts crass commercialism mixed with one part blind faith in a religion I rejected years ago." I gave him my best lines, the ones that had convinced my coven to abstain from Christmasy cliches. My hallucination sat in Jack's favorite chair, nodding patiently at me.

"And you," I added nastily, "come here talking about ancient customs when you--in your current form--were invented in the nineteenth century by, um...Clement C. Moore."

He laughed, a rolling, belly-deep chuckle unlike any department-store Santa I'd ever heard. "Of course I change my form now and then to suit fashion. Don't you? And does that stop you from being yourself?" He said, and asked me if I remembered Real Magic, by Isaac Bonewits.

I gaped at him for a moment, then caught myself. "This is like `Labyrinth', right? I'm having a dream that pretends to be real, but is only made from pieces of things in my memory. You don't look a thing like David Bowie."

"Bonewits has this Switchboard Theory." Santa went on amiably, "The energy you put into your beliefs influences the real existence of the archetypal--oh, let me put it simpler: `in the beginning, Man created God'. Ian Anderson." He lit a long-stemmed pipe. The tobacco had a mild and somehow Christmasy smell, and every puff sent up a wreath of smoke. "I'm afraid it's a bit more complicated than Bonewits tells it, but that's close enough for mortals. Are you with me so far?"

"Oh, sure." I lied as unconvincingly as possible.

Santa sighed heavily. "When's the last time you left out milk and cookies for me?"

"When I figured out my parents were eating them."

"Frannie, Frannie. Remember pinda balls, from Hinduism?"

"Rice balls left as offerings for ancestors and gods."

"Do Hindus really believe that the ancestors and gods eat pinda balls?"

"All right, y'got me there. They say that spirits consume the spiritual essence, then mortals can have what's left."

"Mm-hm." Santa smiled at me compassionately through his snowy beard.

I rallied quickly. "What about the toys? I know for a fact they aren't made by you and a bunch of non-union elves."

"Oh, that's quite true. Manufacturing physical objects out of magical energy is terribly expensive and breaks several laws of Nature--She only allows us to do that on special occasions. It certainly couldn't be done globally and annually. Now, the missus and the elves and I really do have a shop at the North Pole. Not the sort of thing the Air Force would ever find. What we make up there is what makes this time a holiday, no matter what religion it's called."

"Don't tell me," I said, rolling my eyes, "you make the sun come back."

"Oh my, no. The solar cycle stuff, the Reason For The Season, isn't my department. My part is making it a holiday. We make a mild, non-addictive psychedelic thing called Christmas spirit. Try some."

He dipped his fingers in a pocket and tossed red-gold-green-silver glitter at me. I could have ducked. I don't know why I didn't.

It smelled like snow, and pine needles, and cedar chips in the fireplace. It smelled like fruitcake, like roast turkey, like that foamy white stuff you spray on the window with stencils. It felt like a crisp wind, Grandma's hugs, fuzzy new mittens, pine needles scrunching under my slippers. I saw twinkly lights, mistletoe in the doorway, smiling faces from years gone by. Several Christmas carols played almost simultaneously in a kind of medley.

I fought my way back to my living room and glared sternly at the hallucination in Jack's chair.

"Fun stuff. Does the DEA know about this?"

"Oh, Frannie. Why are you such a hard case? I told you it's non-addictive and has no harmful side effects. Would Santa Claus lie to you?"

I opened my mouth and closed it again. We looked at each other a while.

"Can I have some more of that glittery stuff?"

"Mmmm. I think you need something stronger. Try a sugarplum."

I tasted rum ball. Peppermint. Those hard candies with the picture all the way through. Mama's favorite fudge. A chorus line of Christmas candies danced through my mouth. The Swedish Angel Chimes, run on candle power, say tingatingatingating. Mama, with a funny smile, promised to give Santa my letter. Greeting cards taped on the refrigerator door. We rode through the tree farm on a straw-filled trailer pulled by a red and green tractor, looking for a perfect pine.

It was so big, Daddy had to cut a bit off so the star wouldn't scrape the ceiling. Lights, ornaments, tinsel. Daddy lifted me up to the mantle to hang my stocking. My dolls stayed up to see Santa Claus, and in the morning they all had new clothes. Grandma carried in a platter with the world's biggest turkey, and I got the drumstick. Joey's Christmas puppy chased my Christmas kitten up the tree and it would have fallen over but Daddy held it while Mama got the kitten out. Daddy said every bad word there was but he kept laughing anyway. I sneaked my favorite plastic horse into the nativity scene, between the camels and the donkey. I came back to reality slowly, with a silly smile on my face and a tickly feeling behind my eyes like they wanted to cry. The phrase "visions of sugarplums" took on a whole new meaning.

"How long has it been," Santa asked, "since you played with a nativity set?-"

"But it symbolizes--"

"The winter-born king. The sacred Mother and her sun-child. Got a problem with that? You could redecorate it with pentagrams if you like, they'll look fine. As for the Christianization, I've heard who you invoke at Imbolc."

"But Bridgid was a Goddess for centuries before the Catholic Church-oh." I crossed my arms and tried to glare at him, but failed.

"You're a sneaky old elf, y'know?"

"The term is `jolly old elf.' Care for another sugarplum?"

I did.

I tasted gingerbread. My first nip of eggnog the way the grown-ups drink it. Fresh sugar cookies, shaped like trees and decked with colored frosting. Dad had been laid off, but we managed a lot of cheer. They told us Christmas would be "slim pickings." Joey and I smiled bravely when Mama brought home that spindly spruce. We loaded down our "Charlie Brown Christmas Tree" with every light and ornament it could hold. Popcorn and cranberry strings for the outdoor trees. Mistletoe in the hall: plastic mistletoe, real kisses.

Joey and I snipped and glued and stitched and painted treasures to give as presents. We agonized over our "Santa" now we knew where the goodies came from, and we tried to compromise between what we longed for and what we thought they could afford. Every day we hoped the factory would reopen. When Joey's dog ate my mitten, I wasn't brave. I knew that meant I'd get mittens for Christmas, and one less toy. I cried. On December twenty-fifth we opened our presents ve-ery slo-wly, drawing out the experience. We made a show of cheer over our socks and shirts and meager haul of toys. I got red mittens.

We could tell Mama and Daddy were proud of us for being so brave, because they were grinning like crazy.

"Go out to the garage for apples." Mama told us, "We'll have apple pancakes."

I don't remember having the pancakes. There was a dollhouse in the garage. No mass-produced aluminum thing but a homemade plywood dollhouse with wall-papered walls and real curtains and thread-spool chairs. My dolls were inside, with newly sewn clothes. Joey was on his knees in front of a plywood barn with hay in the loft. His old farm implements had new paint. Our plastic animals were corralled in popsicle stick fences. The garage smelled like apples and hay, the cement was bone-chilling under my slippers, and I was crying.

My knees were drawn up to my chest, arms wrapped around them. My chest felt tight, like ice cracking in sunshine. Santa offered me a huge white handkerchief. When all the ice in my chest had melted, he cleared his throat. He was pretty misty-eyed, too.

"Want to come sit on my lap and tell me what you want for Christmas?"

"You've already given it to me." But I sat on his lap anyway, and kissed his rosy cheek until he did his famous laugh.

"I'd better go now, Frannie. I have other stops to make, and you have work to do."

"Right. I'd better pop the corn tonight, it strings best when it's stale." I let him out the door. The reindeer were pawing impatiently at the moon-kissed new-fallen snow. I'd swear Rudolph winked at me.

"Don't forget the milk and cookies."

"Right. Uh, December twenty-fourth, or Solstice, or what?"

He shrugged. "Whatever night you expect me, I'll be there. Eh, don't wait up. Visits like this are tightly rationed. Laws of Nature, y'know, and She's strict with them."

"Gotcha. Thanks, Santa." I kissed his cheek again. "Happy Holidays."

The phrase had a nice, non-denominational ring to it. I thought I'd call my parents and in-laws soon and try it out on them. Santa laid his finger aside of his nose and nodded.

"Blessed be, Frannie."

The sleigh soared up, and Santa really did exclaim something. It sounded like old German. Smart-aleck elf. When I closed the door, the radio was playing Jethro Tull's "Solstice Bells."


I'd love to sit and chat awhile about this, but I've got Christmasy and Solstice-y things to do.
And I think I'm gonna try my hand at making a little jar o' some of that glittery Christmas Spirit.
Blessings to you.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

for the Poets

close your eyes, Aubrey.

i am sooo excited about this one.
feeling right proud of myself, i am.

a roll of adhesive-mag
lots of beautiful (printed) love words


poetry magnets?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


It's 14 degrees.
Though time is surely running out, I'm in need of slow and easy.
Into the Still.
Here's what I'd most like today (and I haven't yet given up on it because it's still quiet, I've caught up on blogging, and the babes are still asleep) -

Walking softly.
Softly in the kitchen. Steadily cleaning counters, mopping the floor, warm deliciousness coming from the oven -in the name of Sugar Cookies-, and watching a babe sipping tea while sitting next to the heat vent.

Putting the finishing touches on the snowman. You know - giving him his Magic.

Capturing lively shots of outside play.

Maybe playing with our new batch of modeling clay that I made yesterday. Perhaps making snowmen with it?

These are the dreams my heart dreams today.

a few more down

I finished Gentry's blocks. One side has been stamped with an animal for a matching game. I used five different animals, obviously. I didn't have permanent stamp ink, so I colored the stamps with an industrial Sharpie. That allowed me to mod podge the picture after it had been stamped.

I've made the swords. I think I did them well - I used a hanger to make the handle and beginning of the blade firm (along with firmly packed stuffing), but the blade itself is soft and loose - I don't think it's firm enough to hurt at all. They're not particularly cute, but I believe they'll be well-used. :) And I made them with materials on hand.

I've finished Meagan's plant press.
Made the sticker pages for Madeleine - I've printed out different biomes, and she will have a great time putting animals and insects -and probably Dora and Strawberry Shortcake, too- on different pages. There's the savannah, arctic, the rain forest, temperate forest, local desert, and coral reef. They're covered with contact paper for extended use. They'll eventually go in her sticker notebook that I made for her last year.

and the marshmallow shooters are finished.(never mind his So Serious expression.)

The candies are done - peanut clusters, pralines, white chocolate covered pretzels- I'll make more fudge today, another batch of rice crispies, and hopefully (cross your fingers) a batch of Sugar Coolies. Iced with candy cane bits on top. Mmmmm. (never done that before - let's hope it's good.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

eight days

frufru apron for tea parties
two more for dolls

two swords (cloth, soft)

one cooking apron

two horses

finish blocks

another plant press

bath bombs

peppermint foot cream

something hand-made for Grandma

felt puppets

another fairy skirt with wings

goodies for neighbors


sticker pages

fort blocks



added again:

marshmallow shooters

poetry magnets

ornaments with basket

pretty for my Mom

i'm tired.
over and out.

Monday, December 15, 2008


My friend Julie mentioned that she was making marshmallow shooters.
I looked them up today after I saw them mentioned somewhere else.... can't remember where.
Anyway - saw them and was thrilled!!

I've been racking my brain trying to come up with gift ideas for the four boys on Eric's side of the family (ages 9-17). Last year I gave each family a magnetic dartboard - a big hit.

Marshmallow Shooters?Absolutely Perfect!!

I've purchased the parts, cut them and built them this morning (cost me $17 and less than two hours total -including the trip to the store- to make four-and-a-half shooters), so now we just paint them!

funny note - when I went into Home Depot this morning, they were out of the caps for the ends. There was a box with four in it.... "Excuse me, Sir... are these all the caps you have?"
"Let's see...." punches a few things into his little hand-held computer.... "Looks like it... must be some sort of Craft Project thing going on...."
I grinned at him. "Yup. Marshmallow Shooters!" said I.
He tapped a few more numbers and letters into his hand-held - "No one else has them, either!"
I'm resourceful, so I picked up some coupling pieces and plugs to make do.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sacred Life Sunday: into the Still

which is all about settling the Bustling Flurries.

and falling gently
and d r i f t i n g

into the still.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

11 Days

frufru apron for tea parties
two more for dolls

two swords

one cooking apron

two horses

finish blocks

another plant press

bath bombs

peppermint foot cream

something hand-made for Grandma

felt puppets

another fairy skirt with wings

goodies for neighbors


sticker pages

fort blocks



four more down


(I fell in love with these faces today, and just had to make them for a little tiny person we know.)

Oh! And I cleaned my house. :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

two down


horseys?check! (Thanks so much to my blogging friend Sarah for the how-to. These are awesome.)

14 days

Two weeks!!

frufru apron for tea parties
two more for dolls

two swords

one cooking apron

two horses

finish blocks

another plant press

bath bombs

peppermint foot cream

something hand-made for Grandma

felt puppets

another fairy skirt with wings

goodies for neighbors

what else???...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

16 degrees

But there's snow.

Monday, December 08, 2008

added pretties

So I went into the livingroom, and spied an empty box of candy canes -- that I just bought yesterday.
What?! An entire box, already?
But not to worry.
About two feet off the ground I saw this.
With a little extra prettiness, too, I see.

Mice for Sale!

We have mice that you can buy.
For cheap!

We would prefer that you'd come catch your own (in which case you can have them For Free!), or you can choose one from our little friendly mouse-catchers.

You'd better hurry - we only keep them around for a day or two in the catchers before we take them to live at the park.


Sunday, December 07, 2008

fairy wings

and skirt.

15 Days

a morning spent with a bosom friend

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Okay, it's 4:01 and it's starting to get dark. Sheesh!
I mean... come on!
Not dark dark, but it will be soon enough.
Thank goodness we don't live any further north than we do.

Monday, December 01, 2008

15 Days of Happiness: Contentment

I'm laying at one end of the couch with my nose a few inches away from my book, Eric sits at the other with his resting on his lap.
The Tree lights are twinkling.
My feet are tucked into a blanket on my husband's lap.
Maddie walks back and forth with pinecones, feeding some to Annabelle.
The roasting turkey warms the oven and the house.
All is well.

He loves me!

My husband has this really loving relationship with Ullr, the Snow God.
Actually He's the God of Thunder, I think, but he's also in charge of Snow.
Last year he placed this upon my fridge, and we had snow whenever he refreshed and renewed his plea.
I've been complaining and grumbling for a couple of weeks - "I want to change your sign."
"I want it to say "Snow In My Yard." As snow in NeverLand [waves hand over her head] has no direct benefit upon my psyche.
"Well, that would be okay with me - if it snows in our yard, then we'll be getting a few feet in the mountains (where he skis).
"Yes." I say.
Today I looked up, and here's the gift my Prince had given to me.He's working his magic.
Thanks Rico.